Importance of high quality evaluation methodology for going beyond the averages and improving targeting
Sustainable Development Goals: 16
- SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
In 2015, UNICEF Tajikistan conducted an Evaluation of UNICEF Tajikistan's work in priority districts for the 2010-2015 Country Programme. The methodology designed for this evaluation aimed to utilize the best mix of data gathering tools to yield the most reliable and valid answers to the evaluation questions and generate maximum learning within the limits of resources and availability of data. This helped find ways to overcome evaluation limitations and highlight the strengths.
Contribution analysis was used in the evaluation methodology and it helped to determine the level of progress against intended results. This way the evaluation did not only assess the methods and criteria applied for geographical targeting, but also complemented the evidence with information on whether UNICEF was able to address the underlying causes of exclusion of the most deprived children and to advance the equity agenda.
The evaluation was conducted in three phases. Phase one involved the review of key documentation and development of data collection and evaluation tools. This involved a wide range of activities, such as stakeholder mapping, in-depth document review and structured desk analysis of geographic targeting strategies; analysis and testing of Theories of Change; analysis of district level results against the Results Matrix of the Country Programme and associated interventions. Besides, it looked into contribution analysis to determine progress against intended results. Other methods that were used include attribution analysis; system analysis of management strategies and risk mitigation; financial analysis; in-depth interviews, focus group discussions; round tables; and participant observation.
The second phase comprised of data review and collection, specifically, in-depth document review and collection of data from key stakeholders at central and district levels during an in-country visit. In the third phase or synthesis phase, the evaluator applied the standard evaluation criteria analysis (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability) in combination with Human Rights-Based Approach and Result-Based Management for assessing the achievement of results and drawing informed conclusions and providing recommendations.
The evaluation resulted in five strategic and three operational recommendations. The findings were instrumental and provided robust insight to the new 2016-2020 UNICEF programme cycle in terms of programmatic targeting, evidence-based policymaking, strengthening monitoring and accountability for child rights and strategic capacity building of key partners.