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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2017 BandH: Evaluation of the UNICEF-supported Component of the Project “Support for Durable Solutions of the Revised Strategy for Implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement,in Bosnia and Herzegovina



Author: Zehra Kacapor-Dzihic

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 European Union and UNHCR developed the project ‘Support for durable Solutions of the Revised Strategy for Implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement’ (hereinafter: the project), which is aimed at addressing the issues of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As per the agreement between the UNHCR and UNICEF, this evaluation focused solely on the UNICEF Project Component. UNICEF supported targeted local communities to develop and implement Local Action Plans for Social Protection and Inclusion (SPI). The aim was to promote and strengthen SPI governance and inter-sector cooperation, provide SPI services to vulnerable children and families, and strengthen the capacities of professionals from the social, education and health sectors.

Purpose/Objective:

Evaluate the design, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the project.

Methodology:

The evaluation was carried out in three phases. A review of the project documentation and relevant literature as well as reference documents was conducted during the Inception Phase. This resulted in the Inception Report. Within this phase, the evaluation framework, primary data collection methods and evaluation tools were developed. The Field Phase had a limited timeframe and was devoted to the collection of data from key stakeholders at the municipal level. This was done through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and site visits to a sample of seven municipalities (70% of the total number of municipalities targeted by the project). A beneficiary survey was conducted to capture the opinions of parents and children using ECD services in the local communities. During the Synthesis Phase, OECD-DAC criteria of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability were applied in order to assess the level of achievement of the planned project objectives; these were then used to draw informed conclusions and to make recommendations.

Findings and Conclusions:

The project is relevant and responds well to the recognised need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve the social protection systems for children at the municipal level. This is to be achieved by strengthening the social protection and inclusion strategic framework (through development of evidence-based Action Plans for social protection and inclusion) and service delivery for vulnerable children and their families, in particular for children coming from IDP and returnee groups.
As far as human rights and cross-cutting issues are concerned, the UNICEF Project Component is highly relevant to BiH’s international commitments deriving from its ratification of the CRC and its status as an EU potential candidate country.
The project has achieved all of its envisaged outputs and contributed to its planned results, as confirmed through a review of the indicator set for the UNICEF component: all were achieved.
UNICEF made successful efforts to ensure the use of available project resources strategically and efficiently. The project encountered significant delays at the onset of implementation, but UNICEF succeeded in overcoming them through intensive work with partners. Management efforts by the UNICEF project team were appropriate and contributed to effective and efficient implementation of the planned initiatives. No particular deviations from the projected budget were found, while the ratio of operational versus programme cost was balanced (16.3% for operational costs).
Project efforts have contributed to moving the existing processes of change in the desired direction, whereby the action plans, mechanisms and services will have a positive impact on the lives of the targeted groups of children. The effect and outcome of the UNICEF interventions are relatively sustainable. However, the fact is that financial sustainability in the longer-term remains in question.

Recommendations:

Operational Recommendations (O) – relevant for the improvement of UNICEF’s future interventions based on the SPIS model.
O1 (for UNICEF and partners) - Organise training based on the findings of a Training Needs Assessments in order to ensure that the training serves the purpose of education and other professionals acquiring practical skills.

O2 (for UNICEF) - Mainstream gender into programming of UNICEF support for SPI.
O3 (for UNICEF) – Further strengthen monitoring and reporting practices at the programme and impact evaluation levels.
Strategic and Programming Recommendations (SP) –aimed at informing policymaking, prioritising and programming of further support.
SP1 (for UNICEF and partners) – Scale-up the SPI model countrywide to ensure that at least 50% of municipalities apply the model to improve SPI, particularly for children.

SP2 (for UNICEF and government/donor partners) - Ensure continued support for IECD and other services established/supported though the project in order to strengthen their sustainability mechanisms.

SP3 (for UNICEF and partners) - Advocate for the development of a framework for securing financial sustainability in the longer-term to support and empower services developed through the project, particularly those targeting children from IDP/returnee families.

Lessons Learned:

1. Investment in strengthening social protection and inclusion at the local governance level remains relevant in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2. Returnee and IDP populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina still need support to ensure their access to rights, particularly the right to basic services such as health, social protection and education.

3. Investment in the empowerment and protection of rights holders remains relevant.

4. An understanding of and approach to the gender dimension of social exclusion is important in projects dealing with social protection and inclusion.



Full report in PDF

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Report information

Year:
2017

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Region:
CEE/CIS

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Social Policy

Partners:
UNHCR, European Union

Language:
English

Sequence:
2017/002

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