Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Uganda

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Download document ICPE Uganda Annexes.pdf related-document English 695.26 KB Posted 47
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Download document ICPE_Uganda_EvalBrief.pdf summary English 214.44 KB Posted 36
Download document ICPE_Uganda_full report.pdf report English 5292.58 KB Posted 54
Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Uganda
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
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 1.2.3 Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures to maximize availability of resources for poverty eradication
  • 3. 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
  • 4. Output 2.2.1 Use of digital technologies and big data enabled for improved public services and other government functions
  • 5. 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 $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Richard Jones Evaluation Advisor
Elizabeth Wojnar Research Consultant
Paul van Hoof Evaluation Consultant
Oscar Huertas Evaluation Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: UGANDA

Finding 1: The CPD has been implemented through five flagship programmes, building on UNDP’s legacy in Uganda, which has brought about well-developed and broad partnerships with government partners as well as alignment of UNDP’s activities with government development plans and annual needs and priorities. This work is widely recognized with government partners across numerous strategic areas. UNDP has also illustrated its ability to convene parties around important issues, including the growing refugee issue in Uganda. However, UNDP’s profile is not well-known with the broader donor and CSO community, outside of environment and refugee response, limiting alternative partnerships and fund mobilisation.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Effectiveness Efficiency Relevance Global Climate Fund Global Environment Facility fund Anti-corruption Donor relations Partnership Strategic Positioning Theory of Change Bilateral partners Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Refugees Resilience Coordination Technical Support SDG Integration


Finding 2: The design of the five flagship programmes should have articulated in greater detail the strategy for achieving these broad outcomes and outputs. The output goals of the flagship programmes, rather than narrowing down on overall objectives and approaches, remain broad, highly ambitious and non-specific and would have greatly benefited from a clearly articulated strategy of intervention. At the same time, while the flagship programmes and many of the emerging project areas (refugee support, development planning, SDG integration) have been designed to reduce silos and facilitate and ensure cooperative synergies, this is not happening sufficiently, and many activities continue to happen in isolation. Where synergies appear, it is not clear if these are by design. 

Tag: Green Economy Natural Resouce management Water resources Effectiveness Efficiency Programme Synergy Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Theory of Change SDG Integration


Finding 3: The overall funding for the UNDP Uganda country office is reliant on core funds. The country programme has not been able to leverage these funds and attract new and significant external funding streams, beyond traditional vertical funds such as GEF and GCF. Actual funding of the five flagship projects has been far lower than designed and expected by UNDP and project partners, with a considerable impact on the overall intervention results. 

Tag: Efficiency Impact Global Climate Fund Global Environment Facility fund Vertical Trust Funds


Finding 4: UNDP Uganda has achieved a “Gold” in UNDP’s gender equality seal, however, the programme has been mostly gender responsive and gender targeted with an opportunity to deepen focus on more transformational approaches and results to address key structural barriers to women’s empowerment and gender equality. The HQ Gender Equality Seal team recommended that the country office move beyond parity into ‘second-generation’ issues and stronger consideration of women’s strategic gender interests.

Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender Parity Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment UN Agencies Capacity Building


Finding 5: The project has maintained its focus on the corporate gender seal as well as expanding a similar initiative for Private enterprises. However, the number of women directly benefitting from improved formal workplace policies is modest and largely limited to Kampala.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Disaster risk management Efficiency Relevance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Parliament Private Sector Jobs and Livelihoods


Finding 6. The Country office RBM and monitoring and evaluation system report on outcomes, outputs and activities in line with corporate guidelines though to varying levels of quality and reliability. However, it is difficult to monitor actual progress on results because of the limited link between the activity results and the achievement of higher-level objectives and outcomes.

Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Data and Statistics


2.2 Inclusive, Effective Governance

The Inclusive Effective Governance (IEG) portfolio focuses on developing national capacities in three key areas corresponding to Outcomes 1, 2, and 3 in the CPD implemented with three programmes (RLCD, IE and PSSR). Each flagship programme specifically targets one of the CPD outcomes:

Outcome 1: By end 2020, rule of law, separation of powers and constitutional democracy are entrenched in Uganda and all individuals are treated equally under the law and have equitable access to justice

Outcome 2: By end 2020, targeted public institutions and public -private partnerships are fully functional at all levels, inclusive, resourced, performance-oriented, innovative and evidence-seeking supported by a strategic evaluation function; and with Uganda’s citizenry enforcing a culture of mutual accountability, transparency and integrity

Outcome 3: By end 2020, Uganda enjoys sustainable peace and security, underpinned by resilient institutional systems that are effective and efficient in preventing and responding to natural and man-made disasters

Finding 8: The Rule of Law and Constitutional Democracy flagship programme’s narrower programmatic scope and clearer objectives has enabled it to focus on several specific core areas. As a result, some achievement towards the programmes outcome can be seen especially in support of access to justice, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, system strengthening in rule of law and human rights. Despite the constraints and issues with design and funding, this focus has enabled it to build on linkages between activities as well as develop some synergies, though contribution and attribution to the achievement of the overall outcome has been fragmented. 

Tag: Vulnerable Effectiveness Sustainability Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Human rights Justice system Local Governance Parliament Rule of law HIV / AIDS Integration Programme Synergy Programme/Project Design Service delivery Refugees Capacity Building Policy Advisory Technical Support Agenda 2030 SDG Integration


Finding 9: The Institutional Effectiveness flagship programme has been challenged by the broad nature of its mandate but is the only flagship programme to attempt address this challenge through a review and some refocus of its objectives. Despite this review, the programme remains broad and nonstrategic and has become an umbrella and a funding hub for a number of other activities, both within UNDP and for government partners. As a result, there is little evidence of achievement of the programme outcomes and outputs.

Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Civic Engagement Local Governance Results-Based Management Theory of Change


Finding 10: The Peace and Security for Systems Resilience flagship programme has a broad mandate supporting the Ugandan Government in several areas to ensure security and prevent conflict and strengthen institutions to respond to man-made and natural disasters. The programme includes a focus on enhanced policies for peace and conflict, small arms control, cross border conflicts as well as conflict prevention. The programme has targeted some of its support to specific key areas but has also diverted funds into areas outside of the identified scope of the programme document and with tentative linkages to the outputs of the programme as a whole, limiting its results in achievement of the programme’s outcomes and outputs. 

Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Justice system Local Governance Rule of law Results-Based Management Crisis prevention Peace Building Security Youth


Finding 11: The broad nature of the IEG flagship programmes and the reduced funding have made it highly reactive to government demand for support, through the AWP development process. While this is responsive to national stakeholders, it has also meant that resources, human and financial, that are already in short supply are often reallocated to activities which are priorities in the moment but may not serve medium to long term priorities or support a strategic approach. 

Tag: Efficiency Relevance Sustainability Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources Theory of Change


Finding 12: UNDP has supported the government of Uganda in the integration of the SDGs, and its work is appreciated and comprehensive. The Office has also worked closely with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and others in the development of the NDP III, including detailed support to the Industrialisation strategy. However, in all cases this work would have benefited from a clear and detailed strategy and specific funding allocation funding in order to ensure clarity of direction and goals.

Tag: Effectiveness Parliament Theory of Change Policy Advisory Technical Support SDG Integration SDG monitoring and reporting


2.3 Sustainable, Inclusive Economic Development

The Sustainable, Inclusive Economic Development portfolio – Outcome 4 – strengthens capacities for natural resources management, climate change resilience and disaster risk reduction, whilst expanding livelihoods and creating employment opportunities through empowerment of youth, women and other vulnerable members of the population. The programme is highly relevant as it is aligned to the NDPII, Vision 2040, SDG Roadmap, the 2018 Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS), the 2015 National Gender Policy (NGP), and the 2014 Uganda Partnership Policy. 

Outcome 4: By end 2020, natural resources management and energy access are gender responsive, effective and efficient, reducing emissions, negating the impact of climate-induced disasters and environmental degradation on livelihoods and production systems, and strengthening community resilience.

Finding 13: UNDP’s work in Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Development (SIED) and its two flagship programmes, the Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) and the Climate Change Resilience & Disaster Risk Reduction (CCR-DRR) projects, have seen achievement towards outcome four, above, as well as cooperation across the two flagship programmes, benefitting from a clear central mandate and joint outcomes that have enabled the two programmes to work closely together. 

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Vulnerable Energy Green Climate Green Economy Natural Resouce management Relevance Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Resilience Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Youth SDG Integration


Finding 14: UNDP has developed comparative strengths and strong added value in disaster risk reduction and improving capacities in climate change to better prepare the Ugandan Government and its institutions for disaster and climate change related challenges. UNDP has supported the government to both better plan for disasters and required response approaches as well as foresee climate and weather-related issues through improved forecasting and sharing of weather-related information, which has considerably strengthened disaster risk reduction and management in the country.

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Disaster Risk Reduction Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Resource mobilization e-Governance Local Governance Strategic Positioning Technology


Finding 15: The contribution of the Inclusive Green Growth flagship programme has been effective in strengthening national capacities for sustainable management of natural resources in a way that creates jobs and improves livelihoods. This contribution could eventually lead to more direct results in the field with local communities provided that the programme can achieve greater scalability.

Tag: Agriculture Green Climate Green Economy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Sustainability Local Governance Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Policy Advisory Technical Support


Finding 16: UNDP has successfully supported the development of a legislative and institutional climate change framework, important instruments to meet the country’s international commitment to the UN Convention on Climate Change. However, institutional weaknesses and lack of funding in the country remain a challenge to the effective implementation of these policies at both national and sub-national levels.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Biodiversity Energy Effectiveness Efficiency Resource mobilization Local Governance Parliament


Finding 17: UNDP has made efforts to improve programme design within SIED by prioritizing interventions and identifying a broad theory of change, however these is still room for further strengthening of theories of change, programme design, targeting, and budgeting.

Tag: Local Governance Operational Efficiency Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Theory of Change Resilience


Finding 18: UNDP is building a more cohesive and comprehensive portfolio of support to the refugee crisis in Uganda. Though initial support has been short term in nature (due to funding constraints), the staged nature of the support has allowed the office to develop clarity in its strategy that has enabled the development of additional partnerships for longer term interventions. 

Tag: Agriculture Water resources Relevance Gender-Based Violence Partnership Bilateral partners Donor UN Agencies Humanitarian development nexus Refugees Resilience Security Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods


Recommendation 1: While future programme and project development should continue to be closely aligned with the UNSDCF and the NDP III, the sub programme approaches to meet outcome goals should be more strategic, focused with realistic funding channels to enable realisation of outcomes and outputs. Equally, UNDP should retain an option to operate outside of the alignment with government and support emerging areas of need outside of those identified in multi-year government development planning.

Programme and project design need to be realistic in the availability of UNDP TRAC resources, government contributions and the availability of donor funding. At the same time project and programme objectives need to be clear in order to articulate to all UNDP’s strategic objectives and its comparative strengths in supporting the government and people of Uganda as well as its value added to all.

A strategic effort should be undertaken by the Office, management and staff to connect and partner with non-government stakeholders throughout its portfolio including other UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs and CSOs to strengthen interventions. This will require an honest reflection on the work undertaken during the current CPD cycle, identification of success and core areas of past work and a packaging of areas the Office feels it holds a realistic comparative strength within the development landscape of Uganda that it wishes to pursue in the future.

As a priority the Office should undertake a partnership and stakeholder mapping exercise to identify and link its current work and comparative strengths with other non-government organisations active in Uganda. This should primarily be a tool for strengthening UNDP’s work and growing its partnership base to leverage its own and other organisations’ work for greater impact. A secondary objective is to identify possible funding partners to further broaden its financial base and reduce its reliance on TRAC funding for project funds. This will need constant outreach and monitoring from management to ensure goals are met and partnerships built over the period of the next strategic plan.


Recommendation 2: Results frameworks and monitoring systems and approaches should be designed to support decision making and learning, not only for corporate reporting purposes. Programme and project data collection need to be linked to ensure attribution and contribution is clearly supported by evidence.

UNDP’s present monitoring system does not provide easy access to data for programme management and is mainly focused on output monitoring (completion of activities) and less on outcome monitoring (success of interventions in achieving change). This is partly a structural UNDP problem worldwide, but much can be done to improve the system. If the programmes have SMART objectives, the bulk of the monitoring efforts could shift to that level. This would result in less detailed multi-annual plans but more justified annual plans that optimize UNDP’s resources utilisation to achieve its objectives (only fund activities that contribute clearly to the outcome). Annual reports have to become more analytical (what worked, what did not work, what to continue, what to discontinue) and annual plans more flexible building further on successful interventions and responding to the continuously changing context. As a result, UNDP will be able to monitor and steer more on outcome (the impact activities have on changes in performance that fall within UNDP’s control), and less on output (direct activity results). 

Rather than focus on many small activities, UNDP should gradually focus on those activities and partnerships that have the most potential (i.e. are successful and have the largest positive impact on UNDP’s target group), use TRAC funds as seed money and aim to scale them up with donor funds. This means on the other hand the phasing out those activities and partnerships that have less potential. A good monitoring system should provide the key data to take these decisions in an informed way. 

The CO needs to establish indicators that are more under its control; also, there is a need to develop immediate/intermediate outcomes to reflect how the theory of change is being developed. The programme approach needs to define and identify programme baselines, and explain the chain of results that will achieve the expected changes from the available inputs. This will allow setting realistic targets, indicators, and milestones, and to monitor progress and results from all projects. With this, the CO can improve programme and project design, do the follow-up, make strategic decisions, and share results with others. 


Recommendation 3: While the present CPD was the first attempt by UNDP Uganda to cluster its IEG related activities under a limited number of programmes, the coming CPD should make the next steps and transfer these programmes to make them more visionary in their outlook and strategic in their contribution to the development process in Uganda.

Specifically, in its work within the Rule of Law and Constitutional Democracy and Peace and Security for System Resilience programmes should use the remaining time in 2019/2020 to undertake i) detailed context analysis, ii) stakeholder mapping exercise, iii) develop stronger theories of change and iv) ensure upstream and downstream linkages for interventions, namely: 

- Conduct a detailed context analysis that has a political-economy focus, possibly as part of a wider CCA exercise;

- Analysis of policy implementation constraints in the two sectors.

- Lessons-learnt exercise detailing what has worked in the past and what not, what is the strength of UNDP in each of the sectors?

- Stakeholder mapping:

- Theory of Change development and a related intervention strategy that leads to a stronger more focused and one or two SMART program objectives (most important is to make them measurable and realistic);

Design a programme that ensures strong downstream-upstream linkages and a balanced portfolio of upstream and downstream interventions related to several core themes (such as Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms).


Recommendation 4: Within the Institutional Effectiveness program, the evaluation recommends a more structural revision of the programme with a greater focus on the strengthening of local governance. 

This will align with the draft strategic direction for NDPIII which indicates that Local Economic Development (LED) will become a priority development instrument for the next 5-year planning period. Local governance is an area of need across Uganda and would also enable UNDP to consolidate several activities under an LG/ LED heading. This would also enable UNDP to cluster interventions and activities under a Local Governance umbrella including activities in SDGs, economic development and livelihoods, resilience, rule of law and access to justice previously planned but often dropped at the local level could be packaged into a specific local governance project. Upstream programme activities can then be linked to downstream activities informing the policy development process. The recent upgrading of the MoLG to a full sector ministry confirms the Government’s refocus on local governance.


Recommendation 5: UNDP should develop a separate SDG programme and support the drafting of NDPIII. At the same time UNDP should offer the government a clearly outlined portfolio of support to strengthen the integration of the SDGs. 

Over the last three years, UNDP Uganda has carried out some commendable work on SDG localisation in Uganda. However, the work may have benefited from a more secure financial and strategic base. Over the last few years this work was carried out by the Strategic Policy Unit, drawing activity funds from a variety of different programmes. Work needs to be done during the coming years to retain the momentum. To ensure that the SDGs are properly integrated into the next NDPIII design and strategic framework, implementation at both national and local levels, and supported by monitoring mechanisms. An integrated and comprehensive programme at both national and local level would justify these individual activities becoming a separate programme with its own budget. The advantage would be that SDG support planning will change from ad-hoc inputs to more long-term technical support, thereby defining UNDP’s role and adding more visibility which might in turn attract additional external funding. 


Recommendation 6: The next phase of the SIED strategy should be focused on implementation working downstream with local communities and districts. UNDP should adopt a coherent strategy in terms of achieving environmental impacts and setting targets in relation to natural resources management, energy production and consumption, and biodiversity conservation.

The initial approaches to local-level implementation are considered a success that should be studied and leveraged; not only the tangible local-level NRM impacts, but also working together with local authorities and strengthening their capacities, is an institutional niche UNDP can use to add value to Uganda’s sustainable development. 

UNDP needs to move forward from piloting to full-fledged implementation in the field. This means ensuring the alignment between monitoring, evaluation, knowledge management, and communication to effectively achieve results in terms of natural resources management, and that beyond policy making, implementation needs specific targets, metrics, milestones, projects in the field, and strategies to improve wetland and forest coverage and biodiversity conservation.

UNDP’s upstream and downstream approach relies heavily on piloting new initiatives to be scaled up and to formulate public policies. Given the budget cuts, pilot projects are too small and scattered in nature to create meaningful impact at the local level in terms of natural resources management. It is essential to concentrate resources in one area and showcase successes of ecosystem-based options to mitigation/adaptation to climate change, which can be scaled out to other areas. 


Recommendation 7: UNDP should adjust its theory of change to further mainstream gender in the programme, specifically focusing its efforts towards addressing structural barriers and root causes of gender inequalities in the country.

UNDP can go beyond targeting to include men and women in initiatives. It can design projects which respond to the different barriers to fulfil the needs of men and women and equitable distribution of benefits, resources, status and rights, and address the root causes of inequalities and discrimination, contributing more to changes in norms, cultural values and power structures. This includes targeting key issues of behaviour change and enabling environment, such as ensuring women can own land both by legal right and in practice. UNDP should reinforce the gender capacities of the country office staff andpartners and have a broadly participatory process to adapt its theory of change specifically for mainstreaming a gender focus on initiatives for long term behaviour change for transformational results.

While the country gender assessment notes disconnect between Uganda’s legal framework and implementation, government capacity building has focused primarily on the Parliament and Ministries, while planned district-level activities have been scaled down dramatically. Women’s right to land access, among other issues, are not sufficiently protected or enforced at the local level. Strengthening women’s legal rights and local enforcement capacity (i.e. access to land, marriage laws, and domestic violence) at the district level could present an opportunity. The CO will have to carefully consider how its limited resources can have the most catalytic impact as it may not be possible to implement a comprehensive programme in 127 districts. 

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