Name: Institutional Capacity Assessment of the Department for Social Services (DSS)
Year: 2010
Client: UNICEF
Country: Zimbabwe
Background: The Ministry of Labour and Social Services (MoLSS) is the arm of government with the statutory responsibility for the care and protection of children. The Department of Social Services (DSS) in the Ministry employs professional social workers to implement policies and protocols such as those pertaining to: foster and institutional care, adoption, protection of children in conflict with the law, child sexual abuse and others.

Faced with an increasingly difficult environment for recruitment of key personnel and growing need as a result of the high HIV and AIDS prevalence and both financial and economic challenges, the once robust Government system for protection of vulnerable children has been compromised. In order to determine how best to develop a sustainable strategy for development, and one which harnesses all opportunities in the external environment, the MoLSS intends to conduct an institutional capacity audit within the context of short,  medium and long-term forecasts, including capacity to mobilise emergency responses.

Objectives: The scope of work included

a)     Complete an independent audit of the human resource and institutional capacity of the Department of  Social Services at national, provincial and district levels to fulfil its obligations for child care and protection with a specific focus on its capacity to respond to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.

b)    Recommend a realistic strategy for capacity strengthening which will enable the Ministry to fulfil its mandate to provide effective and quality services.

c)    Provide a comprehensive evidence-based report.

Activities: The work included:

  • Literature review
  • Individual interviews with donors, government, NGOs, and other stakeholders
  • Participatory capacity assessment workshops involving all DSS staff
  • Structured interviews with DSS staff in 40% of the districts and self-administered questionnaires by all DSS staff members
Special Recognition: