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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2018 Ethiopia: Summative Evaluation of the Nutrition Component of the EU-SHARE program in Ethiopia (2015-2018)



Author: Act for Performance BV, Netherlands JaRco consulting, Ethiopia

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:

 

 

To support Ethiopia in enhancing its resilience capacity to withstand external shocks through a holistic
development approach, including water, livelihoods, basic services, conflict resolution and peace
building, since 2012 the European Union (EU) has funded an initiative called the “EU-SHARE project”
to sustain access to water, food security and nutrition and promote developmental actions for a
sustainable agricultural growth in agro-pastoral areas of the country. The goal of this project is to
strengthen the linkages between relief, recovery and development. The nutrition component of this
EU-SHARE project, formulated in 2014, started in 2015 and ran until the end of 2018. It was designed
to contribute to the ECHO-DEVCO resilience building programme, which has as its objective to build
on nutrition outcomes of the other SHARE components, and to enhance decentralized and multisectoral
implementation. A number of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions have been
implemented by UNICEF and its partner FAO in 17 woredas of Amhara, Oromia, and SNPP regions,
targeting adolescent girls, pregnant women, and children under 5, with a focus on the first 1000 days
of a child’s life.

Purpose/Objective:

1. To assess the coverage of activities implemented through this project, as well as global knowledge and practices around nutrition for children under 5, adolescents and pregnant and lactating women.

2. to assess the results of the nutrition component of the EU-SHARE project and the performance and accountability of the main program partners (UNICEF and FAO) with respect to the agreed programme results. The evaluation also will be used to promote learning from the findings and conclusions about what works, what doesn’t and why. The evaluation report includes lessons learned on the added value of the multi-sectoral approach to nutrition, especially considering the move from emergency to resilience.

3. To provide information on the impact, effectiveness and scalability of the nutrition specific and sensitive (mostly agricultural) measures, which will support policies, strategies and future programming.

Methodology:

-The evaluation applied the OECD-DAC criteria – relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability.

-The evaluation team used a combination of secondary and primary qualitative and quantitative data methods to generate the necessary information, basically organized in two parts: (1) Household and community survey in the same 2695 households approached in the baseline survey, assessing a set of nutrition performance indicators; and (2) a Qualitative evaluation, using documentary review, semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and focus-group discussions with health facilities staff, community workers, and beneficiaries. Data collection was conducted at national, sub-national (regional), community, and household level.

Findings and conclusions:

-The project activities responded to the needs of targeted population groups in 17 woredas where the project intervened, and were in line with government nutrition policy as expressed in NNP II and the Nutrition-sensitive Agricultural Strategy. The quality of extension services improved, despite many challenges.
-The project interventions contributed to a reduction of the level of acute malnutrition and severe form of underweight in children, but were not successful in reducing moderate underweight and stunting. The practice of exclusive breastfeeding improved, but appropriate complementary feeding practices among children remained a challenge. Behavioral changes and practices during pregnancy were observed, the minimum diet diversity among targeted women improved, and hunger among households was reduced. Although the project slightly improved hand washing practices, it did not have a significant impact on antenatal care (ANC) practices in pregnant women, in water treatment practices, or in the use of toilets among the target population.
-One of the key targets of the project - establishing complementary feeding units managed by women groups – did not succeed because there was not enough time. In addition, the project had to adjust to an emergency mode in certain woredas because of drought or flooding.
-At the moment the evaluation was carried out, the project had spent about half of its budget. The decision to conclude agreements with implementation agencies (NGOs) to increase the project’s implementation capacity did not have the intended effect; only one third of the available budget for the PCAs was spent. On the other hand, the level of execution of the components executed directly through the government were the highest of the project.
-The project did not have a project coordination unit with representatives of all implementation actors, nor a project manager fully designated to the project with authority over all actors and vested in government ownership.

Recommendations:

1. Design, fund, and execute a second project phase of 4 – 5 years. Changing feeding practices and empowering targeted women groups through complementary feeding units is a long-term matter that needs more time than the project effectively had, even more so when taking into account the start-up delay and adjustments due to emergencies that the project experienced.
2. Give more emphasis in a second phase of the project on the pregnancy and pre-pregnancy period for better impact, focusing on adolescents, pregnant and lactating women.
3. During a second phase, special attention should be given to building the units and organizing the supply of products (supplements, seeds, gardening equipment) to guarantee timely distribution and avoid delays.
4. We recommend UNICEF, FMOH and the donor to develop and implement a second phase of the project focused on government ownership, and channel more funds through government services rather than through implementing organizations. Government ownership is a condition for sustainability and replication.
5. we advise UNICEF and FMOH to set up a project coordination unit in the Federal Ministry of Health, supported by UNICEF and FAO, with a steering group co-managed by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, and chaired by the Minister of Health. The unit should be a light structure to keep the project’s centre of gravity in the woredas. If relevant, this project coordination unit will conclude agreements with implementation agencies, such as CARE, to further disseminate the successful social analysis and action approach, or with ACF (for instance) to provide training to government services and community leaders on community management of acute malnutrition.
6. We recommend UNICEF, FAO, FMOH, and the FMoA reinforce the link with the safety net program and with value chain projects (e.g. moringa, NAIP), specifically to work with the targeted woredas and communities on coping strategies to deal with extreme weather conditions.



Full report in PDF

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Report information

Year: 2018

Office/Country: Ethiopia

Region: ESAR

Type: Evaluation

Theme: Nutrition, Nutritional surveys and status; data systems; SitAns

Language: English

Sequence #: 2018/002
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