Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Ghana

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2021
Completion Date:
12/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Ghana
Atlas Project Number: 65055,65356,109962,95425,107522,65118,72342,72067,95383,75195,60740,104888,89426,102788,65880,111633,70731,90446,110365,65229,110427,82764,87510,84102,89037,88002
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2021
Management Response: No
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Resilience
  • 4. Sustainable
  • 5. 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
  • 2. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
  • 3. 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
  • 4. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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
  • 7. Output 3.3.2 Gender-responsive and risk-informed mechanisms supported to build consensus, improve social dialogue and promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies
SDG Target
  • 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
  • 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
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • 14.c Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of "The future we want"
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 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
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
  • 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
  • 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
  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Oanh Nguyen Lead Evaluator
Ben Murphy Associate Lead Evaluator
Abhijit Bhattacharjee Evaluation Consultant
Leslie Fox Evaluation Consultant
Leonard Hasu Evaluation Consultant
Cheayoon Cho Research Associate
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: GHANA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

UNDP should build on and strengthen its strategic positioning in the climate action and environmental management area. The CO should deepen engagement with key development actors in this area on strategic and programmatic issues for strengthened collaboration and synergy and possible scaling up of results. It should also continue to explore other opportunities for partnership with the private sector. UNDP has established its position as a key partner of the Government in the field of environment and climate action and should build on this to strengthen its work. It may want to consider performing a stocktaking of its experience and knowledge in order to position itself as the Government’s advisor and quality assurer concerning climate action. UNDP should also deepen its engagement with other key development actors such as the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and IFAD which are implementing major initiatives on climate change and resilience-related areas which, prima facie, appear close to UNDP’s own programme objectives. Efforts should go beyond sharing of information in technical working group meetings to proactively engaging in discussions on strategic and programmatic issues to explore opportunities for synergy and possible replication and scaling up. Efforts to explore partnerships with the private sector should continue. UNDP should develop a structured due diligence process for engaging with traditional and non-traditional private sector partners. This process should include assessment of risks and potential conflicts of interest. Overall, the process should aim to facilitate the partnership while ensuring that the due diligence exercise identifies worthy partners that do not threaten UNDP’s well-earned reputation.

2

UNDP should consider continuing to work in the area of peacebuilding and conflict management given its strategic positioning and comparative advantage in this area, including the potential for realistic resource mobilization opportunities. Regarding the broader domain of democratic governance, including good governance accountability and transparency programming, the lessons learned from the current programme indicate the need for better planning and design in its efforts going forward. UNDP should consider integrating governance activities into other areas to strengthen its results, including promoting the rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups through its sectoral programmes.

UNDP needs to be more strategic and stay increasingly focused on what it does best and is recognized for, that is peacebuilding and, increasingly, internal and external security concerns. This being more strategic in the new country programme is consistent with the recognition that significant funding is not likely to increase in the next programme cycle. Given the possible threat of more incidents of violent extremism, there might be more donor interest to support security and prevention of violent extremism interventions alongside UNDP’s recognized work in peacebuilding. UNDP should build on the results already achieved in these areas as well as its global experiences to mobilize resources and work on these themes. This is particularly important given the uncertain long-term prospects for internal peaceful politics as well as the areas of growing societal cleavage which foresee the need for more work in conflict prevention interventions.

For the core governance programme, given that other development partners/donors are unlikely to increase funding for democracy and governance programming based on past trends, UNDP should be strategic and consider integrating governance activities into its other sectoral programmes to better ensure that its future results in the democratic governance area are achieved.

3

Supporting decentralized government structures is important in order to effect change at grassroots level and UNDP should build on the work already done on climate change tools and action plans, and integrated assembly financing framework. However, it should also undertake a detailed analysis of the situation regarding decentralization in Ghana to determine the extent of its future engagement with local government.

UNDP should build on the work already completed if resources are available and Ghana’s efforts at decentralization are assessed to have been successful. While continuing to support the Government on rolling out policies and implementation frameworks on climate change, UNDP might want to consider paying greater attention to building the capacity of officials at regional and district levels for integrating climate change and resilience-promoting actions in local development plans. This would necessarily include incorporating the gender action plan into regional and MMDA plans.

A major consideration for UNDP’s continued work at local government level should be based on the degree to which decentralization is assessed to have been successful and is likely to continue to be in the future in Ghana. Both the government’s fiscal decentralization and political decentralization actions to date may not have been conducive to the success of local governments, both executives and assemblies, in terms of their constitutional mandates to effectively plan and deliver public goods and services. A combination of the inadequate release of public resources and the fact that MMD chief executives (mayors) are appointed by the President rather than through elections, has had the tendency to undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of local governments. UNDP therefore needs to undertake a detailed analysis of the situation to determine the extent of its engagement.

4

UNDP should further strengthen the gender aspects of its programme and make gender equality a critical component of its interventions. It should also anchor its programme on promoting women’s empowerment, including supporting women CSOs and related networks and their organizational capacity to become agents for peace and security as well as creators of development solutions.

UNDP should seriously consider having a gender equality and women’s empowerment strategy, with an annual action plan accompanied with resources for implementation. UNDP’s strategy and implementation approaches should fully integrate a gender equality perspective and actively promote the social, economic and political empowerment of women. The office needs to increase the number of interventions that have gender equality as the main objective (GEN3) in line with UNDP’s corporate objective of having at least 15 percent of budget for GEN3 projects – as defined in the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021 (currently this is at less than 0.5 percent).

UNDP should promote the active participation of women in community exchange mechanisms and dialogue for conflict prevention and social cohesion. UNDP should build on its current work with youth and continue to create sustainable and attractive opportunities for young women and men by promoting their access to capacity development programmes, financial resources and sustainable livelihoods.

The cross-sectoral nature of gender has made it difficult for it to be coordinated by one ministry (Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection). UNDP may want to consider working closely with the Government, advocating and facilitating the establishment of gender desks/focal points at Ministries, Departments and Agencies and MMDAs to ensure the inclusion of gender dimensions in both their annual progress reports to facilitate coordination by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

5

The ability of an organization to effectively address each element of the programme cycle including the design, planning, managing and reporting on results is critical to producing those results. In this regard, UNDP should strengthen several elements of its system for results-based monitoring, reporting, evaluating and learning.

The ToC for the next country programme should be prepared based on thorough analytic work and should include the underlying assumptions and the risks that may have to be mitigated during implementation. It should also ensure integration among thematic areas to better build synergies.

UNDP should strengthen its M&E system to allow the provision of adequate evidence-based data on the progress of results against targets of clearly defined indicators, and the generation of information on outcome as well as output level changes that are directly related to UNDP’s contribution. The collected data should be used in developing periodic progress reports for individual projects and thematic areas as well as the overall programme that feeds into annual reports (ROARs) and can be used by senior management to assess and, where necessary, recalibrate programme interventions. UNDP may consider adding outcome tracking tools like process-tracing, most-significant change stories and case studies, as well as periodic quantitative primary data collection (quantitative surveys) as part of its project evaluation mechanisms where possible. Data disaggregation should be integral to allow monitoring of impacts on target groups.

More robust methods should be developed for measuring the contribution that UNDP makes on institutional development as well as policy changes. These should include indicators on influence, attitude change, replication, and financial commitments. Through its project, UNDP should also strengthen capacities of national and subnational authority partners to generate and use data for improved policy development and monitoring.

In developing the costed evaluation plan for the next country programme cycle, more efforts should be made to improve the coverage of evaluations to entire programme or thematic areas. Evaluations should cover not just project evaluations required by donors but also outcome/thematic evaluations of priority or innovative areas to ensure the ability of the programme to review the assumptions, take stock of progress and adapt as required as the context evolves. Rigour of evaluations and knowledge management are important to increase prospects for scaling up pilots. It is also recommended that while a programme mid-term review is not a UNDP requirement, it should be included in the broader evaluation plan to ensure that mid-course corrections take place if warranted.

 

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