Strategic evaluation expands organizational learning horizons
Evaluation matters and is expanding our organizational learning horizons
This evaluation assessed UNICEF’s WASH regional and country programming strategies in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region from 2014-2017/8. It reviewed their relevance, effectiveness and sustainability to strategically guide WASH programming in the region. Findings will inform new CPDs implementation, as well as regional strategies including advocacy, partnerships, M&E, knowledge management and sustainability frameworks. The evaluation is a synthesis and analysis of the strategies of the 12 countries with WASH programmes.
Data was collected using a mixed methods approach, with the primary tool being secondary data analysis of UNICEF documentation. This was supplemented with semi-structured qualitative stakeholder interviews an online survey and three short country visits to Cambodia, China and Indonesia.
UNICEF strategies are well aligned to local context and national government strategies. Country strategies align relatively well with the UNICEF global WASH strategy. UNICEF is seen as effectively working in humanitarian and emergency setting but has a stronger presence in sanitation than in water and hygiene. UNICEF are only partially aligned to the SDG agenda.
At present there are no clear validated operational models/modalities of how scale up can be achieved, or tested programmatic models where UNICEF achieves sustainable, SDG-level change. From evaluations undertaken, community-based interventions, particularly CATS/CLTS, are seen as the most effective of UNICEF’s WASH interventions in the region. Regional office support is most valued when it focuses on providing access to timely, high quality technical advice and training.
UNICEF’s presence and contribution in the WASH Sector is highly valued and relevant across a diverse region. Programming is adapting towards more ‘upstream’ work, but UNICEF faces significant knowledge management and organisational challenges in developing modalities to deliver sustainable change and meet the ‘safely managed’ indicators of SDG 6.1 and 6.2. UNICEF will need to review its approach to partnerships and build on promising examples of ‘pilot to scale’ interventions.
Instead of using a Theory of Change, a ‘theory of action’ was constructed to provide a framework of the logic of support to country office performance from the regional office and how this could contribute to SDG level WASH outcomes.