UNDAF Final Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2016, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type:
UNDAF
Planned End Date:
12/2015
Completion Date:
12/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
42,000

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Title UNDAF Final Evaluation
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2016, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type: UNDAF
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2015
Planned End Date: 12/2015
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 42,000
Source of Funding: UN Agencies
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with All UN Agencies
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Joel Beasca
Salma Akhter
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government, Donors
Countries: BANGLADESH
Comments: UNDAF evaluation is a joint initative that cut across all respective agencies for their programmes.
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The evaluation recommends that the ongoing Country Analysis and Study on UN Comparative advantage broaden its scope to include explore the extent to which the normative agenda is being mainstreamed with the principal national development plans; ascertain how the Government’s development priorities are translated into the ADPs and district level targets; and assess how existing QA systems at the UNCT, especially those pertaining to the normative agenda are applied at agency level.

2

The evaluation recommends that the UNDAF design consider the value added associated with the target outcomes; defining a theory of change for the achievement of the outcomes; adopting a strategy of joint policy advocacy and piloting of innovative approaches based on international practices that would lead towards these outcomes; and emphasizing the involvement of the PC and the line ministries, aside from the ERD in the overall UNDAF design.

It also makes recommendations for addressing potential challenges in having a ‘light UNDAF:’ i.e. setting of targets and allocating budgets for mainstreaming the normative agenda in the UNDAF Action Plan, including setting of targets for cross-cutting issues; upgrading the reporting system to include progress on the mainstreaming of the normative agenda and continued relevance of the UNDAF to the ADPs; organizing a UNCT Thematic Sub-group to oversee the development of programming standards and a QA system for facilitating the integration of cross-cutting issues in programming, and developing a common approach by the UNCT to the capacity development of national partners in addressing the UN’s normative agenda (using a whole of government approach) including engagement of the donor community, and the facilitation of a tripartite partnership between the UNCT, CSO/NGOs and the Government. These are to be supported through a communication and visibility strategy.

3

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the UNDAF planning process, the evaluation recommends that the scope of the government’s participation in the UNDAF planning process be broadened to include the PC, line ministries, IMED and BBS aside from the ERD, and UN staff (national and subnational) involved in UNDAF activities; and the adoption of the QA system for the UNDAF and its Action Plan to ensure its overall compliance with the minimum quality standards set by the UNDGs, including those that pertain to the mainstreaming of the 5 cross cutting issues, and core programming approaches on the UNDAF documents.

1. Recommendation:

The evaluation recommends that the ongoing Country Analysis and Study on UN Comparative advantage broaden its scope to include explore the extent to which the normative agenda is being mainstreamed with the principal national development plans; ascertain how the Government’s development priorities are translated into the ADPs and district level targets; and assess how existing QA systems at the UNCT, especially those pertaining to the normative agenda are applied at agency level.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/27] [Last Updated: 2016/12/27]

Partially Agree.

The section 1.3.5 Cross Cutting Key Development Challenges in the Country Analysis (CA) captures an overall assessment on equity, equality, non-discrimination, human capital and capacities, entrenched socio-cultural norms and values that constrain rights, potentials of adolescent and youth. It also looks into systematic issues of unavailability of disaggregated and timely data. This chapter sufficiently assess these issues in the context of national priorities and plan. The CA also scoped mainstreaming of the normative agenda within the quality assurance system of the UNCT. A detail account of Bangladesh’s commitment and status in the international framework with respect to human rights has been given in section 1.3.4.

The CA however did not capture how to ascertain a link of priorities to ADP and district level plans and targets. The current UNDAF outcome level indicators were mostly national indicators and the output level indicators were mostly single agency led or joint project level indicators. The latter did not have adequate link to respective ADPs and/or district level plans which also lacks robust results framework.

It was also not possible to assess the existing quality assurance system of the UNCT on normative agenda application, as no such system exists under the current UNDAF.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Country Analysis to review and address evaluation recommendations
[Added: 2016/12/27]
RCO 2015/12 Completed The CCA address to the extent possible the recommendations from the evaluation.
2. Recommendation:

The evaluation recommends that the UNDAF design consider the value added associated with the target outcomes; defining a theory of change for the achievement of the outcomes; adopting a strategy of joint policy advocacy and piloting of innovative approaches based on international practices that would lead towards these outcomes; and emphasizing the involvement of the PC and the line ministries, aside from the ERD in the overall UNDAF design.

It also makes recommendations for addressing potential challenges in having a ‘light UNDAF:’ i.e. setting of targets and allocating budgets for mainstreaming the normative agenda in the UNDAF Action Plan, including setting of targets for cross-cutting issues; upgrading the reporting system to include progress on the mainstreaming of the normative agenda and continued relevance of the UNDAF to the ADPs; organizing a UNCT Thematic Sub-group to oversee the development of programming standards and a QA system for facilitating the integration of cross-cutting issues in programming, and developing a common approach by the UNCT to the capacity development of national partners in addressing the UN’s normative agenda (using a whole of government approach) including engagement of the donor community, and the facilitation of a tripartite partnership between the UNCT, CSO/NGOs and the Government. These are to be supported through a communication and visibility strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/27] [Last Updated: 2016/12/27]

Partially Agree.

The UNCT opted for a short overarching strategic document that frames the contribution of the UN system in the development of Bangladesh for the next four years. Concrete suggestions on how the UN can align to the national priorities were collected from line ministries and the Planning Commission. The new UNDAF 2017-2020 outcome areas were agreed at the Steering Committee on January 2016, leading to formulation of a robust results matrix and substantive overview of UN’s strategic role and direction in the next four years. It is to note here that the UNDAF Action Plan i.e. the operational document for UNDAF is no longer recommended by the UNDG.  Therefore, the recommendations will be taken into the context of the new UNDAF guidance by UNDG, published in May 2016 and the format the UNCT derives to operationalize the UNDAF 2017-2020.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Operationalization of UNDAF
[Added: 2016/12/27]
RCO 2016/11 Completed UNDAF was signed on 3rd November 2016 between the Govt and the UN agencies. It will begin implementation on 1st January 2017.
Unpacking UNDAF outcomes- theory of change
[Added: 2016/12/27]
RCO 2016/11 Completed 11 Outputs have been identified for UNDAF monitoring.
3. Recommendation:

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the UNDAF planning process, the evaluation recommends that the scope of the government’s participation in the UNDAF planning process be broadened to include the PC, line ministries, IMED and BBS aside from the ERD, and UN staff (national and subnational) involved in UNDAF activities; and the adoption of the QA system for the UNDAF and its Action Plan to ensure its overall compliance with the minimum quality standards set by the UNDGs, including those that pertain to the mainstreaming of the 5 cross cutting issues, and core programming approaches on the UNDAF documents.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/27] [Last Updated: 2016/12/27]

Partially Agree.

The planning process of any framework need to be determined by the – nature (i.e. programmatic, sectoral, etc.) and its scope (directional, implementation etc.). The new UNDAF 2017-2020 is intended to be a strategic directional document that outlines UN’s contribution in Bangladesh. Therefore, the input and engagement of participants including Government, donors, and other partners was mainly framed along the lines of where they want to see UN’s role more prominently. Such forward looking questions were included as part of the current UNDAF evaluation process.

Public engagement or engagement with right holders (narrative collection) generated evidence of what was shared by the duty bearers.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Engage partners and stakeholders at strategic points of UNDAF formulation and prioritization
[Added: 2016/12/27]
RCO 2016/10 Completed The UNDAF formulation process was a highly consultative process involving not only duty bearers (government, UN agencies, development communities) but also the right holders. Forums were organized with different stakeholders to seek and validate the UN’s comparative advantage and confirm strategic priorities.

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