Mid-term evaluation of Korea Facility for Poverty Alleviation

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The RoK-UNOSSC Facility Phase 2 has three components, the Consortium (6 Institutions), the Platform  (3 institutions) and the Scaled-Up Project with one institution. It is funded by the Ministry of Science  and ICT (MSIT) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and implemented under the Direct Implementation (DIM) arrangement by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. While two countries were selected for piloting the integrated project led by the Consortium (Cambodia and Indonesia); the scaled- up project under the Regional Cooperative Agreement Regional Office (RCARO) has 14 participating countries in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Facility budget of $4 million is made through annual contributions to UNOSSC by the government of the Republic of Korea. The Ministry of Science and ICT requested  the Steering Committee of the Facility to appoint one of the implementing institutions (STEPI) to represent the Ministry in the coordination of the participating institutions in RoK. It is a triangular cooperation capacity building Programme. 
A mid-term evaluation for the RoK-UNOSSC Facility Phase 2 (2016 – 2020) was planned and budgeted  for in compliance with the UNDP evaluation policy, relating to the scale of the project ($4 million),  and the provision in the monitoring and evaluation framework included in the Phase 2 Facility Document. The mid-term evaluation is intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the project progress at its mid-way point to strengthen implementation for the remaining duration of the project.  
The methodology for the evaluation covered the following areas: • Desk study review of all relevant project documentation; • Consultations with Programme Management in UNOSSC, the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) as a coordinating institution in the Republic of Korea (RoK), all ten (10) participating RoK institutions, and  government counterparts in Cambodia and Indonesia. 
 
Overall, this evaluation captures the successes, challenges, and lessons learnt from implementation  of the project from 2017 and 2018. The evaluation ends with a list of recommendations generated from the analysis. 

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Title Mid-term evaluation of Korea Facility for Poverty Alleviation
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, UN Office for South-South Cooperation
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2019
Planned End Date: 01/2019
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 14,300
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 11,200
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ms. Michaelle Tauson Evaluation Consultant mmtauson@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government of the Republic of Korea, the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT)
Countries: GLOBAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation or Issues 1, 5, 6, 7 (Planning and Coordination)

  • Immediate actions aimed at stronger coordination should be initiated by UNOSSC and the Steering Committee.
  • Joint planning as called for by UNOSSC and STEPI should be done under the guidance of the Facility component coordinators and the coordinators must ensure that there is a clearly communicated delineation of duties across the programme.
  • The participating institutions should prioritize coordination meetings over individual plans as more difficult to get all institutions together in one place.
  • Proactive coordination is necessary to ensure effective communication across all 10 Korean institutions, the UNOSSC and Indonesia and Cambodia counter-parts towards achievements of Facility outputs.
2

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2 (Planning and Coordination):  The Steering Committee should revisit allocation of coordination responsibilities between UNOSSC and STEPI

3

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3 (Planning and Coordination): RoK institutions are expected to align programmes with government requirements and to be flexible.

4

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4 (Planning and Coordination): Institutions should spend time together in the form of a workshop getting to know the expertise of each institution, in particular, organized communication workshops in the RoK would be helpful for institutions to understand each other an also develop an understanding of technical capacity of the other institutions.

5

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 8 (Results Assessment and Administration): Regarding monitoring and evaluation, UNOSSC should provide alternative ways of monitoring South-South and triangular cooperation projects and provide training on the basic principles of monitoring and evaluation – how to capture change in development

6

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 9 (Results Assessment and Administration): A greater effort has to be made to achieve understanding; translators should be identified including students, volunteers, interns and online volunteers

7

UNOSSC and STEPI should ascertain, through surveys or consultations, what project management training is required for more efficient project delivery, UNOSSC and STEPI would then conduct such training.

8

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 11 (Ongoing Project Support and Considerations): Project planning assistance should be required by institutions as needed, specifically those who may not have experience working in development previously

9

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 12 (Ongoing Project Support and Considerations): More information should be provided on the UNOSSC portal to ensure communication

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issues 1, 5, 6, 7 (Planning and Coordination)

  • Immediate actions aimed at stronger coordination should be initiated by UNOSSC and the Steering Committee.
  • Joint planning as called for by UNOSSC and STEPI should be done under the guidance of the Facility component coordinators and the coordinators must ensure that there is a clearly communicated delineation of duties across the programme.
  • The participating institutions should prioritize coordination meetings over individual plans as more difficult to get all institutions together in one place.
  • Proactive coordination is necessary to ensure effective communication across all 10 Korean institutions, the UNOSSC and Indonesia and Cambodia counter-parts towards achievements of Facility outputs.
Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation and has taken more proactive measures to strengthen coordination among Korean institutions and partner countries. UNOSSC management has led and facilitated coordination especially for six Korean institutions under the Consortium component of the Facility. UNOSSC management ensures that communications with partner countries are channeled through the focal government agency for the Facility in each country.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Proactive engagement with all stakeholders to consult and prepare for 2019 and 2020 work plan activities aligned with national development priorities in partner countries. a. Post-midterm evaluation report workshop (28 Jan – 1 Feb 2019) b. Workshop on Formulation the 2019 Workplan for the Indonesian Village Innovation Development Programme (21- 23 Apr 2019) c. Consultative Workshop on 2020 Workplan Formulation in Cambodia (24 December 2019)
[Added: 2020/03/05]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/12 Initiated
1.2. Strengthened communications among Korean institutions, Facility Management and partner countries a. Leveraged ICT applications to enhance regular communications among all stakeholders especially among working groups (activity specific task holders): Facility Components (Platform, Consortium, Scaled-up) b. Improved communications in partner countries by channeling information through focal agency (e.g. Ministry of Planning (Bappenas) coordinates all Korean Facility work in Indonesia. Encouraged all institutions to report and liaise with Bappenas apart from local partner institutions
[Added: 2020/03/05]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/12 Initiated
1.4. Based on joint annual work planning and formulation for Indonesia, Facility Management has been supporting Korean institutions to deliver requirements made by partner countries in a coordinated manner. a. Consultation on Indonesia’s Village Index Harmonization (25 – 26 Sep) b. Joint review workshop on “Village Empowerment Project to Promote Sustainable Community Development through Innovative Integration of Science & Technology” (27 Sep) c. Joint Monitoring Mission and Consultative Workshop on 2020 Workplan Formulation in Cambodia (23-24 December) d. Facilitate arrangement of upcoming joint events in 2020 **Note: Steering Committee recommended all institutions to complete project activities by September 2020.
[Added: 2020/03/05]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/09 Overdue-Initiated
1.3. Provide advisory services to partner countries and Korean institutions to identify strategic actions to be taken throughout the year aligned with Facility objectives and country demands. Especially when a new team took over the liaison function of the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) in June, as Facility Manager, UNOSSC staff went on a mission together with STEPI to partner countries to learn about project activities in Cambodia and Indonesia. The UNOSSC management team will continue to coordinate project activities. a. GS-NSTC-STEPI Meeting (18 – 19 July) b. STEPI-Bappenas-MoV Technical Meeting (29 – 30 July)
[Added: 2020/03/05]
UNOSSC ROAP 2019/12 Completed
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2 (Planning and Coordination):  The Steering Committee should revisit allocation of coordination responsibilities between UNOSSC and STEPI

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management does not fully accept this recommendation because the coordination responsibilities of UNOSSC and STEPI are clear. STEPI is responsible for liaising with the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea and facilitate coordination among Korean institutions. At the same time, UNOSSC management oversees coordination between partner countries and Korean institutions including STEPI. UNOSSC management directly reports to and seeks advice from the Steering Committee for decision-making matters.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3 (Planning and Coordination): RoK institutions are expected to align programmes with government requirements and to be flexible.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation and has organized coordination meetings with partner countries and Korean institutions for joint work planning and project monitoring.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organized annual work planning and review meetings jointly with partner country governments and local implementing partners and Korean institutions, followed by monitoring visits to project sites.
[Added: 2020/03/05] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]
UNOSSC ROAP 2019/12 Completed Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4 (Planning and Coordination): Institutions should spend time together in the form of a workshop getting to know the expertise of each institution, in particular, organized communication workshops in the RoK would be helpful for institutions to understand each other an also develop an understanding of technical capacity of the other institutions.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation and has organized annual project review meetings. STEPI has also arranged bi-annual meeting for RoK institutions

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Arranged bi-annual meeting for ROK institutions to review progress of the Facility and plan for 2020.
[Added: 2020/06/10]
STEPI 2020/09 Overdue-Initiated
Organized project review workshops in Indonesia and Cambodia in partnership with partner country governments for Facility progress review and discuss on exit strategies.
[Added: 2020/06/10]
UNOSSC ROAP 2019/12 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 8 (Results Assessment and Administration): Regarding monitoring and evaluation, UNOSSC should provide alternative ways of monitoring South-South and triangular cooperation projects and provide training on the basic principles of monitoring and evaluation – how to capture change in development

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation. Project monitoring and evaluation should be strengthened with a log framework tailored to the project but often not all SS and TrC activities can be quantified. This year, UNOSSC management in cooperation with one Korean institution under the Platform will assess achievements of the Facility and stakeholders’ understanding on SS & TrC through a survey questionnaire addressed to implementing institutions and partner governments before the final project evaluation. It may be difficult to organize a separate training for implementing institutions as their other project priorities before its closure in December 2020. But finding from the assessment will be useful for final evaluation of Phase 2 and in designing Phase 3.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of the next phase of the Korean Facility, according to UNDP guidelines, and result-based framework taking into account relevant recommendations from the midterm and final evaluation
[Added: 2020/03/05] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/12 Initiated History
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 9 (Results Assessment and Administration): A greater effort has to be made to achieve understanding; translators should be identified including students, volunteers, interns and online volunteers

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation and has conducted additional desk review to take stock of ongoing development trends in Cambodia and Indonesia to deepen understanding and priorities in each country. In addition, UNOSSC has engaged with interpreters and translators to support communication with local stakeholders during consultative meetings and monitoring missions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Enhanced communications with local stakeholders supported by interpreters
[Added: 2020/03/05] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/09 Overdue-Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

UNOSSC and STEPI should ascertain, through surveys or consultations, what project management training is required for more efficient project delivery, UNOSSC and STEPI would then conduct such training.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management partially accepts this recommendation and has encouraged Korean institutions to foster collaboration for capacity building activities based on their areas of expertise. Following changes in financial management system from UNOPS and UNDP, UNOSSC management provided a training on Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) in early 2019. In addition, UNOSSC management provides guidelines and reference materials related to topics that Korean institutions need additional clarification and support. Most of all, work planning and review meeting are also considered as occasions for Korean institutions to build their project management capacities.

Based on consultations with each Korean institution, the management has identified platforms for organizing joint training workshops in 2020 for beneficiaries. It is important to note that it is difficult for UNOSSC management to provide capacity building workshops to Korean institutions with limited resources. Furthermore, Korean institutions are often very occupied with implementing core project activities and do not enough time for self-development.  But this point should be considered in designing the next Phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Consider providing capacity building training to implementing institutions when designing Phase 3.
[Added: 2020/03/05] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/10 Not Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 11 (Ongoing Project Support and Considerations): Project planning assistance should be required by institutions as needed, specifically those who may not have experience working in development previously

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation and has been providing support in preparing annual workplan of each institutions as required.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provided guidance to Korean institutions in preparing annual workplans, if necessary.
[Added: 2020/03/05] [Last Updated: 2020/06/13]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/02 Completed Completed History
9. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 12 (Ongoing Project Support and Considerations): More information should be provided on the UNOSSC portal to ensure communication

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/05]

UNOSSC management accepts this recommendation and has ameliorated regular information dissemination and sharing both on its regional website, online working space (Googledrive) and social media platforms (whatsapp and kakaotalk).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Enhanced communications and information sharing of project reports and supporting documents (workshop reports, annual reports, schedules, etc.) and will continue this practice.
[Added: 2020/03/05] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]
UNOSSC ROAP 2020/12 Initiated History

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