Assessment of Development Results (ADR) : Afghanistan

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2013
Completion Date:
12/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
160,000

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Title Assessment of Development Results (ADR) : Afghanistan
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2013
Planned End Date: 12/2013
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 160,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Oliveir Cossee Evaluation Mangager, UNDP /IEO
Alan Fox Team member, UNDP /IEO
Constance Kaplan Team member, Independent Consultant
Karim Merchant Team member, Independent Consultant kr_merchant@yahoo.com
Ross Mountain Team member, Independent Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Location of Evaluation: Country Level
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 UNDP needs to continue to rebuild confidence with the Government and its donors so that they will be more likely to support the ideas, frameworks and directions promoted by the organization.
2 During the next country programme, UNDP should continue to prioritize democratic governance and the rule of law, where it brings to bear a clear comparative advantage. However, the next country programme must devote greater attention to the weakest pillars of Afghan democracy (local governments, the legislature and the judiciary) and should try to contribute more convincingly to the fight against poverty and (where possible) environmental protection, in accordance with its poverty-environment nexus strategy.
3 UNDP should examine the possibility of setting up additional multi-donor, multilateral trust funds in support of the transition.
4 UNDP should strengthen its involvement in aid coordination forums and processes.
5 UNDP Country Office management should, as a matter of priority, improve operational capacity and programme effectiveness by rebuilding a cohesive team of national and international staff committed to achieving results for Afghanistan.
6 Subnational governance and service delivery should continue to be a major component of the UNDP Country Programme. To that end, UNDP should also establish regional offices that can better integrate UNDP project activities.
7 Given the extensive de facto local autonomy that has been a feature of Afghan governance in the past, specific attention needs to be paid to engaging with customary Afghan governance and judicial systems, which may not be up to international standard but have the important advantages of legitimacy and efficacy, and could play a useful role in the edification of the Afghan state.
8 The strategic coherence of UNDP?s capacity development initiatives should be strengthened through stronger support to the Public Administration Reform process. Sustainability of capacity-building results needs more serious consideration in programme design and during implementation. The recourse to large numbers of non- Tashkeel staff as a stop-gap measure must be reduced, and UNDP should consider a gradual increase in the use of national implementation to help raise capacity in a sustainable manner.
9 UNDP should make preparations to reduce its exposure to poor security conditions, by outsourcing some activities, in particular monitoring and evaluation, and by moving some administrative functions outside the country. It could also consider disengaging itself responsibly from its riskiest programme, the largely ineffective APRP, or radically simplifying its institutional arrangements.
10 The Country Office urgently needs to expand its communications capacity to ensure that the Afghan Government, Afghan citizens as well as development partners are aware of UNDP?s goals and the impact its programmes have on helping improve the lives of average Afghan people.
11 UNDP should reach out to civil society, including through regular information events during the build-up to the elections and by involving carefully selected NGOs as programme implementers, primarily at the provincial and district levels, but also in lobbying, awareness-raising and civic education efforts.
1. Recommendation: UNDP needs to continue to rebuild confidence with the Government and its donors so that they will be more likely to support the ideas, frameworks and directions promoted by the organization.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

Over the past two years our new Country Office management team has been working actively with the Afghan government in all programmatic areas. At the Programme level, the Government, together with other partners from civil society, co-chairs the annual Country Programme review to take stock of the previous year's results and set the key priorities for the new year, later to be reflected in the Annual Work Plan of the Projects. The Government and other partners are also actively involved in the annual Outcome Boards, which review the progress made in each thematic area where UNDP implements projects. At the Projects level, the Government takes part in the appraisal committee meetings to review the final draft project documents before these are signed formally, as well as in the Project Board/Steering Committees, which meet 3-4 times a year to take stock of progress made.

The current Government has been consulted on the new Country Programme Document (CPD). As a new Government is expected to be in place following the 2014 Presidential elections, a fresh round of consultations will be conducted later in the year or early next year to review the content and strategic direction of the new CPD. Equally, the Government has been consulted and its comments incorporated in the UNDP Cluster Strategies developed in 2012-13 to identify key areas of intervention for UNDP in the field of national and sub-national governance, gender, poverty and environment and rule of law.

A Donor Advisory Group (DAG) has been put in place and held its first meeting in November 2013 with expected meetings every 6-8 weeks as per its Terms of Reference. The DAG acts as a platform for information sharing and dialogue between donor partners and UNDP. In addition to the DAG, a smaller group of donors represented at high level is being established to engage them in discussions of a more strategic nature. Both meetings are chaired by the DSRSG/RC/RR. These bodies are used to discuss preliminary concept notes and programmatic strategies, including on new areas of intervention. Donors have also been invited to participate in joint missions to the field for closer follow up of UNDP activities.

Regarding projects of particular relevance such as ELECT and LOTFA, information sharing with donors was strengthened through biweekly donor updates and a newsletter respectively. In addition, and as per general UNDP practice worldwide, donors are members of the Boards/Steering Committees of the Project which they fund and where the Annual Workplan is presented and approved and progress monitored throughout the year. Donors are also invited to project appraisal committee meetings in order to mobilize their interest and potential funding as well as to meetings to present any independent evaluation work related to the project they fund. Increasingly, donors are also invited to participate in the formulation of new project. This is the case for example in the new UNDP Subnational Governance Programme.

UNDP has established a Partnership Unit dedicated to improve government, donor and civil society relations at a strategic level by collaborating on key programmatic areas that UNDP engages in Afghanistan. This unit engages the partners in UNDP's ongoing work on the thematic cluster strategies, help in the strategic positioning of the CPD and identify areas of mutual collaboration including identifying new areas of funding.

Regular outreach to donor partners is also being done from HQ in New York with regular meetings on current events and information on specific important issues. HQ outreach to donor partners is followed up, and also extended to GoIRA, during the numerous HQ regular and High Level missions to Afghanistan.

In 2013, the Country Office has started preparations for the publication of a National Human Development Report. Consultations both in Kabul and in selected provinces with Government partners, civil society, local communities led to the selection of the theme for this NHDR that will focus on the issue of 'Unleashing opportunities, advancing social and economic equity'. The Report is expected to be published in mid-2015.

UNDP is also providing support to the national consultation on the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs, ensuring that Afghanistan takes its place in the global discussion on this important topic. This is done through support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and promoting a multi-sector and inclusive approach to the consultation, also ensuring civil society participation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Successful organization and execution of regular engagement on programming with Government in fora such as Outcome boards, annual Country Programme reviews, etc.
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Office of strategy and Results , PUs 2015/06 Completed The CO has established Outcome Boards in 2013 and has conducted Outcome Board meetings. The Outcome Boards for the new CPD will be established in consultation with the new government. The Annual Outcome Board meetings will be organised in October 2015 to serve a dual purpose of reviewing annual progress and informing 2016 planning. History
1.2. Donor Advisory Group (DAG) meetings to take place every 6 weeks
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Partnership Unit 2015/06 Completed The Change Management process decided to abolish the Partnership Unit. However, the CO Management decide in the best way to engage with donors including assigning units' responsibilities and clarifying roles. History
1.3 UNDP to continue consulting the GoIRA and donors partners on the formulation/review of the new CPD programmes/projects
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
Programme Units 2015/10 Completed The consultation with the GoIRA and Donor partners on the formulation/review has been initiated as a result a number of project were developed, approved and running. These projects are; LOGO, CBARD, SDG, ASERD. History
1.4 UNDP to continue organizing joint field missions with donors partners
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Programme Units 2015/06 Completed The practice is continuing, and PUs/ projects are always perusing opportunities for joint missions with donors. History
1.5 UNDP to provide Advisory service on MDGs/SDGs and post 2015 Development Agenda to the GoIRA
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
OSRC and PUs 2015/06 Completed UNDP in collaboration with other UN agencies supported the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in preparation of Afghanistan MDG Report in 2015. Among the participating UN agencies, UNDP took the lead role in supporting relevant government counterparts completing Goal 7: Ensuring Sustainable Development, and Goal 8: Develop a Global Cooperation for Development. UNDP established a specific project on support to nationalization of SDGs in Afghanistan. The main partner of this project is the Ministry of Economy, Government of Afghanistan. History
1.6 UNDP will involve GoIRA and donor partners in the preparation of the 2014 NHDR currently under development
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
Policy Unit 2015/06 Completed The new theme for the NHDR with consultation to the government has been selected as (Extractive Industry and Human Development in Afghanistan). History
1.7 UNDP Project Board meetings are held at least three times a year for each project and gather GoIRA and donors so as to involve them closely in the governance and monitoring of the projects
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Programme Units 2015/06 Completed All the projects have institutionalized the practice of frequent Project Board meetings (three times a year or according to the terms in the ProDoc) involving the GoIRA and donors. History
2. Recommendation: During the next country programme, UNDP should continue to prioritize democratic governance and the rule of law, where it brings to bear a clear comparative advantage. However, the next country programme must devote greater attention to the weakest pillars of Afghan democracy (local governments, the legislature and the judiciary) and should try to contribute more convincingly to the fight against poverty and (where possible) environmental protection, in accordance with its poverty-environment nexus strategy.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

The new Country Programme Document (CPD) is an opportunity to significantly re-balance the portfolio and align it with the developmental challenges of the Afghanistan Transformation Decade. These challenges include: rural economic development and support to create livelihoods, sustainable management of natural resources - including climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, and poverty reduction. The CPD will also focus on the important challenges related to governance at both national and sub-national levels.

With regard to UNDPs work on environment and development, a number of new interventions have been designed such as a project aimed at establishing integrated models and co-management for Protected Areas in Afghanistan. This project addresses the protection of biodiversity while providing alternative livelihood for the resource dependent population. Other new projects focused on increasing resilience of rural communities to natural disasters are now underway funded by The Least Developed Country Fund of the GEF. Another project 'the Afghanistan Sustainable Energy for Development' is being formulated and aims at ensuring access to affordable and renewable energy to rural communities including supporting economic activities.

In the context of the new CPD and UNDP Subnational Governance Programme, new projects at the sub national level are being formulated to support improved governance and accountability as well as productive infrastructure and livelihood creation in both the non?agricultural and agricultural rural economies. The increased focus on better environmental governance also supports conflict prevention by promoting equitable access to resources and engaging young people in economic opportunities.

To continue its support to the areas of governance and rule of law, UNDP has recently launched a new project to support the Afghan Parliament and will further foster a comprehensive programmatic approach to rule of law by linking its work on rule of law policing with justice sector work. Additionally, UNDP is working on an institutional support initiative contributing to civil service reform. Moreover, as part of peace and conflict prevention policy work, UNDP is engaging on the New Deal and Busan commitments for global partnership. In this context a study is being undertaken in partnership with MoF to provide recommendations on how to advance peace and state building goals in Afghanistan in the New Deal and Busan framework.

UNDP recognizes the importance of working in the youth sector and therefore has supported the Government in the development of a National Youth Policy and Strategy. Currently, the CO is working on a Youth Strategy that mainstreams youth issues across UNDP programmatic interventions. Furthermore, in the context of UNDAF implementation, UNDP continues to explore avenues to strengthen partnerships with other UN Agencies on youth (UN Habitat and UNFPA) as well as on other areas such as natural resources management (UNEP), gender sensitive livelihood support (UN Women, ILO and FAO), and disaster risk reduction (OCHA).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 New Subnational Governance Programme is designed and is operative
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
SNGD Unit 2015/06 Completed The new SNG programme called Local Governance for Afghanistan (LOGO) is developed, approved and is operational. History
2.2 UNDP to review potential for a new Programme linking all aspects of Rule of Law following earlier discussions with Government and Donors on the establishment of an MPTF on RoL in 2013
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/11/03]
RoL Unit 2015/06 Completed LOTFA finances two project, namely the “Support to Payroll Management (SPM)” and the Ministry of Interior Affairs Police Development (MPD). The SPM has initiated implementation of Phase III (July – December 2016) for the handover of Payroll Management responsibilities to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, which will be completed by December 2016. History
2.3 Youth issues are mainstreamed across UNDP programmes and projects
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Cross-practice Unit 2015/06 Completed This recommendation has been taken into consideration. UNDP participated in the Inter-Agency Network on Youth & Development, co-chaired by Resident Coordinator and UNFPA. SALAM project commenced in 2017 focusing in the area of migration supporting youth and linked with the implementation of five year National Youth Strategy & Action Plan. The CO for the first time introduced a 6-month internship programme for young female graduates, as a result of which 10 young female graduates gained the potential to continue working with UN family History
2.4. Strong programmatic linkage established between poverty reduction and environment
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
SDU 2015/06 Completed UNDP developed development pathway to support the operationalization of the CPD 2015-2019. The development pathway "Building Community Resilience" provides a framework for strong programming linkages between poverty reduction and environment. The programmatic linkages will further be strengthened through the portfolio management for the programme under the "Building Community Resilience" portfolio and the programming tools and guidance. History
2.5 UNDP to formulate a new programme on Resilience, DRR and CCA
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
SDU 2015/06 Completed UNDP has developed two programs; Climate Change Adaptation and Snow Leopards Projects. History
2.6 UNDP to launch a new Programme of support to Parliament
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2015/06/07]
National Governance Unit 2014/09 Completed Institutional and Capacity Support to the Parliament of Afghanistan was fully launched.
3. Recommendation: UNDP should examine the possibility of setting up additional multi-donor, multilateral trust funds in support of the transition.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

UNDP is committed to joint programmes, joint programming and if requested, the use of MPTFs, within the framework of the new UNDAF and in light of government and donor priorities. While an MPTF for Justice and ROL was proposed, the timing was not considered appropriate at present based on consultations with national and international stakeholders.

UNDP is actively engaged in the Outcome Working Groups under the new UNDAF 2015-2019 which are preparing the Joint Workplans and offer opportunities to identify areas of common interest for UN Agencies for potential Joint Programmes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Actively explore opportunities to set up MPTF to support joint programming in the 4 CPD outcome areas
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Front Office 2015/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: It was found that setting MPTFs for all the four outcomes is not feasible solution in the current context. Please see the comment box below for more details. ]
It was found that setting MPTFs for all the four outcomes is not feasible solution in the current context. However, the CO is seeking opportunities for Joint Programmes and promoting joint work within the framework of the UNDAF and the UNDAF Integrated Annual Work Plan. For example; UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF, UNAMA, UNHCR, WHO agreed on " A Partnership Framework: for the United Nations Joint Country Support for the Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence in Afghanistan". Additionally, UNDP and UNWOMEN has defined four area of joint work: 1) Gender-responsive planning, budgeting, and monitoring; 2) Integrated measures to eliminate violence against women; 3) Promoting women's leadership and participation; and 4) Promoting women? s economic empowerment. History
4. Recommendation: UNDP should strengthen its involvement in aid coordination forums and processes.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

For the time being, UNAMA still has the overall mandate for development coherence. The UNAMA mandate specifically states: 'that UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within their mandate and guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership, will continue to lead and coordinate the international civilian efforts, in accordance with the London, Kabul and Tokyo Conference Communiqués and the Bonn Conference Conclusions'. As the mandate of the UNAMA mission is reviewed, UNDP may be able to play a role in promoting aid coordination within the next Country Programme cycle (2015-19).

UNDP is strengthening its participation in donor coordination forums, and in particular in the area of subnational governance. UNDP co-chairs with UNAMA Civil Affairs the UN Working Group on Subnational governance and development which aims at strengthening the synergies of UN Agencies working at the local level across the country through more integrated UN Regional Teams. UNDP is also an active member of the UN Gender Working Group, the Interagency Network on Youth Development and the UN Rule of Law Results Group. Moreover, UNDP is including aid management and coordination as specific outputs of new projects such as in the area of justice and rule of law.

In the framework of the UNDAF and its five focus areas, the establishment of outcome groups in each of the focus areas will provide new platform for such donor coordination.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 UNDP participates actively in UN interagency coordination forums such as UNCT; PMT, PME, HACT, etc in Kabul and at UN Regional Teams in the regions.
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Front Office 2015/06 Completed UNDP is actively participating in the UNCT , PMT, HACT and is chairing the OMT. History
4.2 UNDP actively participates in the UNDAF four outcomes groups where government is represented at steering committee level.
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Programme Teams 2015/06 Completed The UNDP Chief (Strategy, Planning and Results) is chairing the UNDAF interagency Working Group. Moreover, UNDP Afghanistan is leading two outcome groups of Afghanistan UNDAF: the RoL and the Governance outcomes and is actively participating the outcome group on social equity. The CO has also strengthened its engagement in the Equitable Economic Development outcome group. History
4.3 UNDP actively engages in stakeholders coordination fora such as the Health Partners Forum (chaired by WB) , the Subnational Governance (Facilitated by EU) and the International Police Coordination Board (Chaired by USA from September 2014), and the Kabul Friends of Chicago Forum (Co-chaired by MoF and donors).
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Programme teams 2014/08 Completed UNDP Programmes Units are regularly engaging in stakeholders coordination fora to build constructive partnerships. History
5. Recommendation: UNDP Country Office management should, as a matter of priority, improve operational capacity and programme effectiveness by rebuilding a cohesive team of national and international staff committed to achieving results for Afghanistan.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

UNDP Afghanistan recognizes the necessity to strengthen the capacity of staff. We have established institutional mechanisms to tackle our capacity challenge through the new Learning Management Committee which conducts annual learning needs surveys, organizes Country Office-wide learning activities as well as reviews specific individual learning requests. Also, specific steps have already been initiated to improve operational capacity and programme effectiveness as also indicated in the ADR. This is still a work in progress that is made challenging due to the context in Afghanistan. To support these efforts, HR, in consultation with Programme teams, will develop a long term strategy for human resources recruitment and retention.

When developing and formulating new projects, UNDP Afghanistan mobilizes the support of senior consultants or experienced colleagues from other Country and Regional Offices to provide substantive guidance and recommendations. This allows the inclusion of lessons learned and best practices from other countries and improves the quality of the new projects.

On the operations side steps have been taken to identify what concrete actions could be initiated in UNDP Afghanistan to increase the efficiency of its activities, including looking into relocating some operational activities to UNDP regional hubs. Moreover, during 2014, UNDP Afghanistan is undertaking a strategic operations review with support of the Bureau of Management of UNDP.

UNDP CO Afghanistan conducted a two day strategic management and delivery workshop on 16-17 February 2014 with participation of more than 120 staff to discuss substantive issues from a wide range of areas covering both Programme and Operations in light of the findings and recommendations of the ADR. The ADR follow up action points have been produced by the working groups on i) rebuilding the trust with Govt & donors; ii) engagement with legislative and judiciary branches, and customary institutions; iii) support to poverty alleviation and enterprise development; iv) building national capacity in a sustainable way and v) rebuilding a cohesive team encompassing the CO, the programmes, and the regional offices. The outputs of these working groups were fed into the formulation of the new Country Programme for 2015-2019.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 The learning Management Committee finalizes SoPs and puts in place a mentorship programme
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
Learning Team 2015/01 Completed The Mentorship programme is conducted and launched. History
5.2 UNDP reviews its operational capacity in light of recommendation of BoM review
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2015/06/21]
Front Office 2015/01 Completed As part of the CM, BOM recommendation on the integrated financial management unit implemented. The Office for Financial Management and Oversight (OFMO), established in November 2014, is integrating all financial functions. All operation related business processes have been reviewed and the revised SOPs have been rolled out.
5.3 A long term HR strategy to support recruitment and retention will be developed and implemented
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
Human Resources Team 2015/01 Completed A long term policy on Gender parity and staff retention is developed, approved and effective since mid-2016 History
6. Recommendation: Subnational governance and service delivery should continue to be a major component of the UNDP Country Programme. To that end, UNDP should also establish regional offices that can better integrate UNDP project activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

We are currently preparing a regionalization strategy to address these issues. All of UNDP regional hubs are now located in upgraded premises in collocation with either UNAMA - mostly - and/or UNOPS. Moreover, UNDP presence at the subnational level has increased with the establishment of the Helmand office. Further to this, the work on regionalization explores avenues to transform the current project hubs into UNDP sub-offices. This will allow better programmatic synergies between projects, increased operational efficiencies through common administration and services, and improved contribution to UN work at subnational levels. However, the implementation of this strategy will have a cost that will need to be absorbed partly by the projects through cost sharing of services rendered to them, which the donors seem unwilling at this stage to accept. It is hoped that added value of having these sub-offices for UNDP in terms of improved monitoring, data gathering and local knowledge building will prove sufficient to convince the donors.

The new UNDP Subnational Governance Strategy foresees a pro-active approach towards partnering with other agencies for service delivery to ensure coherent programming on the capacity development of the governors' offices and the line ministries at subnational level. Based on the strategy new Subnational Governance Programmes will be formulated in 2014 and beginning of 2015.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 UNDP 8 project hubs are transformed into sub-offices
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Front Office 2015/07 Completed Based on the CO strategy for regional presence, UNDP Afghanistan established four regional offices in Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar and Kandahar. However, the project Ministry of Interior Police & Police Development (MPD) regional office established in Bamyan province is responsible to coordinate activities at that province. History
6.2 Project hubs joint work plans finalized and implemented
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Front Office 2014/12 Completed The joint planning has been incorporated in the regionalization strategy. History
7. Recommendation: Given the extensive de facto local autonomy that has been a feature of Afghan governance in the past, specific attention needs to be paid to engaging with customary Afghan governance and judicial systems, which may not be up to international standard but have the important advantages of legitimacy and efficacy, and could play a useful role in the edification of the Afghan state.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

UNDP agrees with the ADR recommendation and takes into consideration the informal, traditional, non-state, customary aspect of Afghan society when designing and implementing projects.

Specifically, UNDP has provided assistance to the formulation of the District Coordinating Councils, approved by Cabinet in December 2013 and building on the experience of the DDAs supported by NABDP, to become the formal District level elected bodies whose main role is to provide oversight and offer a platform for participatory approaches to decision making. UNDP is funding the roll-out in a pilot phase to the implementation of the policy and has included these bodies and district level governance in the new projects under the Subnational Governance and development Strategy.

The UNDP Justice and Human Rights project includes an important component linking the rule of law justice sector and system to the traditional Jirga/shura approach to justice services at the community level. Moreover, this issue is included in the new CPD as well as in the Rule of Law strategy of UNDP. This aspect is also included in the peace-building and conflict prevention approach adopted by the Country Office for programme design as underlined in the new CPD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 UNDP Justice and Human Rights project strengthens the already existing component linking the justice sector to the traditional jirga/shura approach to justice
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
RoL Unit 2015/01 Completed This component linking is considered as justice sector to the traditional jirga/shura approach to justice in Afghanistan Access to Justice (AA2J) Project. History
7.2 UNDP ensures that traditional forms of local governance and grievance mechanisms are included in the new Sub National Governance and Development Programme
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
SNGD Unit 2015/06 Completed The traditional forms of local governance and grievance mechanism included and prepared under SNGD (LOGO) project. History
8. Recommendation: The strategic coherence of UNDP?s capacity development initiatives should be strengthened through stronger support to the Public Administration Reform process. Sustainability of capacity-building results needs more serious consideration in programme design and during implementation. The recourse to large numbers of non- Tashkeel staff as a stop-gap measure must be reduced, and UNDP should consider a gradual increase in the use of national implementation to help raise capacity in a sustainable manner.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

We are designing a new project that builds on lessons learned through the National Institution Building Project (NIBP) which was phased out on 31 December 2013. The new project will include several initiatives to support Public Administrative reforms and improvement of the planning, budgeting and budget execution capacity of line ministries. The new project will be aligned with the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, the New Deal, the National Priority Programs (NPPs) and the Afghanistan Development National Strategy (ANDS). In addition, UNDP has, starting in 2014, been implementing the NTA policy with the objective of bridging the gap between the Tashkeel staff and the non-Tashkeel staff working in Government ministries and paid for by UNDP projects through the adoption of a salary scale and aligning all non-Tashkeel staff to it.

The new CPD clearly highlights the intention to not create any new parallel structures, and focus UNDP capacity development efforts on existing governmental institutions and Tashkeel personnel.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 New project will support the Public Administrative Reform and improvement of the planning, budgeting and budget execution capacity of the line ministries.
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/18]
Governance Unit 2015/07 Completed Based on the micro-capacity assessments, most of the newly developed projects are being implemented under NIM modality which will strengthen the capacity of national government institutions and government civil servants. History
8.2 New CPD starting 2015 reinforces UNDP commitment to not create parallel structures and focuses on capacity development and support to Tashkeel personnel.
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Front Office 2015/06 Completed Projects approach for capacity building focuses on building capacity of Tashkeel staff. The programme is working on reducing parallel structures. By June 2015 reduced its support to the NTA scheme with 50%. The CO has established a taskforce to look into how to transit from NTA to Capacity Building for Results (CPR). The CBR is based on a top-up scheme for Tashkeel staff. History
8.3 UNDP complies with HACT and undertakes micro-assessments of all its IPs and use result to identify appropriate implementation modalities
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
SMSU 2015/10 Completed The CO signed the contract with three firms to carry out the micro-assessment .The CO developed the micro-assessment plan and completed HACT self-assessments for all IPs by November 2015. History
8.4 UNDP ensures full compliance with the NTA policy in all its projects
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/02]
Programme Teams 2015/06 Completed Please refer to the response to 8.2. History
9. Recommendation: UNDP should make preparations to reduce its exposure to poor security conditions, by outsourcing some activities, in particular monitoring and evaluation, and by moving some administrative functions outside the country. It could also consider disengaging itself responsibly from its riskiest programme, the largely ineffective APRP, or radically simplifying its institutional arrangements.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

UNDP is taking steps to micro-assess its Implementing Partners, which lays the foundations for third party implementation and remote management, including third party monitoring arrangements.

A recent mission to Afghanistan of the Office of Financial Resources and Management recommends moving procurement and financial functions out of the CO to UNDP regional hubs. This recommendation will be further clarified and put into action plan in the coming months. This is going to be implemented in the framework of the corporate initiative of clusterization.

APRP is not foreseen to continue beyond its present phase. A transition paper has been prepared by APRP and is being used by UNDP to guide its work on mainstreaming peace building and conflict prevention in its programmes under the new CPD. All new projects will adopt a conflict sensitive approach in their design phase.

An M&E group has been established in the CO to coordinate all programme and project M&E activities and identify more innovative approaches to monitor projects and activities, using new technologies and partnerships especially with NGOs and CSOs to improve the reach of UNDP M&E capacities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 Third party monitoring agents are identified and LTAs are in place
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2015/06/28]
Programme Teams 2014/12 Completed Third Party Monitoring Agents for LOTFA and APRP were identified and are carrying the function. The third party monitoring agents practices will be expanded and tailored to other projects as relevant and feasible.
9.2 Possibility of outsourcing selected Operational functions reviewed and implemented as appropriate
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
Front Office 2015/07 Completed The possible operational services outsourced based on thorough analysis. The outsourced services include; Office cleaning and Bank to bank reconciliation services. History
9.3 Review with the new Government the involvement of UNDP in the area of Peace and Reintegration in light of the closing of APRP in July 2015
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
SNGD Unit 2014/12 Completed Discussions were held with the new leadership of the High Peace Council in 2016. The new leadership is supportive of the role of UNDP in the area of peace. APRP was not closed in July, but extended until March 2016. A new national peace and reconciliation strategy has been drafted and expected to be launched in January 2017. The national strategy document 2015-2017 was not endorsed by the government. Instead, APRP was extended until March 2016. However, a new strategy called – Afghanistan National Peace and Reconciliation (ANPR) Strategy has been developed recently and waiting for the President and Chief Executive’s endorsement. History
10. Recommendation: The Country Office urgently needs to expand its communications capacity to ensure that the Afghan Government, Afghan citizens as well as development partners are aware of UNDP?s goals and the impact its programmes have on helping improve the lives of average Afghan people.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

UNDP has strengthened its Communications Team and revamped its publications and web-based communication tools. The new Communication Strategy under finalization is shifting the focus from an input-focused communication to a communication focused on results and human stories highlighting the impact of UNDP activities on people and communities, with a heavy reliance on testimonies from beneficiaries.

Capacity development is being provided to UNDP staff in both CO and projects on this new approach. A communications network has been established to facilitate the implementation of the strategy and Communications focal points have been appointed in all subnational project hubs to ensure a better coverage of UNDP results, especially in the field among the communities.

A National Communications Officer has been recruited in July 2014 to strengthen the capacity of the Country Office in ensuring its communication work is available in local languages.

In addition to the traditional communications tools such as corporate brochures, project summaries and annual reports, UNDP has published an Afghan specific version of the Development Advocate in 2013 to highlight human stories where UNDP interventions have had a strong impact on the lives of local people. We have also increased and improved our presence in social media using platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter in both English and local languages.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 UNDP recruits a National Communications Officer to strengthen the capacities of its Communications Team
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2015/06/10]
Communications Team 2014/08 Completed A national communications officer was recruited which has positively impacted the delivery of communications services to the CO and projects and subsequently the partners.
10.2 Press releases, brochures, and social media communications are issued in Pashto-Dari and English
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/03]
Communications Team 2015/06 Completed Communications and visibility materials tailored to the respective audience groups have been produced ( including in Dari and Pashto) and disseminated. Feature stories, press releases, etc. have been published on the website and promoted through FB. Social media posts/tweets appear in Dari, English and Pashto. This is an ongoing process and will continue. History
10.3 UNDP staff trained in presentation and communications skills.
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/03]
Learning Team 2015/06 Completed The CO conducted a number of short trainings on communications skills such as sessions on presentation skills, negotiation and influence. This is an ongoing process. History
10.4 UNDP Projects all have a dedicated Communication focal point/staff and training is provided to highlight importance of results-oriented communication
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/03]
Programme Teams 2015/06 Completed Each project has nominated a Focal Point for communication if the project does not have a dedicated communications officer. The communications team has provided the project communications staff / Focal Points with guidance and feedback on their communications contents and campaigns and will continue to deliver such support. Additionally, there is a proposal of a full-time communications officer based on project's size. History
11. Recommendation: UNDP should reach out to civil society, including through regular information events during the build-up to the elections and by involving carefully selected NGOs as programme implementers, primarily at the provincial and district levels, but also in lobbying, awareness-raising and civic education efforts.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/07/17] [Last Updated: 2014/08/22]

As part of the new Partnership Strategy UNDP has in December 2013 established a Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC). Fifteen national NGOs or network of NGOs constitute this formal body that meets monthly. The CSAC provides a forum where UNDP collects feedback on on-going and new initiatives and projects from civil society. It also provides an advocacy and discussion platform to enrich UNDP's positions and projects on development issues in AFG. Finally, the CSAC gives voice and visibility to civil society through a formal institutionalized link to a UN Agency.

Three web-based Communities of Practices have been established under UNDP's global Solutions Exchanges initiative (on Gender, Municipal Governance, and Management of Natural Resources) as platforms for development practitioners and CSOs to tap into and exchange knowledge, expertise, and experiences of professional peers.

Increasingly, CSOs play a central role in the implementation of UNDP projects. In several cluster strategies drafted and adopted by UNDP, civil society is envisaged to play an important role both in terms of partners in the implementation and the monitoring of UNDP projects. Furthermore, CSOs are engaged in UNDP programme implementation beyond their traditional role as IPs to become direct beneficiaries of UNDP support in terms of capacity development, exposure and access to resources, like so happens with the Small Grants Programme funded by the Global Environment Facility.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 UNDP Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC) role is strengthened
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/04/03]
Partnership Team 2015/06 Completed The CO Management discussed the role of CSAC and clarified the roles within the CO as part of the Change Management discussions. The recommendation is taken into consideration to the possible extent and is an ongoing process. History
11.2 UNDP CSO Task Force submits recommendations
[Added: 2014/08/22] [Last Updated: 2015/06/29]
CSO Task Force 2014/12 Completed UNDP CSOs taskforce was established as cross-unit forum to discuss and share issues related to CSOs involvement in the programme as well as programmatic support to CSOs. The Taskforce meetings will be held as necessary.

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