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Program Evaluation Reveals Strong Improvement in Women’s Literacy

Sanae Benaadim

HAF Program Director

Evaluation & Monitoring of literacy class for women in Ait Bouguemaz, Azilal province. Photo by HAF

Since 2022, the Family Literacy Program in Beni Mellal-Khenifra has implemented an empowerment and education program in four provinces, serving over 400 women in impoverished communities. This initiative aims to remove the barriers that often impede women’s personal and economic development.

As the program draws to a close in 2023, there is a clear need to evaluate the efficacy of the literary classes and collect data from the beneficiaries of the initiative. This evaluation will provide insight into the specific needs of the women in the community and allow facilitators and leadership to make more informed decisions regarding future programs.

HAF staff visited the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region to assess the progress of the program. The Family Literacy Program is managed by the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and the European Union (EU) and takes place in four provinces: Béni Mellal; Azilal, Khénifra and Fquih Ben Saleh. Four hundred women have benefitted from the literacy programs – learning reading, writing, and mathematics – since their beginning in July of 2022.

To ensure the effectiveness of the program, eight (8) students from Sultan Moulay Slimane University joined the team to conduct monitoring and evaluation work in the field. The evaluation consisted of visiting over 400 women members of 18 cooperatives. The instructors have taught a total of 264 hours since the beginning of the program, with each group receiving 24 hours of instruction per month. They devote six hours to each subject included in the program: mathematics, reading comprehension, writing skills, and memorization of the Holy Koran. The twenty groups have also benefited from a variety of workshops: 20 Imagine workshops, 24 participatory training workshops, 15 technical trainings, 10 days of literacy training, and 5 phases of material distribution for the beneficiaries of the program.

The results of the evaluation showed a significant improvement in the literacy skills of women participating in the program, as measured by a strong increase in the number of women who were able to read and write basic sentences and perform entry-level arithmetic calculations.

Data analysis of the Family Literacy Program in Beni Mellal Khénifra

The program focuses on working with four hundred women and girls (14 and older) in rural areas of the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region. Since February 2023, we have worked on collecting data from the beneficiaries to improve our understanding of the community (family status, number of children, employment, and level of education) and better understand how to support socioeconomic development in the regions served.

The data analysis revealed a number of interesting trends. The majority of participants were married with children. Additionally, most participants tended to have low levels of formal education prior to joining the program. This suggests that the program is meeting the needs of an underprivileged segment of the population.

  1. Family situation and number of children :

The following graphs show the demographics of the beneficiaries and their families. 74% of women are married. 13% of beneficiaries are widows.The total number of children is 609: 292 girls and 316 boys.

Another notable finding was the age of participants: women in the program ranged from 14 years old to 84 years old, with an average age of 45 years. This age range is typically associated with having young children and heavy family obligations. It is therefore impressive that these women and girls have made the time and effort to participate in the program and improve their literacy skills.

  1. Parents employment:

The data analysis also found that the women who participated in the program tended to have better employment prospects than those who did not. This suggests that improving literacy skills can have a positive impact on women's economic empowerment.

The parental employment rate is 41.3%. Only two hundred and eighty-eight (288) people are employed in rural areas. The unemployment rate among parents (58.7%) is highest in the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region.

Parent employment by gender:

The non-employment rate in the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region is higher, particularly for women (44%), while the non-employment rate for men is 27.7%.

  1. Educational Level:

Women's level of education in rural areas is very low. Only forty two women (42) out of four hundred and three (284) have a primary education. None of the women in the villages surveyed attended university.

Overall, the data analysis of the women in the literacy program supports what is already clear from qualitative data: the program is making a positive impact on the lives of the participants. The strong improvement of measurable literary skills and the demographic reality of the population served suggest that the program is reaching the target population effectively.

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the High Atlas Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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