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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2016 Kosovo: Evaluation of the Child Rights Monitoring Systems in Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) 2009-2015

Author: Herma Majoor; Wael Zakkar; Vjollca Caka

Executive summary

With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS)". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation  reports. The quality rating scale for evaluation reports is as follows:  “Highly Satisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Fair” or “Unsatisfactory”. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report, and the executive feedback labelled as 'Part 3'.


     On 10 June 1999, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244 authorized the United Nations Secretary General to establish an interim civilian administration led by the UN in Kosovo. UNICEF in the process has ensured adequate attention was paid to child rights. On 27 October 2015, a Stabilisation and Association Agreement was signed between Kosovo and the European Union (EU). Since the agreement includes the application of European standards, it will help the implementation of reforms designed to achieve the adoption of such standards in Kosovo.
     According to the World Bank, the annual economic growth of Kosovo since 2006 was estimated at an average of 4.5% annually . The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita increased steadily; its pace has decreased though, from 9.6% in 2009 to 2.7% in 2014 (at a value of US$ 8,000) . In 2011, 29.7% of the population lived below the poverty line and 10.2% in extreme poverty . The situation among Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians was worse: 51.8% lived in poverty and 22.7% in extreme poverty, thus far above the Kosovo average. Children from these communities are worst affected, with 60.5% living in poverty and 30.5% in extreme poverty . Public spending has been heavily focused on capital projects, at the expense of the social sector, which is in dire need of funding. Table 2 reflects the results of a 2014 World Bank assessment of the expenditure for economic affairs, education, health and social welfare .
     The population is still relatively young: 7.9% of the population of Kosovo is under 5 years old while 31.8% are under 18 years old.  The Ministry of Economy and Finance reported that only 13.2% of the budget of Kosovo was dedicated to children in 2013 . The majority of young people perceive themselves largely unable to influence the decision-making processes that directly impact their lives  and field interviews confirmed that this situation persists. Some legislation on youth participation and empowerment


The purpose of the evaluation was:

  • to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability/connectedness, and impact of UNICEF’s support to Child Rights Monitoring in Kosovo;
  • to learn lessons about factors affecting UNICEF’s performance in the area of support to Child Rights Monitoring in Kosovo

The evaluation also serves a regional purpose. A medium-term Optimisation Plan for UNICEF’s core roles to achieve results for children in the CEE/CIS region was adopted by the Office of the Executive Director. The Regional Knowledge and Leadership Agenda (RKLA) prioritises among others the documentation and evaluation of equity gaps. The findings of this evaluation tap into this process, and serve as a systematic knowledge base for designing and implementing interventions, contributing to further improving the monitoring of child rights by UNICEF in the CEE/CIS region. Furthermore, this evaluation provides a model for a regional evaluation of UNICEF’s support to monitoring child rights in the CEE/CIS region, and provides recommendations relevant to the regional perspective.

The evaluation findings are evidence based to the largest extent possible; to enable programme partners to use the findings on the basis of lessons learned to influence decision-making and evidence-based policy formulation. The evidence and recommendations provided by the evaluation are developed for improving UNICEF’s organizational accountability, policy and management decisions, and technical guidance. The findings of the evaluation may also be used to inform and fine-tune the new UNICEF Programme document 2016-2020 and annual Work Plans, particularly where it comes to continuation of support to the Kosovo Institutions in further refining monitoring and reporting framework on children’s rights.


A mix of the following methods was used:

  • A documentation review of approximately 130 documents
  • Key informant interviews (UNICEF staff, partners, other stakeholders)
  • Interviews with people working directly with children like teachers, police officers, health workers and social welfare staff and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working with children including children with special needs and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children
  • Direct observation in Pristina and in five municipalities

A desk review of key documents was undertaken to:

  • get an overview of the UNICEF programme, including major achievements and constraints;
  • collate relevant policy documents, strategic plans, project documents, analytical tools and reports and previous and regional evaluations and studies of relevance to this evaluation;
  • assess the Kosovo context in relation to child rights monitoring and relate this to the design and implementation of the UNICEF programme.

See report for more details

Findings and Conclusions:

     UNICEF has contributed to improving the new and fragmented legislative environment of Kosovo by ensuring the incorporation of a child rights’ perspective. The combination of knowledge management, capacity building and advocacy has led to a larger accountability among some of the Kosovo Institutions. Still, only a small part of the public funds is spent to ensure children’s rights are observed and inequity remains an issue. Though the development of the SNAPC and its monitoring framework meant a big step forward, the link to action including budget allocation needs strengthening. UNICEF’s support to MICS was highly successful and MICS has been named a data revolution; it is less sure though, whether such an exercise can be done without UNICEF being present.
     The support of UNICEF was found relevant with regard to needs of children, the existence (or lack thereof) of Kosovo policies, strategies and frameworks, and UNICEF policies and strategies. Knowledge generation was started by UNICEF itself and slowly moved to supporting others to do it; UNICEF initialised capacity building at the very low level within existing systems and institutions, which helped them to slowly start transitioning to European standards. The consequences of decentralisation still hamper reaching full accountability for CRM among Kosovo Institutions, which is aggravated by inadequate coordination and communication.
     UNICEF is a relatively small player, but has managed to achieve some remarkable impacts, including better social assistance for vulnerable children, an improvement in the situation of repatriated children and an improvement in advocacy and (current and future) decision-making based on data made available by MICS. Working at the heart of the Kosovo Institutions at central level contributes positively to sustainability; at the local level though, this is hampered because of constraints to possible scale up. As for Inter-ministerial bodies, though their existence is essential.


Recommendation 1: Improve and enlarge municipal approach
Recommendation 2: Improve performance of Human Rights Units
Recommendation 3: Expand capacity strengthening for various stakeholders
Recommendation 4: Reactivate the role of inter-ministerial bodies in monitoring child rights
Recommendation 5: Support to coordination at various levels
Recommendation 6: Work with stakeholders in child rights monitoring systems on availability of funds
Recommendation 7: Ensure observation of child rights through support to capacity strengthening of inspectorates

Full report in PDF

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