Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Africa (2008-2013)

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Regional Programme
Planned End Date:
06/2013
Completion Date:
04/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
180,000

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Title Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Africa (2008-2013)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Regional Programme
Status:Completed
Completion Date:04/2013
Planned End Date: 06/2013
Management Response:Yes
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-20013)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 180,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme:No
Mandatory Evaluation:No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Angela Bester
Gaston Gohou
Oliver Chapeyama
GEF Evaluation:No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Recommendation 1. The regional programme should continue to focus on interventions where a regional approach brings the greatest value added. First priority should be given to strategic initiatives, undertaken in consultation with other United Nations partners, that strengthen the capacity of regional institutions and support the implementation of their priority frameworks. In the case of multi-country programmes, the regional programme should focus primarily on the provision of expertise, facilitation of cross-country exchanges and knowledge management, with country programmes implementing national or subnational activities. Where it is appropriate for the regional programme to implement countrylevel activities, this should be done in close collaboration with country offices, with a view to eventually incorporating these activities into country programmes.
2 Recommendation 2. RBA should develop a results-oriented strategy for engagement with regional institutions.
3 Recommendation 3. The regional programme and projects should be designed from the outset in consultation with stakeholders, in particular the African Union and RECs and, to the extent possible, national governments and country offices, to ensure ownership.
4 Recommendation 4. With respect to its strategic initiatives and projects, the regional programme should sharpen its focus and articulate in the RPD a limited number of outcomes and outputs. In addition, RBA could consider identifying a few unifying cross-cutting themes highly relevant to Africa in the coming years that can be mainstreamed across interventions to give additional coherence and visibility to the programme.
5 Recommendation 5. With respect to technical and advisory services, the UNDP global policy bureaux and RBA should ensure an integrated strategy for the provision of a necessary range of regional advisory and technical support services to country offices. The management should monitor the effect of services provided by the regional advisers and take decisions based on the need for, and the efficacy of, support in helping country offices to realize development results.
6 Recommendation 6. RBA, the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) and the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) should strengthen monitoring and follow-up by the regional service centre for learning, knowledge management and effectiveness.
7 Recommendation 7. RBA, through the regional programme, should further enhance the development and dissemination of regional knowledge and knowledge products.
1. Recommendation: Recommendation 1. The regional programme should continue to focus on interventions where a regional approach brings the greatest value added. First priority should be given to strategic initiatives, undertaken in consultation with other United Nations partners, that strengthen the capacity of regional institutions and support the implementation of their priority frameworks. In the case of multi-country programmes, the regional programme should focus primarily on the provision of expertise, facilitation of cross-country exchanges and knowledge management, with country programmes implementing national or subnational activities. Where it is appropriate for the regional programme to implement countrylevel activities, this should be done in close collaboration with country offices, with a view to eventually incorporating these activities into country programmes.
Management Response:

The new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, will continue to focus on regional public goods, principally strengthening the capacity of regional institutions and providing support to the implementation of their priority frameworks. Multi-country programmes will continue to focus on the provision of expertise, facilitation of cross-country exchanges and knowledge management. An enhanced role will also be given to the resident representatives/resident coordinators in country offices co-located with regional institutions. The regional programme will seek to minimize activities that are of a purely national nature and will work closely with country offices to ensure synergies between country programmes and the regional initiatives from which countries benefit. Response already initiated through the formulation of the new regional programme in close coordination with the African Union Commission and the regional economic communities (RECs). The process of consultation and implementation will also be undertaken with the United Nations agencies, particularly the Economic Commission for Africa and those partners that have regional programmes in support of the RECs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Focus further on the development priorities of the African Union and other regional institutions in the formulation of the new regional programme for Africa. Manager, RSC 2014/01 Completed Based on corporately agreed ?regionality? principles that responds the evaluation findings, coupled with extensive consultations with AU and RECs, the newly approved RPD responds to regional development priorities
1.2 Engage with actors, including United Nations partners, that are supporting the African Union and RECs through regional programmes. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established Consultations during preparation of new RPD will be followed-up during project formulation, implementation and M&E
1.3 Engage in regular dialogue between RBA and the African Union and RECs to review progress and adjust to emerging priorities. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established Following on consultations during preparation of new RPD, the RBA Director held discussions with AU in 1st week of Feb, 2014. This will continue throughout project formulation, implementation and M&E
1.4 Increase synergies between the regional and country programmes to ensure more targeted subregional responses, in particular through continued participation of resident representatives/resident coordinators in Project Appraisal Committees (PACs) and the Regional Programme Advisory Board. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established A commitment made in new RPD, which itself is result of several consultations with RRs. RR membership on new RP Advisory Board already agreed for four Africa sub-regions that RBA has responsibility for. RRs will also chair outcome/project boards and COs will be members of PAC and consulted during implementation and M&E. Some regional projects will be based in COs.
2. Recommendation: Recommendation 2. RBA should develop a results-oriented strategy for engagement with regional institutions.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable. Response already initiated through RBA request to the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) to lead the negotiation of relevant partnership agreements with the African Union and RECs, which will also facilitate their role as implementing partners for the RBA regional programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, and subsequent programming. Manager, RSC 2014/01 Completed
2.2 Negotiate a long-term memorandum of understanding with selected RECs that is similar to arrangements with the New Partnership for Africa?s Development (NEPAD) and that will form the basis of the future results-based and improved issue-focused approach to addressing subregional and regional challenges. Manager, RSC 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated Stronger partnership with regional institutions is a key feature of new RPD. Draft SPA/MOU with AU being reviewed. Signature expected shortly, while steps toward similar agreements with the RECs will shortly commence
3. Recommendation: Recommendation 3. The regional programme and projects should be designed from the outset in consultation with stakeholders, in particular the African Union and RECs and, to the extent possible, national governments and country offices, to ensure ownership.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable; response already initiated. Enhanced ownership is among the guiding principles informing the design and future implementation of the new regional programme. The team designing the new regional programme has already commenced consultations with the African Union and some RECs as well as country offices. Participation of the African Union and RECs and country offices in the UNDP project appraisal process has already started and will be strengthened.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, and subsequent programming. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established Newly approved RPD is based on several rounds of consultations with key stakeholders, including AU and RECs. The document commits to strong representation of all stakeholder groups on RP Advisory Board and in formulation and M&E of regional projects
3.2 Hold more systematic and inclusive consultations, accelerating them during the formulation of the new Regional Programme Document. Manager, RSC 2013/12 Completed Extensive consultations were held with key stakeholders, including AU and RECs, during formulation of new RPD
3.3 In addition to NEPAD, institutionalize the participation of the African Union and RECs in the Regional Programme Advisory Board together with institutionalized participation of regional bodies in the UNDP PAC. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established This is a commitment underlined in new RPD. With approval of document, AU and REC membership on RP Advisory Board is currently under review and will be concluded after discussions with RRs in early March 2014.
4. Recommendation: Recommendation 4. With respect to its strategic initiatives and projects, the regional programme should sharpen its focus and articulate in the RPD a limited number of outcomes and outputs. In addition, RBA could consider identifying a few unifying cross-cutting themes highly relevant to Africa in the coming years that can be mainstreamed across interventions to give additional coherence and visibility to the programme.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable. The number of outcomes and outputs in the new regional programme for 2014-2017 will be driven by the results framework of the Strategic Plan. The outcomes and outputs will be aligned with a priority set of African objectives and targets as well as the SP. The new regional programme will be developed based on reduced and more focused thematic areas prioritized in the region and translated into the outcomes with clear and quantifiable baselines, indicators and targets that tell a simple story line of the challenges faced and the responses that UNDP intends to make to support economic and social transformation in Africa. Unifying cross-cutting themes highly relevant to Africa have already been identified to include areas such as gender equality, youth empowerment, capacity development and South-South cooperation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, to develop more targeted outcomes and outputs. Manager, RSC 2014/02 Completed Number of outcomes and outputs reduced from 15 and 29, respectively, in the previous RPD to 4 and 13 in the new programme
4.2 Formulation of Results and Resources Framework for the new regional programme will be built on stronger data capture, using the knowledge products, such as the African Human Development Report and African Economic Outlook. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established This is a commitment underlined in new RPD and will be operationalized during individual project design, implementation and montoring.
4.3 Enhance the role of the RBA Evaluation Advisers in establishing outcomes, outputs, benchmarks, targets and indicators for the new regional programme and subsequent projects. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established Needs to be systematized during project design, reporting and M&E
4.4 Mainstream gender and other cross-cutting principles during Regional Programme Document and project formulation processes. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established Gender, youth and South-South cooperation are among the guiding principles of new RPD. This will need to be sustained during individual project design
5. Recommendation: Recommendation 5. With respect to technical and advisory services, the UNDP global policy bureaux and RBA should ensure an integrated strategy for the provision of a necessary range of regional advisory and technical support services to country offices. The management should monitor the effect of services provided by the regional advisers and take decisions based on the need for, and the efficacy of, support in helping country offices to realize development results.
Management Response:

In close coordination with the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP), RBA/RSC has been strengthening and will continue to strengthen investment in the professional development of staff and improve its capacity to provide high-level advisory services to regional institutions and country offices.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Adjust the current business model for the Regional Service Centre to strengthen internal capacities and ensure efficient and focused support in priority areas to regional institutions and country offices. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established A commitment outlined in new RPD and implementation started through ongoing Structural Review process
5.2 Develop innovative ways to support collaboration between regional and global advisory functions that are demand driven and responsive to African needs and priorities. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established A commitment outlined in new RPD and implementation started through ongoing Structural Review process
5.3 Develop innovative ways to support knowledge exchange between RBA Policy Advisers and global advisory functions to provide effective support to regional institutions and countries. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established A commitment outlined in new RPD and implementation started through ongoing Structural Review process
6. Recommendation: Recommendation 6. RBA, the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) and the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) should strengthen monitoring and follow-up by the regional service centre for learning, knowledge management and effectiveness.
Management Response:

Response already initiated. Several knowledge products have been developed jointly with BDP, and efforts will be made to systematize the development of new knowledge-management products during the implementation of the new regional programme, 2014-2017, bearing in mind responsiveness to Africa?s needs and priorities. BCPR and BDP are already being consulted closely in the preparation of the new regional programme and RBA will continue to promote a cross-practice approach in the planning and implementation of regional projects and advisory services in support to more coherent and effective interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Develop a more systematic knowledge-management strategy that is responsive to Africa?s needs, priorities and positive best practices. Manager, RSC 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated To commence during project design. In line with this, one of the four outcomes of RPD addresses KM
6.2 In project formulation for the new regional programme, give more attention to communicating and disseminating African knowledge products. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established This is a commitment of the RP and to this end steps are underway to draft a stand-alone project that will address communications broadly
7. Recommendation: Recommendation 7. RBA, through the regional programme, should further enhance the development and dissemination of regional knowledge and knowledge products.
Management Response:

Response already initiated. The new regional programme for 2014-2017 will be developed to give appropriate attention to the development and wide dissemination and use of African knowledge and knowledge products.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Design a knowledge-management and communication strategy that is responsive to regional needs and that seeks to capture and disseminate good practices in Africa. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established As a commitment of the new RPD, the formulation of a KM and communications strategy will be a key component of the stand-alone project mentioned berore
7.2 Foster an organization-wide knowledge-management strategy that uses successful African pilot projects as the basis for scaling up global initiatives. Manager, RSC No due date No deadline established Needs to be systematized and will be achieved using stand-alone project as the vehicle

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