Midterm Evaluation - Community Participation and Communication Support Programme (CPCSP)

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2016, Lao
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
04/2014
Completion Date:
03/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
9,782

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Title Midterm Evaluation - Community Participation and Communication Support Programme (CPCSP)
Atlas Project Number: 00061228
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2016, Lao
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2014
Planned End Date: 04/2014
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 2.4. Frameworks and dialogue processes engaged for effective and transparent engagement of civil society in national development
Evaluation Budget(US $): 9,782
Source of Funding: CPCSP budget
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Birgitte Jallov Ms.
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: MICT
Countries: LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Begin to prepare for a second phase of the CPCSP. The programme, if well implemented, has potential to contribute importantly to the Lao PDR NSEDP, the MDGs and the 2020 graduation from LDC status. Furthermore even less than 100% effectively implemented CRs have important empowerment effects communities like those where the CPCSP is being implemented.
2 Ensure transfer of unspent funds to phase II. If this is not possible, consider a ?no cost extension? of six months. As, however, the present programme is marked by complications in operations due to a constrained implementation set-up, and an operational programme management needs to be ensured to provide a fertile work atmosphere for the staff and partners (including funding partners) it is recommended to find flexible ways of moving on.
3 Ensure a dynamic, effective and efficient operational framework for the CPCSP II. Ideally a CR Support Unit should be formed as a CSA with MICT and UNDP engagement in a tripartite structure as proposed above ? or a similar operational and dynamic framework. The MMD agreed that the CR support component formed within the MMD/MICT.
4 Create a framework for phase II with an operational programme management / CTA from beginning. This would be made in parallel to MICT. This is urgently needed to ensure a fertile work atmosphere for the staff and partners (including funding partners).
5 Take serious action to use the rest of 2014 to redress some of the implementation weaknesses
6 Recruit senior communication officer urgently ? at best with fundraising potential. With a phase II in mind it should be possible to find a powerful person for 4 years + 10 months. Is this not possible, find strong national consultant to develop communication strategy and implementation proposal: what could be done by junior person, what should the consultant or other senior staff do?
7 Identify how to give LNR a ?coach? function for phase II to capitalize on knowledge. Necessary to train LNR?s trainers on what CR for development is ? and teach them more appropriate methods.
8 Develop leadership capacity in CRs based on locally available talent and champions. Part of their functions would be local process coaches and mentors of the CR volunteer broadcasters along with other functions.
9 Revive ?Sustainability Consultancy? ? could provide important support to CPCSP. TOR Would be to contribute to implementation of all the lessons learned ? including preparation of detailed criteria for a CR being ready to go for NPA status and potentially help prepare phase II including preparation of a fundraising mapping and strategy.
10 Identify ways of creating ? soonest ? a powerful CR support centre
11 Examine whether the MEL/UNV would be a good capacity building officer
12 Energize implementation of the full programme document
1. Recommendation: Begin to prepare for a second phase of the CPCSP. The programme, if well implemented, has potential to contribute importantly to the Lao PDR NSEDP, the MDGs and the 2020 graduation from LDC status. Furthermore even less than 100% effectively implemented CRs have important empowerment effects communities like those where the CPCSP is being implemented.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30] [Last Updated: 2015/10/11]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Discuss with relevant stakeholders on the possibility of the second phase for the CPCSP and start the resource mobilization efforts.
[Added: 2014/12/30] [Last Updated: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/03 Completed MICT and Oxfam agreed to extend the project till Dec 2015; The MPI approved the project one-year no-cost extension till 31 December 2015. And it is planned to extend the project till 31 Dec 2016 with additional funds received from UNV to implement the evaluations? recommendations. As of 12 May 2015.
2. Recommendation: Ensure transfer of unspent funds to phase II. If this is not possible, consider a ?no cost extension? of six months. As, however, the present programme is marked by complications in operations due to a constrained implementation set-up, and an operational programme management needs to be ensured to provide a fertile work atmosphere for the staff and partners (including funding partners) it is recommended to find flexible ways of moving on.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/11] [Last Updated: 2015/10/11]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Consider a no-cost extension of the project.
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/03 Completed MICT and Oxfam agreed to extend the one-year project till Dec 2015; The MPI approved the project one-year no-cost extension till 31 December 2015. And it is planned to extend the project till 31 Dec 2016 while received additional funds from UNV to implement the evaluations? recommendations. As of 30 June 2015.
3. Recommendation: Ensure a dynamic, effective and efficient operational framework for the CPCSP II. Ideally a CR Support Unit should be formed as a CSA with MICT and UNDP engagement in a tripartite structure as proposed above ? or a similar operational and dynamic framework. The MMD agreed that the CR support component formed within the MMD/MICT.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Discuss what would be the most efficient structure to run community radio stations (including the Support Unit)
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/12 Completed Would be include into the concept note for next phase; The issue was initially been discussed during meetings between UNDP and MMD/MICT re: the possible new phase of the CPCSP. The MICT acknowledged that the existing CR stations do need such a support unit for them to run station smoothly.
4. Recommendation: Create a framework for phase II with an operational programme management / CTA from beginning. This would be made in parallel to MICT. This is urgently needed to ensure a fertile work atmosphere for the staff and partners (including funding partners).
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Discuss the staffing structure and project management arrangements with relevant stakeholders.
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/06 Completed Would be considered under new phase of the project. Based on current situation of the CPCSP project and the trend of UNDP development project, as well as the willingness to support UNDP of the potential donors, it is agreed in principle that the CR project can be a component of a newly formulated/existing large programme rather that stand a alone project. Given fact that CR stations used be part of GPAR programme (Thateng and Dakcheung CR. were under GPAR Sekong)
5. Recommendation: Take serious action to use the rest of 2014 to redress some of the implementation weaknesses
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Develop an information kit for more awareness raising among CR volunteers to address the weak radio programme. In addition,to explore partnerships with the private sector and DPs
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2014/12 Completed To address the weakness of the CR issues, through 2014-15, CR stations have been trying to build capacity of CR volunteers to address the poor radio programme, by doing this more substantive material/info were supplied to the stations, launching of UN standard information/knowledge packages; strengthening partnership with development projects, private sector, such as Lao Telecom, UNODC, UNESCO, UNFPA, Poverty Reduction Funds, ADB, and other UNDP Units/projects etc. There is an intensive knowledge sharing within CR stations themselves in term of experience and materials for radio programme.
6. Recommendation: Recruit senior communication officer urgently ? at best with fundraising potential. With a phase II in mind it should be possible to find a powerful person for 4 years + 10 months. Is this not possible, find strong national consultant to develop communication strategy and implementation proposal: what could be done by junior person, what should the consultant or other senior staff do?
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

While MICT and UNDP take note of this recommendation, it will not be feasible to recruit a new communications staff for the last 8 months of the project implementation due to the time and financial constraints.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: Identify how to give LNR a ?coach? function for phase II to capitalize on knowledge. Necessary to train LNR?s trainers on what CR for development is ? and teach them more appropriate methods.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Discuss how to better cooperate with the Lao National Radio including the TOT possibility
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/06 Completed CPCSP has been strengthening its cooperation with Lao National Radio, especially on the coaching and being resource trainers for all radio stations; the LNR is extending their help on technical areas such technical assistance and needed documents references
8. Recommendation: Develop leadership capacity in CRs based on locally available talent and champions. Part of their functions would be local process coaches and mentors of the CR volunteer broadcasters along with other functions.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Explore different ways of empowering CR volunteers and strengthening their capacity to run the radio stations.
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/06 Completed The issues has been addressed by strengthening leadership skills (coaching/training stations? manager on admin, management, financial, planning and reporting skills); restructuring station management based on needs and assessment done by CPCSP in collaboration with local authorities and steering board; initially plan to recruit national UNV to be regionally based in Oudomxay and Sekong provinces to cover northern and southern cluster respectively. In Addition, a standard information/knowledge packages were developed for all stations, these materials are related to communities? issues and at the same the off track MDGs. Finally, the programme would organize regional workshops that will allow volunteers to share the best lesson learnt/best practices and this will empower them to take initiative to do more works/tasks to address issues related to their lives in their districts/villages.
9. Recommendation: Revive ?Sustainability Consultancy? ? could provide important support to CPCSP. TOR Would be to contribute to implementation of all the lessons learned ? including preparation of detailed criteria for a CR being ready to go for NPA status and potentially help prepare phase II including preparation of a fundraising mapping and strategy.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Consider the possibility of revisiting the sustainability consultancy discussion as well as aiming for the NPA status
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/06 Completed The discussion organized by UNDP and MMD/MICT addressed the issues related to role of LNR, the stations management structure and those are being implemented. Regarding to the issue related to the Not for Profit Association (NPA), based on the agreement during the programme board meeting, at this point and based the community radio stations are not ready to become NPA. However, this issue could be addressed during the next phase, it was agreed that the CPCSP could be a component of the existing large/newly formulated programme.
10. Recommendation: Identify ways of creating ? soonest ? a powerful CR support centre
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Implement all relevant activities leading to establishment of a support center for CRs. In addition, to consolidate the ideas on how to manage such a support center.
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2015/06 Completed During the no-cost extension. It is agreed in that the community radio service/support center should be created and based in MMD/MICT, the MMD/MICT could oversight the overall issues and the Lao National Radio (LNR) could continue their roles on coaching training (technical resource trainers/coach). The MICT also agreed on the future of the project as mentioned already, it was agreed that the CPCSP could be a component of the existing large/newly formulated programme.
11. Recommendation: Examine whether the MEL/UNV would be a good capacity building officer
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. To establish M&E focal points for each CR and to explore the possibility of recruiting an international UNV
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2014/12 Completed M&E focal points have been established for each CR; In addition to the taken action, the internal UNV would be recruited by the end of the year, this person will focal of the local volunteers? capacity building and to strengthen stations? capacity on the sustainability, M & E, partnership and funding mobilization of the stations and CPCSP.
12. Recommendation: Energize implementation of the full programme document
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/12]

MICT and UNDP agree. The CPCSP will improve the project?s implementing activities process according to the recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. To revisit the prodoc and ensure that all outputs are on track to be achieved. In addition, to ensure that work plans include all planned activities.
[Added: 2015/10/12]
MICT/CPCSP 2016/12 Completed The MPI approved the project one-year no-cost extension till 31 December 2015. And it is planned to extend the project till 31 Dec 2016 while received additional funds from UNV to implement the evaluations? recommendations. Therefore, the CPCSP has more time address all issues listed above. As of 30 June 2015.

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