Poverty Environment Action for SDGs (PEA)

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Title Poverty Environment Action for SDGs (PEA)
Atlas Project Number: 00111963
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2021
Planned End Date: 02/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
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
SDG Goal
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG Target
  • 17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • 17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
Evaluation Budget(US $): 100,000
Source of Funding: PEA project, EU funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,773
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Maria Onestini Evaluator rponesti@criba.edu.ar
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Local governments, donors, private and public institutions, country project teams
Countries: GLOBAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1: Resource mobilization and financial contingency plans

The Project, having had a gap between resources pledged at design and what has actually been leveraged, will need to carry –out several processes to deal with this funding shortfall. For this, the Project should implement the resource mobilization strategy already developed in order to leverage lacking resources. Within the application of the mentioned resource mobilization plans, attempts should be made (with the support of key actors, donors, supporters, etc.) in re assignment of funds and in-kind support to reflect original commitments in order to end the funding gap. If further funding will definitely not be available in the near future, discontinue planning as if it were, and adjust planning (M&E framework, other planning instruments, etc.) to incorporate this change, working closely and communicating diligently with countries for this, particularly those countries which will be affected by cuts in resources and those who will need to reorganize use of not utilized funds, or roll –over funds due to delays or the COVID-19 emergency.

2

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2: Operational and programmatic issues.

The Project needs to fast track implementation of the different products/processes/activities it is assumed it will carry out. A channel for this can be by streamlining managerial and financial oversight in order to avoid further delays. Furthermore, the Project should also fast track approval/decision-making processes as much as possible. It is understood that the Project, if it so chooses to increase delivery through streamlining managerial and decision –making processes, it would do so while keeping within donor and management agency’s rules. This could be done by consolidating and streamlining the different reporting and monitoring templates and processes in order to avoid duplication of efforts, simplifying them as much as possible so that they are cost-efficient, discard processes that are not required by management/donor rules and reduce the strain on country teams regarding managerial burdens while avoiding duplication in having to report to different areas of project management. This should be done in close collaboration with the countries in training and assistance for these matters. Furthermore, approval and decision-making processes can be streamlined also by having a clear road map linked to decisions with timing clearly marked and adhering to this in order to avoid circular processes that slow down implementation of PEA programming at this stage

3

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: PEA’s strategic outlook and sustainability

PEA should steer its work to be fully strategic. For this, sustained and sustainable expected outcomes need to be strengthened by re-launching leadership roles from global/regional team in order to promote effectiveness and sustainability. This could be achieved by generating strategic priorities between the products and processes the Project wants to achieve placing a greater emphasis on those that generate change and are firmly implemented at the different levels. Given that the technical support provided by or through PEA is one of the key contributing factors to achievements, the Project should focus on this aspect to be strategic and adopt a leadership role in the P-E field. Assuming this, therefore, Project should be steered toward focusing upon effects/impacts/ sustainability and less on just outputs/products (such as strategically promote concrete implementation of tools, instruments, financing--both public and private, policy, etc.--to mainstream the Poverty–Environment nexus instruments being developed through PEA and that have been developed through PEI). PEA should deviate from further developing supplementary studies and instruments/tools and increase its leverage of concrete results and outcomes while developing appropriate exit strategies(unless there is an absolute need for additional analysis or tools to deepen or sustain results and without which the result cannot be achieved).Focus support on strategic outlooks, for instance in providing enhanced backing for processes that are tactical (implementation of planning frameworks and policy, support the adoption of tools in government process, backing and support for the development and adoption of tools at levels where are needed the most –such as the sub national levels)

4

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4: Gender Mainstreaming

A gender approach should be used to promote the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming through its systematic integration across the whole Project and all its outputs/outcomes in order to reduce inequalities and exclusion based on gender. For this, partners should be made aware of all the work done previously in PEI through specific interventions, tools, analysis, etc., on mainstreaming gender and creating gender transformative results within the PE nexus

5

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 5: Adapting to COVID-19 impacts

The Project should further implement adaptation to Covid-19 processes and document what its strategies have been. For this, online and at-a-distance training and capacity-building modalities, even consultancies, need to be designed in such a way that these are dynamic and consider the different pedagogical / strategic formats, different scripts for self –learning modalities as well as other relevant characteristics for virtual capacity activities such as cultural issues. Methodically and analytically document the initiatives regarding COVID-19 adaptation or insertion of PEA in COVID-19 recuperation being carried-out at this point regarding response to the pandemic as well as the cost savings that the Project has experienced due to the pandemic’s impact

6

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 6: Partnerships

PEA should intensify its partnerships, both with traditional development partners as well as with those that tend to be external to the customary development field. For this, the search for partnerships (from the national level to the global UN system level) should be strategic and have clear aims. Promote better synergies and partnerships particularly at the national level, between different development process within the UN in order to enhance the Delivery as One and UN coordination and Delivering as One, promoting system-wide coherence through the examples of PEA and for diminishing the work in silos that often occurs at many levels. The next stage of implementation should promote anchoring PEA tools into UNDP, UNEP, UN country teams. Furthermore, engage further with other UN-wide initiatives to promote sustainability of PEA knowledge and expertise, including the expertise and knowledge that PEA uses which took over from PEI. Strategically engage with international financial institutions and regional finance actors to integrate PEA-related knowledge into their plans, in particular given the role of private sector engagement that PEA has begun to focus on in some of the countries involved and given that financial institutions are more fitting to work with the private sector. An overt partnership strategy will also aid in speeding up delivery and implementation once partners assume their potential catalytic role

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1: Resource mobilization and financial contingency plans

The Project, having had a gap between resources pledged at design and what has actually been leveraged, will need to carry –out several processes to deal with this funding shortfall. For this, the Project should implement the resource mobilization strategy already developed in order to leverage lacking resources. Within the application of the mentioned resource mobilization plans, attempts should be made (with the support of key actors, donors, supporters, etc.) in re assignment of funds and in-kind support to reflect original commitments in order to end the funding gap. If further funding will definitely not be available in the near future, discontinue planning as if it were, and adjust planning (M&E framework, other planning instruments, etc.) to incorporate this change, working closely and communicating diligently with countries for this, particularly those countries which will be affected by cuts in resources and those who will need to reorganize use of not utilized funds, or roll –over funds due to delays or the COVID-19 emergency.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/28]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.3. Continue implementing existing RM and partnership strategy
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team 2022/12 Initiated Discussions are under way with other potential donors on providing additional funds (about $2 million) to implement PEA priorities and narrow the current funding gap History
1.1. Review and re-assignment of funds and in-kind support to minimize funding gap’s impacts
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team PEA TAs/countries 2021/05 Completed Review conducted with COs including via 2021 AWP process to minimize funding gaps History
1.2. Adjust planning by reviewing (including with COs/TA countries) and revising the project’s M&E framework
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team PEA TAs/countries 2021/05 Completed Consultative process undertaken with project’s M&EF revised and submitted for project board’s endorsement on 26 May 2021 History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2: Operational and programmatic issues.

The Project needs to fast track implementation of the different products/processes/activities it is assumed it will carry out. A channel for this can be by streamlining managerial and financial oversight in order to avoid further delays. Furthermore, the Project should also fast track approval/decision-making processes as much as possible. It is understood that the Project, if it so chooses to increase delivery through streamlining managerial and decision –making processes, it would do so while keeping within donor and management agency’s rules. This could be done by consolidating and streamlining the different reporting and monitoring templates and processes in order to avoid duplication of efforts, simplifying them as much as possible so that they are cost-efficient, discard processes that are not required by management/donor rules and reduce the strain on country teams regarding managerial burdens while avoiding duplication in having to report to different areas of project management. This should be done in close collaboration with the countries in training and assistance for these matters. Furthermore, approval and decision-making processes can be streamlined also by having a clear road map linked to decisions with timing clearly marked and adhering to this in order to avoid circular processes that slow down implementation of PEA programming at this stage

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/04/28]

Partially agree. Requirements have already been made based on mandatory policies and procedures of managing agents/UNDP. Continued efforts will be made to guide TAs/COs for compliance and good quality project implementation and reporting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Operational training to PEA TAs/countries has already been provided in 2019 and early 2020 to familiarize them with different reporting and monitoring templates and processes which will be continued in 2021 and beyond via implementation review meetings, operational training and timely assistance to solve issues
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team PEA TAs/countries 2022/08 Initiated Regular Annual Operational training conducted on 6 May 2021 with 45 participants from PEA TAs/countries, among others focused on simplified reporting processes while in compliance with UNDP’s POPP/requirements History
2.2. Country calls, among others, to review implementation progresses have been conducted in 2020 and will continue in 2021/2022 to provide a platform for exchange and facilitate project implementation.
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team PEA TAs/countries 2022/08 Initiated Regular country calls had been conducted during March 2021 with implementation progresses documented and identification of areas that need attention for further follow-up History
2.3. Review of current procedures to address possible overlap in reporting and PEA approval levels; Simplification of procedures and processes to be implemented where possible to enhance operational efficiency.
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team PEA TAs/countries 2022/08 Initiated Regular Annual Operational training conducted on 6 May 2021, among others reviewed current procedures and suggested simplified processes to enhance operational efficiency. History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: PEA’s strategic outlook and sustainability

PEA should steer its work to be fully strategic. For this, sustained and sustainable expected outcomes need to be strengthened by re-launching leadership roles from global/regional team in order to promote effectiveness and sustainability. This could be achieved by generating strategic priorities between the products and processes the Project wants to achieve placing a greater emphasis on those that generate change and are firmly implemented at the different levels. Given that the technical support provided by or through PEA is one of the key contributing factors to achievements, the Project should focus on this aspect to be strategic and adopt a leadership role in the P-E field. Assuming this, therefore, Project should be steered toward focusing upon effects/impacts/ sustainability and less on just outputs/products (such as strategically promote concrete implementation of tools, instruments, financing--both public and private, policy, etc.--to mainstream the Poverty–Environment nexus instruments being developed through PEA and that have been developed through PEI). PEA should deviate from further developing supplementary studies and instruments/tools and increase its leverage of concrete results and outcomes while developing appropriate exit strategies(unless there is an absolute need for additional analysis or tools to deepen or sustain results and without which the result cannot be achieved).Focus support on strategic outlooks, for instance in providing enhanced backing for processes that are tactical (implementation of planning frameworks and policy, support the adoption of tools in government process, backing and support for the development and adoption of tools at levels where are needed the most –such as the sub national levels)

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/28]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Implement the capacity building technical assistance that provides a sustainability avenue through an established helpdesk to serve partners and countries during and post PEA
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2022/08 Initiated
3.2 Conduct high level visibility South-South Cooperation events/webinars on major poverty-environment-climate mainstreaming themes and produce policy papers as part of enhancing broader partnerships where PEA initiatives can be anchored.
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2022/08 Initiated
3.3. Further strengthen technical support provided by PEA within existing resources
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2022/08 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4: Gender Mainstreaming

A gender approach should be used to promote the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming through its systematic integration across the whole Project and all its outputs/outcomes in order to reduce inequalities and exclusion based on gender. For this, partners should be made aware of all the work done previously in PEI through specific interventions, tools, analysis, etc., on mainstreaming gender and creating gender transformative results within the PE nexus

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/28]

Partially Agree

As the MTR acknowledged in pages 23 and 24, efforts have been made by countries in promoting gender equality in poverty-environment strategies and in mainstreaming in 5 (Indonesia, Myanmar, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania) out of 10 PEA TAs/countries.

In addition, a Technical Assistance agreement has been signed with UN Women to: a) conduct evidence-based capacity building of targeted governments on integrating gender sensitive Climate-Smart Agriculture approaches in policies; and, b) conduct South-South cooperation on mainstreaming and implementing gender responsive CSA policies and strategies. Furthermore, another TA project is ongoing at a regional level to deal with economic empowerment of women through the adoption of climate-resilient agricultural practices in Africa.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Gender responsive Climate Smart Agriculture promoted through technical assistance in partnership with UN-Women
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2021/10 Initiated
4.2 Provide further technical advisory support to countries on how to address gender equality issues in key sectors and to include gender in poverty analytics guided by PEA’s Strategy on how to integrate gender as outlined in Annex 3 of signed ProDoc
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2022/08 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 5: Adapting to COVID-19 impacts

The Project should further implement adaptation to Covid-19 processes and document what its strategies have been. For this, online and at-a-distance training and capacity-building modalities, even consultancies, need to be designed in such a way that these are dynamic and consider the different pedagogical / strategic formats, different scripts for self –learning modalities as well as other relevant characteristics for virtual capacity activities such as cultural issues. Methodically and analytically document the initiatives regarding COVID-19 adaptation or insertion of PEA in COVID-19 recuperation being carried-out at this point regarding response to the pandemic as well as the cost savings that the Project has experienced due to the pandemic’s impact

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/28]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.2 New ways of working already adopted through virtual meetings and trainings as part of business continuity including provision of necessary ICT equipment and online platform licenses for implementing partners.
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team, TA and COs 2022/08 Initiated
5.1 PEA support incorporated at national level in UN Frameworks for immediate Socio-Economic Response to COVID-19.
[Added: 2021/04/28] [Last Updated: 2021/05/27]
PEA global team, TA and COs 2021/04 Completed During 2020, PEA support of socioeconomic response to COVID-19 within the UN system in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mozambique, Myanmar and Nepal History
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 6: Partnerships

PEA should intensify its partnerships, both with traditional development partners as well as with those that tend to be external to the customary development field. For this, the search for partnerships (from the national level to the global UN system level) should be strategic and have clear aims. Promote better synergies and partnerships particularly at the national level, between different development process within the UN in order to enhance the Delivery as One and UN coordination and Delivering as One, promoting system-wide coherence through the examples of PEA and for diminishing the work in silos that often occurs at many levels. The next stage of implementation should promote anchoring PEA tools into UNDP, UNEP, UN country teams. Furthermore, engage further with other UN-wide initiatives to promote sustainability of PEA knowledge and expertise, including the expertise and knowledge that PEA uses which took over from PEI. Strategically engage with international financial institutions and regional finance actors to integrate PEA-related knowledge into their plans, in particular given the role of private sector engagement that PEA has begun to focus on in some of the countries involved and given that financial institutions are more fitting to work with the private sector. An overt partnership strategy will also aid in speeding up delivery and implementation once partners assume their potential catalytic role

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/28]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Advocate adoption of poverty-environment action tools/approaches through existing and new platforms and partnerships i.e. link the Poverty-Environment mainstreaming handbook to the virtual platform with complete modules on mainstreaming processes and case studies.
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2022/08 Initiated
6.2 Review and keep Resource Mobilization strategy updated
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA Management 2022/08 Initiated
6.3 Enhance donor acknowledgement and visibility on PEA website and in all forthcoming PEA publications and intensify on-going partnerships and SSC
[Added: 2021/04/28]
PEA global team 2022/08 Initiated

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