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Youth worker
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Other projects in Sierra Leone:

Evaluating youth reintegration training and education for peace
Sierra Leone
February 2002

Africa MapUSAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives has implemented programming in Sierra Leone, designed to restabilize Sierra Leonean society by improving the capacity of local communities to peacefully move from war to peace. These programs required a complex examination, and BEPS expertise was sought to provide feedback on the Youth Reintegration Training and Education for Peace Program, Diamond Management Program, and OTI’s general performance.

The evaluation team conducted extensive research on the OTI project and the political situation before leaving for Sierra Leone. Once on the ground, field visits and interviews throughout the country assisted the team in carefully analyzing the program’s results.

The assessment found that the program had a notable impact on the peace process, with the most impressive finding being significant behavioral change and the reintegration of ex-combatants into communities. The impact of the program on peace-building and reconciliation resulted in emotional and spiritual impacts as well as social impact, and the OTI program also generated unanticipated progress in community development. However, the program did engender unmet community expectations for program follow-up. The assessment found that the program’s curriculum was popular, but achieved low literacy gains and that greater consideration could have been used to empower women involved in the program. The BEPS team also identified missed opportunities for complementarity with other projects, noting that the demands of swift implementation generated problems in organization and implementation. In sum, BEPS found that the program serves as a model in dealing with war-affected communities and the provision of necessary assistance during demobilization processes, and that it can and should be replicated in other locations.

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