This report presents preliminary assessment results of the RE:FINE (Resourcing Education: Fund for Innovations and Networking) grantmaking fund financed by the Open Society Institute, Budapest, and administered by the Education Support Program. RE:FINE provides strategic grants for networking opportunities between CSOs and other organizations that support gains already made in the education sector in order to maximize the impact and enhance the capacity of civil society actors in bringing about school reform in the countries of the former Soviet Union, South Eastern Europe, and Mongolia.
The assessment focuses on evaluating the current results of the RE:FINE program through a verification of the extent to which funded projects contribute to program priorities and objectives; by no means is it an attempt to evaluate the individual performance of funded projects. The assessment involved an analysis of program documents, an electronic survey of 12 projects in their final stages of implementation, and direct phone interviews with selected grantee organizations.
Grantees regard the highly flexible monitoring and evaluation of project performance by the ESP management as a key factor contributing to successful project implementation. Beneficiary organizations also appreciate the professional support and continuous communication with the management staff during project implementation. Other main benefits of RE:FINE funding identified by both grantee and partner organizations are the opportunity to work with organizations from different countries that have similar interests, and the opportunity to work on key education policy issues in their own countries.