Evaluation of the UNDP Strategic Plan and Global and Regional Programmes

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Thematic
Planned End Date:
06/2017
Completion Date:
08/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
100,000

The report focuses attention on key aspects of UNDPs work under the current strategic plan, and considers the way UNDP, as an essential UN organisation, provides programme support to partner governments. The assessment was carried out during a time of significant restructuring and reorganization at UNDP, designed to strengthen organizational effectiveness and further enhance the contribution of UNDP to development. The evaluation examines the processes and effects of this reorganization through collaborative work undertaken with the UNDP office of Audit and Investigations, and also looks at the results that have been delivered during this challenging period. The UNDP programme portfolio spans about 170 countries and territories, and covers a wide ranging and complex set of issues. The evaluation team was cognizant of the opportunities and challenges such a broad mandate creates.

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Title Evaluation of the UNDP Strategic Plan and Global and Regional Programmes
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2017
Planned End Date: 06/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
  • 2. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
  • 3. Output 1.4. Scaled up action on climate change adaptation and mitigation across sectors which is funded and implemented
  • 4. Output 1.5. Inclusive and sustainable solutions adopted to achieve increased energy efficiency and universal modern energy access (especially off-grid sources of renewable energy)
  • 5. 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
  • 6. Output 2.2. Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures across sectors and stakeholders
  • 7. Output 2.3 Capacities of human rights institutions strengthened
  • 8. Output 2.4. Frameworks and dialogue processes engaged for effective and transparent engagement of civil society in national development
  • 9. Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national
  • 10. Output 2.6. Legal reform enabled to fight discrimination and address emerging issues (such as environmental and electoral justice
  • 11. Output 3.1. Core functions of government enabled (in post conflict situations) to ensure national ownership of recovery and development processes
  • 12. Output 3.2. Functions, financing and capacity of sub-national level institutions enabled to deliver improved basic services and respond to priorities voiced by the public
  • 13. Output 3.3. National institutions, systems, laws and policies strengthened for equitable, accountable and effective delivery of HIV and related services
  • 14. Output 3.5 Communities empowered and security sector institutions enabled for increased citizen safety and reduced levels of armed violence
  • 15. Output 3.6. Governance institutional, and other critical bottlenecks addressed to support achievement of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals
  • 16. Output 4.1. Country led measures accelerated to advance women's economic empowerment
  • 17. Output 4.2. Measures in place and implemented across sectors to prevent and respond to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
  • 18. Output 4.3. Evidence-informed national strategies and partnerships to advance gender equality and women's empowerment
  • 19. Output 4.4. Measures in place to increase women's participation in decision-making
  • 20. Output 4.5 Measures in place to increase women's access to environmental goods and services (including climate finance)
  • 21. Output 5.1. Mechanisms in place to assess natural and man-made risks at national and sub-national levels
  • 22. Output 5.2. Effective institutional, legislative and policy frameworks in place to enhance the implementation of disaster and climate risk management measures at national and sub-national levels
  • 23. Output 5.3. Gender responsive disaster and climate risk management is integrated in the development planning and budgetary frameworks of key sectors (e.g. water, agriculture, health and education)
  • 24. Output 5.4. Preparedness systems in place to effectively address the consequences of and response to natural hazards (e.g. geo-physical and climate related) and man-made crisis at all levels of government and community
  • 25. Output 5.5. Policy frameworks and institutional mechanisms enabled at the national and sub-national levels for the peaceful management of emerging and recurring conflicts and tensions
  • 26. Output 5.6. Mechanisms are enabled for consensus-building around contested priorities, and address specific tensions, through inclusive and peaceful processes
  • 27. Output 6.1. From the humanitarian phase after crisis, early economic revitalization generates jobs and other environmentally sustainable livelihoods opportunities for crisis affected men and women
  • 28. Output 6.2. National and local authorities /institutions enabled to lead the community engagement, planning, coordination, delivery and monitoring of early recovery efforts
  • 29. Output 6.3. Innovative partnerships are used to inform national planning and identification of solutions for early recovery
  • 30. Output 6.4. Recovery processes reinforce social cohesion and trust and enable rapid return to sustainable development
  • 31. Output 7.1. Global consensus on completion of MDGs and the post 2015 agenda informed by contributions from UNDP
  • 32. Output 7.2. Global and national data collection, measurement and analytical systems in place to monitor progress on the post 2015 agenda and sustainable development goals
  • 33. Output 7.3. National development plans to address poverty and inequality are sustainable and risk resilient
  • 34. Output 7.4. Countries enabled to gain equitable access to, and manage, ODA and other sources of global development financing
  • 35. Output 7.5 South-South and Triangular cooperation partnerships established and/or strengthened for development solutions
  • 36. Output 7.6. Innovations enabled for development solutions, partnerships and other collaborative arrangements
  • 37. Output 7.7 Mechanisms in place to generate and share knowledge about development solutions
  • 38. Output 1.2. Options enabled and facilitated for inclusive and sustainable social protection
  • 39. Output 3.4. Functions, financing and capacity of rule of law institutions enabled, including to improve access to justice and redress
Evaluation Budget(US $): 100,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 97,000
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Recommendation 1: Support for fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals should be a cross-cutting issue for all UNDP country offices. Integrated approaches to development are essential for fulfilment of the Goals and should be pursued where possible, taking national contexts and implementation efficiency into consideration.

2

Recommendation 2: The overarching strategic objective of UNDP — supporting the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized members of society — remains valid. Future resources and programming should aim to help countries accelerate the achievement of development results especially for those left behind, based on fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

3

Recommendation 3: UNDP should retain its global reach. Programming in middle-income countries should align with the Sustainable Development Goals and other global frameworks, placing vulnerable populations at the forefront while seizing opportunities to expand assistance at subnational levels.

4

Recommendation 4: UNDP should strongly emphasize its climate change adaptation capabilities and services in the next strategic plan. The UNDP national and subnational scope of service; capabilities for urban and rural development planning, governance and risk assessment; experience managing multi-partner trust funds; and decades of environmental protection and disaster risk reduction and recovery work provide a platform from which to ably assist national and subnational governments to meet this global development challenge. Specific attention should be paid to the climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction linkages.

5

Recommendation 5: Recognizing that governance is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDP should be proactive in supporting sectoral governance approaches and more persuasive in promoting democratic governance reforms.

6

Recommendation 6: Analysis of institutional capacities at the national level should guide UNDP governance programming in countries affected by conflict. Governance support needs to be targeted to critical government functions that are essential to stability. UNDP should more strategically support Sustainable Development Goal 16 and related intergovernmental agreements on peacebuilding and State-building.

7

Recommendation 7: UNDP should retain resilience as a distinct area of work under the next strategic plan so that stakeholders see this remaining a core area of the UNDP service offering. To strengthen the coherence of its crisis risk-reduction and recovery support, UNDP should continue to refine the roles and scope of service of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and the Crisis Response Unit.

8

Recommendation 8: UNDP should strengthen implementation of its gender policies, taking measures to ensure adequate funding to mainstream gender across all programming areas. Work on gender equality and women’s empowerment should not be confined to a gender team alone but should ensure that all large programmes have dedicated gender expertise. Specific attention needs to be paid to such areas as environment, energy and crisis response, where gender mainstreaming remains weak.

9

Recommendation 9: UNDP should take a more systematic approach to South-South cooperation, selecting specific areas and partners for expanded cooperation.

10

Recommendation 10: UNDP should change the global programme to a service line for supporting staff positions at global and regional levels, as its shared deliverables and blurred boundaries make it unsuitable as a specific programme.

11

Recommendation 11: UNDP should determine specialties within its sustainable development, governance and resilience areas of work. This will help it to build world-class technical expertise and focus its resources on building capacities in those areas.

12

Recommendation 12: UNDP should reassess the roles and financial sustainability of the regional hubs, striving to make them centres of excellence for innovation and learning while expanding cooperation and partnerships with regional institutions. It should reduce overlap between regional and country-level programming.

13

Recommendation 13: Regional programming, if better defined, has the potential to be a valuable tool to prioritize and organize UNDP regional engagement and support to country offices. UNDP should develop its regional programmes as frameworks, outlining the regional issues to be addressed and approaches to be followed. To maximize its activities at the regional level and position UNDP to make a meaningful contribution, there should be more focus on a select number of areas at the regional level. For regional programmes to be effective, the activities that are considered should be realistic and pay sufficient attention to regionality principles.

14

Recommendation 14: UNDP should promote a results culture that encourages critical reflection and continuous organizational learning for improved results and institutional effectiveness.

15

Recommendation 15: UNDP should increase the involvement of the Office of Human Resources in strategic decision-making, especially in future institutional restructuring. Given the increasing complexity of programme delivery, inter-agency work and collaboration with a range of partners including civil society, investment in developing skills in leadership, relationship management and management across complex systems should be prioritized.

16

Recommendation 16: UNDP should transition from political budgeting to a more risk- and results-based budgeting process, to more effectively link results to resources. This will help mobilize funds and better highlight investment gaps to donors. UNDP is being held accountable to a corporate strategic plan without predictable and adequate resources. UNDP should work with funders and influence groups to raise understanding of the unintended effects of reductions in core funding. Focus should be on bringing the donor community together to work more effectively on integrated multidimensional approaches to support fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals, while contributing to partner country priorities.

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: Support for fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals should be a cross-cutting issue for all UNDP country offices. Integrated approaches to development are essential for fulfilment of the Goals and should be pursued where possible, taking national contexts and implementation efficiency into consideration.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with this recommendation.  UNDP will continue and further expand its support to national partners in integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into national development plans, through the MAPS missions and other forms of support together with other United Nations development system partners.  UNDP will provide policy support to countries through the application of tools and quantitative methodologies that can help Governments to make informed decisions on prioritization and implementation of the Goals in line with national priorities and context.

Upon request from Governments, UNDP is committed to supporting countries in the follow-up and review of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal fulfillment through the voluntary national reviews as part of the formal process that culminates at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Following the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) guidelines for preparation of country-led national Sustainable Development Goal reports and on the request of Governments, UNDP is supporting the production of the first cohort of reports, which include in-depth national and subnational reviews of the countries' processes of monitoring and reviewing national implementation of the Goals.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Roll out and support the UNDG MAPS approach at in response to national requests, together with UNDG and other development partners
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/04/11]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS); regional bureaux; resident coordinators/resident representatives 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated Ongoing (since August 2016; on demand)
Upon requests from Governments, support countries in efforts to follow-up and review progress towards Goal fulfilment through voluntary national reviews, and support for Sustainable Development Goal country reports.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/04/11]
BPPS and regional bureaux, in support of resident coordinators/resident representatives 2020/12 Initiated Ongoing
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: The overarching strategic objective of UNDP — supporting the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized members of society — remains valid. Future resources and programming should aim to help countries accelerate the achievement of development results especially for those left behind, based on fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with this recommendation, and the 2030 Agenda’s ambition of “leaving no one behind” will be proposed as an important element of the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, including in the integrated results and resources framework (IRRF).  UNDP intends to implement this recommendation through its support to national and local partners on the Sustainable Development Goals, and including through tools and promoting development solutions identified through South-South and triangular cooperation, and fostering partnerships that have a strong potential to harness transformational change and support achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the ground. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Drawing on practices and lessons learned through programmes and projects, continue the development and support of the conceptual framework and associated tools for a more integrated and effective approach to multidimensional poverty.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/08/01]
Conceptual framework: BPPS; Delivery organization-wide Tools development: BPPS in consultation with regional bureaux 2019/12 Initiated The new SP 2018-2021 takes an integrated multidimensional approach to poverty.
A corporate "leave no one behind" methodology for tracking excluded groups, targeting and access support to development benefits will be integrated in all results and resources frameworks for programmes and projects.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/04/24]
BPPS in consultations with regional bureaux and country offices. 2018/06 Completed Leave no one behind targets have been integrated into the IRRF. UNDP has also introduced leave no one behind markers, which will be linked to UNDP projects and programmes will link and monitored and reported on going forward.
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: UNDP should retain its global reach. Programming in middle-income countries should align with the Sustainable Development Goals and other global frameworks, placing vulnerable populations at the forefront while seizing opportunities to expand assistance at subnational levels.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with this recommendation.  UNDP supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in conjunction with the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action, to ensure that countries make effective use of all available resources and means to advance their development goals. Through dedicated methodologies for development finance assessments and integrated financing solutions, UNDP assists Member States in the development of their integrated national financing frameworks linking planning, budgeting, partnerships and resource mobilization as requested by the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action. Recognizing the specific challenges facing middle-income countries (MICs) in continuing development process in a fundamentally different financing environment, UNDP will consider continuing to undertake development finance assessments in MICs.

The new UNDAF guidance, issued in February 2017, informs UNDP programming in MICs and focuses on alignment with global frameworks, in particular the 2030 Agenda and Addis Ababa Agenda for Action. The guidance prioritizes leaving no one behind and financing strategies that ensure continuity in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. UNDP will continue supporting localization of the 2030 Agenda as a central focus of support through the MAPS approach.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue to support formulation and implementation of UNDAFs addressing context specific challenges and leaving no-one behind
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/08]
Country offices; tools development: BPPS and Articulation of Territorial Networks Initiative Regional bureaux: country programme development tailored to national contexts and aligned to the Strategic Plan. 2020/12 Completed Country Offices are currently aligning their CPDs to the SP. As part of the linking process, projects will identify and select markers, including 'leave no one behind', which they will track and report on. All regions provide support to COs in developing CPDs that are closely aligned with national UNDAFs, and incorporating leaving-no-one behind narrative and targets. RBAP: All new CPDs (9 in total) developed in 2017 and 2018 were informed by the national context taking into consideration natiional development plans, 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Special efforts are made to ensure that the targets are explicitly mentioned applying the principle of "leave no one behind". Support was provided to formulate UNDAF (e.g. in the Philippines in 2017), review CCAs and UNDAFs through the Peer Support Group in the region.
Conduct development finance assessments and support development of Integrated National Financing Frameworks in line with the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/12/13]
BPPS, regional bureaux, country offices 2021/12 Initiated Several Development Finance Assessments (DFAs) have been undertaken and/or currently underway in various country contexts, including Middle Income Countries (MICs) and in conjunction with transition to Low-Middle Income Country status (LMICs). DFA is a component of a wider portfolio of financing related services, and a plan to further strengthen DFA methodology and process within a wider portfolio support to integrated financing frameworks for SDGs. UNDP is working, for instance, with Ministries of Finance in 12 LDCs (including Bangladesh and Nepal in Asia and Pacific; and Chad, Comoros, The Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania) to develop more holistic financing strategies for the SDGs through Development Finance Assessments (DFAs) that scan the public, private and development finance landscape. Dec 2018 update: Several Development Finance Assessments (DFAs) have been undertaken and/or currently underway in various country contexts, including Middle Income Countries (MICs) and in conjunction with transition to Low-Middle Income Country status (LMICs). DFA is a component of a wider portfolio of financing related services, and a plan to further strengthen DFA methodology and process within a wider portfolio support to integrated financing frameworks for SDGs.
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: UNDP should strongly emphasize its climate change adaptation capabilities and services in the next strategic plan. The UNDP national and subnational scope of service; capabilities for urban and rural development planning, governance and risk assessment; experience managing multi-partner trust funds; and decades of environmental protection and disaster risk reduction and recovery work provide a platform from which to ably assist national and subnational governments to meet this global development challenge. Specific attention should be paid to the climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction linkages.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with the recommendation and intends to expand its work in the area of adaptation, in close coordination and synergy with disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts. As the evaluation acknowledged, there has been good progress in linking the DRR and adaptation portfolios at country and regional levels, which could be further systematized and institutionalized throughout all of UNDP.

In response to the growing demands to support climate action and DRR, UNDP has already scaled up and expanded assistance to countries to integrate climate change adaptation and DRR into their subnational/national policies, plans, and strategies. Efforts towards integrated approaches to climate change adaptation and DRR are being pursued in various regional and country programmes and projects. As the co-facilitator of the United Nations System Strategic Approach on Climate Change Action, member of the Climate Principals Group and member of the Climate Core Group, UNDP will further systematize and institutionalize this integrated approach throughout all policies, programmes and projects and its work with partner agencies and stakeholders.  

UNDP is playing an increasingly significant role in supporting countries to mobilize climate finance, including through the GCF, to undertake adaptation actions for climate-resilient development. UNDP is uniquely positioned to accelerate adaptation services, building on its decade-long portfolio, and has been expanding its technical capacity. For instance, GCF project development is being undertaken through expanded task teams that include experts from different technical areas (social and environmental safeguards, gender and economic analysis) to support the scale and scope of adaptation investments to which countries aspire. UNDP will continue to expand its roster of experts to deliver adaptation services at global, regional and national levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop long-term agreements for roster of experts including climate scientists, safeguard specialists, gender experts, economists, proposal development and various thematic experts.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/08]
BPPS in consultation with regional bureaux 2018/05 Completed Long term agreements have been developed and are currently being used to service requests from Country Offices for expertise to develop GCF proposals. This includes expertise on environmental and social safeguards, economists, gender, impact evaluation, and climate science.
Finalize and disseminate the draft integrated strategy note on climate change, DRR and sustainable energy to articulate the UNDP corporate approach and offer on delivering integrated services at global, regional and country levels.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/08]
BPPS in consultation with regional bureaux 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated The integrated strategy note on climate change, DRR and sustainable energy has been drafted and has already undergone a few rounds of review and revision including by the CDT regional advisors. The advanced version is currently being reviewed for finalization. The progress has been affected by insufficient capacity in the team considering other competing priorities. It is proposed to defer the finalization until 12/2018 to ensure the Note is fully aligned with the new Strategic Plan and related guidance and organizational change process.
Finalize draft tool for practitioners on integrating DRR/climate change adaptation into development planning and budgeting and strengthen the community of practice and relevant knowledge networks
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/08]
BPPS in consultation with regional bureaux 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated The objective of developing a draft tool on fostering integration of DRR-CCA into development planning and budgeting is being pursued in coordination with the climate change adaptation and GEF colleagues. A draft version of the tool has been developed and is being further worked upon in the light of the global policy discourse related to the issue under the Sendai Framework for DRR and the Paris Agreement as well as the SDGs agenda. Since the tool should benefit from the ongoing process to draft a comprehensive UN Resilience Framework which will be completed by June/July 2018, it is proposed to extend the finalization of the tool until 12/2018.
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: Recognizing that governance is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDP should be proactive in supporting sectoral governance approaches and more persuasive in promoting democratic governance reforms.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management takes note of the recommendation and concurs that governance is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.   UNDP strives to be proactive in supporting sectoral governance approaches and to be persuasive in promoting democratic governance reform, while fully recognizing that its support for reforms is based on requests from national Governments in line with national contexts and priorities. UNDP governance work builds on long-standing broad, and innovative partnerships with international, national and local actors to create an enabling environment for sustainable peace and development to take root. For example, the Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections is one of the flagship mechanisms that UNDP employs to deliver coordinated rule of law assistance. Co-led by UNDP and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the mechanism brings together the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other United Nations entities to facilitate joint planning and programming and resource mobilization in service of the whole system. UNDP also works with the Department of Political Affairs on conflict prevention and electoral assistance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Through engagement in MAPS missions and support to the SDG agenda, identify entry points for innovative sectoral governance approaches and new opportunities to realign programmatic support in democratic governance and conflict prevention as a key enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/02]
BPPS in consultation with regional bureaux, resident coordinators/resident representatives and country offices 2018/05 Completed The Inter-Parliamentary Union /UNDP self-assessment toolkit, Parliaments and the Sustainable Development Goals and the UNDP/ Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption/ Islamic Development Bank handbook, Parliament’s Role in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, were launched in 2017. Implementation is planned via parliamentary programming to promote climate action; prevent HIV/AIDS and advance other thematic development priorities. All CO governance focal points have been made aware of the KPs listed and many are seeking assistance in implementing their lessons learned. A project document on further parliamentary programming to promote climate action; prevent HIV/AIDS and advance other thematic development priorities – a concept note is in production. This action is completed and ongoing.
Through the UNDP partnership with OHCHR and the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions, scale up joint support to national human rights institutions as key independent bodies to promote and protect human rights and ensure that no-one gets left behind.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/02]
BPPS in consultation with regional bureaux, resident coordinators/resident representatives and country offices 2018/03 Completed A letter of intent between the partners to scale up joint support to national human rights institutions was signed in 2017 and a draft programing approach has been formulated The LOI was signed in February 2017 by the former administrator and a programmatic vehicle was decided upon by the TPP partners in July 2017– namely the current Global Programme on Rule of Law and Human Rights for Fostering Development and Sustainable Peace – Output 4. This was agreed by all partners and we just received our first confirmation of funding for this partnership in March of this year.
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: Analysis of institutional capacities at the national level should guide UNDP governance programming in countries affected by conflict. Governance support needs to be targeted to critical government functions that are essential to stability. UNDP should more strategically support Sustainable Development Goal 16 and related intergovernmental agreements on peacebuilding and State-building.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP gives specific consideration to this recommendation in its strategic plan, 2018-2021 which is currently under formulation. Given the strategic importance of Goal 16 for the entire 2030 Agenda, UNDP has been instrumental in launching the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Promoting Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, which brings together Member States, civil society and the private sector, supported by a group of United Nations partner entities. UNDP is also closely engaged in the piloting of Goal 16 monitoring in cooperation with the Open Government Partnership and the Community of Democracies.

Recognizing the interconnectedness of the peace and development agendas, UNDP will continue to engage in international networks such as the International Network on Conflict and Fragility, the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and State-building and its strategic relationship with the g7+ group of countries, having signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016. As part of that engagement, UNDP in 2016 developed “SDG-Ready”, the UNDP offer on Sustainable Development Goal implementation in fragile situations. UNDP will continue to advocate for the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States internationally as well as at country level, promoting the principles of the New Deal in aid coordination, use of country systems, Sustainable Development Goal implementation, the Sustaining Peace Agenda and peacebuilding and State-building efforts. 

In June, 2017 the United Nations and the World Bank completed and officially released the first joint diagnostic framework on core government functions in fragile and conflict-affected settings, for which UNDP has played a leading role within the United Nations system. The framework includes a set of joint principles for assessing critical government functions that are essential to stability, peacebuilding and State-building processes. Its objective is to provide an initial assessment of key issues, priorities and entry points around the six core government functions of executive coordination at the centre of government, local governance, public financial management, civil service, security sector and aid management. UNDP is already providing support in a number of countries based on the diagnostic, including the Central African Republic, Libya and South Sudan, and initial discussions are underway to apply some aspects in Cameroon and Yemen.  UNDP is working through the Inter-Agency Platform on Core Government Functions (co-chaired by UNDP and the Department of Political Affairs) to embed this framework in existing assessment and planning processes such as recovery and peacebuilding assessments and conflict-related development analyses.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue to engage in international forums on peacebuilding and State-building.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/08/01]
BPPS (Strategic Positioning Unit (SPU), Governance and Peacebuilding Unit 2019/12 Initiated UNDP has advocate that New Deal principles and experiences in fragile settings be focussed towards achievement of their SDG ambitions as set out in the 2016 Stockholm Declaration and has reoriented the 'New Deal Facility' housed in UNDP to 'SDG Facility for fraile and conflict affected settings' with strong support from Germany. UNDP remains activley engaged in the INCAF and IDPS forum, working closely with bilateral donors and the WB on a collective INCAF response to the UN-WB pathways to peace report advocating a strong collective approaach to strengthen prevention and concrete action to advance the humanitarian - development - peace nexus.
Apply core government function diagnostic framework in fragile and conflict-affected countries
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/04]
BPPS/Governance and Peacebuilding in collaboration with regional bureaux, resident coordinators/resident representatives and country offices 2019/12 Initiated UNDP continues to actively engaged with UN and IFI partners on strengthening an integrated UN offer on strengthening the basic functionality of core government institutions in crisis contexts under the auspices of the UN Interagency Platform on strengthening core government functions in fragile and conflict-affected settings, co-chaired by UNDP and DPA. UNDP is in the process of piloting and applying the UN-WB CGF diagnostic assessment in a number of countries, including Libya, Central African Republic, Myanmar, South Sudan, Mali, and Liberia, with its CGF partners at various stages depending on political context and security conditions on the ground.
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7: UNDP should retain resilience as a distinct area of work under the next strategic plan so that stakeholders see this remaining a core area of the UNDP service offering. To strengthen the coherence of its crisis risk-reduction and recovery support, UNDP should continue to refine the roles and scope of service of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and the Crisis Response Unit.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation and will consider its approach to resilience building in the next strategic plan, 2018-2021, drawing on findings and recommendations of an external evaluation of the lessons learned from its role in early recovery coordination. The UNDP approach to early recovery coordination will be revisited in light of the QCPR and the New Way of Working.  

UNDP takes note of the recommendation about strengthening the coherence of its crisis prevention and recovery support, while recognizing that details regarding potential reforms of the United Nations peace and security architecture and wider development system will also guide UNDP work in these areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review any financial, organizational and structural implications stemming from the new strategic plan, the SG priorities and wider United Nations reforms, to ensure a strong, coherent/integrated and well-resourced UNDP approach on crisis prevention, response and recovery.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/30]
Executive Office/BPPS/CRU/RBx 2018/12 Completed In Aug. 2018, UNDP has established a Crisis Bureau to lead UNDP’s corporate crisis-related work and drive UNDP’s vision and priorities for crisis prevention, response, and recovery. At the same time, UNDP is integrating the structures, capacities and expertise of the existing Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and the Crisis Bureau into one global network, which will include experts across the organization to be able to better advise our partner countries. The Global Policy Network (GPN) will be the engine for thought leadership, UNDP’s programmatic work and a vital delivery mechanism of our integration function. The transition to the GPN is ongoing and will result in a revised organizational chart for the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and the Crisis Bureau as well as a 3-year Business Plan for the GPN, to be finalized by the end of December 2018.
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8: UNDP should strengthen implementation of its gender policies, taking measures to ensure adequate funding to mainstream gender across all programming areas. Work on gender equality and women’s empowerment should not be confined to a gender team alone but should ensure that all large programmes have dedicated gender expertise. Specific attention needs to be paid to such areas as environment, energy and crisis response, where gender mainstreaming remains weak.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation and aims to address it in the forthcoming gender equality strategy which will include a more robust gender architecture, stronger accountability mechanisms and budgetary commitments as well as reporting targets. Progress will be reported through a strengthened Gender Steering and Implementation Committee and the annual report to the Executive Board. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening partnerships with UN-Women and other technical partners to deliver gender results across all programming areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Formulate the new gender equality strategy to incorporate recommended actions and mainstream gender across thematic areas and present it to the Executive Board at the first regular session 2018 in line with the new strategic plan, 2018-2021
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/08/09]
BPPS/Gender Team 2018/10 Completed UNDP gender equality strategy, 2018-2021 developed and will be presented to the Executive Board at the second regular session 2018.
9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: UNDP should take a more systematic approach to South-South cooperation, selecting specific areas and partners for expanded cooperation.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation and commits to strengthening its systematic approach to South-South and triangular cooperation through leveraging opportunities offered by the implementation of the South-South cooperation corporate strategy. Through its strategic roles (knowledge broker, capacity builder and partnership facilitator), UNDP will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by continuously taking stock of the challenges facing developing countries, systematically fostering exchanges and partnerships, supporting policy frameworks and institutional capacities, stimulating targeted research to inform global policy dialogues and relying more heavily on country programming as an efficient way to leverage South-South cooperation at the national level. In addition, UNDP continues to support the UN Development System through hosting the UN Office for South-South cooperation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthen country programming to ensure systematic mainstreaming of South-South cooperation in all programme frameworks as an enabler of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/01]
BPPS Development Impact Group (DIG) and Headquarters Project Appraisal Committee secretariat with support of regional bureaux 2019/04 Initiated Mid-2018 for training and guidance for regional bureaux and country offices, then each country programme document cycle until end-2021 SSC is one of the key programme quality criteria against which all new country and regional programmes are vetted before they are finalized. Delivery of training and guidance on SSC mainstreaming is subject to further clarification of the revised policy function of the organization, including the role of a SSC policy and programme support team therein. The revised functions are expected to be in place by Q1 2019 (as part of the PPM roll out and training).
Develop and roll out a support package to strengthen national capacities to access and expand South-South cooperation based on country typologies
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/01]
BPPS DIG in consultation with regional bureaux 2019/04 Initiated National capacities to access and expand SSC will be strengthened through the PPM roll out and training.
10. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: UNDP should change the global programme to a service line for supporting staff positions at global and regional levels, as its shared deliverables and blurred boundaries make it unsuitable as a specific programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management takes note of the recommendation. The relevance and role of programmatic instruments including the global and regional programmes will be further reviewed in the coming year(s).   UNDP will explore the idea of converting the current global programme into a service line as one of the options going forward. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore and select viable option and submit required documentation to the Executive Board
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/01/04]
BPPS, BMS and the Executive Office 2018/01 Completed
11. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11: UNDP should determine specialties within its sustainable development, governance and resilience areas of work. This will help it to build world-class technical expertise and focus its resources on building capacities in those areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with this recommendation.  UNDP is committed to having world-class technical expertise in the areas of sustainable development, governance and resilience.  Once the new strategic plan is endorsed by the Executive Board later this year, UNDP will identify the specialized capacities needed to best implement these stated priorities and support country offices to respond to the priorities of national partners.  The UNDP knowledge management strategy, which the evaluation recognizes as “comprehensive” and providing “considerable emphasis recognized as on knowledge facilitation and learning”, asks UNDP to leverage knowledge management for identification, development, mobilization and management of talent and expertise in ways that allow the organization to draw from a pool of qualified practitioners and experts at any time, mobilize staff members to be available for ad-hoc initiatives and virtual projects. To realize this vision, UNDP is investing in the development of an improved, cost-effective mechanism to map and track staff expertise across the organization. Through improved personnel profiles and searches, this offering aims to assist staff and managers to identify expertise rapidly and systematically. This will also allow tracking of expertise to assess strengths and weaknesses in order to build and bolster capacities where needed. Regional bureaux will continue developing and implementing Sustainable Development Goal toolkits, and investing in the capacity of UNDP staff and other partners through trainings, community of practice meetings, and others.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review UNDP technical expertise against the priorities identified in the new strategic plan and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and develop an action plan for training and learning to address any gaps in capacity arising.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/30]
BPPS/Governance and Peacebuilding Unit BPPS/Sustainable Development Unit BPPS/Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit in consultation with Executive Office and regional bureaux 2019/06 Initiated One of the priorities for transitioning to the Global Policy Network is to better map the competencies, experience and capacities of UNDP’s global workforce, in order to enhance its ability to call upon the skills needed to implement multidisciplinary solutions in order to implement the Strategic Plan, and respond to evolving client requests and emerging opportunities for engagement. The capacity mapping will also enable the development of an action plan for training and learning to address capacity gaps. A pilot using the available in-house tools will serve to do a preliminary mapping of the capacities in the regional hubs and at HQ. In parallel, UNDP is procuring a digital solution to better continually map the evolving skills, competencies and experience of each employee across the entirety of UNDP’s global workforce through their digital footprint (to be rolled out in early 2019).
Continue development of a staff expertise mapping and search system (“PeopleSearch”) to enable offices to easily locate subject matter experts and for UNDP to assess expertise globally against priority areas.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/03/29]
BPPS/DIG Bureau of Management Services/Office of Information Management Services, Office of Human Resources 2018/04 Completed The People Search function has been developed
12. Recommendation:

Recommendation 12: UNDP should reassess the roles and financial sustainability of the regional hubs, striving to make them centres of excellence for innovation and learning while expanding cooperation and partnerships with regional institutions. It should reduce overlap between regional and country-level programming.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management takes note of this recommendation and will review the financial sustainability and roles of the regional hubs over the next Strategic Plan 2018-2021. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review financial sustainability of regional hubs
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/30]
Executive Office/regional bureaux/BPPS 2019/06 Initiated The GPN Business Plan, one of the crucial milestones of the GPN transition, outlines the operationalization of the business model and a sustainable financial model of the GPN, but also spells out the mechanisms to bring the GPN vision to life and manage its implementation over 3 years. It will detail the systems and processes that will enable to connect the entire policy and programme cadre of UNDP, and lay out the necessary changes to the business model. This encompasses the financial and human resources strategy to ensure the GPN is financially sustainable, including at the Regional Hub level. The GPN Business Plan will determine targets to be achieved within the next 2 years supported by an implementation plan through 2021.
13. Recommendation:

Recommendation 13: Regional programming, if better defined, has the potential to be a valuable tool to prioritize and organize UNDP regional engagement and support to country offices. UNDP should develop its regional programmes as frameworks, outlining the regional issues to be addressed and approaches to be followed. To maximize its activities at the regional level and position UNDP to make a meaningful contribution, there should be more focus on a select number of areas at the regional level. For regional programmes to be effective, the activities that are considered should be realistic and pay sufficient attention to regionality principles.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

Management agrees with the recommendation that regional programmes should be developed as frameworks outlining the regional issues to be addressed and approaches to be followed within a select number of areas in support of the 2030 Agenda.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Formulation of the regional programmes, 2018-2021, guided by the 2030 Agenda will support distinct and specific regional public goods
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/08]
Regional bureaux 2018/01 Completed All regional bureau programme documents were guided by the 2030 Agenda and approved by the Executive Board in Jan 2018. RBAP: The new Regional Program Document 2018-2021 was developed and fully aligned with the 2030 agenda and was approved by the Executive Board in 2018. it was appraised as "highlight satisfactory" for its quality in the HQ PAC.
14. Recommendation:

Recommendation 14: UNDP should promote a results culture that encourages critical reflection and continuous organizational learning for improved results and institutional effectiveness.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with this recommendation.  As the Executive Board noted in several decisions, UNDP has made significant progress in strengthening its analytical capacities. To build a strong results culture across the organization, UNDP will streamline its results architecture, reporting and performance analysis systems to allow all parts of the organization to use results and evidence for learning and strategic decisions. During the current Strategic Plan cycle, UNDP developed an integrated corporate planning system to manage the programme and inform development and institutional performance analyses. The strength of the UNDP programme management was well recognized in the results-based management audit conducted by OAI in 2016, which rated the system satisfactory, the highest rate possible and the first to have been received for results-based management. To inform the midterm review of the Strategic Plan, 2014-2017, UNDP also conducted analyses of lessons learned from results-oriented annual reports and decentralized evaluations. A complete roll-out of an upgraded knowledge sharing infrastructure; and the relaunch of the UNDP pubic library of knowledge products along with new mechanisms to measure their quality, reach and impact also took place within this strategic plan timeframe.

 

To ensure programme management and evaluation support learning, UNDP works on: (a) designing a tool for capturing quality lessons learned in the corporate system and the Evaluation Resource Centre; (b) fostering exchange and learning through recently relaunched knowledge networks and an improved corporate social networking platform, in addition to a newly established One United Nations network for inter-agency collaboration, exchange and learning (as per a recommendation of the QCPR); and (c) offering dedicated training and outreach to empower staff to use these mechanisms effectively for learning and knowledge exchange. UNDP has taken practical steps to operationalize self-learning from experiments, from what works and what does not, through the establishment of the Innovation Facility in 2014. A key component of the mandate of this facility is the provision of risk capital and advisory services to country offices to test new approaches to solve development problems. The Innovation Facility documents successes, learning and lessons in its annual reviews and through regular blogging by offices supported by the facility.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Streamline results monitoring, reporting and analysis systems allowing all units to view and analyse UNDP-wide results and resources data (by strategic plan outcomes/ outputs, countries, country typologies, etc.) for learning and decision-making
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/16]
BPPS/DIG and Executive Office 2018/12 Completed Efforts have been, and are continuously made to improve and streamline the monitoring, reporting and analysis systems of UNDP. The ongoing review of the policy advisory functions of the organization will inform actions and systems investments related to organizational effectiveness in the area of reporting and analysis for learning and decision making. One key result achieved is that the ERC has incorporated a lessons learned function that captures evaluation lessons. In 2018, UNDP has made major strides to streamline results monitoring, reporting and analysis systems. A corporate-wide IRRF linking exercise was completed in July, where over 10,000 project outputs are linked to CPD outputs, Strategic Plan outputs and SDG targets. The new Results Oriented Analysis Report (ROAR) for 2018-2021 approved by the OPG in October 2018 was designed with a view to enabling all parts of the organization to analyze results and performance using the data from the IRRF linking. With the newly developed Power BI reports, all users will be able to view and analyse UNDP-wide results and resource data from various angles, including the Strategic Plan outcomes/outputs, Signature Solutions, target groups and SDGs.
Strengthen UNDP analytical tools and capacities in order to ensure evidence-based decision-making at corporate, regional and country office levels
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/16]
BPPS/DIG and Executive Office 2018/12 Completed UNDP’s analytical tools have been strengthened in 2018 with the introduction of the new IRRF results and resources linking model and associated Power BI reports. Organizational capacity to analyze data and evidence for decision-making will be further strengthened in 2019 through various trainings and webinars using the Power BI dashboards and lessons learned from ROARs and evaluations.
15. Recommendation:

Recommendation 15: UNDP should increase the involvement of the Office of Human Resources in strategic decision-making, especially in future institutional restructuring. Given the increasing complexity of programme delivery, inter-agency work and collaboration with a range of partners including civil society, investment in developing skills in leadership, relationship management and management across complex systems should be prioritized.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

UNDP management agrees with this recommendation.  UNDP is committed to ensuring pivotal importance of human resources matters, including OHR representation at early stages of decision-making.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In 2017, a training programme for newly appointed resident representative focused on leadership development in complex environment and collaboration with partners.
[Added: 2017/11/01]
OHR 2017/12 Completed
Leadership development programmes (LDP) invest in developing skills in complex problem solving, relationship and partnership development for managers and supervisors. supervisors and managers to develop skills including in complex problem solving, in relationship building and in partnership building.
[Added: 2017/11/01]
OHR 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated LDP I / II (ongoing) LDP III (2018)
16. Recommendation:

Recommendation 16: UNDP should transition from political budgeting to a more risk- and results-based budgeting process, to more effectively link results to resources. This will help mobilize funds and better highlight investment gaps to donors. UNDP is being held accountable to a corporate strategic plan without predictable and adequate resources. UNDP should work with funders and influence groups to raise understanding of the unintended effects of reductions in core funding. Focus should be on bringing the donor community together to work more effectively on integrated multidimensional approaches to support fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals, while contributing to partner country priorities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2017/11/01]

The UNDP management concurs with this recommendation. To build solid results to resources linkages, UNDP will strengthen its results based budgeting process through the analysis of demand (from country programme documents) and supply (from pipelines and donor intelligence).  To better analyze resources invested and results achieved, UNDP will establish a close link between the IRRF indicator targets and the resource plan in the Integrated Budget, which will enable the organization to analyze investment gaps and facilitate dialogue with stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Set baselines, milestones and targets for IRRF indicators by linking BMTs with the corporate resource plan
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/09/12]
BPPS/DIG, BMS/Office of Finance and Resource Management (OFRM), Executive Office 2018/09 Completed The linking process was completed during the summer of 2018, placing the CPD at the center and linking the BMTs with the corporate resource plan.
Analyse resources invested and results achieved to identify investment gaps during the midterm review of the strategic plan
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/11/16]
BPPS/DIG, BMS/OFRM, Executive Office 2019/12 Initiated The initial results and resources linkage analysis was presented to the Executive Board at the Second Annual Session in August 2018 during the Structured Funding Dialogue using the data from the IRRF linking exercise. Further analyses of results and resources will be conducted in 2019 through the development of the Annual Report of the Administrator for 2018 and preparation for the midterm review of the Strategic Plan.
In line with corporate RM strategy for the new SP, introduce a partnership, pipeline and resource mobilization strategy as part of programme development to identify resource gaps that are critical to deliver the results of the programme, and to advocate with funding partners based on the investment gap.
[Added: 2017/11/01] [Last Updated: 2018/05/08]
BPPS/DIG and Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy 2018/04 Completed • New guidelines for country-level resource mobilization and partnership strategies have been adopted in the new POPP guidelines. Resource considerations are thus central in programme and project design. These add further context to both the Results and Resources Frameworks of the CPDs as well as the projects in the pipeline as captured in ATLAS. In the CPDs, partnerships critical to achieving programme results are now elaborated, along with how they are to be initiated or deepened. To advance understanding of the importance of core resources and the overall nature of UNDP’s core resource base, UNDP has introduced more rigorous and systematic Funding Dialogues with the Member States and will be publishing UNDP’s first “Investing in UNDP” document that highlights the nature of the various funding modalities, including core.

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