Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Jamaica

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2020
Completion Date:
12/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
32,100

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Jamaica
Atlas Project Number: 106014,88096,99577,59298,110607,98622,72584,87974,76339,84069,76649,100137,67121,104739,89233
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2020
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: No
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Resilience
  • 4. Sustainable
  • 5. Energy
  • 6. Gender
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
  • 2. Output 1.3.1 National capacities and evidence-based assessment and planning tools enable gender-responsive and risk-informed development investments, including for response to and recovery from crisis
  • 3. Output 1.6.2 Measures in place and implemented across sectors to prevent and respond to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
  • 4. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
  • 5. Output 2.1.2 Capacities developed for progressive expansion of inclusive social protection systems
  • 6. 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
  • 7. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
  • 8. Output 2.5.1 Solutions developed, financed and applied at scale for energy efficiency and transformation to clean energy and zero-carbon development, for poverty eradication and structural transformation
SDG Target
  • 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
  • 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 17.16 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
  • 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
  • 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 32,100
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 32,100
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Oanh Nguyen Lead Evaluator
Jin Zhang Associate Lead Evaluator
Gilbert Adjimoti Research Associate
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: JAMAICA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

NDP should clearly define its multi-country approach and consider designing multi-country interventions to address common challenges faced by the countries covered by the MCO, such as vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. This should be done with strong support from the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean and tapping into similar experiences and lessons from other country offices and regions.

Besides Jamaica, the MCO has only had minimal engagement in the other countries it covers, mainly due to limited funding and human resources. However, it will still be important for the MCO to define its role in a multi-country context, in order to, at least, avoid ad-hoc actions and bring clarity in terms of the resources needed and potential opportunities.

The MCO should join forces with the Regional Bureau and other offices, and tap into the available pool of knowledge and expertise to study similar examples of other offices. This would allow it to see how other offices, especially other MCOs, handle similar challenges, including multi-country coverage and addressing thematic areas such as governance, citizen security and natural disaster vulnerabilities. This should include resource mobilization, project/programme design, seeking vertical trust funds such as the GEF and Green Climate Fund, government cost-sharing, partnership building including with the private sector, innovation and knowledge management, and South-South and triangular cooperation, which are crucial for UNDP country offices in middle-income countries. For instance, social-economic recovery is urgently needed, as is support from the international community for many Caribbean countries, especially small island developing states, due to heavy indebtedness, vulnerability to climate change, and high expenditure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.133 UNDP should consider its role in such recovery efforts together with other international partners. In terms of multi-country coverage, disaster risk management is an area which is critical to all countries in the MCO portfolio. The MCO helped The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands to develop recovery plans after hurricanes in those countries. However, prevention, disaster preparedness and recovery planning are more effective when done prior to the natural disasters, to build resilience. Therefore, it is important for the MCO to seek ways to engage all the countries in its portfolio to do prevention, disaster preparedness and recovery planning exercises before the onset of natural disasters. Efforts should be made to advocate governments and development partners of these countries on the importance of these exercises, given their high vulnerabilities, and to seek possibilities for government cost-sharing and the establishment of a special recovery fund.

2

UNDP should re-think its aggregated comparative advantage, strategic role and engagement in Jamaica and other countries it serves in light of the MCO’s actual resource capacity, expertise and value added, particularly in the areas of human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, children and youth, and migration, taking into consideration the work of other UN agencies with specific mandates in these areas.

Considering the MCO’s limited resources in general and the absence of funds for the other countries covered by the MCO in particular, the MCO needs to identify strategic areas of intervention where it can address key issues in the country context, and better capitalize on collective knowledge and lessons learned. It should also look to other agencies’ strengths and resource capabilities, instead of taking up limited-impact endeavours with limited prospects of up-scaling and buy-in, even if they are financially beneficial. Guided by the MSDF and the strategic priorities of the countries under its coverage, the MCO should forge stronger partnerships with the UN country team, exploring strategic alliances with UN agencies through joint programmes where relevant, and mobilizing global and regional policy networks to offer strategic technical expertise. It should also explore ways to engage the private sector in innovative partnerships, especially in high-income countries it covers, even if this implies foregoing financial contributions initially. UNDP should further cultivate strategic alliances with international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, in the areas of social protection, environment and anti-corruption (Jamaica ranks high among Caribbean countries in the Corruption Perception Index), and explore closer links with regional bodies such as CARICOM.

On gender equality and women’s empowerment, UNDP should try to make better use of the expertise and infrastructure of other UN agencies, and partner with the World Bank and other development agencies to fill its own capacity gaps and develop more robust and innovative gender-sensitive policy interventions in areas of gender statistics, gender-based and sexual violence, rights of minorities, migration and political participation. This should be done while working to increase awareness and tackle harmful prevalent perceptions, to contribute to incremental changes towards increased gender equality

3

Recommendation 3: In the areas of environment, climate change and disaster risk management, where UNDP has managed to establish its positioning, the MCO should continue policy dialogue with government partners to consolidate its achievements. It should enhance collaboration with other UNDP offices in the region to develop regional or joint interventions. The MCO should look into existing resources for its work, and identify possible partnership opportunities.

Advocacy and dialogue with government partners is important for UNDP to consolidate results achieved in Jamaica, and to strengthen its positioning and engagement in different sub-themes, such as climate change adaptation mechanisms, especially at the community level, the continued promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in public sector buildings, continued support to protected areas’ financial sustainability through the NCTFJ, and the advancement of other development minerals (e.g. marble, rare earth minerals, semi-precious stones). As countries in the region face similar environmental challenges, the MCO should enhance its collaboration with other UNDP offices in the region, considering joint interventions which could possibly bring greater effects, and look into existing resources in this regard. For instance, UNDP Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States worked in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the International Federation of the Red Cross to support the integration of early warning systems best practices and tools at the regional level, with a tool kit (including multiple guidance instruments) available. This can be used for the MCO’s work in the same areas, and similar types of collaboration opportunities may be identified.

4

Given the strong technical capacities and national ownership of the Jamaican Government, and the MCO’s financial and human resource limitations, the MCO should add value by developing efficient and innovative models in localized settings, aiming to inform broader policies and plans. Downstream interventions should be designed with upstream policy work in mind to maximize the possibility of replication at the national level for greater impact.

Considering UNDP’s limited funding in some areas (e.g. social protection, governance and poverty), as compared to the World Bank, USAID and the European Union, and the difficulty developing large-scale programmes with wide coverage and impacts, the most efficient way for UNDP to make meaningful contributions to development results in these areas and re-position itself as a strategic player is to model and pilot innovative and strategic solutions that can be taken up, replicated and scaled up by the government and development partners. Instead of being occupied with individual projects, UNDP should also strive to move towards a more integrated and holistic portfolio approach in areas that are aligned with national priorities and the MSDF, and where it has a comparative advantage, and mobilize resources through diverse partnerships.

5

The MCO needs to significantly improve the quality of strategic monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management. It should also consider carrying out an in-depth analysis of its business model, including structure and capacities, strategic value, feasibility and sustainability.

UNDP should strengthen the results framework of the next country programme with measurable indicators that are coherent with the strategic results. The MCO M&E system should provide information that underpins decision-making and political dialogue between UNDP and its partners. Therefore, the MCO needs to strengthen its M&E beyond project/output level and focus more on outcome-level monitoring, as well as planning and conducting evaluations that are strategic in nature. This could include evaluations that address programme priorities, emerging areas and potential scale-up opportunities. In small country offices with scarce human and financial resources, such as the Jamaica MCO, the capacity for analysis, research and knowledge management is particularly valuable. Therefore, UNDP should develop a robust knowledge management strategy and link it with a vigorous communication and outreach strategy to transform successful results and knowledge into strategic learning and advocacy opportunities, increase the coverage and outreach of its work, facilitate more robust and versatile partnerships, and ensure stronger permeation and uptake of lessons, practices and know-how among different segments of society. This will facilitate replicating the models developed, attract funding, strengthen its positioning and yield more transformative results.

The restructuring exercise certainly has pros and cons, and it is time to do a detailed assessment to ensure that the office structure can maximize efforts and enable the office to achieve its objectives. As DIM projects occupy the majority of the current country programme, the assessment should take this into account when assessing the financial and human resources required.

 

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