Assessment of Development Results: Somalia

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2015
Completion Date:
12/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
160,000

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Title Assessment of Development Results: Somalia
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2015
Planned End Date: 12/2015
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
  • 2. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
  • 3. Output 1.5. Inclusive and sustainable solutions adopted to achieve increased energy efficiency and universal modern energy access (especially off-grid sources of renewable energy)
  • 4. Output 2.1. Parliaments, constitution making bodies and electoral institutions enabled to perform core functions for improved accountability, participation and representation, including for peaceful transitions
  • 5. Output 3.1. Core functions of government enabled (in post conflict situations) to ensure national ownership of recovery and development processes
  • 6. Output 4.1. Country led measures accelerated to advance women's economic empowerment
Evaluation Budget(US $): 160,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SOMALIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Recognizing the complexity and fluidity of the Somali context the ADR recommends that UNDP Somalia, in developing its new country programme, should continue to pursue an adaptive planning and management approach.   

2

UNDP Somalia should re-calibrate the profile of the poverty reduction and environment programme if it is to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the vulnerable population.

One of the approaches which UNDP Somalia successfully pursued to increase the coverage of the poverty reduction programme is mainstreaming and promoting synergies among programme components as noted above. Another viable strategy that the office should explore is de-allocating UNDP core funding from some of the programme components with dependable flows of other resources (non-core) and allocating these to poverty reduction. UNDP Somalia should conduct a strategic review of the programme to document past good performance and lessons learned with a view to developing bank-able projects that can persuade donors to fund UNDP.  

3

There is a need to review the current approach to capacity development in the country programme and to come up with a conceptual framework for more effective and sustainable capacity development across the board.

The evaluation found that short term training without follow up remained the main component of most capacity development efforts during the period under review. Somalia needs a comprehensive human resources development strategy informed by the context. The new joint programme should not become a ‘vertical’ programme but ensure that capacity development is cross-cutting and builds on emerging opportunities, such as the formation of states (federalism) which may provide new opportunities for capacity development at sub-national levels. Notwithstanding declining donor funds UNDP should advocate for and strive to balance capacity development needs of the center and the emerging federal states if there is to be a cohesive government structure.

4

UNDP should prioritize substantive gender mainstreaming in the next country programme.  

The decision by senior management to include the gender advisor as member of the senior management team is promising but linkages should be strengthened with programme and operational level staff. UNDP should also explore and strengthen alternative strategic partnerships, including with other UN agencies, donors, academia, media, etc. to go beyond traditional roles of funders and implementers and to foster new partnerships and forums which advance gender equality; for example, partnerships with social and alternative media organizations as a vehicle to engage young men and women on gender concerns. UNDP should also advocate for gender representation in the PSG technical working groups and High Level Partnership Forum to ensure gender-responsive policy and programmatic decisions and monitoring and evaluation.

5

UNDP should increase investments to enhance internal monitoring and reporting capacities. It is encouraging that UNDP has already initiated alternative institutional arrangements to strengthen results-based monitoring and reporting, such as third-party monitoring in 2015. Capacities of implementing partners to monitor their work during implementation and ex-post should also be assessed and strengthened as part of broader capacity development strategies. 

With the ability of UNDP Somalia staff to effectively monitor programme implementation curtailed by insecurity, inaccessibility and other constraints, it is positive that UNDP has engaged an institution for third party monitoring in early 2015. The office is also cognizant that the focus of such monitoring must move away from mere numbers and attempt to highlight the contribution of UNDP to intermediate results.

UNDP should continue to identify internal learning needs in relation to results-based monitoring and reporting. Repeated training opportunities including both formal training and on-the-job orientation are needed since one off results-based management training is not sufficient to bring up skills. Strengthening nascent national monitoring and reporting capacities is also relevant as the country prepares its post Vision 2016 national development framework. Some of these efforts can build on ongoing initiatives such as the rolling out of the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) and must move away from being compliance-based capacity development.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Recognizing the complexity and fluidity of the Somali context the ADR recommends that UNDP Somalia, in developing its new country programme, should continue to pursue an adaptive planning and management approach.   

Management Response: [Added: 2016/06/02] [Last Updated: 2016/11/30]

UNDP Somalia is in agreement with this recommendation. UNDP has maintained its flexibility to the Somali context by: 1. Aligning its programmes to the New Deal priorities and the Compact’s Peace-building and State-building Goals (PSGs), and by designing and aligning new programmes under the Compact aid architecture / Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility (SDRF); 2. Expanding its portfolio to specifically support key political priorities, including electoral support, review of the constitution, and support to newly emerging federal member states – focusing on both the short term political deliverables, as well as building institutional capacity for longer term democratic development in Somalia; 3. Expanding its institutional support to governance institutions such as parliaments in the newly emerging Federal Member States; 4. Developing a comprehensive youth employment strategy and joint programme to support the long-term employability of Somali youth through strengthening of value-chains in key growth sectors, and rolling out new programming to support climate change resilience at community level.

 

UNDP Somalia is currently supporting the Federal Government to prepare its first National Development Plan (NDP) in more than two decades, in order to focus future development interventions on poverty reduction and addressing the root causes of vulnerability that underlie the volatile humanitarian context, and whilst still maintaining an integrated focus on the intersection between politics, security and development. UNDP will develop its next country programme in alignment with the NDP. The future CPD will reiterate the need for flexibility to immediate priorities whilst also maintaining a commitment to longer-term development objective and the SDGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP Somalia is in agreement with this recommendation. UNDP has maintained its flexibility to the Somali context by: 1. Aligning its programmes to the New Deal priorities and the Compact’s Peace-building and State-building Goals (PSGs), and by designing and aligning new programmes under the Compact aid architecture / Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility (SDRF); 2. Expanding its portfolio to specifically support key political priorities, including electoral support, review of the constitution, and support to newly emerging federal member states – focusing on both the short term political deliverables, as well as building institutional capacity for longer term democratic development in Somalia; 3. Expanding its institutional support to governance institutions such as parliaments in the newly emerging Federal Member States; 4. Developing a comprehensive youth employment strategy and joint programme to support the long-term employability of Somali youth through strengthening of value-chains in key growth sectors, and rolling out new programming to support climate change resilience at community level. UNDP Somalia is currently supporting the Federal Government to prepare its first National Development Plan (NDP) in more than two decades, in order to focus future development interventions on poverty reduction and addressing the root causes of vulnerability that underlie the volatile humanitarian context, and whilst still maintaining an integrated focus on the intersection between politics, security and development. UNDP will develop its next country programme in alignment with the NDP. The future CPD will reiterate the need for flexibility to immediate priorities whilst also maintaining a commitment to longer-term development objective and the SDGs.
[Added: 2016/11/22] [Last Updated: 2017/12/06]
Planning and Partnerships Unit 2018/01 Completed the new CPD and programme architecture is in line with the NDP which is compliant to the SDG. History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP Somalia should re-calibrate the profile of the poverty reduction and environment programme if it is to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the vulnerable population.

One of the approaches which UNDP Somalia successfully pursued to increase the coverage of the poverty reduction programme is mainstreaming and promoting synergies among programme components as noted above. Another viable strategy that the office should explore is de-allocating UNDP core funding from some of the programme components with dependable flows of other resources (non-core) and allocating these to poverty reduction. UNDP Somalia should conduct a strategic review of the programme to document past good performance and lessons learned with a view to developing bank-able projects that can persuade donors to fund UNDP.  

Management Response: [Added: 2016/06/02] [Last Updated: 2016/11/30]

The Country Office is in broad agreement with the recommendation. The Country Office’s programmatic portfolio on poverty reduction and resilience has been rapidly expanding. Key new projects include the Joint Programme on Youth Employment Somalia (2015 – 2018) with UNHABITAT, ILO and FAO, the Joint Programme for Sustainable Charcoal Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods with FAO and UNEP, and the GEF-funded Enhancing Climate Resilience of the Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in Somalia (2015-2018). The CO is also working with the UNCT to develop a new joint programme on durable solutions to displacement in Somalia with UNHABITAT and UNHCR, and new initiatives related to renewable energy, climate smart approaches to rural development, and local economic development project.

 

However, the CO recognizes the need for a forward-looking review of the Poverty Reduction and Environment programme with a focus on longer-term poverty reduction, including shifting from short-term employment to longer-term employment at scale, particularly for youth and women that will drive economic growth and support overall stability. The new NDP will provide a key opportunity to re-position UNDP’s work – and our engagement with the Government and donor partners – in favor of a greater focus on poverty reduction, and a strategic review as suggested would likewise assist in this respect.

 

The comments on core funds are well noted. UNDP core resources have played a critical role in initiating new programmes, and in bridging gaps when donor funding is sometimes unpredictable. A flexible approach to TRAC allocations is thereby necessary. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Country Office is in broad agreement with the recommendation. The Country Office’s programmatic portfolio on poverty reduction and resilience has been rapidly expanding. Key new projects include the Joint Programme on Youth Employment Somalia (2015 – 2018) with UNHABITAT, ILO and FAO, the Joint Programme for Sustainable Charcoal Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods with FAO and UNEP, and the GEF-funded Enhancing Climate Resilience of the Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in Somalia (2015-2018). The CO is also working with the UNCT to develop a new joint programme on durable solutions to displacement in Somalia with UNHABITAT and UNHCR, and new initiatives related to renewable energy, climate smart approaches to rural development, and local economic development project. However, the CO recognizes the need for a forward-looking review of the Poverty Reduction and Environment programme with a focus on longer-term poverty reduction, including shifting from short-term employment to longer-term employment at scale, particularly for youth and women that will drive economic growth and support overall stability. The new NDP will provide a key opportunity to re-position UNDP’s work – and our engagement with the Government and donor partners – in favor of a greater focus on poverty reduction, and a strategic review as suggested would likewise assist in this respect. The comments on core funds are well noted. UNDP core resources have played a critical role in initiating new programmes, and in bridging gaps when donor funding is sometimes unpredictable. A flexible approach to TRAC allocations is thereby necessary.
[Added: 2016/11/22] [Last Updated: 2017/12/06]
Poverty Reduction and Environment team 2018/01 Completed Internal Review completed and a programme reformulation undertaken separating Environment and poverty portfolios and a focus on resilience in the new CPD. History
3. Recommendation:

There is a need to review the current approach to capacity development in the country programme and to come up with a conceptual framework for more effective and sustainable capacity development across the board.

The evaluation found that short term training without follow up remained the main component of most capacity development efforts during the period under review. Somalia needs a comprehensive human resources development strategy informed by the context. The new joint programme should not become a ‘vertical’ programme but ensure that capacity development is cross-cutting and builds on emerging opportunities, such as the formation of states (federalism) which may provide new opportunities for capacity development at sub-national levels. Notwithstanding declining donor funds UNDP should advocate for and strive to balance capacity development needs of the center and the emerging federal states if there is to be a cohesive government structure.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/06/02] [Last Updated: 2016/11/30]

The Country Office is in broad agreement with the recommendation. The findings of the ADR concerning the often limited impact of capacity development efforts were recognized and led to the development of a new Capacity Development programme during 2014 and the beginning of 2015, consisting of two main projects Strengthening Institutional Performance (SIP) working on the federal level and in Puntland, and the State Formation project working in the emerging states, which both started being operational during 2015. These are in addition to longstanding support to district Government through the Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG), which is now being expanded to new districts in the south of the country. 

 

Improvements in the overall Country Office CD approach are on three levels:

 

  • Focus of CD towards Core of Government functions, including planning, monitoring, evaluation and statistics; organizational structures and functional arrangements on vertical and horizontal levels; Internal and external coordination mechanisms; Civil service management – with a strong focus on human resource management; administrative management (including financial, personnel, office systems, etc.); Policy and strategy development (systemic improvements); and Gender mainstreaming in selected key areas.
  • Focus of CD support on internal capacities of supporting institutions, in line with the overall UNDP approach towards Capacity Development, with its focus on organizational development, and directly linked to the HACT Capacity Assessments, as well as functional reviews undertaken. The support provided to government institutions focusses on the strengthening internal systems of governance as well as the individual capacities of staff members to discharge their functions; organizational reforms, regulatory development, TOR design, as well as classic training of institutions staff.
  • Stimulating consistency in CD approach throughout the Country Office programme, while specific capacity development projects are being delivered at federal, state and district levels, as noted above, capacity development is an important and cross-cutting element of all UNDP supported projects. Steps have been taken to further harmonize the CD approach and stimulate a higher level of coherence in the country programme. This element, however, does require more attention, which also will be taken forward through the formulation of the new CPD that is likely to occur toward the end of 2016, bringing the overall programme structure in line with the expectations to be expressed in the forthcoming National Development Plan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of capacity development approach for national partners, including: • Internal guidance on HACT capacity assessments and functional reviews • Improved framework for LoA management. • Initial set of role and responsibility distribution between federal, state and district level governments, to guide capacity development initiatives. • Federal, state and district level training strategies.
[Added: 2016/11/22] [Last Updated: 2017/12/06]
Partnerships and Planning Unit Capacity Development Unit 2018/01 Completed New projects along this line will be part of the new CPD. History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should prioritize substantive gender mainstreaming in the next country programme.  

The decision by senior management to include the gender advisor as member of the senior management team is promising but linkages should be strengthened with programme and operational level staff. UNDP should also explore and strengthen alternative strategic partnerships, including with other UN agencies, donors, academia, media, etc. to go beyond traditional roles of funders and implementers and to foster new partnerships and forums which advance gender equality; for example, partnerships with social and alternative media organizations as a vehicle to engage young men and women on gender concerns. UNDP should also advocate for gender representation in the PSG technical working groups and High Level Partnership Forum to ensure gender-responsive policy and programmatic decisions and monitoring and evaluation.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/06/02] [Last Updated: 2016/11/30]

 

UNDP Somalia is in agreement with this recommendation. UNDP Somalia’s CPD in 2011-2016 had a dedicated gender specific outcome and provided a framework within which to implement the corporate mandate of gender mainstreaming across all the country programme outcomes. The CO has made efforts and progress in consolidated past gains, building on lessons learned, and drawing inspiration from corporate commitments to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE), as reflected in the award of “High Silver” in the Gender Equity Seal the CO received in 2015. Recommendations from the Gender Equality Seal process are now being implemented, in order to progress towards a target of “Gold.”  The CO has also supported, together with other UNCT actors, gender representation in the Compact processes, including two side-events on women and gender equity issues at the High-Level Partnership Forums in 2015 and 2016. To attain even further results in terms of gender mainstreaming, the CO will focus on the following:

 

  1. Mainstreaming GEWE into the next CPD;
  2. Continued delivery of specific initiatives to advance GEWE, including on women’s political participation, the gender dimension of the National Development Plan, and SDG5.
  3. Building and strengthening strategic partnerships to increase the impact of GEWE efforts, as recommended by the ADR;
  4. Improving gender-responsive planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Inclusion of one Outcome on GEWE in new CPD and continued delivery of specific initiatives to advance GEWE
[Added: 2016/11/22] [Last Updated: 2017/12/06]
Partnerships and PLanning Unit Cross-Cutting Unit 2018/01 Completed Learning from its lessons from the previous CPD, the office mainstreamed one specific gender output within each of the CPD outcomes as it enabled improved project implementation and financial monitoring. History
Capacity building of key partners to increase impact on GEWE, including through the review of financial allocations in project planning documents and mainstreaming gender in implementing partner agreements
[Added: 2016/11/22] [Last Updated: 2017/12/06]
Cross-Cutting Unit 2018/01 Completed Female interns supported in every LOA and MCG, most of them working on gender issues. Gender mainstreamed across all project training of partners and beneficiaries. History
Gender-responsive project monitoring, reporting and evaluation framework
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Partnerships and Planning Unit 2019/01 Completed
5. Recommendation:

UNDP should increase investments to enhance internal monitoring and reporting capacities. It is encouraging that UNDP has already initiated alternative institutional arrangements to strengthen results-based monitoring and reporting, such as third-party monitoring in 2015. Capacities of implementing partners to monitor their work during implementation and ex-post should also be assessed and strengthened as part of broader capacity development strategies. 

With the ability of UNDP Somalia staff to effectively monitor programme implementation curtailed by insecurity, inaccessibility and other constraints, it is positive that UNDP has engaged an institution for third party monitoring in early 2015. The office is also cognizant that the focus of such monitoring must move away from mere numbers and attempt to highlight the contribution of UNDP to intermediate results.

UNDP should continue to identify internal learning needs in relation to results-based monitoring and reporting. Repeated training opportunities including both formal training and on-the-job orientation are needed since one off results-based management training is not sufficient to bring up skills. Strengthening nascent national monitoring and reporting capacities is also relevant as the country prepares its post Vision 2016 national development framework. Some of these efforts can build on ongoing initiatives such as the rolling out of the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) and must move away from being compliance-based capacity development.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/06/02] [Last Updated: 2016/11/30]

UNDP Somalia is in agreement with this recommendation. The CO has strengthened internal monitoring and reporting through a number of means, including increasing the number of national M&E staff in projects and in Programme and Planning Unit. The third party monitoring arrangements in place not only verify numbers or activities, but also seeks more output- and outcome- related results, including beneficiary satisfaction and project effectiveness, amongst others. All project documents, AWPs and partnership agreements are reviewed by the M&E team prior to approval. Similarly, all implementation arrangements (LOAs, grants, etc.) are scrutinized through LPAC, to ensure that proper capacity assessment and appropriate risk mitigation measures have been put in place. The LOA and grant agreements also contain requirements for improved partner reporting, third party monitoring as commissioned by UNDP, and provision of beneficiary contacts in order to conduct follow up verification. The office has revised its reporting templates with a focus on evidence based reporting and inclusion of monitoring and oversight activities.

 

The CO in 2016 will continue to further develop these arrangements. Work is ongoing to deepen capacity development of national counterparts specifically in the areas of results based management and reporting.  This includes specific support, for instance, to the new M&E team at the Ministry of Planning and International cooperation on RBM and monitoring of the SGDs, and on the preparation of the monitoring framework for the new NDP. The CO will continue these efforts through: devising a feedback mechanism for senior management on monitoring findings and follow up actions; expanded capacity development of national partners on RBM and reporting; establishment of a CO M&E working group for national staff; tracking frequency of monitoring visits undertaken by project and programme staff; and using social media inform stakeholders of TPM findings.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Capacity development plan of national implementing partners on monitoring and reporting
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Planning and Partnerships Unit No due date Completed Extensive M&E trainings completed for national partners, including the new M&E Unit in the Ministry of PLanning and International Cooperation and the Rule of Law partners. https://www.facebook.com/undpsom/videos/983246671822232/ History
Establishment of CO Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Partnerships and Planning Unit No due date Completed Internal M&E Working Group developed.
Establishment of management feedback mechanism on TPM
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Partnerships and Planning Unit No due date Completed Issue Tracking Sheet from TPM findings shared in Programme and Senior Management Meetings on a periodic basis (once a month). History
Development and usage of a compliance tracking tool for project and programme staff monitoring activities
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Partnerships and planning Unit No due date Completed Project Management Scorecard developed and managed by the Unit, shared in Programme and Senior Management Meetings.
Development and usage of a compliance tracking tool for project and programme staff monitoring activities
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Partnerships and planning Unit No due date Completed Project Management Scorecard developed and managed by the Unit, shared in Programme and Senior Management Meetings.
Development of a communication strategy/approach to disseminate TPM findings through social media
[Added: 2016/11/22]
Planning and Partnerships Unit No due date Completed TPM findings shared regularly on social mecia History

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