Terminal Evaluation of Early Recovery Facility (ERF) Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2020, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
04/2019
Completion Date:
04/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of Early Recovery Facility (ERF) Project
Atlas Project Number: 00061275
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2020, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2019
Planned End Date: 04/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.3.1 National capacities and evidence-based assessment and planning tools enable gender-responsive and risk-informed development investments, including for response to and recovery from crisis
  • 2. Output 3.1.1 Core government functions and inclusive basic services4 restored post-crisis for stabilisation, durable solutions to displacement and return to sustainable development pathways within the framework of national policies and priorities
  • 3. Output 3.6.1 Energy access re-established for crisis-affected populations, with a focus on gender-sensitive, risk-informed and sustainable recovery
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
SDG Target
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 9,394
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Wajid Hasan Shah
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: BANGLADESH
Lessons
1.

Overall ownership of ERF at the government =-level has been very high from the beginning in MODMR and especially at DDM. DDM officials (including Bureau of Disaster Management, one of two entities merged into DDM) mention they had received no training on early recovery prior to ERF interventions to train them accordingly. ERF also helped DDM in preparing relevant and necessary training manuals and updating the Statement on Disasters. However, it should be noted that there was no planned exit strategy for ERF. Based on the interviews conducted, it appears that the method by which the Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) was conducted caused a host of unpleasant questions, and that the ERF faced significant transformation after this JNA which apparently has affected ERF in terms of potential impact.


Findings
1.

Overall, the relevance of the ERF has been very high from the beginning and continues unabated, and perhaps has increased since the onset of the ERF. It was and continues to be closely aligned to national needs of Bangladesh through the Department for Disaster Management (DDM) and the line ministry, the Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief (MODMR). All key stakeholders interviewed have indicated explicitly that the focus on ERF is very relevant. Relevant stakeholders have also stressed that the relevance is still as valid as before and much more needs to be done As a result of the above, ERF ownership has been high from the beginning at DDM & MODMR.


2.

ERF has contributed to significantly achieving its stated intentions and aims as specified in the Project Document. ERF has indeed supported relevant interventions. It has undertaken short-/medium-term actions to help increase the effectiveness of DDM and MODMR through relevant training in early recovery. It has contributed to early recovery efforts in various disasters. ERF has made initial steps in achieving these quite broad objectives, and it may well have contributed to laying a foundation to be able to achieve these objectives more comprehensively in the future.


3.

The ERF initiatives generally appear to have been cost effective; however, more in-depth analysis is required. There was a high level of turnover; none of the original ERF staff is currently with ERF. The number of international staff is currently zero; the project initially had an international staff (P4) as the Project Manager, but now all the ERF staff are on Service Contracts. While the project was due to end initially in December 2015, there have been four time extensions of ERF, and overall ERF spending is slightly over US$20 million on 70+ projects. However, it should be noted that the quality of reporting for ERF needed to be significantly improved.


4.

During the evaluation, ERF was in its fourth and final extension. Prior extensions include two year-long extensions for 2016 and 2017, an initial six-month extension through June 30, 2018 and finally a three-month extension through September 30, 2018. While ERF has imparted significant training and know-how to DDM and MODMR, time will tell how sustainable the initiative ultimately is. DRRF, the follow-up initiative, is expected to realistically explain how the next phase will be carried forward once ERF concludes.


Recommendations
1

Ensure proper M&E & documentation for ERF & Disaster Relief and Response Facility (DRRF) / Take steps to store and improve institutional memory/ Essential to have full-time M&E personnel

2

Help in modifying the strategic approach of GoB from reactive to pro-active for better alignment with future ERF/DRRF interventions

3

Involve more actively the various other early recovery initiatives for better coordination and learn from other initiatives/ Significant scope for improving interventions at the micro-levels

4

Improve the management structure of ERF or in this case, the follow up phase, the DRRF/ Try to ensure longer-term contracts for effective & efficient project personnel for retaining employees to curtail high employee turnover

5

Avoid repeated extensions of ERF/DRRF facility

1. Recommendation:

Ensure proper M&E & documentation for ERF & Disaster Relief and Response Facility (DRRF) / Take steps to store and improve institutional memory/ Essential to have full-time M&E personnel

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/06]

Partially agreed. ERF has a system to store data and information physically and some in online. However, we need to improve the system through digitalization. Important documents including different annual reports, donor reports and study reports have been uploaded on the share points. A number of publications/documents have been developed for different innovative initiatives. One national consultant for M&E will be onboard for the necessary documentation this year, and depending on the availability of financial resources, the project will also engage a full time M&E personal. 

A Monitoring and Evaluation Officer is part of the ERF and DRRF organogram in the approved project document. However, due to budget constraints, the function is currently taken over by the Capacity Building Specialist of DRRF as a team also perform M&E role during the disaster period. A fund/output specific M&E officer is in place now for Rohingya responses in Cox’s Bazar sub-office and other specific disaster recovery initiatives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop TOR and discuss proposed employment of M&E officer by pulling fund from various projects
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2020/03 Overdue-Not Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

Help in modifying the strategic approach of GoB from reactive to pro-active for better alignment with future ERF/DRRF interventions

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/06]

Agreed. DRRF has identified major gaps in disaster management for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in order to take pro-active initiatives, including coordinated recovery and mainstreaming of build back better approach. DRRF has widen the partnerships with the relevant ministries, like the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Chittogram Hill Tracts, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Education for promoting resilience. A number of initiatives have been taken for strengthening pro-active initiatives and building resilience.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide capacity building and training to the Disaster Management officials, CSOs and NGOs
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2020/12 Initiated
Provide support to Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD) Authority for their reform initiatives
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2020/06 Initiated
Provide support to MoCHTA for a Feasibility Study on preparing DPP on “Risk-Informed and Resilient development of Chattagram Hill Tracts (CHT) districts against Landslide”
[Added: 2019/11/06] [Last Updated: 2019/12/27]
DRRF project 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated History
Provide support to National Resilience Programme (NRP) in EQ preparedness and awareness programme in 5 earthquake prone Cities
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2020/12 Initiated
Implement school safety Tsunami Awareness Programme, Phase II in CXB area of Bangladesh
[Added: 2019/11/06] [Last Updated: 2019/12/13]
DRRF project 2019/11 Completed Tsunami awareness campaign was conducted in Cox's Bazar in coordination with relevant stakeholders. History
3. Recommendation:

Involve more actively the various other early recovery initiatives for better coordination and learn from other initiatives/ Significant scope for improving interventions at the micro-levels

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/06]

Agreed. The on-going and planned actions mentioned in the Recommendation 2 are equality applicable. In addition, UNDP will plan a national recovery workshop and participate in the Need Assessment Working Group.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize a national recovery workshop for improving multi-sectoral coordinated approach
[Added: 2019/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/02/19]
DRRF project 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated History
Participate in Need Assessment Working Group for identifying recovery initiatives
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2022/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Improve the management structure of ERF or in this case, the follow up phase, the DRRF/ Try to ensure longer-term contracts for effective & efficient project personnel for retaining employees to curtail high employee turnover

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/06]

Agreed. DRRF needs a dedicated team with a long-term contract while the long-term commitment has not been confirmed yet by the development partners. Currently, most of the staffs are in Service contract on an annual basis. For retaining employees, a number of initiatives have been taken on a regular basis, including staff international training, exposure visit, and annual retreat. Refresher trainings for temporary technical officers who are engaged in emergency response and recovery are also conducted at certain intervals. A DRRF model is a cost-efficient and effective approach for UNDP to advocate for recovery approach and investment, mobilize resources and respond to disasters and emergencies. It includes a mechanism for quickly scaling up its capacity with the funds mobilized through the pre-approved Disaster Window. To maintain a predictable, core DRRF with the required capacity to respond, advise and advocate, UNDP will secure budget to cover the costs of the core Facility from its internal resources. However, some of the operational costs may be recovered from funds mobilized through the Disaster Window and the UNDP funds reprogrammed according to the needs. The core DRRF will be co-located with the UNDP Country Office, including an office space for the Project Manager and DRRF team. Experiences from the ERF indicate that while it is possible to fund core DRRF personnel through funds mobilized through the Disaster Window throughout the project period, a related uncertainty of long-term employment is still a challenge.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore long-term commitment from development partner
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2022/12 Initiated History
Develop a roster for technical officers for emergency response and recovery
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project /UNDP CO 2018/11 Completed UNDP CO has developed a roster for emergency response and recovery in consultation with DRRF project.
Initiate recruitment of a full-time project manager
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project /UNDP CO 2020/04 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Avoid repeated extensions of ERF/DRRF facility

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/06]

Agreed. DRRF will develop a national assessment framework to determine am exit strategy or its continuation in the final year before the project duration expires. Meanwhile, DRRF will invest significantly in the national capacity building in early recovery planning and programming so that the Government can internalize the gains. Its aim is to support the Government to efficiently manage and mainstream early recovery intervention and coordination in the national disaster management processes. DRRF will also help enhance the capacity of the government officials, volunteer groups and humanitarian actors under the SURGE mechanism. This model can also be replicated and scaled up by the Government and other actors with contextual adjustments.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop and implement a sustainability strategy, including setting up a similar facility within MoDMR
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2021/09 Initiated
Design a new UNDP-led facility after a mid-term review, which will be aligned with the new context of recovery (rather than extension of current from of DRRF
[Added: 2019/11/06]
DRRF project 2021/01 Not Initiated

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