We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2017 Eswatini: EVALUATION OF THE SWAZILAND CHILD FRIENDLY SCHOOLS (CFS) PROGRAMME



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’.

Background:

The Inqaba Initiative responds to the need for school communities to be capacitated to address new challenges such as HIV and AIDS. It seeks to introduce a comprehensive, integrated and targeted school-based model of care and support. It seeks to ensure that every school in Swaziland delivers child-centred, quality teaching and learning, including the promotion of physical education activities; and provides care, support and protection to every child with the active involvement of parents, community and stakeholders, in order for quality teaching and learning to take place’. Regarding education, the Inqaba model represents a pragmatic pathway towards quality in education.
In order to do so, the strategy is built on seven dimensions – called ‘pillars’:
• Protection and safety of the children
• Psychosocial support to children, through counselling, sports, children’s clubs, etc.
• Food security which involves providing food to every child
• Health which refers to the provision of essential physical health services through schools
• Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to facilitate the provision of essential water and sanitation services through schools
• Life skills education
• Quality teaching and learning.

At the heart of the programme lies the school-community partnership: to share facilities, resources and expertise and build their capacity to support children and provide them with essential services.
The primary beneficiaries of the Inqaba Initiative are the children, especially the orphaned and vulnerable children. The secondary beneficiaries are the head teachers and teachers, the members of communities as a whole (parents, school committee members, and others.) and the different private and public stakeholders such as NGOs, service providers.

Purpose/Objective:

The purpose of the evaluation is to ascertain the extent to which the objectives of the Inqaba Initiative were accomplished and to draw recommendations and lessons learnt for scale-up and sustainability of the interventions.
More precisely, the evaluation will:
• Evaluate the intended and unintended effects of the Inqaba Initiative on the functioning of schools; and the outcomes for children who have participated in the initiative, and identify the mechanisms and triggers that have brought about such outcomes, whether they are intrinsic to the initiative or not (criteria of impact)
• Examine the relevance of the initiative regarding the needs of the primary beneficiaries for one part, and the national policy being implemented for another part (criteria of relevance)
• Provide evidence of the benefits of the initiative and critical bottlenecks, strengths and weaknesses of programme design and implementation (criteria of effectiveness)
• Explore UNICEF and donors’ contribution to the Inqaba progress and provide data on forward looking strategies relevant to the financing of the Inqaba Initiative and ways to ensure equitable distribution of resources for education (criteria of efficiency)
• Examine the likeliness to continue the initiative after the donors’ funding ends, regarding the local ownership of the initiative and national capacities to manage and monitor the Inqaba programme (criteria of sustainability)

Methodology:

Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. The advantages of such a mix of methods is to combine extensive and intensive analysis.
More precisely, four main methods were applied:
• A large desk review to set the context and to inform on progress made within the Inqaba Initiative framework (see Annex 2)
• Questionnaires were administrated to head teachers and to students. Their architecture combined closed-ended questions and a few semi-closed ended questions.
Schools were selected according to a stratified sampling method which took into account the main criteria of regional location, rural versus urban area, the year the school started the implementation of the initiative. The survey included schools located in very isolated areas. Within each of the selected schools, learners were randomly chosen amongst the classes from Grade 4 to Grade 7. The number of 15 learners per grade was arbitrarily chosen as a target. Pupil questionnaires were administrated to 40 primary school students in each school for a total of 2000 pupils (girls = 1007) out of 128 020 in the total population of pupils enrolled in Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 in primary schools in Swaziland. On average, there were more over-aged boys than girls, and even more boys than girls reporting one form of disability or another (see Annexes 6, 7, 8).
•  Four focus groups, were organised, one per Region.  Each focus group was composed of three head teachers, six teachers and six persons from the community (parents, chairperson of the school committee, etc.)
• Individual in-depth interviews were primarily conducted with the leaders and key stakeholders of the Inqaba Initiative at the different levels of governance, as well as with partners, in order to embrace as many views as possible of the advantages and limits of the Inqaba Initiative, and to triangulate the several actors’ points of views (see Annex 5 for the full list of interviewees).
The evaluation follows the UNEG Norms and Standards.

Findings and Conclusions:

The Inqaba Initiative is very relevant. It fully addresses Government’s priorities because the Free Primary Education Act lies at the heart of the programme since it is the primary schools’ main source of funding. The Inqaba objectives are also aligned with UNICEF priorities in education, WASH, and child protection. Because it is a model that caters for the neediest and is based on the philosophy of inclusiveness, the Inqaba Initiative underpins all of UNICEF’s work with education through the Child Friendly School projects. The Inqaba Initiative addresses, therefore, critical issues faced by children in Swaziland (e.g. HIV/AIDS, food insecurity, violence on children, education quality, child labour, etc.). It is meant for all Swazi children under the age of 18, but is targeted at the most vulnerable children. One of the main strengths of the Inqaba Initiative is the school-community partnership, which lies at the heart of the programme.
Although the Inqaba Initiative is underpinned by a well-thought-out theory that addresses a number of barriers to learning, there is no evidence of a strategic plan that gives direction to the programme. There is no clear articulation between the objectives, the activities implemented and the expected results.
Protection and safety of children from Swaziland is an acute issue. Violence towards children is common, especially for girls, be it at school, around it, within families or anywhere outside in the street. Sexual abuse is prevalent. The high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is a worrying indicator, amongst others. The Inqaba Initiative has made a difference in terms of access to, and quality of education, according to AEC reports. The involvement of community is highly variable from one school to another, depending on the school leadership, and also parents’ involvement in the education of their children. There is no budgeted phasing-out plan, notably due to the fact that the Inqaba Initiative pertains to no specific budget

Recommendations:

The first five recommendations deal with programming, monitoring and collaboration and are sine qua none conditions for the initiative to be more effective and to enhance its impact. The Inqaba will also strongly benefit from recommendations 6 and 7 as ways to strengthen the initiative from a more local perspective.
1. Set up a strategic plan that articulates objectives, specific activities and expected results (indicator I.5)
2. Make the monitoring of the programme operational (indicators I.6, I.7, I.8)
3. Ensure a close follow-up and supervision of the Inqaba activities implemented (indicators I.6, I.12)
4. Strengthen the accountability and reporting aspects of the Inqaba Initiative (indicators I.9, I.17)
5. Enhance collaboration at all the levels and clarify the respective roles, notably the collaboration between the guidance officers, the inspectorate and in-service training (indicator I.6)
6. Enhance communities’, notably parents’, participation in school matters (indicators I.4, I.11, I.20)
7. When planning the Inqaba programme, attention must be paid to the existing school resources (indicators I.20, I.21)
8. Improve the government’s financial support (indicator I.15)
9. Provided that the Inqaba Initiative is consolidated regarding the challenges raised in this evaluation report, it can be included into pre-service training in a more systematic way (Indicator I.13) and be introduced to the 260 secondary schools

Lessons Learned:

The major lessons learnt from the evaluation are the following:
1. The effectiveness of such a programme relies on a good balance between national, regional and local ownership. Schools and public authorities are interdependent to achieve significant results. The success of activities within a given school or community is often the result of the own initiative and goodwill of local individuals. Yet, in order to fulfil the Inqaba objectives, schools’ activities go together with structural reforms driven by the national and regional levels. They also go together with strong monitoring and follow-up of the ministry.
2. Mainstreaming is not synonymous with dilution of the programme into several institutions and other programmes, the pitfall being that what falls within or beyond its scope remains rather vague. The interconnections must be addressed and well defined.
3. A programme cannot be scaled up as long as monitoring and follow-up procedures are not on track to ensure its local ownership, and therefore, its sustainability



Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.


 

 

Report information

Year:
2017

Country:
Swaziland

Region:
ESAR

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Education surveys and status; data systems; SitAns

Partners:
Ministry of Education & Training

Language:
English

Sequence:
2017/001

New enhanced search