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Madagascar, Formative Evaluation of Integrated Social Protection Programme in the South of Madagascar (Joint SDG Fund)
The independent evaluation of the integrated social protection- Fagnavotse programme was jointly commissioned by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP), and the Ministry of Population, Social Protection, and Promotion of Women (MPPSPF) in Madagascar.

The programme was funded by the UN Joint SDG Fund, and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom and Norway. Derived from the Malagasy word “to rescue,” the Fagnavotse programme is one of the first integrated programme jointly implemented in three municipal districts in the south of Madagascar by UNICEF, WFP, ILO and the UNFPA, over a two-year period. The evaluation covered the period January 2020 to March 2022. The evaluation used all the data collected from 2020 to 2022, including the final qualitative data collected in December 2021 and the third quantitative monitoring phase conducted in January 2022.

The evaluation assessed the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the Fagnavotse programme. The specific objectives of the formative evaluation were to examine the design of the Fagnavotse programme, to assess whether the plans for the United Nations Joint SDG Fund align with the national social protection strategy and to document and provide recommendations and lessons learned on the design and integration process of the social protection programmes in the south of Madagascar.

Some key evaluation findings included:

  • The programme partially achieved its objective of delivering an integrated package of social protection interventions to 4,000 households in one of the regions, including disabled people. The cash transfer component delivered cash to 9,745 households.
  • The programme as planned was well aligned with Madagascar’s national social protection strategy as well as the ONE UN strategy
  • Stakeholders considered the organizational structure of the programme to be effective, although the programme did not achieve full integration into the community.
  • Collaboration between implementing UN agencies appeared to be working well. However, coordination with key ministries was less consistent.
  • The pilot programme has proved that two years is simply not enough time to put in place systems and coordination mechanisms to deliver multiple interventions in a coherent way to the same intended target group.
  • Due to the emergency context of the south of Madagascar, and the additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, implementation of the Fagnavotse programme was made extremely difficult and required adaptations to the programme design in response to current uncertain situations.

Some key recommendations from the evaluation:

  • Implementers should use shared platforms and harmonized targeting tools until the social registry is established.
  • Implementing agencies should prioritize community engagement in all aspects of programme implementation.
  • Each implementing agency should ensure the collection and data entry of basic monitoring data for each programme component.
  • During all interactions with beneficiaries, implementing agencies should ensure that communication covers not only the activities at hand but also the broader joint programme services.
  • Implementing agencies should include government stakeholders in United Nations SDG Fund meetings and increase the frequency of interactions with relevant ministries. 
  • Implementing agencies should continue to advocate for integrated social protection with the government, including sharing some of the achievements of the Fagnavotse programme.
  • Donors and implementing agencies should consider extending the implementation period to ensure district and commune structures are in place to sustain the programme.
  • Implementing agencies should pilot a complex integrated social protection programme in a more stable region (less exposed to climate shocks) in the future.