2004 MOR: Morocco-UNICEF Country Programme Evaluation
1. Purpose and context of the evaluation
The Country Programme Evaluation (CPE) for Morocco aims to support the Mi-Term Review (MTR) of the Government of Morocco-UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation (CPC) by bringing a strategic dimension to this review conducted by the Government of Morocco and UNICEF, in cooperation with civil society components. The CPE particularly aims at repositioning the Programme in accordance with the legal reforms adopted by Morocco since the year 2000, the recent evolution of the situation of children and women, and the recommendations and standards of international bodies concerned with the rights of women and children.
The CPE was placed under the technical authority of the UNICEF Evaluation Office at HQ, and supported by UNICEF’s regional office for the Middle East and North Africa and the National National Centre for Programme Evaluation (NCPE) of the Planning High Commission of Morocco. The coordination of the exercise was performed by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and by the UNICEF office in Rabat. For UNICEF, the CPE was a pilot experiment which took place within the context of a global project geared at the global improvement of EPC methodologies, financed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is interested in the methodology of evaluation in the areas of basic education and health care for the mother and child in Morocco, and its Economic Cooperation Bureau (Evaluation Unit in the Aid Planning Division) appointed a Consultant to take part in the evaluation.
2. An overview of the situation of children’s rights
2.1 Improvement of the legislative background
Morocco’s adhesion to international conventions and the political will that exists at the highest levels to improve the legal background in order to advance children’s and women’s rights have caused the Government to adopt major legal reforms in the last few years.
The new Family Code, adopted in 2004 and supported by H.M. King Mohammed VI, establishes the equality and joint responsibility of spouses, a change that is conducive to taking a decisive step towards gender equality. The Code introduces new rules providing for compulsory intervention of the office of the public prosecutor and the judicial system in all family matters, especially those pertaining to divorce and child custody. It raises the legal age for marriage from 15 to 18 for girls, establishes restrictions to polygamy and contains several other provisions improving the legal situation of women and children.
The new Labour Code voted in July 2003 matches national legislation with the ratification of ILO’s Convention 182 pertaining to the minimum legal age for working and, in 2002, of Convention 182 on the elimination of the worst forms of labour. The new Code of Penal Procedure and the new Penal Code, which came into effect in 2003, bring several improvements to the treatment of children before the law, to their protection against such offences as the sale of children, child forced labour, and child abuse.
The new law on kafala (the fate of abandoned children) enacted in June 2003, bring several improvements as to the attribution and control of the guardianship of abandoned children. The law on civil status enacted in 2002 makes declaring a birth immediately compulsory and sets clear provisions with respect to the name of a natural child.
Major progress has therefore been made at the legislation level, yet gaps remain, both with respect to the reservations that were expressed vis-à-vis some articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the new laws themselves. The Family Code, for instance, maintains the principle of polygamy and discriminatory provisions regarding women in such matters as divorce, property rights, child custody and succession. The Penal Code contains provisions on rape and violence that may be adverse to women’s rights and the law on civil status does not guarantee equal civil rights to men and women. As for the Labour Code, it remains vague on the issue of the implementation of the law that sets the minimum working age in the areas of domestic work and crafts, and on the matter of sexual harassment in the workplace. It also allows for the payment of different salaries to women and men for the same work, and does not give specific protection to domestic workers, who are girls for the most part.
Furthermore, beyond the improvements that have been recorded, the issue arises of the enforcement of laws on child abuse, child labour, undeclared births, unschooled children despite a legal obligation to have them attend school, etc.
2.2 The realization of children’s rights
The analysis of the situation of children in Morocco, as it was observed in 2001 at the time of the launching of the 2002-2006 Country Programme and the available information on their evolution, indicate that the realization of children’s rights, despite real progress, is still far from being fully satisfactory, in all 4 categories of rights concerned: survival, development, protection and participation. Thus, we observe that the rate of infant deaths (less than one year-old) has gone up, from 37% in 1997 to 40% in 2003/2004, that in spite of a substantial increase of the schooling rate, almost 20% of all girls of rural areas are not schooled, that overall a very high number of children under 15 are unschooled or de-schooled, and that the quality of education remains inadequate.
The evolution of the realization of the right to protection cannot be grasped in statistical terms because of the scarcity of information available. The sets of problems pertaining to child protection are fundamentally the same as in 2002 and are characterized, among other things, by an increase in the number of street children and still a high number of working children, although there is an improvement in the employment indicators of children under 15. Despite the Government’s political will to make child protection a priority, financial and human resources still remain below what is required, and the institutional framework is still ill-adapted to the improvement of children in difficult situations. Besides, the issue of the capacities and resources of the associations that take care of these children, notably children in institutions, is still the same as it was.
As for exercising the right to participation, it hinges on the attitudes of the parties concerned, of adults and children, and if we do observe that the concept of children’s rights is well accepted by some key partners, it remains little known by children and the public at large, and it is often not very well accepted by adults, who are afraid that children might claim their rights rather than fulfil their obligations.
Besides, several aspects of the right to a child’s participation in decisions that concern him/her have been improved through legal reforms in family law (Family Code: age of marriage, choice of residence in case of parent separation, child legal representation, etc.) and justice for minors (Code of Penal procedure).
3. Objectives, strategy and structure of the Country Programme
The purpose of the Government of Morocco-UNICEF 2002-2006 CPC was to support national authorities in consolidating and accelerating the effective realization of children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation, with special emphasis on the reduction of disparities, in accordance with the Rights-Based Approach. The objectives of the Programme are to contribute to the growing integration of CRC principles in national policies and strategies and in regulations geared at the effective protection of all children, and to support the efforts of the Government and its partners to ensure that all children have access to quality basic education and health care.
The main implementation strategy of the Cooperation Programme is to conduct pilot experiences furthering the realization of children’s rights with a view to replicate them on the national scale. The Country Programme consists of four different programmes:
• Support to National Policies (SNP), in education and health;
• Support to Children in Rural Areas (SCRA); experimentation of a local development model in favor of children and of approaches pertaining to survival and development;
• Child Protection (CP), development of policies and strategies and pilot experiences in child protection (children in institutions, children at work and street children);
• CRC Promotion and Monitoring (CRC-P&M), advocacy and social mobilization actions around children and support of the implementation of an integrated information system on children.
4. Results and conclusions
4.1 Role, relevance and design of the Country Programme
Since the 1999 MTR, the Cooperation Programme has set itself two major roles: advocating children’s rights and conducting pilot experiences to create intervention models in the areas of education, health, local development and child protection, with a view to extend them to national policies and strategies.
In those initiatives, often characterized by their cross-sectoral dimension, by complex relationships between the local, regional and central levels and by the presence of several institutional partners and of civil society, the Programme has brought crucial coordination support. Besides, it plays a critical support role in the implementation of the activities it sponsors.
The review of the objectives and the activities of the Country Programme shows that it is relevant to national priorities and policies, to international instruments such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Declaration: “A World Fit for Children”. However, its relevance to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women is not as clear because the Programme has not made gender equality a priority.
In Education, programme interventions support national policies and priorities geared at the generalization of pre-school and elementary education, the improvement of the quality of education and the fight against school drop-out. Thus, they contribute to the attainment of MDGs such as elementary education for all and the elimination of gender disparities. The programme also focuses on a new field: early childhood development, from conception to 3 years old (one of UNICEF’s five mid-term priorities), but has not retained another priority explicitly enough: girls’ schooling in rural environments.
In Health, the Programme is mostly integrated in the regular programmes of the Ministry of Health in the areas of immunization, the health of the mother and the child, etc., which ensures its relevance to national policies and to MDGs pertaining to the reduction of infant and maternal mortality. Besides, it also brings innovative experiences in community health that refer to maternal health and to the supply of drugs in rural environments.
The programme intervention aiming at energizing local development through the design of the Child-Focused Municipal Development Plan (CFMDP) is in keeping with the spirit of the Municipal Chart granting more initiative and responsibilities to municipalities in their development.
In the area of Child Protection, the Programme supports pilot experiences geared at the elimination of child labour in domestic work and crafts. It also conducts various situation analysis and capacity-building actions, especially targeting children in institutions and children in trouble with the law. These interventions match UNICEF’s priority to protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse and discrimination. Furthermore, what should be questioned with respect to children’s rights is the relevance of the approach – to associate school and work – adopted in pilot projects fighting child labour in handicrafts and at home.
As far as advocacy is concerned, aside from communication actions to promote its interventions and priorities in Health, Education and Child Protection, the Programme has actively supported the harmonization of the legal and regulatory framework with the CRC and Morocco’s participation to the Global Movement for Children. Communication actions touched on sensitive issues such as child labour and sexual exploitation. The Programme promoted child participation through advocacy and such initiatives as the Children’s Parliament, but advocacy hardly dealt with the right to participation in children’s daily lives.
The Country Programme had to gradually adopt a human rights-based approach to comply with the Directive that UNICEF issued in 1998. Although there was great determination, at the Programme level, to take human rights into account, promote CRC dissemination and progressively introduce rights-based elements into projects, the rights-based approach was not fully integrated in the formulation and the implementation of the Programme. As it were, programming that would be more based on a situation analysis of rights and capabilities could have led to a different choice of interventions and a different design, which would in turn have led to an even better contribution of the Programme to the realization of children’s rights, and particularly of those that are not adequately fulfilled.
Besides, the gender approach, which is an integral part of the human rights-based approach to programming, is not very present in the Programme because it was not a design criterion at the time the current programme was formulated.
Nor did the CPC adopt a results-based management (RBM) approach; we take due note that the logframe method is not used and that there are no measurable objectives and no rigorous monitoring system of the progress made with reference to a given situation, at the project level as well as that of the Programme as a whole.
From what the evaluation was able to observe, the operational activities of the 2002-2006 Programme have been far more substantial than advocacy. These operational activities include a large number of projects, several of which feature experiences in the field spread over five rural provinces and several urban sites; this requires a supervision and monitoring effort which appears to go beyond the limits of the Programme’s human resources.
Comparative advantages and niches of the Country Programme
The first recognized advantage is UNICEF’s role as a defender and a promoter of children’s rights and the fact that its role is supported by the CRC and the rights-based approach, which gives its cooperation undeniable legitimacy. The second advantage is presence in the field and the experience acquired thanks to several years of work in rural and urban environments. A third advantage is UNICEF’s capacity in the areas of research-action and the development of intervention models and innovative tools.
Furthermore, although UNICEF works with several NGOs in Morocco, its partnership relations are mainly of an institutional nature.
Overall, in each of its intervention areas, the Programme does not exploit a niche chiefly created by the supply of technical expertise, but one that stems out of the catalyst effect of UNICEF’s presence in the area concerned, together with its determined approach, the existence of an action plan, and means of intervention which the structures concerned do not have.
4.2 Programme implementation, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the results
The analysis of the results of the 2002-2006 Programme is submitted to important limitations due to the fact that its implementation is only half-way and that its objectives were formulated in imprecise fashion, which makes it difficult to appreciate progress towards expected results as well as the nature and scope of the challenges encountered.
The evaluation, through documentary analysis, site visits and numerous interviews, has made a detailed review of the components of the Programme. It noticed that at the level of outputs, the Programme gets a great deal of quality results that match the activities and outputs planned in the Master Plan of Operations and annual action plans.
At the outcome level, the evaluation has mainly reviewed the expected results of pilot projects, which represent most of the Programme’s activities and are at the heart of the cooperation strategy: to proceed with the replication and the generalization of these projects.
The evaluation team was able to note that overall, pilot projects are likely to contribute to the realization of children’s rights, that some experiences, notably in education and community health, are already in the process of being replicated or integrated in national policies, and that useful lessons are learned from less successful experiences. The evaluation cannot judge the effectiveness of the strategy of pilot projects, which will depend on the sustainability and the generalization of experiences which are still ongoing. However, a preliminary analysis of success factors and of the constraints that affect the results of the experiences leads us to believe that the replication and the generalization of certain pilot projects is not guaranteed, and that the connection must be strengthened between pilot projects and the main expected result: institutionalization in national policies and programmes.
An efficiency analysis of the Country Programme is hindered by the lack of a clear result picture and of data on the cost of activities. It ensues that results cannot be matched with costs and a pronouncement cannot be made on programme efficiency.
However, from what the evaluation was able to observe, the operational activities of the 2002-2006 Programme appear to include a high number of projects, several of which involve field experiences spread over five rural provinces and several urban sites, which requires a supervision and monitoring effort that goes beyond the human resource capabilities of this Programme.
Sustainability of results
Up to now, the Programme has not formally analyzed pilot projects in the perspective of their sustainability and their generalization.
The analysis of success factors and constraints identifies several factors which are not guaranteed to be maintained in pilot experiences and which determine their sustainability, notably: outside funding, leadership, stakeholder motivation and volunteer work, the participation of populations, institutional support to the pilot experiment, institutionalization of results.
Several stages must be cleared so a tool or an intervention model can be generalized, notably the following:
• first of all, clearly establish what you wish to generalize;
• make sure that the experiment is a sustainable success, that all its elements are documented and that it can be transposed elsewhere, adjustments notwithstanding;
• define economic and financial costs, making a distinction between investment/start-up costs and recurrent costs, and establish who will assume the different costs;
• ensure that human and financial resources are available, including those that pertain to management and coordination;
• identify the decisions and measures required at the political, legal and administrative levels, both nationally and locally, to enable the institutionalisation and replication of the project/model and set up an action and advocacy plan to go through the ensuing stages.
The evaluation considers that an objective, frank analysis by the partners, together with external support if necessary, of the sustainability, replication and institutionalization of pilot experiences is a necessary and urgent step to ensure the Programme’s maximum effectiveness.
4.3 Budget implementation and resource mobilization
According to Master Plan of Operations (MPO) estimates, the CPC should have resources of about $18 million for the 2002-2006 period, 7 million of which are Regular Resources representing the financial commitment approved by UNICEF’s Executive Board and 11 are Other Resources to be mobilized from other funding agencies.
From 2002 to 2004, the Programme has received on average 15% more in Regular Resources (RR) than the yearly $1.4M planned in the MPO. The mobilization of Other Resources, however, has been on average 60% lower than the yearly $2.2M forecast. On the other hand, the Programme boasts excellent performance in the use of the resources it was allocated: in 2002 and 2003, available resources, whether Regular or Other, were totally used up.
5. Strategic directions and recommendations
5.1 Refocusing the Country Programme
Since the launching of the 2002-2006 Country Programme, Morocco has endowed itself with a legislative framework which gives new impetus to the progressive realization of children’s and women’s rights. The mid-Term Review is an opportunity to connect the strategic directions of the Programme with this reality and refocus the Programme on the challenges that the Government and civil society must face.
It is necessary to refocus the current Country Programme, which is characterized by a vast number of projects spread over several sectors and geographical areas, on interventions that abide by the following criteria:
(a) The Programme’s ability to conduct an innovative intervention in a given area on account of UNICEF’s mandate, its expertise and the Rights-based approach;
(b) Complementarity with existing national capacities and with the support of other external bodies;
(c) Relevance with respect to the Millennium Development Goals, the Declaration: “A World Fit for Children” and the National Plan of Action for Children.
The development of the 2007-2011 Programme will have to bring improvements to programming. The approach proposed for the refocusing of the Programme is the following:
• update the situation analysis of the status of the rights and their fulfillment and of the capacities of duty-bearers and rights holders at all levels, with special emphasis on the Gender component;
• identify the areas in which the Programme can make an original, quality contribution;
• articulate Programme design with the National Plan of Action for Children;
• formulate objectives in compliance with a results-based approach to management, in connection with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) results matrix and in complementarity with the support of other partners;
• develop exit strategies for some interventions on the basis of criteria such as:
1. the results reached in capacity building or project development;
2. a lesser priority of the intervention model;
3. an experiment that is difficult to replicate or does not reach conclusive results;
4. other stakeholders make the Programme’s role unnecessary or unessential;
5. interventions are lengthy and numerous, and the result is that the Programme does not have to pursue them to reach its objectives.
5.2 Human Rights-Based Approach to Programming
It is appropriate that the Programme adopt more systematically the methodology and elements of a human rights-based approach, integrating in its method the elements of the approach that pertain to the legal framework, the maximum public expenditure effort and advocacy, the gender dimension, the participation of women and children, and cultural specificities. The Programme must promote national dialogue and empowerment. It must give a voice to communities that are victims of exclusion, women and adolescents. These concerns will have to be there when support may be granted to the development of the National Plan of Action entitled “A Morocco fit for its children”.
The adoption of a human rights-based approach to programming should have an important impact on the contents of the Programme, insofar as UNICEF’s mandate is to give more priority to least respected rights and to underprivileged groups. This implies :
• that situation analysis must be strengthened to identify the children excluded from education, health and protection services and to analyze capacities, including as far as policy-making and stakeholders’ roles are concerned;
• that the formulation of programme objectives must be reinforced by targeting children under 3 and mothers as rights holders;
• that vulnerable groups in rural and peri-urban areas must be targeted.
• In order to develop at the macro level the kind of advocacy that could contribute to a global, effective improvement of the realization of children’s rights, it is recommended to undertake, in conjunction with duty-bearers (national Ministries, etc.) and rights holders (representatives of civil society, children and adolescents), an analysis of the maximum budgetary effort in favor of children.
In the context of human rights-based programming, it is recommended that the Programme continue to support legal reforms by reviewing the laws in the light of their compliance with international conventions (CRC and CEDAW), by translating new legal standards into a discourse that can be understood by populations and have a local impact, and by implementing institutional reforms which will ensure the effectiveness of the new laws and the realization of the rights.
Lastly, it is recommended that in the implementation of a human rights-based approach to programming the participative approach be favored, including in child participation, situation analysis as well as project planning and implementation, policy development and assessments.
5.3 The gender approach
The recognition of women and children as rights holders and sex equality are intrinsic elements of a Human Rights-Based Approach to Programming, in accordance with the CRC and CEDAW. This means that women must be considered as full-fledged rights holders, and not merely as entities leading to the realization of children’s rights. It is recommended to explicitly include the gender approach in the programming method (including analyses of causality, of roles and patterns, and of capacities).
It is recommended that the Programme start to adopt the gender approach in its programming and its activities without waiting for the next cycle.
To tackle this task, it is recommended that the Programme build the capacities, first of UNICEF staff, then of its partners, and to undertake gender analyses in order to facilitate the formulation, implementation and monitoring/evaluation of the gender approach.
5.4 Results-based approach to management
For UNICEF and for the Country Programme, a results-based approach to management must be integrated in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, which formulates the results that have to be commonly attained to face the issues identified in the Common Country Assessment (CCA). In Morocco, a new CCA and the programming of the UNDAF are due to start in 2005. As far as the Government is concerned, the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance and Privatization has been implementing since 2002 a new, results-based budget approach.
The establishment of RBM in the Country Programme must be done consistently with the Government’s own RBM approach for Programmes, while supplying a management tool for the Programme. Likewise, the UNDAF results matrix must be defined consistently with the Government’s results objectives and not create a set of results and indicators that it will be the only one to use.
It is appropriate that the development of the new Government of Morocco-UNICEF Country Programme for the 2007-2011 period follow a results-based programming approach, which will be matched to the results matrix of the UNDAF exercise.
It is recommended that the development of the new Programme of cooperation include a logframe based on a new causal analysis of the problems of children and women. Such a logframe will enable us to ascertain whether the sum of the components or of the activities planned is sufficient to produce the expected results and explicitly describes planning assumptions, while offering appropriate monitoring indicators. The MPO will have to be combined with an Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (IMEP) for the whole duration of the new CPC.
5.5 Pilot experiences
The institutionalization of an intervention model can be a lengthy, complex process, whose degree of difficulty depends on the complexity, the costs and the risks involved with the model targeted. It is of utmost importance, to reach the objectives of the Programme and improve its efficiency and its effectiveness, to undertake a sustainability analysis of the experiences and a feasibility analysis with respect to their replication, institutionalization and generalization.
It is recommended that in the short term a systematic, an objective and frank analysis be performed by the partners of each pilot project or intervention model in accordance with the sustainability and feasibility factors of the various generalization or institutionalization stages. This analysis, conducted with external support if necessary, will seek to set realistic objectives in terms of the results to be reached and the stages that are necessary to reach them.
Once these analyses have been reviewed by the partners of the Programme, it would be appropriate, for the remainder of the Programme, to retain as a major direction the strengthening of experiences that produced satisfactory results and determine which closure should be given to experiences that do not have a potential for replication, institutionalization or generalization, bearing in mind that the role of UNICEF is not to support local development or other development projects if they are not instrumental in developing tools or intervention methods in favour of children.
Advocacy consists, on the basis of situation analysis and reflection with the partners, in urging the government, as the main bearer of duties towards children, to take action to ensure that their rights are fulfilled. Advocacy pertains to areas that go beyond the actions directly conducted by the Country Programme.
It is recommended to match advocacy and communication actions with the true role of advocacy, which is to publicize which rights are not fulfilled and for what reasons, and to systematically promote legal reforms, policies and general measures that ensure the realization of these rights.
What will have to be done is proceed with advocacy that is in keeping with the Rights-based approach, including the gender approach, and promote through advocacy an adequate mobilization of resources in favour of children.
5.7 Communication at the programme level
A systematic approach is required to integrate communication as an essential component in each project and, in support of advocacy, to build the communication capacities of UNICEF staff and of its partners’.
It is recommended to formulate a communication strategy using a cross-sectoral approach and making a distinction between the levels and the targets of advocacy and social mobilization.
Regarding pilot projects, it is recommended to document experiences, especially implementation processes and results, in order to support advocacy for their replication and generalization. However, the promotion of the experiences with a view to replicate them should be based on an evaluation of the results.
In Morocco, the relationship with NGOs and the strengthening of their capacities should be a priority strategy of the Country Programme: in order to implement the new laws and the new legal framework as well as policies and programmes in the area of protection or the development of pre-school programmes, the government must base its action on civil society and NGOs.
Furthermore, the coordination role that befalls the government is crucial in interventions of a cross-sectoral nature, and it must be reinforced.
Besides, in the context of an international consensus on the harmonization of practices and the enhancement of aid effectiveness, it is appropriate for the Programme to reinforce its coordination and partnership efforts within UNDAF as well as, on a broader level, with those who intervene in the same sectors.
First of all, it is recommended that the Government grant the Department accredited to coordinate policies and programmes in favour of children – and UNICEF – the financial and human resources required for the full exercise of this responsibility, and if need be, provide assistance to facilitate the exercise of this essential function.
It is recommended to intensify partnerships with their donors, particularly in the framework of UNDAF, in order to facilitate the Government’s coordination, reduce high transaction costs and increase effectiveness. A close coordination should be sought with donors interested in UNICEF’s intervention sectors (education, health, protection), in order to facilitate the replication of the intervention models developed in the context of the Programme.
6. Resource mobilization
Although UNICEF may have an unexplored potential for mobilizing Other Resources, the efforts to be made in this area are determined by the role of the Country Programme, which limits itself to the defence and the promotion of children’s rights and the realization of pilot experiences. Besides, resource mobilization does not only concern itself with the needs of the Programme, but especially of those that derive from an improvement in the realization of children’s rights, the responsibility of which first of all befalls the Government, with the support of external cooperation, local partners and the private sector.
It is recommended that the Government develop a budget fostering the realization of children’s rights, including the gender perspective, and prepare a financing plan of the National Plan of Action for Children to make it a major reference of external assistance. It is also recommended to foster resource mobilization at the local level for the benefit of children.
At UNICEF, it is recommended to support these initiatives through advocacy and to develop and implement a mobilization strategy for Other Resources in keeping with its mandate, and exploiting funding opportunities that exist in Morocco.
6.1 Implications for the structure of the programme
The organization of the current PC uses a structure — partly sectoral and partly matricial — which situates the design, planning and partly the monitoring of pilot projects in a programme, and the realization of other elements of project monitoring in another programme. Each programme has its own Programme manager and a technical or coordination committee with an essentially sectoral representation and each pursues advocacy for the initiatives and pilot projects of its own sector. At the local level, provincial and municipal committees have a multi-sectoral representation.
The Programme is also characterized by a vast number of interventions, with several projects and subprojects in each of the programmes, aside from situation analysis and advocacy projects in several areas.
This Programme organization is a result of institutional partnerships established on a sectoral basis, of a historic presence in rural environments, of the availability at the UNICEF office of a few experts who each have the responsibility of a programme (education, health, protection, communication) and a formulation of objectives fostering a vast number of interventions.
The organization of the Programme has its own advantages. It favours partner involvement and the institutional ownership of the Programme, especially at the level of each technical committee. Presence on several sites confers a certain representativity to pilot projects, and the vast number of interventions enables us to respond to several priorities and several partners.
It also has its draw-backs: the operational and monitoring load is excessive, with partners as well as at the UNICEF office; planning and project monitoring are disrupted; there is a risk of diluting the main objectives in multiple interventions; and pilot projects may be granted resources that are not in keeping with priorities.
The evaluation concludes that it is difficult to change in depth the structure of the Programme at the time of the Mid-Term Review, but that it will be necessary to establish a new programme structure for the next cycle. The evaluation does not have a ready-made solution to offer, but suggests the following approach to make the structure more logical and transparent:
to update Programme priorities through situation analysis and the implementation of the Rights-Based Approach;
to refocus the Programme on these priorities by applying the intervention criteria listed at Section 5.1, reduce some activities on the basis of the review of pilot projects, and possibly also reduce the number of intervention sites;
to identify a new organization, taking into account:
the formulation of objectives following a results-based management approach, i.e. objectives that are realistic, measurable and time-bound;
the institutional context associated with the realization of the objectives concerned, including at the level of the coordination of sectoral-type programmes and projects.
Several organizational options for the Programme can be considered:
• the life cycle: for instance, a component of the programme could target the 0-3 year old group and regroup all activities in which they would be involved (early childhood development, maternal health, etc);
• the regrouping of projects around themes that pertain to the realization of the rights (e.g. underprivileged regions, excluded groups, etc.)
• the sectoral structure, with a reinforcement of coordination within UNICEF and with partners.
These recommendations imply that certain skills required to ensure UNICEF’s contribution are kept or reinforced. It would be appropriate:
• to keep sectoral skills on the Programme team in the areas of Education, Health and Child Protection, in order to ensure basic expertise in those areas;
• to reinforce strategic and methodological skills in the areas of the Rights-based approach, the gender approach, monitoring & evaluation, and results-based management;
• to develop skills in the analysis of public budgets, deriving it as much as possible from the information and the work of partners from the government and civil society as well as other cooperations (World Bank, European Commission, etc.).
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Morocco-UNICEF Country Programme Evaluation
Évaluation du Programme de coopération Maroc-UNICEF
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