Evaluation Report of the UNDP South Africa Country Programme - CPD 2013 - 2017

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2020, South Africa
Evaluation Type:
Country Programme Evaluation
Planned End Date:
08/2017
Completion Date:
09/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title Evaluation Report of the UNDP South Africa Country Programme - CPD 2013 - 2017
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2020, South Africa
Evaluation Type: Country Programme Evaluation
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2017
Planned End Date: 08/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Democratic Governance
  • 3. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 4. Cross-cutting Development Issue
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 35,585
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
  • Joint with Donors
  • Joint with National Treasury, Department of International Relation and Corporation (DIRCO)
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Backson Sibamda Dr backson.sibanda@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government of South Africa, UN, CSOs, Development Partners
Countries: SOUTH AFRICA
Comments:

The evaluation will be completed in August 2017 together with the evaluation of the UN Strategic Cooperation Framework (UNSCF).

Lessons
1.

Building understanding between UNDP and Government is important for long-term planning and addressing emerging issues and challenges of the partnership programme.


2.

Full alignment of UNDP’s CPD priorities to that of the national and lower levels in government will ensure that the basic needs of ordinary people are met.


3.

Translation of global knowledge, expertise and experience plays a critical role in solving and addressing South African needs and priorities at all spheres of government 

 


4.

Improving government coordination in global policy dialogue contributes in addressing the needs of people at all levels. Increase understanding of new tools, languages and concepts are also important for addressing the needs of South Africa as an upper middle income country.


Findings
1.

The disconnect between the NDP priorities and development priorities at the grass root level are because the NDP and the MTSF are not necessarily informed by grassroots people’s priority needs. Therefore, UNDP’s support in South Africa, which is aligned to these global and continental priorities and agendas, does not necessarily address the basic needs of ordinary people.


2.

UNDP clearly articulates in the CPD and other documents that its comparative advantage is global experience, expertise and global knowledge and the existence of Knowledge Hubs that can be of value to South Africa.


3.

The Department of National Treasury requires clarity about the meaning of “Cost Sharing Agreement” between the government departments and UNDP and to reach consensus on how the relationship should work or be managed and what accountability systems are needed for this relationship to ensure that UNDP’s cost sharing agreements with individual departments meet treasury accountability requirements.


4.

South Africa has many priorities, needs and challenges at the national, provincial, municipal and local levels, as such UNDP is thinly spread in trying to do too many things with very limited human and financial resources. While UNDP’s up-stream policy support work is commendable it does not necessarily impact the poor in the short term.


5.

ROAR reporting system is viewed by many of the UNDP staff and partners as an over centralised reporting system/template that does not allow for real life or unique CO experiences to be shared but predominantly serves the purpose, interests and needs of UNDP HQ and not the needs of the Country Office or those of partners. The template is too HQ driven and is not informed by the field experiences. Currently, different reports are needed to meet the needs of partners; a situation that creates a burden by requiring a double reporting.


6.

CPD currently does not have an effective monitoring and reporting system that meets the needs of the CO, partners and UNDP HQ. This is because it currently uses the templates designed by HQ. As a result, there is no substantive institutionalised monitoring and reporting system in place to produce reports for the benefit of all stakeholders. The current ROAR cannot be shared with stakeholders or used for CO management and decision making.


Recommendations
1

UNDP and the Government of South Africa must reach an agreement and a common understanding on the definition of a Development Partner and work out the modus operandi of such a partnership when the partner uses financial resources from the government to provide support and services to the people of South Africa. If agreed to then the parties must agree on what kind of an agreement is needed between the government and UNDP.

2

While it is important for UNDP to work upstream at the policy level, UNDP needs to find how it can support the South African government to translate these global and continental agendas and priorities to also respond and meet the needs and priorities of local people.

3

If this global expertise and knowledge is to be of benefit to South Africa, UNDP, working with the partners, needs to create conditions, structures and systems that enable the national, provincial and municipal government to access these international experts, global knowledge hubs and experience that UNDP has.There is a need for UNDP to consider using the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as a vehicle for reaching these levels.

4

UNDP and National Treasury need to reach consensus on what Cost Sharing arrangements between Government and UNDP mean. This should address the National Treasury requirements in terms of accountability for government funds but also factor UNDP requirements and constraints. This clarity and agreement are necessary to resolve the outstanding issues and bottlenecks that are currently being experienced when UNDP gets into agreements with government departments.

5

UNDP needs to be more strategic and work out what technical expertise is needed by South Africa in areas that UNDP can make an impact, as well as at which levels it must work. UNDP should look at its current successes and use that experience to inform future planning. Secondly, UNDP needs to assess the technical expertise, financial resources and the capacity of staff and tailor make its support to the capacity that it has. Further, UNDP should consider bringing on board critical expertise that is needed in South Africa on a long term or consultancy basis to respond to the challenges and needs of South Africa.

6

There is a need to develop a monitoring and reporting framework based on the Results Framework that can be used for management purposes at the country office level which also produces information that meets the needs of partners. The implementation plan and regular reporting would also meet the needs of other stakeholders/partners like the National Treasury and others.

7

It is recommended that the UNDP CO commissions a study of all the administrative and relationship issues that are highlighted in the evaluation report. The study should do a causes analysis and make concrete suggestions and solutions of how the UNDP CO can minimise these challenges which undermine the CO to deliver efficiently and effectively.

1. Recommendation:

UNDP and the Government of South Africa must reach an agreement and a common understanding on the definition of a Development Partner and work out the modus operandi of such a partnership when the partner uses financial resources from the government to provide support and services to the people of South Africa. If agreed to then the parties must agree on what kind of an agreement is needed between the government and UNDP.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2017/11/15]

Yes, due to the consistent changes of focal points in government departments, there is a need for UNDP to keep partners always informed about the partnership agreements (including co-financing agreements) and definition of programme scope as well as the role and responsibilities of partners.

UNDP has started a process of making it clear to its partners that it is not a donor but a partner in development. Given South Africa’s position as a Middle Income country, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to raise funds for supporting South Africa’s development. However, given its expertise, UNDP can leverage South Africa’s resources in cost sharing agreements to catalyse development. It is this model of funding and partnership that UNDP is slowly trying to promote – of course, it takes time for such partnerships to be formed but UNDP will be patient in articulating this position – it has already achieved some level of success in government co-sharing in some of its projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to ensure information packs on partnership agreements including definition of roles and responsibilities of individual implementing partners are made available to the new focal points to complement briefings done during the Project Steering Committee meetings. UNDP to continue advocating for cost-sharing agreements in a diplomatic way that will win the government over.
[Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2019/08/13]
UNDP with National Treasury providing oversight support cost sharing agreement 2018/12 Completed Cost sharing is an on-going process with government departments. UNDP South Africa was able to mobilise financial resources through the cost sharing modality from the department of Land Reforms and Rural development. History
2. Recommendation:

While it is important for UNDP to work upstream at the policy level, UNDP needs to find how it can support the South African government to translate these global and continental agendas and priorities to also respond and meet the needs and priorities of local people.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2017/11/15]

Disagree, UNDP’s programme of support to the Government of South Africa covers both upstream policy work, as well as downstream support in terms of programme and policy implementation which contributed significantly in improving access and quality of service delivery at community level. At policy level, UNDP supported government to develop e.g. policy papers on land reform, White Paper on the Rights of People with Disabilities, repositioning of public sector, etc. At community level, UNDP supported the Department of Health in Limpopo to improve access and quality of health services delivery in Limpopo through the recruitment and placement of foreign medical practitioners in rural and previously disadvantaged communities. In KwaZulu-Natal, UNDP supported the province to establish a nerve center and a Provincial Public Service Training Academy.

UNDP South Africa is the lead agency on global and continental agendas. It has been supporting the process of MDGs reporting for South Africa, SDGs/MDGs domestication of the targets and indicators to the local context through organising stakeholder workshops in collaboration with Statistics South Africa.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UN support to the domestication of SDGs is underway with the leadership of UNDP
[Added: 2018/08/28]
UNDP, Stats SA, and Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation 2018/08 Completed The Indicator Baseline Report for the SDGs has been completed
3. Recommendation:

If this global expertise and knowledge is to be of benefit to South Africa, UNDP, working with the partners, needs to create conditions, structures and systems that enable the national, provincial and municipal government to access these international experts, global knowledge hubs and experience that UNDP has.There is a need for UNDP to consider using the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as a vehicle for reaching these levels.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15]

Partially agree, UNDP has done some work at community level with NGOs before through engagement with SALGA. There is no work done through SALGA during the current CPD. However, UNDP has been supporting development work at provincial and community levels through the establishing strategic partnerships with the Offices of the Premiers. In KwaZulu-Natal, UNDP has supported the establishment of the Never Centre and Provincial Public Service Training Academy through partnering with the Office of the Premier. Similarly, in Limpopo, UNDP Support to Health Sector Programme has been a partnership programme with the Department of Health for more than 2 decades recruiting and placing of international health practitioners in the health care facilities across the province. The project has been led by the Office of the Premier, Limpopo. Although SALGA is a key player in the provinces, UNDP can also leverage and mobilize other partners for development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continues to play a leading role in the domestication and implementation of global and continental agendas through initiating local mechanisms and South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
[Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
UNDP in partnership with the National Treasury, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and statistics South Africa 2018/08 Completed In addition of UNDP leading the domestication of the SDGs in South Africa through the sector working groups, the CO is also working in partnership with the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation to strengthen the M&E system in the country and in Africa as whole. The first M&E Indaba that took place in South Africa in 2017 has led to the UN and DPME developing a MoU to facilitate the implementation of the UN/Government Strategic Cooperation Framework (SCF). Recently, DPME together with the UN M&E Group led a training of a delegation of masters and PhD students from 2 universities and delegations from some of the African countries. The SDGs Indicator Baseline Report for South Africa has been completed. History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP and National Treasury need to reach consensus on what Cost Sharing arrangements between Government and UNDP mean. This should address the National Treasury requirements in terms of accountability for government funds but also factor UNDP requirements and constraints. This clarity and agreement are necessary to resolve the outstanding issues and bottlenecks that are currently being experienced when UNDP gets into agreements with government departments.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15]

Do not concur with the recommendation, the current 2013 – 2017 Country Programme Document (CPD) was developed in consultation with the key stakeholders including the government departments. For the implementation of the current CPD, a Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) which was also developed in consultation with key stakeholders was subsequently signed by the National Treasury and UNDP in 2013. The issue of Cost-sharing Agreements (CSA) is clearly articulated in the CPAP (refer pages 24 – 28, and signage page on page 31).

In addition to the signed CPAP by the National Treasury, Project Documents and Cost-sharing Agreements are developed in collaboration with individual implementing partners which are also signed by UNDP and individual implementing partners. For example, in 2014, National Treasury itself signed the CSA with UNDP for the ODA project partnership project. The only concern raised on the GM was clarified with National Treasury.

On annually basis, National Treasury also approves Annual Work Plans (AWPs) submitted by UNDP detailing annual programme scope and allocated budgets. However, starting in 2015, National Treasury requires UNDP to provide evidence to show that AWPs are endorsed by the implementing partners (especially Government Departments).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to continue engagement with government to clarify the issue of cost-sharing
[Added: 2018/08/28]
UNDP, National Treasury 2018/08 Completed Several engagements with National Treasury are continuing since 2015 History
5. Recommendation:

UNDP needs to be more strategic and work out what technical expertise is needed by South Africa in areas that UNDP can make an impact, as well as at which levels it must work. UNDP should look at its current successes and use that experience to inform future planning. Secondly, UNDP needs to assess the technical expertise, financial resources and the capacity of staff and tailor make its support to the capacity that it has. Further, UNDP should consider bringing on board critical expertise that is needed in South Africa on a long term or consultancy basis to respond to the challenges and needs of South Africa.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15]

Since 1994, UNDP has been providing local and international technical expertise as required by government. Terms of References for hiring of the technical experts are developed in collaboration with government counterparts and are usually signed jointly by both parties. For an example, in partnership with UN participating agencies, UNDP brought Local and international experts to support government to develop a Disability Rights Based M&E system and related tools, and finalisation of the White Paper on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The success of this partnership has led to government establishing a disability fund and Cabinet’s recognition of South African Sign Language as the twelfth Official Language.

UNDP also used International Experts to support government for the drafting of policy papers on land reform which informed the development of a Bill on land reform in South Africa.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will continue to provide local and international expertise as and when requested by government counterparts.
[Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2019/08/13]
UNDP in partnership with government counterparts 2018/12 Completed International and local expertise were provided to Government departments as and when requested. Experts on the issue of land reforms were provided to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reforms. ToRs uploaded on the SharePoint History
6. Recommendation:

There is a need to develop a monitoring and reporting framework based on the Results Framework that can be used for management purposes at the country office level which also produces information that meets the needs of partners. The implementation plan and regular reporting would also meet the needs of other stakeholders/partners like the National Treasury and others.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15]

Disagree, the current CPAP which was signed by the National Treasury on behalf of Government includes detail management arrangements, cost-sharing agreement, M&E plan, with indicators etc., for tracking the CPD implementation. In addition, the CO has developed the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework with indicators for tracking the implementation of the CPD outcomes. Monitoring, reporting and evaluation forms an integral component of each Project Document as per the specifications and requirements by individual implementing partners.   

In terms of reporting, UNDP has been submitting annual progress reports to National Treasury based on the reporting format developed together with and subsequently endorsed by National Treasury itself. UNDP also report to government through the UN Joint Reporting process which is led by the UNCT.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to continue implement its M&E framework and provide annual reports based on the agreed format with the National Treasury. UNDP will also continue to lead the UN Joint reporting to the Government counterparts
[Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2019/08/13]
UNDP 2018/12 Completed The M&E Plan for the country office is continuously updated to alined with the CPD and SCF processes History
7. Recommendation:

It is recommended that the UNDP CO commissions a study of all the administrative and relationship issues that are highlighted in the evaluation report. The study should do a causes analysis and make concrete suggestions and solutions of how the UNDP CO can minimise these challenges which undermine the CO to deliver efficiently and effectively.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/15]

Agree, since the Evaluation findings and recommendations do not provide substantive evidence that can be used to inform the formulation of the new CPD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to organize a Joint Strategic Review with key local stakeholders to identify the issues emanating from the Country programme performance of the current CPD and develop solutions to inform the formulation of the new CPD. The review process to be supported by RSC & HQ [RBM, COST). In addition, the CO is having discussion with government on the possibility to have an outcome evaluation of its large GEF Portfolio to inform the development of the next CPD.
[Added: 2017/11/15] [Last Updated: 2019/12/05]
RSC & HQ [RBM, COST), and DPME 2020/03 Completed The 25 year review of the CO will be completed in March 2020. The TOR has been advertised and the successful service provider has been identified. History

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