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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2017 Moldova: Evaluation of the Government of Moldova - UNICEF 2013-2017 Country Programme of Cooperation

Author: Camelia Gheorghe

Executive summary

With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS)". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. The quality rating scale for evaluation reports is as follows: “Highly Satisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Fair” or “Unsatisfactory”. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 3’.




In 2016, the UN system in Moldova started the preparation of the new UNDAF cycle 2018-2022. An evaluation of the current UN Partnership Framework is underway and a light Common Country Assessment will start in June 2016. In parallel, in April 2016 UNICEF initiated the new Situation Analysis process assessing the situation and unmet needs of children in Moldova.   

The Evaluation of the UNICEF Country Programme 2013-2017 (hereafter ‘the Evaluation’) will offer the opportunity to critically assess the strategies applied in the current Country Programme, identify their relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and estimated impact in achieving planned results, draw on lessons learnt and provide recommendations to accelerate the achievement of equitable and sustained outcomes for the most vulnerable children in the new CP 2018-2022. Thus, the proposed evaluation will have the characteristics of both a Summative and a Formative evaluation.

The Evaluation will support the Government of Moldova and UNICEF new Country Programme 2018-2022 planning process and will further guide UNICEF’s strategic and programme intervention prioritization in Moldova. UNICEF Country programme evaluation will also complement the Evaluation of the UN Partnership Framework and will further contribute to the UNDAF -2018-2022 planning.



Objectives and Purpose of the Evaluation
The main objectives of the CPC 2013-2017 evaluation were the following:

- to assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, coherence and impact of the CPC;
- to generate useful knowledge for the development of the new country programme and Strategic Note;
- to build the capacities and empower stakeholders through fostering participation in evaluation.

The evaluation had thus both summative and formative aspects.
The purpose of the evaluation was multi-fold: a) to guide UNICEF strategic and programme intervention prioritising in the new programming period 2018-2022; b) to provide recommendations to accelerate the achievement of equitable and sustained outcomes for the most vulnerable children in the new CPC 2018-2022; c) to contribute to the planning of UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022.
Evaluation Object
The object of the evaluation was the CPC 2013-2017. Its  overall goal was to support the government and civil society to bring about greater social inclusion of children and their families who are at risk of exclusion due to geographic disparities, poverty, ethnicity, disability, gender, and lack of or poor parental care. The CPC aimed to reach its overall goal by achieving two Outcomes:

1. By 2017, the Government addresses disparities in access to quality education, health, protection and justice services for disadvantaged children and families
2. By 2017, governance structures and social attitudes are more child-sensitive and equity oriented

The State Chancellery was assigned the role of coordinating partner of the overall CPC. The role of UNICEF was to ensure the technical and financial assistance for the implementation of the programme, while also bringing in evidence, knowledge on children and policy advocacy leverage for the attainment of intended results.





The evaluation applied a mixed-method approach, including: stakeholder mapping; mapping of situation analyses; in-depth documentary review and structured desk analysis of CPC design, implementation approaches, documenting of results and processes; structured desk analysis of policy and legislative frameworks; implementation strategies; analysis and testing of Theory of Change (ToC) used in designing the CPC and its strategies; analysis of results against the Results Matrix of the CPC; contribution analysis to determine progress against intended results and attribution analysis to the extent possible; systems analysis of management strategies; financial analysis; mapping of risk analyses and mitigation strategies; analysis of sustainability strategies and systemic barriers to sustainability; interviews; focus groups; round tables. The evaluation was carried out in three phases. In the Inception Phase, a preliminary review of key documentation and development of data collection and evaluation tools were done. The Data Review and Collection Phase was devoted to in-depth documentary review and primary data collection during an in-country mission. In the Analysis and Reporting Phase, the evaluation applied the standard evaluation criteria (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, sustainability) combined with a Human Rights-Based Approach and Results-Based Management to assess achievements, draw informed conclusions and provide recommendations.


Findings and Conclusions


Main Findings and Conclusions
The CPC 2013-2017 was implemented under challenging conditions which remain complex, sensitive and unpredictable. UNICEF has successfully addressed most of the most pressing needs of the country and in particular of vulnerable children, in a period of protracted political instability and economic-financial crisis. The feedback received from a wide range of stakeholders confirms UNICEF as a knowledge leader on children in Moldova, a driving force and convener for ensuring the rights of the most vulnerable children, and a credible partner whose overall interventions were conducted professionally, in an inclusive and culturally-sensitive manner. Although functioning in a challenging context, UNICEF demonstrated that progress towards planned targets could be achieved by creatively using the existing enabling factors to add value and of opportunities to open up new operating space. UNICEF has thus managed to successfully support the country in advancing the child rights agenda and reforms in key priority areas for children outcomes. At the same time, there have been several issues linked to a slower than expected fund-raising and delivery rate, indicating that the CPC was a too ambitious framework for the political and economic context of Moldova, available resources and timeframe. More specific findings and conclusions are presented in Evaluation report




Strategic Recommendations (SR)
SR1: Develop an underlying ToC for the next country programme to ensure solid connection of UNICEF support to national targets, EU association agenda and SDGs, and improve joint accountability for results
SR2: Ensure that the next CPC is streamlined and has a stronger strategic focus
SR3: Continue delivering on the ’unfinished agenda’ of initiatives started within the current CPC to  ensure effective coverage of rights holders and sustainable results
SR4: Combine national level action with a geographical targeting approach for the implementation of the next country programme
SR5: Promote inter-sectoral approaches and accountability frameworks within UNICEF and government partners at central and district levels
SR6: Empower rights holders for a meaningful participation in decisions which affect their lives and social mobilisation for child rights
SR7: Further explore strategic entry points in the Transnistrian region for improved outcomes for children
SR8: Promote an evaluation culture for children outcomes in the country to improve decision making and accountability
Operational Recommendations (OpR)
Op1: Expand innovative partnerships and leverage the role of strong influencers in the Moldovan society  
Op2: Carry out an inclusiveness assessment of the per-capita funding formula of schools
Op3: Improve the monitoring and evaluability of the country programme results


Lessons Learned


1. Design of a CPC and evaluability of results can greatly benefit from adopting a clear-sighted view on intended pathways from interventions/strategies to intended results through a robust  ToC.
2. Strengthening systems and promoting child sensitive legislation and regulatory framework do not automatically reflect in changes of practices and improvements in service provision. A strong focus is needed on changing social norms and promoting social mobilisation.
3. CPCs should avoid becoming too thinly spread or too broad in scope. In planning country programmes, UNICEF should consider where it can have the most impact given their expertise and resources.
4. An inter-sectoral approach addressing multiple child adversities is best positioned to ensure favourable conditions for a vulnerable child to survive and thrive. Inter-sectoral mechanisms can detect multiple child deprivations and potential risks to child wellbeing, and can lead to timely prevention measures.


Full report in PDF

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Report information





Program Excellence (Cross-Cutting)


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