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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2015 Kyrgyzstan: Evaluation of the School without Violence Programme

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 3’ of the report.


This report presents the results of the evaluation of the ‘School Without Violence’ programme conducted in the Kyrgyz Republic from March 28 to June 5, 2015.

The programme 'School without Violence' was introduced at a time when greater consideration was given to the school as a fertile ground for violence, as this social institution reproduces problems resulting from the vulnerability of children in their home and weak social fabric. Gradually, violence against children and violence in schools emerged as topics of society, with the releasing of the national level research highlighted the prevalence of violence against children in the Kyrgyz Republic, including in schools, under the forms including extortion and racketeering, intimidation and bullying. In early 2010, UNICEF commissioned a study nationwide to assess the prevalence and dynamics of violence against children at school, the results of which were alarming for both the government and the international community (83% of children reporting violence in secondary schools).

In addition, from April to June 2010, the South of Kyrgyzstan was affected by an outbreak of inter-ethnic violence, the magnitude of which raised concerns about the role of education in ensuring peaceful social integration. Numerous school buildings were damaged and destroyed during the uprising, while students took active part in the riots.

In the follow up of these events, there was a consensus among various institutions including the Ministry of Education and Science and the Institute of the Ombudsman around the need to address violence among the newer generations of society, starting with the school environment. This presented several challenges, notably in terms of the barriers to disclosing information on violence happening not only at school but also within families, and the appeal of local administrations to hide cases of violence.


The purpose of this evaluation as described in the Terms of References is to “review and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of the programme on the prevention and reduction of incidents of violence against children in the school setting and the creation of a safe educational environment in Kyrgyzstan. Furthermore, it is to evaluate the role, contribution and impact of every component of the programme in order to feed the process of further improvement, adjustment/revision, and finalization of the programme.”

At the time of the evaluation, there was a consensus among partners that the programme should be scaled up in all schools of the country. All members of the Technical Team involved in supervising the programme unanimously support the scaling up of the programme nationwide. To this aim, the Institute of the Ombudsman released a report titled “Combating violence against children in the Kyrgyz Republic” (April 2015) providing recommendations as to how to operationalise this based on concluding observations of all partners involved (including the Child’s Rights Defenders League). This evaluation complements the general recommendations provided by the Institute of the Ombudsman with an in-depth field research, desk review and an independent review of findings.

In this context, the results of the evaluation aim at supporting national planning, effective policy making and resource mobilization with reliable data and well-informed recommendations.

The main objectives of the evaluation were therefore to:

  1. Collect feedback independently at the school level
  2. Determine in which conditions the programme can be successful
  3. Identify areas for improvement
  4. Provide recommendations
  5. Define the role that the various stakeholders could further play in addressing violence in schools


The evaluation was commissioned by UNICEF, and was conducted in the Kyrgyz Republic from March 28 to June 5. 

Methods used included a desk review, a series of interviews with stakeholders at the national level, and a large field research component conducted in ten selected schools under the programme.

The field research consisted in a quantitative survey administered to children, focus group discussions with children, interviews with school personnel as well as parents and external stakeholders.

Findings and Conclusions:

Programme design was found to be highly relevant to the priority issues regarding children’s protection and advancement of children’s rights in the Kyrgyz Republic. In consideration of the reported rates of violence affecting children at school, and the great potentials for schools to be an instrument of social integration in the country, the core priorities of the programme – preventing and addressing violence in the school environment– are thus appropriate and relevant.

On design and strategy, it can be concluded that the SWV programme is appropriate and adapted to the needs identified at the school level for increasing awareness and capacity to address violence. However, the programme design was standardised across schools, regardless of the schools’ specificities and prevalence of violence.

The programme was successful in its intention to establish internal and external protection networks, involving state and local actors around a common agenda of preventing and reacting to violence and abuse at school. However, in practice, the lack of institutionalisation of the programme, and of coordination between the various Ministries and institutions involved at the national level has prevented these networks from taking institutional shape.

The programme has acknowledged the important role that children can play in preventing violence in their schools, notably through the set up of school reconciliation teams. Although efforts were made towards including parents and communities in the programme activities, this remains a significant challenge. Qualitative data shows that the programme could be improved in terms of disseminating information to parents and community stakeholders, and finding ways to engage with them.


Actionable recommendations

  1. Considering that the SWV programme is under process of being nationalised to all the schools of the Kyrgyz Republic, it is recommended to review the variables affecting the impact of the programme (size of the school, level of resources available, environment, management structure within the school etc.) and integrate those in the planning of the intervention. 
  2. The Ministry of Education and Science should proceed to a review of the existing school curricular resources from the earliest grades, to identify where violence prevention can be integrated in the curriculum, and should develop curriculum-based manuals for teachers accordingly.
  3. In order to monitor and measure results of the programme once streamlined in all schools, the Ministry of Education and Science should develop internal systems and tools to evaluate the short-term and longer-term effects of the intervention.   
  4. Violence should be mainstreamed as a theme in all initiatives promoting education, whether at the school level, community level or government level. It is recommended to ensure coordination with international organisations and donor agencies during conceptualisation of programmes in order to harmonise content around the theme of violence.
  5. Integration of a course on prevention and redressal of violence for teachers during their training would contribute to raise awareness and educate teachers from the earliest stage.
  6. It is recommended to consider the broader context in which violence develops at school, including issues related to economic constraints, migration, low educational level of parents/family members and other structural factors that perpetuate violence at home have also consequences on the behaviour of students at school.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Endorsement from the Ministry of Education and Science is absolutely necessary to successfully integrate the programme in the education system in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Ministry should be at the forefront of the efforts to reduce violence in schools, giving visibility to its actions at the policy level, ensuring buy-in from all actors all the way down to the school administrators, and actively monitoring the results of its interventions.   
  2. Advocating for institutional measures to address violence in schools is necessary within the Ministry of Education and Science, but as well within other relevant government institutions such as the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health, through the disseminating of consistent information to all stakeholders.
  3. Although violence at school is widely recognised as a societal issue in the Kyrgyz Republic, awareness raising on the importance of addressing violence in school as a priority is still very much relevant in many schools of the country. Communication campaigns and organisation of awareness raising events at the local level are decisive to increase the impact of policy-level changes.
  4. Strengthening the cooperation with parents and local communities through school committees, parents’ reunions and school-community events are paramount to influence beliefs and behaviours outside of the school. 
  5. It is important to tap into the spillover and networking effects from the implementation of school programmes, in order to stimulate peer-to-peer dissemination and transfer of knowledge, and to establish school-to-school partnerships.

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Child Protection - Violence and Abuse


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