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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2013 South Sudan: Evaluation of UNICEF Programmes to Protect Children in Emergencies: South Sudan Country Case Study

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, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report."


The case study of UNICEF programmes to protect children in emergencies in South Sudan is part of a global evaluation commissioned by UNICEF. The framework for the evaluation is based on the UNICEF Child Protection Strategy (2008) and the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (2010). It considers the effectiveness of the protective environment strategy in pre-emergency, response and recovery phases. The evaluation aims to identify key programming successes and gaps in child protection in emergencies (CPiE) and draw out lessons learned in the context of armed conflict and natural disaster.

The South Sudan case study reviewed the programme over the period 2010-2012, with a focus on the protection issues arising from armed conflict. While issues facing children of all ages were addressed, the case study emphasized the adolescent age group, since adolescence is the period of greatest risk of gender-based violence (GBV) and recruitment into armed groups. Field work took place over two weeks in August 2012. Two international consultants, working with four national research assistants, visited Unity state and Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. Security issues prevented a visit to Jonglei, the state most affected by inter-communal violence. Interviews were conducted with 73 key informants at central and state level, and several meetings were held with community leaders. A total of 203 children and 5 adults participated in focus group discussions on protection issues and how to address them.


The South Sudan case study has three specific objectives:
a) Analyse the main CPiE programme components (tracing and reunification of separated and unaccompanied children; reintegration of children from armed forces and armed groups; MRM; sub-cluster coordination; and psychosocial support) against the OECD/DAC criteria
b) Identify key successes and gaps in programmes to protect children in emergencies
c) Provide recommendations for policy and management decisions.

In addition the case study considered the following issues, which will feed into the global evaluation:
- The extent to which preparedness enhanced response and whether there were examples of how response could enhance child protection systems in the longer term
- How formal and less formal components of the CP system linked to enhance protection outcomes
- The extent to which the cross-cutting principles of equity, gender and community participation are effectively integrated and addressed
- The level and manner in which technical guidance (international and/or national) was used to strengthen child protection
- The extent of systematic advocacy on child protection violations
- Progress with the strategy of evidence-building and knowledge management.


Site Selection
Data Collection Methods, Tools and Sources of Data
Analytical Framework and Data Analysis

Findings and Conclusions:

The CPiE programme in South Sudan has shown a mixed performance with some outcome targets being achieved or exceeded (mine risk education, family tracing and reunification, reintegration of released children) while the release of children was underachieved. Additionally, the programme was weak on addressing gender based violence and although psychosocial targets were exceeded, there were issues about the quality of services. However, it should be recognised that these achievements have been reached in spite of very weak service delivery capacity (nascent state institutions and weak civil society capacity).


1. Drawing on the strategic framework of the SSDP and the work of the forthcoming peacebuilding programme, develop a theory of change for how the programme contributes to the UNDAF outcomes.
2. Strengthen programming and coordination in gender-based violence.
3. Continue support to livelihoods in reintegration programmes and create other options to support children in peri-urban and urban communities.
4. Evaluate the training programme for social workers with a view to continuing to train national and state staff.
5. Maintain a geographical focus on areas at greatest risk.
6. Strengthen vertical linkages of the child protection sub-cluster.
7. Strengthen efforts to prevent engagement with armed groups.
8. Develop standards for child-friendly spaces and other protective spaces, drawing on those in the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.
9. Strengthen system response to separated children and IDTR.
10. Establish or strengthen knowledge management and data systems.
11. Strengthen systems to aid the advance from emergency to recovery.


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Report information


South Sudan


Child Protection - Other



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