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Nairobi, 23 Nov 09

UN HABITAT is empowering urban youth centres in East Africa with innovative tools for effective program evaluation.

The agency is developing a guide to help four urban youth centres in East Africa evaluate their programming in a collaborative, community-based way. In partnership with city councils of four East African cities and the International Centre for Sustainable Cities, UN-HABITAT recently held a week-long interactive training session with key staff and volunteers from each city, to test the guide and embed the evaluation concepts in their respective cities’ youth centres.

Participants were taken through five activity-filled days of Program Evaluation Training.
Upon returning to their various urban youth centres to implement the guide and their training, participants expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for how program evaluation might enhance their programming and even help attract better funding.

As one participant, David Waithaka said: evaluation is like the great wildebeest migration. You do it in great numbers, there are hazards along the way, but it’s worth it in the end.”

Immediately after the sessions, trainer Lee-Anne Ragan visited each city to follow up and support the youth centres in implementing what they had learned. With online and telephone support from Ms. Ragan, the centres will continue to apply their learning and the evaluation guide in their centres, developing other data collection tools such as the programme records, questions for interviews, dissemination plans and mechanisms on how to evaluate the evaluation. The program evaluation guide, along with other training manuals developed on entrepreneurship, participatory planning and peace building, will be launched at the Fifth Session of the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro in March 2010.

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