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        Economic and Social Council
6 February 2003

Original: English


United Nations Children’s Fund
Executive Board
Annual session 2002
3-7 June 2002
Item 4 of the provisional agenda*

Summary of mid-term reviews and major evaluations of country programmes

Middle East and North Africa region


The present report was prepared in response to Executive Board decision 1995/8 (E/ICEF/1995/9/Rev.1), which requested the secretariat to submit to the Board a summary of the outcome of mid-term reviews (MTRs) and major country programme evaluations, specifying, inter alia, the results achieved, lessons learned and the need for any adjustments in the country programme. The Board is to comment on the reports and provide guidance to the secretariat, if necessary. The MTR and evaluations described in the present report were conducted during 2001, except for the evaluation in Egypt and the study in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which were carried out in 2000, but for which the reports became available during 2001.




1. Of the 15 UNICEF–assisted programmes of cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, only Djibouti conducted an MTR in 2001. This report examines that review, as well as six evaluations and studies conducted throughout the region during the year.


Major country programme evaluations


Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment, Occupied Palestinian Territory

22. The study was conducted in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, in conjunction with UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Its purpose was to identify local communities’ points of view concerning real needs for disaster preparedness and ways of mitigating the impacts of disasters. The study used 22 focus groups which represented cities, villages and refugee camps and involved 429 people, including males, females, the elderly and handicapped persons. In order to ensure that children as young as six years of age were consulted, art workshops were organized for 113 6-14-year olds from all governorates so they could record their ideas of expected hazards and their effects. Semi-structured interviews with ministries and NGOs allowed for the triangulation of data. To support the qualitative information gathered from the local community, a quantitative checklist was designed relating to expected hazards. Secondary data, such as textbooks and journals, were also collected.

23. The study showed that political conflict, water shortages and environmental pollution were perceived to be the most significant threatening disasters that could affect the population. The most vulnerable groups were defined as women, children, the elderly and disabled people. The study has had an important impact on the children of the community through the interaction of the workshops. The exercise has also created a sense that children have an important role in determining what disasters are and that they can be involved in preventing and mitigating their effects. The study encouraged children’s participation and identified them as an important resource in disaster preparedness programme planning. One of the findings of the study is the need to develop a national disaster plan based on the needs and aspirations of the local community. The study also indicated that the Palestinian community has technical and human capacities to assist in the development of a national disaster plan. Although the ongoing political, economic and military crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory makes it difficult for the Palestinian Authority or UNICEF to implement concrete next steps, the changes in practical roles of ministries and NGOs in this matter have been explored along with the development of a national disaster plan based on real available capacities. The vulnerability and capacity assessment informed the formulation of the updated UNICEF contingency plan for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


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