Midterm Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Africa 2018-2021

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, RBA
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
10/2020
Completion Date:
10/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
100,000

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Title Midterm Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Africa 2018-2021
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, RBA
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2020
Planned End Date: 10/2020
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
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 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
  • 3. Output 3.2.1 National capacities strengthened for reintegration, reconciliation, peaceful management of conflict and prevention of violent extremism in response to national policies and priorities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 100,000
Source of Funding: M&E Budget
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP AUC RECs, Sweden, EU,
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1
  1. Revise and/or update the RP results framework indicators to evaluate outcomes and outputs using measurable data. This should include providing baseline data and SMART indicators to facilitate progress monitoring.
  2. Knowledge management should be systematized in order to capture, package and disseminate knowledge.
2

Consider concentrating on fewer core projects and initiatives and dedicate more funds to fundraising, communication, outreach capacity and innovation, which could in turn attract donors and partners

3

Improve and streamline the procurement process for human resources to support Programme efficiency. The timely delivery of quality inputs is crucial to quality programming, and delayed programme inputs lead to delays in implementation.

4

Strengthen the role of regional coordination mechanisms to improve communication among RP actors. A high percentage of respondents (including UNDP staff) were not familiar with the RPD. While project managers deliver on their projects reverently, they may not be familiar with the bigger picture or the role of their deliveries in the RP. Such clarity should also exist among stakeholders, especially implementing actors like the AUC, RECs, civil society and the private sector

5

Reconsider the idea that RSCA should be agile and adapt to the ‘new normal’. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this goal may be far-reaching. While the MTE noted efforts to maximize telecommunications to deliver some project outputs, there must also be a strategy for engaging with stakeholders and beneficiaries in the field. Telecommunications cannot provide the same benefits as engagement on the ground.

6

Further review the approach of the RP by examining past and current challenges and lessons learned to ensure that the UNDP Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa achieves innovative results during the Decade of Action

7

Scale up digital transformation across the continent to meet the pressing need to use online tools in project interventions, particularly those targeting youth entrepreneurs

1. Recommendation:
  1. Revise and/or update the RP results framework indicators to evaluate outcomes and outputs using measurable data. This should include providing baseline data and SMART indicators to facilitate progress monitoring.
  2. Knowledge management should be systematized in order to capture, package and disseminate knowledge.
Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31]

Fully accept the recommendation. 

The RPD 2018-2021 RRF to be updated and revised for the last year of the implementation, and used as a base and lesson for the development of the new RPD 2022-2025

The RP Knowledge Platform will be developed as part of the bigger RSCA KM Strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise RPD Results Framework
[Added: 2021/03/31]
RBA/RBM and RP Team 2021/01 Completed Completed History
establish Regional Programme for Africa Knowledge Management (KM) Platform
[Added: 2021/03/31]
Regional Programme Team 2021/03 Completed Completed: https://undp.sharepoint.com/teams/RSCA/Know/regionalprogramme/SitePages/Home.aspx
2. Recommendation:

Consider concentrating on fewer core projects and initiatives and dedicate more funds to fundraising, communication, outreach capacity and innovation, which could in turn attract donors and partners

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31]

Fully accept the recommendation

With development of the new RPD the regional programme team will integrate the portfolio approach into the design of RPD/RRF that will allow for more innovation and initiations. In addition, a separate Project document on operationalization of the RPD will be developed to include outputs and activities that will ensure RM, Communication, Advocacy and Innovation, and engagement labs.

For 2021, the RP IAWP will budget for activities related to RM, Communication, Advocacy and Innovation under RP Support Project and Engagement facility. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Integrate portfolio approach in the new RPD 2022-2025
[Added: 2021/03/31] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Regional Programme Team 2021/12 Completed completed: RPD has been approved History
Develop 2021 IAWP with funds allocated for RM, communication, outreach capacity and innovation
[Added: 2021/03/31]
Regional Programme Team 2021/03 Completed 2021 IAWP approved, with funds dedicated for RP Support and Engagement facility
3. Recommendation:

Improve and streamline the procurement process for human resources to support Programme efficiency. The timely delivery of quality inputs is crucial to quality programming, and delayed programme inputs lead to delays in implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31]

Partially accept the recommendation

The Regional programme cannot influence the recruitment and procurement processes of UNDP.

However, the Regional Programme can initiate and follow through on recruitments of Regional Programme Team.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruit full RP team as per the latest approved Organigramme
[Added: 2021/03/31] [Last Updated: 2021/11/19]
Regional Programme Team 2021/07 Completed Completed. the Communication and data specialist have been recruited and work has commenced History
4. Recommendation:

Strengthen the role of regional coordination mechanisms to improve communication among RP actors. A high percentage of respondents (including UNDP staff) were not familiar with the RPD. While project managers deliver on their projects reverently, they may not be familiar with the bigger picture or the role of their deliveries in the RP. Such clarity should also exist among stakeholders, especially implementing actors like the AUC, RECs, civil society and the private sector

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31] [Last Updated: 2021/03/31]

Partially accept the recommendation.

It is not clear how which regional coordination mechanism will improve communications. staff are familiar the RP and its deliverable as it formed the basis for the development of new projects and annual reporting on achievements. Further, In relation to the Regional Programme,

(i)            The RP has established  Knowledge management Platform that will:

  • Improve the Regional Programme’s efficiency in the delivery of its mandate by promoting collaboration and integration across teams located at RSCA, HQ and the regional hubs.
  • Address both internal and external information sharing and communication gaps across the 30+ projects and initiatives supported by the Regional Programme.
  • Facilitate the sharing of collective and existing knowledge with the wider UNDP community.

(ii)   Also the team will conduct a wide range consultation during development of the new RPD 2022-2025 with regional, sub-regional actors and partners and within UNDP/RSCA, the Hubs and GPN to ensure participation, contribution and clarity among all actors on current and new RPD.

(iii) the existing coordination mechanisms such as the IPCG, and the monthly updates from regional projects is enhancing understanding and creating synergies across teams. New Accountability Framework of the RP has also been presented and disseminated to all teams. It remains the primary responsibility of project managers to constantly inform themselves about how they can use the RP to enhance their work.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish Regional Programme for Africa Knowledge Management (KM) Platform
[Added: 2021/03/31]
Regional Programme Team 2021/03 Completed RSCA Gateway: https://undp.sharepoint.com/teams/RSCA/Know/regionalprogramme/SitePages/Home.aspx
Conduct wide consultations for development of the new RPD 2022-2025
[Added: 2021/03/31] [Last Updated: 2021/11/19]
Regional Programme Team 2021/05 Completed Completed. this helped inform the articulation of the new RPD History
5. Recommendation:

Reconsider the idea that RSCA should be agile and adapt to the ‘new normal’. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this goal may be far-reaching. While the MTE noted efforts to maximize telecommunications to deliver some project outputs, there must also be a strategy for engaging with stakeholders and beneficiaries in the field. Telecommunications cannot provide the same benefits as engagement on the ground.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31]

Rejected. It is not within the ability of RP to implement this recommendation.

The RP team and regional projects engage directly and in person with stakeholders and beneficiaries in the field wherever the travel and in country COVID-19 regulations allow.

In addition to the telecommunications efforts, the RP and regional projects implement activities by engaging the partners that are present on the ground

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Further review the approach of the RP by examining past and current challenges and lessons learned to ensure that the UNDP Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa achieves innovative results during the Decade of Action

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31]

Fully accept the recommendation

The lessons captured in MTE, Audit report and project implementation during and post COVID-19  as well as RSOA Implementation Plan will be incorporated in the development of the new RPD 2022-2025

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Incorporate MTE, Audit and COVID-19 lessons into new RPD 2022-2025 development
[Added: 2021/03/31] [Last Updated: 2021/11/19]
Regional Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Completed. History
7. Recommendation:

Scale up digital transformation across the continent to meet the pressing need to use online tools in project interventions, particularly those targeting youth entrepreneurs

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/31]

Fully accept the recommendation

RBA/RSCA and Regional Programme have been implementing preparatory activities on engaging on digital transformation in Africa throughout 2020.  

The elaboration of the Project Initiation Plan is underway and will be implemented and scaled up to a regional project document during 2021

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
provide technical support to the implementation of AL4IR PIP
[Added: 2021/03/31] [Last Updated: 2022/01/18]
Nairobi Hub and Regional Programme team 2022/06 Initiated History
Support development of the Regional Digital transformation Project initiation Plan, and inclusion in the RP IAWP allocation
[Added: 2021/03/31]
Nairobi Hub and Regional Programme team 2020/12 Completed Africa Leading 4IR PIP signed

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