Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific (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 Asia and the Pacific (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
GEF Evaluation:No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Recommendation 1. RBAP should reconceptualize the regional programme as the instrument playing an important leveraging role within the overall architecture of the UNDP delivery mechanism of development results.
2 Recommendation 2. RBAP should create a framework for shared responsibilities and mutual accountability between the regional centres and country offices for development results at the country level to be achieved by regional programme activities or by country programme activities supported by the regional centre.
3 Recommendation 3. RBAP should seriously explore ways to use the issue-based approach for the regional programme to address key development challenges in the region, and further encourage the cross-practice work within the regional centres and in their support to country programmes.
4 Recommendation 4. The regional centres should continue to seek appropriate regional or national partners to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the regional programme contribution.
5 Recommendation 5. The regional centres should introduce into the engagement policy with country offices, regular monitoring of progress made and results achieved by the regional programme initiatives and technical support rendered to the country offices.
6 Recommendation 6. The regional centres should define knowledge management as one of the core mandates of its experts.
7 Recommendation 7. The regional centres should further enhance the outreach of their knowledge products and their contents, particularly at the national level in the region.
8 Recommendation 8. UNDP should seek ways to establish programming and funding arrangements that ensures coherence of the programme of regional centres in Asia and the Pacific.
9 Recommendation 9. UNDP should introduce in the programming framework the means for the regional programme to come up with, pursue, test and apply innovative and issue-based ideas and approaches that reflect priorities and emerging issues in the region.
10 Recommendation 10. UNDP should create corporate recognition and incentives for crosspractice and issue-based work, and introduce a mechanism to properly attribute results achieved across practice areas.
11 Recommendation 11. UNDP should enhance institutional support to the regional centres in mobilizing funding at the regional level.
1. Recommendation: Recommendation 1. RBAP should reconceptualize the regional programme as the instrument playing an important leveraging role within the overall architecture of the UNDP delivery mechanism of development results.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable; response already initiated. The ongoing regional programme for Asia and the Pacific, 2008-2013, was aligned with the current UNDP strategic plan, 2008-2013, towards achieving thematic practice-based outcomes. The new regional programme, 2014-2017, will also be aligned to the new UNDP strategic plan, 2014-2017, but more specifically from a regional context. The new regional programme will be issues-based, focusing on a limited number of strategic areas in order to address priority regional challenges, and to support and bring added value to country programme results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Asia and the Pacific, 2014-2017, and in subsequent programming. RBAP, Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, Bangkok (APRC) and Pacific Centre (PC), Suva 2013/01 Completed The new RPD makes specific reference to relevant evaluation recommendations
Increase synergies between the regional and country programmes to ensure more targeted sub-regional responses, in particular through the integrated work plan preparation process and through more regular consultations with the APRC and Pacific Centre management boards and ongoing annual engagement dialogues. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed Importance of increasing synergies between the RPD and CPDs have been emphasized in the new RPD. The roll- out of the RP will be incorporating explicit focus on these synergies, for example : - 2014 engagement dialogues between APRC and PC with the COs - Commencement of the first meeting of the Pacific Program Board meeting for the PC and Pacific MCOs/CO on Feb 6, and preparation of an integrated work plan for PC and 2 Pacific MCOs and PNG
2. Recommendation: Recommendation 2. RBAP should create a framework for shared responsibilities and mutual accountability between the regional centres and country offices for development results at the country level to be achieved by regional programme activities or by country programme activities supported by the regional centre.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable; response already initiated. Preparation for the new regional programme is taking place through close consultation with country offices, national partners and other regional and sub-regional stakeholders to enhance ownership of the regional programme, especially by country offices. RBAP will ensure that subsequent project designs under the new regional programme, 2014-2017, are tailored to further enhance linkages and added value to country office programmes, while at the same time ensuring mutual accountability towards results between the regional and country programmes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Asia and the Pacific, 2014-2017, and in subsequent programming RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed See response to 1.1
Formulate regional programme through close consultation with country offices and other relevant stakeholders at the national and sub-regional levels to further improve linkages with country programmes. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed RPD preparation informed by the feedback received from the: - Virtual consultations on draft RPD with all COs - extensive consultations with Permanent Missions of the region?s programme countries in NY, including meeting with national governments in some of the countries, and - consultations undertaken with sub-regional organizations (SAARC, ASEAN and PIF)
3. Recommendation: Recommendation 3. RBAP should seriously explore ways to use the issue-based approach for the regional programme to address key development challenges in the region, and further encourage the cross-practice work within the regional centres and in their support to country programmes.
Management Response:

and draws together opportunities for better integrating tools, such as Solutions Exchange and South-South cooperation, into the mode in which the regional programme is delivered. The new regional programme, 2014-2017, will be issues-based, focusing on a limited number of strategic areas in order to address priority regional challenges. An issues-based approach also provides the opportunity for greater flexibility when responding to emerging issues and evolving development challenges, in particular the potential new directions that may emerge from the conclusion of consultations on the MDG post-2015 agenda. Ongoing cross-practice work in APRC and the Pacific Centre, which the evaluation concluded was a ?thriving practice?, will be continued and further strengthened through feasible and relevant institutionalization in order to continue supporting coherent, effective interventions at the regional and country levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Adopt issues-based approach for the new regional programme. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed - Issue based and cross practice approach highlighted as an over-arching consideration in the RPD - APRC realigned HR and structure made conducive to adopt issue based approach during new RPD implementation and for provision of support to COs
Adopt issues-based approach for the new regional programme. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed - Issue based and cross practice approach highlighted as an over-arching consideration in the RPD - APRC realigned HR and structure made conducive to adopt issue based approach during new RPD implementation and for provision of support to COs
Review and identify feasible mechanisms to institutionalize ongoing rich cross-cutting practice in the regional centres. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2014/01 Completed See 3.1 response
Enhance the APRC/ Pacific Centre service tracker, and other annual engagement mechanisms with country offices, in order to better reflect effective provision of cross-practice advisory services. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2015/02 Completed The Services Tracker has been adjusted to align with the new RPD and the new SP. The Annual Engagement calls with COs were organized throughout February 2015.
Increase synergies between the regional programme and country programmes through more regular consultations with APRC and Pacific Centre management boards, ongoing annual engagement dialogues, etc. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed See response to 1.2
4. Recommendation: Recommendation 4. The regional centres should continue to seek appropriate regional or national partners to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the regional programme contribution.
Management Response:

The regional centres should continue to seek appropriate regional or national partners to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the regional programme contribution.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Adjust the new regional programme formulation process to ensure stronger country office consultation and participation during conceptual and design phase. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed See response 2.2
Formulate partnership building strategy for the new regional programme document, with a strong focus on identifying strategic sub-regional and national level partners. RBAP, APRC, Pacific Centre 2014/12 Completed Strengthening of existing and development of new partnerships and SSC emphasized in the RPD as major approaches to be supported during the regional programme implementation.
Reflect evaluation recommendations in developing regional programme regional projects. RBAP, APRC, Pacific Centre 2014/09 Completed This will be emphasized in the design and development of regional projects
5. Recommendation: Recommendation 5. The regional centres should introduce into the engagement policy with country offices, regular monitoring of progress made and results achieved by the regional programme initiatives and technical support rendered to the country offices.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable; response initiated. This recommendation is in line with the RBAP focus on ensuring that regional programmes complement country programmes, that country programmes are designed in a way to provide space for follow-up on advocacy and policy support initiatives supported initially through the regional programme, and that there is mutual accountability of results between regional and country programmes in relevant programme areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Adjust the new regional programme formulation process to ensure stronger country office consultation and participation during conceptual and design phase. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed See response 2.2
Take measures to enhance mutual accountability for results and to ensure targeted support to countries as part of the corporate integrated work plan/results-oriented annual report exercises, and engagement dialogues with country offices in the region. RBAP, APRC, Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed This will be continued and further strengthened. For example - the new RPD outputs used as key inputs to inform the RBAP IWP and Annual Plan finalization, as well as engagement dialogues in 2014
6. Recommendation: Recommendation 6. The regional centres should define knowledge management as one of the core mandates of its experts.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable; response already initiated. The new regional programme, 2014-2017, will be developed to give appropriate attention to defining knowledge management as one of the key mandates of the work of the regional centres.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Asia and the Pacific, 2014-2017, and in subsequent programming. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed See response 1.1
Design a knowledge management and communication strategy that is responsive to regional and country office needs, and that is geared to capture and disseminate good practices. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2014/12 Completed This is emphasized in the RPD and will be prioritized during its implementation
7. Recommendation: Recommendation 7. The regional centres should further enhance the outreach of their knowledge products and their contents, particularly at the national level in the region.
Management Response:

The regional centres should further enhance the outreach of their knowledge products and contents, particularly at the national level in the region.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme, 2014-2017. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed See response 1.1
8. Recommendation: Recommendation 8. UNDP should seek ways to establish programming and funding arrangements that ensures coherence of the programme of regional centres in Asia and the Pacific.
Management Response:

Relevant and partially acceptable. This recommendation has broader corporate implications and will be addressed in the context of the new UNDP strategic plan, 2014-2017. Together with other relevant UNDP bureaux, such as the Bureau for Development Policy, RBAP will review the present programming and funding arrangements of the regional centres to analyze and better understand their impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the work of the regional centres.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To contribute to corporate work on establishing programming and funding arrangements of the regional centres, study the present programming and funding arrangements of RBAP regional centers to inform next steps at the corporate level. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2014/12 Completed Realignment of the Regional Programme supported programme and policy staff and the APRC structure realignment undertaken in close consultation with BDP with the realignment details shared for relevant reference and information.
9. Recommendation: Recommendation 9. UNDP should introduce in the programming framework the means for the regional programme to come up with, pursue, test and apply innovative and issue-based ideas and approaches that reflect priorities and emerging issues in the region.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable. This recommendation has broader corporate implications and will be addressed in the context of the new UNDP strategic plan, 2014-2017. The new regional programme, 2014-2017, for Asia and the Pacific will be issues-based, focusing on a limited number of strategic areas in order to address priorities and emerging issues in the region. The regional programme will continue to be informed and guided by RBAP regionality principles, which provide the rationale for the regional programme, the use of which is unique to the region.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme, 2014-2017. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2013/01 Completed
Ensure the new regional programme outcome areas and focus are informed by the new UNDP strategic plan, 2014-2017, as well as RBAP regionality principles and assessment of the development challenges in the region. RBAP, APRC and Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed New RPD four outcomes mirror the Strategic Plan outcomes, namely the Outcomes 1, 2, 5 and 7. And 14 out of the 16 RPD outputs are from the SP IRRF.
10. Recommendation: Recommendation 10. UNDP should create corporate recognition and incentives for crosspractice and issue-based work, and introduce a mechanism to properly attribute results achieved across practice areas.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable. This recommendation has broader corporate implications and will be addressed in the context of the new UNDP strategic plan, 2014-2017.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To contribute to corporate work on creating recognition and incentives for cross-practice and issues-based work, continue to support and strengthen RBAP cross-practice work through coherent, effective interventions at the regional and country levels. RBAP, APRC, Pacific Centre 2017/01 Completed See response 1 to recommendation 3
11. Recommendation: Recommendation 11. UNDP should enhance institutional support to the regional centres in mobilizing funding at the regional level.
Management Response:

Relevant and acceptable. This recommendation has broader corporate implications and will be addressed in the context of the new UNDP strategic plan, 2014-2017. RBAP recognizes the importance of a strong partnership and resource mobilization strategy for each regional centre that is responsive to changing development partner interests.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a resource mobilization strategy for the new regional programme document, in order to complement corporate efforts to enhance institutional support to regional centres. RBAP, APRC, Pacific Centre 2014/07 Completed The preparation of a resource mobilization strategy is emphasized in the new RPD and work on this will prioritized. Internal discussions have already begun on how to streamline resource mobilization efforts.

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