Terminal evaluation of the Government Financing Project Paving the Roads to Sustainable Development Goals through Good Local Governance (Roads2SDGs)

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Evaluation Plan:
2019-2023, Philippines
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
10/2021
Completion Date:
10/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Terminal evaluation of the Government Financing Project Paving the Roads to Sustainable Development Goals through Good Local Governance (Roads2SDGs)
Atlas Project Number: 00104536
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2023, Philippines
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2021
Planned End Date: 10/2021
Management Response: No
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
  • 2. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
SDG Goal
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
SDG Target
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 8,241
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Maricel Fernandez-Carag Independent Evaluator
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Department of Interior and Local Government
Countries: PHILIPPINES
Lessons
1.

Relevance: Active Citizens Engagement The Project has provided avenues for discussion and engagement between and among CSOs/POs, academe, and private sectors on their potential role in supporting LGUs, which led to the establishment of consortia called the GHUBS. These actors have been instrumental in localizing SDGs and in augmenting the capacities of LGUs in implementing governance reforms. In a recent study commissioned by UNDP on GHUBS, by giving them institutional identity, organizational form, and legal existence, GHUBS will acquire the personality to effectively engage regional offices of the national government, local government units, existing networks of state and non-state development actors in long-term development collaborations. The regional aspect of the partnership; however, needs to be assessed given the geographical dispersal of some regions where provincial HUBS with regional consolidation might work. Moreover, the Mandanas Ruling as provided in EO138 Series of 2021 will provide opportunities for GHUBS to work closely with LGUs. The Roads2SDGs provided technical support to GHUBS in the development of their Sustainability Plans that focuses on their unique strengths and expertise. Since the ruling will automatically release and increase local governments’ share of national government revenue and entails full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch of the government. There would be a need for capacity building on the part of the LGUs in order to implement the EO138.

Because of partnership with UNDP, outputs are multiplied due to quality assurance and teamwork. Partnership with UNDP is primordial in assessing and implementing projects due to its technical assistance, quality assurance, and good governance improvements.


2.

Efficiency and Effectiveness: Reformed institutions, processes and procedures Instituting accountability mechanisms in the program (CMGP) and project (Roads2SDGs) is a key ingredient toward good local governance. The governance reform framework with accountability mechanism instituted in its design enhanced accountability, transparency and ownership of LGUs and other stakeholders through the participation of the CSOs and other stakeholders. This has upheld an inclusive and participatory processes. The Project ensured that PLGUs, relevant NGAs, CSOs, and other stakeholders are involved in the project from planning to monitoring towards achievement and sustainability of governance reforms. This framework or structure should be maintained and sustained if the government is truly sincere about implementing the principles of good governance particularly at the local level. Within the over-all framework of the CMGP, the Roads2SDGs has become a catalyst for convergence and synchronization of initiatives between and among several NGAs. Collaboration of efforts among NGAs optimizes sharing of resources and maximizes joint benefits. Harmonization of efforts also reduces duplication of projects and makes other similar initiatives cohesive and relevant, as it ensures that policies/guidelines issued by agencies are consistent and aligned with one another thus, creating larger impact in development. For example, previously, the matter on Asset Management was a mere policy issuance from COA but had never been cascaded down/implemented by the LGUs for several years. With the Project, the push for road governance reforms has become the perfect convergence and entry point for both COA and DILG, together with other related NGAs, for formulating a step-by-step manual on Local Road Asset Management (LRAM). Similarly, the Project has provided a venue for collaboration between DILG and GPPB-TSO in the formulation of a Road Procurement Management Guidelines for PLGUs; and several units within DILG (particularly between OPDS and BLGD) for the synchronization of their initiatives on the SDGs -- by integrating SDG Localization in Roads with Results Matrices and localization of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 which is also aligned and consistent with UNDPs Country Programme Document (CPD) 2018-2021 at outcome and output indicator levels including the UNDAF. The governance reform component of the project has brought success in the development of the Provincial Governance Reform Roadmap (PGRR) of 76 out of 78 provinces endorsed by the Provincial Development Councils (PDCs) and adopted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP). However, capacity development (CAPDEV) does not end in the support for formulation of a medium-term local plan like to PGRR, there is a need to maintain capacities for sustainability of efforts and commitment to implement and update this plan if they would like to see its effectiveness over time. Transition to new local leadership as a result of the May 2022 elections may also affect the project’ prioritization and sustainability unless PGRRs have been institutionalized by way of resolutions. Other PLGUs have passed resolutions to open plantilla positions like those related in internal audit. The quality assurance (QA) component of the project has resulted into the development of quality assurance manuals and tools that have capacitated the PLGUs in the QA process of roads construction and maintenance with governance components including SDG indicators. This is an innovative process that could be sustained even beyond project lifetime.

Funds for the Roads2SDGs are not only for capital outlay but could be considered funds for capital development that indirectly benefits other sectors such as health, education, peace and security, human rights and gender, climate change, among others.


3.

Sustainability: Leadership and Political will Leadership plays a crucial effort in the success and failure of any program or project. A program or a project that is given the right political support flourishes and could be sustained for the longer term if coupled with a well-functioning institution. As an example, the experience of Kalinga province, is proof of an effective implementation of a project such as the Roads2SDGs through leadership and political will that also motivated and encouraged commitment of the provincial government staff and the community as a whole. For example, the provincial governor personally reached out to the barangay level, i.e community level and encouraged dialogue from project initiation to monitoring and evaluation (M and E), which in turn, provided a sense of ownership and belonging of the project down to the community level. This has resulted into the lessening of the occurrence of local insurgencies in their area as the community people would generally say, “the government is near, and we are part of it and the government is working and we can feel it.” A project, in order to be effective, will have to be championed by an effective and transformative leadership. The DILG applied the core governance principles of partnership, accountability, transparency, and equity. These are important elements that have been proven effective in the project. DILG treated the PLGUs as partners in the governance processes as they were involved in the project from planning, designing, organizing, reporting, and M and E. DILG acted as an enabler and mentor to the PLGUs ie. “handholding” which means treating LGUs as partners and not merely recipients are essential to success. For example, R.A. 9184 mandated to handhold LGUs in implementation of projects by administration is achieved, thus, lengths or outputs of projects as per indicative timelines are duly implemented. Champions from the top management of the national government are needed to sustain or promote the project.


4.

Gender Mainstreaming and other Cross-cutting issues: Changed mindset, behaviors, and paradigms Culture, gender and development, human rights are mainstreaming issues that were covered in the Roads2SDGs project. These are important elements or factors to the success of the project. In the workshops, trainings and dialogues, the project ensured that all sectors are represented, and the disaggregation of male and female were reported. Although gender-responsive, there has to be more work in gender mainstreaming i.e., changed behavior on the part of the beneficiaries. One good example is the CSO participation in the case of South Cotabato. CSOs were involved actively in the governance process which has led to the success of the implementation of the project. Merit reform in the form of the CMGP and the Roads2SDGs design to be conditionally given a grant from the government for the PLGUs roads project was proven to be effective to institute reforms in the system as well as changing the mindsets and behavior of the people. The compliance and the carrot scheme are effective ways to instill positive behaviors and dispel negative bureaucratic behaviors including nepotism, red tape, etc. which became a strategy for “collective reform mindset” for PLGUs. Innovative and performance mindsets are also set through the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG). This puts primacy to integrity and good performance among LGUs across several governance areas. For example, in setting their PGRRs with seven governance reform areas. This could build a model work culture that is transparent, collaborative and participatory worth emulating, for example, in the case of Kalinga.


Findings
1.

Relevance

Based on the findings of the terminal report, the evaluation concludes that the project, “Paving the Roads2SDGsthrough good local governance,” was relevant and necessary at all levels of government from national to local governments; the logical framework was innovative; horizontal and vertical partnerships were established; governance hubs were capacitated while also providing support in capacitating the LGUs and the governance framework were employed. SSC mechanisms were also employed and found relevant. However, for more relevance, future interventions need to better reflect the local needs of the local governments according to their profile and geography.


2.

Effectiveness

The project has been effective in achieving all planned output level results in accordance with the identified indicators. There were challenges in the implementation including delays and disruption brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic; however, these were addressed and overcome in an effective manner without incurring changes to the overall project objectives. The project has also contributed to the outcome level results by installing capacities and knowledge required to empower citizens from increased connectivity to basic services and through effective road governance.


3.

Efficiency

The terminal evaluation considers that the project has been highly efficient in achieving its planned results with the exception of some operational obstacles in the rolling out of systems and devices. Most delays are exogenous or outside the control of the project including the Covid19 disruption.


4.

Sustainability

The evaluation concludes that the project has attained moderate to high degree of sustainability. It now rests on provincial ownership of the project given the Mandanas implication to budgeting for local governments. It also changes the way DILG defines its relationship with the LGUs and whether or not to include the governance framework components of the Roads2SDGs project or part of it in the continuation of the over-all CMGP program


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