I DEAL evaluation – South Sudan and Colombia
In 2013, War Child finalised a 2-year research in South Sudan and Colombia to assess the extent to which our structures life skills training methodology I DEAL is relevant to the local context, to explore the effects of I DEAL on the children, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation (process evaluation). 125 Colombian children and 122 South Sudanese children took part in the research, plus a number of parents, teachers and I DEAL-facilitators. In both countries, the evaluation gathered a large amount of qualitative data using participatory and child-friendly methods. Findings from interviews and activities conducted with children and young people were compared and analysed in the context of observations from facilitators, parents, and caregivers. In South Sudan, teachers were also interviewed.
The findings indicated that I DEAL was perceived as a relevant intervention by local stakeholders, and was consistent with local perceptions of (psychosocial) well-being. Children showed positive results in achieving their ‘personal goals’, which they themselves set at the beginning of the program. Children in both Colombia and South Sudan showed positive results in the development of their social and emotional coping skills, especially in their conflict resolution skills. They also showed improved social relationships with their peers and with adults (parents, teachers or other key-adults). In Colombia children demonstrated decreased levels of psychosocial distress after the intervention and in South Sudan, improvement in children’s classroom performance was observed, particularly in their concentration and participation, and in the collaboration between pupils in class.
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