National Social Service Systems for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Framework for Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation
Since 2003, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has provided substantial investments in initiatives to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). To ensure the sustainability and ownership of these initiatives and improve the protection and care of children, PEPFAR over the past several years has increased funding for initiatives intended to strengthen the social service system in HIV-affected countries. Rather than focus exclusively on initiatives to address specific child protection concerns in isolation (such as HIV and AIDS, child labor, household income generation, or education), system-strengthening initiatives aim to create a system with the capacity to address multiple interconnected vulnerabilities.
Globally, system strengthening is recognized as a logical and effective way to improve the efficiency, quality, and sustainability of service delivery. To fill part of the gap that exists in demonstrating the impact that strengthening social service systems can have, the USAID- and PEPFAR-funded MEASURE Evaluation project developed a framework that provides indicators and guidance for measuring system performance. These indicators measure the outcome of system-strengthening interventions in five core areas, which PEPFAR defines as the components of social service-system strengthening: (1) leadership and governance structures; (2) the social service workforce; (3) financing; (4) information management and accountability systems; and (5) coordination and networking mechanisms.
The purpose of this framework is to disseminate standard indicators that support measurement of the performance of social service systems, provide guidance on the analysis and use of data resulting from implementing the indicators, and present best-practice methods and other considerations for applying the framework in the context of any country or program.