Local solutions to education challenges in Africa
Unlocking the potential of local solutions to improve the quality of education in sub-Saharan Africa. A network between the UK, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda and Ghana will develop local skills, experience and confidence to effectively plan and deliver tangible and lasting improvements in education.
Charity information: Link Community Development International
Local people have unparalleled knowledge of the problems facing schools, the environment they operate within and the potential for improvement, so are best placed to identify the solutions which lead to real change. But without organisational and project management skills, financial capability and processes to accurately evaluate their impact, local project teams struggle to turn ideas into action, reach more people, persuade donors to fund their work or learn from one another’s experience.
We will build the capacity of our project teams in Malawi and Uganda to deliver effective education improvement projects through: Peer support in project management; Capacity building in finance management; Systems and skills for monitoring and evaluating, documenting and sharing learning from practical experience locally and internationally. We will respect and develop our partners’ existing capabilities and tailor support to the areas where our combined knowledge can have most impact.
Build capacity in project management
Activities» Training for project directors and managers in Link’s approach to all stages of the project cycle: design, implement, evaluate, reflect and adapt.
» Experienced Ghanaian, Ethiopian and UK project managers mentor counterparts in Uganda and Malawi using teleconferencing and online management tools.
» Exchange visits between Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana and the UK for peer support at key stages of the project cycle
» Annual International Management Team meeting in Malawi or Uganda to plan organisational strategy, practice skills and build confidence
What success will look like
Project managers demonstrate competence and confidence at every stage of the project cycle and achieve business plan objectives which are approved by their local board.
Build capacity in organisational and project financial management
Activities» Training and skills development for finance managers in robust and accountable finance management processes.
» Support finance managers to develop budgets, tracking and reporting frameworks for project and organisational expenditure.
» Experienced finance managers in the UK, Ghana and Ethiopia mentor finance managers in Uganda and Malawi using teleconferencing and online tools.
» International exchange visits for peer support in finance at key stages of the project cycle e.g. budget development and reporting
What success will look like
Finance managers demonstrate competence and confidence with budgets and financial reports which are transparent, accurate, meet donor requirements & support more effective projects
Facilitate evaluation, reflection and learning about what makes an effective project
Activities» Train project managers in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) techniques and support them to use these effectively to learn from their experiences.
» Establish a framework for M&E across the organisation and support project managers to develop and implement frameworks for individual projects
» Establish and maintain an online platform to share learning and facilitate discussion about evaluations to help better project design and delivery.
» Study tours to document the impact of projects, learn from success in action, and explore solutions to problems.
What success will look like
Evaluation frameworks are in place and are used competently, there is effective participation in the online platform, successes are documented and challenges are explored.
Project and finance managers in Malawi and Uganda will operate increasingly independently to deliver projects, reflect on successes and shortcomings, and improve effectiveness. Reporting to donors will be to a high standard, building the organisations’ reputations as effective implementers, leading to more funding for Link’s locally-designed education improvement projects. Ultimately this will improve the quality of education in Link’s target districts, as measured by national standards.
Internet services are underdeveloped in Malawi, Uganda, Ghana and Ethiopia. We included telephone and face-to-face peer support in the project design, and our teams are used to dealing with poor internet connections so are flexible and adaptable.
Capacity building could be lost if staff leave the organisation. We will focus on developing the capacity of the organisation as a whole, rather than individuals, so that knowledge is retained within the organisation and can be passed on to new staff.
Donors will receive a detailed update every 6 months describing the activities which have been accomplished, indications of success, and any necessary changes. At the end of the project, donors will receive a full study of the project impact, including feedback from the beneficiaries.
Budget - Project Cost: £91,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £21,000 Training Project Management & Finance £21,000 Mentoring Project Management & Finance £12,000 Exchange visits Build capacity through experience £6,000 International Management Team Meeting of staff to share skills £18,000 M&E Framework Framework development & training £5,000 Online platform For shared learning & resources £8,000 Study tours To document and learn from success
Link works with schools and communities in remote, rural districts of Malawi and Uganda. Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries, where half the population lives in poverty. Two thirds of children drop out before finishing primary school. Uganda has the world’s youngest population, with 78% under 30, and one of the highest youth unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In conflict-affected Katakwi district 70% of learners drop out of school without acquiring competitive skills.
6 Project Managers and 2 Finance Managers in Malawi and Uganda will have skills, experience and confidence to turn local ideas into effective projects to improve access to quality education.
260,000 pupils, 3,000 teachers and 160,000 parents in remote, rural areas will benefit from effective, locally relevant projects which lead to better quality education, safety and wellbeing at school, improved learning outcomes, and young people who can lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Link’s 20 years’ collective experience provides a rich source of project and finance management expertise and learning about what it takes to design and implement projects that work. An in-depth capacity development partnership between Link in the UK and Ethiopia was successful in growing a small local base into one of the largest and most successful girls’ education projects in Ethiopia. Now the Ethiopian staff are ready to support their peers in Malawi and Uganda to make the same leap forward.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Drawing on Ethiopian experience, Nebiat will conduct training and mentoring of project managers and host study visits to facilitate learning.
Dr Kennedy Quaigrain
With extensive experience in Ghana, Ken will mentor project managers, conduct exchange visits and facilitate the international management team.
Dr Samantha Ross
Leads on Link's monitoring and evaluation framework, mentors project managers in M&E and supports learning online and through international meetings.
Develops finance training and mentors Finance Managers online, through exchange visits and via study tours, drawing on international best practice.