Assessment of Development Results: Liberia

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ADR
Planned End Date:
06/2012
Completion Date:
08/2012
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
160,000

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Title Assessment of Development Results: Liberia
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ADR
Status:Completed
Completion Date:08/2012
Planned End Date: 06/2012
Management Response:Yes
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-20013)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 160,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme:No
Mandatory Evaluation:No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation:No
Key Stakeholders:
Location of Evaluation:Country Level
Countries: LIBERIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Recommendation 1: UNDP should not assume that a drawdown of UNMIL signifies a definitive transition to peace, growth or human development. The gains made are fragile, and the structural causes of conflict still need to be addressed. Therefore, UNDP should not spread itself thin by taking on the full range of activities that normally fall within its mandate. UNDP focus should involve more geographically and thematically targeted projects and programmes.
2 Recommendation 2: There is an urgent need for a coherent, strategic and comprehensive programme approach (as opposed to a project-based approach) for each area of UNDP focus. This is currently lacking, causing UNDP interventions to be fragmented and run in isolation. Synergies and mutual reinforcement need to be captured with a view towards enhancing overall results at the outcome level. The success of the UNDP programme depends on the extent to which broader structural impediments of progress are addressed.
3 Recommendation 3: UNDP needs to transition away from quickly implemented projects to longer-term development project activities that increasingly place national institutions in the lead of programme management and implementation. These activities should also shift their emphasis from infrastructure rehabilitation and the procurement of equipment to long-term capacity building by developing relevant systems and providing cutting-edge advisory services.
4 Recommendation 4: With respect to building capacities in a sustainable manner, every UNDP project should have an explicit exit strategy. For such a strategy to be practical, it is essential that it be developed in conjunction with Liberia?s Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs and the counterpart government agency, so that resulting recurrent costs can be earmarked in the national budget (in a phased manner, if necessary).
5 Recommendation 5: Furthering government efforts to promote gender equality, improve women?s access to economic resources and address gender-based violence should be a key dimension of the UNDP programme. It is critical for UNDP programming to recognize that addressing gender equality-related issues impacts both programme effectiveness and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Genderrelated interventions alone are not a substitute for the necessary broader programmatic inclusion.
6 Recommendation 6: The importance of the UNDP mandate in integrated peacekeeping missions has been recognized. Member States should consider allocating an assessed budget for governance and essential development aspects of the work of peacekeeping missions.
7 Recommendation 7: UNDP and UNMIL will need to initiate a systematic handover process at least six months before the Mission?s departure.
8 Recommendation 8: ?Delivering as One? is an important initiative that, if properly designed and implemented, should greatly enhance the effectiveness of UN-supported programmes by harnessing the technical capacity of the entire United Nations system for joint implementation of programmes and activities.
9 Recommendation 9: UNDP should seek to create in-house technical advisory capacity in each of the priority thematic areas at a relatively senior level. Such an advisory team would provide technical guidance in the management of UNDP projects and provide advisory services to relevant government agencies, the Resident Coordinator, UNCT and UNDP Liberia senior management. Such capacity may need to be funded from TRAC resources in the form of a project and could be integrated into the current Policy and Planning Unit.
10 Recommendation 10: Cost-efficiency should not necessarily be associated with low costs alone. Cost considerations need to be balanced with those of quality and professional standards. UNDP needs to deploy additional capacity at the county level to ensure that physical monitoring and oversight of implementation is more systematic and effective. This should be accompanied by a properly funded effort to collect baseline data for planning, setting priorities and monitoring results.
1. Recommendation: Recommendation 1: UNDP should not assume that a drawdown of UNMIL signifies a definitive transition to peace, growth or human development. The gains made are fragile, and the structural causes of conflict still need to be addressed. Therefore, UNDP should not spread itself thin by taking on the full range of activities that normally fall within its mandate. UNDP focus should involve more geographically and thematically targeted projects and programmes.
Management Response:

The Country Ofice recognizes the fragility of the peace Liberia. In recognition of this the CO in its 2013 ? 2017 CPD has re-focused on 3 pillars to be implemented through 9 programme areas addressing some of the key structural causes of conflict in Liberia.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9 programme areas developed addressing causes of conflict in Liberia Programme Managers 2013/03 Completed
2. Recommendation: Recommendation 2: There is an urgent need for a coherent, strategic and comprehensive programme approach (as opposed to a project-based approach) for each area of UNDP focus. This is currently lacking, causing UNDP interventions to be fragmented and run in isolation. Synergies and mutual reinforcement need to be captured with a view towards enhancing overall results at the outcome level. The success of the UNDP programme depends on the extent to which broader structural impediments of progress are addressed.
Management Response:

The UNDP Liberia 2013-2017 CPD makes the shift from project to programme approach refocusing on 3 strategic outcomes that are mutually reinforcing.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A new Country Programme (2013-2017) formulated shifting from project to programme approach focusing on three pillars with nine programme areas as the country moves from post-conflict to development and transformation phase. Senior Programme Officers with support from HQ 2012/09 Completed
3. Recommendation: Recommendation 3: UNDP needs to transition away from quickly implemented projects to longer-term development project activities that increasingly place national institutions in the lead of programme management and implementation. These activities should also shift their emphasis from infrastructure rehabilitation and the procurement of equipment to long-term capacity building by developing relevant systems and providing cutting-edge advisory services.
Management Response:

UNDP Liberia CPD 2013 ? 2017 places emphasis on national implementation and hence the leadership of national institutions in programme formulation and implementation. To facilitate this process the CO is implementing a project to support the capacities of national institutions to effectively implement UNDP funded programmes. Stand-alone project focusing primarily on infrastructure and procurement of equipment have been phased out and these activities would only be undertaken as part of a comprehensive programme to build institutional capacities and would not represent more than 30% of programme costs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a programme to support capacities of national institutions to implement UNDP funded programmes. Capacity assessment conducted Programme Manager 2012/12 Completed
4. Recommendation: Recommendation 4: With respect to building capacities in a sustainable manner, every UNDP project should have an explicit exit strategy. For such a strategy to be practical, it is essential that it be developed in conjunction with Liberia?s Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs and the counterpart government agency, so that resulting recurrent costs can be earmarked in the national budget (in a phased manner, if necessary).
Management Response:

The CO has facilitated the establishment of a National Implementation Unit at the Ministry of Planning. The CO is working with and through this unit to ensure adequate and explicit exit strategies for programmes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CO work closely with Implementation Unit established at Minisrty of Planning to ensure exit strategy of programmes. UNDP; MoPEA 2013/01 Overdue-Initiated
5. Recommendation: Recommendation 5: Furthering government efforts to promote gender equality, improve women?s access to economic resources and address gender-based violence should be a key dimension of the UNDP programme. It is critical for UNDP programming to recognize that addressing gender equality-related issues impacts both programme effectiveness and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Genderrelated interventions alone are not a substitute for the necessary broader programmatic inclusion.
Management Response:

The Co has ensured that all its programmes are reviewed to ensure that women specific issues and interventions were included and Gender Markers are done in Atlas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
All UNDP programmes engendered. Programme Managers 2012/01 Completed
6. Recommendation: Recommendation 6: The importance of the UNDP mandate in integrated peacekeeping missions has been recognized. Member States should consider allocating an assessed budget for governance and essential development aspects of the work of peacekeeping missions.
Management Response:

Noted.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: Recommendation 7: UNDP and UNMIL will need to initiate a systematic handover process at least six months before the Mission?s departure.
Management Response:

UNDP/UNMIL are working in an integrated manner wherein UNDP is already taking convening responsibilities in key programme areas such as Justice and Security and Governance and Public Institutions

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Key programme areas such as justice and security are in place. UNDP/UNMIL 2013/01 Completed
8. Recommendation: Recommendation 8: ?Delivering as One? is an important initiative that, if properly designed and implemented, should greatly enhance the effectiveness of UN-supported programmes by harnessing the technical capacity of the entire United Nations system for joint implementation of programmes and activities.
Management Response:

Agreed. The CO is an active part of the process and has been selected as Administrative Agent for the UN One Fund. The CO intends to work closely with other UN agency to ensure joint action and coordinated support to the GoL. UNDP Liberia is a Convener of 2 of 4 UNDAF pillars.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP Administrative Agent for One Fund UNCT 2013/01 Completed
9. Recommendation: Recommendation 9: UNDP should seek to create in-house technical advisory capacity in each of the priority thematic areas at a relatively senior level. Such an advisory team would provide technical guidance in the management of UNDP projects and provide advisory services to relevant government agencies, the Resident Coordinator, UNCT and UNDP Liberia senior management. Such capacity may need to be funded from TRAC resources in the form of a project and could be integrated into the current Policy and Planning Unit.
Management Response:

As part of building in-house technical capacity, the CO already has 2 technical advisors for Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform. The recruitment of a Development and Peace Advisor is in process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2 technical advisors recruited to provide guidance in the management of UNDP programmes. UNDP Management 2013/01 Completed
10. Recommendation: Recommendation 10: Cost-efficiency should not necessarily be associated with low costs alone. Cost considerations need to be balanced with those of quality and professional standards. UNDP needs to deploy additional capacity at the county level to ensure that physical monitoring and oversight of implementation is more systematic and effective. This should be accompanied by a properly funded effort to collect baseline data for planning, setting priorities and monitoring results.
Management Response:

Two Programme Analysts have been added to the programme team to ensure adequate monitoring of programme activities. To complement this, programmes are progressively including baseline surveys to collect adequate baseline data for planning and priority setting as well as results monitoring.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2 additional programme analysts recruited to ensure adequate monitoring of programme activities. HR Unit 2012/06 Completed

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