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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2015 India: Evaluation of Promoting the Protection and Education Rights of Children in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra

Author: New Concept Information System (NCIS)

Executive summary

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Child labour, as defined by Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Children (CRC), is a violation of children’s rights. The practice of child labour interferes with children’s education and is associated with exploitation of children who often work in hazardous conditions harming both their physical and mental development.  

The States Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan rank among the highest for the proportional share of children aged 5-14 years engaged in child labour in India.  These regions are characteristic of cotton production where Gujarat and Maharashtra are among the top producers of cotton in India. A large number of children in these States working in cotton growing areas comprise a vulnerable population belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe and other marginalised communities.

The Project “Promoting Protection and Education Rights of Children in Cotton Areas” was implemented over the period 2009-2013 in two phases to address the issue of child labour in the three States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra in India. The Project sought a two-month no-cost extension from January to February 2014 for completing the intervention.

The objective of the Project was for children in the age group of 06-14 years in cotton seed production areas to not be working but go to school.

To achieve the objective, the Project worked on four components:
1) creating and strengthening child protection structures to adequately protect children against exploitation and abuse; 2) improving the quality of education to increase enrolment and retention, 3) raising awareness and empowering families and communities so that they take collective action against child labour; and 4) addressing exclusion of vulnerable families to service provision and social protection schemes.   


The purpose of the evaluation seizes the opportunity to assess the extent to which the Project has achieved its objectives at the end of its implementation period. The evaluation endeavours to provide an understanding of the challenges faced during Project implementation and highlight key innovations under the Project. These will be used to inform recommendations for future programming. The objective of the evaluation is to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the Project and to derive recommendations accordingly.


The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development–Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) criteria for evaluation of development assistance were applied to frame the research questions to determine the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the Project. The comprehensive assessment of impact was not part of the remit of this evaluation and thus not focused upon in the evaluation design.

The evaluation was based on a mix of secondary and primary research activities. A desk review of relevant documents obtained from UNICEF and those collected through field work was done. In addition, qualitative research approaches comprising in-depth interviews (IDIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with key stakeholders were adopted to probe quantitative indicators and inform findings. A master list of research questions was developed and used to prepare seven tools for conducting investigative interactions at the policy level, programme level, and community level.  A purposive sampling strategy was employed to obtain views from a diverse range of stakeholders at these levels.

Geographical representation was achieved by including all 11 Project intervention districts in the study. This ensured that the Project’s diversity in terms of socio-economic and geographic profile of the respondent groups was captured as part of the evaluation as well as the spatial spread of the Project intervention.

Findings and Conclusions:

The Project was found relevant to the child labour issues concerning India since it aimed at addressing the multiple factors prompting the prevalence of child labour. The initiation of the Project coincided with two key child-centered national legislation and programme, the Right to Education (RTE) and the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) which gave a positive thrust to the Project intervention and opportunity to leverage the change in policy environment to meet the Project objectives.    

A total of EUR 13,446,577 was made available by the IKEA Foundation for Project implementation activities. The actual expenditure incurred in the Project over four years (2009-2014) across the three States was about 7% more than the allotted budget at EUR 14,352,680. The additional cost was met by leveraging Government and UNICEF resources. The evaluation found the Project to be efficient even though it incurred additional cost under all four of its components. This was so because the additional money was largely required for the effective roll out of the ICPS and RTE programmes which became effective in 2009. These programmes were in nascent stage and the mandated government structures were not in place.

The Project succeeded in achieving its key objectives and exceeded the targets against all performance indicators across the four outcomes which indicate its effectiveness.

A significant number of Project innovations and best practices served as models for adoption and replication by the three State governments. Model intervention of establishing child protection structures through government resolutions in Project districts has been scaled up to all other districts of the three States as these are in line with the ICPS and the Juvenile Justice Act. Training modules, guidelines, SOPs, various village-level database formats have been published and adopted by the State government


Policy Level Recommendations
• Platforms for young people – provide opportunities for engagement
• Increased inter-departmental convergence
• Data on out-of-school children and working children to be strengthened
• Comprehensive planning at state and district level for quality education and child labour prevention
• Trained professionals for implementation of ICPS and RTE
• Access to social protection for the most vulnerable–monitoring and data management required

Project Level Recommendations
• Common strategy across the Project area to enable easier scale up
• Monitoring and evaluation framework to be developed at the inception of the Project
• Cost effectiveness of the project
• Inclusion of both girls and boys
• Improved mechanisms for data and information

Community Level Recommendations
• Enhanced involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions for long-term results
• Linkages between child protection committees and school management committees to be strengthened
• Panchayati Raj Institutions to build awareness for access to social protection schemes

Lessons Learned:

The evaluation noted that the Project experienced several difficulties and constraints in its implementation process. The Project devised appropriate methods to overcome these challenges in many cases that served as important lessons and milestones for mid-course corrections and added considerable value to Project interventions. In fact, while child protection structures have been successfully established under the Project, there is a continued need to strengthen them so that they are functioning at optimal level. Sufficient time needs to be allocated for conducting training sessions with refresher trainings taking place periodically. It was found that political will, especially at the State level, is an essential ingredient in developing action plans on child labour. This underscores the need for continued advocacy at this level.

To implement child-friendly school (CFS), the evaluation findings across the three States indicated that the Project experienced initial reluctance and lack of commitment among teachers to adopt CFS activities.

To raise awareness and empower families and communities to take collective action against child labour, the Project faced initial challenges. There was a lack of community support and misconceptions regarding child protection and child rights and these issues were also considered insignificant issues by the community. The Project developed effective and multiple communication strategies and campaigns and adopted mid-media activities suited to local needs for community awareness.

To link vulnerable families with SPSs to indirectly benefit children required identification and registration of such families with SPSs. This proved to be a challenging task due to the lack of efficient data collection systems. Door-to-door visits by NGOs in coordination with village level child protection structures helped in listing marginalised families.

File Attachments:

Gujarat Final Report
Gujarat Annexures
Rajasthan Final Report
Rajasthan Annexures
Maharashtra Final Report
Maharashtra Annexures

Full report in PDF

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Report information




Child Protection - Child Labor



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