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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2008 EAPRO: UNICEF’s Role in Nias and Aceh: An Interim Evaluation of UNICEF’s programmes in 2006 and 2007

Executive summary

Background and Methodology

This evaluation was commissioned to assess implementation of the UNICEF programme
strategy in Aceh and Nias designed to respond to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami and the 2005 Nias earthquake. It makes recommendations to integrate future assistance into UNICEF’s overall Programme of Cooperation for 2006-10 with the Government of Indonesia at the mid-term of the programme cycle. Key methods for the conduct of the evaluation included: desk review of relevant documents; review of studies, assessments and evaluations; extensive interviews with key actors at national and local levels; field visits to selected districts and communities; a survey among UNICEF staff members involved in the operation; organization of a workshop with staff from Banda Aceh, the Country Office and Regional Office, during which the main preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation were discussed, validated and finalized and a broad discussion of the draft evaluation report with national authorities and external partners

Major Findings of the Evaluation

The evaluation documented a wide range of findings in several areas including the following:
• UNICEF was a major player in the relatively rapid reconstruction, in the successful effort to avoid post disaster excess mortality, and in establishing a sound basis for sustainable development in education and child protection.
• From 2006 onwards, there was an explicit intention by UNICEF to realign its programme strategies with the programmatic transition to sustainable development based on a strategy of capacity building, particularly in light of the expected increase in the government budget. However, conversations with UNICEF project staff and field visits provided little evidence that activities and their implementation were guided by the overarching strategies of HRBAP, Results Based Management, programme convergence, gender equality, and institutional capacity building as outlined in the Multi Year Plan (MYP).
• Although positive initiatives related to institutional capacity building have been carried out, there is no evidence of sectoral, causality, or capacity analyses which would have helped to identify the capacity building interventions that were needed, despite an abundance of information that would have allowed for such in-depth analysis.
• In addition, no clear mapping exists of work done by other organizations in each district, or at the provincial level. Without such a comprehensive sectoral analysis, it is not easy to understand the conceptual framework and criteria on which UNICEF selected the specific interventions listed in the MYP Results Matrix for each sector, how strategic these interventions were, and how they complement one another to reach the stated objectives.
• The Office of the United Nations Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias was established to facilitate a uniform United Nations system approach and to lead cooperation and coordination among UN agencies. However, there seems to be no substantive coordination among UN agencies. While periodic meetings are held, the level of agency staff attending and the content of meeting minutes indicate that this is not a strategic planning or monitoring meeting and issues related to administration or operations dominate the agenda. As the number of players reduces and as government structures reassume responsibility for many of the tasks currently carried out by BRR or donors, the need for even closer coordination will become more important in order to identify gaps in coverage and programme synergies.
• There is little evidence that the Country Office has significantly influenced the direction of programming in Aceh or Nias to transition from an emergency based programme to one that is based on the human rights approach and shifts both financial and implementation responsibility to the local government.

Main Recommendations

The evaluation generated a series of 22 recommendations relating to ACEH, Nias, the Country Office and to Regional Office and Headquarters. These recommendations revolve around the future of the offices, staffing, programming in the transition period and the definition of roles and responsibilities. For ACEH it is envisioned that the office will remain open to support capacity building for implementation of the multi-year plan with a focus on partnership in support of the MDGs. For Nias it was recommended that the all programme activities except education be completed by end 2008 and that the office be closed by end 2009. It was further recommended that all recruitments be based on capacity assessments to be done to ensure the availability of sufficient capacity to meet the requirements of the transition towards sustainable development. Efforts should be made to regularize the situation of staff members in Aceh and Nias. A situation analysis should be undertaken to support the transition and all unfinished commitments should be reviewed in light of their contribution to sustainable development. The situation analysis should include a mapping of underserved areas. UNICEF Jakarta should play a quality assurance role while ACEH and NIAS should focus more on management and support to implementation.

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