Evaluation of the UNDP contribution to mine action

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Thematic
Planned End Date:
06/2015
Completion Date:
12/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
350,000

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Title Evaluation of the UNDP contribution to mine action
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Status:Completed
Completion Date:12/2015
Planned End Date: 06/2015
Management Response:Yes
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-20013)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 350,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme:No
Mandatory Evaluation:No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Charles Downs Principle Consultant
GEF Evaluation:No
Key Stakeholders:
Comments:The evaluation will focus on the social and economic impacts of UNDP support to efforts to reduce the threat and impact of mines and explosive remnants of war.
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

UNDP should reaffirm its strategic commitment to mine action support globally and ensure that the dozen countries with ongoing mine action programmes are fully supported at the headquarters and regional levels

2

UNDP should further enhance its institutional capacity support services to Governments on mine action, building on lessons from successful transitions to sustainable national ownership and utilizing South-South cooperation opportunities and closer engagement with United Nations and other international partners.

3

In the near term, most of the requests for UNDP support on mine action will focus on mature national programmes in non-conflict circumstances, where the residual mine problems are located in poor rural areas.  This suggests an important development need that UNDP is well suited to support by providing strategies and techniques for job creation and market development, and by channelling targeted donor support towards improving the socioeconomic conditions in mine-affected communities

1. Recommendation:

UNDP should reaffirm its strategic commitment to mine action support globally and ensure that the dozen countries with ongoing mine action programmes are fully supported at the headquarters and regional levels

Management Response:

UNDP management agrees that UNDP should support mine action over the long term, both to comply with obligations created by the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Convention and as part of its long-standing post-conflict recovery support to national Governments. UNDP management will also: (a) ensure that mine action technical advisers have requisite management and capacity-building  skills; (b) ensure that UNDP is providing practical guidance to countries on transitioning to national implementation and enhancing development support in demined areas; and (c) maintain high-level headquarter engagement with the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action (IACG-ME), the Mine Action Support Group  and the annual meeting of Mine Action National Programme Directors and United Nations Advisers.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruitment of key staff at headquarters and regional levels. BPPS 2015/12 Completed
Training of national staff and chief technical advisers for mine action on development and mine action using the guidance provided in the UNDP Support Framework for Development and Mine Action. BPPS 2017/11 Initiated Face-to-face training will take place on the margins of National Directors and UN Advisors meeting (February 2017, Geneva), followed by on-line trainings during 2017.
Participation in the: (a) IACG-ME; (b) Mine Action Support Group; and (c) the annual meeting of national directors and United Nations advisers. BPPS No due date Initiated Participation of UNDP in inter-agency groups and international meetings is continuous, and hence this action has no due date. During the annual meeting of National Directors and UN Advisors (February 2017), UNDP is organizing 2 Plenary Panels.
Through discussions in the IACG-ME, ensure that there is greater clarity in the Strategy on the roles and responsibilities for technical support to victim assistance. BPPS 2016/06 Completed Through the discussions in the IACG-MA, the UN Policy on Victim Assistance in Mine Action was finalized in September 2016. It was officially presented at the principals meeting in October 2016. The document provides greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities for technical support in victim assistance.
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should further enhance its institutional capacity support services to Governments on mine action, building on lessons from successful transitions to sustainable national ownership and utilizing South-South cooperation opportunities and closer engagement with United Nations and other international partners.

Management Response:

UNDP management agrees with the recommendation that UNDP should continue and enhance support to national Governments in the following areas: (a) institutional capacity assessment for mine action, including the use of relevant indicators; (b) development and management of comprehensive databases of suspect and released mine areas; (c) land release prioritization; (d) strategies for transition to national ownership of mine action programmes; (e) mainstreaming mine action into broader development imperatives, with special emphasis on marginalized communities; (f) taking gender aspects into account in mine action programming; (g) linking victim assistance support, where it exists within mine action programmes, into broader support for persons with a disability; (h) efficiently channeling donor funding; and (i) utilizing partnerships with other United Nations agencies and international organizations.

UNDP will update its mine action programme guidance to clarify priorities, elaborate practical methods and utilize its roster of qualified consultants for technical support and policy research in the above areas.  

UNDP management also agrees that a stronger focus on Strategic Objective 3 is needed and will actively participate in the midterm evaluation of the Strategy of the United Nations on Mine Action, and advocated for greater emphasis within this Strategic Objective on the capacity development of national institutions with clearer indicators for measuring success.  It is, however, important to note that UNDP’s contribution is also key for Objective 1, Reducing risks to individuals and socioeconomic impacts of mines and ERW, which is an important areas of focus for UNDP’s development and mine action work.

In early 2015, the UNDP Support Framework for Development and Mine Action was prepared and identified the following two areas of focus:

(a) translating mine action into sustainable development dividends in the form of jobs and livelihoods;

(b) strengthening national institutions that accelerate development benefits, including livelihoods and human security.

In view of this and in the context of the UNDP Strategic Plan, a sharper focus on the development and mine action agenda will be pursued. This approach will follow three tracks:

(a) context/assessment: ensuring that the impact of landmines/ERW on development is well understood and includes policy and institutional capacities required to enhance jobs and livelihoods through mine action programming;

(b) capacities/areas of focus: the selection of the areas of focus will be informed by the assessment/analysis;

(c) development outcomes: development outcomes will be measured either directly or indirectly through jobs/livelihoods generated, particularly for women and marginalized groups; hectares of land cultivated, human security, etc.

Under the first area of focus, UNDP mine action programmes will concentrate on three themes: protecting lives; restoring livelihoods; and supporting recovery and development. Under the second area of focus, UNDP will concentrate on strengthening national institutions that accelerate development benefits, e.g., human security or other opportunities. Links to the UNDP Strategic Plan, 2014-2017 will be ensured through alignment of mine action with the plan's Outcome 1 (Growth and development are inclusive and sustainable, incorporating productive capacities that create employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded) and Outcome 3 (Countries have strengthened institutions to progressively deliver universal access to basic services). 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review and finalize UNDP Strategic Framework on Mine Action with inputs from key partners, regional bureaux, regional hubs and country offices. BPPS 2016/03 Completed
Provide capacity-building and advisory support to country offices to ensure that they can align current mine action programmes to the development and mine action areas of focus, as articulated in the UNDP Support Framework for Development and Mine Action including areas highlighted under Recommendation 2 of this evaluation report, in particular((a) institutional capacity assessment for mine action, including the use of relevant indicators; (b) development and management of comprehensive databases of suspect and released mine areas; (c) land release prioritization; (d) strategies for the transition to national ownership of mine action programmes; (e) mainstreaming mine action into broader development imperatives, with special emphasis on marginalized communities; (f) taking gender aspects into account in mine action programming; (g) linking victim assistance support, where it exists within mine action programmes, into broader support for persons with a disability; and (h) efficiently channeling donor funding. BPPS No due date Initiated Capacity building and advisory support services are of continuous nature, hence this action has no due date
Provide continuous policy, programme and technical support to national Governments in the areas highlighted under Recommendation 2 of this evaluation report (see areas under 2.2 above);. This will include a focus on strategies for transition to full national ownership, taking into account both government capacities and practical needs when completing and closing down land mine programmes, in order to maintain a residual capacity for response and to support future development projects on land previously affected by mines.. BPPS No due date Initiated The relevant services are of continuous nature, hence this action has no due date
Promote South-South cooperation and cross-fertilization of best practices across different regions. BPPS No due date Initiated This action is of continuous nature and has no due date
Design and implement monitoring and evaluation systems that take into account the capacities of the government and other national counterparts, including additional M&E training where needed. BPPS 2018/12 Initiated UNDP is an active participant of the monitoring implementation of the UN Strategy on Mine Action. Monitoring reports are produced regularly. It takes into account the capacities of the governments and other national counterparts. Moreover, UNDP entered into partnership with the Geneva centre for Humanitarian demining on producing a study on linking mine action to implementation of SDGs.
Participate fully in the upcoming midterm review of the Strategy of the United Nations on Mine Action 2013-2018, advocating greater emphasis on, and strengthening indicators for developing sustainable national management capacities as a core feature of Strategic Objective 3 (development of national capacity); BPPS 2018/12 Initiated UNDP participated fully in all undertakings by UNMAS (the coordinative agency on mine action) related to the review of the UN Strategy on Mine Action. UNDP was advocating strongly for developmental approaches for mine action and linkages to achievement of SDGs. The forthcoming study, to be undertaken jointly with the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Demining, will offer the methodology for implementation.
Document lessons learned, best practices and experiences on gender and mine action; develop knowledge products and circulate for replication of best practices. BPPS 2017/12 Initiated In June 2016, UNDP produced the Issue Brief on “Development and Mine Action Policy and Programming”. It captured some best practices and experiences for replication. The work continues on documenting the lessons learned, particularly on gender and mine action.
3. Recommendation:

In the near term, most of the requests for UNDP support on mine action will focus on mature national programmes in non-conflict circumstances, where the residual mine problems are located in poor rural areas.  This suggests an important development need that UNDP is well suited to support by providing strategies and techniques for job creation and market development, and by channelling targeted donor support towards improving the socioeconomic conditions in mine-affected communities

Management Response:

UNDP management fully agrees that the capacities of rural communities, especially poor ones, to improve standards of living is dependent on many factors such as access to labour, credit and markets. In nearly every community impacted by landmines, the lives and livelihoods of the communities and citizens are improved as a result of demining and land release. Management agrees that UNDP should do far more to support national and subnational authorities and affected communities in stimulating the local economy. The clearance of landmines should not be seen as an end result, but rather as an initial step in a much longer development effort. Moving forward, one of the main objectives of UNDP initiatives should be the attainment of socioeconomic benefits. In essence, project developers and implementers will need to ensure that released land is used for socioeconomic development. In order to pursue this strategy and overcome all possible bottlenecks, the UNDP approach to mine action will follow three tracks, as identified above in the management response to Recommendation 2: (a) Context analysis and needs assessment. This will help to ensure that the impact of landmines/ ERW on development is well known and understood, and that this information is factored into the selection of recovery and development priorities. The assessment will also cover the policy and institutional capacities required to enhance jobs and livelihoods through mine action programming; (b) Careful selection of the areas of focus. The selection and packaging of the areas of focus will be informed by the assessment/analysis and guided by their relevance to and synergy with related focus areas of the UNDP Strategic Plan; (c) Emphasis on results and outcomes. Results achieved will be measurable contributions to development outcomes, and will contribute either directly or indirectly to jobs created, livelihoods restored and other social and environmental indicators (depending on the focus of any particular mine action intervention). In the context of partnering with national institutions, UNDP will work not only with national mine action authorities but also with relevant ministries for sector-led development. A key focus for UNDP will be to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations that enable people?s participation in development planning and acceleration of peace and development dividends, in particular livelihoods in areas previously affected by mines. UNDP will work with other development actors, in particular the private sector and national public service institutions, to ensure that planning is done for development. In addition, UNDP will maintain its role of initiator and nurture South-South and triangular collaboration, including with a wide range of development practitioners. This will focus on the creation of development benefits for affected women, men and communities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide capacity-building and advisory support to country office staff (international and national staff), technical advisers and project staff on how to support national efforts by following three tracks in development and mine action programming, and by focusing on socioeconomic impact. BPPS No due date Initiated This action is of continuous nature and has no due date
Provide capacity-building support to government authorities on prioritizing and planning development and mine action efforts, using cross-sectoral approaches and ensuring cooperation between the different ministries and other relevant institutions. BPPS No due date Initiated This action is of continuous nature, and hence, has no due date
Ensure realignment of current mine action programmes with the UNDP Strategic Plan, 2014-2017 and with the UNDP Support Framework on Development and Mine Action. BPPS 2017/12 Initiated Support to the Country Offices on realigning their mine action programmes with the UNDP Strategic Plan and UNDP Support Framework on Development and Mine Action is ongoing.
Prepare and circulate the knowledge product on lessons learned related to mine action programming for use by countries, the community of practice on development and mine action and partners for replication and South-South cooperation. BPPS 2017/12 Initiated The Issue Brief on “Development and Mine Action in Policy and Programming” captured some of the best practices and lessons learned, to be used for replication and South-South cooperation. The Issue Brief was widely circulated to the relevant Country Offices, the Community of Practice on development and mine action as well as numerous national and international counterparts at HQ, regional and country levels.

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