Multi-country evaluation of the UNICEF Early Childhood Development response to COVID-19 in Europe and Central Asia region: Croatia Country Case Study

Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2022
Impact evaluation
COVID-19, Evaluation-related

The evaluation’s overarching purpose was to provide UNICEF Croatia Country Offices (COs), UNICEF ECA Regional Office (RO), national government, and partners with a critical assessment of the key adaptations made in UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes to meet the needs of young children and families in the context of COVID-19. The secondary purposes were to: (i) generate insight to inform further development of the evaluated ECD activities and (ii) provide evidence to inform future ECD efforts in similar emergencies. The evaluation was carried out in four countries, including Croatia.

The evaluation focused on interventions that were introduced directly in response to COVID-19 or adapted to its realities; entailed capacity building or information support for frontline workers; and were viewed by a given UNICEF CO as useful to have feedback on for future programming. The evaluation entailed an in-depth assessment of two interventions: 1. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Programme and 2. tele-intervention project for children with developmental delays and disabilities. Further, a lighter assessment based on desk research and interviews with UNICEF and key Implementing Partners focused on three additional interventions: 1. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), 2. Human Milk Bank (HMB), and 3. E-education for Pregnancy and Parenting during COVID-19.

All selected interventions were assessed with the view to their relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability. They were assessed in the context of broader UNICEF ECD and COVID-19 programming in Croatia.

The evaluation took place from November 2020 to the end of 2021.