2018 WCARO: Evaluation of the UNICEF Response to the Lake Chad Basin Crisis in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

Publication Year:
April 27, 2020
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Also known as the Boko Haram Crisis, the Lake Chad Basin Crisis affects some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. The humanitarian emergency is one of the most critical in the world, as conflict has displaced around 2.5 million people, stoked high levels of hunger and malnutrition, and subjected millions to extreme hardship. The unprecedented scale of the megacrisis encompasses social, geopolitical, and psychological factors which are deeply complex and distinct in nature. This evaluation report details the impact of UNICEF’s comprehensive emergency response efforts in early 2015 across five key sectors: Health, Nutrition, Education, WASH and Child Protection.


The welfare of millions of children living in four West African countries (Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria) has been affected by an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks and unpredictable violence over the last few years. The daily reports of mass killings across the region, the tenfold increase in the adult’s use of children in suicide attacks (75% of whom are girls) and the over 20,000 unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in the three North East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in Nigeria, are just a few examples of the crimes perpetrated by the Boko Haram’s movement in its effort to carve out an Islamist caliphate in the region. While the abduction of 270 schoolgirls in Chibok (Nigeria) in 2014 has been heavily mediatized, the so-called Nigeria+ Crisis has been ignored for long. What media have not covered and the international community has not fully understood yet is the magnitude of the devastation experienced by all four affected countries. Schools and recreational spaces for children have been burnt and bombed, health and nutritional centres have been destroyed or severely impaired in their capacity to deliver any assistance to people in need; millions of children and women have been forced to flee their communities to find safer living conditions elsewhere. Sadly, all of this is occurring in some of the world’s poorest regions, often characterized by the lack of an adequate access to water, shelter or food.

Otherwise said, this is not a crisis like many others experienced in the past: it is a mega-crisis, an emerging concept used to characterize “a set of interacting crises that is severe in impact, complex in nature and global in fallout, with no distinct start and end points” (Yen & Taylor, 2017). In response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Lake Chad Basin, UNICEF launched in early 2015 a comprehensive emergency response in five key sectors. The evaluation was conducted between August and November 2016.



Purpose The evaluation findings are expected to inform future UNICEF programming in emergency in the four crisis-affected countries. In particular, this evaluation aims to assist UNICEF staff in: (i) adopting corrective implementation and coordination measures; (ii) building lesson learned into their planning and implementation processes; and (iii) scaling up the services to affected populations in the four countries affected by the Nigeria+ Crisis. The primary users of the assessment are UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO), the 4 UNICEF Country Offices (CO) and the Field Offices (FO) involved in the humanitarian response to the Nigeria+ crisis response, as well as UNICEF Headquarters (HQ) and the federal/national and state/regional government in the respective countries. A secondary tier of users includes non-UNICEF partners, such as implementing partners, other UN agencies, and donors.


  • To assess the effectiveness, relevance, coverage, efficiency, timeliness, coordination, and gender & equity dimensions of UNICEF’s humanitarian response to date;
  • To identify lessons learned from the UNICEF humanitarian response in the 4 crisis-affected countries between April 2015 and July 2016.


Access the evaluation report and annexes here:



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