Author: Rhonda Schlangen; Andrew Jones
While children are increasingly at the center of the global HIV/AIDS response, major challenges remain to achieving an AIDS-free generation. Accordingly, it was agreed upon that the UNICEF Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign will continue through 2015. An external evaluation of the first five years of the campaign was conducted between December 2009 and April 2010. This summary provides an overview of the evaluation, covering the arc of the campaign from 2005 to present, the campaign‘s 2010-2015 vision and current external trends, and recommendations for future campaign work.
In 2005 the global Campaign Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS was created to alert the world to the fact that children were missing from the global AIDS agenda. It was meant to provide a platform for urgent and sustained programs, advocacy, and fundraising to limit the impact of HIV and AIDS on children and help halt the spread of the disease. It was likewise to create awareness for policymakers and the global public that AIDS not only affects adults, but has a devastating effect on children throughout the world. While considerable progress has been made, the world is far from achieving the change necessary to
virtually eliminate pediatric AIDS.
Accordingly, it was agreed upon that the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign will continue beyond 2010 through 2015. In discussions around the campaign‘s future beyond 2010, the campaign management team authorized an evaluation of campaign achievements against commitments and against evolving needs and opportunities. The evaluation Terms of Reference (included as Annex 2)
identified the purposes of the evaluation:
Historical and analytic
1. To summarize actions, strategies, and accomplishments to date
2. To take stock of whether the campaign is adding value to the efforts of the global community in meeting the needs of children related to HIV/AIDS
1. Identify gaps and priorities for short and medium term adjustments to the next phase of the Unite campaign (2010-2015)
2. Establish clear benchmarks and baselines to be used in measuring progress from the present
Based on these purposes, questions related to overarching or cross-cutting issues and issues of emphasis were outlined along with related questions:
Overarching and cross-cutting issues
1. Context: How is the global situation evolving in the 4Ps since the onset of the campaign?
2. Relevance: What has been the strategic vision of the Unite campaign?
3. Consistency: Have the actions of campaign participants matched the commitments explicitly made or implicit in the strategic vision?
4. Partnership management: Has cooperation among team members been organized in an optimal way?
Issues of Emphasis
5. Providing global leadership to add value at the national level
6. Mobilizing international resources to combat HIV-AIDS
7. Putting the missing face of children affected by AIDS at the Center of the HIV-AIDS agenda
In December 2009 the evaluation team commenced work on the evaluation. The team developed the evaluation plan, including an evaluation framework corresponding to the specific questions identified in the Terms of Reference. These were described in the evaluation inception report, which was reviewed by the UNICEF Steering Committee formed for this evaluation, and, following revisions by the evaluation team, accepted by the committee in mid-February 2010. Following the plans set out in the inception report, the team developed and tested data collection and analysis protocols and tools, continued document review, and commenced data collection from stakeholders in March 2010. The following campaign stakeholder groups were identified:
Civil Society Organizations
Data collection focused on those most closely associated with the campaign, with considerably more emphasis on national committees and UNICEF Headquarters and field staff and managers.
Between March and mid-May 2010, interviews were conducted with fifty-four individuals in solo or group interviews. Most interviews were recorded and transcripts generated by a transcription service. Where either recording or transcription was not available, the evaluators typed notes to create a record of the interview. The evaluators then coded and analyzed the interview transcripts and notes, recording relevant analysis and quotes in a qualitative analysis worksheet developed for the evaluation.
The evaluation also utilized three stakeholder surveys: to national committees, field offices and headquarters. In terms of sampling, the national committee survey was circulated to directors and HIV/AIDS or campaign staff who were then invited to circulate to other relevant staff. Samples of field and headquarters were narrowly drawn based on current or future relevance to the campaign. The Headquarters survey was circulated to staff who were not being interviewed and who participated in the campaign‘s inter-divisional meetings. The field sample was determined by an analysis by campaign staff and the evaluation office using variable such as demand for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) (which served as a proxy for the demand for campaign support by country offices), PMTCT progress, and distribution qualities (e.g. regional, income, size). Response rates from all three surveys were relatively low, but not unexpected due to unrelated issues of survey fatigue.
Survey response rates
National Committees: 17% (20 of 118)
Field (Country Office representatives, Regional Office Directors, HIV/AIDS technical staff): 15% (38 of 249)
HQ: Thematic group, other relevant staff: 25% (8 of 32)
Between the surveys and interviews, data was collected from individuals representing all Regional offices, twenty-three country offices and fifteen National Committees.
Data analysis and report drafting took place between April and late May, with the draft evaluation report submitted for Steering Committee review on 23 May 2010. A presentation of the evaluation findings was made to the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS Management Team on 2 June 2010. Comments from the Management Team and UNICEF Evaluation Office were integrated into this revised edition of the report.
Since 2005 the missing face of children has become part of the global HIV/AIDS response. Maternal and child health is also at the center of the global development push to 2015. The agenda has been set. The following recommendations on page 112 focus on ways UNICEF, via the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign, can further advance this new era. Moving forward, the campaign should continue to build on what is widely reflected at the headquarters level and amongst some Regional Offices, UNAIDS cosponsors, funders and civil society organizations as an increasingly deft, strategic and facile ability to identify opportunities, connect the right actors and coordinate to move the campaign‘s—and UNICEF‘s—agenda.
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