Evaluation of Second Regional Cooperation Framework for Asia and the Pacific - 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 Second Regional Cooperation Framework for Asia and the Pacific - 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
Steen Folke Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The programme should concentrate on fewer objectives, themes, projects, service lines and intended outcomes. This is a recurrent theme in the outcome evaluations, and it is a key to greater effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.
2 The new programme should have a clearer strategic thrust, informed by the UNDP human development concept and focused on the link between governance and poverty reduction and achievement of MDGs. This will both contribute to greater effectiveness and raise the profile of UNDP in the region based on its comparative advantage. Concentrating on the MDGs does not provide adequate strategic focus to the programme.
3 Concentration and a clearer strategic focus must entail a reduction of themes/practice areas. The environmental theme was curtailed in practice under RCF II and focus on this area may be reconsidered for RCF III in view of the capacity and competence of UNDP vis-à-vis other strong actors in this area. Similar considerations might concern the area of natural disaster risk reduction. Consideration should be given to whether there is a continued need for regional UNDP HIV/AIDS projects.
4 If macro-economic and trade issues are kept in the programme, the relevant competences require strengthening. The issues are clearly relevant for poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs, and the human development perspective is important. But UNDP faces an uphill struggle to become recognized as a qualified actor in a field dominated by actors with established credibility and large resources, such as the World Bank, ADB and UNCTAD.
1. Recommendation: The programme should concentrate on fewer objectives, themes, projects, service lines and intended outcomes. This is a recurrent theme in the outcome evaluations, and it is a key to greater effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/21]

Agree. Conscious efforts were undertaken to concentrate on fewer thematic areas of interventions and projects under the second regional cooperation framework for Asia and the Pacific (RCF II), 2002-2006. RCF II managed to bring down the number of projects to 30, in comparison to 110 projects under the first framework (1997-2001). Further prioritization will be undertaken to ensure a more strategic focus and concentration.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 The themes and intended outcomes of the new regional programme document (RPD) for Asia and the Pacific (2008-2011) will be formulated through consultations with the stakeholders (programme countries, UNDP country offices, regional centres, relevant headquarters units, United Nations organizations, regional institutions and civil society) to best respond to the regional development challenges - ongoing and emerging - in Asia and the Pacific. The RPD will focus on the areas of UNDP comparative advantages and strategic priorities outlined in the UNDP strategic plan, 2008-2011. The consultative process permits further narrowing down of the strategic focus and priorities within the framework of the strategic plan in the Asia-Pacific context, informed by stakeholders' participation and ownership.
[Added: 2007/06/21]
RBAP 2007/05 Completed (Series of internal/ external stakeholder consultations and discussions, and regional programme document formulation and finalization) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific(RBAP)/ Regional Support Unit (RSU), regional centres
1.2 Effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of regional programmes will be among the key elements focused on during the project formulation stage, as well as closely monitored as per the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework by the Regional Centres Management Board that includes representation of programme country Governments, UNDP Resident Representatives and Country Directors, UNDP headquarters Bureaux/Units and senior staff of regional centres. In addition, the Advisory Panels established under RCF II with participation of eminent personalities and experts from the region, will continue to guide the work of the regional practice teams. The Regional Centres Management Board reviews and approves the overall annual work plans of the regional centres and the respective regional programmes.
[Added: 2007/06/21] [Last Updated: 2009/02/10]
RBAP 2011/06 Overdue-Initiated Effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of regional programmes are important elements to be addressed through a review of the RBAP regional centres to be undertaken in early 2009. The Regional Centers' Management Board is playing an important role in the review and approval of the overall annual work plans of the regional centers' and the respective regional programmes. The process of workplanning and reporting is being further strengthened through the ERBM platform. There is now a Deputy Regional Director based in Bangkok who has a focused role on the efficient management f the regional centres.
2. Recommendation: The new programme should have a clearer strategic thrust, informed by the UNDP human development concept and focused on the link between governance and poverty reduction and achievement of MDGs. This will both contribute to greater effectiveness and raise the profile of UNDP in the region based on its comparative advantage. Concentrating on the MDGs does not provide adequate strategic focus to the programme.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/21]

Agree on the need to be more strategic in the use of the limited resources in support of regional programme. However, management is not clear about the statement that "Concentrating on the MDGs does not provide adequate strategic focus to the programme." RCF II was not intended to "deal with anything and everything that is included in the MDGs" as the evaluation implies; nor will the next RPD. Instead, all UNDP regional interventions, identified in the areas of UNDP comparative advantage, will be formulated and implemented so that they contribute to acceleration of MDG achievement in the region through the provision of regional public goods and policy advice at the country level on the preparation of MDG-based development strategies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 RCF II focus was guided by the corporate UNDP MYFF 2004-2007 practice areas and service lines which were intended to make the greatest contribution to the achievement of the MDGs and for which there was high demand. In a similar manner, the RPD has been guided by UNDP new Strategic Plan 2008-2011, with sharpened strategic areas of intervention tailored for the Asia-Pacific context, focusing especially on the cross-linkages among programmatic areas such as poverty reduction1, governance, crisis prevention and recovery and climate change. The strategic priorities of the RPD have been decided through stakeholder consultations. The number of regional projects have been reduced from 30 projects to 14 projects.
[Added: 2007/06/21] [Last Updated: 2009/02/10]
RBAP 2007/05 Completed The strategic priorities of the RPD have been decided through stakeholder consultations. The number of regional projects have been reduced from 30 projects to 14 projects. There are on-going efforts, though the regional centers' workplanning process under the leadership of the Deputy Regional Director in Bangkok to focus the regional programmes further to address the key emerging needs based on available programme resources.
3. Recommendation: Concentration and a clearer strategic focus must entail a reduction of themes/practice areas. The environmental theme was curtailed in practice under RCF II and focus on this area may be reconsidered for RCF III in view of the capacity and competence of UNDP vis-à-vis other strong actors in this area. Similar considerations might concern the area of natural disaster risk reduction. Consideration should be given to whether there is a continued need for regional UNDP HIV/AIDS projects.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/21]

Agree on the general recommendation for a more strategic focus, especially related to regional interventions in the areas of environment, natural disaster reduction and HIV/AIDS. Environment The scale and nature of many environmental challenges confronting countries in Asia and the Pacific, such as climate change, deteriorated ecosystems, surpass the ability of an individual country's government to fashion viable responses, and therefore call for regional and subregional support for national efforts especially in the presence of cross-border spillovers. Consultations with stakeholders in the region so far have consistently highlighted and confirmed that this area needs regional interventions and solutions. Furthermore, the new resource allocation framework of the Global Environment Facility has greatly limited a scope for regional level initiatives. This gap calls for UNDP continued regional interventions in this area. Natural disaster risk reduction Again, the frequency and scale

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The RPD 2008-2011 focus has been sharpened in the Asia-Pacific context through extensive consultation processes and the review, appraisals, revision of the Regional Climate Change, Ecosystems and Energy Programme for 2008-2011.The foscus will be further sharpenned through the annual work-planning process and the results of on-going monitoring.
[Added: 2007/06/21] [Last Updated: 2009/02/11]
RBAP No due date No deadline established The RPD 2008-2011 focus has been sharpened in the Asia-Pacific context through extensive consultation processes and the review, appraisals, revision of the Regional Climate Change, Ecosystems and Energy Programme for 2008-2011.The foscus will be further sharpenned through the annual work-planning process and the results of on-going monitoring.
Environment. In line with the corporate priorities expressed in the strategic plan, and given the magnitude of environment/energy-related challenges in the region, the next regional programme will have a focus on environment and sustainable development, mainly to support the mainstreaming of environmental and energy issues into national development strategies to achieve MDGs, in cooperation with UNEP, other relevant United Nations agencies and regional and subregional institutions. The poverty-environment nexus and energy-poverty challenges will also be addressed and supported, so as support to regional advocacy on climate change and adaptation. Access to carbon financing by individual countries will be supported for improved environmental management and broader sustainable development benefits. Close collaboration with UNEP will be forged in working in the area of environment and sustainable development based on the corporate memorandum of understanding between UNEP-UNDP. Discussions
[Added: 2007/06/21] [Last Updated: 2009/02/10]
RBAP 2011/06 Completed Environment. In line with the corporate priorities expressed in the strategic plan, and given the magnitude of environment/energy-related challenges in the region, the current regional programme on climate change, energy, ecosystems has a focus on environment and sustainable development, mainly to support the mainstreaming of environmental and energy issues into national development strategies to achieve MDGs, in cooperation with UNEP, other relevant United Nations agencies and regional and subregional institutions. The poverty-environment nexus and energy-poverty challenges are being addressed and supported, so as support to regional advocacy on climate change and adaptation. Access to carbon financing by individual countries will be supported for improved environmental management and broader sustainable development benefits. Close collaboration with UNEP will be forged in working in the area of environment and sustainable development based on the corporate memorandum of understanding between UNEP-UNDP.
Natural disaster risk reduction. Within the corporate priorities identified in the strategic plan, and taking into account a grave need in the region in this area, the next regional programme will have a focus on crisis prevention and recovery, with initiatives for building surge capacity for disaster management, and economic recovery for "building back better."
[Added: 2007/06/21] [Last Updated: 2009/02/26]
RBAP 2007/06 Completed The Regional CPR projects for 2008-2011 for Asia as well as the Pacific sub-region have strengthened focus on capacity building for disaster risk reduction, conflict prevention, as well as recovery after disasters and conflicts.
4. Recommendation: If macro-economic and trade issues are kept in the programme, the relevant competences require strengthening. The issues are clearly relevant for poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs, and the human development perspective is important. But UNDP faces an uphill struggle to become recognized as a qualified actor in a field dominated by actors with established credibility and large resources, such as the World Bank, ADB and UNCTAD.
Management Response: [Added: 2007/06/21]

Agree. In order for UNDP to best assist the programme countries of the region, especially least developed countries and low- income countries, to develop and implement MDG-based national development strategies, it is imperative to strengthen the in-house advisory capacity in the areas of macro-economics and trade, while maximizing the benefits of synergy and complementarities through strong collaboration with other United Nations agencies and regional institutions, especially the development banks.

Key Actions:

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