Innovations for Decentralization and Local Development

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Evaluation Plan:
2011-2011, UNCDF
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2012
Completion Date:
01/2012
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Innovations for Decentralization and Local Development
Atlas Project Number: 00058767
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2011, UNCDF
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2012
Planned End Date: 03/2012
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Democratic Governance
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
  • 3. National, regional and local levels of governance expand their capacities to reduce conflict and manage the equitable delivery of public services
  • 4. Legislatures, regional elected bodies, and local assemblies have strengthened institutional capacity, enabling them to represent their constituents more effectively
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: project
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Gerhard van ?t Land Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government
Location of Evaluation: Country Level
Countries: CAMBODIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 UNCDF has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the RGC. For both parties, and without delving into existential questions, it appears sensible to further capitalize on this relationship ? whilst recognizing that, with IP-3, the context has changed and that UNCDF would need to clearly to spell out the niches in which it either has a competitive advantage or those niches it likes to build such advantages. Based on the experiences of IDLD, such niches could be : ?Local modeling for ?systems development to lead to policy development? and subsequent up-scaling?. This could include, but is not necessarily limited to, for example Local Climate Change adaptation; and/or Its knowledge base on (sub-national) planning and fiscal decentralization. Together with indicating the niche, there is also scope to clarify the prime role UNCDF wishes to play: that of Development Partner ?as a party that can bring or mobilize resources- or that of specialized advisors to implementation.
2 Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2: The original IDLD ProDoc was based on ideas of testing of relationships between different SNA levels; sector decentralization and more clearly defining the roles of SNAs at each level in the light of the present and possible future mandates; These topics are still valid and still merit to be considered for implementation, notably in relation to (UNCDF?s traditional trademark of) ?showing concrete examples on how things could/would look under anticipated further legislation and regulations?. Over the past few years, the context has further changed, and any modeling needs to take place within the boundaries as defined under the IP-3 and in the light of a more holistic approach to local development including economic development and (funding for) service delivery. Based on the ideas behind the original IDLD design, the corporates niches for UNCDF as mentioned above and the needs for the D&D reform, there actually is scope, within IP3, to work out modeling exercises - to prepare for subsequent up-scaling- in the following areas : Area and/or sector based modeling of functions and funding of DMKs (notably districts) under their general mandate; Modeling intergovernmental relationships across SNA-tiers, in particular in relation to planning; 53 Take the SN-outlook approach to the next step as part of SN planning (from vision to investment/service delivery plan) for different SNA-tiers within their present and likely future mandates ? and have it rolled-out.
3 Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: Particularly in a situation where various DPs are dependent on funding from other DPs, there is ?naturally- an element of competition and an incentive to be less transparent and/or to jump into quick action. Yet, the IP-3 and the Programme Based Approach (PBA) have become the guiding principles, which means that ?in principle- the scope for individual DP driven actions and interventions gets more limited. In the spirit of IP-3 and the Programme Based Approach, both designed to support the RGC in the implementation of the D&D policy, the parties supporting government should be ready to be guided by kind of common decision making and as such there should be opportunity for thorough analysis and scrutiny of any new project or sub-project by all stakeholders. Such a process ?especially for more important new ventures- should involve a proper ?identification phase? that allows involvement of the various stakeholders and common decision making before ideas are put ?into action?. This would also aply for the suggestions made under recommendation 2
4 Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4: Finally, UNCDF is appreciated for its expertise; yet, this expertise is largely found in a group of people not directly or no longer directly linked to UNCDF, but somehow remain ?mainly because of past ties- associated with it. This group of people carries the institutional memory ? but other parties could (and in fact do) argue, that UNCDF cannot claim his as their comparative advantage as they can be hired by any party. For UNCDF to be able to exploit the comparative advantage of the cluster of expertise that is more or less vaguely associated to it, UNCDF may need to find ways to more formally and visibly connect them and have a mechanism for rapid deployment if/when needed. Such mechanisms need to go further than the ?pool of retainer consultants? and may need to include active profiling of available expertise ? in connection with the niche (see recommendation 1 above) the organization wishes to profile itself.
1. Recommendation: UNCDF has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the RGC. For both parties, and without delving into existential questions, it appears sensible to further capitalize on this relationship ? whilst recognizing that, with IP-3, the context has changed and that UNCDF would need to clearly to spell out the niches in which it either has a competitive advantage or those niches it likes to build such advantages. Based on the experiences of IDLD, such niches could be : ?Local modeling for ?systems development to lead to policy development? and subsequent up-scaling?. This could include, but is not necessarily limited to, for example Local Climate Change adaptation; and/or Its knowledge base on (sub-national) planning and fiscal decentralization. Together with indicating the niche, there is also scope to clarify the prime role UNCDF wishes to play: that of Development Partner ?as a party that can bring or mobilize resources- or that of specialized advisors to implementation.
Management Response:

Agreed. Key Action(s) Recommendation Accepted: UNCDF will engage with the RGC and develop a common understanding of the value that can be added to the D&D agenda by a specialized UN Agency. This will include agreement on how UNCDF can assist the RGC in mobilizing resources to build local resilience to climate change as part of ?Local modeling for systems development to lead to policy development? as described in the report. It will also include an assessment of the institutional space and operational modalities for a broader UNCDF D&D programme in the context of IP3 that could test financing of various functions to be assigned to sub national levels ? the ?unfinished business? of IDLD described in the report. The conclusion to these discussions will bring clarity on the role of UNCDF in the D&D reforms. It is understood that the operational modality of IP3 provides a challenge to the type of assistance that UNCDF can provide, despite its continued technical relevance. This recommendation provides an opportunity to explore different partnership modalities that are more relevant to the development requirements of the RGC.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Strategic collaboration note to be developed for accessing local climate finance. RGC to be invited onto board of Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility. Asia RO / 2012/06 Completed Done: Deputy Head of NCDDS appointed as member of LoCAL project board
1.2. UNCDF to collaborate in development of a concept note for testing of functional assignments and collaboration between sub national levels of government. (IDLD ?unfinished business?). This will indicate the role, if any, of UNCDF in IP3 and lead to a successor project to IDLD or the incorporation of the activities into the government executed programme. Asia RO 2012/08 Completed Done: Concept note prepared and subsequent funding proposal request prepared for functional assignment testing in health sector; LDDHS pilot project formulated and fully in line with IP3 principles
1.3. Depending on outcome of 1.2, UNCDF, in conjunction with UNDP, may review other areas outside the remit of NCDD(S) that could benefit from the UNCDF assistance and that fall within its programming priorities. Asia RO 2012/12 Completed If discussions have concluded that there is limited role for UNCDF within D&D apart from LoCAL. Opportunities for UNCDF engagement assessed and aligned specifically with 1) CCA finance and 2) health sector functional assignments testing as part of decentralization agenda
2. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2: The original IDLD ProDoc was based on ideas of testing of relationships between different SNA levels; sector decentralization and more clearly defining the roles of SNAs at each level in the light of the present and possible future mandates; These topics are still valid and still merit to be considered for implementation, notably in relation to (UNCDF?s traditional trademark of) ?showing concrete examples on how things could/would look under anticipated further legislation and regulations?. Over the past few years, the context has further changed, and any modeling needs to take place within the boundaries as defined under the IP-3 and in the light of a more holistic approach to local development including economic development and (funding for) service delivery. Based on the ideas behind the original IDLD design, the corporates niches for UNCDF as mentioned above and the needs for the D&D reform, there actually is scope, within IP3, to work out modeling exercises - to prepare for subsequent up-scaling- in the following areas : Area and/or sector based modeling of functions and funding of DMKs (notably districts) under their general mandate; Modeling intergovernmental relationships across SNA-tiers, in particular in relation to planning; 53 Take the SN-outlook approach to the next step as part of SN planning (from vision to investment/service delivery plan) for different SNA-tiers within their present and likely future mandates ? and have it rolled-out.
Management Response:

Key Action(s): Recommendation accepted. The modeling of functions and relationships are covered by the management response to recommendation 1 above (activity 1.2). With regard to SN outlook, management notes to evaluation comment that: ?The Provincial (or more in general Sub national) Local Development Outlooks ?as the one produced for Takeo province, could become sustainable and gain relevance if they become embedded in national (or local) planning routines; are prepared with explicit involvement of Sub national players with process being considered equally important next to the product; and when a clear distinction is made between area-based plans and SNA-plans for activities those SNAs are mandated.? It is also noted that RGC has requested UNDP support for the production of two more provincial Outlooks and that UNESCO were engaged in discussions on a Siem Reap Sub National Outlook. The evaluators correctly distinguish have made between on the one hand broad ?area based plans? external from government and not linked directly to mandates / budgets, and on the other hand plans by sub-national authorities linked to their mandate. For the ?area based plans? as a whole continued UNCDF support in Cambodia (and elsewhere) is limited by capacity constraints. Other development agencies also specialize in this type of activity and UNCDF will carefully consider before offering support. For plans by sub-national authorities linked to their mandates, continued UNCDF support would be in line with support to other countries ? linking planning to budgeting and investment programming and subsequent financing. However in the context of IP3 it is suggested that this is also taken up directly by NCCD(S) through existing activities. Agreed. UNCDF support to resilience planning will continue through LoCAL and support to other sub national planning may continue through a successor project to IDLD if agreed (see recommendation above).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Agreement reached with NCCD(S) and UNDP on scope of further support to Sub National Outlook. This will be incorporated into activity 1.2 above with the following specific outcomes: NCCD(S) to clarify their intentions regarding the inclusion of SN Outlook within government financed IP3 activities. UNCDF to clarify the status of the UNDP support to SN Outlook and engage with the process only if a) advised by NCCD(S) that it links to IP3 and b) financing is available through a successor project to IDLD. Asia Ro 2012/09 No Longer Applicable Based on lack of positive confirmation of conditions 2.1a&b proceeding with SN Outlook was discontinued and UNCDF has refocused on other new initiatives linked to IP3 in CCA and functional assignments.
2.2. Final conclusion to discussions with UNESCO on area based support in Siem Reap. Outcome: Exchange of letters that either closes the discussions or outlines scope and modality of collaboration. Asia RO 2012/06 No Longer Applicable With IDLD project phasing out the discussions on area based support in Siem Reap have also led to closing of planned collaboration with UNESCO
3. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: Particularly in a situation where various DPs are dependent on funding from other DPs, there is ?naturally- an element of competition and an incentive to be less transparent and/or to jump into quick action. Yet, the IP-3 and the Programme Based Approach (PBA) have become the guiding principles, which means that ?in principle- the scope for individual DP driven actions and interventions gets more limited. In the spirit of IP-3 and the Programme Based Approach, both designed to support the RGC in the implementation of the D&D policy, the parties supporting government should be ready to be guided by kind of common decision making and as such there should be opportunity for thorough analysis and scrutiny of any new project or sub-project by all stakeholders. Such a process ?especially for more important new ventures- should involve a proper ?identification phase? that allows involvement of the various stakeholders and common decision making before ideas are put ?into action?. This would also aply for the suggestions made under recommendation 2
Management Response:

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
.1 Full ?identification phase? to be included in any future programme. Asia RO 2012/09 Completed The newly formulated functional assignment project (LDDHS) has undergone an extensive process of consultations and coordination with wide range of pertinent DPs. As a result and based on request of NCDDS with funding committed by AusAID (DFAT) the pilot testing was agreed and approved for UNCDF to launch in Q4 2013
4. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4: Finally, UNCDF is appreciated for its expertise; yet, this expertise is largely found in a group of people not directly or no longer directly linked to UNCDF, but somehow remain ?mainly because of past ties- associated with it. This group of people carries the institutional memory ? but other parties could (and in fact do) argue, that UNCDF cannot claim his as their comparative advantage as they can be hired by any party. For UNCDF to be able to exploit the comparative advantage of the cluster of expertise that is more or less vaguely associated to it, UNCDF may need to find ways to more formally and visibly connect them and have a mechanism for rapid deployment if/when needed. Such mechanisms need to go further than the ?pool of retainer consultants? and may need to include active profiling of available expertise ? in connection with the niche (see recommendation 1 above) the organization wishes to profile itself.
Management Response:

Agreed. Key Action(s) There already is a system of retainer consultants. Regional office to discuss with HQ the legal and operational implications of strengthening the status of retainers to include possibly non disclosure agreements, specific email addresses and other forms of association and identification with UNCDF

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Options note to be prepared by Regional Office for discussion and approval of options by Senior Management Asia RO 2012/07 Completed UNCDF?s RO staff including PM and RTA are in the center of developing new strategies for assistance with corresponding projects based on UNCDF?s institutional background and individual experience and qualifications of RO staff; this is backed up by capacity of retainer consultants . It has been recognized by the beneficiaries that UNCDF does bring a specific and unique value regardless of consultants being engaged. In Cambodia this has been the key reason for UNCDF entering new areas of CCA and sector performance grants provision (health sector functional assignment). It is the ability to combine and coordinate application of various financing instruments for facilitating decentralization and local development that has allowed UNCDF as an institution rather than a team of consultants to successfully enter new areas of collaboration with the government.

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