Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Moldova

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Evaluation Plan:
2022-2025, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2022
Completion Date:
02/2022
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
80,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Moldova
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2022-2025, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2022
Planned End Date: 12/2022
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Gender
  • 4. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.2.2 Enabling environment strengthened to expand public and private financing for the achievement of the SDGs
  • 2. Output 1.2.3 Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures to maximize availability of resources for poverty eradication
  • 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 2.2.1 Use of digital technologies and big data enabled for improved public services and other government functions
Evaluation Budget(US $): 80,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 80,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Gheorghe Caraseni Evaluation Consultant
Landry Fanou Research Assistant
Rim Benhima Research Assistant
Yogesh Kumar Bhatt Lead Evaluator
Genta Konci Lead Evaluator
Arkadi Toritsyn Evaluation Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MOLDOVA, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

In line with Moldova’s commitment to EU accession, the next UNDP country programme should focus on exploring possibilities to advance good governance reforms for greater accountability and participation, addressing corruption and other systemic issues by leading concerted actions with a wide range of development partners and building strong and broad multi-stakeholder coalitions to support the reform process. The results of recent presidential (November 2020) and parliamentary (July 2021) elections opened a unique window of opportunity and momentum to advance, jointly with other development partners, systemic reforms in sensitive areas of public administration including decentralization and social protection reforms, as well as anticorruption and justice. UNDP should assess government capacity, ownership and accountability upfront and identify (with other development partners) key strategic areas to focus on. To strengthen its political and economic leverage in a small country like Moldova, with low absorption capacity and uneven political commitment, UNDP should use its comparative advantage of neutrality and trust to secure government commitment prior to engagement, bringing together all development partners if needed. Systemic changes can only occur if UNDP focuses on areas where it can simultaneously pursue legislative and policy changes, deliver programmes on the ground, support a an extensive pool of reform champions and conduct public and media campaigns to affect broader changes in social behaviour. To ensure sustainability, these need to be performed jointly and in concert with other relevant development partners with their various leverages to advance reforms. Considering the downward trends in official development assistance to Moldova, interviewees considered that the country office should further leverage its strength to advance systemic reforms by building closer partnerships with IFIs, in particular with the World Bank which plans to focus explicitly on good governance in its next programme cycle. Collaboration with United Nations agencies which started during COVID 19 should continue and be extended. In addition, UNDP is advised to support a broad multi-stakeholder coalition supporting UNDP policy advice and create a platform for constructive dialogue between these stakeholders and decision-makers to enable them to listen to, understand and act on the needs of citizens, with a focus on the most vulnerable groups. UNDP may identify and build the capacity of individuals with significant experience in different government institutions, and trusted by decision-makers. They could be trained in evidence-based policymaking, modern approaches to public administration management and leadership skills. Moldovan CSOs could be more systemically supported to acquire the necessary foundational skills, including for engaging with citizens and local governments. This would help to close gaps between many CSOs and the wider public, as some CSOs do not well represent and serve their target groups. Building on its effective and innovative experience of youth and CSO involvement in regions, including Transnistria, UNDP should mainstream and advance participatory approaches through all of its projects under the new CPD.

2

UNDP should promote digital solutions at the system level and across all outcomes and areas of involvement. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the advantages of digitalization of public services, including at local level. UNDP is well-positioned to continue promoting digital platforms across all dimensions of public service at national and local levels, to advance transparency, accountability and participation, with a particular focus on the vulnerable groups that should benefit from, and not be further excluded by, digitalization. The digitalization process should be preceded by the development of a strategic vision for the inclusivity of digital transformation processes, engagement with the private sector for the development of digital solutions, digital literacy and the inclusion of the most marginalized groups. UNDP should consider pushing for reform to both the supply (infrastructure, access to networks) and demand (digital literacy) sides.

3

As the country rebuilds itself post COVID-19, UNDP should further strengthen its policy advisory work by providing strategic, practical and actionable policy advice to the Government and better embedding the use of innovations into its policy work to advance institutionalization and scale-up. UNDP will face some broad challenges in its next programme cycle, including the post-COVID recovery, political instability, inconsistent and insufficient government commitment and ability to advance systemic reforms, economic hardship, emigration and the uncertainty of Transnistria development. The next CPD should include a knowledge management strategy based on UNDP research, policy work and innovations. The strategy should identify priority policy advice topics for UNDP, based on a review of current and continuing research pertinent to Moldova’s development, government priorities and UNDP expertise. In addition to its analytical reports, UNDP policy briefs should contain a set of well-justified, evidence-based, specific and implementable recommendations. They should be clear and realistic, address specific bottlenecks and present financial, technical and human resource requirements for their implementation. Particular attention should be paid to policy implementation, with a focus on specific targets, performance measures and indicators capturing policy success. It is critically important to pursue (through policy advice) institutional changes and promote the behaviour required for rights-holders to claim their rights and duty-bearers to fulfil their obligations. UNDP can focus some of its capacity-development activities to address the application of human rights-based approaches in specific sectors and areas. At the same time, UNDP should pay greater attention to the practical results that may materialize from the innovative initiatives it supports, by tracking more closely what happens to the supported innovations over time, what changes they generate at a practical level and how their impact can be sustained over the long term. Some innovations that have potential for broader scale-up and nationwide implementation can be designated as pilots and models by UNDP and national authorities. It is important to ensure that this fairly represents targeted groups and policy issues.

4

Building on past lessons, UNDP should advance a consistent approach to supporting vulnerable groups using a human rights-based approach and address the underlying causes of social exclusion including inequality and marginalization. UNDP should ensure that an overarching strategic approach to the LNOB Principle is applied consistently through all of its programmatic areas to support vulnerable groups, marginalized communities and those with intersectional challenges, such as women, children, Roma, elderly and PwD. The current project-based approach supports some of these groups and communities but with limited or localized impact and insufficient alignment to key UNDP frameworks such as the SDGs. UNDP should promote a consistent approach to supporting vulnerable groups through a human rights-based approach and address inequalities, marginalization and exclusion more systematically across all CPD pillars. All projects should consider support for various vulnerable groups, including the promotion of policy solutions that address the underlying factors of social exclusion. UNDP should use its convening power to ensure the further inclusion of marginalized groups in national or local dialogues or processes.

5

In line with the EU Green Deal, UNDP should actively promote the green transformation agenda and concepts through its programmes.178 At the same time, UNDP should prioritise efforts to further strengthen energy security in Moldova and facilitate the development of a greener, more resilient and healthier low-carbon society. Mainstreaming the Green Deal or green transition requires sound national and local policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, investments and innovation, as well as public dialogue and digital transformation as enablers of change. As stipulated in national environment policies, Moldova needs to promote green transformation and financing instruments, particularly for energy-efficiency, strengthening energy security and reducing the fuel and gas vulnerability of the country within the broader green transformation agenda.

6

UNDP should strengthen the linkages between its programmatic and project-level theories of change, ensuring that they are aligned and contribute to changes identified in the CPD. UNDP should strengthen its monitoring, evaluation and reporting system to focus on results, so that the measurement of outcome-level results becomes an integral part of M&E culture and is undertaken systematically. Realistically formulated results, proper planning, communication, improved coordination and effective monitoring can keep the CPD relevant and useful throughout its cycle. The results framework in the next CPD should have a consistent set of indicators that can be attributed to UNDP work and expected outcomes, with adequately specified baselines, targets, intermediate milestones and timeframes. UNDP is advised to improve the linkages between project results frameworks and CPD and UNSCDFC outcomes. The country office should establish a consistent process of ToC development and monitoring across the entire portfolio of projects in the CPD. ToCs should be used as a tool for designing realistic interventions, and project ToCs should be derived from the CPD ToC with a detailed examination of causality, assumptions and risks. ToCs should be well-articulated and interlinked, so that they provide clear and logical pathways of change and justification for the selected course of action. This will not only make UNDP programmes more effective, but also help stakeholders to visualize a clear and compelling narrative from the expected outputs to the outcome indicators and specific indicators in the CPD, UNSDFC and national plans and programmes. ToC development should become a truly analytical and participatory exercise, engaging multiple stakeholders. ToCs for both the programme and CPD should be living documents, flexible in responding to emerging needs throughout the course of the CPD implementation. It is therefore advisable to introduce a practice of independent mid-cycle review of ToCs to ensure their relevance and effectiveness in capturing UNDP progress towards addressing each identified bottleneck, as well as reflecting changes and complexities arising in the Moldova context. The country office M&E architecture needs strengthening, and the culture of results chains reinforcing, so that the monitoring and measurement of mid- and long-term outcome-level changes becomes an integral part of country office M&E culture, seen as a valued exercise and undertaken systematically.

1. Recommendation:

In line with Moldova’s commitment to EU accession, the next UNDP country programme should focus on exploring possibilities to advance good governance reforms for greater accountability and participation, addressing corruption and other systemic issues by leading concerted actions with a wide range of development partners and building strong and broad multi-stakeholder coalitions to support the reform process. The results of recent presidential (November 2020) and parliamentary (July 2021) elections opened a unique window of opportunity and momentum to advance, jointly with other development partners, systemic reforms in sensitive areas of public administration including decentralization and social protection reforms, as well as anticorruption and justice. UNDP should assess government capacity, ownership and accountability upfront and identify (with other development partners) key strategic areas to focus on. To strengthen its political and economic leverage in a small country like Moldova, with low absorption capacity and uneven political commitment, UNDP should use its comparative advantage of neutrality and trust to secure government commitment prior to engagement, bringing together all development partners if needed. Systemic changes can only occur if UNDP focuses on areas where it can simultaneously pursue legislative and policy changes, deliver programmes on the ground, support a an extensive pool of reform champions and conduct public and media campaigns to affect broader changes in social behaviour. To ensure sustainability, these need to be performed jointly and in concert with other relevant development partners with their various leverages to advance reforms. Considering the downward trends in official development assistance to Moldova, interviewees considered that the country office should further leverage its strength to advance systemic reforms by building closer partnerships with IFIs, in particular with the World Bank which plans to focus explicitly on good governance in its next programme cycle. Collaboration with United Nations agencies which started during COVID 19 should continue and be extended. In addition, UNDP is advised to support a broad multi-stakeholder coalition supporting UNDP policy advice and create a platform for constructive dialogue between these stakeholders and decision-makers to enable them to listen to, understand and act on the needs of citizens, with a focus on the most vulnerable groups. UNDP may identify and build the capacity of individuals with significant experience in different government institutions, and trusted by decision-makers. They could be trained in evidence-based policymaking, modern approaches to public administration management and leadership skills. Moldovan CSOs could be more systemically supported to acquire the necessary foundational skills, including for engaging with citizens and local governments. This would help to close gaps between many CSOs and the wider public, as some CSOs do not well represent and serve their target groups. Building on its effective and innovative experience of youth and CSO involvement in regions, including Transnistria, UNDP should mainstream and advance participatory approaches through all of its projects under the new CPD.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/19]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP will pursue advancing systemic good governance transformations, improving and making the policy cycle more accountable and participatory, addressing corruption and other systemic issues by engaging with a wide range of development partners in concerted actions and building broad multi-stakeholder partnerships to support the national reform processes. UNDP’s work will cut across these areas taking into account the country’s strategic priorities with the overall objective of rebuilding trust in governance at all levels and supporting Moldova’s commitment to the EU accession by modernizing governance institutions and systems, reducing inequalities, as well as enabling the participation and voice of the rights holders in the decision-making processes.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Continue the strategic review of the UNDP support to effective governance with clear pathways for scale-up and replication across the country
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated
1.2 Formulate the CPD 2023-2027 to reflect the comprehensive approach to systemic governance transformations/NextGen Governance
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Effective Governance Cluster, Senior Management 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated The 2023-2027 CPD incorporates systemic governance transformations, and it is currently with the HQ/QA. History
1.3 Based on the strategic review outcomes and new direction of the CPD, design and implement programmatic interventions to advance systemic governance transformations
[Added: 2022/04/19]
All Clusters, Senior Management, Strategic Support Unit 2026/06 Initiated
1.4 Continue building partnerships to foster more systemic transformations across the governance system
[Added: 2022/04/19]
All Clusters, Senior Management, Strategic Support Unit 2026/06 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should promote digital solutions at the system level and across all outcomes and areas of involvement. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the advantages of digitalization of public services, including at local level. UNDP is well-positioned to continue promoting digital platforms across all dimensions of public service at national and local levels, to advance transparency, accountability and participation, with a particular focus on the vulnerable groups that should benefit from, and not be further excluded by, digitalization. The digitalization process should be preceded by the development of a strategic vision for the inclusivity of digital transformation processes, engagement with the private sector for the development of digital solutions, digital literacy and the inclusion of the most marginalized groups. UNDP should consider pushing for reform to both the supply (infrastructure, access to networks) and demand (digital literacy) sides.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/19]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP Moldova, guided by its global Digital Strategy, will further coagulate its offer to the Government and other counterparts on the digital transformation front. UNDP has recently concluded a formal agreement with the Government and the Deputy Prime Minister on Digital Transformation, which focuses among others, on the development of a new vision on digital transformation up until 2030. Such vision is to be based on a broad ‘whole-of-society’ approach that is to look at and include various dimension such as people, infrastructure, government and private sector in a systemic manner. Based on this and extensive UNDP experience in digitalization, new portfolios of options for the Government and other partners to accelerate digital transformation will be shaped up.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Conduct sensemaking exercise on digital transformation to integrate digital solutions across portfolios, and accelerate digital transformation at national and sub-national levels, to ensure the implementation of the ‘digital by default’ principles
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2022/06 Overdue-Initiated
2.2 Support the Government in the development and implementation of a new ‘whole of society’ Strategy on digital transformation for the Republic of Moldova
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit 2026/05 Initiated
2.4. Conduct and support the implementation of a Digital Readiness Assessment focused on the key pillars of digital transformation and develop/implement sectorial readiness assessments to identify gaps and accelerators
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit 2023/05 Initiated
2.4. Conduct and support the implementation of a Digital Readiness Assessment focused on the key pillars of digital transformation and develop/implement sectorial readiness assessments to identify gaps and accelerators
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit 2023/05 Initiated
2.3 Develop and implement joint portfolios on digital transformation at national and sub-national levels (focused on cross-cutting foundational catalysts for digital transformation)
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2024/09 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

As the country rebuilds itself post COVID-19, UNDP should further strengthen its policy advisory work by providing strategic, practical and actionable policy advice to the Government and better embedding the use of innovations into its policy work to advance institutionalization and scale-up. UNDP will face some broad challenges in its next programme cycle, including the post-COVID recovery, political instability, inconsistent and insufficient government commitment and ability to advance systemic reforms, economic hardship, emigration and the uncertainty of Transnistria development. The next CPD should include a knowledge management strategy based on UNDP research, policy work and innovations. The strategy should identify priority policy advice topics for UNDP, based on a review of current and continuing research pertinent to Moldova’s development, government priorities and UNDP expertise. In addition to its analytical reports, UNDP policy briefs should contain a set of well-justified, evidence-based, specific and implementable recommendations. They should be clear and realistic, address specific bottlenecks and present financial, technical and human resource requirements for their implementation. Particular attention should be paid to policy implementation, with a focus on specific targets, performance measures and indicators capturing policy success. It is critically important to pursue (through policy advice) institutional changes and promote the behaviour required for rights-holders to claim their rights and duty-bearers to fulfil their obligations. UNDP can focus some of its capacity-development activities to address the application of human rights-based approaches in specific sectors and areas. At the same time, UNDP should pay greater attention to the practical results that may materialize from the innovative initiatives it supports, by tracking more closely what happens to the supported innovations over time, what changes they generate at a practical level and how their impact can be sustained over the long term. Some innovations that have potential for broader scale-up and nationwide implementation can be designated as pilots and models by UNDP and national authorities. It is important to ensure that this fairly represents targeted groups and policy issues.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/19]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP will continue strengthening its policy advise function and build specific services to define and promote evidence-based policy development, as well as specific services to support tactical decisions in areas such as COVID-19 recovery, energy poverty, others. UNDP has already started the discussions with the new Government on the necessity of setting-up an Intelligence Unit for Policy Development, a specialized team with analysis and decision mandate for generating actionable intelligence in areas of complex challenges faced by the country and the Government. Also, with the review of the CO innovation function, UNDP has already started anchoring strategic innovation across CO portfolios and at the local level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support the creation of new services for use by the Government (on C19 monitoring, energy poverty, potentially via an Intelligence Unit for Policy Development) and measurement of multidimensional poverty
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit 2026/06 Initiated
Support in further mainstreaming SDGs into national policies and programmes, with particular focus on SDG acceleration efforts
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2027/12 Initiated
3.3 Develop internal policy briefs and debates focused on key emerging and current development challenges to inform existing and new portfolios. Support the organization of external policy dialogues in support of the Government on emerging development issues.
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2027/09 Initiated
3.4 Pilot-test the Acceleration Network as the innovation model to anchor strategic innovation, portfolio approach and policy work in green transition and based on the lessons learned, institutionalize it
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Building on past lessons, UNDP should advance a consistent approach to supporting vulnerable groups using a human rights-based approach and address the underlying causes of social exclusion including inequality and marginalization. UNDP should ensure that an overarching strategic approach to the LNOB Principle is applied consistently through all of its programmatic areas to support vulnerable groups, marginalized communities and those with intersectional challenges, such as women, children, Roma, elderly and PwD. The current project-based approach supports some of these groups and communities but with limited or localized impact and insufficient alignment to key UNDP frameworks such as the SDGs. UNDP should promote a consistent approach to supporting vulnerable groups through a human rights-based approach and address inequalities, marginalization and exclusion more systematically across all CPD pillars. All projects should consider support for various vulnerable groups, including the promotion of policy solutions that address the underlying factors of social exclusion. UNDP should use its convening power to ensure the further inclusion of marginalized groups in national or local dialogues or processes.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/19]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP will continue advancing the ‘leave no one behind’ principle by supporting the integration and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups, addressing inequalities and underlying causes of social exclusion from the human rights-based approach perspective throughout programmatic and policy interventions. Special attention will be paid to emerging types of inequalities that would be stemming from digital transformation processes, urban-rural divide or exacerbated by various types of crises (pandemic, energy crisis, natural disasters, etc.). Furthermore, UNDP will support the development of new and more coherent portfolios of options to tackle non-income inequality and access to various public services, including through building digital skills and diversifying supply in digital public services and goods.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Mainstream the addressing of inequalities and exclusion of the vulnerable groups approaches throughout the 2023-2027 CPD
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, Senior Management 2022/06 Overdue-Initiated
4.2 Develop analytical products on the most vulnerable, which would inform new projects and portfolios of interventions to support excluded groups
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2026/12 Initiated
4.3 Support the Government in the measurement of multidimensional poverty and exclusion (through MPI, SEIA and similar), as well as non-monetary inequalities and risks
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit 2024/09 Initiated
4.4 Support the Government to develop policies targeting most vulnerable that are affected by various types of poverties in the crisis context, including on energy and food poverty and access to services, including digital services
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, all Clusters, Senior Management 2023/06 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

In line with the EU Green Deal, UNDP should actively promote the green transformation agenda and concepts through its programmes.178 At the same time, UNDP should prioritise efforts to further strengthen energy security in Moldova and facilitate the development of a greener, more resilient and healthier low-carbon society. Mainstreaming the Green Deal or green transition requires sound national and local policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, investments and innovation, as well as public dialogue and digital transformation as enablers of change. As stipulated in national environment policies, Moldova needs to promote green transformation and financing instruments, particularly for energy-efficiency, strengthening energy security and reducing the fuel and gas vulnerability of the country within the broader green transformation agenda.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/19]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP will continue supporting the national green development agenda and ensuring that relevant stakeholders have enhanced capacities, and there are enhanced frameworks in place to advance green, low carbon and resilient development. In line with the EU Green Deal principles. UNDP has developed a detailed Concept on country’s green transformation, which is currently being discussed with the EUD. On the energy front, UNDP started to support the Government in addressing the energy crisis through policy advice on energy poverty, national programming on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.2 Conduct the Deep Demonstration exercise to develop CO capabilities to better understand and engage with systemic green development issues, as well as inform development of a new value proposition on green transformation at UNDP CO
[Added: 2022/04/19]
All Clusters, Strategic Support Unit, Senior Management 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated
5.3 Mainstream green transformation principles into the 2023-2027 UNPFSD and CPD
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Cluster, Strategic Support Unit, Senior Management 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated
5.4 Finalize the Green transformation concept and develop full-fledged project proposals. Create alliances and partnerships to mobilize resources for implementation
[Added: 2022/04/19]
All Clusters, Strategic Support Unit, Senior Management 2023/09 Initiated The EC/FPI project proposal 'Addressing the impacts of the energy crisis in the Republic of Moldova: Initiating solutions toward energy security and energy poverty' has been developed and is ready for signature.
5.5 Support national and sub-national authorities in promoting and mainstreaming green development in planning processes and practices
[Added: 2022/04/19]
All Clusters 2027/09 Initiated
5.1 Finalize the forward-looking EECC portfolio review with strong focus on green transformation. Conduct UNDP CO internal mapping on green transformation, with a special focus on energy efficiency and renewables’ practices.
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Cluster, Strategic Support Unit, Senior Management 2022/04 Completed Both the Portfolio review and the mapping exercise were completed.
6. Recommendation:

UNDP should strengthen the linkages between its programmatic and project-level theories of change, ensuring that they are aligned and contribute to changes identified in the CPD. UNDP should strengthen its monitoring, evaluation and reporting system to focus on results, so that the measurement of outcome-level results becomes an integral part of M&E culture and is undertaken systematically. Realistically formulated results, proper planning, communication, improved coordination and effective monitoring can keep the CPD relevant and useful throughout its cycle. The results framework in the next CPD should have a consistent set of indicators that can be attributed to UNDP work and expected outcomes, with adequately specified baselines, targets, intermediate milestones and timeframes. UNDP is advised to improve the linkages between project results frameworks and CPD and UNSCDFC outcomes. The country office should establish a consistent process of ToC development and monitoring across the entire portfolio of projects in the CPD. ToCs should be used as a tool for designing realistic interventions, and project ToCs should be derived from the CPD ToC with a detailed examination of causality, assumptions and risks. ToCs should be well-articulated and interlinked, so that they provide clear and logical pathways of change and justification for the selected course of action. This will not only make UNDP programmes more effective, but also help stakeholders to visualize a clear and compelling narrative from the expected outputs to the outcome indicators and specific indicators in the CPD, UNSDFC and national plans and programmes. ToC development should become a truly analytical and participatory exercise, engaging multiple stakeholders. ToCs for both the programme and CPD should be living documents, flexible in responding to emerging needs throughout the course of the CPD implementation. It is therefore advisable to introduce a practice of independent mid-cycle review of ToCs to ensure their relevance and effectiveness in capturing UNDP progress towards addressing each identified bottleneck, as well as reflecting changes and complexities arising in the Moldova context. The country office M&E architecture needs strengthening, and the culture of results chains reinforcing, so that the monitoring and measurement of mid- and long-term outcome-level changes becomes an integral part of country office M&E culture, seen as a valued exercise and undertaken systematically.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/19]

The recommendation is accepted. Steps to consolidate the M&E function in the office were initiated in March 2020 with the inclusion of M&E as part of the core responsibilities of the Partnerships and Development Planning Specialist. UNDP will further strengthen the M&E system with a particular focus on standardized approaches of project ToCs’ design and their alignment to the CPD ToC, and outcome-level results’ measurement across programme and projects. With the development of the new 2023-2027 CPD, a participatory approach has been already put in place, including a workshop on the data and trends analysis and on the CPD ToC facilitated by the IRH and HQ (Sept-Oct 2021), as well as series of brainstorming sessions with the entire programme team.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Update the current SOP on Programme and Project Management to reinforce the Programme design and M&E processes
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated
6.2 Design a PPM capacity development plan and deliver regular PPM sessions (focusing on project ToC design and alignment with CPD ToC, outcome-level results measuring, etc.) for programme and project staff
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, specialized IRH teams 2027/09 Initiated
6.3 Design a robust monitoring and evaluation framework for the 2023-2027 CPD for measuring results at all levels
[Added: 2022/04/19]
Strategic Support Unit, All Clusters, Senior Management 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated The Fully-costed Evaluation Plan for the 2023-2027 CPD has been drafted as part of the CPD package.
6.4 Ensure adequate funding for monitoring activities in projects and budget for evaluations
[Added: 2022/04/19]
All Clusters, Strategic Support Unit, Senior Management 2027/09 Initiated

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