UNDAF Armenia 2010-2015 Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2010-2015, Armenia
Evaluation Type:
UNDAF
Planned End Date:
12/2014
Completion Date:
08/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
4,500

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Title UNDAF Armenia 2010-2015 Evaluation
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2015, Armenia
Evaluation Type: UNDAF
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2014
Planned End Date: 12/2014
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 4,500
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Country Team
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Anastas Aghazaryan anastasaghazaryan@gmail.com ARMENIA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Un Country Team, Government of RA
Countries: ARMENIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The UNDAF is meant to be a mechanism for effective resource mobilization, avoiding duplications. Thematic Groups and Joint Programming are essential for its effective implementation and would ensure (1) UNDAF's contribution to achieving better synergies among the programmes of UN Agencies and (2) enhancement of specific joint programmes, (3) improvement of the effectiveness of individual Agencies as a result.
2 UNDAF Thematic Group staff participating in its development and implementation should be actively supported by Agencies' management. The contribution of staff to the goals and objectives of the UNDAF through their membership in Thematic Groups should be recognized and validated through the performance appraisal of staff. All UN Agencies should adopt this modality in order for the UNDAF to be an effective framework for the UNCT planning, programming, implementation and monitoring.
3 Performance of the Thematic Groups would have benefited from a more structured meeting calendar. This would have ensured continuity and would have provided the basis for a documented process. A regular and systematic process would improve the quality of monitoring, providing the steering committee with up-to-date information on UNDAF implementation, including challenges and progress.
4 Civil society partners representing sectorial counterparts should be invited to participate more actively in the work of the UNDAF Thematic Groups to ensure a more participatory approach, and promote knowledge exchange and ownership.
5 Assumptions and risks should be regularly updated and analyzed in order to determine the effects and the impact that the financial situation may have on the achievement of outcomes, for example through annual UN progress reports which could also analyze achievements and areas where progress is lacking.
6 More frequent, responsive, and coordinated monitoring is needed. Analysis of indicators would strengthen inter-agency coherence. Appropriate, realistic and measurable indicators should be established, adjusted and monitored.
7 Too many indicators (both on outcome and output level) are likely to end up yielding conflicting results. Long and detailed outcomes tend to put Agencies in a position to first design projects and then seek the appropriate outcome category in the UNDAF document for a particular project. A small number of measurable indicators should be selected, for which data will be readily available. Care should be taken that the monitoring of indicators is cost-efficient. The number of indicators should be decreased.
8

In the national context where the intervention logic is based on building partnerships, national ownership and capacity building, it is crucial to involve national partners during the entire UNDAF cycle to achieve better results.

9 The UNDAF should be viewed as a flexible instrument taking into consideration the particular mandates of different UN Agencies. Strategic planning should be top-down instead of the current bottom?up approach led by separate UN Agencies.
1. Recommendation: The UNDAF is meant to be a mechanism for effective resource mobilization, avoiding duplications. Thematic Groups and Joint Programming are essential for its effective implementation and would ensure (1) UNDAF's contribution to achieving better synergies among the programmes of UN Agencies and (2) enhancement of specific joint programmes, (3) improvement of the effectiveness of individual Agencies as a result.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2014/12/16]

Agree.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recommendation will be considered when the new UNDAF is developed.
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2015/07/08]
UNCT/RC Office 2015/07 Completed
2. Recommendation: UNDAF Thematic Group staff participating in its development and implementation should be actively supported by Agencies' management. The contribution of staff to the goals and objectives of the UNDAF through their membership in Thematic Groups should be recognized and validated through the performance appraisal of staff. All UN Agencies should adopt this modality in order for the UNDAF to be an effective framework for the UNCT planning, programming, implementation and monitoring.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2014/12/16]

Agree.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UN Agencies management would look into the possibility of acknowledging the staff in their UNDAF support role through performance appraisal mechanism
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/26]
UNCT 2014/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation: Performance of the Thematic Groups would have benefited from a more structured meeting calendar. This would have ensured continuity and would have provided the basis for a documented process. A regular and systematic process would improve the quality of monitoring, providing the steering committee with up-to-date information on UNDAF implementation, including challenges and progress.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

Disagree: Indeed we acknowledge criticism related to the low effectiveness of Outcome Group performance, and internal monitoring processes. However, we are not convinced that the proposed remedies (e.g. a more structured meeting calendar) are necessarily useful or promising. Instead, the Country Team is looking toward formulating more high-level objectives that can potentially provide for real harmonization and more effective substantive cooperation among the Agencies. In that respect the criticism issued by the Evaluator comes right in time before the Strategic Prioritization Retreat, providing all of us with some food for thought.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Civil society partners representing sectorial counterparts should be invited to participate more actively in the work of the UNDAF Thematic Groups to ensure a more participatory approach, and promote knowledge exchange and ownership.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

Partially agree: participation of the civil society partners should be made upon rather depending on relevance of the discussion themes, i.e. on an ad-hoc basis.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDAF Thematic Groups Chairs to look closely into possibility for more engagement of the civil society partners into UNDAF thematic discussions
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/26]
UNDAF Theme Groups Chairs 2015/12 Completed History
5. Recommendation: Assumptions and risks should be regularly updated and analyzed in order to determine the effects and the impact that the financial situation may have on the achievement of outcomes, for example through annual UN progress reports which could also analyze achievements and areas where progress is lacking.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

Agree.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDAF Chairs to deliver annual UNDAF progress reports to include analyzes of the assumptions and risks context.
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/26]
UNDAF Theme Groups Chairs 2015/12 Completed History
6. Recommendation: More frequent, responsive, and coordinated monitoring is needed. Analysis of indicators would strengthen inter-agency coherence. Appropriate, realistic and measurable indicators should be established, adjusted and monitored.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

Agree.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. UNDAF Thematic Groups Chairs to define SMART indicators for the new UNDAF with clear baselines, targets, and means of verifications. 2. UNDAF Theme Groups Chairs to use the current M&E web-based tool to track the progress on a regular basis.
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/26]
UNDAF Theme Groups Chairs 2015/12 Completed History
7. Recommendation: Too many indicators (both on outcome and output level) are likely to end up yielding conflicting results. Long and detailed outcomes tend to put Agencies in a position to first design projects and then seek the appropriate outcome category in the UNDAF document for a particular project. A small number of measurable indicators should be selected, for which data will be readily available. Care should be taken that the monitoring of indicators is cost-efficient. The number of indicators should be decreased.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

Agree.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDAF Thematic Groups Chairs to define SMART indicators for the new UNDAF with clear baselines, targets, and means of verifications.
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/26]
UNDAF Theme Groups Chairs 2015/12 Completed History
8. Recommendation:

In the national context where the intervention logic is based on building partnerships, national ownership and capacity building, it is crucial to involve national partners during the entire UNDAF cycle to achieve better results.

Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/02]

Partially agree: UNDAF implementation is a shared responsibility between the UN and the Government of Armenia; when it comes to a proper planning and follow-up, maintaining mutual interest and commitment is key to a successful UNDAF implementation. UNCT views setting up an UNDAF Steering Committee co-chaired by the UN and Government of Armenia as a key factor for ensuring achievement of better results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Setting up Steering Committee co-chaired by the Prime Minister's Office and UN.
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2018/04/03]
UNCT/RC Office 2020/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The issue will be discussed and redesign through UNDAF mid-term review process in 2018. ]
All necessary documents were designed (TOR, etc), yet due to the changes of Government Cabinet in autumn 2016, the establishment of 2016-2020 UNDAF Steering Committee has been postponed to 2017. The issue will be discussed through UNDAF mid-term review process. History
9. Recommendation: The UNDAF should be viewed as a flexible instrument taking into consideration the particular mandates of different UN Agencies. Strategic planning should be top-down instead of the current bottom?up approach led by separate UN Agencies.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

Agree: results based approach will be applied while developing the new UNDAF, which will allow to avoid the mention issue.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Apply Results-Based Approach principles for the new 2016-2020 UNDAF.
[Added: 2014/12/16] [Last Updated: 2017/12/26]
UNCT 2014/12 Completed History

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