In order to stimulate NIMD’s internal learning process the evaluation was conducted as a so-called peer review. In February 2014 a team of NIMD colleagues, both from NIMD Headquarters and overseas partners, travelled to Mozambique for in-depth interviews and group discussions with NIMD (former) staff members, political party representatives and other local stakeholders, donors, academics and NGOs. The Political Context Scan and the Partner scan that form part of the newly developed internal Baseline and Review Toolkit (BART) were some of the tools that were used during the discussions.
The evaluation focused on the three components of the Mozambique programme, being interparty dialogue, direct party assistance and Schools for Democracy. One important conclusion that the evaluation team drew was that the relevance of interparty dialogue as one of the strategic objectives for NIMD in Mozambique cannot be questioned. Despite the very challenging political context, the dialogue between political parties and the National Election Commission (CNE) is bearing positive results as manifested in the improved levels of trust between CNE and political parties. Similarly, dialogue between and among the political actors themselves has started gaining some momentum. This is also partly a result of the professional NIMD team in Maputo that is unquestionably accepted and respected by the relevant stakeholders, both national and international. A recommendation was made to expand the dialogue agenda with the political parties beyond electoral issues, by including broader democratic reforms and policy debates.
A second conclusion and recommendation is related to the Direct Party Assistance component of the Mozambique Programme. The evaluation team concluded that it is not clear to what extent the annual activities that the political parties implemented with NIMD funding in the years 2008-2014 have contributed to programmatic parties. Based on decreased budgets for direct party assistance and a general lack of insight into actual impact, a recommendation was made to redesign the Direct Party Assistance component and seek alternative avenues to pursue ‘programmatic parties’.
A third important conclusion is that the NIMD Schools for Democracy (SfD) in Nampula and Chimoio have provided a valuable and unique contribution to the development of democratic culture in local societies. They have been effective in laying the foundations for democracy, and contributing to a genuine multi-partisan dialogue on local levels. It has proven to have direct benefits for citizens interested in active participation in local governments. The evaluation team concluded that based on the results achieved over the past few years, the Schools for Democracy programme merits continuation. They recommended the development of a standard fundraising proposal to facilitate future fundraising, as well as investments in the strategic relations with regional and local stakeholders and in public communication efforts to further enhance the visibility of the Schools for Democracy.
The recommendations and conclusions have been extensively discussed with the team in Mozambique, and follow-up actions were formulated. These include:
- Gradually widen the scope of the interparty dialogue from electoral related issues to broader democratic reforms and development issues, e.g. by facilitating discussions on manifesto development
- Invest in improving the direct party support component, by long-term agreements with the parties based on strategic plans, and the development of a Monitoring and Evaluation framework that allows for results measurement
- Invest in the continuation and visibility of the Schools for Democracy Programme.
- Develop a multi-annual strategic plan for the NIMD Country Office in Mozambique