Evaluation of the Collaboration between United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS)

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2011, UNV
Evaluation Type:
Others
Planned End Date:
12/2011
Completion Date:
12/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
420,000

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Title Evaluation of the Collaboration between United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2011, UNV
Evaluation Type: Others
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2011
Planned End Date: 12/2011
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Electoral laws, processes and institutions strengthen inclusive participation and professional electoral administration
  • 2. National, regional and local levels of governance expand their capacities to reduce conflict and manage the equitable delivery of public services
  • 3. Legislatures, regional elected bodies, and local assemblies have strengthened institutional capacity, enabling them to represent their constituents more effectively
  • 4. 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
  • 5. Strengthened capacities of national human rights institutions
  • 6. National and local institutions have the capacities to prevent, reduce and mitigate the impact of conflict
  • 7. National and local institutions have the capacities to fulfill key functions of government for recovery in early post-crisis situations
  • 8. National and local institutions have the capacity to respond to gender-based violence and to increase women's civic engagement, participation and leadership in crisis prevention, ongoing crisis and post-crisis contexts
  • 9. National and local institutions have the capacity to deliver improved justice and security, including safeguarding citizen security, in conflict-affected settings
  • 10. Livelihoods and economic recovery generated, including infrastructure restoration, employment and sustainable income earning opportunities for crisis affected communities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 420,000
Source of Funding: Shared equally between UNV & DFS
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS)
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNV; DFS/ DPKO; UNDP; UN system; Staff and beneficiaries of UN peacekeeping missions; Member States (particularly post-conflict states)
Comments: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS)/Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) are pleased to jointly present this report on the evaluation of their collaboration. The evaluation covers the collaboration of UNV-DFS since 1992, with a particular focus on the last five years, and encompasses the deployment and management of UN Volunteers in both operational support and substantive functions in UN peacekeeping missions. The objectives of the evaluation were to:  provide an independent analysis of the coherence, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, outcomes and - to the extent possible - impact of UNV- DFS collaborative activities;  identify UNV?s comparative advantage and the value added by UN Volunteers to UN peacekeeping operations, and;  make recommendations for the future of the UNV-DFS partnership. The recommendations of the evaluation will be taken into account in the preparation of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and in strengthening the partnership between UNV and DFS. See Chapter 6 of the Report for Joint UNV & DFS Management Response
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 UNV and DFS should review the new DFS Global Field Support Strategy in terms of its impact on their cooperation and on UNV?s roles, particularly at the Regional Service Centres (RSCs).
2 UNV should consider ways in which it can better develop and maintain strategic and policy dialogue with DFS and related departments. One option is to deploy a dedicated focal point within DFS.
3 UNV and DFS should further capitalize on the roles in which UN Volunteers are most valued.
4 DFS should invite a senior UNV representative to participate in DPKO/DFS Technical Assessment Missions (TAMs) at the earliest stages of the preparation of a peacekeeping mission in order to support staffing table design and surge deployments.
5 UNV should use the new Global Field Support Strategy as an opportunity to reconsider its operational model.
6 UNV and DFS should develop a strategic plan for the UN Volunteer role in national capacity building within UN peacekeeping missions and communities.
7 DFS and UNV should recognize the UNV volunteerism mandate as a strategic goal/element of their partnership and take steps to incorporate this into future management.
8 UNV programme monitoring can be enhanced by a more robust database of specific contributions to peacekeeping, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
9 In light of the increasing need for specialized expertise, UNV and DFS should develop rosters of UN Volunteers with skills in technical and substantive areas.
10 UNV and DFS should increase efforts to seek and engage women as UN Volunteers in peacekeeping.
11 To promote collaboration between all civilian peacekeeping personnel, UNV and DFS should ensure that UN Volunteers and civilian staff receive joint induction training on elements they have in common.
12 UNV and DFS should resolve several management issues that have led to confusion and/or negative implications for the partnership.
1. Recommendation: UNV and DFS should review the new DFS Global Field Support Strategy in terms of its impact on their cooperation and on UNV?s roles, particularly at the Regional Service Centres (RSCs).
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01]

Both parties support reviewing the impact of the DFS Global Field Support Strategy on potential UNV?s roles, particularly at the Regional Service Centres (RSCs), within the overall need to enhance national staff capacity development. Both parties commit to consider the feasibility of centralizing UNV support functions in RSCs, which would include administrative, induction, training, and programme support operations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
DFS and UNV will jointly review GFSS to identify appropriate roles for UN Volunteers, particularly in Regional Service Centres (RSCs). UNV will draft a SOP to serve as the basis for UNV integration in Entebbe and other RSCs, both operationally and programmatically.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
DFS and UNV 2013/06 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: Centralizing UNV support functions in pilot RSCE has been initiated; Draft SOP/Concept Note for RSCE has been developed by UNV. Pending action: Broader GFSS impact to be reviewed jointly by DFS and UNV; Specifically for RSCE: draft SOP/Concept Note to be reviewed and finalized jointly; Clarifications to be made on other RSCs (beyond Entebbe).
2. Recommendation: UNV should consider ways in which it can better develop and maintain strategic and policy dialogue with DFS and related departments. One option is to deploy a dedicated focal point within DFS.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01] [Last Updated: 2013/03/21]

Both parties support this recommendation, and commit to develop more strategic programme and policy dialogue at the headquarters level within existing resources. DFS and UNV commit to developing mechanisms to establish a more systematic focal point mechanism within existing staffing resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV and DFS will identify and negotiate options to facilitate strengthened liaison and dialogue. Agreed option to be formalized in updated Global MOU
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/06 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: Informal Focal Point arrangement has continued for both parties; Regular meetings between senior officials of both parties continue to take place. Pending action: Formalize Focal Point arrangement and include in revised Global MOU; Discuss and define other strategic programme and policy dialogue mechanisms to be established, e.g. UNV ONY engagement.
3. Recommendation: UNV and DFS should further capitalize on the roles in which UN Volunteers are most valued.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01] [Last Updated: 2013/03/21]

Both parties support this recommendation. DFS and UNV commit to explore strategies to promote the use of UN Volunteers in the four main ?niche? areas identified as UNV?s added value, specifically the areas of capacity development of national staff, surge capacities/rapid deployment, transitioning out of peacekeeping, and communitybased quick impact projects. The parties agree on the value of a more strategic and formalized presence of UN Volunteers throughout the transition from peacekeeping to peace building and longer-term recovery. Aspects of integration between the missions and UNCT, as well as drawing on local civilian capacities, are key in this regard. DFS and UNV also commit to reviewing the roles in which UN Volunteers traditionally serve within both mission support and substantive programme areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV and DFS will revise the Note on Guiding Principles between UNV and DFS to better define the role of UN Volunteers within the recommended programme niche areas as well as the roles in which UN Volunteers traditionally serve in mission support and substantive programme areas. DFS and UNV will strengthen coordination in planning of transitions within the entire spectrum from peacekeeping and peacebuilding to recovery and development. Whenever possible DFS will explore with DPKO opportunities where UN Volunteers can contribute to QUIPS programmes.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: Overall formalization has not taken place, but field operations (e.g. design of UNMISS?s CSB and UNISFA?s Community Liaison approach) have been inspired by these principles; Several examples of Integrated Mission - UNCT coordination with involvement of UNV (closure of UNMIS, joint UNDP-MONUSCO Civil Affairs project in DR Congo, joint electoral assistance in UNEST/Timor-Leste, UNIRED/Sudan). Pending action: Review Global MOU / Note on Guiding Principles; Formal discussion on UNV programme niches; Formal discussion on UNV involvement in Mission transition; Formal discussion on QUIPS.
4. Recommendation: DFS should invite a senior UNV representative to participate in DPKO/DFS Technical Assessment Missions (TAMs) at the earliest stages of the preparation of a peacekeeping mission in order to support staffing table design and surge deployments.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01] [Last Updated: 2013/03/21]

Both parties fully support this recommendation. DFS commits to involve UNV at the earliest stage to ensure UNV participation in all relevant TAMs and other planning activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Consultation mechanism to be set up between DPKO/DFS and UNV when planning/design of a new Mission starts at HQ level; relevant Global MOU article to be updated.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
DFS and UNV 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: Formal consultation mechanism still to be established, but UNV was included in South Sudan TAM and Inter-Agency planning mechanism; Informal discussions ongoing on early planning for other potential Missions (e.g. Mali, Syria, Somalia). Pending action: Formalize consultation mechanism and include in Global MOU.
5. Recommendation: UNV should use the new Global Field Support Strategy as an opportunity to reconsider its operational model.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01]

Both parties fully support this recommendation. DFS and UNV agree to review overall structure and reporting lines of UNV?s field support within the context of the GFSS, by reviewing the current structure of existing UNV Field Units, to see where efficiencies and economies of scale could be optimized, both in the context of regional centres (see Recommendation 1) and headquarter support (see Recommendation 2).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a review of the structures and propose restructuring in the context of mission budgets.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Pending action: Review to be conducted.
6. Recommendation: UNV and DFS should develop a strategic plan for the UN Volunteer role in national capacity building within UN peacekeeping missions and communities.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01]

Both parties support this recommendation. DFS and UNV commit to developing guidance notes and mechanisms to more strategically deploy UN Volunteers in capacity development roles within the mandate of peacekeeping missions in the two areas of a) national staff capacity building, and b) capacity building at the local community and government levels within the parameters of mission mandates.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV and DFS to jointly explore opportunities for the role of UNV in contributing to capacity development within the context of mission mandates. UNV and DFS to jointly formulate a strategy for involvement of UNV in (a) capacity development of national staff in mission support roles, and (b) in conflict management capacity-building of grassroots beneficiaries in substantive roles.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: Ad hoc discussions on UNV capacity development roles (UNAMID, ONUCI, BNUB, ?); ?Demo? capacity development-related exercises conducted in Haiti, Burundi (V workshop). Pending action: Ad hoc initiatives on national staff capacity development need to be systematized and policy and guidelines developed; Counterpart/beneficiaries capacity development needs to be documented, analyzed, and tools and policy developed.
7. Recommendation: DFS and UNV should recognize the UNV volunteerism mandate as a strategic goal/element of their partnership and take steps to incorporate this into future management.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01]

Both parties support this recommendation. DFS and UNV are committed to ensuring that the role and activities of UN Volunteers are aligned with the principles of volunteerism, within the overall mandated activities and programmes of peacekeeping/political missions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
DFS and UNV to include relevant provisions in updated Global MOU and Note on Guiding Principles.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
DFS and UNV 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Pending action: GMOU / NGP to be reviewed.
8. Recommendation: UNV programme monitoring can be enhanced by a more robust database of specific contributions to peacekeeping, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01]

Both parties support this recommendation. During the course of 2011, UNV has launched a corporate Programme Strategy and is developing a Results Framework for launch in early 2012. The RF will capture the contributions and results of overall UNV programme activities, as well as the individual UN Volunteers. DFS will incorporate agreed UNV/DFS partnership monitoring indicators in its monitoring and evaluation process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV will share its new Programme Strategy and Results Framework with DFS and mission level managers, and seek input to how best to capture and report on its results. UNV will share its Handbook on Assessing the Contribution of Volunteers to Development (?The V-Methodology?) with DFS to promote M&E culture and practice in the field. DFS, in consultation with UNV, will include agreed indicators in its monitoring and evaluation systems.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: UNV PS/RF shared with UNV field offices; ?V? methodology handbook shared with DFS/DPKO HQ and some field offices; Some demonstration workshops conducted (Haiti, Burundi). Pending action: UNV to re-design its global M&E framework for capturing UNV results/impact in UN Missions (corporate priority for UNV in 2013); Discussion with DFS/DPKO on UNV indicators in their M&E systems.
9. Recommendation: In light of the increasing need for specialized expertise, UNV and DFS should develop rosters of UN Volunteers with skills in technical and substantive areas.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01]

Both parties support the spirit and need of this recommendation. Both parties, however, do not see the development of new rosters as the best approach to addressing the needs, and therefore wish to recommend other options.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV is developing a new taxonomy that is taking into consideration more holistic and more specific specialized functions and skills / qualifications of candidates required in peacekeeping and peace building operations, e.g.: including DDR, SSR, Justice and Corrections, community outreach, capacity building, etc. Where appropriate, DFS will invite UNV to take part in working groups emerging from GFSS (Modularization Working Group and sub-working group on UN-Provided Enabling Capacities) with view to ensure UNV is fully involved in identifying targeted functions / candidate profiles emanating from CivCap, GFSS, DFS/FPD, etc. needs.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNVandDFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: UNV?s new taxonomy is currently being tested; UNV discussing involvement in DFS CapMatch platform. Pending action: Formal discussions on specialized expertise needs; Field mission managers to be sensitized on the issue of diversity: need to be encouraged to select and invest in global citizens with specific technical expertise/potential and an interest in the UN, but without UN experience.
10. Recommendation: UNV and DFS should increase efforts to seek and engage women as UN Volunteers in peacekeeping.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/01] [Last Updated: 2012/03/05]

Both parties fully support this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV and DFS to review other successful gender equity models (e.g. UN Police). Each candidate submission by UNV will have at least 1 female candidate (out of 3). For assignments that have a traditional gender perception (e.g. mechanics are male, nurses are female), UNV will ensure, whenever possible, that submissions are gender-balanced. UNV Programme Managers will encourage the selection of non-traditional candidates by supervisors. DFS to advise field mission managers of UNV efforts, and to reciprocate in prioritizing candidate reviews and selections.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: Each UNV submission now systematically contains at least 1 female candidate; UNV gender ratio in peacekeeping 2011-12 increased by 3%; Gender balance systematically monitored and encouraged at field level by UNV offices. Pending action: Discussions on gender equity models; DFS to advise field mission managers on gender/prioritization.
11. Recommendation: To promote collaboration between all civilian peacekeeping personnel, UNV and DFS should ensure that UN Volunteers and civilian staff receive joint induction training on elements they have in common.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/05]

Both parties support this recommendation, within available resources. DFS and UNV commit to ensuring all new UN Volunteers receive local mission or RSC level induction training, in lieu of the induction training provided at UNLB for international civilian staff (which is not possible for UN Volunteers due to budget limitations). DFS and UNV commit to ensuring online UN courses in all critical areas, e.g.: security and safety, ethics, conduct and discipline, etc., are accessible and

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UN Missions to develop induction modules that are relevant for all personnel (different types of staff and UN Volunteers alike). Inductions at Mission level and at RSCs must include a UNV Programme briefing component in order that all staff (non-UNV) are sensitized to the UNV Programme and UN Volunteers. UNV will develop and DFS will arrange for a standard UNV briefing component to be part of the CPT in UNLB Brindisi and other induction trainings at RSC or mission levels. All UN Volunteers to mandatorily attend Mission inductions and refresher trainings, including conduct and security briefings online certificate courses in Security, Conduct, Ethics, etc. DFS will ensure missions provide resources and access, and UNV will ensure monitoring. IMTCs to issue clear instructions that trainings and training budgets can be accessed by staff and UN Volunteers on an equal basis. Global MOU to be updated on training arrangements.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: UNV briefing for staff induction courses implemented in some Missions; Standard UNV presentation for CPT/UNLB drafted and introduced, but not formally implemented; All UN Volunteers included in staff inductions at Mission and/or RSCE level; All UN Volunteers mandatorily complete online UNDSS ?security in the field? trainings prior to deployment; All UN Volunteers have regular access to online certificate courses in Conduct, Ethics, etc. Pending action: Status to be provided on IMTC action with regards to UNV access to trainings; Standard UNV presentation n to be included in CPT/UNLB; Policy to be developed on use of UNV annual training budget line; Global MOU to be updated.
12. Recommendation: UNV and DFS should resolve several management issues that have led to confusion and/or negative implications for the partnership.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/05]

Both parties in principle support the recommendation with respect to the six key areas recommended for review in the report. As most issues relate to policy formulation on grey areas of management and conditions of service for UN Volunteers, UNV commits to taking the lead ground work for further joint deliberations and agreement by the two parties.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Limitation of duration of UNV assignments will be reviewed by UNV and outcome included in revised Global MOU. UNV performance appraisal process (including volunteerism criteria) will be reviewed and outcome included in Global MOU revision. DFS and UNV responsibilities and liabilities within the context of conduct and discipline investigations will be reviewed with the aim to provide clarity with regards to mutual roles and responsibilities in the revised Global MOU. Harmonization of UNV entitlements between Missions and UNCT will be reviewed and included in UNV COS to the extent possible. More efficient information-sharing mechanisms to be explored, both during selection/recruitment and in-situ volunteer management, and included in revised Global MOU.
[Added: 2013/03/21]
UNV and DFS 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated Progress so far: CDU and UNV have agreed to review mutual roles and responsibilities in consultation with UNDP/LSO (Dec 2012). Pending action: UNV assignment duration, harmonization of UNV entitlements, etc. dependent on review of UNV COS (corporate priority 2013); UNV performance appraisal: dependent on Volunteer Management Cycle (VMC) review by UNV (corporate priority 2013); More systematic sharing of policies, rules, regulations of mutual interest.

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