Independent Evaluation Report - Integrated Community Development for Livelihoods and Social Cohesion in Mae Hong Son Province

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Evaluation Plan:
2007-2011, Thailand
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2011
Completion Date:
12/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
16,197

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Title Independent Evaluation Report - Integrated Community Development for Livelihoods and Social Cohesion in Mae Hong Son Province
Atlas Project Number: 00062176
Evaluation Plan: 2007-2011, Thailand
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2011
Planned End Date: 12/2011
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Democratic Governance
  • 3. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
  • 4. Cross-cutting Development Issue
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 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. 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
  • 3. 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
  • 4. National, regional and local levels of governance expand their capacities to reduce conflict and manage the equitable delivery of public services
  • 5. Strengthened national, regional and local level capacity to mainstream gender equality and women's empowerment in government policies and institutions
  • 6. National and local institutions have the capacities to reduce the impact of disasters, especially climate change related disasters, on vulnerable communities
  • 7. National and local institutions have the capacities to fulfill key functions of government for recovery in early post-crisis situations
  • 8. UNDP programmes/projects integrate capacity development
  • 9. UNDP programmes/projects integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in line with the UNDP gender equality strategy, 2008-2011
  • 10. UNDP country programmes are clearly and explicitly linked with and in support of national development plans and priorities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 16,197
Source of Funding: TRAC3
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Chantelle McCabe Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: THAILAND
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 1. Develop a comprehensive NEX manual to inform national implementation partners as to their roles and responsibilities. In addition a ?preparation period? could be incorporated into the project implementation time whereby UNDP would provide the implementing partner with orientation and capacity development for provincial staff so that they become familiar with their responsibilities under the NEX modality. Also, the project design should account for implementation time required for setting up various financial structures.
2 2. Mainstream project innovations, methods, tools, and outcomes into the normative plans and budgets of the implementing partner so that sustainability of project benefits will be ensured.
3 3. In middle-income countries, encourage co-funding of the project by the implementing partner to foster ownership and accountability.
4 4. Design adequate systems and mechanisms in order to deter and prevent inappropriate use of project funds by any national implementing partner. Also, design an adequate mechanism to hold the national implementing partner properly accountable for the spending of donor funds.
5 5. Carry out an independent survey of all the dams and investigate whether the design and cost of each was appropriate and the reason for the subsequent collapse of the dams and the materials used.
6 6. Require implementing partners to have low risk accounting systems for NEX projects.
7 7. Conduct an assessment of the 3D modeling activity and its actual contribution to reducing land conflicts in order to determine whether this could be useful in other parts of Thailand or in other villages in the province in any phase 2 of the project.
8 8. Plan project activities according to the dry and wet seasons in order to avoid difficulties in access to remote villages.
9 9. Livelihoods and social cohesion development projects should be designed as medium to long-term projects with a realistic number of activities. This will help in establishing a strong foundation for project sustainability and ownership.
10 10. Create opportunities for community linkages by bringing together various community leaders and villagers in order to interact among one another.
11 11. Design a mechanism whereby the government is held accountable to the users of its services to incorporate their views in decisions that affect them. The mechanism should include the requirement of participation of the relevant users through consultation, dialogue, and inclusion. Design an adequate mechanism to hold the national implementing partner properly accountable for the spending of donor funds.
12 12. Should this model be replicated elsewhere in Thailand, a capacity assessment should be carried out with respect to any potential implementing partner. Such capacity assessment should focus on an assessment of the human resources and financial capability of such provincial governments. There must be agreement and clarity as to commitments from the implementing partner.
13 13. It is recommended that funding be sought for a second phase social cohesion project in Mae Hong Son. However, given the issues surrounding accountability of the implementing partner in the first phase, it is recommended that the second phase be funded for around half the amount of the first phase, with half of these funds to be provided by the Royal Thai government.
14 14. In order to address the sustainability of project outputs, the project design for the second phase should concentrate on the mainstreaming of project outputs into the systems and budgets of the implementing partner.
15 15. It would be helpful if there could be negotiations between the Ministry of Interior, the Project Executive Group and camp commanders with respect to opening up opportunities for interaction between host communities and the camp residents. Inspiration could be garnered from UNDP's interagency project with FAO in Tak province.
16 16. The NEX modality could be used again at the provincial level but with some provisos. The government should be required to hire more staff and such staff members should be devoted full-time to managing and implementing the project. The government should also be required to co-fund the project in order to bolster ownership of the project. As a middle-income country, the Royal Thai government does have resources. It would be helpful for the second phase to address a larger area and more villages.
1. Recommendation: 1. Develop a comprehensive NEX manual to inform national implementation partners as to their roles and responsibilities. In addition a ?preparation period? could be incorporated into the project implementation time whereby UNDP would provide the implementing partner with orientation and capacity development for provincial staff so that they become familiar with their responsibilities under the NEX modality. Also, the project design should account for implementation time required for setting up various financial structures.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

This has been discussed before and is being pursued. Meanwhile, CO is supporting national IPs through pre-project briefing and training activities. Annual IP trainings are planned with one conducted in 2011 already.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: 2. Mainstream project innovations, methods, tools, and outcomes into the normative plans and budgets of the implementing partner so that sustainability of project benefits will be ensured.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Noted. This has been a key objective, as well as an ongoing efforts of the MHS project with good results so far.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3. In middle-income countries, encourage co-funding of the project by the implementing partner to foster ownership and accountability.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

This has been ongoing objective of the CO. So far some modest results have been achieved in Thailand, but more needs to be done amid many constraints and challenges.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: 4. Design adequate systems and mechanisms in order to deter and prevent inappropriate use of project funds by any national implementing partner. Also, design an adequate mechanism to hold the national implementing partner properly accountable for the spending of donor funds.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Noted. This has been strengthened through close project monitoring, training, and FACE application.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: 5. Carry out an independent survey of all the dams and investigate whether the design and cost of each was appropriate and the reason for the subsequent collapse of the dams and the materials used.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note. will discuss with national counterparts for follow up.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: 6. Require implementing partners to have low risk accounting systems for NEX projects.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note. NEX projects and counterparts have undertaken HACT compliance assessment.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: 7. Conduct an assessment of the 3D modeling activity and its actual contribution to reducing land conflicts in order to determine whether this could be useful in other parts of Thailand or in other villages in the province in any phase 2 of the project.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: 8. Plan project activities according to the dry and wet seasons in order to avoid difficulties in access to remote villages.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note for future project planning.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: 9. Livelihoods and social cohesion development projects should be designed as medium to long-term projects with a realistic number of activities. This will help in establishing a strong foundation for project sustainability and ownership.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note for future project planning and design.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: 10. Create opportunities for community linkages by bringing together various community leaders and villagers in order to interact among one another.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note for future project planning and design.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: 11. Design a mechanism whereby the government is held accountable to the users of its services to incorporate their views in decisions that affect them. The mechanism should include the requirement of participation of the relevant users through consultation, dialogue, and inclusion. Design an adequate mechanism to hold the national implementing partner properly accountable for the spending of donor funds.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Noted. Programme and project usually have clear management arrangments and accountability mechanism in place as part of the projecty design and project documents.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation: 12. Should this model be replicated elsewhere in Thailand, a capacity assessment should be carried out with respect to any potential implementing partner. Such capacity assessment should focus on an assessment of the human resources and financial capability of such provincial governments. There must be agreement and clarity as to commitments from the implementing partner.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Noted.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation: 13. It is recommended that funding be sought for a second phase social cohesion project in Mae Hong Son. However, given the issues surrounding accountability of the implementing partner in the first phase, it is recommended that the second phase be funded for around half the amount of the first phase, with half of these funds to be provided by the Royal Thai government.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

CO is actively looking for funding for a 2 second phase or a replication project elsewhere in the country including government funding.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation: 14. In order to address the sustainability of project outputs, the project design for the second phase should concentrate on the mainstreaming of project outputs into the systems and budgets of the implementing partner.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note and agree.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation: 15. It would be helpful if there could be negotiations between the Ministry of Interior, the Project Executive Group and camp commanders with respect to opening up opportunities for interaction between host communities and the camp residents. Inspiration could be garnered from UNDP's interagency project with FAO in Tak province.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Note.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation: 16. The NEX modality could be used again at the provincial level but with some provisos. The government should be required to hire more staff and such staff members should be devoted full-time to managing and implementing the project. The government should also be required to co-fund the project in order to bolster ownership of the project. As a middle-income country, the Royal Thai government does have resources. It would be helpful for the second phase to address a larger area and more villages.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/12/23] [Last Updated: 2011/12/27]

Noted and agree. This will be carefully reviewed when/if designing a second phase project, especially in terms of ensuring national ownership and funding.

Key Actions:

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