MID-TERM INDEPENDENT PROJECT EVALUATION - UNPRAC

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
02/2019
Completion Date:
03/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title MID-TERM INDEPENDENT PROJECT EVALUATION - UNPRAC
Atlas Project Number: 00101018
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2019
Planned End Date: 02/2019
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.2.3 Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures to maximize availability of resources for poverty eradication
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: DFAT
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 40,000
Joint Programme: Yes
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
  • Joint with UNODC and UNDP
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Mr. Kevin Deveaux (Lead Evaluator) and Ms. Slagjana Taseva (Anti-Corruption Expert). Consultant ieu@unodc.org
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: FIJI
Comments:

This Planned Evaluation was not added in the approved plan, was been inevidently missed.

Lessons
Findings
1.

Design

The project is regional in its implementation, covering 15 PICs and multiple sectors or beneficiaries in each country, including government officials, political leaders, oversight institutions and non-state actors. As has been noted in the mid-term evaluation from Phase I of the project, it is an ambitious project that attempts to have an impact on many sectors in multiple countries.
 


Tag: Anti-corruption Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management UN Agencies Agenda 2030

2.

Design

Second, the project is designed to be comprehensive. It is also designed to support a number of stakeholders and their role in preventing and fighting corruption. This includes governments, non-state actors and oversight institutions. By working with all of these actors the project has played the role of a broker in bringing together these actors at the national level to work collaboratively on anti-corruption. For example, in Vanuatu, the project facilitated interactions between civil society, the government and elected representatives to support the implementation of right to information (RTI) legislation with the development of a plan for establishing a government unit and specific policies and systems for implementation.


Tag: Anti-corruption Parliament Multilateral Partners Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Technical Support

3.

Design

Phase I of UN-PRAC was focused on building relationships with governments and served its goal as a first step to broader engagement and set the stage for the anti-corruption efforts in the PIC’s by using methods that resonate with the needs of key stakeholders and mapping of the 15 countries involved and their legislative and institutional capacity. These methods included training workshops (and other forms of knowledge sharing), multi-lateral exchanges of experiences by governments (both regionally and globally) and technical assistance (where demand warranted).1 This support helped the countries to enhance their knowledge on anti-corruption and to be successful in the UNCAC review processes followed by capacity building and policy making activities.


Tag: Anti-corruption Communication Multilateral Partners Country Government Capacity Building Technical Support

4.

Relevance

The UN-PRAC project activities are implemented in the 15 PICs, each with their own set of priorities. Flexibility in the project implementation provides the possibility for a tailor made approach combined with the ratification of the UNCAC and participation in the review mechanism that have been a strong incentive for the governments who “want a seat at the table” and to work within the international norms.

Relevance was noted especially with regard to how the project has worked with the PICs to facilitate an outward looking approach to their governance. In a region in which many PICs have only recently established independent governments, it has taken some time for these governments to become conscience of their place in the global order. To some extent this more outward looking approach was thrust upon the PICs due to international rules to which they are encouraged to comply (e.g. – money laundering), while another factor for PICs is domestic political demand (e.g. – RTI in Vanuatu). No matter the reason, the project has supported these governments in their ambitions to become strong partners in global efforts to prevent and fight corruption, whether that be, for example, supporting Samoa in ratifying UNCAC or Vanuatu implementing its RTI Act.


Tag: Relevance Anti-corruption Rule of law Communication Agenda 2030 SDG monitoring and reporting

5.

Relevance

Relevance can also be seen in how the project is positioned within a region that has become more relevant in the past number of years. The Pacific is quickly becoming a focal point for the imposition of a rules-based approach to international governance. Efforts to enhance governance capacity are being increased to prevent security lapses that can be exacerbated by weak public finance management systems and the proliferation of corruption. For example, the Government of Australia has recently announced the establishment of the Pacific Fusion Centre in 2019 to “tackle security threats” in the Pacific region.


Tag: Relevance Anti-corruption Parliament Human and Financial resources Risk Management Agenda 2030 SDG monitoring and reporting

6.

Efficiency

Efficiency is measured based on the cost-effectiveness of a project. At what cost has a project provided its services and delivered outputs? Has a project provided value for money to those that are receiving its support?

The project has been delivering based on annual work plans at an acceptable rate. As of the end of 2018 (30 months into the project), approximately 60% of total project funds had been expended.

The project has generally delivered on its outputs in a cost-effective manner. This can be seen in how the project operates. There are two technical advisers – an Anti-Corruption Specialist (P4 level) from UNDP and a Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser (P4 level) from UNODC (both funded through the project) – who work collaboratively to deliver on the outputs outlined in the project document. It was observed through this evaluation that the two advisers are required to also do project management due to the lack of a dedicated project manager. Project management has been achieved at a great cost in time and effort, which takes away from their core job of providing technical advice and support to beneficiaries in the region.


Tag: Efficiency Justice system Human and Financial resources UN Country Team UNDP Regional Bureaux Technical Support

7.

Efficiency

The project has also relied on collaboration with other development projects to increase its impact and delivery. This collaboration has been both substantive and financial in nature. This has included cooperation with UNDP regional projects working in the areas of parliament, access to justice and SDG implementation.

Collaboration has also occurred with UNODC entities. The UNODC Corruption and Economic Crime Branch and UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific have provided notable substantive support to project activities, in particular through missions to deliver regional and national trainings, requiring specific technical expertise. The staff time of these UNODC in-house experts has been covered by UNODC. This arrangement has been useful to help the partner countries benefit from this global expertise.


Tag: Efficiency Anti-corruption Justice system Parliament Communication Human and Financial resources Multilateral Partners Operational Efficiency UN Agencies UNDP Regional Bureaux Technical Support SDG Integration

8.

It is worth noting that the project has provided small grants to select beneficiaries during Phase II. The resources required to administer and monitor these grants are significant, especially for the results achieved. This raises the issue of the value of such grants for a project that is regional in scope and is otherwise working at a more strategic level with stakeholders.

It is clear from the evidence gathered that the small grants were appreciated by those that received them, but the cost of administering and monitoring the grants resulted in the grants not being cost-effective. In addition, though the funds were appreciated by recipients, their link to the results noted in this report was limited.

Recommendation: Re-consider the added value of the provision of small grants to project beneficiaries.


Tag: Efficiency Small Grants Programme Monitoring and Evaluation

9.

Effectiveness

Most of the outputs are clearly achieved or are on track for achievement. In Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, key institutions and monitoring bodies have been established or have been enhanced. However, this project extends beyond national policies and institutions to the needs identified under the outcomes, such as to increase the national integrity systems in terms of preventing corruption, which aligns with both the UNCAC and the spirit of SDG 16. In this regard it is important that all outputs are on-track for achievement by project end.

 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Anti-corruption Public administration reform Monitoring and Evaluation

10.

Effectiveness

A second example of the success of the project can be seen with NACS adoption and implementation. In the Solomon Islands, the project worked with the government to adopt the NACS. The project has since supported its implementation, including the adoption of the key legislation to establish the legal framework, which occurred in early 2018. NACSs have also been supported in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu in the past two years.

The work of the project in Vanuatu with regard to RTI was also of note. UN-PRAC worked with civil society and the Government of Vanuatu to establish an RTI system. The country had passed the first RTI law in the region in 2016 after many years of advocacy by UN-PRAC and civil society. In March 2018, UN-PRAC supported the training of RTI officers and the RTI Unit within the government. It contracted an international technical expert that developed an RTI guide that has been very well received by key government actors engaged in RTI.


Tag: Effectiveness Anti-corruption Rule of law Implementation Modality Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government

11.

Effectiveness

Another example is the publication of the Pacific Youth Anti-Corruption Advocate’s Toolkit, which was produced in a participatory manner. This started with the project working with the Pacific Youth Council to create a regional platform known as the Pacific Youth Forum Against Corruption (PYFAC, where like-minded young people gathered together to share experiences and exchange ideas for advocating against corruption. PYFAC gave the youth a sense of belonging to a group and the space where they can work together. Within Phase II, different youth groups were brought together in partnership with universities (University of the South Pacific; Washington Lee University), which involved an additional 150 new advocates for the SDGs and anti-corruption, and it supported capacity building of youth in the region.
In addition, as an unintended result achieved beyond those included in the logical framework, in establishing PYFAC, the project created space for youth to interact and provide the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences through peer-to-peer support. The platform is not just a personal network or an IT-based network, but builds on both components and is the only regional work that is perceived as a joint platform. It has identified and supported champions in different countries that will lead to non-state actor engagement in anti-corruption advocacy. Beyond the direct support to PYFAC, the platform has incubated bilateral relationships between participants that have been developed beyond the space of PYFAC.

For example, when youth advocates in Solomon Islands were advocating in 2017 and early 2018 for the parliament to adopt new anti-corruption laws, they reached out to fellow youth advocates in Fiji to help with drafting a petition that was part of the campaign. This shows that beyond the support from UN-PRAC sponsored events, the platform members have created bilateral and multi-lateral relationships in which they are supporting each other beyond the work of UN-PRAC.

Recommendation: Promote more bilateral and multi-lateral interactions between beneficiaries through UN-PRAC platforms.


Tag: Effectiveness Anti-corruption Communication Country Support Platform Knowledge management Advocacy

12.

Impact

When considering the impact of a project, an evaluation must look at the real change that has occurred as a result of the interventions of the project. What concrete differences have been made that will have long-term implications?

However, with UN-PRAC, even at the mid-point of Phase II, we can see some significant impacts. To start, the ratification of UNCAC by Niue and Samoa is a clear impact of the project. The project started to engage the governments of Samoa and Niue during Phase I, but its efforts came to fruition in Phase II when the two PICs ratified the Convention. This is directly linked to Output 1 of the project and was achieved through ongoing advocacy and knowledge sharing, especially with political leaders in the countries.

 


Tag: Impact Anti-corruption Public administration reform Rule of law Communication Advocacy

13.

Sustainability

In considering sustainability, the key issue for the evaluation is if the project has created institutions, systems and frameworks that will last beyond the life of the project. In the case of UN-PRAC, the project has worked effectively with partners and beneficiaries to establish some systems and frameworks that will last beyond the life of the project.


Tag: Sustainability Anti-corruption Communication Oversight Ownership Education

14.

Partnerships and Cooperation

The project has established numerous partnerships that have added value to the work of the project. This has included partnerships with a number of groups from different sectors, such as:

  • Academia: University of the South Pacific; Washington Lee University

  • National AC Bodies: FICAC; FIU

  • Regional Sectoral Bodies: Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON); Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO); Pacific Regional Non-Governmental Organisations Association (PRNGO)

  • NGOs: Pacific Islands News Agency; Pacific Youth Council

  • iNGOs: Transparency International; GOPAC

  • Parliament: Parliament of Tonga

  • Development Partners: Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman of Australia; UNDP Regional Projects; UNODC Global Projects.

 


Tag: Anti-corruption Local Governance Communication Innovation Civil Societies and NGOs UN Agencies

15.

Human Rights, Gender Equality and Leaving no one behind

Human rights have not been specifically included in the project design and implementation but considered. On the one hand, corrupt practices violate human rights in many aspects and corruption has a negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights. On the other hand, to investigate, report and prosecute corruption can result in heightened risks of human rights violations and stakeholders will require effective protection.

Therefore, work on promoting anti-corruption includes, at an integral level, the application of human rights principles. By implementing an anti-corruption project, UN-PRAC is inherently also implementing a project consistent with human rights principles.


Tag: Anti-corruption Human rights Social Protection Leaving no one behind

16.

Human Rights, Gender Equality and Leaving no one behind

The project’s work with youth as a disadvantaged group was significant. The establishment of the PYFAC youth platform, the publication of the advocacy toolkit and the knowledge sharing and training that were conducted resulted in a key marginalized group being empowered to advocate at the national level for stronger systems to fight corruption. This was seen especially in Solomon Islands and Kiribati where youth CSOs have led the push for reforms.


Tag: Gender Equality Human rights Communication Country Support Platform Youth Leaving no one behind

Recommendations
1

Increase the focus of the project on Right to Information (RTI)

2

Revise how the project is administered, including new posts and new capacity.

3

Consider transitioning UN-PRAC into a regional programme with sufficient resources to operate at the regional level with national components.

4

Increase the Donor Base of the Regional Work

5

Re-consider the added value of the provision of small grants to project beneficiaries.

6

Promote more bilateral and multi-lateral interactions between beneficiaries through UN-PRAC platforms.

7

More interventions – both through mainstreaming and targeting – are required to promote gender equality in the project’s work.

1. Recommendation:

Increase the focus of the project on Right to Information (RTI)

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed. The Project will be performing an overview of RTI status in the region and publish a policy paper on RTI. All this will inform the design of the next phase of the project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Project has performed an overview of RTI status in the region, all this has informed the design of the next phase of the project
[Added: 2020/01/12]
Revai and Annika 2019/12 Completed Completed , signed prodoc will be uploaded as evidence History
2. Recommendation:

Revise how the project is administered, including new posts and new capacity.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed. In the course of the design of the next phase, the project support structure will be revised with a view of incorporating a project manager position

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the new phase, the project support structure has been revised with a view of incorporating a project manager position. New posts and new capacity has been included in new project.
[Added: 2020/01/12]
Revai and Annika 2019/12 Completed Will upload new prodoc ones signed off History
3. Recommendation:

Consider transitioning UN-PRAC into a regional programme with sufficient resources to operate at the regional level with national components.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed, with the caveat that the existence of specific national components will depend on the circumstances: preparedness of the country and donor availability and interest. In any case, UN-PRAC has already explored this avenue with the initiation of the existing national project in Solomon Islands.

From UN-PRAC ‘s perspective, one more important aspect of a programmatic approach, than national components,  is  thematic components, which can be then co-financed by various donors

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UN-PRAC has already explored this avenue with the initiation of the existing national project in Solomon Islands.
[Added: 2020/01/12]
Annika and Revai 2019/12 Completed Completed, however document will be uploaded as soon as signed History
4. Recommendation:

Increase the Donor Base of the Regional Work

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed. UN-PRAC has approached MFAT and also exploring other avenues. Recommendation No3 is also valuable in this regard.  One point of caution in this regard is that too big diversification could bring complications around coordinating donor priorities and various approaches. In that regard and considering the long-standing strategic partnership, DFAT is still appreciated as the “core” donor.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UN-PRAC has approached MFAT
[Added: 2020/01/12]
Revai and Annika 2019/12 Completed DFAT has been approach by UNPRAC team, will upload document as soon as signed History
5. Recommendation:

Re-consider the added value of the provision of small grants to project beneficiaries.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed to reconsider/review this paltform, mainly in exploring innovative ways to engage with partners, particularly from the civic sector. The Project recognises that the grants are a cumbersome exercise and not easy to manage and oversight at a regional level. However, operational vehicles for reaching out to partners and providing them with working tools are needed. The design of the next phase of the project will certainly take this point under consideration.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Promote more bilateral and multi-lateral interactions between beneficiaries through UN-PRAC platforms.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed. Limited funding is one main impediment in this regard, while a number of platforms have been explored and will continue to be so, particularly in context of peer-to-peer exchange, regionally and bilaterally. Partnerships with government, region and global organizations are explored in this regard and also   with other existing UNODC and UNDP projects.  This recommendation will be particularly considered in the design of the next phase of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New prodoc has been designed and has been added in the prodoc.
[Added: 2020/01/12]
Revai and Annika 2019/12 Completed will upload signed prodoc as soon as signed
7. Recommendation:

More interventions – both through mainstreaming and targeting – are required to promote gender equality in the project’s work.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/25]

Agreed. UN-PRAC is currently performing scoping of existing initiatives and opportunities, and all this will be factored in the design of the next phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Completed
[Added: 2019/12/02] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
Completed 2019/05 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Completed ]
Completed. Next PHASE 3 of UNPRAC is now drafted and ready for approval. History

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