Governance Outcome Evaluation 2003-2007

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2003-2007, Samoa
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
12/2008
Completion Date:
03/2009
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000
This report is an outcome evaluation of the UNDP MCO Samoa's ICT for Development (ICT4D) project operating in the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa from 2005-8. The consultant Robert Boase of Canada evaluated the project from November 18 to December 20, 2008 with one week missions to each country and writing up the report back in Samoa. General findings in this project are summarized below: - ICT is still relatively new in the islands and it faces formidable challenges - ICT4D is both a great challenge and an opportunity; -The vulnerability of the Internet hardware in these small island states due to cyclones, power surges and power outages that can damage network hardware such as a server; -The limitation of human resources both for developing and servicing the ICT systems on the supply side and for using this technology by public servants and the general public on the other hand; -The cost of developing, operating and maintaining these systems on limited government budgets; -The sluggishness of the Internet both in connectivity and in data transfer that frustrates more sophisticated users and consumes inordinate amounts of time; -The technology has jumped out ahead of many neophytes' ability to use it. What is needed now is a focus on building computer literacy; -It is premature to talk of these projects' contribution toward the UNDP global objective of poverty reduction. The internet is still the domain of the educated and privileged in these societies; -The intended outcomes for these projects are basically irrelevant to the actual situation on the ground; -The delays in UNDP quarterly advances has impeded project implementation in all three projects; -Project Managers' accountability in the three projects was lacking. Without accountability projects tend to drift off target and fall behind schedule and this is what happened with all three projects. The Cook Islands Project The project has assisted 11 ministries and 8 a

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Title Governance Outcome Evaluation 2003-2007
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2003-2007, Samoa
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2009
Planned End Date: 12/2008
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Democratic Governance
  • 3. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Enhanced national planning capacity and good governance to achieve development priorities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Mr. Robert Boase Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SAMOA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 1 a) Establish a UNDP website for the four programmes and train UNDP officers how to input to the website for its development and currency; b) ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the website design and development and are encouraged to provide feedback for its further development to ensure the websites are focused on government and community needs rather than being internally driven.
2 2 Write more relevant intended outcomes to UNDP projects. The intended outcomes for these projects had little or nothing to do with the reality on the ground in the CKI, Niue and Samoa.
3 3. Review of financial administration of UNDP MCO in Samoa. All the 3 projects reviewed in the evaluation have had problems with delays in securing their financial advances which slows down project implementation and lower disbursement rates. THis indicates a problem inside the UNDP MCO.
4 4 Ensure clear accountability for project managers. There were problems with accountability in all 3 projects reviewed and with unclear or conflicting accountability, the result is project implementation is impacted.
5 5 Internal Systems for follow up to management responses
1. Recommendation: 1 a) Establish a UNDP website for the four programmes and train UNDP officers how to input to the website for its development and currency; b) ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the website design and development and are encouraged to provide feedback for its further development to ensure the websites are focused on government and community needs rather than being internally driven.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

UNDP Website is managed by an internal UNDP website Task Force and is updated on a regular basis as new information is made available. The content of the website has been upgraded and improved significantly to reflect community programmes and strategic linkages with relevant government programmes. News items are uploaded on the website is a way of disseminating and sharing information among courntires and with relevant partners and stakeholders. With regards to setting up a platform of portal for knowledge sharing as part of the UNDP website, this has not been explored given the complexities in setting such a system. The UNDP intranet and knowledge networks are being used to facilitate knowledge sharing instead. Updated infromation on MDGs are available on the UNDP website and MDG specific activities are incorporated into the MCOs main programmes. The results of these are yet to be realised and once they are available these will be uploaded onto the UNDP website under the MDG webpage.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: 2 Write more relevant intended outcomes to UNDP projects. The intended outcomes for these projects had little or nothing to do with the reality on the ground in the CKI, Niue and Samoa.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

With the new CPAP 2008-2012 signed by all the four programming countries, these now replace the detailed UNDP project documents. The annual work plans to support the implementation of the country priorities in the CPAPs are now more focused with strategic outcomes and outputs clearly specificied with linkages to the relevant CPAP outcomes. The CPAP will be reviewed in 2010 and this will help to further streamline the CPAP outcomes and priorities and align them to current development issues and reality on the ground.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3. Review of financial administration of UNDP MCO in Samoa. All the 3 projects reviewed in the evaluation have had problems with delays in securing their financial advances which slows down project implementation and lower disbursement rates. THis indicates a problem inside the UNDP MCO.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

Capacity constraints in the 3 countries in terms of experienced professional Project Managers is an issue that the MCO will be addressing more proactively in the new cycle to ensure that Project Managers produce and submit proper documentation to support avance requests. The lack of proper work planning, reporting and requesting of funds in the proper manner has been the chief cause for the delays in UNDP being able to advance funds. This will be addressed through regular training of new project managers and UNDP staff in all UNDP NEX procedures RBM principles and accountability tools such as audits, evaluations, more regular field visits and follow up and forming a more closer relationship and communication with PMs. Internal UNDP financial management systems were reviewed in 2009 with new streamlined work flow processes put in place to ensure the efficacy of these systems.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: 4 Ensure clear accountability for project managers. There were problems with accountability in all 3 projects reviewed and with unclear or conflicting accountability, the result is project implementation is impacted.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

The MCO continues to work closely with project managers and to assist them to understand their roles and responsibilities better. The SC meetings are one mechanism which provides quality assurance and checks for project managers. Quarterly reports submitted and reviewed by UNDP is another form of ensuring accountability of project managers. The MCO intends to strengthen its quality assurance role in 2010 and is planning to reinstate the quarterly programming review meetings with government counterparts especially in Samoa, which is the largest programme and resources. THis is a strong mechanism which will help to hold project managers accountable for their results.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: 5 Internal Systems for follow up to management responses
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

The MCO in November 2009 appointed one of the Assistant Resident Representatives to head the Programme Management Support Unit supported by one Programme Associate. With the new PMSU in place, this will help to provide quality assurance and checks and also to facilitate with the efficient processing of project funds. In 2009, a Finance Assistant was recruited to provide support to the Finance Unit. Three Programme Associates dedicate 80% of their time on financial management of projects. UNDP is a member of the Steering Committees for all the Samoa UNDP funded projects. Given the geographical challenges for the projects in the CKI and Niue, UNDP is not able to participate in project Steergin Committee meetings. For Tokelau, a programmatic approach is taken where meetings are held at the CPAP level to review all UNDP funded programmes in Tokelau rather than on a project specific arrangement. UNDP internally, continues to hold regular programme meetings to discuss substantive and operational issues pertaining to projects and actions to take.

Key Actions:

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