International Seminar on Environmental Accessibility, Beirut, 1999
II. SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION
H. Monitoring and evaluation
The Seminar had a brief introduction to programme monitoring and evaluation by representatives of SOLIDERE and of the United Nations Secretariat. It was noted that the term "monitoring and evaluation" refers to a process of social learning, about the ways in which inputs are converted to outputs, and assessment of outputs produced with reference to effects and impact on intended beneficiaries. Monitoring and evaluation systems are based upon the objectives set for a project, which should be expressed in quantifiable and verifiable terms to ensure valid and reliable measures. Monitoring data focus on the relationship between inputs and conversion factors; evaluation data refer to outputs produced.
Due to the limited data available on persons with disabilities, monitoring and evaluation of disability programmes most likely will involve purpose collection of data among the intended beneficiary population. Determination of what to measure is based upon the specification of the objective function in quantifiable and verifiable terms. Data collection will occur at the level at which the project will deliver its services or products, normally the individual or family unit.
Measures normally will made at pre- and post-intervention stages to determine the nature, extent and reasons for change in the beneficiary population as a result of programme or project activities.
Mr. Ousama Kabbani, representative of SOLIDERE, described its approach to evaluation procedures and discussed its findings to date. Mr. Kabbani noted that SOLIDERE had produced a number of building codes that were not previously available in Lebanon - for instance a fire code - in addition to its barrier-free design and planning manual. The codes currently are applicable only to SOLIDERE and its activities in the Beirut Central District since there has yet to be legislation to apply the codes to all of Lebanon.
One result of the SOLIDERE experience is the recognition throughout Lebanon of the success of the accessible design and planning in the Beirut Central District. This means that SOLIDERE was successful in convincing developers that accessibility does not cost more and instead adds extra value to the site.
Currently about 50 to 60 per cent of the buildings in the Beirut Central District are judged to meet the accessibility code: renovated and rehabilitated buildings are internally accessible but are not always accessible on the outside. New buildings must meet the relevant SOLIDERE codes. The accessibility of the Beirut Central District had been studied by a recent ECSWA post-occupancy survey, which included persons with disabilities on its survey teams.
The SOLID?ERE experience is judged to be sustainable over the long term only if appropriate national legislation is established concerning nation wide applicability of the codes developed for the planning and redevelopment of the Beirut Central District. Civil society and the non-governmental community have important contributions to make with regard to promoting public awareness and support for environmental accessibility codes and guidelines.
Another way to promote awareness of the accessibility codes could be through presentation of "awards" to recognise examples of good practice in Lebanon. Awards would serve to create a greater sense of value in restoring older buildings in the Beirut Central District and to make some money in the process.
In a discussion of the SOLIDERE experience, one participant cited as relevant precedent the "Handicap Friendly Building" award of the Republic of Singapore.