Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Mauritius

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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 $):
30,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Mauritius
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
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Resilience
  • 2. Sustainable
  • 3. Energy
  • 4. Gender
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.6.1 Country-led measures accelerated to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • 2. Output 2.3.1 Data and risk-informed development policies, plans, systems and financing incorporate integrated and gender-responsive solutions to reduce disaster risks, enable climate change adaptation and mitigation, and prevent risk of conflict
  • 3. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
  • 4. Output 2.5.1 Solutions developed, financed and applied at scale for energy efficiency and transformation to clean energy and zero-carbon development, for poverty eradication and structural transformation
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 30,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
David Slattery Lead Evaluator
Laurence Reno Consultatn
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MAURITIUS
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1. UNDP expected its regular resources to amount to less than $ 250,000 annually and to be able to mobilise a similar amount from other sources. Actual TRAC resources have been even less than the small amount anticipated ($150,000), and external resource mobilisation for governance activities has been limited to a small amount of Government cost-sharing (around $100,000 in 2018). To put this in context, total public-spending in Mauritius is anticipated to amount to over $ 3.7 billion in 2017–18.8 Given these very limited resources, it is unrealistic to expect that all the activities associated with the governance objective could be addressed in any meaningful way.


Tag: Poverty Reduction Public administration reform Gender Mainstreaming Operational Efficiency Resource mobilization Efficiency Coordination

2.

Finding 2. Although the programme objective of improving environment and natural resource management is ambitious, the mobilisation of significant resources from environment funds has enabled UNDP to mount a credible response.


Tag: Partnership Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Donor Coordination

3.

Finding 3. UNDP has developed a strong and well-respected programme of work in climate change mitigation through grants from GEF and GCF, supporting the Government to make progress in reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and jump-start the solar photovoltaic (PV) energy sector.


Tag: Green Climate Climate Change Adaptation Strategic Positioning Renewable energy Global Environment Facility fund Technical Support

4.

Finding 4. UNDP, with funding from the Adaptation Fund, has supported a comprehensive consideration of options for protecting coastal communities and assets, to a level that would not have been achievable by the Mauritius Government alone.


Tag: Adaptation Fund Effectiveness Efficiency Technical Support

5.

Finding 5. While the core focus of adaptation work was sensible, it has been challenging to implement with many different components, including a substantial physical works component, and significant interface with affected communities.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Disaster risk management Disaster Risk Reduction Challenges Technical Support

6.

Finding 6. Despite some early challenges with the dedicated teams at the Forestry Service and the National Parks and Conservation Service, UNDP has achieved some good results in the area of biodiversity protection.


Tag: Biodiversity Site Conservation / Preservation Challenges Technical Support

7.

Finding 7. Unfortunately, the project has fallen far short of its objective of expanding the protected area network of Mauritius, which remains at near baseline levels because of the difficulty of establishing a framework to incorporate private lands into the system.


Tag: Protected Areas Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Technical Support

8.

Finding 8. UNDP was the primary provider of support for the September 2017 ratification of the Minamata Convention by Mauritius.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Environmental impact assessment Global Environment Facility fund Efficiency Technical Support

9.

Finding 9. The evaluation team’s assessment of the country office portfolio, and its heavy reliance on resources from environment funds, suggests that scope for using programme resources to achieve significant gender equality outcomes is currently constrained. The classification of programme activities using the gender marker system substantially overstates the extent to which the programme promotes gender equality.

 


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Programme Synergy Efficiency Relevance Technical Support

10.

Finding 10. The Mauritius CPD has some positive features but still reads as highly aspirational and unrealistic given the existing human resource base and prospects for resource mobilisation.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Strategic Positioning Challenges Efficiency Operational Services

11.

Finding 11. UNDP programming policy states that the CPD is intended to outline UNDP contributions to national results and serves as the primary unit of accountability to the Executive Board. Given the broad scope and ambition of the CPD, its results and resources framework does not provide a basis for clear and transparent reporting of UNDP contributions to national results.


Tag: Results-Based Management UNDP management Challenges Efficiency Operational Services

12.

Finding 12. More rigorous monitoring of contract and performance management is required, and should be a shared responsibility between implementing partners and UNDP, for timely detection of problem areas and application of corrective measures.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Efficiency Technical Support

Recommendations
1

The next Mauritius CPD should be far more focused and realistic than the current one, reflecting more accurately the country office’s capacity and resources. CPD objectives, targets and indicators should only be included if there is a realistic prospect for UNDP to have a measurable influence over them. Results reporting should focus on indicators that have a moderate to high level of significance in terms of the scale or the substance of the social change they measure, and where UNDP has sufficient resources to make a substantive contribution to results achieved against them.

The current CPD significantly misrepresents the scope and scale of UNDP work in several areas, and promotes fragmentation of limited resources, instead of a selective focus on areas where UNDP can make a significant difference.

2

In developing its next country programme document UNDP should position the programme and align staffing structures and resources to support and enhance the performance of its growing environment and climate change portfolio, and mitigate the risks associated with this growth.

This should include consideration of ways to offset the limitations of project-based constraints associated with environment funds, by providing additional capacity development support, building larger and more integrated environment projects, increasing focus on knowledge and advisory services, improving sectoral coordination and supporting policy development. The country office should work with the Regional Bureau to improve its access to support from the UNDP cadre of regional technical advisers. While this reflects corporate priorities and limitations on existing resources, engagement with UNDP experts in the recent period has been uneven and is an area where performance can be improved. This is especially critical for a small country office such as Mauritius, which is lightly staffed. The country office should also use what flexibility it has to strengthen its small environment team to support monitoring and procurement activities.

3

CPD core funding allocations for governance should be contingent on minimum levels of resource mobilisation, or the ability of these funds to leverage contributions from the global and regional UNDP networks or the UN system. If additional resources cannot be mobilised for existing democratic governance work, the country office should allocate its core resources to strengthen engagement in policy development relevant to the work being undertaken in the environment portfolio.

Activities in the UNDP democratic governance portfolio are almost completely reliant on the very small core resource allocation to Mauritius and are very lightly spread across different stakeholders and issues. The activities being implemented are not on a sufficient scale to leverage significant development results, and do not strongly connect with or leverage contributions from the global and regional UNDP networks, or the UN system. Focusing available resources and the next CPD on the environment portfolio is aligned with the UNDP strategic plan and provides a substantive example of two of the six signature solutions (close the energy gap and promote nature-based solutions for a sustainable planet). These solutions address fundamental and existential issues for Mauritius. The environment is core to the country’s long-term economic interests. Its natural assets are especially important to its attraction as a global tourist destination. Tourism is an important source of foreign currency and represents a large component of GNI. Developing an affordable and sustainable energy sector is also vital.

4

The country office should develop a strategy for addressing gender equality that is founded on a clear assessment of the scope provided by different activities to do so. This strategy should outline how gender equality will be addressed by different activities and the extent to which these can reasonably be expected to produce significant and consistent gender equality outcomes. Gender marker coding should be reviewed annually, and coding updated where necessary to ensure that the data provide an accurate picture of the level of focus of UNDP programmes on gender equality.

Inaccuracies in coding of programme activities using the gender marker mean it is not possible to accurately establish how well the programme is performing in promoting gender equality, but it is clear that the actual focus on gender is far less than reported. Tangible gender equality results produced by the programme are limited, especially for the environment component, which accounts for 95 per cent of programme expenditure

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