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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2012 Sudan: Programme Evaluation - UNICEF Assisted Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programme In Sudan (2002-2010)

Author: UNICEF Sudan

Executive summary

"With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is "Outstanding, Best Practice", "Highly Satisfactory", "Mostly Satisfactory" or "Unsatisfactory" before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labeled as 'Part 2' of the report."


UNICEF Sudan is supporting a 2009-2012 Program of Cooperation with the Government of Sudan, targeting key priorities and objectives that address the overarching needs of children in Sudan and that build a solid foundation for the future development of children in the different fields of activity: health,nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, basic education and child protection.

For more than thirty years now, UNICEF has been endorsing the Government of Sudan’s Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES) program through its Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program (WASH) through supporting the rehabilitation, maintenance and construction of water and sanitation facilities. In addition to physical improvements in the water and sanitation sector, WASH/WES also furthers improvements in personal and household hygiene through public awareness campaigns as well as training local hygiene promoters and social mobilizers to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of awareness‐raising on a grassroots level.


The general objective of the exercise is to assess whether WASH/WES activities are effectively contributing to the development of water, sanitation and hygiene in developmental and humanitarian contexts in Sudan.

This assignment aims to achieve the following specific objectives:
a) To assess to what extent the WASH/WES programme has contributed to the improvement of the health of children, their learning environment and the overall water and sanitation coverage in North Sudan;
b) To assess to what extent the WASH/WES programme has provided basic water, sanitation and hygiene services for vulnerable and underdeveloped communities in humanitarian crisis regions (e.g. victims of conflict in Darfur, victims of natural diseases and epidemics in other states as a result of waterborne disease brought about by flooding and/or poor hygiene and sanitation practices, etc.);
c) To evaluate the success, lessons learned and possible failures of the WASH/WES programme in implementing and achieving its Country Programme Objective;
d) To provide a programme and country‐level analysis, to address cross‐cutting issues relevant to programme‐level choices; and
e) To provide UNICEF and PWC, and other partners with critical recommendations for future collaboration in WASH/WES ‐related activities.


The assessment of relevance relied on a variety of dimensions that the programme is intended to contribute to. Assessing this dimension required answering questions such as:
• Are these objectives still valid?
• Do populations covered consider the programme interventions as responding to their needs?
• Are the activities and outputs of the programme consistent with the intended impact, overall goal, and objectives?

This dimension is concerned with the relationship between programme results and programme objectives and outcomes. Assessing this dimension required answering questions such as:
• Which interventions were successful in achieving the set objectives?
• What factors explain the success/failure of WASH/WES programme?

This dimension is concerned with the relationship of inputs with results and objectives, and looked mainly at the programme’s time-efficiency and cost-efficiency. Assessing this dimension required answering questions such as:
• Could the programme have been implemented in a more timely or cost‐effective manner?

This dimension is concerned with the relationship of the achieved outcomes and the overall objective that the programme aims to contribute to. Assessing this dimension gave rise to questions such as:
• What do participants and partners think about the effect the programme has had on the health and well‐being of children and women in targeted areas and nation-wide?

This dimension is concerned with how the results relate to the existing capacities of the targeted populations without UNICEF support. Assessing this dimension required an assessment of local ownership, stakeholder involvement in planning and implementation, willingness and ability to continue implementation without UNICEF support, and environmental‐friendliness of technologies used. 

Findings and Conclusions:

1. The WASH programme in Sudan is one of the most successful development interventions, despite the challenges it encountered over the years. This is due to and at the same time reflected in the development process that the program has been undergoing and which has been moving:
from full dependency on UNICEF support in almost all program aspects with a minor governmental contribution, to an independent body supported by Govt and UNICEF at the forefront among other donors.
from providing separate services for water, sanitation and environment  to providing an integrated package of all WASH services.
from a need-based to a rights-based approach
from applying a top-down approach to applying a participatory approach.
from a highly centralized to a decentralized institutional structure
from focusing on hardware (equipments and improved water and sanitation facilities) to focusing on sustainability through software components such as awareness, education, community mobilization, ownership  and women participation

2. UNCIEF played a crucial role in this development process. Thus, the linkages between the three WASH program components are particularly strong in UNICEF supported interventions but less practiced within government institutions where the program components are relatively scattered among different entities. 

3. The program based itself on the Sudanese national plans and priorities as well as the goals and objectives of the national WASH policy. It is generally in compliance with the MDGs, UNDAF sub-outcomes and the UNICEF Core Commitment to Children. 

4. The program has generally been designed and implemented as agreed with the government and usually based on participatory decision 

5. In almost all program aspects, the household survey, the FGDs and the key informant Interviews confirmed that areas that received WASH programme support over the last 10 years show better indicators than other areas where the program is not active. 


- Follow up on and advocate for the approval and endorsement of the WASH sector policy.
- A
n integrated and independent sector regulatory system should be developed.
- E
ncourage the involvement of the private sector and NGOs
Priorities should be shifting, giving program areas and long term interventions more attention 
Conduct research, investigations and assessments
Empowerment and engagement of local communities
Training for water Committee members
Adopt the Community Approaches for Total Sanitation (CATS)

Lessons Learned:

1. Long-term and wide spectrum cooperation agreements such as the CPAPs represent a solid basis for sustainable and effective cooperation between UNICEF and national authorities. 

2. Financial sustainability is not only a result of the proportion of national and external funds, since the budget allocation of both contributions is also a determining factor for program sustainability and program success at large. The dependency on external funding in covering running and software costs threats sustainability more than the allocation of these funds for fixed hardware costs.

3. The shortage and instability of financial resources as well as external dependency on them negatively affect program sustainability. However, different components and aspects are affected to different extents. 

4. Water pricing/ cost sharing is not only an economic aspect, but also plays an essential role in increasing the sense of ownership of and responsibility for the improved water and sanitation facilities.

5. Cost sharing must be viewed as a broader concept than simply paying water tariffs, since contributing to the construction, maintenance and operation work on a voluntary basis.

6. Projects and activities which are preceded and followed by awareness activities are generally more successful.    

7. The clearer the institutional affiliation and the more defined the mandates, the higher is effectiveness. A good example is the water sector with its clear affiliation to PWC while the other components are scattered between various actors.

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