Strengthening the national capacity of Turkmenistan to promote and protect human rights project evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2010-2015, Turkmenistan
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
02/2012
Completion Date:
02/2012
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Strengthening the national capacity of Turkmenistan to promote and protect human rights project evaluation
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2015, Turkmenistan
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2012
Planned End Date: 02/2012
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Democratic Governance
  • 3. Cross-cutting Development Issue
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Inclusive growth and social equity promoted through pro-poor macroeconomic and fiscal policies that support income, employment and social protection of youth, women and vulnerable groups in a sustainable way
  • 2. Effective, responsive, accessible and fair justice systems promote the rule of law, including both formal and informal processes, with due consideration on the rights of the poor, women and vulnerable groups
  • 3. Strengthened capacities of national human rights institutions
  • 4. UNDP programmes/projects integrate capacity development
  • 5. UNDP programmes/projects integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in line with the UNDP gender equality strategy, 2008-2011
  • 6. South-South approaches to development mainstreamed in national development plans and the work of United Nations organizations
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: EU
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Zarko Petrovic Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, EU, National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights
Countries: TURKMENISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The Project should continue engaging the Government and working on awareness raising and capacity building. It should strive to address the vertical institutionalization of human rights and open doors for horizontal institutionalization. It should not be deterred by lack of progress on the horizontal, so long as the vertical yields results.
2 The Project is in essence a development project and outreach to the population is but one of its components. Therefore, the Project should continue a careful balancing act between all its expected outcomes/results and not prioritize either of them in order not to alienate Turkmen Government, so long as this is their position.
3 The List of Activities is too long. The Project should work to shorten it, in light of its staff capacity.
4 Some activities have the same indicators and some are working towards different results (see: Issues with Project design).
5 The Results 1 and 3 should be merged, since they have similar implementation approach and essentially aim at raising awareness on human rights.
6 The Steering Committee should meet more often in light of the reported difficulties in the implementation of the Project. Some notable shortcomings in Project's implementation merited a more frequent, high level between relevant departments and yield more results towards the fulfillment of Project goals.
7 The NIDHR should not be the only implementation interlocutor in the Turkmen government. Building alliances and working relations with others, such as, e.g. the Ministry of Interior, Adalat (Justice) etc., should be considered.
8 The Project partners should put together a comprehensive risk analysis on the agenda of the next Steering Committee, and mitigation measures prepared for any no-cost extension request and request for the renewal of the Project.
9 Study visits should continue at a pace of at least 2/year. They should accompany Result 1 activities, but also activities under other results. The Project should continue organizing study tours for Turkmen officials. Although this activity has its natural limits, it is evaluator?s assessment that this activity is still producing results in regards to awareness raising and capacity building of Turkmen officials.
10 The Project should work towards facilitating access to the RCs further, both in Ashgabat and in velayats when they will be open.
11 The Project might try to focus working on separate rights, instead of separate human rights documents. Prison standards (as already done) Anti - discrimination work, tapping into the "rule of law issues", through the work on the right to an effective legal remedy, right to fair trial etc. Could be one avenue for the Project.
12 Engraining human rights into the education curriculum in Turkmenistan should continue to be in focus of the Project?s attention and advocacy efforts to that end should continue.
13 Opening of Resource Centres (RCs) should continue to be in the focus of Project's activities in the upcoming period, as one of the main vehicles for achieving impact, and not a purpose in itself.
14 The Project should continue translating documents, jointly with the appropriate Government interlocutor.
15 The Project could do more in ensuring consistency in reporting. The quarterly and annual progress reports should be as analytical in description of activities (in tables) as they are in the narrative sections. Progress towards set benchmarks should be made clear.
16 Respond quicker to the human resource shuffles inside the Project team.
17 Support the implementation of Project activities by targeted advocacy on its follow up aspect.
1. Recommendation: The Project should continue engaging the Government and working on awareness raising and capacity building. It should strive to address the vertical institutionalization of human rights and open doors for horizontal institutionalization. It should not be deterred by lack of progress on the horizontal, so long as the vertical yields results.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

The project will continue the work on both vertical and horizontal institutionalization as suggested, by targeting both policy makers and decision makers, at the same time focusing on students, civil servants and general public through opening of resource centres in the regions and through organization of public events.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Organize training events for different target groups.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2013/06 Completed
2. To open HR Resource centers in the regions.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/02/04]
Project staff 2012/09 Completed Resource Centers were opened in 4 provincial centers.
3. To support sustainability of those HRRCs.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/02/04]
Project staff 2013/06 Completed A Round table for students on HR issues was conducted in the Resource Center in Mary; similar and additional activities were planned for 2013.
2. Recommendation: The Project is in essence a development project and outreach to the population is but one of its components. Therefore, the Project should continue a careful balancing act between all its expected outcomes/results and not prioritize either of them in order not to alienate Turkmen Government, so long as this is their position.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

The Project agrees that balanced approach is required in Turkmenistan in dealing with such a sensitive issue as human rights. Efforts will be made to go in line with this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To more involve national partners in the process of developing work plans for the next periods.
[Added: 2012/06/28]
Project staff 2012/06 Completed A draft work plan was developed with participation of National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights for the period of August-December 2012.
3. Recommendation: The List of Activities is too long. The Project should work to shorten it, in light of its staff capacity.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2012/06/28]

Issues of staff capacity are being addressed at the moment. However, the current and upcoming list of project activities can be discussed during the next Steering Committee/Project Board meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To make project activities more addressed and focused, where it is possible.
[Added: 2012/06/28]
Project staff 2012/06 Completed Wording of project activities was made more focused while perparing the draft work. plan for August-December 2012. The same approach will be appllied while working out the next plans
4. Recommendation: Some activities have the same indicators and some are working towards different results (see: Issues with Project design).
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2012/06/28]

The project will pay attention to make sure indicators and benchmarks are used when addressing implementation of recommendations contained in TBs' Concluding Observations, as well as to strengthen capacity of national counterparts to prepare national reports and follow up action plan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To make project activities more addressed and focused, whererever it is possible.
[Added: 2012/06/28]
Project staff 2012/06 Completed The recommendation was taken into account while developing the work plan for August-December 2012.
5. Recommendation: The Results 1 and 3 should be merged, since they have similar implementation approach and essentially aim at raising awareness on human rights.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

In general this is a good recommendation. However, application of this recommendation at this stage would be difficult due to the pre-agreed list of activities under each result. This recommendation can be discussed during the next Steering Committee/Project Board meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To further discuss the recommendation at the periods of WPs developing.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2012/12 Completed Considered in AWP 2012 and draft AWP 2013
6. Recommendation: The Steering Committee should meet more often in light of the reported difficulties in the implementation of the Project. Some notable shortcomings in Project's implementation merited a more frequent, high level between relevant departments and yield more results towards the fulfillment of Project goals.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2012/06/28]

Steering Committee and Project Board are almost similar structures and the same institutions are represented in both of these structures. Project Board meetings are conducted regularly throughout the year.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To further discuss the recommendation at the periods of WPs developing.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2012/12 Completed The SC was conducted on 26 June 2012; partners are updated with the information on project challenges and difficulties regularly through reports and additional correspondence; The next SC is planned for the beginning of the next year
7. Recommendation: The NIDHR should not be the only implementation interlocutor in the Turkmen government. Building alliances and working relations with others, such as, e.g. the Ministry of Interior, Adalat (Justice) etc., should be considered.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

This issue was raised at the SC meeting on 25 February 2011, by the EC representative. However, no detailed response from the government side followed. This position could be reiterated again at the SC meeting so that broader partnership is promoted within the framework of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To more interact with national stakeholders, incl. those listed in the recommendation, through project events.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/07/09]
Project staff 2013/06 Completed The issue was discussed with the National partners, immediately upon receiving the evaluator's recommendation, but their position has been that all the communication with other state bodies should continue to be directed through the agreed channels. The national partners stated that, according to the project document, the set up of partners was firmly established, and as such signed by the MFA. Their standpoint has been that, in the spirit of good cooperation, the TNIDHR would always involve other stakeholders, as seen necessary.
8. Recommendation: The Project partners should put together a comprehensive risk analysis on the agenda of the next Steering Committee, and mitigation measures prepared for any no-cost extension request and request for the renewal of the Project.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

For each SC meeting, the project normally makes this arrangement.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To continue the practice.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2013/03 Completed Project extended till 2 July 2013; Concept papers for the next phase of the project will be developed
9. Recommendation: Study visits should continue at a pace of at least 2/year. They should accompany Result 1 activities, but also activities under other results. The Project should continue organizing study tours for Turkmen officials. Although this activity has its natural limits, it is evaluator?s assessment that this activity is still producing results in regards to awareness raising and capacity building of Turkmen officials.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

Organization of study-visits is planned in 2012 in the following locations: Geneva, Serbia, Poland and Croatia. Target groups will include government officials, NIDHR staff, and teachers of higher educational institutions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. To organize 3 study visit (Poland, Geneva, Croatia).
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2012/10 Completed Study visit to Poland and debriefing on lessons learned conducted; Study visit to Geneva conducted and debriefing is planned; Study visit to Croatia was planned to be conducted till 10 December 2012, but was not finally confirmed by national partners. It was postponed for 2013.
2. To support participation of national partners in SV to Armenia.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2012/11/21]
Project staff 2012/10 No Longer Applicable Due to the Government's decision the national partners of HR project were not able to participate in the SV to Armenia.
10. Recommendation: The Project should work towards facilitating access to the RCs further, both in Ashgabat and in velayats when they will be open.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2012/06/28]

This recommendation is accepted. At the moment there are one or two events per month to which the Project invites students, and then each time encourages them to come and use the resources available in the RCs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To organize more events in HRRC.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2013/06 Completed Reflected in 2012 and 2013 AWPs
11. Recommendation: The Project might try to focus working on separate rights, instead of separate human rights documents. Prison standards (as already done) Anti - discrimination work, tapping into the "rule of law issues", through the work on the right to an effective legal remedy, right to fair trial etc. Could be one avenue for the Project.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]

These ideas and suggestions can be included into the new project, that can be potentially developed building upon successful implementation of the current project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To address issues related to separate rights during the formulation of new project
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/12/19]
Programme Specialist 2013/12 Completed Project Document is being drafted in consultations with the national partner and the recommendation is taken into account.
12. Recommendation: Engraining human rights into the education curriculum in Turkmenistan should continue to be in focus of the Project?s attention and advocacy efforts to that end should continue.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

Accepted. For the time being, the Project works with teachers. Joint efforts of other relevant international organizations (UNDP, UNICEF, OSCE and UNESCO) could be coordinated and harmonized in order to engage the national partners in this important initiative (through donor coordination meetings and through UNDAF Annual Review process).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. To organize a study visit to Poland on human rights education for the group of national trainers.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2012/07 Completed Conducted
2. To develop suggestions for meeting with relevant international organizations.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/07/09]
Project staff / UNDP programme staff 2013/06 Completed Meetings with intentional organisations have been organised on a regular basis and ad hoc.
13. Recommendation: Opening of Resource Centres (RCs) should continue to be in the focus of Project's activities in the upcoming period, as one of the main vehicles for achieving impact, and not a purpose in itself.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]

This is a priority issue for the Project on the short term perspective. After opening of the RCs, launch events are being planned.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This is a priority issue for the Project on the short term perspective. After opening of the RCs, launch events are being planned.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/03/24]
Project staff 2012/12 Completed
14. Recommendation: The Project should continue translating documents, jointly with the appropriate Government interlocutor.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

The Project will continue translating the document involving quality translators available in the market.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To translate relevant documents on human rights issues
[Added: 2013/03/24] [Last Updated: 2013/07/09]
Project staff 2013/06 Completed 13 publications (Universal declaration on HR,9 TB?s HR treaties, FAQ on ESC rights, 2 pocketbooks for law enforcement officials) were translated, published and disseminated
15. Recommendation: The Project could do more in ensuring consistency in reporting. The quarterly and annual progress reports should be as analytical in description of activities (in tables) as they are in the narrative sections. Progress towards set benchmarks should be made clear.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

This is partially accepted. The quarterly annual reports have certain standards and it is more relevant to provide detailed analytics in the narrative report that is prepared separately. The Project will make efforts to address this recommendation in its next reporting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To duly prepare comprehensive regular reports.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/07/09]
Project staff 2013/06 Completed Regular reports prepared taking into account the evaluation recommendations
16. Recommendation: Respond quicker to the human resource shuffles inside the Project team.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

The recruitment of 2nd international staff has been addressed through detail assignment arrangement. An experienced Human Right Programme Specialist from Croatia is considered for filling the position of the second international staff till the end of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To hire the 2nd international expert.
[Added: 2012/06/28]
Plroject staff, UNDP programme staff 2012/06 Completed
17. Recommendation: Support the implementation of Project activities by targeted advocacy on its follow up aspect.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/28]

UNDP can, in the scope of social protection system assistance, continue the work on, for example, rights of persons with disabilities (accessibility), follow-up on national human rights action plan preparation, etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To inform UNDP RR/responsible person where UNDP's advocacy is requred.
[Added: 2012/06/28] [Last Updated: 2013/07/09]
Project staff, UNDP programme staff 2013/06 Completed Act. UNDP RR participated in the workshop on NHRAP development emplying this opportunity for advocacy needs.

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