The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies have received a $15,000 grant from AVSI-USA to provide technical expertise related to the monitoring and evaluation of educational services offered by the Permanent Centre for Education (PCE) in East Africa.

Through the provision of training, PCE helps teachers, head teachers, and parents better understand their educational role and how they interact with children. The training workshops draw on a long tradition of Catholic social thought as applied to education and use as their starting point the intrinsic value of each and every human being.

NDIGD Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Juan Carlos Guzman is working with AVSI-USA and PCE local staff providing statistical and technical support for a randomized control trial, data analysis, and report writing. Kellogg Institute Director Paolo Carozza serves as faculty advisor to the project. The objective of the PCE evaluation is to understand how effective the PCE standard teacher training workshops are at influencing key teacher behaviors.

"Good intentions alone are not enough for us to know whether development projects are in fact making a positive difference in people's lives," says Carozza. "A rigorous evaluation helps to ensure that projects are supported by solid evidence of their efficacy. Notre Dame is helping AVSI and PCE to assess the real value and effect of their interventions in education in Uganda."

The Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI) is an international nongovernmental organization founded in Italy in 1972 that supports human development in developing countries with special attention to education and the promotion of the dignity of every human person, according to Catholic social teaching. AVSI plans and implements sustainable medium and long-term projects and emergency relief operations in partnership with local associations, institutions, governments, and international agencies. The global AVSI Network links together over 60 organizations, most of which are local institutions in the developing world.

The Permanent Centre for Education is a nonprofit organization growing out of AVSI's work in Uganda, where it has worked since 1984 in education, child development, health care, food security, and emergency humanitarian relief. The mission of the PCE is to contribute to human development and protection of children through education. Its teacher training curriculum challenges teachers to engage their whole selves and to return to the core substance of education which is much more than simply ensuring the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Though education has been always at the heart of AVSI's social protection interventions, a specific and deeper concern for education started in 1997 with the Psycho-social Support Projects in Kitgum, Northern Uganda. Since 2002, the PCE has increased its institutional capacity and now delivers tailor-made capacity building workshops for professionals in Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Thailand, Burundi, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, and Palestine.