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Strengthening Evaluation Capacity and Knowledge Management

Introduction

Capitalizing on India’s economic growth and large-scale social sector programmes in place, UNICEF India has focused on how its comparative contributions can lead to significant gains in inclusive development in the country.

We have identified strategic areas of influence in the overall framework of the national development agenda by advocating for and developing government capacities for evidence-based programming and policy-making. Evaluation capacity development becomes increasingly crucial in this context.

In partnership with the respected Indian School of Business (ISB), UNICEF India manages and executes the annual Executive Programme on Evaluation for Development, established in 2011.

We seek to provide capacity-building opportunities to relevant government counterparts and promote their participation in the programme. We also provide support and guidance to state-level efforts on evaluation capacity development, especially in Andhra Pradesh/Karnataka, Assam, Bihar and Gujarat, as they work to promote the quality and use of evaluations in their states.

Internally, the Policy Planning and Evaulation  Section works closely with programme colleagues to ensure the quality of all evaluations that UNICEF India conducts and facilitate the development of senior management’s response so that evaluations form the evidence base for future policy-making and strategic programming.

Knowledge Management in UNICEF India

Through its 2013-2017 Country Programme with the Government of India, UNICEF India envisions to be the “knowledge broker” for children, adolescents and women. 

Its key knowledge management objectives for 2014 and beyond focus on strengthening knowledge partnerships, promoting collaborative technologies, documenting innovations, and building capacities. The aim is to permeate knowledge across sectors for holistic and equitable development of children and women in India.
 
Knowledge partnerships and systems
 
There are numerous academic and research institutions across the country, and UNICEF India has tapped into these existing resources through its extensive field presence in 16 States. 
 
The initiative aims to build capacities for effective knowledge brokering at the state level. Relevant institutions have been identified as knowledge partners, and UNICEF India works to provide technical assistance to mainstream children and women’s issues into research and inform policy and programmes at the state level. 
 
In 2014, the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha took forward partnerships to strengthen the knowledge base on issues affecting women and children. The key outputs for the formulation of these partnerships are knowledge products and fora at the State level to present and discuss evidence. 

For example, in Andra Pradesh and Karnataka, UNICEF India’s partnership with the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) has led to the establishment of the Division for Child Studies (DCS). The five-year partnership between UNICEF and CESS will focus on strengthening the capacity of the State Government to implement the 2012 National Policy for Children. 

Through this partnership, DCS and UNICEF India have come together to promote research, document best practices, and create a platform called ChildInfo with cross-sectoral data on children. The goal of the partnership is to contribute for better policies for children. 
 
Knowledge exchange of innovations with external partners
 
Knowledge exchange of innovations is focused on building a collaborative and synergetic environment with partner institutions. Knowledge exchange involves a range of stakeholders together from the civil society to the government. 
 
By developing thematic networks, UNICEF India aims to provide space for dialogue, seminars and lectures with practice leaders on innovations and cross-sectoral issues. Going forward, PPE Section plans to take the discussion forward in the form of blogs and e-discussion on the collaborative SharePoint knowledge platform that UNICEF India has created called the Knowledge Community for Children in India (KCCI). 
 
As an example of UNICEF India’s knowledge exchange initiative, Dr. Isher Ahluwalia, an economist and Chairperson of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, was invited to UNICEF India to speak about Urban Governance. She provided an overview of the challenge of urbanization in India and specific issues in individual sectors such as drinking water and solid waste management. The stories of change she shared shed light into some of the most pressing challenges facing Indian cities. 
 
Identification and documentation of innovations and good practices
 
To foster a culture of promoting new ideas and solutions, UNICEF India is making efforts to identify and document innovations, in collaboration with government, development partners, academic and research institutions, and corporate sectors. This aims to transform the ideas into evidence and provide a structured approach to promote dialogue and sharing of innovative solutions, lessons and good practices. 
 
UNICEF India also provides technical assistance to government, such as through guidelines, for developing concepts, monitoring and evaluation, and documentation to inform replication and scaling up, as exemplified by our 2013 guidelines document on Piloting and Scaling Up of Innovations and Good Practices. 
 
In 2013, 23 interns from premiere graduate programmes across the world participated in UNICEF India’s KCCI Summer Internship programme to document case studies. Currently, PPE Section is working with State colleagues to identify more good practices that can be shared more broadly and in a systematic way to our internal as well as external audiences.

The KCCI case studies can be accessed from the links 

Leveraging Resources for Community Resilience Building
The study makes concrete suggestions on how different schemes can be utilised for disaster risk reduction. Link

Child-friendly Local Governance
The study is also useful for those who want to learn about local self-governance. Link

Decentralised District Planning: Role of Technical Support Group
The study is also useful for those who want to learn how different states are promoting decentralisation.

School Safety Programme
The study compares intervention and non-intervention areas in terms of awareness and practice the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for different disasters. Link

Adolescents and Youth: Mapping of Interventions and Stakeholders
The study also highlights the need to engage adolescent boys and young men as key stakeholders to achieving gender equality. Link