Mid-term Evaluation of Support to States Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2012, South Sudan
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
06/2009
Completion Date:
03/2010
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
45,000

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Title Mid-term Evaluation of Support to States Project
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2012, South Sudan
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2010
Planned End Date: 06/2009
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 45,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with Government of South Sudan
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
RAMSON MBETU Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SOUTH SUDAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Design and Focus of the Project The SSP needs to relook at the design and follow it more closely from now on. The PRODOC was very clear on the Intended Outcome and Outcome Indicators. The basic question should be on what each of the Specialist working under the project needs to do to achieve the Outcomes.
2 Ownership of the SSP Ownership of the SSP is not very clear. It is recommended that ownership be clarified and efforts made to effect that clarified position. The transition from DEX to NEX must be clearly stated and necessary steps laid out with obligations of UNDP, GOSS and States agreed to by the partners. Ownership at the GOSS level will also help clarify the role of GOSS partner Ministries? roles in the programme. The SSP at State level must be anchored in the Office of the Governor.
3 Integrating the PMT within MOPA for ownership, exit strategy, and sustainability This recommendation was arrived at from two angles. First there was constant reference to the functionality or limited functionality of the States Desk. The second was absence of clear likage between the PMT and the States Affairs within which the PMT is housed. The logic for this recommendation is that the terms of reference of the States Desk are to assist in building the capacities of the States. The PMT is therefore there to specifically help the States Affairs achieve that objective. The PMT is in place to help States Affairs do their work. There is therefore need to redesign the organization structure of the SSP with the PM accountable to the Directorate of Inter-Governmental Affairs through the Director State Affairs. The Deputy Directors in State Affairs should be counterparts to the Experts in the PMT. This would become part of the exit strategy of the programme as all activities will be institutionalized. There will then be regular weekly meetings of the PMT and State Affairs Directorate mapping out programmes reports and monitoring visits. Even follow ups of Governors? Forum recommendations will be itemized for action by this Team. The liaison officers within the States Desk will become part of the broader SSP in that information flows will increase between the PMT, States Affairs and States Coordination Offices in Juba.
4 Strengthened role and capacity of the States Desk The MTR recommends that the States Desk be made more functional with clear Terms of Reference and budget to effect necessary practical changes in States administration and management and foster closer ties with GOSS Ministries on specific issues . It is recommended too that the MOPA visit their counterparts in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to see how the sister Ethiopia Ministry of Federal Affairs operates in relation to Regional Governments.
5 Enhanced capacities of the PMT and Specialists The MTR recommends that the vacant posts in the PMT be filled with qualified, experienced and competent personnel who can work with GOSS and States leadership in supporting capacity building efforts. It is recommended that GOSS MOPA and UNDP collaborate in ensuring proper logistics for the staff. Similar arrangements must be made for the Specialists in the States.
6 Harmonized approaches to Capacity Building at State level The MTR recommends that all the Technical Assistance?s capacity building efforts in the various States be harmonized and delivered in a consistent and standardized way. It was not clear during the Review whether training with manuals or guidelines were given to recruits on how best to build capacity of the various institutions where Specialist were placed. There is also need for continuous learning by the personnel on the most up-to-date methods of capacity building through refresher workshops, shared experiences and exchange visits by both the Specialists and their clients internally and externally.
7 State and Local Development Fund Mechanisms for action, reflection and learning Greater learning by States and local governments will occur through action. Action requires resources or capital funding. Most of the States budgets cover salaries with very little for capital works. The SSP must explore the potential for State Development Fund access to which will depend on certain minimum capacities dependent on the key modalities laid out. The best performers should then necessarily receive more funding. Technical assistance/ Specialists will then be working to achieve certain minimum standards that will be rewarded by larger resource allocations. Strategic Partners, UNCDF, World Bank, AfDB who normally provide such resources can be invited to explore such possibilities.
8 Improve monitoring of the SSP SSP Monitoring has generally been weak. What is normally described as political will is largely a function of ownership. The MTR recommends that evaluation and monitoring start with beneficiaries themselves and the SSP work plan that half yearly reviews at all levels be instituted to enhance greater reflection and learning.
9 GOSS Ministries? to guide and supervise Specialists: The MTR acknowledges the role of the GOSS ministries in steering and guiding the SSP as Board members at very senior levels of government. However the links with the UNDP funded International UNV and National Professionals are still not clearly defined. It is therefore recommended that closer links be forged between GOSS parent Ministries and Specialists deployed to the states to ensure harmonization and quality control of the capacity building efforts. Technically the personnel provided by the Programme are attached to State Ministries where they are performing functions of a GOSS Ministry in terms of building the capacities of their State counterparts.
10 Urban Development Policy framework: There is need for an Urban Development Policy leading to an Urban Councils Act . It is recommended that the SSP explores with UN HABITAT support the way forward on guiding the urban management agenda, assist in States coming up with proper framework for urban development and management.
11 Increased support to SLA: The MTR recommends that this component be fully implemented. There are elections in April and therefore new State Assembly members will be elected. This could also include the Speaker and Committee Chairpersons. Assembly leaders expressed need for further training in oversight responsibilities in addition to induction and training of new legislators. Additionally, all States have created Ministries of Parliamentary Affairs. Whilst the SSP has direct link with the GOSS MPA, no such linkages were envisaged for State MPAs.
1. Recommendation: Design and Focus of the Project The SSP needs to relook at the design and follow it more closely from now on. The PRODOC was very clear on the Intended Outcome and Outcome Indicators. The basic question should be on what each of the Specialist working under the project needs to do to achieve the Outcomes.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

Specialists will be re-oriented on the key objectives of the sub-office programme and more specifically that of the project.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: Ownership of the SSP Ownership of the SSP is not very clear. It is recommended that ownership be clarified and efforts made to effect that clarified position. The transition from DEX to NEX must be clearly stated and necessary steps laid out with obligations of UNDP, GOSS and States agreed to by the partners. Ownership at the GOSS level will also help clarify the role of GOSS partner Ministries? roles in the programme. The SSP at State level must be anchored in the Office of the Governor.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

Ownership of the project has not been in doubt. Specialists and other project staff sit with their government counterparts and work on government activities. The project does not have a work plan that is separate from that of the government. The only issue perhaps creating this perception has been the frequent changes of staff among government counterparts.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: Integrating the PMT within MOPA for ownership, exit strategy, and sustainability This recommendation was arrived at from two angles. First there was constant reference to the functionality or limited functionality of the States Desk. The second was absence of clear likage between the PMT and the States Affairs within which the PMT is housed. The logic for this recommendation is that the terms of reference of the States Desk are to assist in building the capacities of the States. The PMT is therefore there to specifically help the States Affairs achieve that objective. The PMT is in place to help States Affairs do their work. There is therefore need to redesign the organization structure of the SSP with the PM accountable to the Directorate of Inter-Governmental Affairs through the Director State Affairs. The Deputy Directors in State Affairs should be counterparts to the Experts in the PMT. This would become part of the exit strategy of the programme as all activities will be institutionalized. There will then be regular weekly meetings of the PMT and State Affairs Directorate mapping out programmes reports and monitoring visits. Even follow ups of Governors? Forum recommendations will be itemized for action by this Team. The liaison officers within the States Desk will become part of the broader SSP in that information flows will increase between the PMT, States Affairs and States Coordination Offices in Juba.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

SSP being implemented under a DIM modality, the Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. However, his/her work is overseen by both the Project Board, and the UNDP management for quality assurance purposes. The management arrangements proposed here are for a NIM project. However, since the PMU is collocated with the State Affairs desk, members of the PMU (including the project manager) regularly consult and jointly work together on the state support activities.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Strengthened role and capacity of the States Desk The MTR recommends that the States Desk be made more functional with clear Terms of Reference and budget to effect necessary practical changes in States administration and management and foster closer ties with GOSS Ministries on specific issues . It is recommended too that the MOPA visit their counterparts in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to see how the sister Ethiopia Ministry of Federal Affairs operates in relation to Regional Governments.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

The Office of the President has reviewed the functions and capacity of the Directorate of Intergovernmental Relations and Decentralization and has recommended that it be transformed into a bureau in 2012 with more capacity and clear TORs.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Enhanced capacities of the PMT and Specialists The MTR recommends that the vacant posts in the PMT be filled with qualified, experienced and competent personnel who can work with GOSS and States leadership in supporting capacity building efforts. It is recommended that GOSS MOPA and UNDP collaborate in ensuring proper logistics for the staff. Similar arrangements must be made for the Specialists in the States.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

A consultant has been hired to fast-track the recruitment of qualified for all the vacant specialist positions. A Field support Unit was formed within UNDP to properly coordinate logistical support to the field staff.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: Harmonized approaches to Capacity Building at State level The MTR recommends that all the Technical Assistance?s capacity building efforts in the various States be harmonized and delivered in a consistent and standardized way. It was not clear during the Review whether training with manuals or guidelines were given to recruits on how best to build capacity of the various institutions where Specialist were placed. There is also need for continuous learning by the personnel on the most up-to-date methods of capacity building through refresher workshops, shared experiences and exchange visits by both the Specialists and their clients internally and externally.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

Project retreats and staff exchanges will be conducted

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: State and Local Development Fund Mechanisms for action, reflection and learning Greater learning by States and local governments will occur through action. Action requires resources or capital funding. Most of the States budgets cover salaries with very little for capital works. The SSP must explore the potential for State Development Fund access to which will depend on certain minimum capacities dependent on the key modalities laid out. The best performers should then necessarily receive more funding. Technical assistance/ Specialists will then be working to achieve certain minimum standards that will be rewarded by larger resource allocations. Strategic Partners, UNCDF, World Bank, AfDB who normally provide such resources can be invited to explore such possibilities.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

Initially, there was no funding for the Local Development Fund (LDF). However, an LDF will now be introduced in the new project ?Support to Development Planning and PFM? that will start in 2012.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: Improve monitoring of the SSP SSP Monitoring has generally been weak. What is normally described as political will is largely a function of ownership. The MTR recommends that evaluation and monitoring start with beneficiaries themselves and the SSP work plan that half yearly reviews at all levels be instituted to enhance greater reflection and learning.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

In addition to the Project Board meetings that are conducted on quarterly basis, Project retreats that will include the participation of government counterparts will serve this purpose as well. Project Board is chaired by the government counterpart.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: GOSS Ministries? to guide and supervise Specialists: The MTR acknowledges the role of the GOSS ministries in steering and guiding the SSP as Board members at very senior levels of government. However the links with the UNDP funded International UNV and National Professionals are still not clearly defined. It is therefore recommended that closer links be forged between GOSS parent Ministries and Specialists deployed to the states to ensure harmonization and quality control of the capacity building efforts. Technically the personnel provided by the Programme are attached to State Ministries where they are performing functions of a GOSS Ministry in terms of building the capacities of their State counterparts.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

The Performance Management Framework (PMF) that was designed and introduced in 2010 for the International UN Specialists now makes this link a requirement.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: Urban Development Policy framework: There is need for an Urban Development Policy leading to an Urban Councils Act . It is recommended that the SSP explores with UN HABITAT support the way forward on guiding the urban management agenda, assist in States coming up with proper framework for urban development and management.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

UN-HABITAT is the UN organization with the competence to support the national government in developing the national Urban Policy framework.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: Increased support to SLA: The MTR recommends that this component be fully implemented. There are elections in April and therefore new State Assembly members will be elected. This could also include the Speaker and Committee Chairpersons. Assembly leaders expressed need for further training in oversight responsibilities in addition to induction and training of new legislators. Additionally, all States have created Ministries of Parliamentary Affairs. Whilst the SSP has direct link with the GOSS MPA, no such linkages were envisaged for State MPAs.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/21]

Induction training was planned and conducted for all new legislators at national and state level. Some training was also conducted for the finance and budget committees of the State Legislative Assemblies for them to be able understand, interpret and debate the draft budgets before passage. Starting 2012, UNDP will launch a fully fledged stand alone project on Legislative Strengthening to ensure that adequate support is provided to the legislature.

Key Actions:

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