Final Evaluation of the Social Protection for Community Resilience Project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2019-2021, Yemen
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2021
Completion Date:
06/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
60,000

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Title Final Evaluation of the Social Protection for Community Resilience Project
Atlas Project Number: 00099750
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2021, Yemen
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2021
Planned End Date: 06/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG Target
  • 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Evaluation Budget(US $): 60,000
Source of Funding: European Union
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 32,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Carolina Àvalos Ms caro.avalosb@yahoo.com
Mohamed Al-Mekhlafy Mr mhatemalm@gmail.com YEMEN
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: YEMEN
Lessons
1.

Comprehensive projects such as the SPCRP, contribute to smooth consumption and improve livelihoods of the most vulnerable people. In the medium and longer term, it helps to improve access to essential social services and guarantees the fundamental rights of most vulnerable population.


2.

The involvement of the main implementers (and key stakeholders) at initial stages (design phase) of the project, is essential for its success.


3.

The use of different targeting methods has been a success, but it is important to go beyond towards an integrated information system that contributes to laying the foundations for medium- and longer-term social protection interventions.


4.

Cash for work. Result Area 1: It is important to highlight innovative practices in the use of mobile banking and electronic payments, but the lack of personal identity cards and cultural issues hinder the success of this intervention.

Health Facilities. Result Area 2: The need for a more comprehensive approach is identified in order to generate the expected multiplier effects on human development on this type of interventions and a more effective coordination.

Psychosocial support.Result Area 3: The importance of adapting this component to the conflict context and incorporating aspects for its sustainability is highlighted, as well as the need to strengthen the technical capacity and necessary resources in order to expand its coverage and effective service delivery.

The capacity building component: Result Area 4 is essential in all development projects as it contributes to improve project-cycle management and service delivery, but also ownership and sustainability of the projects.  


5.

Focusing interventions on specific groups such as women contributes not only to their advancement and empowerment but also to the achievement of community development goals.


Findings
1.

Relevance

  • The SPCRP project is strategically aligned with national and donor’s development priorities.
  • The project has contributed to resilience-building and establishing a bridge for future recovery.
  • The project has contributed to the advance of different SDGs: SDG 1, 3, 5, 10 and 16.
  • The project results framework was consistent with the theory of change and appropriate to the changing context/conflict context in Yemen.
  • The project interventions targeted working age population, and focussed on women, youth and IDP/returnees, complying with its overall minimum set targets.
  • The community-based approach is the common thread of the project’s interventions, ensuring an inclusive participation of key stakeholders and project’s ownership and sustainability.
  • The four results areas defined in the project are responsive to local needs and incorporate innovative approaches to service delivery.
  • Social Fund for Development´s 20+year accumulated experience has been essential in ensuring a successful implementation in a timely manner.

2.

Coherence

Substantive effort has been made in addressing synergies and linkages between other interventions and within its institution. SFD has also established links at the local level that have contributed to its effective coordination and implementation.


3.

Effectiveness

  • The project presented great effectiveness in its implementation, achieving most of the established goals. This is partly explained by the identification of risks and effective management of them in a timely manner, from a conflict-sensitive approach.
  • The main challenges that were faced are related to security and safety issues, particularly in the Northern region. There are others linked to project design, as detailed in this report.
  • SPCRP interventions improved health facilities and access to health services, addressing also most of the health needs of the population. Direct beneficiaries of both the health facilities infrastructure, and Cash for work interventions have seen their livelihoods improved.
  • The effectiveness of the different interventions was highlighted, both in the Northern and Southern regions, as well as the positive effects that the projects had on the communities.

4.

Efficiency

  • The project management structure was largely efficient in generating the expected results within the timeframe, despite the challenges faced by the project related to logistics and personnel security issues due to the conflict situation and its escalation in some areas of intervention.
  • In this context, timely decisions were made on several occasions to repackage activities and reallocate resources.
  • On average, the project had a good budgetary performance and was cost effective.

5.

Impact

  • There are some initial indications of positive impact, although it is not possible to assert that they are due to this specific intervention alone.
  • The different interventions have responded to local needs and benefited both the target and neighbouring communities. The inclusive and participatory approach in the different interventions has contributed to the empowerment of women, youth and IDPs.
  • The compliance of the minimum participation percentages of women was observed in most of the interventions. However, some limitations and gaps observed and analysed in this report point to the need for a comprehensive gender analysis in early stage of future project that could help identify the main drivers that could allow accelerating progress in GEWE, in a conflict and changing context and recovery.

6.

Sustainability

  • The project not only has a well-defined general exit strategy, but a human rights perspective and a community-based approach as well. Both are critical aspects for the sustainability of interventions and social cohesion.
  • There are some indications that point to the achievement of sustainability for each component, with some exceptions. As for example, Targeting health facilities that have been operational at minimum staff is important, but not enough to ensure sustainability due to the multiple risks faced by the health system in the ongoing crisis, particularly those related to security and safety issues and to operational issues (stable staff salaries and medical supplies) as well as maintenance costs.
  • The participation and role of women in the project cycle and decision-making at the community level has contributed to greater participation in community problems and to highlight the importance of project sustainability (thus contributing to the efforts contemplated for the maintenance of projects by communities).

7.

Gender Equality and Women Empowerment

  • The SPCRP has contributed to SDG 5 (gender equality and women empowerment) and met minimum criteria according to Gender Marker 2.
  • The project has adequately considered percentages for women, youth and IDPs as specific targets and has promoted their engagement in the project´s different interventions and in the community development activities.
  • The responses of the SPCRP beneficiaries in the Northern and Southern regions have indicated that human rights and gender equality and women empowerment, have been addressed to a great extent.

Other cross-cutting issues

  • The project has responded to its guiding principles, which defines the communities and participants as its main constituencies, and in particular with a focus on the communities and groups most affected by the conflict - women, youth and IDPs
  • The project had an overall social and environmental compliance

Recommendations
1

In light of the experience and results of this type of projects, it is recommended to move towards the conceptualization of social protection (as an integrated system) in Yemen, based on a broad and inclusive social dialogue taking into account the conflict context and a period of transition and recovery (medium-long term vision). This will require joint work and knowledge generation between academia, national and international development partners, implementing agencies such SFD, civil society organizations –including those representing the most vulnerable and marginalized populations–, among others.  In light of the experience and results of this type of projects, it is recommended to move towards the conceptualization of social protection (as an integrated system) in Yemen, based on a broad and inclusive social dialogue taking into account the conflict context and a period of transition and recovery (medium-long term vision). This will require joint work and knowledge generation between academia, national and international development partners, implementing agencies such SFD, civil society organizations –including those representing the most vulnerable and marginalized populations–, among others. 

2

It is important to establish more systematic or integrated frameworks to ensure harmonization, not only within a particular system but between different ones (i.e., within the health cluster and between the health cluster and social protection). This will contribute to more consistent interventions with added value as opposed to the duplication of efforts. However, an in-depth analysis is required in this regard to be able to assess more specifically the limitations faced (including its synergies and trade-offs between policy areas), particularly in conflict-setting, humanitarian response and its financing.

3

It is recommended to strengthen the decision-making and managerial structures of the project, and to have a gender specialist to support this effort and ensure the achievement of gender specific targets, as well as gender ear marked resources.

4

In the current situation of political and economic instability, the prices and costs of construction supplies are subjected to a lot of variability. This situation needs to be foreseen and taken into account in future projects since it could undermine the established targets. For this, it is recommended to strengthen the technical capacities of the national implementing institutions through the development (or strengthening) of an updated system of supplies/input costs for the construction/ rehabilitation of basic social infrastructure. Regarding the health facilities infrastructure, it is suggested that assistance, or other funding mechanism to carried out technical needs’ assessment (for infrastructure and equipment) of all prioritized facilities (by the Health cluster partners) should be considered. This will help reduce time (and avoid delays) in the early implementation phases of future projects.

5

A more in-depth and inclusive initial assessment is needed in order to address not only the economic, social and political context, but also the institutional one. In the latter case, the development of an institutional mapping (from a recovery and social protection approach) and due diligence (and capacity needs assessment) of the national implementing institution or institutions, are recommended.

In regard to this initial assessment, it is essential to emphasize human rights and gender equality HR&GE from an intersectional and life cycle approach to identify specific individual and social risks; and consider the most vulnerable and marginalized people –including old age and disabled, as well as women, youth, internally displaced and returnees, among others. As established in the Lessons learned report: "Future project design should seek to achieve wage parity and the specific accommodation of women's needs".

In this sense, it is important to identify the capacity needs (and risks) at the institutional level related not only to the management and operation of the project, but also to the technical capacity, in terms of specialized human resources, operating rules and policy tools that are appropriate to the context in the short and medium term of social protection. These policy tools include targeting mechanisms (according to agreed parameters HR&GE perspective and intersectional and life cycle approaches), and a single registry of (potential) participants (of the different social protection interventions) as well as integrated information systems that include monitoring and evaluation and effective grievance systems. This in order to clearly identify the technical and capacity areas (human, physical-technological resources) that need to be strengthened.

1. Recommendation:

In light of the experience and results of this type of projects, it is recommended to move towards the conceptualization of social protection (as an integrated system) in Yemen, based on a broad and inclusive social dialogue taking into account the conflict context and a period of transition and recovery (medium-long term vision). This will require joint work and knowledge generation between academia, national and international development partners, implementing agencies such SFD, civil society organizations –including those representing the most vulnerable and marginalized populations–, among others.  In light of the experience and results of this type of projects, it is recommended to move towards the conceptualization of social protection (as an integrated system) in Yemen, based on a broad and inclusive social dialogue taking into account the conflict context and a period of transition and recovery (medium-long term vision). This will require joint work and knowledge generation between academia, national and international development partners, implementing agencies such SFD, civil society organizations –including those representing the most vulnerable and marginalized populations–, among others. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/29]

Agree with the recommendation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP has initiated bilateral discussions with other UN Agencies, notably UNICEF, for the design of a comprehensive joint programme document that will address this recommendation in a sustainable manner. The programme document has been conceptualized to include broad-based dialogues across all sectors relevant for social protection programming in Yemen. The final output of this process is expected to be a National Programming and Financing Document for Social Protection in Yemen.
[Added: 2021/07/29]
Social Protection Project Manager 2022/06 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

It is important to establish more systematic or integrated frameworks to ensure harmonization, not only within a particular system but between different ones (i.e., within the health cluster and between the health cluster and social protection). This will contribute to more consistent interventions with added value as opposed to the duplication of efforts. However, an in-depth analysis is required in this regard to be able to assess more specifically the limitations faced (including its synergies and trade-offs between policy areas), particularly in conflict-setting, humanitarian response and its financing.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/29]

Agree with the recommendation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP is now a key member of an umbrella coordination body known as the Social Protection Coordination Committee (SPCC) which was initiated by UNICEF. One of the key activities of the SPCC in the north and south of Yemen is the formulation of a National Strategic Framework for Social Protection under the leadership of the relevant authorities i.e. Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.
[Added: 2021/07/29]
Social protection projet manager 2021/06 Completed
3. Recommendation:

It is recommended to strengthen the decision-making and managerial structures of the project, and to have a gender specialist to support this effort and ensure the achievement of gender specific targets, as well as gender ear marked resources.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/29] [Last Updated: 2021/11/24]

Agree with the recommendation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP has a Gender Analyst resident in the Management Support Unit. The Gender Analyst support gender programming for all UNDP projects in Yemen, including Social Protection project
[Added: 2021/07/29] [Last Updated: 2021/08/01]
CO senior management 2021/07 Completed The CO Gender Analyst support all project in gender programming. History
4. Recommendation:

In the current situation of political and economic instability, the prices and costs of construction supplies are subjected to a lot of variability. This situation needs to be foreseen and taken into account in future projects since it could undermine the established targets. For this, it is recommended to strengthen the technical capacities of the national implementing institutions through the development (or strengthening) of an updated system of supplies/input costs for the construction/ rehabilitation of basic social infrastructure. Regarding the health facilities infrastructure, it is suggested that assistance, or other funding mechanism to carried out technical needs’ assessment (for infrastructure and equipment) of all prioritized facilities (by the Health cluster partners) should be considered. This will help reduce time (and avoid delays) in the early implementation phases of future projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/24] [Last Updated: 2021/11/24]

Disagree with the recommendation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP disburses funds to SFD in USD, which helps maintain the value on the face of local price flacuations. SFD's procurement procedures were assessed and found to be aligned to UNDP's procedures. Subsequent assurance activities had no issues on procurement. Any delays suffered are due to the constraining context, a little on the partner's capacity. All infrastructures rehabilitated were selected and prioritised with communities and relevant cluster partners
[Added: 2021/11/24]
N/A 2021/08 Completed
5. Recommendation:

A more in-depth and inclusive initial assessment is needed in order to address not only the economic, social and political context, but also the institutional one. In the latter case, the development of an institutional mapping (from a recovery and social protection approach) and due diligence (and capacity needs assessment) of the national implementing institution or institutions, are recommended.

In regard to this initial assessment, it is essential to emphasize human rights and gender equality HR&GE from an intersectional and life cycle approach to identify specific individual and social risks; and consider the most vulnerable and marginalized people –including old age and disabled, as well as women, youth, internally displaced and returnees, among others. As established in the Lessons learned report: "Future project design should seek to achieve wage parity and the specific accommodation of women's needs".

In this sense, it is important to identify the capacity needs (and risks) at the institutional level related not only to the management and operation of the project, but also to the technical capacity, in terms of specialized human resources, operating rules and policy tools that are appropriate to the context in the short and medium term of social protection. These policy tools include targeting mechanisms (according to agreed parameters HR&GE perspective and intersectional and life cycle approaches), and a single registry of (potential) participants (of the different social protection interventions) as well as integrated information systems that include monitoring and evaluation and effective grievance systems. This in order to clearly identify the technical and capacity areas (human, physical-technological resources) that need to be strengthened.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/24] [Last Updated: 2021/11/24]

Do not agree with the recommendation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Capacity assessments were undertaken before SFD was engaged. During the course of the project, the partner was subjected to spotchecks, programme visits and audits which continously assessed performance and capacity of the responsible party
[Added: 2021/11/24]
N/A 2021/08 Completed Recommended actions were already undertaken

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