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Base de données d'évaluation

Evaluation report

2009 Jordan: Evaluation Report of the Better Parenting Project

Executive summary

The Better Parenting Project was initiated by UNICEF with local partners in six countries within the Middle East Region in 1996, resulting from a workshop on this topic among these countries. The project as developed in Jordan sought to address the needs of parents of very young children for basic information and support in their tasks of childrearing, specifically in the areas of health, nutrition and social-emotional development. A national survey conducted by UNICEF on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Jordanian parents related to early childhood care indicated that "the majority of young parents lack the necessary information and skills for providing a stimulating environment at the home, especially in areas related to social and emotional development". 1
Particularly targeted were urban and rural families disadvantaged by conditions of poverty, no or minimal employment, and low literacy/ educational achievement. Just over 50% of Jordan's estimated 5 million population2 are children 18 years or under; an estimated 18-20% of the population hasn't yet started primary schooling (900,000 - 1,000,000 children). Just over 1/5th of the population is below the Jordanian poverty line. Jordanian family size is generally large (average 6 persons, with 40% having more than 8 members per household), and the largest households are more numerous among the poorest families. Thus we can extrapolate that more nearly a quarter of Jordanian children in the birth to age 6 age group fall within this project's target population (or approximately 225,000 - 250,000 children). 3
International research in developed and developing countries have provided incontrovertible evidence that early interventions in support of healthy physical, mental and social development have long-lasting positive effects on children’s all-round development, on their performance in school, on their relationship with others, and on their productivity well into adult life. Not only are these early interventions long-lasting, they are much less costly than repairing problems that develop as a result of delayed or damaged development. 4

Findings and Conclusion
It was important to gather from the implementing partners the reach of this project over the period since they began their training and delivery activities. The following tables were fine-tuned by UNICEF staff after the preliminary report, since there were some contradictions and gaps between figures provided in interviews and available statistical reports at UNICEF from partners, as well as unavailability of some up-to-date figures.
The total numbers of trainers, liaison officers and facilitators generally reflect the accumulation of persons trained and active since the beginning of the 1998 broadened Better Parenting project, although no doubt some were involved in the pilot phases, and others have dropped out over the project period. The consultant, with the help of the staff team, obtained figures on the numbers of BP courses conducted, and men and women for the full year 1999, and for the year 2000 to date. The first table on the following page provides the numbers of trainers, liaison officers and facilitators, indicating how many are employees of their organisations and how many are volunteers.
The second table indicates the numbers of sessions held and number of male and female participants attending these sessions, as reported by the partners.
The two-week evaluation exercise was too short to accomplish all that the consultant would have wished could have been included in such a review of this very intriguing multi-agency, multi-faceted project. The importance of the multi-sectoral, government/NGO collaboration, however tentative it feels to some at present, cannot be over-stressed, as its success will ultimately spell the success of an expanded national programme.
The feedback session was also too short to have reaped the full benefit of all the valuable reflections potentially available around the table of stakeholders. The consultant is grateful for the candor and insightfulness of those present, and is confident that those qualities, combined with the commitment of the partner organisations and other stakeholders present, will ensure the pursuit of the general directions discussed in this paper to advance the welfare of young children in Jordan.
The consultant thanks UNICEF and its staff team, and all the stakeholders involved in the Better Parenting programme and its future, for the opportunity to contribute in some small measure to the collective commitment we all share to the wellbeing of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

1 Overview of the Early Childhood Project Jordan, Background document provided for Consultant preparation, June 2000
2 Using estimate based on 1994 Jordan census figure of 4.1 million and World Bank’s 1996 estimate of 5.6 million
3 Data from The Situation of Jordanian Children and Women: A rights-based analysis, UNICEF, Amman, September 1997; and The Economist Intelligence Unit, Jordan Country Profile
4 Keating, D. and Hertzman, C. (1999) Developmental Health and the Wealth of Nations: New York: Guilford press, Chapter 2; Young, M.E. (1996) Early Child Development: Investing in the Future, the World Bank, pp. 3 – 13.

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