In 2009, CIDA evaluated the GRID-NEA projects in Ghana. We came out sparkling!
You can download a summary of the evaluation report, or read highlights below.
- Relevant: Our projects are meeting real needs of people who otherwise would not receive assistance.
- Holistic: The many interconnected components of our projects work together to achieve sustainable development.
- Effective: We are stewarding resources well so that we can make the greatest impact possible.
- Authentic: Our staff members are known for their commitment, integrity, and credibility.
- Sustainable: The results from our projects are locally-based and long-lasting.
- Exemplary: Some of the successes from our projects can be used to help other organizations.
Key Findings about GRID/NEA Projects
The projects are relevant
Ghana’s Northern Region, where GRID/NEA work, is the poorest and most remote region in the country. It is characterized by extreme poverty, food insecurity, and conflict. GRID/NEA projects are meeting the needs of people in this region in an appropriate and relevant way.
Project components work together as a consistent whole
GRID/NEA use an integrated approach to development, because the roots of poverty are so interconnected. Rather than doing a lot in a single sector (like education, for example), we work to achieve smaller changes in a whole range of related sectors.
GRID and NEA bring complementary skills and strengths to the partnership
GRID and NEA have a unique relationship in that we are long-term, committed partners. We each have different skills, strengths, and experiences that we bring to the relationship. Our long-term commitment has enabled us to sustain each other.
Staff are committed to the vision and know the local culture
We have been blessed with staff members who are talented, committed, and sensitive to the local culture. Without their motivation and hard work, our projects would not have been possible.
Resource utilization is appropriate, effective, and efficient
We carefully steward all of the resources – human, physical, and financial – to achieve the greatest possible impact. Our evaluator noted that we consistently meet and exceed targets, and that residents of the communities we serve feel that we are making a real, positive difference.
Key Lessons Learned
A number of our practices are valuable for us to remember and share with others.
- Have a deep understanding, respect, and compassion for beneficiaries and their way of life.
- Get the community to fully accept the issue as their own.
- Do not fix things with money; let the communities understand the problem and find a way to deal with it.
- Provide appropriate inputs (seeds, money, training) in a timely manner.
- Link to local services and networks and train all stakeholders in the network.
- Address all aspects of the problem — cultural, governmental, and economic – to ensure sustainability.
- A model site, such as the Carpenter project, is invaluable.