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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2017 Azerbaijan: Summative Evaluation of the Access to Justice for Children project

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 4’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 5’.


This document represents the draft Evaluation Report of the project “Promoting Access to Justice for Children in Azerbaijan through national capacity building for State and non-State Actors” (hereinafter referred to as “the Project”). The Project is the result of a successful application of UNICEF Azerbaijan Country Office to a Call for Proposals launched by the EU Delegation in Azerbaijan in 2014 under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility. The evaluation was conducted between July and December 2017.


The purpose of this summative evaluation was two-fold:

a) to improve accountability for the achievement of results and use of resources involved in the Project;
b) to support the improvement of children’s access to justice, including juvenile justice reforms in the country, through recommendations for further enhancement of the Project results.

The main objective of the evaluation was to assess the end results of the Project in relation to its objectives and the logical model of change. More specifically, the evaluation aimed to:
1. Assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the Project;
2. Provide recommendations to strengthen access to justice for children systems in Azerbaijan;
3. Inform the scaling-up of the Project approaches at national level, based on documentation of good practices and lessons learned in the delivery of legal aid and legal representation services at local level.


The evaluation applied a mixed-method approach, including: stakeholder mapping; mapping of situation and contextual analyses, barriers and bottlenecks; in-depth document review and structured desk analysis of the Project design, implementation approaches, documenting of results and processes; structured desk analysis of policy documents and legislative frameworks; analysis and testing of the reconstructed logical model (Theory of Change - ToC); analysis of results from monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and data at national and district level; aggregation and analysis of data collected via the mapping templates; contribution analysis to determine factors which promoted or impeded the progress against intended results and attribution analysis to the extent possible; systems analysis of management, monitoring, quality control and assurance strategies; mapping of risks analyses and mitigation measures; financial analysis; analysis of sustainability strategies and systemic barriers to sustainability; in-depth interviews and focus group; participant observation during site visits to sample districts.

The evaluation was carried out in three phases.

Findings and Conclusions:

The Project has managed to increase the access of 3,351 vulnerable children to free legal aid and legal representation services, covering a major gap in terms of availability and affordability of quality services in the districts where it operated: Shirvan, Mingechevir, Gabala, Aghjabedy and Shamkir and neighbouring districts.

The rights of 3,500 children living in closed facilities are now better monitored and they are more likely to get redress in case of violation of their rights.

The contribution of the Project to the improvement of juvenile justice legislation and capacities of professionals, as well as the awareness raising and communication activities addressed to local authorities and the general public, have resulted in an enabling framework  for improved access of children and parents at risk to more child-friendly justice mechanisms.


Strategic and Programmatic Recommendations (SP)
SP1: Ensure the prerequisites for the sustainable expansion of legal aid and legal representation services for vulnerable children and families at national level - Addressed to: Ministry of Justice with the support of UNICEF Country Office and in partnership with the Juvenile Justice Task Force, relevant line ministries (social protection, education, health), Parliament and training providers (Academy of Justice, Police Academy).

SP2: Adopt a systems building approach to justice for children that mutually strengthens the justice and social welfare systems, and national rights bodies, to comprehensively prevent and respond to children in conflict with the law, child victims and child witnesses – Addressed to: Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population with the support of the Juvenile Justice Task Force and UNICEF.

SP3: Strengthen the capacity of local NGOs to become strong partners of local government and UNICEF in pursuing the access of children to justice and overall child rights agenda at district level – Addressed to: UNICEF, EU Delegation and other interested development partners.

SP 4: Empower rights holders (children and parents) in contact with the justice system to claim their rights and seek redress – Addressed to: Regional justice departments and the National Preventative Group in partnership with UNICEF and NGOs

Operational Recommendations (O)
O1: Carry out a quick quality and financial sustainability assessment of services in the target districts supported by UNICEF four-six months after the end of the Project - Addressed to: UNICEF, regional justice departments

O2: Improve the results architecture, evaluability and risks mitigation of future UNICEF initiatives - Addressed to: UNICEF

Lessons Learned:

1) Improved access of vulnerable children to justice requires not only provision of free, quality legal aid services, but awareness raising and communication for development to give voice to children, families and communities to promote child protection. The Project demonstrated that the outcomes for vulnerable children would have been better if implementation of awareness raising and communication activities were done in concert with the delivery of legal aid and legal representation services. Communication for development can support social mobilization, advocacy, behavior and social change to obtain stronger outcomes for children and policy change to  benefit children in contact with the law.

2) Strategies to ensure effective access of children to justice should target children and the adults responsible for their care. The Project provided legal aid and legal representation services to children and their parents, thus avoiding the gap usually arising from the legal and social status of children who, on the one hand, have rights as individuals but, on the other, lack full autonomy and are dependent on adults. Apart from supporting parents in accessing various services, it is important to develop their parenting skills to strengthen the supervision of children who are prone to criminal acts.

3) In establishing access to justice mechanisms (e.g. a legal aid service) for children in contact with the law, quantitative measurement of success is insufficient. UNICEF strived to employ a results-based monitoring system by requesting regional consultants to report on successfully completed cases. As detailed in the Effectiveness section, the respective quantitative indicator was unable to fully measure the performance of the districts. The quality of the legal aid service is very important and quality standards and indicators should be developed and used as well as monitoring of beneficiaries after referral to social protection, health and education services.

Full report in PDF

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Report information





Child Protection

Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan



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