Uganda’s SCORE Program for Vulnerable Children and Their Families: Mixed-Methods Performance Evaluation

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Author(s): Molly Cannon, Zulfiya Charyeva, Nena do Nascimento, Eve Namisango, Ismael Ddumba-Nyanzi

Year: 2017

Uganda’s SCORE Program for Vulnerable Children and Their Families: Mixed-Methods Performance Evaluation Abstract:

Background: USAID’s Sustainable, Comprehensive Responses (SCORE) project operates in 35 Ugandan districts to build economic resilience, enhance food security, improve child protection, and increase access to education and critical services. USAID/Uganda asked MEASURE Evaluation to evaluate the performance of the SCORE program based on select outcome indicators (food failure, school enrolment, child abuse/neglect, and child labour); intervention effects on those outcomes; and program strengths and challenges.

Methods: We conducted secondary data analysis of select outcome indicators, which SCORE collected annually for four years, and routine data for 21 interventions. We merged the two data sets using unique identification numbers and analysed these data using multilevel modelling. We also collected qualitative data from 157 regional and national program beneficiaries, program staff, and community and government workers.

Key findings: We found improvements in all four indicators: a 7-percent increase in school enrolment, a 50-percent decrease in food failure, a 23-percent decrease in child abuse, and a 32-percent decrease in child labour. Participation in farmer field schools and financial market literacy trainings were associated with improvements in food security; participation in horticulture sessions, community dialogues, and home visits with school enrolment; and parenting skills training with reduced child abuse. Qualitatively, we found improved finances, household relations, and health and nutrition and learned that a combination of interventions led to pathways of changes in outcomes. Beneficiaries said the SCORE program had positive effects on their lives. Areas of concern were males’ resistance to female economic empowerment interventions and inadequate local government involvement for sustainability.

Filed under: OVC , Evaluation , Vulnerable children , Children , Child Health , Orphans and Vulnerable Children