Evaluation of Regional Cooperation Framework for Africa 2002-2006

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Evaluation Plan:
2004-2008, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Regional Programme
Planned End Date:
06/2007
Completion Date:
06/2007
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
100,000

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Title Evaluation of Regional Cooperation Framework for Africa 2002-2006
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2004-2008, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Regional Programme
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2007
Planned End Date: 06/2007
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Democratic Governance
  • 3. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
  • 4. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 100,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Richard Beattie Team Leader
Richard Beattie Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Selection of thematic areas should be based on the following criteria: (a) UNDP has a comparative advantage;
(b) African priorities as identified by key regional institutions such as the African Union, NEPAD and APRM;;
(c) Links to UNDP mandate and objectives including MDGs, the strategic plan and UNDP global and country programmes; and;
(d) Issues have trans-border or international dimensions or are more likely to progress if removed from the domestic context
2 Maximize African ownership of the regional programme. Greater use of the Advisory Board should be made, to ensure that RCF has the capacity to identify and respond to evolving African development challenges while firmly anchored in African realities. This would help ensure that institutional and capacity development targets are being achieved. RBA should revise the terms of reference for the Advisory Board to ensure regular Board meetings, and the Board should be provided with regular reports on the progress of the framework against agreed gender-sensitive, quantitative and qualitative indicators and changes in the environment. This flexibility must take place within the context of, rather than replace, a long-term strategic plan.
3 Streamline the focus of the next RCF to a maximum of three clearly defined themes with fewer outputs and outcomes under each. RCF should focus on regional priorities of strengthening democratic and participatory governance; conflict prevention; peacebuilding; and disaster management. RCF resources should be concentrated on capacity-building for a smaller number of larger interventions, linked to existing regional African institutions. Many current programmes and activities should be phased out prior to the end of the second RCF. Decisions to allow current projects to be carried over into the next RCF implementation period need to be based on clear, consistent criteria, with a cap of project funding allowed for carry-over - suggested at 25 per cent of RCF total funding.
4 Improve coordination between regional and country programmes in Africa. This can be achieved by decentralizing two regional Bureau Deputy Directors, with joint responsibility both for the regional programme and country programmes, to locations in Africa. . The regional programme in Africa should develop the capacity of regional and pan-African institutions to deliver their mandates. Partner institutions should be provided with financial planning/management tools and training. Consistent with overall UNDP financial management policies and regulations, maximum responsibility c should be transferred to them as a component of overall capacity development and institutional strengthening.
5 Enhance pan-African synergies through improved information sharing and enhanced cooperation between the regional bureaus of Africa and the Arab States. Establish a joint UNDP Africa and Arab States representative office in Addis Ababa for respective accreditation to pan-African institutions, such as AU and ECA. This would facilitate the participation of North African countries in pan-African activities.
6 Incorporate gender equality and environment across all interventions. Both should be required in the planning and formulation of initiatives for the future. Sufficient financial resources for gender mainstreaming and environmental sustainability (in each and every project) should be allocated for all future projects if gender and environment are to be integrated as cross-cutting themes.
7 Clarify roles, responsibilities, accountability and reporting structures to effectively implement Results Based Management. The RCF should adopt an enhanced results based performance management, measurement and reporting system. Similar performance measurement frameworks, including clear programme level indicators of achievement, should be developed at the thematic and the RCF level. Project level reports should be rolled up into thematic and regional programme level reports at a minimum annually for presentation to the Advisory Board.
8 Include in project budgets funds explicitly ear-marked for monitoring systems, including the development of indicators, baseline data, data sources and collection methods as well as responsibility and timing of collection for the outcomes and impact levels.
1. Recommendation: Selection of thematic areas should be based on the following criteria: (a) UNDP has a comparative advantage;
(b) African priorities as identified by key regional institutions such as the African Union, NEPAD and APRM;;
(c) Links to UNDP mandate and objectives including MDGs, the strategic plan and UNDP global and country programmes; and;
(d) Issues have trans-border or international dimensions or are more likely to progress if removed from the domestic context
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

The selection of the focus areas under RCF II for Africa was informed by these considerations. Particular attention is being paid in the preparation of RCF III to adhere to the principles of UNDP comparative advantage and mandate; Africa's development priorities as identified by the regional institutions, Governments, CSOs and other key stakeholders; UNDP strategic plan and priorities, including MDGs; and the concept of regional public goods and transboundary initiatives in the selection of possible thematic focus areas under RCF III.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: Maximize African ownership of the regional programme. Greater use of the Advisory Board should be made, to ensure that RCF has the capacity to identify and respond to evolving African development challenges while firmly anchored in African realities. This would help ensure that institutional and capacity development targets are being achieved. RBA should revise the terms of reference for the Advisory Board to ensure regular Board meetings, and the Board should be provided with regular reports on the progress of the framework against agreed gender-sensitive, quantitative and qualitative indicators and changes in the environment. This flexibility must take place within the context of, rather than replace, a long-term strategic plan.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

UNDP concurs with the recommendation to strengthen oversight of RCF implementation and ensure effective African ownership of the regional programme. A pre-condition is a well-functioning Advisory Board representative of the key stakeholders and comprised of experienced development experts and practitioners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Advisory Board for the regional programme has been reconstituted, with revised terms of reference.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
2011/06 Completed Advisory Board established for RCF-III and functional since 2010
Advisory Board will meet regularly and systematically, at least twice a year.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA 2011/06 Completed The advisory board for RCF III met once in 2010. The second meeting was postponed till additional information from MTR is received.
Comprehensive status reports on the implementation of the regional programme will be prepared and presented systematically to the Advisory Board for review and strategic guidance.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA No due date No deadline established On going. Advisory Board has been updated in 2010; a mid term review of RCF -III was conducted and being finalized. Findings will be shared with the Advisory Panel
Advisory Board will closely monitor the implementation of the regional programme, ensuring its continuing adherence to the indicators cited above as well as its relevance to the development priorities of Africa.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA No due date No deadline established Ongoing. See comment above
3. Recommendation: Streamline the focus of the next RCF to a maximum of three clearly defined themes with fewer outputs and outcomes under each. RCF should focus on regional priorities of strengthening democratic and participatory governance; conflict prevention; peacebuilding; and disaster management. RCF resources should be concentrated on capacity-building for a smaller number of larger interventions, linked to existing regional African institutions. Many current programmes and activities should be phased out prior to the end of the second RCF. Decisions to allow current projects to be carried over into the next RCF implementation period need to be based on clear, consistent criteria, with a cap of project funding allowed for carry-over - suggested at 25 per cent of RCF total funding.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

(a) Management concurs that sharper focus of the regional programme will contribute significantly to its effectiveness, impact and sustainability. (b) Related to the issue of focus is the emphasis on fewer, potentially higher impacting larger interventions as opposed to the situation under RCF II. (c) There will be a systematic but orderly phasing-out of RCF II projects and programmes. (d) The recommendation for a 25 per cent cap on the project funding to be allowed for carry-over into RCF III is acceptable. (e) The proposed focus areas for RCF III are broadly those recommended by the evaluation team: MDGs; reinforcement of participatory democracy and good governance initiatives in Africa; conflict prevention and recovery; pro-poor growth; poverty reduction; gender equality; and environmental sustainability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Four major focus areas have been proposed for RCF III, which is deemed to be optimal.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/01/07]
RBA 2007/06 Completed Timeframe: Approval of the proposed areas by the RBA Directorate, after endorsement by the Advisory Board, is due in June 2007. Strategic framework for RCF III preparation, ready July 2006. Final decision on RCF III focus areas to be taken in June 2007. Responsible Unit:Office of the RBA Director and SRIU/Policy and Strategy Division/Country Operations Divisions. Completed and related projects are being formulated.
RCF III projects will incorporate clear exit strategies, and carry-over of RCF II projects is based on criteria embedded in the strategic framework for the preparation of RCF III.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/01/07]
RBA 2007/06 Completed Criteria for determining which projects to carry over into RCF III from RCF II has been determined and is being applied Responsible Unit:Office of the RBA Director and SRIU/Policy and Strategy Division/Country Operations Divisions.
Further decentralization of the management of regional programmes from New York.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA 2007/06 Completed All but one project (AHDR) has been decentralized to RSCs or COs.
Only broad oversight functions to be maintained in New York.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
2007/06 Completed See comment above
Outposting of Country Operations Department to the regional service centres.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/01/07]
RBA 2007/06 Completed
4. Recommendation: Improve coordination between regional and country programmes in Africa. This can be achieved by decentralizing two regional Bureau Deputy Directors, with joint responsibility both for the regional programme and country programmes, to locations in Africa. . The regional programme in Africa should develop the capacity of regional and pan-African institutions to deliver their mandates. Partner institutions should be provided with financial planning/management tools and training. Consistent with overall UNDP financial management policies and regulations, maximum responsibility c should be transferred to them as a component of overall capacity development and institutional strengthening.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

(a) Better coordination between regional and country programmes will be facilitated through the decentralization planned under the new RBA strategy for the management of regional programmes in the field and the outposting of the country operations divisions from New York to the regional service centres. (b) Better synergy between the regional programme and country programmes should to be achieved by assigning responsibility for the oversight of regional programmes to offices in the outposted country operations divisions. (c) All the implementing partners for regional programme projects will be familiarized with, and their staff trained in, the financial management, procurement and operational rules and regulations of UNDP. (d) The maximum allowable autonomy under overall UNDP financial management policies and regulations will be accorded them. (e) Management is committed to a closer working relationship with the Regional Bureau for the Arab States (RBAS), starting with close invol

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of the RBA restructuring strategy, and/or decentralization of the direct oversight/management of regional programmes to the regional service centres.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA 2011/06 Completed RBA Restructuring implemented in 2009.
Management of the regional projects will be assigned to Deputy Directors, Country Operations Divisions. This is expected to ensure the closer linkages and synergies between the regional projects and country programmes.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA No due date No deadline established No longer relevant as fundamental changes took place in RSCs under MCT.
Sensitization and training of concerned staff of all the implementing partners of the RCF III supporting projects and programmes will be organized before implementation of the Regional Programme commences
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
RBA No due date No deadline established No longer relevant. Direct execution modality adopted for all projects
Training and exposure of staff of implementing partners will facilitate granting of more autonomy to them in the execution of the projects.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/20]
No due date No deadline established No longer relevant. All projects under DEX modality
5. Recommendation: Enhance pan-African synergies through improved information sharing and enhanced cooperation between the regional bureaus of Africa and the Arab States. Establish a joint UNDP Africa and Arab States representative office in Addis Ababa for respective accreditation to pan-African institutions, such as AU and ECA. This would facilitate the participation of North African countries in pan-African activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

The UNDP Representation Office with AU and Liaison Office with ECA in Addis Ababa is being revitalized. UNDP and ECA have signed a new Partnership MOU and Compact, whose effective implementation, will facilitate joint activities with Pan African Institutions as well as cooperation with North African countries. The UNDP Partnership Agreements/MOUs with the African Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank will also facilitate joint work with regional institutions and cooperation with RBAS countries. Using the framework of the new RBA Strategy for Capacity Development, the RCF III will make a more systematic contribution to the long-term and more effective capacity development of regional and sub-regional institutions in Africa, that will allow them to deliver more effectively on their mandates

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Regular coordinating arrangements with RBAS to be instituted.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/01/07]
RBA No due date No deadline established Responsible Unit: RBA/RBAS/BRSP
The new Head of the UNDP Representation and Liaison Office in Addis Ababa to be appointed by June 2007.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2011/04/26]
2011/06 Overdue-Initiated
Implementation of the MOU with ECA will be stepped up.
[Added: 2007/06/18]
2011/06 Overdue-Initiated RBA/RBAP/BRSP
6. Recommendation: Incorporate gender equality and environment across all interventions. Both should be required in the planning and formulation of initiatives for the future. Sufficient financial resources for gender mainstreaming and environmental sustainability (in each and every project) should be allocated for all future projects if gender and environment are to be integrated as cross-cutting themes.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

RBA is cognizant of the need for a more effective gender mainstreaming in all development initiatives, including those supported by it. It has, therefore, already instituted a three-pronged approach to address this issue: with clearer policy, capacity development and resources dimensions. The same approach applies to sustainable energy and environment issues

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Full implementation of the RBA strategy for effective mainstreaming of gender and environment.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/01/07]
RBA 2011/06 Completed Completed, up to and including design of specific projects.
7. Recommendation: Clarify roles, responsibilities, accountability and reporting structures to effectively implement Results Based Management. The RCF should adopt an enhanced results based performance management, measurement and reporting system. Similar performance measurement frameworks, including clear programme level indicators of achievement, should be developed at the thematic and the RCF level. Project level reports should be rolled up into thematic and regional programme level reports at a minimum annually for presentation to the Advisory Board.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

The planned restructuring of RBA will ensure a more effective and efficient management and implementation framework for the regional Programme, with clearer and less bureaucratic reporting lines. The RCF III document does adopt a more results-based management and monitoring system, including regular reporting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Institution of a more streamlined supervision, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the regional programmes as part of the RBA restructuring.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/01/07]
RBA 2007/10 Completed Policy and Evaluation Advisors in place in RBA and ASROs.
8. Recommendation: Include in project budgets funds explicitly ear-marked for monitoring systems, including the development of indicators, baseline data, data sources and collection methods as well as responsibility and timing of collection for the outcomes and impact levels.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/18]

The RBA Management is not only committed to a more rigorous monitoring of project implementation, but has also stipulated that at least 10% of each project funds should be earmarked for monitoring and evaluation activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Allocation of adequate funds for project monitoring and evaluation.
[Added: 2007/06/18] [Last Updated: 2009/03/05]
RBA 2011/06 Completed Ongoing. All new projects have allocated specific resources to M&E.

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