Mid-term Evaluation cum Strategic Direction Setting of the UNDPs Portfolio on SDG 16+ Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Sri Lanka
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
08/2021
Completion Date:
08/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Title Mid-term Evaluation cum Strategic Direction Setting of the UNDPs Portfolio on SDG 16+ Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Atlas Project Number: 117979,112513
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Sri Lanka
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2021
Planned End Date: 08/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
  • 2. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
  • 3. Output 2.2.3 Capacities, functions and financing of rule of law and national human rights institutions and systems strengthened to expand access to justice and combat discrimination, with a focus on women and other marginalised groups
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding: Norway, EU
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 6,860
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Shermila Anthony Consultant shermi7280@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Parliament, Independent commissions:- HRC, NPC, RTIC, Ministries: Justice, Women and Child Affairs, National Policies and Resettlement, Provincial Councils and Local Governments, National Victims and Witnesses Protection Authority, Office of Missing Persons, CSOs: Centre for Equity and Justice, OfERR, and other relevant. CSOs: Centre for Equity and Justice, Chrysalis, ISB Government: Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Social Security And other relevant organizations
Countries: SRI LANKA
Comments:

Mid-term Evaluation of the SDG 16 portfolio for the governance sector has been planned, which is targeted for cumulative strategic direction and target setting covering all the 03 pillars of Strengthened Parliament and Commissions,Strengthened Parliament and Commissions, & Rule of Law and Access to Justice..

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Adopt a Strategic Approach to respond to the Covid 19 Pandemic: UNDP should harness the role as a connector between organisations and institutions, a knowledge broker due to its access to vast resources and networks and convener, bringing groups together for a common purpose and invest in building resilience of beneficiaries, not only to manage political shifts and shocks but also to manage environment and public health crisis such as the current pandemic.

2

The Portfolio should Revisit the Current Partnership Engagement Strategy: Portfolio should design an engagement strategy to select organizations that, represent different interests related to the Portfolio, that represents diversity and inclusivity, and the ability to reach out to traditionally excluded vulnerable communities as envisaged by the Portfolio rationale.  Portfolio should also focus on directly building long-term resilience of CSOs to counteract political shifts, focusing on approaches that may be outside the traditional experience and expertise of civil society but grounded in real-life examples, including strengthening their constituency base; enhancing collaboration; and communicating with a broader audience. There again aligning to the CSO strategy may allow the Portfolio to remain focused in contributing towards SDGs, particularly SDG 16.

3

UNDP should be strategic in focusing its Comparative Advantage: UNDP needs to play a more aggressive role to push forward reforms that may not always be a priority of the government of the day but a priority for beneficiaries. For instance, UNDP should advocate and strengthen the role of CSOs to create space for initiatives on peacebuilding, reconciliation, inter-religious harmony, prevention of violent extremism, and TJ mechanisms such as reparations.  

4

Increase Collaboration and Coordination Efforts between UN Agencies under the ‘One UN Policy: More effective coordination and cooperation may be required in the second phase to improve effectiveness and impact. It also recognizes the need for greater engagement across UN agencies for a sector-wise approach to governance, justice, development, and peace building issues as well as greater coordination and engagement between UNDP and other development agencies.

5

The Portfolio should Adopt an Integrated Approach Across the Three Pillars: Better integration across Pillars has the potential to enhance relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of activities in the second phase of the Portfolio. For instance, the strategy to engage with communities, especially traditionally excluded communities, either through CSOs or Media or through other mediums is crucial, for medium to long-term results of activities.

 

6

Ensure Greater Alignment to Anti-Corruption and Climate Change as Cross-Cutting Issues: It is noted that there should be a stronger alignment to climate change recognized under Output 2.1. of CPD and Anti-Corruption recognized as an important policy area of the government under its national policy.

7

 

Monitoring and Reporting Strategy to be Streamlined: The MTE shows that the method of data consolidation for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and presentation of output and outcome-related information in reporting deviates to a certain extent from the log frame and theory of change and needs to be better aligned. Reporting structures need to be enhanced to present information consistent with the results framework. The use of quantitative and qualitative indicators requires a mix of data collection and reporting processes, which need to be built into the M&E process.   There is a need to develop templates and systems to help the programme team collect and collate information in a more systematic manner as well as to be able to report in line with the indicators that have been identified.

1. Recommendation:

Adopt a Strategic Approach to respond to the Covid 19 Pandemic: UNDP should harness the role as a connector between organisations and institutions, a knowledge broker due to its access to vast resources and networks and convener, bringing groups together for a common purpose and invest in building resilience of beneficiaries, not only to manage political shifts and shocks but also to manage environment and public health crisis such as the current pandemic.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted.  Continuous assessments of the evolving socio-political context is conducted by the  inclusive governance unit, following which strategic decisions are adopted in terms of portfolio design, implementation strategy, cross portfolio synergies etc. The strategic direction setting has been completed internally with the support of BRH and UNRCO-SL, accordingly, SDG 16 portfolio is recalibrated and approved by the portfolio board.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Conduct a continuous assessment on evolving socio-political context of Sri Lanka engaging institutions and organizations as knowledge broker.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Programme Policy – Inclusive Governance 2023/01 Initiated
1.2. Covid- 19 sensitive reprogram of the ongoing projects under the Portfolio.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

The Portfolio should Revisit the Current Partnership Engagement Strategy: Portfolio should design an engagement strategy to select organizations that, represent different interests related to the Portfolio, that represents diversity and inclusivity, and the ability to reach out to traditionally excluded vulnerable communities as envisaged by the Portfolio rationale.  Portfolio should also focus on directly building long-term resilience of CSOs to counteract political shifts, focusing on approaches that may be outside the traditional experience and expertise of civil society but grounded in real-life examples, including strengthening their constituency base; enhancing collaboration; and communicating with a broader audience. There again aligning to the CSO strategy may allow the Portfolio to remain focused in contributing towards SDGs, particularly SDG 16.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted. The portfolio has paid considerable attention to partner engagement. The SDG 16 portfolio has initiated measures to strengthen CSOs' engagement, disability mainstreaming, and private sector partners within the SDG 16 portfolio. Mainly the Prevention of Violent Extremism project, Business and Human Rights project, and Support to Durable Resettlement Project have been employed partnership engagements extensively in the implementation. The partnership/ engagement with CSOs includes the component of capacity building of CSOs to ensure the long-term resilience that focuses on the expertise of civil society. The following key actions have been focused on further strengthening the partnership engagement to the portfolio. A CSO engagement strategy is also being developed for the portfolio and the CO as a whole led by the IGT.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.2. Strengthen disability mainstreaming into the entire SDG 16 portfolio and its project.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
2.1. Develop the CSO engagement strategy for the recalibrated portfolio to ensure long-term resilience of CSOs.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/03/29]
Programme Policy – Inclusive Governance Unit 2022/03 Completed CSO engagement strategy for the portfolio is developed using the external consultancy. History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should be strategic in focusing its Comparative Advantage: UNDP needs to play a more aggressive role to push forward reforms that may not always be a priority of the government of the day but a priority for beneficiaries. For instance, UNDP should advocate and strengthen the role of CSOs to create space for initiatives on peacebuilding, reconciliation, inter-religious harmony, prevention of violent extremism, and TJ mechanisms such as reparations.  

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted. The recalibration of the portfolio will address the recommendation. However, the Prevention of Violent Extremisms and Social Cohesion project under the portfolio has already initiated some measures to strengthen the CSOs engagement in Peacebuilding, etc. Meanwhile, given the sensitivity on the issues of Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka’s current context, a policy decision was adopted in 2019 by the UN Country Team that UNOHCHR will serve as the custodian for Transitional Justice related interventions moving forward

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Identify new opportunities related to reconciliation, social cohesion and resource mobilized.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
3.2. Strengthen CSOs platforms and engagement that ensure safe space for initiatives, mainly related to peacebuilding and social cohesion across the portfolio projects.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Increase Collaboration and Coordination Efforts between UN Agencies under the ‘One UN Policy: More effective coordination and cooperation may be required in the second phase to improve effectiveness and impact. It also recognizes the need for greater engagement across UN agencies for a sector-wise approach to governance, justice, development, and peace building issues as well as greater coordination and engagement between UNDP and other development agencies.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted: UNDP has greater collaboration with sister UN agencies through different instruments such as joint programming to promote the ONEUN approach.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. Initiate joint programming options with multi agency participation based on the conceptual areas of intervention, eg, EU A2J (UNDP and UNICEF SDR (Through Joint Programme For Peace, administered by UNRCO) PVE (UNDP, RCO, UNICEF, YPI (UNDP, WHO and UNV), PBF (RCO, UNDP, UNICEF)
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
4.2. Engage and facilitate results groups as per UNSDCF, organized and administered by UNRCO
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Programme Policy. Inclusive Governance Unit. 2023/01 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

The Portfolio should Adopt an Integrated Approach Across the Three Pillars: Better integration across Pillars has the potential to enhance relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of activities in the second phase of the Portfolio. For instance, the strategy to engage with communities, especially traditionally excluded communities, either through CSOs or Media or through other mediums is crucial, for medium to long-term results of activities.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted- the portfolio has already established mechanisms to maintain the integration between pillars as the pillars have to cross thematic initiatives such as SGBV, PVE, etc. For example, the SGB component has been implemented by pillars 2 and 3. However as identified, the portfolio recalibration will consider strong integration. A recalibration of the SDG16 portfolio has also been initiated to further strengthen integration across its pillars

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. CSO mainstreaming across the recalibrated SDG 16 portfolio – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Programme Policy – Inclusive Governance Unit. 2023/01 Initiated
5.2. Strategize the integration among all the pillars through synergy mapping as per the thematic interventions.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Ensure Greater Alignment to Anti-Corruption and Climate Change as Cross-Cutting Issues: It is noted that there should be a stronger alignment to climate change recognized under Output 2.1. of CPD and Anti-Corruption recognized as an important policy area of the government under its national policy.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted. Even though the portfolio identifies some areas where Anti-corruption and climate change as cross-cutting, the recalibration of the portfolio will address cross-cutting areas strongly. However, currently, the portfolio has engaged in collaborating with CET and P&E units of UNDP Sri Lanka in terms of project designing under portfolio while implementing a cross-pillar approach in project implementations. Considering the current situation in Sri Lanka, anti-corruption is being integrated through policy, systems, procedures, etc at the different institutional levels under the portfolio.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. Continue cross portfolio/ unit integration with other units of UNDP (Climate and Energy Unit and Partnership & Engagement Unit) in terms of programming and implementation.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
6.2. Integrate anti-corruption through policy, systems and procedures, etc at different institutional level through the recalibrated portfolio, considering the current country situation.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
Portfolio Management 2023/01 Initiated
7. Recommendation:

 

Monitoring and Reporting Strategy to be Streamlined: The MTE shows that the method of data consolidation for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and presentation of output and outcome-related information in reporting deviates to a certain extent from the log frame and theory of change and needs to be better aligned. Reporting structures need to be enhanced to present information consistent with the results framework. The use of quantitative and qualitative indicators requires a mix of data collection and reporting processes, which need to be built into the M&E process.   There is a need to develop templates and systems to help the programme team collect and collate information in a more systematic manner as well as to be able to report in line with the indicators that have been identified.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/02/10]

Partially accepted. The portfolio has a strongly mainstreamed monitoring and evaluation framework according to the corporate guidelines on M&E. Portfolio has been implementing the quarterly portfolio reviews using Critical Pathway analysis to ensure the evidence-based results reporting.  However as identified, the results-based management and reporting will be strengthened further with the recalibration of the portfolio.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Develop systematic data tracking tools based on indicator framework
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/03/29]
M&E Unit – Inclusive Governance Unit 2022/05 Initiated Indicator data tracker is finalized. Data collection tools are being developed and to be finalized. History
7.2. Ensure evidence-based M&E and results reporting
[Added: 2022/02/10]
M&E Unit – Inclusive Governance Unit 2023/01 Initiated
7.3. Strengthen the institutional capacity in data collection and management within the portfolio.
[Added: 2022/02/10]
M&E Unit in support of Portfolio management – Inclusive Governance Unit 2023/01 Initiated

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