Final Evaluation of the project " Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT-II)"

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2016
Completion Date:
07/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Final Evaluation of the project " Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT-II)"
Atlas Project Number: 00063078
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2015
Planned End Date: 02/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. 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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: Project Resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Charlemagne Gomez and Tim Baker External Evaluator
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Independent Election Commission
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Comments: Mandatory per the ProDoc
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Given the numerous evaluations and lessons learned reports undertaken in the lifetime of the project, a compilation of key recommendations should be collated and compiled into a single document ensuring ease of reference and identification of essential recommendations, probability of implementation and their priority. Reference can also be made to evaluation reports from all elections as many recommendations made in 2005 are just as valid today.

2

Institutional memory should be maintained to ensure a smooth transition to a new project. This should include specialized expertise on procurement, financial and human resources aspects. Expertise can be sought in-country for human resources and finance. The expertise gained by the ELECT projects as well as UNDP country office in electoral procurement should be used in order to further the capacity of the IEC including in capacitating local vendors with a particular attention being paid to sustainability of costs and capabilities for the future.

3

A future ELECT project should concentrate on technical advice and only support financially areas of the process that are not supported by the Government. Salary costs should not be financed by a future project and should be under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance. Support should be provided to the IEC to encourage a reasonable transfer of financial responsibility to the government.

4

Impending Electoral Reforms should be factored in to a new project and support should be aimed at assuring their implementation. All electoral stakeholders responsible for their implementation and application should be involved and an implementation plan with an effective monitoring and evaluation plan should be initiated with the support of a future ELECT.

5

National Ownership of the project is key, therefore key IEC members of the Secretariat and Commission should be actively involved in the formulation of a new project document – where possible this should be along the lines of a imminent Two year Action Plan and where possible in conjunction in designing a Five Year Strategic Plan which includes the conduct of the next elections, and addresses a mid to long term plan of sustainability and sources of funding (national or international). Any plans drawn up should emanate from an all-inclusive and consultative process and include SMART indicators, bench marks and targets as well as involve key electoral stakeholders and responsible ministries to ensure effective “buy in” and implementation there.

6

A future Election Support Project should support the IEC to engage key electoral stakeholders in the process, including domestic observers, civil society organizations, media, women’s groups and representatives from other vulnerable groups including IDPS and PWDs.

7

While Afghanistan has a high number of BRIDGE trained persons, Afghans have only been exposed to eleven modules of which only eight of these are translated and contextualized into local languages. In order to ensure sustainability of training, promotion of inclusiveness with other electoral stakeholders and to promote an elite of persons trained in electoral management, BRIDGE training should be implemented in the curriculum of IEC whereby, key and motivated staff are offered the possibility of becoming accrediting trainers whereby they are able to gain international recognition and use their knowledge to train others. Training of BRIDGE should be offered to IEC with other key stakeholders, to improve their electoral knowledge and to create an “electoral family” amongst the different stakeholders.

8

More emphasis on vulnerable groups, including women, PWDs and IDPs, this should include developing a gender and disability policy within IEC which not only addresses the number of women and other vulnerable groups working in the electoral institutions, but informs, educates and promotes ways of ensuring a more inclusive participation of all these groups in the wider democratic process.

9

The apparent disconnect between the Commission and the Secretariat needs to be addressed, examples of good practice whereby the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) is placed to be a liaison between the Commission and the Secretariat can be replicated, however emphasis should be on sustainability and national ownership and ensuring that commissioners and secretariat staff have a fluid working relationship including clear and implementable procedures which govern decision making for the whole of the organization. Commissioners should all undergo BRIDGE training and be encouraged to participate in as many sessions as possible especially in key areas.

10

Neighboring countries with similar issues such as poor staff retention, national identification cards, or perceived lack of transparency and trust in the EMB should be looked upon to carry out studies and study tours to gather best practices and lessons learned. Afghanistan which is a member of FEMBOSA should be supported in their obligations to this organization and study exchanges for key and motivated staff should be given. IEC should be encouraged to draft rules and regulations for study visits and access to trainings. While it is important that commissioners.

1. Recommendation:

Given the numerous evaluations and lessons learned reports undertaken in the lifetime of the project, a compilation of key recommendations should be collated and compiled into a single document ensuring ease of reference and identification of essential recommendations, probability of implementation and their priority. Reference can also be made to evaluation reports from all elections as many recommendations made in 2005 are just as valid today.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. There are mechanisms for tracking and reporting of both evaluations and lessons learned. These information are tracked in the periodic project reports, which are uploaded into ATLAS as well as achieved in the UNDP Afghanistan Intranet. Moreover, these mechanisms will be maintained for successor projects.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Institutional memory should be maintained to ensure a smooth transition to a new project. This should include specialized expertise on procurement, financial and human resources aspects. Expertise can be sought in-country for human resources and finance. The expertise gained by the ELECT projects as well as UNDP country office in electoral procurement should be used in order to further the capacity of the IEC including in capacitating local vendors with a particular attention being paid to sustainability of costs and capabilities for the future.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. The Country Office has realized the importance of maintaining institutional memory, therefore, it has embarked on transition project to ensure proper transition between ELECT-II and UNESP. Moreover, those functions are considered core functions of the Country Office, therefore, the CO has dedicated and specialized units for the above mentioned functions.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

A future ELECT project should concentrate on technical advice and only support financially areas of the process that are not supported by the Government. Salary costs should not be financed by a future project and should be under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance. Support should be provided to the IEC to encourage a reasonable transfer of financial responsibility to the government.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. The successor project (UNESP) is only focused on technical support and all financial, human resources and procurement functions are handled by the Government Counterpart.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Impending Electoral Reforms should be factored in to a new project and support should be aimed at assuring their implementation. All electoral stakeholders responsible for their implementation and application should be involved and an implementation plan with an effective monitoring and evaluation plan should be initiated with the support of a future ELECT.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. All elections stakeholders were involved in development of successor project as well as they are part of the project board.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

National Ownership of the project is key, therefore key IEC members of the Secretariat and Commission should be actively involved in the formulation of a new project document – where possible this should be along the lines of a imminent Two year Action Plan and where possible in conjunction in designing a Five Year Strategic Plan which includes the conduct of the next elections, and addresses a mid to long term plan of sustainability and sources of funding (national or international). Any plans drawn up should emanate from an all-inclusive and consultative process and include SMART indicators, bench marks and targets as well as involve key electoral stakeholders and responsible ministries to ensure effective “buy in” and implementation there.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. All elections stakeholders were involved in development of successor project. The Electoral Management Bodies are independently managing all planning and operations of up-coming elections with only technical advisory role from the United Nations.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

A future Election Support Project should support the IEC to engage key electoral stakeholders in the process, including domestic observers, civil society organizations, media, women’s groups and representatives from other vulnerable groups including IDPS and PWDs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. Support to both IEC and ECC in engagement of the electoral stakeholders is foreseen in the successor elections support project (UNESP).

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

While Afghanistan has a high number of BRIDGE trained persons, Afghans have only been exposed to eleven modules of which only eight of these are translated and contextualized into local languages. In order to ensure sustainability of training, promotion of inclusiveness with other electoral stakeholders and to promote an elite of persons trained in electoral management, BRIDGE training should be implemented in the curriculum of IEC whereby, key and motivated staff are offered the possibility of becoming accrediting trainers whereby they are able to gain international recognition and use their knowledge to train others. Training of BRIDGE should be offered to IEC with other key stakeholders, to improve their electoral knowledge and to create an “electoral family” amongst the different stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

More emphasis on vulnerable groups, including women, PWDs and IDPs, this should include developing a gender and disability policy within IEC which not only addresses the number of women and other vulnerable groups working in the electoral institutions, but informs, educates and promotes ways of ensuring a more inclusive participation of all these groups in the wider democratic process.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. According to the new arrangements, any reform as such is responsibility of EMBs however, UNESP stands ready to provide technical support if required.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

The apparent disconnect between the Commission and the Secretariat needs to be addressed, examples of good practice whereby the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) is placed to be a liaison between the Commission and the Secretariat can be replicated, however emphasis should be on sustainability and national ownership and ensuring that commissioners and secretariat staff have a fluid working relationship including clear and implementable procedures which govern decision making for the whole of the organization. Commissioners should all undergo BRIDGE training and be encouraged to participate in as many sessions as possible especially in key areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. In the reformed structure of the two commissions, there is a strong link between the commissions and the secretariats, where the commissions are directly supervising the work of their secretariats. The UN Electoral Support Team can provide additional support to further strengthen this coordination.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Neighboring countries with similar issues such as poor staff retention, national identification cards, or perceived lack of transparency and trust in the EMB should be looked upon to carry out studies and study tours to gather best practices and lessons learned. Afghanistan which is a member of FEMBOSA should be supported in their obligations to this organization and study exchanges for key and motivated staff should be given. IEC should be encouraged to draft rules and regulations for study visits and access to trainings. While it is important that commissioners.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/21] [Last Updated: 2017/10/21]

Agreed. It is part of the capacity development plan of new Electoral Support Project.

Key Actions:

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