Final Evaluation of Integrated Territorial Development 2 Project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
19,000

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Title Final Evaluation of Integrated Territorial Development 2 Project
Atlas Project Number: 00079191
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type: Final Project
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 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
Evaluation Budget(US $): 19,000
Source of Funding: ADA 11266
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 19,502
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Krenar Loshi Local Evaluation Specialist KOSOVO
Eva Otero International Evaluation Specialist
Eva Otero International Evaluation Specialist
Krenar Loshi Local Evaluation Specialist KOSOVO
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Municipalities of Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce, Viti/Vitina, Local Development Fund from Suharekë/Suva Reka and project beneficiaries
Countries: KOSOVO
Lessons
1.

Looking beyond the limits of the project

 


2.

Involvement of municipalities


3.

Relaying local expertise


Findings
1.

10.1 RELEVANCE – WHY WAS THE PROJECT NECESSARY FOR STAKEHOLDERS?

The relevance chapter analyses how appropriately the problems identified by the project and the activities that followed responded to the needs of the targeted beneficiaries and other key stakeholders; and how the project design met these needs throughout the life of the project. The chapter is divided into four sections: a) Design i.e. whether the expected results clearly defined, and how/if they provided the best approach to achieve the project's outcomes; b) Adequacy, i.e. how the project addressed the needs and priorities of targeted beneficiaries and the municipalities c) Alignment, this is how the project ´s interventions were clearly within stakeholders ´ mandate and congruent with their strategic framework; and d) Adaptability, how responsive the project has been to new challenges and opportunities occurring after project design.

10.1.1 Design The project was structured well in three outcome areas; containing results, indicators, targets, and activities. All of these components were clear and adequately linked up. Indicators and targets were SMART but only quantitative. This meant that although they could capture well what happened in the project, they could not fully explain why and how it happened. The project had a coherent Logical Framework and a clear (although implicit) Theory of Change. Understanding this Theory as the path that explained the sequence and nature of the change being pursued: i.e. the problem being addressed; the foundations in which the project was built, the strategies to tackle the problems, and the results expected. A very positive point in the design was a good attempt to mainstream human rights and gender through clear indicators and targets. Some of the environmental impacts of the project and other environmental aspects included in the project´s strategies were well described in the project document and in the progress reports (see “cross-cutting issues”. However, unlike gender or human rights, there are no concrete environmental indicators in the original logical framework. One aspect highlighted by key stakeholders (in particular the three municipalities) was the participatory character of the design process. Not only with regard to the project in general but also to some of its components, specifically the Territorial Employment Plans and the Value Chain Analysis. This has increased the ownership and trust of these key stakeholders. Many stakeholders were involved. The municipality was directly involved in the design and implementation of the project. The village councils were also contacted regarding the project” (Municipal Officer in DR).


Tag: Environment Policy Relevance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Human rights Local Governance Ownership Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Theory of Change Jobs and Livelihoods

2.

10.2 EFFECTIVENESS – WHAT WAS DONE?

The chapter on effectiveness analyses what the project has done. This includes an analysis of the progress, i.e. the extent to which different components were on track towards achieving their expected results. The chapter also includes an analysis of the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) system, i.e. How appropriately this progress towards results was being measured and monitored and how this information fed into the project to promote learning. 

10.2.1 Progress

The general progress of the project has been impressive. Since the start, InTerDev 2 reached 378 direct beneficiaries (45.7% women), over 2200 indirect beneficiaries, and supported 283 rural microenterprises to be upgraded (39.6% women-led).12 In this section the evaluation analyses the progress the project has made compared to what was planned under each outcome. (See in the Report table - EXPECTED RESULT 1: Municipal officials have enhanced capacities in the provision of services in rural development - Overall assessment: All targets achieved) .The most valued activity in terms of training of municipalities was not included in the logical framework of the project. This was the daily involvement of municipal staff and authorities with every aspect of InTerDev 2, including involvement in the local action groups (LAGs), study visits, monitoring visits in the field, advertisement of LDF calls for proposals, involvement in the designing of TEPs, etc. All this, according to the stakeholders consulted in the municipalities, made them increase their capacities to offer better public services (see impact chapter). See in the Report - EXPECTED RESULT 2: Local micro and small enterprises and farmers have been supported to upgrade their businesses (Overall assessment: Targets exceeded.)


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Local Governance Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Capacity Building Private Sector

3.

10.3 IMPACT – WHAT WAS ACHIEVED?

The effectiveness chapter of this report analysed what was done. This impact chapter addresses what was achieved. In other words, it analyses how change happened as a result of (or as a contribution to) the project in three spheres: a) personal transformations, b) community transformations, and c) organisational transformations. In these cases, the report presents concrete evidence (as well as a line of reasoning) from which we can conclude, with some level of confidence, that the project made an important contribution to these documented changes.

10.3.1 Personal transformation “I am independent, and I have my own business” Woman beneficiary.This sphere refers to individual changes that can be intangible and often subtle such as improved self-awareness (sense of agency, empowerment), improved social awareness, or improved skills, capacity and knowledge. It also refers to tangible transformations like how women and men access better-institutionalized services or how they exercise formal control over additional resources (for example financial resources, tools or jobs). The evaluation identified significant individual changes that occurred as a contribution to the project work. This information came from the analysis of the reports, interviews with various stakeholders, and, above all, from the testimonies of the beneficiaries in the workshops and through the impact survey. 


Tag: Agriculture Impact Gender Equality Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Local Governance Knowledge management Results-Based Management Theory of Change Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods

4.

10.4 EFFICIENCY – HOW WELL WERE THE RESOURCES USED?

In this chapter, the evaluation assesses the extent to which the project made good use of its human and financial resources. Firstly, under governance and coordination, the report analyses the extent to which the management and administrative arrangements sufficiently ensured the efficient implementation of the project. Secondly, under section partnerships, the evaluation assesses how the project promoted ownership and alignment among the relevant stakeholders. It also addresses the added value that UNDP brought to these partnerships and to the project in general. Finally, the chapter tackles the all-encompassing concept of value for money (V4M). This is how well the various activities transformed the available financial and human resources into the intended results, which in turn, contributed to desired objectives/changes.

10.4.1 Governance and coordination

The project was led by a management unit based in Prizren composed of a Project Manager and an Administration and Finance Assistant. The Project Manager coordinated a local project team consisting of three Local Coordinators, one for each municipality. The Local Coordinators worked closely with the Local Action Groups (LAGs) which differed in their composition depending on the municipality, but it always had a strong involvement of the municipality staff. The project was governed by a Project Board which was composed of a broad representation of the three municipalities including the Mayors, gender experts and the most relevant members of the LAG. It also included the Local Coordinators, the LDF Secretary, representatives of ADA (main funder), the Project Manager, and various senior members of UNDP in Kosovo (see figure 7).


Tag: Efficiency Local Governance Human and Financial resources Knowledge management Operational Efficiency Ownership Partnership Strategic Positioning Jobs and Livelihoods Coordination Operational Services SDG Integration Vulnerable

5.

10.5 SUSTAINABILITY – WHAT WILL BE LEFT AFTER THE FUNDING STOPS?

This chapter identifies those aspects of the project that are likely to be sustained after its completion. These aspects can be approached from two points of view. The extent to which the process is sustainable, i.e. the extent to which key stakeholders will remain committed to the project´s objectives; and the extent to which the results of the project could be used or sustained after the funding stops. 

10.5.1 Process

Overall, the evaluation found that there the stakeholders (particularly municipalities) consider the closure of Interdev 2 as quite unfortunate. ADA carried out a competitive process for a new project about Market System Approach, and while there were expectations, there were no guarantees that the three municipalities would benefit. ADA will continue to be involved and committed to creating jobs and expanding markets that benefit the most vulnerable. However, it was not decided (at the time of the evaluation) what geographical scope the initiative was to have and therefore whether it was going to cover the three municipalities of InTerDev 2. The new ADA initiative planned to end its inception phase in September 2020 at the earliest. Also, the MSA approach would not have a tangible effect on beneficiaries until the medium term, as it seeks to change the way that markets work. Consequently, at best (if the new ADA initiative was to cover all three municipalities) their actions would not be visible until well into 2021 and stakeholders were concerned about what would happen in the meantime.


Tag: Tourism Sustainability Local Governance Human and Financial resources Knowledge management Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Vulnerable

6.

10.6 CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES – WERE ALL IMPORTANT ASPECTS THOUGHT OUT?

10.6.1 Gender

Throughout the report, the relevant gender aspects have been highlighted in each chapter. The conclusion is that gender was very much present in InTerDev 2 and that the project made considerable efforts to mainstream gender in all its strategies with significant results as already noted in the impact chapter. Most significantly, women beneficiaries of the project conquered new roles as entrepreneurs mostly in the agricultural sector but also in other productive areas such as trade. Consequently, many felt that they could provide better for their family. In the impact survey done by the project as much as 94% women respondents declared that the project changed their economic situation because they could bring more resources home. In terms of how this had changed their power situation within the family, there were significant differences depending on the municipalities, as figure 10 illustrates. These results were not surprising since the social contexts in the different municipalities were very different. DR repeatedly emerged as a much more conservative context than the rest. VT, on the other hand, had not been in the project long enough for significant changes to have had taken place in power relations within the families. In general, the project benefited both men and women. This should be celebrated while encouraging future initiatives to go deeper in their gender analysis taking into account variables such as “time poverty”. 


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Environment Policy Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights Local Governance Knowledge management Peace Building Capacity Building

7.

10.2 EFFECTIVENESS – WHAT WAS DONE? (Continuation from Finding 2)

Expected Result 3 related to the implementation of the strategies included in the Territorial Employment Pacts (TEPs). The TEPs provided a set of interventions to generate and/or formalise jobs targeting primarily vulnerable individuals and were designed through participatory processes in close partnership with each municipality. The design and implementation of the TEPs also involved other stakeholders such as vocational training centres, employment offices, private sector, and civil society. The municipal Local Action Groups (LAGs) and the InTerDev local teams actively led the implementation of the actions included in the TEPs. Most of the targets in this result were met or exceeded. Only target 3.5. referring to the number of enterprises that established organic agriculture did not reach the result planned by the project. On the other hand, target 3.1. regarding the number of jobs was also slightly below the expected results. (See respective table in the Report pg. 11). However, the progress of this Expected Result is best understood if analysed according to the five areas of intervention that were designed in the Territorial Employment Pacts (TEP). 

TEP 1 – Certified Vocational Training (CVT): This component aimed at upgrading the skills of 30 people considered hard-to-place in the labour market. The project identified and trained these 30 people, 10 per community. In addition, it provided them with the necessary tools so that they could develop the work for which they were trained.; TEP 2 -Eco-tourism: The objective of this component was to promote employment opportunities for youth and women in the sector of rural tourism. In the original design of the TEP, the strategy was to adapt local dwellings to become rural guest houses. However, due to the scarcity of demand from the community a grant was only allowed in Dragash/Dragaš for a family to make the necessary reforms for a guest house. The project decided to change its strategy and set up a local association in the three municipalities to promote eco-tourism. The association aimed to provide information on guest houses, cycling and hiking trails, etc. Local guides were also trained.; TEP 3 -Rural micro-entrepreneurship: The project aimed at generating and formalised rural employment through the upgrading of rural micro-enterprises. At the time of the evaluation, the vast majority of targeted beneficiaries had been supported. This meant upgrading economic activities such as greenhouses, raspberry production, beekeeping, and honey production, cow milk production, processing and storage activities.; TEP 4 - Social entrepreneurship: This component was about supporting social entrepreneurship as a means to generate and formalise jobs. Good progress was made in all three municipalities. In ST and in VT two women enterprises had been established with 40 and 13 members respectively. In DR, InterDev 2 strengthened the social enterprise set up during the first phase (InTerDev 1), which meant a considerable increase in its membership.; TEP 5 - Organic farming: This component of organic farming was intended to promote employment opportunities especially for women, engaging them in organic artisanal agricultural products. The project made little progress in this regard though. Although the relevance and potential of this sector have been clearly identified, in practice the project was only able to offer a few pieces of training to interested people. 


Tag: Effectiveness Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Capacity Building Data and Statistics Civil Societies and NGOs Private Sector

8.

10.3.1 Personal transformation (Continuation from Finding 3)

In conclusion. the situation of the beneficiary families has undoubtedly improved. A total of 78% of the survey respondents agreed or very much agreed that their standards of living improved after their engagement with InTerDev 2. Although, there were significant differences depending on the municipality (see figure 6). However, the project's ambition to improve the profile of beneficiaries so that they were eligible for MARFD grants did not happen. The evaluation could only document one case in Pavla (DR). Nevertheless, several of the beneficiaries were able to access the Ministry's subsidies rather than the grants. The women beneficiaries consulted during the evaluation were unanimously delighted to have participated in the project and genuinely empowered but there was a caveat about gender equality worth noting, the concept of “time poverty”. This notion has important links between the impact on gender equality and income poverty, as the recent Word Survey on the Role of Women in Development states. Conceptually, time poverty can be understood as the fact that some individuals do not have enough time for rest and leisure after taking into account the time spent working, whether in the labour market, for domestic work, or for other activities such as fetching water. In spite of the undoubtedly positive impact that the project had on women, it was also found that their workload increased considerably. For example, women in DR who had benefited from greenhouses stated that they had to dedicate up to 6 hours a day to their maintenance. This happened without any solid indication that the time dedicated to unpaid housework had diminished significantly at the same time. 

10.3.2 Community transformation  "Made a huge impact on the local market. Income has increased. This has a ripple effect in the local economy" Civil Society Actor. This refers to changing attitudes, collective behaviours, social norms, values or overall quality of life in a given community. Methodological caveat In the case of InTerDev 2, it would have been important to determine what is considered a "community". The concept can range from an extended family to a complete municipality. This definition is important for determining to what extent the project reached a critical mass. Whether it was enough to change a community or whether it produced a sum of individual or family changes that were not enough to impact the community as a whole. This said many beneficiaries and other stakeholders talked unprompted about how the project contributed to women's empowerment in the communities. They talked about aspects such as their self-esteem, sense of agency, economic autonomy, and freedom of movement. Although, it was not possible to determine whether this empowerment really meant a sustainable shift in collective values. In general, these types of transformations are complex and generational, although the project has undoubtedly done its bit for it to go in the right direction. According to key stakeholders, in DR and ST in particular, the increase in income generation had a ripple effect in the municipal economy as people had more money to spend. As already anticipated in the "individual transformations", the level of employment rise was significant enough so that it can be considered a change in the municipality, especially during the raspberry campaign in DR and ST. Although, as already pointed out, the type of employment that was generated, even though it was important in terms of magnitude, it was mostly precarious and informal. Within a Theory of Change approach, subsequent projects could consider the next steps to make these jobs more stable and eventually increase the number of taxpayers. An indisputable change at the community level to which the project contributed significantly was the opening of new lines of business. Specifically, the production and marketing of raspberries was very incipient at the beginning of InTerDev 1 and is now a consolidated sector, especially in ST. Not only have local raspberries gained a reputation. The project also contributed to increasing the reputation of other products from targeted municipalities. For example, the local honey in ST won two gold medals in the international honey fair held in Tuzla, BiH in September 2019.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Local Governance Operational Efficiency Jobs and Livelihoods Urbanization

9.

10.4.2 Partnerships and alliances (Continuation from Finding 4)

An important indication of the quality of this partnership was that the three municipalities contributed more than 11% of the total project budget. Actually, the three partner municipalities reconfirmed and amplified their financial commitments for a number of service lines under the municipal TEPs during the project’s span (EUR 65,000 by DR Municipality, EUR 90,000 by ST Municipality and EUR 65,000 by VT Municipality). Other notable alliances established by the project at the local level were with Municipal Employment Offices, Vocational Training Centres and Private sector enterprises, especially with the companies that guaranteed the purchase of products produced by InTerDev's beneficiaries. It is also essential to highlight the positive partnership that the project established with the Local Development Fund (LDF), which was the key piece that efficiently managed the grants programmed under outcome 2. Coordination and/or synergies with other international organisations present in the area, including other UN agencies, could have been improved (always bearing in mind that there were few international donor interventions in the targeted area). In this sense, the project only held some coordination meetings with Helvetas and Caritas in DR and GIZ in ST. Finally, at the state level, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare also made a small contribution to the project budget (3%) that strengthened national ownership.

UNDP added value The investment of InTerDev 2 would not have gone so far without the experience, reputation, and trust of UNDP in Kosovo and in the project area. Firstly, the fact that the implementing partner was a UN entity (UNDP) added value to the project by linking it to the global SDG agenda. The Mayors of the three municipalities stated that they felt part of a larger, global project. Furthermore, UNDP had vast experience in targeting vulnerable populations in the project area. For example, through the profiling system developed for the Territorial Employment Pacts in the Municipalities of Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje and Obiliq/c, as well as for the TEPs in Dragash/Dragaš and Shtërpcë/Štrpce under the InTerDev 1. Additionally, UNDP also had experience working with Viti/Vitina municipality through interventions such as the Support to Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo and the Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMP 2). UNDP's vast experience allowed InTerDev 2 to work with a solid network based on trust (particularly with beneficiaries and municipalities) acquired after years of work. 


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Partnership Strategic Positioning Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction SDG Integration Vulnerable

10.

10.5.2 Results (continuation from Finding 5)

In order to make a clear analysis of the sustainability of the results, the report has organised them by outcomes.

OUTCOME 1 - Capacity Building The installed capacity in municipalities, i.e. the new knowledge and skills acquired by authorities and civil servants, was undoubtedly a permanent change. However, according to representatives of the three municipalities, without the appropriate factors (e.g. a donor-supported programme framework), it was difficult for all these lessons to be put into practice. 

OUTCOME 2 - The Local Development Fund (LDF) The sustainability of LDF itself (the organisation and the grants-system) was not guaranteed. This seemed unfortunate after eight years of solid work and having built a tremendously efficient and transparent scheme of grants management for one of the most vulnerable groups in the region. One of the main factors why LDF found itself in this situation was that its small team focused on rigorously designing, implementing and monitoring the projects they had been entrusted with (among them, the management of grants for InTerDev 1 and 2). However, the team did not have additional capacity to diversify LDF's clientele (as in dedicated expertise on resource mobilisation). LDF, like InTerDev, depended exclusively on ADA funds and at the time of the evaluation it had not been possible to commit additional funds or projects that guaranteed the continuity of the organisation. However, LDF recipients of grants report a very high degree of sustainability of their activities. For example, the case of greenhouses, dairy producers and raspberry producers and processors. 


Tag: Agriculture Tourism Effectiveness Sustainability Knowledge management Results-Based Management Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Capacity Building

Recommendations
1

URGENT – For UNDP

Recommendation 1: Design and fund a bridge project at least until November 2020

The most vulnerable aspect of InTerDev 2 is the sustainability of several of its results due to how abrupt its closure could be. This type of abrupt closure could also have a negative impact on the reputation and on the trust that UNDP has built with its partners and beneficiaries in the three municipalities. It is therefore highly recommended that a bridge project be designed that maintains the essential elements of InTerDev at least until November 2020, when it is known what form the new ADA-funded intervention will take.

These essential aspects should include retaining the talent and experience of InTerDev's core team

2

For UNDP

Recommendation 2: Design and fundraise for INTERDEV 3 beyond November 2020

Beyond the bridge project, it is recommended that UNDP continue building on the successes of the two phases of InTerDev and design a third phase incorporating improvements and learning. In this third phase, special care should be taken to establish synergies with other international actors present in the area, especially ADA (if applicable), to ensure that InTerDev's approach is complementary to the rest of the initiatives.

3

For UNDP

Recommendation 3: Include an exit strategy and/or donor diversification strategy

In future projects, it is advisable to incorporate a specific exit strategy from the very design of the intervention. This strategy can also be complemented with a donor diversification plan. In this case, UNDP would have to ensure that it has the capacity (i.e. appropriate profiles) for resource mobilization, either within the project team or in the Prishtina/Priština office. Adopting a ToC approach complementary to the logical framework can help to update the objectives and concrete plans of a potential exit strategy.

4

For UNDP

Recommendation 4: Incorporate a ToC approach complementing the logical framework

In future interventions use Theory of Change (ToC) as a complementary approach to the logical framework. The elements that a ToC should contain a description of the motivational horizon and the pathway to change, an update of the context in which the project operates, a description of the main stakeholders (change agents, partners, opposers, etc.), the preconditions to reach such changes, and the assumptions behind the occurrence (or not) of the desired transformations. The ToC is a dynamic tool that should be checked from time to time. It is also a tool that allows looking beyond the objectives that the project had set. For example, in the case of InTerDev 2, a review of the ToC could question not only if the project created employment but how to lay the groundwork for this employment to be of quality. 

5

For UNDP

Recomendation 5: Improve design by adding new variables

The design was one of the highlights of InTerDev. However, several aspects could be improved. Firstly, it is recommended to incorporate qualitative indicators that favour impact monitoring. It is also advisable to incorporate information on how the concept of "time poverty" may affect men and women differently as a consequence of the project's actions.

6

For UNDP

Recommendation 6: Incorporate impact monitoring to feed into project learning

The impact survey carried out by the project was an excellent attempt at impact monitoring. However, in the future it is recommended to simplify this data collection technique, using, for example, specialized monitoring software or other data generation tools, such as focus groups. This simplification would allow repeating the impact monitoring regularly during the project´s implementation so that it feeds into the ToC sessions. 

 

7

For UNDP

Recommendation 7: Revise the CVT component

Vocational training has borne some fruit, but the strategy was not cost-effective. It is recommended that in future phases of InTerDev either this component be cancelled or redesigned. In this sense, possibly the component could be more effective if accompanied by paid internships in local companies. 

8

For ADA

Recommendation 8: Ensure any approach is leaving no one behind

For the forthcoming funding cycle on local economic development, ADA should ensure that the SDGs and the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ targeting the most deprived and vulnerable people are sustained and prevail over the general economic growth approach. 

9

For municipalities

Recommendation 9: Focus on water accumulation and irrigation systems

Step up the capital investments in the expansion of the water accumulation and irrigation systems, which have proven to be vital to the needs of farmers and in accelerating local economic growth. 

10

For DR and ST municipalities

Recommendation 10: Promote a ‘Sharr/Šar region’ brand

Jointly engage in ‘Sharr/Šar region’ product branding and marketing regulation, establishing adequate quality assurance criteria and funding mechanisms that protect local ‘Sharr/Šar region’ products and producers/farmers.

11

LESSONS LEARNED AND BEST PRACTICES

Looking beyond the limits of the project

Probably the most important lesson learned through InTerDev 2 is the need to look beyond the strict limits of the project. This means establishing spaces where strategic decisions are discussed and made beyond the progress of the implementation of the activities and their immediate results. These questions could include what can happen when the funds are exhausted (exit strategy) or what are the real changes the project is contributing to and what should happen in order to build on those changes (from generating jobs to generating taxpayers). These would also be spaces to challenge the assumptions underpinning the different project components. For example, to what extent it is realistic for a significant proportion of beneficiaries to access Ministry grants; or what would be the critical mass needed for changes to be considered collective. That is to say, spaces for reflection about the "what", the "so what?" and the "then what?". 

Involvement of municipalities

A best practice of InTerDev has been how it has involved the different partners and especially the municipalities. The fact that they have been involved in all aspects of the project has meant that there has been a huge increase in local ownership. Furthermore, this interaction has been the main tool for installing capabilities.

Relaying local expertise

The fact that the entire InTerDev 2 team was based in the project area has been one of the essential factors of its success and should be considered a best practice. It has not only meant that the project was able to benefit from their experience and knowledge, but it also contributed to the general efficiency of the project (in terms of its value for money). 

1. Recommendation:

URGENT – For UNDP

Recommendation 1: Design and fund a bridge project at least until November 2020

The most vulnerable aspect of InTerDev 2 is the sustainability of several of its results due to how abrupt its closure could be. This type of abrupt closure could also have a negative impact on the reputation and on the trust that UNDP has built with its partners and beneficiaries in the three municipalities. It is therefore highly recommended that a bridge project be designed that maintains the essential elements of InTerDev at least until November 2020, when it is known what form the new ADA-funded intervention will take.

These essential aspects should include retaining the talent and experience of InTerDev's core team

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/24] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The senior management has initiated contacts and meetings with potential donors interested to fund and scale up the work of INTERDEV project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Meet with potential donors to explore opportunities for partnerships to ensure sustainability and scaling up of the results, also considering the importance of retaining the capacity and experience of INTERDEV's core team.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2022/01/13]
Senior Management 2021/12 Completed All potential donors were contacted and the scale up and follow up project were discussed and considered. However the similar initiatives was funded and implemented through other parties. History
1.2 Programme team will organise a fair with INTERDEV producers/beneficiaries; with the aim to attract potential donors for a new project and create possibility for farmers to sell and promote their products. The videos and book stories as a result of the Inter-municipal initiatives, will be launched and delivered to the audience.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2022/01/13]
Programme Team 2021/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The recommendation was not possible to materialize as soon after the project completion and evaluation there happened the COVID-19 pandemics outbreak.]
History
2. Recommendation:

For UNDP

Recommendation 2: Design and fundraise for INTERDEV 3 beyond November 2020

Beyond the bridge project, it is recommended that UNDP continue building on the successes of the two phases of InTerDev and design a third phase incorporating improvements and learning. In this third phase, special care should be taken to establish synergies with other international actors present in the area, especially ADA (if applicable), to ensure that InTerDev's approach is complementary to the rest of the initiatives.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The programme team will design the new project proposal to ensure follow up of INTERDEV 2 results and sustainability in the partner areas, building upon the already achieved results and focusing on the sectors as defied with potential donors (i.e. gender, long-term-unemployed, tourism, rural development etc.).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Intensify meetings with potential donors and define the key areas and activities for the INTERDEV 3 approach.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/06]
Senior Management 2020/12 Completed Concept note for Recovery from COVID19 through rural development has been developed and submitted to EU for funding. EU is currently focusing on emergency projects due to COVID - 19, so during recovery period this idea shall be presented to other bilateral donors as a building back greener concept. History
The Programme team will take into consideration consolidated lessons learned from INTERDEV 2 and design actions of the new proposal with specific emphasis on the co-financing with the already partnering municipalities and their strong commitment and knowledge gained.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/10/13]
Programme team 2020/09 Completed The programme team designed the new proposal as a follow up of INTERDV 2, linked COVID-19 recovery period, with the principle Building Back Better/Greener. The proposal is submitted to EU Office in Kosovo. History
3. Recommendation:

For UNDP

Recommendation 3: Include an exit strategy and/or donor diversification strategy

In future projects, it is advisable to incorporate a specific exit strategy from the very design of the intervention. This strategy can also be complemented with a donor diversification plan. In this case, UNDP would have to ensure that it has the capacity (i.e. appropriate profiles) for resource mobilization, either within the project team or in the Prishtina/Priština office. Adopting a ToC approach complementary to the logical framework can help to update the objectives and concrete plans of a potential exit strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Programme team to coordinate and design the exit strategy and possible donor diversification strategy (i.e. UNKT, SIDA, ADA, Norway etc)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme team will actively dialogue with partners and disseminate INTEDEV 2 results, with the emphasis on marginalised communities, remote areas, gender, rural development, and unemployment.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/04/16]
Programme team 2020/03 Completed The results were disseminated with all partners and stakeholders. The results had a clear focus on marginalized communities, remote areas, gender, rural development dimensions. History
The programme team will make efforts that relevant donor plans/strategies have integrated the INTERDEV 2 approach and the INTERDEV 3 is in the project pipeline to be funded.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/04/16]
Programme team 2020/03 Completed The results, concepts and the approach was shared with the stakeholders and donors. the INTERDEV 3 project is prepared and submitted to EU for funding. History
4. Recommendation:

For UNDP

Recommendation 4: Incorporate a ToC approach complementing the logical framework

In future interventions use Theory of Change (ToC) as a complementary approach to the logical framework. The elements that a ToC should contain a description of the motivational horizon and the pathway to change, an update of the context in which the project operates, a description of the main stakeholders (change agents, partners, opposers, etc.), the preconditions to reach such changes, and the assumptions behind the occurrence (or not) of the desired transformations. The ToC is a dynamic tool that should be checked from time to time. It is also a tool that allows looking beyond the objectives that the project had set. For example, in the case of InTerDev 2, a review of the ToC could question not only if the project created employment but how to lay the groundwork for this employment to be of quality. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Together with external expertise where applicable the project/programme will explore the ToC approach in completing the logical framework for future similar projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The ToC approach will be the basis for the future project, in line with UNDP’s corporate guidelines.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/06]
Programme team 2020/12 Completed The new concept note incorporated TOC approach History
5. Recommendation:

For UNDP

Recomendation 5: Improve design by adding new variables

The design was one of the highlights of InTerDev. However, several aspects could be improved. Firstly, it is recommended to incorporate qualitative indicators that favour impact monitoring. It is also advisable to incorporate information on how the concept of "time poverty" may affect men and women differently as a consequence of the project's actions.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Several aspects are to be considered for the future that can further help to improve such as integration of qualitative indicators that help impact monitoring. Furthermore, it is also advisable to incorporate information on how the concept of "time poverty" may affect men and women differently as a consequence of the project's actions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme team to clearly define quality indicators that directly support the impact monitoring.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/06]
Programme team 2020/12 Completed New concept note embraced the recommendation History
Incorporation of information on how the concept of "time poverty" may affect men and women differently as a consequence of the project's actions will be taken into account when designing the project by the designated programme staff.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/06]
Programme team 2020/12 Completed New concept note embraced the recommendation History
6. Recommendation:

For UNDP

Recommendation 6: Incorporate impact monitoring to feed into project learning

The impact survey carried out by the project was an excellent attempt at impact monitoring. However, in the future it is recommended to simplify this data collection technique, using, for example, specialized monitoring software or other data generation tools, such as focus groups. This simplification would allow repeating the impact monitoring regularly during the project´s implementation so that it feeds into the ToC sessions. 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

UNDP programme/project has developed a new monitoring software/monitoring tool during the Q3, and it has been used for the final evaluation of the Interdev 2 project.However, the simplification of it, would easily feed into the ToC sessions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
If funding can be secured, the Programme team will continue developing and simplifying the monitoring tool.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2022/01/13]
Programme team (and potential INTERDEV 3 team) 2021/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: As the funding was not secured this is not applicable. However the monitoring process and procedures are simplified for other similar projects.]
History
7. Recommendation:

For UNDP

Recommendation 7: Revise the CVT component

Vocational training has borne some fruit, but the strategy was not cost-effective. It is recommended that in future phases of InTerDev either this component be cancelled or redesigned. In this sense, possibly the component could be more effective if accompanied by paid internships in local companies. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

This recommendation is linked also with other UNDP projects and as well with the different international organizations and line Ministries operating in this field in Kosovo. UNDP will take a lead to work with the partners in planning the future interventions, closely connected with the INTERDEV 2 sector interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme team will carry out a comprehensive impact survey for similar interventions in the future in order to jointly with Agency for Employment enhance the certified vocational training in line with the needs in the territories. Under the ongoing UNDP interventions, UNDP will explore modalities for revision of CVT under the Active Labour Market Project.
[Added: 2020/02/03] [Last Updated: 2022/01/12]
Programme team 2021/12 Completed As the phase 3 of the project was not materialized UNDP through the ALMP2 project under OUTPUT 1: Human Resource capacities of MLSW, EARK and PES are improved for delivering of employment services by Employment offices, VTCs, and Labour market research and evidence has responded nees of the public employment service through following activities : - 20 trainers were engaged to provide support and expertise to the Vocational Training Centers TC to improve the provision of vocational training services - Labor Cost Survey (LCS) published - The project has supported the functionalization of tailoring training courses in the VTC Mitrovica, Prizren and Podujevo, through supplying new equipment and functionalizing existing ones. - Is conducted Research: Inclusion of marginalized groups in the labour market in Kosovo - The operational guidelines for implementation of active labour market measures are updated in line with identified needs of Employment offices and Vocational Training Centers by Employment Agency . - Feasibility study in order to ensure sustainability in the financing and implementation of active employment measures is finalized and submitted to government . Furthermore, the project has undertaken numerous measures in supporting the employment offices and VTC centres in the implementation of employment schemes. During the month of February 2019-2020, the project has organized coordination meetings, together with the Employment Agency, throughout all the employment offices and Vocational Centres . These meetings sought the identification of challenges and opportunities of the public employment services in implementing the active labour market measures, as well as providing advice in ensuring the provision of quality employment services. The meetings highlighted the need for better coordination between the local and regional level institutions, in easing the administrative procedures associated with the obtaining and provision of employment services. In addition , a recurrent issue with the employment offices is the lack of logistical capacities, namely, proper transportation means for the officers involved in implementing the employment measures; throughout the meetings, it has been agreed upon that the project shall support the employment offices in monitoring the beneficiaries via jointly arranged visits. History
8. Recommendation:

For ADA

Recommendation 8: Ensure any approach is leaving no one behind

For the forthcoming funding cycle on local economic development, ADA should ensure that the SDGs and the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ targeting the most deprived and vulnerable people are sustained and prevail over the general economic growth approach. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

For municipalities

Recommendation 9: Focus on water accumulation and irrigation systems

Step up the capital investments in the expansion of the water accumulation and irrigation systems, which have proven to be vital to the needs of farmers and in accelerating local economic growth. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

For DR and ST municipalities

Recommendation 10: Promote a ‘Sharr/Šar region’ brand

Jointly engage in ‘Sharr/Šar region’ product branding and marketing regulation, establishing adequate quality assurance criteria and funding mechanisms that protect local ‘Sharr/Šar region’ products and producers/farmers.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

LESSONS LEARNED AND BEST PRACTICES

Looking beyond the limits of the project

Probably the most important lesson learned through InTerDev 2 is the need to look beyond the strict limits of the project. This means establishing spaces where strategic decisions are discussed and made beyond the progress of the implementation of the activities and their immediate results. These questions could include what can happen when the funds are exhausted (exit strategy) or what are the real changes the project is contributing to and what should happen in order to build on those changes (from generating jobs to generating taxpayers). These would also be spaces to challenge the assumptions underpinning the different project components. For example, to what extent it is realistic for a significant proportion of beneficiaries to access Ministry grants; or what would be the critical mass needed for changes to be considered collective. That is to say, spaces for reflection about the "what", the "so what?" and the "then what?". 

Involvement of municipalities

A best practice of InTerDev has been how it has involved the different partners and especially the municipalities. The fact that they have been involved in all aspects of the project has meant that there has been a huge increase in local ownership. Furthermore, this interaction has been the main tool for installing capabilities.

Relaying local expertise

The fact that the entire InTerDev 2 team was based in the project area has been one of the essential factors of its success and should be considered a best practice. It has not only meant that the project was able to benefit from their experience and knowledge, but it also contributed to the general efficiency of the project (in terms of its value for money). 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/07]

Key Actions:

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