Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Africa (2008-2013)

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Regional Programme
Planned End Date:
06/2013
Completion Date:
04/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
180,000

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Title Evaluation of the Regional Programme for Africa (2008-2013)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Regional Programme
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2013
Planned End Date: 06/2013
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 180,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Angela Bester
Gaston Gohou
Oliver Chapeyama
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Recommendation 1. The regional programme should continue to focus on interventions where a regional approach brings the greatest value added. First priority should be given to strategic initiatives, undertaken in consultation with other United Nations partners, that strengthen the capacity of regional institutions and support the implementation of their priority frameworks. In the case of multi-country programmes, the regional programme should focus primarily on the provision of expertise, facilitation of cross-country exchanges and knowledge management, with country programmes implementing national or subnational activities. Where it is appropriate for the regional programme to implement countrylevel activities, this should be done in close collaboration with country offices, with a view to eventually incorporating these activities into country programmes.
2 Recommendation 2. RBA should develop a results-oriented strategy for engagement with regional institutions.
3 Recommendation 3. The regional programme and projects should be designed from the outset in consultation with stakeholders, in particular the African Union and RECs and, to the extent possible, national governments and country offices, to ensure ownership.
4 Recommendation 4. With respect to its strategic initiatives and projects, the regional programme should sharpen its focus and articulate in the RPD a limited number of outcomes and outputs. In addition, RBA could consider identifying a few unifying cross-cutting themes highly relevant to Africa in the coming years that can be mainstreamed across interventions to give additional coherence and visibility to the programme.
5 Recommendation 5. With respect to technical and advisory services, the UNDP global policy bureaux and RBA should ensure an integrated strategy for the provision of a necessary range of regional advisory and technical support services to country offices. The management should monitor the effect of services provided by the regional advisers and take decisions based on the need for, and the efficacy of, support in helping country offices to realize development results.
6 Recommendation 6. RBA, the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) and the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) should strengthen monitoring and follow-up by the regional service centre for learning, knowledge management and effectiveness.
7 Recommendation 7. RBA, through the regional programme, should further enhance the development and dissemination of regional knowledge and knowledge products.
1. Recommendation: Recommendation 1. The regional programme should continue to focus on interventions where a regional approach brings the greatest value added. First priority should be given to strategic initiatives, undertaken in consultation with other United Nations partners, that strengthen the capacity of regional institutions and support the implementation of their priority frameworks. In the case of multi-country programmes, the regional programme should focus primarily on the provision of expertise, facilitation of cross-country exchanges and knowledge management, with country programmes implementing national or subnational activities. Where it is appropriate for the regional programme to implement countrylevel activities, this should be done in close collaboration with country offices, with a view to eventually incorporating these activities into country programmes.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

The new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, will continue to focus on regional public goods, principally strengthening the capacity of regional institutions and providing support to the implementation of their priority frameworks. Multi-country programmes will continue to focus on the provision of expertise, facilitation of cross-country exchanges and knowledge management. An enhanced role will also be given to the resident representatives/resident coordinators in country offices co-located with regional institutions. The regional programme will seek to minimize activities that are of a purely national nature and will work closely with country offices to ensure synergies between country programmes and the regional initiatives from which countries benefit. Response already initiated through the formulation of the new regional programme in close coordination with the African Union Commission and the regional economic communities (RECs). The process of consultation and implementation will also be undertaken with the United Nations agencies, particularly the Economic Commission for Africa and those partners that have regional programmes in support of the RECs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Focus further on the development priorities of the African Union and other regional institutions in the formulation of the new regional programme for Africa.
[Added: 2014/02/27]
Manager, RSC 2014/01 Completed Based on corporately agreed ?regionality? principles that responds the evaluation findings, coupled with extensive consultations with AU and RECs, the newly approved RPD responds to regional development priorities
1.2 Engage with actors, including United Nations partners, that are supporting the African Union and RECs through regional programmes.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/12 Completed The RP 2018-2021 is demand-driven—responding to specific requests for support raised during extensive consultations with regional and sub-regional bodies, UN Agencies and CSOs, organized in 2017, engaged with throughout the development of the RPD
1.3 Engage in regular dialogue between RBA and the African Union and RECs to review progress and adjust to emerging priorities.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/02 Completed AU and RECs sit on the Regional Programme Advisory Board and Boards of individual regional projects as relevant.
1.4 Increase synergies between the regional and country programmes to ensure more targeted subregional responses, in particular through continued participation of resident representatives/resident coordinators in Project Appraisal Committees (PACs) and the Regional Programme Advisory Board.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/12 Completed A commitment made in new RPD, which itself is result of several consultations with RRs. RR membership on new RP Advisory Board already agreed for four Africa sub-regions that RBA has responsibility for. RRs will also chair outcome/project boards and COs will be members of PAC and consulted during implementation and M&E. Some regional projects will be based in COs. The new RPD 2018-2021 and its individual regional projects were designed following rounds of consultations, including with the participation of COs management, Relevant COs are represented as members of the RP Advisory Board.
2. Recommendation: Recommendation 2. RBA should develop a results-oriented strategy for engagement with regional institutions.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

Relevant and acceptable. Response already initiated through RBA request to the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) to lead the negotiation of relevant partnership agreements with the African Union and RECs, which will also facilitate their role as implementing partners for the RBA regional programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, and subsequent programming.
[Added: 2014/02/27]
Manager, RSC 2014/01 Completed
2.2 Negotiate a long-term memorandum of understanding with selected RECs that is similar to arrangements with the New Partnership for Africa?s Development (NEPAD) and that will form the basis of the future results-based and improved issue-focused approach to addressing subregional and regional challenges.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/02/01]
Manager, RSC 2014/12 Completed Stronger partnership with regional institutions is a key feature of new RPD. Draft SPA/MOU with AU being reviewed. Signature expected shortly, while steps toward similar agreements with the RECs will shortly commence In September 2014, with the purpose of providing a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the UNDP and the AU and its regional sub-bodies (RECs), the UNDP, represented by RBA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Union Commission, the entry point for the partnership being the four outcomes of the Regional Programme Document.
3. Recommendation: Recommendation 3. The regional programme and projects should be designed from the outset in consultation with stakeholders, in particular the African Union and RECs and, to the extent possible, national governments and country offices, to ensure ownership.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

Relevant and acceptable; response already initiated. Enhanced ownership is among the guiding principles informing the design and future implementation of the new regional programme. The team designing the new regional programme has already commenced consultations with the African Union and some RECs as well as country offices. Participation of the African Union and RECs and country offices in the UNDP project appraisal process has already started and will be strengthened.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, and subsequent programming.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/12 Completed Newly approved RPD is based on several rounds of consultations with key stakeholders, including AU and RECs. The document commits to strong representation of all stakeholder groups on RP Advisory Board and in formulation and M&E of regional projects The 2014-2018 RP was implemented in coordination with relevant AUC departments and RECs. The RPD 2018-2021 was formulated following rounds of consultations with civil society, development partners, AUC/RECs conducted in 2017. The RPD 2018-2021 design incorporates lessons learnt and recommendations from all evaluations, audits and internal monitoring conducted during the RP 2014-2017.
3.2 Hold more systematic and inclusive consultations, accelerating them during the formulation of the new Regional Programme Document.
[Added: 2014/02/27]
Manager, RSC 2013/12 Completed Extensive consultations were held with key stakeholders, including AU and RECs, during formulation of new RPD
3.3 In addition to NEPAD, institutionalize the participation of the African Union and RECs in the Regional Programme Advisory Board together with institutionalized participation of regional bodies in the UNDP PAC.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2014/12 Completed This is a commitment underlined in new RPD. With approval of document, AU and REC membership on RP Advisory Board is currently under review and will be concluded after discussions with RRs in early March 2014. The AUC/RECs have participated on the Regional Programme Advisory Board under Regional Programme 2014-2017. The regional bodies are members of the Regional Programme 2018-2021 Advisory Board as well as individual boards of regional projects as relevant.
4. Recommendation: Recommendation 4. With respect to its strategic initiatives and projects, the regional programme should sharpen its focus and articulate in the RPD a limited number of outcomes and outputs. In addition, RBA could consider identifying a few unifying cross-cutting themes highly relevant to Africa in the coming years that can be mainstreamed across interventions to give additional coherence and visibility to the programme.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

Relevant and acceptable. The number of outcomes and outputs in the new regional programme for 2014-2017 will be driven by the results framework of the Strategic Plan. The outcomes and outputs will be aligned with a priority set of African objectives and targets as well as the SP. The new regional programme will be developed based on reduced and more focused thematic areas prioritized in the region and translated into the outcomes with clear and quantifiable baselines, indicators and targets that tell a simple story line of the challenges faced and the responses that UNDP intends to make to support economic and social transformation in Africa. Unifying cross-cutting themes highly relevant to Africa have already been identified to include areas such as gender equality, youth empowerment, capacity development and South-South cooperation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Reflect evaluation recommendations in the new regional programme for Africa, 2014-2017, to develop more targeted outcomes and outputs.
[Added: 2014/02/27]
Manager, RSC 2014/02 Completed Number of outcomes and outputs reduced from 15 and 29, respectively, in the previous RPD to 4 and 13 in the new programme
4.2 Formulation of Results and Resources Framework for the new regional programme will be built on stronger data capture, using the knowledge products, such as the African Human Development Report and African Economic Outlook.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2016/12 Completed This is a commitment underlined in new RPD and will be operationalized during individual project design, implementation and montoring. The RPD 2018-2021 was drafted with a strong evidence-based approach in mind. The RR of Regional Programme 2018-2021 includes SMART Output indicators, with baselines and targets pupulated on basis of information gathered throughout the implementation of the RP 2014-2017.
4.3 Enhance the role of the RBA Evaluation Advisers in establishing outcomes, outputs, benchmarks, targets and indicators for the new regional programme and subsequent projects.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2016/12 Completed Needs to be systematized during project design, reporting and M&E RPD 2017-2021 was formulated based on a consultative process. As a systematic process, all newly developed regional projects undergo an internal and external consultation process, including with all relevant internal departments.
4.4 Mainstream gender and other cross-cutting principles during Regional Programme Document and project formulation processes.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/02 Completed Gender, youth and South-South cooperation are among the guiding principles of new RPD. This will need to be sustained during individual project design Gender, youth and South-South cooperation are among the guiding principles of RPD 2018-2021. All individual regional projects complete the SESP, PQA for design, implementation and closure. All regional projects assess and include a gender marker per each Output. RRFs of all regional projects are reviewed for quality to ensure the indiators are not only SMART but also human-centrted and sex-disagregated where relevant.
5. Recommendation: Recommendation 5. With respect to technical and advisory services, the UNDP global policy bureaux and RBA should ensure an integrated strategy for the provision of a necessary range of regional advisory and technical support services to country offices. The management should monitor the effect of services provided by the regional advisers and take decisions based on the need for, and the efficacy of, support in helping country offices to realize development results.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

In close coordination with the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP), RBA/RSC has been strengthening and will continue to strengthen investment in the professional development of staff and improve its capacity to provide high-level advisory services to regional institutions and country offices.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Adjust the current business model for the Regional Service Centre to strengthen internal capacities and ensure efficient and focused support in priority areas to regional institutions and country offices.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2015/12 Completed A commitment outlined in new RPD and implementation started through ongoing Structural Review process The consultation process, which the RPD 2018-2021 and all regional projects underwent during design stages, ensures that the RSCA is able to identify early areas of support to AUC and RECs and provide this support through the implementation of the Regional Programme and individual regional projects.
5.2 Develop innovative ways to support collaboration between regional and global advisory functions that are demand driven and responsive to African needs and priorities.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2015/12 Completed A commitment outlined in new RPD and implementation started through ongoing Structural Review process The RPD itself is demand-driven—responding to specific requests for support raised during extensive consultations with regional and sub-regional bodies looking to formulate and implement initiatives across multiple countries, sub-regions, or the continent as a whole. Such regionalism is meant to boost Africa’s power globally. For example, the RPD 2018-2021 applies a sub-regional approach, recognizing the development needs of each sub-region demand a differentiated approach.
5.3 Develop innovative ways to support knowledge exchange between RBA Policy Advisers and global advisory functions to provide effective support to regional institutions and countries.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/12 Completed A commitment outlined in new RPD and implementation started through ongoing Structural Review process The implementation of the Regional Programme 2014-2017 ensured that knowledge exchange with all relevant internal and external stakeholders ensured that support provided to regional institutions and countries was effective, timely and most importantly, demand-driven
6. Recommendation: Recommendation 6. RBA, the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) and the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) should strengthen monitoring and follow-up by the regional service centre for learning, knowledge management and effectiveness.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

Response already initiated. Several knowledge products have been developed jointly with BDP, and efforts will be made to systematize the development of new knowledge-management products during the implementation of the new regional programme, 2014-2017, bearing in mind responsiveness to Africa?s needs and priorities. BCPR and BDP are already being consulted closely in the preparation of the new regional programme and RBA will continue to promote a cross-practice approach in the planning and implementation of regional projects and advisory services in support to more coherent and effective interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Develop a more systematic knowledge-management strategy that is responsive to Africa's needs, priorities and positive best practices.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/02/01]
Manager, RSC 2014/12 Completed To commence during project design. In line with this, one of the four outcomes of RPD addresses KM Documenting, communicating and sharing good practices and knowledge was among key lessons and areas identified for special attention in the Regional Programme 2014-2017 and its successor. The RP 2014-207 promoted the establishment of mechanisms to generate and share knowledge about development solutions. The development, publishing, and distribution of the Africa Human Development Report 2016 on Accelerating Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Africa is an example of this. Also, UNDP’s landmark study on the root causes of violent extremism attracted substantial attention from the global media. The report got hundreds of media mentions, reaching more than 450 million people. Led by the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, spaces and platforms where development issues can be debated, and solutions discussed, that can then be put forward to decision makers at the national, regional and continental levels was developed. The Maendeleo Policy Forum is one of the organization’s contributions to the search for workable solutions to new and persistent problems of developmental transformation and effectiveness in Africa. It provides space for African leaders, international mediators and negotiators, researchers, policy makers, development practitioners and writers on African issues, to dialogue and debate on critical issues of development in Africa. Between 2016 – 2017, six of such policy forums were held http://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/about-us/maendeleo-policy-forum.html
6.2 In project formulation for the new regional programme, give more attention to communicating and disseminating African knowledge products.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2017/12 Completed This is a commitment of the RP and to this end steps are underway to draft a stand-alone project that will address communications broadly UNDP results and thought leadership were amplified through several media outlets and journals in 2016 -2017. For example, “Africa’s Unique Vulnerability to Violent Extremism” has appeared in 12 publications in 9 countries, published in five languages and has been seen nearly two million times on social-media platforms. UNDP’s landmark study on the root causes of violent extremism attracted substantial attention from the global media. The Maendeleo Policy Forum is one of the organization’s contributions to the search for workable solutions to new and persistent problems of developmental transformation and effectiveness in Africa. It provides space for African leaders, international mediators and negotiators, researchers, policy makers, development practitioners and writers on African issues, to dialogue and debate on critical issues of development in Africa. Between 2016 – 2017, six of such policy forums were held. Other blogs success stories, reports also were amplified on UNDP’s corporate channels.
7. Recommendation: Recommendation 7. RBA, through the regional programme, should further enhance the development and dissemination of regional knowledge and knowledge products.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/05/23] [Last Updated: 2014/02/27]

Response already initiated. The new regional programme for 2014-2017 will be developed to give appropriate attention to the development and wide dissemination and use of African knowledge and knowledge products.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Design a knowledge-management and communication strategy that is responsive to regional needs and that seeks to capture and disseminate good practices in Africa.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/02/01]
Manager, RSC 2014/02 Completed As a commitment of the new RPD, the formulation of a KM and communications strategy will be a key component of the stand-alone project mentioned before under rec 6
7.2 Foster an organization-wide knowledge-management strategy that uses successful African pilot projects as the basis for scaling up global initiatives.
[Added: 2014/02/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/25]
Manager, RSC 2016/12 Completed Needs to be systematized and will be achieved using stand-alone project as the vehicle The RPD 2018-2021 was formulated following a rigorous consultation process, wheich also sevres as a future platform for knowledge and information-sharing, including where scaling-up of Afican projects can be implemented. SSC is integrated in the design of the RPD 2018-2021. To this end, the RP will promote SSC partnerships where the demand for development solutions will be met by offering solutions within all RP priority areas—promoting emerging African partners in the global development cooperation architecture.

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