The objective of this project was to evaluate the project Support to deinstitutionalization of children, particularly children with disabilities, in Serbia: strengthening service continuity at national and local level, implemented by UNICEF. This project was designed to support the deinstitutionalization reform in Serbia, with particular focus on the status of developmentally disabled children. The goal of evaluation was to measure efficiency, sustainability, relevance, efficacy and impact of the project on improving policies and practices in providing direct and indirect family care and protection for children with developmental disabilities in Serbia.
Key findings of the project evaluation team were as follows: the project was extremely successful, particularly taking into consideration the difficult conditions in the environment where it was implemented, including changes in political circumstances and the financial crisis. Implementation achieved much more than was planned initially. The project played a key role in testing some models for deinstitutionalization of children with developmental disabilities, such as empowering a large number of institutions and developing new services – placement of children into small groups, for instance. In addition, this project provided direct support for the development of some key recommendations which may enable the process of deinstitutionalization to continue.