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Sustainability of the Eshet Chayil Program at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Services: Evaluation Study

  Executive Summary
  Research Report (Hebrew)


The Eshet Chayil ("Woman of Valor") program was developed in the 1990s by JDC-Israel to help Ethiopian-Israeli women integrate into and retain employment. Following its success, in 2006 TEVET decided to implement the model among other women’s populations: Caucasus and Bukhara immigrants; vulnerable Jewish women; and Arab women. The program comprises five stages: preparation for work; job placement; personal and group support and supervision of working women; and leveraging community-employment

At the end of 2010 the Ministry of Social Affairs and Services (MSAS) agreed to adopt the program and to ensure sustainability and broader implementation in collaboration with other ministries and local authorities.


The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute evaluated the program’s adoption and dissemination some two years after the transfer. There were by then some 40 groups with 1,300 participants. The program was implemented by the Israel Association of Community Centers with the professional support of JDC-TEVET. The evaluation included interviews with the primary partners in implementing the program at the national and local levels and the outcomes of the program were examined utilizing the program's computerized database

The study examined the program's implementation on three levels:

  •  The extent of implementation of the  components of the program the changes that occurred, and the reasons.
  •  Organizational sustainability –the steps taken to ensure sustainability  at  the National and local level  and the formalization and anchorage in social work regulations
  •  Extent – changes in the extent of program implementation and the reasons.
    The study showed that since the transfer of the program, the ministry has taken a number of steps that the literature identifies as encouraging successful sustainability: assigning clear responsibility for the program in MSAS, developing and training program staff, solidifying the funding base and developing collaboration with other government agencies. However, the study reveals that the process of assimilation of the program at MSAS, at both national and local levels is not yet complete. 

The study highlighted the following issues as deserving attention in furthering the process:

  • Strengthening the position of the MSAS as the leader of the program relative to the implementing organization in the field and the JDC. 
  •  Creating structured mechanisms for program sustainability in the local social service departments
  •  Preserving the programmatic knowledge in the ministry to avoid interruptions due to changes in the  implementing organization
  •  Clarifying  the professional support of JDC-TEVET  and  its involvement in further model development

The findings have been presented to the ministry and all the partners and are being used to strengthen the process. The study has broader implication because it represents one of the few studies that has examined processes of transfer and sustainability.


Catalogue Number: RR-642-13
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