One of the key objectives set out in the UN Trust Fund’s Strategy 2015-2020 is to create an evidence and learning hub to collect and reflect the depth of knowledge and lessons learned through the work of its grantees. This will be achieved through:
- improving the UN Trust Fund’s evaluation practice and results monitoring to produce high quality, useful evidence;
- investing in longer term projects that can achieve results at scale and generate lessons on impact (for example the “invitation only” window of funding led to a second generation of UN Trust Fund grantees that have replicated, scaled-up and adapted project methodologies);
- and supporting grantees to improve their own capacity in data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and in generating evidence.
As a first step, the UN Trust Fund commissioned a meta-evaluation of 77 independent and external evaluations of grants made between 2008 and 2012 against UN Evaluation Group evaluation standards. Next, the independent consultant conducted a meta-analysis of the findings from a sample of 23 reports. This analysis provided valuable insights into what makes UN Trust Fund-supported projects effective.
Starting in 2018 a selection of project evaluations will now be uploaded onto our public website, to disseminate the findings amongst practitioners and partners. This evaluation library is the start of a larger UN Trust Fund endeavour to build an evidence and learning hub by 2020 to catalyse and harness the depth of knowledge and lessons learned through the work of its grantees to contribute to the evidence base on ending violence against women and girls.
Watch this space for more news on how the UN Trust Fund plans to harness the knowledge and lessons learned through the work of its grantees.
You can search the evaluation library by: region, country, grantee/organization type and thematic area.
FINDINGS OF THE META-ANALYSIS
The meta-analysis of findings from a sample of project evaluations of grants between 2008 and 2012 (conducted by an external, independent consultant) looked at the effectiveness and sustainability of projects funded by the UN Trust Fund at an aggregate level across a sample of 23 grants. The external consultant found that UN Trust Fund projects focusing on expanding access to multisectoral services were the most effective, with an overall effectiveness score of 95 per cent (the proportion of projects assessed by external evaluators as fully “effective” with evidence that the project delivered all intended outputs and completed all activities with only minor adjustments regarding progress made against all major outcomes).
Programmes aimed at the UN Trust Fund’s second priority area, preventing violence against women, were also highly effective, with an overall effectiveness score of 89 per cent. These initiatives were found to be most effective when paired with projects that expand access to multisectoral services or strengthen the implementation of policies and laws
Projects that strengthened implementation of laws, policies and national action plans – the UN Trust Fund’s other key area of focus – scored 83.3 per cent for both effectiveness and sustainability (the percentage of programmes that external evaluators assessed as potentially sustainable after the end of the project). The meta-analysis found that projects in this area, by their nature, take longer to implement but have the most potential to achieve a lasting impact.
The meta-analysis identified two key factors central to successful initiatives: collaboration and local grassroots involvement in developing projects. Common features of UN Trust Fund-supported projects include approaches that are highly collaborative, intersectional and localized. Projects often began with grantees gathering women in informal discussion groups, which frequently went on to form the basis of ongoing networks. These also played an important role in, for example, building women’s knowledge and capacity regarding approaching and encouraging government officials to implement laws and national action plans to address gender-based violence against women and girls.
The emphasis on funding projects rooted in local communities coupled with the capacity building provided to grantees by the UN Trust Fund, contributed substantially to the overall impact and sustainability of each project.
The meta-analysis of evaluations highlighted how the UN Trust Fund’s value was linked to the way it aligned projects with the needs of local communities and engaged and enhanced local structures already serving survivors.
Lessons are also being learned in areas that were assessed as less effective and sustainable; for example, longer grant periods – of over three years – are being considered in recognition of the time needed to implement projects in a manner that can ensure impact and sustainability.
Connect and Discuss
To encourage and foster collaboration, current grantees of the UN Trust Fund can access a private message board to exchange information and connect with other grantees. If you are a current grantee, you can access the private group by clicking here.