Parliamentary Strengthening Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Myanmar
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2016
Completion Date:
12/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Parliamentary Strengthening Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00086608
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Myanmar
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2016
Planned End Date: 03/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1. Parliaments, constitution making bodies and electoral institutions enabled to perform core functions for improved accountability, participation and representation, including for peaceful transitions
SDG Target
  • 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Niall Johnston Team Leader niall@nialljohnston.org
Sai Tun Thiha Team Member
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MYANMAR
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

There should be more sustained engagement with counterparts by the programme team with the Union Hluttaw Programme Specialist being based at the Nay Pyi Taw Field Office.

2

The Work Plan for the Union Hluttaw until December 2017 should clearly align itself with priorities identified by counterparts and be based on detailed requirements extrapolated from the Strategic Plan’s higher level objectives.

3

There should be an increased engagement with MPs whilst continuing to focus on consolidating staff learning.

4

The current planned level of engagement at Region and State level should be maintained for the remainder of the current CPAP.

5

The evaluation plan should be improved to capture information regarding how knowledge learned is applied and what behavioral change has taken place.

6

Reporting should be restructured to focus on achievement and be less defensive.

7

The technical assistance team for a new CPAP should be modelled on a CTA focused on the Union Hluttaw but with overall responsibility for all parliamentary work and a STA focused on State and Regional Hluttaws.

8

There should be three guiding principles for future programming:

  • Resource teams and exemplar materials should come from transitional and recently transitional parliaments where possible rather than from settled democracies;
  • International resource teams should assist in understanding how to apply the knowledge they are imparting to the Myanmar context; and
  • Where possible, national Myanmar experience should be utilized.
9

UNDP should not coordinate multilateral interventions with the JCC.

10

UNDP should take the lead in remapping current and proposed engagement by donors and implementers.

11

The Learning Centre should continue to develop a searchable database of all learning activities providing access to learning materials and the ability to participate virtually in activities already delivered.

12

There should be a more hands-on approach to building the capacity of steering committees such as that for the Learning Centre.

13

The AIPA conference has meant that learning activities have been pushed back with priority being given to preparing Hluttaw staff to be able to support the conference effectively. Whilst the skills being developed are of merit in themselves, there is some question as to whether they match the priority needs of the Union Hluttaw.

14

The absence of a dedicated Technical Advisor for the work with sub-national Hluttaws has placed a burden on both the Programme Specialists, who currently have a technical advisory role for the Regions and States, and the CTA.

15

A strong view was expressed that some counterparts felt they were only being given choices within a reselected range of options rather than being exposed to the full range of options; the purchase of ICT equipment was referenced in this regard. A re-statement of how procurement options and procurement conducted are produced would be helpful in these circumstances.

1. Recommendation:

There should be more sustained engagement with counterparts by the programme team with the Union Hluttaw Programme Specialist being based at the Nay Pyi Taw Field Office.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation that the Programme team has more sustained engagement with counterparts.

UNDP does not agree with the recommendation that the Programme Specialist be based in Nay Pyi Taw, during the current programme cycle -  a move to Nay Pyi Taw has the potential to undermine the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme, if there is not a wider move of the Country Office and key programme functions at the same time.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

The Work Plan for the Union Hluttaw until December 2017 should clearly align itself with priorities identified by counterparts and be based on detailed requirements extrapolated from the Strategic Plan’s higher level objectives.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation – it  does not represent a change in practice. UNDP’s annual workplans and activities since the launch of the Strategic Plan have been aligned to it.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

There should be an increased engagement with MPs whilst continuing to focus on consolidating staff learning.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP endorses this recommendation with regards to the Union Parliament. Increased engagement with MPs has already begun in 2016 with the support to organize orientation and induction programme for the MPs at the start of the 2nd Hluttaw.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

The current planned level of engagement at Region and State level should be maintained for the remainder of the current CPAP.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

The evaluation plan should be improved to capture information regarding how knowledge learned is applied and what behavioral change has taken place.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP acknowledges the need for monitoring plans to capture information on how knowledge is applied, and to attempt to capture behavioral change.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Reporting should be restructured to focus on achievement and be less defensive.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees that Parliamentary Output reporting could have a greater focus on achievements. UNDP Myanmar cannot restructure the reporting template as the Quarterly Project Progress Review Report is an internal report to a global corporate template which includes quarterly reviews of risks and issues, and reporting on challenges faced. The Output Board Report is an external report shared with donors and counterparts, according to a format agreed by all stakeholders. The format includes context, progress, results, challenges and lessons learned, expenditure and looking forward in that order.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

The technical assistance team for a new CPAP should be modelled on a CTA focused on the Union Hluttaw but with overall responsibility for all parliamentary work and a STA focused on State and Regional Hluttaws.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

This recommendation should be considered by the Management Change Team Mission who will look at future staffing for the next CPD.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

There should be three guiding principles for future programming:

  • Resource teams and exemplar materials should come from transitional and recently transitional parliaments where possible rather than from settled democracies;
  • International resource teams should assist in understanding how to apply the knowledge they are imparting to the Myanmar context; and
  • Where possible, national Myanmar experience should be utilized.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

UNDP should not coordinate multilateral interventions with the JCC.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP does not agree with this recommendation. The JCC has just been reconstituted under the leadership of the Deputy Speaker. It is up to the Deputy Speaker and the members of the JCC to decide how they coordinate with international partners. UNDP agrees that it should continue to support the engagement of other lead implementers with the JCC.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

UNDP should take the lead in remapping current and proposed engagement by donors and implementers.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

The Learning Centre should continue to develop a searchable database of all learning activities providing access to learning materials and the ability to participate virtually in activities already delivered.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

There should be a more hands-on approach to building the capacity of steering committees such as that for the Learning Centre.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

The AIPA conference has meant that learning activities have been pushed back with priority being given to preparing Hluttaw staff to be able to support the conference effectively. Whilst the skills being developed are of merit in themselves, there is some question as to whether they match the priority needs of the Union Hluttaw.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP disagrees with this finding and finds inconsistency in the evaluation report as to how ‘counterpart priorities’ should be defined. UNDP’s perspective is that the AIPA represented an opportunity for UNDP to support relevant and on the job training for staff on core skills, and to support a stated Hluttaw priority. UNDP support meant that the AIPA (and other events) could be leveraged to provide on the job learning opportunities which otherwise would be missed and which were part of long term plans for staff capacity development.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

The absence of a dedicated Technical Advisor for the work with sub-national Hluttaws has placed a burden on both the Programme Specialists, who currently have a technical advisory role for the Regions and States, and the CTA.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

UNDP’s two Programme Specialists have technical advisory roles in the Region and States built into their job functions, as 30 % of the TOR of the R/S Programme Specialist relates to technical advice, this work should not be presented as an additional burden for these staff.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

A strong view was expressed that some counterparts felt they were only being given choices within a reselected range of options rather than being exposed to the full range of options; the purchase of ICT equipment was referenced in this regard. A re-statement of how procurement options and procurement conducted are produced would be helpful in these circumstances.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/03]

The Hluttaw has been engaged actively in developing the procurement specifications in consultation with the ICT Development Committee and the Learning Centre Committee.The procurement itself has followed the policies of UNDP which have been open and transparent but do mean that non-technically responsive offers cannot be considered. However, UNDP recognizes that more efforts are needed to explain procurement options and how procurement processes work.

Key Actions:

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