Strengthening Public Finance Management and Governance (PFM)

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2021
Completion Date:
11/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Strengthening Public Finance Management and Governance (PFM)
Atlas Project Number: 101901
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2021
Planned End Date: 11/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: EU
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: 2021 PIFS, IMF/PFTAC, the University of the South Pacific and PASAI
Countries: FIJI
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The FEC recommends to continue with initiated activities and regionally-focused support to improving budgetary oversight and further enhancing transparency and accountability systems in participating countries

2

Facilitate citizens participation in budgetary processes by enhancing the understanding of the public finances and the need for their involvement in budgetary processes. The FEC recommends exploring opportunities to expand activities to enhance understanding of the public finance, especially among citizens. This could include public advocacy activities, public discussions and awareness events. These initiatives could benefit from using social media for involving and informing citizens on budgeting process. Some of the new platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, twitter, twitch, etc could be adjusted to serve the purpose of informing and involving citizens, especially youth, in budgetary process and policy making activities. The FEC recommends to expand the grants (for PIANGO, but also for NLUs and for mentorship), to continue supporting innovative public finance/ budgetary oversight initiatives and strengthen activities for more active citizens involvement. There are other topics that are relevant for the region in the context of transparency in the public finance management system and the FEC recommends considering these topics. For example, addressing the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public finance, further expand climate change efforts by exploring opportunities to move to a clean, circular economy through policies and budget allocations.

3

Consider longer timeframe for the follow-up support to public finance management in the Pacific region

4

The FEC recommends that PFM supports regional networking and horizontal exchange of know-how among the experienced CSOs with the newly participating organizations. The capacity of civil society organizations varies widely in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Therefore, in many countries, capacity development support is required to enable CSOs to develop skills for gathering and focusing citizen perspectives and analyzing public finances to allow input into national budgetary processes. Therefore, the PFM should consider a long-term, needs-based capacity development approach under all its components. It is important to include knowledge tests at the end of each training program to assess immediate improvements in skills and knowledge. In addition to delivery capacity development support, the Project should consider networking and exchange of knowledge and know-how among the experienced CSOs and newly awarded/ selected organizations. The example of the Floating Budget Office could be adjusted to the context and needs of civil society organizations.

5

The FEC recommends balance between qualitative and quantitative indicators to enable adequate measuring of progress under components, also capturing PFM’s and progress towards its planned results and broader reform agenda. The evaluation team recommends that PFM provide a well-balanced combination of qualitative and quantitative indicators to capture changes and results attributable to the Project, using national indicators and targets to the extent possible. The FEC also recommends including gender sensitive indicators with a focus on “gender transformation”.

6

The FEC recommends that UNDP/ PFM together with partners, prepare clear and practical sustainability strategy under all results areas. PFM should continue implementing its systemic approach to capacity development, following needs assessments of the main stakeholders and partners. At the current stage of development of public finance management system in the Pacific Islands Countries, it is important to consider and provide a longer-term and needs-based capacity development assistance. It is especially important to continue work on the development of capacity for budgetary scrutiny of the SAIs and parliaments, while also working on understanding of links between policies and budgeting. The evaluation team recommends that PFM design a comprehensive training evaluation approach based on the Kirkpatrick model, assessing four levels of learning: 1) participant satisfaction with the training; 2) immediate change in individual knowledge and skills; 3) change in individual performance back in the workplace; and 4) change in the overall performance of the institution

1. Recommendation:

The FEC recommends to continue with initiated activities and regionally-focused support to improving budgetary oversight and further enhancing transparency and accountability systems in participating countries

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/17]

Phase 2 design involves the strengthening of emerging and confirmed partnerships for the implementation process of the project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New phase to incorporate strong regional component, possibility to work at the sub-national level and strong South-South dimension
[Added: 2022/06/17] [Last Updated: 2022/09/18]
Effective Governance with support to IRMU and DRR 2022/08 Completed Phase II of the project was signed with the EU on the 30th June incorporating the relevant components. History
2. Recommendation:

Facilitate citizens participation in budgetary processes by enhancing the understanding of the public finances and the need for their involvement in budgetary processes. The FEC recommends exploring opportunities to expand activities to enhance understanding of the public finance, especially among citizens. This could include public advocacy activities, public discussions and awareness events. These initiatives could benefit from using social media for involving and informing citizens on budgeting process. Some of the new platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, twitter, twitch, etc could be adjusted to serve the purpose of informing and involving citizens, especially youth, in budgetary process and policy making activities. The FEC recommends to expand the grants (for PIANGO, but also for NLUs and for mentorship), to continue supporting innovative public finance/ budgetary oversight initiatives and strengthen activities for more active citizens involvement. There are other topics that are relevant for the region in the context of transparency in the public finance management system and the FEC recommends considering these topics. For example, addressing the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public finance, further expand climate change efforts by exploring opportunities to move to a clean, circular economy through policies and budget allocations.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/17]

Fully accepted.  This point has been fully incorporated in the project Phase 2 design working with regional innovation networks to enable forward-thinking and visionary solutions for public finance and governance in the Pacific.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New Phase to incorporate larger civil society engagement component in line with recommendations
[Added: 2022/06/17]
Effective Governance 2022/08 Completed completed History
3. Recommendation:

Consider longer timeframe for the follow-up support to public finance management in the Pacific region

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/17]

Fully accepted. Phase II to provide more than 2.5years for implementation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New phase to be developed for 5 years minimum.
[Added: 2022/06/17]
Effective Governance 2022/06 Completed completed History
4. Recommendation:

The FEC recommends that PFM supports regional networking and horizontal exchange of know-how among the experienced CSOs with the newly participating organizations. The capacity of civil society organizations varies widely in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Therefore, in many countries, capacity development support is required to enable CSOs to develop skills for gathering and focusing citizen perspectives and analyzing public finances to allow input into national budgetary processes. Therefore, the PFM should consider a long-term, needs-based capacity development approach under all its components. It is important to include knowledge tests at the end of each training program to assess immediate improvements in skills and knowledge. In addition to delivery capacity development support, the Project should consider networking and exchange of knowledge and know-how among the experienced CSOs and newly awarded/ selected organizations. The example of the Floating Budget Office could be adjusted to the context and needs of civil society organizations.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/17]

Fully accepted. Phase II includes the integration of this implementation approach across all outcomes and activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New phase to include strong CSO capacity building and peer-to-peer support.
[Added: 2022/06/17]
Effective Governance 2022/08 Completed Completed. Project document for the next phase includes specific mechanisms – including peer to peer and south-south exchange for capacity building.
5. Recommendation:

The FEC recommends balance between qualitative and quantitative indicators to enable adequate measuring of progress under components, also capturing PFM’s and progress towards its planned results and broader reform agenda. The evaluation team recommends that PFM provide a well-balanced combination of qualitative and quantitative indicators to capture changes and results attributable to the Project, using national indicators and targets to the extent possible. The FEC also recommends including gender sensitive indicators with a focus on “gender transformation”.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/17]

Fully accepted. This is a point UNDP has put forward to development partners in planning the second phase of the PFM project. The next phase will ensure inclusion of gender sensitive indicators with appropriate balance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New phase to carefully consider a balance of the indicators and ensure gender sensitive indicators are included.
[Added: 2022/06/17]
Effective Governance 2022/06 Completed
6. Recommendation:

The FEC recommends that UNDP/ PFM together with partners, prepare clear and practical sustainability strategy under all results areas. PFM should continue implementing its systemic approach to capacity development, following needs assessments of the main stakeholders and partners. At the current stage of development of public finance management system in the Pacific Islands Countries, it is important to consider and provide a longer-term and needs-based capacity development assistance. It is especially important to continue work on the development of capacity for budgetary scrutiny of the SAIs and parliaments, while also working on understanding of links between policies and budgeting. The evaluation team recommends that PFM design a comprehensive training evaluation approach based on the Kirkpatrick model, assessing four levels of learning: 1) participant satisfaction with the training; 2) immediate change in individual knowledge and skills; 3) change in individual performance back in the workplace; and 4) change in the overall performance of the institution

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/17]

Fully accepted. Recommendations have been factored into Phase II design. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New phase to carefully consider sustainability strategy and evaluation of activities based on institutional needs
[Added: 2022/06/17] [Last Updated: 2022/09/18]
Effective Governance 2022/08 Completed Phase II of the project was signed with the EU on the 30th June incorporating the relevant components. History

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