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Evaluation of the UNICEF Philippine


Country Office 'Early Childhood Care and
Development' and 'Basic Education'
components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF
Country Programme 2012-2016

Final Report

Fred Brooker, Sourovi De, Maham Farhat, Dr. Shrochis Karki, Tanya Lone, and Jim
Shoobridge

March 2017

Country of Project: Philippines

Commissioned by: UNICEF Philippines

Conducted by:

Oxford Policy Management Ltd


Level 3, Clarendon House,
52 Cornmarket Street,
Oxford OX1 3HJ

In association with
The Centre for Employment Initiatives Ltd
Bridge Street, Llangollen
Wales LL20 8PL
United Kingdom
Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Acknowledgements
This report has been prepared by the evaluation team consisting of Fred Brooker, Sourovi De,
Maham Farhat, Dr. Shrochis Karki, Jim Shoobridge, and Tanya Lone. A team of local researchers
including Sharon Mae S. De Los Santos, Marietta B. Simborio, Pamela Denise P. Engalan, June
Pearl Sarmiento, Judy Rola, Nova Xeres Guimalan, and Evelyn Tablan carried out the fieldwork with
the evaluation team, while Redentor Rola was the Fieldwork Manager for the evaluation. This report
details the evaluation framework, evaluation and research methodology, key findings, and
recommendations for the Evaluation the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme in the Philippines,
2012-2016, focusing on their Early Childhood Care and Development component of their Education
programme.
We would like to thank to all the members of UNICEF Philippines for their help, support, and
hospitality throughout the inception period of this evaluation. We are grateful to all the other
respondents, including government personnel at the central, district, and local levels, for taking the
time to speak with us during our field visits.

This assessment was carried out by Oxford Policy Management in association with Centre for Employment
Initiatives (CEI) International. The project manager is Dr. Shrochis Karki. For further information contact him
at shrochis.karki@opml.co.uk. The contact point for the client is Vilma Aquino (vaquino@unicef.org).

Oxford Policy Management Limited Level 3, Clarendon House Tel +44 (0) 1865 207 300
52 Cornmarket St Fax +44 (0) 1865 207 301
Oxford OX1 3HJ Email admin@opml.co.uk
Registered in England: 3122495 United Kingdom Website www.opml.co.uk

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Executive summary

Overview of the evaluation object


Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and Centre for Employment Initiatives (CEI) International were
contracted by UNICEF Philippines to conduct a formative evaluation to assess the relevance,
effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the Education component of 7th GPH-
UNICEF Country Programme (CP), 2012-2016.

The main focus of the ECCD component of the evaluation has been on Output 1 - ECCD of the
Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) funded programme 'Early Childhood
Care and Development (ECCD): Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning'. The DFAT funding
accounts for a significant proportion (57%) of the programmatic funding of UNICEF’s ECCD
outputs. The evaluation of the basic education component has a strong formative evaluation focus,
looking at the strategies and design of the next UNICEF Philippines programmes.

The evaluation took place in the final year of the 7th CP and at the end of the period of DFAT
funding for the ECCD programme. The CP has now been extended to 2018, and the additional two
years are considered as “bridging years” to the 8th CP.

Evaluation objectives and intended audience


The key objectives of this evaluation are to determine the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency,
impact, and sustainability of the ECCD and Basic Education components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF
CP and identify lessons to inform the UNICEF Philippines bridging programme and 8th CP, with a
specific focus on the DFAT-UNICEF: Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning Programme.

The evaluation outputs are expected be used as lessons learned for the sector, with the evidence
being used for advocacy with government and development partners. The evaluation will also help
inform the focus of the remaining two years of the CP, and will facilitate the conceptualisation of
the next CP, starting in 2019. As such, the primary audience for the evaluation will include the
UNICEF country office in the Philippines, DFAT, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of
Education ARMM (DepEd ARMM), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),
ECCD Council, and Local Governance Units (LGUs).

The evaluation is also expected to be of use to other UNICEF country offices in similar contexts
and the UNICEF regional office and headquarters, development agencies working in the UNICEF
Philippines Education sector, civil society organisations, National Economic Development Authority
(NEDA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and other academics and
practitioners interested in basic education and ECCD in the Philippines.

Evaluation methodology 

This evaluation has relied on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to assess UNICEF
Philippines’ BE and ECCD programmes. Qualitative methods have been used to collect primary
data, and quantitative analysis of secondary data has further informed the evaluation.

UNICEF activities have centred around 36 vulnerable LGUs in the Philippines. For the qualitative
study, we purposively selected seven LGUs in close consultation with UNICEF. The evaluation
relied on extensive engagement with key stakeholders at the local, regional, and national levels to
both get in-depth information and to triangulate our findings. We interacted with learners, teachers,

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parents, school principals, school officials, education officials, government officials, policy makers,
researchers, academics, and development workers to inform our analysis.

Quantitative analysis relied largely on MIS data for the 36 focus LGUs of this programme. Changes
over time were analysed for indicators presented in UNICEF’s ECCD Evaluation matrix, with some
additional analysis to inform disability and gender findings.

Despite the best efforts of the evaluation team, a few limitations remain, and we have reflected on
these in the report.

Key findings - ECCD

Relevance

UNICEF’s ECCD component under the 7th CP is relevant to the government’s development
priorities and to the needs of its beneficiaries. There has been increased appreciation and resource
allocation to ECCD at the national, regional, and local levels. The selection of the 36 vulnerable
LGUs, and focus schools and barangays within those LGUs, raised particular questions and
concerns from respondents at all levels.

UNICEF’s ECCD programming in ARMM has responded to a clear need for the education system
to incorporate demand for Islamic education. UNICEF’s work in contextualising the KG curriculum
for children in indigenous communities (i.e. Tedurays) and Muslim children in conflict-affected
areas through the Tahderiyyah in particular resonate with demands of community members for
cultural recognition and sensitivity.

Some of the programmes supported by UNICEF are designed to improve access to ECCD
services for children living in remote and economically disadvantaged communities. Respondents
at the local level verified the need for such programmes.

The objectives of the ECCD programme are still valid, as several LGUs across Philippines
continue to face severe problems around access to ECCD services, as well as challenges in
delivering quality ECCD. Further support is also required in strengthening national policies,
coordination, management, and supervision of ECCD services.

Effectiveness

The programme has been largely effective in yielding considerable results under Intermediate
Outcome 1 (“downstream”), especially in terms of building capacity in ECCD and in mainstreaming
ECCD into policies, plans, and services. Within the first half of programme implementation,
progress has been relatively slow for Output 2 (Stimulating demand for ECCD services) and
Output 3 (Strengthening national policies, management, and supervision of ECCD programs), but
gains have been made in 2015-16.

UNICEF support in the development of guidelines, curriculum, and materials has been important in
improving harmonisation, setting standards, and assessing child learning. The quality of these
materials is considered to be high, with a combination of local knowledge and international best
practices.

UNICEF’s support towards greater use of ECCD Checklist has been particularly effective. Whilst
great efforts have been made to develop and train staff on these tools, their implementation faces
several challenges.

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Respondents at the municipal level (social welfare officers, planning officers, mayors) had little
knowledge of accreditation requirements or procedures for day care centres and SNPs. A common
finding across LGUs was the difficulty faced by Tahderiyyahs in receiving accreditation or ‘permit to
operate’ from local governments. Furthermore, some Tahderiyyah graduates face challenges with
transitioning to Grade I.

Although UNICEF has worked closely with key actors to try and strengthen evidence based
advocacy and provision and distribution of resources, the outcome of these upstreaming efforts
has not been as successful as the downstreaming activities.

Quantitative analysis of MIS data indicates that there have been substantial, albeit uneven, gains
in participation during the 7th CP. The participation of young children aged 3-5 in ECCD increased
between 2012 and 2014 in almost all LGUs, but these gains were not uniform. There were also
significant increases in the participation of 6 year olds attending grade 1 having completed
kindergarten, though distribution was uneven across LGUs.

The effectiveness (and efficiency) of UNICEF’s programmes are threatened by a number of risks.
These include a lack of coordination and of clarity in the roles and responsibilities in ECCD among
the major partners, few LGUs not delivering on their resourcing and service delivery commitments
(3 of 36 focus LGUs with decreased budget and 5 LGUs with less than 5% annual average
increase in ECCD budget), and the low absorptive capacity of partners, especially during an
election year. These challenges are compounded by differences in institutional set-up between
ARMM and the central government, as well as ongoing conflict and political tensions in ARMM.

Across all KGs, day care centres, SNPs, and tahderiyyahs, recruitment and remuneration of
qualified teachers and workers pose significant challenges. This is partly due to low levels of
remuneration for child development workers and insufficient vacancies of KG teachers advertised
by DepEd.

Efficiency

At the end of the Project, the DFAT funds in the amount of US$ 7,578,822 (99.8%) were utilised
and this shows a high level of efficiency in disbursement of funds.

UNICEF’s programme objectives have remained similar across time but targets have had to be
adjusted and some indicators re-defined in the face of several implementation challenges.

DFAT investment through UNICEF has generally led to efficient and appropriate use of its and
other partners’ time and resources to achieve the Project’s objectives.

UNICEF’s strategic advantage is in supporting government departments through technical input


and advice, particularly in the design and implementation of various trainings targeting key
stakeholders at all levels of the ECCD system. UNICEF has partnered closely with other
organisations such as Plan International and COLF to maximise output and deliver high quality
support to to concerned national government agencies and focus municipalities and cities.

UNICEF has reportedly received operational requests from DepEd and other government
stakeholders to fulfil their specific needs. For instance, UNICEF has been involved with printing
materials and guides to facilitate programme delivery, and this role has been extremely
appreciated by numerous respondents. Although this might not be the strategic space that UNICEF
want to carve for their work, such activities can be useful to develop goodwill from DepEd and
other related actors.

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Impact

At the programme level, it is difficult to claim causal impact in the absence of a counterfactual.
Nonetheless, UNICEF’s support is seen to be of high quality by numerous partners, both in the
nature of its engagement with stakeholders and the quality of the outputs delivered under the
programme, such as learning and advocacy materials.

To the extent that UNICEF programmes have been implemented at the grassroots level, they have
had a direct impact on the intended beneficiaries at that level, even if certain challenges remain.

ECCD workers and Kindergarten teachers continue to benefit from the skills acquired and
materials provided during ECCD related training sessions. Those who attended the trainings found
them to be useful and integral to professional development.

In most cases, KG teachers, day care workers and Tahderiyyah teachers found the checklist to be
very useful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their pupils, and often stated that they
found it a helpful tool in assessing children’s performance.

However, in most LGUs, respondents noted some difficulty in understanding the checklist as it is
printed in English. The use of checklists also imposed a significant time burden on teachers. A
large number of respondents mentioned out of pocket costs either incurred by staff or by parents in
getting the ECCD checklists photocopied.

Most LGUs had very limited learning resources, and UNICEF’s support was critical in providing an
appropriate learning space for children.

The provision of day care services was appreciated tremendously by all parents, and they noted a
visible change in the behaviour and learning of their children. Parents and SNP workers across all
municipalities where SNPs existed appreciated the need for such a programme, and emphasised
its importance in improving access to remote communities.

Overall, there was limited knowledge of KCEP in most LGUs at the municipal and barangay level,
and the importance of the programme was seen to be declining because of the perceived
implications of recent policy changes, such as DepEd Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education.

‘Link’ activities allowed for easy enrolment from day care to elementary school, and parents are
now more aware of ECCD services. This initiative has also helped clarify the proper age groups for
Day care versus KG to both parents and teachers.

The operationalisation and impact of the Tahderiyyah programme must be viewed with the lens of
conflict sensitivity, and an understanding of long-running differences in the development of the
ARMM versus other parts of the Philippines. As with day care centres, tahderiyyahs benefited
greatly from support provided by community members including parents and private benefactors.
The learning materials provided by UNICEF were being used effectively in classrooms.

Across day care centres, SNPs, and tahderiyyahs, the availability and quality of WASH facilities
varied greatly. A lack of maintenance or simply a lack of access to clean water were important
constraints in the use of WASH facilities. Nevertheless, WASH activities in schools have resulted in
some change of behaviour for children at school and at home.

There was variable evidence of the impact of efforts to promote and improve access to ECCD.
Attendance rates in grade 1 increased from 2012 to 2016, however there was also an increase in
dropout rates of grade 1 and 2. Dropout rates became much higher in grade 1 and in grade 2 by

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2014. There was a rise in the proportion of parents whose children are not in ECCD and who
believe their child is too young to attend school. Clear challenges therefore remain in reaching
these parents and altering their attitudes towards education.

Gender differences were also noted in some LGUs, where either boys or girls were proportionally
excluded from receiving education. In some cases, this was likely due to local social practices, but
this was not always clear, and further research will be required.

Sustainability

The success of some of the grassroots activities suggests that the processes UNICEF supported
at the school and community levels will be continued to some degree, even without additional
UNICEF support.

The development of ECCD related guidelines and learning materials was often cited as an
example of sustainability in the programme. UNICEF has contributed significantly to this
development while also ensuring that government staff capacity was increased through these
activities.

At the LGU level, ECCD programmes appear to be sustainable in those places where the local
authorities have shown ownership and commitment. This poses further challenges for the
Tahderiyyah programme, which is implemented by a non-state actor and does not have the
support of LGUs.

It is not clear from the quantitative data whether improvements in participation (attendance) are
likely to be sustained.

There are two key threats to sustainability: i) the need for continued donor and local/national
government investment and technical assistance to support ECCD efforts, and ii) unclear
governance and coordination mechanisms necessary to develop common goals, frameworks,
standards, data systems, and communication channels to monitor progress and achieve targeted
outcomes.

Key findings – Basic education

Relevance

UNICEF’s BE component under the 7th CP is relevant to the national government and international
partner’s development priorities and to the needs of its beneficiaries, which resulted in BE
components being deeply embedded in government’s K-12 reform effort including focus on
Indigenous Peoples (IP) children, OOSC, and those affected by conflict or disasters.

Despite an increase in budgetary allocation from the government, there are significant fiscal gaps
in the education system. UNICEF’s BE programme’s aims to target hard to reach and
disadvantaged groups of children has been relevant, particularly from an equity perspective.
Additionally, UNICEF’s effectively adapted it’s BE programming in the face of natural disasters by
providing preparedness and response support in relevant communities.

Though the BE programming has been relevant, there is room for focused programming, which
need to be considered in light of both national and local priorities and needs. National and local
level respondents indicated a growing need for the implementation of the mother tongue based-
multi lingual education (MTB-MLE). Teachers have to use the major local language as a substitute

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for the various mother tongues in non-monolithic classrooms, causing difficulties. The translation of
books and other school resources also pose further challenges, as the translations are often literal
rather than functional. UNICEF could consider providing support in these areas through the next
programmes to remain most relevant.

Effectiveness

UNICEF BE support has been effective in achieving the specific objectives of programmatic
components at the local level. It was decided during the inception that this evaluation would mainly
focus on UNICEF’s work on enhanced School Improvement Plans (E-SIP) and Learning Action
Cells (LAC). The evaluation refers to key findings regarding other initiatives, such as the Last Mile
Learners (LML), and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) support, when possible,
however, it will not provide a holistic evaluation of these initiatives.

UNICEF’s support to the new E-SIP guidebooks was linked to equity objectives, including with the
incorporation of tools for child mapping. It also enabled the E-SIP to be easier to understand, and
more collaborative, participatory, and transparent, compared to the previously used SIP process.
UNICEF’s support was also seen to increase parental ownership for the development of an
inclusive and equitable E-SIP. However, this collaboration was challenging to achieve and posed
an additional burden on already demanding jobs of the school heads and teachers.

UNICEF’s support on the implementation of E-SIP guidelines is most clearly visible in ARMM,
where the 222 UNICEF supported schools have been able to submit their E-SIPs despite the
challenges of the conflict-affected environment.

Furthermore, LAC orientation and in-school sessions have been beneficial in improving
pedagogical practices by increasing the use of participatory, inclusive and flexible teaching styles,
thereby resulting in performance based, hands-on teaching, and in incorporation of play-based
learning in classrooms. Though there is a shift away from rote learning, there is still room for
improvement.

The effectiveness (and efficiency) of UNICEF’s programmes are threatened by a number of risks.
Mapping for E-SIP is a time intensive exercises for teachers and other district officials. For
teachers, the child mapping often resulted in staff demotivation due to a lack of financial incentives.
This problem was compounded by security concerns in conflict affected areas, such as ARMM. For
district officials, limited time meant they were not able to perform monitoring and quality assurance
tasks effectively.

Moreover, the effective implementation of E-SIP depends on availability of discretionary funds at


the school. Head teachers have limited funds that can be used for E-SIP implementation.
Systematic linkages with barangay budgets can be a means of securing funds from the local
government.

Similar to E-SIP, teachers find it challenging to allocate time for LAC in-school sessions and low
attendance, and transfer of school officials and has reduced the scope and effectiveness of the
LAC orientation.

For WASH activities, the biggest challenges have been the availability of reliable water sources,
ability to store such water on site, and abundance of required resources to maintain sanitation and
hygiene standards.

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Efficiency

DepEd is the main counterpart for UNICEF’s BE programme, and they operate together through
the annual work plans. UNICEF’s contributions are small compared to that of DepEd; UNICEF
covers the cost of activities (such as trainings) in a limited number of schools within the 36 focus
LGUs, and DepEd covers the cost of wider replication nationwide.

Financial data indicates that UNICEF has utilized US$ 6.2 million out of the total planned budget of
US$7.4 million through the lifetime of the CPC-7. Funds have been underutilised for each of the
four main objectives of the UNICEF BE programme, raising potential efficiency concerns in the BE
programme. The underutilisation of funds has been attributed to delays in implementation due to
prioritisation of disaster response, conflict and security concerns in ARMM, and other logistical
delays.

UNICEF’s programme objectives have remained similar across time but targets have had to be
adjusted and some indicators re-defined in the face of several implementation challenges.

UNICEF is perceived as having a good working relationship with partners, where, ‘there is an
exchange of ideas and mutually beneficial learning’ UNICEF programme support is seen as
efficient at addressing local needs and in filling the gaps on technical expertise and research at
national level policy.

Impact

To the extent that UNICEF programmes have been implemented at the grassroots level, they have
had a direct impact on the intended beneficiaries at that level, even if certain challenges remain.

E-SIPs are being utilised as primary planning tools, although the programmatic outcomes of the
school improvement plans are limited due to financial constraints. Through community outreach
during the child mapping, teachers are able to enrol out of school children.

The School Report Cards (SRC) have helped develop deeper partnerships and keep stakeholders
informed. The SRC is also a useful tool to inform the preparation of E-SIP in schools.

Through the LAC, teachers in most LGUs have been able to incorporate play based learning
practices, by developing their own games, along with other advanced pedagogical practices. This
was achieved through both the training and the guides and material provided to teachers after the
trainings.

During the lifetime of CPC-7, the country faced various natural and man-made shocks including but
not limited to Typhoon Haiyan, Typhoon Melor, Bohol earthquake and the Zamboanga siege. While
UNICEF’s DRRM efforts are not the focus of this evaluation, the evaluation team briefly explored
UNICEF’s response to Typhoon Melor. UNICEF’s efforts in strengthening emergency
preparedness and response played a pivotal role in reducing the disruption caused by typhoon
Melor in disaster effected areas.

UNICEF’s support on WASH activities has resulted in improved handwashing and oral hygiene
behaviour in children both at school and at home.

There are several challenges in attributing the efforts made by UNICEF to gains in basic education
indicators, which are compounded by inconsistent and missing indicators, and lack of sufficient
LGU level data. Trends show that there have been improvements in education indicators, such as
Net Enrolment Rate (NER), Elementary Survival Rate, and Elementary Transition Rate. However,

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for some indicators, there are disparities between progress made by ARMM and the rest of the
Philippines – with ARMM generally disadvantaged. It was beyond the scope of this evaluation to
assess the reasons behind this disparity but may be an important piece of research for UNICEF
and other stakeholders to follow-up.

Sustainability

Most of UNICEF’s BE support has been deeply embedded into new government systems and
operations, or has been used to inform government strategy such as advocacy through the LML
research. National stakeholders suggest that the sustainability of such programmes is high. On the
other hand, for programmes that are not embedded in government systems, sustainability may be
linked to effectiveness of the programme. Lack of ownership and continuity at the local level are
major challenges for the sustainability of UNICEF’s support to BE at the LGU level.

The example of WASH support demonstrates the complexity of assessing sustainability, because
UNICEF support has helped change attitudes and behaviours among learners (and even parents)
but the lack of continued resources threatens to reduce both the immediate and long term gains
from this programme.1

Main recommendations 

The report provides a number of recommendations for UNICEF as well as government
stakeholders. We present the key ones here, and discuss them, including specific programme level
recommendations, in greater detail later in the report. UNICEF should:

1) Design, develop, and implement its Planning and M&E frameworks at the start of the
country programme.

2) Make explicit the link between each programme/activity pursued within a CP and the
objectives of the CP.

3) Prioritise key areas where the organisation has comparative advantage, to maximise its
impact through the next CP.

4) Strengthen the link between its downstreaming and upstreaming activities by explicitly
establishing clear links between the two and securing commitment from government stakeholders
in advance.

Government stakeholders, including DepEd and DSWD, might be interested to:

1) Ensure that the basic conditions required for the success of UNICEF programmes are in
place.

2) Agree a clear downstream-upstream-downstream plan of action with partner organisations,


including UNICEF.

3) Provide incentives and resources to volunteers and workers in ECCD centres and teachers
and head teachers in schools to implement their programmes effectively.

1Note here that the evaluation was not focussed on studying other modalities of implementing the WASH in schools
component, so we cannot comment on the sustainability of the full extent of BE WASH programming.

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Table of contents

Acknowledgements ii
Executive summary iii
Overview of the evaluation object iii
Evaluation objectives and intended audience iii
Evaluation methodology 
 iii
Key findings - ECCD iv
Relevance iv
Effectiveness iv
Efficiency v
Impact vi
Sustainability vii
Key findings – Basic education vii
Relevance vii
Effectiveness viii
Efficiency ix
Impact ix
Sustainability x
Main recommendations 
 x
List of abbreviations xiv
1 Programme Information 1
2 Object of the Evaluation 3
2.1 The Expected Model 3
2.2 Contextual analysis and policy framework 5
Socio-economic context 5
Global context 6
ECCD national policy framework 6
BE national policy framework 8
Major changes during 7th CP 8
2.3 UNICEF ECCD programme components 9
2.3.1 UNICEF support in ARMM 12
2.4 UNICEF BE programme components 14
2.5 Key Stakeholders 17
2.6 Implementation status 17
3 Evaluation Purpose, Objectives and Scope 19
3.1 Purpose of the Evaluation 19
3.2 Objectives 19
3.3 Scope of the evaluation 19
4 Evaluation Methodology 21
4.1 Data collection methods and analysis 21
4.2 Evaluation questions 21
4.3 Qualitative research instruments 21
4.4 Analytical Methodology 21
Evaluation methods 22
Terminology and Indicators 22
Reporting of Results 22

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4.5 Data sources and sample 23


Qualitative Data Sources 23
4.6 Stakeholder consultations 24
4.7 Gender considerations 26
4.8 Limitations 27
Qualitative Research Limitations 27
Quantitative research limitations 28
4.9 Ethical considerations 28
5 ECCD findings 30
5.1 Relevance 30
5.2 Effectiveness 34
5.3 Efficiency 40
5.4 Impact 45
5.5 Sustainability 53
5.6 Gender in ECCD 58
6 Basic education findings 60
6.1 Basic education 60
6.1.1 Relevance 60
6.1.2 Effectiveness 66
6.1.3 Efficiency 71
6.1.4 Impact 74
6.1.5 Sustainability 78
6.2 Gender and equity in BE 80
7 Conclusion and lessons learned 82
7.1 Conclusion 82
7.2 Lessons learned 84
8 Recommendations 86
References 95
Annex A Terms of reference 99
Annex B Theory of change and results framework 100
Annex C Object of the Evaluation (Details) 101
Annex D BE programme (Details) 102
Annex E Evaluation Purpose, Objectives and Scope (Details) 103
Annex F Evaluation Methodology (Details) 104
Annex G Data collection Instruments 105
Annex H ECCD Qualitative Data Analysis 106
Annex I Basic education qualitative data analysis 107
Annex J ECCD Quantitative Data Analysis 108
Annex K Basic Education Quantitative Data Analysis 109
Annex L ECCD additional tables for quantitative analysis 110
Annex M Efficiency analysis (details) 111

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List of tables and figures


Figure 1. Theory of change for ECCD component of the UNICEF’s 7th Country Programme ......... 4
Figure 2 Timeline of events during 7th CP ...................................................................................... 9
Figure 3 DFAT funds percentage total financial allocation to each main area ............................... 41
Figure 4 Percentage contribution from counterpart to each component area ................................ 41
Figure 5 Percentage DFAT Funds utilized from original allocation in each component ................. 42
Figure 6: Percentage budget utilization by BE objective ................................................................ 72

Table 1 Changes in 7th CP results structure ................................................................................... 5


Table 2 Key features of ECCD programmes supported by UNICEF .............................................. 10
Table 3 Sample LGUs and barangays .......................................................................................... 23
Table 4 List of respondents at the National Level .......................................................................... 24
Table 5 List of respondents at the LGU level................................................................................. 25
Table 6 List of respondents at the Municipal Level ........................................................................ 25
Table 7 List of respondents at the Municipal Level ........................................................................ 25
Table 8 List of respondents at the regional level, ARMM............................................................... 26
Table 9 Engagement at the local level .......................................................................................... 26

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List of abbreviations
ACF Action Against Hunger

AIP Annual Improvement Plan

ALS Alternative Learning System

AIR Apparent Intake Rate

ARMM Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao

BDA Bangsamoro Development Agency

BE Basic Education

BESRA Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda

BLGU Barangay Local Government Unit

BOTL Basic Opportunity to Learn

CBMS Community Based Monitoring System

CCT Conditional Cash Transfer

CEI Centre for Employment Initiatives

CFLL Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning

COA Commission on Audit

COLF Community of Learners Foundation

CP Country Programme

DAC Development Assistance Committee (OECD)

DP Development partners

DPWH Department of Public Works and Highways

DepEd Department of Education

DFAT Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

DILG Department of Interior and Local Government

DSWD Department of Social Welfare and Development

EBEIS Enhanced Basic Education Information System

ECCD Early Childhood Care and Development

ECDI Early Childhood Development Index

ECI Early Childhood Intervention

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EFA Education for All

EiE Education in Emergencies

ELDS Early Learning and Development Standards

E-SIP enhanced School Improvement Plan

EYA Early Years Act

FGD Focus Group Discussions

FDS Family Development Sessions

GER Gross enrolment ratio

GPI Gender Parity Index

IP Indigenous Population

KCEP Kinder Catch-up Education Programme

KG Kindergarten

LAC Learning Action Cell

LGU Local Governance Unit

MDG Millennium Development Goal

MILF Moro Islamic Liberation Front

MIS Multiple Indicator Survey

MOOE Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses

MTB-MLE Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education

MSWDO Municipal Social Welfare Development Officer

NAPC National Anti-Poverty Commission

NAT National Achievement Test

NER Net Enrolment Ratio

NIR Net Intake Rate

NKCG National kindergarten Curriculum Guide

OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

OPM Oxford Policy Management

PES Parental Education Services

PTO Permit to Operate

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SBM School-based management

SDG Sustainable Development Goals

SIP School Improvement Plan

SNP Supervised Neighbourhood Play

SRC School Report Card

SY School Year

TLS Temporary Learning Spaces

TOR Terms of Reference

TOT Training of Trainers

TQC Teachers’ Quality Circle

TWG Technical Working Group

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund

UPE Universal Primary Education

WASH Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

WFP World Food Program

4Ps Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

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1 Programme Information
Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and Centre for Employment Initiatives (CEI) International
were contracted by UNICEF Philippines to conduct a formative evaluation to assess the
relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the Education component of 7th
GPH-UNICEF Country Programme (2012-2016) in the Philippines. The evaluation assessed the
extent to which 1) Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and 2) Basic Education (BE)
objectives have been achieved.
The main focus of the ECCD component of the evaluation has been on Output 1 - ECCD of the
Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) funded programme 'Early Childhood
Care and Development (ECCD): Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning'. The DFAT
funding accounts for a significant proportion (57%) of the programmatic funding of UNICEF’s
ECCD outputs. The evaluation of the ECCD programme therefore serves as the end of
programme evaluation for the DFAT-funded project on ECCD. The evaluation of the basic
education component has a strong formative evaluation focus, looking at the strategies and
design of the next UNICEF Philippines programmes.
The goal of the Education component of the 7th GPH-UNICEF CP has been to contribute to
addressing the inequities of child development in the Philippines through improving public
service delivery in selected locations experiencing multiple vulnerabilities and deprivations,
through a combination of support to national and local policy reform and standard development,
local government capacity building, and support to citizen participation in decision making,
including children and young people in planning and monitoring as a strategy for achieving
MDGs with equity.
More concretely, the 7th CP aimed:
 (ECCD Focus): To have increased the proportion of 3-5 year old children with quality
ECCD experience in 36 vulnerable LGUs by 15 percent from the 2012 level by the end
of CP, while focusing on disadvantaged children, with gender parity.

 (Basic Education Focus): To have increased the proportion of 6–11 year old children
participating in quality elementary education in 36 vulnerable Local Government Units by
5 percent by the end of the CP, while focusing on disadvantaged children, with gender
parity.

Given the CP’s focus on 36 vulnerable LGUs, this evaluation centres on the findings from the
same LGUs, as will be discussed in greater detail in later chapters.

Several country and programme level changes have occurred since the beginning of the 7th CP,
mainly due to UNICEF’s response to Typhoon Haiyan and reprioritisation of the programme
focus. At the policy level, for instance, the Universal Kindergarten Act institutionalising KG
education was adopted in 2012; the K-12 reforms adding an extra year to KG education took
place in 2013; the Early Years Act (EYA) recognising 0 to 8 as key years and establishing the
ECCD Council was adopted in 2014; and the Enhanced Basic Education Act strengthening the
restructuring proposed in BESRA and K-12 reform.

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In carrying out this evaluation, the evaluation team was mindful of the significant challenging
circumstances faced by UNICEF during the implementation of the programme. The growing
inequity in the population, increasing child poverty rates, lack of meaningful employment
opportunities, and systemic political challenges demonstrate a difficult working environment in
the Philippines. The continued conflict in Mindanao, one of the key regions that the programme
targets, is expected to have further hindered implementation. These socio-political challenges
are compounded by significant and devastating natural disasters in the last few years. The
Philippines remains prone to typhoons and floods, which could pose further challenges to
education programming in vulnerable areas in the country. The geographical spread of the
country, which is reflected by the expected reach of the programme across 36 LGUs, further
spreads resources for the implementation, and by extension also the evaluation, of the
programme.
These contextual factors do not only pose logistical challenges in implementation but can also
have significant impact on the development of very poor children, and so effective programming
has to incorporate protective mechanisms for young children and their families, to minimise the
long-term developmental impacts of the stress generated by poverty, conflict, emergencies, and
other crisis situations.
These difficulties have been reflected in the evolution of UNICEF Philippines’ implementation of
the 7th CP. The need to revisit country priorities in the face of numerous disasters was expected
to affect the implementation of the UNICEF ECCD programme receiving DFAT funding support.
UNICEF revised their output statements for both ECCD and Basic Education as a result of
these changes (see Section 2.6 for more details), so this evaluation measures progress against
these revised outputs. The devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013 also forced UNICEF to
carry out a light Mid-Term Review in 2015 instead of the planned 2014 review of the 7th CP.
This change underscores the need for a thorough evaluation of the 7th CP to facilitate a better
understanding of UNICEF’s work in recent years.
Understanding these challenging circumstances is crucial for evaluation because they have a
direct and tangible effect on the successful implementation of a programme. We believe it is a
crucial component of any rigorous evaluation to understand and analyse the wider context to
ensure that the findings are both relevant and useful to implementing organisations going
forward. The situational and political economy based analysis in this report provides important
contextual evidence that we hope will be useful in designing more robust and resilient
programmes in the future.
This full report integrates the evaluations of both the ECCD and Basic Education components of
the 7th Country Programme.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

2 Object of the Evaluation

2.1 The Expected Model


The ECCD component of the UNICEF’s 7th CP undertook to achieve the goal of ensuring 3-5
year old children’s school readiness and development through a series of diverse activities
under its ‘Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning’ (CFLL) project in 36 focus LGUs.

The total input in terms of the (actual) project fund utilisation for UNICEF's ECCD component is
approx. US$23.7 million. A significant part of this project is funded by the Australian
Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The timeline for DFAT-funded
activities spans from November 2012 to June 2016. The DFAT-funded activities under CFLL are
collectively called the Early Learning for Life (ELL) project. DFAT provided US$13.5 million and
UNICEF provided US$10.2 million (with contributions from other partners). A significant share of
DFAT's contributions go towards the CFLL, followed by tahderiyyah (phase 2). Costs of
tahderiyyah phase 3, contextualisation of kindergarten curriculum in Tedurays (IP communities)
and 'link' are largely covered through UNICEF counterpart funding. Further breakdown of
funding for different programmes is presented in Annex C.

Irrespective of the source of ECCD funding under the UNICEF CPC 7, there was a common
overall goal among stakeholders to enhance the proportion of 3-4 and 5 year-old children with
quality ECCD/kindergarten experience, as well as a common theory of change (see Annex B)
which identifies important supply and demand side bottlenecks being encountered by the ECCD
sector and the need for an ‘enabling environment’ in the form of policies, laws, competency
standards, curricula and training frameworks to address the key bottlenecks.

The following Theory of change was developed to guide the design and implementation of the
ECCD support for the 7th CP.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Figure 1. Theory of change for ECCD component of the UNICEF’s 7th Country
Programme

This theory of change demonstrates the expected links between inputs, intermediate outcomes,
and project outcomes until 2015. However, the changing context in the Philippines, described in
greater detail in the next section, required some revisions to UNICEF’s activities and results
structure, which are noted below.

UNICEF’s Basic Education component is expected to build on the gains from the ECCD
component and existing foundation of the basic education system in the Philippines. Through all
programme activities, the UNICEF BE component aims to increase the proportion of 6–11 year
old children participating in quality elementary education, particularly in 36 vulnerable Local
Government Units, focusing on disadvantaged children, with gender parity (UNICEF, 2012d).
The Pathways of Change for the basic education component are detailed in Annex B and Table
1 indicates UNICEF’s main objective of the programme. It demonstrates the changing context in
the Philippines which made it necessary to revises UNICEF’s activities and results structure,
noted below.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Table 1 Changes in 7th CP results structure


UNICEF Philippines Results Structure
Start of Country
Changes Mid 2015 Changes Jan 2016
Programme - Jan 2012
By 2014, the proportion of 3- By the end of CP, the
By 2014, the proportion of 3-5
5 year old children with proportion of 3-5 year old
year old children with quality
quality ECCD/KG children with quality ECCD
ECCD experience, increased
ECCD experience, increased by 15 experience, is increased, in
by 15 per cent from 2011
per cent from 2011 level, in 36 vulnerable LGUs,
level, in 20 vulnerable LGUs ,
20 vulnerable LGUs , with focusing on disadvantaged
with gender parity.
gender parity. children, with gender parity
By the end of Country
By 2014, the proportion of
By the end of CP, the Programme, the proportion
6–11 year old children
proportion of 6-8 year old of 6–11 year old children
participating in and
children participating in quality participating in quality
completing quality
Basic elementary education (up to elementary education is
elementary education is
Ed Grade 3) is increased by 5 per increased by 5% in 36
increased by 5 per cent and
cent in 36 vulnerable LGUs, vulnerable Local
7.5 per cent, respectively, in
focusing on disadvantaged Government Units,
20 vulnerable LGUs, with
children, with gender parity. focusing on disadvantaged
gender parity.
children, with gender parity.

Annex B provides further details about the Theory of Change for the CP, including the Pathway
of Change and the Completed Results Framework. The Annex also provide a more detailed
summary of UNICEF’s ECCD Activities, including Kindergarten Activities, to achieve these
outputs and outcomes.

2.2 Contextual analysis and policy framework


This section provides a snapshot of the key socio-economic, global, and policy contexts within
which the CP was implemented and is being evaluated. This section also notes major changes
during the CP. Annex C expands on this snapshot to explore these issues in greater detail.

Socio-economic context

The Philippines is a lower-middle-income country which has experienced rapid economic growth
over the last five years and at the same time, experiences acute inequities in income
distribution, access to health and education, particularly in areas experiencing armed conflict
and natural disasters.2 The 2015 Global Peace Index Report ranked the Philippines at 141 of
162 countries and 18th of the 19 countries in Southeast Asia on the degree of peacefulness,
largely due to conflicts in ARMM and insurgencies in areas like Sarangani. Furthermore,
Philippines is the fourth most disaster prone country in the world and among the top ten
countries with the most number of people affected by disasters, at 130 million people (CRED
and UNISDR, 2015).

2The Philippines has been a lower-middle-income country since 1987 (World Bank Analytical Classifications,
http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/site-content/OGHIST.xls).

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Philippines has made some progress in improving the overall education situation in the country,
although more could be done to consolidate these gains. Data from 2013 indicates that a third
of children under 5 remain stunted and mortality rate for under 5 children was 30 per 1000 live
births, which is much higher than the regional average in 2013.3 In 2009, about 13.4 million
(35.5%) of all children aged below 18 years were considered to be income poor, with the
incidence of poverty higher among children in rural areas and in regions like Bicol, Caraga, and
ARMM (UNICEF and PSA 2015). According to the 2015 Education For All Report, gross and net
enrolment for kindergarten has been increasing since school year (SY) 2006-2007, especially
after the universalisation of the preschool programme in SY 2011-2012. Moreover, gross and
net enrolment for elementary school has been increasing since school year (SY) 2006-2007, by
one percentage point on average. The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) and Net Enrolment Rate
(NER) for kindergarten was 103% and 77% respectively in SY 2012-13. There was also an
increase in the proportion of Grade 1 pupils/entrants who enrolled with some form of ECCE
experience, from 56% in SY 2000-2001, to 83% in SY 2013-2014 (UNESCO 2015). Although
disaggregated data for ECCD is not readily available, education indicators such as over-age
primary school attendance and numbers of children out-of-school show worse outcomes for
males and those in the poorest quintile (UNESCO WIDE, 2017).4

Global context

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations in 2015, included
for the first time in the history of international development an ECCD target, which highlights the
role ECCD plays in poverty alleviation, equity, and development. Evidence further supports that
ECCD is inextricably linked to the achievement of other goals, including preparation for life-long
learning (SDG 4), reducing inequity (SDG 10) and promoting peace (SDG 16) (Richter et al.,
2016).

ECCD interventions cut across all UNICEF programme areas. For instance, ensuring that young
children are developmentally ready for school is an integral part of UNICEF’s education priority
(UNICEF 2017). UNICEF focuses on four areas of intervention for early childhood development,
name “quality basic health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, education and protective services; good care
practices for children within the family and community; early child development policies; and
peacebuilding in early childhood” (ibid.).

ECCD national policy framework

During the 7th CP, the government has enacted several significant pieces of legislation related
to ECCD under the broad education reform programme. Key among these changes have been:

 The Universal Kindergarten Act (2012) led to the institutionalisation of Kindergarten


Education into the basic education system. This law provided that Kindergarten be made

3http://www.who.int/gho/countries/phl.pdf?ua=1
4For instance in 2003, over-age attendance is 6% for the richest and 42% for the poorest quintile, 18% for females
and 27% for males, 28% rural and 17% urban. See http://www.education-inequalities.org/

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

mandatory and compulsory for entrance to Grade 1 starting school year (SY) 2012–
2013.

 The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, also known as the K-12 reforms, added a
year of kindergarten prior to starting grade-1. It also mandated the strengthening of the
curriculum and increasing the number of years for basic education.

 The Early Years Act (EYA) of 2013, which recognised 0-8 years as the foundational
years of a child’s development and strengthened the ECCD system for 0-4 year olds
with the creation of the ECCD Council and its Secretariat.

 The rationalisation of the organisational structure of DepEd was promulgated in


December 2015 and started being implemented in 2016. It aimed to improve the quality
and efficiency of delivery of services by eliminating or minimising overlaps and
duplication.5

 In 2016, the budget of DepEd amounted to PhP433 billion, comprising the biggest share
of the national budget.

 The Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten was issued by DepEd in June 2016. This
comprehensive policy ensured a standardised implementation of the Kindergarten
Education Program in both public and private schools nationwide, and served as a basis
for accreditation and/or recognition of those intending to put up early learning centres,
along the areas of curriculum, instruction, learning resources and materials, learning
space and environment, and teacher hiring and development.

The government has committed substantial resources to education reforms, with significant
increases in investment in the education sector in the last five years. The DepEd budget
allocated for 2014 was PhP337 billion, which was 14.86 percent of the national budget for 2014.
Despite this increase in investment, national government spending is insufficient to reach EFA
target (UNESCO, 2015).

International recommendations for minimum public investment in ECCD suggest that the
Philippines is spending below its expected capacity at 0.5% of GDP.6 In 2012, the governments’
investment in ECCD, especially by local authorities responsible for the provision of ECCD
services, ranged from as low as 0.1 to 6.9 per cent of their total annual budget (Nuqui, 2014).

Annex C provides further details on the state of ECCD kindergarten access and school
readiness outcomes.

5 One major change effected is that bureaus are no longer organized by subsector – i.e., Elementary Education,
Secondary Education and Alternative Learning System – but are now under an organizational strand of Curriculum
and Instruction, i.e., Bureau of Curriculum Development, Bureau of Learning Delivery, Bureau of Educational
Assessment and Bureau of Learning Resources.
6 The OECD recommends spending at least 1% of GDP and UNESCO recommends spending around 0.6% of GDP

solely in pre-primary education (Bennett, 2008; OECD, 2006). These targets are based around the per child cost
implications of developing high-quality ECEC programmes that produce positive child development outcomes.
Revisions might occur with the development of targets to reach the SDGs.

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BE national policy framework

Additionally, during this time, the government has enacted several significant pieces of
legislation and reform agendas related to BE.

The key reform enacted has been the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). Under
BESRA, the Government defined the agenda for restructuring education and implementing the
K-12 Program, which would increase the total number of years of school system service from 10
to 13 years across the country. The K-12 Program was introduced as a highly ambitious policy
reform to which the government has committed significant resources. Major construction
projects and increased hiring of new teachers are included in the programme.

Under the guidance of the Basic Education Act and the K – 12 Program, DepEd is focusing on
institutionalising the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) method. The MTB-
MLE method promotes the use of the child’s mother tongue or regional language as the medium
of instruction from kindergarten to Grade 3. The implementation of this practice, however,
remains challenging, and Annex I details some of these challenges.

The Enhanced Basic Education Act further strengthened the restructuring proposed through
BESRA, by mandating the increase in number of years of basic education and strengthening of
the curriculum for all years of basic education. Under the guidance of these laws and the K-12
Program, DepEd has shifted its focus towards learning at lower grade levels and the adoption of
developmentally appropriate pedagogical practices. A comprehensive curriculum reform was
also carried out, both under the K-12 Program and the Enhanced Basic Education Act.

The government has also committed substantial resources to basic education reforms in the last
five years. The DepEd budget allocated for 2014 was PhP337 billion, which was 14.86 percent
of the national budget for 2014. While the education budgetary gap has been closing with
increase in budget allocation to DepEd, fiscal shortfalls still remain in the education system,
particularly at the local level (UNESCO, 2015).

Major changes during 7th CP

Analysis undertaken in this evaluation refers to the main changes evident on the timeline below,
as they are anticipated to have had significant impact on education access and on the capacity
for children to participate in education, particularly in early years. These changes may also have
an impact on UNICEF’s capacity to continue operation during emergency responses and on its
general education programming, strategies, priorities and capacities, which are examined
further in sections below.7

In the timeline (Figure 2), events which would be anticipated to have had a negative impact are
highlighted in red whilst those which are likely to have had a positive impact are highlighted in
green.

7
The 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme has operated in dynamically changing context, including series of major
political, policy and system changes and norm-shifting scale of disasters. The roles of UNICEF Education programme
staff have also shifted based on the new contexts and expectations by the changing sector.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Figure 2 Timeline of events during 7th CP

Typhoon Haiyan November


(Super Typhoon Light midterm
2016
Yolanda) 2013 review
programme
evaluation
commences
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Conflict in Mindanao Region

Framework
Agreement on the
Bangsamoro
ECCE Policy Advances

Universal K-12 Reforms, Early Years


Kindergarten Act adding extra Act (EYA)
(2012) year to KG recognizing 0
institutionalizing to 8 as key
KG years’
establishing
ECCD Council

2.3 UNICEF ECCD programme components


The ECCD component of the UNICEF’s 7th CP undertook to achieve the goal of ensuring 3-5
year old children’s school readiness and development through a series of diverse activities
under its ‘Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning’ (CFLL) project in 36 focus LGUs.
UNICEF’s ECCD activities include i) CFLL activities: (a) kindergarten Madrasah Curriculum –
integration of Arabic language and Islamic values; use of the Indigenous Peoples Education
(IPEd) Curriculum Framework in contextualising the kindergarten curriculum for schools in
indigenous; (b) Kinder Catch-up Education Programme (KCEP) designed for learners who have
not undergone kindergarten education due to non-availability of services, conflict, natural
disasters or other difficult situations; and ii) non-CFLLC activities: (c) the tahderiyyah project
(phases 2 and 3 – see below for more details) and (d) Establishing 'link' in Teduray
Communities.

A significant part of this project is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The timeline for DFAT-funded activities spans from November 2012
to June 2016. The DFAT-funded activities under CFLL are collectively called the Early Learning
for Life (ELL) project.

The key objectives of this project are:


 To improve the quality of ECCD programmes in the 36 vulnerable UNICEF focus areas;
 To stimulate demand for ECCD services in the 36 areas; and
 To strengthen national policies, coordination, management and supervision of ECCD.

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Table 2 Key features of ECCD programmes supported by UNICEF8

Day Care SNP KCEP Tahderiyyah KG


Target Age 5 years and
3-4 years 2-4 years 3-5 years 5 years
Group above
Curriculum 40 weeks 40 weeks 8 or 20 weeks 40 weeks 40 weeks
School
Location Centre based Home based School-based Centre based
based
DSWD and DSWD and
DepEd,
focus LGUs, focus LGUs, DepEd, Private,
UNICEF
Implemented UNICEF UNICEF support UNICEF UNICEF
support
by support through through Plan support through support
through
DSWD and International and DepEd through BDA
DepEd
focus LGUs focus LGUs
Remedial
programme for
those children
above the age
of five years,
Utilises play as who were
Utilises play as a
a unable to Alternative to
developmentally
developmentally complete the regular day
appropriate early
appropriate kindergarten care and Mandatory
stimulation
early stimulation programme kindergarten by law to
Purpose activity for the
activity for the due to difficult incorporating enter in
early childhood
early childhood circumstances Islamic values Grade 1
needs of
needs of such as:
children in the
children in the chronic illness,
community
community displacement
due to armed
conflict, urban
settlement,
disasters, and
child labour.

The sub-sections below briefly outline UNICEF’s activities under each of the three intermediate
outcomes or components of the DFAT-funded ELL project in the 36 selected vulnerable LGUs.

Component 1 of DFAT- funded ELL project: Improve quality of ECCD programmes in 36


vulnerable LGUs
Under this first component, UNICEF’s mandate is to deliver three key outputs:

Output 1.1: Strengthened LGU management capacities systems and structures for ECCD

In particular, activities are aimed at increasing the annual ECCD budget of 29 LGUs to at least 5
per cent, and ensure all LGUs have functional local ECCD coordinating committees.

8 This table presented key features of ECCD programmes by design. Their actual implementation may vary (see
research findings). For example some SNPs visited during field research were clearly centre-based.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

Output 1.2: Ensure ECCD reforms are implemented

This includes support to alternative delivery models such as Kinder Catch-up Education
Programmes (KCEP), Supervised Neighbourhood Playgroups (SNP), and ‘Link’ programmes,
as described in Annex H. Implementation activities include training and accreditation of
kindergarten teachers and day care workers , training of day care and kindergarten accreditors;
provision of learning materials, basic furniture and WASH facilities and hygiene materials to
day care centres and kindergartens; and ensuring these sites are practicing daily group WASH
activities.

Output 1.3: Improved LGU-level M&E systems for ECCD programmes

According to the end-of-project report, all 36 participating LGUs have been collecting ECCD
data from 2013 to 2015 through the municipal/city social welfare officers and kindergarten
coordinators. The intention is to ensure this data is then used by relevant decision makers for
planning and investment purposes.
Component 2 of DFAT-funded ELL project: Stimulate demand for ECCD services in 36
vulnerable LGUs

Output 2.1: Communication Strategy to improve parents’ knowledge, attitudes and


practice on ECCD developed and implemented

This includes ensuring the development and endorsement of a communication strategy for
ECCD, reaching parents with ECCD education sessions, and ensuring that LGUs have trained
staff to implement any ECCD related communication to day care centres, day care workers,
parents and other relevant stakeholders. The evaluation will seek to better understand how this
communication is channelled through various stakeholders.
Component 3 of DFAT-funded ELL project: Strengthen national policies, management
and supervision of ECCD programmes

Output 3.1: ECCD Curriculum and Assessment Tools developed and adopted at national
level

This includes adoption of enhanced standard curricula and assessment tools for major ECCD
programmes at national level.

Output 3.2: Improved teaching competencies for ECCD human resources

At the national level, adoption of competency and training framework for ECCD workers at the
national level, standard training programme and manual for day care workers and kindergarten
teachers at national level, and integrated hygiene promotion practices in training package.

Output 3.3: Improved management capacities of ECCD human resource

This includes training of kindergarten coordinators, social workers and day care officers.

Output 3.4: Improved teaching competencies for ECCD human resource

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

This includes adoption of quality standards and accreditation tools for kindergarten
programming, supervised neighbourhood playgroups (SNP) at national level, presence of
enhanced national standards for accreditation of DCC services, presence of national standard
for hygiene promotion, and research studies to document good ECCD practices and inform
policies. The evaluation will seek to understand and discuss gaps in the programme, and
whether the programme links well to other interventions delivered by the government and other
partners.

2.3.1 UNICEF support in ARMM

UNICEF has provided significant support to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM) as part of their Education component of the 7th CP. This section explains the
institutional context of ARMM, as well as the education context there. The key UNICEF activities
concerning ECCD in ARMM, including the tahderiyyah programme, are presented in Annex C.

Institutional context

There are considerable differences in the institutional set-up of education between ARMM and
the Central government. In terms of basic education, structural differences between DepEd-
ARMM and other DepEd Regional offices stem from differences in management structure,
administrative setup (for instance, DepEd ARMM has additional functions such as the
Undersecretary for Madrasah Education under the Bureau of Madrasah Education), and
budgetary processes in terms of allocation of MOE and regional budget. Moreover, for ECCD,
there is a lack of basic ECCD infrastructure in ARMM. These differences may lead to unique
challenges, for instance in dealing with government officials and the bureaucracy, and this may
affect the relationship between the ARMM government and UNICEF.

Furthermore, findings from ARMM must be considered in the context of conflict sensitivity
(see Annex C.). The ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ conflicts in ARMM contributed to the low ranking
of the Philippines in the 2015 Global Peace Index Report. Due to ongoing conflicts and
continuing instability, there are low levels of public and private sector investment in ARMM. This
prolonged low level of investment has contributed to the fact that ARMM has the lowest ranking
in the Philippines on the Human Development Index, with all but one of its provinces – Basilan –
being in the group of the 10 lowest ranking provinces. ARMM is unique in that there are a large
number of non-state actors engaging with service delivery in communities – these include both
armed and non-armed groups with varying degrees of legitimacy (as perceived by the central
government). In addition to tensions around Bangsamoro autonomy, there are conflicts amongst
local tribes as well as gang and drug related violence.

Education in ARMM and UNICEF Programming

Affected by longstanding conflict over the last several decades, the education level of the
Mindanao region, especially in ARMM, remains alarmingly low. In the school year 2013-14, just
over a third of the pupils in ARMM had made it to grade 6, against a national average of 78.6%.
ARMM remains the most disadvantaged region in the Philippines in terms of education access
and completion. The NER in ARMM is 69.64% against a national average of NER of 91.05% in
SY 2015-2016; a kindergarten enrolment rate of 49.8% against a national average of 74.1%; a

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completion rate of 56.88% against a national average of 84.02%; and school-leaving rate of
17.17% against a national average of 2.69%. Some 2.4 million indigenous children are reported
to be in school (EBEIS 2015), while the available estimation of IP leaners’ number could range
around 4-5 million.

UNICEF’s ECCD activities in ARMM, run out of its Cotabato office, is designed to adopt a dual
lens of education as well as peacebuilding. One of the flagship programmes for UNICEF is
support to the tahderiyyah programme, which focuses on the provision of kindergarten in Islamic
schools. This programme is being implemented by Bangsamoro Development Authority
(see Annex C for background). UNICEF’s support under this programme includes the following
activities:

 ECCD Standards, Curricula and Assessment: UNICEF, in collaboration with the


Bangsamoro Development Authority and the Tarbiyah Committee of the MILF,
developed the tahderiyyah curriculum containing a 40-week activity guide for 3-5 year
olds which was recognised by DepEd.

 ECCD Human Resource Development and Management: Support to continuous training


of tahderiyyah teachers on the use of the curriculum; on-going manual development for
tahderiyyah trainers on coaching and mentoring; skills enhancement of tahderiyyah
trainers through learning visit in the Department of Family Life and Child Development of
the University of the Philippines. This is the more recent approach. In addition, a first
generation of training activities also took place under the Community of Learners
Foundation (CoLF).

 Local government capacity, systems, structures, and processes: Advocacy with LGUs in
relation to implementation of Child Protection in tahderiyyah centres.

 Package of ECCD / Kinder interventions: Trained 811 tahderiyyah teachers on the


curriculum with provision of ECCD kits including hygiene kits; 625 centres supported
with WASH facilities; establishments of community-based child protection system in
selected sites.

 Contextualisation of kindergarten Curriculum for Teduray tribe: In 2013, there were more
than 800 Teduray tribe children who benefited from a kindergarten catch-up experience
with a component on contextualizing the curriculum based on existing practices of the
community. As a continuation, project development was initiated with civil society
partners, DepEd ARMM, and Office of the Deputy Regional Governor for indigenous
people adding emphasis on the transition from Kinder to Grade 1 – 3.

 Adoption of tahderiyyah Curriculum in DepEd ARMM – Bureau of Madaris: During the


peak time of Bangsamoro transition process, a memorandum of agreement was drafted
with the Bureau of Madaris and Office of the Regional Governor to partner with UNICEF
on expanding tahderiyyah in 75 communities identified by regional government.

It is also worth noting here that UNICEF’s ECCD activities in ARMM are not only limited to
tahderiyyah. The broad range of DFAT-funded project activities described above, which are

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implemented in 36 vulnerable focus LGUs, are also implemented in 7 LGUs in ARMM.


Conversely, the tahderiyyah programme is implemented in areas outside ARMM and outside
the 36 focus areas.

2.4 UNICEF BE programme components


UNICEF’s Basic Education (BE) component focuses on enhancing access to, completion of,
and the quality of learning for disadvantaged children as they progress through the six-year
elementary school cycle in the Philippines by increasing the proportion of 6–11 year old children
participating in quality elementary education is increased by 5% in 36 vulnerable Local
Government Units, focusing on disadvantaged children, with gender parity.

The four main objectives of the BE component identified in the logframe (UNICEF 2012d)
are:
a) Enhanced policy and programme environment for achieving universal primary education
(UPE) with equity and gender parity

b) Strengthened capacity, systems, processes and structures for achieving UPE with equity
and gender parity with focus on remote and disadvantaged areas

c) Strengthened evidence-based advocacy and resource leveraging for basic education


through quality assurance, research and documentation

d) Strengthened education delivery for disadvantaged children in ARMM

The basic education component aims to target hard to reach and disadvantaged groups of
children across the country, with emphasis on reducing gender disparities, with boys
disadvantaged; conflict and disaster prone communities; and the urban poor populations.

UNICEF Philippines is supporting the basic education reform by contributing to specific


programmes to achieve their objectives in basic education. Some of the most important ones
have been discussed here in brief.

Objective 1: Enhanced policy and programme environment for achieving universal


primary education (UPE) with equity and gender parity
Output 1.1 Strengthened educational planning with enhanced School Based Management

A major component of UNICEF’s Basic Education Programme involves the provision of


technical support to Department of Education (DepEd) to develop and refine the enhanced
School Improvement Plans (E-SIP), and harmonizing it with other school based management
and planning approaches. UNICEF provided support to DepEd in the piloting and developing
the E-SIP manual.

The E-SIP guidelines developed with UNICEF’s support were finalised and adopted through the
DepEd Order No.44 issued in September 2015. The revised guidelines support school

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empowerment by encouraging child-centred and child-friendly approaches in its planning


principles.

The support UNICEF provided through school based management and E-SIPs has been a key
focus of this evaluation. For more details on this BE component please see Annex I.

Output 1.2 Developed strategic plan for disadvantaged groups or Last-Mile Learners
(LMLs)

This component aims to inform national education strategies and plans that promote equity in
terms of access and learning. In 2015, UNICEF conducted a situational analysis on the issue of
Last Mile Learners. The findings have been presented to DepEd and are expected to guide
DepEd policy makers in developing strategic plans for out of school children and youth (through
the Alternative Delivery System).

Objective 2: Strengthened capacity, systems, processes and structures for achieving


UPE with equity and gender parity with focus on remote and disadvantaged areas
Output 2.1 Capacitated schools on equity-based school-community planning process
through E-SIP and School Report Cards (SRCs)

Activities towards this objective includes the development and production of advocacy and
instructional material in support of school-community planning processes, and technical support
to quality assurance and monitoring of E-SIP and SRC roll-out strategies. Recent additional
activities are on the automation of the SRC from the EBIES data and the development of
teacher hardship index as a budget tool for teacher incentives in hardships posts.

Output 2.2 Capacitated schools to implement culturally-sensitive, inclusive, and flexible


learning strategies for disadvantaged children

UNICEF is providing support to developing multi-grade teaching, indigenized curriculum in


Region 12, and alternative delivery modes for disadvantaged children. These BE initiatives were
not the focus of this evaluation, but some progress will be mentioned in upcoming sections. For
more details on UNICEF’s support on these components see Annex I.

Output 2.3 Materials developed and school heads/teachers trained on continuous school-
level professional development with child development principles through the Learning
Action Cells (LAC)

UNICEF and DepEd worked together to roll-out Learning Action Cells in UNICEF focus local
government units (LGUs). LAC is a school-based teacher professional development mechanism
which is part of DepEd’s recent policy to enhance teachers’ continuous professional
development – this was enacted through DepEd Order no. 35, s. 2016. Through highly
participatory training and hands-on approach, LAC helps teachers’ practice child-centred
teaching and learning methods and subsequently enhances implementation of the K-12
curriculum. This evaluation provides results of the qualitative assessment of LAC.

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Output 2.4 Developed capacity at the national and sub-national level to implement
harmonised education Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) systems
strengthening

Part of the education in emergencies (EiE) work derived from the Haiyan experience, this output
includes the development of DRRM training packages for DepEd regional and division level
coordinators.

Output 2.5 Strengthened emergency preparedness and response through cluster


coordination mechanisms and emergency supplies prepositioning for disaster and
conflict situations

UNICEF is also providing support to DepEd and the Education Cluster for emergency
preparedness and response.9 It does so by providing technical inputs to national and regional
contingency planning; providing inputs to develop the draft response plan for hydro
meteorological hazards and the response plan for the terrorism-related hazards; providing
coordination support to the Education Cluster; helping DepEd develop the Education Cluster’s
capacity; and providing Education in Emergencies interventions to affected schools according to
needs.

Objective 3: Strengthened evidence-based advocacy and resource leveraging for basic


education through quality assurance, research and documentation
Output 3.1 Produced and disseminated analytical researches and/or studies, advocacy
materials on equitable and inclusive primary education

The completed research under this component includes:

1. A situational analysis of Out of School Children (OOSC) conducted through the


Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS).

2. A situational analysis of last-mile learners to inform the strategy and policy debate on
this issue.

3. A planned evaluation study on the effectiveness of the multi-grade education


programme.

Objective 4: Strengthened education delivery for disadvantaged children in ARMM

9Education cluster is part of the cluster approach to humanitarian response to large scale disasters/shocks. Clusters
are groups of humanitarian organisations, both UN and non-UN, in each of the main sectors of humanitarian action,
e.g. water, health and logistics. The aim of the cluster approach is to strengthen system-wide preparedness and
technical capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies, and provide clear leadership and accountability in the
main areas of humanitarian response. At country level, it aims to strengthen partnerships, and the predictability and
accountability of international humanitarian action, by improving prioritization and clearly defining the roles and
responsibilities of humanitarian organisations. (See
https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/philippines/education).

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Output 4.1 DepEd ARMM and selected schools capacitated on equity-based, risk
informed, conflict sensitive school community planning process

UNICEF has been working closely with DepEd ARMM and other relevant stakeholders in the
region to strengthen education delivery for disadvantaged children in ARMM. UNICEF provided
support to DepEd ARMM to introduce improved school community planning processes through
the E-SIP, with a focus on equity-based, risk-informed and conflict sensitive planning processes.
This involved tailoring the SIP Guidebook for the complex emergency context of ARMM, with
peacebuilding strategies on learning institutions as zones of peace and flexible learning options
for vulnerable populations.

Output 4.2 Capacitated DepEd ARMM on DRRM and Education response in a complex
emergency context (combination of armed conflict and natural hazards)

UNICEF is working towards building the capacity of DepEd ARMM and the education cluster on
disaster risk reduction and management in a complex emergency context.

Output 4.3 Capacitated the MILF Education Committee to undertake strategic planning
for the new Bangsamoro basic education system in preparation for the impending
approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)

UNICEF provided funding and technical support to hold regional consultations with relevant
stakeholders (Bangsamoro based civil society organisations) to develop an understanding of the
education sector and share the vision and needs of disadvantaged children in Bangsamoro. The
technical support helped the MILF education committee draft a Bangsamoro Education
Development Plan.

2.5 Key Stakeholders


The ECCD and basic education component of the 7th CP requires UNICEF to collaborate with a
range of domestic and international stakeholders. At the national level, UNICEF works with
DSWD, DepEd, DILG, and ECCD Council Secretariat. At the decentralised level, it works with
the regional, provincial, and district units of the above departments, as well as the 36 focus
LGUs, community volunteers (day care workers, SNP workers, tahderiyyah teachers) and
parents. International partners in the ECCD sub-sector include donor organisations such as the
Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the World Bank (WB) and the Asian
Development Bank (ADB), and NGOs such as Plan International and Community of Learners
Foundation (COLF).
The roles of the key stakeholders are presented in Annex C, with particular emphasis on their
responsibilities in relation to UNICEF programmes and activities.

2.6 Implementation status


This evaluation is mindful of the significant challenging circumstances faced by UNICEF during
the implementation of the programme and the recent approval for the extension of CPC 7 for
two years (2017-2018). The growing inequity in the population, increasing child poverty rates,

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lack of meaningful employment opportunities, and systemic political challenges demonstrate a


difficult working environment in the Philippines. The continued conflict in Mindanao, one of the
key regions that the programme targets, is expected to have further hindered implementation.
These socio-political challenges are compounded by significant and devastating natural
disasters in the last few years. The Philippines remains prone to typhoons and floods, which
could pose further challenges to education programming in the country. The geographical
spread of the country, which is reflected by the expected reach of the programme across
UNICEF targeted 36 vulnerable LGUs, further spreads resources for the implementation, and by
extension also the evaluation, of the programme.

These difficulties have been reflected in the evolution of UNICEF Philippines’ implementation of
the 7th CP. The devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013 forced UNICEF to carry out a light
Mid-Term Review in 2015 instead of the planned 2014 review of the CP. This development
points to a greater need to carry out a thorough evaluation of the 7th CP to facilitate a better
understanding of UNICEF’s work in recent years. The need to revisit country priorities in the
face of numerous disasters was also expected to affect the implementation of the UNICEF
ECCD programme with funding support from DFAT. As a result, UNICEF revised their expected
output statements twice for both ECCD and Basic Education (as noted earlier). Under
agreement with DFAT, this evaluation will measure progress and impact against these revised
outputs (changed January 2016).

At the programme level, both the Basic Education and ECCD components of the CP have been
delivered through a number of different projects and activities, which are at different stages of
implementation. Further, even the roll out of some of the specific activities are in different stages
of implementation across different areas. As such, the findings from each programmes,
discussed in the substantive chapters below, contextualise this difference in implementation
status for various programmes.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

3 Evaluation Purpose, Objectives and Scope

3.1 Purpose of the Evaluation


The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the Education component of 7th GPH-UNICEF
Country Programme. The evaluation is taking place in the final year of the 7th CP (2012-2016)
and at the end of the period of DFAT funding for the ECCD programme. The CP has now
extended from 2016 to 2018, and the additional two years (2017-2018) is considered as
“bridging years” to the 8th CP. Technically, then, this evaluation is not taking place at the end of
the CP. However, the timing is optimal for informing the next design of the Education
programme.

The evaluation outputs will be used as lessons learned for the sector and provide evidence for
advocacy with government. At the same time, this evaluation will also inform UNICEF's bridging
programme (2017-2018) and the design of the 8th UNICEF CP (2019-2023), as outlined in the
Terms of Reference (Annex A) for this assignment. Other country and regional offices could
also learn from the opportunities and challenges around project development and
implementation as identified on this evaluation.

3.2 Objectives
The key objectives of this evaluation are as follows:
 Determine the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the Early
Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and Basic Education (BE) component of the
7th CP and;
 Identify lessons to inform the UNICEF Philippines bridging programme and 8th CP, with a
specific focus on the DFAT-UNICEF: Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Programme.
These objectives have been accepted as drafted in the original terms of reference for this
evaluation. The evaluation is being carried out using the OECD DAC criteria, which have
international acceptability and comparability. The research matrix and the key research
questions, described in detail in Annex F, have been designed with these objectives in mind.
The evaluation has focused additionally on gender and vulnerability to assess the 7th CP in
relation to the DAC criteria.

3.3 Scope of the evaluation


The evaluation took place in the final year of the UNICEF 7th CP (2012-2016) and at the end of
the period of DFAT funding for the ECCD programme. The CP has now been extended to 2018
(2 more years), and the additional two years 2017-2018 are considered as “bridging years” to
CP 8. Technically this evaluation is not taking place at the end of the CP, but the timing is
optimal for informing the next design of the education programme.

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The evaluation outputs are expected be used as lessons learned for the sector, with the
evidence being used for advocacy with government and development partners. The evaluation
will also help inform the focus of the remaining two years of the 7th CP and will facilitate the
conceptualisation of the next CP starting in 2019. As such, the primary audience for the
evaluation will include the UNICEF country office in the Philippines, Australia’s Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd),
Department of Education ARMM, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),
ECCD Council, and Local Governance Units (LGUs). The evaluation is also expected to be of
use to other UNICEF country offices in similar contexts and the UNICEF regional office and
headquarters, development agencies working in the UNICEF Philippines Education sector, civil
society organisations, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of
Interior and Local Government (DILG), and other academics and practitioners interested in
basic education and ECCD in the Philippines.
The evaluation covers the 36 priority Local Government Units (LGUs) that are the focus of both
the 7th CP Education programme and the DFAT-funded ECCD programme. It also includes
national level coverage in terms of national level policies and guidelines on ECCD and basic
education. The geographic area coverage also includes the seven LGUs (municipalities) of the
Autonomous Region of Muslim

In this evaluation, we focus in particular on UNICEF’s support to seven key ECCD activities: 1)
Day Care, 2) Supervised Neighbourhood Playgroup (SNP), 3) Kindergarten, 4) Kinder Catch-Up
Programme (KCEP), 5) Link Initiative, 6) Tahderiyyah, and 7) WASH activities; three key BE
activities: 1) School Based Management (including School Improvement Plans and School
Report Cards), 2) Learning Action Cells (LACs), and 3) WASH activities; and a formative
assessment of the implementation of one DepEd policy on 1) Mother Tongue Based Multilingual
Education (MTB-MLE).10

These areas were selected based on extensive consultations with UNICEF during the inception
mission and the evaluation team’s understanding of priority areas within ECCD and BE given
that these are the most prominent areas in terms of resource investment and UNICEF’s working
relationship with key stakeholders. It is noted that the support to contextualization of IP
curriculum and multigrade education, and in the area of disaster-risks reduction management,
were not analysed in depth as substantive activities remain to continue until 2018. However,
insights on progress of implementation of these are also drawn when possible.

10Note here that the evaluation’s focus on WASH was limited to activities taking place at ECCD centres and schools,
as agreed with UNICEF Philippines during the Inception trip. The evaluation team has therefore not focussed on
studying other modalities of implementing the ‘WASH in schools’ component, which involved other actors, such as
the Municipal health office and the WASH council.

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4 Evaluation Methodology

4.1 Data collection methods and analysis


This evaluation has relied on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to assess
UNICEF Philippines’ ECCD and BE programme. Qualitative methods have been used to collect
and analyse primary data, and quantitative analysis of secondary data has further informed the
evaluation. In terms of the qualitative research, four research teams used a range of formal and
informal tools and observations to interact with officials and beneficiaries at the central, regional,
municipal, barangay and community levels. Such a comprehensive, rounded approach has
allowed us to build a holistic picture about the programme.

4.2 Evaluation questions


The evaluation team developed an extensive list of research questions in close consultation with
key stakeholders, including UNICEF, to evaluate UNICEF’s BE and ECCD programmes. These
questions are presented in the form of an evaluation matrix by tying them to the DAC criteria
in Annex F.

4.3 Qualitative research instruments


We employed multiple qualitative research methods during the course of our research. The
instruments were developed in close consultation with UNICEF, government actors, and other
stakeholders during the inception phase. Research instruments were also piloted and translated
into local languages. For key informants at the national level, we used a single semi-structured
interview guide, which we tailored for each specific respondent. We used a similar approach at
the district and local levels as well, tailoring a comprehensive interview or group discussion
guide according to the experiences and knowledge of particular respondents. The semi-
structured tools allowed us to structure the research, be flexible, and adapt to unanticipated
areas of enquiry that developed during the course of research. The findings of this research
have also been informed by numerous informal conversations and observations throughout the
fieldwork.

Annex F summarises the research methods we used for different types of respondents, along
with their particular contribution to this research.

4.4 Analytical Methodology


UNICEF’s contributions to development throughout Philippines are many and varied, and
analysing the impact of each initiative independently would be overly complex and time
consuming. The secondary data analysis attempts to establish whether the programmes
operated by UNICEF had an overall impact in the LGU in which UNICEF operated. This method
examines whether there has been a significant change in outcome indicators between
commencement of the programmes, the baseline, and the end of programme, the endline
(2016).

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This method does not give clear causal effect but rather responds to the question as to whether
UNICEF have monitored the programme well and whether the programme has achieved its
intended outcomes, both intermediate and final. In order to make assumptions concerning
attribution to UNICEF’s efforts, the quantitative secondary data analysis is compared against the
findings of the primary qualitative data analysis. The success of broader interventions at
national and regional level are particularly difficult to attribute to UNICEF, given the
government’s recent support of ECCD and BE, its rapidly developing economy and changing
socio economic circumstances.

Evaluation methods

The main guiding document for analysis were the monitoring frameworks developed by UNICEF
to monitor both the two streams of work, ECCD and Basic Education (see Annex B). The
majority of secondary analysis was undertaken using the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Survey
(MIS) which was designed as the principal tool for quantitative monitoring of UNICEF
programmes in the 36 LGUs in which UNICEF took place. Other data referenced includes
EBEIS and Philippines projected population data as published in the MIS reports.

Secondary data was analysed using a range of methods which included simple statistical
analysis of ratios and comparisons between years, regions and gender as well as comparative
analysis using Pearson’s correlation11 and T-Tests where required.12 These were used
minimally both in the interests of accessibility, to avoid incidental findings, and because the data
did not require this level of analysis in order to draw conclusions concerning the impact of
UNICEF interventions.

Terminology and Indicators

Unless otherwise stated, kindergarten/preparatory school includes day care centres, Mother
Mentor Programme, Home-based/Supervised Neighbourhood Play, tahderiyyah, and other
ECCD services.

Quantitative analysis for this report makes extensive use of ECCD indicators which are defined
in the UNICEF monitoring and evaluation frameworks and presented in Annex B.

Reporting of Results

All results are reported in accordance with UNICEF monitoring and evaluation standards, which
denote clear definitions of all indicators and gender disaggregation of results. Other

11 Correlation is a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together. A
positive correlation indicates the extent to which those variables increase or decrease in parallel; a
negative correlation indicates the extent to which one variable increases as the other decreases. The Pearson
correlation coefficient, also referred to as the Pearson's r or Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient
(PPMCC), is a measure of the linear dependence (correlation) between two variables X and Y.
12 T-tests examine whether there are significant differences between two group means. T Test is a statistical

examination of two population means. A two-sample t-test examines whether two samples are different and is
commonly used when the variances of two normal distributions are unknown and when an experiment uses a small
sample size.

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disaggregation is made based upon required characteristics of the target population, such as
language, region, and disability as required.

4.5 Data sources and sample


The quantitative analysis relies on secondary data from all 36 vulnerable LGUs where UNICEF
provided support as part of the CP. Qualitative data was gathered during field research in 7 out
of these 36 LGUs. The key secondary data sources are discussed in detail in Annex F.

Qualitative Data Sources

The qualitative analysis relied on qualitative data collected from a sub-sample of these 36
LGUs, 7 in total, presented in the table below.

Table 3 Sample LGUs and barangays


Region Name of LGU Link Barangay
Aroroy in Masbate Syndicate
Luzon
Pasay City in NCR Barangay 98
Visayas Bobon in Northern Samar Arellano
South Upi in Maguindanao San Jose
Mamasapano (Plan A) Pidsandawan
Mindanao
Siayan in Zamboanga del Norte Brgy. Paranglumba
Malungon in Sarangani Poblacion

The LGUs were selected based on purposive sampling, which was carried out in consultation
with stakeholders. The selected LGUs represent the diverse contexts in the Philippines, and
have been selected to ensure a balanced representation of geographic and socio-economic
characteristics and to maximise learning. This selection has allowed the team to delve deep into
the diverse contexts through the qualitative research.
In each LGU, we visited at least one barangay. Initially, we had agreed to select barangays
through random sampling. However, after further consultations with UNICEF, we agreed to
select convergence barangays as the primary sampling units for our evaluation Convergence
barangays refer to focus barangays (one per focus LGU) where interventions for both ECCD-
early learning and elementary education are provided under the GPH-UNICEF Seventh Country
Program for Children, and focusing on these barangays allowed us to assess both BE and
ECCD activities by referring to the ECCD-Kinder-Primary Education Link initiative introduced in
the convergence barangays.
Some of the UNICEF supported BE and ECCD activities had not been implemented in the link
barangays. As a result, when an evaluation team visited these barangays, we carried out a
mapping exercise to determine which activities could be evaluated in the link barangays. The
evaluation team then visited another adjacent barangay where some of the missing activities
had been implemented, to try to ensure the breadth of coverage in the evaluation. For instance,
some of the link barangays did not have any SNP programmes, so we visited nearby barangays
with SNP programmes to assess the role and relevance of SNPs in those municipalities.

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There are some key differences across sampled LGUs, and these have been discussed in
greater detail in Annex F.

4.6 Stakeholder consultations


This evaluation was carried out by engaging with stakeholders at multiple levels. At the national
level, interviews and discussions were carried out with representatives to understand macro
perspectives and the impact of the policy as understood in policy circles.
Table 4 List of respondents at the National Level
Institution ECCD BE Both Tool
DepEd X KII
DSWD X KII
DILG X KII
ECCD Council X KII
NGOs X X KII
Key Individuals X X KII
DFAT X KII
UNICEF X KII

In the ARMM region, the equivalent representatives from DepEd-ARMM (regional and division
level), tahderiyyah centres and Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) – the development
arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were also interviewed to inform the evaluation
team about issues and activities in the region.
A small evaluation team, led by the team leader and supported by a research assistant, spent a
week in Metro Manila, carrying out interviews at the national level. At the same time, three
research teams comprising of an international consultant and two local researchers were trained
extensively for five days, and then deployed to seven LGUs. A total of six local researchers
were hired for this part of the assignment, based on their extensive knowledge and experience
of working on various education and development projects in the Philippines. Some of our
researchers had also worked on UNICEF projects before, including a couple of researchers who
had worked on the quantitative data collection for this project itself, so the local research team
showed some familiarity with the programme.

The international consultants and local researchers were deployed geographically, such that
two of the research teams covered two LGUs each and one research team covered three LGUs,
thereby allowing the evaluation team to complete data collection within the expected timelines.

The training was comprehensive, covering a refresher to qualitative research, a review of our
research approach and methods, and a detailed study of the research tools to ensure that our
research teams were completely familiar with each tool. These tools were also piloted during the
training, allowing us to revise them extensively. Each tool was translated to a local language for
ease of reference for both the local researchers and our respondents.

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Each evaluation team carried out a range of activities, listed below, in each LGU, and
complemented these findings with informal observations and conversations to provide greater
context to our findings. At the end of each day, the research teams carried out a thorough
thematic debriefing session to ensure that the key findings as well as learnings from that day’s
work were properly discussed to ensure that we understood our data completely. Beyond the
initial debriefs mentioned above, we also took notes during fieldwork, recorded and transcribed
the interviews, carried out systematic debriefing, and then analysed the data collected in a
thorough manner. The list of respondents per LGU is presented below.
Table 5 List of respondents at the LGU level
Barangay level ECCD BE Both Tool
Barangay captain X KII
Day care worker X KII
SNP worker X KII
Kinder teacher X KII
School principal X KII
day care Parents X FGD
Elementary School Parents X FGD
Elementary School Learners X FGD
Tahderiyyah Parents FGD
Tahderiyyah Teacher KII

Table 6 List of respondents at the Municipal Level


Municipal level ECCD BE Both Tool
Social welfare officer X KII
Planning officer X KII
Mayor or Vice Mayor X X KII

Table 7 List of respondents at the Municipal Level


District level ECCD BE Both Tool
District Kinder Coordinator X KII
District Supervisor X KII
School Based Management Coordinator X KII

Within each LGU, the sampling strategy for stakeholder selection was based on the type of
respondent being considered. For the KIIs, the respondents were pre-selected based on their
roles and responsibilities, so we approached these post holders for their views on ECCD, BE, or
both. For the focus group discussions, we selected BE and ECCD parents for respective
discussions by approaching ECCD centres and identifying the relevant parents for these
discussions. ECCD parents were selected randomly by referring to the attendance list of day
care children, selecting 6-8 mothers from the day care to attend our discussion. Similarly, BE
parents were selected by referring to the attendance list of grade 1 learners in the elementary

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schools in our focus barangays. Finally, grade 3 learners were selected randomly to represent
the perspective of BE learners. It was not always possible to meet with the randomly selected
respondents because they were not free, lived too far, or faced other obstacles to participate.
We tried to ensure geographic, economic, social, and gender diversity to the extent possible
among the respondents.
In addition, we also carried out interviews with some regional officials in ARMM, as listed in the
table below.
Table 8 List of respondents at the regional level, ARMM
Regional level ECCD BE Both Tool
DepEd ARMM Assistant Secretary for
X KII
Academics
DepEd ARMM kindergarten Programme
X KII
Coordinator
Executive Director of BDA X KII
tahderiyyah Programme Coordinator of
X KII
BDA

We were able to carry out most interviews and discussions as planned, and the table below
demonstrates the extent of our engagement in the field.

Table 9 Engagement at the local level


Total interviews and
Region LGU and Province
FGDs conducted
Aroroy in Masbate 15
Luzon
Pasay City in NCR 13
Visayas Bobon in Northern Samar 16
South Upi in Maguindanao 16
Mamasapano in Maguindanao 13
Mindanao
Siayan in Zamboanga del Norte 13
Malungon in Sarangani 17

4.7 Gender considerations


This evaluation explicitly sought to collect and analyse data with particular regard for gender
differences, especially given the expected gender disparities in education in the Philippines, with
boys disadvantaged. To that end, an additional indicator, the Gender Parity Index (GPI) was
employed to analyse gender differences. The GPI is a socioeconomic index usually designed to
measure the relative access of males and females to education. This index is provided by
UNESCO.

In its simplest form, the GPI is calculated as the quotient of the number of females by the
number of males enrolled in a given stage of education. However, it can also be applied to

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ratios of relative amounts such as percentages. For example GPI Net Enrolment Rate (NER) =
(girls NER / boys NER).

The primary data collected through qualitative methods also sought to assess gender disparity
in BE and ECCD. Most key questions had probes asking stakeholders about different inputs or
outcomes based on gender. However, it was extremely difficult to secure any substantial
information, as most respondents noted consistently, and even after significant probing, that
gender was no longer a serious concern for access or demand of education.

4.8 Limitations
There were a number of methodological limitations faced during qualitative research done using
field research and quantitative research done using secondary data analysis. These have been
discussed in greater detail in Annex F, but we provide a brief discussion here to highlight some
key issues that arose during the evaluation.

Qualitative Research Limitations

First, the research team sought to conduct all interviews and FGDs in private to ensure a safe
space for our respondents, and we sought to carry out these activities at times that were
conducive to our respondents. However, this was not always possible at the local, municipal,
and national levels, so the field team had to make adjustments to accommodate our
respondents. Second, although the research team had planned a random sampling strategy to
select our respondents, especially for FGDs, ground realities required us to adapt our plans. For
instance, we wanted to select parents and learners by using the attendance sheets used by day
care centres and elementary schools in our target barangays. However, this sampling method
often required us to seek respondents from villages or localities far away from our primary
research sites. It was not possible for the research team to travel to those sites, and requiring
potential respondents to travel a significant distance to participate in our discussion would place
an undue burden on them. In such situations, the research team worked with local officials and
villagers to identify appropriate respondents who could provide us the necessary details through
their participation without having to face significant difficulties in the process. Third, a number of
our respondents did not know enough details about the programme, particularly because of high
turnover among stakeholders and because of recall problems. Fourth, it was extremely difficult
to attribute programmes and their performance in relation to UNICEF because UNICEF has
been providing widespread support to a number of different programmes, and respondents were
not clear about the extent of this support. UNICEF’s support also appeared to account for a
proportion of a larger programme in most cases, so it was difficult for respondents to know
exactly the nature and extent of UNICEF’s impact. This issue was further compounded by the
fact that a number of national and international organisations were also working on similar
issues, often in partnership with UNICEF, at the same time.

As an example, Plan International and UNICEF partnered to deliver a number of programmes at


the local level, including providing support to day care centres and SNPs. Similarly, UNICEF
worked with a number of government ministries to provide materials and training support to day
care workers and school teachers. Most respondents across all levels considered the role and

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relevance of these disparate actors (such as Plan, UNICEF, and DepEd) as interchangeable,
and so were unable to make any distinction between these partner organisations. The
evaluation team tried to probe further to delineate responsibilities and impact, but this was
seriously constrained and not always possible.

Reflexivity is a key component of carrying out rigorous research, and the evaluation team
engaged with these challenges and limitations throughout the fieldwork and during the analysis
and writing up phase of the report. While these limitations have posed some constraints in parts
of our analysis, our research design was both extensive and adaptive to employ mitigation
strategies to address some of these concerns. Similarly, these limitations are also symptomatic
of the ground realities and challenges of implementing large, complex programmes in trying
circumstances.

Quantitative research limitations

First, it is important, if possible, to understand what has occurred in regions or areas where
UNICEF has not intervened and to be able to make informed comparison against areas in which
UNICEF has intervened. However, the evaluation found it challenging to find reliable and
current data sources upon which comparison was possible. The baseline MIS conducted in
2012 was in three LGUs in which UNICEF did not operate programmes, and these LGUs were
not covered in future surveys. Second, the MIS is used exclusively to monitor intermediate
outcome indicators. This is problematic as intermediate outcome indicators can then only be
evaluated at the end of the programme timeframe. This means that evaluation of success can
only be determined at the completion of the programme which does not allow for proper
intermediate (mid-term) evaluation. This limits the capacity of the programmes to realise their
achievements to date and to make changes where required to help address shortcomings or
other issues. The use of MIS data also presented a number of challenges, including the fact that
standards for analysis and data presentation varied for each publication of data, and sampling
and indicators were inconsistent over time.

The issues noted above impact the capacity to draw definitive conclusions from the data.
However, given the depth and quality of the survey tools, there is sufficient data to draw many
conclusions relevant to this evaluation.

All average participation rates are population weighted according to the following population
figures. This skews results towards Quezon and Davao as they contain almost 60% of the target
population. Therefore the LGUs average (the average of all LGUs) is also noted in all
references. LGUs population figures are taken from 2016 projections (UNICEF 2016) and are
presented in Annex L.

4.9 Ethical considerations


The evaluation team takes research ethics very seriously, and we adhered to ethical research
protocols throughout our evaluation, including when interacting with respondents. A special
session was organised during class-room training to explain the ethics of research with children.
During data collection, our research teams clearly explained the purpose of our visit and

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established our independence from UNICEF as well as the government of the Philippines. We
ensured that all respondents were aware that their participation in the research was voluntary,
and that they were free to not answer any question or end the interview at any time. We
explained to our respondents that our conversation would remain confidential within the
research team, and that we would anonymise the identity of the respondents, should we use
their responses in the report. We also informed them that they could ask us questions at any
time. Focus group discussions with children were conducted with informed consent of both the
teachers and child participants.

We received explicit informed oral consent from all respondents before beginning our sessions,
and sought permission to record our conversations to be able to transcribe them later for
internal use. We tried our utmost to maintain privacy of our discussions by carrying out the
interviews in isolated settings where confidentiality could be maintained. This was not always
possible due to space limitations in some of our field sites, as was discussed in the limitations
section.

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5 ECCD findings
This section provides findings on the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and
sustainability of UNICEF’s ECCD programming. Sub sections are structured around questions
presented in the Evaluation matrix and were agreed upon with UNICEF ex-ante. Detailed
findings underpinning this analysis are provided in Annex H and Annex J.

5.1 Relevance
To what extent did ECCD outputs suit the priorities and policies of government
stakeholders, focus LGUs, DFAT, and international partners?

As stated in the DFAT Independent Progress Review Report (2015), documentation, design,
financing, and on-going implementation of UNICEF’s programming reflect the importance which
both the Australian and the Philippines governments place on the development and wellbeing of
young children, especially those of disadvantaged families and communities. It is therefore
clearly relevant to both governments’ development priorities and to the needs of its
beneficiaries. UNICEF’s programmes and priorities in ECCD have been closely aligned to
match the needs of government partners and international organisations.

Philippines has a comprehensive ECCD system, and there is acknowledgement amongst


stakeholders that the country has greatly improved the governance, management and service
delivery in ECCD. One example of success in the ECCD sub sector concerns the legal reforms
which were initiated, prepared and implemented by the previous administration. ECCD has
gained recognition as a response to child development, not just for the need of working women
but also as a way of protecting children from harm. The sector has gained support and
recognition regarding its importance, both from the government and in communities. The
impetus has also been driven by parents, as day care centres allow both parents to work. A
large number of national level respondents also cited increased support and resource allocation
by the government to ECCD. They also noted that LGUs and the communities were increasingly
realising the importance of ECCD as a foundation for education, which was partly brought about
by advocacy activities carried out by UNICEF. The LGU ECCD Budget Study commissioned by
UNICEF showed that 33 out of the 36 LGUs (92%) increased their ECCD budget during 2013-
2016. In terms of annual increase, 31 LGUs (86%) demonstrated an average annual increase of
at least 5 percent from 2013 to 2016 (INTEM 2016).

While a significant number of national level informants stated that the ECCD policy framework is
comprehensive and that government has a clear policy direction, many were equally concerned
with weak or poor implementation. Some gave the reasons as a result of poor stakeholder
involvement and weak coordination (see further discussion below in efficiency section).

Most of the LGUs where UNICEF commenced ECCD programming had low baseline levels of
access and participation in ECCD services at the start of the 7th CP (see ECCD Profile, UNICEF
& DFAT 2014). The programmes’ focus on expanding access was therefore relevant. UNICEF’s
work on Link activities to facilitate the transition from ECCD to BE also fits well with the high
profile education reform in the Philippines to establish a K-12 system. A number of ECCD

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activities, such as support to day care, SNP and KG, further prepare young children to transition
to and succeed within the basic education system.

The selection of the 36 vulnerable LGUs was contested as being appropriate for UNICEF’s
ECCD support, especially at the local and regional levels. The selection of LGUs, and focus
schools and barangays within those schools, raised particular questions and concerns from
respondents at all levels.

The country office went through an extensive mapping process to select the LGUs. According to
the Government of the Philippines - UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan 2012-2016, the
country office “went through an iterative assessment of the geographic vulnerabilities affecting
children of the Philippines”. An extensive mapping of regional and provincial vulnerabilities,
taking account of natural disasters, conflict, and inequitable social development outcomes, were
matched against the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) analysed by the UN to draw up a
long list of 108 municipalities and 12 cities, which had already been identified by the
government as high priority areas. Cities in particular had been identified to address the
potential for inequity and urban poverty, which is often not obvious through aggregate
measures. These potential beneficiaries were then asked to submit an ‘expression of interest’
application package to receive support from UNICEF, which they received from 76
municipalities and 9 cities. These were then matched again the National Anti-Poverty
Commission’s (NAPC) list of ‘ready’ municipalities and cities which were to be prioritised for
programming, leading to the selection of 30 municipalities and 6 cities for the UNICEF CP.13

Despite the extensive documentation and planning to select the target LGUs, serious concerns
were raised by research respondents about the selection parameters. First, none of the non-
UNICEF respondents were able to articulate how these LGUs, and the schools and day care
facilities within these LGUs, had been selected. Even at the national level, there was no
acknowledgment of the extensive vulnerability-based mapping used to select the LGUs. Some
schools and day care centres visited during field research were receiving multiple sources of
funding, whilst others relied solely on support provided by UNICEF in procuring furniture,
supplies, and other materials. Some head teachers and municipality officials even noted that
their schools/areas should not have been selected, as there are many other LGUs/day care
centres that need more support urgently.

The selection process of LGUs and its implications should be discussed clearly with all
stakeholders at an early stage. In addition, UNICEF programmes could be more relevant in the
future if they could reach out to more focus schools and communities and/or provide a clear
opportunity to upstream, so that the findings and experiences from particular cases could be
used to reach even more beneficiaries.

To what extent were outputs suited to cater for disadvantaged children and
disadvantaged areas such as ARMM and their context?

UNICEF has focused its activities in 36 vulnerable LGUs across the country, including 7 LGUs
from ARMM. Overall, national level respondents suggested that UNICEF encouraged equity

13This section is informed by an internal UNICEF note: Development in Vulnerable Philippine LGUs: Towards the
Equity Agenda

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across disadvantaged groups (including gender) in their programmes, and specifically targeted
disadvantaged communities, including in ARMM.

UNICEF’s ECCD programming in ARMM has responded to a clear request from the community
for the education system to incorporate demand for Islamic education. The tahderiyyah
programme therefore combines the benefits of regular day care curriculum and a madrassah
education system, and provides an alternative for parents in Bangsamoro communities to
educate their children in a system that helps retain their Islamic values and improves their
school readiness. During qualitative research, parents stated that they had enrolled their
children in tahderiyyahs because they wanted their children to receive balanced education,
including a sound grasp of English and Arabic. Parents reasoned that education in Arabic was
essential for their religion, and would be an advantage for someone who would work abroad,
especially in the Middle East. At the same time, learning English was also important, as they
wanted their children to be ‘world wary’ when they grew up. One parent described English as
international language and Arabic as eternal language in the following words:

The good thing about learning two languages is that English is international. Arabic
is from this world up to another dimension. In short, at all times we have a weapon.
You have to prepare yourself. For example, in Islam we believe that we have our
permanent life there. That's what we called enlightenment in our lives.

Furthermore, UNICEF’s work in contextualising of the KG curriculum for the Tedurays and the
tahderiyyah in particular resonate with demands of community members for cultural recognition
and sensitivity. UNICEF’s support in contextualising the kinder curriculum for tahderiyyahs was
acknowledged by a respondent in this way:

One of the tahderiyyah (programme’s) strengths is the integration of values and the
contextualization of the curriculum. For example, in some of these materials there
are some drawings that are haram for Muslims, like using pig as an example. We
have become more sensitive in these issues.

Some of the programmes supported by UNICEF are designed to improve access to ECCD
services for children living in remote and economically disadvantaged communities.
Respondents at the local level verified the need for such programmes. For example, the SNP
programme is designed to fill an important gap in the provision of ECCD services to remote
areas. Although SNP programmes have been operated by the government for many years,
UNICEF has provided renewed support and emphasis to SNPs, often in remote villages.
Parents and SNP workers across all municipalities where SNPs existed appreciated the need
for such a programme and emphasised its importance in improving access to remote
communities. According to an SNP worker:

SNP is very helpful for kids that live very far and have to walk at least 4 km to go to
school (day care).

This was verified by another SNP worker as well:

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Having SNP here in our sitio is more helpful, especially for those (poor) parents who
can’t afford daily expenses on transportation… it is a great advantage for them.

Many SNP sites are located in extremely remote and topographically challenging areas. In
these barangays, parents and children often have to walk considerable distances, crossing
rivers and muddy tracts, to reach their nearest day care centre or school. UNICEF’s direct
support in revitalising SNP centres advocating to LGUs for its expansion has therefore helped
improve access to ECCD services at the local level by bringing ECCD services closer to such
communities.

The ECCD Evaluation framework (see Annex B) does not include any indicator measuring
performance on access of ECCD services for children with disabilities. Reviews conducted by
DFAT also do not address this issue in detail. The last independent DFAT Review (2015) notes
that while UNICEF’s project had strong focus on ‘disadvantaged’ children, i.e., those in low-
income, minority, and hard-to-reach communities, the Education and ECCD subsectors as a
whole (from the national to the local level) still need to develop sufficient focus on children with
disabilities. From an operational perspective, there were no special provisions in UNICEF-
supported programmes for children with disabilities, and researchers did not come across
physically children with disabilities in the ECCD centres we visited. According to the CFLL End-
of-Project Report annual mapping of all children as part of the Link initiative includes information
on disabilities, and attendance in pre-school/kindergarten/elementary education (UNICEF
2016). This has led to the implementation of interventions of children with disabilities in some
LGUs such as issuance of PWD identification, referral to MHO or MCR, enrolment in a SPED
centre or programme.

At the national level, UNICEF has provided support to the development of System for
Prevention, Early Identification, Referral and Intervention of Developmental Disorders and
Disabilities in Early Childhood (UNICEF 2016). Field testing of this system has been conducted
in one non-focus area and demonstration of the strategies and processes in three focus areas.
The original design was for 3-5 year old children. Based on the results of the field test, the
system has been enhanced and expanded to cover 0-6 year old children and consider
appropriate on-going related initiatives of various agencies, including the National Council for
Disability Affairs.

To what extent are the objectives of the Education Country Programme still valid?

The objectives of the ECCD programme are still valid, as several LGUs across Philippines
continue to face severe problems around access to ECCD services, as well as challenges in
delivering quality ECCD. Further support is also required in strengthening national policies,
coordination, management and supervision of ECCD services. However, increasing demand for
ECCD no longer seems to be as relevant in the majority of target LGUs, as changes in national
policy and advocacy efforts (including those conducted by UNICEF) have created a wide
awareness of the importance of ECCD amongst parents and furthermore, have made it
compulsory for children to enrol in KG in order to enrol in Grade 1.14 Also, the conditionality on
attendance of day care and KG imposed by the 4Ps programme has further incentivised parents

14 Some work remains to be done, as discussed later in this chapter.

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to enrol children in day care and KG. Although quantitative analysis of parental attitude towards
ECCD does not provide reliable information, this can be verified by reports from field research
conducted during the evaluation. Nevertheless, access to ECCD remains problematic for
remote communities or minority groups such as IPs and Bangsamoro, and households affected
by conflict or natural disasters. Furthermore, demand for ECCD services may not be sufficient to
improve access which also relies on the availability of ECCD services and parents’ perception of
the quality of education and returns to education.

5.2 Effectiveness
To what extent were the objectives achieved/are likely to be achieved?

As stated in the DFAT Independent Progress Review Report (2015), the 7th CP has been
effective in yielding considerable results under Intermediate Outcome 1 (“downstream”),
especially in terms of building capacity in ECCD and in mainstreaming ECCD into policies,
plans, and services. The report also notes lower progress in achieving the desired outputs in
Intermediate Outcome 2 and Intermediate Outcome 3 (“upstream”). A more recent report
(UNICEF 2016) notes that UNICEF has achieved all milestones under Output 2 and Output 3
except for adoption of training framework for ECCD workers at the national level, and adoption
of enhanced standard curricula for madrassah kindergartens.

UNICEF’s advocacy work with key LGU stakeholders, as well as their capacity building, have
proven to be effective, resulting in participants’ better understanding and appreciation of ECCD
and new knowledge and skills in evidence-based ECCD planning, programming, and budgeting.
This is verified by data collected during the evaluation at the national and local levels. UNICEF
supported activities at the local level have yielded some notable results. For instance, various
stakeholders, including parents, are aware of the support provided by UNICEF to ECCD in their
communities. As noted earlier, LGU budgets for ECCD services have increased in 33 out of 36
target LGUs and, according to UNICEF data, attendance in day cares and SNP centres has
increased in Link LGUs.

DFAT’s Independent Progress Review Report (2015) notes that UNICEF’s training programmes
and materials are generally considered useful, and the planned outputs related to teaching and
learning materials and basic furniture have been achieved. This was affirmed by a majority of
national level informants who thought that UNICEF supported programmes were largely
effective in areas where they were implemented. Many informants at the national level noted
that UNICEF support in the development of guidelines, curriculum, and materials has been
important in improving harmonisation, setting standards, and assessing child learners. The
quality of these materials is considered to be high, with a combination of local knowledge and
international best practices. Finally, the development of these guidelines was done in a
collaborative manner with national government partners, with UNICEF providing guidance and
useful feedback. This type of support also enhanced the capacity of the government.

UNICEF’s programme has supported the design and implementation of two effective alternative
models for bringing ECCD closer to children in remote communities -- Supervised
Neighbourhood Play (SNP) and the Kindergarten Catch-up Programme– and has been
advocating to LGUs to ensure that ECCD services are available and has promoted it in the

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context of the country’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme. UNICEF’s support
enabled the provision of day care and KG services in some of the most poor and remote LGUs,
although a minority of LGUs were not appropriate because they did not need additional support
(for example Pasay city, where the centres were extremely well resourced without UNICEF
inputs). In these vulnerable LGUs, improving ECCD service access would have been difficult
without the crucial support provided by UNICEF. For instance, learning materials and furniture
provided by UNICEF were critical in ensuring a basic functioning of ECCD centres. UNICEF-
supported ECCD programmes were effective at improving access to ECCD in target LGUs with
a focus on disadvantaged children such as those in conflict affected areas.

Overall, the CP has been effective in strengthening monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and
tools at both local and national levels, and in developing communication tools which have
proven to be effective in promoting ECCD among both LGUs and parents. This is evident in
promoting the use of an ECCD Checklist by day care workers to monitor the growth and
development of 3-4 year-old children and by kindergarten teachers for 5-year-olds.

Whilst great efforts have been made to develop and train staff on these tools, their
implementation on ground faces several challenges. These include a dearth of qualified
teachers and child development workers, as well as limited resources for schools and day care
centres to fully implement classroom assessment tools. Despite the achievements, further
efforts are needed to promote a more systematic and effective monitoring, supervision, and
mentoring process after initial training, as noted by the DFAT Independent Review Report
(2015) as well.

At the barangay level, one way of assessing the efficiency of implementation was to understand
the nature of monitoring and implementation of standards across UNICEF supported
programmes. Field research revealed that the level of monitoring and supervision in day care
centres, SNPs, Tahderiyyahs, and KGs varied across communities. Many respondents were
unable to distinguish between monitoring visits and guest visits such as those done by the
research team or donors visiting facilities. In some LGUs, day care workers received monitoring
visits from district welfare officers or zonal leaders, who then reported to Municipal Social
Welfare Development Officers (MSWDOs). The spread of day care centres across a wide area,
as well as language diversity, meant that monitoring was infrequent and often challenging.
There was little evidence that day care workers received feedback based on these monitoring
visits. Two out of three tahderiyyah centres reported receiving monitoring visits from
Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) officials, although it was unclear if these were regular
visits or if they included class observations. Monitoring visits were clearly embedded in DepEd’s
operations across LGUs, however, the responsibility of monitoring for KGs seemed to be
different across municipalities.

UNICEF’s programme under DFAT has engaged and trained 87 accreditors in 17 regions on
how to assess day care services and provide technical assistance to day care workers using
established accreditation standards of DSWD. This support was discontinued in some LGUs
after the revision of accreditation standards in 2016 (UNICEF 2016). However, the qualitative
component of the evaluation highlighted that all respondents at the municipal level had little
knowledge of accreditation requirements or procedures for day care centres and SNPs.
Although accreditation was not compulsory for these centres, getting accredited allowed day

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care workers to receive honorariums from the provincial or municipal office. It also served as an
incentive for day care centres to improve their facilities. A common finding across LGUs was the
difficulty faced by tahderiyyahs in receiving accreditation or ‘permit to operate’ from local
governments. Furthermore, some tahderiyyah kindergarten completers face challenges with
transition to Grade I. DepEd’s current policy is to accept kinder completers from non-recognised
service providers such as tahderiyyah in Grade 1, conditional on undertaking a validation
assessment before they can be issued with the Learner’s Reference Number (LRN). Some
tahderiyyah children have yet to take this validation assessment because of the inability of
DepEd Central Office to deploy staff to administer the assessment.

Although UNICEF has worked closely with DepEd and other key actors to try and strengthen
evidence based advocacy and provision and distribution of resources, the outcome of these
efforts has not been as successful as the downstreaming activities. For instance LGU increase
in budget for ECCD resulting from UNICEF advocacy is an important success but is limited to
33 out of the 36 focus LGUs. There was very little evidence to suggest that LGUs were
implementing UNICEF supported activities more widely within their jurisdiction, though some
respondents mentioned isolated incidents to support this.

The dire situation of schools and community with few resources and access to technical support
has provided fertile ground for UNICEF to implement specific components of different
programmes in these particular sites, but more work will be necessary to establish stronger
relationships with central level actors to ensure that isolated gains can be replicated nationally
as well.

A common theme throughout most of the discussions highlighted the support that UNICEF has
provided in printing of materials and logistical support in booking and paying for training events,
workshops, and conferences. According to many national respondents, some of these activities
were not directly aligned to the specific activities and programmes as planned, but came
through requests from the government officials. While some of the national level respondents
understood that this type of downstream support was not an effective use of UNICEF support,
they noted that many important activities would not have progressed without this assistance.
They were extremely supportive of UNICEF’s flexibility in meeting their needs. However,
UNICEF officials have noted that all operational requests (like printing) were a part of agreed
workplans and so aligned with UNICEF priorities.

UNICEF informants largely agreed that downstream activities should continue in alignment with
the upstream activities. Examples were given where UNICEF has developed guidelines and
materials and then provided technical support to facilitate the use of these in the field. This is
substantially different from the other informants who predominantly want UNICEF to provide
procurement and logistical support.

The effectiveness of UNICEF’s ECCD programme can also be assessed by measuring change
in some key indicators presented in the ECCD evaluation framework Annex B, in terms of
increases in participation observed in regions in which UNICEF have operated programmes.
Whilst it is difficult to claim causal impact in the absence of a counterfactual, certain changes
and trends can be illustrative.

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Quantitative analysis of MIS data indicates that there have been substantial, albeit uneven,
gains in participation during the 7th CP. The participation of young children aged 3-5 in ECCD
increased between 2012 and 2014 in almost all LGUs, but these gains were not uniform. There
were also significant increases in the participation of 6 year olds attending grade 1 having
completed kindergarten. Again, these gains were not evenly distributed across the country, with
some LGUs having had large gains between 2012 and 2016 and others having declined. In
particular, we note:

 Participation of 3 to 5 year olds in ECCD between 2012 and 2016

o The participation of 3 to 5 year olds in ECCD increased by 10.7% between 2012 and
2016, from 50.8% in 2012 to 61.5% in 2016 (boys 58.9%, girls 64.9%). 58% (28 of
36) LGUs achieved the target. Girls (64.9%) had a higher participation than boys
(58.9%). There was significant variation amongst LGUs.

o Gains in participation of 3-5 year olds in ECCD varied amongst LGUs. 28 of 36


LGUs (78%) met the target for total students of 58% (boys 26 LGUs or 72% of LGUs
and girls 31 LGUs or 86% of LGUs). However, it should be noted that the average
gain was lowered because of Quezon, which accounted for 37% of the population
but only had 54.5% of 3-5 year olds attending ECCD. The LGUs unweighted
average attendance rate was 67.6%, which is much higher than the population
weighted average of 62.5%. The average LGU increase during the course of the
programme was 20.7% for an average annual increase of 7.0%, which was well
above the UNICEF target of 1%.

 Proportions of 5 year old children currently attending kindergarten or preparatory


school

o There were very large gains in the attendance of 5 year old children in kindergarten
or preparatory school. Attendance rates improved from 58.9% in 2012 (boys 58.2%,
girls 59.6%) to 90.5% in 2016 (boys 92.8%, girls 88.6%), an increase of 31.6%. This
achieved the UNICEF targets for the total participation rate and that of 65.9% (boys
64.2%, girls 65.6%).

o There were large gains in the attendance of 5 year olds in ECCD across all LGUs.
35 of 36 (97%) met or exceeded the target for boys and 34 (94%) for girls. This
resulted in an average annual increase of 6% (boys 6%, girls 6%) which exceeded
the target of 2%. The proportion declined in 4 LGUs (13%), while there were gains in
all other LGUs.

 Percentage of 6 year olds attending grade 1 having completed kindergarten or


preparatory school

o There was a large increase of 12.1% in the percentage of children aged 6 attending
grade 1 who had completed kindergarten or preparatory school, from 62.4% in 2012
to 74.5% in 2016 (boys 69.1%, girls 79.1%). Both boys and girls achieved the
UNICEF target of 68%.

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o However, there was significant variation amongst LGUs, and some LGUs decreased
the rate of 6 year olds having completed kindergarten / preparatory school by large
percentages. 29 (81%) of the LGUs achieved the target of 68% of 6-year old
children having completed kindergarten/ preparatory school, 26 (72%) met the target
for boys, and 31 (86%) met the target for girls.

o Some LGU saw a decline in the percentage of children aged 6 attending grade 1
having completed kindergarten or preparatory school. 11 LGUs of 30 (36%) declined
the percentage of either boys or girls, 9 of which (30%) decreased both boys and
girls. Some changes were large, and in particular four of the six LGUs located in
ARMM which declined between 15.7% and 37.6%. At the other extreme were LGUs
located in Camarines Norte, which increased between 23.5% and 41.9%.

With the policy on making kindergarten mandatory prior to Grade 1, it would be expected that
LGUs which increased participation rates of 6 year olds in grade 1 would also have increased
the percentage of students aged 6 who have attended kindergarten. However, there was no
relationship determined. This may be because of efforts to ensure all children are enrolled in
elementary school, and also that large gains in ECCD enrolment are still very recent. Some
schools may have accepted 6 year olds in Grade 1 even if they do not have Kinder experience.

As emphasised earlier, the attribution of these changes solely to UNICEF’s programming is very
difficult to establish via the limits of the quantitative analysis.

What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the
objectives?

As noted in the Draft Independent DFAT Review (2015), the efficiency and effectiveness of
UNICEF’s programmes are threatened by a number of risks. These include a lack of
coordination and of clarity in the roles and responsibilities in ECCD among the major partners,
LGUs not delivering on their commitments (such as increasing budget allocations to ECCD),
and the low absorptive capacity of partners, especially during an election year.

In spite of the non-inclusion of DILG in the ECCD Council, coordination mechanisms are
sufficient and functioning relatively well at the national level. However, the meetings led by the
Council are not held regularly. According to UNICEF respondents, the setting of the ECCD
Council under DepEd, while its responsibilities are inter-sectoral and inter-agency coordination,
has inhibited meaningful inter-sectoral ECCD coordination. Furthermore, the Terms of
Reference for the ECCD Technical Working Group (TWG) could be enhanced to provide greater
backstopping support to the ECCDC GB in areas such as agenda setting, identifying cross-
sectoral issues, and recommending solutions, ensuring harmonization and consistency of
policies, standards and programmes across various agencies. The current TWG with the main
functions of preparing the annual workplan of the Council has been tapped to discuss/review
proposed policies, plans, standards, programmes for consideration by the Council. This
arrangement has been effective, although on an ad hoc basis. Therefore UNICEF has been
advocating to issue an ECCDC GB Resolution expanding the Terms of Reference and
composition (to include DILG and key development partners) of the current ECCD TWG.

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National level respondents noted that there is a breakdown at the sub-national level, with
implementation not coordinated effectively. Respondents pointed in particular to a lack of
administrative capacity below the level of the MSWD (i.e. municipal and local level). The
decentralised funding meant that because implementation and funding was controlled by the
LGU, national agencies could not ensure equitable provision of ECCD services at the
grassroots level. A number of national informants also noted that LGUs do not have sufficient
understanding of the technical issues concerning ECCD. They have little knowledge and
experience of the guidelines and standards produced at the national level under the ECCD
Council and DSWD. For example, day care workers are not receiving sufficient support and
supervision. According to a senior official, DSWD only provides technical support while
supervision should come from MSWD officer.

In the current institutional context, coordination challenges are compounded by differences in


institutional set-up between ARMM and the Central government, as well as ongoing conflict and
political tensions in ARMM. Coordination and programming in ARMM have therefore posed
unique challenges during the course of the last five years. For instance, according to
respondents in ARMM, the curriculum adopted by the tahderiyyahs is officially recognised by
central DepEd and is supported by the Tarbiyyah Committee (education committee) of the
MILF, but it is not officially recognised by DepEd ARMM. Unlike day care centres, tahderiyyahs
do not receive official support (for example in providing honorariums for staff) from BLGUs, as
they are implemented by non-state actors. However, over the course of 2015 and 2016,
UNICEF has worked closely with the BDA to influence its position regarding LGUs, with a focus
on the advantages to the tahderiyyah and children, e.g. LGU financing to support sustainability
of tahderiyyah and accreditation by DSWD, enabling families to access the conditional cash
transfer. This has been complemented by advocacy with DepEd, DSWD, and DILG at the
central and ARMM level, drawing on UNICEF’s wider programming and relationships. In
addition to these challenges, many of the communities where tahderiyyah are located are both
poor and conflict affected. Therefore, whilst communities are supportive of the programme, they
are not always able to translate this into contribution of financial resources. In the redesign for
Phase 3 (of the tahderiyyah programme) UNICEF has introduced a number of strategies to
address these challenges, including a strengthened communication for development (C4D)
strategy and enhanced advocacy to engage all levels of LGUs in programming.

Several challenges to successful implementation of ECCD services were also identified at the
community level through primary research. Across all KGs, day care centres, SNPs, and
tahderiyyahs, recruitment and remuneration of qualified teachers pose significant challenges.
This is partly due to a shortage of qualified candidates within communities, and also due to the
low levels of remuneration in the job. Challenges around recruitment, remuneration and
retention are also corroborated by information provided in other reports.15 One barangay level
respondent noted how the very nature of the job, including remote locations and poor
remuneration, made it less attractive to applicants:

Our problem is finding service providers or SNP volunteers because they will be
assigned to far flung sitios and they have a limited provision of honorarium which is

15See UNICEF (2016). Early Childhood Care and Development. Creating a Foundation for Lifelong Learning: End of
Project Report. UNICEF.

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only 2,000 a month. Also, the volunteers should reside near the sitio or lives within
the sitio.

Staff working in day care centres, SNPs, and tahderiyyahs are working largely as volunteers
and receive variable amounts of remuneration in the form of honorariums. This acts as a
deterrent for recruiting highly qualified applicants and results in poor morale and high turnover of
staff. In most LGUs, staff also reported incurring occasional costs in providing food or school
supplies to students. Further details are provided in the detailed qualitative findings presented
in Annex J.

UNICEF reports suggest (UNICEF 2016) that through continuous advocacy to increase LGU
investment for ECCD, several LGUs increased their ECCD budget during 2015-16. The bulk of
this increase in LGU budget for ECCD/early learning went to the augmentation of
honorarium/salary of day-care and SNP workers, according to the LGU ECCD Budget Study
commissioned by UNICEF. Qualitative research suggested that this increase is yet to filter down
to child development workers, at least in the seven LGUs sampled for this evaluation.

Whilst UNICEF support has contributed towards improving access to ECCD services, parents
continue to incur out of pocket expenses in day care centres, SNPs, and tahderiyyahs. This is in
the form of registration fees, honorarium for child development workers, food, or classroom
materials (see Annex J for details). A UNICEF study on factors affecting ECCD budget
allocation at the local level noted that the cost of parents’ expense/contribution and those of day
care workers out-of-pocket expense and contributions are disproportionate with the affordability
levels of day care workers and parents who send their 3–4 year-old children to public day care.
The study estimated annual costs of parents in sending their child to public day care to range
from at least PhP 2,334 per child in an urban poor barangay to at most PhP 8,233 per child in
conflict-affected barangays (as cited in UNICEF 2016).

5.3 Efficiency
Were the UNICEF ECCD activities cost-efficient?

An allocation of resources for each budget line or result area for each LGU was not available.
This would have enabled analysis of financial inputs against result area outcomes. This
information would have allowed for the testing of the following hypotheses:

a) Whether LGU which had larger financial inputs had greater gains under the programme
in any of the result areas.

b) Whether financial inputs were related to either the population size or to another factor
such as relative poverty or development need.

In the absence of this information, the analysis proposed above is not possible. However overall
budget information by result area was available, which enabled analysis of financial efficiency
i.e. an analysis of over and underspending on each ECCD component. A comparison was also
made of financial allocation against results achieved, however, this is not wholly meaningful as

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results areas are all interdependent. For example, a reduction in dropout rate or change in
parental attitude would also be expected to correlate with an increase in participation rate.

A summary of the total programme budget for the ECCD component is shown in Annex M. The
following analysis is based on data provided in UNICEF End of Project Report (UNICEF
2016).16 Figure 3 shows that the split of DFAT funding across outputs, with the greatest share
being allocated to Output 1 (building scalable models of ECCD and KG in vulnerable areas).
Figure 4 indicates that counterpart funding constituted a majority of funding for Output 1 and
Output 2, in contrast to Output 3 where UNICEF provided the majority funding.

Figure 3 DFAT funds percentage total financial allocation to each main area

17%
1. Building scaleable models of
ECCD/Kindergarten in vulnerable areas

2. Mainstreaming of ECCD Innovation


21%
62%
3.0 Monitoring and Evaluation

Figure 4 Percentage contribution from counterpart to each component area

70% 62% 59%


60%
50% 41%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
1. Building scaleable models 2. Mainstreaming of ECCD 3.0 Monitoring and
of ECCD/Kindergarten in Innovation Evaluation
vulnerable areas

16This analysis is based on the data received by the evaluation team by February 2017. It does not indicate
reallocations across budget lines agreed between DFAT and UNICEF in 2015-16. These have been acknowledged in
the explanatory text below. Analysis taking into consideration the reallocations across budget lines agreed between
DFAT and UNICEF in 2015-16 would yield the following percentages of DFAT Funds Utilization: Component 1:
100%; Component 2: 102%; Component 3: 98%.

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Figure 5 Percentage DFAT Funds utilized from original allocation in each component

160% 149%
140% 123%
120%
100%
80% 69%
60%
40%
20%
0%
1. Building scaleable 2. Mainstreaming of ECCD 3.0 Monitoring and
models of Innovation Evaluation
ECCD/Kindergarten in
vulnerable areas

The review noted the following concerning the efficiency, accountability and effectiveness of
financial allocation and expenditure:

 At the end of the Project, the DFAT funds in the amount of US$ 7,578,822 (99.8%) was
utilised while the actual total UNICEF counterpart funding amounted to US$ 9,617,119,
which is 157% of the planned counterpart contribution and represents 58% of the total
contribution.

 There was considerable change in funding to each component from the original
proposal. 149% of DFAT funds were allocated to component 1, Building scalable models
of ECCD/Kindergarten in vulnerable areas and 123% to component 3, Monitoring and
Evaluation. Overall 114% of funds were utilized, the additional funds coming from the
DFAT utilisation plans for April 2015 to June 2016 (not shown in the table).

 In total, after the reallocation, 99.8% of funds were utilised, which shows a high level of
efficiency in disbursement of funds. UNICEF note that the undisbursed funds of 0.02%
are mainly due to payment adjustment at the closure of different contracts and will be
utilised by end of programme (UNICEF 2016).

 As indicated in Figure 3, 21% of the DFAT budget went towards monitoring and
evaluation, of which 36% was allocated for the MIS. This represents 7% of the total
budget of US$ 16.669 million of the total ECCD programme and 9% of the total DFAT
contribution. The MIS survey is a quantitative survey in each of the 36 LGU and does not
contribute to the development of government systems. This therefore is arguably a large
allocation of funds for this purpose. By comparison, only 2% of DFAT funds were spent
on development of government M&E systems and only 0.2% of the counterpart budget.
As also noted, Monitoring and evaluation was the lowest area of counterpart funds with
UNICEF contributing only 41% of funds compared to 62% for component 1, building
scalable models of ECCD/Kindergarten in vulnerable areas and 59% for component 2,
mainstreaming of ECCD Innovation.

 Based on the approved Utilization Plan for the period April 2015 to June 2016 in the
original budget, which includes the substantial reprogrammed budget for WASH

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activities, the actual utilisation rate per activity ranges from 75% to 174% of the original
plan.

 As noted in the points against each activity (see Annex M), all budget reallocations were
agreed with DFAT.17 Of note, a greater emphasis was placed on the following activities,
which resulted in budget adjustments: Activity 1.2.10, Provision of hygiene materials in
schools and day care centres (174%) owing to an increased target to 1400 centres;
Activity 2.1.2, Support to the development of curricula and assessment tools for DCS
and SNP (121%) owing to 3000 additional DCCs; Activity 2.2.1, Support to the
development of Kindergarten training program and manual (136%) owing to provision of
TA to expand the modules to nationwide use; Activity 2.4.3, Assessment, audit and
development of WASH facilities and hygiene promotion methods/tools in day care
centres and schools (163%) owing to the additional need to develop curriculum
materials.

All reductions and increases in financial allocation were agreed with DFAT and documented and
appear to have been undertaken with a high level of efficiency and accountability. Activity level
explanations are provided in Annex M.

Were the UNICEF ECCD programmes efficient in terms of working with the government
programmes and systems?

Overall, respondents at the national and regional level appreciated the consultative approach
taken by UNICEF. They noted that UNICEF staff communicated well and sought suggestions
and advice at all levels of programming. In most instances, UNICEF has provided support in
downstream activities through implementing partners such as DSWD and DepEd, thereby
avoiding duplication of effort and parallel structures. In ARMM, the political context and unmet
needs of conflict affected communities required greater flexibility and UNICEF adopted the
approach of using non-state service providers like BDA to implement the tahderiyyah
programme.

Were ECCD objectives achieved on time?


UNICEF’s programme objectives have remained similar across time, but targets have had to be
adjusted and some indicators re-defined in the face of several implementation challenges. See
Section 2.6 on the challenges around implementation.
The current nature of reporting on progress for outputs and activities does not allow for a
consistent or clear understanding of whether activities were conducted ‘on time’. The ECCD
evaluation framework is not disaggregated at the activity level. Second, even at the outcome
level, there is no reporting on targets achieved or not achieved on a yearly basis. The current
documentation only refers to end of project (2016) achievements. We therefore assume that the
timeliness of achieving objectives refers to UNICEF completing activities and producing outputs
over the lifetime of the project. For an ideal assessment of whether activities were conducted on
time, targets should be set ex-ante and include a quarterly or yearly timeframe.

17These are not indicated in the dataset underlying in the above analysis but acknowledged in the report (see
footnote 16).

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According to DFAT’s Independent Review (2015), most outputs were delivered on time except
for the development and adoption of a standard curriculum for children aged 3-4 and a
competency framework and standards for ECCD workers. DFAT considered the investment
modality and implementation arrangements to be appropriate and proportional to the desired
outcomes. The report noted that activities conducted on time appeared to have been produced
in a cost-effective manner; their reporting was transparent and accountable; and the funding
and staff available for their implementation was sufficient. The report noted that considering the
human and financial resources available to UNICEF, the scale of their programming and
activities undertaken were impressive.
According to UNICEF’s end of project report, progress has been made in completing some
activities highlighted as incomplete in the 2015 review whilst others remain incomplete. For
instance competency standards for ECCD Workers were finalized for endorsement by the
ECCD TWG to the new ECCDC Governing Board. However, the training framework was not
reviewed by the ECCD TWG and endorsed for adoption (UNICEF 2016).
Was the Education programme and ECCD component implemented in the most efficient
way compared to alternatives?
According to the DFAT Independent Progress Review Report (2015), DFAT investment through
UNICEF has generally led to efficient and appropriate use of its and other partners’ time and
resources to achieve the Project’s objectives. It has done this largely by helping to promote a
stable and supportive environment and context both for the development and mainstreaming of
important policies and programmes at the national level, and the design and implementation of
essential ECCD services in the targeted 36 vulnerable areas.

UNICEF has aligned its programmes closely to government programmes and systems, and
UNICEF supported activities are clearly aligned with national priorities. For instance, UNICEF’s
support was important towards the effective use of the existing ECCD checklist and supporting
its implementation through training/re-training of teachers and child development workers, as
well as provision of ECCD checklist copies. Most downstreaming activities such as provision of
materials, training sessions, and training of trainers on ECCD checklist were conducted in
collaboration with DSWD and DepEd.

UNICEF’s strategic advantage is in supporting DepEd through technical input and advice,
particularly in the design and implementation of various trainings targeting key stakeholders at
all levels of the schooling system. UNICEF has partnered closely with other organisations such
as Plan International and COLF to maximise output and deliver high quality support to DepEd
and municipalities.

UNICEF has also received operational requests from DepEd and other government
stakeholders to fulfil their specific needs. For instance, UNICEF has been involved with printing
materials and guides to facilitate programme delivery, and this role has been extremely
appreciated by numerous respondents. Although this might not be the strategic space that
UNICEF want to carve for their work, such activities can be useful to develop goodwill from
DepEd and other related actors.

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Evaluation of the Basic Education and ECCD components of the 7th GPH-UNICEF Country Programme

5.4 Impact
What has happened as a result of the Education component of the CP and the ECCD
model?

UNICEF’s efforts under the 7th CP have contributed towards wide-spread acceptance – mostly
at the national level but increasingly at the local level – of two important principles of ECCD
programming: (1) the need for a holistic, multi-sectoral approach to early childhood
development, and (2) the importance of a seamless transition in the curricula and pedagogy for
children aged 3-8 years of age (DFAT, 2015). UNICEF’s support is seen to be of high quality by
numerous partners, both in the nature of its engagement with stakeholders and the quality of the
outputs delivered under the programme such as learning and advocacy materials.

Under the Link initiative, experiences and lessons learned during implementation have provided
inputs to DSWD’s programming at the central level. This includes a) issuance of memorandum
regarding participation of day care centres in Early Registration of DepEd; and b) inclusion of
the ECCD Checklist reproduction for all day care/SNP children in the Department’s 2016
budget. Furthermore, the turn-over of ECCD Checklist of day care/SNP completers to
kindergarten, which was encouraged in the Link Initiative, is now part of the DepEd’s Omnibus
Policy on kindergarten. In particular, Section VI. Enrolment Procedure provides that “If the child
has undergone pre-Kindergarten in Day Care Centres or Child Development Centres, a copy of
his or her Philippine ECD checklist must be provided to the Kindergarten teacher”.

Based on the experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of the tahderiyyah
Programme, attendance of 3-5 year old children in tahderiyyah is now considered as compliant
to the conditionality of 4Ps (conditional cash transfer). Further, UNICEF has initiated
discussions with DepEd (Central and ARMM) to review the national/regional
standards/requirements for the issuance of Permit to Operate (PTO) towards comparable
accreditation and recognition of the tahderiyyah centres similar to day care centres by the
government.

Details of all ECCD activities supported by UNICEF are presented in Annex B, and are too
numerous to be listed in this section. The evaluation team agreed with UNICEF to focus only on
some of these key activities for the purposes, as discussed in Section 2.3.

What real difference has the ECCD model made to the beneficiaries?

The primary beneficiaries of ECCD programmes are learners, and secondary beneficiaries
include stakeholders involved in the provision of ECCD services such as teachers, child
development workers, parents, community members, school principals, barangays, regional
officials, and central officials.

At the programme level, it is difficult to claim causal impact in the absence of a counterfactual,
although an assessment of impact can be made by looking at a) national level stakeholder
perceptions of impact, b) community level verification through qualitative data, and c) changes
in some key indicators in the quantitative analysis. Considering the large number of activities,
numerous development partners (Government of the Philippines, WFP, UNICEF, World Bank),

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and use of implementing agencies (BDA, Plan International, Save the Children), attribution of
ECCD activities to UNICEF is extremely challenging at the regional and community level. Care
must therefore be taken in interpreting the findings based on primary data collection (see
section 4.8 for a further discussion on the key limitations).

National level stakeholder perceptions

To the extent that UNICEF programmes have been implemented at the grassroots level, they
have had a direct impact on the intended beneficiaries at that level. There are certain
challenges that remain (lack of resources, shortcomings with trainings, continued complexity of
the situation), but the immediate impact on those who have felt the programmes has been
positive.

However, this impact has largely remained localised to the immediately intended, limited
beneficiaries. Significant challenges, including resource constraints, will make it difficult for
UNICEF to reach a wider range of stakeholders, so greater effort will be needed at the central
and regional levels to ensure that the gains and learnings from UNICEF programmes will be
consolidated further at the national level.

Qualitative research findings at local level

UNICEF’s support in conducting and financing ECCD related training sessions was much
needed across most LGUs. Teachers continue to benefit from the skills acquired and materials
provided during this training. Those who had attended the trainings found them to be useful and
integral to professional development and learning of teachers in kindergartens and child
development workers. One day care worker noted how training sessions contributed to
continuous learning for teachers:

Trainings for day care workers are very important because the learning process
continues and the teachers need to evolve their learning capacity.

Some respondents saw these trainings as opportunities to compensate for their limited
educational experiences and contribute towards their professional development. Furthermore,
trainings supported by UNICEF also motivated child development workers and boosted their
morale. For instance, one respondent noted:

…I learn so much from the training like understanding child behaviour, child
protection and disaster preparedness. Another big impact for me is when the
community calls me teacher even if I did not finish college, it makes me proud
especially when I finish the training and I received a certificate of participation, it is
like a diploma for me.

It was difficult to assess if these training sessions had been effective in changing pedagogy in
classrooms without conducting formal learning assessments of teachers and staff. At times, it
was also unclear if trainings attended by respondents had been supported by UNICEF or other
donors.

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UNICEF has also supported curriculum development and distribution activities at the national,
regional, and local levels. Respondents at the district level appreciated the usefulness of
training sessions conducted by UNICEF on the National kindergarten Curriculum Guide, which
provided much needed clarity on its implementation. In ARMM, the contextualisation of KG
curriculum for Teduray and tahderiyyah was a much needed activity that could not have been
undertaken without UNICEF support.

Most respondents (except for parents) were aware of the ECCD checklist and the support
provided by UNICEF in training teachers on the use of this checklist. In most cases, KG
teachers, day care workers and tahderiyyah teachers reported that they were trying to use the
checklist to monitor child performance in class. Teachers found the checklist to be very useful in
identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their pupils, and often stated that they found it a
helpful tool in assessing children’s performance. For instance, one KG teacher noted the
benefits of the ECCD checklist:

It’s really good and helpful because you can use the checklist to observe the
development of children.

However, in most LGUs, respondents noted some difficulty in understanding the checklist as it
as printed in English. The use of checklists also imposed a significant time burden on teachers.
A large number of respondents mentioned out of pocket costs either incurred by staff or by
parents in getting the ECCD checklists photocopied. This has implications for effective
implementation of the checklist. In some instances, this meant that students with irregular
attendance did not benefit from the use of the checklist. According to another day care worker,

Not all children have the checklist…because I have to buy the checklist for 60 peso
per checklist. Because I have to buy it, I only buy it for those children who are
regular to the day care…so not all children have the checklist. I have to use money
from my own pocket, as well as some from Barangay funds.

UNICEF’s recent Link Initiative has encouraged DWDS to include the reproduction of ECCD
Checklist for all day care/SNP children in the Department’s 2016 budget. It remains to be seen if
this funding translates in alleviating this shortage at the barangay level.

Under the 7th CP, UNICEF has supported day care centres through the provision of learning
materials, age-appropriate furniture, training of day care workers, and provision of the ECCD
checklist. Most LGUs had very limited learning resources, and UNICEF’s support in terms of
providing learning materials and furniture was critical in providing an appropriate learning space
for children. The provision of learning materials and toys was an area where UNICEF’s support
had clearly made a significant difference to the quality of instruction in day care.

There was a large variation in the structural quality of day care centres visited for field research
across LGUs. Most day care centres had received learning materials and furniture through
UNICEF support, although their use was not evident in all instances, especially in Mamasapano
and South Upi. UNICEF’s support with learning material, furniture and tableware was critical in
providing an appropriate learning space for children. In most instances, day care centres had

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received learning materials and toys in 2013, and respondents noted that many of these
materials had worn out, so the centres needed more regular support from UNICEF or DSWD.

Across all municipalities, day care centres charge a minimum fee to parents, although
administrative staff always emphasised that parents were not forced to pay it. The recruitment
and retention of day care workers posed a considerable challenge for DSWD across all
municipalities. In most day care centres, a supplemental feeding programme was being
implemented either through the support of DSWD or international donors. This was an important
factor in encouraging attendance, in addition to the attendance conditionality required for
parents enrolled in the 4Ps conditional cash transfer programme. The provision of day care
services was appreciated tremendously by all parents. Despite the short hours of instruction,
parents noticed a visible change in the behaviour and learning of their children. The benefits of
day care were summarised effectively by a parent:

Day care adds knowledge and learning in school, and children know how to deal
with people. My child has now memorised alphabets, colours, and learned how to
write.

UNICEF’s support to SNPs was visible across all municipalities. UNICEF provided an 11 day
training to SNP workers, which was delivered by Plan International. Apart from the trainings, it
also provided much needed learning materials and supplies provided to SNP centres. In
addition, SNP workers benefitted from the use of the ECCD checklist. SNP workers across all
LGUs requested more training in the use of the ECCD checklist, as well as a curriculum specific
to their needs. This was used by SNP workers to monitor child performance as well as monitor
their physical development.

There was variation in how SNPs operated across all research sites: some charged registration
and attendance fees whilst others were free. Across all municipalities, SNPs relied greatly on
financial and time contribution of parents and community members. The SNP programme is
designed to fill an important gap in the provision of ECCD services to remote areas. Parents
and SNP workers across all municipalities where SNP existed appreciated the need for such a
programme, and emphasised its importance in improving access to remote communities. One
parent noted the positive impact of SNP on her child:

There is improvement in interacting with other kids, and even in our house she
already enjoys colouring, and you can really see that she is enthusiastic to learn.
She already knows how to hold a pencil, although she can only just write circles and
lines.

Overall, there was limited knowledge of KCEP in most LGUs at the municipal and barangay
level. In some LGUs, elementary schools had implemented KCEP three or four years ago but
recent policy change making kindergarten education compulsory had meant that, according to
our respondents at the local and regional levels, there was little need to continue with this
programme as all children now had to be enrolled in KG. Given capacity constraints, including a
lack of teaching space as well as KG teachers, most respondents noted that implementing the
KCEP was only possible over the summer vacation, when kinder teachers have some time. This
meant that KCEP in practice was implemented as a two month course. There were no reports of

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parents having to make any financial contribution to enrol children in KCEP and respondents
appreciated the shorter duration of this programme.

The KCEP programme, in areas where it had been implemented, received mixed reviews from
parents and teachers. Whilst respondents appreciated its importance in improving school
readiness for children, there was no consensus on the optimal duration of such a remedial
programme. Some respondents were concerned that a successful KCEP could prevent parents
from sending children to regular kinder classes although there was no substantial evidence
found during fieldwork to support these fears.

The vast majority of respondents at the barangay and municipal level did not recognise ‘Link’
initiative as it is. Nevertheless, several activities were identified in these barangays which fall
under the Link initiative, including the use of ECCD checklist in day care centres and KGs, as
well as parental awareness sessions on ECCD services. More recently, UNICEF through the
partnership with Plan International Philippines has supported the mapping of children as one
major milestone in establishing SNP programme as a part of the Link initiative. In barangays
where this mapping was conducted, there was a rapid increase in enrolment in 2016, according
to data provided by UNICEF (see Annex H for details). Where knowledge of the Link initiative
did exist, respondents noted that it allowed for easy enrolment from day care to elementary
school, and that the parents are now more aware of ECCD services. This initiative has also
helped clarify the proper age groups for day care versus KG to both parents and teachers. A
child development worker in one LGU noted:

Before, this (link programme) happened, there was a conflict with the day care
worker and the DepEd (KG). There was a competition for children because the
policy was not yet clear. But then the policy came out that all the 5 years’ old must
be in the DepEd and 4 years and below must be in the day care.

Another benefit of the Link initiative noted by respondents was that school officials were better
able to monitor overall enrolment in KG by monitoring students’ transition from day care to
Kinder.

The operationalisation and impact of the tahderiyyah programme must be viewed with the lens
of conflict sensitivity (See Annex C) and an understanding of long-running differences in the
development of the ARMM versus other parts of the Philippines. All tahderiyyahs visited by field
research teams reported receiving learning materials, furniture, and copies of the ECCD
checklist from BDA (which is supported by UNICEF). Tahderiyyah teachers had received
trainings from BDA on the use of ECCD checklist, child management and the tahderiyyah
curriculum. The structural quality of tahderiyyahs varied across municipalities. In general, there
was little awareness of the tahderiyyah programme at the district and municipal level.

There was a large variation in school timings and attendance days across the tahderiyyahs
visited by research teams. These differences were largely a result of teacher availability and
class capacity. All tahderiyyah teachers were familiar with the ECCD checklist and were using it
to assess the performance of children attending class. All tahderiyyahs visited mentioned the
scarcity of funds and difficulty in coping with operational costs. As with day care centres,
tahderiyyahs benefited greatly from support provided by community members including parents

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and private benefactors. However, in contrast to day care centres, most tahderiyyahs did not
receive much financial or operational support from the barangay LGU. The learning materials
provided by UNICEF were being used effectively in classrooms and, as with the day care
centres, it would not have been possible for tahderiyyahs to obtain these on their own. Parents
appreciated the balanced education provided in Tahderiyyahs, and noted a visible change in
children’s learning and behaviour.

Across day care centres, SNPs and tahderiyyahs, the availability and quality of WASH facilities
varied greatly. In general, as with most WASH interventions, the availability of WASH related
infrastructure (handwashing stations, latrines etc.) was not a good measure of implementation.
A lack of maintenance or simply a lack of access to clean water were important constraints in
the use of WASH facilities. Nevertheless, respondents noted that the emphasis on handwashing
meant that teachers were looking for innovative ways of overcoming a shortage of supplies. It
was difficult to verify if handwashing and tooth brushing activities were being carried out
regularly across all sites visited. Discussions with parents and teachers suggested that these
WASH activities at school had resulted in some change of behaviour for children at school and
at home. Children had learnt handwashing songs at school, which they would enjoy reciting at
home, whilst at the same time demonstrating handwashing to their parents. This was illustrated
by one parent, who noted:

My child tells me how to properly wash ones’ hands while singing. They were also
taught by their teacher on how to brush their teeth before going to bed.

Quantitative research findings

Whilst it is difficult to claim causal impact in the absence of a counterfactual, an assessment of


programme impact can be made by looking at changes in some key indicators listed in the
ECCD evaluation framework (see Annex B)

There was variable evidence of the impact of efforts to promote and improve access to ECCD.
Attendance rates in grade 1 increased from 2012 to 2016, however there was also an increase
in dropout rates of grade 1 and 2. Dropout rates became much higher in grade 1 and in grade 2
by 2014, although more recent figures at LGU level were not available. Furthermore, although
attendance of 3-5 year olds has largely improved during the course of the programme period,
the attitudes of parents with children out of school remain negative. There was a rise in the
proportion of parents whose children are not in ECCD and who believe their child is too young
to attend school. Clear challenges therefore remain in reaching these parents and altering their
attitudes towards education. Also of note, the gains in attendance rates of children in grade 1
and of those aged 6 in grade 1 having completed kindergarten were not evenly distributed and
for some LGUs, even declined during the period. Gender differences were also noted in some
LGUs, where either boys or girls were proportionally excluded from attending education. In
some cases this was likely due to local social practices, in others the reasons are not clear and
further research will be required. Detailed analysis of changes in key indicators is presented
below. Unless stated otherwise, this analysis is based on MIS 2016 data.

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 Percentage of 6 year olds currently attending grade 1

o The efforts to promote access to ECCD education were partially successful in


increasing attendance rates in grade 1. The proportion of 6 year olds currently
attending grade 1 in all 36 focal LGUs increased by 6.7% from 58.5% (boys 59.0%,
girls 57.9%) in 2012 (18 LGUs) to 65.2% (boys 62.0%, girls 67.0%, GPI 1.07) in
2016. The attendance rate for the total population and for girls met the target of
65.2% and 65.4% respectively, but boys failed to meet the targets of 65.0% of boys
attending grade 1.

o There was significant variation amongst LGUs for the attendance rate of 6 year olds
in grade 1. Disparity in the participation of 6 year olds in grade 1 was large ranging
from 40% of pupils in Mamasapango to 87% in President Roxas. 26 (72%) LGUs
met or exceeded the target for the proportion of 6-year old children currently
attending grade 1.

o Gender equity in the attendance of 6 year olds in grade 1 was also only partially
achieved. There were significant gender differences in many LGUs for both boys and
girls attending grade 1. These ranged from Maguindanao Upi, with almost twice as
many boys studying as girls (GPI 0.57), to Parang (Sulu) with far more girls
proportional to the population than boys attending grade 1 (GPI 1.47).

o However, there were a substantial proportion of 6 year olds enrolled in ECD. The
proportion of six year olds enrolled in ECD in 2016 was 14.3% (boys 15.1%, girls
13.5%).18 This makes the total enrolment of 6 year olds in grade 1 or ECD 79.3%.
The situation is not ideal or an efficient use of limited resources because part of the
KG efforts should be to normalise enrolments to the correct age groups for entry into
primary education. International evidence indicates that children who enter primary
school late are less likely to complete the education cycle and dropout or more likely
to repeat grades (UNESCO, 2006).

o Achievements can also be measured through growth in attendance rates in Grade 1


during the course of the programme. In this regard, there was some success,
although comparability against comparative LGUs without interventions has not been
made. The focal LGUs increased participation rates annually by 1.5%, which was
below the anticipated 2% annual rate. 13 LGUs (32%) decreased attendance of
either boys or girls or both. In some cases, such as Maguindanao Upi, girls
participation decreased significantly.19

o Data derived from the MIS survey can be compared against data derived from
EBEIS, however caution should be exercised. Nationally, grade 1 national Apparent
Intake Rate (AIR) decreased from 131.2% in 101.1% 2012 (GPI 0.99) to (GPI 0.93)
in 2016. A decrease of 30.1%. Grade 1 national Net Intake Rate (NIR) increased
18 See Annex for details on methodology. Unless otherwise stated, kindergarten/preparatory school includes day care
centres, Mother Mentor Programme, Home-based/Supervised Neighbourhood Play, tahderiyyah, and other ECCD
services
19 In the case of Maguindanao Upi, boys had far greater proportional attendance than girls (Male: 80.0, Female: 45.5,

GPI 0.57).

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from in 74.8% (GPI 0.93) 2012 to 79.8% (GPI 1.05) in 2016. An increase of 5.0%.
This does not compare favourably with the attendance rates of 6-year old children
currently attending Grade 1 identified in the MIS. Discrepancies may be due to errors
in EBEIS, the difference between enrolment and attendance, and UNICEF LGUs
being difficult and disadvantaged regions, as noted in the table below.

o Inclusion of children with disabilities was difficult to measure. There is no clear metric
for evaluating disability such as the Washington Standards20 and therefore it would
be expected that there are significant margins of error in evaluating the results of this
question. Of the children with disabilities identified in MIS data, only 38% (total 22,
boys 10, girls 12) were attending ECCD centres. There was a slight gender bias in
favour of girls but given the issues of identification and recording this is within a
margin of error. This is much lower than the average in all LGU of 61.5% for all
children (population weighted). This indicates that there is significant work remaining
in ensuring that children with disabilities are properly included in ECCD education
both in terms of properly identifying those children who are disabled and ensuring
their inclusion. This indicates that more work is required on inclusion of children with
disabilities in the target LGU.

o Inclusion of ethnic minorities in ECCD education is important to ensure that all


children are receiving equal opportunities for education. There are large variations in
access to ECCD dependent on ethnicity of the child. Waray children have a 90%
attendance rate in ECCD compared to Maguindanao children with just 46%. This will
also be related to factors such as local access to education and poverty and
highlights the gaps that remain to achieve equity.

o Closely related to ethnicity is the language spoken at home. There are large
variations in access to ECCD dependent on language spoken at home of the child.
This closely reflects the enrolment rates of the different ethnic groups associated
with the languages. Disparities range from Samal, for which more proportionally
more boys than girls are attending ECCD (GPI 0.88), to Tausug where more girls
than boys are attending ECCD (GPI 1.16).

o Not all parents appreciated the value of children being taught in their own language.
80% of parents surveyed believed their children will learn better if taught in their
mother tongue. However, opinions varied depending on the ethnicity of the
respondent. 75% of parents of Iranon children disagree that children should be
taught in their mother tongue (only 25% agree) whilst at the other extreme almost all
parents of Bikol (94%) agree. The variations may be related to socio economic
conditions and attitudes predominant to each ethnic group.

o There is scope to undertake greater advocacy towards parental involvement in


children reading in the home. Children who are read to at home may have higher
rates of attendance at school. In total, 72% of parents read with their children (aged
3-8) at home. As shown, there is large variation between LGU with only 40% of

20 http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/citygroup/washington.htm

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parents reading to their children at home in Siasi compared to almost all (96%) in
Aroroy.

 Dropout rates in Grade 1 and 2 (EBEIS 2014)

o Dropout rates in Grade 1 and 2 increased between 2012 and 2014. Data from 2015
was not available at the LGU level. UNICEF had established a target of 0.3%
reduction in dropout rate for grade 1 and 2. Grade 1 dropout increased from 1.78% in
2012 to 3.83% in 2014, an increase of 2.75%. Grade 2 dropout increased from
0.63% (boys 0.74%, girls 0.51%) in 2012 to 2.22% (boys 2.58%, girls 1.81%) in
2014, an increase of 1.59%.

o Dropout rates varied amongst LGUs. For example, grade 1 dropout varied from just
0.4% in Aleosan to 6.09% in Quezon City. This goes against the theory that
increasing ECCD service provision leads to reductions in dropout rates however
given that these data are from 2014, it may be too early for the full impact of ECCD
to be evident in these reduction of dropout rates. Further research could provide in-
depth analysis of the causes of drop-out at early grades and its relation with ECCD
provision.

 Parental attitudes towards ECCD

o The MIS indicates that parental attitudes towards ECCD may have declined in one
respect between 2012 and 2016. The 2012 survey determined that 76.6% of parents
of children aged 3-5 who were not attending school believed their child was too
young to be enrolled in grade 1 or pre-school. In 2016 this percentage had risen to
81.2% (Male: 78.0%, Female 85.0%, GPI 1.08). This was well above the UNICEF
target of 70.6%. This may have been as a result of increased participation in ECCD
leaving the majority of parents whose children were not in school holding the belief
that they were too young to attend school.

5.5 Sustainability
To what extent did the benefits of ECCD continue after DFAT funding ceased?

A number of UNICEF-supported programmes are ongoing, and the 7th CP has also been
extended for two years. Given that a number of ECCD activities such as the Link Initiative are at
an early stage of implementation, it is not yet possible to attest their sustainability. However,
some analysis can be done on whether UNICEF’s programme is perceived to be sustainable
and if activities supported under the programme are likely to continue once programme funding
is ceased.

At the national level, government’s support to ECCD is largely considered sustainable by most
of the respondents. This is reflected in the development of the ECCD policy framework, and in
the increase in the budget and decision-making structures at the national level. However, it was
also noted frequently that there is a significant gap of representation in the ECCD Council,
where DILG is not represented, though this has been acknowledged as a shortcoming by

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respondents at all levels, including by UNICEF and government departments. DILG is mandated
to assist the Office of the President in supervising the LGUs and LGUs play a governing role in
the implementation of the 0-4 year provision of ECCD. Furthermore, according to national level
respondents, implementation bodies at the regional and local levels have not been coordinating
and collaborating consistently, and the provision of services (and their impact) has not been
equitable. It was also noted that there is little evidence of the good practices or impact in target
centres and target LGUs have spread effectively to neighbouring centres and LGUs yet,
undermining the potential sustainability of these programmes and their impact.

The success of some of the grassroots activities suggest that the processes UNICEF supported
at the school and community levels will be continued to some degree, even without additional
UNICEF support. The example of WASH support demonstrates the complexity of assessing
sustainability, because UNICEF support has clearly helped change attitudes and behaviours
among learners (and even parents) but the lack of continued resources committed by LGUs
threatens to reduce both the immediate and long term gains from this programme. Qualitative
research revealed that UNICEF had provided oral hygiene kits to kindergarten children in
elementary schools and day care centres once to demonstrate the type of WASH related
support that DepEd and DSWD could provide to learning centres in the future. In practice,
almost all respondents demanded continued support from UNICEF in the provision of these
materials, and stated that without forthcoming supplies, it would be difficult to continue oral
hygiene practices at school. School staff reiterated that a vast majority of parents were unable
to afford hygiene materials. A day care worker noted the particular challenge of sustaining oral
hygiene activities:

We just finished the two days of training on handwashing, I told them (UNICEF) that
our handwashing (stations) were destroyed and we don’t even have budget for the
toothbrushes. You will teach tooth brushing but you don’t have a budget for the
toothbrush so how can you implement the tooth brushing? In handwashing, it is
okay because even if the handwashing (station) was destroyed, I will just fetch
water.

UNICEF’s support to WASH activities attempted to establish sustainability mechanisms at the


local level (UNICEF 2016). These include 1) municipal ordinances that commit financing by the
LGU to provide hygiene materials to day care pupils and improve WASH facilities onwards from
the end of the UNICEF supported programmes; and 2) formation of local WinECCD Technical
Working Groups or integration into the LCPC or municipal WASH councils as governance
mechanism. According to UNICEF while a few municipalities (e.g. Bobon, Capalonga and
Sindangan) have been able to disburse funds and purchase supplies for 2016, other LGUs have
not been able to release the budgets or have had difficulty in the procurement process of
hygiene kits or construction services. This reflects an important issue around sustainability:
even if UNICEF’s WASH support was designed to be sustainable, LGUs were unable to fulfil
their commitments owing to capacity constraints. Note here that the evaluation was not
focussed on studying other modalities of implementing the ‘WASH in schools’ component and
the sustainability of these in detail, therefore, the evaluation cannot comment on the
sustainability of the full extent of ECCD WASH activities.

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The development of ECCD related guidelines and learning materials was often cited as
examples of sustainability in the programme by national level respondents. UNICEF has
contributed significantly to this development while also ensuring that government staff capacity
was increased through these activities. DSWD staff feel that they can continue to develop
guidelines and materials on their own, but the support from UNICEF in the printing and
distribution of the same will be missed. DSWD does not have sufficient budget allocations to
fully implement the printing and distribution across the whole country, and they face some
bureaucratic difficulties (slow procurement owing to multiple approval levels, delays in financial
disbursements etc.) in swiftly providing these materials through government channels.
Therefore, they view the financial and logistical support provided by UNICEF as crucial in
reaching more districts and LGUs.

While the policy framework and coordination mechanisms are well developed at the national
level, many informants pointed to weak and / or varied implementation capacity at all levels.
ECCD related funding provided by LGUs vary, and often depend on local political commitment.
As a result, there were numerous concerns about the inconsistency of service delivery by the
LGUs. At the same time, national level respondents noted that there are some exemplary LGUs
that have mainstreamed and institutionalised ECCD programmes. In these LGUs, significant
changes have already been seen on the ground, with increased enrolment, new positions for
KG teachers, and good communication between the local and national levels. These LGUs have
clearly developed sustainable ECCD programmes, and could be used as models within their
regions and across the country.

At the LGU level, ECCD programmes appear to be sustainable in those places where the local
authorities have shown ownership and commitment. As noted earlier, implementation of ECCD
programmes has varied greatly amongst LGUs. National level respondents claimed that
communities have played a strong role in those LGUs where the ECCD programmes have been
most successful, often providing their own time and resources to support programmes. This was
verified at the local level during qualitative research, where day care centres and SNPs
especially relied on community support and contributions. As noted in earlier sections, this also
poses a challenge for the tahderiyyah programme, which is implemented by a non-state actor
and does not have the support of LGUs.

UNICEF has also sought to introduce certain elements within its programming to facilitate
greater sustainability beyond the life of the immediate programmes. For instance, the design of
the SNP support already ensured that the programme is included in the plans of the LGUs to
provide the honorarium of workers. Barangay officials are closely involved with the recruitment
of SNP workers and the provision of space and resources to set up these centres. WASH
support included securing commitments by LGUs to allocate budgets to these activities (as
noted earlier). At the same time, resource ad capacity constraints in practice mean that ECCD
services will continue to suffer from uneven implementation. For instance, till the issue around
formalisation of honorariums of child development workers is resolved, there will be a lack of
qualified staff and continued risk of poor pedagogy and staff burden, especially in remote areas.

Quantitative data analysis was used to assess sustainability of programme impact by analysing
attitudinal changes over the duration of the programme. Attitudinal changes can be seen as a
measure of sustainability: if key stakeholders change their attitudes then the demand and take

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up of ECCD services should continue after the conclusion of the programme. In the ECCD
framework, UNICEF selected two key measures of attitudinal change relating to sustainability.
These were the proportion of parents who believe ‘Early childhood education prepares a child
for school’ and ‘It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that a child finishes his/her
education’. These are ‘motherhood’ statements that few parents are likely to disagree with and
the results of the MIS indicate that positive responses to both of these questions were high at
the commencement of the programme, and remained high throughout with little change. There
were some regional variations but these are hard to determine. Thus, it is not clear from the
quantitative data whether improvements in participation (attendance) are likely to be sustained.
A detailed analysis of indicators reveals:

 Percentage of respondents who agreed that it is the parents’ responsibility to


ensure that a child completes his/her education

o The average percentage of respondents who agreed that it is the parents’


responsibility to ensure that a child completes his/her education was 98.8%
weighted by population. This only marginally failed to meet the UNICEF target of
98.9%.

o 20 (56%) LGUs achieved the target of 98.9% of respondents who agreed that it
is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that child completes his/her education. 9
(30%) LGUs declined the percentage of respondents who agreed that it is the
parents’ responsibility to ensure that child completes his/her education.

o Parental attitudes towards their responsibility concerning a child’s education was


anticipated to remain high and remained reasonably constant throughout the
programme. The average percentage of respondents who agreed that it is the
parents’ responsibility to ensure that child completes his/her education was
98.8% weighted by population. which was almost identical to the baseline of
98.9%.

 Percentage of respondents who agreed that early childhood education prepares a


child for school

o The average percentage of respondents who agreed that early childhood


education prepares a child for school was 97.6%, exceeding the target of 95.8%.
Almost all LGUs (28, 78%) achieved the target of 95.8%. However, only 10
(33%) LGUs met or exceeded the target of 1% annual increase in the percentage
of respondents that who agreed in 2016 that early childhood education prepares
a child for school. 14 (47%) LGUs declined the percentage of people who agreed
that early childhood education prepares a child for school.

o Less than half of parents (45%) of children aged 3-5 were aware of the Kinder
Catch-Up Education programme of DepEd for 5 years old and above who are not
able to enrol in kindergarten on time. There is a large variation in awareness
between LGU. In one third of LGU (12, 33%), less than 40% of parents are
aware of the catch up programmes.

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o There is still work remaining to ensure that all parents appreciate the value of
ECCD. The percentage of parents who are aware that all 5-year-old children
should attend kindergarten before entering Grade 1 for each LGU is shown in the
figure below. Most LGUs have a high percentage of parents who are aware,
however, 33% (11 of 36) have a high percentage of parents who are not aware,
including Kalamansig (74.7%), Siasi (75.9%), Mamasapano (83.1%) and Parang
Sulu (83.2%)

What were the major factors which influenced the achievement or non-achievement of
the sustainability of the Education component of the CP?

As noted in the DFAT Independent Review Report (2015), there are two threats to sustainability:
i) the need for continued donor and local/national government investment and technical
assistance to support ECCD efforts, and ii) unclear governance and coordination mechanisms
necessary to develop common goals, frameworks, standards, data systems, and
communication channels to monitor progress and achieve targeted outcomes.

As noted in Section 2.3.1, ongoing conflict and political uncertainty around the peace process in
ARMM will affect the coordination of UNICEF with implementing partners such as BDA and
government counterparts such as DepEd ARMM. In the earlier phase of the 7th CP, it was
expected that MILF would officially participate in governance in ARMM through the passage of
the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Had this happened, BDA would have received a greater
degree of legitimacy to undertake operations in the region, including running programmes such
as the tahderiyyah centres. However, given a change of government in recent elections (2016),
the passage of the BBL has become unclear. Thus, tensions between state and non-state
actors continue to pose a risk to the sustainability of programmes implemented outside of
government structures.

One example of how changing political priorities have affected the sustainability of UNICEF’s
programming is the process of contextualisation of KG curriculum for Tedurays in ARMM. This
activity was undertaken in 2013 and discontinued till 2015. According to UNICEF respondents,
this was due to DepEd ARMM prioritising other education initiatives. UNICEF has recently
started a new partnership with the same implementing partner, Lingap Pangkabataan, to
continue and expand the contextualization of curriculum for Tedurays under the Link initiative.
This has now been expanded for the curriculum for 3-4 year olds (encompassing day care and
SNP), 5 year olds (encompassing regular KG and KCEP) and above (Grade 1). These efforts
will only bring about sustainable change if outputs resulting from this renewed initiative are
adopted by DepEd ARMM and central DepED and inform their planning and assessment of
schools in the future.

As described in detail earlier, UNICEF’s support to WASH activities has not been sustainable,
despite efforts to secure LGU commitment and local level coordination. This is reflective of
challenges in service delivery in contexts of poor local governance, capacity constraints and
budgetary issues.

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5.6 Gender in ECCD


At the national level, existing data presents a mixed picture on gender differences. The EFA
Report (2015) notes that in 2011, there were more female than male children from age zero to
three (44.4% males, 55.5% females) and children three to five years old (46.9% males, 47.5%
females) who received ECCD services in day care centres. On the other hand, in the same
year, there were more male children (51.5%) than female children (48.2%) aged five years old
and above who received ECCD services in day care centres (EFA 2015). This may imply that
there are more boys who are late in entering kindergarten.

In this section, we present some additional findings with reference to gender differences in 36
focus LGUs of the 7th CP:

 Secondary data analysis did not show severe issues of gender bias in either direction
concerning participation. However, there were some regions where either boys or girls
had lower proportional attendance of ECCD and into Grade 1.

 As noted, a higher percentage of 6 year old girls were attending grade 1 than boys (GPI
1.07). The average participation rate for LGUs was 67.4%, which comprised of a
participation rate for boys of 66.7% and for girls of 67.1%. The average ratio of girls to
boys was almost even (GPI 1.01). There are LGUs where either boys (GPI less than
0.80) or girls (GPI greater than 1.20) have significant barriers towards participating in
grade 1 education at the correct age of 6 years old. Girls have significant barriers to
participation in grade 1 in Upi, Mapanas, Monreal and Lebak, however boys have
significant barriers to participation in almost twice as many LGUs (7). Upi is located in
ARMM and local cultural / religious practices my result in girls being excluded from
education. Lebak also has a high proportion of Muslim population (48%), which may lead
to boys being favoured over girls. Mapanas and Bobon are both located in Northern
Samar, and local cultural practices may exclude girls from early education.

 There were LGUs which decreased in attendance of 6 year olds for either boys or girls
between 2012 and 2016. 13 LGUs (43%) had a decrease in either boys or girls during
the period. 8 LGUs (27%) decreased attendance of boys and 10 LGUs (33%) decreased
attendance of girls. There are some unusual results which may be because of
questionable data, cohort effects or other factors. For example, Camarines Norte Labo
decreased attendance of boys by 23% but increased girls by 22%. Maguindanao Upi
decreased attendance of girls by 32% and boys by only 1%. There are almost
proportionally twice as many boys studying in Upi than girls. These cases should be
investigated to determine the validity of the data and also to help determine what may
have caused such pronounced gender barriers.

 There is a large disparity in the participation ratio of 5 year old girls and boys attending
ECCD in some provinces in 2016. In total, 13 (36%) LGUs have a greater proportion of 5
year old boys attending ECE than girls compared to 17 (47%) with a greater proportion
of girls than boys. LGUs with a significantly higher proportion of boys aged 5 attending
ECCD include Mamasapano (GPI 0.82), Vinzons (GPI 0.85) and Quezon City (GPI
0.88). Those with proportionally more girls than boys include Mapanas (GPI 1.11), P.

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Princesa GPI 1.11, Siayan GPI 1.12, Siasi GPI 1.14, Lebak GPI 1.16, Paracale GPI
1.21, and Basud GPI 1.26.

 There were only 60% of children with disabilities attending ECCD (total 80, boys 51, girls
29, GPI 0.95) and there was no evidence of gender bias on selection.

 Ethnicity and language both influenced the attendance rates of children aged 3-5 in
ECCD. For ethnic groups, disparities range from Samal for which more proportionally
more boys than girls are attending ECCD (GPI 0.88) to Tausug where more girls than
boys are attending ECCD (GPI 1.16). Language groupings showed similar bias towards
either girls or boys. Disparities ranged from those children speaking Samal at home for
which proportionally more boys than girls are attending ECCD (GPI 0.81) to those
speaking Tausog at home for which more than twice as many girls as boys are attending
ECCD (GPI 1.17).

 Parents did not seem to have a strong attitudinal bias towards the education of either
girls or boys. The proportion of parents of children aged 3-5 who were not attending
schools because their “parents think child is too young to be enrolled in grade
1/preschool” were similar for parents of boys and girls. This question could give a good
indication of gender bias in each of the LGUs. 15 (42%) LGUs had a bias towards boys
not attending ECCD due to being too young (GPI <1.00) and 20 (58%) LGUs a bias
towards girls (GPI >1.00). However, there are also outliers evident which have a strong
bias towards either girls or boys (GPI <0.95 and >1.05).

The MIS survey asked parents whether it was more important for girls to be in school than boys.
This question is possibly flawed because parents could be aware that it would seem incorrect to
prioritise one child over another because of gender. A better question may have been whether
parents believe it is equally important that girls be in school as boys. However, the MIS asks
parents whether they have a bias towards girls’ education. There was limited evidence of
gender bias amongst parents. Only 20% of parents believed it was more important for girls to be
in school than boys. As noted, this does not mean that 80% of parents believe it is more
important for boys to be in school than girls.

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6 Basic education findings


This section provides findings on the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and
sustainability of UNICEF’s Basic Education programme. Sub sections are structured around
questions presented in the Evaluation matrix and were agreed upon with UNICEF ex-ante.
Detailed findings underpinning this analysis are provided in Annex HAnnex I and Annex K.

6.1 Basic education

6.1.1 Relevance

To what extent did Basic Education outputs suit the priorities and policies of government
stakeholders, focus LGUs, and international partners?

UNICEF’s programmes and priorities in BE have been closely aligned to match the broad
priorities of government partners and international organisations. The basic education
programme reflects the national and international commitments to education. The UNICEF
basic education programme is guided by the Philippine Development Plan 2011–2016
(UNICEF, 2015a) and SGD 4 ‘Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong
learning’ and formerly MDG 2: ‘Universal access to primary education’ and MDG 3 ‘Gender
equality and empowerment of women’ (UNICEF, 2016b).

The basic education programme and its outputs focus on supporting the Government of
Philippines in their implementation of the recent BESRA reform, transforming the education set-
up to a K – 12 system of education and the Enhanced Basic Education Act. These reforms
signal DepEd and the government’s priorities to promote equitable school readiness and
increase enrolment and retention rates. The intent of UNICEF’s basic education component,
when it was developed, was to facilitate the next steps necessary to achieve the objectives set
out by the lead reforms. The basic education component was expected to do so by focusing on
providing access to quality education services to disadvantage communities through innovative
approaches

UNICEF basic education outputs are focused on improving access to quality education to
disadvantaged children in the Philippines. This focus is relevant to the priorities and needs
emerging from the evidence at the grassroots level. The UNICEF Country Office Education
Programme Brief 2016 alludes to the stagnation in education access in the country, with
elementary level net enrolment being 92.57% in 2015, and reported that the lowest enrolment
rates are in ARMM, at 75.64% (UNICEF, 2016b). It was noted that results of the Department of
Labour and Employment Survey show that new school graduates lack requisite skills, and that
this has been attributed in part to poor learning conditions. The basic education programmes’
focus on expanding access, particularly to the last mile learner, and ensuring quality is therefore
clearly relevant.

UNICEF programmes have focused on supporting key government capacities, policies and
priorities. According to the UNICEF Country Office Education Programme Brief 2016, the main
focus of the UNICEF Philippines Education Programme has been to enhance the capacity of

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national and local government partners to provide holistic, equitable, and inclusive education for
all children between 3 to 11 years old. Additionally, it aims to improve elementary education
access and quality in 36 most vulnerable areas, identified and agreed between the Government
of the Philippines and UNICEF based on a series of vulnerability analyses (UNICEF, 2016b).
Looking at particular components of the basic education programme, UNICEF support has
focused on enhanced School Improvement Plans, which are a central component of the
Department of Education’s planning and monitoring tool for schools. UNICEF’s support to
government’s investments in peer-peer support and training (including through Learning Actions
Cells), and WASH are also evident in BE programming. UNICEF’s activities are thus directly
contributing towards achieving the government’s goals.

This has resulted in the support being embedded within existing or new government systems
and operations. Some BE outputs and components are built on existing foundations of the basic
education system in the Philippines, whereby they are embedded in the basic education
structures of the national, regional, and local government. For instance, a major component of
UNICEF’s BE programme involves the provision of technical support to Department of
Education (DepEd) and selected Local Government Units (LGUs) to develop enhanced School
Improvement Plans (E-SIPs), and harmonize it with other school based management (SBM)
and planning approaches. In particular, UNICEF provided support in piloting and developing the
E-SIP guidelines, thereby adopting child friendly and equity based mapping and planning
approaches. The E-SIP guidelines, developed with UNICEF’s support, were then finalized and
adopted through the DepEd Order No.44, issued in September 2015, thereby incorporating it
into government systems. Other BE outputs and components provide input into upcoming
policies and reforms, thereby increasing their relevance to the government’s thinking, for
instance, the situational analysis of the Last Mile Learner (LML) was used to inform government
priorities for out-of-school children and youth through the planned expansion of the Alternative
Delivery System by the new administration (with a new Secretary being appointed in July 2016).

Another factor cited as instrumental in the improvement of the basic education programme is
the close collaboration in advocacy initiatives between DepEd and UNICEF, with UNICEF doing
the initial coordination for the 36 LGUS and DepEd covering the rest. Despite the perception
that this collaboration is improving, there are still areas that should be prioritised for UNICEF to
work. Some of these areas will be identified below.

Among these is the selection of the 36 vulnerable LGUs, which was contested as being
appropriate for UNICEF’s basic education support, especially at the local and regional levels.
Despite the extensive documentation and planning to select the target LGUs the selection of
LGUs, and focus schools and barangays within those schools, raised particular questions and
concerns from respondents at all levels. These concerns relate to the selection criteria. First,
none of the non-UNICEF respondents were able to articulate how these LGUs, and the schools
and day care facilities within these LGUs, had been selected. Even at the national level, there
was no acknowledgment of the extensive vulnerability-based mapping used to select the LGUs.
Some schools and day care centres visited during field research were receiving multiple
sources of funding, whilst others relied solely on support provided by UNICEF in procuring
furniture, supplies, etc. Some head teachers and municipality officials even noted that their
schools/areas should not have been selected, as there are many other LGUs/day care centres

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that need more support urgently. The selection process and its implications should be discussed
clearly with all stakeholders at an early stage.

Overall, the selection process by design responded to the 7th CP’s objectives. However it
seemed to have led to the inclusion of some LGUs which were higher class municipalities and
much less vulnerable than those in conflict or disaster affected areas. This could have been
avoided by stratifying selection at the LGU level (instead of province level). Using more up to
date data would also have helped in better targeting; an alternative could be to use micro
estimates of poverty and inequality.21. This is linked to the challenge of clearly defining and
measuring ‘vulnerability and disadvantage’. Conflict, exposure to natural disaster, lack of natural
resources (such as water), poor governance and lower income are all correlated with
vulnerability so it is important to narrow down the particular dimension of vulnerability and
disadvantage with clear indicators to assess these dimensions

To what extent were outputs suited to cater for disadvantaged children and
disadvantaged areas such as ARMM and their context?

The basic education component of UNICEF’s CPC-7 aims to reach the hard to reach and
disadvantaged groups of children in the Philippines. For this purpose, UNICEF has focused its
outputs and activities in 36 of the most vulnerable LGUs in the country, with a particular
emphasis on ARMM. Evidence from the quantitative and qualitative evaluation indicates that the
BE outputs are suited to the needs of indigenous populations, and conflict and disaster prone
communities.

National level respondents suggested that UNICEF encouraged equity across disadvantaged
groups (including gender) in their programmes, and specifically targeted disadvantaged
communities such as indigenous communities, in ARMM and Region 12. The quantitative
analysis also supports the BE programmatic focus on indigenous communities, and a
subsequent focus on gender equity within certain groups. The MIS data indicates that, whilst the
participation of girls and boys in each region was reasonably well balanced nationally, there
were equity issues in the participation of different language and ethnic groups and gender
dimensions to participation within each language/ethnic group (see Section 6.2 for further
details). Therefore, plans to support the contextualising of the curriculum and mother tongue in
particular resonated with national level respondents.

The EBEIS data illustrates that BE programmatic focus on the disadvantaged children within
ARMM is relevant due to the education conditions – as is the case with ECCD. Using data from
EBEIS 2013-2014, the Education Programme Brief indicates moderate improvement in school
completion rate, with the drop-out rate at 4.58% at the national level. Upon disaggregation, the
data shows that drop-out rates are as high as 18.64% in the disadvantaged and conflict-affected
ARMM region, where nearly one in five grade one student leave or do not proceed to grade two,
with boys disadvantaged (UNICEF, 2016b).

At the local level, UNICEF focus schools were in some of the most vulnerable LGUs – although
a small minority of LGUs that had been selected were not entirely appropriate because they did
not need additional support. This was particularly the case with provision of manipulative
21 http://go.worldbank.org/KDPWET43E0

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material in highly urbanized LGUs, where the needs at the local level were starkly different from
those in rural localities. When asked about the needs of the school in an urbanized LGU, one
respondent mentioned that the majority of teachers have laptops, but now require projectors to
encourage interactive teaching in the classrooms. This need identified was starkly different from
the needs at schools in rural communities.

Furthermore, UNICEF BE programme components have adapted to remain relevant in the face
of disruptions to the education system. Various factors cause disruption in schooling and
learning for long stints, these are often related to disaster, civil conflict and urban poverty and it
has been recognised that there is need to safeguard children against such disruptions. UNICEF
recognises these factors in its approach towards basic education by engaging directly with
conflict and disaster prone communities and in areas with high incidence of urban poverty.

Philippines is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. During the lifetime of the 7th
CPC, the country faced various natural and man-made shocks including but not limited to
Typhoon Haiyan, Typhoon Melor, Bohol earthquake and the Zamboanga siege. While
UNICEF’s DRRM efforts are not the focus of this evaluation, the evaluation team briefly
explored UNICEF’s response to Typhoon Melor, also called Typhoon Nona in the Philippines,
which disrupted the lives of residents of central Philippines in late 2015. Respondents in our
selected LGUs in Luzon and Visayas were affected by the typhoon and reported fluctuations in
attendance and enrolment due to the harsh conditions created during the typhoon. UNICEF’s
efforts in strengthening emergency preparedness and response played a pivotal role in reducing
the disruption caused by the typhoon in these communities. Moreover, the additional disruption
caused by Typhoon Nona demonstrates the challenging circumstances within which UNICEF
operates its programmes.

In Bobon, the impact of the recent typhoon was significant, as all houses in the barangay visited
had been either completely or partially destroyed. There were no fatalities, and this was credited
in large part by local level respondents to the disaster preparedness supported by CDRC
(community disaster reduction committee) and UNICEF. We found that the CDRC and UNICEF
had provided seminars to the community about disaster preparedness, and schools and day
cares have monthly drills to ensure that children are fully prepared to act if needed. Some
educational institutes also had informational posters about response in emergencies. The day
care centre and elementary school have been assigned as the designated evacuation centre in
case of typhoons. In the barangay visited in Aroroy, the impact of the typhoon had been lower,
though typhoon Nona had flooded away learning material from schools and deemed the schools
inoperable for some time. In this case, UNICEF provided temporary learning spaces, such as
tents, which reduced the disruption time due to the typhoon.

To what extent are the objectives of the Education Country Programme still valid?

The overall objectives of the basic education programme are still valid as the programme fully
supports the elementary education priorities of the K-12 reform. It is also clear that further
efforts are needed in building capacities and systems, strengthening evidence base, and
catering to the vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

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UNICEF’s BE focus on strengthened capacity, systems, processes and structures for achieving
UPE with equity and gender parity with focus on remote and disadvantaged areas is still valid
because communities continue to face equity challenges in accessing education. Based on local
level observations, we find that there are several schools and barangays around the country
that are underfunded, and lack basic resources such as water and electricity; require
capacitation to improve school based management and inclusive practices (see implementation
challenges of MTB-MLE below); and have systems that are vulnerable to disasters and
conflicts. This scarcity of physical and financial resources poses a significant challenge in
providing basic education. On the budgetary front, the Government has increased budgetary
allocation for basic education but various challenges persist to make UNICEF’s support
continually relevant. Internationally, a measure of sufficient education funding has been pegged
at 4-6% of GDP (UNESCO, 2015). The national spending on education in the Philippines was
3.4% of GDP in 2013, an increase from 2.4% in 2005 (World Bank, 2017). Although the
increase in the allocation of resources to the sector is not sufficient by international standards, it
is a step in the right direction in improving the quality of education. However, the low utilization
rate of the government budget by DepEd is a priority concern of the current administration, such
that financial management reforms is now being pushed.

With a changing national policy and programme environment, there is some room for more
focused programming for UNICEF objectives to be even more relevant to key stakeholders in
the Philippines, particularly with the priorities that will be introduced by the new administration at
the national level. National level informants indicated that while there is still full support for the
K-12 reform from the new administration, the government is increasingly prioritising Alternative
Learning Services (ALS), girls’ pregnancies, drug education, climate change adaptation, and the
hiring of more teachers, especially in the subjects of maths and sciences. There will be
additional challenges that emerge from these new priorities, for instance, national level
informants felt it would be difficult to find sufficient numbers of qualified teachers to hire as a
result. New government priorities could impact education goals in the country.

It is important to note that UNICEF’s programmes being relevant require UNICEF not only to be
aligned to government priorities but also to align with local and national priorities. Any
refocussing of programmatic areas would need to be considered in light of both national and
local priorities and needs – which may not align with each other.

Another area with increasing need of focused programming by UNICEF is the operationalization
of the MTB-MLE policy. National and local level respondents indicated that there is a growing
need for contextualization of the implementation of the mother tongue based- multi lingual
education (MTB-MLE) curriculum and that UNICEF’s support in the future would be most
relevant in this area.22 Currently, there are several challenges in the implementation of the MTB-
MLE policy. These challenges provide UNICEF further opportunity to contribute significantly to
improve MTB-MLE in the Philippines, contributing to greater equity in education in the process.

22 UNICEF has provided some support in curriculum contextualization for selected IP communities, even though this
was not the focus of this evaluation, as agreed with UNICEF at inception. Nonetheless, this evaluation has focused
on conducting a formative assessment of the implementation of the mother tongue based-multilingual education
(MTB-MLE) policy in elementary schools in general, and the findings will be presented in further discussions
throughout this report.

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Local level informants noted a number of these implementation challenges which could inform
UNICEF’s programmatic focus. Respondents noted that the Philippines is an extremely diverse
country, so classrooms are not monolithic and students speak a number of different languages
as their mother tongue. In effect, then, teachers have to use the major local language as a
substitute for the various mother tongues there. The variations in dialect are usually not
captured by MTB-MLE in its current form either. Not all teachers and parents are intimately
familiar with the local language, causing difficulties in the implementation of the programme.
The translation of books and other school resources also pose further challenges. For instance,
the translations are often literal rather than functional, so children find it difficult to understand
the meaning of complex terms, especially in technical subjects such as Math and Science.
There were also issues with the availability of licensed IP teachers, as the qualified people to
teach in mother tongue often did not have the right certification to teach these multilingual
classes. Although the use of mother tongue is lauded by most stakeholders, its implementation
faces severe challenges at the local level.

Furthermore, quantitative analysis suggests that most parents believe it is better for their
children to learn in their mother tongue. Most parents read with their children at home and most
assist children with their homework and studies. Only a small proportion of parents believe girls
should be educated in favour of boys but this does not capture those who believe in equality for
boys and girls. In all cases there were large differences amongst LGUs indicating that there is
substantial work remaining to alter parental attitudes and practices in many focus LGUs. We
note that:

 80% of parents surveyed believed their children will learn better if taught in their mother
tongue. However, opinions varied depending on the ethnicity of the respondent. 75% of
parents of Iranon children disagree that children should be taught in their mother tongue
(only 25% agree) whilst at the other extreme almost all parents of Bikol (94%) agree.
Large discrepancies were also evident in different LGUs. ARMM had the lowest
percentage of parents agreeing with this statement including parang (27.3%), Cotabato
City (41.7%) followed by Maguindanao including South Upi (45.9%) and Upi (53.5%).

 Most children read with their parents at home. In total, 72% of parents read with their
children (aged 3-8) at home. There was large variation between LGU with only 40% of
parents reading to their children at home in Siasi compared to almost all (96%) in
Aroroy.

 87% of parents of children aged 5-11 assisted their children with homework or in
difficulties with their studies. However, there were large variations across LGUs. In Siasi,
where only half (50%) of parents assist their children with studies, there is also a
comparatively low enrolment in elementary education of 87.0%. This is also the case in
Parang where 63% of parents assist children and enrolment in elementary education is
97% and also Languyan where 56% of parents assist children and enrolment is 86%.
This highlights the disparity in parental involvement in regions under the programme as
of 2016.

 The MIS survey asked parents whether it was more important for girls to be in school
than boys. This is a leading question and possibly flawed because as a parent, it would

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be incorrect to prioritise one child over another because of gender and moreover, admit
it to a third party. A better question may have been whether parents believe it is equally
important that girls be in school as well as boys. However, the MIS asks parents whether
they have a bias towards girls’ education. Only 20% of parents believed it was more
important for girls to be in school than boys. As noted, this does not mean that 80% of
parents believe it’s more important for boys to be in school than girls. Response rates
varied between LGU from 8% of parents in Mapanas to 37% of parents in Mamasapano,
as shown in Annex K.

Therefore, the development and translation of the curriculum, production of classroom materials
to facilitate MTB-MLE, and support and training to teachers and school officials to administer
them will together determine the success of the programme. This is where UNICEF can focus
its next programmes to remain most relevant. According to UNICEF, the recent focus on
supporting the national level policy development for improving the delivery of multi-grade
education also aligns with equity objectives, as most multi-grade schools are located in remote
and poor communities (see Annex I for more details on the challenges of MTB-MLE).

6.1.2 Effectiveness

To what extent were the objectives achieved/are likely to be achieved?

There is evidence that the UNICEF’s basic education programme was effective at the local
level, and they also played a supporting role in enhancing the policy and programme
environment, particularly for enhanced education planning; strengthening capacity, systems,
process and structures towards facilitating universal primary education; and strengthening
education delivery in ARMM. This sub-section assesses the evidence with regards to the
effectiveness of CPC-7 in achieving its objectives, particularly through associated activities
planned for each objective. Note that we cannot make definitive statements due to the on-going
nature of CPC-7 with the two year extension of the programme.

UNICEF’s support contributed to the enhancement of the new E-SIP guidebooks such that they
were easier to understand and implement, thereby improving education planning through
enhancing policy and programmes. At the barangay level, several respondents reported that the
E-SIPs – which are based on the new E-SIP guidebook – were simpler to draft and, therefore,
easier to implement. District and divisional level respondents noted that ‘it’s now thinner and the
contents of E-SIP are now made simpler’ than the previously implemented SIPs.

The E-SIPs provide schools and communities with the opportunity to develop together a plan to
address the needs of the school. This participatory process is crucial to engage different relevant
people (including representatives from indigenous communities) and organisations to support
basic education at the local level. Through the qualitative component of the evaluation we find
that the E-SIPs were, in fact, more collaborative, participatory, and transparent, compared to the
previously used SIP process. This is corroborated by the fact that barangay officials, Parent
Teacher Associations (PTAs), and School Planning Teams (SPTs) were closely involved with the
mapping exercise and other activities associated with developing the E-SIPs. In particular, the E-
SIP can only be ratified upon approval from the SPT, whereby one of the first steps of endorsing
the E-SIP is for ‘the members of the SPT to put their signatures in the E-SIP on the endorsement

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page’. PTA and SPT members include parents from indigenous communities. Barangay level
officials recognised that E-SIPs would not be as inclusive without the collaboration of different
members of the community. Nevertheless, there are still several community level stakeholders
who were not aware of and involved in the development of the E-SIP, and this collaboration was
challenging to achieve and posed an additional burden on already demanding jobs of the school
heads and teachers.

UNICEF’s support helped achieve the objective of strengthening education delivery in ARMM,
particularly through improved education planning in selected LGUs. As such, the effect of
UNICEF’s support on the implementation of E-SIP guidelines is most clearly visible in ARMM. In
the ARMM region, few schools (other than those in UNICEF supported LGUs) have been able
to submit their E-SIPs because E-SIP development process was found to be difficult, the
schools lacked funds to complete this process, and security concerns limited mobility required
for door to door mapping. Some of the challenges associated with the development of E-SIPs
are mentioned in the next sub-section.

Unlike other parts of the Philippines, in ARMM, UNICEF directly provided trainings in the
sampled LGUs to school staff, and Notre Dame University provided extended mentorship
support to complete the development of E-SIPs. The repeated UNICEF trainings and the
continuous mentorship arrangement with Norte Dame University were identified as pivotal
factors in enabling the development of E-SIPs in the supported ARMM schools. Additionally,
UNICEF’s direct support on the E-SIP in Magindanao influenced positive changes to the
process. Particularly, UNICEF’s support was associated with an increase in parental ownership
of the E-SIP process.

The good thing now with the (enhanced) SIP is the parents become our partners in
doing it. Before approving the SIP it should be ratified by the assembly of the parents…
The parents are the ones who identify the problems and solutions, the school will just
mediate/ facilitate.

This quote also indicates the successful implementation of the collaborative efforts for the
development of an inclusive and equitable E-SIP in ARMM.

Respondents noted that the LAC orientation sessions, conducted through the partnership
between UNICEF and COLF, had been beneficial in achieving the objective of strengthening
capacity, systems, processes and structures for achieving equitable UPE by enhancing in-
service training of school staff on child development principles. The achievement of this
objective can mainly be measured by the change it has produced in the pedagogical
approaches adopted in classrooms. Evidence from the qualitative research suggests that LAC
sessions played an instrumental role in increasing the use of participatory, inclusive and flexible
teaching styles, thereby resulting in performance based and hands-on teaching (see 6.1.4 for
additional details). A district supervisor noted that due to the UNICEF LAC orientation session,
‘the teaching strategies adopted are cooperative and not traditional. It is an activity-based
teaching, which we call hands-on’. A head teacher reported that, as a result of the orientation
session, teachers moved away from rote-learning practices:

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We are applying the child centred strategies, where the learning is through class
activities. Teachers mainly play the role of facilitators. Now instead of focusing on
memorization, we focus on activities or interactions.

Through informal observation, researchers noted that there was still room for improvement, as
teachers had not yet completely incorporated play-based learning in schools.

As in the case of ECCD, informants largely agreed that downstream activities should continue in
alignment with the upstream activities. UNICEF has worked closely with DepEd and other key
actors to try and strengthen evidence based advocacy and provision and distribution of
resources, while the upstreaming activities have seen success, the outcome of these efforts has
not been as successful as the downstreaming activities. Some respondents suggest that LGUs
were implementing UNICEF supported activities more widely within their jurisdiction, however,
these were isolated incidents and on the whole we found evidence to suggest that a smaller
group was benefiting from UNICEF’s support.

The dire situation of schools and communities with few resources and access to technical
support has provided fertile ground for UNICEF to implement specific components of different
programmes in these particular sites. However, more work will be necessary to ensure that key
stakeholders, including government officials, take further ownership of the gains from these
projects to ensure that these can be consolidated and extended further at the local, regional and
national level – thereby aligning downstream and upstream activities.

What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the
objectives?

The major factors that determine the level of effectiveness of enhancing the policy and
programme environment, and strengthened capacity, systems, processes and structures for
achieving equitable access to education through E-SIP are related to motivation of teachers,
strength of local leadership, resource availability and financial autonomy, and support from local
stakeholders.

The child mapping exercise was a crucial first step to the development of E-SIP, the
achievement of which relies heavily on motivated human resources, and appropriate incentive
structure. Motivation to conduct mapping was low due to the burden it placed on local officials,
and the lack of proper incentives to perform the additional task. The extensive mapping and
planning exercise placed a high burden on the time and resources of school and local officials,
with the highest toll on school teachers. Teachers are primarily responsible for conducting child-
mapping, often perform the task during school holiday period, often travel long distances to
reach households in remote sitios, and are only compensated through non-monetary service
credits from DepEd for the additional responsibility. Several stakeholders still felt that teachers
are not appropriately compensated for this additional mandate, and therefore feel demotivated
when conducting this strenuous task. This problem was compounded by security concerns in
conflict affected areas, such as ARMM, where it was unsafe for teachers to conduct door to
door surveys. Other officials, including school principals, also found the mapping and E-SIP to
be an additional responsibility which increased the burden of their jobs.

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The effective completion of E-SIP and SRC depends on the level of support provided by local
leadership. However, significant work pressure has meant that the role of district and divisional
officials on E-SIP is not being implemented fully. E-SIPs and SRCs undergo a process of quality
assurance, endorsement and approvals from various stakeholders before ultimately reaching
completion. District and division officials, such as the SBM Coordinator and Division Supervisor,
make the final checks before approval, which offers district and division officials the opportunity
to provide direct assistance to schools that may be lagging behind. These responsibilities
substantially increase the already high workload of the division officials. For instance, this is a
burden for SBM Coordinators because covering a large number of schools in the district can be
time consuming, particularly when they also have a host of other monitoring responsibilities
attached to their role, which limits the capacity of local leaders to perform their role in E-SIP
effectively.

In some schools, respondents noted that UNICEF’s contributions are directly linked to the timely
and successful completion of E-SIPs, and that additional funds from UNICEF enabled the
school to develop the E-SIPs in a timely manner, such that it became one of the few schools in
the locality to fully develop and submit the E-SIP on time. Although some of our respondents
were convinced that UNICEF had provided this support to facilitate the successful
implementation of E-SIPs, we were able to confirm with UNICEF that they did not actually
provide funds to schools to implement E-SIPs. Thus, there were two important lessons here.
First, as discussed earlier, the possibility of being able to attribute impact or even activities at
the local level to a particular organisation is very low. Second, it appears that schools even in
target LGUs remain deprived of resources to implement the programmes (such as E-SIPs)
supported by UNICEF and government agencies. The effectiveness of UNICEF supported
programmes thus depends on the wider context as well. Since the selection of these LGUs has
been made on the basis that they are vulnerable and capacity constrained, these contexts are
expected to be challenging almost by definition.

Once E-SIP plans are prepared, the implementation of priority improvement areas identified in
the E-SIP plan depends highly on the availability of funds. According to a World Bank policy
note which assesses School Based Management in the Philippines based on the PETS-QSDS
study, a lack of discretionary funds has been identified as a major impediment to the school’s
ability to implement the activities identified in the SIPs. The PETS-QSDS study finds that school
management has control over a small amount of their total revenue. On average, 80% of school
funds are devoted to the salary expenses of centrally hired government teachers and a smaller
percentage of funding is devoted to infrastructure development (World Bank, 2016). To a large
extent, these expenses are outside the control of a school principal.

The policy note finds that, on average, the school principal only has control over 7% of a
school’s funding. The Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) is a primary source
of this discretionary funding and is allocated by DepEd. There are restrictions on what the
MOOE can be spent on. Schools are expected to spend the MOOE on recurring maintenance
and operating expenses and cannot use it for items such as learning materials. To a large
extent, it has been difficult for schools to utilize the MOOE to cover all of the expenses identified
in the E-SIPs (more on this below). The policy note finds that schools also generate their own
funds through parent contribution and income generation activities (World Bank, 2016). We
found evidence of this in our evaluation, where schools rely on vegetable garden or small

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coconut plantation produce, from where they sell products in the local market. The amount of
own funding generated depends on the socio-economic composition of the school, therefore,
schools in poor communities often generated little income through these means. In our
fieldwork, we observed that school expenses were also covered from the teachers own pockets
in very few cases.

With limited discretionary funds, such as the MOOE, school administration can turn to local
government resources as a viable source of funding for the E-SIP. This includes barangay, city
and municipal governments. Funds from the barangay governments could be used to increase
the discretionary pool, therefore, effectively implementing E-SIP priority improvement plans. A
majority of the city and municipal government funds are provided to school as in-kind
contributions through the designated local school board (World Bank, 2016). There is clear
recognition that the E-SIPs should be integrated with the Barangay Annual Plans and budgets
such that school administration’s access to discretionary funds is increased. If the barangay
budget is not in line with the school’s plans, the barangay would not be able to cater to the
school’s needs and plans – either through funds or other means of support. A divisional official
noted:

The E-SIP should be included in the barangay annual budget because the barangay
should provide for the needs of the school (which would be easier to do if the E-SIP and
Barangay plans are integrated). As such, the barangay should provide basic facilities like
the water system and electricity, because those are basic needs of the children from the
same Barangay.

Schools with discretionary funds from the barangay office would enable the implementation of
certain activities identified in the E-SIPs. As such, barangays provide support to schools in
many ways, and this was stressed by school officials, teachers, parents, and barangay officials
in all the elementary schools we visited. However, integration between barangay and school
planning tools and budgets (Barangay Annual Plans and E-SIP) is limited and in cases where
there are signs of integration, it does not happen in a systematic manner. This limited
integration implies that it can be difficult for schools to receive funds from the Barangay office in
a systematic and planned manner.

The effectiveness of the in-school LAC session depends on the peer to peer sessions that are
conducted in school to further the learnings from the UNICEF and COLF LAC orientation. In a
majority of the sampled schools, in-school LAC sessions were held regularly on weekdays. The
frequency and timing of the meeting varied across schools, with some conducting it on a
fortnightly basis, while others conducting them every quarter. In some highly populated schools,
in-school LAC sessions were held separately for teachers for each grade. However, we find that
teachers find it challenging to allocate time for these sessions because of various reasons. For
instance, students have to be sent home during LAC sessions, teachers have multiple
responsibilities, and LAC can be an additional burden due to conflicting schedules of attendees
or personal commitments.

Low attendance, transfer of school officials, and lack of timely communication have reduced the
scope and effectiveness of the LAC orientation. The main attendees of the UNICEF LAC
orientation included school teachers from kinder to Grade 3, head teachers, kinder coordinators

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and district supervisors, though not all stakeholders (identified here) were able to attend each
orientation. The orientation attendees were expected to inform and teach other teachers at the
local level. However, in some cases, some of the attendees had been transferred from the initial
school, so the learning from the training could not be passed as effectively to others in the
school. Additionally, lack of timely communication has meant that main attendees have not been
able to attend the orientation which reduces the effectiveness of the orientation. For instance, a
head teacher mentioned that they were not able to attend the UNICEF LAC orientation session
because they were not informed about the session in a timely manner. The teacher further
requested that UNICEF should not only coordinate with division and district officials but also
explore avenues to contact potential beneficiary schools and head teachers directly, so that they
do not miss out on any of the opportunities available to them. This was especially crucial for
rural schools that are not easily accessible, as communication and contact with even the
division could be constrained under such circumstances.

UNICEF’s support in providing temporary learning spaces (TLS), such as tents, in typhoon
affected areas helped reduce the disruption time of education but is accompanied with reduced
quality of education. While students returned to school faster after a disaster due to UNICEF
provided TLS, it was noted that schools ended up using these TLS for a long period of time, and
in some cases schools were still using them. Additionally, the classrooms in these temporary
learning spaces were not conducive to learning, especially due to high levels of humidity. This
adversely affected students’ performance.

Handwashing was also prescribed in UNICEF’s programme, but schools with limited water
accessibility conducted these activities with reduced frequency. In fact, the biggest challenges
with WASH support have been the availability of reliable water sources, ability to store such
water on site, and abundance of required resources to maintain sanitation and hygiene
standards.

6.1.3 Efficiency

Were the UNICEF Basic Education activities cost-efficient?

As in the case of ECCD, an allocation of resources for each budget line or result area for each
LGU was not available for basic education. This data would have allowed the evaluation team to
draw an in-depth LGU level costing analysis. Overall, budget information by objective was
available for BE, which enabled analysis of financial efficiency i.e. an analysis of over and
underspend on each component. A summary of the total programme budget for the BE
component is shown in Annex M.

DepEd is the main counterpart for UNICEF’s BE programme. Through the annual work plan,
UNICEF and DepEd agree to a list of planned activities each year, and UNICEF’s planned
budget is derived from these annual agreements. Overall, UNICEF covers the cost of activities
(such as trainings) in a limited number of schools within the 36 focus LGUs, and DepEd covers
the cost of wider replication nationwide, hence UNICEF’s contributions are small compared to
that of DepEd. DepEd also provides counterpart support for UNICEF funded activities in the
form of staff time, travel cost, and per diem of DepEd staff and other training attendees, and use
of field office facilities. However, data on counterpart funding from DepEd has not been

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collected and utilised for this evaluation. UNICEF funding data was made available for the
efficiency analysis.

According to UNICEF financial data, US$ 6.2 million of the total planned budget of US$7.4
million has been utilized through the lifetime of the CPC-7 between 2012 and 2016. For each of
the four main objectives of the UNICEF BE programme, we find that funds have been
underutilised, and this speaks to potential efficiency concerns in the BE programme, though
some transfer of fund allocation can be attributed to changing circumstances.

Figure 6 indicates the breakdown of the underutilisation of each of the four objectives. Activities
included under each of these objectives are discussed in detail in Annex D. As the figure shows,
the utilisation rate varied greatly based on UNICEF objectives, with the use of funds for
Objective 1 at 81% for Objective 1, 70% for Objective 2, and 61% for Objective 3. Out of these,
a significant share, US$1.9 million, of UNICEF’s total planned contributions was aimed towards
achieving Objective 2, which was to strengthen capacity, systems, processes, and structures for
achieving Universal Primary Education, and smaller shares were allocated to objectives 1 (US$
0.48 million) and 2 (US$ 0.39 million). Financial data shows that out of the US$ 0.42 million
allocated for Objective 4 of strengthening education delivery for disadvantaged children in
ARMM, only 9%, of the planned budget has been utilised. According to UNICEF, part of this
underutilisation of Objective 4 happened because separate objective milestones for ARMM
were developed in 2015.

Figure 6: Percentage budget utilization by BE objective

90%
81%
80%
70%
70%
61%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
9%
10%
0%
Objective 1: Enhanced Objective 2: Strengthened Objective 3: Strengthened Objective 4: Strengthened
policy and program capacity, systems, evidence-based advocacy education delivery for
environment for achieving processes and structures and resource leveraging disadvantaged children in
UPE with equity and for achieving UPE with for basic education ARMM
gender parity equity and gender parity through quality assurance,
with focus on remote and research and
disadvantaged areas documentation

Source: UNICEF

Overall, the underutilisation of funds has been attributed to delays in implementation due to
various reasons such as prioritisation of disaster response, conflict and security concerns in
ARMM, delay in issuance of DepEd prerequisite authority to conduct the activity, and delays in

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liquidation of previous direct cash transfers to DepEd, causing the non-release of next tranches
of programme funds. According to UNICEF, planned activities have been carried forward to the
following year, so the budget could still be utilised.

It is important to elaborate that there was no funding planned for disaster response activities.
However, due to the large-scale typhoons encountered in the Philippines during CPC-7, and the
adverse effect of the typhoons on education systems, funds had to be reallocated from
milestone activities to cover cost of response to typhoons. This is the primary reason for the
underutilisation of budget across the planned milestones. During CPC-7, US$ 4.8 million was
reallocated to harmonise disaster emergency preparedness and response.

Were the UNICEF Basic Education programmes efficient in terms of working with the
government programmes and systems?

Several national and regional level informants were of the opinion that UNICEF is perceived as
having a good working relationship with partners, where, ‘there is an exchange of ideas and
mutually beneficial learning’. However, some government agencies have mixed views on how
well UNICEF engages with individual agencies. One such example is how UNICEF has
engaged officers from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Some
respondents noted that UNICEF officers only provide NEDA with work and financial plans for
CPC-7 but NEDA were not informed on actual outputs and deliverables. There used to be a
coordination committee in CPC-6 but this was reported to be non-functional during CPC-7 and
respondents noted little direct interaction with NEDA.

UNICEF programme support is seen as efficient at addressing local needs. Local respondents
see UNICEF’s role as providing materials, technical assistance, and capacity building of DepEd
and LGUs. UNICEF works with local partners to achieve the objectives of its country
programme and pursues a participatory approach when working with local governments. Local
government officials appreciate UNICEF’s efforts. For instance, a division official reported that
UNICEF is ‘instrumental in involvement of our communities’ and ‘at times they tell us what the
barangay and parents need’. The engagement is based on demand, and mainly involves
provision of technical support. LGU demands are often matched with civil society organisations
that can help with implementation as well. At the LGU level, many school, barangay and
municipal officials were in contact with UNICEF staff members and felt they could contact
UNICEF directly when needed. A municipal officer mentioned having two-way ‘direct
communication through emails and calls’. This shows the close relationship between UNICEF
and local stakeholders, and that the UNICEF programming is efficiently embedded into
government systems at the local level.

Were Basic Education objectives achieved on time?

UNICEF’s programme objectives have remained similar across time but targets have had to be
adjusted and some indicators re-defined in the face of several implementation challenges (as
mentioned above). Assessing the timely achievement of objectives was thus beyond the scope
of the evaluation, as this evaluation was focused on the formative assessment of the BE
programme components. See section 2.6 on the challenges around implementation

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Was the Education programme and Basic Education component implemented in the
most efficient way compared to alternatives?

Similar to ECCD, in BE, UNICEF aligned its programmes closely to government programmes
and systems, and UNICEF supported activities are clearly aligned with national priorities. In
particular, UNICEF support to E-SIPs and SRCs, LACs, WASH, and curriculum
contextualisation resonates with the Government of Philippines’ activities on improving
education access, quality, and governance. Most downstreaming activities such as training
sessions were conducted in collaboration with DepEd. UNICEF’s strategic advantage is in
supporting DepEd through technical input and advice, particularly in the design and
implementation of various trainings targeting key stakeholders at all levels of the schooling
system. To accomplish this, UNICEF has partnered closely with other organisations such as
Plan International, Notre Dame University (NDU), and COLF to maximise output and deliver
high quality support to DepEd and municipalities.

Since the implementation of numerous BE programmes were ongoing, and since alternative
activities and programmes were not assessed, it has not been possible to analyse the efficiency
of the programme in relation to alternatives in this evaluation.

6.1.4 Impact

What has happened as a result of the Basic Education component of the country
programme?

UNICEF’s support in basic education has contributed to the enhancement and effective
implementation of school based management tools and policies, which also triggered the
increase in enrolments due to the mapping exercises. UNICEF’s support on the development of
the SIP-SRC Guidebook culminated in the issuance of DepEd Order No. 44 in September 2015,
thereby formally adopting the enhanced School Improvement Process (SIP) process and School
Report Card (SRC) (UNICEF, 2016c). This created the platform for the national level roll-out of
E-SIPs. As discussed earlier, the possibility of being able to attribute impact at the local level to
a particular organisation is low. Here we present the evidence of the impact of implementation
of UNICEF’s BE components in the UNICEF supported schools in convergence barangays. As
mentioned above, however, we found limited evidence to suggest that a wider group was able
to fully benefit from UNICEF’s support.

E-SIPs have carved a unique place in school based management and planning. E-SIPs are
being seen and utilized as the primary planning tool in schools upon which ‘all of the school
plans are anchored’, as noted by a divisional official. In most cases, head teachers saw the E-
SIPs as guides for the schools, which help each school set its own direction and several
respondents including head teachers, district supervisors, and SBM coordinators described the
E-SIP as the bible of the school. E-SIPs have helped local officials identify the problems in their
barangays and find reasonable solutions to those problems. Some of the solutions that were
developed through the E-SIP include but are not limited to enrolling youth into ALS programme
and holding advocacy sessions in the community for enrolment drives.

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The potential impact of E-SIP on out of school children was hindered by lack of financial
resources, not the inability to produce E-SIPs. The PETS-QSDS study indicates that in 2014,
almost all schools had school improvement plans in place, however, in many cases they did not
have the financial autonomy and leeway to implement these plans (World Bank, 2016). Our
research corroborates these findings. Through our fieldwork, we learnt that the lack of available
funds is a major hurdle in the implementation of priority improvement areas identified in schools’
E-SIP. This is not to say that no priority improvement area had been implemented by schools.
Instead, the implementation of these priority improvement areas was lagging behind the E-SIP
plans. For instance, some schools have identified innovative ways of implementing the priority
improvement areas identified through E-SIP in a low-cost or subsidized manner. In one school
they encouraged students to remain in school by making ‘lessons more creative and interesting
for students’, providing the ‘feeding programme through funding secured through a private
company’ and ‘teachers sponsoring certain students’ transportation to and from school’.
Therefore, there is evidence of positive implementation of E-SIP, however, as identified there is
room for improvement.

While the programmatic outcomes of the school improvement plans may be limited, they still
facilitate the enrolment of out of school children through community outreach. The SPT identify
out of school children – particularly those belonging to IP communities or remote areas – during
the mapping exercise and utilize this opportunity to enrol out of school children. A head teacher
described this as an opportunity to conduct ‘early enrolment’ into their school. However, some
students continue to drop out of school due to factors such as low student motivation, and
seasonal demand for child labour. Low student motivation may be linked to factors pertaining to
the overall access and quality of schooling, along with personal preferences. The seasonal
demand for child labour was described by one district official as follows:

Enrolment increases during mapping but gradually falls during the schools year. This is a
problem during harvest time in particular, where students help their parents harvest so
most children aren’t in school for a couple of weeks at least.

Additionally, out of school youth and adults who missed out on formal education are also
identified during mapping and enrolled in the ALS (Alternative Learning System) through
teacher’s community outreach. A barangay official corroborated that the mapping is ‘effective in
identifying out of school youth’ in their barangay, and once identified they are ‘encouraged to
enrol in ALS’. Furthermore, the SRC is an important tool that allows a school to take stock of its
performance and report to the community and other stakeholders to improve communication,
awareness, and transparency. District and divisional respondents identify SRCs as useful
because they help secure funds from external stakeholders who require transparency from the
school. This was particularly relevant in ARMM, where MOOE funds were limited. Local level
respondents mentioned that SRCs help develop deeper partnerships and keep stakeholders
informed.

For the UNICEF supported Learning Action Cells, as a result of the orientation sessions,
teachers in most LGUs emphasised that they were able to incorporate play based learning
practices by developing their own games. This was achieved through both the training and the
guides and material provided to teachers after the trainings. A kinder teacher noted that the
children ‘Play bingo or memory games in classes to practice children’s memory in picture and

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colour’. LAC orientation sessions are to be followed by in-school peer to peer sessions, a
teacher described this as a ‘venue for the exchange of ideas among teachers to improve the
delivery of education to our students’. Local level respondents note that this has resulted in a
shift in pedagogical approached. One district official stated:

There are changes in teaching strategy, like they have new approach for teaching,
because they share ideas among themselves like what are the new interactive materials
or what are the new trend for teaching.

Moreover, due to LAC orientation, teachers reported that they had started utilising participatory
and interactive approaches in lessons, and focussing on students based levels of competency
in subject matter. As one example, teachers would dedicate more time towards students who
had not understood a subject matter. Teachers strategically paired students with different
competency levels to increase learning of slow learners. This practice has included pairing
students within the same grade and between different grades. Moreover, teachers reported that
they gained deeper understanding of the curriculum and ways of implementing it in practice
through the LAC orientation sessions.

As mentioned above, UNICEF’s efforts in strengthening emergency preparedness and response


played a pivotal role in reducing the disruption caused by typhoon Melor in these parts of Aroroy
and Bobon. Due to the training provided by UNICEF, community members, including children,
were aware of what to do upon hearing disaster warnings. The barangay council does not have
to go from one house to another to remind the house owners anymore. This time, when the
community hears the warning sign they would immediately go out and look for a safe place. For
instance, upon hearing a disaster warning, children were aware that they must head to the
identified evacuation centres.

UNICEF’s support on WASH activities has resulted in improved handwashing and oral hygiene
behaviour in children both at school and at home. In a few sampled schools, UNICEF had
provided hygiene kits including soap, toothpaste gel, and toothbrush to children. Some schools
had also received washing stations, and some school teachers had been trained by Action
Against Hunger (ACF) and UNICEF. Head teachers observed some changes in children’s
behaviour as they incorporated hand washing into their daily routine. For instance, they noted
that they had seen children had been washing their hands before eating without being
prompted. In a few cases, this was also believed to be associated with reduction in sickness.
Parents recognised the benefits of regular WASH activities for children, some of the benefits
mentioned included learning ‘the importance of cleanliness and proper hygiene’ and learning
how to brush their teeth to ‘not experience tooth ache’.

Additionally, parents have reported that children practice proper sanitation and hygiene
behaviours on their own initiative at home as well. Whereby children conduct activities like:
‘wash their hands before eating and then they brush their teeth after eating’. Parents reported
that children encourage the rest of the family to follow suit and reported that children were the
ones to inform them about appropriate hand washing practices in some cases. In this way, the
impact of the WASH programme is also felt beyond the walls of the school as well.

What real difference has the basic education model made to the beneficiaries?

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The key intended beneficiaries of UNICEFs BE programming are students. UNICEF is reaching
them through supporting their teachers, parents, community members, school principals,
barangays, regional officials, and central officials. To the extent that UNICEF programmes have
been implemented at the grassroots level, they have had a direct impact on the intended
beneficiaries at that level. There are certain challenges that remain (lack of resources,
shortcomings with trainings, continued complexity of the situation), but the immediate impact on
those who have felt the programmes has been positive.

However, this impact has largely remained localised to the immediately intended, limited
beneficiaries. It was noted through discussions with local level respondents that even in the
selected barangays, parents, community members and even school staff were often unaware
and unaffected by UNICEF’s direct support in their community. Significant challenges, including
resource constraints, will make it difficult for UNICEF to reach a wider range of stakeholders, so
greater effort will be needed at the central and regional levels to ensure that the gains and
learnings from UNICEF programmes will be consolidated further at the national level.

Whilst it is difficult to claim causal impact in the absence of a counterfactual, an assessment of


impact can be made by looking at changes in some key indicators, in particular those relating to
attitudinal changes. These indicators are stated in the BE evaluation framework. We note that it
is difficult to attribute the efforts made by UNICEF to gains in basic education indicators. This is
compounded by inconsistency in indicators between the years 2012 and 2015, as systems for
recording and reporting data throughout Philippines changed. For instance, nationally apparent
intake rates (AIR) decreased substantially but net intake rates (NIR) increased by 5%, indicating
a normalisation of age 6 pupils in grade 1. We note some of the main trends we see in the
quantitative analysis in Annex K.

Owing to issues with existing datasets and time limitations, attitudinal questions were only
assessed for 2016 MIS data to better understand discrepancies between regions. Indicators
such as participation rates and attendance rates and changes to parental attitudes could be
responded via the MIS Survey, however, data with which to evaluate the impact of many
initiatives was not available. For example, UNICEF has implemented E-SIP in many schools,
however there is no data on how this has impacted schools. The evaluation team requested
data on these schools but this was not available. Any progress made at the individual school
level would not be evident in LGU or regional aggregated data. In order to properly evaluate the
impact of this initiative, data on school finances would be required as well as data which related
to the objectives of the new SIP. For example if the objective was to reduce dropout rates, then
that schools dropout rates would be required. Quantitative data required for the assessment of
the impact on participation or quality in these schools was not available. This indicates that
more attention needs to be given to the monitoring and evaluation strategy in future country
programmes to ensure progress towards objectives and goals can be assessed at the school
and individual level (see Section 8 for more details).

Quantitative analysis of the Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS) show some
progress in terms of the provision of elementary education at the national level throughout the
period of CPC-7. However, we note that attribution to UNICEF is difficult to establish.

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 Elementary survival rate from Grade 1 to Grade 6 increased nationally by 13.1%, from
74.24% (GPI 1.11) in 2012 to 87.30% (GPI 1.07) in 2015. This demonstrates large
improvements in participation. However, there were large disparities between the
elementary survival rate in ARMM and other regions of the Philippines. Data analysis
indicates that the survival rate in ARMM was much lower at 40.9% (GPI 1.16) in 2015.
This may be due to poor data, which is common in conflict regions, or it may be owing to
the conflict itself, or a combination of factors.

 Trends show that the national Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) for elementary education
decreased by 7.2%, from 113.5% (GPI 0.98) in 2012 to 106.3% (GPI 0.98) in 2015. In
addition, the Net Enrolment Rate (NER) for elementary education decreased by 4.1%,
from 95.1% (GPI 1.02) in 2012 to 91.1% (GPI 1.02) in 2015. This indicates significant
improvement in age appropriate enrolment, which may be linked to an increased
awareness of ECCD and kinder age among teachers, parent and communities. However
it also indicates a decrease in participation rates in elementary education. This may be
due to corrected data in the EBEIS.23

 Nationally, the average elementary promotion rate (G1 to G6) increased 1.15%, from
95.1% (GPI 1.03) in 2012 to 97.2% (GPI 1.02) in 2015. The average elementary
repetition rate (G1 to G6) decreased 1.85%, from 2.47% (GPI 0.51) in 2012 to 0.62%
(GPI 0.45) in 2015. The average elementary Dropout rate (G1 to G6) increased 0.22%,
from 0.95% (GPI 0.55) in 2012 to 1.18% (GPI 0.57) in 2015. Although dropouts
decreased, there was an increase in the efficiency and retention of the education
system.24

 Nationally, the average elementary transition rate to intermediate increased 1.69% from
95.8% (GPI 1.02) in 2012 to 97.5% (GPI 1.02) in 2015, demonstrating improvements in
efficiency and beneficial outcomes. The average elementary transition rate in ARMM
increased to intermediate level by 3.4% from 79.3% (GPI 1.05) in 2012 to 82.6% (GPI
1.04) in 2015. This increase is well above the national average. However, the transition
rate in ARMM, at 82.6%, still remains well below the national average and below all
other regions, the lowest of which is Region IX with 96.4%.

6.1.5 Sustainability

What were the major factors which influenced the achievement or non-achievement of
the sustainability of the Education component of the country programme?

A number of UNICEF-supported programmes are ongoing, and CPC-7 has also been extended
for two years through a bridging programme. Given that a number of BE programmes are at an
early stage of implementation, such as the support to improve the delivery of multi-grade
education, development of planning tools for teacher hardship incentives, and the support to
learning assessment through the participation of Philippines in the SEA-PLM in 2018, it is not

23 As noted in 2012, EBEIS recorded enrolments as aggregate totals from schools. In 2015, individual pupil data was
recorded. This transition may lower country enrolment figures as every pupil must be accounted for in the system.
24 Efficiency gains mentioned here refer to reduced wastage, that is, the reduction in dropout, repetition and increases

in promotion rate.

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yet possible to attest their sustainability. However, some analysis can be done on whether
UNICEF’s programme is perceived to be sustainable and if activities supported under the
programme are likely to continue once programme funding is ceased.

According to national level respondents, sustainability is more likely to be achievable for


UNICEF BE programmes when they are embedded into government systems, policies, and/or
plans. UNICEF’s support in SBM tools and policies is deeply embedded in government systems
and processes, therefore, even if funding ceased, it may not adversely influence sustainability.
Programmes embedded into government systems may also benefit from the increase in the
government budget allocation to education.

In instances where UNICEF support is not embedded into the system, the long-term
effectiveness of the current support influences the resulting sustainability. In the case of LAC,
several local level stakeholders were of the opinion that the LAC support was sustainable
because it had a long lasting impact on the competencies of teachers who had undergone the
UNICEF LAC training. At the same time, at the grassroots level, we found that people who had
attended LAC trainings had often forgotten the training content and were not able to provide
details about what they had learned. In several cases, LAC orientation attendees were only able
to identify the name, location, or trainer’s name for the orientation, but could not clearly
articulate what they had learned or what had been covered during the training. School principals
mentioned ‘having attended a lot of trainings’ due to which they may have difficulty in recalling
the content of the LAC orientation. The evidence is thus mixed regarding the expected
sustainability of UNICEF’s LAC support. To some extent, this also speaks to the effectiveness of
the LAC training and its implication on the sustainability of UNICEF support.

On a related note, lack of ownership and continuity at the local level are major challenges for
the sustainability of UNICEF’s support to BE at the LGU level. Transfer of staff at all levels of
government, including school, barangay, and municipal level, is a major hindrance to the
continuity of the programme at the local level. The evaluation team observed that there had
recently been a lot of transfers in schools and divisional DepEd offices, which was also a result
of recent reorganisations from national, regional and division levels. With the transfer of officials
to other locations, learnings accumulated through trainings had been partially lost. This was
particularly problematic if the official who had attended the trainings directly and responsible for
spreading the knowledge and exchanging ideas had been transferred. Furthermore, as
mentioned above, transfer of teachers or municipal staff trained on LAC meant that school and
even municipalities lost some of the knowledge gained through LAC orientation sessions.

Moreover, the example of WASH support demonstrates the complexity of assessing


sustainability, because UNICEF support has clearly helped change attitudes and behaviours
among learners (and even parents) but the lack of continued resources threatens to reduce both
the immediate and long term gains from this programme. A school principal articulated this point
in this way:

I want this handwashing and tooth-brushing to be implemented regularly. One thing I


regret is the sustainability of the toothbrush because the UNICEF and ACF has provided
us but only for a few months. I want that to be improved, if possible, (to be provided)
school year round.

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School teachers as well as parents reported that the children in their school are very poor, and
so cannot afford to buy these hygiene products without external support. According to DepEd
policy, schools can explore other means to support WASH activities, including through the E-
SIP or external funds, however, the evaluation team did not observe many instances of this at
the local level. Even when they get used to the practices, then, they are unable to continue them
when supplies finish. The evaluation team observed this as well, as some classrooms had
specially designed wooden cupboards to hold pupil toothbrushes, but the students did not
actually use them anymore, as supplies such as toothpaste had already been used and were no
longer available. Therefore, the sustainability of the impact of WASH support was diminished at
the local level because of a lack of resources.25

6.2 Gender and equity in BE


Quantitative analysis of MIS data also indicates that there remains considerable work to achieve
equity in the focal areas. Whilst the participation of girls and boys in each region was reasonably
well balanced, there were equity issues in the participation of different language and ethnic
groups and gender dimensions to participation within each language/ethnic group. There are
variations between regions in access to textbooks indicating inequalities in access to quality
education. Children with disabilities have lower rates of participation than other children and are
not identified or tracked well. In particular, we note:

 Participation figures for boys and girls indicate that equality of participation was not a
significant problem at the start of the programme, and that remained the case at the end
as well. However, this may mask quality issues concerning access and provision. In
2016, there were also almost equal proportions of girls and boys aged 6 to 11 attending
school, with a Gender Parity Index (GPI) of 1.01. The gap widened significantly in favour
of girls in two LGUs, Mamasapano, Maguindanao (GPI 1.14) and Parang, Maguindanao
(GPI 1.11), although it was not possible to assess the reasons behind this result
because of the sequencing of the evaluation activities (as the qualitative fieldwork had to
be carried out before the quantitative data had been collected and analysed. This
suggest the need for UNICEF to closely monitor and address the disadvantaged
situation of boys in conflict affected areas. In all other cases, the final GPI was within 5
points of parity.

 Elementary participation levels were generally high, but there were variations for
different ethnic groups. Sama children only have an 83% attendance rate and Tausug
are at 92%, whilst other ethnic groups were closer to the mean participation rate of 97%.
Local access to education and poverty could be responsible for such disparities, and
they highlight the gaps that remain to achieve equity.

 Closely related to ethnicity is the language spoken at home. 42 language groupings


were identified. There are large variations in access to elementary education based on
language spoken at the home of the child. Many language groupings have almost 100%
enrolment but there are a number that have low enrolments. Most notable are the low

25Note here that the evaluation was not focussed on studying other modalities of implementing the WASH in schools
component, so we cannot comment on the sustainability of the full extent of BE WASH programming.

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attendance rates of children from homes where the languages Sama (Samal)/Abaknon
82.6%, Tausog 91.5%, Iranon 94.4%, Subanen (Sicon,Zambo.Norte)/Subaben (Zambo.
Norte & Sur) 94.8% and Maguindanao 95.1% are spoken. This closely reflects the
enrolment rates of the different ethnic groups associated with the languages. This will
also be related to factors such as local access to education and poverty and highlights
the gaps that remain to achieve equity.

 Whilst most language groups have a balanced representation of girls and boys enrolled
in elementary schools, there were notable exceptions in which either boys or girls were
excluded. The exceptions are Sama (Sama Bangengeh) (GPI 0.67) with more boys
proportional to girls enrolled, and Subanen (GPI 1.10), Iranon (GPI 1.13) and Tagakaolo
(1.15) with more girls than boys.

 In total, 82% of children have access to textbooks in class (boys 81%, girls 82%, GPI
1.01). However, there is significant variation between regions in terms of access to
textbooks. For example, in Cotabato only 64% of pupils attending school have access to
textbooks, compared to 93% in Cawayan. In addition, there still remains a gap within
regions with 18% of pupils not having access to textbooks. Likely as a result of the
shortage of textbooks, 29% of parents reported their children had to share a textbook
with others in the class (boys 28%, girls 30%, GPI 1.05). However there are large
regional variations. For example, only 9% of pupils shared textbooks in Kalamasansig
but over half of the pupils (53%) in Labo shared textbooks.

 Children with disabilities have lower rates of participation, and they are not identified or
tracked well. There is no standard method, such as the Washington Standards, for
identifying and classifying a child with disabilities. The number of children with disabilities
aged 6-11 identified through the survey is very small, typically ranging from 1 to 13
children in each LGU, the highest being Arakan. Therefore, it is difficult to make robust
claims regarding participation of children with disabilities.

The quantitative analysis of MIS data corroborate some of the key gender and equity related
findings of the qualitative data. At the grassroots level, we did not find any strong evidence
reporting of gender inequality in terms of access to education. However, school staff – including
principals and teachers – mentioned the difficulty IP communities, particularly those living in
remote areas, face in regularly attending school. The analysis indicates that the equity concerns
may be shifting and one needs to adopt a more nuanced approach to identify those who are
disadvantaged in education access.

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7 Conclusion and lessons learned

7.1 Conclusion
The GPH- UNICEF education programme has operated across 36 vulnerable LGUs which vary
significantly in socio-economic characteristics, and have different capacities to implement
programmes through local partners (such as DepEd, DSWD, and BLGUs). This is not an
uncommon feature of donor programmes, and must be recognised when evaluating programme
performance over time. Furthermore, as noted in earlier sections, the implementation of this
programme has seen negative events such as typhoon Haiyan or conflict (most notably in
Mindanao), as well as positive events such as the government’s K-12 reform. The negative
events have impeded UNICEF’s ability to implement some activities on time, for instance by
diverting attention and resources towards emergency response programming. This has also
resulted in a change of some indicators and associated targets along the way. At the same time,
positive changes in government legislation and commitment towards ECCD and BE have
provided an enabling environment for UNICEF’s programme activities. UNICEF’s performance,
therefore, must not be assessed in isolation or purely measured through changes in indicators
stated in the Evaluation framework. Our evaluation has attempted to consider these external
factors and our findings present a nuanced analysis of achievements and non-achievements
over time.

The selection of vulnerable LGUs and the explicit focus on equity and disadvantaged
communities are key strengths of the CP. The contexts within which UNICEF has provided
support have been very challenging intentionally, and this focus is noteworthy.

Overall, the ECCD component of the 7th CP was designed to be relevant to country priorities
and despite significant progress in ECCD investment and outcomes, at least two of the three
initial objectives remain relevant for future programming (quality and institutional strengthening).
The intended outcomes of this programme were ambitious and far reaching: improving ECCD
quality, stimulating demand, and strengthening policy formulation in focus vulnerable 36 LGUs.
There are numerous activities or programmes within the 7th CP that speak to one or more of
these outcomes. Similarly, UNICEF’s BE support has been relevant, activities have largely been
effective, and they have produced a positive impact in local communities and national thinking.
We do note that some BE components have been embedded into government systems and
operations; national respondents suggest that this may enhance the sustainability of UNICEF’s
support.

The M&E framework designed to assess performance for this programme is weak, both by
design and in implementation (for instance, an important omission is any indicator measuring
‘quality’ of ECCD and BE services). This means that evaluating performance over the last five
years and attributing impact to UNICEF is methodologically challenging. The concern with
attribution should not be considered to be a problem in and of itself, because meaningful
partnerships and effective collaboration between organisations is critical to achieving lasting
impact. However, the contribution of UNICEF’s specific support should be understood to
institutionalise successes and generate learning for the future, both for UNICEF and other
stakeholders.

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This evaluation has adopted various approaches to overcome some of these methodological
issues. Bearing in mind methodological caveats, we find that UNICEF’s programme overall has
largely been relevant, most activities were effective, and fund utilisation has been efficient.
UNICEF’s technical support is valued at the national and sub-national levels, and the
organisation is seen as a consultative partner by government and other stakeholders. Most
UNICEF activities have been implemented through established government service delivery
channels, and this has enhanced the capacity of government bodies to implement education
services. Several upstream and downstream activities have been conducted by UNICEF under
this component, and our findings suggest that the programme has been relatively more
successful in implementing downstream activities as compared to upstream activities. This
relates to UNICEF feeding back lessons learned through support of downstream activities to
stakeholders at the national level. There is limited evidence to suggest that UNICEF’s
experience from the field has been consolidated and communicated at the national level to
influence DepEd or DSWD’s education programming, either in more areas within the focus
LGUs or in additional LGUs. Although UNICEF has conducted numerous upstream activities
(under Output 3 of ECCD and Objective 1 and 3 of BE), national level stakeholders
demonstrated little recognition of significant policy influence at the central level.

Our findings suggest that UNICEF’s downstream support in provision of high quality learning
and wash materials, training of trainers, development of national guidebooks, and ECCD
checklist has been critical in the majority of focus LGUs. The provision of this support was
essential to the basic functioning of many schools, day care centres, SNPs, and Kindergartens.

Whilst attribution of impact was difficult, evidence gathered from a sub-sample of focus LGUs
suggest that end line beneficiaries saw a positive impact of UNICEF supported education
services, especially at the local level. In the focus LGUs where the 7th CP operates, participation
rates for ECCD have generally risen. Nevertheless, dropout rates have also risen and attitudes
of parents of out of school children have declined, although there are variations across LGUs.
Gender differences continue to exist, again with variation across LGUs. Similarly for BE,
national indicators show gains in access and participation, with gender parity largely achieved.
Therefore progress in improving access to education has been mixed and this calls for further
in-depth research in understanding the reasons behind such trends.

Moreover, at the grassroots level, UNICEF’s BE support has been largely effective at achieving
the specific targets of each component, albeit with some challenged. We find that UNICEF
support has strengthened local level collaboration on school-community planning processes
through the E-SIP. Particularly in ARMM, UNICEF’s support has been linked directly to the
increased capacity of local government and schools in enhanced planning processes. The
strength of UNICEF’s support in LAC has been in the shift in pedagogical practices. Local
officials noted a number of improved teaching practices adopted in classrooms.

A key conclusion arising from our findings is that the 7th CP overall is focussed on improving
access to ECCD rather than improving quality of service delivery. Furthermore, there is no
indicator or data source measuring quality of ECCD services in the evaluation framework.
Although the ECCD checklist is an important tool for child assessment, it is unclear if data from
these checklists is stored and analysed at an aggregate level to provide meaningful estimates
on learning outcomes. We also find little discussion of quality, especially in child learning

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outcomes, in earlier assessments and reviews. Programmes supported by UNICEF such as


SNP, day care, KCEP and tahderiyyah are designed and implemented primarily to fill in supply-
side gaps and aim to reach children in remote, disadvantaged regions. Focusing on access
alone is understandable in certain contexts where UNICEF operates, for instance, in ARMM
where supply of basic ECCD services is inadequate due to persistent conflict and violence.
However programming as it stands largely contradicts the stated ‘quality’ objective of the 7th CP,
and programmes should have an explicit quality focus if improving quality is a priority for the
next country programme.

7.2 Lessons learned


Measuring the effectiveness and impact of training activities is challenging for a number of
reasons. Given the high levels of turnover of ECCD workers, training sessions split over a
number of months may not be effective as attendees change. Furthermore, roll out trainings that
rely on training the trainers are less effective than direct training sessions in ensuring the correct
transmission and retention of knowledge imparted in trainings, even if they are less resource
intensive.

Despite the change in legislation and almost universal awareness of the importance of ECCD,
day care and kindergartens still receive less attention in resource allocation and planning at the
municipal and barangay level. This is evident in the nature of recruitment, which often relies on
poorly paid volunteers for day care and SNP, as well as the use of untrained senior-grade
teachers in KGs. There is also reportedly a shortage of skilled staff to serve in these positions.
Regular and high quality provision of ECCD services would require structural changes in the
process of recruitment done by DSWD and DepEd, as well as department policies around
training of volunteer teachers.

Certain activities like contextualisation of curriculum for Tedurays and tahderiyyahs in ARMM
would not have taken place without UNICEF’s support. However, these activities should have
been conducted in greater collaboration with DepEd and DSWD at the central and regional
level, from the beginning and throughout the leadership changes in government. This could
have prevented issues around transition of students from alternative ECCD programmes (SNPs,
KCEP and tahderiyyah) to kindergarten. Having said that, any programming in the ARMM using
non-state actors is challenging, and UNICEF is in a unique position to support the delivery of
crucial ECCD services in conflict affected areas. UNICEF’s support to the tahderiyyah
programme has supported peace building, and advocacy efforts have reportedly contributed to
better relationship between DepEd ARMM and BDA over time.

Programmes that place a high burden on local resources require additional support to be
successful. UNICEF’s support is weakened by the high burden it places on the local level
officials and school staff. Multiple UNICEF supported programmes in BE place a burden on the
time and resources required from local level officials, (including head teachers, teachers, SBM
coordinators, and District supervisors). For instance, teachers devote a significant amount of
time and resource in the door to door mapping exercise carried out for the E-SIP without
additional remuneration. It is important to recognise teachers and head teachers’ efforts in
mapping and E-SIP by providing appropriate incentives for the activities. The involvement of
teachers in LAC sessions also places a high burden on their time outside schooling hours.

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Despite having to balance a heavy workload against these extra commitments, their
involvement in these activities has not been well recognised or compensated. Moreover, limited
school-level funds for operationalization of E-SIP plans has dampened the impact of the support
as well. This weakens UNICEF’s support, as it reduces local officials’ capacity to implement the
programme, and threatens the effectiveness of these nationally driven programmes in the poor
and disadvantaged schools focused by UNICEF.

An important lesson for the future is that even programmes designed at the outset to ensure
sustainability may not achieve intended outcomes in the face of extreme capacity and budgetary
constraints, especially at the local level. UNICEF’s support to WASH exemplifies this. As with
most distribution activities, one-off provision of materials such as oral hygiene kits, checklists,
furniture, and learning materials is helpful but not sufficient for sustained impact. In most
instances, schools are unable to continue with activities because parents are too poor to afford
the purchase of these materials. In instances where these activities resume, parents or teachers
have to incur out of pocket expenses to purchase these materials. This is problematic in areas
where the majority of parents are extremely poor, especially those not enrolled in the 4Ps
programme. UNICEF staff are aware of these shortcomings, including a clear awareness of the
difficult circumstances within which they work. They have also taken a multi-faceted approach to
provide resources, attempted to change attitudes, and influence policy at the sub-national and
national levels to improve the provision of WASH in ECCD centres and schools. Nonetheless,
the situation in many rural areas remains dire, so UNICEF will have to continue to engage
meaningfully with wider actors at the regional and national level to create a facilitating
environment and infrastructure within which their programmes can work.

Given methodological constraints of this evaluation (described in detail in Annex D), the
foremost being attribution of impact for several activities implemented non-uniformly, the M&E
framework for this programme is not ideally designed nor well-suited for a ‘clean’ evaluation.
Certain indicators assigned in the evaluation framework are not reliable and/or valid. In addition,
quantitative data sources used, such as the MIS and EBEIS, have several quality issues. The
M&E framework assessment could have benefitted from ‘smart’ indicators with clear targets
defined across time. Furthermore, parallel qualitative research could have supplemented
existing data sources to uncover in-depth issues such as reasons for drop-outs, parental
perceptions, and causes of gender bias.

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8 Recommendations
Having discussed the key findings in the last chapter, we present our prioritised
recommendations for UNICEF as well as the Government of Philippines and other relevant
stakeholders below. These recommendations should not be understood as discrete and
separate, but instead in relation to each other, as the integrated acceptance of these
recommendations in conjunction is necessary to improve the success of future UNICEF
programmes.

Recommendations for UNICEF at the macro level

1) UNICEF should design, develop, and implement its Planning and M&E frameworks
at the start of the country programme.

a. The evaluation framework should include process evaluations to assess the design
and implementation of ongoing activities, and provide course corrections as
necessary. In addition, the impact evaluation should also allow for a baseline at the
start of the CP, a potential midline, and then an endline to ensure a systematic and
rigorous methodology for the evaluation. Such an approach would help address a
number of issues that have come up during this evaluation. (Also see
recommendation 2.)

b. The evaluation framework should also include more relevant quality indicators so
that the focus is not only on access and participation.

c. M&E assumptions should be clearly stated at the outset so attribution and


contribution of the programme can be determined, especially as the education sector
gets external support from multiple partners.

d. The M&E framework should be designed with government partners, including the
oversight agency, NEDA, to ensure that commitments are systematically monitored.

e. UNICEF should also develop its Communications for Development Plans early in the
CP to avoid communication and coordination issues.

2) UNICEF should make explicit the link between each programme/activity pursued
within a CP and the objectives of the CP.

a. Each activity and programme should be linked to the broader Theory of Change
of the CP, with specific references to how each activity links to UNICEF goals.
The logical framework for each of the programme sub-components and its
relationship to UNICEF’s stated goals should be made clear from the start of the
programme.

b. This would also allow clarity in assessing whether (or not) and how UNICEF is
achieving its targets against its stated objectives. Since the evaluation will be
carried out against the OECD-DAC criteria, explicitly stated statements at the
planning stage about the expected relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact

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and sustainability of these programmes should be prepared to provide clarity to


the implementation teams about how each programme contributes to the overall
goals of the organisation.

3) Acknowledging the difficulties of attribution, UNICEF should set targets and


design internal assessments accordingly.

a. UNICEF provides targeted support to particular programmes, and many other


organisations, including government agencies, play a critical role in the success
of these programmes. In addition, the wider context also affects the impact of
UNICEF supported activities. As such, UNICEF should develop indicators and
set targets that explicitly focus on the contribution they can make towards ECCD
and BE access and quality.

b. The implication of this recommendation should not be misunderstood to mean


that UNICEF should not work in partnerships; indeed, this is one of the greatest
strengths of UNICEF’s country programme. Instead, the targets should be
designed to be mindful of these partnerships, so that they are achievable and
can be assessed accordingly.

4) UNICEF should prioritise key areas where the organisation has comparative
advantage, to maximise its impact through the next CP.

a. UNICEF has carried out a broad range of activities across a very diverse country. The
ECCD component of the evaluation alone has assessed seven components of three
different programmes, for instance, and the organisation runs the risk of spreading itself
too thin. As such, we strongly recommend that UNICEF carry out a detailed mapping of
its priorities in relation to its comparative advantage, and pursue a limited number of
programmes to achieve its objectives. According to our analysis, some of the areas
where UNICEF has comparative advantage include:

i. The context within which UNICEF works in the Philippines is unique, given its
focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. UNICEF’s expertise and
experience in working with rural and urban poor, children with disabilities, and
indigenous populations is both timely and noteworthy, and this work should be
prioritised in the future as well.

ii. In terms of geography, UNICEF has comparative advantage in ARMM, especially


given their good contacts not only with DepEd and DepEd-ARMM but also MILF
and BDA. UNICEF has developed these relationships over a long period of time,
and maintained them through its local presence as well. This area should remain
a key focus for UNICEF, especially considering the significant challenges there.

a. UNICEF’s current approach to work in 36 LGUs should also be reassessed.


In addition to thematic spread, the vast geographic breadth of UNICEF’s
activities limits the depth to which these activities can be implemented in
each target area.

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iii. UNICEF have a global reputation for high quality research, which is not always in
the agenda for either government institutions or international organisations. This
could be a key area for UNICEF Philippines to commission and carry out rigorous
research to inform debates and influence evidence-based policy at the national
level.

5) In order to strengthen the link between its downstreaming and upstreaming


activities, UNICEF should explicitly establish clear links between the two and
secure commitment from government stakeholders in advance.

a. Most UNICEF programmes are extremely relevant, and have had significant
impact at the local level. UNICEF should prioritise the expansion of these gains
to the national level in the next CP. For instance, the support to SNPs has
revitalised the provision of alternative day care services in some of the most
disadvantaged areas of the country, but the impact of UNICEF’s support could be
exponentially increased if various government bodies such as DSWD were to
ensure the provision of similar support to other areas which do not currently
benefit from effective SNP services.

b. Before UNICEF rolls out various programmes or support to existing downstream


activities, there should be a clear plan in place for how the learnings and gains
from these activities can be scaled up effectively to ensure effective upstreaming
as well. This plan should be detailed to include the terms under which these
programmes will be expanded, the responsibilities for UNICEF and partner
organisations, and the timeframes for assessment (of success and failure) and
scale up.

c. UNICEF should secure agreement and buy in from key government institutions
during the planning stages itself to ensure the replicability and sustainability of its
activities beyond the reach and lifecycle of their programming.

6) UNICEF should maintain current focus on vulnerability, but review its selection
mechanism regularly and communicate this effectively, especially to local
stakeholders.

a. UNICEF’s selection of LGUs based on vulnerability is largely relevant and


effective, as UNICEF support to programmes is reaching some of the most
difficult areas in the country. However, UNICEF should review the selection of
both LGUs, constituent barangays, and day care centres and schools regularly to
ensure that these selections reflect UNICEF’s concerns about equity and
vulnerability.

i. The selection criteria could benefit from clearly defining ‘vulnerability and
disadvantage’ and using more up to date and micro level data to sample
at the LGU level instead of province level (an example could be using
micro estimates of poverty and inequality). Conflict, exposure to natural
disaster, lack of natural resources (such as water), poor governance and

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lower incomes are all correlated with vulnerability so it is important to


narrow down the particular dimension of vulnerability and disadvantage
with clear indicators to assess these dimensions.

b. Since UNICEF’s support is limited to select day care centres, kindergarten


programmes, barangay’s and LGUs, there is a lot of anxiety and concern at the
local level about the selection mechanism, with understandable frustration
among stakeholders who might not be beneficiaries. UNICEF should develop
and implement a clear communication plan to continually inform and update key
stakeholders (which includes both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries) about its
selection mechanism, so that the equity and vulnerability agenda remain
understood and appreciated at the local level.

c. The development of an integrated downstream-upstream agenda, as


recommended earlier, could also be useful to appease potential beneficiaries
who are not benefitting directly from UNICEF support yet.

Recommendations for UNICEF at the programme level

In addition to these macro level recommendations, we present below a few specific programme
level recommendations, which arise from our analysis of the ongoing activities so far.

7) UNICEF should ensure the official acknowledgment of tahderiyyahs and


tahderiyyah graduates into the system.

a. A number of tahderiyyahs continue to face difficulties in receiving accreditation


from local governments. UNICEF should continue to support tahderiyyahs to
facilitate their accreditation, but at the same time advise government
stakeholders to ease the accreditation process to account for the challenging
contexts and realities within which tahderiyyahs work. This can be done through
direct advocacy and facilitating dialogue between BDA and LGUs.

b. A number of tahderiyyah graduates also face difficulties in taking the validation


assessment required to receive a Learner’s Reference Number, which affects
their ability to transition seamlessly into the DepEd system. UNICEF should
support tahderiyyahs in conforming to the accreditation requirements, for
instance by providing classroom materials and learning resources in order to
ensure quality of education, and could also facilitate dialogue between BDA and
BLGUs so that they can better understand operational requirements.

8) UNICEF should support MTB-MLE at the local and national level by mapping
mother tongue languages, piloting implementation models, and developing guides
for transition at Grade 3.

a. UNICEF should develop detailed mapping of mother tongue languages used


within priority schools and LGUs to provide a comprehensive overview of the
language needs in these areas. If such mapping activities are already taking
place, UNICEF should support those efforts.

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b. Teachers face challenges in the appropriate use of mother tongue in education


because many elementary school teachers involved with MTB-MLE do not have
the necessary skills or training to teach in mother tongue, particularly if the class
consists of multiple mother tongue groups. UNICEF should pilot different
implementation models which could help develop the appropriate pedagogical
practices to face these challenges. UNICEF should also provide support to
DepEd and other relevant partners to help implement the implementation models
identified through this process.

c. UNICEF should support the development of guidelines for the transition from
mother tongue instruction. After Grade 3, the medium of instruction changes from
mother tongue to Filipino and English. The implementation of the assessment
test in grade 3 in English, as well as the sudden transition to more national and
international languages thereafter, cause significant problems to school students
to transition from their mother tongue (or the locally dominant language) to other
languages. UNICEF could focus its resources based on its global experiences to
provide support to DepEd as well as partner schools to plan a successful
transition building on mother tongue education.

9) UNICEF should re-examine its strategies in sustaining the WASH programming


given the observed lack of resources and provisions for continued
implementation of the WASH activities once UNICEF provisions ran out.

a. There are observations that suggest that the WASH strategy can effect changes
in hygiene behaviour, but the lack of continuing resources constraints the
sustainability of hygiene practice in ECCD centres and schools.

b. The lack of resources indicates that the LGUs have not been able to effectively
implement the sustainability mechanisms set up by the WASH program. There is
a need to understand why the mechanisms, which harnessed the institutional
mandates and instruments of LGUs, have not worked to ensure the sustainable
delivery of the WASH services. This should delineate solutions to easing the
bottlenecks constraining WASH service delivery.

c. If financial and logistical constraints prevail, UNICEF should endeavour to design


programmes which are not resource intensive so that they can be followed in
poor schools and communities that cannot afford investing in resources. A
specific study to explore potential activities that are less resource intensive could
be the first step towards this.

10) UNICEF should commission targeted research on out of school children,


including reasons for non-enrolment, transitions, and dropout from ECCD, the
factors that impede the implementation of E-SIP, and the effect of variations in school
days on child’s development preparedness to inform future targeted interventions.

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a. The emphasis of this evaluation has been on ECCD provision, but to fully
understand the role of ECCD, it would be helpful to have comparative information
for those who attend ECCD and those who do not.

b. There is a need to evaluate why implementation of E-SIP plans is challenging at


the school level. E-SIP plans are being developed widely, however, the areas of
improvement identified are often not implemented. Our evaluation finds that lack
of MOOE may be a key reason behind this.

c. We find that there was variation in school timings and attendance days across
the tahderiyyahs, which may be a result of school capacity and teacher
availability. UNICEF should conduct a comparative study to determine whether
the number of school days have a significant effect in the child’s developmental
preparedness for kinder or grade one learning (using the ECCD Checklist
Results).

Recommendations for government stakeholders

The impact, and success, of UNICEF programmes depends significantly on the wider contexts
within which UNICEF operate. As such, we present some broad recommendations for the
consideration of government stakeholders, including but not limited to DSWD.

1) Ensure that the basic conditions required for the success of UNICEF
programmes are in place.

a. A number of issues need to be addressed to allow for UNICEF, and other


governmental and non-governmental organisations, to conduct and support
effective programming. For instance, although UNICEF’s activities have been
instrumental in helping parents, teachers, and students to learn about good
attitudes and practices, the lack of availability of water facilities and safe
drinking water have severely limited the scope for these programmes. The
Government of Philippines might consider prioritising learnings from partner
organisations to help address the challenges faced in the implementation of
key programmes that support the government’s explicit goals and targets.

b. The government could also create a database on the day care and school
age population that is readily available for local, regional and national level
stakeholders, in order to inform the planning process (including E-SIP) and
identify out of school children.

2) Develop a clear downstream-upstream-downstream action plan with partner


organisations, including UNICEF.

a. UNICEF works closely with government institutions to design and implement


key activities and programmes in focus LGUs. Consistent with
Recommendation 5 for UNICEF, the government could also outline and
agree a plan of action not only for how these downstream activities will be
implemented at the local level, but also how organisations will use the

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learnings from these programmes to influence policy and practice at the


national level (upstreaming) and then roll out wider programmes
(downstream, again) based on the gains from these programmes. Right now,
UNICEF support might be filling some gaps, but government actors might
want to have concrete plans in place to ensure that these gains are
institutionalised across LGUs and national agencies.

3) Provide and ensure a reasonable and standard salary package for all ECCD
workers.

a. Although some LGUs have begun to make provisions to provide honorariums


and salaries to SNP and day care workers, almost all SNP workers and many
day care workers do not receive a regular salary yet. Even those who receive
regular payments do not get paid adequately, as numerous DSWD officials
themselves confirmed.

b. Most of the 36 vulnerable LGUs where UNICEF work represent some of the
most challenging work environments. It is therefore important for the national
and local government to quickly provide regular honorariums and salaries to
attract and retain good workers.

c. Allocation of budget at the national level to finance ECCD workers


compensation will help create a standard salary package for each ECCD
worker.

4) Translate the ECCD checklist to local languages and provide trainings to child
development workers and KG teachers to use them effectively.

a. The ECCD checklist has been a useful tool to understand and improve
kindergarten services, but the impact of the current support has been limited
because of language concerns and lack of adequate training.

b. The government should continue to provide regular trainings to child


development workers and KG teachers, and might also consider providing
technical support to translate the ECCD checklist to local languages that can
be easily understood by those expected to use the checklist.

5) Provide learning resources as well as human and material resources to


improve the impact of ECCD and BE services.

a. UNICEF’s work in some of the most vulnerable LGUs has provided proof of
concept for the need for learning materials and resources at the grassroots
level. The value of providing these services is obvious, so government
institutions (including DSWD and LGUs) should now focus on prior allocation
and expansion of the provision of resources to reach all centres as soon as
possible.

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b. Day care workers in many LGUs are already having to use their own personal
funds to prepare ECCD checklists for their classes, which places an undue
burden on them. The government could urgently explore funding mechanisms
to provide all ECCD centres with the requisite materials to ensure that the
gains from the use of ECCD checklists are maximised and institutionalised.

c. District and division officials already have a high work load, so even if
UNICEF and the government agree that added responsibilities are important,
this could be further supported and incentivised through the provision of more
staff and/or additional stipends to carry out the additional tasks. Without such
support or incentives, these officials are unlikely to carry out additional BE
activities successfully.

6) Recognise tahderiyyah graduates and allow them to continue their education


at the primary level

a. Many tahderiyyah students still face difficulties to continue their education


after they graduate from their programme. DepEd and DepEd ARMM could
liaise with formal and informal institutions as well as tahderiyyahs to ensure
that school age children do not face additional burden to enrol in basic
education, regardless of the type of ECCD centre they attend.

7) Provide appropriate incentives and budget to local, district and divisional


officials to perform additionally assigned tasks, including but not limited to
child mapping for E-SIP.

a. Child mapping for E-SIP is a highly time intensive activity prescribed to


teachers as an additionally assigned task for school staff. We find that
motivation often runs low when performing child mapping due to the lack of
financial incentives to performing these tasks in what would otherwise be a
holiday period. In order to sustain this activity – upon which the development
of E-SIP hinges – and the morale of school staff, it would be important for the
government to provide remuneration for this and other such additional tasks.

b. More generally, the government could put in place an incentive scheme to


boost morale of school officials by acknowledging the role of head teachers
and teachers participating in time intensive exercises such as LAC and the E-
SIP.

c. At the district and divisional level, quality assurance of E-SIP is an additional


burden for officials, such as the SBM Coordinator, who already have a high
work load. The government could also ensure that the district and divisional
officials have enough support and resources to perform these tasks
effectively.

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8) Enable equitable allocation of government budget at schools, such that


disadvantaged schools have enough budget to implement programmes such
as E-SIPs and LACs.

a. Schools in rural and less served areas are often underfunded. Funds
available at the discretion of the head teacher are also limited, which
hampers their ability to implement priority areas of improvement identified in
the E-SIPs.

b. Government stakeholders at the national, regional, and local level could


consider ensuring that schools have equitable and sufficient discretionary
funds to be able to not only plan but also implement E-SIPs. Mechanisms
should be developed to ensure that underfunded schools can systematically
reach out to barangay and higher level government to access education
funds.

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Annex A Terms of reference

See separate document.

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Annex B Theory of change and results framework

See separate document.

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Annex C Object of the Evaluation (Details)

See separate document.

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Annex D BE programme (Details)

See separate document.

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Annex E Evaluation Purpose, Objectives and Scope


(Details)

See separate document.

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Annex F Evaluation Methodology (Details)

See separate document.

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Annex G Data collection Instruments

See separate document.

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Annex H ECCD Qualitative Data Analysis

See separate document.

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Annex I Basic education qualitative data analysis

See separate document.

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Annex J ECCD Quantitative Data Analysis

See separate document.

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Annex K Basic Education Quantitative Data Analysis

See separate document.

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Annex L ECCD additional tables for quantitative analysis

See separate document.

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Annex M Efficiency analysis (details)

See separate document.

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