The Sinkat community development project and Port Sudan Organizational Development Program in Red Sea State in Sudan 1997 - 2003

The Sinkat community development project and Port Sudan Organizational Development Program in Red Sea State in Sudan 1997 - 2003

Evaluation of rural development initiative within a Sudanese nomadic community

The Sinkat Community Development Project was implemented, in 1986, to re-establish the means of subsistence for 250,000 Beja nomads. Its aim is to reduce their vulnerability, and that of their environment, to future climatic extremes. The project additionally aimed to strengthen the capacity of the Sudan Red Crescent Society. This paper presents an evaluation of the project from 1997-2003.

The evaluation focusses on three main issues:

  • what are the actual effects of the project on the well-being of the Beja nomads since 1997?
  • has the capacity of the Sudanese Red Crescent been built up since 2000?
  • is the project sustainable?

Overall, significant progress has been found towards the achievement of the expected results. Some highlights include:

  • improved access to water has enabled sustainable livestock production and improved the health status
  • small-scale irrigation has facilitated the production of agricultural goods, both for consumption and for cash
  • health service delivery support has addressed low immunisation, low latrine use and high incidences of common illness
  • enrollment in literacy and formal education has increased
  • the capacity of local institutions including, but not limited to, the Red Crescent Society, has increased.

With this in mind, the evaluation also uncovered some flaws in the project and its impact:

  • declining government support to development in terms of both technical support and operational expenses
  • without greater stimulation of community ownership and more initiatives, the project will not keep up with growing demands
  • the Red Crescent, while well placed as the only NGO in Sinkat, lacks the financial base for further projects without outside funding and generation of economic activities within their own organization.

The evaluation ends with a number of recommendations to enhace future development initiatives in the area.

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