Independent Outcome Evaluation of UNDP Myanmar’s Outcome 1 (Local Governance Programme - 2013-2016)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Myanmar
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
02/2017
Completion Date:
02/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
120,000

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Title Independent Outcome Evaluation of UNDP Myanmar’s Outcome 1 (Local Governance Programme - 2013-2016)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Myanmar
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2017
Planned End Date: 02/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
  • 2. Output 3.2. Functions, financing and capacity of sub-national level institutions enabled to deliver improved basic services and respond to priorities voiced by the public
Evaluation Budget(US $): 120,000
Source of Funding: Core
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Nicolas Garrigue Team Leader nicolas.garrigue@orange.fr
Marla Zapach Evaluator marzapach@gmail.com
U Kyaw Thu Evaluator kyawthu.mba4@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MYANMAR
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Supporting corrective actions for the credibility of OSS:

On the basis of the diagnostic and recommendations produced by UNDP in June 2016, certain key immediate actions will be prioritized in 2017 with GAD and a small group of Departments. The OEM recommends that also that specific locations be used as pilots for testing out improvements of the OSS model and that Departments that provide services most in demand and/or more effective for spurring local economic development be prioritized in this work. UNDP could also broker the use of social accountability tools on OSS to increase their responsiveness of OSS to local needs.

2

Institutionalize key trainings (TS planning, dialogue, CSO organizational development, social cohesion, conflict-sensitivity, etc.): this involves both standardizing and contextualizing curricula, producing additional tools if needed (visual aids, manuals, on-line resources) and working with capable Myanmar training institutions to own the curricula and training methods. Current Output 1’s work with the IDA comes under this heading and should be emulated in other Outputs.

3

Support IDA in developing a results framework for its training programmes:  the partnership with the IDA should be seen in the long-term, and opens up very interesting opportunities for supporting change in local governance at scale, an immediate need concerns the capacity of the IDA to measure the impact of its training programmes. The OEM strongly supports therefore Output 1 decision to help IDA in 2017 develop a results-oriented monitoring framework and build monitoring & evaluation skills need among IDA staff.

4

Build sustainability strategies owned by stakeholders: Outputs, and particularly Output 2, could build sustainability strategies with stakeholders, including an analysis of threats and opportunities, and help them implement these during the last year of the LGP. This is very important for stakeholders for which UNDP may not be continuing support in the present form. Special attention should be given to linking CSO and media grantees with knowledge networks and funding opportunities in Myanmar and internationally.

5

Strengthen cross-output and cross-pillar connections for next TS planning: this recommendation goes beyond 2017 and concerns also TS planning that will happen in the next programme. With more townships covered in 2017 in Mon State and elsewhere (tbd), there will be new opportunities for beneficiaries of other outputs and pillars to contribute meaningfully to this important exercise for building a new paradigm in local governance. This could be CSOs, media and TLGs supported through Output 2, savings cooperatives of Output 4, the social cohesion networks of Output 5 (which can help with the inclusion of EAOs in mixed administration areas), Rule of Law centers (Pillar 3) and climate change adaptation CBOs (Pillar 2).

6

Accentuate support to women’s empowerment through local governance: by introducing simple tools for gender-specific analysis of in township planning, organizing a second round of training for women W/VTAs (as already planned in Output 1) and network them with MDK (for advocacy on gender & local elections)

7

Develop a common cross-pillar approach to supporting sub-national core governance functions: this involves all three current pillars and should clarify how UNDP wants as a whole – and as one – position itself on key subnational governance topics for the next CPD cycle, i.e. the public administration reform (including civil service reform), decentralization, and territorial development planning (at all levels) aligned with the SDGs.

8

Deploy advance advisory capacity to strategic S/Rs if and where UNDP is most prone to implementing a multi-pillar integrated approach in the next CPD. This capacity should be embedded in S/R administrations as far as possible and work closely with the Chief Minister’s Office, providing advice on a range of planning and budgeting matters, as well as inter-sectorial coordination. This advisory capacity could be framed under “support to SDG localization”, for example. It will help build a strong rapport with S/RGs and facilitate faster delivery of future UNDP S/R-based programming.

9

Building greater understanding of governance for peacebuilding: starting with a conflict-sensitivity and peacebuilding diagnostic review of the Country Programme to see how far UNDP has been able to leverage its peacebuilding potential, and conversely what unintended consequences of UNDP’s programming may be.

Sub-national conflict analyses in potential areas of programming focus in the new CPD are also necessary if UNDP is going ensure no harm is done as well as to assure that a human rights based approach is applied consistently. It will also be important to facilitate high-level discussions among UNDP’s partners at Union level (in particular GAD & NaTaLa) on the links between local governance and peacebuilding and how to complement efforts underway in terms of national dialogue and peace infrastructure

10

Continue building awareness and capacity-building for SDG localization: as currently spearheaded by Pillar 3, but possibly with greater involvement of LGP resources, knowledge and networks. The use of UNDP’s signature SDG Localization Tool Box is recommended and technical support from BPPS can also be mobilized if needed. This could be an opportunity to discuss partnership with UN-HABITAT, one of the co-sponsors of the global SDG Localization initiative.

11

Market survey for national intermediate support organizations: an important feature of the next CPD should be a cross-cutting commitment to resort more systematically to national ISOs for implementation so as to support greater dissemination and sustainability of UNDP’s work. To prepare rolling out this approach in the next CPD, UNDP could update its market survey for qualified think-tanks and research bodies, training and process facilitation organizations, organizational development consultancies, whether non-profit, academic or for-profit, and possibly start negotiating LTAs.

1. Recommendation:

Supporting corrective actions for the credibility of OSS:

On the basis of the diagnostic and recommendations produced by UNDP in June 2016, certain key immediate actions will be prioritized in 2017 with GAD and a small group of Departments. The OEM recommends that also that specific locations be used as pilots for testing out improvements of the OSS model and that Departments that provide services most in demand and/or more effective for spurring local economic development be prioritized in this work. UNDP could also broker the use of social accountability tools on OSS to increase their responsiveness of OSS to local needs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/12] [Last Updated: 2017/07/12]

UNDP acknowledges the recommendation, which are in line with the findings of UNDP’s report[1], while underlines that decision making on OSS rests within the relevant GoM Union level interdepartmental working committee.

The GoM Union level working committee has requested the State and Regions to consider the recommendations for improving the OSS outlined in UNDP’s report on the OSS.

The committee is scheduled to meet within first quarter of 2017 to consolidate the response from state and regions and to continue its review of regulation and processes related to the OSS.

UNDP will continue its technical and policy level support to the GoM Union working committee to improve the OSS, and has offered to the committee to support development of a strategic action plan.

As an immediate measure, UNDP has commissioned a short public awareness film which in a simple manner describes the functions of the OSS to increase public awareness on OSS.

(Responsible Party/Output Focal) 01 (AWP 2017)

Timeline: 2017 (Throughout)


[1] UNDP, One Stop Shops (OSSs) in Myanmar: An Entry Point to Improve Local Public Service Delivery and Local Governance, July 2016

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Institutionalize key trainings (TS planning, dialogue, CSO organizational development, social cohesion, conflict-sensitivity, etc.): this involves both standardizing and contextualizing curricula, producing additional tools if needed (visual aids, manuals, on-line resources) and working with capable Myanmar training institutions to own the curricula and training methods. Current Output 1’s work with the IDA comes under this heading and should be emulated in other Outputs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

Support to review the training agenda of the MOHA IDA is ongoing and part of the AWP 2017.

 

Regarding training and capacity development under the Civil Society and Media output, the training development by the CSO networks (supported through grants) included the objective to produce a repository of tested and refined training materials for local CSOs.

UNDP has planned during implementation in 2017 to assist in validation of the training materials and to facilitate exchange and sharing among wider CSO networks and other organization, and will make relevant reference materials available more widely through emerging on-line platforms of national and international NGOs (e.g. LRC).

 

UNDP has been engaged in sharing of training materials and lessons learnt with regards to its dialogue and social cohesion skills training in 2016 with the objective to institutionalize capacity-development activities as much as feasible and has reached out to government and non-government partners.

Since 2016, UNDP’s work on mainstreaming conflict sensitivity into local and community development programming has been anchored with an inter-ministerial study group, comprised of 3 ministries (MoBA, MoSW, MoAgLivFishery) and 6 departments. This group serves as a reference-point for the work. At the request of the Ministry of Border Affairs UNDP in 2017 has started an initiative to integrate peacebuilding and social cohesion curricula into the academic and training institutions administered by the Ministry.

 

Lessons learnt include that a) for some topics and concepts, finding institutional ‘houses’ is more challenging and b) in some instances working acrosss institutions provides the opportunity to bring stakeholders from different target groups and institutions together.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Support IDA in developing a results framework for its training programmes:  the partnership with the IDA should be seen in the long-term, and opens up very interesting opportunities for supporting change in local governance at scale, an immediate need concerns the capacity of the IDA to measure the impact of its training programmes. The OEM strongly supports therefore Output 1 decision to help IDA in 2017 develop a results-oriented monitoring framework and build monitoring & evaluation skills need among IDA staff.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

While recognizing the benefit of a results framework for training program, UNDP will focuse during 2017 on a revision of the whole training agenda for various categories of staff to promote alignment of the trainings with reality of needs on the ground.

We will in parallel initiate the discussion with IDA how to support their capacities for monitoring, evaluating and adjusting their program on a continuous basis.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Build sustainability strategies owned by stakeholders: Outputs, and particularly Output 2, could build sustainability strategies with stakeholders, including an analysis of threats and opportunities, and help them implement these during the last year of the LGP. This is very important for stakeholders for which UNDP may not be continuing support in the present form. Special attention should be given to linking CSO and media grantees with knowledge networks and funding opportunities in Myanmar and internationally.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

UNDP has emphasized sustainability strategies owned by stakeholders from the beginning of its CSO network support and grant interventions, and will continue to emphasize this during final grant support in 2017.

 

The township groups and the national network of rural women (May Do Kabar) have since grants inception developed individualized sustainability plans and regularly update progress. (Sustainability planning e.g. includes requests for land donation for office space; drafting/ submission of external funding proposals for priority activities; funds mobilization from member groups for joint group activities; member contributions based of sales for products marketed on the TLG/MDK brand).

The subnational CSO and Media networks have also developed explicit sustainability milestones as part of their initial grant proposals which include aspects of social sustainability (member satisfaction and desire to continue to participate in the network), financial sustainability (resource mobilization from external donors), and operational sustainability (development of strong capacities for coordination and for M&E/data collection).

UNDP will as part of the AWP 2017 actively continue to support these partner-owned sustainability efforts as well as generate additional opportunities for showcasing partner capacities and accomplishments that link current grantees with additional knowledge networks and funding opportunities.

 

Since 2016, UNDP’s work on mainstreaming conflict sensitivity into local and community development programming has been anchored with an inter-ministerial study group, comprised of 3 ministries and 6 departments.

This group serves as a reference-point for the work, including validating the training module for government (completed) and devising an indicator framework (ongoing).

Also, at the request of the Ministry of Border Affairs UNDP in 2017 has started an initiative to integrate peacebuilding and social cohesion curricula into the academic and training institutions administered by the Ministry.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Strengthen cross-output and cross-pillar connections for next TS planning: this recommendation goes beyond 2017 and concerns also TS planning that will happen in the next programme. With more townships covered in 2017 in Mon State and elsewhere (tbd), there will be new opportunities for beneficiaries of other outputs and pillars to contribute meaningfully to this important exercise for building a new paradigm in local governance. This could be CSOs, media and TLGs supported through Output 2, savings cooperatives of Output 4, the social cohesion networks of Output 5 (which can help with the inclusion of EAOs in mixed administration areas), Rule of Law centers (Pillar 3) and climate change adaptation CBOs (Pillar 2).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

The recommendation and its implication to adopt a holistic approach of strengthening subnational governance as a potential emphasis for the new Country Program Document (CPD) is noted and accepted.

 

Given continued increase in shares of the Union budget allocated to S/R over the past years, the increasing role of regional parliaments, and the growing importance of the state/regional level for the peace process and the political dialogue, to strengthen capacities for democratic governance, rule of law and enhanced local service delivery at this level should be given more attention and emphasis.

 

Initial efforts are already being made to align Pillar 3’s subnational parliament capacity development to the township planning cycle and its capacity development activities, in particular with those directed towards state/region governments.

Similar efforts are done with the development effectiveness output and its support to better usage of statistics and evidence data in development planning.

 

UNDP will continue to encourage opportunities for local women groups, CSO and media leaders whose skills for constructive engagement, dialogue and social accountability have been cultivated through interventions to date, to actively engage in the TS planning.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Accentuate support to women’s empowerment through local governance: by introducing simple tools for gender-specific analysis of in township planning, organizing a second round of training for women W/VTAs (as already planned in Output 1) and network them with MDK (for advocacy on gender & local elections)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

Dedicated and practical capacity development support to female W/VTAs and 10 HH leaders are planned for 2017 in the form of a 10-day training for the 84 female W/VTAs and a specific support to female 10 HH leaders in selected areas in Mon state, that will include components around participation in planning and gender analysis

 

UNDP will continue to support networking of female W/VTAs and 10HH leaders with other women leaders involved in Mae Doe Kabar’s (MDK) broader network. This includes on-going connections and peer exchange via the iWomen app (widely used by MDK network and increasingly by other women groups )

UNDP will also aim to make these above mentioned standard training/TOT for the female W/VTAs and 10HH leaders accessible to MDK and other women leaders.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Develop a common cross-pillar approach to supporting sub-national core governance functions: this involves all three current pillars and should clarify how UNDP wants as a whole – and as one – position itself on key subnational governance topics for the next CPD cycle, i.e. the public administration reform (including civil service reform), decentralization, and territorial development planning (at all levels) aligned with the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

The recommendation to adopt a holistic approach of strengthening core subnational governance functions as a potential emphasis for the new Country Program Document (CPD) is noted and accepted.

 

In 2017, the UNDP Myanmar country office will, as part of the formulation process of a new Country Program Document (CPD) 2018-2021, align its program and delivery structure to the new programmatic priorities.

This process will aim to revise the somewhat silo-ed approach represented in the present pillar structure and come up with a different framework how interrelated interventions are being delivered.

It is at present assumed that a stronger emphasis will be given to a holistic approach in support to sub-national core governance functions, including a strong alignment with the SDGs.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Deploy advance advisory capacity to strategic S/Rs if and where UNDP is most prone to implementing a multi-pillar integrated approach in the next CPD. This capacity should be embedded in S/R administrations as far as possible and work closely with the Chief Minister’s Office, providing advice on a range of planning and budgeting matters, as well as inter-sectorial coordination. This advisory capacity could be framed under “support to SDG localization”, for example. It will help build a strong rapport with S/RGs and facilitate faster delivery of future UNDP S/R-based programming.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

The recommendation is noted and accepted with its implications for the next CPD.

(See also above responses to recommendations 5,7).

 

As part of the ongoing support to participatory and inclusive township planning - which will be up scaled in 2017 to several more TSPs in Mon and Bago - the CO is partnering with the Regional UNDP Centre in Bangkok for SDG localization.

A SDG localization tool is at present being tested by UNDP in 4 countries in the region and the CO will assess the feasibility of usage in Myanmar to help to identify tangible entry points for SDGs usage and reference in township and state/region level data collection and planning processes.

The support to township planning is thoroughly anchored and operates within the wider Myanmar planning architecture, and strengthening the capacity of the states/regional partner governments for guidance and oversight are integral part of the approach. The embedding of additional, specific advisory capacity within S/R governments executive offices is being considered a valid and potentially innovative option for the new CPD cycle.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Building greater understanding of governance for peacebuilding: starting with a conflict-sensitivity and peacebuilding diagnostic review of the Country Programme to see how far UNDP has been able to leverage its peacebuilding potential, and conversely what unintended consequences of UNDP’s programming may be.

Sub-national conflict analyses in potential areas of programming focus in the new CPD are also necessary if UNDP is going ensure no harm is done as well as to assure that a human rights based approach is applied consistently. It will also be important to facilitate high-level discussions among UNDP’s partners at Union level (in particular GAD & NaTaLa) on the links between local governance and peacebuilding and how to complement efforts underway in terms of national dialogue and peace infrastructure

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

UNDP will ensure that the new CPD will be guided by and based upon a thorough conflict sensitive approach and will aim to build wider understanding and strengthen the linkages between governance and peacebuilding work.

UNDP’s intervention strategy around support to inclusive and participatory TSP planning in Mon in 2017 is being crafted upon an initial conflict analysis and the implementation and project team will be supported by a long-term conflict advisor.

The project will also explore options of including EAOs (and their service providers) actively in the township planning cycles and will, based on interest, use the intervention framework to enable joint learning, capacity development and to foster trust. Potentially and on the longer run, the project might also be able to support the emergence of sustainable interim arrangements and facilitate convergence discussion, thus including a peacebuilding dimension in the project.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Continue building awareness and capacity-building for SDG localization: as currently spearheaded by Pillar 3, but possibly with greater involvement of LGP resources, knowledge and networks. The use of UNDP’s signature SDG Localization Tool Box is recommended and technical support from BPPS can also be mobilized if needed. This could be an opportunity to discuss partnership with UN-HABITAT, one of the co-sponsors of the global SDG Localization initiative.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

SDG localization will be one part of the new SDC supported Mon project around township planning currently being developed. (See also response to #8 above).

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Market survey for national intermediate support organizations: an important feature of the next CPD should be a cross-cutting commitment to resort more systematically to national ISOs for implementation so as to support greater dissemination and sustainability of UNDP’s work. To prepare rolling out this approach in the next CPD, UNDP could update its market survey for qualified think-tanks and research bodies, training and process facilitation organizations, organizational development consultancies, whether non-profit, academic or for-profit, and possibly start negotiating LTAs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/13]

The recommendation is noted and accepted.

Based on the needs identified in the new CPD (2018-2021) UNDP will work through its procurement unit (and potentially reaching out to other agencies) to accurately update a market survey for national intermediate support organizations, ISOs. (e.g. qualified think tanks and research bodies, training and process facilitation organizations, organizational development consultancies, etc.) and identify new partnerships.

 

UNCDF’s MAP (Making Access to Finance Possible) refresh survey will be conducted to better understand status of financial inclusion and will include a stakeholder analysis to financial inclusion in Myanmar.

Key Actions:

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