Cape Verde: Summative Evaluation of the Children Anaemia Program
Sustainable Development Goals: 2, 5
- SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
- SDG 5 - Gender Equality
In 2019 the UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF Joint Office in Cabo Verde commissioned the final evaluation of the project “Lutter contre l'anémie chez les enfants et les femmes enceintes au Cabo Verde - Aider les enfants à survivre et à prospérer” from now on referred to as “the anaemia project”. This evaluation was requested by UNICEF and funded jointly by the Cabo Verde Joint Office and the UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa (WCARO).
The anaemia project was implemented nationwide and aimed to reduce the anaemia prevalence amongst children 6-59 months of age and a variety of other population groups. These included pregnant and postpartum women (thanks to the involvement of the Ministry of Health and Social Security or MSSS), children 6-12 years of age in the compulsory basic education (EBO) and community preschools (thanks to the involvement of the Ministry of Education or ME) and, lastly, children 3-5 years of age supported by the Municipalities and CSOs. The project was designed in collaboration between the government of Cabo Verde and UNICEF and rested on the assumption that, in order to effectively reduce the anaemia rates, it should be the government’s Nutrition Department to manage the project implementation as well as to enhance general knowledge on nutrition.
Key project Details
The project was implemented for a period of three years (from January 2017 to December 2019), across the whole country, which consists of the nine inhabited Cabo Verde islands. The project was implemented in phases, from phase 1 to phase 3 (phase 1 began on 5 islands; phase 2 was implemented in 2 islands and phase 3 was implemented in the final 2 islands). The beneficiaries included children from 6 to 54 months, children from 6 to 12 years old and women as pregnant and postpartum. It aimed to reach 46,944 children aged 6-59 months, 83,000 children aged 6 -12 years old and 11,000 pregnant and postpartum women. The project provided Vitaferro, (powdered micronutrients, which includes iron, and was called Vitaferro, after a national campaign to choose the best name) to children 6-59 months, iron to children from 6 to 12 years old, and iron, vitamin A and folate pregnant and postpartum women. The project was implemented by the MSSS, through the PNN with the support of ME, the NGO VERDEFAM, the INGO RedCross, government municipalities and CSOs via the community preschools.
This evaluation had a double purpose. First, to enhance the accountability of the project coordinators and implementers – MSSS, PNN, ME, CSOs, NGOs, Cabo Verde Government, UNICEF Cabo Verde and UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa – to the donor and the population groups whom the project was expected to serve. Second, to enhance the learning amongst key stakeholders on how to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions for any future initiatives aimed at anaemia elimination. The envisaged evaluation users included the following: the UNICEF Country Office in Cabo Verde, the UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa Regional, the donor, the Cabo Verde 6 government ministries, the NGOs and development partners involved in the fight against anaemia across the country.
The evaluation pursued a number of objectives: (i) to determine the extent to which the anaemia project achieved its expected results as outlined in the project document, including any unintended/unexpected results; (ii) to identify factors that affected the project implementation; (iii) to identify best practices and lessons learned to guide the development of future interventions; and (iv) to develop strategic and operational recommendations to improve the implementation of similar projects in the future.
This evaluation, whose fieldwork took place in three of the country’s islands (Santiago, São Vicente and Sal) in November-December 2019, covers the period from the start of the project’s implementation in January 2017 until the end of December 2019 and assessed the status and quality of all implemented activities across the country, both within the health and nutrition domains.