The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the worlds largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies.  Afghan Red Crescent Society is a member of this Federation. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

 

The IFRC Afghanistan Country Office supports and is co-located next to the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS). The IFRC Country Office supports capacity building and program implementation guided by the ARCS strategic plan in the areas of health, disaster management, disaster risk reduction, social outreach, capacity building and organizational development.  ARCS is undergoing an important transition linked to the adoption of an updated and modernised Red Crescent Law which will formalise ARCS auxiliary status to the Government of Afghanistan. With this operational independence, and in the face of increased humanitarian needs in the country, expectations on the ARCS are high. The ARCS Leadership looks to its partners including: IFRC, International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) and Partner National Societies  to help optimise and raise the efficiency of ARCS management in accordance with the findings of the Organisational Capacity Assessment and Certification (OCAC). Further, in 2016, the ARCS will launch its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan developed through fully participatory processes, including gender and diversity mainstreaming commitments.

 

In keeping with the 2016-2020 IFRC Plan “Partnering for Resilience”, the IFRC Gender and Diversity Manager supports the IFRC and ARCS program colleagues, especially the ARCS Gender Departments,  to ensure that ARCS programs are implemented in the mutually agreed thematic areas of focus are supported in line with the four strategies for implementation and for the needs of the vulnerable communities in Afghanistan.

 

Programme background:

The purpose and objectives of the programme

The CCBHI project is implemented by the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and funded by BRC through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The programme commenced in 2008 and will be completed by the end of quarter one, 2017.

Initially, BRC had supported a number of fixed health facilities managed by ARCS before refocusing its support towards the community based method and finally an integrated approach through the introduction of WASH and Food Security components.

The original overall outcome of the CCBHI programme was to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable communities comprising of 18,851 beneficiaries (2,693 households) through:

Improved access to quality preventative, promotional and curative services during normal situations and emergencies.
Improved health awareness, promotion and first aid services at community level.
Improved access to safe drinking water, increased access to sanitation facilities, and improve health and hygiene practices of people in the targeted communities.
Improved institutional capacity of ARCS to deliver appropriate and efficient preventive health services.

The programme’s key strategic objectives were revised in 2014 to include the following for four pilot villages:

1. People living in target communities take action to reduce maternal and child mortality.
2. Target communities use safer drinking water and sanitation facilities.                     
3. Households consume greater diversity of food for a greater part of the year.

Programme Model:

The community-based integrated programme has been initiated to build up the community resilience by involving community people in designing the programme and making project decisions thus leading to sustainability. The volunteers (both female and male) trained through this project play an important role in changing the behaviour of the communities to adopt more healthy hygiene practices and as the primary health care provider and first aiders in times of emergencies. CBHFA volunteers are also the link in the referral to health care facilities and health information in the communities and for the ARCS as the source of information in times of disasters/emergencies necessary for immediate response. The Grandmothers’ Committees will take the lead in encouraging women to seek better maternal and child health care services and guiding young mothers to take better care during pregnancy and in proper new born and child care which will reduce the risks to maternal and child morbidity and mortality cases. The provision of safe drinking water through construction of wells and sanitary latrines together with the hygiene promotion will contribute to decrease the number of waterborne diseases in the communities. Trained mechanics from the village will ensure the repair and maintenance of wells.

Recognizing that grandmothers/mother-in-law’s play very important and powerful role in maternal and child health/nutrition on Afghan culture, the grandmothers’ committees across a number of villages were created with a total of around 80 members. These committees received training on CBHFA, breast feeding/child nutrition and reproductive health. The Grandmothers’ Committees encourage health seeking behaviors and convince other conservative husbands/fathers to let their wives/daughters to seek health and maternal care in the nearest health facility as and when needed.

 

Scope of the evaluation

Time period and programme components covered by the evaluation.

This evaluation will primarily analyse the programme and the role of the parties involved in programme design, revisions and implementation between 2010[1] – 2016 inclusive, but may consider elements of the programme outside this period including, but not limited to the initial designs and baselines, where they may have had a significant long-lasting effect on the programme’s success.
The evaluation will focus primarily of the CCBHI programme implemented in Balkh and Nengahar Provinces by ARCS but also pull in other relevant learning from other ARCS implemented CCBHI programmes in other locations.

Purpose: An evaluation of the Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) Comprehensive Community Based Health Intervention to assess the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the programme and the role of ARCS, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) and British Red Cross (BRC) in its implementation and to identify practical ways to improve programme design and management

Audience: Partner National Society staff and volunteers, British Red Cross management and staff, programme beneficiaries, programme donors, members of the public, and other stakeholders

Commissioners: British Red Cross Society Country Manager

Report to: British Red Cross Country Manager & Afghanistan Red Crescent Director of Health

Methodology summary: desk reviews, interviews, focus group discussions, surveys

Timeframe: July - September 2016.

Total No. of Evaluation days: a maximum of 40

Locations:  Mazar-e Sharif and communities in Balkh Province Northern and Nengahar and communities in Eastern Regions from 15th July - 20th August 2016.

 

Evaluation Team

The nature of the evaluation calls for a team lead by an independent consultant as follows:

Team Leader and
Two technical experts, both with strong evaluation skills.

The team will be supported by internal British Red Cross PMER Advisory engagement and support from representatives from both the Afghanistan Red Crescent and the International Federation Delegation and offices national and international staff.

The evaluation team leader has overall responsibility for the delivery of the evaluation. She/he reports to the British Red Cross evaluation commissioner and is ultimately responsible for submission of all deliverables.

The overall management and actions of those involved in the evaluation will be the responsibility of the British Red Cross but overall security management will be the responsibility of the International Federation Delegation in consultation and coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross in country.

The evaluation team leader also coordinates the work of the technical health experts in evaluating the health, WASH and nutritional components of the programme.

 

 

[1] From the point of the Midterm evaluation carried out in 2010 - https://pims.redcross.org.uk/projects/1/Afghanistan-CBHP/Pages/documents.aspx?folderId=133

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