Independent Assessment of the UNDP Human Initiative in Myanmar, 2010

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Evaluation Plan:
2007-2010, Myanmar
Evaluation Type:
Others
Planned End Date:
06/2010
Completion Date:
06/2010
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
90,000

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Title Independent Assessment of the UNDP Human Initiative in Myanmar, 2010
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2007-2010, Myanmar
Evaluation Type: Others
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2010
Planned End Date: 06/2010
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-20013)
  • 1. Capacities of national and local institutions enhanced to scale up proven MDG acceleration interventions and to plan, monitor, report and evaluate the MDG progress in the context of related national development priorities
  • 2. Policies, strategies and partnerships established to enhance public-private sector collaboration and private sector and market development that benefit the poor and ensure that low-income households and small enterprises have access to a broad range of financial and legal services
Evaluation Budget(US $): 90,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: LARS BIRGEGAARD
Countries: MYANMAR
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 1. As a matter of urgency and highest priority UNDP should: (1) assess the strategic framework implied in the CDRT, ICDP and ER projects in term of its effectiveness and efficiency in addressing rural poverty; (2) identify and assess alternative strategic frameworks in terms of their expected effectiveness and efficiency in addressing poverty, and (3) take a stand on which framework should be the basis for the formulation of programme beyond 2011.
2 2. Effort to address the concerns identified in this report (IAM 2010) should be put on hold until a strategic framework for future programme has been agreed upon.
3 3. Should the chosen strategic framework be significantly different from the present in ICDP,CDRT and ER, UNDP should focus on formulating a new programme to be implemented in 2012 and onwards rather than addressing concerns with the current programme as many of the "solutions" to these concerns will not be relevant in a new and significantly different programme. ON the basis of the chosen framework activities that do not fit should be phased out.
4 4. (1) A thorough overhaul of the reporting and MIS system
5 4.(ii) Strengthen the technical capacity at township rather than at the Yangon level.
6 4.(iii) An exploration of full implication of the enforcement of the UNDP regulatory framework under DEX for effective and efficient project operation.
7 4. (iv) Depending on the findings under explore NGO implementation as an alternative to DEX.
8 4.(v) The extension of MF activities by exploring the possibility to invite and fund a major and established MF actor (from abroad).
9 4.(vi) Define and implement exit strategy which satisfies the dual goals of 'presence' and 'development'.
10 4(vii)Cease funding of the village technical development committees in CDRT until a study of the experience so far suggest that the concept is viable and the activities sustainable.
11 4(viii). Enhance saving in both SRGs and MFP and create a governance function for MFP.
1. Recommendation: 1. As a matter of urgency and highest priority UNDP should: (1) assess the strategic framework implied in the CDRT, ICDP and ER projects in term of its effectiveness and efficiency in addressing rural poverty; (2) identify and assess alternative strategic frameworks in terms of their expected effectiveness and efficiency in addressing poverty, and (3) take a stand on which framework should be the basis for the formulation of programme beyond 2011.
Management Response:

UNDP management agrees with IAM on the urgency and importance of assessment of existing strategic framework and its effectiveness and efficiency as well as exploring/assessing alternative strategic framework.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. The team has reviewd the IAM report of 2008, 2009 and 2010 as well as 2006 and 2008 HDI impact studies, 2007 Impact study of microfinance project, 2009 ER Impact study, HDI Partnership Review Mission reports of 2009 and 2010, and other substantive documents prepared by HDI programme managementm, which provide information and analysis on impact and lessons learnt of HDI programme. These reviews provided the key resource base for analysising effectiveness and effiency in addressing rural poverty. 2010/07 Completed
2. This work by the team has been captured in the development of a new strategic framework for new programme (2012-2015) and refining the existing programme for 2011 to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in addressing poverty. The focus of the new programme will be on livelihoods including microfinance. To ensure sustainability the programme will address Environment and DRR related issues that have an impact on livelihoods and assets. The programme will furthermore contribute to poverty analysis and policy analysis relating to MDGs. To support this exercise, UNDP through UNCT has prepared 15 papers to develop "Development Policy Options" for short term and medium term Growth and Poverty Reduction. In support of preparation of the detailed project documents for the new programme, UNDP will undertake a number of studies in 2011. In terms of refining the current projects for 2011, an integrated results based log frame has been designed for ICDP and CDRT projects. This log frame defines clear targets and indicators to better address the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme, leading to the following outcomes. UNCT, Snr. Management 2007/01 Overdue-Initiated
2. Recommendation: 2. Effort to address the concerns identified in this report (IAM 2010) should be put on hold until a strategic framework for future programme has been agreed upon.
Management Response:

IAM recommendation is noted

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3. Should the chosen strategic framework be significantly different from the present in ICDP,CDRT and ER, UNDP should focus on formulating a new programme to be implemented in 2012 and onwards rather than addressing concerns with the current programme as many of the "solutions" to these concerns will not be relevant in a new and significantly different programme. ON the basis of the chosen framework activities that do not fit should be phased out.
Management Response:

IAM recommendation is noted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Given restriction by a key donor on any engagement with the government, a radical departure from the current programme does not seem likely to be feasible. However, the EB at its September 2010 session encouraged UNDP to explore activities under the new programme. In this context, extensive consultations are taken place with key donors for their support. The CO envisages that the post 2011 programme will build on the current programme strategy. The programme will place greater enphasis on linking rural communities to local support system including markets, technical services and financing facilities provided by private sector and civil society organizations. 2010/07 Overdue-Initiated
4. Recommendation: 4. (1) A thorough overhaul of the reporting and MIS system
Management Response:

UNDP noted the importance of strengthening M&E, MIS and reporting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A new unit has been established to improve on M&E and reporting and an international expert was brought into support the new unit set up, and gave recommendations. Funding has been mobilized for this unit to recruit expertise and carry out its functions. An international M&E expert and a national officer are being recruited. The reporting system has been reviewed and revised. For instance, monthly programme and operation reports have been reduced from 21 to 5. Data standardization has been conducted so that the community development projects (CDRT and ICDP) have a more streamlined database system. A community feedback response mechanism is being piloted in four townships and fundings has been secured from UNDP's Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF) for expension of the activity after the mechanism has been finalized following the piloting/testing. M&E and HDI 2011/08 Completed
5. Recommendation: 4.(ii) Strengthen the technical capacity at township rather than at the Yangon level.
Management Response:

The recommendation is noted and while some actions have already been taken, priority will be given to conducting a review of staffing/capacity needs for the new programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The CO recognizes that the nature of the work and type of specialization of field technical staff is of critical importance, and this will be given particular importance in the design of the structure of the field teams in the successor project formulation. Given the recruitment time and other administrative constraints with the remaining term of hte current programme, the CO is focusing on making the best use of existing technical capacities in the programme as well as engaging short term technical consultancy support from private sector and NGOs. 2010/06 Completed
6. Recommendation: 4.(iii) An exploration of full implication of the enforcement of the UNDP regulatory framework under DEX for effective and efficient project operation.
Management Response:

At this stage Mangement sees no opportunity or possibility for other implementation arrangements than the current DEX given the complexity and coverage of the programme, and limited in country NGO capacity.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review of DEX Service Centre took place from 9-18 March 2011. SOPs are provided to APMs and TPMs and updated are shared with them as necessary. Regular spot checks are conducted (16 missions during 2010). A process of simplifying payment for operational expenditures and DSA at field offices by advancing Operational expenditure and DSA to field office was started in April 2011. Regular communication between DSC and townships is maintained through telephone calls and email with DSC focal point for each functional area. 2010/07 Completed
7. Recommendation: 4. (iv) Depending on the findings under explore NGO implementation as an alternative to DEX.
Management Response:

The new programme will however build on experiences from the ER project and cyclone GIRI response of sub contracting NGOs for certain activities.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: 4.(v) The extension of MF activities by exploring the possibility to invite and fund a major and established MF actor (from abroad).
Management Response:

UNDP sees the importance of more MF actors to facilitate competitive MF sector. In LIFT proposal UNDP involves two additional partners namely GRET and Save the Children.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: 4.(vi) Define and implement exit strategy which satisfies the dual goals of 'presence' and 'development'.
Management Response:

UNDP management wish to stress that the main criteria for UNDP's work as well as targeting has always been addressing the needs of the poor.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: 4(vii)Cease funding of the village technical development committees in CDRT until a study of the experience so far suggest that the concept is viable and the activities sustainable.
Management Response:

The CO management wish to stress that the main criteria for UNDPs work as well as targeting has always been addressing the needs of the poor.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: 4(viii). Enhance saving in both SRGs and MFP and create a governance function for MFP.
Management Response:

The recommendations is in line with UNDP existing policy. The CO acknowledge that a formal MF board has not been constituted. The IAMs' recommendation is noted and action hs been taken.

Key Actions:

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