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

2018 Kazakhstan: Evaluation of the Justice for Children models in Kazakhstan

Author: Carole Berrih, Prof. Dr Bistra Netkova, Daniyar Kussainov, Dr François-Xavier du Perthuis de Laillevault

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



From 2014 to 2018, UNICEF Kazakhstan has supported the Kazakhstani government through the implementation of the EU-UNICEF Joint Action “System for Justice for Children and Child Rights Improved”, co-financed by the EU and UNICEF. The specific objective of the Action is to support system reforms towards more effective Justice for Children System focusing on the rights of children in conflict with the law and child victims and witnesses of crimes. The evaluated object relates to Child-friendly justice system models that have been developed in the framework of Result 2 of the EU-UNICEF Joint Action in three regions: East Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda and Mangystau. Although the implementation of the pilots ended in 2017, new activities are planned by Kazakhstani authorities and UNICEF to continue and scale up community-based services for children in justice processes.

This pilot program includes three components:
- Provision of rehabilitation community-based services for children in conflict with the law and child victims and witnesses of crime;
- Design and advocacy for a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectorial mechanism;
- Establishing a child-friendly environment in selected law enforcement offices and juvenile courts.

This report is the summative and formative external evaluation of the community-based services implemented at regional level. The evaluation purpose is to assess the performance of the child-friendly justice system models implemented in the three regions, before scaling up the models in other locations. The report aims to serve as a source of information for the main developers and implementers of the Justice for Children programs at national and local levels to  guide future interventions, and for UNICEF for further programming and scaling up of the pilots nation-wide.


This evaluation objective is to assess the pilots’ performance and to draw up conclusions, recommendations on key components and lessons learned. The report also includes analysis of some elements of the EU-UNICEF Joint Action. To that end, this evaluation uses the standard OECD-DAC criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability, and takes into consideration UNEG’s standards and guidelines for evaluation. Equity, gender and human rights are analyzed as cross-cutting issues.


The evaluation team adopted mixed qualitative data collection and analysis methods in order to ensure data reliability and validity through triangulation: review of literature, semi-structured interviews, and observation of several courts, law enforcement offices and NGOs. The executive summary only presents key findings.

Findings and conclusions

In terms of relevance, there were no comprehensive community-based services in the three target regions for children in justice processes prior to the intervention, while there were very important needs considering that there is, overall, a lack of social services for children and families in Kazakhstan.
In terms of effectiveness, rehabilitation community-based services were provided to children in justice process in the three target regions, even though there were delays in the implementation of two out of three pilots due to the lack of premises. All services have been used by children, although not all targets were met.

In terms of efficiency, the level of qualification and experience of involved stakeholders was generally high, even though two NGOs had no prior experience in the field of J4C.

In terms of impact, the supply of equipment and the implementation of a community-based service in Aktau contributed to child victims and witnesses feeling better protected and to the emergence of new practices when interviewing children, particularly with the use of audio-visual equipment in court. Even though data shall be considered with caution, statistics show that re-offending of children has reduced following completion of the pilots, which resulted in fewer convictions.

In terms of sustainability, the costing of the pilots during implementation showed that community-based services for children in conflict with the law are more cost-effective that traditional justice proceedings.
In conclusion, this report shows that the pilots have ensured improved protection to child victims and witnesses of crimes and children in conflict with the law in three regions, where support to these children was largely non-existent. Although pilots were partially effective during implementation, they are a great opportunity to identify the way forward for tailoring one model that could be replicated. 


Develop a multi-disciplinary community-based service model for children in justice processes
- Implement community-based services that reach different target groups;
- Develop new guidelines during a participatory workshop, based on the experience of the three pilots;
- Include parents of children in justice processes as a target group;
- Develop a comprehensive but user-friendly standardized monitoring system, based on a set of indicators that allow disaggregation along gender and equity lines and ensure that all implementing partners are trained on its use;
- Ensure that girls, children with disabilities, children from low-income families and children living in rural areas who participate in the pilots, are representative of the children in justice processes.
- Implement specific activities aiming at raising awareness of child professionals regarding gender equality and equity;
Build capacities of involved stakeholders
- Ensure the establishment of advisory boards to ensure that authorities are committed and interested in the situation of children;
- Develop training programs towards involved stakeholders on the prevention of juvenile delinquency and on child-friendly justice;
Supply material and equipment to courts
- Ensure that access to audio-visual material and child-friendly rooms is provided in all SICIMs and courts where cases of child victims and witnesses may be heard;
Develop a legislative and policy framework on community-based services
- Develop appropriate legislation regarding diversion scheme aligned with international standards, and community-based services;
- Develop an action plan on community-based services.

Lessons Learned

- Participation of local stakeholders is key to the programs’ performance and sustainability
- Design and development of activities involving legal professionals must be grounded in national legislation and experience
- Always look for systemic solutions in developing new community services with up-front analysis of sustainability shortcomings 
- Re-designing activities in the middle of implementation creates challenges during implementation
- Poor monitoring and reporting practices hampers maintaining the focus on capturing outcomes and impacts.

Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.



Report information

Year: 2018

Office/Country: Kazakhstan

Region: ECAR

Type: Evaluation

Theme: Child Protection; Juvenile justice

Language: English

Sequence #: 2018/003

New enhanced search