Marshall Islands Support to Parliament (the Nitijela) Project (Republic of the Marshall Islands)

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Evaluation Plan:
2003-2007, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
05/2007
Completion Date:
06/2007
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
--

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Title Marshall Islands Support to Parliament (the Nitijela) Project (Republic of the Marshall Islands)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2003-2007, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2007
Planned End Date: 05/2007
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): --
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: FIJI
Comments: Multi-Country project evaluation done in Fiji, RMI, Solomon Islands and PNG
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 During the next phase of the Project, broaden out the focus of committee support, in recognition of the fact that many sectoral committees can be key entry points for encouraging parliament to undertake oversight which considers not only efficiency and accountability, but whether laws and policies are pro-poor, gender-sensitive and human rights compliant approach to oversight
2 Include indicators in the Phase 2 Project Design which are qualitative, quantitative and/or timebound (QQT) and capable of being monitored and include guidance in the Project Design regarding the method(s) for assessing indicators. Insofar as possible, the obligations to collect this data should not constitute an undue burden to the Project.
3 Ensure that the review of the Nitijela Standing Orders to be completed in Phase 1 considers the incorporation of poverty, human rights compliance and gender impact into the TORs of all Committees
4 Contact UNIFEM to identify what work they are doing in RMI and if/how the Project can collaborate and/or draw on their expertise to the benefit of the Project.
5 Ensure that any Project Design (or redesign) are more extensively discussed with the Government and Nitijela leadership and the implications of the Projects outcomes and activities are more fully understood and supported before sign-off.
6 The UNDP Project Coordinator or someone familiar with the project history and with UNDP procedures should accompany the Project Manager at the start up of projects. They could bring their previous background knowledge to the situation and they would take away from the experience knowledge about the situation on the ground which could subsequently inform their monitoring, oversight and technical assistance activities.
7 The state of national Project implementation readiness should be determined at the outset and communicated to the Project Manager in his/her pre-departure briefing.
8 Support the exchange of expertise and ideas between the UNDP?s Pacific parliamentary projects and via the UNDP Pacific Centre to strengthen the Project Manager?s ability to draw down on relevant expertise
9 Provide sufficient notice of Project audits to in-country staff so that they can: (i) properly prepare; (ii) ensure that relevant stakeholders are available to the auditor; and (iii) are willing to sign-off on final recommendations.
10 Require that reporting templates include a requirement to report on risk identification and management. That template should be flexible and should include input from the MCO about what resources are available to mitigate risks.
11 Provide proper briefing to Project Managers regarding their reporting requirements (ie. the Project Manager needs to submit annual workplans for approval) and provide reporting templates to Project Managers (eg. for annual and quarterly reports). After submission, responses should be made by the MCO within a reasonable period of time.
12 Document management and record keeping within the Project must be improved.
13 Consider merging the Leadership of Parliament project meetings and Project Oversight Committee Meetings, to reduce the burden of meetings on parliamentary officials and the Project Manager.
14 Ensure that preparations for TPRs are undertaken jointly with the Project Manager and the UNDP MCO.
15 Include the Public Service Commission in the membership of the TPR and/or the POC.
16 Promote better coordination and communication within the Nitijela and bureaucracy but recognise that meeting requirements need to be made more flexible to account for cultural and other preferences in the frequency and formality of the consultation process.
17 Those responsible for project oversight at the MCO should be in more frequent contact by phone, perhaps bi-weekly, so that both the MCO and Project Manager will be current on the state of affairs on the ground and the context of requests and the Project Manager will be apprised of UNDP requirements
18 The UNDP should recognize that the development or deepening of a sense of ownership on the part of parliamentary partners is an important goal of project activities and should be treated accordingly in support, monitoring, and planning
19 When ownership appears to be initially weak, project work plans and activities should be revised to further the goal of developing a greater sense of ownership along with other goals.
20 Where feasible, project work plans and activities should be revised to have ownership building activities?those most prized by those whose support is sought-- moved up in priority for implementation.
21 Subsequent programming be implemented to strengthen the offerings of the library and research centre and their usefulness to Senators.
22 Improve management of Journals staff to encourage daily production of draft Journals for circulation to Nitijela Senators.
23 Provide a briefing to the PSC on the new organisations structure being proposed for the Nitijela and about the roles of the Speaker, Clerk and Deputy Clerk.
24 Duplicate and circulate the Nitijela Staff Handbook to all government ministries, agencies and other key stakeholders to increase the understanding of the new organisational structure and the responsibilities of staff.
25 Subsequent project planning should include programming to reinforce successes achieved with the PAC and other committees that may engage in oversight in the expectation that greater activity may stimulate resistance.
26 Continue to support the Legislative Counsel and Attorney General?s office to develop recommendations for improving the law-making process (eg. by requiring Ministries to undertake public consultations before finalising Bills and to submit a research report to the Nitijela in support of all Bills) and work with the House Committee to incorporate such recommendations into the Standing Orders of the Nitijela.
27 Continue to undertake Roundtables with a view to institutionalizing them as a regular parliamentary activity, including exploring options for Roundtables in outer islands.
28 Work more closely with the Government and PSC to get buy-in around the Nitijela?s organisational reform plans, including the need to recruit and Information Officer to ensure sustainability of the Project?s ICT activities.
29 Sustainability planning for future program activities should include service delivery mechanisms?like the Library and Resource Centre-- that are likely to attract and assist legislators and other consumers to create constituencies for the continuation of those bodies
30 Help the Secretariat better define itself and move toward greater effectiveness through assistance in the production of a corporate plan to explicitly guide its development
31 Plan an Induction Programme for Senators in Phase 2, following the 2007 elections, and include sessions on committee work.
32 Bolster the increased activity of committees through high level engagement between the UNDP and the Executive, training for Ministers, committee chairs and committee members, and options such as parliamentary exchanges or twinning for active MPs.
33 Enrich the information environment surrounding the newly active legislative committees by providing training in hearings for members, and in testifying and presenting analysis for civil society groups to enrich the information environment in which they operate.
34 Contact the Solomon Islands Project to find out about whether their ISYS document management system or its equivalent could be utilised in Marshall Islands.
35 Offer training in budget and policy analysis, including gender budgeting and social impact analysis, for Senators, Secretariat staff, and civil society groups (including the Chamber of Commerce and women?s groups) to increase the analytic content of advocacy efforts and the ability of the Nitijela to assess the information they receive from the government and public.
36 Anticipate the Auditor General?s Report and that of the RMI?s outside auditors by special programming for the members of the PAC and support the development of PAC follow up procedures, including by supporting the distribution of their reports and recommendations. Similar programs can be used to support other committees should they become more active.
37 Provide training for Senators, Secretariat staff (in particular, Research Assistants, Legislative Counsel, and key bureaucrats) on the MDGs, gender, human rights and the environment in a practical way which ties such issues to the oversight activities of specific committees
38 Support the Rules Committee review of the Standing Orders to promote amendments which integrate MDGs, gender, human rights and environment oversight as a matter of routine by committees.
39 Increase public access to information by supporting expansion of the website as means for conveying legislative schedules, dispositions of legislation and other matters.
40 Assist in the development of a media contact office which offers regular briefings to the press. Planning for this activity should involve discussions with the RMI press.
41 Explore options, in a highly consultative manner, for developing a civic education component for Phase 2 of the Project
42 Explore options, in a highly consultative manner, for including a activities in support of ethics and accountability in the Nitijela.
1. Recommendation: During the next phase of the Project, broaden out the focus of committee support, in recognition of the fact that many sectoral committees can be key entry points for encouraging parliament to undertake oversight which considers not only efficiency and accountability, but whether laws and policies are pro-poor, gender-sensitive and human rights compliant approach to oversight
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project. Parliamentary Secretariat drives this process to be supported by the Project.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: Include indicators in the Phase 2 Project Design which are qualitative, quantitative and/or timebound (QQT) and capable of being monitored and include guidance in the Project Design regarding the method(s) for assessing indicators. Insofar as possible, the obligations to collect this data should not constitute an undue burden to the Project.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

All UNDP MCO Fiji project formulations are QQT compliant.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: Ensure that the review of the Nitijela Standing Orders to be completed in Phase 1 considers the incorporation of poverty, human rights compliance and gender impact into the TORs of all Committees
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Given the nature of the NEX project, Parliamentary Secretariat should drive the process.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Contact UNIFEM to identify what work they are doing in RMI and if/how the Project can collaborate and/or draw on their expertise to the benefit of the Project.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Recommendation noted.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Ensure that any Project Design (or redesign) are more extensively discussed with the Government and Nitijela leadership and the implications of the Projects outcomes and activities are more fully understood and supported before sign-off.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

UNDP uses a participatory approach in its project design which includes all stakeholders which include Government and Nitijela leaders. This is a NEX project, driven by Government and supported by UNDP.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: The UNDP Project Coordinator or someone familiar with the project history and with UNDP procedures should accompany the Project Manager at the start up of projects. They could bring their previous background knowledge to the situation and they would take away from the experience knowledge about the situation on the ground which could subsequently inform their monitoring, oversight and technical assistance activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Project is NEX modality and the role of the Parliamentary Secretariat is to assist the Project Manager during start up. Government drives the process with technical support from UNDP.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: The state of national Project implementation readiness should be determined at the outset and communicated to the Project Manager in his/her pre-departure briefing.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Endorsement by Government indicates its readiness to implement the project. UNDP induction process for the Project Manager provides adequate briefing.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: Support the exchange of expertise and ideas between the UNDP?s Pacific parliamentary projects and via the UNDP Pacific Centre to strengthen the Project Manager?s ability to draw down on relevant expertise
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Process ongoing.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: Provide sufficient notice of Project audits to in-country staff so that they can: (i) properly prepare; (ii) ensure that relevant stakeholders are available to the auditor; and (iii) are willing to sign-off on final recommendations.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Project Evaluation is part of the project design. Project Manager should anticipate a process of evaluation.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: Require that reporting templates include a requirement to report on risk identification and management. That template should be flexible and should include input from the MCO about what resources are available to mitigate risks.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

All UNDP reporting templates include Risk Identification and management.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: Provide proper briefing to Project Managers regarding their reporting requirements (ie. the Project Manager needs to submit annual workplans for approval) and provide reporting templates to Project Managers (eg. for annual and quarterly reports). After submission, responses should be made by the MCO within a reasonable period of time.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is part of the induction process.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation: Document management and record keeping within the Project must be improved.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Recommendation noted.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation: Consider merging the Leadership of Parliament project meetings and Project Oversight Committee Meetings, to reduce the burden of meetings on parliamentary officials and the Project Manager.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

The TOR and membership of the Leadership of Parliament and POC differ. The role & function that each committee plays should not be comprised over the burden of meetings.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation: Ensure that preparations for TPRs are undertaken jointly with the Project Manager and the UNDP MCO.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is the normal process of TPR that UNDP follows.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation: Include the Public Service Commission in the membership of the TPR and/or the POC.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

The project is NEX modality and it is the prerogative of Government to drive this process.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation: Promote better coordination and communication within the Nitijela and bureaucracy but recognise that meeting requirements need to be made more flexible to account for cultural and other preferences in the frequency and formality of the consultation process.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is the role and function of the Parliamentary Secretariat. UNDP can not coordinate internal Parliamentary functions.

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation: Those responsible for project oversight at the MCO should be in more frequent contact by phone, perhaps bi-weekly, so that both the MCO and Project Manager will be current on the state of affairs on the ground and the context of requests and the Project Manager will be apprised of UNDP requirements
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

The project is NEX modality. UNDP will only ?manage by exception?. The Project Manager and staff report to the Speaker of the House as the Project Director.

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation: The UNDP should recognize that the development or deepening of a sense of ownership on the part of parliamentary partners is an important goal of project activities and should be treated accordingly in support, monitoring, and planning
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

The development of projects is done participatory between Government, UNDP and other stakeholders. The project is NEX modality thereby providing a sense of ownership on part of Parliamentary partners. UNDP can only proceed to implementation with the endorsement of Government.

Key Actions:

19. Recommendation: When ownership appears to be initially weak, project work plans and activities should be revised to further the goal of developing a greater sense of ownership along with other goals.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Lack of understanding of NEX modality of the project by partners. UNDP develops the project participatory and can only proceed once Government endorses.

Key Actions:

20. Recommendation: Where feasible, project work plans and activities should be revised to have ownership building activities?those most prized by those whose support is sought-- moved up in priority for implementation.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project and work plans are endorsed and approved by the Speaker to Parliament.

Key Actions:

21. Recommendation: Subsequent programming be implemented to strengthen the offerings of the library and research centre and their usefulness to Senators.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Recommendation Noted to be included in Phase II concept note.

Key Actions:

22. Recommendation: Improve management of Journals staff to encourage daily production of draft Journals for circulation to Nitijela Senators.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is not the role of the Project but of the Parliamentary Secretariat.

Key Actions:

23. Recommendation: Provide a briefing to the PSC on the new organisations structure being proposed for the Nitijela and about the roles of the Speaker, Clerk and Deputy Clerk.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is the role of the Parliamentary Secretariat and not the Project

Key Actions:

24. Recommendation: Duplicate and circulate the Nitijela Staff Handbook to all government ministries, agencies and other key stakeholders to increase the understanding of the new organisational structure and the responsibilities of staff.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is the role of the Parliamentary Secretariat and not the project. At the request of Government, can be included in Phase II of the Project

Key Actions:

25. Recommendation: Subsequent project planning should include programming to reinforce successes achieved with the PAC and other committees that may engage in oversight in the expectation that greater activity may stimulate resistance.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This recommendation makes no sense and is hereby rejected.

Key Actions:

26. Recommendation: Continue to support the Legislative Counsel and Attorney General?s office to develop recommendations for improving the law-making process (eg. by requiring Ministries to undertake public consultations before finalising Bills and to submit a research report to the Nitijela in support of all Bills) and work with the House Committee to incorporate such recommendations into the Standing Orders of the Nitijela.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project and process should be driven by the Secretariat internally through the establishment of good systems that facilitate these networks.

Key Actions:

27. Recommendation: Continue to undertake Roundtables with a view to institutionalizing them as a regular parliamentary activity, including exploring options for Roundtables in outer islands.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Under current project this is being done, will continue to support these initiatives.

Key Actions:

28. Recommendation: Work more closely with the Government and PSC to get buy-in around the Nitijela?s organisational reform plans, including the need to recruit and Information Officer to ensure sustainability of the Project?s ICT activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Parliamentary Secretariat to take the lead to be considered in Phase II of the Project.

Key Actions:

29. Recommendation: Sustainability planning for future program activities should include service delivery mechanisms?like the Library and Resource Centre-- that are likely to attract and assist legislators and other consumers to create constituencies for the continuation of those bodies
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be included in Phase II of Project Design.

Key Actions:

30. Recommendation: Help the Secretariat better define itself and move toward greater effectiveness through assistance in the production of a corporate plan to explicitly guide its development
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

Recommendation accepted to be considered in project design of Phase II

Key Actions:

31. Recommendation: Plan an Induction Programme for Senators in Phase 2, following the 2007 elections, and include sessions on committee work.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be considered in Phase II of the Project Design

Key Actions:

32. Recommendation: Bolster the increased activity of committees through high level engagement between the UNDP and the Executive, training for Ministers, committee chairs and committee members, and options such as parliamentary exchanges or twinning for active MPs.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

The role of the Parliamentary Secretariat is to facilitate training of MPs. UNDP is currently providing linkages.

Key Actions:

33. Recommendation: Enrich the information environment surrounding the newly active legislative committees by providing training in hearings for members, and in testifying and presenting analysis for civil society groups to enrich the information environment in which they operate.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be explored in Phase II of the Project design

Key Actions:

34. Recommendation: Contact the Solomon Islands Project to find out about whether their ISYS document management system or its equivalent could be utilised in Marshall Islands.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be explored in Phase II of Project design

Key Actions:

35. Recommendation: Offer training in budget and policy analysis, including gender budgeting and social impact analysis, for Senators, Secretariat staff, and civil society groups (including the Chamber of Commerce and women?s groups) to increase the analytic content of advocacy efforts and the ability of the Nitijela to assess the information they receive from the government and public.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be provided by an external training unit such as USP or a government training centre. This can be explored further in Phase II of project design.

Key Actions:

36. Recommendation: Anticipate the Auditor General?s Report and that of the RMI?s outside auditors by special programming for the members of the PAC and support the development of PAC follow up procedures, including by supporting the distribution of their reports and recommendations. Similar programs can be used to support other committees should they become more active.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project and report by the Auditor General does not pertain to the project.

Key Actions:

37. Recommendation: Provide training for Senators, Secretariat staff (in particular, Research Assistants, Legislative Counsel, and key bureaucrats) on the MDGs, gender, human rights and the environment in a practical way which ties such issues to the oversight activities of specific committees
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be provided by an external training unit such as USP or a government training centre. This can be explored further in Phase II of project design

Key Actions:

38. Recommendation: Support the Rules Committee review of the Standing Orders to promote amendments which integrate MDGs, gender, human rights and environment oversight as a matter of routine by committees.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project and review is the prerogative of Parliament.

Key Actions:

39. Recommendation: Increase public access to information by supporting expansion of the website as means for conveying legislative schedules, dispositions of legislation and other matters.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be incorporated into Phase II of the Project design.

Key Actions:

40. Recommendation: Assist in the development of a media contact office which offers regular briefings to the press. Planning for this activity should involve discussions with the RMI press.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project and recommendation should be institutionalized into the Parliamentary Secretariat.

Key Actions:

41. Recommendation: Explore options, in a highly consultative manner, for developing a civic education component for Phase 2 of the Project
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

To be incorporated into Phase II of the project design

Key Actions:

42. Recommendation: Explore options, in a highly consultative manner, for including a activities in support of ethics and accountability in the Nitijela.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/02/01]

This is a NEX project and recommendation should be driven by the Parliamentary Secretariat.

Key Actions:

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