CEI is currently supporting UNICEF Serbia, evaluating the processes UNICEF uses to move from testing to scaling up programmes for children and families, and appraising the readiness for scale-up of key programmes. UNICEF’s Country Programme in Serbia aims to address the significant disparities in opportunities for children, addressing the inequities faced by children of Roma background, children living in rural areas and economically vulnerable districts, migrant children and children with disabilities. ‘Modelling’ – or testing – at larger scale in real-world settings is a key part of UNICEF’s scale-up strategy in Europe and Central Asian regions.
CEI is working with a local evaluation partner SeConS Development Initiative Group, and the evaluation focuses on priority UNICEF programmes, with a focus on three key questions: (1) what has modelling achieved in moving to national scale, (2) what is now required to scale each of the five programmes, and (3) what approaches to costing will support scale up. Based on this, CEI will make recommendations on how UNICEF might strengthen its approach. It is an exciting prospect for CEI to apply evidence from implementation and scale-up science to an upper-middle income country, in an area of strategic significance to UNICEF and in a project that could support critical change for children in Serbia.