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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2016 Botswana: Assessment of the Orphan Care Programme Botswana

Author: Birgitte Woel

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’.


Prior to 1999, the Government of Botswana recognised the need to coordinate and standardise the care and support of OVC. The number of orphans in Botswana increased noticeably since the onset of the HIV/AIDS pandemic posing a challenge for their care and support.

In 1999, the Short Term Plan of Action (STPA) for the Care of Orphans in Botswana was developed based on the findings of a needs assessment. The overall goal of the STPA is to ‘improve the socio-economic conditions of orphans by way of investing in human capital, within the broader context of sustainable human development’ (Ministry of Local Government 1999).

In 2008, the National Guidelines on the Care of Orphans and Vulnerable Children were adopted. In 2009, the National Assembly adopted the Children’s Act. Together with National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children 2010-2016 these documents provide a broad framework supporting and guiding stakeholders in the planning and delivery of comprehensive, high-quality services to all orphans and vulnerable children.

Since the orphan care programme had been running for 17 years, MLGRD and UNICEF came to a common understanding that a comprehensive assessment of the programme was needed as it could provide inputs to the ongoing formulation of the NDP 11 and Vision 2016 review, as well as identify areas of relevance for completion of the draft OVC Policy and OVC Plan of Action.


To assess whether the programme has been able to deliver on its objectives as well as its impact both on the beneficiaries and on the national policy context, and whether the outcomes / outputs / targets envisaged have been realized


The data collection comprised:

  1. Desk review
  2. Semi-open interviews with implementers: central and local government staff, NGOs and others
  3. Participatory impact assessment (PIA) involving 9 different groups of beneficiaries

Overall the assessment aimed at determining the positive and negative implementer and beneficiary experiences with the OCP support. The LG staff gave views on the operational frame for the OCP including existing policies/strategies, programme design and focus, capacities across all stakeholders, while the beneficiaries gave their view on the most positive and negative experiences with the programme and the effect this has had on their lives.

The use of three methods allowed for data triangulation.

The main limitation of this assessment was the missing valid statistics for the 17 years of implementation. Further, the few available statistics had not been verified.

Conclusions are thus made based on the limited, but quite well distributed, number of data providers involved in this assessment. This has resulted in use of data from a range of OVC actors in Botswana and less use of Government of Botswana data.

Findings and Conclusions:

At policy level the governmental staff found that the Short Term Plan of Action (STPA) for the Care of Orphans in Botswana National Guidelines on the Care of Orphans and Vulnerable Children, the Children’s Act together with National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children 2010-2016 are all relevant and well-intended, but lack detailed guideline on mode of operation at each level of stakeholder and a budget matching the guidelines. Further, it was found that national child related Acts, plans and guidelines are not harmonised making it difficult for involved staff to practise accordingly.

There are no consequences of not following the Act or not abiding by national guidelines. This concerns key actors such as social workers and Magistrates.

The legislation, which was meant to support OVC, is not aligned and do for example have different definitions of a child.  However, Children’s Act and Land Allocation Policy have proved useful for supporting the OVC.

The government desire to attend to this group of children does not tally with the available capacity with regard to institutional and organisational capacity, knowledge/skills and infrastructure together with resource allocations.

The level of efficiency is unknown as OVC disappear from the SW support at the age of 18.  It was stated by social workers (statistics not available), though, that many OVC have turned to destitute support at the age of 18. The ultimate effect of the support is unknown.

The overall lack of household visits, which should establish current needs together with the lack a plan for graduation from the OVC support, planning of financial capacitating of caregivers and OVC is assumed to make efficiency be unnecessary low.

The impact/effect of In-kind support and education on the well-being of the children was significantly positive, wherefore late support has an often devastating effect. The mentioned impacts indicate that a lasting positive impact is at hand.


Key recommendations for Policy and Legal Framework include:

  1. Revision and harmonisation of all child-related national documents;
  2. Abidance by laws, rules and regulations must apply for all and with immediate (2016) effect. Non-abidance should have consequences for all;
  3. Immediate and continued capacity building of people (politicians, police officers, magistrates and other key actors in handling and support of OVC), systems and institutions is urgently recommended;
  4. Extend the period of the current Action Plan on OVC till end 2018 and start implementing the activities as described in the National Action Plan 2010-2016.

Key recommendations for Programme Design and Administration include:

  1. Piloting and later full scale introduction of caregiver IGAs together with adequate training and loan or conditional grant facilities;
  2. Piloting of different types of shelter – and subsequent role out with at least one shelter in each district;
  3. Purposeful networking across all levels of work;
  4. Information about alternative education opportunities to be known among potential users;
  5. Revival of the local OVC support system described in National Action Plan;
  6. Development of RBM approach for development of Theory of Change-based programme document;
  7. Development of simple, but more detailed computerised, mobile-based M&E system combined with development of tools and necessary capacity development as defined by OECD/DAC reflecting the plans of the national strategy 2018-2023. 

Full report in PDF

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Report information





HIV-AIDS Orphans and Affected Children

Department of Social Protection, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development


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