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2013 Colombia: Evaluation of UNICEF Programmes to Protect Children in Emergencies: Colombia Country Case Study

Executive summary

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The case study of UNICEF Programmes to Protect Children in Emergencies (CPiE) in Colombia is part of a global review commissioned by UNICEF. The framework for the evaluation is based on the global Child Protection Strategy and Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs), considering the effectiveness of the protective environment strategy in pre-emergency, response and recovery phases. The evaluation aims to identify key successes and gaps in child protection programming and draw out lessons learned in the context of armed conflict and natural disaster.

In Colombia the review covered aspects of the programme over the period 2011-2012, with a focus on protection issues arising from armed conflict. While protection issues facing children of all ages were addressed, the case study focused on the adolescent age group, since adolescence is the period of greatest risk of protection violations, especially recruitment and gender-based violence (GBV).

Field work took place over two weeks in October 2012. One international consultant and two national research assistants visited the department of Putumayo, and one international consultant and two national researchers visited the department of Norte de Santander, for one week each. Data collection included interviews with key informants from the Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at national, departmental and municipal level. In addition, 142 children and 45 adults participated in focus groups addressing protection issues and the effects of programmes.

Purpose/ Objective:

The case study objectives were to:
 - Analyse specific programme components (prevention of recruitment/protective environments, mine action and the MRM) against the OECD-DAC criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coverage, impact (where feasible) and sustainability; and against the CCCs, taking account of emergency preparedness, response and recovery phases;
 - Identify key successes and gaps in child protection programming, coordination and advocacy based on evidence gathered, and provide recommendations for policy and management.


The case study assesses work before, during and after conflict, ranging from preparedness planning to recovery, and the roles and linkages with regional and global partners. In terms of timing, the evaluation analysed progress towards intermediate results for child protection in emergencies over the period 2010-2012. The focus was on armed conflict more than disaster although some of the protection issues are influenced by disasters.

Globally, the adolescent age group is most vulnerable to protection risks in armed conflict (recruitment to armed groups, explosive remnants of war, GBV),54 so focus groups were aimed at children aged 10-14 and 15-18. However, data was collected on risks to all age groups. The time period covered in the case study is principally 2011/12.

The case study focuses on the following programme components within intermediate result 3:
- Prevention of recruitment and protection from violence in Putumayo, specifically on:
o Contributions of government departments engaged in preventing recruitment and in child protection
o The strategy of Golombiao
o The contribution of the internados to child protection
- Mine action programming in Norte de Santander, including:
o Mine risk education
o Support to mine victims
o Systems strengthening and coordination
- The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism

Findings and Conclusions:

The findings and conclusions respond to the evaluation objectives, with a focus on key successes and gaps, and highlight special issues that came up during the evaluation. Conclusions are set out in two groups, first those related to programme findings and conclusions followed by those related to management strategies and cross-cutting issues.

Read more in the report attached.


Recommendation 1: Prevention of recruitment to illegal armed groups
Recommendation 2: Institutional strengthening on mine action
Recommendation 3: Coordination and technical support
Recommendation 4: Advocacy with the military
Recommendation 5: Funding and staffing issues



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Report information




Child Protection - Other



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