Blog for the Global Evaluation of UNICEF’s WASH Programming in Protracted Crises, 2014-19

What did we learn?
Some of the most important findings1 include the following points:
• UNICEF is successful in meeting targets for water supply but there has been less success in
sanitation and hygiene
• UNICEF’s ability to be truly accountable to affected populations is limited by the difficulty in
articulating expected outcomes or changes in lives
• UNICEF collects extensive output data, but outcome data are insufficient, which makes it
challenging to truly understand programme effectiveness and respond appropriately
• There is a significant emphasis on standards and norms for service provision and coverage,
but equal priority is not given to standards relating to equity and quality
• Partnerships are a core strength and appear to be generally well managed, especially
relationships with government and local authorities
• The Global WASH Cluster’s leadership is well recognized but, UNICEF was seen to have
ground in thought leadership
• UNICEF is still developing its strategy and capacity in urban WASH interventions
• UNICEF has set out a transformational agenda on linking humanitarian and development but
some pillars – risk-informed programming, integrated needs assessment and analysis, and
user engagement – are currently at preliminary stages
• WASH sections of country offices in protracted crises are typically stretched in ensuring the
ongoing provision of basic WASH services, and sometime experience challenges in
implementing changes at country level.

What do we recommend?
Given what we have learned, we recommend to:
• Develop an organizational definition of protracted crises
• Ensure an equal focus on water and sanitation/hygiene
• Articulate the changes that are expected as result of WASH programming
• Improve the collection and use of data for WASH programming
• Give quality and equity considerations equal weight with coverage
• Build partnerships which fully embrace localization
• Reclaim thought leadership
• Strengthen coordination
• Build on UNICEF’s core strengths in urban WASH
• Ensure that WiPC programmes align with UNICEF’s commitments to LHD
• Build country office capacity for new ways of working.

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Comment by Laura Gagliardone on September 1, 2020 at 14:33

Hi Rituu, thanks for the question. One thing, among others, that has worked very well and could be replicated in other evaluations has been the co-creation of the recommendations with the UNICEF WASH unit, our counterpart in the UNICEF Programming Division. Such co-creation has prepared fertile ground for a realistic and implementable management response. 

Comment by Rituu B Nanda on August 31, 2020 at 9:44

Hi Laura, thanks for this post. I would like to learn from your experience. What is one thing  ( amongst many) you did well in the evaluation process?

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