Measuring the Strength of National Social Service Systems for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

MEASURE Evaluation developed the framework presented here to fill part of the gap that exists in demonstrating the impact that system strengthening has on children’s outcomes, by providing indicators and guidance for measuring system performance.

The U.S. government and other stakeholders investing in strengthening social service systems for orphans and vulnerable children can assess and monitor the difference they are making in sustaining government systems.

Globally, strengthening a social service system is recognized as a logical and effective step to improve the efficiency, quality, and sustainability of the services the system delivers. Investments in system strengthening by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of PEFPAR’s efforts to prevent HIV and link HIV-positive children and their caregivers to testing, care, and treatment.

MEASURE Evaluation—funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and PEPFAR—developed the framework presented here to fill part of the gap that exists in demonstrating the impact that system strengthening has on children’s outcomes, by providing indicators and guidance for measuring system performance. The framework is intended to support governments as well as PEPFAR implementing partners and other stakeholders in monitoring and evaluating system-strengthening efforts. These indicators measure the outcomes of system-strengthening interventions in five core areas, defined by PEPFAR 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. This document defines these indicators and offers guidance to apply them in a country or program. 

Logic of Strengthening Social Service Systems