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2010 Cameroon: Evaluation of the parental education for the development of the young child strategy in the Adamawa region



Author: Therese MUNGAH - SHALO TCHOMBE. Partners: Minitry of Basic Education, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization

Executive summary

 

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Background:

In Cameroon and especially in the northern regions, many families don't have the basic knowledge required for a proper development of the child. In this area of the country, many children are grown-up without having received the minimum of knowledge that can secure their socioeconomic integration in the society once they become adult. This situation led the Government of Cameroon to design a strategy for parental education. UNICEF supported the implementation of this strategy. After the completion of the implementation phase, the evaluation was therefore made to assess parents’ behaviours and other positive and negative factors that can either facilitate or hamper the achievement of parental education objectives.

Purpose/Objective:

The purpose of the evaluation was to evaluate both the implementation process and results achieved in terms of improvement of parents’ behaviours in line with parental education objectives.

Methodology:

The methodology consisted of measuring the strategy results on targeted groups namely parents, health personnel’s, young children, civil status officers. Data were gathered through questionnaires, focus group discussions and field observations. Inferential methodology were used for data analysis.

Findings and Conclusions:

Local actors effectively participated in the implementation process. This led to a relatively easy acceptation of the strategy modules by pregnant and breastfeeding women. Women illiteracy is steal very high in the region.
- the cultural factor happened to be of great important for the adoption of new behaviours promoted by the strategy
- health and education services play are important for the adoption of new behaviours by pregnant women
- many women are consulted by traditional healers due to high cost of delivery and drugs and long distances to be covered form home to the health centres are among factors hampering the adoption of new behaviours.

The main conclusion is that strategy effectively contributed to the adoption of new behaviours leading to a real improvement of the situation of the young child among groups that took part to the programme.

Recommendations:

- Equip schools and health centres
- Develop the technical and managerial capacities of health personnel’s
- Improve the quality of the training received by nursery school teachers
- Facilitate the access to civil status centres

Lessons Learned (Optional):

It is important to take into account traditional values and other cultural factors when initiating such a programme. Men’s are also actors that count in any intervention in favour of women and children. Their role as decision makers at the household level is very instrumental.



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