Final Evaluation of Technical Assistance for Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA-TA)

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2021
Completion Date:
03/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
8,000

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Title Final Evaluation of Technical Assistance for Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA-TA)
Atlas Project Number: 00106411
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2021
Planned End Date: 03/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
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
SDG Target
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
Evaluation Budget(US $): 8,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 7,500
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ms. Lalita C. Thapa Team Leader lalitathapa1949@gmail.com
Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattarai Team member bhattarairampd@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Provincial and Local Governments, CSOs etc
Countries: NEPAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

In view of the magnitude of the support needed at the local government level, and to ensure the institutionalisation of the tremendous achievements made in building the capacity and systems, it is highly recommended to continue the TA support for at least two more years. Since a project has a timeline with specific objective, it is expected to phase out at a certain point, once the objectives are fulfilled, an important success indicator. Therefore, a phase-wise exit strategy of the project should be closely and regularly monitored as part of the project management to make the exit process as practical and smooth as possible (MoICS/UNDP/MoF).

2

In order to ensure greater participation of development partners for financial support to the project, various funding mechanisms, including cost-sharing under a practical and mutually agreeable implementation modality, e.g. NIM, should be explored (MoICS/UNDP).

3

As frequent changes of officials and political leaders are expected, periodic orientation on the MED model should be a permanent feature of the programme to familiarize the officials and responsible entities for MED activities at all levels of the federal governance system. To support such activities, a certain portion of the resources allocated to the LGs should constitute capacity support cost. Various options in mobilizing resources and choosing appropriate implementation modalities should be considered to ensure the proper use of government resources at the local level. (MoICS/MoF/UNDP).

4

Appropriate roles of existing government structures in the Districts should be identified and utilized as tremendous amount of investments were made with decades of MEDEP support. The ways and means to use infrastructures within DCSI and CSIDB built in the past for MED should be explored. (MoICS)

5

While the Operational Guidelines (2077) have been updated to make them more GESI responsive, there are still some aspects to be addressed, e.g. the MED Coordination Committee (Chapter 8). Instead of nominating two women entrepreneurs by the Chair of the Committee, submission of appropriate representative should be called from Women Entrepreneurs Associations/Groups to make the process more democratic and transparent (MoICS).

6

As the primary objective of the project is to improve livelihoods of poor and socially deprived people, it would be important to find out the status of these entrepreneurs and the socio-economic changes in their lives. A thorough examination of the enterprises and their products should be carried out to assess quality standards and competitiveness with market prices to provide guidance in updating and improving the MED model (MoICS/UNPD).

7

Conscious and deliberate actions are required to ensure coherence and synergy of project interventions at all levels, more prominently at programmatic levels, by both national and international development partners. At least one coordination meeting should be held at with all development partners of UNDP projects contributing to specific UNDAF outcome and CPD output with the participation of relevant stakeholders (MoICS/UNDP).   

8

M&E is an important aspect of project management and should be included in Project Board Meetings. All key partners including funding agencies are well consulted when conducting M&E activities. The knowledge and information collected from such events are well documented and mechanisms to manage such knowledge are streamlined (MoICS/UNDP).

1. Recommendation:

In view of the magnitude of the support needed at the local government level, and to ensure the institutionalisation of the tremendous achievements made in building the capacity and systems, it is highly recommended to continue the TA support for at least two more years. Since a project has a timeline with specific objective, it is expected to phase out at a certain point, once the objectives are fulfilled, an important success indicator. Therefore, a phase-wise exit strategy of the project should be closely and regularly monitored as part of the project management to make the exit process as practical and smooth as possible (MoICS/UNDP/MoF).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Agreed. Support will be subject to availability of resources from Government and other partners. Should the CO succeed in raising resources, an extension document will be produced with a clear timeline and exit strategy. This action plan of the exit strategy will be discussed and reviewed in the project board meeting. Currently, the discussion between UNDP, MoICS and MoF is ongoing.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Process for the Extension of project.
[Added: 2021/05/14] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Portfolio Manager 2021/07 Completed The project has been extended up to December 2021. History
1.1 Develop exit strategy indicators and timeline.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to determination by Government that resources will be available
1.2 Review and follow up the exit indicators.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2022/03 Not Initiated Subject to agreement with Government about project continuation.
2. Recommendation:

In order to ensure greater participation of development partners for financial support to the project, various funding mechanisms, including cost-sharing under a practical and mutually agreeable implementation modality, e.g. NIM, should be explored (MoICS/UNDP).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Agreed. MoICS had formally decided the extension of MEDPA-TA for 2 years and has requested the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for its agreement. Principally the GoN/MOF has agreed on the MoICS request for extension but with different co-financing mechanism. The MoF proposed “on budget, on treasury” modality for the government resources. The MoICS is requesting the MoF to allow for the continuation of the existing practice of “on budget, off treasury” in co-financing. MoF is agreed to continue the MEDPA-TA for two years more but shown the reservation on “off budgetary budget support of GoN resources” and recommended to cabinet for the decision on “on budgetary support”. The MoICS and UNDP will work jointly to lobby the GoN to assign resources under the government cost sharing modality, as well as resources from other interested development partners. MoICS is planning to discuss with other potentiation donors for the engagement in MEDPA-TA.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Organize meeting with MoF for “on budget, off budgetary” funds flow mechanism in terms of GoN resource mobilization.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MoICS 2021/05 Completed Meetings between MoICS and MoF are on going.
2.2 Organize interaction meeting with potential development partners for the extension of MEDPA-TA (if GoN won’t allocate the budget for the project extension).
[Added: 2021/05/14] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
MoICS 2021/07 Completed Donor meeting was organized with potential development partners and bilateral meeting ongoing with ADB for potential partnership for future. History
3. Recommendation:

As frequent changes of officials and political leaders are expected, periodic orientation on the MED model should be a permanent feature of the programme to familiarize the officials and responsible entities for MED activities at all levels of the federal governance system. To support such activities, a certain portion of the resources allocated to the LGs should constitute capacity support cost. Various options in mobilizing resources and choosing appropriate implementation modalities should be considered to ensure the proper use of government resources at the local level. (MoICS/MoF/UNDP).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Agreed.  Since last two years, government has been allocating the financial resources for capacity development activities to LGs through MEDPA-TA. The resource allocation for capacity development to LGs is not problem for federal government. The challenge is to organize and deliver the capacity development activities to all 753 LGs by federal government. However, a proper mechanism needs to develop and capacitate the LGs for few years. During the period of MEDPA-TA, GoN will allocate the resources in MEDPA-TA for the capacity development activities to LGs and will be incorporated in the work plan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Prepare capacity development plan to LGs.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to agreement with Government about project continuation.
3.2 Deliver the capacity development activities to LGs as per approved plan.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to agreement with Government about project continuation
3.3 Develop sustainable capacity development mechanism to LGs through governments’ institutional mechanism for smooth operation of MEDPA and MED institutionalization.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA, MoICS 2022/07 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation
4. Recommendation:

Appropriate roles of existing government structures in the Districts should be identified and utilized as tremendous amount of investments were made with decades of MEDEP support. The ways and means to use infrastructures within DCSI and CSIDB built in the past for MED should be explored. (MoICS)

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Partially Agreed. Most of the officials of CSIDBO who were capacitated by MEDEP are adjusted in LGs and they are looking after the enterprise related activities of LGs now and also working as a focal person of MEDPA. However, MEDPA-TA will lobby with MoICS to engage DCSIO and CSIDB so that the resources and expertise of DCSIO/CSIDBO could be utilized to MED model institutionalization at LGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Prepare roles and responsibilities of DCSIO/CSIDB for capacity development of LGs.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to agreement with Government about project continuation.
4.2 Incorporate the roles and responsibilities of DCSIO/CSIDB into the MEDPA Operational Guidelines.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MoICS 2022/07 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

While the Operational Guidelines (2077) have been updated to make them more GESI responsive, there are still some aspects to be addressed, e.g. the MED Coordination Committee (Chapter 8). Instead of nominating two women entrepreneurs by the Chair of the Committee, submission of appropriate representative should be called from Women Entrepreneurs Associations/Groups to make the process more democratic and transparent (MoICS).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Partially agreed. As per MEDPA Operational Guidelines, 2077, there is provision to nominate two women micro entrepreneurs in MEDPA Coordination Committee. It is better to nominate women micro entrepreneurs from National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation, Nepal (NMEFEN). MEDPA-TA will lobby with MoICS to nominate from NMEFEN.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Organize discussions with MoICS.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation
5.2 MEDPA-TA to lobby for review of MEDPA Guidelines.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation.
6. Recommendation:

As the primary objective of the project is to improve livelihoods of poor and socially deprived people, it would be important to find out the status of these entrepreneurs and the socio-economic changes in their lives. A thorough examination of the enterprises and their products should be carried out to assess quality standards and competitiveness with market prices to provide guidance in updating and improving the MED model (MoICS/UNPD).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Agreed. The MEDPA-TA will lobby with MoICS for the assessment of quality standards and competitiveness with market prices to provide guidance in updating and improving the MED model during MEDPA budgeting. The recommendations of this assessment will be included in the MEDPA Operational Guidelines accordingly.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Develop the TOR for the assessment and submit to MoICS.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2022/01 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation.
6.2 Prepare the action plan and its implementation by MEDPA/MOICS.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2022/06 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation.
7. Recommendation:

Conscious and deliberate actions are required to ensure coherence and synergy of project interventions at all levels, more prominently at programmatic levels, by both national and international development partners. At least one coordination meeting should be held at with all development partners of UNDP projects contributing to specific UNDAF outcome and CPD output with the participation of relevant stakeholders (MoICS/UNDP).   

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Agreed. Coordination meeting with development partners of UNDP projects such as PLGSP, CMDP, VCDP, others likeminded projects and stakeholders will be planned for the synergy of project interventions at all levels. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Interaction meeting with PLGSP and other relevant stakeholders.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA and MoICS 2021/12 Initiated Already started with CMDP and VCDP project.
7.2 Develop action plan for synergy among the projects.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2021/12 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation.
8. Recommendation:

M&E is an important aspect of project management and should be included in Project Board Meetings. All key partners including funding agencies are well consulted when conducting M&E activities. The knowledge and information collected from such events are well documented and mechanisms to manage such knowledge are streamlined (MoICS/UNDP).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/14]

Agreed. If the project is successfully extended, joint M& E activities will be carried out as per MEDPA-TA yearly M&E plan and project board members will be included. Further, the knowledge and information will be compiled and developed a kind of resource book to streamlined as required.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Organize quarterly joint monitoring visit by PB members and share the findings in the PB meeting.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2022/06 Not Initiated History
8.2 Prepared compiled report of monitoring visit.
[Added: 2021/05/14]
MEDPA-TA 2022/06 Not Initiated Subject to project continuation

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