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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2018 Zimbabwe: Independent evaluation of the Health Development Fund (HDF)

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


The HDF is a multi-donor pooled fund designed to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCH+A) and nutrition in Zimbabwe between 2016 and 2020. LSTM was contracted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to conduct the mid-term evaluation of the HDF, under the guidance of the UNICEF Country Office Technical Research and Evaluation Group, HDF Evaluation Sub-Committee and the MoHCC Zimbabwe.


The purpose of the evaluation was to provide the SC with an independent, rigorous assessment of progress made in the implementation of the fund during the period 2016-2018, and with options for adaptive redesign of the fund and to maximise the efficiency and impact of the fund during the period 2018-2020.

The overall objective was to assess the extent to which the HDF strategies, approaches and overall intervention logic have contributed, during the implementation period, to sustain the delivery of quality, equitable RMNCH+A and nutrition services in Zimbabwe.

The specific objectives were:

1. To assess the HDF programme implementation against the HDF Theory of Change (ToC) using modified Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) evaluation criteria which include relevance, effectiveness, sustainability, value for money and efficiency, and equity.
2. To assess to what extent the programme has incorporated human rights-based approach, promoted equity and applied a gender perspective.
3. To conduct robust in-depth analysis of the logical framework (LF) to support the evaluation conclusions.
4. To assess if the available programme data collection tools are definitive and provide good monitoring of the programme performance and make recommendations on how to improve programme monitoring.
5. To analyse the available programme data and information and document lessons learnt, best practices and make


A theory-based approach was taken to the design of the evaluation. A draft ToC was developed through a desk-based review, enhanced and validated through a stakeholder’s workshop held in Harare in July 2018. The draft ToC provided a description of the HDF programme logic and of the causal chain envisaged to determined change via HDF supported interventions, and therefore provided a reasonable basis to evaluate the programme.

The evaluation was conducted in line with Norms and Standards for Evaluation set by the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), and the overall protocol was approved by the Zimbabwe Medical Research Council and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Ethics Committee.

Primary data collection was conducted in partnership with BRTI.

Ten key evaluation questions were explored in alignment with the OECD/DAC criteria for international development evaluations, including questions related to relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, equity and value for money.  Underlying assumptions in the ToC were tested and verified, and issues of gender and human rights embedded in each stage of the evaluation cycle. Primary data were collected through a survey of DHOs and healthcare facilities, key informant Interviews (KIIs), focus group discussions (FGDs) with HDF target beneficiaries, and an online questionnaire.  Secondary data was also sourced and reviewed. Data were then triangulated from the various sources to inform the findings, with a ranking method to inform conclusions on the strength of findings.

Full report in PDF

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Report information

Year: 2018

Office/Country: Zimbabwe

Region: ESAR

Type: Evaluation

Theme: Health, Health systems development/ management; Primary Health Care; ACSD

Language: English

Sequence #: 2018/003

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