Country led evaluations – new free videos!

These new videos have been posted on the UNICEF CEE/CIS site:

Country-led M&E systems.
Better evidence, better policies, better results

Watch and listen to international keynote speakers talking on Country-led M&E Systems

UNICEF CEE/CIS, IDEAS and DevInfo, in partnership with WFP, OECD/DAC Network on Development evaluation and IOCE, are pleased to make available, every month and free of charge, the videos of international keynote speakers presenting the latest thinking on Country-led M&E Systems.

June 2009
Country-led M&E systems. Better evidence, better policies, better results

Enhancing evidence-based policy making through
Country-Led M&E Systems
Marco Segone, Regional Chief, Monitoring and Evaluation, UNICEF CEE/CIS

The role of national, regional and international evaluation organizations
in strengthening country-led M&E systems
Oumoul Ba-Tall
, President, IOCE

Country-led Development EvaluationThe Donor Role in Supporting Partner
Ownership and Capacity

Hans Lundgren, Manager, OECD/DAC Network on Development evaluation

Country-led impact evaluation: A survey of development practitioners

Denis Jobin
, Vice President, IDEAS

The country led evaluation (CLE) paradox

Robert Picciotto
, King’s College, and former Director General, Evaluation, World Bank


Previous Speakers

May 2009
Where is development evaluation going?

Robert Picciotto
, King’s College, and former Director General, Evaluation, World Bank.

September 2009
Tools to strengthen Country-led M&E systems.  Good practices in using DevInfo

Marco Segone, Regional Chief, Monitoring and Evaluation, UNICEF CEE/CIS; Nicolas Pron, Global DevInfo Administrator; Farhod Khamidov, M&E Specialist, UNICEF Tajikistan.


October 2009
Developing evaluation capacities

Caroline Heider
, Director, Office of Evaluation, World Food Programme


November 2009

Building a country-wide M&E system in Sri Lanka
Dhara Wijayatikale
– Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Plan Implementation, Sri Lanka.

Monitoring and evaluation in South Africa
Indran Naidoo
– Deputy-Director General, Office of the Public Service Commission, Republic of South Africa.

Building results-based M&E systems. The case of Botswana
Collie Monkge
– Vision 2016 Coordinator, Botswana


December 2009

M&E in Zambia. The case of the Zambia Evaluation Association
John Njovu
, Chairman, Zambia Evaluation Association, Zambia.

M & E in Pakistan. The case of the Pakistan Evaluation Network
Khadija Khan
, Chair, Pakistan Evaluation Network.

1. These videos are a selection of key sessions on Country-led M&E Systems organized at  the Global IDEAS Conference held in March 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2. The opinions expressed are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of
UNICEF. The videos and presentations have not been edited to official publication standards and UNICEF accepts no responsibility forerrors. The designations in these videos and presentations  do not imply an opinion on legal status of any country or territory, or of its authorities, of the delimitations of frontiers.


The ugly face of democracy – fascism on the rise? The Failure of Education

The ugly face of democracy – fascism on the rise?

The Failure of Education

Having had a lifetime of education – first as a student, then a teacher, then a teacher trainer and now an education specialist, always working towards the ideal ‘democratic’ classroom and for basic human rights, it dismays me to see the situation in the UK.  The situation I am talking about is the election of two members of the british fascist party , the BNP, as members of the European Parliament. It is a failure of the electoral system in that although these candidates received fewer votes than in earlier elections, they won because other potential voters could not be bothered to turn out and freely express their opinion. Most of all, it is a failure of the education system of which I was a part.

We have failed to educate people in the importance of voting (people have died to gain this vote for others) and to understand (and read) the policy platform  on which a candidate is standing.

We have failed to provide media education so that people can understand the bias and prejudice  in reporting and electioneering, the strategies used to sell newspapers and magazines, and to understand the need for evidence to back up  argument.

We have failed to provide education that enlightens, broadens the mind, reduces prejudice, increases tolerance and provides the skills for fighting for rights without using violence.

The main political parties are taking ordinary voters for granted and deserve the shame that should be heaped upon them for allowing facsists to gain some ‘respectability’ even though their policies are not respectable.

World Environment Day – a war of the worlds?

World Environment Day  – 5th June 2009

Which world do you inhabit -a ‘tree -hugging’ world or a ‘fight you’ world? Read on….

tree hugger
tree hugger

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

Commemorated yearly on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day’s agenda is to:

  1. Give a human face to environmental issues;
  2. Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
  3. Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;
  4. Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
increasing surface temperatures
increasing surface temperatures

The theme for WED 2009 is ‘Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change’. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

climate change-can you control it?
climate change-can you control it?

While the United Nations tries to alert people about the potential environmental crisis looming ahead  -the ‘Nations’  part of the UN prefers to spend their money on arms production and use, than pay their dues to the UN.

Global military expenditure now stands at over $1.2 trillion in annual expenditure and has been rising in recent years.

Global arms spending
Global arms spending

Indeed, compare the military spending with the entire budget of the United Nations:

The United Nations and all its agencies and funds spend about $20 billion each year, or about $3 for each of the world’s inhabitants. This is a very small sum compared to most government budgets and it is just a tiny fraction of the world’s military spending. Yet for nearly two decades, the UN has faced  financial difficulties and it has been forced to cut back on important programs in all areas. Many member states have not paid their full dues and have cut their donations to the UN’s voluntary funds. As of August 31, 2008, members’ arrears to the Regular Budget topped $919 million, of which the United States alone owed $846 million (92% of the regular budget arrears) and of course is the world’s biggest spenders on arms.

Summarizing some key details from chapter 5 of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s 2008 Year Book on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security for 2007:

  • World Military Expenditure in 2007 is estimated to have reached $1.339 trillion in current dollars (just over $1.2 trillion in 2005 constant dollars, as per above graph);
  • This represents a 6 per cent increase in real terms since 2006 and a 45 per cent increase over the 10-year period since 1998;
  • This corresponds to 2.5 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP), or $202 for each person in the world;

Of course with a billion people living in poverty, living on $365 per year or less, they may prefer  their governments spend their tax dollars in a different way. What about spending more on education and health?

UNESCO stated that governments of the world invested the equivalent of PPP$ 2.46 trillion in education in 2004 (or 1.97 trillion if converted into U.S. dollars on the basis of market exchange rates). This figure represents 4.4% of global GDP in PPP$. PPPs (purchasing power parities) are rates of currency conversion which eliminate differences in price levels among countries.

Total global expenditure for health US$ 4.1 trillion + Total global expenditure for health per person per year: US$ 639

So back to WED -what about spending on the environment?Guardian headlined in 2008

“Huge increase in spending on water urged to avert global catastrophe”

HEP Dam Chile.EPA
HEP Dam Chile.EPA

Countries across the world will have to dramatically increase investment in dams, pipes and other water infrastructure to avoid widespread flooding, drought and disease even before climate change accelerates these problems, experts have warned.

Global sea level rise?
Global sea level rise?

Investment needs to be at least doubled from the current level of $80bn (£45.5bn) a year, an international congress was told this week, and one leading authority said spending needed to rise to 1.5% of gross domestic product just “to be able to cope with the current climate” – one thousand times the current level.

The warnings follow a summer of dramatic events, from hurricane flooding in the Caribbean and the east coast of America to desperate measures in drought-stricken Mediterranean countries, including importing water by ship.

Rich nations suffer huge under-investment, but the threat of poor infrastructure to populations in developing countries is even greater, said Dr Olcay Unver, director of the United Nations’ Global Water Assessment Unit.

So serious is the problem that next year the UN’s World Water Assessment Report will make one of its main messages the need for investment to “accelerate substantially”, said Unver.

“You can’t justify the deaths of so many children because of lack of infrastructure or lost productive time of people [who are] intellectually or physically incapacitated because of simple lack of access to safe water or sanitation,” he added.

Dr Glen Daigger, senior vice-president of the International Water Association, said there was growing evidence that spending on clean water and sanitation was the single greatest contribution to reducing disease and death. The UN has identified dams for hydropower and irrigation as leading drivers of sustainable economic growth in developing countries. “Water and sanitation is clearly a better investment than medical intervention, but it’s not sexy,” added Daigger.

So on WED Governments could do some thinking -where do we get the money to attempt to start solving some of the big questions about the environment -and the step before that is to raise enough awareness so that action can be taken to pressurise Governments to act on your behalf…and the penguins!

Antarctic penguins
Antarctic penguins


Students learn what they live!

Build bridges not walls
Build bridges not walls

Image ref. International School for Global Understanding, Mostar


Human Rights Education provides us with opportunities for considering capacity building as well as sustainable development. Capacity building because implementing Human Rights legislation as well as accepted norms still seem a long way off and sustainable development because communities will have difficulty in sustaining themselves , without conflict, if basic human rights (particularly Child Rights) are not ensured for all.


Democratic and peace orientated classrooms, where everyone’s rights are understood, protected and ensured can provide opportunities for skills to be learned and practiced.

Teachers can be helped to improve their own classroom organisation and management skills through exploring the work of the following organisations:

Human Rights Education Associates
logoHREA The human rights education associates site draws together international resources to expand human rights education. Educators can take part in online courses and interactive tutorials. The electronic library provides curriculum and community-organizing resources.

The Research in Human Rights Education Paper Series intends to foster and disseminate research and evaluation in the practice of human rights education, training and learning. Through the Research in Human Rights Education Papers HREA hopes to encourage more research on the impact of human rights education and make the results available to practitioners, to academics and to funders.

Human Rights Training for Adults: What Twenty-Six Evaluation Studies Say About Design, Implementation and Follow-Up
Katharine Teleki, August 2007 (Issue no. 1), 35 pages

HREA training courses

HREA organises training for a range of professionals groups, including human rights defenders, development workers, educators, legal professionals, law enforcement officials, social workers, health professionals, and journalists.

Distance Learning Programme

In the third trimester of 2009 the new distance learning courses L’Information et la documentation en droits de l’homme, Minority Rights, Indigenous Peoples and International Law, and National Human Rights Institutions will be offered.

Distributed Learning Programme for Human Rights Defenders

Introductory Human Rights Courses via E-Learning



Amnesty International believes that learning about human rights is the first step toward respecting, promoting and defending the rights of all people. Teaching human rights means both conveying ideas and information concerning human rights and nurturing the values and attitudes that lead to the support of those rights.

About Human Rights Education »


Teachers Without Borders is an international network of educators in more than 80 countries. It partners with parents, corporations, and local and global agencies to promote educational initiatives tied to economic and ecological sustainability. Key programs include teacher training and curricular development that preserve cultural diversity and foster global understanding.



Rethinking Schools

This group has been a staunch supporter of human rights education for the last 20 years in a very practical way -from looking at assessment and maths teaching to rethinking the way history is taught e.g. Rethinking Columbus




Educators for Social Responsibility

Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR) helps educators create safe, caring, respectful, and productive learning environments. They also help educators work with young people to develop the social skills, emotional competencies, and qualities of character they need to succeed in school and become contributing members of their communities.
Find out about Adventures in Peacemaking, an activity-based program for early childhood and after-school settings, and Partners in Learning for middle schools to help develop safe and respectful learning environments. Since 9.11, Project Renewal has reached out to over 27 schools impacted by the events to aid in trauma recovery and community rebuilding. Learn  about their Online Teacher Center.


International Children’s Day -Take Action!

International Children’s Day is officially celebrated on June 1st each year -however many countries have their own Children’s day at different times of the year to suit their own calendars (see notes below).

Having worked with disadvantaged childen in indigenous communities of the Amazon basin,  post conflict communities in Mozambique and Timor Leste, nomadic communities in Chad and ethnic minority communities in Vietnam I realise we still have a lng way to go to ensure the rights of all children as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which 192 nations have now signed up to.


If we look at how children have been used as  Child Soldiers in places such Sierra Leone,Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad ,Northern Uganda and now Sri Lanka we can see how chidren are manipulated to please the whims, desires  and needs of thoughtless adults. In war, no side really wins, but whichever side children find themselves they are always the losers ,the ones with the least power and which suffer innocently.


Take Action on this International Children’s Day!

Although we can celebrate, for one day, the rights of children that have been hard won,we should also take action from this day onward to ensure that all children no matter where they live have their basic rights ensured.

As  UNICEF states: Every one of us has a role to play in ensuring that every child enjoys a childhood. If you are a parent, teacher, social worker or other professional working with children, raise awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child among children. If you are a member or employee of an organization working for children’s rights, raise awareness of the Convention and its Optional Protocols, research and document governmental actions and policies and involve communities in promoting and protecting children’s rights. If you are a member of the media, promote knowledge and understanding of children’s rights and provide a forum for children’s participation in society. If you are a parliamentarian, ensure that all existing and new legislation and judicial practice is compatible with your country’s international obligations, monitor governments’ actions, policies and budgets and involve the community—including children—in relevant decision making.

The coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers asks you to raise awarenes for their Red Hand Day .

Join the Coalition’s group on Facebook to keep up with news and events. The group name is: The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.

Buy an album of songs about child soldiers

All the profits from the French album, “Enfants Soldats D’ici & D’Ailleurs”, go towards helping child soldiers. 80% goes directly to an organisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that rehabilitates former child soldiers and 20% goes to the Coalition. For more details and how to buy the album see

Buy a football and help the Coalition

The Coalition has entered into an agreement with the Fair Deal Trading Company to produce footballs that incorporate the Coalition’s logo and the message Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. Footballs can be purchased online at and for every ball purchased a donation of £2 is made to the Coalition.


Amnesty International campaigns for human rights worldwide and has a number of children’s rights campaigns.

Listen to children and then tell someone else –Listen Charity

Save the Children Fund (SCF) champions the rights of children globally, and campaigns actively for the end of child soldiers.

Listen to the BBC – A world for Children -then tell others.

SIGN UP for the newsletter from CRIN Child Rights Information Network.

Sign the Petition for a CRC Complaints Mechanism

And what about some suggestions from the  Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood– take action, download CCFC’s 10 Things You Can Do to Reclaim Childhood from Corporate Marketers.

Children’s Day may be celebrated on different days in different countries, such as :

In Argentina, Children’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August and it’s known as Día del Niño.

In  Congo DR, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe Children’s Day is celebrated on December 25 to honour all the children there.

In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14 every year. This date marks the birth anniversary of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Children’s day is celebrated on this day in recognition of his lifelong fondness and work for children.

Whatever you can do, take action and you can make a real difference.

Unfulfilled Promises..

The previous posts on the recruitment and utilization of Teaching Assistants brings us to highlight the unfulfilled promises that have been made globally to ensure that all children have their right to (quality) education safeguarded.

The right to education for minority communities and groups is the theme of the first United Nations Forum on Minority Issues which took place in Geneva on December 15-16 -2008.

The Forum, “Minorities and the Right to Education”, aims to provide an annual platform for dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to people of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.

Worldwide, minority children continue to suffer disproportionately from unequal access to quality education which perpetuates the cycle of poverty leaving them unable to later fulfil their potential in employment and society. The international frameworks on equal access to quality education for minorities was discussed during the  first forum.

The Forum, which was organized by the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Professor Gay McDougall, and the OHCHR, in collaboration with UNESCO, was attended by a number of experts and human rights activists and prepared a Recommendation to go before the Human Rights Council.

Unesco organised a thematic debate as a side event on “Overcoming Inequalities in Education: the Importance of Inclusion.”

Read Report from the Thematic Debate on “Overcoming Inequalities in Education: the Importance of Inclusion”

For more information contact:

“[…] I have personally committed myself to making it a priority, for education is a fundamental human right, set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Human Rights Covenants, which have force of international law. To pursue the aim of education for all is therefore an obligation for States.”
(Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO, “Education for All: the Unfulfilled Promise”, 21st Century Talks session on education for all).

UNESCO survey finds under-privileged children also disadvantaged in the classroom

30-05-2008 – A new study by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) highlights the strong effect of social inequality on primary education systems in many countries and the challenge to provide all children with equal learning opportunities.

Entitled ‘ A view inside primary schools’, the report presents the results of a unique survey undertaken in 11 countries in Latin America, Asia and North Africa.


Right to education
Right to education

0-12-2007 – This publication is a joint UNESCO and UNICEF framework for the realization of children’s right to education and rights within education.

The result of intensive collaboration between UNESCO and UNICEF, the publication brings together the current thinking and practice on human rights-based approach in the education sector.

It presents key issues and challenges in rights-based approaches and provides a framework for policy and programme development from the level of the school up to the national and international levels.

For more information contact:


This post continues from “7020” (now called Teaching Assistants in Vietnam)  which described how 7020  Teaching assistants in Vietnam were supporting ethnic minority students gain access to education and help them to attend school regularly.

Teaching Assistants have two main roles -working with families to encourage students to get to school and to attend regularly and to support students when they are in school. They help ethnic minority students  and others who have barriers to their learning to understand the lesson (e.g. by using the mother tongue)  to gain confidence in using Vietnamese language and to develop social skills through pair work,small group work and the use of games,singing and dancing.

Ethnic minority girls-better access to education
Ethnic minority girls-better access to education

In this post we look at how Teaching Assistants  support students when they arrive at school.

Teaching Assistant brings students to school.Ha Giang Province