Evaluation helps UNICEF and its partners improve results for children across the countries of Eastern and Southern Africa
Evaluations are a powerful source of evidence
Evaluations support learning and help us make decisions about programming, advocacy, and partnerships to protect children’s rights, meet their basic needs, and expand their opportunities to reach full potential. Evaluations also help hold UNICEF accountable to contributing results for children.
Likewise, UNICEF works with national governments and their partners to generate lessons on, strengthen accountability for, public policies in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Agenda 2063 The Africa We Want.
All UNICEF evaluation reports are public documents. They are made available through the UNICEF’s Global Repository of Evaluation Reports.
How we work
The Evaluation Team at UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office works with the Evaluation Office at Headquarters to put into action the standards laid out in UNICEF’s Evaluation Policy in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. The Evaluation Team also supports the twenty-one country offices and their partners in the region by providing technical guidance and capacity building related to evaluations.
Key areas of our work include:
Promoting the use of evaluation findings and recommendations for programming and decision-making
Country programme evaluations
The 21 countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region works closely with respective government and other development partners to formalize, implement, monitor and evaluate UNICEF’s country programmes. UNICEF’s Country Programme Documents are public documents approved by the Executive Board, and outline UNICEF’s programme rationale, priorities, partnerships, budget, programme budget, risk management, and monitoring and evaluation.
Country programme evaluations (CPEs) serve as a critical accountability and learning tool for country offices, who use the findings and recommendations to inform the development of the next country programme and to improve and adjust the key programmes and strategies.
Building partnerships for evaluations
UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa region’s Country Offices and the Regional Office builds partnerships with governments, other development agencies, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and voluntary organizations for professional evaluation (VOPEs) on evaluations.
National evaluation capacity development (NECD)
Various NECD activities are implemented at country and regional levels, to strengthen the capacity of evaluation systems and individuals. One notable regional NECD initiative is the Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results, Anglophone-Africa (CLEAR-AA) at the University of Witwatersrand. NECD activities have been implemented in eight countries in the region, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia with interest and opportunities to expand to other countries in the future. Example activities include:
- Developing national monitoring and evaluation policies, guidelines, plans and agendas;
- Conducting evaluation capacity or needs assessment at the national or sectoral ministry levels;
- Organizing evaluation and evidence advocacy events and plans; and
- Developing and delivering evaluation courses.
This PCA also supported countries across Africa to receive training and technical supports to embed evaluative evidence in their Voluntary National Review (VNR) reports.
The United Nations Network for Evaluation in Eastern and Southern Africa (UNNEESA)
The United Nations Network for Evaluation in Eastern and Southern Africa (UNNEESA) is a regional voluntary member-based, interagency network that brings together evaluation professionals of United Nations (UN) agencies serving Eastern and Southern Africa at the sub-regional, regional, continental or global levels.
Launched in March 2020, UNNEESA aims to strengthen the evaluation function in the UN system in the Eastern and Southern Africa region and to add value to evaluation work of the UNNEESA member agencies and the countries they serve. In this regard, the Network promotes evaluation capacity development, provides technical support on evaluations, and fosters knowledge exchange around evaluations.
UNNEESA works through working groups: i) Evaluation capacity development; ii) Technical support to countries on evaluations; and iii) Evaluation knowledge exchange. With opportunities to expand in the future, the current UNNEESA membership includes:
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Regional Office for Africa
- International Labour Organization (ILO), Regional Office for Africa
- International Organization for Migration (IOM), East and Horn of Africa Regional Office
- International Organization for Migration (IOM), Southern Africa Regional Office
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Headquarters
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Service Centre for Africa
- United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN), Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Headquarters
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), East, Horn & Great Lakes Region of Africa
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Headquarters
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), East and Southern Africa Regional Office
- World Food Programme (WFP), East and Central Africa Regional Bureau
- World Food Programme (WFP), Southern Africa Regional Bureau
Generating evaluative evidence in humanitarian and emergency situations
UNICEF works in humanitarian and emergency situations to ensure children in emergency contexts have an opportunity to survive, are protected from violence, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. UNICEF work in such contexts is guided by the UNICEF Strategic Plan and its Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) which outlines what UNICEF commits to do across all sectors – health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection, and education – as part of any humanitarian response.
Generating evaluative evidence in humanitarian and emergency situations is critical in providing information to improve humanitarian response and ensuring accountability to affected populations, partners and donors.