Midterm Evaluation for support for effective coorporation and coordination of cross border initiatives (SECCCI) Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, RBA
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
07/2020
Completion Date:
07/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
70,000

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Title Midterm Evaluation for support for effective coorporation and coordination of cross border initiatives (SECCCI) Project
Atlas Project Number: 00110098
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, RBA
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2020
Planned End Date: 07/2020
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.2.1 National capacities strengthened for reintegration, reconciliation, peaceful management of conflict and prevention of violent extremism in response to national policies and priorities
  • 2. Output 3.2.2 National and local systems enabled and communities empowered to ensure the restoration of justice institutions, redress mechanisms and community security
  • 3. Output 3.3.1 Evidence-based assessment and planning tools and mechanisms applied to enable implementation of gender-sensitive and risk-informed prevention and preparedness to limit the impact of natural hazards and pandemics and promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies
SDG Target
  • 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • 16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
Evaluation Budget(US $): 70,000
Source of Funding: EU
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 70,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Nisar Ahmad Khan Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: IGAD, EU, UNEP, UNDP, Government of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

To grant a 6 to 12 months’ no cost extension in the project timeframe. This will greatly help in fully achieving the stipulated objectives and outputs of the project.    

2

To further regularize and streamline quarterly coordination meetings at the cluster level and prepare mechanisms to address coordination issues especially with the local and national governments.

3

To establish and fully operationalize the Mandera cluster office in Dollo Ado on the Ethiopian side, as soon as possible. UNEP should also employ one technical person in each of the three cluster, as an integral part of the cluster team.

4

To employ a dedicated M&E officer at the PMU level for the remaining project period to coordinate the implementation of MEL Plan and the preparation of progress reports, which is often delayed. Furthermore, there is also a need to compile data on objective level indicators to duly assess the achievement status of project objectives.  

5

To convene, at the earliest, a special meeting of the Technical committee to discuss and guide on the interventions that are lagging behind. UNEP, should also further streamline and accelerate the diplomacy work and implementation of project interventions. The revised plans developed by UNEP should be duly approved by UNDP and the EU and be implemented at the earliest.

6

To prepare a timely and pragmatic exit strategy, outlining issues, ways and means to smoothly phase out and handover interventions to partners, to ensure sustainability and continuity.

7

To develop a robust resource mobilization strategy to generate further external financial resources to replicate related interventions in the border areas, after the project life. 

8

To duly incorporate all cross-cutting themes in the future project designs at the time of the project formulation. All future project designs should duly include relevant cross-cutting indicators, targets and interventions across the project results chain.   

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

To grant a 6 to 12 months’ no cost extension in the project timeframe. This will greatly help in fully achieving the stipulated objectives and outputs of the project.    

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Fully accept. A formal request for a no-cost extension was submitted to the EU in June 2020. However, that was rejected by the donor. A workplan for the activities to be achieved by project’s end (February 2021) was submitted to the EU and discussed during SECCCI’s second Technical Committee (TC) meeting in August 2020. The issue of a no-cost extension might again be raised during the project’s Steering Committee (SC) meeting that has been convened for the end of August 2020. Also, the TC recommended to concentrate on effectiveness measures to increase delivery on realistic activities within the current timeframe, in order to raise again the no-cost extension and any continuation discussions at a later stage. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discuss the possibility of a no-cost extension during the project’s SC meeting.
[Added: 2020/09/22]
UNDP 2020/08 Completed The SC held on August 25 has noted the position of the EU not to grant a no-cost extension.
Prepare a realistic workplan and budget to be submitted to the EU
[Added: 2020/11/03]
UNDP + IGAD + UNEP 2020/08 Completed
2. Recommendation:

To further regularize and streamline quarterly coordination meetings at the cluster level and prepare mechanisms to address coordination issues especially with the local and national governments.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Fully accept. The project fully agrees on the importance of Cluster Coordination Meetings to better address coordination issues both with other implementing partners (i.e. other EUTF-financed projects), as well as with the local and national partner governments. The need for properly involving partner governments in all stages of project implementation was also mentioned in one of the recommendations of SECCCI’s second TC meeting. The participation of government officials in the CCM is also one of the requirements mentioned in SECCCI’s Project Document.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hold virtual quarter Cluster Coordination Meetings (CCM) 2 per each Clusters before the end of the project
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2020/11/03]
IGAD 2020/06 Completed Third Meeting History
Ensure the participation of government officials to the next CCM
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/05/10]
UNDP + IGAD 2020/11 Completed The measure was discussed between implementing partners, and not to alter the rationale of CCM, specific meetings were organized with local government partners in Cluster I and Cluster III. History
3. Recommendation:

To establish and fully operationalize the Mandera cluster office in Dollo Ado on the Ethiopian side, as soon as possible. UNEP should also employ one technical person in each of the three cluster, as an integral part of the cluster team.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Partially accept. The operationalization process of the Mandera Cluster Office in Dollo Ado is almost finalized (August 2020). A MoU for the office’s use was signed between UNDP and World Vision as well as an amendment to the LoA between UNDP and IGAD, to allow full access of IGAD staff to the office. The logistics procedures for the delivery of furniture have started and UNDSS recommended security measures are under implementation. The recommendation of recruiting a water coordinator in each cluster is partially accepted. This recommendation is relevant for the cluster area with field activities led by UNEP, which is the Omo-Turkana cluster office. UNEP aims to recruit a water coordinator on each side of the border, who are expected to closely collaborate, to enhance the cross-border element. In the Moyale and Mandera cluster, no UNEP-led field activities are planned and financed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
finalize procurement of office’s equipment
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/10/22]
UNDP 2020/09 Completed The procurement is completed with the support of UNDP KE and ET CO. History
Ensure staff presence on the field
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/10/22]
UNDP 2020/09 Completed UNDP staff is present on the field since July 2020. History
comply with UNDSS security measures
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
UNEP 2020/09 No Longer Applicable [Justification: this is a UNEP activity not UNDP]
History
Ensure staff presence on the field
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/10/22]
UNDP 2020/09 Canceled
4. Recommendation:

To employ a dedicated M&E officer at the PMU level for the remaining project period to coordinate the implementation of MEL Plan and the preparation of progress reports, which is often delayed. Furthermore, there is also a need to compile data on objective level indicators to duly assess the achievement status of project objectives.  

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Partially accept. The recommendation is partially accepted, as it is not foreseen, nor possible – given the limited project timeframe available – to hire a dedicated M&E officer at the PMU level. However, it needs to be noted that, since June 2020, the M&E working team is meeting on a bi-monthly basis in order to accelerate the M&E-related activities and coordinate the implementation of the MEL plan. In this respect, a plan to assess the achievement of objective indicators is also being drafted by SECCCI’s M&E working group (August 2020). Furthermore, the project may consider the possibility of hiring an ad-hoc consultant to support the project in preparing the next (and final) progress report.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Assess the projects achievement based on its indicators
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
IGAD + UNDP 2021/02 Completed Completed History
5. Recommendation:

To convene, at the earliest, a special meeting of the Technical committee to discuss and guide on the interventions that are lagging behind. UNEP, should also further streamline and accelerate the diplomacy work and implementation of project interventions. The revised plans developed by UNEP should be duly approved by UNDP and the EU and be implemented at the earliest.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Fully accept. SECCCI’s second TC meeting was conducted on August 11th. Key recommendations to be discussed and approved by the project’s SC were endorsed, also including points referring to the acceleration of the implementation of the workplan for the planned activities for the remaining timeframe. The recommendation on the UNEP components is accepted and emphasis will be put on accelerating the diplomatic component of the projects as well as implementation of activities as proposed in revised implementation plans to UNDP and the EU in March and July 2020.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
convene a special TC meeting
[Added: 2020/09/22]
IGAD + UNDP 2020/08 Completed
convene a special TC meeting
[Added: 2020/09/22]
IGAD + UNDP 2020/08 Completed
Discuss the TC’s recommendations to the next SC meeting
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
IGAD + UNDP 2020/09 Completed Completed History
6. Recommendation:

To prepare a timely and pragmatic exit strategy, outlining issues, ways and means to smoothly phase out and handover interventions to partners, to ensure sustainability and continuity.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Partially accept. Although relevant, it needs to be noted that SECCCI has been facing numerous challenges in engaging the Somali side throughout its implementation. However, is was recommended during SECCCI’s second TC meeting, for the project’s implementing partners to promote Somalia’s involvement by capitalizing on the channel of Somalia’s federal institutions. Coordination and collaboration in this respect will be sought both internally within UNDP (CO and RR) as well as externally through the other EUTF-partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
draft the exit strategy
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2020/11/03]
UNDP, UNEP, IGAD 2020/08 Completed Exit strategy has been finalised History
Implement the exit strategy
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
UNDP, UNEP, IGAD 2021/02 Completed Completed. final handing over of assets also completed History
7. Recommendation:

To develop a robust resource mobilization strategy to generate further external financial resources to replicate related interventions in the border areas, after the project life. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Partially accept. Although relevant, SECCCI is unlikely to be able to conduct and finalize a successful resource mobilization strategy to generate further external financial resources before the end of the project lifecycle. What is planned instead, is to ensure the continuation of cross-border interventions by a revised partnership of the current implementing partners and through new partnerships beyond February 2021. In this respect, given the strong consistency between SECCCI’s mandate and the one of UNDP’s African Borderlands Hub, UNDP is already exploring ways to align SECCCI’s lessons learnt with the African Borderlands Hub’s vision.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discuss RM at TC and SC meeting
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
UNDP 2020/09 Completed RM was discussed at the TC and SC meeting. it was recommended in the final report that UNDP, UNEP and IGAD should develop a robust resource mobilization strategy to generate further external financial resources to replicate and scale-up peace and development-related interventions in the border areas History
Assess funding opportunities and improve synergies with the Borderlands Centre
[Added: 2020/09/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
UNDP 2020/09 No Longer Applicable [Justification: No longer applicable]
the project is closing History
8. Recommendation:

To duly incorporate all cross-cutting themes in the future project designs at the time of the project formulation. All future project designs should duly include relevant cross-cutting indicators, targets and interventions across the project results chain.   

Management Response: [Added: 2020/09/22]

Partially accept. Although relevant, this recommendation cannot be addressed by the SECCCI project itself as it refers to future project designs. However, the donor’s awareness on the points mentioned in this recommendation can be raised by SECCCI, for the EU to take them into account at the time of future project formulations. UNDP will take note of this recommendation in future project design and programming exercises in the area of borderlands and cross-border engagement

Key Actions:

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