UNDP Nepal Electoral Support Project Phase II Final Evaluation Report

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
05/2018
Completion Date:
06/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,498

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Title UNDP Nepal Electoral Support Project Phase II Final Evaluation Report
Atlas Project Number: 00049636
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2018
Planned End Date: 05/2018
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
SDG Goal
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
SDG Target
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,498
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 39,895
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Sue Nelson Evaluation Team Leader suen64@hotmail.com
Dr. Prakash Bhattarai National Consultant prakash.bhattarai@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Election Commission of Nepal, UNDP, EU, Royal Norwegian Embassy
Countries: NEPAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Stay engaged and support the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), the Government of Nepal (GON) and civil society organization (CSO) efforts to consolidate the progress made with ESP support and to: further strengthen the ECN through technical assistance and institutional capacity building; support the decentralization of the electoral process and its administration; and support the inclusive and knowledgeable participation of voters, especially women, people living with disability (PLWD) and marginalized groups.  

2

For the ECN, ensure continued focus on: its strategic planning processes including its different departments and district offices; institutional capacity building done on the basis of an institutional needs assessment and an institutional capacity development plan; reviving the geographic information system (GIS), revitalizing the Electoral Education and Information Centre (EEIC) and strengthening the ECN gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) efforts.

3

Adopt a project profile that fits the post-transitional context, is outcome-driven and ensures a more strategic engagement and value added for the institutions supported.  Ensure a programmatic approach with follow up for all activities.

4

Decentralize project implementation and empower the project’s provincial offices if the concept is retained in the future.  Support these offices to develop province specific work plans that tie into the overall project efforts, ECN’s strategic plans and contribute directly to the intended outcomes.

5

Maintain the direct implementation (DIM) mechanism and provide direct support to the range of partners in the electoral processes.  Beyond the ECN, this could include the National Identification Card Unit, other ministries and CSOs.  Ensure the different components, implementation modalities and roles are clear in the project design to avoid misunderstandings and delays later on.

6

Continue close collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and broaden outreach to other projects working on the sustainable development goals SDG 5 (Gender) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) to develop programmatic synergies and strengthen project activities and results. 

7

Use participatory approaches for project design and implementation. Embed technical experts in the institutions to ensure transfer of knowledge and skills to counterparts and to foster team perspectives.  Incorporate counterparts into all product development teams to ensure it meets their needs and increases institutional understanding, ownership and use of the product.   

8

Strengthen the monitoring and evaluation framework, and in particular ensure the collection of baseline data at the start and end of the project.  Incorporate knowledge, attitudes and perception (KAP) indicators to be able to measure results beyond the activity output level.  Systematically use pre- and post-tests and ensure post-activity follow up.  Show targets and actual level of performance over time in reporting.

1. Recommendation:

Stay engaged and support the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), the Government of Nepal (GON) and civil society organization (CSO) efforts to consolidate the progress made with ESP support and to: further strengthen the ECN through technical assistance and institutional capacity building; support the decentralization of the electoral process and its administration; and support the inclusive and knowledgeable participation of voters, especially women, people living with disability (PLWD) and marginalized groups.  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/21] [Last Updated: 2019/05/22]

The management agrees with the recommendation. Through the project extension to December 2019, the Electoral Support Project (ESP) will work with ECN in all areas indicated. Continued engagement and support will require a GON request for continued assistance, a needs assessment mission and agreement on the content of future assistance as well as additional funding.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implement the project’s work plan for 2018
[Added: 2019/05/21] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
ESP and ECN 2019/12 Completed Project work plan for 2018 and 2019 were successfully implemented. History
Request continued electoral assistance
[Added: 2019/05/21]
GON 2018/08 Completed The project is extended to December 2019 and the implementation is on going.
Conduct a needs assessment mission
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
United Nations under the leadership of the Electoral Assistance Division 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Discussions are ongoing within and outside UNDP, with ECN and other partners. A needs assessment mission is likely to be conducted in the first quarter of 2020. History
Agree on content and modality of future electoral assistance
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated Discussions are ongoing within and outside UNDP, with ECN and other partners. A needs assessment mission is likely to be conducted in the first quarter of 2020. History
Extend current agreement to cover agreed future content
[Added: 2019/05/22]
ECN, European Union (EU), Ministry of Finance (MOF), UNDP 2018/12 Completed The project is extended to December 2019.
Mobilize additional resources required
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/08/15]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Not Initiated As of now, ESP is expected to end in December 2019. Discussion will be initiated if there will be continuation of the project beyond December 2019. History
2. Recommendation:

For the ECN, ensure continued focus on: its strategic planning processes including its different departments and district offices; institutional capacity building done on the basis of an institutional needs assessment and an institutional capacity development plan; reviving the geographic information system (GIS), revitalizing the Electoral Education and Information Centre (EEIC) and strengthening the ECN gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) efforts.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management agrees with the recommendation. Some of the items are part of the ESP work plan for 2018. ESP can support these efforts if agreed under Key Action 4 under Recommendation 1 above.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
ESP, when implementing its 2018 work plan, to ensure a continued focus on supporting ECN strategic planning, institutional capacity building, revitalizing the EEIC and strengthening the ECN’s GESI efforts.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 Completed Technical supports were provided to support ECN strategic planning, institutional capacity building throughout the 2018 and 2019 AWP plan implementation. History
Include a continued focus on strategic planning, institutional capacity-building done on the basis of an institutional needs assessment and an institutional capacity development, reviving the GIS and strengthening the ECN’s GESI efforts when agreeing on the content of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated Project has been providing continuous support in these areas and will keep them at the centre of its work while agreeing on the content of future electoral assistance. Project's AWP 2020 has also incorporated them. History
3. Recommendation:

Adopt a project profile that fits the post-transitional context, is outcome-driven and ensures a more strategic engagement and value added for the institutions supported.  Ensure a programmatic approach with follow up for all activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management agrees with the recommendation. It will be taken into account for Key Action 4 under Recommendation 1 above.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Adopt an appropriate project profile and ensure a programmatic approach when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated This will be taken into account when the scope future assistance is defined and a new project is being furmulated. History
4. Recommendation:

Decentralize project implementation and empower the project’s provincial offices if the concept is retained in the future.  Support these offices to develop province specific work plans that tie into the overall project efforts, ECN’s strategic plans and contribute directly to the intended outcomes.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management partially agrees with the recommendation. The ESP closed it's project field offices in January 2018 and ECN informed ESP that it intends to downgrade its regional offices to district offices and not set up provincial offices. The management agrees that supporting ECN in adapting to the federal context should inform Key Action 4 under Recommendation 1 above. Where appropriate, a successor project operating through decentralized UNDP structures can be envisaged.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include support for ECN to operate in the new federal context when agreeing on the content of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated Advisory support in this area may be provided in early 2020 and this is likely to be included in future support when this is being formulated. History
5. Recommendation:

Maintain the direct implementation (DIM) mechanism and provide direct support to the range of partners in the electoral processes.  Beyond the ECN, this could include the National Identification Card Unit, other ministries and CSOs.  Ensure the different components, implementation modalities and roles are clear in the project design to avoid misunderstandings and delays later on.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management largely agrees with the recommendation. Maintaining the DIM modality, providing direct support to other stakeholders, including other ministries and CSOs, as well as clarifying this in the project design will be part of Key Action 4 under Recommendation 1 above. Whether direct engagement with the National ID Unit is appropriate will need to be determined.  While designing the new project, UNDP will share with the government the rationale behind the direct implementation modality of UNDP’s electoral assistance.  UNDP will also promote the direct engagement with different partners in addition to ECN while providing the future assistance.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Maintain the DIM modality and clearly include the provision of direct support to other ministries, CSOs and possibly other partners when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated For the extension up to June 2020, the DIM modality has been maintained. In 2019, in addition to ECN, the project worked with Community Learning Centres under the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the National Judicial Academy, and CSOs (Nepal Association of Blind, National Federation of Deaf Nepal, Federation of Nepali Journalists and Sancharika Samuha). The project can build on these partnerships in future electoral assistance. History
6. Recommendation:

Continue close collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and broaden outreach to other projects working on the sustainable development goals SDG 5 (Gender) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) to develop programmatic synergies and strengthen project activities and results. 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management agrees with the recommendation. ESP will work in close collaboration with IFES and other projects of UNDP to develop programmatic synergies and strengthen project activities and results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue close collaboration with IFES when implementing the 2018 ESP work plan
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
ESP, IFES 2020/06 Initiated This will be done when future assistance is being formulated. In the meantime, the project closely coordinated its work with IFES and International IDEA, including through weekly meetings between the project heads. History
Envisage close collaboration with IFES and other projects when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, IFES, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Not Initiated This will be done when future assistance is being formulated. In the meantime, the project closely coordinated its work with IFES and International IDEA, including through weekly meetings between the project heads. History
Develop programmatic synergies for SDG 5 and SDG 16 with other projects in line with its strategic plan.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated In terms of synergies for Peace and Justice, ESP had a partnership with UNDP Social Cohesion and Democratic Participation project to work on creating conducive environment for election and leveraged relationships of the UNDP Access to Justice project for its work on electoral justice. ESP will continue to explore scope for the synergies with other projects in 2020 and UNDP is considering a programmatic approach to support for SDG16+ in the formulation of future electoral support. History
7. Recommendation:

Use participatory approaches for project design and implementation. Embed technical experts in the institutions to ensure transfer of knowledge and skills to counterparts and to foster team perspectives.  Incorporate counterparts into all product development teams to ensure it meets their needs and increases institutional understanding, ownership and use of the product.   

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management agrees with the recommendation. ESP will engage ECN, electoral stakeholders and development partners in the design of future assistance. For ECN further ownership and knowledge transfer, as in the past, UNDP will embed the required technical assistance at ECN to the extent possible. Counterpart will be engaged in different phases of project design and implementation for ownership, usability and sustainability of assistance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure ECN leadership for all product development when implementing the 2018 ESP work plan
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 Completed AWP 2019 was revised and implemented as per new ECN leadership request and changing environment. History
Engage ECN, electoral stakeholder and development partners when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, IFES, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Initiated An exploratory workshop was held in June 2019 and this engagement will be continued in the formulation of future support. History
Include participatory approaches, embedding experts and joint development teams when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ECN, IFES, UNDP and partners 2020/06 Not Initiated This will be considered in the formulation of future support. History
8. Recommendation:

Strengthen the monitoring and evaluation framework, and in particular ensure the collection of baseline data at the start and end of the project.  Incorporate knowledge, attitudes and perception (KAP) indicators to be able to measure results beyond the activity output level.  Systematically use pre- and post-tests and ensure post-activity follow up.  Show targets and actual level of performance over time in reporting.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/22]

The management agrees with the recommendation. Conducting a follow-up survey to the baseline study is part of the ESP work plan for 2018. As part of its evaluation of the Building Resources in Democratic Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) capacity-building courses, ESP has developed stronger evaluation methods that will be deployed for the remainder of the project. The final ESP report will show targets and actual level of performance. Other aspects will be included in the design of a successor project as per Key Action 4 under Recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a follow-up study to the baseline survey when implementing the 2018 ESP work plan and include findings in the final report of ESP Phase II.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/08/15]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: ECN did not agree to this activity in 2019 so ESP has to take it out from AWP. ]
History
Use pre- and post-tests and ensure post-activity follow-up when implementing the 2018 ESP work plan.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 Completed Pre and post tests were being designed and implemented in all capacity building training. History
Ensure that the final report of ESP Phase II explicitly shows progress against the targets set for the project.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/12/11]
ESP 2020/03 Overdue-Not Initiated The final report will show progress against the set target. History

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