Mid Term Review of Country Programme Document (CPD)

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type:
Country Programme Evaluation
Planned End Date:
12/2020
Completion Date:
12/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Mid Term Review of Country Programme Document (CPD)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type: Country Programme Evaluation
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2020
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Core Fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,650
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Lilit V. Melikyan Independent consultant
Raghav Raj Regmi Independent consultant
Sunaina Sharma Independent consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, Government of Nepal, Donors, Projects etc
Countries: NEPAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Strengthen programmatic footprint with more coherence in the Portfolio Managers, Program Advisors, Field Offices working together with less silos with (a) all three reporting lines to the Deputy Resident Representative; (b) Strengthened RM function, with, potentially, a separate RM staff, ideally with Energy/Environment profile; and (c) explicit coordinating role for the FOs; and (d) enabling environment, like projects’ databases and e-portals.

2

Enhance the implementation of the Partnership and Communication Action Plan, to strengthen Partnerships and Communication with the Government and Development Partners. In particular: i) revitalize communications and coordination with traditional donors and long-time partners going beyond regular reporting and formal participation in coordination meetings, ii) be more specific and generous in ensuring the visibility of the donor partners, iii) build strategic partnership with SNL governments helping them formulate their demands for development; (iv) ensure that the links between DRM/CCA and governance /rule of law on one hand and poverty reduction on the other of UNDP operations are articulated better in the outreach materials; (v) ensure better targeted distribution of knowledge products and project updates (the latter- with one pager summaries), and (vi) ensure that planned communication activities are implemented by the GoN counterparts for the NIM projects (e.g. with formal agreements).

3

 Improve the CO  MEL systems with (a) a revised and improved Theory of change (with descriptions of pathways, boundary partners, risks and assumptions) well linked to the CPD indicators) ; b) enhanced/regular capturing of lessons Learned, especially for the long-standing areas of engagement, and pilot initiatives (as well as portfolio level lessons learnt) (c) revise CPD output indicators to capture the institution building/policy level outputs under the inclusive economic growth, and (d) improve the overall presentation of the APRs to make them more informative by showing the SDGs they contribute to, and the projects contributing to the indicator.

4

For the democratic governance, rule of law and human rights portfolio focus on; i) Effective resource mobilization, ii) capacity building of provincial planning commissions beyond the current engagement, iii) expanding institutional system and capacity building support to the six new rights commissions and iv) support to justice sector key institutions like the 'constitutional bench' at federal level, and the judicial committees at local level.

5

Support building accountability measures at SNL: Support the strengthening local transparency measures (with participatory monitoring mechanisms) and accountability (with RTI) at SNL for good governance. SPSP, PSP, and A2J the CPD already have engagements on this, however these should be made more focused, with the development of appropriate institutional mechanisms at SNL as a high priority (e.g., joint watchdog forums, community score cards or social audits (after assessing the previous experience) etc.). This will also support enlarging the space for civic engagement in local governance.

6

Conduct an in-depth analysis of the potential, strength and risk factors of the Cooperatives sector and ’Value chain development’. Adopt a strategic approach for the ‘next flagship intervention’ in inclusive Economic Growth of a 'game changer nature'. Critical understanding of the architecture and 'modus operandi' of all the actors involved in value chain development (e.g., middlemen) and cooperatives (with this being high political priority but less so for the government) is important for sustainability. Using the footings of MEDEP to upgrade the level of interventions under VCD and cooperatives’ support and support to MEs- supporting ‘SMEs’ together with private banking sector, national level microfinance institutions and government (with a potential 'Champion' institution from the latter). The TEVT sector also holds the possibility of a 'Flagship' agenda for 'sector policy and institutional reform'. Accelerator Lab could be used as breeding ground for innovative ideas for next flagship agenda and program.

7

Engage in social protection/poverty reduction more explicitly in the next 2 years in the light of COVID/post-COVID, with for example, supporting reforms in social safety nets, social security programs. In the next CPD this could be expanded into contributory pension scheme, health insurance, active labour market policies, etc.

8

In the next 3 years (a) shift the focus from DRR (but continuing to support SNL governments with integrated DRM and CCA plans, guides and DIMS and NDRRMA- with risk governance) to addressing Climate Change risks and green recovery. In supporting the local governments, strengthen their capacity to (a) incorporate the considerations for prevalent social issues in the local integrated DRM and CCA plans; (b) to conduct comprehensive hazard, vulnerability and capacity assessments; and (c) criteria and/or operational guidelines for resilience building/resilience development. Support them with Local Disaster and Climate Resilience Planning Guidelines and establishment of municipal level project fund management committees with clear guidelines on operational and maintenance funds. Support the PGs in project planning and monitoring through relevant coordination and/or steering mechanisms. In addressing climate change, play a more active role in policy advice in CCA, CCM, and CF. Support green recovery with engagement cleaner air quality (with aggressive resource mobilization for POPs and engagement in clean cooking), effective waste management (with the upcoming urban and hospital waste management initiative), access to RE in urban areas, and enhanced biodiversity protection. Support extension systems to help the GoN spread the knowledge generated from the pilots throughout the country.

9

Ensure regular strategic and thematic interface with the CSOs, academia and private sector from alliance- building perspective. It could be through consultative (thematic) platforms with participation of prominent think tanks and experts:  that will help UNDP to be better informed of the 'development environment' and help with advocacy on specific issues. With the private sector, engage also with 'corporate foundations' from resource mobilization perspective. 

10

Make UNDP GESI expertise even more impactful by: (a) Ensuring that GESI is considered in all interventions consistently, and support this with corresponding formally approved guides and procedures.  make GESI related reporting more comprehensive and visible in various reports at project as well as country level; (b) Supporting LGs in designing and implementing explicit GESI projects in association with local CSOs; and (c) working with private sector and academia on human rights and GESI.

1. Recommendation:

Strengthen programmatic footprint with more coherence in the Portfolio Managers, Program Advisors, Field Offices working together with less silos with (a) all three reporting lines to the Deputy Resident Representative; (b) Strengthened RM function, with, potentially, a separate RM staff, ideally with Energy/Environment profile; and (c) explicit coordinating role for the FOs; and (d) enabling environment, like projects’ databases and e-portals.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

CO takes note of this recommendation, and will review overall proramme coherence in light of the evolved context, and verify what changes to reporting lines and TOR for specific staff are needed in order to enhance overall coherence.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.2 CO will produce a strategic review (internal paper) elaborating the evolved programmatic context since the CPD was introduced, reflecting the repurposing due to COVID context reviewing the strategic relevance/value of the current structure following the delinking/UNReform - as originally conceived following the recent comprehensive Country Office optimization exercise; identifying functional linkages across the CO structure and how these are conducive to a coordinated, coherent approach, and put in place changes to reporting lines and TORs for Advisors, Portfolio Managers, and Heads of Field Offices as deemed necessary to strengthen coherence; and revise the original RM target of the CPD to a more realistic scenario for the remainder of the CPD.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/05/03]
Partnership and Result Unit 2021/04 Completed Strategic review (internal paper) was prepared and shared with the relevant staffs. History
1.3 CO will issue a memo to concerned staff informing them of changes to TOR and reporting lines as may emerge from the review
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/05/03]
Senior Management 2021/04 Completed An internal memo was prepared and shared with the concern staffs to inform them about the revision of reporting lines and TORs. History
1.1 To enhance RM posture, CO will ensure that new positions being introduced (Economist, Government Liaison Officer) carry a strong RM component to their functions, with emphasis on Green Recovery and the Environment, and will be onboarded accordingly.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/05/03]
Senior Management 2021/06 Completed Two new positions (Economist Officer and Govt Liaison Officer) were introduced at CO. The Govt. Liaison Officer is fully on board and the recruitment of the Economist is still under way. History
2. Recommendation:

Enhance the implementation of the Partnership and Communication Action Plan, to strengthen Partnerships and Communication with the Government and Development Partners. In particular: i) revitalize communications and coordination with traditional donors and long-time partners going beyond regular reporting and formal participation in coordination meetings, ii) be more specific and generous in ensuring the visibility of the donor partners, iii) build strategic partnership with SNL governments helping them formulate their demands for development; (iv) ensure that the links between DRM/CCA and governance /rule of law on one hand and poverty reduction on the other of UNDP operations are articulated better in the outreach materials; (v) ensure better targeted distribution of knowledge products and project updates (the latter- with one pager summaries), and (vi) ensure that planned communication activities are implemented by the GoN counterparts for the NIM projects (e.g. with formal agreements).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

The CO agrees to this recommendation and will review and revise its communication strategy as deemed necessary.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Partnership and communication strategy and action plan will be reviewed and, updated as necessary
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Results and Partnership Team/Communication Team 2021/12 Completed Completed review and implemented the revised strategy/plan of 2021 (new communication action plan 2022 is in progress in coordination with SIDA-funded project) Document uploading in progress in Nepal Intranet (Knowledge hub) as par to the action plan. History
2.5. Design and integrate donor-specific joint communications/advocacy activities in the CO Communications Matrix for 2021 (including joint events, interviews)
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Communication Unit with Sr. Mgmt support 2021/12 Completed 2.5. Design and integrate donor-specific joint communications/advocacy activities in the CO Communications Matrix for 2021 (including joint events, interviews) [Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/02/08] Communication Unit with Sr. Mgmt support 2021/12 Conducted joint field visits with donor Korean Embassy team(Value Chain Development For Fruit and Vegetables Project), Organized joint media mission with Indian Embassy (Nepal Housing Reconstruction Project) and interviewed with partners (Govt of India-NHRP). History
2.2 Develop separate communication strategy and plan for (a) government Co- financed NIM projects; and (b) for communications needs of the sub-national governments
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Communications Unit and Portfolio Managers and Head of Field Offices 2021/12 Completed Developed both the plans and submitted to senior management. History
2.3. Donor-specific visibility guideline prepared and enforced
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Communications Unit 2021/08 Completed Major projects are enforcing donor-specific guidelines, few are in the progress. Major donors whose visibility guidelines have been enforced are (India, ChinAid, KOICA, DFID/UKAid). History History
2.4 Update knowledge products library (publications library) in the website/; design/enforce dissemination plan for all upcoming publications, and Update/Develop one-pagers / two-pagers and factsheets of all projects and publish them in respective webpages
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Communications Unit 2021/08 Completed UNDP Nepal Digital Library History
3. Recommendation:

 Improve the CO  MEL systems with (a) a revised and improved Theory of change (with descriptions of pathways, boundary partners, risks and assumptions) well linked to the CPD indicators) ; b) enhanced/regular capturing of lessons Learned, especially for the long-standing areas of engagement, and pilot initiatives (as well as portfolio level lessons learnt) (c) revise CPD output indicators to capture the institution building/policy level outputs under the inclusive economic growth, and (d) improve the overall presentation of the APRs to make them more informative by showing the SDGs they contribute to, and the projects contributing to the indicator.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

The CO takes note of this recommendation. The current TOC, which underpins the CPD that was quality assured by UNDP at inception, and approved by the Executive Board, is deemed valid as the fundamentals of the context/CCA have not changed. CO will continue to invest in the capacity of its staff to apply standard RBM methodologies, including lesson learning.  In the context of the response to Recommendation 1 above, the strategic internal review to be conducted will also cover a validation of the current TOC for the CPD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.2 Initiate Third Party Monitoring of selected flagship projects to strengthen the evidence base decision making.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Partnership and Result Unit 2022/12 Initiated History
3.1 The capacity of the projects on enhancing monitoring and evaluation system will be strengthened through training, coaching and mentoring.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Partnership and Result Unit 2021/12 Completed Continuous coaching and mentoring was provided to project monitoring officer to enhance their capacity. History
3.3 ROAR reporting will focus on identifying high level lessons learned from the project portfolio.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/02/08]
Partnership and Result Unit 2021/02 Completed The lesson learned from the project portfolio was captured in the ROAR reporting History
4. Recommendation:

For the democratic governance, rule of law and human rights portfolio focus on; i) Effective resource mobilization, ii) capacity building of provincial planning commissions beyond the current engagement, iii) expanding institutional system and capacity building support to the six new rights commissions and iv) support to justice sector key institutions like the 'constitutional bench' at federal level, and the judicial committees at local level.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

Recommendation is well noted. The Inclusive Governance and Rule of Law Portfolio has already started partnership with provincial planning commissions. And current projects on access to justice and human rights have been engaging with judicial committees and commission to build their capacity. The joint alternative UPR report and joint monitoring frameworks are few of the good examples that human rights project has contribute in collaboration with National Women’s Commission, National Dalit Commission.  Furthermore  more robust collaboration with them will be  considered as one of the important pillars while developing the new projects in the areas of human rights and access to justice and election.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 In collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, CO office will support to prepare a joint framework for collaboration with all other projects.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Portfolio Manager- Inclusive Governance and Rule of Law 2021/12 Completed A sub-output is defined in the work plan of A2J II phase History
4.2. UNDP CO will continue to support the judicial committees by strengthening help desks through its ongoing Access to Justice project.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Portfolio Manager- Inclusive Governance and Rule of Law 2021/12 Completed It is continued in the new work plan of A2J II phase History
5. Recommendation:

Support building accountability measures at SNL: Support the strengthening local transparency measures (with participatory monitoring mechanisms) and accountability (with RTI) at SNL for good governance. SPSP, PSP, and A2J the CPD already have engagements on this, however these should be made more focused, with the development of appropriate institutional mechanisms at SNL as a high priority (e.g., joint watchdog forums, community score cards or social audits (after assessing the previous experience) etc.). This will also support enlarging the space for civic engagement in local governance.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

The existing projects namely PSP, PLGSP, A2J, ESP and human rights projects are already contributing to the concerned government and constitutional bodies on accountability and transparency.  The new project on election will have a separate component on accountability and transparency through enhancing civic engagement in governance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 CO will introduce aaccountability and transparency through civic engagement component which will be captured in in the ESP III.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Portfolio Manager-Inclusive Governance and Rule of Law 2022/12 Initiated History
5.2 CO’s current projects, PSP, PLGSP and access to justice will provide technical support in drafting and revising the laws in the areas of transparency/ accountability.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Portfolio Manager-Inclusive Governance and Rule of Law 2021/12 Completed In the work plan of A2J, support on law making is included in a coordinated way with all other like minded projects.. History
6. Recommendation:

Conduct an in-depth analysis of the potential, strength and risk factors of the Cooperatives sector and ’Value chain development’. Adopt a strategic approach for the ‘next flagship intervention’ in inclusive Economic Growth of a 'game changer nature'. Critical understanding of the architecture and 'modus operandi' of all the actors involved in value chain development (e.g., middlemen) and cooperatives (with this being high political priority but less so for the government) is important for sustainability. Using the footings of MEDEP to upgrade the level of interventions under VCD and cooperatives’ support and support to MEs- supporting ‘SMEs’ together with private banking sector, national level microfinance institutions and government (with a potential 'Champion' institution from the latter). The TEVT sector also holds the possibility of a 'Flagship' agenda for 'sector policy and institutional reform'. Accelerator Lab could be used as breeding ground for innovative ideas for next flagship agenda and program.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

Management agrees to this recommendation.  The upcoming evaluations of the of Cooperative Market Development Project and Value Chain Development in Fruits will constitute such analysis.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 The midterm evaluation of Cooperative Market Development Project and Value Chain Development in Fruits and Vegetable projects will be carried out. Based on the outcome of the evaluation, next level of intervention will be planned and implemented
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Portfolio Manager-Inclusive Economic Growth 2021/12 Completed Mid-term evaluation of VCDP and Mid-term review of CMDP were completed and recommendations are being implemented. History
6.2 Mapping of Green job opportunities for youth
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Accelerator Lab 2022/12 Not Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

Engage in social protection/poverty reduction more explicitly in the next 2 years in the light of COVID/post-COVID, with for example, supporting reforms in social safety nets, social security programs. In the next CPD this could be expanded into contributory pension scheme, health insurance, active labour market policies, etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

Management agrees to this recommendation and has already taken steps to field activities in the social protection area, such as the temporary basic income pilot.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 A comprehensive study on and pilot intervention on of Temporary Basic Income, is being planned and will be implemented for social protection/poverty reduction
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Gender and Social Inclusion 2021/12 Completed TBI is being impleted. History
8. Recommendation:

In the next 3 years (a) shift the focus from DRR (but continuing to support SNL governments with integrated DRM and CCA plans, guides and DIMS and NDRRMA- with risk governance) to addressing Climate Change risks and green recovery. In supporting the local governments, strengthen their capacity to (a) incorporate the considerations for prevalent social issues in the local integrated DRM and CCA plans; (b) to conduct comprehensive hazard, vulnerability and capacity assessments; and (c) criteria and/or operational guidelines for resilience building/resilience development. Support them with Local Disaster and Climate Resilience Planning Guidelines and establishment of municipal level project fund management committees with clear guidelines on operational and maintenance funds. Support the PGs in project planning and monitoring through relevant coordination and/or steering mechanisms. In addressing climate change, play a more active role in policy advice in CCA, CCM, and CF. Support green recovery with engagement cleaner air quality (with aggressive resource mobilization for POPs and engagement in clean cooking), effective waste management (with the upcoming urban and hospital waste management initiative), access to RE in urban areas, and enhanced biodiversity protection. Support extension systems to help the GoN spread the knowledge generated from the pilots throughout the country.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

Management partially agrees to the recommendation . - noting that earthquake is a clear and present danger, and the NDRRMA has just been established as nodal agency on DRM presents an opportunity for UNDP to cement past work in the areas of disaster risk governance and systems for enhancing resilience in the built environment, increasing engagement on climate should not be at the cost of DRR- particularly earthquake risk reduction. Projects will work with SNL to strengthen their capacities on integrated approaches and effective coordination along with preparation of climate responsive plans

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.2 Technical support to PG and Local Level Governments to strengthen a capacities on DRR/CCA and preparation of climate responsive local level plans and risk Sensitive Land Use Plan that builds on multi-hazard risk and vulnerability assessment.
[Added: 2021/02/07]
Portfolio Manager- Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction 2022/12 Initiated
8.3 Technical support for establishment of Steering Committee and in-ter-disciplinary committees to provide policy guidance, plan and monitor implementation.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2021/02/08]
Portfolio Manager-Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction 2022/12 Initiated History
8.1 New project interventions will be planned and implemented for waste management, promoting green economy and to addressing Climate Change risks.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Policy Advisor- Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction 2021/12 Completed PGRP project is being implemented. History
9. Recommendation:

Ensure regular strategic and thematic interface with the CSOs, academia and private sector from alliance- building perspective. It could be through consultative (thematic) platforms with participation of prominent think tanks and experts:  that will help UNDP to be better informed of the 'development environment' and help with advocacy on specific issues. With the private sector, engage also with 'corporate foundations' from resource mobilization perspective. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

Management agrees to this recommendation and has already initiated engagement  with Universities and think tanks in knowledge generation and promoting pro-poor, sustainable and inclusive development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 Strategic engagement with think tanks and experts including University and private sector leaders will be materialized to enhance UNDP’s partnership through dissemination of development intervention and enhanced networking, and work out development solutions in new and emerging issues.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Policy Advisor-Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction. 2021/12 Completed MoU signed with Mid-western University to establish SDG platform on Food Security in Karnali province. History
9.2 Establishment of SDGs thematic platforms bringing Think Tanks from government, academic institutions, private sector and CSO.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Policy Advisor, Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction 2021/12 Completed 5 SDG thematic platforms were completed at federal level and one platform on Food security in Karnali province is beiing implemented. History
9.3 Taking Global Human Development Report as a reference, build partnership with national and provincial universities on research, studies to better understand emerging development issues.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Policy Advisor-Inclusive Economic Growth 2021/12 Completed National HDR was prepared and disseminated throug partnership with provincial universities. History
10. Recommendation:

Make UNDP GESI expertise even more impactful by: (a) Ensuring that GESI is considered in all interventions consistently, and support this with corresponding formally approved guides and procedures.  make GESI related reporting more comprehensive and visible in various reports at project as well as country level; (b) Supporting LGs in designing and implementing explicit GESI projects in association with local CSOs; and (c) working with private sector and academia on human rights and GESI.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/07]

Well noted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 The diversity policy will be revised. Dedicated project/intervention for further strengthening and integrating GESI at various level will be implemented.
[Added: 2021/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Gender and Social Inclusion Advisor 2021/12 Completed Diversity policy was reviewed and actions are being implemented History

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