Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Seychelles

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 $):
30,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Seychelles
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
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Others
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 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 30,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
David Slattery Lead Evaluation
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SEYCHELLES
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1. Consistent UNDP engagement with, or influence over, Seychelles policies, legislation or institutional capacities for poverty reduction has been highly constrained by a lack of adequate human and financial resources.


Tag: Environment Policy Efficiency Parliament Rule of law Operational Efficiency Poverty Reduction Technical Support

2.

Finding 2. The work of UNDP in water resource management has a significant, but as yet mostly unrealised, potential with impacts constrained by basic project management challenges. The impact and potential scalability of innovations trialled by UNDP have yet to be thoroughly assessed, though there are positive signs that some of these have reasonable prospects for replication and sustainability.


Tag: Natural Disaster Ecosystem based adaption Natural Resouce management Water resources Effectiveness Impact Project and Programme management Quality Assurance Technical Support

3.

Finding 3. Despite some challenges, progress towards the outcomes, outputs and indicators set out in the CPD in the area of protected area management has been adequate. UNDP has provided valuable support for the revitalisation of the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA). This has contributed to a major reform of its mandate, which will potentially increase its effectiveness as a conservation organisation rather than a revenue collection agency. Feedback received from stakeholders during the field mission indicates that UNDP has fulfilled its role in facilitating and supporting implementation of GEF grants.


Tag: Environment Policy Protected Areas Site Conservation / Preservation Effectiveness Global Environment Facility fund Operational Efficiency Strategic Positioning Technical Support

4.

Finding 4. Whether the work of UNDP on protected area management succeeds in elevating the conservation status and improving the management of important marine and terrestrial biodiversity will ultimately depend on decisions outside of the control of the project.


Tag: Sustainability Environment Policy Protected Areas Site Conservation / Preservation Effectiveness Technical Support

5.

Finding 5. The contribution of UNDP to improved resource efficiency has been modest and well short of targets. The scope for UNDP to make a more substantial contribution may increase when a review of energy sector policies being conducted by the Seychelles Government is completed. This will help to clarify which energy efficiency strategies and incentives are likely to be most effective.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Clean Energy Energy Resource mobilization Efficiency Technical Support

6.

Finding 6. The UNDP environment portfolio in Seychelles focuses on important and challenging issues and provides a highly valued source of external support for partners. Notwithstanding, overall the performance of the portfolio has been uneven, and a lack of resources has limited UNDP engagement and support for policy development outside of projects.


Tag: Donor relations Implementation Modality Resource mobilization Efficiency Technical Support

7.

Finding 7. Given the context, and the limitations of existing GEF funding mechanisms, the PCU established by UNDP within the Ministry of Environment and Energy is a sensible arrangement to absorb the project management costs of UNDP support to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) through multiple projects.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate finance Operational Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Resource mobilization Efficiency Technical Support

8.

Finding 8. Implementation has been made more challenging by unnecessarily complex project designs and insufficient attention to the feasibility of some major components of projects.


Tag: Ecosystem based adaption Effectiveness Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Technical Support

9.

Finding 9. For a small sub-office like UNDP Seychelles, the ability to access technical backstopping and support from relevant UNDP experts is critical to ensure high quality project design and implementation.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Efficiency Advocacy

10.

Finding 10. Given the environmental focus of the current programme, the scope to promote gender equality in a significant and consistent way is constrained. Reflecting this, in the current programme cycle, 75 per cent of expenditure was reported as making a limited contribution to gender equality (GEN1). The remaining 25 per cent of expenditure did not make a noticeable contribution to gender equality (GEN0).


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Operational Efficiency Technical Support

11.

Finding 11. The Seychelles Country Programme Document does not serve as an effective vehicle for accountability to the UNDP Executive Board for results alignment and resources assigned to the programme.


Tag: Operational Efficiency UNDP management Efficiency

12.

Finding 12. There are significant weaknesses in results-based management at the project level.


Tag: Results-Based Management Effectiveness

Recommendations
1

In developing the new Country Programme Document, care should be taken to reflect the particular needs and issues of Seychelles as a small island state with high-income status, and the capacity of UNDP to provide support. UNDP should focus its limited resources on strengthening the focus of the programme on environmental management and climate change, and synergies between its different components.  Given the income status of Seychelles, this is likely to be the main source of concessional funding available for the country over the next CPD period and beyond.

2

The country office should ensure that future project designs avoid unnecessary proliferation of project components and counterparts and include only well-reasoned, straightforward monitoring and evaluation frameworks and targets. Where designs include plans for complex physical works that have not been subject to detailed feasibility studies, sufficient time should be allocated to complete this work, and flexibility should be provided to respond appropriately to the outcomes.

3

The country office should improve results-based management through a series of recommended measures. Programme level reporting frameworks should only include objectives, targets and related indicators over which UNDP can realistically have a measurable influence. Increased monitoring and evaluation and research capacity should be built into individual project designs or a shared resource should be established to provide analytical support across the PCU. Finally, a common narrative should be developed across the programme explaining the challenges that UNDP is helping Seychelles Government to address.

1. Recommendation:

In developing the new Country Programme Document, care should be taken to reflect the particular needs and issues of Seychelles as a small island state with high-income status, and the capacity of UNDP to provide support. UNDP should focus its limited resources on strengthening the focus of the programme on environmental management and climate change, and synergies between its different components.  Given the income status of Seychelles, this is likely to be the main source of concessional funding available for the country over the next CPD period and beyond.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/25]

The CO partially agrees with this recommendation.

While the CO agrees with the focus on environmental management and climate change; the analytics from the IFIs on U/MIC and HIC countries
suggest a need to engage with the question of inequality, in line with SDGs 2030 leave no one behind principle. Non-inclusive growth would be a
key risk for Seychelles, and similarly situated countries. The specific demographics of the Seychelles with an ageing population; high dependency
on migrant labour; and constraint tax base suggest that support to National Bureau of Statistics on Department of Blue Economy, for example, and
other key policy institutions on inclusive growth would be in alignment with the UNDP mandate; and given our small programme provide the
focused knowledge and advisory support noted in other segments of this report.   

 

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Consultations with the key Seychelles partners on the country priorities and needs.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2023/08 Initiated • Regular country programme missions have been conducted to the Seychelles and clear priorities articulated by the government which include priorities for socio-economic development support and public administration reform including digitalisation; private sector engagement and SDG investment. • The MCO is also working in collaboration with the UNCT on the Common Country Analysis
1.2 Formulation of the new Seychelles CPD reflecting the country priorities and fully aligned the UNDP Executive Board requirements.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2023/08 Initiated • The CPD was extended to December 2023 to align with the UNCT Strategic Partnership Framework. • A road map for development is under review, considering the ICPE recommendations • The MCO is also undergoing the Gender Seal Process for completion in FY 2022 to better inform the CPD design process.
1.4. Engage with the Seychelles Government in a discussion of getting governmental cash co-financing of UNDP-led programmes.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2023/08 Initiated • The COVID-19 pandemic has severely constrained the fiscal space in Seychelles, and as such this option remains deferred
1.3 Exploring options to expand the donor basis beyond GEF and EU (e.g. governments of countries, private sector, etc.).
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2022/06 Completed • The Seychelles office secured resources through the Rapid Response Facility for COVID-19 responses; and the Africa Bureau Finance Hub, International Istanbul Centre or Private Sector Development. • The CO is also supporting the INFF, SDG Investor Mapping and Climate Finance assistance through technical advisory services
2. Recommendation:

The country office should ensure that future project designs avoid unnecessary proliferation of project components and counterparts and include only well-reasoned, straightforward monitoring and evaluation frameworks and targets. Where designs include plans for complex physical works that have not been subject to detailed feasibility studies, sufficient time should be allocated to complete this work, and flexibility should be provided to respond appropriately to the outcomes.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/25]

The CO agrees with the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Ensuring the design of new projects is not overcomplicated and overburdened with excessive number of partners, outcomes, outputs and indicators.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2023/08 Initiated The Seychelles office has mobilised resources for both the environment and socioeconomic development portfolio. Due attention has been paid to design, partnerships, outputs and outcomes. SN Project title/topic Donor (M USD) Expected years of implementation 1 ISLANDS- Chemicals and Waste GEF 2.5 2021-2025 2 GEF7 Blue Economy GEF 4.9 2022-2028 3 Covid Project Funding Windows UNDP 0.5 2021-2022 4 SDG Investor Mapping, Development Finance Assistance Mapping UNDP 0.38 2022 - 2023 Total USD 8.28
2.2. Engaging local counterparts in project design at the earliest possible stage.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2022/06 Completed • The LPAC process and regular steering committee meetings have ensured continuous engagement and buy-in of local counterparts
2.3. Ensuring that projects with significant physical works have quality feasibility studies completed prior the actual physical works start. Project design should also provide for enough resources (time, financial, human) for such studies.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2022/06 Completed • The reviewed physical works project was completed on time and under budget, with the MCO returning ~200K to the EU, notwithstanding price inflation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. • Going forward, and in line with new GEF regulations, the UNDP projects are to be implemented using the full NIM modality; and the necessary studies and commitments of Government of Seychelles assured during the design phase and oversight provided during implementation.
3. Recommendation:

The country office should improve results-based management through a series of recommended measures. Programme level reporting frameworks should only include objectives, targets and related indicators over which UNDP can realistically have a measurable influence. Increased monitoring and evaluation and research capacity should be built into individual project designs or a shared resource should be established to provide analytical support across the PCU. Finally, a common narrative should be developed across the programme explaining the challenges that UNDP is helping Seychelles Government to address.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/25]

The CO is in agreement with the recommendation.

Implementation status of projects is tracked on ERC and other reporting channels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Conduct regular RBM training of the CO team and project personnel.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2023/08 Initiated • The Gender and M & E Focal point has undergone training supported by the Bureau in FY 2021; staff continue to engage in the offered corporate training.
3.2 Explore various options to engage a dedicated Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist to cover the needs of the Seychelles UNDP Office and UNDP-led projects.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2020/12 Completed • A Gender and M & E Focal point has been recruited for the MCO since FY 2020. • The CO has agreed with the Seychelles Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment to establish three (3) core pots including an M & E and Reporting Officer, which post will be established by end FY 2022.
3.3 Explore various options to engage a dedicated Communication Specialist to cover the needs of the Seychelles UNDP Office and UNDP-led projects.
[Added: 2022/07/12]
UNDP 2020/12 Completed • A Communications Specialist and 2 Communications Assistants have been recruited for the MCO since FY 2020 – with optimized coverage for both country offices. • The MCO maintains active social media pages across several platforms, maintains an active webpage, and has produced annual reports for each year since 2019; and published various research and analytic publications

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