Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Cote d'Ivoire

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Cote d'Ivoire
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: No
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 2.1.2 Capacities developed for progressive expansion of inclusive social protection systems
  • 3. Output 3.2.2 National and local systems enabled and communities empowered to ensure the restoration of justice institutions, redress mechanisms and community security
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 49,600
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Elizabeth Wojnar Research Consultant elizabeth.wojnar@undp.org
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: COTE d'IVOIRE
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1: UNDP’s country programme is composed of two interdependent pillars – governance and sustainable development – with corresponding outcomes. The programme was designed as a response to the triple link between: (i) inclusive sustainable development, (ii) prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts and strengthened social cohesion, and (iii) democratic and security governance. The components were all relevant in the context of Côte d’Ivoire, but overly ambitious in scope, especially given the resources available. The CPD foresaw an investment of approximately one quarter of its resources in governance programming and three quarters in sustainable development, but after two years of implementation, this ratio was reversed in practice, with the programme’s focus driven more by resource availability than by design.


Tag: Economic Recovery Inclusive economic growth Human rights Local Governance Strategic Positioning Conflict Crisis prevention Post Conflict Promotion of dialogue Resilience Relevance Technical Support

2.

Finding 2. At the mid-point of the current country programme, UNDP had helped lay the foundation for further work to strengthen policy and fully operationalize the monitoring of the NDP, through support to prioritizing and integrating the SDGs in the NDP, the organization of international conferences on emergence, establishing consultation frameworks, and developing a programme to support strategic management of development and achievement of the SDGs.


Tag: Capacity Building Agenda 2030 Monitoring and Evaluation Effectiveness Policy Advisory

3.

Finding 3. Through its past contributions, UNDP is perceived as the partner of choice for the government on governance issues, however results under the current programme have been scattered and limited in scope. The intended vehicle for UNDP support to republican institutions under the current country programme is the National Programme of Support to Institutional Reforms and Modernization of the State (PRIME). It is characterized by slow implementation and funding challenges, and it is unlikely that it will be able to produce the intended outputs and achieve its objectives within the programme period.


Tag: Capacity Building Economic Recovery Election Operational Efficiency Effectiveness Efficiency Technical Support

4.

Finding 4. UNDP support to capacity building of institutions and actors at the central, regional and community levels contributed to an improvement in the dynamics of conflict management in Côte d'Ivoire. Initiatives for the promotion of peace, the prevention and management of conflict and the promotion of social cohesion, as well as the fight against GBV yielded encouraging results, but these need to be consolidated in a still fragile post-crisis context.


Tag: Capacity Building Gender-Based Violence Strategic Positioning Crisis prevention Post Conflict Promotion of dialogue Effectiveness Impact Technical Support

5.

Finding 5. Under the preceding and present country programmes, in partnership with Japan and building on work by UNOCI, UNDP support contributed to upgrading the professionalism of Ivorian police personnel and helped anchor the principle of continuous professional training. This allowed active staff to continue to improve their skills and provide a more effective response to the security needs of populations. The sustainability of the actions nevertheless depends on the government’s commitment to continue to pursue this transformation and provide the means to create a veritable neighbourhood police force able to carry out its mission.


Tag: Donor relations Partnership Aid Coordination Sustainability Donor Coordination

6.

Finding 6. UNDP reinforced the achievements of past interventions by establishing and supporting socio-security dialogue mechanisms. These are contributing to improved relations between populations and security forces, with mistrust gradually being reduced.


Tag: Programme Synergy Crisis prevention Security Coherence Relevance Advocacy

7.

Finding 7. UNDP and UN partner support led to localized advances in access to justice, particularly in response to GBV, thus contributing to the strengthening of social cohesion. However, the institutionalization of structures created and their sustainability is not yet guaranteed.


Tag: Human rights Justice system Gender-Based Violence Partnership Effectiveness Impact UN Agencies Technical Support

8.

Finding 8. At the time of the evaluation, UNDP was not on track to achieve two expected country programme outputs in the area of inclusive sustainable development (improved access to renewable energy and adoption of production practices and sustainable production management by actors in the agricultural and forestry sector).


Tag: Inclusive economic growth Operational Efficiency Sustainability Clean Energy Natural Resouce management Renewable energy Effectiveness Efficiency Agriculture Forestry Technical Support

9.

Finding 9: UNDP contributed to reducing the vulnerability of disadvantaged groups, including young people, women and internally displaced persons, through the development of income-generating activities and training and support to young entrepreneurs to undertake economic activities, particularly in the south-west and the north of the country. There are some questions as to the sustainability of the results. A new programme to support value chain development was launched in July 2017, but implementation faced significant delays, limiting progress towards intended results.


Tag: Disabilities Inequalities Gender Mainstreaming Sustainability Displacement Effectiveness Technical Support

10.

Finding 10. In partnership with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, UNDP contributed to increasing the employability of young men and women through establishing a national volunteer programme.


Tag: Jobs and Livelihoods Youth Partnership Effectiveness UN Agencies Coordination

11.

Finding 11. The UNDP country programme is aligned with national development priorities and the United Nations Joint Programming Framework, but the absence of explicit theories of change makes it difficult to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the contribution of a multiplicity of products to the expected outcome-level results. The variety of themes taken up by the country programme, given its limited resources, risks limiting its scale for impact and the visibility of results.


Tag: Programme Synergy Coherence Relevance Country Government UN Agencies

12.

Finding 12. Arrangements for results-based management, monitoring and evaluation lack a sufficiently analytical dimension at the outcome level and consequently do not capitalize on knowledge.


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Coherence Technical Support

13.

Finding 13. UNDP’s programme interventions are rich in experience and knowledge, but UNDP's current knowledge management strategy does not sufficiently address the documentation and dissemination of information, experiences and lessons in a systematic way for policy dialogue and other uses.


Tag: Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Efficiency Technical Support

14.

Finding 14. UNDP considers the gender dimension systematically in the design and implementation of its interventions and has made direct and indirect contributions to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The majority of results are considered ‘gender-targeted’, while others are ‘gender-sensitive’ or potentially ‘gender-transformative’.


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Implementation Modality Effectiveness Technical Support

15.

Finding 15. UNDP successfully mobilized resources to implement its programme but did not fundamentally rethink its resource mobilization strategy following the ADR 2013 recommendation on this. This is still relevant, given that official development assistance from donors is increasingly focused on budget support. The imminent end to financing through the PBF in 2020 could translate into a reduction of resources corresponding to 30–40 percent of the UNDP country programme budget.


Tag: Operational Efficiency Resource mobilization Efficiency Coordination

16.

Finding 16. UNDP developed partnerships with government actors, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral partners, civil society organizations and the private sector. Generally, the collaboration between UNDP and the government was fruitful, but there were gaps in communication. Within the United Nations System, collaboration was more in the form of ‘joint submissions’ than ‘joint programmes’.


Tag: Multilateral Partners Partnership Efficiency Bilateral partners Civil Societies and NGOs Coordination

17.

Finding 17. UNDP is a major actor in the coordination of official development assistance within the United Nations System and between the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its partners. Thus, it contributes to the strengthening of overall development effectiveness. UNDP’s role in coordination has contributed to its reputation as an important development actor


Tag: Partnership Effectiveness Country Government Donor UNDP Management Coordination

18.

Finding 18. For many of its partners, UNDP is an appreciated partner with established credibility. The perception that UNDP programming is too scattered could damage its reputation.


Tag: Operational Efficiency Coherence Relevance Bilateral partners Donor Coordination

19.

Finding 19. The majority of projects in Côte d’Ivoire use the direct implementation modality (DIM) which may limit the appropriation of initiatives by national partners.


Tag: Implementation Modality Effectiveness Technical Support

20.

Finding 20. UNDP shows weaknesses in terms of programme coherence and the capacity to anticipate and manage risks, as well as demonstrate the achievement of the programme’s development objectives, exacerbated by the absence of a deputy country director (programme) and a monitoring and evaluation specialist in the UNDP country office.


Tag: Operational Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Programme Synergy Coherence Relevance Technical Support

21.

Finding 21. The sustainability (or potential sustainability) of results obtained with UNDP support varies according to the area of intervention.


Tag: Sustainability Challenges Technical Support

Recommendations
1

UNDP should revisit its theory(s) of change for the current programme in order to render them more explicit and visible. This would give its partners a greater understanding of UNDP contributions aimed at achieving sustainable change.

Updating its theories of change will enable UNDP to better articulate its priorities and document results achieved or results in the making. Undertaking such an exercise before the end of the current programme would create solid foundations for the development of a vision and a theory (or theories) of change for the following country programme. At the same time, this would assist UNDP in communicating with partners.

It will be necessary to identify explicitly the expected changes in terms of outcomes, as well as corresponding hypotheses on the responsibilities of partners, and other necessary conditions. Similarly, UNDP should review its results and resources framework and adjust it to include relevant outcome indicators, in addition to the usual output indicators. This will assist in measuring transformational changes through an analysis of UNDP’s contribution.

2

To reinforce effectiveness and learning, UNDP should immediately undertake a mapping of its projects to regroup and systematically categorize data and results achieved or underway. This would feed into updated theories of change and analysis of lessons learned to improve effectiveness for the development of the new country programme. UNDP should also pursue dialogue with its partners to ensure the sustainability of results obtained thus far.

It is particularly important to consolidate lessons learned from the peacebuilding projects to retain the vast experience and richness of results of these interventions, and to be able to continue to advise the government on strategic and programmatic aspects of a veritable consolidation of peace, even if new terminology replaces the terminology of the immediate post-crisis environment, and even if the country no longer has access to the PBF. This analysis of the results of these projects, along with other analyses of opportunities for inclusive, sustainable development, the maintenance of social peace and the strengthening of the local economic fabric for greater development, can feed into advocacy for future strategies, integrating the principles of civil rights and liberties and the improvement of socio-economic conditions for lasting development and achievement of the SDGs.

For example, the inter-connections between existing intercommunity dialogue platforms should be the subject of analysis with all relevant partners with a view to promoting the coordination of, and interlinks between, mechanisms for the prevention and peaceful management of conflict and reinforcing the integration of the needs of vulnerable groups (women, youth, poor people and people living with disabilities). With respect to work in access to justice, UNDP and its partner agencies should engage with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in reflections on, and pursue actions to clarify, the legal status and financing of legal clinics to guarantee the sustainability of results. A review with partners to highlight good practices, lessons learned and challenges in the fight against GBV should also be done, again to inform strategies for the new programme.

3

Addressing the triple linkage between peacebuilding, security and democratic governance and sustainable inclusive development remains relevant in the context of Côte d’Ivoire and can form the basis of the next country programme and its theories of change. At the same time, the design of the next country programme must also take into account UNDP’s structural and organizational capacities and resources, and focus on a select number of thematic areas.

With specific reference to security sector reform, future support should build on lessons learned and go beyond the premise of the classic framework for sectoral reform (army, policy, judiciary). Future support should be a coordinated and systemic approach with a long-term view of change, taking into account the multiple interactions between various security actors. Future action should be considered from a frame similar to ‘development of security systems’ and characterized by: (i) a holistic and inclusive approach with a paradigm shift, contributing to community wellbeing, human security and empowerment of the population; (ii) strengthening of competencies and sharing of capacities for the provision of community services (police-gendarmerie-justice); (iii) improvement of relations between army, policy, gendarmerie, judiciary and the nation/citizen; and (iv) institutionalization of democratic oversight, all within a fiscal policy and oversight mechanisms in line with national and regional challenges.

The process of planning the country programme must be more than an intellectual, virtual exercise in order to integrate the necessary balance between ambition and realism. This realism is to be measured on the one hand by the alignment of inputs and intended outputs, and on the other hand by the capacities objectively available – or capable of being mobilized – and those necessary to achieve the intended objectives within the designated time frame. The slow start-up or implementation of PRIME, PACIPIL and PPSD confirms the need for UNDP to ensure the feasibility and viability of projects from the outset, and to periodically review the likelihood of achieving the intended results. In the specific case of the projects mentioned, the evaluation recommends that UNDP organize a review with relevant partners to determine the actions to be taken in pursuit of their implementation.

Generally speaking, UNDP should focus on strategic support and institutional capacity building. At the macro or policy level UNDP should serve as a technical advisor, a laboratory for ideas and the generation and dissemination of knowledge. At the meso level, UNDP should continue to strengthen national institutional capacity to implement inclusive development programmes. In principle, UNDP should not focus on community-level interventions where its limited resources can only have limited impact, but rather promote civil society action to contribute to the dynamics of change. That said, UNDP should continue to disseminate its knowledge and lessons learned from its past interventions at the community level.

4

UNDP should maintain and reinforce its emphasis on gender equality and women’s empowerment, not only ensuring the participation of women in its activities but also ensuring that interventions respond to women’s needs and pursue transformation (changing norms, values, power structures and the roots of gender inequality and discrimination).

UNDP should continue to implement the recommendations of the Gender Seal assessment. UNDP is well positioned to ensure a gender analysis is integrated in the common country assessment and the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. In its own interventions, UNDP should further strengthen the gender dimension, continuing to advocate for and facilitate women’s participation in governance and peacebuilding mechanisms (for example seeking to increase the percentage of women in CECs and CMCs beyond the current 15 percent).

5

UNDP should reinforce its focus on youth, particularly those at risk.

The National Volunteer Programme would merit support to consolidate its results and ensure its sustainability. Special attention should be given to advocacy efforts with structures able to identify at-risk youth (e.g. broken ties with society, or with little education or resources but experience with arms) and orient them towards personalized support designed to prevent a drift into exclusion and delinquency, or violent extremism. 

6

UNDP should reinforce its mechanisms for planning, monitoring and evaluation, risk management and communication.

Connected to the recommendation on revisiting its theories of change, the UNDP country office should reinforce its mechanisms for planning and monitoring and evaluation. Once theories of change have been articulated, improved results frameworks and indicators need to be developed. The monitoring function should include not only tracking indicators, but also regular monitoring of possible scenarios in the context of the evolution of programmatic hypotheses (are they playing out as anticipated, do they need to be revised?), of risks, of progress towards results, and of evidence of change (intended or unintended). UNDP should undertake a mid-term review of its evaluation plan and revise it periodically as necessary.

It remains important to identify multiple scenarios to anticipate situations that could lead to a break in the chain of expected results. Multi-scenario planning is a tool to consider in project-level risk management, to facilitate the development of flexible, innovative and resilient long-term strategies.

Orientation and training sessions for implementing partners organized by UNDP on financial and other organizational procedures should include sessions to strengthen capacities for results-based project management, monitoring and evaluation, so that partners have a better understanding of the issues and can contribute further to strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of interventions.

With respect to communication, the country office should build on the foundations created following the ADR 2013, putting greater emphasis on communicating the positive changes resulting from UNDP supported interventions.

It is important that the country office has the necessary human resources to ensure appropriate country programme design, implementation, oversight and evaluation. The evaluation recommends the reopening of the post of deputy resident representative for programme and the creation of a permanent monitoring and evaluation unit.

7

Reiterating the Assessment of Development Results 2013 recommendation, UNDP should rethink and accelerate the implementation of its strategy for resource mobilization, adapting it to the new orientations of official development assistance for Côte d’Ivoire and identifying potential new partners.

The shift of official development assistance to budgetary support, as anticipated in the 2013 ADR, has hampered UNDP’s resource mobilization in areas other than peacebuilding. The imminent end to financing through the PBF in 2020 will translate into a significant reduction of resources. UNDP therefore urgently needs to sharpen and adapt its resource mobilization strategy. On the one hand, UNDP may continue to reach out to traditional partners with whom its credibility has already been established (Japan, European Union, Germany, French Agency for Development), while on the other hand UNDP should actively explore new niches among non-traditional donors and new financing mechanisms. UNDP should strengthen its collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development with a view to engaging the government in its advocacy efforts with other development partners where there may be possibilities to channel funding into UNDP programmes.

Management response not available

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