Final Evaluation Report of the UNV Talent and Capacity Development Programme for an Inclusive UN System for Persons with Disabilities

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, UNV
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
08/2020
Completion Date:
09/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
11,000

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Title Final Evaluation Report of the UNV Talent and Capacity Development Programme for an Inclusive UN System for Persons with Disabilities
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, UNV
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2020
Planned End Date: 08/2020
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Organisational Output 2.5 UNDP equipped with talented and diverse workforce
Evaluation Budget(US $): 11,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 11,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Gheorghe Caraseni Evaluator gheorghecaraseni@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: GLOBAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Recommendation 1: Capitalize on achievements and scale up the project in terms of volunteers and UN entities.

2

Recommendation 2:  Adjust the eligibility criteria and Descriptions of Assignments.

3

Recommendation 3 Improve the project design and develop a Theory of Change (ToC).

4

Recommendation 4:  Keep both national and international deployments, focus more on the national assignments, but do not exclude international deployment.

5

Recommendation 5: Include UNV as hosting entity and promote inclusion by example.

6

Recommendation 6: Set up a project management unit.

7

Recommendation 7:  Update the UNV policies on inclusiveness to reflect the drafted SOPs and to enhance sustainability of the RAF in case it gets established.

8

Recommendation 8:  Systematize the readiness assessment of the HE, tailor capacity development and reinforce it by using generated good practices.

9

Recommendation 9:  Establish a representative and functional Board.

10

Recommendation 10: Establish a disability inclusion fund and develop a financial sustainability plan.

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: Capitalize on achievements and scale up the project in terms of volunteers and UN entities.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV partially accepts this recommendation. Capitalizing on achievements can be achieved both through streamlined volunteer deployment processes as well as through specific approaches (twin-track approach). A first draft concept note for a second phase disability inclusion project will be revised based on the evaluation's feedback. Streamlining of deployments of UN Volunteers with disabilities to different UN entities will be supported. To capitalize achievements and seek other UN entities’ views, the HR Network will be consulted. A potential scale-up phase would need to be based on a Theory of Change (ToC) which needs to be developed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.3 UNV to support streamlining of the deployment of UN Volunteers with disabilities at different UN entities through accessible and inclusive Digital Transformation related improvements (e.g. through UNV’s Unified Volunteer Platform, accessible webpages, etc.)
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSS/DT team (lead: UVP core working group), HRS, VSC, ERCS (support: for website) 2021/12 Initiated Corporate website and new Unified Volunteering Platform (UVP) accessibility tests conducted. UVP will be fully accessible on 1st May 2021. Full set of system based new functionalities for inclusive process will be completed by end of Q4 2021. History
1.1 UNV to update the concept note created for a potential second phase, based on evaluation results, so that it reflects the Theory of Change (ToC), as well as based on feedback received from HR network consultations.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/15]
VSS (as current disability inclusion focal point); VSC; ERCS (for donor consultation/ communication); ROs and ExO/RBM team (for substantial input to project proposal or concept note) 2020/11 Completed A second concept note was prepared and submitted to potential donors. History
1.2 UNV to support streamlining deployment of UN Volunteers with disabilities at different UN entities through implementing recommendation 7 and training VSC staff members on making use of existing policies (inclusive SOP, COS) and existing resources (developed in pilot phase).
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSC (for inclusive SOP) + VSS (lead; for inclusive policies and as current disability inclusion focal point) 2021/02 Completed Recommendation 7 completed with one action initiated to be completed (on affirmative action during the shortlisting). VSC staff trained on use of SOPs and existing resources. Additional trainings will be delivered on demand. History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2:  Adjust the eligibility criteria and Descriptions of Assignments.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV fully accepts this recommendation. Eligibility criteria for specific UN Volunteers assignments for persons with disabilities will be in line with the standard criteria of the selected volunteering modality. Descriptions of Assignments will be aligned to the chosen modality also when it comes to duties and responsibilities of the UN Volunteers to avoid mismatching expectations and to suit the experience level expected from candidates selected for a given UN Volunteer category. Last but not least, eligibility criteria concerning disability will be revised, so that persons with  with other than physical and sensorial disabilities are not systematically excluded from specific UNV assignments for persons with disabilities but are also considered based on appropriate assessment.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 UNV to align DOA for specific assignments for UN Volunteers with disabilities to the standard criteria of the selected UNV modality (e.g. Specialist UN Volunteers, Youth UN Volunteers), both concerning eligibility criteria as well as tasks and responsibilities.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/15]
VSS (as current disability inclusion focal point) 2020/07 Completed A respective template has been created and will be incorporated in the Unified Volunteer Platform to be launched in 2021. History
2.2 UNV to systematize use of taxonomy by preparing a knowledge product on the terminology of disability based on the UNCRPD for eligibility check for specific UNV assignments of persons with disabilities.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/15]
VSS (as current disability inclusion focal point) 2020/07 Completed Knowledge product prepared and taxonomy considered during eligibility check History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3 Improve the project design and develop a Theory of Change (ToC).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV partially accepts this recommendation. While the project design of the current project cannot be improved any more at this late stage, the design of a potential proposal or alternatively revised concept note (see recommendation 1) with work plan elements for a second phase/follow-up project will consider the recommendations made. A ToC will be developed and will be the basis for future disability inclusion approaches of UNV.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 UNV to develop a ToC for future disability inclusion approaches.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/05/26]
VSS (lead), VSC, senior management, VASS, disability inclusion task force, one RO representative, NYO, ERCS and VSS (support), EXO/RBM team (quality assurance) 2021/03 Completed The ToC was presented to the Management Team at the Management Team Meeting (MTM) on 16 March 2021. Management requested to focus ToC on UN Volunteers only. ToC was then translated into the action plan and endorsed in principle at the MTM on 13 April 2021. History
3.2 Aligned with the ToC, UNV will develop results indicators that would focus on individual and institutional level.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/05/26]
VSS (lead), VSC, senior management, VASS, disability inclusion task force, one RO representative, NYO, and ERCS (support), EXO/RBM team (quality assurance) 2021/04 Completed Organizational results indicators were proposed via Theory of Change (ToC). Later translated into the action plan and in principle endorsed by the Management Team on 13 April 2021. History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4:  Keep both national and international deployments, focus more on the national assignments, but do not exclude international deployment.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV partially accepts this recommendation. Some of the justifications brought up in the evaluation report for this recommendation are too generic to only lead to consequences for UN Volunteers with disabilities. For streamlined deployments of UN Volunteers with disabilities, no maximum quota of accepted candidates with disabilities can be applied, as this would lead to direct discrimination of qualified candidates based on the sole fact that they have a disability. If this recommendation will be taken into consideration for streamlined processes, it would need to be applied to all UN Volunteers assignments, also to those of UN Volunteers without disabilities. However, in the case of special assignments created solely for persons with disabilities, a balance will be kept between international and national opportunities, so that there will be more national than international UN Volunteers assignments created as part of specific inclusion efforts. However, selection of DoA for national/ international assignments will not be based on a strict quota but remain dependent on partner countries’ needs and strategies as well as funding options and donor interests. In line with learnings from the pilot phase more staff time will be dedicated for preparing international assignments well, and Host Entity readiness assessment for international UN Volunteers will be more comprehensive than during the pilot phase (see recommendation 8). A consequent implementation of recommendation 2 will furthermore prevent similar challenges like with one of the three international assignments during the pilot phase, when mismatching expectations of UN Volunteer and Host Entity were one of the biggest barriers. Last but not least, existing criteria for DOA, selected for international assignments which are specifically created for UN Volunteers with disabilities, will be applied stricter than during the pilot phase and they will be revised based on the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 UNV to liaise with fully funding donors to foster funding of national UNV assignments of persons with disabilities.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]
ERCS 2020/12 Completed Both Germany and Sweden have committed to fund national UN Volunteer assignments of persons with disabilities in 2021 and 2022. History
4.2 UNV to ensure submission for consideration of well-performing national UN Volunteers to future international UN Volunteer assignments and supporting them in improving their profile in VMAM on ongoing basis.
[Added: 2020/11/06]
ROs and VSC 2022/12 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: Include UNV as hosting entity and promote inclusion by example.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV fully accepts this recommendation. UN Volunteers assignments are already foreseen for two Regional Offices in 2020. Further UNV assignments within UNV will be planned in coming years. However, as UNV has a mandate to provide UN Volunteers to the UN System, therefore the main focus will remain on UNV’s overall mandate.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 UNV to host at least two National Specialist UN Volunteers with disabilities at Regional Office level.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/28]
ROAP, ESARO (lead), VSS as current disability inclusion focal point (support) 2021/07 Completed Two National Specialist UN Volunteers with disabilities successfully deployed in the UNV Regional Offices for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and for East and Southern Africa (ROESA). History
5.2 UNV to develop knowledge product and to deliver webinar for ROs to build capacity, raise awareness and share good practices.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSS (as current disability inclusion focal point), respective ROs 2021/08 Completed All personnel webinar facilitated by a specialized external party conducted in December 2020. Recording available on the UNV intranet. History
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: Set up a project management unit.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV does not accept this recommendation. Instead, UNV will consider options to decide on the best location of the PwD function within the organization to make sure that this issue is well placed due to importance of the subject matter. A task force on disability, already set up will be reinforced and strengthened. It will meet regularly to discuss amongst other opportunities and challenges for future specific and mainstreaming approaches to disability inclusion and will operate based on the ToC. When relevant, host entities and funding partners will be consulted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 UNV will consider options to decide on the best location of the PwD function within the organization based on recommendations resulting from process of developing the ToC.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSS (lead), VSC, senior management, VASS, disability inclusion task force, one RO representative, NYO, ERCS and HRS (support), EXO/RBM team (quality assurance) 2021/01 Completed Inclusion agenda and function will be fully mainstreamed at UNV from 15 March 2021. Each section will deliver on inclusion in line with the relevant mandate. History
6.2 UNV to strengthen disability inclusion task force, by drafting TOR of the task force and its governance, as well as by including members from EXO, VASS and VSS, to provide guidance and support for the implementation of the on-going project and future disability inclusion efforts.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/15]
VSS (lead), VSC, one RO representative [Task force members from these sections, RO presence on annual rotational basis] 2020/11 Completed ToR drafted and members from ExO, VASS and VSS included in the disability inclusion task force. History
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7:  Update the UNV policies on inclusiveness to reflect the drafted SOPs and to enhance sustainability of the RAF in case it gets established.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV fully accepts this recommendation. First and potential future steps towards systematization of inclusion efforts will be put into policies and procedures (Conditions of Service, inclusive SOP, potential fund establishment).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 UNV to finalise and disseminate inclusive SOP to raise awareness and knowledge across UNV (especially field offices and at task force meeting).
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/14]
VSS (lead as disability inclusion focal point), VSC (regarding all volunteer management and recruitment steps) and task force (support) 2020/11 Completed Inclusive SOP finalized and disseminated. History
7.2 UNV to ensure that disability inclusion is reflected in the revised CoS to come into effect in 2021.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSS + HRS to provide inputs. Senior Management for endorsement. 2021/01 Completed New Unified Conditions of Service reflects disability inclusion and comes into effect 1 May 2021. History
7.3 UNV to take affirmative action while shortlisting candidates with disabilities for regular assignments by updating regular DoA template and providing knowledge products on inclusive shortlisting and interviewing for recruiters.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/05/26]
VSS (lead), VSC (support) 2021/05 Completed 1. The Management Team endorsed in principle the action plan with the affirmative action: at least 5% candidates with disabilities submitted (see action plan under UNDIS indicator 13; responsible VSC) 2. Inclusive selection guidelines available and systematically shared with Host Entities, the guide is linked to the candidates' submission message 3. All DoAs are linked to the 'Roles and Responsibility of Host Entities' which include inclusive selection and more History
7.4 UNV to mainstream disability inclusion in general talent acquisition by revising the outreach strategy concerning disability inclusion.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSC (lead), VSS (support 2021/02 Completed • ‘Professionals living with disabilities’ are one of four corporate diversity themes for 2020-2021 (UNV Talent Acquisition Plan 2020-2021, p. 8) • 2021 Outreach activities will focus on Sida and BMZ funded assignments targeting persons with disabilities • 4,500+ candidates in the UNV Talent Pool self-declare as living with disabilities History
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8:  Systematize the readiness assessment of the HE, tailor capacity development and reinforce it by using generated good practices.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV fully accepts this recommendation. Future capacity development for Host Entities will be tailored to the needs of the organization even more than before and prepare them specifically for the individual UN Volunteer received, as needed. It will cover (1) readiness assessment, (2) capacity development and (3) making use of good practices. The five steps of UNDP`s Capacity Development Cycle as well as UNDP’s publication Capacity Development A UNDP Primer will be taken into consideration while coming up with this tailored capacity development support. These approaches will also support streamlined recruitments of UN Volunteers with disabilities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 UNV to revise and systematize capacity development plan for UNV and HEs for future specific deployments of UN Volunteers with disabilities.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/02/17]
VSS (lead for creating content), NYO (co-lead for communication with partners), HRS, VSC (support) 2021/12 Initiated In line with the inclusion mainstreaming agenda at UNV: (1) UNV will rely on UN existing mandatory and other trainings for Host Entities and will not deliver ad-hoc country office trainings; (2) The entire UN Volunteer learning journey already is in parts and will be fully accessible to all candidates and UN Volunteers. History
8.2 UNV to systematize readiness assessment by providing knowledge products with links to available resources for readiness assessment, including set of parameters for a minimum setup which Host Entities need to meet before their DOA, created specifically for a person with disability, is accepted.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/15]
VSS 2020/11 Completed Readiness assessment has been systematized and a set of four parameters has been identified. This will be included in the host entity onboarding toolkit. History
8.3 UNV to expand the readiness assessment of Host Entities also to further disabilities beyond physical and sensorial disabilities.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/15]
VSS 2020/11 Completed Two assignments of UN Volunteers with disabilities beyond physical and sensorial disabilities started and readiness assessments of their HEs were conducted. History
9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9:  Establish a representative and functional Board.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV does not accept this recommendation. The updated composition of the Board was approved electronically by the board and senior management in frame of electronical board meeting from 30 January 2020. Since it has been established and was functioning already before the evaluation started for the current phase one of this project no establishment is needed any more. Furthermore, the new composition already includes a representative from UNDP.  The board will provide governance and steering of the remaining project duration as well as for guidance on future disability inclusion efforts. Since the decision about a phase 2 of the project is still premature and depends on the Theory of Chance and subsequent future decisions also the decision of establishing a board for this phase 2 is pending.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 UNV to hold two board meetings to discuss about the recommendations of the final evaluation and one to analyze and approve the concept note for future disability inclusion efforts.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]
VSS 2020/12 Completed A first board meeting held in June 2020 helped to clarify all open points related to the project. Board members identified the need to focus on future project/ Fully-funding initiative and TOC in a different group setting instead. In September 2020, relevant UNV managers came together to discuss the details of a follow-up initiative to the initial project. History
10. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: Establish a disability inclusion fund and develop a financial sustainability plan.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/06]

UNV partially accepts this recommendation. The discussion on the sustainably available reasonable accommodation fund (RAF) will be in focus during the last phase of the project, as it is one of the not yet implemented project actions (output 1.3). This discussion will be part of the concept note development for future disability inclusion efforts. UNV will consider a wider Disability Inclusion Fund (DIF) of which RAF can be part but which also guarantees coverage of outreach activities, staff resources as well as further costs arising through the inclusive work. As a first step, UNV will elaborate on the option to come up with a Financial Sustainability plan for the next 3-5 years. Furthermore, the existing concept note for the DIF, developed in frame of the project, will be revised based on this evaluation’s recommendations, and a management decision on the idea of both the DIF and RAF will be made.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 UNV to elaborate on the idea to come up with and decide upon a Financial Sustainability Plan.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Senior Management, FBS (lead), VSS (draft idea), ERCS (support). Senior Management for decision. 2021/08 Completed The majority of UN Volunteers, who are people with disabilities are being deployed under the Full Funding agreements with Germany and Sweden in addition to regular volunteer assignments funded by UN Host Entities. History
10.2 UNV to consider setting up a DIF and/or RAF.
[Added: 2020/11/06] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Senior Management, FBS (lead), VSS, ERCS (support) 2021/08 Completed As per the corporate decision of 14 June 2021, the reasonable accommodation facility has been established for PwD UN Volunteers who have UNV as their host entity. History

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