Background of the Skybird programme

The Austrian Red Cross, together with its partners embarked, the Skybird Programme (Innovation and collaboration in WASH for improved living conditions in East Africa), a 5-years (2019-2023) regional WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) capacity strengthening program in East Africa, to contribute to improved living conditions in East Africa through increased innovation and strengthened capacities and partnerships in WASH, by strengthening the skills and resources of the Red Cross societies in East Africa and Austria to achieve this goal through more effective WASH interventions.

The Skybird Programme targeted the East African region, with specific focus on Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda, making grants available for micro-projects that trigger innovation or scale up of good practices. Ethiopia and Uganda were particularly selected as priority countries for the implementation of Skybird.  Subsidies for innovative micro-projects within the Red Cross societies was awarded and a regional WASH network was established to promote innovation, knowledge exchange and cooperation between actors within and outside the Red Cross movement in East Africa in WASH and related fields.

Skybird programme evaluation

The Nonprofit Organizations Competence Centre (NPO CC) of Vienna University of Economics and Business was commissioned by the Austrian Red Cross to accompany this 5-year programme in the framework of monitoring and evaluation. This included the scientific monitoring of a baseline study and mid-term evaluation as well as the implementation of a final end-term evaluation.

NPO CC is conducting the Skybird evaluation with a combination of qualitative interviews (focus group discussions and individual interviews) and quantitative online surveys.

The baseline survey was conducted at ERCS and URCS in August 2019 with an objective:

  • To understand how players in the WASH sector collaborate with ERCS and how the role of ERCS is seen in the WASH sector.
  • To discover how the important players in the field of WASH perceive the activities of the Red Cross in the field of WASH and how players in the field of WASH collaborate.
  • To explore how people in the WASH network collaborate with each other and how innovative the RCRC WASH sector is and how aware it is about gender, social and environmental issues.

The mid-term Skybird programme review was conducted at ERCS and URCS in August 2021 with an objective:

  • To review preliminary impacts of the programme.
  • To inform the programme management team on potential areas for improvement.

The end-term Skybird programme evaluation data collection began this month at ERCS and preparations are made to collect data from URCS in the coming week.