Joint Evaluation of "Building Trust and Confidence in Zimbabweâ??s Transitionâ?? Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2021, Zimbabwe
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
09/2021
Completion Date:
12/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Joint Evaluation of "Building Trust and Confidence in Zimbabweâ??s Transitionâ?? Project
Atlas Project Number: 00118587
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2021, Zimbabwe
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2021
Planned End Date: 09/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.2.1 National capacities strengthened for reintegration, reconciliation, peaceful management of conflict and prevention of violent extremism in response to national policies and priorities
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • 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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Agency budgets and PBSO funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,412
Joint Programme: Yes
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
  • Joint with UNICEF, UNWOMEN
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ngoni Marimo Mr ngoni@developmentsolutions.co.zw
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: ZIMBABWE
Comments:

This is a joint evaluation with other UN Agencies namely UNICEF and UNWOMEN.

Lessons
1.

Consultations held on virtual platforms can help the project addresses restrictions posed by COVID-19, but are inherently exclusive and not ideal for inclusive dialogue as majority of the marginalised population will not have access to the platforms.


2.

The UN joint programme is an appropriate implementation approach for peace broad based peacebuilding programmes. The UN joint implementation modality allowed the programme to implement harness the expertise and capacities of other RUNOs enabling the project effectively adopt a broad based peacebuilding programme. This is particularly useful in a context where the drivers of conflict are multi-sectoral


3.

Where peacebuilding requires a broad based approach and drivers are complex and political, investments need to be made based on a long term perspective with a clear vision and plan of how the ultimate objectives will be achieved. This is mainly due to the slow nature of engagement and institutional reforms processes in such contexts.


Findings
1.

The project’s theory change of insufficiently developed without clarity on the how the project would lead to the envisaged outcomes. Theory of change approaches are critical for peacebuilding projects to deepen understanding of how change happens and the conditions underpinning that change.


2.

The ZIM-CATT was essentially a capacity building project. However, the project design lacked clarity on the capacity building approach for the types of capacities being developed. This could have helped in identifying the assumptions and risks for the envisaged change.


3.

The program did not maximise all opportunities for building strategic partnerships from the design stage. This led to exclusion of some stakeholders (especially CSOs and FBOs) and challenges with negotiating the project with the OPC.


4.

While the outputs of the project were interlinked, implementation was pillared, RUNOs delivering activities in one output worked well together but less so across outputs. This undermined the project concept including technical support for some RUNOs for whom peacebuilding was not a traditional area of focus. For example, activities supporting the same national partner from different outputs were not coordinated, whole coordination at subnational level was difficult to achieve.


5.

The decentralization of the peace infrastructure has the potential to enhance capacities for peaceful dialogue and local conflict identification and management. The establishment of Local Peace Committees in some districts such as Nkayi is a notable example of good practice. Decentralised structures supported by the project were also still nascent and required further support to entrench them in the decentralised governance structures of the country.


6.

At the end of the evaluation capacities built by the project including guidance documents (guidelines and handbooks) were either fully developed and approved by relevant national partners or were still to be approved.


7.

Peace requires all stakeholders to engage in a non-threatening environment. The project had a significant impact in the creation of safe spaces for dialogue between GoZ and stakeholders and especially the CSO sector. However, challenges remain in ensuring widescale safe spaces for dialogue between the parties which is central for peacebuilding.


8.

There were promising practices in the project, particularly those that build a network of peacebuilders. If given the long term investment they require they are likely to address future conflicts.


Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1:

A future project design will need to demonstrate the theory of change and clearly show how change happens the conditions as well for achieving that change to project planning and monitoring.

2

In the future RUNOs will need to detail the capacity building approach and understand how risks for the types of capacities will be addressed during project implementation.

3

Future projects for peacebuilding in Zimbabwe are encouraged to strengthen inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordination from the design stage of the project to avoid duplication of activities and promote optimum use of scarce resources. This should include: a broad mapping conflicts (current and potential) and stakeholders to maximize stakeholder contribution and to better-harmonize their differences.

4

There is need for the convening organization to put in place mechanisms that allow for RUNOs to contribute across outputs to ensure the over project concept is realised.

5

There is need to ensure alignment between indicators and expected achievements. Selection of indicators needs to also consider not only quantitative indicators but qualitative indicators as well that can fully demonstrate the project’s achievement. This needs to be accompanied by good understanding of the project’s theory of change; and a baseline.

6

Future project LPAC meetings should ensure comprehensive documentation adequately covering all expected areas for the project (e.g., including efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, value for money, gender dimensions)

7

Future project LPAC meetings should ensure comprehensive documentation adequately covering all expected areas for the project (e.g., including efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, value for money, gender dimensions)

8

In the future RUNOs will need to detail the capacity building approach and understand how risks for the types of capacities will be addressed during project implementation.

9

Future projects for peacebuilding in Zimbabwe are encouraged to strengthen inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordination from the design stage of the project to avoid duplication of activities and promote optimum use of scarce resources. This should include: a broad mapping conflicts (current and potential) and stakeholders to maximize stakeholder contribution and to better-harmonize their differences.

10

Investment in strengthening the peace infrastructure should aim to expand the decentralised peace infrastructure to the community level. This should start in conflict hotspots with the learning from these areas being used to support scale up in potential conflict areas. Among other benefits, this is expected to allow for quicker identification conflicts and their peaceful resolution.

 

Further follow up is still needed by Provincial, district and local peace committees. This includes mentorship and financial support to facilitate their growth, prominence and integration.

 

A future project should extended down further to district or even sub-district level.

11

To maximize the progress in peacebuilding, a more encouraging environment needs to be cultivated to facilitate more participation and joint efforts between government and CSOs with less emphasis on political divide, especially at lower levels where the commitment and mutual trust shown at the national level may not necessarily be reflected.

12

 

Future projects for peacebuilding in Zimbabwe are encouraged to strengthen inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordination from the design stage of the project to avoid duplication of activities and promote optimum use of scarce resources. This should include: a broad mapping conflicts (current and potential) and stakeholders to maximize stakeholder contribution and to better-harmonize their differences.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1:

A future project design will need to demonstrate the theory of change and clearly show how change happens the conditions as well for achieving that change to project planning and monitoring.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted and is currently being factored in the anticipated design of a successor programme for the peacebuilding portfolio in line with the new country programme document. Future programs will utilize the problem mapping and solution tree development approach to come up with suggested solutions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Carry out national consultations on the design of a successor project
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/06 Not Initiated
1.2 Hire a consultant for the design of a successor project
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/06 Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

In the future RUNOs will need to detail the capacity building approach and understand how risks for the types of capacities will be addressed during project implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted. The project as defined by the outcome and outputs, was a capacity development project, building capacities of national institutions for inclusive dialogue, consensus building and reconciliation. An analysis of the project activities shows that it intended to build capacity of institutions through strengthening national leadership, institutional arrangements, enhancing knowledge and increasing accountability. However, some of these capacity gaps were only identified during project implementation and not at the design stage. In future capacity needs assessments of the partners will be carried out at the design stage of projects. There is an opportunity within the Chapter 12 project for such assessment to be carried out.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.2 Continue upscaling the deliver as one initiatives within the UN Family to ensure value for money is realized
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/12 Initiated
2.1 Conduct capacity needs assessment for the partners to identify technical and resource gaps within the respective partners.
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/06 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

Future projects for peacebuilding in Zimbabwe are encouraged to strengthen inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordination from the design stage of the project to avoid duplication of activities and promote optimum use of scarce resources. This should include: a broad mapping conflicts (current and potential) and stakeholders to maximize stakeholder contribution and to better-harmonize their differences.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted and issues with regards to extensive consultations with national partners I project design are set to be addressed through the peace pillar of the Zimbabwe CPD 2022-2026.

Project design could also have had been more inclusive to help the project partners negotiate partnerships at this stage than during implementation. Its failure to do this led to delays in implementation and missed opportunities in creating broad based partnerships.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.2 Continue upscaling the deliver as one initiatives within the UN Family to ensure value for money is realized
[Added: 2021/12/13]
Senior Management 2022/12 Initiated
3.1 Conduct extensive stakeholder consultations in project design
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/12 Not Initiated
4. Recommendation:

There is need for the convening organization to put in place mechanisms that allow for RUNOs to contribute across outputs to ensure the over project concept is realised.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted however there are gaps within the delivery as one principle. While the policy in principle is in place, there lacks a clear framework to harmonize RUNOs respective organizational procedures to achieve said Delivery as One. The UN joint programme is an appropriate implementation approach for peace broad based peacebuilding programmes. The UN joint implementation modality allowed the programme to implement harness the expertise and capacities of other RUNOs enabling the project effectively adopt a broad based peacebuilding programme. This is particularly useful in a context where the drivers of conflict are multi-sectoral.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. Frameworks to fully operationalize and offer guidance in respect to Delivery as One to be put in place.
[Added: 2021/12/13]
Senior Management 2023/12 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

There is need to ensure alignment between indicators and expected achievements. Selection of indicators needs to also consider not only quantitative indicators but qualitative indicators as well that can fully demonstrate the project’s achievement. This needs to be accompanied by good understanding of the project’s theory of change; and a baseline.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is accepted. There is a need to ensure that each project has dedicated Monitoring and Evaluation personnel to ensure that M and E Guidelines are followed. While every project has an M and E budgetary component, the M and E personnel to project ratio is too high for M and E colleagues to adequately tracl all the CO projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Explore the need for a specialized M and E unit in the CO to carry out assurance activities
[Added: 2021/12/13]
Senior Management 2022/12 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Future project LPAC meetings should ensure comprehensive documentation adequately covering all expected areas for the project (e.g., including efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, value for money, gender dimensions)

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The Recommendation is not accepted  as LPAC meetings cover all the sections highlighted. The project modalities are agreed upon in consultation with the host government and cover implementation modalities and expected outcomes and outputs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Carry out national consultations on the design of a successor project
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/06 Not Initiated
7.2 Hire a consultant for the design of a successor project
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/06 Not Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Future project LPAC meetings should ensure comprehensive documentation adequately covering all expected areas for the project (e.g., including efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, value for money, gender dimensions)

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The Recommendation is not accepted  as LPAC meetings cover all the sections highlighted. The project modalities are agreed upon in consultation with the host government and cover implementation modalities and expected outcomes and outputs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.2 Continue upscaling the deliver as one initiatives within the UN Family to ensure value for money is realized
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/12 Initiated
9.1 Conduct extensive stakeholder consultations in project design
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/12 Not Initiated
9.2 Continue upscaling the deliver as one initiatives within the UN Family to ensure value for money is realized
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/12 Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

In the future RUNOs will need to detail the capacity building approach and understand how risks for the types of capacities will be addressed during project implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted and capacity needs assessments of the partners will be carried out at the design stage of projects.

The project was essentially a capacity building project. However, the project design lacked clarity on the capacity building approach for the types of capacities being developed. This could have helped in identifying the assumptions and risks for the envisaged change.

There is an opportunity within the Chapter 12 project for such assessment to be carried out.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Conduct capacity needs assessment for the partners to identify technical and resource gaps within the respective partners.
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/12 Not Initiated
9. Recommendation:

Future projects for peacebuilding in Zimbabwe are encouraged to strengthen inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordination from the design stage of the project to avoid duplication of activities and promote optimum use of scarce resources. This should include: a broad mapping conflicts (current and potential) and stakeholders to maximize stakeholder contribution and to better-harmonize their differences.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted and issues with regards to extensive consultations with national partnes I project design are set to be addressed through the peace pillar of the Zimbabwe CPD 2022-2026.

 

However, peacebuilding is a negotiated process which requires a broad-based approach and drivers are complex and political, investments need to be made based on a long term perspective with a clear vision and plan of how the ultimate objectives will be achieved. This is mainly due to the slow nature of engagement and institutional reforms processes in such contexts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.2 Continue upscaling the deliver as one initiatives within the UN Family to ensure value for money is realized
[Added: 2021/12/13]
Senior Management 2022/12 Initiated
9.1 Conduct extensive stakeholder consultations in project design
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/12 Not Initiated
10. Recommendation:

Investment in strengthening the peace infrastructure should aim to expand the decentralised peace infrastructure to the community level. This should start in conflict hotspots with the learning from these areas being used to support scale up in potential conflict areas. Among other benefits, this is expected to allow for quicker identification conflicts and their peaceful resolution.

 

Further follow up is still needed by Provincial, district and local peace committees. This includes mentorship and financial support to facilitate their growth, prominence and integration.

 

A future project should extended down further to district or even sub-district level.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

This recommendation has been accepted. The Political and Governance space in Zimbabwe remains fragile given the long history of mistrust, conflict, and deep polarization. The anticipated reform, opening up of political space and re-engagement with the development community that was promised following the 2018 election remains elusive. However, not-withstanding these challenges, the peace pillar has evolved during the life span of the evaluated project, and under this portfolio has opened up to embrace new partnerships which have allowed peacebuilding programming to remain relevant to the emerging needs from stakeholders whist adapting to the changing operating environment. Partnerships have continued to be established and strengthened at national and sub-national levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1. Continue supporting peace architecture at national and sub-national levels through the Provincial Peace Committees
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/06 Initiated The project will continue to contribute to the historical work that UNDP has done on peace issues in Zimbabwe at both national and provincial level History
10.2 Operationalize peace infrastructure at sub-national levels
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2022/06 Initiated This project which has been evaluated had ongoing work on the operationalization of the peace infrastructure in Zimbabwe and this work is set to continue under the new CPD. History
11. Recommendation:

To maximize the progress in peacebuilding, a more encouraging environment needs to be cultivated to facilitate more participation and joint efforts between government and CSOs with less emphasis on political divide, especially at lower levels where the commitment and mutual trust shown at the national level may not necessarily be reflected.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is accepted.  The coming-in of Zimbabwe’s new government offered hope for political tolerance, strengthening of democracy and good governance, promotion of vertical & horizontal accountability, peace & reconciliation, and improvement restoration of the economy. The project took a broad-based approach, building on competitive advantages of three RUNO’s -UNDP, UN-Women and UNICEF to work with Government Ministries, CSOs, Independent Commissions and the Academia to address historical/unresolved conflicts and at the same time building strong institutions, systems and accountabilities to cultivate and sustain peace in Zimbabwe. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 Operationalize the Conflict Early Warning and Early System
[Added: 2021/12/13] [Last Updated: 2022/03/17]
GPBU 2022/02 Completed The early warning system has been establish and operationalization and adoption of this tool is ongoing. History
11.2 Continue work on the development of the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Index.
[Added: 2021/12/13] [Last Updated: 2022/03/17]
GPBU 2022/02 Completed The development and finalization of the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation index is still ongoing and at an advanced stage. History
12. Recommendation:

 

Future projects for peacebuilding in Zimbabwe are encouraged to strengthen inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordination from the design stage of the project to avoid duplication of activities and promote optimum use of scarce resources. This should include: a broad mapping conflicts (current and potential) and stakeholders to maximize stakeholder contribution and to better-harmonize their differences.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/13]

The recommendation is noted and issues with regards to extensive consultations with national partnes I project design are set to be addressed through the peace pillar of the Zimbabwe CPD 2022-2026.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Conduct extensive stakeholder consultations in project design
[Added: 2021/12/13]
GPBU 2023/12 Not Initiated
3.2 Continue upscaling the deliver as one initiatives within the UN Family to ensure value for money is realised
[Added: 2021/12/13]
Senior Management 2022/12 Not Initiated

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