MID-TERM REVIEW UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT (CPD) FOR THAILAND 2017-2021

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Thailand
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title MID-TERM REVIEW UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT (CPD) FOR THAILAND 2017-2021
Atlas Project Number: 81751,88557,99877
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Thailand
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
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 1.2.3 Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures to maximize availability of resources for poverty eradication
  • 3. Output 2.2.1 Use of digital technologies and big data enabled for improved public services and other government functions
SDG Target
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • 12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
  • 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: UNDP TRAC
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 43,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ampai Harakunarak CPD 2017-2021 MTR Consultant aharakunarak@gmail.com THAILAND
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: THAILAND
Lessons
Findings
1.

Overview of the Country Programme Results and Indicators

The UNDP CPD for Thailand 2017-2021 is strategically linked to the pillars of the Thai government’s policy vision “Stability, Prosperity, and Sustainability”. The CPD identifies a focus on addressing the persistent inequality, environmental degradation, public service delivery challenges, and inherent vulnerability of social incoherence and climate change impacts. The specific approaches utilised by the CO involves: increased focus on its comparative advantage as an impartial partner; employing inclusive, participatory and results-based approach to its programming; engagement with private sector, donors, civil society, philanthropic foundations and public entities for resource mobilization; contribution to research agenda with ongoing internal analysis on key democratic processes; and investment in climate-related planning for business continuity and emergency preparedness, contingency funds and information management .


Tag: Climate change governance Relevance Financial Inclusion Vulnerable

2.

Programme Priorities and Partnership

The programme priorities under the CPD are identified from the present situation as crucial for Thailand’s sustainable development and arranged within two interrelated themes of addressing six key development issues (Annex 8) have: (i) inequality (widespread by geography, gender and ethnicity); (ii) environmental degradation (due to ineffective law enforcement and implementation); (iii) climate change (growing vulnerability to impacts in terms of land quality, health and natural disasters); (iv) public service delivery (centralized system, limited public participation, corruption); (v) social cohesion (political or social tension linked to economic disparity and inequality); and, (vi) innovation (investment on facility for research and knowledge that promotes democratic governance and sustainability).


Tag: Climate change governance Environment Policy Anti-corruption Inclusive economic growth Inequalities Trade and Development Agenda 2030

3.

Promoting Anti-Corruption, Inclusive Engagement and Social Cohesion

A wide range of approaches and partnerships are applied to achieve the programme priority on promoting anti-corruption, inclusive engagement and social cohesion. This includes fostering partnerships between civil society and the private sector through capacity-building for the private sector; strengthening citizen participation in public accountability; using innovative technologies for public engagement enable reporting mechanisms for corruption in accessing social services and in measuring the implementation of environmental regulations and laws, engaging youth for more accountable institutions and scaling the results through geographical expansion; promoting the sustainability of the network and its outreach activities; scaling up work on strengthening social cohesion and livelihoods of women and communities through substantially increasing the number of locally initiated female-headed community enterprise initiatives; ensuring sustainability through reinvestment at the community level of the profit generated by the social enterprises; working on gender rights in areas where women are at a disadvantage, LGBTI rights, and inequality; and, developing the capacity of civil society to facilitate participation of communities and women in the dialogue process as potential agents of change.

Sample projects under implementation/planned include: • Promoting a fair Business Environment (Anti-corruption) • Business and Human Rights • Non-discrimination and LGBTI Inclusion • Social Innovation • Preventing Violent Extremism • Southern Thailand Empowerment Programme/Peacebuilding in the Deep South (both ongoing and forward looking)


Tag: Anti-corruption Civic Engagement Jobs and Livelihoods Institutional Strengthening Vulnerable Women and gilrs

4.

Programme Implementation and Risk Management

The CPD 2017-2021 is implemented through national implementing partners, under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NESDB1 , with UNDP direct implementation under special circumstances or on specific issues such as campaigns, innovation facilities and policy advice. Financial resources2 are dominantly from GEF. To achieve the $50 million target for resource mobilization under the current CDP, additional non-traditional partners will be engaged through “flexible and adaptable cutting-edge interventions”. To reaffirm its neutrality and professionalism to maintain the Government’s trust, UNDP works with civil society or communities, while continuing to coordinate closely with the public sector partners and monitoring national political and economic dynamics through ongoing programmes implementation and advocacy to leverage resources that are responsive to the national environment and in the core UNDP mandate areas. The CPD also outlines specific actions (i.e. contingency funds and information management) to cope with potential threat from environmental risks, including climate change and disasters.


Tag: Resource mobilization Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Innovation Risk Management

Recommendations
1

At Programme Level: Relevance

It has been observed that the CPD for the period is relevant to the Thai context and reflects the country’s needs and priorities. However, it seems that UNDP is not familiar to some institutions and people, particularly those in non-government sector and outside the capital.

Recommendation 1:

UNDP should communicate more on its efforts, working through SDGs localization and engaging multi-stakeholders in social innovation development and initiatives, as well as engaging more with the private sector for sustainable results.

2

At Programme Level: Effectiveness

The CPD effectiveness is mixed. It seems higher in the IGSD programme, where the adoption of regional fund management tools has allowed for enhanced planning and monitoring. There appears to be too small projects/activities, particularly in the DGSA programme. Programming, planning and management processes were observed to be very different across programmes. In some projects, the excessive number of stakeholders and activities hindered the impact and effectiveness of planned actions. The achievement of project results seems uneven across thematic areas. It depends upon project structure, number and typology of actions, nature of the IPs, as well as institutional context.

Recommendation 2:

  • Continuous capacity building of national and local institutions.
  • Exploring strategic innovative partnerships and enhancing national-local cooperation.
  • Re-think the structure of programmes and projects – more focused can make more impact (i.e. innovative project design that require inclusive and integrated approaches).
3

At Programme Level: Efficiency

The project managers noted some improvements, but stakeholders concluded that much needs to be done to improve resource planning, programme management, reporting (timing and format).  Project resources seem correctly and reasonably allocated, albeit adjustment required in some projects.

Recommendation 3:

  • Strengthening and enhancing M&E with IT systems
  • Resource Mobilization Strategy
4

At Programme Level: Sustainability

Sustainability is still an issue and not adequately supported by management mechanisms and tools. Sustainability elements should be inserted in the CPD, in project documents (i.e., exit strategy) and in reporting arrangements. The use of knowledge resources developed within the programmes or projects is not obvious.  However, the support of UNDP to Thailand’s policies through capacity building and other actions will continue.

Recommendation 4:

  • More attention is required by IPs and UNDP programme staff/project personnel to make further use of the knowledge resources.
  • Insert a sustainability (exit strategy) section in all projects’ templates – including reporting - and in the CPD.
  • Focus on institutional sustainability, ensuring as much as possible that training material and knowledge resources are duly embedded in the beneficiary institutions.
5

At Strategic Level

Recommendation I: UNDP to further enhance and broaden the outreach of its advocacy to the general public, particularly those living in poverty, disadvantaged, and vulnerable people.

6

At strategic level

Recommendation II: UNDP’s relative strength is its close cooperation with the relevant government institutions and in the setting of priorities for capacity building as the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks, institutional development, including community participation and engagement through integrated solutions (i.e. data and analytics, innovation and learning, and financing expertise) to allow development transformation within these institutions.

7

At strategic level

Recommendation III: To promote its SDGs integration and localization role, UNDP Thailand should become more active in the area of programme synchronization and coordination between specialized institutions of the government and the UN system. This might counteract projectisation and labour-intensive project cycle management.

8

At strategic level

Recommendation IV: UNDP Thailand is not fully capitalizing on its full potential with regard to building partnerships. Conscious outreach to bilateral and embassies, as well as the private sector and foundations, for collaborations, through designing specific resource mobilization strategies and institutionalizing regular programme meetings that cut across development sectors, is highly recommended.

9

At strategic level

Recommendation V: UNDP could support more effectively Thailand’s efforts in decentralizing development, social innovation and reducing inequalities by using its global experiences and networks.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

At Programme Level: Relevance

It has been observed that the CPD for the period is relevant to the Thai context and reflects the country’s needs and priorities. However, it seems that UNDP is not familiar to some institutions and people, particularly those in non-government sector and outside the capital.

Recommendation 1:

UNDP should communicate more on its efforts, working through SDGs localization and engaging multi-stakeholders in social innovation development and initiatives, as well as engaging more with the private sector for sustainable results.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The senior management of CO has tasked the team leader for governance unit to develop a work programme on SDGs localization for the Country Office.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
Resident Representative (RR) 2021/12 Initiated Team Leader for Democratic Governance and Social Inclusion had engaged select CO staff to design a concept for SDGs localization and presented the work programme to all staff. Several activities are now being implemented through various projects. History
The senior management of CO will hire a full- time staff to lead the SDGs localization programmatic issues.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR 2021/12 Initiated All staff should share responsibility of work and accountability on their inputs. History
2. Recommendation:

At Programme Level: Effectiveness

The CPD effectiveness is mixed. It seems higher in the IGSD programme, where the adoption of regional fund management tools has allowed for enhanced planning and monitoring. There appears to be too small projects/activities, particularly in the DGSA programme. Programming, planning and management processes were observed to be very different across programmes. In some projects, the excessive number of stakeholders and activities hindered the impact and effectiveness of planned actions. The achievement of project results seems uneven across thematic areas. It depends upon project structure, number and typology of actions, nature of the IPs, as well as institutional context.

Recommendation 2:

  • Continuous capacity building of national and local institutions.
  • Exploring strategic innovative partnerships and enhancing national-local cooperation.
  • Re-think the structure of programmes and projects – more focused can make more impact (i.e. innovative project design that require inclusive and integrated approaches).
Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project managers and programme staff to provide training (subject matters, procedural) to national/local institutes in order to enhance effective delivery of project interventions.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
CO project and programme colleagues 2021/12 Initiated Training activities have been organized periodically to increase the knowledge of CO staff and beneficial partners during the last year. History
Be proactive in fostering innovative partnerships with non-conventional partners to create development results.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR/DRR 2021/12 Initiated Partnerships have been established with non-conventional partners like financial institutes (e.g. KTB, Krungsri, BAAC, SEC, SET) and private sector partners (e.g. True, CP All, CP Group, Blue Carbon Society, Cargill) and is ongoing. History
Redesign CO structure to be more integrated across programmes
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR/DRR 2021/12 Initiated Senior management has lead several milestones in view of revisiting the current CO structure to move away from a siloed approach to an more integrated programme including a sensemaking workshop and several consultations with staffs. History
3. Recommendation:

At Programme Level: Efficiency

The project managers noted some improvements, but stakeholders concluded that much needs to be done to improve resource planning, programme management, reporting (timing and format).  Project resources seem correctly and reasonably allocated, albeit adjustment required in some projects.

Recommendation 3:

  • Strengthening and enhancing M&E with IT systems
  • Resource Mobilization Strategy
Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

The country office takes note of this recommendation and will consult with RBAP Director on a resource mobilization strategy for CO’s investment. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Request more resource from RBAP for investment on M&E capacity strengthening
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR 2021/12 Initiated In view of strengthening the M&E capacity of the CO, this position was institutionalized (in consultation with staffs during the CO restructuring process) in the new proposed CO structure for the Bureau’s consideration History
Pro-active role to access non-vertical funding resources
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR/DRR 2021/12 Initiated In view of diversifying the CO resource mobilization efforts, the CO reached out to several non-vertical fund ‘donors’ including access to IKI Urban Resilience facility, Citi Foundation, UK Pact and the Royal Thai Government among others
4. Recommendation:

At Programme Level: Sustainability

Sustainability is still an issue and not adequately supported by management mechanisms and tools. Sustainability elements should be inserted in the CPD, in project documents (i.e., exit strategy) and in reporting arrangements. The use of knowledge resources developed within the programmes or projects is not obvious.  However, the support of UNDP to Thailand’s policies through capacity building and other actions will continue.

Recommendation 4:

  • More attention is required by IPs and UNDP programme staff/project personnel to make further use of the knowledge resources.
  • Insert a sustainability (exit strategy) section in all projects’ templates – including reporting - and in the CPD.
  • Focus on institutional sustainability, ensuring as much as possible that training material and knowledge resources are duly embedded in the beneficiary institutions.
Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

The recommendation is partially supported. The exit strategy is not appropriate term for the CPD. Suggest to use the term “sustainability/continuity” strategy since the CPD supports Thailand development process towards SDGs achievement by 2030 and beyond.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme officers ensure all knowledge products to be used by the beneficiary institutions.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
Project Managers 2021/12 Initiated Most knowledge products are kept as electronic files within UNDP and the implementation partners. Several training materials made by UNDP, such as technical manual for economic valuation for peat swamp, new government procurement procedures guidebook, Biodiversity Benefit Index manual for local government, among others are available in electronic files
5. Recommendation:

At Strategic Level

Recommendation I: UNDP to further enhance and broaden the outreach of its advocacy to the general public, particularly those living in poverty, disadvantaged, and vulnerable people.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Communication calendar for globally recognized days to be prepared for timely promotion through several modes of communication channels such as Resident Representative’s twitter, UNDP CO Facebook, Instagram, annual report, human story, news, short films.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
Senior Management, All staff 2021/12 Initiated Several modes of mass communication have been engaged to promote CO’s work on climate action, LGBTI, gender, biodiversity, BIOFIN, human rights, etc.
To invest in communication personnel, budget, and improve efficiency and effectiveness of teamwork.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
Senior Management, All staff 2020/10 Completed A new communication officer who replaced the departed staff was recruited whereas two communication officers from Nepal CO were assigned to support the CO during the recruitment period. CO’s visibility has increased significantly over the period.
6. Recommendation:

At strategic level

Recommendation II: UNDP’s relative strength is its close cooperation with the relevant government institutions and in the setting of priorities for capacity building as the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks, institutional development, including community participation and engagement through integrated solutions (i.e. data and analytics, innovation and learning, and financing expertise) to allow development transformation within these institutions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

Agreed 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CO to engage non-state actors and vulnerable peoples (e.g. youth, PwD, LBGTI, Indigenous peoples) in tackling development challenges through integrated solutions.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
Programme/ Project officers 2021/12 Initiated CO organized YouthCo: Lab to empower youth creativity for resolving development issues and provide economic opportunities for themselves.
7. Recommendation:

At strategic level

Recommendation III: To promote its SDGs integration and localization role, UNDP Thailand should become more active in the area of programme synchronization and coordination between specialized institutions of the government and the UN system. This might counteract projectisation and labour-intensive project cycle management.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

Agreed. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CO to initiate proactive integration of thematic areas and SDGs localization through existing projects/initiatives. This should also be reflected in a streamlined programme reporting at the end of the year.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR/DRR 2021/12 Initiated The new JPO Programme Specialist (SDGs) was being recruited and expected to be on board in Q2/2020. This position will lead the SDGs localization effort across the CO.
8. Recommendation:

At strategic level

Recommendation IV: UNDP Thailand is not fully capitalizing on its full potential with regard to building partnerships. Conscious outreach to bilateral and embassies, as well as the private sector and foundations, for collaborations, through designing specific resource mobilization strategies and institutionalizing regular programme meetings that cut across development sectors, is highly recommended.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12] [Last Updated: 2021/03/12]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Senior management of CO to reach out to the selected embassies and private sector partners who share same interests/objectives in order to advance the SDGs.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
RR/DRR 2021/12 Initiated Proactive outreach to targeted embassies and private sector has started
9. Recommendation:

At strategic level

Recommendation V: UNDP could support more effectively Thailand’s efforts in decentralizing development, social innovation and reducing inequalities by using its global experiences and networks.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/12]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Global Human Development Report shall be used an instrument for positioning UNDP CO Thailand to advocate with the parliament and NESDC and private sector.
[Added: 2021/03/12]
Senior Management 2021/12 Initiated GHDR 2019 launched in Dec 2019 focused on inequality issue. The launch event highlighted Thailand context and stimulated a dialogue among academics. Status: Completed for 2020 and continue for 2021

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