Midterm Evaluation of the project "Institutional and Capacity Support to the Parliament of Afghanistan (ICSPA)"

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
01/2017
Completion Date:
04/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Midterm Evaluation of the project "Institutional and Capacity Support to the Parliament of Afghanistan (ICSPA)"
Atlas Project Number: 00080438
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2017
Planned End Date: 01/2017
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: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Tomislav Novovic Evaluation Expert tomislav.novovic@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Prepare a plan to advocate and lobby the President for the adoption of the Parliamentary Service Act (PSA).

2

ICSPA project should prepare a support plan for the National Parliament after the passage of the PSA. 

3

UNDP and the partners should explore opportunities to expand support to the National Parliament and for the follow-up phase of the ICSPA project.

4

The ICSPA project should explore opportunities to reestablish communication and cooperation with the IPU.

5

Strengthen the PMU through engagement of an International Technical Advisor.

6

The ICSPA project should continue with activities to enhance gender equality.

7

It is recommended to improve monitoring system for the ICSPA project and for implementation of the Reform Action Plan.

1. Recommendation:

Prepare a plan to advocate and lobby the President for the adoption of the Parliamentary Service Act (PSA).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

The plan has been prepared by the project based on proposed mitigating measures to risks and issues identified since 2014. Accordingly, UNDP has provided full briefings to ICSPA partners and UNAMA to permit them to engage in political level discussions with the Government towards obtaining its support for passage of the Parliamentary Service Act.  Also, UNDP has encouraged the Parliamentary leadership in both Houses to collaborate with the Inter-Parliamentary Union whose secretariat and members are keen to lend their political support towards passage of the Act. Passage of the Act is critical to establishing a sustainable human resource for the parliament’s institutional development and ensuring the parliament’s autonomy from the Executive. Presidential support for passage of the Act would be seen as an example of his strong commitment to building strong institutions and an important benchmark of progress towards some degree of democratic consolidation in Afghanistan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project to prepare briefing notes for UNDP Senior Management and project donor Ambassadors clarifying that staff in the National Assembly of Afghanistan are not autonomous from the Government, and accordingly, the parliament secretariats cannot effectively support MPs to oversee government action, review the national budget, scrutinize legislation or oversee public accounts.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2017/07 Completed
UNDP Senior Management and project donor Ambassadors to meet with Parliamentary leadership to agree on approach.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Programme Unit 2018/03 Completed
UNDP Senior Management and project donor Ambassadors to meet with President of Afghanistan to advocate for passage of the PSA.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/09/11]
Programme Unit 2019/07 Initiated This Key Action is still under consideration, the project is taking is supporting it inline with the donor agreement, but it requires government agreement.
2. Recommendation:

ICSPA project should prepare a support plan for the National Parliament after the passage of the PSA. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

The project recognizes the imperative of ensuring that technical assistance and expertise is available to support the full implementation of the PSA. In anticipation of the successful passage of the PSA, the ICSPA project began discussion with the Secretariats to determine needs. This support plan has been included in the National Assembly of Afghanistan’s Reform Action Plan.  Subsequent initiatives detailed in the plan include support to revising the organogramme, revising terms of reference, reclassifying posts, developing conditions of service, etc.  The Secretaries General have also discussed the plan at IPU HQs in Geneva and had prepared a timeframe of two years for establishment of the Parliamentary Service following adoption of the Act.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Consult with leadership of the secretariats to ascertain needs and develop a preliminary timeline.
[Added: 2017/11/21]
Project CTA with support from Governance Unit. 2017/10 Completed
Update timeline as needed, anticipating event opportunities in 2018, eg International democracy day Sept 18, 2018.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2017/06 Completed
3. Recommendation:

UNDP and the partners should explore opportunities to expand support to the National Parliament and for the follow-up phase of the ICSPA project.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

UNDP has taken this under consideration however it was too soon to act on this recommendation as the Parliamentary Service Act has not yet been passed. This recommendation will accordingly be implemented if the PSA is adopted during the lifespan of the ICSPA project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Evaluate the likelihood that the PSA will be passed during the lifespan of the project.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2017/12 Completed Partners have agreed to extend the current project for 6-8 months. DFID will undertake a political economy analysis of the parliament to determine future support following upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in October 2018.
4. Recommendation:

The ICSPA project should explore opportunities to reestablish communication and cooperation with the IPU.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

ICSPA has benefited from the support of the IPU in past years. Cooperation and discussions with IPU is ongoing without cost to the project. However, IPU experts are not willing to be deployed to Kabul due to the deteriorated security situation. IPU has been keen to facilitate additional peer support to the Afghan Parliament Secretaries General through the IPU-based Association for Secretaries General in Parliaments (ASGP) and Annual IPU Assemblies towards establishment of the Parliament Service once the PSA Act is adopted. Support will hasten when the security situation improves.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue liaising with the IPU to gain peer support.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2017/06 Completed ongoing
Seek additional technical assistance in conjunction with the IPU towards establishment of the Parliamentary Service once the Act is adopted.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2017/06 Completed ongoing
5. Recommendation:

Strengthen the PMU through engagement of an International Technical Advisor.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

An international parliamentary development specialist is being contracted on a two-month consultancy contract (Oct-Nov) to support the Wolesi Jirga Secretary General to prepare a Code of Conduct for MPs. The specialist’s contract would also include responsibility for updating the ICSPA M&E Plan. If the specialist meets performance expectations he may be recruited for an additional year to join the PMU as an international technical advisor. Following a performance assessment his contract may be extended. However, difficulties in recruitment of qualitied international staff in support of the Afghan Parliament persist.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Follow through with recruitment of TA.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2018/05 Completed ongoing
6. Recommendation:

The ICSPA project should continue with activities to enhance gender equality.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

Enhancing gender equality efforts are ongoing and are being jointly implemented with the Gender Directorates in both Houses, to strengthen their capacity and sustainability of the interventions.  Since the mid-term evaluation was finalized in May, the project had supported the implementation of three additional gender equality-related activities.  These activities have included supporting the parliament to organize induction programmes for women journalists and women’s based CSOs as well as establishing a database to facilitate information between the secretariat and women journalists/CSOs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue to develop opportunities to increase awareness and support for gender eaulity in both parliamentary Houses.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Project CTA 2017/12 Completed
7. Recommendation:

It is recommended to improve monitoring system for the ICSPA project and for implementation of the Reform Action Plan.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/21]

The international technical specialist anticipated for Q4 will be recruited to improve the ICSPA M&E plan in October and November 2017, as well as drafting of the code of conduct.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Upon recruitment, TA will begin preparations for updating ICSPA M&E system, in anticipation of the Reform Action Plan.
[Added: 2017/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/05/09]
Programme Unit 2017/11 Completed

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