Microenterprise Development Program (MEDEP)- Phase IV: Midterm Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Nepal
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
12/2016
Completion Date:
05/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
63,811

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Title Microenterprise Development Program (MEDEP)- Phase IV: Midterm Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 75193
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Nepal
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2016
Planned End Date: 12/2016
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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 63,811
Source of Funding: DFAT
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 61,666
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP and Ministry of Industry
Countries: NEPAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

MED Service Model Improvement:

A tested MED service Model has been the basis of MEDPA design; however there are still various aspects that need to be further captured by the model being used by MEDPA. The MTE recommends that 'value chain development concept' should be included in the model following internationally tested approaches of facilitation.  Capacity Building Plan should include interventions on 'Value chain development' to create the capacity of MEDSPs to deliver it, and DCSI/CSIDB’s capacity to manage. MEDPA budget should include the delivery of value chain development.

Another area of improvement in the MED model is inclusiveness and targeting, MTE recommends that, MoI supported by the CTA and UNDP should provide a management response to the recommendations in the 2014 impact study and mass impact study, and MEDPA should respond to this with proposed concrete measures to respond to the management response and then implement, with facilitative support from MEDEP.

2

Shift focus from Delivery to Institutionalization:

The project is well on track with direct support to ME creation, but its main aim of a sustainable system for delivery of services for creation, resilience and growth of MEs is not being adequately realised.  There are many reasons, some well beyond the project’s control. A key factor, however, is the combination of an implementation and a facilitation or institutionalisation role. These are difficult to combine in practice, especially with an ambitious target for ME creation and a team that is experienced in delivery against such targets rather than facilitation. Supporting institutionalisation of the MEDPA across the country is a similarly ambitious target.

The MTE feels that to allow MEDEP focus on its core role of supporting institutionalization from 2017 onwards the ME creation part of MEDEP should be transferred to MEDPA. This will allow MEDEP with additional resources and capacity to work more rigorously on the institutionalization part. The Annual Work Plan of 2017 should incorporate the new plans (additional Plans) like; i) The two CB plans (as discussed in 5.1.3 below), and ii) Institutionalization Support and Monitoring Plan (as discussed in 5.3.2 below).

The MTE’s main recommendation is therefore as follows:

  • Design, with support from an external consultant, a simple and transparent strategy and plan to withdraw MEDEP from its role in ME creation within a period of 3 to 6 months, and to refocus it on institutionalisation. Involve MoI and other players in the service delivery system in this process to come to a shared understanding. This should be effective from 2017 AWP.
  • As the local level MED plans and D/V/MEDC mechanisms have started showing their potential in mobilizing the resources and commitment of the local bodies, MTE feels that MEDEP scale up its support for the VEDP development process, as this will contribute in not only local resource mobilization but also in institutionalization of the MED service model at local institution level.
  • Reallocate funds in the first place to institutionalisation of MEDPA, including to an increase in appropriate staff, an international institution building expert, external technical expertise and intensive staff capacity building on approaches to facilitation and institutionalisation. Contracting a firm as “co-facilitator” could in part be an alternative to many more staff.
  • If a revised budget still provides space, provide for more ME creation by MEDPA, and have MEDPA set realistic targets which are matched to the capacity in and requirements of the Districts. This is, however, not a priority.
  • Ensure full alignment of annual planning between MEDPA and MEDEP, following the GoN rather than the UNDP planning cycle.  There should be no separate MEDEP plan, but the joint plan should clearly identify MEDEP’s activities and targets in institutionalisation. MEDEP should have sets of its 'support plans' to allow monitoring its results and outputs.
3

Support MoI to Review MEDPA Operational Guidelines:

A next round of review and revision of MEDPA operation guidelines is required. Some of the key areas (not limited to) for review suggested by MTE are: 

  1. Elaboration of the concept of ME Associations, their functions, linkage with MEDPA, and their sustainability is needed. It should be taken into consideration that they should not be turned into service delivery professional organizations but focus on their nature of 'interest group's advocacy associations'.
  2. Incorporating a separate elaborative section on 'GESI' to assure that it becomes integral strategy of MEDPA at every point of action, not only limited to ME creation level.
  3. Incorporating a separate section on 'Planning and Budgeting' at MoI, CSIDB, DCSI, District offices, and Local Body (D/M/VEDC) level. This section should assure consistency in planning and budgeting across the board, in particular the district planning and budgeting should be more clearly guided with templates for planning with budget sub headings, the scale of operation may vary according to the needs of the district.
  4. Ensure the MEDPA budget explicitly provides for all functions that are allocated to different actors in the system, e.g. the monitoring and evaluation function of the DEDCs. Some functions (e.g. those of DMEGAs) have no specific budget allocations as well, which is left to the discretion of DDCs/DEDC.
  5. The Monitoring, MIS/Database Management aspect needs more clarity in terms of role and responsibility.
  6. As procurement of MEDSPs is very significant part of the MED model being adopted by MEDPA, a separate section on the steps and process of MEDSP procurement for services like ME creation, Scale up Support, and M& E would be helpful for delivery management agencies of MoI both at central and district level.
  7. A separate section on Capacity Building (Human Resource) should be included with a rolling CB approach that MEDPA would require deliver at different level, this should be also clearly lined with the budget subheadings at different levels. This should include the MEDSPs, and MEAs as well.
  8. Further clarify roles, if not in a new version of the Guidelines (which have just been approved) then in additional procedures.
  9. Taking MEDEP's representation out of the system/process and Institutions provisioned by the guidelines, but create some space for any future support agency (strictly in distance facilitation role, not in direct function role within the system structures).

This should be planned together with MoI, CSIDB, and DCSI, and worked out together. A facilitated review process should be carried out with hands-on input from MEDEP component managers together with GON and MEA stakeholders. 

4

Work on Institutionalization of Capacity Development: 

A systematic Capacity building Plan for the remaining duration of MEDEP, and a long term Capacity Building Strategic Plan for MEDPA needs to be developed. The first one to be done immediately on which MEDEP should work for the rest of the project period. This plan will focus on 'one time' type of activities and directly help the MoI and its agencies in preparing themselves to take over the capacity building interventions for MEDPA in future. There should be clear logical linkage between the first CB plan and the 2nd plan to justify the needs of the proposed activities and where they contribute in the 2nd Plan. The 2nd Plan is to help MoI to incorporate the CB plan into their annual program of MEDEP, which will be part of the operational guideline as well.

While working on the above two CB plans, currently proposed CB activities should be reconsidered for their appropriateness and effectiveness in the new context. Both the CB plans need to target MoI and its Line Agencies, MEDSPs, ME Associations (Central and districts), and DDC/DEDCs.

The Capacity Building plan should be clearly disaggregated in three categories; i) HR development (MoI, Department, and District level, ii) Logistics Capacity Development, and iii) System Development from both activities and budget point of view. The HR development strategy should be based on 'Cascading Model': higher level builds the capacity of the lower level.

Capacity building for GoN staff generally should be institutionalized given staff transfers, turnover, and recruitment of new staff.

  • Include MED training in NASC curriculum (already planned for 2016), using external expertise. This should not be just a dedicated MED course, but also integrated into existing courses, so that officials such as Local Development Officers in the districts are informed of the basic principles of MED and MEDPA.
  • Similarly include MED in courses at the MOFALD Local Development Training Academy.
  • Develop a 1 week programme on MED at IEDI for capacity building of existing staff (delivery funded from MEDPA budget).
  • MEDEP should withdraw from the continuous “awareness raising/orientation” of newly transferred staff at all levels. This should be done by MEDPA (DCSI/CSIDB). MEDEP could develop a set presentation and have this included in the 1 week programme at IEDI.
  • Develop and implement a concrete long-term capacity building plan with annual targets for all the actors involved, in all districts, based on the Capacity Building Strategy that is already available.
5

Support MOI on new MED strategy and 14th Periodic Plan of GoN:

A new 5 year MED strategy needs to be developed, while the 14th National Development Plan is also being drafted. These could provide further institutionalization to MEDPA within the planning and budgeting system of GoN. Tapping on this opportunity MEDEP should take the following immediate actions:

  • Provide MOI with technical assistance for revision and updating of the MEDPA Strategy for the next five years. This should include policy related, structural/institutional arrangements (e.g. MED section at MOI) and human resource/capacity development.
  • Provide support to the MOI for preparation and submission of MED position paper to the Three Year Plan preparation team at NPC.
6

ME Associations at district level:

As discussed in section 4.2 (iii) above, the ME associations need special focus for strengthening their capacity and sustainability (mainly at DMEGA level). It may be useful to organize an intensive workshop (may be 2-3 days working sessions with some preparations on issue/discussion papers) with experts in 'NGO associations and networks', representatives of the associations, MoI and MEDEP with the objective of; i) reviewing the status and issues related to the sustainable functioning of DEMEGAs, and ii) discuss and explore viable (and legitimate) options for the sustainability of the associations, and iii) develop short term and long term intervention plans for strengthening and sustaining the associations.

  • DMEGAs capacity building should be carefully designed considering; i) their new defined role in MEDPA, iii) new sustainability strategy developed through the process described above, and iii) the potential (and limits of learning) of the individual members in leadership role.
  • Design an exit strategy over which DMEGAs feel ownership, including gradual phasing out of subsidies over the remaining project period. Development of the strategy should include involvement of NMEFEN.
  • In the new MEDPA Strategy and forthcoming MEDPA budgets, make provision for DMEGAs to fulfil the functions allocated to them in the MEDPA Guidelines through a non competitive conditional grant basis.
  • Include in the capacity building plan development of leadership’s capacity to advocate at the village and district level for better services, regulation and their implementation, funding. Support this role technically (handholding, mentoring, not replacing) for a set period of time (one year).
  • Support DMEGAs to develop a basic 'advocacy strategies' that can be used by all DEMEGAs. NMEFEN should be involved in this process.
7

Associations at national level:

National level associations like NMEFEN (association of MEs), NEDC (Association of MEDSPs), and EDF training Institutions Apex organizations should be taken onboard as implementing partner by MEDPA. During MEDEP's remaining period MoI should be supported in; i) recognizing the potential of these associations, ii) making their role clear and accepted within MEDPA plan and included in the operational guidelines with more clarity, iii) budgetary provisions should be made for the activities that are planned to be delivered by these associations. Whereas, in the meantime MEDEP should support them for; i) building their capacity in supporting their respective members, ii) developing their sustainability strategy and business plans

8

Strengthening MEDSPs:

More open approach by Strengthening capacity of bid winners MEDSPs including those who are not holding MEDPA contract currently ii. Entry of private sector MEDSPs into the competition should be explored and promoted iv. The tender evaluation process should be revised to look for MED experience at human resource level but not at organisational level. v. Individual EDFs should be allowed to be part of more than two bids at a time.

 

9

Clarity on MEDF issues:

The MEDF has not yet received significant donor funds. This affects not only MEDEP and MEDPA’s credibility but also of the donor (DFAT in this case) and will reduce incentives for actors like DDCs and DEDCs to be involved. In this connection MTE recommends the following:

  • Carry out a joint review of MEDF modality, operational issues and analyze fiduciary risks with an independent team of experts, fielded by GoN, DFAT as current donor and UNDP as technical assistance provider. This may contribute to finding solutions agreeable to all involved parties, or at least a conclusion that has been reached in a transparent manner. This review should take PFM perspective rather accounting perspective. The formal informal incentives at institutional and individual levels associated with the operation of MEDF should be also analyzed.
  • District graduation remains relevant whether DFAT contributes to the MEDFs or not. Accountable management of the MEDFs is in the interest of all who contribute to it, however the current approach of 'graduation assessment from 'HACT compliance' perspective only needs to be reviewed from its cost effectiveness as well as its inclusiveness and ability to assess the non systemic dimensions (human dimensions, and practicalities) at district level. A more simplified assessment system[1] may be designed for this purpose encompassing the key graduation indicators.

 


[1] The Minimum Condition and Performance Measure (MCPM) audits of local bodies practiced are one examples of simplified 'assessment methods' of Local Bodies capacity and performance in managing the block grants and the planning, budgeting, monitoring, and PFM capacities of the local bodies.

10

Review and Revise the Project Document:

  1. As a matter of priority develop an unambiguous shared “vision” between UNDP and DFAT on the main outcome expected of MEDEP, the strategy to achieve it, and the process of redirecting the project. It may be good to bring in MoI in this process at a later stage.
  2. Revise the project document through a thorough appraisal process to the extent the recommendations of MTE are accepted by MoI, DFAT and UNDP and reached to a consensus to take the project to a new direction. External independent consultants should be engaged for this purpose. The consultants should have experience of Nepal on MED, Associations (of NGOs, and Private Sector service provider), Work culture of GoN bureaucracy, and GoN managed economic activity base projects.
  3. Advocacy and dialogue as a component: Advocacy as a function of the system the project is developing (rather than as a temporary task of the project itself) is a function of the NMEFEN and DMEGAs on the one hand and MOI, as dialogue partner, on the other. Component 1 and 3 also deal with these institutions and there is insufficient justification for a separate component. The work with research institutions has not even begun yet while studies have already been conducted. The market for research is limited and donor dependent.
  • Integrate work on MOI policy making and leadership in initiating dialogue into Component 1, and work on advocacy with NMEFEN and DMEGAs into Component 3.
  • Discontinue plans to support research institutions or to make their work a “commercial” undertaking.
  • Commission research only in relation to issues identified by the associations and MOI themselves, on demand.
11

Improve MIS and finalize the database:

MIS procedures are unnecessarily complex. Data it generates are not being used in management of MEDPA. It does not include the other work DCSI and CSIDB do, which reduces its relevance to them. The quality of data will remain an issue and data collection is costly.

  • Simplify data collection and verification procedures, and reduce the frequency of data collection (e.g. on a six-monthly basis), but introduce spot checks to check quality.
  • Stop collecting data after 3 years (the normal period for MEDPA inputs) and instead do sample surveys (outsourced) to assess how MEs are doing[1].
  • Include modules that cover other DCSI and CSIDB management needs.
  • Carry out training on use of the software in all districts.
  • Train MEDEP and MEDPA staff on the use of the data, especially at the management level, and put regular reviews of the results in place
  • Explore the viability and practicality of outsourcing the MIS management through out to a professional consulting firm with a multiyear contract.

[1]Many other GoN projects do sample based 'Sustainability and Functionality Surveys' mainly in water and sanitation sector, other employment and skill sector projects conduct tracer surveys of their past beneficiaries on sample basis.

12

Project Monitoring and Results Management (MRM) and Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) standard:

The basic elements of the DCED standard for MRM, impact logics (results chains) and measurement plans are relevant to management of the project and have been largely designed, though their use in project management is still insufficient. Indicators (including those for the logical framework or result measurement framework) do not adequately reflect the project’s institutionalisation objective.

  • The project should complete the basic elements of the MRM system, with better indicators for institutionalisation, with the support of an expert, and start using them.
  • No other parts of the system need to be developed, apart from a log of main activities, which will help in progress reporting.
  • Project management and staff should be trained on the use of the system and its results, so that it will actually improve decision making.
13

Find solution for MEDPA tendering and contract management issues:

MEDPA tendering and payment procedures have resulted in a short effective period for MED contract implementation and therefore a loss in quality, while for some MEDSP functions (e.g. monitoring) year on year contracts are disruptive.  MEDSPs suffer from long delays in final payments.

  • Find ways to ensure adequate time is available for MEDSPs to deliver quality services through advance planning (already in progress) and ways to award multi-year contracts.
  • Consider third party monitoring throughout the MED cycle through contracts with national level consulting firms, as already practiced by some other GoN programmes[1]. The periodic monitoring feedbacks can be linked with the milestone payments and final payments as well.

[1]Rural Water and Sanitation Improvement Project of GoN funded by WB uses a system of third party monitoring which is linked with milestone payment.

14

Institutionalization Support Monitoring Plan:

MEDEP together with MoI, and its central line agencies, DFAT and UNDP develop a comprehensive work plan on 'Institutionalization Support' including the CB plan. A step by step, activity by activity 'institutionalization result milestones' should be also developed to monitor the progress. These plans should be developed and operationalized as soon as possible but no later than end of 2016. The plan should have clear marking of the responsible component and individual staff of MEDEP, so that it could be also used as performance indicator of the staff and components.

15

UNDP and DFAT Coordination and Communications:

The role of UNDP as implementing organisation should be improved by, appointing a full-time dedicated staff member with high level expertise in MED and institution building to support the project and support UNDP in other areas of MED, in addition to the current Programme Analyst UNDP should consider to add a dedicated full time staff to look after the day to day desk work related to MEDEP, so that the program analyst can have more space and time to closely support the CTA team at MoI and MEDEP project management team.

The quality of coordination and communication between DFAT and UNDP should be improved through:

  • Using the revised project document as a flexible guideline, not a straightjacket, stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and learning in the project team, and reduce the preoccupation with meeting targets.
  • Taking measures to improve their working relationship on the basis of a common understanding of their respective roles. Short out any teething problems in between, if needed use an externally facilitated team building exercise including senior members of MEDEP team.
  • Avoiding making conflicting statements to and demands on the project.
  • Take a more strategic rather than management role in their support to the project. This should be especially so for DFAT, which could refocus on the policy level, where it could make an important contribution.
  • Quality management with value addition from the vast global experience of UNDP is what includes among the logic behind the donor's support to MEDEP, UNDP should be careful in delivery up to the standard of this expectation for its own reputation as well as donors satisfaction.
  • UNDP should take measures in improving the quality of the progress and financial reports of MEDEP to make them clearer, synchronised with Project Document and AWPs. The reports should provide clear, consolidated data on progress to give a clear comparative and cumulative view. 
16

One Year Extension for MEDEP:

Considering the extent of exiting and additional tasks that need to be completed by MEDEP in particular on the 'institutionalization aspect' which is very crucial for the effective takeover of the 'MED Service Model' by MEDPA, MTE recommends for an extension of one year for MEDPA, continuing under the UNDP management. This is also taking into consideration of the various disturbances that the project has faced during last two years’ period. The commitment and intensions of UNDP to deliver what it has promised are clear and this should be appreciated by giving them some more time to complete what they intend to complete. The MTE feels that with revised and focused approach on 'Institutionalization' another three-year time including suggested one-year extension will allow MEDEP sufficient time to make remarkable achievements on this front.

1. Recommendation:

MED Service Model Improvement:

A tested MED service Model has been the basis of MEDPA design; however there are still various aspects that need to be further captured by the model being used by MEDPA. The MTE recommends that 'value chain development concept' should be included in the model following internationally tested approaches of facilitation.  Capacity Building Plan should include interventions on 'Value chain development' to create the capacity of MEDSPs to deliver it, and DCSI/CSIDB’s capacity to manage. MEDPA budget should include the delivery of value chain development.

Another area of improvement in the MED model is inclusiveness and targeting, MTE recommends that, MoI supported by the CTA and UNDP should provide a management response to the recommendations in the 2014 impact study and mass impact study, and MEDPA should respond to this with proposed concrete measures to respond to the management response and then implement, with facilitative support from MEDEP.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/11/13]

Agrees ‘in principle’ with this recommendation

  • UNDP/ DFAT will mobilise a value chain development specialist to develop a comprehensive plan that guides how MEDEP and MEDPA micro-entrepreneurs can maximize from the value chain work of other development agencies, including from past value chain work of MEDEP. The plan will also focus on training and capacity building for MOI and ensuring that MEDPA will also maximize the benefits of value chain work of others.   Key indicators for progress will be developed and incorporated into MEDEP and MEDPA monitoring to assess progress.
  • The implementation of the recommendations of GESI study of 2014 will be expedited and further strengthened.  A full time GESI specialist will be recruited to better streamline GESI in MEDPA and strengthen GESI in MEDEP.  The action plan being prepared in response to the recommendations of the mass impact study will be finalized and implemented soon.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a comprehensive plan to guide MEDEP/MEDPA for initiating value chain approach
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP/MEDEP 2016/12 No Longer Applicable MOI refused to recruit the Value Chain Expert
Expedite the process of implementing the recommendations of GESI Impact Study of 2014
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/05/22]
MEDEP 2017/06 Completed Already included activities in 2016 AWP.
Develop action plan and implement the relevant recommendations of Mass Impact Study 2015
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/05/22]
MEDEP 2018/12 Completed Continuous Process
2. Recommendation:

Shift focus from Delivery to Institutionalization:

The project is well on track with direct support to ME creation, but its main aim of a sustainable system for delivery of services for creation, resilience and growth of MEs is not being adequately realised.  There are many reasons, some well beyond the project’s control. A key factor, however, is the combination of an implementation and a facilitation or institutionalisation role. These are difficult to combine in practice, especially with an ambitious target for ME creation and a team that is experienced in delivery against such targets rather than facilitation. Supporting institutionalisation of the MEDPA across the country is a similarly ambitious target.

The MTE feels that to allow MEDEP focus on its core role of supporting institutionalization from 2017 onwards the ME creation part of MEDEP should be transferred to MEDPA. This will allow MEDEP with additional resources and capacity to work more rigorously on the institutionalization part. The Annual Work Plan of 2017 should incorporate the new plans (additional Plans) like; i) The two CB plans (as discussed in 5.1.3 below), and ii) Institutionalization Support and Monitoring Plan (as discussed in 5.3.2 below).

The MTE’s main recommendation is therefore as follows:

  • Design, with support from an external consultant, a simple and transparent strategy and plan to withdraw MEDEP from its role in ME creation within a period of 3 to 6 months, and to refocus it on institutionalisation. Involve MoI and other players in the service delivery system in this process to come to a shared understanding. This should be effective from 2017 AWP.
  • As the local level MED plans and D/V/MEDC mechanisms have started showing their potential in mobilizing the resources and commitment of the local bodies, MTE feels that MEDEP scale up its support for the VEDP development process, as this will contribute in not only local resource mobilization but also in institutionalization of the MED service model at local institution level.
  • Reallocate funds in the first place to institutionalisation of MEDPA, including to an increase in appropriate staff, an international institution building expert, external technical expertise and intensive staff capacity building on approaches to facilitation and institutionalisation. Contracting a firm as “co-facilitator” could in part be an alternative to many more staff.
  • If a revised budget still provides space, provide for more ME creation by MEDPA, and have MEDPA set realistic targets which are matched to the capacity in and requirements of the Districts. This is, however, not a priority.
  • Ensure full alignment of annual planning between MEDPA and MEDEP, following the GoN rather than the UNDP planning cycle.  There should be no separate MEDEP plan, but the joint plan should clearly identify MEDEP’s activities and targets in institutionalisation. MEDEP should have sets of its 'support plans' to allow monitoring its results and outputs.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/11/13]

Agrees with this recommendation:

  • UNDP/DFAT and MOI will initiate consultations to design a simple and transparent strategy to withdraw MEDEP from its role in ME creation and to focus it on institutionalization. This strategy will inform the RRF revision process. The elements of institutionalization will be clarified and agreed among all partners.
  • MEDEP will be restructured to focus on capacity building and facilitation in order to support the objective of institutionalisation. Capacity of available staff will be assessed against the needs for implementation of the above strategy and necessary adjustments be made within 2016.
  • MEDEP will develop an action plan and package of support measures to help GoN increase the number of VEDPs/MEDPs for local bodies to mobilize local resources for ME creation and institutionalization of MED model at the local level.
  • Multi-year planning will be introduced for MEDEP to enable better alignment with MEDPA following the GoN’s planning cycle.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hold consultation meetings to discuss on shifting MEDEP ME targets to MEDPA and refocusing on institutionalization
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP/DFAT/MOI 2016/07 Completed - Had meeting among DFAT/UNDP and MOI - Discussed already and decided - Also mentioned in the revised RRF
Hire a team consisting of Institutional Development Specialist, Results-based Management Specialist and Human Resource Specialist to revise the Results and Resources Framework of the Project Document.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP/DFAT/MOI 2016/09 Completed
Support to local bodies to prepare VEDP/MEDP to increase local resource for ME development and institutionalize of MED model at local level.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
MEDEP/MoI 2017/12 Completed - Already prepared 112 VEDP - Govt. has already allocated budget to prepare 90 VEDP in FY 073/74 and is expected to increase more in coming FYs  - Local Govt. is setting up of its different sections, units at local level. MoI is taking initiative to establish Industry Development Section, form Enterprise Development Committee and develop Enterprise Development Plan in LGs. -In this change context, working closely with MoI and LGs to develop 65 Enterprise Development Plan.
Assess the capacity of exiting staff in terms of institutionalization experience, and start implementing intensive MEDEP staff capacity building on approaches to facilitation and institutionalization
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MoI 2017/07 Completed A total of 2 training on institutionalization and facilitation completed to MEDEP staff (72), the new structure has been implemented since 2017
Develop joint plan of MEDEP and MEDPA
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MoI 2017/12 Completed Aligned MEDEP annual activities with govt. fiscal year 2074/75
3. Recommendation:

Support MoI to Review MEDPA Operational Guidelines:

A next round of review and revision of MEDPA operation guidelines is required. Some of the key areas (not limited to) for review suggested by MTE are: 

  1. Elaboration of the concept of ME Associations, their functions, linkage with MEDPA, and their sustainability is needed. It should be taken into consideration that they should not be turned into service delivery professional organizations but focus on their nature of 'interest group's advocacy associations'.
  2. Incorporating a separate elaborative section on 'GESI' to assure that it becomes integral strategy of MEDPA at every point of action, not only limited to ME creation level.
  3. Incorporating a separate section on 'Planning and Budgeting' at MoI, CSIDB, DCSI, District offices, and Local Body (D/M/VEDC) level. This section should assure consistency in planning and budgeting across the board, in particular the district planning and budgeting should be more clearly guided with templates for planning with budget sub headings, the scale of operation may vary according to the needs of the district.
  4. Ensure the MEDPA budget explicitly provides for all functions that are allocated to different actors in the system, e.g. the monitoring and evaluation function of the DEDCs. Some functions (e.g. those of DMEGAs) have no specific budget allocations as well, which is left to the discretion of DDCs/DEDC.
  5. The Monitoring, MIS/Database Management aspect needs more clarity in terms of role and responsibility.
  6. As procurement of MEDSPs is very significant part of the MED model being adopted by MEDPA, a separate section on the steps and process of MEDSP procurement for services like ME creation, Scale up Support, and M& E would be helpful for delivery management agencies of MoI both at central and district level.
  7. A separate section on Capacity Building (Human Resource) should be included with a rolling CB approach that MEDPA would require deliver at different level, this should be also clearly lined with the budget subheadings at different levels. This should include the MEDSPs, and MEAs as well.
  8. Further clarify roles, if not in a new version of the Guidelines (which have just been approved) then in additional procedures.
  9. Taking MEDEP's representation out of the system/process and Institutions provisioned by the guidelines, but create some space for any future support agency (strictly in distance facilitation role, not in direct function role within the system structures).

This should be planned together with MoI, CSIDB, and DCSI, and worked out together. A facilitated review process should be carried out with hands-on input from MEDEP component managers together with GON and MEA stakeholders. 

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with the recommendation.

  • MEDEP will provide support to MoI to review the MEDPA Operational Guidelines with MOI leading the process. During the process all the concerned stakeholders including UNDP and DFAT will be involved.
  • MEDEP will support the MoI to review all the above recommendations from the MTR team and incorporate the relevant recommendations in the revised Guidelines.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Help Government to organize consultation meetings with different stakeholders to review the Operational Guidelines.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/DFAT/MoI/CSIDB/DCSI/MEDEP 2017/07 Completed
Help the Government to finalize the amendment and approval of the revised Operational Guidelines.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
MEDEP 2017/08 Completed MEDPA Operational Guidelines has been amended in order to implement MEDPA activities for transitional period.
4. Recommendation:

Work on Institutionalization of Capacity Development: 

A systematic Capacity building Plan for the remaining duration of MEDEP, and a long term Capacity Building Strategic Plan for MEDPA needs to be developed. The first one to be done immediately on which MEDEP should work for the rest of the project period. This plan will focus on 'one time' type of activities and directly help the MoI and its agencies in preparing themselves to take over the capacity building interventions for MEDPA in future. There should be clear logical linkage between the first CB plan and the 2nd plan to justify the needs of the proposed activities and where they contribute in the 2nd Plan. The 2nd Plan is to help MoI to incorporate the CB plan into their annual program of MEDEP, which will be part of the operational guideline as well.

While working on the above two CB plans, currently proposed CB activities should be reconsidered for their appropriateness and effectiveness in the new context. Both the CB plans need to target MoI and its Line Agencies, MEDSPs, ME Associations (Central and districts), and DDC/DEDCs.

The Capacity Building plan should be clearly disaggregated in three categories; i) HR development (MoI, Department, and District level, ii) Logistics Capacity Development, and iii) System Development from both activities and budget point of view. The HR development strategy should be based on 'Cascading Model': higher level builds the capacity of the lower level.

Capacity building for GoN staff generally should be institutionalized given staff transfers, turnover, and recruitment of new staff.

  • Include MED training in NASC curriculum (already planned for 2016), using external expertise. This should not be just a dedicated MED course, but also integrated into existing courses, so that officials such as Local Development Officers in the districts are informed of the basic principles of MED and MEDPA.
  • Similarly include MED in courses at the MOFALD Local Development Training Academy.
  • Develop a 1 week programme on MED at IEDI for capacity building of existing staff (delivery funded from MEDPA budget).
  • MEDEP should withdraw from the continuous “awareness raising/orientation” of newly transferred staff at all levels. This should be done by MEDPA (DCSI/CSIDB). MEDEP could develop a set presentation and have this included in the 1 week programme at IEDI.
  • Develop and implement a concrete long-term capacity building plan with annual targets for all the actors involved, in all districts, based on the Capacity Building Strategy that is already available.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/11/13]

Agrees to this recommendation

  • The position of Senior Institutionalisation Specialist, as envisaged by the design document, will be recruited to develop a Capacity building Plan for the remaining duration of MEDEP, and a long term Capacity Building Strategic Plan to inform the MEDPA Strategy II. The Specialist’s key role will be to develop the capacity building plan with clear indicators within the next 6 months and oversee its implementation.
  • Other specialists may need to be recruited given the focus required on institutionalisation. 
  • The capacity building plan will be drawn from the four Capacity Assessments commissioned by MEDEP between 2012-2015. 
  • The plan will include integration of MED in standard courses at the Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC), at the MOFALD Local Development Training Academy, and at the Industrial Entrepreneurship Development Institutes (IEDI).
  • Suggest MOI to include budget under MEDPA for staff trainings
  • MEDEP staff will also be trained in the role of facilitation to the Government for institutionalisation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruit Institutional Development Expert
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MOI 2017/03 Completed
Develop a systematic Capacity building Plan for the remaining duration of MEDEP, and a long term Capacity Building Strategic Plan for MEDPA.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MOI 2017/11 Completed Probable CB plan developed based on the capacity development assessment reports and institutional capacity development reports considering the MTE recommendations.
Incorporate MED model in training curricula of NASC, MOFALD and MOAD curriculum of in-service training
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/DFAT/MoI 2018/06 Completed Training curricula prepared and provided training to Government staff through NASC.
Develop a curricula to be incorporated in NASC and MOFALD, MOAD
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/ DFAT/MoI 2018/06 Completed Prepared curricula on MED model and agreed with NASC to incorporate from FY 2075/76.
Provide TOT on MED model to GON (MOI, DCSI, CSIDB, MOFALD) to develop the MED cadre in GoN
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
MEDEP 2018/06 Completed MoI/MEDPA prepared MED model orientation package and circulated to 77 district offices and government staff. With the help of MED model orientation package, MoI/ MEDPA staff were involved in the MED model orientation at LGs and provinces.
Train MEDEP staff on Systematic Capacity building and Matrix Management
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
MEDEP/ external consultant 2017/06 Completed Implementation context has been changed after the restructuring of the country in the federal system and a devolved system of project management responding to the seven provinces and 744 LGs has been adopted.
Facilitate GON to develop the training delivery on MED capacity
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
MEDEP 2018/06 Completed Daily interaction and advocacy and a institutionalized approach through various institutions i.e. NASC, CTVET, IEDI, MEDSPs, NMEFEN are being facilitated on delivery of MED model
Conduct dedicated meeting at higher level among UNDP, MoI and DFAT
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/DFAT/MoI 2018/06 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Support MOI on new MED strategy and 14th Periodic Plan of GoN:

A new 5 year MED strategy needs to be developed, while the 14th National Development Plan is also being drafted. These could provide further institutionalization to MEDPA within the planning and budgeting system of GoN. Tapping on this opportunity MEDEP should take the following immediate actions:

  • Provide MOI with technical assistance for revision and updating of the MEDPA Strategy for the next five years. This should include policy related, structural/institutional arrangements (e.g. MED section at MOI) and human resource/capacity development.
  • Provide support to the MOI for preparation and submission of MED position paper to the Three Year Plan preparation team at NPC.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with the recommendation.

MEDEP will provide technical assistance to the Government to develop a new 5 year MED strategy, taking into account the 14th National Development Plan. MOI will lead the process. All the stakeholders, including UNDP and DFAT, will be consulted in this process. The long-term Capacity development plan will be part of this document.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide technical support to the MoI to incorporate MED strategies in the 14th Periodic Plan
[Added: 2016/11/10]
UNDP/MEDEP/NPC/MoI 2016/05 Completed MEDEP provided inputs to the NPC through MOI to incorporate MED strategies and also facilitated a number of field visits for NPC members
Provide technical support to MoI to prepare MED strategy
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
MoI/UNDP/MEDEP 2018/06 Completed - MEDEP facilitated to prepare 2nd Five year MED strategy. - MEDPA II finalized and approved by GoN MoI.
Conduct series of consultative meetings with different stakeholders including UNDP and DFAT
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
MOI/UNDP 2017/12 Completed
6. Recommendation:

ME Associations at district level:

As discussed in section 4.2 (iii) above, the ME associations need special focus for strengthening their capacity and sustainability (mainly at DMEGA level). It may be useful to organize an intensive workshop (may be 2-3 days working sessions with some preparations on issue/discussion papers) with experts in 'NGO associations and networks', representatives of the associations, MoI and MEDEP with the objective of; i) reviewing the status and issues related to the sustainable functioning of DEMEGAs, and ii) discuss and explore viable (and legitimate) options for the sustainability of the associations, and iii) develop short term and long term intervention plans for strengthening and sustaining the associations.

  • DMEGAs capacity building should be carefully designed considering; i) their new defined role in MEDPA, iii) new sustainability strategy developed through the process described above, and iii) the potential (and limits of learning) of the individual members in leadership role.
  • Design an exit strategy over which DMEGAs feel ownership, including gradual phasing out of subsidies over the remaining project period. Development of the strategy should include involvement of NMEFEN.
  • In the new MEDPA Strategy and forthcoming MEDPA budgets, make provision for DMEGAs to fulfil the functions allocated to them in the MEDPA Guidelines through a non competitive conditional grant basis.
  • Include in the capacity building plan development of leadership’s capacity to advocate at the village and district level for better services, regulation and their implementation, funding. Support this role technically (handholding, mentoring, not replacing) for a set period of time (one year).
  • Support DMEGAs to develop a basic 'advocacy strategies' that can be used by all DEMEGAs. NMEFEN should be involved in this process.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with this recommendation

MEDEP will assess and implement the recommendations in the 2014 report – Institutional Capacity Assessment of Micro-Entrepreneurs’ Association – and prepare (and implement) capacity building plan with a clear sustainability and exit strategy. Implementation of this plan and progress will be closely monitored.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review the roles and capacity of the NMEFEN and DMEGAs. Develop capacity development and sustainability strategy jointly with DCSI/CSIDB for NMEFEN, DMEGAs in MEDEP and MEDPA districts.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/ MoI/ MEDEP 2017/06 Completed Studies carried out on NMEFEN and DMEGA's capacities assessment and developed performance based capacity building action plans.
Implement the action plan
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
MEDEP/UNDP/MoI 2017/09 Completed Performance based capacity building action plans developed and being implemented.
7. Recommendation:

Associations at national level:

National level associations like NMEFEN (association of MEs), NEDC (Association of MEDSPs), and EDF training Institutions Apex organizations should be taken onboard as implementing partner by MEDPA. During MEDEP's remaining period MoI should be supported in; i) recognizing the potential of these associations, ii) making their role clear and accepted within MEDPA plan and included in the operational guidelines with more clarity, iii) budgetary provisions should be made for the activities that are planned to be delivered by these associations. Whereas, in the meantime MEDEP should support them for; i) building their capacity in supporting their respective members, ii) developing their sustainability strategy and business plans

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees ‘in principle’ with this recommendation

MEDEP will help MOI to in-corporate NMEFEN and EDF training institutions for MEDPA implementation. Sustainability Strategies developed in 2015 will be further revised to focus on the institutionalization and their roles will be incorporated in the revised MEDPA guidelines.  The need for NEDC and its role in the whole MED system, and therefore MEDPA, will be revisited and further clarified.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review the existing sustainable strategy documents and revise them.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MoI/MEDEP 2017/06 Completed This has been amalgamated into the exit strategy and is being implemented, AWP 2017/18.
Refocus monitoring the MED Model implementation process both in MEDEP and MEDPA and provide feedbacks to improve its process
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MoI/MEDEP 2017/08 Completed Monitoring Frame work of MEDEP/MEDPA institutionalization and a work plan has been worked out and implementation of the framework is being implemented.
Monitor EDF training institutions in terms of the compliance of the quality and curricula of the EDF course
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/MoI/MEDEP 2018/06 Completed
8. Recommendation:

Strengthening MEDSPs:

More open approach by Strengthening capacity of bid winners MEDSPs including those who are not holding MEDPA contract currently ii. Entry of private sector MEDSPs into the competition should be explored and promoted iv. The tender evaluation process should be revised to look for MED experience at human resource level but not at organisational level. v. Individual EDFs should be allowed to be part of more than two bids at a time.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees ‘in principle’ with the recommendation:

MEDSP capacity building and orientation training currently delivered by MEDEP will be built into MEDPA and MEDPA budget will be revised accordingly.  UNDP/MEDEP will initiate the consultation process with the MoI to implement the recommendations pertaining to BDSPO/MEDSP procurement in the recently conducted Mid Term Evaluation, Comparative Assessment of GoN and NEX/NIM Procurement system and the audit results of the BDSPOs. Among other things, these recommendations include addressing issues around delay in MEDSPs selection at the central and district level, and the need to introduce multiyear contract system.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review and revise the process incorporating comments of the assessment report
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP/MOI/DFAT 2016/06 Completed - DFAT assessment is already completed and submitted the report. - The recommendations have already been incorporated
Consult with the DCSI/CSIDB and MOI
[Added: 2016/11/10]
UNDP/DFAT/MEDEP 2016/07 Completed The recommendations have already been shared and incorporated by DCSI/CSIDB/MOI staff
Assist Government to revise the ToR and Tender Evaluation Process for MED SPS selection as appropriate
[Added: 2016/11/10]
MoI/ MEDEP 2016/08 Completed
Orient on MEDPA Model and bidding process to potential bidders (MED SPs) at local level, so that they can also participate in future.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
MoI/ MEDEP 2017/11 Completed
9. Recommendation:

Clarity on MEDF issues:

The MEDF has not yet received significant donor funds. This affects not only MEDEP and MEDPA’s credibility but also of the donor (DFAT in this case) and will reduce incentives for actors like DDCs and DEDCs to be involved. In this connection MTE recommends the following:

  • Carry out a joint review of MEDF modality, operational issues and analyze fiduciary risks with an independent team of experts, fielded by GoN, DFAT as current donor and UNDP as technical assistance provider. This may contribute to finding solutions agreeable to all involved parties, or at least a conclusion that has been reached in a transparent manner. This review should take PFM perspective rather accounting perspective. The formal informal incentives at institutional and individual levels associated with the operation of MEDF should be also analyzed.
  • District graduation remains relevant whether DFAT contributes to the MEDFs or not. Accountable management of the MEDFs is in the interest of all who contribute to it, however the current approach of 'graduation assessment from 'HACT compliance' perspective only needs to be reviewed from its cost effectiveness as well as its inclusiveness and ability to assess the non systemic dimensions (human dimensions, and practicalities) at district level. A more simplified assessment system[1] may be designed for this purpose encompassing the key graduation indicators.

 


[1] The Minimum Condition and Performance Measure (MCPM) audits of local bodies practiced are one examples of simplified 'assessment methods' of Local Bodies capacity and performance in managing the block grants and the planning, budgeting, monitoring, and PFM capacities of the local bodies.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

UNDP (and MoI) Agrees with this recommendation, DFAT ‘agrees in principle’ with this recommendation:

DFAT’s decision not to channel funds through the MEDF is final.  DFAT can augment technical assistance in assessing and developing a simplified district graduation assessment process, to then be incorporated in the capacity development plan (recommendation four). 

UNDP and MOI will carry out a detailed and thorough assessment of the MEDF in the 8 districts which received funding ($330K). Based on the findings, adjustments will be made as needed to ensure that MEDF modality functions at optimal level. As agreed, UNDP’s funds channeled through MEDF will and should play catalytic role for attracting more funds. MoI, with support from MEDEP/UNDP will also organize round tables with respective stakeholders to familiarize them with the MEDF modality.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Field an Independent team of expert to assess the district graduation system and review the MEDF operational modalities and fiduciary risk
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/ MoI 2016/10 Completed Aligned and harmonized according to current federal context. Implementation context has been changed after the restructuring of the country in the federal system and a devolved system of project management responding to the seven provinces and 744 LGs has been adopted.
Implement the recommendations made by an independent team of expert to function MEDF sustainably
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MoI 2017/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: - Aligned and harmonized according to current federal context. Because of the new federal system, MEDF may get transferred into urban/rural municipal EDF since DDC has been dissolved. The decision entirely depends on the upcoming strategy of local government. ]
Local bodies are committed to allocated fund in MEDF and it is increasing.
10. Recommendation:

Review and Revise the Project Document:

  1. As a matter of priority develop an unambiguous shared “vision” between UNDP and DFAT on the main outcome expected of MEDEP, the strategy to achieve it, and the process of redirecting the project. It may be good to bring in MoI in this process at a later stage.
  2. Revise the project document through a thorough appraisal process to the extent the recommendations of MTE are accepted by MoI, DFAT and UNDP and reached to a consensus to take the project to a new direction. External independent consultants should be engaged for this purpose. The consultants should have experience of Nepal on MED, Associations (of NGOs, and Private Sector service provider), Work culture of GoN bureaucracy, and GoN managed economic activity base projects.
  3. Advocacy and dialogue as a component: Advocacy as a function of the system the project is developing (rather than as a temporary task of the project itself) is a function of the NMEFEN and DMEGAs on the one hand and MOI, as dialogue partner, on the other. Component 1 and 3 also deal with these institutions and there is insufficient justification for a separate component. The work with research institutions has not even begun yet while studies have already been conducted. The market for research is limited and donor dependent.
  • Integrate work on MOI policy making and leadership in initiating dialogue into Component 1, and work on advocacy with NMEFEN and DMEGAs into Component 3.
  • Discontinue plans to support research institutions or to make their work a “commercial” undertaking.
  • Commission research only in relation to issues identified by the associations and MOI themselves, on demand.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with the recommendation.

  • DFAT and UNDP in close coordination with the MOI will engage a team of experts to revise the RRF after all three key partners have agreed to recommendations. All the relevant recommendations of the MTE will be incorporated in the revised document. Key Performance Indicators will be developed in line with the change in program focus, carefully monitored for progress and fed into a more responsive process of program iteration.
  • Regarding research and advocacy work, component I concentrates to implement the MED policy in GoN Component III deals with MEs associations the role of Component II is for the advocacy of new policy for MED. The roles of policy maker and implementer are always different. But having said that merging into one can be reviewed. The roles of MOI, NMEFEN and DMEGA will be reviewed and strengthened accordingly.
  • The revision of the RRF will incorporate necessary changes in research and advocacy. The capacity development plan (Recommendation Four) will also address advocacy across all related organisations (DMEGAs, NMEFEN, NEDC, MoI etc).
  • The project has no plan for supporting research institutions as of now and has no further plan in the coming days

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hold consultation meeting with UNDP, DFAT and MOI to revise the RRF and pro-doc.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP 2016/07 Completed
Hire a team of consultants to review and revise the RRF
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP 2016/08 Completed
Organize consultations with partners, DFAT MOI and UPDP for finalization of the said Docs
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/05/22]
UNDP 2017/01 Completed
Take approval from the PB
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP 2017/01 Completed Based on final RRF AWP for 2017
11. Recommendation:

Improve MIS and finalize the database:

MIS procedures are unnecessarily complex. Data it generates are not being used in management of MEDPA. It does not include the other work DCSI and CSIDB do, which reduces its relevance to them. The quality of data will remain an issue and data collection is costly.

  • Simplify data collection and verification procedures, and reduce the frequency of data collection (e.g. on a six-monthly basis), but introduce spot checks to check quality.
  • Stop collecting data after 3 years (the normal period for MEDPA inputs) and instead do sample surveys (outsourced) to assess how MEs are doing[1].
  • Include modules that cover other DCSI and CSIDB management needs.
  • Carry out training on use of the software in all districts.
  • Train MEDEP and MEDPA staff on the use of the data, especially at the management level, and put regular reviews of the results in place
  • Explore the viability and practicality of outsourcing the MIS management through out to a professional consulting firm with a multiyear contract.

[1]Many other GoN projects do sample based 'Sustainability and Functionality Surveys' mainly in water and sanitation sector, other employment and skill sector projects conduct tracer surveys of their past beneficiaries on sample basis.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with the recommendation.

MEDEP, in consultation with MoI/DCSI/CSIDB, will customize (simplify) the MIS to address MoI needs and incorporate required capacity building need in the capacity development plan (recommendation 4). UNDP/MOI will closely work with the MoI (MEDPA) to ensure that necessary human resource for M&E is recruited/assigned.

  • In order to simplify the data collection and verification procedures, the frequency of data collection will be reduced in the consultation with the CSIDB and DCSI. It is proposed that data will be done twice a year . Spot checks will be done at least twice a year. 
  • Sample surveys through outsourcing to assess MEs is already agreed among CSIDB/DCSI and MEDEP, it will be implemented from 2073/74 (2016/2017)
  • Training on existing and newly designed MIS have been completed, and trainings will be provided in future as well to transfer the skills to DCSI, CSIDB and MEDSP.
  • Management level staff of DCSI, CSIDB and MoI, including Chief Industry Officers and relevant officers at the districts, will be trained and mentored about the use the data from MIS.
  • MEDEP will assist MOI to explore the practicality, viability and efficiency of outsourcing MIS management for multiyear to a professional consulting firm but ensuring high data quality and continued ownership of MoI and its agencies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide training to MEDPA responsible officials to make MIs data base operational at central (MOI, DCSO, CSIDB) and district level.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MEDEP 2016/08 Completed The DBAs of 64 MEDPA districts have been trained on new MIS software and most of them have completed MEDPA data of FY 2072/73 (2015/2016)
Establish and operationalize MIS data base system and transfer MEDPA data into new system.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
MEDEP 2018/06 Completed Trained Government and LGs Staff on GESIMIS. GESIMIS system has been established at MoICS and Demonstrate LGs with logistics support for establishment of Enterprise Information Center at MoICS. Data cleaning and updating of GESIMIS has been done.
12. Recommendation:

Project Monitoring and Results Management (MRM) and Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) standard:

The basic elements of the DCED standard for MRM, impact logics (results chains) and measurement plans are relevant to management of the project and have been largely designed, though their use in project management is still insufficient. Indicators (including those for the logical framework or result measurement framework) do not adequately reflect the project’s institutionalisation objective.

  • The project should complete the basic elements of the MRM system, with better indicators for institutionalisation, with the support of an expert, and start using them.
  • No other parts of the system need to be developed, apart from a log of main activities, which will help in progress reporting.
  • Project management and staff should be trained on the use of the system and its results, so that it will actually improve decision making.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees ‘in principle’ with this recommendation:

  • The recommendations will be considered at the time of revising the RRF (recommendation 5.4.1), in improving the MIS (recommendation 5.4.2) and restructuring of MEDEP (recommendation 5.1.2).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop better indicators for Monitoring Result Management (MRM) hiring expert
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/MEDEP 2017/06 Completed MEDEP M&E Framework for Institutionalization developed
Train Project management and staff, and GoN officials on the use of the system and its results to improve the decision making capacity and planning processes.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/MEDEP 2018/06 Completed Training modules and plan have been developed. Trained a total of 516 Government and LGs staff on RBM&E and GESIMIS software.
13. Recommendation:

Find solution for MEDPA tendering and contract management issues:

MEDPA tendering and payment procedures have resulted in a short effective period for MED contract implementation and therefore a loss in quality, while for some MEDSP functions (e.g. monitoring) year on year contracts are disruptive.  MEDSPs suffer from long delays in final payments.

  • Find ways to ensure adequate time is available for MEDSPs to deliver quality services through advance planning (already in progress) and ways to award multi-year contracts.
  • Consider third party monitoring throughout the MED cycle through contracts with national level consulting firms, as already practiced by some other GoN programmes[1]. The periodic monitoring feedbacks can be linked with the milestone payments and final payments as well.

[1]Rural Water and Sanitation Improvement Project of GoN funded by WB uses a system of third party monitoring which is linked with milestone payment.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with this response

  • An assessment of the procurement process of the MoI and UNDP to procure MEDSPs/BDSPOs has been completed, which addresses majority of the issues raised by the MTR.  UNDP, DFAT and MoI will develop a plan to implement the recommendations and address outstanding issues, including introducing multi-year contracting.  Effort will be made to incorporate the recommendations of the report in the 2016-17 procurement process.
  • The Sub-contracting guidelines MEDEP is supporting the MoI develop and implement will be completed as early as possible.
  • Work with the Government to start the bidding process of MEDSPs soon. In 2016 the Government has decided to advertise in July only.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Help Government to develop sub-contracting guidelines and get approval from the Govt.
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/DFAT/MoI 2018/06 Completed
Incorporate the recommendations from the assessment of BDSPOs and start the bidding process
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
DCSI/CSIDB/MEDEP 2016/07 Completed
Assist Government to develop the third party evaluation guidelines for MEDPA implementation
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/MEDEP/MoI 2018/07 Completed Third party evaluation guidelines for MEDPA implementation prepared, approved and implemented.
Orient and implement the guidelines
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
DCSI/CSIDB/MEDEP/MoI 2018/07 Completed
14. Recommendation:

Institutionalization Support Monitoring Plan:

MEDEP together with MoI, and its central line agencies, DFAT and UNDP develop a comprehensive work plan on 'Institutionalization Support' including the CB plan. A step by step, activity by activity 'institutionalization result milestones' should be also developed to monitor the progress. These plans should be developed and operationalized as soon as possible but no later than end of 2016. The plan should have clear marking of the responsible component and individual staff of MEDEP, so that it could be also used as performance indicator of the staff and components.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

Agrees with the recommendation

The RRF will include a comprehensive work plan on 'Institutionalization Support' including the CB plan and an institutionalization support Monitoring Plan.  The Institutionalization support Monitoring Plan will have key performance indicators to monitor progress (Recommendation 5.1.4 and 5.4.1)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a comprehensive work plan on 'Institutionalization Support' (IS)
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP 2018/06 Completed
Develop “Institutionalization Result Milestone” (IRM) to monitor progress
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP 2017/06 Completed "Institutionalization Result Milestone" has been developed to monitor progress
Implement the work plan on IS and IRM
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
MEDEP 2017/08 Completed MEDEP is implementing the Monitoring Framework accordingly.
15. Recommendation:

UNDP and DFAT Coordination and Communications:

The role of UNDP as implementing organisation should be improved by, appointing a full-time dedicated staff member with high level expertise in MED and institution building to support the project and support UNDP in other areas of MED, in addition to the current Programme Analyst UNDP should consider to add a dedicated full time staff to look after the day to day desk work related to MEDEP, so that the program analyst can have more space and time to closely support the CTA team at MoI and MEDEP project management team.

The quality of coordination and communication between DFAT and UNDP should be improved through:

  • Using the revised project document as a flexible guideline, not a straightjacket, stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and learning in the project team, and reduce the preoccupation with meeting targets.
  • Taking measures to improve their working relationship on the basis of a common understanding of their respective roles. Short out any teething problems in between, if needed use an externally facilitated team building exercise including senior members of MEDEP team.
  • Avoiding making conflicting statements to and demands on the project.
  • Take a more strategic rather than management role in their support to the project. This should be especially so for DFAT, which could refocus on the policy level, where it could make an important contribution.
  • Quality management with value addition from the vast global experience of UNDP is what includes among the logic behind the donor's support to MEDEP, UNDP should be careful in delivery up to the standard of this expectation for its own reputation as well as donors satisfaction.
  • UNDP should take measures in improving the quality of the progress and financial reports of MEDEP to make them clearer, synchronised with Project Document and AWPs. The reports should provide clear, consolidated data on progress to give a clear comparative and cumulative view. 
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

UNDP and DFAT will take necessary steps to improve the communications and coordination between the two organisations.  A Management Review has been undertaken which includes a number of action points on improving coordination and communication between the two organizations.  The action points will be finalized and implementation will begin in earnest. 

DFAT/UNDP have reinstated the fortnightly management meetings in order to improve communication and better manage program management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop ToR and hire a consultant to facilitate the management workshop for quality coordination and communication between DFAT and UNDP
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP/DFAT 2016/07 Completed
Conduct management review of the UNDP, DFAT and the project
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/05]
UNDP/DFAT 2016/07 Completed
Develop strategic roles of UNDP and DFAT for project guidance
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/05/22]
UNDP/ DFAT 2017/06 Completed
16. Recommendation:

One Year Extension for MEDEP:

Considering the extent of exiting and additional tasks that need to be completed by MEDEP in particular on the 'institutionalization aspect' which is very crucial for the effective takeover of the 'MED Service Model' by MEDPA, MTE recommends for an extension of one year for MEDPA, continuing under the UNDP management. This is also taking into consideration of the various disturbances that the project has faced during last two years’ period. The commitment and intensions of UNDP to deliver what it has promised are clear and this should be appreciated by giving them some more time to complete what they intend to complete. The MTE feels that with revised and focused approach on 'Institutionalization' another three-year time including suggested one-year extension will allow MEDEP sufficient time to make remarkable achievements on this front.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/10]

UNDP (and MoI) and DFAT Agrees ‘in principle’ with the recommendation.

The gap analysis of in the internalization and the institutionalization process will be conducted and a detailed plan will be prepared focusing more on 'Institutionalization' for three-year time including one-year extension of MEDEP.

DFAT in-principle agrees to a one-year extension subject to satisfactory progress of agreed performance indicators (milestones) by mid-2017.  These milestones will be developed together with MoI and UNDP at the program, management and institution level that if met by mid-2017, may trigger the offer of funding for an additional year to achieve the goal of institutionalization. The RRF will consider two scenarios while planning - one with an extension (3 years) and one without an extension (2 years).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Assess the gap in the institutionalization process of the Government and key stakeholders and develop a detailed plan focusing more on institutionalization of MEDPA
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2017/08/30]
UNDP/DFAT 2018/01 Completed Gap assessment has been completed and three technical working groups as well as CFCs stock-take and appropriate remedies are helping to institutionalize this process in MEDPA.
Hold meetings with the MOI and get the commitments to achieve important milestones
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/MOI 2018/06 Completed
Get the approval from the DFAT to extend one-year project beyond June 2018
[Added: 2016/11/10] [Last Updated: 2018/07/24]
UNDP/DFAT 2018/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: This action point has been dropped as per the assessment.]
Documents and justifications were submitted to DFAT.

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