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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2014 Kyrgyzstan: Evaluation of DFID/UNICEF Equity Programme

Author: Dave Gullette, PhD

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 Equity Programme is a cross-sectoral approach to improve access to basic social services for the most vulnerable children, women and families in southern Kyrgyzstan. In doing so, it seeks to have an impact on improving peace and stability, and lessening ethnic ethnics in conflict areas. The programme is implementing 504 interventions in 90 target and outreach municipalities and, to date, has reached 235,580 beneficiaries.

The Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom, is providing GBP 5 million (USD 8 million) to UNICEF between April 2012 and March 2015. This support is enhancing programme sustainability. DFID chose to work with UNICEF as it has a long-term presence in southern Kyrgyzstan, where it has worked since 1994.

Since the violent conflict in 2010 – which resulted in more than 470 people dead, 1,900 people injured and up to 400,000 people displaced – there remain tensions and obstacles to promoting lasting peace in the region. The complex nature of the challenges means that they are often not fully addressed through initiatives which focus on individual issues. One significant challenge and a driver of conflict is inequitable access to basic social services. In particular, young people suffer from a lack of opportunities which deepens their frustration. With this focus, UNICEF has developed a range of cross-sectoral interventions to address weaknesses and gaps in the provision of basic social services and strengthen management and delivery of these services. It enables rights holders to demand equitable access to improved services and hold duty bearers accountable for proving these services. Furthermore, it builds the capacity of duty bearers to develop plans, improve management of resources and engage with local residents on issues of basic social services. These actions contribute to peacebuilding in the region and thus to greater resilience in those municipalities.


This evaluation was commissioned to examine the successes and challenges of the Equity Programme and to provide recommendations to strengthen its approach. Added to this, UNICEF has asked that the evaluation examine to what extent the programme is building resilience.


Evaluation utilizes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Criteria: relevance, efficiency, effective and sustainable. The evaluation examined these criteria across all the interventions being implemented through this programme. As the programme began with a six-month inception phase, a number of reports, surveys and assessments were conducted to understand the context and needs of vulnerable children, women and their families. In addition, a number of monitoring tools have been created to provide regular updates on interventions. Having access to recent information, the evaluation did not create new types of tools, but utilized the existing tools to understand the successes and challenges of programme interventions to date.

The evaluator conducted interviews with beneficiaries, stakeholders, implementing partners and UNICEF staff. Field site visits from 25 August to 5 September were arranged to a selection of sites where different interventions are being implemented. Interviews were conducted and observation of built facilities and other products was conducted.

Findings and Conclusions:

As a result of this evaluation, the Equity Programme is regarded as relevant. It addresses the needs of vulnerable people and is closely linked to a range of national strategies and policies, as well as supporting the work of the UN in the country and to advance MDGs.

The financial resources for this programme are being efficiently used. The long inception phase identified people’s needs and allowed interventions to be tailored to the context of the municipality. Adjustments were made before major activities had begun. This preparatory work and the engagement from stakeholders allowed UNICEF to achieve more than it had originally planned and in less time. In addition, based on the health sector trainings, updated evidence-based and cost-effective interventions were introduced to health care institutions, which helped to save resources and reallocate them.

The interventions have been effective and are helping to improve the provision and quality of basic social services to people in target and outreach municipalities. There are improvements in the quality of services provided. Stakeholders and beneficiaries interviewed during field site visits highlighted the positive changes that they had noticed with the introduction of improved services. Parents and local authorities enthusiastically supported the availability of daycare centres for children with disabilities and preschool education institutions. Health activities also were helping community members to identify the danger signs of pregnancy and child disease. Gains in other areas are also noticeable, particularly in increasing knowledge among health workers.

Most interventions are sustainable, but some may require additional support to ensure they continue after the end of programme. Of note are older people’s groups and youth centres which have developed income-generating projects to support their activities. However, there are some challenges particularly in the implementation of strategic plans.


The main recommendations highlight opportunities to strengthen current initiatives and to enhance future equity work through the main evaluation criteria: relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and building resilience. Some recommendations touch on issues that are currently being done in part, and encourage expanding and deepening this work to strengthen the overall impact of the Equity Programme.

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