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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2017 Afghanistan: Evaluation of Child Protection Action Network

Author: Lee McAneney, Haroon Rasheed

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’.


CPAN is an inclusive network of governmental and non-governmental organizations with a mandate for field interventions in the area of child protection. It is a community-based and comprehensive child protection mechanism with an overall aim to prevent and respond to violence, abuse and exploitation of children and provide redress. CPAN members provide affected children and their families with assistance in protection   from harm through close monitoring of the cases as well as consolidated reporting on the situation of the family/children; referrals and with case management services in child protection issues.

CPAN functions in over 30 provinces in Afghanistan. UNICEF continues to provide technical support and collaborates with the CPAN members to protect children in respective provinces and districts. The membership of each CPAN consists of governmental and non-governmental officials. While it may vary from location to location, normally the members are from MoLSAMD, Department of Education, Department of Justice, Office of General Attorney, Police Offices, Head of Rehabilitation Centers, Local Shuras, and other individuals working in the field of human rights and social work. The CPAN members are also equipped with Technical Advisors (TAs) in-charge of coordination and management of CPAN’s activities at the provincial level.


- Assess the extent to which Terms of Reference of national, provincial and district tiers of CPAN are achieved
- Evaluate the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and impact of CPAN’s various activities with a particular focus on case management, awareness raising, preventing violence against children and providing support to affected children, their families and communities
- Use qualitative and quantitative analysis methods, our expertise in development policy standards and the CPAN TOC to determine recommendations for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of CPAN based on identified lessons learnt and good practices

The audience of the evaluation report are the Government of Afghanistan, UNICEF, sponsors and other stakeholders who have been involved in the implementation of CPAN at the national, provincial and district levels. The community members and children will also expected to be informed of the results of the evaluation when the functioning and the procedures of CPANs are strengthened/modified in line with the recommendations of the evaluation.  


The evaluation team conducted a quasi-experimental and multi-level mixed methods approach, ensuring that expectations, experiences and perceptions of all stakeholders are reflected in findings and recommendations.  The evaluation was conducted using gender and human rights based approaches. The methodology has been designed to explore CPAN institutionally, as a child protection intervention, as well as its outputs, outcomes and impacts at national, provincial and district levels. The evaluation also provides recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of CPAN through lessons learned and best practices identified.

Quantitative research methods provided statistically valid data to examine general attitudes, capacity, challenges and experiences of violence against children in both comparison and treatment regions.  Qualitative research provides meaningful, participatory opportunities of stakeholders and control and treatment group participants, allowing them to both share experiences and play an active role in evaluations activities by leading discussions and participating in analysis. 

Findings and Conclusions:

- Overall structure of CPAN has proven to be relevant to Afghan CP needs. The functionality however, is questionable
- The lack of direction and coordination across CPAN was not present. The overall purpose and aims of CPAN did not appear to trickle down to the district level
- CPAN currently lacks clear leadership, senior MoLSAMD staff admitting that NCPAN does not exist as intended
- The functionality and technicality of CPAN is dependent upon UNICEF staff
- There is a clear lack of accurate records and data, with which to track performance and CP trends across the network
- The current responsiveness of CPAN appears to be more related to individual commitment, rather than being attributed to CPAN as a mechanism for CP
- Continued limitations of financial and human resources (particularly front line staff and females) impact on the quality and quantity of protection
- There was overall little evidence to suggest that community advocacy activities are influencing  attitudes and behaviours towards child protection.


- A strong national management should be established, led by MoLSAMD, with a high-level chair who has the authority to muster the active engagement of state bodies and senior-level representatives.
- CPAN needs to develop formalised processes at national, provincial and district levels so all CPAN members understand clear agendas and outcomes regarding CPAN work.
- Efforts should be made by NCPAN to disseminate information about the outcomes of CPAN and its relevance; whereby providing central CPAN members and general CPAN members with an understanding of the activities and outcomes.
- Encouraging collaboration and joint purpose among ministries at national levels can add considerable value to CPAN prevention and response activities.
- MoLSAMD needs to re-consider the institutional structure of CPAN, which is currently dependent upon many NTAs and is not sustainable. Instead, MoLSAMD should focus on the provision of increased number of qualified social workers to conduct case management.
- Moving forward the recruitment of front-line staff should be based on merit, with regular performance reviews to assess the extent to which they are effectively fulfiling their responsibilities.
- MoLSAMD should provide more detailed training on how to do individual assessment to identify the most prominent risks in each district / province, rather than following ‘external national trends’.
- MoLSAMD should develop gender policies within CP activities. This should include training on issues of gender and gender sensitivity practices in prevention and response activities, in addition to the recruitment of female front line workers.
- Efforts need to be made to ensure that girls have access to female appropriate support services – services which cannot be provided by males.

Lessons Learned:

Lessons learned are highlighted in the section for the Conclusions and Findings in the report.

Full report in PDF

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Report information





Child protection sectoral or partnership

Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled



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