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Evaluation report

2016 Nepal: Final Evaluation of the UNICEF Project for the Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Children Affected by Armed Conflict (CAAC) in Nepal



Author: Irma Specht

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 3’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 4’.

Background:

UNICEF has provided support to Children Affected by the Armed Conflict (CAAC) in Nepal through several projects, including the UNICEF Programme for the Reintegration of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG) in Nepal (March 2007 to February 2008), and the UN Interagency Rehabilitation Programme in Nepal for Verified Minors and Recruits (June 2010 to January 2013).

The project had two intended outcomes:
Outcome 1: Government and non-governmental agencies to provide holistic socio-reintegration support to CAAC.
Outcome 2: Government and non-government agencies respond to protection concerns of CAAC, through the child protection systems approach, providing dividends to the community as a whole.

This end-of-project evaluation took place at the closure of the 2.5 years project. This evaluation assessed the progress made on the intended outputs and targets and the contribution of this project to the outcomes, based upon the indicators outlined in the original and revised project results framework.

Purpose/Objective:

  1. Assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and likely sustainability of the project interventions;
  2. Assess the contribution towards broader peace building results;
  3. Develop practical recommendations to inform further strategies and programs.

Methodology:

Consultations with partners and relevant agencies; use of evaluation tools (including self-reporting templates); Most significant change analysis.

Findings and Conclusions:

A. Evaluation Criteria: The program was relevant, especially in its design; the effectiveness in actually achieving the intended outputs and targets show mixed results; with regard to sustainability, the project allowed the government and other stakeholders to demonstrate high levels of ownership of supported interventions and processes; children’s participation and representation was found, however, no specific space or measures for the Children Affected by Armed Conflict was detected; the evaluating team was unable to fully determine how gender responsive the program had been; with regard to conflict sensitivity, the evaluation did not find any evidence of the project’s work to reduce identified dividers and strengthen connectors; with regard to management and flexibility, the evaluation found the results framework to be weak; with regard to value for money, the attribution of results and change to the project was complex for the evaluation team because of the on-going process of the child protection systems approach.

B. Peace-Building Impact: guidelines for the implementation of the National Plan of Action on Children Affected by Armed Conflict successfully achieved; verified minors included in the guidelines; limited contribution to the actual reintegration of Children Affected by Armed Conflict.

C. Project Level Outcome: (1) Guidelines for the implementation of the National Plan of Action produced; Programs developed by relevant ministries and line agencies but interagency programming was not timely; (2) Case management guidelines developed but not sufficiently disseminated; contributions to strengthen Central and District Child Welfare Boards but less intervention at village/municipality levels; comprehensive identification of children affected by armed conflict in 20 districts but less alignment to other government actors; no comprehensive child protection database created.

Recommendations:

Recommendations: (1) Alternatively, government agencies should receive earmarked funding and report back to them, based on an agreed results framework, as is done by UNDP in Nepal. Also, Save the Children requests project based reporting back from CCWB, which they do. According to CCWB there is no problem to do the same for UNICEF, if requested; (2) In future, UNICEF should ensure the development of a solid M&E framework, with SMART indicators, realistic targets and solid baseline. Consolidated monitoring against the results framework should be ensured by UNICEF, and discussed with all stakeholders. Review processes need to be participatory and transparent and redirection of funds should be discussed and well documented. DNH indicators should be added, as well as specific gender indicators; (3) CP systems strengthening in Nepal, and in many other post-conflict settings, will benefit most from investments in more and better services for children. UNICEF is advised to assist in building-up, for example, PSS capacity, either within the DHOs or the WCOs. Developing PSS capacities within line ministries might lead to higher sustainability. Furthermore, services need to become available at the village level; (4) There is a need here to develop implementation plans for these guidelines, which will outline how to disseminate these guidelines, including training on their use to the relevant agencies and organizations that actually work with the children, at district and village/municipality level. This requires resources and commitment; (5)(a) Enlarge the stakeholders to work towards a truly multi-sectoral CP systems approach, which should include at district levels actual referral to line-ministries that have the core mandates to provide certain services. CCWB and DCWB should be strengthened only in their coordination role, referring children to the WCO, DEO, Small Cottage and Industry Board etc.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Evaluation of un-earmarked funding support;
  2. Better results framework and M&E;
  3. Need for more and better referral services;
  4. Dissemination of the guidelines to local levels;
  5. A broader multi-sector approach and referral system;


Full report in PDF

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Report information

Year:
2016

Country:
Nepal

Region:
ROSA

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Child Protection - Armed Conflict

Language:
English

Sequence #:
2016/006

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