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Base de datos de evaluación

Evaluation report

GHA 1998/006: RESPONSE: Evaluation Report



Author: Gordon, D. K.

Executive summary

Background

RESPONSE is an NGO that has been working as a network on Street Children since 1993. The relationship with UNICEF has had its ups and downs. In mid-1997, as a result of an audit carried out by UNICEF HQ, the Accra Country Office was asked to suspend funding to RESPONSE. This evaluation takes place eight months after UNICEF suspended its funding and is being carried out following a recommendation by the auditor.

Purpose / Objective

The evaluation objectives are to:
- Look into the strengths and weaknesses of the project
- Analyse the linkages with other partners
- Assess the viability of the project in line with the objectives stated at its creation

The two audits of RESPONSE in 1997 focused on aspects of functional accountability, notably accounting for resources and resource use. This evaluation has focused on strategic accountability--accounting for medium to long-term impacts on other organizations and the wider environment.

Methodology

A range of stakeholders including RESPONSE member organizations, non-member NGOs, donors and government officials were interviewed. A selection of documents were consulted.

It was difficult to assess performance in the absence of clearly agreed upon indicators. Neither RESPONSE nor UNICEF, either separately or jointly, have developed impact indicators.

Key Findings and Conclusions

Overall, the evaluation finds that RESPONSE's strengths outweigh its weaknesses. It is well recognized as the umbrella NGO for organizations relating to Street Children. Despite the hiatus in funding, it has continued to work towards meeting its objectives in relation to advocacy, information collection and dissemination as well as capacity building of its members and other stakeholders. This is, in part, due to the commitment and dynamism of key people.

The importance of an effective umbrella NGO to facilitate the work of NGOs working for Street Children is well appreciated, even by organizations not in active collaboration with RESPONSE at present. Government openness to collaboration is of particular note. RESPONSE has good relations with the media and has organized an annual Easter Soup Kitchen with the leading FM radio station for example. Its members consider workshops and training for stakeholders a strength.

RESPONSE has a weak administrative structure and management systems could be improved. Despite its proven track record in raising funds for member organizations and for specific activities such as workshops, once the UNICEF funds were withdrawn, it was not able to raise funding to cover the costs of maintaining and operating its minimal administrative structure.

A number of studies on Street Children have been published by RESPONSE by the Centre for Policy Studies. So far, these have not included examples of best practices and, in some cases, are fresh presentations of previously published research.

The current state of partnership between RESPONSE and UNICEF remains amicable despite the lack of predictability and hardships. This existing partnership could form the basis for a balanced and broader partnership that would avoid the pitfalls of descending into a sub-contracting arrangement (within which accountability would be viewed solely in terms of accountancy).

Recommendations

As a basis to the development of this partnership and subject to fulfilment of the requirements of the two audit reports, UNICEF should immediately release funds to RESPONSE for the activities outlined in the draft Annual Plan of Work 1998.

Needs assessment with regard to its member organizations and other organizations active in the context of working with Street Children

Support for the development of management systems, including the development of internal indicators for organizational performance assessment

Roles within the framework of the National Action Plan

Downward accountability of its membership; democratization of decision-making process and sharing of responsibilities among the membership

Resource mobilization, including contributions from members as well as donors and private sector, to prepare the organization for financial autonomy



Full report in PDF

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Report information

Date:
1998

Region:
WCARO

Country:
Ghana

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Child Protection - Street Children

Partners:

PIDB:

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
1998/006

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