Introduction

Nirantar, in response to requests from a range of organisations, has other the years conducted a number of reviews and evaluations. These have included evaluations of community-based programmes for women’s and girls’ education, interventions on reproductive and sexual health and rights as well as large programmes providing resources for gender justice, women’s empowerment and education.

Nirantar’s engagement with reviews and evaluations has been from a feminist perspective. This has meant seeking to understand the intervention in a manner which includes analysing the factors underlying gender-based discrimination and social inequities, barriers to accessing rights.  The framework used is one of intersectionality, which pays attention to issues of gender, caste, religion and sexuality and their interconnections. Our focus has been on capturing processes in addition to outcomes. While evaluating impacts of programmes, a review of the qualitative aspects of work is equally important for us. Experiences, practices and voices of people involved are critical in the process of drawing conclusions about the effectiveness of programmes. Evaluations conducted by Nirantar have been based on our understanding of community based work. In the evaluations, we seek to be meaningful and empowering for the agencies being evaluated.
 
Some examples of evaluations undertaken by Nirantar are shared below.
 
Evaluating Communication Training
Nirantar was involved in the evaluation of a programme that trains community members to produce educational videos. The programme combines a visual medium to incorporate values of democracy, citizenship and diversity in the video kits. As part of the evaluation, we interacted with a range of people in order to understand the impact of the educational videos. Group discussions with the film producers, trainers, teachers in schools and students were part of this process. Interactions with members of the community were also important in enabling us to inform ourselves about the effectiveness of the intervention. One of the recommendations made was as follows.
 
“The programme should also develop an understanding on values by unpacking ideas and concepts. For example, while talking about equality, it is important to talk about core concepts behind the idea of equality and look at how inequality exists in the everyday life of the learner. Reflective workshops for producers of videos on values are also essential to build a deeper understanding.”
 
Nirantar undertook a desk review of the Secondary School policy framework from a social equity perspective. The review involved a social assessment of the secondary school framework, 'to identify the social issues that constrain achievement of the goals of access, equity and quality, and the most effective strategies to address them'.  From the report:
 
'Quality and Equity are tied together, where one impacts the other in critical ways.  As a result quality needs to integrate a vision of equity to be meaningful and equity issues have to expand beyond a simple division of educational resources equally among all as part of a formal understanding of equality.  For Secondary Education to be promotive of social justice and equity not merely the hardware but the software of education requires intervention.  These areas cover a range of domains in Secondary Education such as curricula, teacher education and training, language and identity concerns and the promotion of non-discriminatory practices.'