Evaluation of Save the Children Sweden during Sida’s contribution to Save the Children’s humanitarian work 2013-2015

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Save the Children Sweden (SCS) received funds from Sida in support of humanitarian work addressing the needs of children in humanitarian crises for the period 2013-2015. SCS received additional funds for 2016 and a new three-year framework agreement is under consideration for the period 2017-2019. Save the Children is one of the few of Sida’s humanitarian partner organisations that focuses on addressing the needs of children in humanitarian crises. The organisation’s competence and experience working with child protection makes it an important partner to Sida. The 2013-2015 agreement was the first multiannual program support to SCS from Sida’s unit for humanitarian assistance. SCS also has multiannual agreements for development cooperation under Sida´s framework allocation modality for Swedish CSOs.

The purpose of the evaluation is to assess if and how SCS performs its role in relation to the ongoing support 2013-2015 with Sida. If not, what are the factors that hinder it from performing its role. If yes, how does it perform its role. It aims to provide recommendations to SCS and Sida for learning and further developing the collaboration, in order to ensure that humanitarian interventions are optimised in terms of effectiveness.

The objective of this evaluation is to assess SCS’s capacity and role in achieving the expected results of Save the Children’s humanitarian programs 2013-2015 funded by Sida and to provide recommendations for a possible new long term collaboration.The evaluation shall be a complement to the organisational assessment carried out by SIPU International in 2013, by focusing on areas relating to organisational changes in SC that have now been completed.

Key findings & Conclusions

The new SCI system has been rolled out and is being implemented globally, in SCI and in SC member organisations. The system is in place, but some adaptations are still needed and staff is still to some extent learning how to use its full potential. The changes have affected SCS in terms of technology, staff, management structure, standards, and control.

The added value of Sida’s humanitarian funding to support SCS capacity building, operational and technical components is evident from interviews with staff in SCS and SCI. It is not, however, evident from SCS’s annual reports to Sida. The added value of these functions lie in SCS contribution to the thematic areas, by which they have an effect on SCI programming globally.

The new SCI system has changed the way SCS influences programming, from having direct control of operations in a few countries, to being able to let SCS’s vision and strategy affect programming and implementation throughout SCI.

SCS would benefit from developing and sharing with Sida a theory of change that illustrates how the different ways they work as a member to contribute to SC’s overarching goals. 

Example of Recommendations

Sida is recommended to enter into a new multiyear framework agreement with SCS, building on the experience gained to date. The new agreement should have a more coherent and more measurable results framework. Sida is also recommended to require that SCS develops a documented Theory of Change, based on a cohesive strategy, in order to access non-project support.

SCS is recommended to invest in improving its ability to describe its influence over SCI to Sida in both programme descriptions and reporting. The recommended Theory of Change based strategy would support such efforts. SCS should immediately prioritise establishing a functioning compliance and quality check to ensure that reporting is delivered on time, to basic standards. 

The final report can be  found here

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