Mitigating the Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Hosting Communities Mid-Term Evaluation Report

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Jordan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2016
Completion Date:
12/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Mitigating the Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Hosting Communities Mid-Term Evaluation Report
Atlas Project Number: 00072487
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Jordan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2017
Planned End Date: 12/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 6.1. From the humanitarian phase after crisis, early economic revitalization generates jobs and other environmentally sustainable livelihoods opportunities for crisis affected men and women
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
SDG Target
  • 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: C/S
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 14,800
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Nahla Hassan consultant nahla.hassan@outlook.com EGYPT
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: MoPIC, MoI, MoL
Countries: JORDAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

5.1 Relevance & Appropriateness

Mitigating the impact of Syrian Refugee Crisis on Host Communities (hereinafter HC project) was the first project to directly and predominantly target the host communities in Jordan. The project was designed to support the Jordanian government deal with the economic, environmental and social problems arising from the influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan. In this sense the project is fully in line with the objectives of UNDP and its vision and strategic directions.

HC project provided both policy and operational support to the government of Jordan. The HC project supported the development of laws to support social cohesion within Jordanian society and respect for the rule of law. In addition, the project supported the development of a Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) strategy to support national effort to address the phenomena. At the operational level, the programme provides grants to CBOs to foster social cohesion and re-integration of former extremists in the communities (to name a few actual and planned interventions). In parallel the project provided livelihoods opportunities and support to local municipal councils and service councils in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis. This holistic approach and interventions makes the project relevant to the context in which it operates.


Tag: Relevance Rule of law Operational Efficiency Strategic Positioning Refugees

2.

5.1 Relevance & Appropriateness

The HC project is directly relevant to the strategic and global objectives of UNDP which focus on livelihoods creation, basic service delivery, improved governance and trust, social cohesion, and enhanced community security. The main mission of UNDP is to support governments and provide technical assistance to alleviate poverty. Hence this project is directly relevant to the overall strategic objectives of UNDP.

According to UNDP staff and government officials interviewed during this evaluation, the programme successfully highlighted the importance of balancing relief support to refugees with providing support to the needy and ultra-poor within Jordanian host communities. This is in line with international practices that supports the treatment of refugees in the same manner as poor host community populations.

Interviewed government officials, both at the national and municipal levels, explained that the programme was timely and highly appropriate. They explained that the holistic approach adopted by UNDP, the involvement in the planning and the regular exchange makes the problem more relevant and appropriate to the local needs and priorities.


Tag: Relevance Security Technical Support Refugees

3.

5.1 Relevance & Appropriateness

The programme encompassed a strong element of capacity building for all involved stakeholders including the beneficiaries themselves. This dimension was highly relevant and needed by the stakeholders. It indicates that the programme design takes in consideration the local realities and focuses on addressing these challenges to increase relevance and potential impact.


Tag: Relevance Capacity Building

4.

5.1 Relevance & Appropriateness

Programme design (as will be discussed in section 5.2 of this report) has affected the relevance of the programme in the sense that several components were implemented in a holistic manner without creating the necessary linkages amongst them or between them. However, this is not to suggest that each programme component was not relevant. As will be discussed below, each component was relevant and timely in its own merit. However, the weakness of linkages amongst them affected the overall relevance and potential impact of the programme. The theory of change of the programme is to foster social cohesion and support the GoJ to mitigate the impact of the current crisis hence lining livelihoods and PVE would increase the relevance of the programme. For example referral system could be established between organisations working with ex-radicals and the livelihoods programme. Other examples could include developing counter narratives that promote livelihoods to support PVE and livelihoods.

The development of a strategy to prevent violent extremism (PVE) was named by the government as a highly-needed priority for Jordan. Representatives from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Culture interviewed explained that this intervention is timely and highly supportive of the Government of Jordan interventions in this regard.

 


Tag: Relevance Programme/Project Design Theory of Change Extremism

5.

Relevance & Appropriateness

Interviewed government and CSOs during the evaluation reiterated the importance of the programme. Government officials praised the timeliness and relevance of providing support to key infrastructure and environmental aspects of the crisis. The joint service council explained that the training and capacity building received by the programme was highly needed. Likewise, CSOs explained that the topics chosen for capacity building were relevant and much needed for the upgrading their skills and abilities.


Tag: Relevance Country Government Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs

6.

Relevance & Appropriateness

In an attempt to remain relevant and innovative, HC project introduced four different models for livelihood support to enable UNDP to build an appropriate text-book model for improving the living conditions for host communities. According to UNDP staff the livelihood interventions up to this point focused on testing different models through piloting and testing to develop a viable economic model that can be handed over to the government. This is a very relevant approach. The flexibility and agility of the livelihoods component and its focus on reviewing different models and engaging various stakeholders is highly commendable.


Tag: Relevance Innovation

7.

Relevance & Appropriateness

UNDP theory of change logic for this programme focuses on enhancing and supporting social cohesion within the communities mostly affected by the Syrian refugee crisis. As such, the programme works correctly targeted the locations and communities that received the bulk or was affected the most by Syrian presence. The selection of the project intervention sites is logical and relevant to the overall objectives of the programme. The project focuses on the northern parts of Jordan (Mafraq, Zarqa & Irbid) where most Syrian refugees reside and where the infrastructure is suffering the most. Hence the selection of the AlKeider dump fill to renovate is seen by stakeholders as relevant and timely.


Tag: Relevance Theory of Change Infrastructure Refugees

8.

Relevance & Appropriateness

The programme design places solid waste management (SWM) in the same pillar as PVE. The rational is that all these interventions support social cohesion and stability in Jordanian communities. Whereas logically this is a valid argument, however, the coherence of the programme is affected PVE is a large component and requires particular M&E systems to ensure that it is well monitored and reviewed as necessary to increase its potential impact.


Tag: Waste management Relevance Monitoring and Evaluation

9.

Relevance & Appropriateness

In sum, Mitigating the Effects of the Syrian Refugees on Host Communities in Jordan is a timely and appropriate programme/project. The HC project is relevant to all stakeholders interviewed during the course of the evaluation. The project adopted a holistic approach and successfully focused on building the capacity of government; support policy reform as well as operational practical interventions. In this manner, the project is relevant and appropriate to the development objectives and strategies of Jordan and UNDP.  Relevance and appropriateness can be increased by creating the necessary linkages amongst the different pillars of the programme and ensuring that outcome level indicators are developed and regularly reported against


Tag: Relevance

10.

5.2 Programme Design

The programme initially included three main pillars focusing on promoting livelihoods; support to local municipalities; and supporting aid coordination. The programme since its inception has grown to include various elements such as combating violent extremism and promoting social cohesion in the communities and promoting the rule of law through support for legal reform. Currently the programme has three main pillars livelihoods and employment, social cohesion and prevention of violent extremism, and support to municipalities and solid waste management The design of the programme is very broad. The broadness of the programme could be perceived as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it enables UNDP to capitalize on existing resources and mobilize others and on the other hand it affects its ability to focus on clear targets to achieve its goals. Improving the programme design entails creating the necessary linkages between the various components of the programme. Whereas support to livelihoods and support to municipalities are coherently and logically related, legal reform and combating PVE appears to be mismatched with the other two predominantly socio-economic components of the programme.


Tag: Waste management Rule of law Programme/Project Design Extremism Social cohesion

11.

5.2 Programme Design

This is not to suggest that at the onset the programme did not have clear objectives and strategies. Rather the objectives of the programme increased and became more diverse over the years. The coherence of the programme remains intact. However, in order to limit the confusion and increase performance it is important to create linkages wherever possible and to reduce interdependence of programmes that do not appear complimentary. For example, livelihoods, can bridge the logical link between support to municipalities and promoting social cohesion. The design of the implementation strategies will need to take this into account. In terms of legal reform, it will be important to in addition to supporting policies and legislations to combat violent extremism and rule of law, to also focus on developing appropriate policies to support micro-enterprise. For example, tax cuts for micro-enterprise or reduced administrative fees for registering businesses…etc. These interventions would increase the relevance and coherence of the programme and ensures that the design is contributing to achieving the overall programme goals.

 


Tag: Coherence Rule of law Programme/Project Design Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods

12.

5.2 Programme Design

The approach provides none-financial services to entrepreneurs enabling them to build viable businesses. The same thoughtful approach of building capacity prior to providing funds was adopted for other components of the programme. For example, the social cohesion component by providing CSOs with three months training to ensure their preparedness to manage funds and implement projects.  Another important model that the programme has adopted in the demand-driven vocational training. The vocational training curriculum, developed through the engagement of the business community and employers, is composed of vocational and soft skills training and on-the-job training with the aim to equip young women and men with market-driven skills and attitudes to improve their ability to transition to the workforce.

Figure 2 shows the distribution of vocational training and employment beneficiaries per sector over the period from 2013 to 2015. Female beneficiaries constituted around 61 percent compared to 39 males. Job placement rate reached around 90 percent. The design of the demand-driven vocational training and employment and the 3x6 approach has contributed to the achievement of goals. Whereas, one of the weaknesses of the micro-equity investment approach lies in adopting a design that may not have been appropriate to all target groups. It is rather too soon to review the skills-exchange programme.


Tag: Women's Empowerment Programme/Project Design Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Value Chain Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs

13.

5.2 Programme Design

Available project documents do not indicate that gender was specifically targeted in the project design. Nonetheless, it was a key implementation strategy of the programme. The programme implementation ensured equal opportunity for participation of women and men in the various activities. In addition, the programme ensured that traditional stereotypical roles of women were challenged in some communities leading to a sense of empowerment and acceptance of new gender roles in some communities in Jordan.

 


Tag: Challenges Gender Equality Programme/Project Design

14.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.1Progress to Date

According to available project documents, the project is progressing according to work plan with some delays in some components mainly related to PVE. However, in terms of livelihoods, social cohesion and solid waste management, the programme is progressing. One of the reasons for this delay include that the recruitment of a PVE specialist only occurred in April 2016. Other reasons include that the adoption of the PVE agenda only occurred in 2015 as well as government changes.


Tag: Waste management Effectiveness Social cohesion

15.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.1Progress to Date

The programme conducted several studies to ensure the effectiveness of the targeted interventions. This is particularly the case for the livelihood interventions where the project implemented four different schemes to enable the inclusion of wide number of beneficiaries.

As previously discussed, the project focused on building viable economic approaches that can be positively contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of vulnerable Jordanians. UNDP introduced the multifaceted 3x6 approach as an alternative emergency employment model with stronger emphasis on effectiveness and potential sustainability of income generation activities. The approach also encompasses a strong community services component that aims to strengthen citizen-state relationship and support the programme’s overall focus on promoting social cohesion. It is worth noting that the community service activities respond to immediate needs identified by the local communities.


Tag: Effectiveness Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods

16.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.1Progress to Date

According to interviewed government and donor stakeholders in Jordan, the rehabilitation of the Al-Ekeidar landfill is one of the key achievements of the programme. The support comes as part of the support to and collaboration with the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs. In addition to the rehabilitation and upgrading of the landfill, the programme provided support to 36 municipalities of the Governorates of Mafraq and Irbid enabling them to conduct community outreach, identify and prioritize the community needs, and plan and implement local development projects. In addition to rehabilitating the largest landfill in the northern of Jordan along with the transfer stations, the programme intends to link livelihoods with municipality support through support to   composting and waste bank development. UNDP is also advocating for improved working conditions and increased protection and welfare of waste pickers.


Tag: Waste management Effectiveness Country Government Reconstruction

17.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.1Progress to Date

In terms of activities related to social cohesion and PVE, the programme is rather large and many activities have been carried out. UNDP staff reported during the evaluation the completion of The Conflict Development Analysis maps to identify the root causes of conflicts and instabilities in host communities. The maps were developed in five Governorates Mafraq, Irbid, Zarqa, Ma’an and Tafileh, and a Community Cohesion Grant Mechanism has been established to fund 130 CBOs to implement quick interventions and projects at high tension areas. At mid-term 186 persons representing 34 CBOs had received prior to receiving the grants a detailed 3-months training programme to build their capacities and enable them to successfully implement the activities of their grants. Within the same pillar, the programme partnered with the government to develop the national strategy for preventing violent extremism. According to project documents, the HC project has also concluded agreements with several relevant institutions to work on counter narrative to prevent violent extremism and implementing different programmes targeting youth in the area of countering and preventing violent extremism.


Tag: Effectiveness Extremism Social cohesion Capacity Building Youth

18.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.2 Effectiveness of Implementation Strategies

UNDP developed a highly commendable implementation strategies. The focus of the programme was to increase coordination and participation with stakeholders. Accordingly, UNDP developed implementation strategies that were highly participatory of the GoJ. Municipality needs assessment were conducted in a participatory manner. In addition, the programme adopted a “scientific” implementation logic to support capacity building of CSOs, conducting needs assessment, developing adequate selection criteria for beneficiaries among other well-studied implementation approaches. This systematic approach ensured a high level of effectiveness of programme interventions

The selection criteria of livelihood beneficiaries were very positively received by stakeholders and partner organization. During the evaluation, partners explained that they were very satisfied with the level of coordination and support they received from the programme. They explained that whenever needed some criteria of eligibility were revised to respond to local needs. For example, based on the recommendations from stakeholders, the programme agreed to include unemployed university graduates in the 3x6 approach which was initially not envisaged..


Tag: Effectiveness Results-Based Management Capacity Building Coordination Civil Societies and NGOs

19.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.2 Effectiveness of Implementation Strategies

The programme focus on integrity and efficiency is commendable. However, the selection of service providers for the provision of none-financial services to beneficiaries requires re-assessment. It is not sufficient to select an organization based on the price only (procurement procedures). Rather, some organizations could be treated as partners due to their track record and feedback from beneficiaries. It is also important to consider other factors such as ability of an organization to work with the poor and ultra-poor. For example, Migrate seem very organized with clear ideas and approaches. Whether they will be able to support 3x6 approach beneficiaries remains to be seen. Whether they speak the same language and understand the same culture requires careful monitoring to increase effectiveness. The regular change of partners is reducing the effectiveness of the programme as lessons learned from one location are not easily transferred to other locations. The selection process of service providers/partners requires a re-examination.


Tag: Effectiveness Partnership Policies & Procedures Procurement Service delivery

20.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.2 Effectiveness of Implementation Strategies

The programme developed adequate selection criteria for beneficiates of the livelihood interventions. The selection criteria for the beneficiaries of this pillar is the same accordingly, it isn’t clear why then attempt to implement 4 different intervention livelihoods approaches. This issue was discussed with UNDP management and they explained that the focus was on designing a model. Trying to figure out what works best in which context to present a viable model and not just a “text-book” model with no relation to the local context. Based on this approach for example, the Micro-Equity Investment Approach was discontinued and new approaches are currently being investigated. This include for example, building a relationship with the national microfinance bank to support graduates of the 3x6 approach of those opting to start their businesses after the demand-driven vocational training. The revision of the logic is commendable and is an effective management tool that will improve programme outcomes.

Jordan enjoys a high literacy rate in comparison to the region. However, it is important to recognize that although participants can read and write, yet some of the training topics they receive through the 3x6 approach does not differentiate between the various levels of education and exposure. To increase effectiveness and impact of the programme the duration of Phase II of the 3x6 approach should be expanded and a differentiation in the level of participants attending the same sessions should also be considered. In addition, support to local CSOs to provide ongoing support to newly established businesses (particularly those spearheaded by women) could also promote the effectiveness of the livelihoods interventions.


Tag: Effectiveness Results-Based Management

21.

5.3 Effectiveness

5.3.2 Effectiveness of Implementation Strategies

The implementation strategy adopted for the social cohesion component and addressing violent extremism focused on building partnerships with a wide spectrum of stakeholders to ensure the ownership of the process and of the PVE strategy. Effectiveness of the programme was enhanced by ensuring that the group of CBOs (34 at the time of the evaluation) are well trained and synthesized regarding project implementation. The programme can enhance the focus on social cohesion and fighting extremism by supporting CSOs/CBOs in recognizing the causes of conflict within their communities and developing project that directly address these root causes of conflict. There are some selected projects that may not be directly relevant to the overall objective of the component namely increasing social cohesion and preventing violent extremism. It is worth noting that UNDP does not concur with this finding. The logic of the programme is that any project will lead to social cohesion and PVE. The logic of this approach should be examined during the finale evaluation to ensure validity of the theory.

The development of the PVE strategy was conducted in an effective manner where the focus on holding consultations with a wide range of stakeholders to build common understanding regarding the manner to combat PVE. The strategy recognizes the different drivers of PVE while also addressing the manners in which PVE can be addressed. The effectiveness of the process should be complemented by ensuring that roles and responsibilities of the various actors are clearly defined and that a holistic monitoring and evaluation system is in place to support the regular review of progress and achievements at the outcome levels. The programme also supported the GoJ in developing a legal aid law and alternative dispute resolutions policies. The programme partners with a strong and highly effective royal NGO that has the potential to render support for the adoption of the law. The programme also reviewed the arbitration and mediation laws that complement the holistic approach of supporting social cohesion through improving access to justice. Access to justice was not without its challenges as will be discussed in section 5.3.3.


Tag: Effectiveness Rule of law Monitoring and Evaluation Ownership Partnership Results-Based Management Extremism Social cohesion Civil Societies and NGOs

22.

 5.4  Implementation Challenges

The HC project faced a series of implementation challenges many of which could not be envisaged by the programme at the onset. one of the key challenges is the type of funding available to the programme. The HC programme started with support from the Japanese government in 2012 and has since expanded to be supported by 7 different donors. These funds are “emergency funds” as such, the programme needs to spend the allocated funds in 12 to 18 months’ maximum. This affects the effectiveness of implementation and forces the programme to be focused on delivering results and numbers of beneficiaries as opposed to focus on impact, outcome and quality of interventions.

The expansion of the programme over the course of the last 3-4 years from USD 4 million seed und from the Government of Japan in 2012 to a cumulative USD 48 million from 7 different donors including the Government of Canada, the Government of Kuwait, Swiss Development Cooperation, Finland and RDPP/DANIDA. In addition to funding from other UN agencies such as UN Women, WFP, World Bank, OCHA, and UNDP own funds. The expansion of the programme within the “emergency” nature increased the pressure on UNDP to deliver. UNDP is highly commended for being able to coordinate all the available funds in an effective manner. Effectiveness could be increased by reviewing the initial programme document and aligning it with all the new activities carried out. Whereas it is recognized that the funds are mainly emergency and hence it is hard to anticipate the amount of resources, yet it is important that the programme develops some holistic strategic objectives with clear expected outputs and outcomes measurable by SMART indicators. This will enable UNDP to use a regular M&E system to inform management decisions and increase effectiveness of interventions.


Tag: Challenges Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation UN Agencies

23.

 5.4  Implementation Challenges

Whereas the administrative challenges are well recognized by the evaluation, yet the programme should be careful not to increase stigma against refugees by linking a programme focusing on addressing the impact of a refugee crisis with combating violent extremism. Funds for PVE and social cohesion warrant a stand-alone project. Alternatively, careful disassociation between refugees and PVE should be consistently made to ensure that it is not used to discriminate or stigmatize refugees in the country.

In addition to the growing Syrian Refugee crisis and the spillover effects of the Arab Spring, the programme needed to also address the skepticism of government vis a vis CSOs; the weakness of the CSO sector in Jordan in general as well as the bureaucratic process to receive acceptance for new project (whether UNDP or CSOs from MOSD). The programme focused on bridging the gap between government and CSOs to build trust between the different partners. UNDP successfully leveraged the credibility and acceptance they enjoy from the different stakeholders (government, donors, and CSOs) to build a platform of support amongst them to increase effectiveness of the programme.


Tag: Challenges Operational Efficiency Partnership Country Government Donor Civil Societies and NGOs Refugees

24.

 5.4  Implementation Challenges

The events of the Arab Spring affected Jordan in the number of cabinet reshuffles and disolution of parliament and the subsequent new election. Many of these events entailed also changes in ministers and ministers’ advisors which affects the progress of the programme. Despite these challenges that are beyond the control of UNDP, the programme successfully established good and strong working relationships within the various line ministries enabling the programme to face minimal delays in implementation. In addition, programme staff are well positioned to navigate the sensitive issues that these changes resulted in.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis increased donors’ interest in supporting the government of Jordan. This also lead to increased activities taking place by various donors in the same areas thus creating a situation of “funding fatigue” or “funding shopping” by local communities. The programme had to present viable support beyond trainings and workshops to ensure the regular engagement of both government and communities alike.


Tag: Challenges Gender Mainstreaming Change Management Donor relations Country Government

25.

5.4  Implementation Challenges

Regarding livelihoods, what is the impact beyond emergency employment? It is important not to overstate the possible achievements. Livelihoods without policy review or reform (tax cuts for these types of micro-businesses for example) will not be sustainable. The programme could increase effectiveness by reviewing and aligning the different objectives of the different components.

The selection criteria for beneficiaries benefiting from the Micro-venture capital was not very effective. UNDP staff explained that each of the livelihoods interventions require different targeting and selection criteria. Whereas some interventions are appropriate for people with basic education, others – such as the micro equity investment approach, requires higher levels of education and expertise. In addition, according to the beneficiaries the training received to develop their businesses was not sufficient. The oversight of UNDP to ensure do-no harm could have been better positioned. For example, newly established businesses did not fully understand the implications of registering their businesses on the short and long terms.  The requirement of formalization of businesses should be re-considered. It should not be the starting point, but it should be promoted for sure but not enforced.


Tag: Challenges Policies & Procedures Education Value Chain

26.

5.5 Efficiency

5.5.1 Managing Partnerships

Interviews conducted during the course of the evaluation with relevant stakeholders indicate that UNDP has successfully built sound and strong partnerships at various levels to ensure efficiency of interventions. The participatory implementation strategies adopted by UNDP has increased the efficiency of the programme.

UNDP was commended by all interviewed stakeholders for the high level of coordination and flexibility and focus on building partnerships with all stakeholders. Interviewed donors during the evaluation explained that they were very satisfied with the reporting and responsiveness of UNDP to requests for information and for the quality of work. Few commented on the reporting explain that they prefer that reporting be done against objectives and indicators. Nonetheless, donors believed that UNDP is highly capable and a serious partner in development in Jordan.


Tag: Efficiency Partnership Coordination Civil Societies and NGOs

27.

5.5 Efficiency

5.5.2 Programme Management & Structure

The HC project has a clear management structure. The programme is overseen by a programme analyst. Staffing includes two specialists; one responsible for livelihoods interventions with support from 4 staff members. The second specialist is responsible for local governance and is supposed to be supported by 9 staff members. However, the available organigram provided during the evaluation shows that this pillar has 3 available vacancies one of which is the vacancy of an Access to Justice Officer. The programme also includes an operations manager and 4 admin support staff and 4 drivers the project also has 7 field officers following up on all components in the field. The biggest component of the programme is the local governance covering PVE and social cohesion, access to justice and Solid waste management. Management structure is clear with staff aware of roles and responsibilities. Staff is perhaps the biggest asset of the project. Staff turnover has been relatively limited allowing for sustained review of interventions. available staff is well positioned programmatically to ensure high commitment of various stakeholders. Each section meets regularly to ensure consistency and senior staff meetings for coordination and planning purposes occur regularly.


Tag: Efficiency Local Governance Oversight Project and Programme management

28.

5.5 Efficiency

5.5.2 Programme Management & Structure

 The management of the project could be enhanced by developing a comprehensive M&E system. Monitoring and evaluation functions refer to systematic data collection against indicators identified in the logical framework of the project and ensuring systematic reporting against indicators. M&E functions documents progress and challenges and could also assess impact of project interventions. In that sense, M&E is not available in project activities to date. However, this is not to suggest that some basic M&E activities are taking place. The project does not have a monitoring system beyond the development of the logical framework. There is no evidence to suggest that ample attention is afforded to monitoring and evaluation functions for the programme. The programme focuses on conducting studies to review the progress and impact of the interventions which cannot be said to be sufficient. Due to the importance of M&E function in the effectiveness and efficiency of project implementation cannot be overstated. As such, a specialized manager should assume the functions and develop programme specific tools to ensure effective and efficient reporting on project indicators. Indicators should reflect the overall rational of interventions, measure progress against targets and support the theory of change of the programme.


Tag: Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management

29.

5.5 Efficiency

5.5.2 Programme Management & Structure

Reporting to the donor(s) is done regularly either through a holistic report sent to all donors or by specific reports sent to donors. The reporting format should be revised to give a clear indication of progress against indicators  For example some of the interviewed donors during the course of the evaluation explained that they worked with UNDP to develop the reporting mechanism and ensure that reporting is done against indicators. This could be done across the programme and not only when requested by donors.

As previously discussed the type of funding that is available to the programme is emergency funding which is usually up to 12 months. According to the reviewed budget of 2016, by the end of December 2016, the project burn rate was 90.07%. Progress in all project components indicate good progress except for the Women Economic Empowerment component with implementation rate was at 21% at the end of December 2016. However, there were committed funds at the time of the evaluation that would make the burn rate of this component reach 44%.  According to UNDP staff this rate was likely to increase as grants are disbursed to CSOs working on social cohesion.


Tag: Efficiency Women's Empowerment Donor relations Project and Programme management Social cohesion

30.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.1 Achievements to Date

One of the key changes that the programme helped establish is to increase donor attention to supporting host communities in Jordan. The focus on mitigating the impact of Syrian refugee crisis while supporting the refugees themselves was a responsible response from UNDP. This approach of recognizing the pressure faced by host communities and attempting to address it afforded UNDP a high level of credibility vis a vis all relevant stakeholders.

 Mitigating the impact of Syrian refugee Crisis on Host community has to date successfully implemented various activities that suggest that the programme has resulted in positive change in the lives of partners and beneficiaries alike. Most notably the expected resulted of the rehabilitation of El-Akeider are expected to have wide reach an impact. Donors and government officials explained that the pressure on the landfill was a serious health and environmental hazard. The rehabilitation of the landfill, training of the JSC and upgrading of the transfer stations are expected to have a positive impact for the communities living in neighboring areas.


Tag: Impact Country Government Donor Reconstruction Refugees

31.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.1 Achievements to Date

The attempts to improve the working conditions of waste pickers is highly appreciated by the donor and is appropriate for UNDP. However, discussions with the members of the JSC interviewed during the evaluation indicate that they do not see a role for themselves in ensuring the rights and the appropriate working conditions for waste pickers. In order to promote the impact and potential sustainability of this important intervention, JSC members should be synthetized regarding their role and obligation towards the waste pickers even if hired by an external contractor.

 


Tag: Waste management Sustainability

32.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.1 Achievements to Date

The trainings and capacity building activities carried out by the programme whether targeting government at the municipal or national levels and the support and training programme provided to CBOs is highly appreciated by those receiving the training. CSOs explained that their skills have been enhanced by this training. JSC staff explained that they were introduced to new topics and new approaches that will improve their work performance.


Tag: Sustainability Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs

33.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.1 Achievements to Date

The programme has successfully altered perceptions about women role in communities. The programme supported the involvement of women in labor intensive cash-for-work schemes which has changed the perceptions of both women and men within the community concerning gender roles. The focus on providing services to local municipalities has also improved the relationship between citizens and municipalities. According to a municipality mayor interviewed during the evaluation, the programme supported building a level of trust between the municipality and the community. This has made the community more interested in participating in municipality activities.


Tag: Impact Gender Equality

34.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.1 Achievements to Date

According to UNDP documents, livelihood interventions have increased household incomes. According to interviewed beneficiaries, this statement is true however, the degree to which this increase has affected all beneficiaries cannot be established for lack of M&E data. UNDP explained that a beneficiary database is currently being developed and there are plans to conduct impact assessments in the future. Available documents indicate that the total number of beneficiaries of the 3x6 approach reached 739 beneficiaries in May 2016. Of those 333 beneficiaries moved to the second phase and became entrepreneurs according to UNDP.

A recent study commissioned by UNDP regarding the impact of the livelihoods programme (shared with the evaluation team after field work) indicate that a total of 371 income generating projects businesses have created a total of 708 job opportunities. Only 10 businesses were reported to hire more than 4 employees, and around 80% of the surveyed businesses hire a maximum of two individuals.  Of the created jobs, 56% went to females, and 99% to Jordanian citizens.  76% of the beneficiaries with income-generating projects reported being the sole owner of the business, and the remaining 24% reported having 1 and 2 other partners.  For all but one beneficiary, those partners were also beneficiaries of UNDP’s 3x6 programs.  Of important significance is the review of the additional income reported by the survey. According to the results presented by the survey, the projects bring in on average 163.7 JOD per beneficiary per month: 25% of the businesses make less than 100 JOD per month, 60% of the businesses make a maximum of 150 JOD per month and 95% of the businesses make up to 350 JOD per month for the beneficiary.  The total amount generated by the interviewed businesses, on average, was reported to be 60,745 JOD each month.  Micro-Venture capital-supported businesses are a little larger (average of 2.5 employees vs. 1.7 employees for 3x6 approach -supported business) and generated a 73% higher average monthly income than 3x6 approach beneficiaries. The survey does not indicate whether these figures are additional income or sole income of the households. Regarding the demand-driven vocational training, UNDP reports that the total number of beneficiaries in 2015 reached 261.

 


Tag: Sustainability Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Trade and Development Value Chain

35.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.1 Achievements to Date

It is also relevant to point out that some beneficiaries believed that the financial training was not sufficient, some were concerned with the legal obligations, some complained from lack of support from one of the service providers Ruwwad. Others explained that the training was sufficient. This could be attributed to age and education. Nonetheless, it is important to point out that the recently commissioned UNDP study referenced above indicate that on average, the Micro-Equity Investment Approach beneficiary’s households had 15% higher average monthly income than 3x6 approach beneficiaries (old intake), and 38% higher than demand-driven vocational training beneficiaries and the new intake of 3x6 approach beneficiaries.  This confirms earlier findings and statements made by UNDP staff that the selection criteria of this particular approach require adjustment. The same report indicate that Micro-Equity Investment Approach beneficiaries reported being better off than did the 3x6 and demand driven vocational training beneficiaries; and this could be attributed to the targeting of the programs where 3x6 and  VT&E target households and individuals more vulnerable to living in poverty, including women and youth.  Micro-Equity Investment Approach beneficiaries are older in age, more likely to be heads of households, have more years of work experience, and are less likely to receive welfare.  3x6  beneficiaries are 3 times more likely to be female-headed  than Micro-Equity Investment Approach beneficiaries and 5 times more likely to have received cash assistance in the last 12 months. 


Tag: Challenges Sustainability Human and Financial resources Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

36.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.2 Potential for Sustainability

HC project is mostly funded through emergency funds received by various donors. Accordingly, the duration of each project cycle does not go beyond 18 months at best. This makes it rather difficult to address issues of sustainability. However, in light of the protracted nature of the Syrian refugee crisis, it is important to consider sustainability even within a seemingly “emergency” programme.


Tag: Efficiency Sustainability Donor

37.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.2 Potential for Sustainability

Many (if not all) HC project interventions have good potential for sustainability. At the moment, the programme does not have an exit strategy with clear milestones for handing over some activities to the government. For example the coordination of development aid should eventually be handed over to the government along with the management of the El-Akeider landfill. However, plans to do so do not appear to have been developed. Nonetheless, it is important to point out that the capacity building of relevant staff at the different ministries is ongoing within the programme in preparation for handing over some activities to the government. This could be supported by developing handing over plans including arrangements for transitional phases to ensure sustainability.


Tag: Sustainability Project and Programme management Capacity Building Coordination National Institutions

38.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.2 Potential for Sustainability

The programme focused participatory approaches and focus on creating local ownership of interventions will increase the potential for sustainability. This is particularly the case of the solid waste management and the eventual implementation of the PVE strategy and other social cohesion activities.


Tag: Waste management Sustainability Ownership

39.

  5.6   Impact & Sustainability

5.6.2 Potential for Sustainability

Contribution to justice reform through the drafting of laws (legal aid/arbitration/mediation) although not endorsed yet by GoJ is considered but a step in the right track. When adopted and implemented could also lead to sustainability in access to justice for poor communities in Jordan.

Sustainability of livelihood interventions particularly of the skills-exchange scheme should be carefully examined to ensure absence of tensions in the different communities. The sustainability of the livelihoods components is determined by many factors that are beyond UNDP control. As such, setting some realistic targets and indicators to measure progress is needed.


Tag: Sustainability Rule of law

Recommendations
1

Reconsider the various pillars. For example, PVE needs to be a standalone programme that is not related to the resilience of host communities.

2

Link PVE and livelihood interventions. Linkages between and amongst project components appear missing at this stage as a result of the absence of a coherent M&E.

3

Developing a 5-year emergency strategic intervention plan that builds on UNDP expertise over the coming years and the number of studies conducted. This plan should have objectives, expected outputs, and indicators. This will facilitate coordination within UNDP. Consider holding a retreat to revise the programme’ s logical framework and develop appropriate and relevant indicators and reporting mechanisms.

4

Consider promoting CSR and livelihoods within Al-Hassan industrial zone. This can take the form of study tours to promote recycling and/or green activities that would help reduce the pressure on Elakaider as well as promote sustainable livelihoods and the environment.

5

Consider unifying the definitions of Social Cohesion (some believe it to be Jordanian-Jordanian others Jordanian-Syrian). Provide additional support to CSOs in designing and developing programmes for social cohesion.

6
  • Invest sufficient time building the exit strategy. This will ensure better chances of sustainability.
  • Linking gender and livelihoods with recycling is a key priority for Canada that UNDP can tap into.
7

Advocate for policy change for micro-enterprise. This can include tax deductions, administrative fee exemptions for registering businesses and other none-financial support to encourage entrepreneurship in Jordan.

1. Recommendation:

Reconsider the various pillars. For example, PVE needs to be a standalone programme that is not related to the resilience of host communities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

PVE is linked to the pillars based on the fact that the resources allocated by the donor are crisis response financial support. Apart from that, the PVE is a stand-alone pillar.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Link PVE and livelihood interventions. Linkages between and amongst project components appear missing at this stage as a result of the absence of a coherent M&E.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

The Country Office is establishing linkages between the different components, especially as the CO will start implementing the new CPD in 2018, where all programme pillars are connected.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Developing a 5-year emergency strategic intervention plan that builds on UNDP expertise over the coming years and the number of studies conducted. This plan should have objectives, expected outputs, and indicators. This will facilitate coordination within UNDP. Consider holding a retreat to revise the programme’ s logical framework and develop appropriate and relevant indicators and reporting mechanisms.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

The CO has already started the coordination exercise and revisited the logical framework.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Consider promoting CSR and livelihoods within Al-Hassan industrial zone. This can take the form of study tours to promote recycling and/or green activities that would help reduce the pressure on Elakaider as well as promote sustainable livelihoods and the environment.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

Although this is a good recommendation, this might be considered in another phase of the programme, as the current scope and funds do not cover this.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Consider unifying the definitions of Social Cohesion (some believe it to be Jordanian-Jordanian others Jordanian-Syrian). Provide additional support to CSOs in designing and developing programmes for social cohesion.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

Done

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:
  • Invest sufficient time building the exit strategy. This will ensure better chances of sustainability.
  • Linking gender and livelihoods with recycling is a key priority for Canada that UNDP can tap into.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

Exit strategy already started. 

A new project to support gender and livelihoods has already been supported by Canada.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Advocate for policy change for micro-enterprise. This can include tax deductions, administrative fee exemptions for registering businesses and other none-financial support to encourage entrepreneurship in Jordan.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/09] [Last Updated: 2021/01/09]

This will be considered during the next phase of support throughout the new CPD

Key Actions:

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