Final Evaluation of Knowledge for Development Management (K4DM) project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
01/2020
Completion Date:
04/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Final Evaluation of Knowledge for Development Management (K4DM) project
Atlas Project Number: 00064036
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2020
Planned End Date: 01/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
  • 2. Output 1.2.2 Enabling environment strengthened to expand public and private financing for the achievement of the SDGs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG Target
  • 17.3 Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 14,303
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: BANGLADESH
Lessons
1.

Government support and ownership was found to be one of the key determining factors leading to the Project success. Without the ownership of the government, no good initiative can succeed.


2.

It is important to understand the right time for selling a project. In other words, in the wider national context, projects have to be timely. This is an important lesson that can be learnt from the K4DM experience. Some of the initiatives of the Project gained government support and ownership since it was a timely initiative. "It was launched at a time when Bangladesh had an appetite for many new things and K4DM brought in those ideas", commented an official during interview. In recent years Bangladesh has been trying very hard to make a place in the globe and it has now become a global player. For its survival, the country needs innovative ideas and initiatives and the Project rightly responded to these demands.


3.

Strong ownership of the implementing agency (ERD) is the central determining factor for achieving the success of a Project. Strong ownership of the ERD made itself committed to make the K4DM project as effective as possible. Core objective of the K4DM project (exploring the innovative alternatives for external resource mobilization) was closely aligned with the central focus of the ERD, which helped the Project ideas get buy in from the senior bureaucrats of the ERD. In many events ERD provided its facilities to the project free of cost, which helped save Project money. In addition to this, each of the Project Steering Committee meetings was chaired by the Secretary of the ERD, which demonstrates high level of commitment of the ERD for the Project. "Compared with other projects investing billion dollars, K4DM gained a huge attention from the ERD", commented an official during interview.


4.

Flexibility in determining project strategies and its implementation depending on the emerging needs has a positive influence on project performance. The K4DM preserved a certain degree of flexibility in setting its strategies and funding since UNDP was the lone external funder of the Project. Since UNDP was the only custodian of funds the project enjoyed a huge flexibility of adopting different strategies for achieving its objectives depending on the emerging needs from time to time. During interview, a respondent noted, "The Project could lend an opportunity for the ERD to look at the wider Civil service system and see how their capacity could be improved in a changing development context of Bangladesh and its changing profile. It was the value of the project that it was kept flexible to respond to the emerging issues since development is not a static issue".


5.

Spontaneous participation of stakeholders in different project initiatives was another facilitating factor for the Project. The Project could easily attract, appeal to and engage the stakeholders from other ministries, which greatly facilitated the project to sell its ideas and to move forward. FGDs informed that the prestigious status of the ERD and the unique ideas of the Project itself helped achieving this.


6.

A congenial relationship between ERD and the UNDP facilitated the Project achieving its objectives. This Project facilitated better relationship and cooperation between the Government and the UNDP. Through the project UNDP could meet many government policy makers in different meetings where many problems/issues could be solved informally, which greatly facilitated the project implementation.


7.

A well-designed M&E Framework of the Project was one of its significant strengths. The expected targets/indicators across the Project initiatives were found to be rightly set, which immensely helped the Project to measure its quarterly progress. More importantly, the M&E Framework provided a useful guideline to make the final evaluation as scientific as possible.


8.

In some cases the Project could not play the expected role. For instance, initiatives like forming EPG to contribute to the effective policy making, preparation of NHDR and Government-UNDP collaboration for resource mobilization could not achieve the expected outputs because they were not in the priority list of the ERD and also lacked the required support from the national level policy makers.


9.

ERD Pedia was established but could not function well. Frequent transfer of government officials affected the use of ERD Pedia. Trained officials were transferred, new officials without relevant training were posted there, which affected the efficacy of the Pedia.


10.

Gender responsiveness was not clearly identified in the ProDoc. The Project did not have gender strategy although it was considered as a cross cutting issue. While the Project was in its operation, gender issue received attention in some of its activities only (i.e. capacity building initiative, formation of EPG).


11.

Despite the fact that the K4DM as a strategic project drew a lot of attention from senior management of UNDP but it failed to draw the same from the Cluster (governance) management of UNDP where it belonged to. "The reason behind this was that the Project was very small in monetary terms compared to other UNDP projects and the Cluster has a general tendency to focus more on bigger projects" commented a UNDP official during interview. Moreover, the project was placed under Governance Cluster at its intermediate stage. As a result, the project failed to get due priority from the cluster management of UNDP.


Findings
1.

Findings of the study reveal that the project management has been able to spend 81% of the fund released. However, majority of the survey respondents (63%) termed the pattern of expenditure against the allocated money as "moderately satisfactory- satisfactory". "Value for money" that the Project achieved was found to be moderately high. Project activities were also found to be relevant to the Project objectives-- which testifies to the fact that the funds were judiciously spent. Considering all of the above, on the whole, the efficiency of the Project can be labelled as "moderately satisfactory" (meaning the Project had moderate shortcomings on the front of efficiency (Please see Table 1.3 for the explanation of the Rating Scale used for the evaluation).


2.

On the front of effectiveness, the project has been able to produce a set of significantly tangible and also non-tangible results within a short span of time. With regard to some of its initiatives the Project has successfully achieved almost all the targets set-forth in the M&E Framework, which include: institutionalizing the issues of leveraging Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) and South-South Cooperation (SSC) for national development and the creation of an information repository at the ERD called the ERD Pedia. In addition to these, beyond the M&E Framework, the Project also achieved a commendable success in developing the capacity of the officials of ERD and other ministries through arranging a series of skill development trainings and workshops. Apart from these tangible achievements, the Project initiated many nationally important activities ( i.e. revision of NEX/NIM1, activating the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) formed to provide inputs to the national policies, preparation of National Human Development Report (NHDR), collaboration in resource mobilization) and attained reasonable progress but finally, they could not complete the process. Consequently, M&E targets corresponding to these initiatives could not be achieved. The evaluators, however, considering the progress achieved already and the nature of the initiatives per se, which need considerable time to produce the tangible results, tended to label them as Project achievements. However, the study found that for two outputs under Component 3, the Project took very little or no initiative which can be termed as the "nonachievements" of the Project. Majority of the survey respondents under the current study termed the overall effectiveness of Components 1 and 2 of the Project as "moderately satisfactory" while the effectiveness of Component 3 was termed as "moderately unsatisfactory". Thus, taken together all data and information, in terms of effectiveness, the Project can be termed as "moderately effective" one.


3.

With regard to relevance, the Project objectives were found to be relevant to national, international development goals and also with the UNDP priorities. The respondents of the survey unanimously opined that the Project outcomes will remain relevant over time.


4.

The Project has a great potentiality to be sustainable since the Government has already owned many of the Project ideas and results. Some of the Project initiatives namely NRB and SSC have already been considered by the policy makers as the national development priorities. From time to time, the Conferences on these initiatives organized by the Project were Chaired by the Honourable Prime Minister. In addition to this, all the Executive Board Meetings were chaired by the Secretary of the ERD. All these testify the seriousness and commitment of the Government towards the Project ideas. This would increase the possibility of making the project sustainable. Majority of the respondents of the study also expressed their optimism by saying that risks involved in making the project sustainable are only "moderate".


5.

Numerous factors both internal and external to the project were found to be responsible for the Project achievements/nonachievements. Ownership of the Government, dynamic leadership of bureaucracy, and strong advocacy at the Project end were the key factors that facilitated the Project attaining some tangible achievements including: institutionalizing the concepts of NRB engagement, South-South Cooperation and creation of ERD Pedia.


6.

On the other hand, delayed start and lower disbursement of fund than committed, frequent change of leadership at ERD, weaknesses in project design, repeated extension of the project, acute manpower shortage and lack of government support influenced the non-accomplishment of a good number of initiatives. Due to a lack of adequate support from government, project initiatives of integration of NEX/NIM, activation of EPG, preparation of NHDR, collaboration in resource mobilization, rendering service for transformational result could not achieve their targets.


Recommendations
1

With a view to accomplish the unfinished agenda of the Project, to uphold the promising changes brought by the project so far and to meet the challenges of the changing development context the current project should be continued in its erstwhile form under Phase II.

Phase II of the Project should be started with its activities which produced notable and good outcomes. Noteworthy among such activities include: NRB engagement and South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC).

2

The second phase may focus on NRB issue in a much wider scale.  Following initiatives might be taken into consideration in this regard:

  • NRB Task Force should be made more functionally effective through forming three working groups in it-- focusing on three avenues of NRB engagement: philanthropy, investment and expertise. 
  • Capturing technical knowledge of NRBs should be the key focus of ERD. ERD in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) should try to prepare a database of NRBs having technical knowledge/expertise with a view to help government engaging them in the development process of the country whenever necessary.
  • Technical assistance/expertise from NRBs can systematically be utilized through online arrangement. For instance, for a large-scale technical project, government can engage 2-3 NRB engineers who can provide online assistance. NRB doctors may also provide online medical assistance in hospitals once a week or so. For this they should be offered some lump sum remuneration as well. 
  • NRB cell at ERD needs to be strengthened. NRB Cell should be incorporated into the organogram of the ERD. A permanent post of NRB Desk Officer should be created at the NRB Cell. Besides, qualified officials having good academic background and interests in the issues relevant to the project objectives should be recruited at the Cell.
  • An NRB Pool fund can be created through which it will be easier to invite the NRB experts, facilitate their stay in the country and to connect them with the local experts.
  • NRB website at the ERD should be linked to the field administration in order for them to be informed of the needs of the NRBs.
3

Attempts should be undertaken to institutionalize the concept of SSC further. Not only should the Southern expertise, Bangladesh now try to share its good practices with the wider world. Northern countries can also learn many things from Bangladesh. Climate change adaptation can be cited as an example in this regard. With a view to facilitate the widening of the opportunities for such sharing and exchange of ideas and resources and to facilitate developing effective partnerships following initiatives may be undertaken in the next phase of the project:

  • South-South knowledge Centre or a Centre of Excellence for SSC should be established in order to facilitate making the knowledge partnerships more effective.
  • For SSC there has to be a Pool Fund (3-4 million USD) for making small contribution to the countries that are less advanced than us.  
  • Like NRB, the SSC Cell at ERD has to be made more effective and sustainable. For this, the Cell should be added to the ERD Organogram and a post should be created for the Desk Officer of the Cell. 
  • A Cell on SSC should be created in all ministries.
4

The key objective of the K4DM Project is to improve capacity of the ERD for exploring the innovative alternatives of financing from external sources.  This concept will be more relevant in the emerging context of Bangladesh after LDC graduation in 2024. In future, once Bangladesh loses its preferential market access facilities and other international support measures for LDC graduation, it will be in the open market and the country will have to negotiate for international support. For this, it is imperative to develop international negotiation skill of the civil servants along with the officials of the ERD.   This is true that ODA has become smaller (only 2% of GDP) than before but still it is important since donor projects have the flexibility of accepting failure, which government cannot afford. Moreover, for social sector funding ODA is necessary since government does not spend much in social sector. To obtain donor funding, improving international negotiation skill of the officials needs serious attention. The Evaluation Team found that civil servants earnestly feel that there remains a wide capacity gap among them with regard to this skill. This needs to be given serious attention by the second phase of the project.

During phase II of the Project, a permanent Centre for Capacity Development of International Negotiation Skills of Civil Servants can be created. This will help bridging the capacity gaps that currently exist among the Civil Servants on international negotiation skill particularly considering the rapidly emerging development dynamics of the country.  In this regard, it will be cost effective if initiative is undertaken to set up such a Centre within a reputed public university like the University of Dhaka or any other reputed private University.  The Centre should run under collaborative modality which will ensure the sustainability of the initiative beyond the project period.

5

In phase II of the Project, the evaluators strongly recommend for making the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) operational. In case of development management in Bangladesh, formal partnership between the government and civil society is almost nonexistent. There is no formal platform where the civil society/academia/think tanks can take part in the major development discourses, share knowledge and experiences with each other and no mechanism is in place to channel their recommendations to the policy level. Under the K4DM Project this very journey began through forming a formal platform for developing such partnership called the EPG but it got stuck in its halfway.

In phase II of the Project, initiative should be undertaken to link the EPG to the national policy making initiatives (e.g. formulation of the National Five-Year Plan, Sector Strategies and Sectoral Policies).  Although prior to the preparation of National Plans the Planning Commission does this kind of idea sharing exercise in a small scale but there has to be a broad formal platform through which this link can be established. Thus, EPG initiative should be revived and be made sustainable and UNDP should play a proactive role in this great initiative.

6

The Project has tested many new concepts and a number of new initiatives which can also become stand-alone projects. The Project initiatives including NRB, SSTC, preparation of NHDR can be mentioned as potentially suitable in this regard since these have a lot of potentialities to contribute to the development of the country but they are still left severely untapped.

7

Considering the potentials that the ERD Pedia has with regard to increasing the overall access to information by the government officials, the Evaluation Team strongly recommends that ERD should take necessary steps to make the ERD Pedia sustainable. Following measures need to be undertaken for this purpose:

  • For improved performance of the ERD Pedia, it is essential that a permanent staff as an “Officer-in-Charge” can be deployed centrally at ERD.
  • Monitoring of uploading/updating data in the Pedia is necessary. The centrally appointed “Officer-in-charge”of ERD Pedia should be made responsible for monitoring this.  In addition to this, monthly coordination meetings of ERD can also perform this monitoring function. 
  • In order to increase its utilization training /workshop on the operation/use of the Pedia for the newly joined staff could be arranged under the ERD revenue budget. In addition to this, technical weaknesses of the Pedia also need to be identified and addressed.
  • Accessibility to the Pedia should be enhanced to the officials of other ministries and relevant organizations alongside the ERD officials.   Access to the Pedia can be enhanced to the general public to facilitate the academics/researchers by categorizing the available documents as:  i) public (which can be shared with all); and ii) official (which cannot be shared with all).
8

Preparing National Human Development Report (NHDR) was another significant initiative of the project, which already attained a significant progress with regard to forming the writers’ pool, advisors’ pool and so forth. In the second phase of the Project, it is important to give serious consideration to accomplish the preparation of NHDR in order to facilitate the National policies to be benefitted from its inputs and to help the government achieving the SDGs.

9

FGDs with the officials of ERD and other ministries stressed the importance of continuing the capacity building initiative of the Project with a view to help reduce their capacity gaps. It was also mentioned by many of them that they could not receive all trainings offered by the Project although they found all of them were very much relevant to their work in the current changing development context. Based on this feedback, the evaluation team strongly suggests for continuing the capacity building initiative in a much wider scale and with more investments in the new phase of the project.

10

The Evaluation Team did not manage to collect sufficient evidence with regard to gender-specific targets of project components. In the new phase of the project, it is imperative to integrate gender consideration in all components of the project. Some of the examples could be as follows:

•  Capacity building initiative should give stronger focus on gender issue

•  Under the NRB initiative, special attention should be given on the needs/aspirations and expertise of women NRBs and efforts should be taken to address and utilize them. 

•  In case of SSC, the best practices of women empowerment of the region can be shared and highlighted.

11

Since the K4DM project has already undertaken many good initiatives with a potentiality of having national policy level impact, these should be driven further. Government should undertake the future initiative to sustain these initiatives on its own. Government may undertake step to sustain this through self-financing to develop ownership, commitment and sustainability. It may buy technical support from UNDP and other donors. In this regard, the Project initiative of Collaboration on resource mobilization should be rejuvenated.

1. Recommendation:

With a view to accomplish the unfinished agenda of the Project, to uphold the promising changes brought by the project so far and to meet the challenges of the changing development context the current project should be continued in its erstwhile form under Phase II.

Phase II of the Project should be started with its activities which produced notable and good outcomes. Noteworthy among such activities include: NRB engagement and South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account when designing the new phase project. Component of the new project focuses on this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Formulate ProDoc with inputs from all relevant stakeholders
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/07/31]
K4DM 2020/07 Completed The ProDoc has been formulated and shared with relevant stakeholders. It is subject to approval. History
Launch Phase II project with approval on its Prodoc
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/04/01]
K4DM 2021/03 Completed The ProDoc has been approved and signed on 11 March. History
2. Recommendation:

The second phase may focus on NRB issue in a much wider scale.  Following initiatives might be taken into consideration in this regard:

  • NRB Task Force should be made more functionally effective through forming three working groups in it-- focusing on three avenues of NRB engagement: philanthropy, investment and expertise. 
  • Capturing technical knowledge of NRBs should be the key focus of ERD. ERD in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) should try to prepare a database of NRBs having technical knowledge/expertise with a view to help government engaging them in the development process of the country whenever necessary.
  • Technical assistance/expertise from NRBs can systematically be utilized through online arrangement. For instance, for a large-scale technical project, government can engage 2-3 NRB engineers who can provide online assistance. NRB doctors may also provide online medical assistance in hospitals once a week or so. For this they should be offered some lump sum remuneration as well. 
  • NRB cell at ERD needs to be strengthened. NRB Cell should be incorporated into the organogram of the ERD. A permanent post of NRB Desk Officer should be created at the NRB Cell. Besides, qualified officials having good academic background and interests in the issues relevant to the project objectives should be recruited at the Cell.
  • An NRB Pool fund can be created through which it will be easier to invite the NRB experts, facilitate their stay in the country and to connect them with the local experts.
  • NRB website at the ERD should be linked to the field administration in order for them to be informed of the needs of the NRBs.
Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will continue to advocate to  take measures to institutionalize NRB initiative and facilitate the initiative within the government organizational structure to effectively implement the project during its next phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a database of NRBs having technical knowledge/expertise in ERD in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/06/27]
K4DM, ERD and MoFA 2021/11 Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
Take a necessary action for institutionalization and mainstreaming of NRB Cell within the ERD organogram
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2019/11 Completed An organogram of NRB Cell was sent for vetting from MoPA with the consent of ERD Secretary. A SoP was prepared and approved for NRB cell. History
Take an initiative as per the taskforce guidance on working group
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2019/12 Completed We are working with NRBs for the working group. History
Create a systematical approach to involve technical assistance/expertise of NRBs in different sectors
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed We have processed 3 projects of NRB engagement with the Government in the last 6 months. History
Connect the NRB portal with the National Portal
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/05/28]
K4DM 2021/10 Not Initiated Due to the change of the ERD leadership and the surge of COVID-19, this activity could not be implemented. Moreover, the TAPP of the K4DM Phase II has not been approved yet. History
Provide support to NRB experts for their stay in the country and connect them with the local experts
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2021/09 Not Initiated Primary discussion was initiated to connect NRB experts.
3. Recommendation:

Attempts should be undertaken to institutionalize the concept of SSC further. Not only should the Southern expertise, Bangladesh now try to share its good practices with the wider world. Northern countries can also learn many things from Bangladesh. Climate change adaptation can be cited as an example in this regard. With a view to facilitate the widening of the opportunities for such sharing and exchange of ideas and resources and to facilitate developing effective partnerships following initiatives may be undertaken in the next phase of the project:

  • South-South knowledge Centre or a Centre of Excellence for SSC should be established in order to facilitate making the knowledge partnerships more effective.
  • For SSC there has to be a Pool Fund (3-4 million USD) for making small contribution to the countries that are less advanced than us.  
  • Like NRB, the SSC Cell at ERD has to be made more effective and sustainable. For this, the Cell should be added to the ERD Organogram and a post should be created for the Desk Officer of the Cell. 
  • A Cell on SSC should be created in all ministries.
Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will continue to advocate and take measures to institutionalize SSC initiative and facilitate the initiative within the government organizational structure to effectively implement the project during its next phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore the opportunities and scope for creating a SSC pool fund to contribute to the less-advanced countries
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM 2021/11 Initiated After the approval of the TAPP, a study on this issue will be launched. History
Establish South-South knowledge Centre or a Centre of Excellence for SSC to facilitate the knowledge partnerships
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/07/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/10 Initiated A seed fund was received from RoK to implement the online knowledge portal on SSTC to facilitate the knowledge partnerships which will be completed in October 2021. A draft ToR has been developed and shared with Bangladesh CO to hire a firm. History
Take a necessary action for institutionalizing and mainstreaming SSC Cell within the ERD organogram
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2020/01 Completed An organogram of SSC Cell has been developed and approved.
Start SSC activities across the ministries with the SSC Focal point
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2020/01 Completed A training for the focal points of SSC in all ministries was conducted to develop a common understanding on the concept, tools & method of SS&TC.
4. Recommendation:

The key objective of the K4DM Project is to improve capacity of the ERD for exploring the innovative alternatives of financing from external sources.  This concept will be more relevant in the emerging context of Bangladesh after LDC graduation in 2024. In future, once Bangladesh loses its preferential market access facilities and other international support measures for LDC graduation, it will be in the open market and the country will have to negotiate for international support. For this, it is imperative to develop international negotiation skill of the civil servants along with the officials of the ERD.   This is true that ODA has become smaller (only 2% of GDP) than before but still it is important since donor projects have the flexibility of accepting failure, which government cannot afford. Moreover, for social sector funding ODA is necessary since government does not spend much in social sector. To obtain donor funding, improving international negotiation skill of the officials needs serious attention. The Evaluation Team found that civil servants earnestly feel that there remains a wide capacity gap among them with regard to this skill. This needs to be given serious attention by the second phase of the project.

During phase II of the Project, a permanent Centre for Capacity Development of International Negotiation Skills of Civil Servants can be created. This will help bridging the capacity gaps that currently exist among the Civil Servants on international negotiation skill particularly considering the rapidly emerging development dynamics of the country.  In this regard, it will be cost effective if initiative is undertaken to set up such a Centre within a reputed public university like the University of Dhaka or any other reputed private University.  The Centre should run under collaborative modality which will ensure the sustainability of the initiative beyond the project period.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will develop an action plan concerning the implementation of LDC Graduation and capacity development of government officials to facilitate the changed scenario.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop an action plan for capacity development of government officials to facilitate the LDC Graduation successfully
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/10 Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
5. Recommendation:

In phase II of the Project, the evaluators strongly recommend for making the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) operational. In case of development management in Bangladesh, formal partnership between the government and civil society is almost nonexistent. There is no formal platform where the civil society/academia/think tanks can take part in the major development discourses, share knowledge and experiences with each other and no mechanism is in place to channel their recommendations to the policy level. Under the K4DM Project this very journey began through forming a formal platform for developing such partnership called the EPG but it got stuck in its halfway.

In phase II of the Project, initiative should be undertaken to link the EPG to the national policy making initiatives (e.g. formulation of the National Five-Year Plan, Sector Strategies and Sectoral Policies).  Although prior to the preparation of National Plans the Planning Commission does this kind of idea sharing exercise in a small scale but there has to be a broad formal platform through which this link can be established. Thus, EPG initiative should be revived and be made sustainable and UNDP should play a proactive role in this great initiative.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will take an initiative in linking the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) with the national policy making process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise and review Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) and total 41 persons are tagged with EPG.
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/08/22]
K4DM and ERD 2020/08 Completed The recommendation has been incorporated into the Project Document for the Phase II of K4DM. The Eminent Persons’ Group has been reviewed and revised and will be operationalized in Phase II as the Policy Expert Pool (PEP). History
Discuss an appropriate framework/ policy guideline on EPG engagement
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/06/27]
K4DM 2021/10 Not Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
6. Recommendation:

The Project has tested many new concepts and a number of new initiatives which can also become stand-alone projects. The Project initiatives including NRB, SSTC, preparation of NHDR can be mentioned as potentially suitable in this regard since these have a lot of potentialities to contribute to the development of the country but they are still left severely untapped.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account when designing a new phase project. Component of the new phase of the project focuses on this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish Bangladesh National Human Development Report during celebrating county’s golden jubilee of independence
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/09 Initiated A further revised draft of NHDR, incorporating the feedback of relevant ministries and PM Office, has been prepared. This report will go for printing soon. History
Establish NHDR publication as a regular activity of the ERD
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/01 Completed Government order was issued.
Initiate functional work of NRB and NRB cell
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed NRB cell has been established and the support for NRB’s is ongoing.
Initiate functional work of SSCTC and SSC cell
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed SSCTC cell has been established and the support for NRB’s is ongoing.
7. Recommendation:

Considering the potentials that the ERD Pedia has with regard to increasing the overall access to information by the government officials, the Evaluation Team strongly recommends that ERD should take necessary steps to make the ERD Pedia sustainable. Following measures need to be undertaken for this purpose:

  • For improved performance of the ERD Pedia, it is essential that a permanent staff as an “Officer-in-Charge” can be deployed centrally at ERD.
  • Monitoring of uploading/updating data in the Pedia is necessary. The centrally appointed “Officer-in-charge”of ERD Pedia should be made responsible for monitoring this.  In addition to this, monthly coordination meetings of ERD can also perform this monitoring function. 
  • In order to increase its utilization training /workshop on the operation/use of the Pedia for the newly joined staff could be arranged under the ERD revenue budget. In addition to this, technical weaknesses of the Pedia also need to be identified and addressed.
  • Accessibility to the Pedia should be enhanced to the officials of other ministries and relevant organizations alongside the ERD officials.   Access to the Pedia can be enhanced to the general public to facilitate the academics/researchers by categorizing the available documents as:  i) public (which can be shared with all); and ii) official (which cannot be shared with all).
Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been considered during the designing of the new project. The new phase of the project will ensure institutionalization and mainstreaming of this high-impact initiative.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Introduce a clear support structure at organizational level for institutionalization and mainstreaming of ERDpedia
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/11 Completed A training course was organized for the focal and alternative focal point officers of ERD.
Recognize the ERDpedia as the most significant innovation and increase number of users
[Added: 2020/05/13]
ERD 2019/12 Completed 20 focal and alternative focal points have been nominated from 10 wings of ERD to ensure wider use.
Updated the ERDpedia user manual and disseminated among the respective officials and users
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed The user manual have been updated by the consultant who initially developed it. A refresher course was organized for the ERD officials and users to further enhance their capacity and develop knowledge on the manual.
8. Recommendation:

Preparing National Human Development Report (NHDR) was another significant initiative of the project, which already attained a significant progress with regard to forming the writers’ pool, advisors’ pool and so forth. In the second phase of the Project, it is important to give serious consideration to accomplish the preparation of NHDR in order to facilitate the National policies to be benefitted from its inputs and to help the government achieving the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will continue to advocate and take measures to publish NHDR and facilitate the National policies to be benefitted from its inputs and to help the government achieving the SDGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop and publish National Human Development Report (NHDR)
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/09 Initiated A further revised draft of NHDR, incorporating the feedback of relevant ministries and PM Office, has been prepared. This report will go for printing soon. History
Assist ERD in organizing a meeting of the Advisors’ pool and Writers’ pool
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2020/03 Completed Advisors’ pool consisting 22 members and the Writers’ pool consisting 10 members have been formed. Government order has been issued and approved by the Prime Minister’s Office.
9. Recommendation:

FGDs with the officials of ERD and other ministries stressed the importance of continuing the capacity building initiative of the Project with a view to help reduce their capacity gaps. It was also mentioned by many of them that they could not receive all trainings offered by the Project although they found all of them were very much relevant to their work in the current changing development context. Based on this feedback, the evaluation team strongly suggests for continuing the capacity building initiative in a much wider scale and with more investments in the new phase of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account when designing the new phase project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Introduce an innovative and need-based capacity building initiative to enhance skill among the government officials
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/07/27]
K4DM 2021/09 Not Initiated Due to the given situation of strict lockdown of COVID-19, the approval TAPP of K4DM phase II got delayed, therefore the implementation of this activity could not be initiated. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of TAPP. History
Develop systematic process and tools to assess capacity needs among the government officials
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/05/28]
K4DM 2021/09 Not Initiated Due to the given situation of COVID-19 lockdown, this activity could not take place. Moreover, the TAPP of K4DM phase II is under the process of approval. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activities after the approval of TAPP. History
10. Recommendation:

The Evaluation Team did not manage to collect sufficient evidence with regard to gender-specific targets of project components. In the new phase of the project, it is imperative to integrate gender consideration in all components of the project. Some of the examples could be as follows:

•  Capacity building initiative should give stronger focus on gender issue

•  Under the NRB initiative, special attention should be given on the needs/aspirations and expertise of women NRBs and efforts should be taken to address and utilize them. 

•  In case of SSC, the best practices of women empowerment of the region can be shared and highlighted.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. K4DM will keep gender as a cross cutting issue while developing action plan of components (Capacity building, NRB and SSC).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a gender action plan of the project
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2020/01 Completed A gender action plan was also developed as per the Country Office requirement while developing the AWP.
Integrate gender as a cross cutting activity within all components of the next phase of the project
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
K4DM 2020/06 Completed Gender as a cross cutting activity has been incorporated in the 2nd phase ProDoc. History
11. Recommendation:

Since the K4DM project has already undertaken many good initiatives with a potentiality of having national policy level impact, these should be driven further. Government should undertake the future initiative to sustain these initiatives on its own. Government may undertake step to sustain this through self-financing to develop ownership, commitment and sustainability. It may buy technical support from UNDP and other donors. In this regard, the Project initiative of Collaboration on resource mobilization should be rejuvenated.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been considered when designing the new phase project. A component of the new project focuses on this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish a pool of experts to support the Government to meet unique situations posed by LDC graduation
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/06/27]
K4DM 2021/10 Not Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
Provide innovative services for resource mobilization using technology
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM 2021/11 Not Initiated Lessons learned study will be commenced to explore the innovative resource mobilization approach. History

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