Final Outcome Evaluation - CPAP Outcome B3 An empowered civil society involved in local community development & implementation of public policies, planning, and programmes in place

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Evaluation Plan:
2007-2011, Syria
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
12/2010
Completion Date:
03/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Final Outcome Evaluation - CPAP Outcome B3 An empowered civil society involved in local community development & implementation of public policies, planning, and programmes in place
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2007-2011, Syria
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2011
Planned End Date: 12/2010
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Civil society, including civil society organizations and voluntary associations, and the private sector contribute to the MDGs in support of national planning strategies and policies
  • 2. Strengthened national, regional and local level capacity to mainstream gender equality and women's empowerment in government policies and institutions
  • 3. Strengthened national-, regional- and local-level capacity to implement anti-corruption initiatives
  • 4. "Broad-based national governance programmes, reflecting poverty reduction goals, agreed by all stakeholders"
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Tristan Salmon and Firas Khoury Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: SPC, MoSAL, Syria Trust, MoLAE, MoEc, MoIn, Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Countries: SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC
Comments: The relevant MYFF outcome is not included among the drop down list of outcomes. It has to be modified.
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Focus on Building Government Capacities: We recommend future projects are planned to deliver specific outputs and also to strengthen the legacy of improved capacity within Ministries so that results can be maintained the long-run. Roles need to be clearly defined to ensure Ministry has proper ownership of projects and willingness is shown to undergo self-development and improvement.
2 Engage with local administrations to connect civil society with local development initiatives: Future emphasis must look to connect civil society with local development initiatives, planning and implementation of programmes. Activities could begin with joint projects to bring together NGO representatives with local administration planners and officials (including those in service delivery functions). Greater working at the local level would help strengthen understanding and co-ordination among local partners, help support wider Government initiatives to decentralize economic and social development responsibilities, and should feed into economic, social, educational and health outcomes.
3 Widen the definition of Civil Society: The Syrian context largely defines Civil Society as Non-Governmental Organisations and UNDP has to date been working within this definition. In the future, UNDP has a role in advancing a wider definition of civil society to include Community Based Organisations (CBOS), faith based organizations and other smaller informal clubs or societies.
4 Feasibility Planning, Sustainability and Exit Strategy: UNDP projects are generally well planned and flexible and we recommend this approach is maintained in general. However, we recommend revisions are made to project planning in three areas: 1. Project Documents must include sections on financial planning, sustainability and exit strategy 2. Ministries must offer a genuine commitment during project planning to take on responsibilities and to work on internal capacity 3. Plan activities with Ministries to build their capacity
5 NGO Platform Project - Summary of Key Recommendations: 1. Resolve long-term financial sustainability 2. Training Clinic ? conduct certain training activities within NGOs (rather than generic one size fits all approach) to ensure the right people are being trained and to improve overall impact 3. Consultancy Clinic - widen scope of activities to include advice on working within the law on procurement and accounting processes, as well as providing assistance in needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation (forthcoming mapping study should identify areas of need) 4. Thematic and Geographic Working Groups ? let Platform General Assembly decide on groups to be formed to allow for flexible approach to tackling cross cutting issues (rather than imposing set working group structures) 5. Implement monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the forthcoming Platform Strategy 6. Explore ways to engage with non-member NGOs and CBOs
6 Empowering Young Journalists - Summary of Key Recommendations 1. Secure an exit strategy with the Ministry of Information aimed at: - Providing an effective outlet for young media workers to display their talents ? using the website as a catalyst to link with radio, television and print media - Finding synergies with the ?Support to the Media Sector in Syria? project where possible, especially to utilize the fourth floor as a training facility. - Provide in house training from the key media sectors ? networking and establishing links with people working in the industry was identified as a key benefit for members. - Open up the facility for the Ministry to use for training - Open a recruitment process to appoint a Director to be responsible for the TAWASUL network working under the supervision of the Head of Development Media.
7 Support to the Syrian Times - Summary of Key Recommendations: - Recruit the editorial team ? particularly the Managing Editor ? at the earliest stage possible to ensure the Editor is an integral part of building a team of talented and committed journalists. - Begin procurement processes for the website design at an early stage. Both the Platform project and TAWASUL projects have had quality issues with their websites. - Conduct a full financial feasibility assessment and projections to allow for budget planning by the Ministry and Managing Editor. There is plenty of experience in running newspapers in Syria and producing accurate cost projections should not be a challenge. The Ministry and Editor should plan for activities for the next five years based on a secured budget. - The biggest challenge is guaranteeing a quality output to attract a readership base. However, no work has been carried out on establishing who the readership base is, whether residents in Syria, ex-pat Syrians or other nationalities. Knowledge of readership base through simple surveying should be used to establish the content and tone of the paper. The target audience may also change as the print version is established after one year.
1. Recommendation: Focus on Building Government Capacities: We recommend future projects are planned to deliver specific outputs and also to strengthen the legacy of improved capacity within Ministries so that results can be maintained the long-run. Roles need to be clearly defined to ensure Ministry has proper ownership of projects and willingness is shown to undergo self-development and improvement.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

UNDP along with relevant partners will develop project strategies to ensure ownership and long-term maintenance of project goals and outputs

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP PDs will define monitoring steps for capacity development
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team No due date No deadline established
2. Recommendation: Engage with local administrations to connect civil society with local development initiatives: Future emphasis must look to connect civil society with local development initiatives, planning and implementation of programmes. Activities could begin with joint projects to bring together NGO representatives with local administration planners and officials (including those in service delivery functions). Greater working at the local level would help strengthen understanding and co-ordination among local partners, help support wider Government initiatives to decentralize economic and social development responsibilities, and should feed into economic, social, educational and health outcomes.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

UNDP will support the Platform as a coordinator in this role as envisioned by the project document and strategy and emphasized in Outcome Evaluation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Coordinate with local authorities to ensure cooperation at the local level ? beginning with the Ministry of Local Administration and Governorates
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Teams 2011/12 Overdue-Not Initiated beginning with official registration of the Platform
Coordinate with UNDP projects being implemented on the local level
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Teams 2011/12 Overdue-Not Initiated beginning with the official registration of the Platform
3. Recommendation: Widen the definition of Civil Society: The Syrian context largely defines Civil Society as Non-Governmental Organisations and UNDP has to date been working within this definition. In the future, UNDP has a role in advancing a wider definition of civil society to include Community Based Organisations (CBOS), faith based organizations and other smaller informal clubs or societies.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

Through the NGO Platform Project, UNDP will facilitate coordination and communication to ensure a more holistic and participatory approach to development and national planning. UNDP will use the project as a platform to coordinate with various national partners

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will seek to engage other civil society organizations through the Platform in order to ensure a broader participation and definition of civil society
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Team Syria Trust for Development Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor 2011/12 Overdue-Initiated
4. Recommendation: Feasibility Planning, Sustainability and Exit Strategy: UNDP projects are generally well planned and flexible and we recommend this approach is maintained in general. However, we recommend revisions are made to project planning in three areas: 1. Project Documents must include sections on financial planning, sustainability and exit strategy 2. Ministries must offer a genuine commitment during project planning to take on responsibilities and to work on internal capacity 3. Plan activities with Ministries to build their capacity
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

In designing project strategies and implementation plans, UNDP will work closely with national counterparts to ensure a feasibility exit strategy and commitment to project outputs

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project Documents will specify exit strategies and sustainability
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team No due date No deadline established
Engage national counterparts in the planning activities and exit strategies
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team No due date No deadline established
5. Recommendation: NGO Platform Project - Summary of Key Recommendations: 1. Resolve long-term financial sustainability 2. Training Clinic ? conduct certain training activities within NGOs (rather than generic one size fits all approach) to ensure the right people are being trained and to improve overall impact 3. Consultancy Clinic - widen scope of activities to include advice on working within the law on procurement and accounting processes, as well as providing assistance in needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation (forthcoming mapping study should identify areas of need) 4. Thematic and Geographic Working Groups ? let Platform General Assembly decide on groups to be formed to allow for flexible approach to tackling cross cutting issues (rather than imposing set working group structures) 5. Implement monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the forthcoming Platform Strategy 6. Explore ways to engage with non-member NGOs and CBOs
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

UNDP, in cooperation with the Trust and Platform, will design a financial sustainability and monitoring and evaluation plan as well as follow up on the consultancy and training clinic through an elaborated plan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Financial mechanism will be designed to ensure the sustainability of the Platform
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Team Platform Administration No due date No deadline established
UNDP will ensure that training activities conducted by projects are well planned and well targeted to ensure meeting needs and sustainability
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Team 2007/01 Overdue-Initiated Course of Project
UNDP will agree with the Trust on mechanisms to engage non-Platform members through the Platform or through other activities
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Team Platform Administration No due date No deadline established
Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy will be designed with Platform members and other national stakeholders
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team Project Team Platform Administration No due date No deadline established
6. Recommendation: Empowering Young Journalists - Summary of Key Recommendations 1. Secure an exit strategy with the Ministry of Information aimed at: - Providing an effective outlet for young media workers to display their talents ? using the website as a catalyst to link with radio, television and print media - Finding synergies with the ?Support to the Media Sector in Syria? project where possible, especially to utilize the fourth floor as a training facility. - Provide in house training from the key media sectors ? networking and establishing links with people working in the industry was identified as a key benefit for members. - Open up the facility for the Ministry to use for training - Open a recruitment process to appoint a Director to be responsible for the TAWASUL network working under the supervision of the Head of Development Media.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

UNDP will work closely with the Ministry of Information to ensure greater coordination between the media projects as well as advise on steps for TAWASUL ? including the re-launch of the website and use of the Center.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will handover to the Ministry of Information with full package of information on how to run TAWASUL
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team 2011/09 Overdue-Initiated
UNDP will support the Ministry in order to finalize the administration of TAWASUL as well as opening training opportunities within the facility
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team 2011/09 Overdue-Initiated
UNDP will coordinate with ?Support to Media Sector? Project particularly in training and capacity development components
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team 2011/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
7. Recommendation: Support to the Syrian Times - Summary of Key Recommendations: - Recruit the editorial team ? particularly the Managing Editor ? at the earliest stage possible to ensure the Editor is an integral part of building a team of talented and committed journalists. - Begin procurement processes for the website design at an early stage. Both the Platform project and TAWASUL projects have had quality issues with their websites. - Conduct a full financial feasibility assessment and projections to allow for budget planning by the Ministry and Managing Editor. There is plenty of experience in running newspapers in Syria and producing accurate cost projections should not be a challenge. The Ministry and Editor should plan for activities for the next five years based on a secured budget. - The biggest challenge is guaranteeing a quality output to attract a readership base. However, no work has been carried out on establishing who the readership base is, whether residents in Syria, ex-pat Syrians or other nationalities. Knowledge of readership base through simple surveying should be used to establish the content and tone of the paper. The target audience may also change as the print version is established after one year.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/11]

UNDP is currently working with the Ministry of Information to ensure the completion of the editorial team and project is moving forward on news management system that will be an essential part of the website. Furthermore, UNDP will continue to support the Ministry of Information in assuring the quality and financial sustainability of the newspaper.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will support the Ministry of Information in headhunting and securing efficient editorial team as planned
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team 2011/12 Overdue-Initiated
Procurement of news management system will be finalized to begin web design
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team 2011/09 Overdue-Initiated
Support the Ministry of Information in setting a financial plan to estimate cost projections and budget costs
[Added: 2011/04/12]
Governance Team 2011/12 Overdue-Not Initiated

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