Country Programme Evaluation 2003-2007

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2008-2012, Malaysia
Evaluation Type:
Others
Planned End Date:
07/2009
Completion Date:
09/2009
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Country Programme Evaluation 2003-2007
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2012, Malaysia
Evaluation Type: Others
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2009
Planned End Date: 07/2009
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MALAYSIA
Comments: The Management Team (MT) of the UNDP CO reviewed the evaluation and it was also discussed with the entire programme team who provided input which was taken on board by the MT. A copy of the evaluation report was shared with the Government counterpart (Economic Planning Unit - Prime Minister's Department) on 27 July 2009. The Management Team under the leadership of the new Resident Representative had already begun repositioning the UNDP CO programme along the lines suggested in the report. On 12 August 2009, a meeting was held with the Director General and Senior Management members of the Economic Planning Unit and the repositioning has now been agreed with EPU to be implemented.
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 1. Enhancing overall impact: UNDP needs to take four major steps in order to enhance its contribution to Malaysia's development.  UNDP must articulate a clear role for itself in a middle-income country like Malaysia.  UNDP must make the most of the organization's broad development mandate, impartiality, moral authority and ability to work with all national actors to position Malaysia as a lead player in the promotion of South South cooperation.  UNDP must engineer a shift of emphasis in programming from many small scattered projects to strategic upstream activities focusing on knowledge, improving policy analysis and policy advocacy.  UNDP must exploit the potential for developing partnerships in Malaysia with non-governmental organizations, research and academic institutions and civil society movements. 2. Repositioning: UNDP should begin to reposition itself in Malaysia in order to enhance the effectiveness of its contribution. The following are some of the measures to consider: o Develop a strategic response to multiple stakeholder demands. Bring focus and selectivity in existing areas of interventions. Analyze comprehensively, but act selectively. Identify new high-impact areas that match competencies. Continue with informed policy advocacy especially around governance and human rights, gender, health, poverty, inequality and sustainable development. Back up policy advocacy with evidence and rigorous analysis of policy alternatives. Support formulation and implementation of the 10th Malaysia Plan by assisting Malaysia with evidence based planning and capacity building in key sectors. Adopting such an approach has several implications for project selection.  Projects should not become ends in themselves. They ought to become instruments (policy experiments) for building evidence and fostering policy dialogue.  Projects should have a well-articulated and well-established link to national policy.  New criteria and processes for selection of projects must be introduced in order to ensure greater coherence and overall impact. o Generate significant value addition. This will call for building on strengths and competencies of UNDP staff, identifying a niche, acquiring and projecting competencies, strengthening brand recognition, bringing international expertise to bear, and leveraging on the one-UN banner. It must be noted that building the competencies of UNDP staff will require the investment of resources to enhance the skills sets of the programme staff in key thematic areas. o Institutionalize regular monitoring and periodic evaluations. This will call for setting up monitoring mechanisms for every project, making evaluation integral to the projects, and setting up joint systems for performance monitoring of projects. o Improve skill mix and intensity. This will require drawing more on international experience and expertise, developing a strong cadre of national consultants to work on design, monitoring and evaluation; and enhancing the capacity of UNDP staff so that they are better equipped to engage in policy dialogue, quality monitoring and technical backstopping. o Improve visibility and the brand image of UNDP. This will require enhancing people's knowledge of the specific substantive contributions and the various services UNDP can provide. It will also call for engaging more pro-actively with media to foster an awareness of UNDP and an understanding of its capabilities; and also to foster partnerships with civil society and the private sector.
1. Recommendation: 1. Enhancing overall impact: UNDP needs to take four major steps in order to enhance its contribution to Malaysia's development.  UNDP must articulate a clear role for itself in a middle-income country like Malaysia.  UNDP must make the most of the organization's broad development mandate, impartiality, moral authority and ability to work with all national actors to position Malaysia as a lead player in the promotion of South South cooperation.  UNDP must engineer a shift of emphasis in programming from many small scattered projects to strategic upstream activities focusing on knowledge, improving policy analysis and policy advocacy.  UNDP must exploit the potential for developing partnerships in Malaysia with non-governmental organizations, research and academic institutions and civil society movements. 2. Repositioning: UNDP should begin to reposition itself in Malaysia in order to enhance the effectiveness of its contribution. The following are some of the measures to consider: o Develop a strategic response to multiple stakeholder demands. Bring focus and selectivity in existing areas of interventions. Analyze comprehensively, but act selectively. Identify new high-impact areas that match competencies. Continue with informed policy advocacy especially around governance and human rights, gender, health, poverty, inequality and sustainable development. Back up policy advocacy with evidence and rigorous analysis of policy alternatives. Support formulation and implementation of the 10th Malaysia Plan by assisting Malaysia with evidence based planning and capacity building in key sectors. Adopting such an approach has several implications for project selection.  Projects should not become ends in themselves. They ought to become instruments (policy experiments) for building evidence and fostering policy dialogue.  Projects should have a well-articulated and well-established link to national policy.  New criteria and processes for selection of projects must be introduced in order to ensure greater coherence and overall impact. o Generate significant value addition. This will call for building on strengths and competencies of UNDP staff, identifying a niche, acquiring and projecting competencies, strengthening brand recognition, bringing international expertise to bear, and leveraging on the one-UN banner. It must be noted that building the competencies of UNDP staff will require the investment of resources to enhance the skills sets of the programme staff in key thematic areas. o Institutionalize regular monitoring and periodic evaluations. This will call for setting up monitoring mechanisms for every project, making evaluation integral to the projects, and setting up joint systems for performance monitoring of projects. o Improve skill mix and intensity. This will require drawing more on international experience and expertise, developing a strong cadre of national consultants to work on design, monitoring and evaluation; and enhancing the capacity of UNDP staff so that they are better equipped to engage in policy dialogue, quality monitoring and technical backstopping. o Improve visibility and the brand image of UNDP. This will require enhancing people's knowledge of the specific substantive contributions and the various services UNDP can provide. It will also call for engaging more pro-actively with media to foster an awareness of UNDP and an understanding of its capabilities; and also to foster partnerships with civil society and the private sector.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/09/30]

Many aspects of a repositioning has already been initiated by the Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative starting in 2009 - and are underway as evident from the UNDP Retreat Report of January 2009. The recommendations have also been discussed and agreed with the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department of Malaysia on 12 August 2009.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to discuss with Management Team and Programme Cluster
[Added: 2009/09/30]
Programme 2009/08 Completed Completed and agreed for follow up action by Management Team
To discuss with the Economic Planning Unit and to obtain agreement on follow up action.
[Added: 2009/09/30]
Programme 2009/08 Completed Agreement obtained from Economic Planning Unit on re-positioning of UNDP based on CPO recommendations.

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