We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2016 Rep. of Kyrgyzstan: Communication for Development: An Evaluation of UNICEF’s Capacity and Action - Case study report for Kyrgyzstan



Author: Birgitte Jallov, Mary Myers, Rob Lloyd

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 summary labelled as ‘Part 3’.

Background:

The report is a part of a global evaluation titled "Communication for Development: An Evaluation of UNICEF’s Capacity and Action" commissioned by the UNICEF HQ.

Communications for Development (C4D) is the application of the principles of effective communication to further development objectives. UNICEF is one of the lead international agencies in promoting and using C4D as a cross-cutting programme strategy to drive positive behavioural and social change. It applies C4D across a variety of sector-specific issues such as open defecation, exclusive breastfeeding for the prevention of HIV and AIDS, and communicating with disaster-affected communities in humanitarian emergencies. Most recently, C4D was integral to the response to the ebola epidemic.

In recognition of the importance of C4D, UNICEF has made substantial investment in developing both its internal capacity and the capacity of national partners in designing and implementing C4D strategies. It has also taken significant steps towards better integrating C4D as a cross-cutting programme strategy into systems, policies, plans and practices at all levels of the organisation.

Given UNICEF’s investment in C4D to date, the recent decision to fund further capacity development through the ‘C4D Strengthening Initiative’, and the ongoing evolution of C4D internally, a global evaluation was commissioned to look back over the past five years of capacity building efforts, and identify what has worked, areas for improvement and lessons learnt. The findings of the evaluation will guide future work in implementing C4D in UNICEF and strengthen its contribution to country programme results. This is the country case study report for Kyrgyzstan.

Purpose/Objective:

The country case studies had four main objectives (these link to the four objectives of the overall global evaluation):

  1. Assessing the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the CO’s efforts to (a) develop the individual knowledge and competences of staff in C4D and (b) enhancing the CO’s overall capacity.
  2. Assessing the extent to which, and how appropriately, C4D has been integrated into the CO structures and programmes;
  3. Assessing how relevant C4D related planning and implementation has been (including through use of the global C4D benchmarks) to the contextual needs of the country programme; and identify factors driving or constraining the relevance of C4D-related planning and programming.
  4. Reviewing C4D related performance monitoring and, knowledge management and assessing the evaluability of results (outcomes and impact) achieved through programmes using C4D interventions.

Recommendations:

Based on the findings of the evaluation a number of recommendations have been proposed for UNICEF Kyrgyzstan to take forward.

1. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should consider providing relevant capacity building to the new C4D focal points who are currently in the process of forming a network of C4D champions within each Section. Workshops in the country or region, with a sectoral focus (i.e. health, WASH etc.), providing participants with a wide array of ways to apply C4D approaches effectively in a specific field, would be ideal. In this way each focal point would form a strong C4D network around him/her, and should take some of the work-load of the C4D Specialist.

2. The Communications team in the KCO should instigate regular learning events for Section staff across the KCO. For instance, these could be quarterly seminars run by the C4D Specialist but broader learning/seminar opportunities for Section staff could also be considered. This would ensure follow-up of capacity already built and would continue to share new approaches, new methodologies, new lessons-learnt and best practice examples.

3. UNICEF’s CEE/CIS Regional Office should consider appointing a full-time C4D adviser, who could be pro-actively in touch with the C4D Specialist in Kyrgyzstan (and other country offices in the region) as well as sector specialists, to provide in-depth C4D knowledge and experience.

4. UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office should consider facilitating regional capacity building activities for C4D staff and focal points. Organising such activities regionally would pool experience from across the CIS region, would allow UNICEF C4D professionals to network together and share experiences particular to the former Soviet states, and would make training cost-effective (many small country programmes coming together on a regional level makes more sense than Kyrgyzstan organising training on its own).

5. UNICEF C4D Unit at HQ should keep the C4D team in Kyrgyzstan updated on C4D consultants and LTA-holders (quality of and past experience with) from a central database of C4D expertise external to UNICEF. If this were done centrally, it would be useful for all C4D teams, not just the KCO.

6. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should address the need to define, design and implement some effective standard operating procedures (SOPs) to consolidate the process of integration of C4D which has already begun. This should include SOPs for routinely integrating the C4D Specialist into programme planning and resource mobilisation; identification of focal points in sectors and ensuring that their responsibilities are well described in job descriptions and performance reviews.

7. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should ensure that all Programmatic Sectors are provided with documentation to provide support on how to best integrate C4D in planning, monitoring and evidence gathering.

8. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should redouble its efforts to improve monitoring and documentation of C4D results in the KCO. For this to happen C4D needs to be described much better and highlighted more clearly in all RWPs (or as many as is appropriate) and in all future planning and monitoring frameworks, especially the CPAP and the Results Framework (even using something as simple as a highlighter pen would be a start). The logic gaps between C4D activities and higher level results/outcomes need to be addressed with a clear articulation of the links between activities and outcomes. Clearer indicators need to be written for internal monitoring and evaluation of C4D interventions within Sector programmes. Finally, results should be more clearly attributed to C4D efforts (where appropriate) and good impact stories should be written up and publicised, partly to aid fund-raising, partly to add to the UNICEF global C4D evidence-base.

9. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should consider organising some sort of retreat or reflection on the possible future implications of the country’s increasing economic status (lower-middle-income status) and what this may mean in future for the role of C4D and of external communications in a context in which systems strengthening and lobbying of government are likely to be increasingly important. The demarcation of roles between C4D and external communications may need to be re-defined, particularly as regards who has responsibility for advocacy in future.

10. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should consider conducting a C4D capacity assessment of key government partners to better understand current knowledge, skills and practice and identify the major blockages for better integration of C4D into government planning and implementation.

11. UNICEF Kyrgyzstan should consider reaching out to state academies that offer mid-career training for state employees as a way of developing a longer term and more systematic approach to C4D capacity building for government partners. This approach might be more familiar to the state employees and especially to their superiors. At the same time it would also allow a far greater number of participants to be reached.

12. The KCO Communications team should consider commissioning a systematic portfolio review of past C4D initiatives / programmes and systematically identifying and documenting examples of C4D good practice to inspire and support the C4D work being done within the Sections. A more concerted effort to commission external independent evaluations of C4D impacts in ongoing programmes should be made and research/data collection efforts on behaviour/social change achieved by means of C4D initiatives should be more routine.



Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.


 

 

Report information

Year:
2016

Country:
Republic of Kyrgyzstan

Region:
CEE/CIS

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Advocacy and Communication

Language:
English

Sequence #:
2016/999

New enhanced search