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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2015 ROSA/EAPRO: IATT on YKP - joint evaluation of HIV-related capacity development initiatives on young key populations in Asia and the Pacific in the period 2010 – 2014

Author: Pam Baatsen, Madeleen Wegelin, Ramesh Adhikari, Maria Leny Felix, Iko Safika (KIT - Health and Education Unit)

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.


The Asia Pacific Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations (IATT on YKP) has been established in 2009. Its members are UN agencies and civil society partners who through a coordinated approach aim to enhance HIV prevention, and better address AIDS treatment and care and support needs of Young Key Populations at higher risk of exposure to HIV in the Asia-Pacific region. Therewith, special effort is made to involve Young Key Populations themselves.

The IATT on YKP has been set up in response to the fact that HIV is concentrated among Young Key Populations in the Asia and Pacific Region. The disproportional HIV incidence among this group makes special attention needed. Sub-populations included in this group are: young people between 10 and 24 years of age who are: a)  buying and or selling sex; b) trans gender; and or c) injecting drugs; as well as d) young men between 10 and 24 years of age who have sex with other men. An additional vulnerable group is young people living with HIV (YPLHIV).

The IATT on YKP is a working group meant to strengthen the synergies of action between all stakeholder, including young people themselves and includes a wide range of partners from civil society and UN agencies and is open to any organisation interested in working collaboratively to leverage financial and technical resources to support the HIV prevention and needs of YKP in the Asia-Pacific region.

In order to provide the Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations with evidence on how best to strengthen and sustain HIV-related capacity development initiatives (CDI) on young key populations in the Asia-Pacific Region, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) on behalf of the IATT on YKP contracted the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in January 2015 to conduct a  “Joint evaluation of HIV-related capacity development initiatives on young key populations in Asia and the Pacific”.


The purpose of this formative evaluation is to inform decision-making and provide evidence-based inputs for the deliberations of the Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations on how to strengthen and sustain current HIV-related capacity development initiatives on young key populations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The specific objectives of this formative evaluation are:

  1. To assess the capacity development initiatives spearheaded by the IATT on YKP during the period 2010 – 2014 against the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability;
  2. To clarify the strategic role of the IATT on YKP vis-à-vis governments and other development partners in providing capacity development-related support at regional and country levels;3. To generate actionable recommendations that help shape programming for/with young key populations in the Asia-Pacific region.


The evaluation team closely involved UNICEF ROSA representatives, the Evaluation Management Team (EMT), the Internal Reference Group (IRG), and the External Advisory Panel (EAP) throughout the evaluation to maximize learning. The evaluation team also ensured the involvement and participation of other stakeholders, including representatives of Young Key Populations themselves. This to enhance transparency, validity, reliability and usability of the evaluation results which is essential to its success. We engaged YKP whose capacity has been built through the IATT on YKP both in the case studies, as well as in the on-line survey, but also in the translation of the findings into actionable recommendations. For an overview of case study and workshop respondents, please see the annex.

The TOR requested the exploration of the feasibility of using counterfactuals. This issue was discussed during the inception visit to Nepal. It was concluded that it is not feasible to include such counterfactuals in the evaluation design. Instead of using counterfactuals, the evaluators have used triangulation to ensure as much as possible robust findings. This is done through combining qualitative data collected in the three case study countries, with quantitative data through an on-line survey covering all countries linked to the IATT on YKP, and with document (including IATT on YKP related documents, including existing evaluations; national strategies; plans and; surveillance documents) and literature review.

In the key informant interviews, the case studies and in the on-line survey, the relevance and degree of involvement, effects and outcomes of the strategic information products were investigated. The same applies to participation in the conferences and consultations – what were the results of sessions attended for the further development of own programmes and to what extent have the conferences helped in the networking among and with YKP.

Findings and Conclusions:

Relevance of the Capacity Development Initiatives (CDI)
The formative evaluation shows that the capacity development initiatives of the IATT on YKP have  been very relevant as it helped to fill a capacity development gap, and raise the much needed attention for YKP in the region. The involvement of YKP from the onset in CDI activities has ensured a strong sense of ownership by YKP and a highly relevant course. [...]

Effectiveness of the CDI activities
The IATT on YKP capacity development initiatives have resulted in a better understanding on the importance of YKP issues, their needs and factors that affect YKP, and the need for data for evidence informed advocacy. Those exposed to the short YKP courses, are mostly able to apply their learning in their work, especially related to involving YKP. In those countries and settings where Government and development partners staff are working with YKP, there is  recognition that  this increases the effectiveness of YKP and other HIV related programmes. [...] 

Efficiency of the CDI activities
The activities of the IATT on YKP have been implemented and delivered as planned and IATT has given appropriate support to CDI in the region. Most funding by IATT is ad hoc based and the IATT does not have an annual budget, nor is there an annual financial report. Most IATT respondents regarded the resources at regional level sufficient to do the activities as planned. [...]  

Sustainability  of the CDI activities
Sustainability concerns have not been addressed in programme design and implementation with regard to the short YKP courses. The approach of the IATT on YKP has been that with the Training of Trainers (ToT) offered, there would be more capacity at the regional level to train more people. Several respondents mentioned that the ToT was not meant to build capacity at country level for further onward training. [...]


The recommendations are ranked according to priority. All the recommendations have been formulated for the IATT on YKP itself. Only the high priority recommendations are shared here, the other recommendations can be found in the report.

  • It is recommended that the IATT on YKP agrees on priority countries on which to focus with a combination of CDI activities to optimize capacity building interventions, and move a more effective response forward at country level.
  • The IATT on YKP should undertake a mapping exercise in a number of priority countries to explore what is in place, what are strong partners, how are the UN joined teams working, how are YKP priorities addressed in the joined UN teams, how are they engaging with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), how strong is the presence of YVC and YL, what mechanism are there to work towards government buy in, etc. 
  • The IATT on YKP should strategize on how best to ensure that capacity development initiatives respond to the needs of FSW, PWID, trans genders and PLHIV. 
  • In relation to engaging YKP under 18, the IATT on YKP should develop a joint position in relation to child protection and access to services.
  • The IATT on YKP should continue with its advocacy on removing barriers to service uptake for young YKP, and to build capacity through training and the development of tools around such advocacy at regional and national level.
  • While it is recognized that it is not possible for a loose structure as the IATT on YKP to have a very rigid monitoring mechanism in place, better insight in what the CDI activities are resulting in, is required. This could be done through assigning those leading capacity development initiatives to collect relevant monitoring data and to report on this in the task team.

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