Evaluation of UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-2013

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Thematic
Planned End Date:
01/2013
Completion Date:
04/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
120,000

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Title Evaluation of UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-2013
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Status:Completed
Completion Date:04/2013
Planned End Date: 01/2013
Management Response:Yes
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-20013)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 120,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme:No
Mandatory Evaluation:Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Paul Balogun
GEF Evaluation:No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Recommendation 1. The new Strategic Plan needs to be clear about the direction it wants UNDP to take, and UNDP management needs to ensure that adequate tools are put in place to support and monitor implementation of the strategies and priorities contained in the plan.
2 Recommendation 2. The new Strategic Plan needs to explicitly address the trade-offs that occur as a result of the UNDP business model.
3 Recommendation 3. The new Strategic Plan should emphasize the priority of support at the country level and explicitly recognize that no matter how good the work is at the centre, it is at the country level where the difference is being made.
4 Recommendation 4. When assessing performance, the new Strategic Plan needs to take the country programme as the unit of analysis. This will allow a more realistic and meaningful assessment, taking into account the country-level context.
1. Recommendation: Recommendation 1. The new Strategic Plan needs to be clear about the direction it wants UNDP to take, and UNDP management needs to ensure that adequate tools are put in place to support and monitor implementation of the strategies and priorities contained in the plan.
Management Response:

UNDP agrees with this recommendation. The new strategic plan, 2014-2017, will be clearer about the future direction of UNDP. The organization recognizes the need to be more systematic in ensuring that adequate incentives and capacities are in place so that its priorities and approaches are more effectively reflected and implemented in all its programmes. As noted in the evaluation, UNDP made great efforts in gender and capacity development and, having learned from those efforts, is in a stronger position to support the use of its other approaches and priorities systematically over the coming years. UNDP is intent on ensuring a smoother, more managed transition to the new strategic plan, which includes developing stronger incentives to support the deployment of its approaches.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 The new strategic plan provides greater clarity and focus for the future work of UNDP. Executive Office 2013/09 Completed The new strategic plan was approved by the Executive Board in September 2013.
1.2 UNDP develops adequate tools which enable the approaches outlined in the plan to be used fully in its programmes, and which support and monitor implementation of the strategic plan. Bureau for Development Policy (BDP), Executive Office 2014/01 Completed UNDP has developed the SP IRRF, approved by the EB in September 2013, and accompanying tools including theories of change, indicator methodological notes, and guides to alignment, linking and baseline and target setting. UNDP has revised its CPD template (approved by the EB in January 2014) and related quality assurance processes and tools, and has updated its corporate scorecard to incorporate clear monitoring and incentive measures.
1.3 UNDP provides targeted support to country offices in order to support their capacity to transition to the new strategic plan, including through COSI. Regional bureaux, BDP, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), Executive Office No due date No deadline established RBx each have regional roadmaps and have included on average 5% of regional programmes for support to M&E/RBM; regional workshops and targeted CO support for SP alignment/ transition is being rolled out with BDP/BCPR support, including through ?socializing? theories of change and indicator methodological notes
2. Recommendation: Recommendation 2. The new Strategic Plan needs to explicitly address the trade-offs that occur as a result of the UNDP business model.
Management Response:

UNDP agrees with this recommendation. UNDP organizational results are defined at an organizational level and determined at the national level based on national demand for UNDP engagement in specific areas. Improved business analytics and pipeline management will further improve the ability of UNDP to ensure that there is a convergence between its priorities and demand for its support in key areas. Learning lessons from implementation of the current strategic plan, UNDP is intent on ensuring a smoother, more managed transition to the new strategic plan, including more clear guidance to its programmes on managing trade-offs that emerge from the approaches and priorities laid out in the strategic plan. Issues related to the UNDP funding model and associated trade-offs will continue to feature in performance monitoring and reporting to the Executive Board. UNDP will also use the new integrated results and resources framework to underpin a more robust reflection of the relationship between results and resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Reporting under the new strategic plan provides more robust analysis of the trade-offs that occur as a result of the UNDP business model, including the relationship between national demand and organizational priorities; between transformational and short-term results; and between funding sources and the pursuit of durability in the long term. Executive Office No due date No deadline established New SP/IRRF approved by EB in September 2013. Reporting will occur each year at the annual session of the board.
2.2 Stronger UNDP performance management and business analytics enable more accurate forecasting of business model implications for achieving results under the new strategic plan. Executive Office 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated In progress
3. Recommendation: Recommendation 3. The new Strategic Plan should emphasize the priority of support at the country level and explicitly recognize that no matter how good the work is at the centre, it is at the country level where the difference is being made.
Management Response:

UNDP acts at the global, regional and country levels, and prioritizes support at the country level where development progress affects people?s lives. UNDP recognizes the importance of the global and regional policy functions inter alia to support country offices and to benefit all partners through shared knowledge and learning. UNDP accepts that the agenda for organizational change now needs to focus on country offices. The 2013 annual business plan includes important measures to capitalize on more than three years of intensive effort to improve the organization?s results-based management culture, and to strengthen country office performance and learning through greater focus, strategic priority-setting, ongoing efforts such as COSI and refining UNDP business models.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 The new strategic plan clearly emphasizes that support for the country level is the priority of UNDP, and that it is at the country level that UNDP makes the greatest difference. Executive Office 2013/09 Completed The new strategic plan was approved by the Executive Board in September 2013.
3.2 See key action 1.3 above. Regional bureaux, BDP, BCPR, Executive Office No due date No deadline established
3.3 UNDP?s future global programme leverages the global policy function to optimize the policy mix in order to service countries and to promote knowledge sharing and South-South exchange. BDP, BCPR, Executive Office, regional bureaux 2014/01 Completed UNDP global programme 2014-2017 was approved by the EB in January 2014
4. Recommendation: Recommendation 4. When assessing performance, the new Strategic Plan needs to take the country programme as the unit of analysis. This will allow a more realistic and meaningful assessment, taking into account the country-level context.
Management Response:

UNDP understands the recommendation, and agrees that there is the need to establish clearer performance criteria as part of a stronger performance monitoring system. UNDP recognizes the central role of the country programme as the main ?unit of analysis? in managing the organization?s performance; UNDP currently monitors performance against country programme outcome indicators and country management indicators as an integral part of its performance monitoring and reporting architecture. The challenge of aggregating data to analyse organizational performance, while understanding the unique country context within which results are generated, is one that is faced by all large development actors. UNDP has made notable progress in its use of performance data since 2011, and continues to build its own capacity to produce high quality, contextualized and nuanced performance metrics that go beyond compliance-oriented reporting to provide a meaningful picture of what is working and what is not.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 The new strategic plan has a results framework with SMART indicators at every result level that can be incorporated into country-level programming, including new country programme documents and results and resources frameworks. Executive Office, BDP, regional bureaux No due date No deadline established The new strategic plan/ Integrated results and resources framework was approved by the Executive Board in September 2013 and will be fully populated with baselines and targets by June 2014. New CPD format approved by the EB in January 2014.
4.2 UNDP annual reports ensure that analysis of UNDP performance is founded on data and analysis of country level performance, and is reflective of country context. Executive Office, regional bureaux No due date No deadline established
4.3 UNDP develops a stronger and more integrated performance monitoring system that provides a stronger evidence base for better evaluations. Executive Office, Bureau of Management 2014/10 Overdue-Initiated

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