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Evaluation report

2010 Syria: Evaluation of the Child-Friendly Schools Initiative



Executive summary

 

“With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Almost Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.”

Background:

The UNICEF has cooperated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the General Administration for Palestine Arab Refugees (GAPAR) in adopting the "Child-Friendly Schools" program. The program has been adopted in 118 schools affiliated with UNRWA and 3 institutes affiliated with the GAPAR. The program aims at improving the school administratively in order to: provide an atmosphere that protects the child and facilitates the learning process, with a focus on gender issues and developing children's cognitive ability and motivating them to get involved.

Purpose/Objective:

The "Child-Friendly School" initiative encompasses ten criteria which aim to achieve its objectives. The current evaluation seeks to determine the outcome of achievements which have been made by the training programs conducted by UNRWA and the activities carried out in the schools and institutes determining the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the ten criteria of "child-friendly schools". This will be done by examining the outcomes achieved in terms of: the relevance of training programs conducted by the UNRWA with the adoption of criteria; the efficiency of the initiative in terms of the proportion of efforts exerts and the outcomes; the effectiveness of the plan in achieving the results; the impact achieved in improving the educational process, and communication of concepts to the teacher, student and parent; and finally the sustainability of acquired skills which will persist after the completion of the project.

Methodology:

The research employed several qualitative techniques such as in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and regulated observations. The study also included a quantitative questionnaire distributed among school staff (with 739 participants representing 27.1% of the teaching staff) and data and statistical analysis. The responses to the questionnaires indicated that the impact of the initiative was more highly rated than, for example, the efficiency, which was the lowest-rated. As regards the impact, questionnaire respondents stated that there were concrete results due to the attention paid by the schools to the initiative. However, in terms of efficiency respondents felt that most of the initiative's achievements emerged from the training programs and the schools' initiative rather than the field action plans.

Findings and Conclusions:

The results in relation to relevance
efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability are 67.1%, 61.7%, 59.0%, 79.8% and 63.3% respectively. The responses are all positive, yet the responses related to the impact are a little higher than the other areas as it most directly expresses the tangible results of the child-friendly school initiative today. The lowest rated criterion was "effectiveness" because in most cases the results were due to positive initiatives and preparations taken and not from the plan which was drafted in the context of the initiative. This will be demonstrated in the following discussion of all the criteria



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