Final Evaluation of Aid for Trade project Phase I (Output II)

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Evaluation Plan:
2011-2013, RBEC
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
08/2011
Completion Date:
07/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
11,860

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Title Final Evaluation of Aid for Trade project Phase I (Output II)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2013, RBEC
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2011
Planned End Date: 08/2011
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Policies, strategies and partnerships established to enhance public-private sector collaboration and private sector and market development that benefit the poor and ensure that low-income households and small enterprises have access to a broad range of financial and legal services
Evaluation Budget(US $): 11,860
Source of Funding: Non-core (Government of Finland)
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Aleksandr Grushevsky "GEO Consulting" Co.
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP BRC and COs, Government of Finland
Location of Evaluation: Regional
Countries: KAZAKHSTANKYRGYZSTANTAJIKISTAN
Comments: Evaluation conducted by BRC, with involvement of COs
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 To ensure more active participation of local experts in the base-line assessment and ensure a full applicability of recommended interventions to local conditions
2 At the project design stage, considering local developmental priorities and needs, to take a managerial decision regarding interventions? focus: geographic concentration vs. widespread activities; focus on leaders vs. focus on disadvantaged; priority target groups. To consider expansion of project?s activities to the leading local companies with a bigger export potential to promote links with them of local suppliers to support local clusters.
3 While planning business services provision to consider the situation in the local market, to consult key existing actors in the field with an aim to find solutions not undermining efforts of the local business services providers, to deliver free/subsidised services to target social groups and geographic areas currently underserved with local companies/NGOs.
4 To foresee for the later stages of the project more capacity building interventions for the public sector.
5 While considering project activities for the later stages, to foresee more attention to the public-private dialogue facilitation with its possible institutionalisation.
6 For critical developmental situations, provision of grants to initiate income generation could be recommended.
7 This seasonality should be considered for planning of project activities targeting stakeholders and beneficiaries in agriculture and agribusiness.
8 To consider the idea of supporting the organization of a trade information center in Semey operating as a result of combined contribution of private, public and civic sectors
9 Better-focused training sessions and more homogeneous groups could be recommended for training and information sharing sessions for the upcoming project?s activities.
10 For future project interventions, training modules focused on business skills development may be recommended; the target audience for this specific training could be represented by the business/farmer associations? leaders, SMEs in agribusiness, local wholesalers and transportation companies.
11 Depending on the ethno-linguistic situation in the target areas, the local languages should be actively used in various project activities.
12 For the later stages of the project, to re-assess the media channels used and to expand media coverage to the channels popular with the target groups.
13 To ensure more transparency in selecting beneficiaries, especially, in such sensitive areas as issuing grants or providing subsidized loans.
14 To strengthen cooperation and information sharing within UNDP and with other UN agencies: ILO, for example, could provide well structured basic business skills development training, as well as Get Ahead course (Gender and Entrepreneurship Together), designed specifically for women-entrepreneurs; UNDP implemented a series of projects promoting green technologies and approaches to local development, including those in Eastern Kazakhstan, and this experience could be useful for AfT purposes, etc.
15 To ensure continuation of a good project management and good practices sharing within the AfT PT, the existing system of intra-project communication could be supported with additional measures and tools (depending on the budget limits and available resources), including: ? 1 week-long on-site consultations provided on a regular basis (for instance, semi-annually) by the Project management and international experts ? AfT knowledge and experience-sharing sessions organized for the field personnel Exposure of the PT to the wider developmental agenda of UNDP, etc.
1. Recommendation: To ensure more active participation of local experts in the base-line assessment and ensure a full applicability of recommended interventions to local conditions
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include more local experts in assessments for phase II
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC & respective COs 2011/09 Completed
2. Recommendation: At the project design stage, considering local developmental priorities and needs, to take a managerial decision regarding interventions? focus: geographic concentration vs. widespread activities; focus on leaders vs. focus on disadvantaged; priority target groups. To consider expansion of project?s activities to the leading local companies with a bigger export potential to promote links with them of local suppliers to support local clusters.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
During design of the phase II, the project activities will target the groups identified through needs assessments within priority geographical areas.
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC & COs 2011/10 Completed
3. Recommendation: While planning business services provision to consider the situation in the local market, to consult key existing actors in the field with an aim to find solutions not undermining efforts of the local business services providers, to deliver free/subsidised services to target social groups and geographic areas currently underserved with local companies/NGOs.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19] [Last Updated: 2013/09/19]

UNDP partially accepts this recommendation. This refers to the microfinance loans and capacity development activities. The author highlights that these activities create market distortions. The microfinance loans do not work on a profitable basis allowing them to offer cheaper loans to farmers. The projects perspective is that the activity endeavours to create access to financial means. Farmers would otherwise not have access to loans in Tajikistan because they are too expensive and in Kazakhstan because farmers cattle and land cannot be used as collateral. With regards to the trainings, the author finds that by providing free trainings for the farmers and entrepreneur community, the project discourages the establishment of pay for service mentality. In Batken, currently no company exists that could provide these services. In both Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, the project used well established IPs that provides these services, thereby supporting local companies. In addition, the trainings were very often highlighted as being unique and targeting actual needs of the clients. The fact remains, that our target audience (both from the private and public sector) can mostly not afford paying for trainings. (Written response provided by BRC project manager on the 03.08.2011)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will try to work with private sector entities to identify possibilities of collaboration.
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC & respective COs 2012/05 Completed
4. Recommendation: To foresee for the later stages of the project more capacity building interventions for the public sector.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19] [Last Updated: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Under phase II, the project will have more capacity building activities for the public sector
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/05 Completed
5. Recommendation: While considering project activities for the later stages, to foresee more attention to the public-private dialogue facilitation with its possible institutionalisation.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation. The project is planning to further support this public-private sector dialogue under phase II.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project is planning to further support this public-private sector dialogue under phase II.
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC and respective COs 2012/05 Completed
6. Recommendation: For critical developmental situations, provision of grants to initiate income generation could be recommended.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project plans to implement grants under phase II
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/05 Completed
7. Recommendation: This seasonality should be considered for planning of project activities targeting stakeholders and beneficiaries in agriculture and agribusiness.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation. During designing and planning of an intervention the seasonality will be considered.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This has been one of our main lessons learned in 2010. This lesson has been disseminated to the new countries under phase II.
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC & respective COs 2011/12 Completed
8. Recommendation: To consider the idea of supporting the organization of a trade information center in Semey operating as a result of combined contribution of private, public and civic sectors
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19] [Last Updated: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project is supporting under phase II the establishment of the SME Service Center in the oblast capital, as well as a network of 13 focal-points in the regions.
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/05 Completed
9. Recommendation: Better-focused training sessions and more homogeneous groups could be recommended for training and information sharing sessions for the upcoming project?s activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19] [Last Updated: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This recommendation will be disseminated as lessons learned to our new countries under phase II.
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/05 Completed
10. Recommendation: For future project interventions, training modules focused on business skills development may be recommended; the target audience for this specific training could be represented by the business/farmer associations? leaders, SMEs in agribusiness, local wholesalers and transportation companies.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19] [Last Updated: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will integrate these recommendations in its AWPs for phase II
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/05 Completed
11. Recommendation: Depending on the ethno-linguistic situation in the target areas, the local languages should be actively used in various project activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP partially accepts this recommendation: Under phase I, the project tried to identify trainers speaking the local language. However, there seems to exist a discrepancy in some countries where trainers prefer to speak Russian instead of the local language. Under phase II, the project will increase its efforts in this matter.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will reinforce its efforts to find native speakers where possible
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC & respective COs 2012/06 Completed
12. Recommendation: For the later stages of the project, to re-assess the media channels used and to expand media coverage to the channels popular with the target groups.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This recommendations will be integrated in the AWP of phase II
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC & respective COs 2011/12 Completed
13. Recommendation: To ensure more transparency in selecting beneficiaries, especially, in such sensitive areas as issuing grants or providing subsidized loans.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP partially accepts this recommendation: This refers to the microfinance activities in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. As noted on page 39 of this report, the process as such was transparent. The project needs to increase its efforts to also make this transparency visible to the greater public. In all cases, the project publicly advertised the availability of financial support (loans and grant). Selection of the beneficiary was through committees representing different stakeholders. (Written response provided by BRC project manager on the 03.08.2011)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
N/A
[Added: 2013/09/19]
2011/01 No Longer Applicable
14. Recommendation: To strengthen cooperation and information sharing within UNDP and with other UN agencies: ILO, for example, could provide well structured basic business skills development training, as well as Get Ahead course (Gender and Entrepreneurship Together), designed specifically for women-entrepreneurs; UNDP implemented a series of projects promoting green technologies and approaches to local development, including those in Eastern Kazakhstan, and this experience could be useful for AfT purposes, etc.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will liaise more with relevant UN agencies and will integrate this recommendation in the AWP for phase II
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/02 Completed
15. Recommendation: To ensure continuation of a good project management and good practices sharing within the AfT PT, the existing system of intra-project communication could be supported with additional measures and tools (depending on the budget limits and available resources), including: ? 1 week-long on-site consultations provided on a regular basis (for instance, semi-annually) by the Project management and international experts ? AfT knowledge and experience-sharing sessions organized for the field personnel Exposure of the PT to the wider developmental agenda of UNDP, etc.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/19]

UNDP accepts this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will integrate this recommendation in the AWP for phase II
[Added: 2013/09/19]
BRC/COs 2012/02 Completed

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