Final Combined Evaluation for the Birac Region Advancement and Cooperation (BIRAC) Project and Srebrenica Regional Recovery Programme

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2018
Completion Date:
11/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
27,778

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document SRRP_BIRAC_combined_evaluation_ToR.pdf tor English 330.37 KB Posted 51
Download document Summative Evaluation SRRP BIRAC final report.pdf report English 2475.80 KB Posted 39
Title Final Combined Evaluation for the Birac Region Advancement and Cooperation (BIRAC) Project and Srebrenica Regional Recovery Programme
Atlas Project Number: 93065
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 11/2018
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
Evaluation Budget(US $): 27,778
Source of Funding: Project budget/donor resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 27,778
Joint Programme: Yes
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Hamid R. Chaudhry International Evaluation Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNHCR, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska; Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Republika Srpska; Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska; Municipalities of Srebrenica, Milici, Bratunac, Zvornik and Vlasenica
Countries: BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA
Comments:

Given the changes in the implementation of the BIRAC 2 and First Job projects and the intention of the main donor of the SRRP, BIRAC and First Job interventions to present during a conference the results of their contribution to the development of the Srebrenica region, it has been decided to postpone the evaluation of these interventions in order to be able to capture the results of the BIRAC 2 and First Job interventions. The logic behind it is that statistical data would not be available before the beginning of next year. For example, UNDP has been a key player in the development of various value-chains in the region. Production data will not be available before the end of January when processors publish their results. We informed the donor on time but only recently received their approval for moving the evaluation to 2018 in order not to loose the result of 2017 in the presentation planned during the conference in 2018.

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

EU LEADER approach: Following the successful experiment and success stories of EU LEADER approach, this practice may be upscaled gradually in other regions of RS.  Initially, this approach may be piloted in a few selected regions before full scale up scaling. Then this system may be expanded to other regions. This strategy will allow the stakeholders to identify the major challenges and solutions to overcome them before the expansion to other areas. All the stakeholders need to recognize and play their roles more strongly and with commitment and will. The line entity ministries and local institutions including, municipalities and CSOs in particular, will have to accept and play major role in this process. A detailed baseline study identifying potentials, risks and threats may be conducted prior to upscaling the approach to other regions, followed by an orientation with the stakeholders on findings and strategy on EU LEADER approach.

 

2

Institutionalization of LAG: Institutionalization on strong footing and availability of financial resources in future to keep the LAG operational will remain major challenges for its sustainability. Local actors are still motivated to keep the LAG active but without the financial support of the mayors it will be difficult to keep LAG active for a longer period. Under these circumstances and to save this successful initiative from collapse, UNDP is recommended to closely monitor the situation and continue LAG’s technical support whenever possible, especially in the preparation of project proposals.

3

Social Protection and Inclusion commissions: Implementation of SPI jointly by SRRP/BIRAC and UNICEF is also a success story that can be replicated in other area-based projects in other regions of RS. In line with its strategic objectives in the area of SIP, UNICEF will continue to promote SPI local model replication to other municipalities, including through peer to peer sharing of best practices.

4

 Oversight: UNDP team has made concerted efforts to bring visible changes in the Birac region through successfully implementing all its interventions. Following the termination of UNDP programme, an oversight of these interventions will be crucial for their sustainability. Therefore, a mechanism may be in place for constant monitoring of these interventions after the closure of programme by local actors.

5

Improved coordination: For any future strategy, a genuine interest by all actors to work together is needed, ensuring cross sector and inter-municipal collaboration. Also improved coordination between the local and entity levels would be required. For example, the municipal authorities too often implemented agriculture development measures that instead of being complementary to entity measures just duplicated them.

6

Ex-post evaluation: It is too early to draw conclusion about the impact of certain interventions. There results may appear after a couple of years. It is, therefore recommended an ex-post evaluation of SRRP and Birac programmes. Ex-post evaluations are used throughout the European Commission to assess whether a specific intervention was justified and whether it worked (or is working) as expected in achieving its objectives and why. Ex- post evaluations also look for unintended effects (i.e. those which were not anticipated at the time of the IA or SIA) and look for evidence of causality. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also conducts ex-post evaluations for its funded projects to know about the impact and gaps in the projects.

7

Additional support to Zvornik and Vlasenica: Zvornik and Vlasenica municipalities were the late entry to the programme. Hence, they did not benefit from programme like other three municipalities. The interventions started in these municipalities need to be strengthened. UNDP may consider continuous support to these municipalities.

8

Diversification: As move towards diversification, the systematic production, harvesting and processing of indigenous varieties of plum and other fruits may be promoted through value chain. Further, this sub-sector should be supported by co-financing investment in establishing new small fruit plantations with market demanded varieties and introduction of EU required standards for fresh fruits and vegetables such as IP (Integrated Production) and Global GAP (Global Good agriculture Practices) etc.

9

Value chain strengthening: There is a need to further strengthen value chains and reduce post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetable. For future strategy, the support may be considered to transfer knowledge on post-harvest technology to the farmers and processors of fruits and vegetables. This activity will add value to the Value-chains.

10

High value certified vegetables: There is a great scope of commercial production and export of high value certified vegetable seed and seed potato in the pathogen free pockets of the East Bosnia region for local and foreign market. This initiative may be considered for any future strategy form agriculture development.

11

Corporate Social Responsibility: In the area of SPI, further efforts need to be invested in raising awareness of the business sector on the corporate social responsibility. Regional initiatives and networking may be further explored and sustained, having in mind the scarce human and other resources. Existing employment policies and programmes at entity level, including the disbursement of available funds in support to employment, should be aligned with the specific needs of local labour markets. This requires decentralization of the decision-making processes to local lev

1. Recommendation:

EU LEADER approach: Following the successful experiment and success stories of EU LEADER approach, this practice may be upscaled gradually in other regions of RS.  Initially, this approach may be piloted in a few selected regions before full scale up scaling. Then this system may be expanded to other regions. This strategy will allow the stakeholders to identify the major challenges and solutions to overcome them before the expansion to other areas. All the stakeholders need to recognize and play their roles more strongly and with commitment and will. The line entity ministries and local institutions including, municipalities and CSOs in particular, will have to accept and play major role in this process. A detailed baseline study identifying potentials, risks and threats may be conducted prior to upscaling the approach to other regions, followed by an orientation with the stakeholders on findings and strategy on EU LEADER approach.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28] [Last Updated: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid and accepted. Corresponding action is proposed.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP BiH will within future initiatives assess the potential to develop structures necessary for the EU LEADER approach, namely the Local Action Groups. However, this will also depend on the EU accession process of BiH in order to guarantee the sustainability of such structures.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector 2020/12 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Institutionalization of LAG: Institutionalization on strong footing and availability of financial resources in future to keep the LAG operational will remain major challenges for its sustainability. Local actors are still motivated to keep the LAG active but without the financial support of the mayors it will be difficult to keep LAG active for a longer period. Under these circumstances and to save this successful initiative from collapse, UNDP is recommended to closely monitor the situation and continue LAG’s technical support whenever possible, especially in the preparation of project proposals.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid and accepted for future programming.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP BiH will remain available to local partners to assist them in the preparation of project proposals for future funding. At this point of time, such funding opportunities at national and regional levels are limited. UNDP BiH will also assess the possibilities to support LAGs through future rural development initiatives through which funding opportunities might be opened for LAGs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector 2020/12 Initiated The concept has been considered in design of a new rural development initiatives.
3. Recommendation:

Social Protection and Inclusion commissions: Implementation of SPI jointly by SRRP/BIRAC and UNICEF is also a success story that can be replicated in other area-based projects in other regions of RS. In line with its strategic objectives in the area of SIP, UNICEF will continue to promote SPI local model replication to other municipalities, including through peer to peer sharing of best practices.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28] [Last Updated: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid and actionable.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP BiH is currently working with UNDP Istanbul Hub in the preparation of a new project to be funded by the Austrian Development Agency. Within this project, UNDP BiH plans to replicate the good practices developed in the Birac region with UNICEF in 20 new municipalities.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector 2019/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

 Oversight: UNDP team has made concerted efforts to bring visible changes in the Birac region through successfully implementing all its interventions. Following the termination of UNDP programme, an oversight of these interventions will be crucial for their sustainability. Therefore, a mechanism may be in place for constant monitoring of these interventions after the closure of programme by local actors.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid and accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP BiH intends to continue collecting data during the next two years to monitor the interventions after the closure of the projects. This will be done by collecting available statistical data from official sources. In addition, UNDP BiH will also collect data from its past partner, the Bratunac Regional Extension Services, for agriculture production.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector 2019/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Improved coordination: For any future strategy, a genuine interest by all actors to work together is needed, ensuring cross sector and inter-municipal collaboration. Also improved coordination between the local and entity levels would be required. For example, the municipal authorities too often implemented agriculture development measures that instead of being complementary to entity measures just duplicated them.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid and accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Given the specificities of the projects, UNDP BiH had less opportunities to enforce better coordination between the projects’ interventions and the municipal interventions. In other regions, UNDP BiH is using different approach in terms of its coordination with the municipal authorities ensuring better synergies. Generally, this finding was already identified in previous years and already addressed in the design of UNDP interventions at local level.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector. 2018/11 Completed As stated in the recommendation, this finding was already identified in previous years and already addressed in the design of UNDP interventions at local level.
6. Recommendation:

Ex-post evaluation: It is too early to draw conclusion about the impact of certain interventions. There results may appear after a couple of years. It is, therefore recommended an ex-post evaluation of SRRP and Birac programmes. Ex-post evaluations are used throughout the European Commission to assess whether a specific intervention was justified and whether it worked (or is working) as expected in achieving its objectives and why. Ex- post evaluations also look for unintended effects (i.e. those which were not anticipated at the time of the IA or SIA) and look for evidence of causality. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also conducts ex-post evaluations for its funded projects to know about the impact and gaps in the projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

UNDP BiH understands the benefit that an ex-post evaluation would bring to the quality of its planning and implementation of future projects but also in terms of policy feedback to national and sub-national authorities. Unfortunately, the financial resources available to conduct an ex-post evaluation are limited and UNDP BiH cannot commit itself to conduct in 2019 or 2020.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP can not commit with concrete action to proposed Recommendation.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BiH 2018/12 Completed
7. Recommendation:

Additional support to Zvornik and Vlasenica: Zvornik and Vlasenica municipalities were the late entry to the programme. Hence, they did not benefit from programme like other three municipalities. The interventions started in these municipalities need to be strengthened. UNDP may consider continuous support to these municipalities.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid but its implementation is not realistic at this point of time.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Currently, UNDP BiH do not have the financial resources to continue its support to the municipalities of Vlasenica and Zvornik
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector. 2018/11 Completed If an opportunity emerges, UNDP BiH will consider responding to this recommendation. Since these two municipalities are potential beneficiaries of other UNDP projects, we will seek an opportunity to create synergies.
8. Recommendation:

Diversification: As move towards diversification, the systematic production, harvesting and processing of indigenous varieties of plum and other fruits may be promoted through value chain. Further, this sub-sector should be supported by co-financing investment in establishing new small fruit plantations with market demanded varieties and introduction of EU required standards for fresh fruits and vegetables such as IP (Integrated Production) and Global GAP (Global Good agriculture Practices) etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

This recommendation has been handed over to the Regional Extension Service (RES) located in Bratunac

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A plan was prepared, and the RES is currently conducting resources mobilization activities to fund the plan. This potential was also presented to local producers. Agriculture specialist from UNDP BiH will follow it and provide technical assistance to the RES if needed. This issue is also part of EU IPA agriculture public call that will soon be published by the EU Delegation in BiH and UNDP will explore possibilities to apply.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH, Rural and Regional Development Sector 2019/12 Initiated
9. Recommendation:

Value chain strengthening: There is a need to further strengthen value chains and reduce post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetable. For future strategy, the support may be considered to transfer knowledge on post-harvest technology to the farmers and processors of fruits and vegetables. This activity will add value to the Value-chains.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

The recommendation is valid and already applied.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP BiH is currently implementing a large project that will further strengthen value chains. It includes grant funds for extension services. It is expected that the RES will prepare an application that will address the current weaknesses of the value chains and further strengthen them.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH 2019/11 Initiated
10. Recommendation:

High value certified vegetables: There is a great scope of commercial production and export of high value certified vegetable seed and seed potato in the pathogen free pockets of the East Bosnia region for local and foreign market. This initiative may be considered for any future strategy form agriculture development.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

This recommendation is valid but not actionable at this point of time.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP BiH is not currently in a position to fully respond to this recommendation as the project has been closed and no funding opportunity exists. As for the recommendation 8, UNDP BiH will transfer this recommendation to the RES and support it to develop a plan with local actors.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BiH 2018/11 Completed This raised issue is also part of EU IPA agriculture public call that will soon be published by the EU Delegation in BiH and UNDP will explore possibilities to apply.
11. Recommendation:

Corporate Social Responsibility: In the area of SPI, further efforts need to be invested in raising awareness of the business sector on the corporate social responsibility. Regional initiatives and networking may be further explored and sustained, having in mind the scarce human and other resources. Existing employment policies and programmes at entity level, including the disbursement of available funds in support to employment, should be aligned with the specific needs of local labour markets. This requires decentralization of the decision-making processes to local lev

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/28]

UNDP BiH is already active in this field, especially since the introduction of the SDGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Currently, UNDP BiH is implementing activities to promote the role of the private sector in the attainment of the SDG and as part of it increased CSR.
[Added: 2018/11/28]
UNDP BIH 2019/12 Initiated History

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

220 East 42nd Street
20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org