Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Belarus

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Belarus
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Sustainable
  • 4. Energy
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 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
  • 3. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
  • 4. Output 1.5.1 Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy
  • 5. Output 2.2.3 Capacities, functions and financing of rule of law and national human rights institutions and systems strengthened to expand access to justice and combat discrimination, with a focus on women and other marginalised groups
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 35,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Tianhan Gui Research Consultant
Elinor Bajraktari Evaluation Consultant
Boris Houenou Research Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: BELARUS, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1: UNDP’s work to promote the progressive realization of human rights and the implementation of UPR recommendations has not achieved the expected results. The majority of UNDP’s planned interventions in this area have been rejected by the Government (see also Finding 16). UNDP positioned itself as a convening platform to discuss human rights and project funding was partially redirected towards activities aimed at enhancing awareness of civil servants, but in a fragmented way with limited effectiveness.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Human rights Justice system Strategic Positioning Country Government Capacity Building Advocacy Coordination

2.

Finding 2: In partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNDP enhanced the capacity of State institutions to address irregular migration and human trafficking. By working through national institutions, the CO promoted institutionalization and sustainability. UNDP’s role in this area diminished significantly after 2017.


Tag: Sustainability Gender-Based Violence Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs UN Agencies Displaced People Migration Security Capacity Building Youth South-South Cooperation Technical Support

3.

Finding 3: UNDP did not achieve the expected results to strengthen efficient, transparent, and accountable public service delivery at the local level. Some progress was attained on the promotion of citizens’ feedback for State-delivered services.


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Anti-corruption Civic Engagement e-Governance Justice system Local Governance Public administration reform Donor relations Innovation Service delivery Capacity Building

4.

Finding 4: Through sustained engagement, UNDP has enhanced national capacities for the safe management of SALW, enabling Belarus to reach a higher level of compliance with both national requirements and international best practices.


Tag: Resource mobilization Human rights Rule of law Donor relations Innovation Integration Crisis prevention Security Technology

5.

Finding 5: UNDP worked to enhance Belarus’ economic competitiveness by supporting its accession to the WTO and encouraging the development of the private sector’s productive capacities through the support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), PPPs, and tax advisory services. While Belarus is expected to enter the WTO in 2020, 26 the other interventions would require more sustained efforts to produce significant results.


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Private Sector Financing Local Governance Public administration reform Communication Innovation Private Sector Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Policy Advisory Technical Support

6.

Finding 6: UNDP supported a number of local development initiatives that promoted social contracts and, based on the limited evidence available, appeared to have improved the livelihoods of vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people with disabilities. The capacity of local authorities in the field of area-based-development (ABD) was strengthened, although ABD passports have not been systematically integrated into local planning.


Tag: Vulnerable Sustainability Women's Empowerment Local Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Disabilities Inclusive economic growth Social Protection

7.

Finding 7: Working through new and reinforced partnerships, UNDP has expanded its portfolio to cover tourism to boost Belarus economic development in a sector that is rapidly expanding.The CO also started a small but innovative project addressing the barriers to women’s full participation in the workforce.


Tag: Tourism Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Donor relations Innovation Partnership Bilateral partners Country Government International Financial Institutions Private Sector Jobs and Livelihoods

8.

Finding 8: UNDP was well positioned in the area of environment and energy with a focused programme. Where UNDP has engaged for a long time, its interventions have been transformative. However, there is potential to further strengthen synergies between projects and make the programme funding more sustainable.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Biodiversity Energy Green Economy Effectiveness Global Environment Facility fund Partnership

9.

Finding 9: UNDP has addressed important priorities in the area of management of natural resources and biodiversity, contributing to the prevention of soil degradation and the conservation of globally threatened species. UNDP helped to strengthen environmental legislation, building institutional capacity, and sharing international knowledge and practices with national counterparts.


Tag: Forestry Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Protected Areas Impact Sustainability Knowledge management Country Government Capacity Building

10.

Finding 10: UNDP has promoted renewable energy and energy efficiency, introducing new methods and standards for the design of residential buildings that reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. The CO contributed to establishing the proper enabling environment and enhancing national expert capacity, along with awareness-raising and demonstrations of the economic and environmental viability of new technologies. Progress in this area, however, has been hampered by economical electricity prices and institutional arrangements for effective coordination.


Tag: Advocacy Coordination Energy Effectiveness Education

11.

Finding 11: UNDP has intensified its support for the country’s transition to a green economy and sustainable urban development in small and medium-sized cities, with an important focus on awareness-raising and demonstration projects. The sustainability of the interventions in this area will depend on the continuation of efforts and the institutionalization of practices by the Government and the private sector, both at the central and local level.


Tag: Green Economy Sustainability Local Governance Urbanization

12.

Finding 12. UNDP’s support has been crucial to allow Belarus to be on track to meeting its 2020 target of complete HCFC phase-out.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Sustainability Procurement Capacity Building Advocacy Policy Advisory

13.

Finding 13: UNDP successfully transferred the management of resources for the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV/AIDS to national institutions, therefore ensuring sustainability. The CO’s role in this area is now limited to the coordination of the country mechanism to oversee the provision of grants to NGOs. Together with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNDP promoted important legal changes to decriminalize people living with HIV/AIDS and developed a tool to monitor the respect of their rights.


Tag: Sustainability Global Fund Gender-Based Violence Civic Engagement Health Sector HIV / AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation UN Agencies Social Protection Coordination

14.

Finding 14: Beyond its sustained engagement on HIV/AIDS, UNDP facilitated the promotion of local activities to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and enhanced awareness of issues faced by people with disabilities. UNDP’s work was relevant for it focused on social vulnerabilities but remained of limited scale.


Tag: Vulnerable Relevance Sustainability Gender-Based Violence Human rights Local Governance Health Sector HIV / AIDS Non-Communicable Diseases UN Agencies Capacity Building Disabilities Youth Advocacy

15.

2.5 Overall country programme implementation

Finding 15: Through relatively limited financial investment of core resources, UNDP played a catalytic role in supporting the development of the national architecture for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promoted dialogue around the goals, including civil society and private sector. The level of awareness and commitment among the population at the local level, as well as the definition of the SDGs’ financial implications, require further work.


Tag: Green Climate Green Economy Effectiveness Efficiency Women's Empowerment Local Governance Parliament Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs Private Sector UN Agencies Inclusive economic growth Advocacy Policy Advisory Agenda 2030 Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) SDG Integration Voluntary National Review

16.

Finding 16: UNDP’s work has been significantly affected by lengthy registration processes. While appreciating the recent stronger collaboration with the CO, some national stakeholders reported the perception of having been inadequately involved in the preparation of planning documents and commented on the need to improve the quality of proposals. A limited understanding of UNDP’s role and added value in some areas also permeated the relationship with the Government, requiring the CO to reconsider its value proposition.


Tag: Effectiveness Business Model Country Support Platform Partnership Country Government Poverty Reduction Technical Support Agenda 2030

17.

Finding 17: UNDP’s financial situation has been challenged by multiple factors, including reduced core resources, limited donor interest, and minimal cost-sharing. Budget and delivery have plummeted over the years, affecting the ability of the CO to achieve what had been planned. The CO was able to reduce its costs by consolidating and downsizing the office, but it remains at a critical juncture, with financial sustainability closely tied to a commitment by the Government to invest resources in UNDP, for its value added to the country’s development. 


Tag: Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Private Sector Financing Resource mobilization Business Model Change Management Donor relations Agenda 2030 SDG Integration

18.

Finding 18: UNDP does not have a clear and realistic gender strategy informing its work. Yet, the CO implemented a number of gender-responsive projects in the area of migration and human trafficking and targeted women through its work on inclusive growth. Planned outputs to advance women’s participation in decision-making were not achieved. The work to improve the position of women in the labour market and the preparatory analysis for the implementation of the SDGs represent an important avenue to be further pursued.


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Human rights Migration Inclusive economic growth SDG Integration SDG monitoring and reporting

19.

Finding 19: UNDP’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system mostly focused on the completion of activities and achievement of outputs at the project level, with little attention paid to expected outcomes. The CO has very limited M&E capacity, and no evaluation was conducted outside the area of energy and environment. The introduction of monthly delivery meetings and mandatory lessons learned reviews incentivized adaptive management.


Tag: Energy Effectiveness Health Sector Human and Financial resources Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management

Recommendations
1

Recommendation 1: Ahead of the formulation of the CPD 2021-2025, UNDP should discuss with all stakeholders how best to support the Government in implementing initiatives around the four accelerators identified in the Mainstreaming Acceleration and Policy Support report.

In partnership with other United Nations agencies, UNDP should focus its support on digitalization and innovation, preparing youth for the job market, green transition, and women’s economic empowerment. In addition, UNDP should strengthen its work at the local level on sustainable development of cities and urban villages, which has met significant interest by the central Government and local authorities. Tapping on the high-level technological capacity in the country, UNDP should consider creating a national Accelerator Lab that, through research and innovation, supports the Government towards the full realization of its targets. 

2

Recommendation 2: UNDP should reinforce its support to leaving no one behind, focusing on marginalized areas and vulnerable communities.

In cooperation with other United Nations partners, UNDP should strengthen its engagement in the area of gender and social protection, focusing particularly on socio-economic opportunities for women, victims of trafficking, and people with disabilities. In all these areas, UNDP could play an important role in coordinating the support to different line ministries to address the root causes of marginalization and the obstacles hampering a full enjoyment of human rights, including through policy and legislative reforms. UNDP should also engage with the Government on how to best support the sustainable development of Chernobyl-affected areas through an integrated approach that focuses both on socio-economic and environmental issues. 

3

Recommendation 3: UNDP should continue engaging with the Government in the area of inclusive and responsible governance to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public administration system.

UNDP should continue supporting the modernization efforts by the Belarusian Administration, promoting e-governance and one-stop-shops for service delivery. Future efforts should build on the work started in the current CPD and take advantage of the lessons learned and positive experience of other countries in the region.

4

Recommendation 4: UNDP should assess the effectiveness of the proposed approaches in the area of small and medium enterprise development and use the evaluation findings to advise the Government on policy options.

As the CO is piloting different approaches aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs and private sector initiatives, project results and lessons learned should be used to inform policy discussions with the Ministry of Economy, the Council for SME Development, the Ministry of Labour, and others to promote more impactful change. In this area, UNDP should also take full advantage of the experience of non-resident agencies (such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to advise the Government on the best course of action.

5

Recommendation 5: UNDP should develop a long-term resource mobilization strategy to ensure the financial sustainability of the country office, including through cost-sharing.

Based on a well-defined value proposition linked to the SDGs, UNDP should explore with the Government any opportunity for cost-sharing, which will be essential for the continuation of activities in the country. UNDP should also continue exploring financial opportunities, other than the GEF and the EU, to further diversify its portfolio, including from foreign private sector companies interested in SDGs’ impact investments.

6

Recommendation 6: UNDP should reinforce the monitoring and evaluation of its programmes and projects, focusing on an assessment of their contribution to outcomes and behavioural change.

Both at project and programme levels, UNDP should elevate its analysis of results achieved beyond the completion of activities and outputs. Based on issue-based theories of change, the CO should identify selected programme-level outcome indicators, to which different projects will contribute to, and monitor them. The project’s log-frame template should be revised to include higher-than-output level results and indicators. Project-level results and lessons learned should be included in a shared database and dashboard to inform decision-making and communication to stakeholders. In order to accomplish this, the CO should seek means to enhance its staff capacity in this area. 

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: Ahead of the formulation of the CPD 2021-2025, UNDP should discuss with all stakeholders how best to support the Government in implementing initiatives around the four accelerators identified in the Mainstreaming Acceleration and Policy Support report.

In partnership with other United Nations agencies, UNDP should focus its support on digitalization and innovation, preparing youth for the job market, green transition, and women’s economic empowerment. In addition, UNDP should strengthen its work at the local level on sustainable development of cities and urban villages, which has met significant interest by the central Government and local authorities. Tapping on the high-level technological capacity in the country, UNDP should consider creating a national Accelerator Lab that, through research and innovation, supports the Government towards the full realization of its targets. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/07/21]

The office agrees with the recommendation and finds it relevant to be implemented in the run-up to the next CPD formulation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Hold open and transparent national consultations with all stakeholders from the Government, Parliamentarians, civil society, private sector, academia and the UN to jointly develop ideas for UNDP’s next country programme around the four SDG accelerators and Belarus’ national development priorities.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
Resident Representative (RR)/Deputy Resident Representative (DRR)/key units and project experts 2019/09 Completed National Strategic Consultations were held on 25 September 2019 with over 60 participants representing the key stakeholders and UNDP partners from the Government, the National Assembly, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector.
1.2 Take an active part in national consultations with all the stakeholders in the formulation of the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) to support the Government in implementation of the accelerators.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RR/Programme officers/project personnel 2019/10 Completed On the UNSDCF consultations, UNDP took the lead on the first accelerator on green and inclusive growth and was also actively represented in the other three.
1.3 In close collaboration with the RC/UNCT join consultations with international development partners to build partnerships for the new UNSDCF.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RR/POs/M&E team 2019/12 Completed A donors' meeting was organized by UNCT where UNDP presented on the first UNSDCF outcome.
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: UNDP should reinforce its support to leaving no one behind, focusing on marginalized areas and vulnerable communities.

In cooperation with other United Nations partners, UNDP should strengthen its engagement in the area of gender and social protection, focusing particularly on socio-economic opportunities for women, victims of trafficking, and people with disabilities. In all these areas, UNDP could play an important role in coordinating the support to different line ministries to address the root causes of marginalization and the obstacles hampering a full enjoyment of human rights, including through policy and legislative reforms. UNDP should also engage with the Government on how to best support the sustainable development of Chernobyl-affected areas through an integrated approach that focuses both on socio-economic and environmental issues. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/07/21]

The office agrees with the recommendation underlying that the vulnerable groups and ‘leaving no one behind’ principle are already integrated into project and programme activities, as well as the strategic documents. Nevertheless, they will be further strengthened in our future work and the next country programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 The principle of leaving no one behind and definition of vulnerable groups clearly embedded in the UNSDCF and the CPD including lowincome population, people living in rural areas, especially affected by Chernobyl, families with many children, families at social risk, persons and children with disabilities, people affected by communicable diseases such as HIV and TB, vulnerable adolescents and youth, people of retirement age, vulnerable migrants and stateless persons, victims of violence and trafficking. Particular attention is due to people affected by multiple vulnerabilities at the same time.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RR/POs/M&E team/project personnel 2020/02 Completed Vulnerable groups were clearly identified and specified in UNSDCF and CPD 2021-2025.
2.2 Propose an integrated programme to support Chernobyl-recovering regions and vulnerable communities in close engagement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Emergencies, local authorities, elected representatives, communities and entrepreneurs reflecting local priorities, opportunities and needs. Programme to be operationalized through an investment platform for Chernobyl and other vulnerable regions.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RR/DRR/ Partnerships and SDG Financing Unit 2019/09 Completed One of the first RR visits was to Chernobyl regions in Gomel and Mogilev oblasts, as well as the Polesskiy Radioecological Reserve. As a result, UNDP developed a programming note on the ‘Next Generation’ UNDP Belarus Chernobyl Programme.
2.3 The UNDP/EU SPRING project and UNDP/Russia small towns project with the Ministry of Economy and regional governments develop and sustain SMEs and business development services (with special support to women, youth, people with disabilities) in the vulnerable regions and districts of Belarus.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/29]
Socio-economic Development Unit 2020/12 Completed The Small Towns project has been concluded in June 2020 and passed evaluation. Sustainability of the results will be ensured by the national partners and beneficiaries. Services provided by business support centers in regions are commercial activities and income could be reinvested by beneficiaries in further expansion. Under the LED (SPRING) project, supported business service initiatives are under implementation. History
2.4 Develop a range of innovative interventions for targeted groups focused on (1) the economic empowerment of women; (2) social entrepreneurship; (3) behavioural insight for women in IT sector; and (4) social contracting in partnerships with other UN agencies.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/29]
Socio-economic Development Unit, Partnerships and SDG Financing Unit 2020/12 Completed Local business support centers, cluster initiatives and social enterprises are launched in regions under the LED (SPRING) project. Behavioral trial with the leading IT company in Belarus is at the final stage and results of the trial should be available by mid-summer 2021. History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: UNDP should continue engaging with the Government in the area of inclusive and responsible governance to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public administration system.

UNDP should continue supporting the modernization efforts by the Belarusian Administration, promoting e-governance and one-stop-shops for service delivery. Future efforts should build on the work started in the current CPD and take advantage of the lessons learned and positive experience of other countries in the region.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/07/21]

The office agrees with the recommendation and will hold discussions with the national partners to identify potential areas of joining efforts in improving the effectiveness of public administration.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.3 Promote the development of alternative means of dispute resolution in Belarus among the state bodies, private sector and business entities.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/29]
Socio-economic Development Unit 2021/06 Initiated Provided there is a buy-in on the Ministry of Justice side (working level discussions are ongoing), support will be provided under the Rule of Law engagement facility. Given the sensitivity of Belarusian context, the priority area is a subject for conflict sensitivity analyses, and activities’ implementation should follow “do no harm” principle. History
3.1 Hold a meeting with the Academy of Public Administration, under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus, to identify areas of cooperation in the field of public administration.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RR/Socio-economic Development Unit/ SDG project 2019/09 Completed The meeting was held and key areas for strengthening further cooperation identified (in areas of public administration and national capacity-building).
3.2 Play an integrator’s role through a joint SDG project to assist the Government in translating SDG strategy and targets to national programmes and strategies at national and regional levels. Small SDG project set the stage for a larger one for the next three years.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
Socio-economic Development Unit/ SDG project 2020/12 Completed Work on SDGs acceleration is continued and final discussions on Big SDG project are held with the donor and implementing partners. History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: UNDP should assess the effectiveness of the proposed approaches in the area of small and medium enterprise development and use the evaluation findings to advise the Government on policy options.

As the CO is piloting different approaches aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs and private sector initiatives, project results and lessons learned should be used to inform policy discussions with the Ministry of Economy, the Council for SME Development, the Ministry of Labour, and others to promote more impactful change. In this area, UNDP should also take full advantage of the experience of non-resident agencies (such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to advise the Government on the best course of action.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/07/21]

The office partially agrees with the recommendation since the Ministry of Economy, being the national implementing partner, is informed regularly of project activities and approaches on SME development and various policy papers and briefs on this topic are developed in coordination with the Ministry.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.2 Hold discussions with the national counterparts (Ministry of Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economy) on developing a programme-based approach to tourism development to cluster fragmented projects and initiatives in this area to ensure synergies and systemic development results.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/29]
Socio-economic Development Unit 2021/06 Initiated The discussion has not taken place yet. The Ecotourism project has been just recently approved by the Government of Belarus and its implementation is just rolling out. CO is proactively seeking portfolio-based solutions to its programming. Working level consultations with the national partners will be launched by the end of 2021 History
4.1 Commission evaluation of coming-to-closure projects aimed at SME support and cooperate with the evaluators commissioned by the EU in the process of mid-term and final evaluations of the SPRING and local development projects. The findings will be discussed with the Ministry of Economy and the EU and inform further UNDP programming in Belarus in the area of SME support.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
Socio-economic Development Unit 2020/12 Completed The project on SMEs support in regions was completed. The Ministry of Economy was informed on the results of the evaluation. History
4.3 Create and operationalize plan for investment platform for Chernobyl and other vulnerable regions that will support SME development through market-based mechanisms, financing options, investment promotion and bankable projects.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/29]
Partnerships and SDG Financing Unit 2020/12 Completed The following activities were carried out: 1) the first draft of the concept of the investment platform was prepared and agreed with Polesye State University, Polesye Technopark and cluster of 32 companies. Three regions (Mogilev, Gomel and Brest) and 21 districts were identified as a target area. 2) the plan of actions to introduce the investment platform was prepared, which included raising the issue of creation of the platform on a high official level, engage the Academy of Science for research of potential of target area, creation of a web-portal providing for the work on collection and assessment of projects for investment. 3) Raising the issue on creation of the platform was started: the Vice-Governor of Brest region was invited to join the selection commission of Polesye cluster for further work on collection and selection of projects. 4) Jointly with the National Academy of Science of Belarus the scope of research of potential of target area (21 districts) was agreed: two experts will be needed to conduct a research - expert on territorial potential and expert on people's potential. 5) further actions on establishment of the platform for the year 2021 were agreed with CO. History
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: UNDP should develop a long-term resource mobilization strategy to ensure the financial sustainability of the country office, including through cost-sharing.

Based on a well-defined value proposition linked to the SDGs, UNDP should explore with the Government any opportunity for cost-sharing, which will be essential for the continuation of activities in the country. UNDP should also continue exploring financial opportunities, other than the GEF and the EU, to further diversify its portfolio, including from foreign private sector companies interested in SDGs’ impact investments.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/07/21]

The office agrees with the recommendation. The current resource mobilization strategy will be revised, and a long-term partnership and communications strategy will be developed for the new CPD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 High-level outreach to the Government by UNDP Administrator, Regional Director, the RR to secure Government Contribution to Local Office Costs and position government financing.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RBEC/RR/ Management team 2019/10 Completed Belarus position in UNDP classification for GLOC has gone down from UMIC to MIC
5.2 Undertake cost-recovery analysis by project.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
Operations/ Programme 2020/03 Completed Ongoing monitoring is performed throughout the year.
5.3 Develop a CO strategy and plan on government financing and other new financing options.
[Added: 2020/07/21]
RR/Management team 2020/04 Completed Approach to Government financing and inputs to the resource mobilisation strategy developed by the Detail assignment from UNDP Serbia.
5.4 Sign MOU or long-term cooperation agreement with IFIs (European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, etc.) and/or public and private financial institutions (private and state-owned banks, venture funds, etc.).
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/29]
Partnerships and SDG Financing Unit/ Energy & Environment Unit/Socio-economic Development Unit 2020/12 Completed Agreement for delivery of outputs with the State Institution Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Medical Technologies, Informatization, Administration and Management of Health under the World Bank loan for the supply of high-precision medical and laboratory equipment for 14,5 mln USD was prepared for signing. The scope of procurement is going to involve delivery and installation of medical equipment, in regional and district hospitals, establishment of the equipment maintenance and support, training of medical staff who will later use this equipment. The Government would find acceptable the similar scheme of cooperation for further medical projects that has been applied to the current project. Currently, signing of high-level MOUs or long-term cooperation agreements is complicated due to crisis sensitivity and possible sanctions risks. The SDGs and Partnership Unit will continue working on the operationalization of these capabilities jointly with Crisis response team. History
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: UNDP should reinforce the monitoring and evaluation of its programmes and projects, focusing on an assessment of their contribution to outcomes and behavioural change.

Both at project and programme levels, UNDP should elevate its analysis of results achieved beyond the completion of activities and outputs. Based on issue-based theories of change, the CO should identify selected programme-level outcome indicators, to which different projects will contribute to, and monitor them. The project’s log-frame template should be revised to include higher-than-output level results and indicators. Project-level results and lessons learned should be included in a shared database and dashboard to inform decision-making and communication to stakeholders. In order to accomplish this, the CO should seek means to enhance its staff capacity in this area. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/07/21]

The office agrees with the recommendation and the M&E capacity of programme and project staff will be further strengthened.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Develop a detailed CO M&E plan for the next country programme with a focus on strengthened processes for RBM, outcome and impact evaluations.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
M&E and Programme Integration 2020/09 Completed A M&E plan was developed for the next country programme 2021-2025 together with project and programme teams (considering COVID-19 implications on evaluations, timeframe of evaluations, etc.). History
6.2 Hold a training for programme and project staff on M&E with a focus on tracking the outcome-level changes (with an external expert; leveraging UNDP regional experience and best practices).
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
M&E and Programme Integration 2020/12 Completed Internal session was held for projects to be evaluated in 2021 with the aim to go through the latest updates in Evaluation policy, COVID implications on evaluations, steps to be taken. The session helped to refresh team's knowledge and establish the evaluation process properly. Further work is done together with Accelerator Lab on promoting data-driven approach in projects and programmes and data collection at all levels. History
6.3 Discuss with national partners the idea of holding annual meetings on an exchange of results achieved and M&E of current programmes and projects.
[Added: 2020/07/21] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
M&E and Programme Integration 2020/12 Completed The idea of holding a regular annual meeting at the end of the year on exchanging the results of work was well received at the Ministry of Economy. Initial agreement on holding such meetings was reached in mid 2020. Nevertheless, the situation in the country changed drastically after the disputed Presidential elections in August 2020. So, there might be changes in the interest or format of such meetings from the national side. History

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