Assessment of Development Results: Vietnam

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2015
Completion Date:
12/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
160,000

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Title Assessment of Development Results: Vietnam
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2015
Planned End Date: 12/2015
Management Response: Yes
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 2.1. Parliaments, constitution making bodies and electoral institutions enabled to perform core functions for improved accountability, participation and representation, including for peaceful transitions
  • 5. Output 3.1. Core functions of government enabled (in post conflict situations) to ensure national ownership of recovery and development processes
  • 6. Output 4.1. Country led measures accelerated to advance women's economic empowerment
Evaluation Budget(US $): 160,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: VIET NAM
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

UNDP should continue to focus on upstream policy work as its core country programme strategy, but revisit its overall policy praxis/approach to develop a comprehensive strategy that will ensure that all efforts link to the CCPD/One Plan outcomes and outputs.

2

In close consultation with the government and UN agencies, UNDP should further strengthen its programme approach.

3

UNDP, in close consultation with national partners and the Regional Bureau, should strengthen its M&E practices in its projects and policy efforts.

4

UNDP should build more effective partnerships with development partners within the UN system and with international financial institutions when taking an issue-based approach to its interventions, to enhance programme complementarity and a leadership role for UNDP.

5

UNDP, in close consultation with the government and the UN agencies, should facilitate innovations in inter-ministerial coordination to address specific problems associated with overlapping mandates and programmes. It should engage non-government organizations to enhance delivery of government services.

6

UNDP should develop and implement a clear office-wide gender plan/ strategy with accountability mechanisms in place for implementation and achievement of set
objectives.

7

UNDP should assess existing knowledge development options, including South-South cooperation practices and research/ analytical work produced by the PAT and the projects, and develop an effective knowledge management strategy for the country office.

8

Policy work: UNDP should continue to focus on the upstream policy work as its core country programme strategy, but revisit its overall policy praxis/approach to develop a comprehensive strategy that will ensure that all efforts link to contribution to the CCPD/One Plan outcomes and outputs.

9

Policy work: UNDP should continue to focus on the upstream policy work as its core country programme strategy, but revisit its overall policy praxis/approach to develop a comprehensive strategy that will ensure that all efforts link to contribution to the CCPD/One Plan outcomes and outputs.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

UNDP should continue to focus on upstream policy work as its core country programme strategy, but revisit its overall policy praxis/approach to develop a comprehensive strategy that will ensure that all efforts link to the CCPD/One Plan outcomes and outputs.

Management Response:

The recommendation is accepted. Policy work will continually be central to UN/UNDP development results in 2017-2021. Upstream policy work and integrated programming to ensure that policy work contributes to the One UN Strategic Plan Outcomes will be the focus of the next country programme. We will also maintain the existence of the Policy Advisory Team as a UNDP global best practice, and strengthen the linkages between the Policy Advisory Team (PAT) and the programme/projects by ensuring the use of PAT expertise in quality assuring programme/project design, implementation and reporting of results. An emerging priority for our work in 2017-2021 is to address policy implementation gaps, in addition to policy development.

 To increase UNDP’s role and contribution at the UN level, we will implement agreed actions in 2016 to promote issue-based, multi-disciplinary programming through sectoral work by Joint Programming Groups (JPGs) and contribute actively to defining UN-level policy visions and approaches in the formulation of the One UN Strategic Plan 2017-2021.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Deepen links between programme and policy work, strengthen quality assurance of programmatic results by Policy Advisory Team. PAT and programme units 2019/12 Initiated
1.2 Focus on policy implementation gaps in addition to policy development is an emerging priority for UN/UNDP work in 2017-2021. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
1.3 Implement agreed actions in 2016 to promote issue-based, multi-disciplinary programming within UNDP and as part of UN-wide results. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

In close consultation with the government and UN agencies, UNDP should further strengthen its programme approach.

Management Response:

The recommendation is accepted and being taken on board. We are reviewing our programme approach and planning a shift away from project-focused to a more programme-focused approach in the formulation of 2017-2021 One UN Strategic Plan and Country Programme Document (CPD). This is facilitated by the current review of the Harmonized Programme and Project Management Guideline (PPMG) together with UNICEF, UNFPA and Government Aid Coordinating Agencies (GACAs) and the revision of the ODA regulations, under which the non-project assistance is very likely to be accepted. The Policy Advisory Team, programme units and M&E Team are actively contributing to all pillars of the 2017-2021 One UN Strategic Plan, with a focus on ensuring clarity of statements, objectives and means of verification.

With the support from the regional bureau, UNDP Viet Nam is developing a clear, logical pathway (Theory of Change) for each thematic area under its next Country Programme. This will articulate how UNDP is going to deliver outcome results across the sectors in collaboration with other UN agencies. Based on the longer-term perspective in achieving results and the programme theory of change, we will develop an improved design of UNDP projects/assistances that support the achievement of the planned results.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Shift away from project-focused approach in the next programme cycle, enabled by national ODA regulations Programme units, Programme Support Unit, M&E Team 2017/12 Initiated
2.2 Support all key pillars of the One UN Strategic Plan formulation, with a focus on ensuring clarity of objectives and means of verification PAT, programme units, M&E Team 2016/12 Completed
2.3 Building on One UN Strategic Plan, develop logical pathways (theories of change) focusing on UNDP outputs in support of UN outcomes PAT, programme units, M&E Team 2016/12 Completed
2.4 Further focus UNDP assistance and improve programme design to support agreed results PAT, programme units, M&E Team 2019/12 Initiated
2.5 Promote flexibility of programming with due reference to ODA management regulations and HPPMG revision PAT, programme units, Programme Support Unit, M&E Team 2019/12 Initiated
3. Recommendation:

UNDP, in close consultation with national partners and the Regional Bureau, should strengthen its M&E practices in its projects and policy efforts.

Management Response:

The recommendation is accepted. Under the DaO context, the monitoring and evaluation of the UNDP Country Programme will be an integral part of the One UN Strategic Plan (2017-2021), and aligned to its overarching Results Monitoring Framework. As results-based management (RBM) will continue to be an essential component of Delivering as One, results planning, monitoring, reporting, review and evaluation of the One UN Strategic Plan will continue to be strengthened to ensure evidence-based decision-making and enhanced accountability. Particular attention will be given to measuring the results of UNDP’s support to upstream policymaking. UNDP will contribute to the development and monitoring of relevant inter-agency Joint Programming Groups’ annual work plans, using UNDP’s expertise and agency-specific monitoring tools, while building synergies with the UN agencies in Viet Nam. To ensure harmonized approaches to results-based management, UNDP will make use of UNDG-endorsed tools and guidance in line with Standard Operating Procedures. Joint monitoring and evaluation as well as RBM capacity development will be supported in coordination with the Government and other UN agencies.

The monitoring and evaluation of the UNDP Country Programme will also be based on indicators, baselines, and targets defined in the corporate UNDP Strategic Plan (IRRF). Indicators will be disaggregated by sex and other variables, where applicable. National data and monitoring and evaluation systems will be used to the fullest extent possible.

UNDP will strengthen its M&E practices in project and policy efforts to generate information and produce data for evidence and analysis through specific actions mentioned below.

Through the use of Theories of Change (ToC) at the programme level, monitoring and evaluation will play a key role in validating the assumptions that are vital to the ToCs, thereby providing inputs for necessary adjustments of programme design during the implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Further strengthen implementation of M&E policies and procedures, with an emphasis on periodic reviews and mid-term and/or final evaluations and joint UN actions M&E Team and programme units 2019/12 Initiated
3.2 CPD 2017-2021 to include an evaluation plan covering all programme areas; at least one outcome evaluation to be pursued with other UN organizations M&E Team and programme units 2016/10 Completed
3.3 Annually-updated evaluation plan to include full evaluations of large-scale projects, if not covered by an outcome evaluation, as per the UNDP Evaluation Policy M&E Team and programme units 2019/12 Initiated
3.4 Strengthen assessment and measurement of results (research studies, policy briefs and other knowledge products) during planning and implementation, with appropriate resource allocations. M&E Team, programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should build more effective partnerships with development partners within the UN system and with international financial institutions when taking an issue-based approach to its interventions, to enhance programme complementarity and a leadership role for UNDP.

Management Response:

This recommendation is accepted and being addressed. UNDP is strengthening partnership at all levels to address the common development challenges. We are also actively participating in the JPGs and currently the convener of two JPGs (Governance and Rule of Law, and Climate Change and Environment) as well as facilitating development partners’ policy coordination in select areas (e.g. in ethnic minority development, legal reform, human rights, climate change, etc). In addition, UNDP will prioritise the mobilisation of domestic resources for development cooperation in line with Viet Nam’s status as a Middle Income Country.

We are also drawing important lessons on management of joint programmes/projects with other UN and government agencies and will apply these lessons in the next programme cycle.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Strengthen effective partnerships at all levels to build on complementarities, and develop new innovative partnerships (institutions, groups and sectors) Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
4.2 Offer policy reform and development services to facilitate investment and budget support programmes of partners, including lending institutions Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
4.3 Develop and implement an action plan for the mobilization of domestic resources to support development cooperation, including increased government cost-sharing. CO wide, under leadership of Country Director 2019/12 Initiated
4.4 Continue to serve as convener of UN joint mechanisms, and facilitate development partners’ policy coordination in select areas. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
4.5 Apply lessons on management of UN joint programmes from the current cycle of support. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

UNDP, in close consultation with the government and the UN agencies, should facilitate innovations in inter-ministerial coordination to address specific problems associated with overlapping mandates and programmes. It should engage non-government organizations to enhance delivery of government services.

Management Response:

This recommendation is accepted. Inter-ministerial coordination is a system-wide bottleneck that transcends UN/UNDP programmes; UNDP response has been to bridge institutional gaps and promote whole-of-the-government action but this has not always been possible due to institutional mandates. In the coming time, we will focus our efforts on bringing different actors together to address institutional fragmentation and overlaps and promoting the role of civil society as an important partner in development.

The next Country Programme will place a high priority on promoting a whole-of-government approach to tackling the increasingly complex development challenges that Viet Nam faces, along with supporting a framework for measuring and reporting on national SDG performance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Continue to support participatory policy forums bringing state and non-state actors together to identify integrated solutions to issues and address institutional fragmentation and overlaps. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
5.2 Build on successful NGO service delivery models, and promote role of civil society as a partner in development, including through an enabling CSO framework. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
5.3 Next CPD to include focus on whole-of-government approaches and support to SDG implementation framework. Programme units and PAT 2019/12 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

UNDP should develop and implement a clear office-wide gender plan/ strategy with accountability mechanisms in place for implementation and achievement of set
objectives.

Management Response:

This recommendation is accepted and being taken on board. The Viet Nam Country Office has identified gender as a priority for alignment with corporate UNDP Strategic Plan, and will develop Gender Strategy and Action Plan for the new Country Programme Document. We are also undergoing a rigorous Gender Seal certification programme to strengthen gender equality programming, and promote gender mainstreaming across development and organizational goals. A Gender Seal Action Plan has been drafted, encompassing 37 mandatory benchmarks, and implementation is expected to continue through October 2016. A Country Office Gender Focal Team, with representation across all programme and operational units and headed by the Country Director has been appointed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Develop Gender Strategy and Action Plan for the new Country Programme Document. Gender Focal Team 2016/12 Completed
6.2 Undergo a Gender Seal certification programme, including develop and implement a Gender Seal Action Plan encompassing 37 mandatory benchmarks. Whole Country Office 2016/10 Completed
6.3 Appoint a Country Office Gender Focal Team, with representation across all programme and operational units and headed by Country Director Senior Management 2015/08 Completed
7. Recommendation:

UNDP should assess existing knowledge development options, including South-South cooperation practices and research/ analytical work produced by the PAT and the projects, and develop an effective knowledge management strategy for the country office.

Management Response:

This recommendation is accepted and being addressed. Knowledge management and innovation are key aspects of re-thinking UN comparative advantage in the middle-income-country context of Viet Nam. An UN-wide examination of appropriate modalities is underway. The Country Office has planned to capitalize on numerous knowledge products and exchange with different stakeholders through improved online access and reach using IT solutions, applications and social media. A knowledge management strategy will be developed, possibly in partnerships with other UN agencies for the implementation of the 2017-2021 One UN Strategic Plan. The next Country Programme will include a more strategic approach to South-South cooperation and exchange on knowledge products and innovations on priority themes linked to One Strategic Plan and CPD outcomes, with support from the Bangkok Regional Hub and Head Quarter.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Improve online access and reach using IT solutions, applications and social media, and engage stakeholders on the role of data for sustainable development. Programme units, PAT, and Communications Team 2019/12 Initiated
7.2 Develop a knowledge management strategy to guide knowledge generation and dissemination, possibly in partnerships with other UN organizations. Communications Team, Programme units and PAT 2017/12 Initiated
7.3 Access corporate and regional support to promote south-south cooperation and exchange on knowledge products and innovations. Programme units, PAT, and Communications Team 2019/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Policy work: UNDP should continue to focus on the upstream policy work as its core country programme strategy, but revisit its overall policy praxis/approach to develop a comprehensive strategy that will ensure that all efforts link to contribution to the CCPD/One Plan outcomes and outputs.

Management Response:

The recommendation is accepted. Policy work will continually be central to UN/UNDP development results in 2017-2021. Upstream policy work and integrated programming to ensure that policy work contributes to the One UN Strategic Plan Outcomes will be the focus of the next country programme. We will also maintain the existence of the Policy Advisory Team as a UNDP global best practice, and strengthen the linkages between the Policy Advisory Team (PAT) and the programme/projects by ensuring the use of PAT expertise in quality assuring programme/project design, implementation and reporting of results. An emerging priority for our work in 2017-2021 is to address policy implementation gaps, in addition to policy development.

To increase UNDP’s role and contribution at the UN level, we will implement agreed actions in 2016 to promote issue-based, multi-disciplinary programming through sectoral work by Joint Programming Groups (JPGs) and contribute actively to defining UN-level policy visions and approaches in the formulation of the One UN Strategic Plan 2017-2021.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Policy work: UNDP should continue to focus on the upstream policy work as its core country programme strategy, but revisit its overall policy praxis/approach to develop a comprehensive strategy that will ensure that all efforts link to contribution to the CCPD/One Plan outcomes and outputs.

Management Response:

The recommendation is accepted. Policy work will continually be central to UN/UNDP development results in 2017-2021. Upstream policy work and integrated programming to ensure that policy work contributes to the One UN Strategic Plan Outcomes will be the focus of the next country programme. We will also maintain the existence of the Policy Advisory Team as a UNDP global best practice, and strengthen the linkages between the Policy Advisory Team (PAT) and the programme/projects by ensuring the use of PAT expertise in quality assuring programme/project design, implementation and reporting of results. An emerging priority for our work in 2017-2021 is to address policy implementation gaps, in addition to policy development.

To increase UNDP’s role and contribution at the UN level, we will implement agreed actions in 2016 to promote issue-based, multi-disciplinary programming through sectoral work by Joint Programming Groups (JPGs) and contribute actively to defining UN-level policy visions and approaches in the formulation of the One UN Strategic Plan 2017-2021.

Key Actions:

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