Terre des Hommes Netherlands is a development organisation dedicated to the protection of children from exploitation. The Paths to Safer childhood project was implemented between June 2015 and September 2017 by national implementing partners with funding from Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands (MFS2), Dioraphte Foundation and OAK Foundation. The “Northern Route” between the Ethiopian and Sudanese borders in North Gondar Zone, Amhara Region, is a much overlooked Migratory Route increasingly utilized as a trafficking and migratory stepping stone to Europe or the Middle East. Children are victims of trafficking and unsafe migration and often end up in domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, begging, street vending and manual labour. The purpose of the project was to contribute to the eradication of trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Amhara region.
Terre des Hommes wanted to know whether the project had reached its objectives, for accountability purposes, and to know whether project activities had in fact contributed towards achieving outcome and impact level changes, for learning purposes. Furthermore, it wanted MDF to document lessons learned and promising practices to inform future projects. The evaluation was combined with a tracer study, to assess whether victims of child trafficking, who had been reunified with their parents during the project, successfully reintegrated and had not receded.
A mixed methods approach was used to collect data and find answers to the evaluation questions. Foremost, the Theory of Change of the project was reconstructed to guide the evaluators in gaining insight in the performance story. The Most Significant Change methodology was used to assess whether and how the project resulted in key changes in the lives of the target beneficiaries. The evaluators furthermore conducted a Contribution Analysis to investigate a selected sample of causal questions that were representative for the Paths to Safer Childhood project. The Tracer Study was done with the use of a household survey, designed through a digital application, enumerators collected the data using mobile phones in remote areas.
The findings of the evaluation and tracer study have helped Terre des Hommes to understand the factors that contribute to changed behavior and strengthened community structures in eradicating child trafficking specifically in Ethiopia and more generally in the East African Region. The Monitoring and Evaluation team also gained insights in how an impact evaluation can be executed, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The report’s recommendations regarding quality improvements for the design of future projects were welcomed by Terre des Hommes.