Learning-Focused Evaluation of the UNICEF Mozambique Response to the Emergency in Cabo Delgado
A forward-looking approach to humanitarian evaluation
In late November 2020, UNICEF declared Level 2 (L2) Corporate Emergency Activation Procedure (CEAP) for the Cabo Delgado crisis in Mozambique. The province experienced unparalleled levels of violence and non-state armed groups attacks, which rendered this emergency a child protection emergency, as children in the province areas already faced vulnerability and deprivation because of frequent natural disasters, poor access to basic services and disease outbreaks.
The main purpose of this learning-focused evaluation (LFE) was to promote learning from the response and adopting a more integrated strategy, blending the strengths of a development programme with preparedness and response capacity. The evaluation is also focused on providing a preliminary assessment of UNICEF’s response to the Cabo Delgado crisis regarding its relevance, effectiveness, coverage, coordination, and partnerships, with a specific focus on its adaptivity to changing conditions and how it has addressed marginalization and deprivation.
The evaluation aimed to answer these three overarching learning questions:
- How well has UNICEF responded to the Cabo Delgado emergency?
- What UNICEF approaches have had the most impact on the needs of affected households and what are the barriers in the response so far?
- What actions and changes in strategy are required to develop a conflict-sensitive, long-term programme for Cabo Delgado?
Main recommendations from the LFE
Immediate adaptations to improve the emergency response
1. UNICEF needs to focus the programme in Cabo Delgado to fill gaps in unmet needs, especially in child protection. Considering the funding constraints, this could be achieved by prioritizing critical needs in areas where UNICEF and its partners have capacity and access, without expanding the geographic coverage.
2. UNICEF should commit to dedicated resources for coordination in all Clusters where UNICEF leads or has an area of responsibility. There should be a Pemba-based coordinator and an information management specialist in each cluster who is not also acting as a UNICEF emergency programme manager.
3. UNICEF should continue to collaborate with IOM and WFP to activate the Joint Response Plan and jointly strengthen targeting and accountability mechanisms across the response. This requires dedicated staffing for JRP.
4. Displaced children must be encouraged urgently to go back to school, either through access to formal education or by providing safe learning spaces closer to their settlements. The education programme should build capacity in government on how to monitor the integration of displaced children into existing schools and temporary learning spaces.
5. The capacity of staff and the internal processes of the MCO and its key partners should be reviewed and strengthened to better manage emergency and nexus programmes. This should build on the earlier ERP training but focus on filling specific capacity gaps for effective programming in Cabo Delgado.
6. UNICEF should review the planning and monitoring system for the current emergencies and consider adopting a more flexible plan specific to Cabo Delgado, with clear strategic objectives and activity and outcome monitoring appropriate for a protracted crisis.
Changes in in strategy for conflict-sensitive programming in Cabo Delgado Province
7. In support of the recommendations from the Country Programme Evaluation, the LFE team recommends that UNICEF be more focused on doing a few things well instead of too many things poorly.
8. UNICEF should develop a comprehensive strategy for the northern Mozambique programme with a focus on resilience and preparedness. Use experience and resilience models from other protracted crises to develop this strategy.
9. UNICEF should explore options for new, strategic partnerships, including partnerships with local NGOs and CBOs with a focus on building capacity for humanitarian action.
10. UNICEF should adopt a programme approach for provincial and district towns that focuses on expanded service delivery for periphery settlements rather than camps for internally displaced persons.
The evaluation report presents the findings, lessons learned and recommendations of the UNICEF Mozambique Country Office response to the L2 emergency in Cabo Delgado from June 2020 to October 2021.
The findings and recommendations are actionable and forward-looking, aimed at informing mid-term adjustments and to formulate the transition from an L2 emergency response to long-term strategy as part of the new Country Programme Document (CPD).
In addition to the final report, a summary in English or Portuguese can be accessed through the drop-down listing on this page.