Mid-Term Evaluation Leadership, Effectiveness, Adaptability and Professionalism in Myanmar’s Civil Service Project (LEAP)

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Myanmar
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
06/2021
Completion Date:
06/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Download document FINAL_TOR for Evaluation_ MTR LEAP TEAM LEADER.pdf tor English 442.85 KB Posted 805
Download document TOR_ Democratic Governance programing and anti corruption .pdf tor English 366.00 KB Posted 803
Download document TOR-GEWE Expert.pdf tor English 526.63 KB Posted 797
Download document FINAL_TOR for Evaluation_ MTR CS and Peacebuilding Expert_.pdf tor English 527.59 KB Posted 801
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Download document LEAP MTE FINAL REPORT .pdf report English 916.17 KB Posted 874
Title Mid-Term Evaluation Leadership, Effectiveness, Adaptability and Professionalism in Myanmar’s Civil Service Project (LEAP)
Atlas Project Number: 104318
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Myanmar
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2021
Planned End Date: 06/2021
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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding: project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 59,508
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Paul A Lundberg Team Leader, International consultant paulalundberg@yahoo.com
Gay Rosenblum Kumar CSPB Expert, international gay.rosenblumkumar@gmail.com
Charlemagne Gomez GEWE Expert, International Consultant charlemagnegomez@hotmail.com
Olivera Puric Anti-Corruption and DG Expert, International Consultant puriceva10@gmail.com SERBIA
Aung Tun National Consultant aungtunn@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UCSB- Union Civil Service Board, State Counsellors' Office, MOUGO- Ministry of Union Government Office (GAD- General Administration Department), Anti-Corruption Commission - ACC, MOPFI- (CSO- Central Statistical Organization), UAGO - Union Attorney General Office, Union Auditor General Office; Mon, Bago, Rakhine, Mandalay, Tanintharyi St/Region Govt.
Countries: MYANMAR
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

1. In preparation for the next programmatic cycle, UNDP may wish to consider introducing a requirement that preparation of a Project Document must be preceded by an independent political economy analysis of existing conditions. Political economy analysis is a critical component in the design of all manner of development projects, especially those with a strong political orientation. Detailed analyses of political, economic, social, and environmental factors that may impinge upon the successful achievement of the stated outcomes could be undertaken as a part of a country strategy plan and as a prelude to specific project design. A project document should summarize such findings and elaborate how risks and constraints would be mitigated in the proposed design.

2

2. UNDP may wish to consider revisiting the LEAP indicators and results at the Output and Outcome levels. Stipulations should be set in the project document to ensure that monitoring, risk reporting, and lessons learnt at the output level are distinguished from progress towards achievement of indicators at the outcome level. This can be done by engaging the UCSB and other government agencies in a backwards mapping exercise to reconstruct the LEAP Theory of Change, ensuring appropriate assumptions and indicators are associated with the relevant outputs and outcomes.

3

3 .UNDP may wish to re-establish the role of a strategic CTA in LEAP. LEAP’s final two years would benefit from the strategic vision of a technically skilled and experienced CTA. The UCSB has also made a strong request for re-establishing this position. The TOR for the international consultants focusses on production of deliverables associated with their technical specialties. The TOR for the project manager focuses on day-to-day-management within the context of the project document. The MTE has noted important improvements in the LEAP implementation strategy since the establishment of a non-resident CTA in late December 2019. A continuation of this more innovative approach will be critical to ensuring LEAP has a lasting impact on the Myanmar civil service in years to come.

4

4 . LEAP may wish to consider experimenting by integrating political (thinking and working politically[1]), adaptive (PDIA), and ‘demand side’/customer service (PSEP) tools into the preparation of the new UCSB Action Plan and in policy implementation with other line agencies.  

These tools could be trialed as the LEAP project assists the UCSB to complete the drafting of a new ten-year action plan to assist in further strengthening the national ownership of LEAP interventions. The initiation of communities of practice across agencies of government will be an excellent opportunity to introduce all these tools to facilitate critical thinking on the part of the civil servants. LEAP should seek additional funds specifically earmarked to procurement of additional modern, digital training equipment to support UCSB in building its capacity to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing across ministries on CSR/HRM. This should be integrated with guidance on how to engage participants in a non-didactic mode to institutionalize a shift from training to capacity building. An area of focus could be placed on how to shift from corruption risk assessment to risk management in personnel management.

 

5

5 . UNDP may wish to consider engaging LEAP donors and other development partners in an informal dialogue process to expand its understanding of the changing national setting and to learn about effective means of engaging the government. Invite an informal advisory committee of respected international actors who have lengthy experience in country together with significant civil society/private sector networks and institutes, engage the project CTA as the group coordinator. Eventually this should include national champions for reform to discuss absorbing the project deliverables into the national budget, keeping in mind that civil reform is a long-term, and complex, process.

6

6 . LEAP should be mandated to jointly craft an exit strategy with government as a management function in the 2021 AWP. The GOM has many constraints facing it. Budgetary shortfalls play a large role in its inability to deliver on its promises to its people. The non-resident CTA should be tasked to facilitate the dialogue with UCSB to ensure the exit strategy is focused on the elements of CSR the UCSB is willing and able to continue so a successful diffusion of the LEAP-introduced policies and procedures has a high chance of success. This exit strategy should include ways and means of strengthening the demand/customer side as a tool for building trust between state and the public through people centred public service delivery.

7

7

Gender specific recommendations

  • Further sensitization to the issues as well as a strategy to ensure that progress is tracked and that the USCB buys in to the results. Specific capacity building on improving women´s skills in certain areas as well as adequate tracking of progress is pivotal in order to identify key areas of work as well as possible bottlenecks and challenges to the implementation of gender policies.
  • Identification of key champions for promoting women within the civil service, particularly in ministries which are not often populated by women at the higher ranks.
  • Informal mentoring sessions of women directors and other women in decision making positions to encourage further traction of gender related policies.
  • Further interaction with civil society organizations and training thereof to advocate and promote the importance of women’s participation at all levels of decision making in the civil service and to advocate for the implementation and tracking of gender sensitive policies.
  • Possible sharing of best practices from other Civil service commission and comparative studies on how other ASEAN members are working on these issues would be useful as well as continuation of the Gender Specialist ´s work and increased support to the project team to ensure leadership skills and further strategies from other projects/UNDP offices.
  • A revision of the indicators to ensure that they are more gender sensitive and denote positive change towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Inclusion of more change stories within the annual reports, to demonstrate the type of impact the project has had on women’s ability to advance within the civil service both from an attitudinal perspective as well as promotional prospects.
8

8. Conflict-sensitivity/peacebuilding specific recommendations

  • Destigmatize conflict-handling skills to bring them into the civil service curriculum.
  • Advocacy for diversity-affirming civil service policies and recruitment
  • LEAP should develop training on human rights, corruption risk, and conflict risk in one intensive module.
Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

1. In preparation for the next programmatic cycle, UNDP may wish to consider introducing a requirement that preparation of a Project Document must be preceded by an independent political economy analysis of existing conditions. Political economy analysis is a critical component in the design of all manner of development projects, especially those with a strong political orientation. Detailed analyses of political, economic, social, and environmental factors that may impinge upon the successful achievement of the stated outcomes could be undertaken as a part of a country strategy plan and as a prelude to specific project design. A project document should summarize such findings and elaborate how risks and constraints would be mitigated in the proposed design.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

UNDP CO partially agrees to this recommendation. It is in the process of finalizing its medium-term program framework and structure in order to respond to the current needs and priorities more adequately. The proposed new program includes a component ‘Myanmar Development Observatory’ with a dedicated team to focus on and establish SDG baselines; build a national GIS based database that could go down to the village tract level; monitor socio-economic trends; establish a vulnerability early warning system; and track and analyze legislation, policy and programmes for their potential and actual socio-economic impact.  It would also provide a platform to support dialogue on trends and risks bringing together diverse actors to think about structural prevention and early response and agree on ways of working together to make sure that we take viable action on what we observe. This would be an ongoing exercise to better inform projects and programs and make adjustments as and when necessary based on the changing context. The political economy analysis of Rakhine State is being finalized.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A new structure is in place including dedicated team to look at socio economic and political trends that feed information to projects and programs regularly.
[Added: 2021/10/15]
Senior management 2021/10 Completed Medium Term Framework has been developed and interim structure has been in place
2. Recommendation:

2. UNDP may wish to consider revisiting the LEAP indicators and results at the Output and Outcome levels. Stipulations should be set in the project document to ensure that monitoring, risk reporting, and lessons learnt at the output level are distinguished from progress towards achievement of indicators at the outcome level. This can be done by engaging the UCSB and other government agencies in a backwards mapping exercise to reconstruct the LEAP Theory of Change, ensuring appropriate assumptions and indicators are associated with the relevant outputs and outcomes.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is no more relevant in the current context. All activities under LEAP Project are paused after February 1 because they do not align with UNCT’s engagement principle. Based on the analysis of possible medium-term scenarios, UNDP do not foresee any possibilities to continue this work in the near future.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

3 .UNDP may wish to re-establish the role of a strategic CTA in LEAP. LEAP’s final two years would benefit from the strategic vision of a technically skilled and experienced CTA. The UCSB has also made a strong request for re-establishing this position. The TOR for the international consultants focusses on production of deliverables associated with their technical specialties. The TOR for the project manager focuses on day-to-day-management within the context of the project document. The MTE has noted important improvements in the LEAP implementation strategy since the establishment of a non-resident CTA in late December 2019. A continuation of this more innovative approach will be critical to ensuring LEAP has a lasting impact on the Myanmar civil service in years to come.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is no more relevant in the current context. 

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

4 . LEAP may wish to consider experimenting by integrating political (thinking and working politically[1]), adaptive (PDIA), and ‘demand side’/customer service (PSEP) tools into the preparation of the new UCSB Action Plan and in policy implementation with other line agencies.  

These tools could be trialed as the LEAP project assists the UCSB to complete the drafting of a new ten-year action plan to assist in further strengthening the national ownership of LEAP interventions. The initiation of communities of practice across agencies of government will be an excellent opportunity to introduce all these tools to facilitate critical thinking on the part of the civil servants. LEAP should seek additional funds specifically earmarked to procurement of additional modern, digital training equipment to support UCSB in building its capacity to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing across ministries on CSR/HRM. This should be integrated with guidance on how to engage participants in a non-didactic mode to institutionalize a shift from training to capacity building. An area of focus could be placed on how to shift from corruption risk assessment to risk management in personnel management.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is no more relevant in the current context

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

5 . UNDP may wish to consider engaging LEAP donors and other development partners in an informal dialogue process to expand its understanding of the changing national setting and to learn about effective means of engaging the government. Invite an informal advisory committee of respected international actors who have lengthy experience in country together with significant civil society/private sector networks and institutes, engage the project CTA as the group coordinator. Eventually this should include national champions for reform to discuss absorbing the project deliverables into the national budget, keeping in mind that civil reform is a long-term, and complex, process.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is not relevant now.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

6 . LEAP should be mandated to jointly craft an exit strategy with government as a management function in the 2021 AWP. The GOM has many constraints facing it. Budgetary shortfalls play a large role in its inability to deliver on its promises to its people. The non-resident CTA should be tasked to facilitate the dialogue with UCSB to ensure the exit strategy is focused on the elements of CSR the UCSB is willing and able to continue so a successful diffusion of the LEAP-introduced policies and procedures has a high chance of success. This exit strategy should include ways and means of strengthening the demand/customer side as a tool for building trust between state and the public through people centred public service delivery.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is not relevant now.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

7

Gender specific recommendations

  • Further sensitization to the issues as well as a strategy to ensure that progress is tracked and that the USCB buys in to the results. Specific capacity building on improving women´s skills in certain areas as well as adequate tracking of progress is pivotal in order to identify key areas of work as well as possible bottlenecks and challenges to the implementation of gender policies.
  • Identification of key champions for promoting women within the civil service, particularly in ministries which are not often populated by women at the higher ranks.
  • Informal mentoring sessions of women directors and other women in decision making positions to encourage further traction of gender related policies.
  • Further interaction with civil society organizations and training thereof to advocate and promote the importance of women’s participation at all levels of decision making in the civil service and to advocate for the implementation and tracking of gender sensitive policies.
  • Possible sharing of best practices from other Civil service commission and comparative studies on how other ASEAN members are working on these issues would be useful as well as continuation of the Gender Specialist ´s work and increased support to the project team to ensure leadership skills and further strategies from other projects/UNDP offices.
  • A revision of the indicators to ensure that they are more gender sensitive and denote positive change towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Inclusion of more change stories within the annual reports, to demonstrate the type of impact the project has had on women’s ability to advance within the civil service both from an attitudinal perspective as well as promotional prospects.
Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is not relevant now.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

8. Conflict-sensitivity/peacebuilding specific recommendations

  • Destigmatize conflict-handling skills to bring them into the civil service curriculum.
  • Advocacy for diversity-affirming civil service policies and recruitment
  • LEAP should develop training on human rights, corruption risk, and conflict risk in one intensive module.
Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/15]

This is not relevant now.

Key Actions:

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