Make the Promise True: a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Measuring Quality in Child Protection Service Delivery in Zimbabwe


Promising Quality: making sure that we deliver excellent services for children, (UNICEF 2012a), is an innovative monitoring and evaluation framework of original and standardised measures developed in Zimbabwe to support child protection providers to deliver quality services for children within a multi-agency child protection system. It is intended to meet the demands of governments, donors and other stakeholders for information on the effectiveness and efficiency of development programming but importantly is a practice which ensures downward accountability to children. It can also be utilised to track programme performance, and in broad terms, value for money in child protection service delivery. Further, Promising Quality has important implications for the creation and strengthening of different types of social capital between children, organisations and government. Promising Quality is constructed to encourage children’s full and meaningful participation in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process; it poses three questions and uses four specifically designed instruments to find out if an organization is delivering what children need where and when they need it. In so doing, gaps in the functioning of a comprehensive child protection system are highlighted such that improvements in programming, policy advocacy and investment can be made. This paper argues that Promising Quality - its inception and continuing evolution - is a core component of a rights-based, participatory national child protection system in developing contexts and beyond because of its ability to track gains in efficiency as well as child protection outcomes.

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  1. 1.

    National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Phase I (2006–2010) and II (2011–2015).

  2. 2.

    An outcome evaluation was conducted in 2010 to assess the extent to which the Programme of Support (NAP I) had reduced the overall vulnerability of orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe, by analysing the Programme’s ability to meet its stated objectives (Taylor and Chisvo 2010).

  3. 3.

    The Ministry of Labour and Social Services was re-named the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in 2013. Within this Ministry a Monitoring and Evaluation sub-committee of the National Action Plan I was formed as a complementary mechanism to the outcome evaluation. The Outcome Evaluation (Taylor and Chisvo 2010) evaluated the program of support in particular (the key UNICEF child protection program) and the MoLSS subcommittee looked at the entire NAP I.

  4. 4.

    The measure of equity, the fourth ‘E’ has recently been included

  5. 5.

    See provisions and reference to the new Zimbabwean Constitution here:

  6. 6.

    This commitment aligns with the existing international normative framework for the rights of the child (including the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Treaty of Lisbon which introduced an objective for the EU to promote children’s rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU which guarantees the protection of children's rights by EU institutions, as well as by EU countries when they implement EU law),

  7. 7.

    The Child Protection Fund in support of the National Action Plan II for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2012 –2015) was the successor program to the Program of Support for the National Action Plan I for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2008 – 2011).

  8. 8.

    In order to encourage strategic focus, better network coordination of services and help temper a competitive culture between service providers to ‘race for numbers’ direct and indirect client categories were developed.

  9. 9.

    Godwin and Matsika (2013) where contracted by UNICEF and Government of Zimbabwe in 2013 to review the PQ framework. There approach involved conducted 74 in depth interviews \and site visits with practitioners, review workshops and detailed desk review of NGO progress reports and practitioner case studies. The review took place in July 2014.


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Correspondence to Elayn Sammon.

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Sammon, E., Godwin, M., Rumble, L. et al. Make the Promise True: a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Measuring Quality in Child Protection Service Delivery in Zimbabwe. Child Ind Res 8, 623–640 (2015).

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  • Child protection systems
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Child participation
  • Accountability
  • Value for money
  • Social capital