Final Evaluation of Electoral Support Project

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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 Final Evaluation of Electoral Support Project
Atlas Project Number: 49636
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2018
Planned End Date: 05/2018
Management Response: Yes
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
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]
ESP and ECN 2019/12 Initiated With the extension of ESP to December 2019, this recommendation will continue to be implemented.
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: 2019/08/15]
United Nations under the leadership of the Electoral Assistance Division 2019/12 Initiated Need Assessment Mission may take place if there is request from Government of Nepal for a successor project. The discussion is on-going. History
Agree on content and modality of future electoral assistance
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/08/15]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2019/09 Initiated ECN had a consultation with Ministry of Finance, NPC and eminent personalities regarding the need for future electoral assistance. 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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 Initiated Technical inputs were provided for ECN strategic plan (2019-23) however, they completed the process on their own without any external assistance. ECN's institutional capacity building ongoing through various capacity building activities. EEIC presentations/software/documentary were updated and now it's fully functional at Kathmandu centre. In addition, project is supporting establishment of two additional EEICs (Biratnagar and Surkhet) as part of ECN's institutional strengthening in line with new federal structure. Project has a plan to up to date GESI policy, strategy, Action Plan by the end of 2019. 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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Initiated Project is proactively engaging and presenting series of presentations to ECN management on GIS. Project is continuously providing technical advices on planning and institutional strengthening. 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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Initiated Series of meetings are ongoing in between ECN management and ESP. 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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Initiated ESP is following up ECN on future electoral assistance. 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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Initiated Discussion ongoing. However, content and modality of future electoral assistance hasn't been finalized yet. Nevertheless project has initiated partnership and collaboration with Ministry of Education, National Judiciary Academy, National Administrative Staff College and CSOs (National Association of Blind, National Federation of Deaf Nepal). The initiatives are unfolding as pilot approaches which will eventually guide 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]
ESP, IFES 2019/12 Initiated This involves continued weekly coordination meetings between the CTA and the IFES Country Director, continuous information sharing, as well as joint activities and close coordination of work in the areas where both ESP and IFES are engaged (notably capacity-building, electoral procedures and inclusion).
Envisage close collaboration with IFES and other projects when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22]
ECN, IFES, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Not Initiated
Develop programmatic synergies for SDG 5 and SDG 16 with other projects in line with its strategic plan.
[Added: 2019/05/22] [Last Updated: 2019/08/15]
UNDP and partners 2019/11 Initiated Meeting with like-minded projects are being held. Partnering with UNDP SCDP project to ensure conducive environment for election. 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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 Initiated AWP 2019 was revised per the latest request from ECN deeming new leadership and changed working environment. Revised AWP was approved in PEB held in June. History
Engage ECN, electoral stakeholder and development partners when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22]
ECN, IFES, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Not Initiated
Include participatory approaches, embedding experts and joint development teams when agreeing on the content and modality of future electoral assistance.
[Added: 2019/05/22]
ECN, IFES, UNDP and partners 2019/11 Not Initiated
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: 2019/08/15]
ECN, ESP 2019/12 Initiated Pre and post tests are being designed and implemented in all capacity building activities (trainings/workshops). History
Ensure that the final report of ESP Phase II explicitly shows progress against the targets set for the project.
[Added: 2019/05/22]
ESP 2019/12 Not Initiated

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