Support to Social Cohesion and Livelihoods

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Myanmar
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2017
Completion Date:
03/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
60,000

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Title Support to Social Cohesion and Livelihoods
Atlas Project Number: 00074124
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Myanmar
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2017
Planned End Date: 03/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 6.4. Recovery processes reinforce social cohesion and trust and enable rapid return to sustainable development
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
Evaluation Budget(US $): 60,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 38,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
C├ęcile Collin Team Leader clmcollin@gmail.com
Moe Moe Team Member mm.moemoe5@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MYANMAR
Lessons
Findings
1.

 RELEVANCE 

Evaluation Questions - Was the Output strategy relevant and appropriate? Does it remain valid? - How well did the Output strategy align with national priorities and goals? - How did the Output contribute to principles of human rights, gender and conflictsensitivity? - To what extent and how successfully did the Output adapt to respond to the external environment and organizational positioning? - Looking ahead, what is most relevant to continue, deepen or scale-up? What is least relevant?

3.1 Output Strategy

The strategy was informed by UNDP’s previous work in community development, through the HDI interventions, and by the analysis that downstream service-delivery provided an entry-point to work on what could be potentially sensitive issues such as social cohesion. This was done by: a) Targeting the country’s border or ethnic states through a sequenced package of downstream village-level assistance – broadly, rice-banks, cash grants for livelihoods, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) strengthening, vocational training, livelihood and community infrastructure, and in some locations, market systems for last-mile technologies – and integrating this assistance with strategies for strengthening social cohesion at the community level. b) Strengthening capacities for social cohesion and conflict sensitivity among local and national stakeholders. 

Livelihoods proved to be a good entry point for social cohesion, as they provided direct benefits to the population. They naturally facilitated interaction and community based governance mechanisms. Conceptually and in practice, this strategy helped to strengthen CBOs and bring communities together around common objectives and interests. This combines both soft and hard assistance, which was considered a strong advantage by several interviewees. Given the poverty and in some cases, direct conflict impacts, there is/was a trade-off between delivering hardware benefits to the communities and working on software activities, such as CBOs mobilization and training activities. Results in terms of capacity building and social cohesion are indeed sometimes more difficult to observe & understand by communities where living standards are low / who sometimes live by the day, and where basic needs are far from fulfilled. The approach also supported the acceptance by the communities for engagement on social cohesion issues. The downstream interventions were planned while funding was short-term. Consequently, this approach could not be sustained when donors reduced their funding to UNDP.


Tag: Relevance Regional Civic Engagement Knowledge management Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Vulnerable

2.

RELEVANCE

3.1 Output Strategy (continuation)

The output’s downstream assistance strategy aimed to support local ownership through community leadership over the interventions. While providing general guidance, it gave some flexibility to the communities to adapt them. Hence, a number of parameters for the various components of the output were determined by the communities themselves. For example, CBO members were selected by the communities, often based on existing community structures such as those for religious events, taking into account the need to be representative and to include a gender perspective. The identification of the beneficiary communities was made jointly between UNDP and the local authorities (in the first place EAOs in the Special Administration Zones). Accessibility, both in terms of security and logistics, was considered a major criterion, hence it is not the poorest / most isolated communities in a target township which always benefited from the output, as indicated to the team in two focus groups in different States, and also as acknowledged by an IP. Hence, by design, the communities who benefitted from the rice bank were not all food insecure, and actually used the capital as a bank. Also, in some cases, there was no social cohesion issue before the project, according to the communities interviewed (in Shan State), and the project was mostly a mitigation measure to strengthen social tissue and initiate or strengthen the sense of community. The strategy was then not to systematically address specific social cohesion issues but strengthen social cohesion and to intervene in areas, where tensions could arise.


Tag: Relevance Implementation Modality Ownership Partnership Conflict resolution Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Data and Statistics Vulnerable

3.

RELEVANCE

3.1 Output Strategy(continuation)

Some communities’ contribution was factored in the following ways: - CBOs: in assessments, planning and implementation - Food banks: in building food bank facilities - Capital assistance: for e.g. they build the fencing for livestock etc. - Infrastructure: cash-for-work and maintenance - Extension services: community volunteers provided simple extension services Some IPs also report that cash for work was done voluntarily in some communities, for example in 11 villages in Demoso in Kayah State, while participants received income in other ways, for example by supplying stones and gravels. However, the output did not plan for clear community contribution in the rehabilitation (which was done through cash for work assistance) and livelihoods, which would have contributed to strengthening community commitment and ownership. A justification, per UNDP staff, was the scattered resources at the community level, and some level of emergency in some cases (Rakhine). Noticeably, some communities took the initiative to support the rehabilitation work by improving the road level voluntarily, to facilitate further work and be able to meet the deadline set by the partner.

In the overall strategy for livelihoods interventions, in the first phase notably, or to more recent interventions in Rakhine, the trade-off of choosing a building block  approach over more inclusive outreach can be challenged. The output targeted 330 villages in 25 townships in 7 states, averaging between 2-5 townships per state and 20-40 villages per township, which represents broad coverage but in each township, the output covered only a reduced number of communities. The output provided a broad set of assistance at both community and individual levels in some selected communities, when other vulnerable neighbouring communities received no assistance from UNDP, as reported by focus group discussions. Some community members notably indicated to the team that the population did not understand why some neighbouring villages, which were more remote and then poorer, were not included in the project. Poverty scorecards were mostly established at the beneficiary communities’ level, and hence there are limited data available to illustrate the level of priority and vulnerability across target townships and villages in terms of livelihoods or social cohesion. Selection of townships and villages was based on poverty, vulnerability, identity demographics, conflict sensitivity, past targeting (related to the Human Development Index), security and access. The selection was made by UNDP, not the implementing partners, in collaboration with the authorities, EAOs in special administration zones, and Natala. In some locations, the guiding principle was also conflict sensitivity and equity across the spread. For example, in Rakhine, UNDP used a cluster village approach to target Muslim and Rakhine villages living in close proximity to each other, to avoid perceptions of bias. In addition, within a community, livelihoods benefitted the poor and very poor population. Support to agriculture mostly benefited the land owners by providing seeds, fertilizers, while the daily workers constitute the majority and the most vulnerable groups. Families with no access to land had the option to invest grants in livestock or small shops.


Tag: Relevance Regional Partnership Financial Inclusion Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Capacity Building Data and Statistics Civil Societies and NGOs Vulnerable

4.

RELEVANCE

3.1 Output Strategy (continuation)

The introduction of the social cohesion concept is particularly relevant in the Myanmar context, and although the subject is rather innovative in the country, there is a strong demand for more capacity building in that respect, particularly from the State institutions and Natala. Given the fragmentation of the Myanmar society, where armed groups and political challenges are mostly organized around ethnic groups, the need for leadership, strategy and policy, at the national level to support social cohesion is also obvious, and UNDP is particularly well positioned for it, due to its legitimacy to the State institutions. 

The creation of a pool of national trainers also meets the needs of capacity building in the country. This is especially so at the State level in ethnic areas, to ensure integration and adaptation of the concept to local dynamics, as well as to create local capacities, where they remain quite limited and where the connection with national challenges is also reduced. Besides, developing tailor-made curricular and having them translated in local languages contributes also to ensuring adequacy for local specificities. 


Tag: Relevance Civic Engagement Knowledge management Peace Building Social cohesion Institutional Strengthening

5.

RELEVANCE

3.2 Alignment with national priorities and goals

The partnership with Natala contributed to ensure the coherence between Output 5 interventions and the government’s priorities, which remain limitedly formalized and are being designed progressively. At a broad level, a general agreement was signed in 2013 by the Government of Myanmar Nay Pyi Taw (NPT) Accord, which sets out commitments for effective development cooperation, and makes reference to conflict sensitivity. A ‘Guide to International Assistance in Myanmar’ was developed by the Foreign Economic Relations Department (FERD) of the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MPF) highlighting the need to take the context into account and have an inclusive approach. Some presidential guidelines were also issued on postdisaster recovery. However, they remain rather general and impacted limitedly to the interventions. There are also some sectoral plans, such as at the Ministry of Agriculture but no policies or strategies on social cohesion and related topic for example. The team did not identify strategy / policy for community based organizations, which appear under different denomination depending on UNDP’s interventions and the implementation period under output 5: CBOs, Self-Reliance Groups, Village Development Committee, Livelihood and Social Cohesion Committees. The alignment is also ensured as the output, and UNDP interventions more generally, contributed to elaboration of the government plans or more operational frameworks for the livelihoods and social cohesion. 


Tag: Coherence Relevance Partnership Policies & Procedures Strategic Positioning Country Government Humanitarian development nexus Peace Building Social cohesion

6.

RELEVANCE

3.3 Human Rights, gender and conflict sensitivity

Human rights, gender and conflict sensitivity were significantly considered both in terms of process, approach and content of the interventions, with some limitations related to the context and the monitoring of the interventions.

3.3.1 Human Rights

The objective of supporting conflict affected and poor areas aims to strengthen the equity amongst the population. Social cohesion also contributes to the fulfilment of human rights by improving security and living standards and integrating the different ethnicities and groups of the population, notably youth and women, although the coverage and constraints face by the interventions remained limited to targeting all vulnerable groups in Border areas, including the most vulnerable ones. The output contributed to building the capacities of both rights holders and duty bearers through mutual interactions, particularly during the SC2 initiative. This includes a better knowledge of the human rights. For example, a training participant indicated “Before I did not even know that I had human rights and that they were violated.” Duty bearers also feel more confident in performing their task and knowing their role. By facilitating exchanges between both duty bearers and rights holders, the output also contributed to strengthening the process by which they support human rights. Rights holders have better access to duty bearers and communicate with them more easily.

In relation to livelihoods, the output built-in interventions for promoting positive values (i.e. tolerance, diversity, human rights etc…) alongside socio-economic recovery and development interventions. The JMC, that UNDP assists, is also supposed to include a system to report HR violations at State level electronically to be tracked which also tracks how the case is resolved. Human rights are more directly included in other components of UNDP CPD, such as Pillar 3 “Promotion of democratic governance and the rule of law to strengthen democratic institutions and the advancement of human rights” or Output 2 of Pillar 1 “Strengthened institutional capacity of civil society organizations to provide community services (including civic and legal awareness and advocacy on human rights).” 


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Human rights Justice system Rule of law Knowledge management Partnership Conflict resolution Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Capacity Building Coordination Technical Support Displaced People Vulnerable

7.

RELEVANCE

3.3.2 Gender

The gender aspect was taken into account in various respects at the different stages of the project, from proposal writing to reporting on activities, although this was not systematic. While all the performance indicators ask for disaggregated data, performance for the indicators 7 to 9 are not gender disaggregated in the resource and result framework. The outcome indicators do not report on gender. Activity level indicators are also not always systematically disaggregated by gender. Aside from an objective of changing the perception on the role of youth and women owing to the innovative technologies project, the targets, and then those indicators, are also largely quantitative.In terms of content at the downstream level, when women were involved in the village planning exercise, an IP reports that “most of them were surprised and we had to encourage them not to be ashamed and to tell their opinion frankly”. This illustrates the challenges of such an approach. The first indicator and target of the output was on women’s participation in community based organizations and effortswere undertaken to promote women in the committee, with a target of 40% participation in community governance structures.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Social cohesion Technology Capacity Building

8.

RELEVANCE

3.3.2 Gender (continuation)

More generally, the work on conflict mitigation and social cohesion is also of key relevance from a gender perspective as women are particularly vulnerable to attacks. Social cohesion is also relevant because it fosters broad acceptance of all groups in society despite gender and thereby lays the foundation for preventing conflicts.

Gender, and vulnerabilities more broadly, were also taken into account as a criteria in the cash for work, and in some cases, specific types of work were allocated depending on the capacities. For example, elders were for example tasked with soft ground levelling, clearing bush and women levelled road, carried soil or filled cement, which is considered as less labor intensive, according to an IP report. Women, elderly, disabled and men were paid equally. Aside from those initiatives to include women in the activities and empower them in CBOs, the actual gender mainstreaming perspective was not fully incorporated, concerning leveraging different triggers depending on the gender. Indeed, because of different traditional roles in the communities, some specific leverages can be usedto trigger social cohesion and / or peacebuilding mechanisms, according to the gender. The analysis of those aspects as well as of the different effects of the interventions could be strengthened: how did the level of women security evolve? what was their contribution to social cohesion mechanisms and their influence on other groups? 


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Vulnerable Women and gilrs

9.

RELEVANCE

3.3.3 Conflict Sensitivity

CPAP includes a clear definition of how conflict sensitivity will be taken into account by doing periodic contextual analysis and by having an inclusive approach ensuring representation. The overall objective of the output is to mitigate conflicts and social / political tensions, so conflict sensitivity is at the core of the interventions. As such, this was included to some extent in the various interventions. Conflict sensitivity challenges in the output design relate potentially to the balance between ethnic groups, the political economy around the interventions, notably if it empowered some stakeholders or communities versus others, in terms of particular coverage, which was not identified during this assessment. The main issue related to negative effects of the development assistance is a general problem, which does not concern output 5 only. In Rakhine, initial targeting for early recovery assistance in 2015-2016 also focused on returnees, implying then an emphasis on Muslim, who are the predominant displaced and therefore return caseloads. In Rakhine, the perception of inequitable assistance to Muslims, is a continue cause of strong resentment among the ethnic Rakhine populations as well as some authorities. While efforts were made to balance the assistance, for example, UNDP revised its village selection to target both return villages and surrounding Rakhine villages, however it then creates a strategic tension between supporting the most vulnerable groups and equitable targeting.


Tag: Challenges Relevance Human rights Local Governance Risk Management Conflict resolution Peace Building Security Social cohesion Advocacy Awareness raising Capacity Building Technical Support Displaced People Vulnerable

10.

RELEVANCE

3.3.3 Conflict Sensitivity(continuation)

The interventions developed as part of the social cohesion competency development initiative (social cohesion framework, foundation course, pool of national trainers) are to some extent related to conflict sensitivity, through the objectives of promoting peaceful coexistence and mitigating violence, and noticeably, UNDP also developed a specific visual toolbox on conflict sensitivity. Noticeably, the output acted on several layers of conflict, through the livelihoods interventions between the communities, and to some extent by promoting interactions between the State and the communities for example by linking up with local level government extension service providers and facilitating vocation training jointly with civil servants. This remains nonetheless limited. In addition, through the SC2, it fostered social cohesion competencies and dynamics of the representatives of the various stakeholders, State institutions, EAOs and CSO actors, by favouring their interactions and level of skills. More generally, although the output focuses on social cohesion in border areas, hence the most fragile ones, the results and potential general influence on the peace process appears rather indirect, and there is no data on the contribution of the output to the political conflict. The output played a role in empowering individuals and communities, in providing some peace dividends, and strengthening the social tissue, as well as the resilience dynamics, which can contribute to mitigate the risk of local conflicts, while interventions at the community level cannot address the structural conflict drivers.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Human rights Local Governance Knowledge management Conflict resolution Peace Building Security Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening

11.

RELEVANCE

3.4 Adaptation to external environment and organizational positioning

The output significantly evolved since 2013, when it was first designed, adapting to the context in various respects: overall change of the country political and security context and increased presence of international development organizations and the nature of the State. From an almost (i)/NGO type of role with a broad field presence, UNDP went back to what is usually considered as its core mandate, support to the institutions at the upstream level, keeping in mind its comparative advantage in the country, which mostly consist in the ability to support institutions at the strategic level. The organization took the opportunity of the change of context to start introducing key concepts of social cohesion and conflict sensitivity at the upstream level, which also appear relevant given the structural nature of the conflict with the EAOs and the need to identify broad spectrum solutions. 


Tag: Relevance Strategic Positioning Social cohesion Capacity Building Technical Support Displaced People

12.

RELEVANCE

3.5 Most relevant and least relevant interventions for further capitalization

UNDP benefits from a rather unique relationship with the government, with which UNDP gained a strong legitimacy, and due to this relationship, UNDP is also a legitimate partner for (I)NGOs who often struggle to establish true partnerships with Government. UNDP has a key role in ensuring connection between State institutions and other stakeholders, as part of its international mandate and of its history in the country. The government also acknowledges the experience of the organization, and the interest of learning further from UNDP. The multilateral aspect of the organization also inspires further trust, as it has no political agenda or other interests than its mandate. UNDP then has a better access than other structures in terms of connections, as well as potential coverage. UNDP has also a comparative advantage in institutional support to streamline various initiatives. Because of this legitimacy and unique access, the organization is also particularly well positioned to operate in the most fragile areas of the country, on various types of support, including on identifying and supporting infrastructure rehabilitation through cash for work schemes. 

Capacity building initiatives gained strong interest from the participants, either those related to social cohesion (training / workshops / networks), as well as on livelihoods best practices ongoing in Rakhine. As such, it would seem relevant to disseminate the learnings further and support the rolling out of similar interventions, based on the specificities of each context. At the community level, the food banks, which created social protection nets, and related community based committees for a community based approach, constitute a great success. They form a relay to launch further community based initiatives, when they were well managed, which depends on the committee and partners’ capacities. 


Tag: Relevance Communication Knowledge management Country Government Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Technology Capacity Building

13.

4 EFFECTIVENESS

Evaluation Question: Has the Output achieved the results against its results framework and in contribution to the overall output and outcome result statements? What have been the contributing factors and constraints?

4.1 Contribution to outcome level results

The outcome objective was: Community driven development institutions that support local governance in service delivery and inclusive growth, including agricultural development and enhancement of employment opportunities for women and men. It was originally strongly related to downstream level interventions, with a focus on local governance livelihoods, while the social cohesion was more implicit. Output 5 represented a strong share of the overall outcome budget with 42% of the total. At a general level, the output contributed to community level development (supplyside) and strengthened community level governance, through community based initiatives and CBOs. Nonetheless, the connection with other local governance mechanisms was not always direct. For example, the evaluation did not identify linkages established between communities and townships, as part of a more general local development initiative or of accountability mechanisms. The State institutions were involved when relevant, including at the technical level for vocational training for example, but not so much in relation to service delivery or inclusive growth, which remained mostly at the community level, through cash for work, individual grants, vocational skills development and infrastructure rehabilitation. Hence, the progress in terms of service delivery capacities was not identified. The output contributed to the outcome, as formulated above, through agricultural development and some employment opportunities. It was the only output which contained livelihoods, including agriculture and more general provision of employment services, by engaging with the private sector, cash for work, small grants and vocational training notably. The commitment to agricultural development, however, remained limited and was not a specific focus of the output, although this is a main component of the outcome statement. As a reminder, the other outputs under pillar 1 focused on institutional capacity and organisational management of State/Division, District and Township administration, support to CSOs and civil and legal awareness, capacity of local media and civic and legal awareness, institutional capacity to support sustainable livelihoods and reintegration programmes. 


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Civic Engagement Local Governance Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods

14.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.1 Contribution to outcome level results (continuation)

1.1: Strengthened institutional capacities for democratic governance in the delivery of public and private goods and services. No direct contribution, but State institutions were involved in trainings on social cohesion which contribute to democratic governance. The SC2 also contributed to providing skills on social cohesion and facilitating discussions which are the basis for democratic governance by civil service.

1.2: Improved management of income vulnerabilities and sustainable longer term trend in growth of net incomes. The output contributed to the reduction of income vulnerabilities in the beneficiary villages but overall data available on the effects of the livelihoods intervention are limited.


Tag: Effectiveness Knowledge management Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Institutional Strengthening Vulnerable Women and gilrs

15.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2 Achievements of the output

4.2.1 Output objectives and structure

The output was defined in the 2013 programme document as: Support to social cohesion and livelihoods in districts with high poverty incidence and ceasefire areas.

It was further defined in the RRF: Target communities and institutions have increased capacities for social cohesion, sustainable livelihoods, and improved opportunities for peace. The results framework evolved over time, as illustrated in the table below, reflecting the evolution of the output content, in relation to the change in context and funding level as indicated above. The changes notably concerns the Implementation of village based protection mechanisms and lessons learnt collection turning into support to poor households, the component of village based mechanisms / selfreliance groups and CBOs. 5.3 component was integrated into 5.2, and the 5.3 / 5.4 components were totally reorganized to include a more upstream approach. To some extent, the result framework was simplified for more direct support to vulnerable groups, which is also logical given the short timeframe for the intervention’s implementation.Table 1: Comparison original and updated result framework.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Social cohesion

16.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

The results of the building block strategy, understood as the delivery of a package of service in one community (food banks, capital assistance, skills development, infrastructure, and value chain while supporting social cohesion), can be apprehended by the effects of the various activities as mentioned above. Potential synergies and leverage effects resulting from the combination of those interventions are not clearly identified in a comprehensive manner. All the interventions included support to social cohesion in border areas by using different entry points, in the first place livelihoods in 2013-2014 and in 2015-2016 in Rakhine and Kachin, as well as collective infrastructure / community assets, joint capacity building / capacity building of vulnerable or strategic population (women / youths), market based / distribution networks approach or collective governance mechanisms. The social cohesion objective was addressed both at the vertical and horizontal levels, in the following manner:

Community level - Within the communities: • Village Development Committee / Community Based Organizations / Livelihoods and Social Cohesion Committee • Sensitization on social cohesion • Joint participation in cash for work • Community infrastructures - Between different communities: • Sensitization and meetings with clusters of villages • Joint vocational training• Increased transportation because of road rehabilitation • Distribution chain across several villages • Exchanges between salespeople • Steering committee

Township / State levels SC2: - Joint participation in the training - Tools / techniques on social cohesion / conflict mitigation - Joint facilitation by trainers Livelihoods upstream work: - Rakhine SEA planning: Consultative process - Best practice committee: Joint work 

Union level Conflict sensitivity - Fostering conflict sensitivity into development planning - At the downstream level, there was no such interdependency approach in terms of mutual access to basic infrastructures between various communities, notably because the approach was to ask each community for its specific needs, which seems relevant given the particularly sensitive context in some areas, and the necessity for an incremental approach starting from the community itself as the first social entity. Obviously, at the community level, the rehabilitation of the road facilitates trade exchanges for the production surplus, and there is also a clear interrelation between social cohesion and trade relations between the communities. There were limited interactions and integration between the various types of interventions under Output 5, even taking into account also that they were often implemented at various periods. For example, tools developed on SC2 by SFCG were not used for sensitization at the community level, such as support in Rakhine, as this was considered too costly by the partner in charge. 


Tag: Effectiveness Regional Integration Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Peace Building Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Awareness raising Institutional Strengthening

17.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

Progress in terms of livelihoods More specifically, there are obvious examples of improved livelihoods at the community levels and, according to an IP: “The project improved access to and reduced inequalities in resources, incomes and livelihood opportunities”. Notably, the output played a significant role in some particularly remote areas (in Chin State for example), as it was the first support that communities received from international stakeholders, and was also considered to be based on the community needs. Beneficiaries learned new and improved techniques, received some equipment, and were able to increase their production (from 120 baskets to more than 200, or from 1500 to 2000 units, according to some interviewees). In some cases, the communities used the capital they received to create the rice banks to lend money, and used the interests for various community projects. For example, the team visited a community where electricity was put on the small roads of the village and a water tank was built with a contribution from the community. The community increased the initial capital of 5 million to 8,6 million Kyats. In addition, food banks obviously reduced food scarcity during the food shortage period (May – July). The individual grants sometimes allowed beneficiaries to stop borrowing money from the broker. In some communities, some households stopped depending on daily wages and started groceries stores generating got additional income. They are thus more selfreliant and can spend money on education. The evaluation of UNDP Support to Livelihoods Skills Trainings and Enterprise Start-up Training and Grants Evaluation undertaken by TNS Myanmar, quantitative & qualitative research report (2016), highlights an income increase of between 2,000 and 30,000 MMK for the majority, and half of the participants reported setting up an enterprise following the training, which increased the number of businesses and services in the communities. One in four of the newly created enterprises employs others. Figure 2. Increased monthly income following vocational trainings.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Results-Based Management Peace Building Social cohesion Infrastructure Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Vulnerable

18.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

Progress in terms of livelihoods(continuation)

Interventions at the institutional level contributed to building capacities and bringing stakeholders together regarding livelihoods. A Best Practice Committee composed of various stakeholders was notably created in Rakhine, as a pilot project, with the objective of identifying livelihoods practices which could be replicated and disseminated further. Despite some challenges in the research, stakeholders indicate their strong interest in pursuing such an approach, including for best practices from other areas, possibly at the international level, and not only from the State, as in some cases local practices are very traditional and not fully efficient. Those best practices have not been disseminated so far, such as through a media campaign with radio broadcast. Coordination between CSO and the government was not optimal, according to the interviewees, and to maximize the potential sufficient time should be allocated to change behaviours and mobilize the relevant stakeholders. The Social and Economic Development Plan in Rakhine was innovative and resulted progress, according to the State secretary, because of the inclusivity of the process and the use of a bottom up planning, which strengthened the consistency of the plan, and also took into account conflict sensitivity.


Tag: Effectiveness Civic Engagement Partnership Social cohesion Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Technology Coordination Institutional Strengthening

19.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

Innovative technologies (continuation) The lesson learned analysis indicate nonetheless that cultural barrier to adopt improved stoves in Kayin. In addition, a specific issue happened in Shan, where, according to the salespeople, in some cases, the purchased stoves were not used in the end by the households who bought them because they did not meet cooking practices there. The stove structure is too small to be able to cook for large families, the wood needs to be cut in small pieces when traditional system almost allows to use branches, meaning then that there is additional work with the new stoves, and the fire requires constant attention, when wit the traditional system the food can cook while people do other work at the same time. In addition, in some communities, there are no issues of access to firewood, and hence the population hardly see the interest of a system which would consume less wood. Salespeople remain with stoves in stock that they don’t manage to sell. Mercy Corps indicates that none of the salespeople asked for the stoves to be returned, while salespeople mentioned the opposite. Customers also wanted to return the item but this was not possible. Salespeople felt that to some extent they lost money as the stoves were purchased on their budget and also “feel sorry” for the community members who purchased the stoves and do not end up using. Nonetheless, salespeople interviewed did not face serious issues with the customers. Furthermore, this initiative provided new skills to the salespeople and an increase in income with an average monthly income of 49 975 Ks, who extended their product line and continue their activities now. In addition, those skills are useful for the communities, which, in some cases, rely more on the salespeople for accounting and purchase of the community equipment. According to the project evaluation, the 40 new businesses created 116 additional part-time jobs in target communities.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Technology

20.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

Achievements on social cohesion

The Output 5 programme has undertaken a number of capacity-development and policy support activities aimed at improving the capacities of national stakeholders/institutions on social cohesion, conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding. At the SC2 level, a manual was designed taking into account the specific context of the ethnic areas, and was translated in some local languages (English, Myanmar, Mon and Kayah), with an accompanying visual tool box, trainer guides and participant guides supporting the six-day foundation course of the SC2 manual trained over 1167 people, including trainers and participants, from government, EAOs, and civil society in six States and 18 townships. The SC2 allowed CSOs/EAOs and State authorities to attend joint meetings and collaborate for the first time directly as well as providing them with the opportunity to network. This impacts their daily work by helping create referral pathways to the administration, according to the participants. This was instrumental in solving land issues for example. In Taunggyi, staff municipalities reportedly sort out issues differently now with the sellers on the market. They used to use force, but now try to understand each other to come to an agreement, which illustrates changes in the mindset. In some cases, the participants had the opportunity to use what they learned during the training at other levels. For example, a PaO member indicated that he offered to his hierarchy to do a sensitization workshop in a community on the risk related to poppy cultivation, with some success apparently, as the community reduced its poppy cultivation, on which they were not too reliant in any case, as they were mostly cultivating other plants. Some social cohesion networks were created based on the participant’s initiative as a follow up to the training and they assembled the three categories of stakeholders. 


Tag: Effectiveness Conflict resolution Peace Building Security Social cohesion Institutional Strengthening

21.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

Achievements on social cohesion (continuation)

At the community level, some results have also been identified in terms of social cohesion and yearly reports identify numerous success stories. People of different communities had the opportunity to interact, mostly during cluster level meetings and vocational trainings. It helped to reestablish or create interactions between the communities. In Rakhine, communities interviewed indicate both being back to a level of 80/90% of trust and relationships compared to the time before the 2012 crisis. They can joke together and tease each other on who is trusting the other the most for example, as observed by the evaluators. They also mention the fact that they had an history a good communication and cohabitation as a strong factor for success, as this was mostly reestablishing long term habits, instead of changing an history of conflicts and tensions. The evaluation of UNDP Support to Livelihoods Skills Trainings and Enterprise Start-up Training and Grants Evaluation undertaken by TNS Myanmar, quantitative & qualitative research report, included an analysis of the indirect benefits, based on KII and FGD. Respondents highlighted the effects in terms of networking and peaceful cohabitation. Figure 3. Indirect benefits of the vocational training. Based on this same study, the training also contributed to increase the interactions within the communities in a broad range of features. Figure 4: Interaction types inside village or ward prior and after the training (Average number of times)


Tag: Effectiveness Regional Conflict resolution Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Data and Statistics Civil Societies and NGOs Displaced People Vulnerable

22.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.2.3 Results

Output logic

Joint Monitoring Committee

The JMC and government requested that UN/UNDP provides support to the Joint Monitoring Committee, which has been set up to monitor the ceasefire agreement. The request sought to leverage the UN’s multilateral agenda also with a view to balancing geo-political interest. It was housed temporarily in output 5 and started in June 2016, and the Output also led the design of the JMC Support Platform, the longer-term mechanism (due to be up and running in early 2017). It works at the Union and State levels, in Kayin, Bago, Mon, Shan, Chin. Rakhine is still an open conflict, as well as Kachin, where armed groups did not sign the ceasefire. The JMC programme using through a micro-capital grant agreement (MCGA), is intended to be an interim bridge before the establishment of a UN Platform for long-term support to the JMC as requested by the State Counsellor’s Office. UNDP supported the organization of meetings of JMC union committee, setting up the JMC structures at the State level, developing ToRs for ceasefire monitoring and verification procedures, developing and implementing training curricula for JMC State level committees and State level committees, and updating the conflict monitoring index. Based on the State’s counsellor’s request, this support was extended up to beginning 2017. The nature of this “bridging” support is different from that envisaged through a UN Platform. For example, the support is institutional and the UN does not have an explicit substantive role. At the same time, experiences from this period demonstrate the need for building trust with all stakeholders and for incrementally and carefully increasing normative and substantive engagement with an institution that is driven by the parties (including notably the military) and more operationally, for the significant investment that will be needed for strengthening the organizational capacities of the TSC, the administrative arm of the JMC.


Tag: Effectiveness Communication Knowledge management Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Service delivery Strategic Positioning Conflict resolution Peace Building Security Social cohesion Capacity Building

23.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.3 Key factors of success and constraints

UNDP’s good relationships with State institutions was considered a key factor for success by the partners, as it ensured their inclusion and participation in the process, and provided the partners with access to the government. This may have also constituted a constraint for the inclusivity of the interventions, given the sensitivity of the subject, which may partly explain the limited participation of the EAOs. The weaknesses in terms of effective participation of some stakeholders (EAOs and some State institutions) also implies that further efforts are required to ensure stakeholder engagement, in order to explain the ins and outs of the intervention and how the capacities gained can be used by the various organizations, highlighting operational accountability. The conflict situation also affected the implementation of the output, and prevented access to some key areas in Northern Shan or Kachin for example. The output initially planned for interventions in 18 communities in Northern Rakhine, which could not be implemented because of the conflict. Some difficulties occurred as IDPs were not inclined to leave the camps where they received WFP support. Activities were suspended in 2014 for several months because of attacks against UN/INGOs.

As indicated above, the timing of the interventions on social cohesion was relevant given the country context, and constituted a rather logical follow up of the HDI project, introducing progressively new notions of social cohesion. However, the timeframe was sometimes quite limited for the different activities, especially taking into account the Myanmar context, where building trust with the beneficiary takes time, as reported by the various partners. Indeed, the innovative technologies project had a duration of only 15 months and 2016 support to livelihoods and social cohesion in 13 communities in Rakhine lasted one year. The creation of CBOs, considering capacity building objectives. The best practice committee indicated some issues with the very short timeframe for the project implementation, which limited stakeholder engagement. This reduced timeframe is also related to the lack of long term and predictable funding, which would have been required for such a project. 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Partnership Results-Based Management Risk Management Country Government Peace Building Social cohesion Displaced People Vulnerable

24.

4. EFFECTIVENESS

4.3 Key factors of success and constraints

UNDP’s good relationships with State institutions (continuation) IPs of the social cohesion and livelihoods interventions shared several indications of factors for success and constraints. For the vocational trainings, there were also constraints on the types of activities implemented, and the - sometimes subtle - difference in the market opportunities between the communities. According to IPs, some beneficiaries had difficulty identifying their real needs. For example, some women headed households selected to get small goat but they had no children who could find green grass for the goat’s food in the forest nearby the village. Some farmers chose support for fishery but they have no good water source. Sewing training was also ineffective in some communities as the population is used to buying premade clothing from China, which is cheaper. According to the assessment of vocational training, none of the respondents who had attended food preserving training was still using these skills, because they could not afford transportation to the market and/or some key ingredients are not available where they live. The study also identified the previous experience and basic skills of the trainees in the sector they chose to be further trained as a factor of success. The IRC evaluation30 also found out that participants would prefer on-site technical inputs and exchange visits over formal classroom training, which illustrates a genuine interest for more practical interventions, notably through learning by doing approaches. According to one IP, food banks were also sometimes difficult to put in place because the target area had no experience in disaster or food shortage and the villages were not too far away from the nearest Town, where they had easy access to the market. In addition, despite progress on production levels, some areas face difficulties in transportation and low crop yields. Interestingly, some IPs indicate that participation by the community is more effective than support materials and cash, and hence that from a sustainable development perspective, it is more effective to support a village common fund, as a loan for 3 to 5 years. Indeed, this strengthens the ownership, self-esteem and legitimacy of the committee and the inhabitants. 


Tag: Effectiveness Partnership Strategic Positioning Country Government Conflict resolution Peace Building Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Technology Institutional Strengthening

25.

5 EFFICIENCY

Evaluation Question: Did programme management, implementation, partnership, monitoring and reporting arrangements facilitate the Output to deliver as planned?

5.1 Financial management

The output had eight sources of funding, with the government of Japan representing more than half of it, and UNDP core funding another 31%. Hence this constituted a rather narrow basis and explained also the inability to pursue the approach planned originally, when a second tranche expected from the government of Japan was not disbursed. Figure 5: Financial contributions by donor.

The bulk of the funding was spent during the first years of the CPD, as indeed the contributions of Japan, DANIDA and BCPR were made for 2013-2015, representing Out of UNDP core funding (6,991 million USD in 2013-2016), budget available for 2016-2017 amounted to 2,614 million USD). As such repositioning the interventions from downstream to upstream level was an efficient use of the resources, given the limited possibility to make a difference at the community level in seven border areas when the funding is 6 times smaller. Interestingly, the Peacebuilding Fund is not in place in Myanmar, except under the Immediate Response Facility form31, and not with a dedicated secretariat and national peacebuilding plan, despite the extent of the needs, the change of context which allows to and the potential strategic role of the UN, and more particularly UNDP, in the peace process through the support to the JMC. The budget allocated for the different interventions and related outreach or result highlight also the significant share for community based interventions and livelihoods, while SC2 and mainstreaming conflict sensitivity were much more reduced, as indicated in the table below. Even while assessing with the results, comparing the efficiency of the different interventions remains relatively difficult given the differences between the various interventions.


Tag: Efficiency Donor relations Operational Efficiency Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Technology Capacity Building

26.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.2 Programme management and implementation

The governance of the output was the responsibility of the output board, but the role of Natala in the project remained at a general oversight level, based on output board minutes. Donor participation in the output board was sometimes limited as all output board meetings take place at the same time in December, which also makes it difficult for the donors to attend. Participants in the output board also indicated that the coordination between the three pillars is not clear, and hence they may miss a more general meeting with all the relevant ministries, to ensure coordination and similar information levels around all UNDP interventions. This would also ensure a broader strategic vision.


Tag: Efficiency Resource mobilization Human rights Donor relations Human and Financial resources Partnership Country Government Coordination

27.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.3 Monitoring and evaluation, reporting

The results framework was regularly updated since the first version included in the Outcome programme document of February 2013. The most recent version communicated to the team distinguish between activity, output and outcome level indicators, and to strengthen the analysis of the effects and some sustainability of the interventions, although they are sometimes a bit obvious, for example: - Indicator 02. % of persons targeted for livelihood assistance reporting increased income-levels in target locations 06 months after having received support. A grant representing several months of income is likely to relate to increase in income level, even after six months). - Indicator 03. # of persons targeted for micro-enterprise support reporting sustaining their enterprises 6 months after having received support. They do not allow to measure the extent of the changes in terms of living standard, which would be the case by identifying changes income level or in categories of expenses by household for example, and which was included in the original RRF with: Number of months during which food is available for poor households. In some cases, they do not add much more to activity indicators: Indicator 01. % of women representatives participating in CBOs, Indicator 04. # of persons using/accessing constructed/ rehabilitated infrastructure (disaggregated by gender) Noticeably, four indicators concern social cohesion. They cover various aspects, in some cases with some redundancies, but do not allow to identify groups possibly excluded or to link the evolution with the output interventions.

While the project operates in fragile settings, there is no linkage with the results in terms of peacebuilding, such as internal conflicts, or contribution to conflict dynamics, which would be one level of effect after the indicator 7, in knowing how the skills on social cohesion were applied and what it changed. Baseline and targets were also limitedly documented, largely blank in the first RRF, and not directly linked with issues identified in the communities in the last RRF, as indicators were mostly about changes / perceptions after the activities. The annual reports to the output board include reporting on the output indicators, but there are no details on the source and calculation of the data. For the livelihoods support at the community level, IPs used standards logframes drawn by the UNDP office and IPs indicate that those should be temporary and updated based on the field assessment depending on the area, so as to include and meet more precisely meet the community’s priorities.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Risk Management Peace Building Social cohesion Vulnerable Women and gilrs

28.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.3 Monitoring and evaluation, reporting (continuation)

Frequent monitoring visits were made by the UNDP team. In terms of staff allocation, between 2013 and 2015, the Output had dedicated 5 staff in the area offices, with monitoring and evaluation functions. As the Output 5 phased out its downstream activities, field level presence was also reduced. The No other staff of the office was included in the follow-up, which is also a limitation now that the advisors left, as the field offices could be used for further monitoring. Area Office Coordinators, currently in place, are not 5 staff, and perform liaison and coordinating functions for UNDP. The output indeed need programme funded staff to conduct field monitoring and hence when the programme stops, monitoring also does.

In addition, monitoring happened at the partners’ level as specified in their ToRs, according to the results framework developed along with the proposal. This included reporting on the performance indicators through sample surveys. While UNDP proposed a methodology, partners did not always use it. The programme also used partners and external evaluations for monitoring and reporting. For example, for the infrastructure projects, the Output contracted 4 independent engineers to monitor and do spot-checks of partners, and final deliverables and payments of the infrastructure partners was based on a final assessment by the engineer consultants. For the most recent work in Rakhine, a UNDP-contracted engineer was based in Sittwe for most of 2016 for technical monitoring and quality assurance. The large bridge construction activity in Sittwe (2014-2015), was monitored and quality assured by a 3-member team, made up of the State engineer, NaTaLa and a UNDP contracted engineer consultant. A similar mechanism was used for a larger road construction activity in Kachin in 2014-2015. Some initiatives were also externally evaluated: the vocational training, technology innovations and social cohesion competency development initiatives.


Tag: Efficiency Local Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Social cohesion

29.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.4 Communication and coordination

There was limited use of communication channels, such as radio, for example, which could have broadened the intervention’s outreach, notably when speaking about new cultivation technics, best practices, social cohesion support and tools etc. There are official and robust coordination mechanisms in place, in relation to cluster notably.While UNDP is in charge of the early recovery coordination, which encompasses some of the livelihoods work, there is no clear coordination mechanism for what concerns social cohesion / peacebuilding or conflict sensitivity.This put the risk of having multiple tools, approaches, and systems put in place, duplicating efforts and confusing the various stakeholders, as the number of stakeholders in the sector increase. A number of interventions target the same beneficiaries, for example USAID funded interventions in Rakhine, or raise social cohesion / peacebuilding issues through different lens. Synergies with other UN agencies, for example UNWOMEN, UNESCO - in taking into account culture specificities in social cohesion, conflict mitigation and development processes for example -, FAO or even UNODC - as some participants used the learnings of the training for sensitization purpose on poppy cultivation – have also not been put in place in this process. 


Tag: Efficiency Communication Knowledge management Programme Synergy UN Agencies Humanitarian development nexus Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Coordination

30.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.5 Synergies with other outputs / outcomes

Synergies with the other outputs or pillars of the CPD mostly functioned because of good relationships between the staff but were not originally planned in the project document. They are not reported in the project documents either, indicating a potential limitation in the reporting structure or system. Synergies were not assessed nor planned at the time of the programme design and conceptualization, either within the pillar or across the relevant pillars and outcomes. Dialogues trainings have been initiated in collaboration between several outputs and output 5 at the national and local levels. A concept note was drafted to design a dialogue platform, which could foster synergies across the various outputs, to institutionalize and streamline the platform for interaction between the stakeholders, and building capacities in that respect. Consultations between government, CSOs and EAOs are required in a number of areas of work, in the sector of justice (pillar 3, output 2), local governance (output 1), support to CSOs (output 2). This constitutes a first approach to strengthening synergies. 


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Partnership Programme Synergy Project and Programme management Country Government Peace Building Social cohesion Civil Societies and NGOs

31.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.5 Synergies with other outputs / outcomes

According to other UNDP staff interviewed, the output played a role in integrating conflict sensitivity perspectives in other interventions – either through trainings or review of documents and hence acted over the last year as a center of expertise on this topic. This is of particular interest given the cross-cutting nature of conflict sensitivity while operating in a fragile context, as acknowledged by the CPD. It also contributes to mainstreaming peacebuilding and social cohesion indicators into national development monitoring. More broadly, the output fosters peace and security matters in governance structures, and interventions in conflict affected areas. In addition, output 5 constitutes the community level for a number of sectors related to livelihoods and social cohesion, including innovative technologies. It also supported the community based structures to address general development issues. This would entail raising community perspectives and issues at the various institutional levels and building the capacities to address them, with complementary interventions at the community level. As such, the output 5 could feed into the other outputs for community based data on the various conflict causes, local coping mechanisms and recommendations, and ensuring social cohesion. 


Tag: Efficiency Integration Programme Synergy Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Technology

32.

5 EFFICIENCY

5.6 Partnerships

UNDP engaged 35 implementing partners for its village-based livelihood and social cohesion activities (2 international NGOs, and 33 NGOs) in 2013-2014. It was important to demonstrate a departure from HDI, and one of the strategies for doing that was to broad-base our partnerships, where there was a sense that UNDP had for long years circumvented local civil society (and a further conflict sensitivity perspective to this was that a largely Bamar staff contingent working in largely ethnic areas and bypassing ethnic civil society). UNDP was not able to dedicate as much time as needed for strengthening the capacities of its IPs, given pressures for programme and financial delivery over a very short time-frame. Hence UNDP could not conduct the capacity building that it originally planned in 2013. Reports indicate progress however between the two years owing to the learning by doing experience. Partners’ staff, notably at the local level, such as community mobilizers also gained experience in a country where local capacities are still limited. While a majority of the IPs, already well-experienced, delivered strong results, some IPs indeed did not meet the desired objectives. In the Myanmar context where international assistance is sometimes relatively new, it is then particularly important to ensure that IPs are supported with training and on-the-job accompaniment throughout the partnership. For example, if in 2013, the Output knew that indicative resources it would have over the country programme, the ideal option would have been to enter into long-term partnerships with INGOs/NGOs/CSOs). 


Tag: Efficiency Implementation Modality Partnership Project and Programme management Country Government Peace Building Social cohesion Technology Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs Vulnerable

33.

6 SUSTAINABILITY

Evaluation Question What indications are there that the achievements will be sustained?

The sustainability of the interventions is analyzed here taking into account three main features: persistence of the achievements at the operational level, existence of organizational dynamics ensuring the replication of the results, and integration of the results into the institutional framework, strengthening their legitimacy and ownership by local stakeholders as well as some accountability.

Persistence of the results at the community level The output was able to launch sustainable dynamics whose results are being replicated and multiplied in some cases. Livelihoods interventions still bear fruits today. For example, in the communities visited, the rice banks interests allow for example new community initiatives and maintenance of the infrastructures but this depends on the way they were managed by the Livelihoods and Social Cohesion committee and there is no consolidated data on the number of rice banks still functioning. The small grants and vocational trainings generated new assets and revenues, although sustainability varies depending on the category of persons and is lower for the poor and very poor people, based on the interviews. Some women met by the team indicate notably that they are still able today to purchase more fertilizers than before and increase their production a few years after the grants. The salespeoples of the innovative technology project could also extend their product lines, to other items such as phone credit or batteries or spare part for motorbikes, depending on their interest. The project evaluation indicates that 18 new products were added to support the business sustainability. They are also using their additional income to lend money to others and purchase new assets like pigs. Those met by the team have some further projects. Some efforts were made however to support the sustainability of the infrastructures in 2016, notably through independent quality assurance by a qualified engineer and tri-partite monitoring for the largest work (such as the Ye Chan Pyin bridge in Rakhine) with a dedicated monitoring committee. The road rehabilitations undertaken as part of the cash for work intervention have limited sustainability, although the communities have been trained on the maintenance. Indeed, roads will require significant maintenance given the rainy climate and nature of the soil, and it is not certain to what extent communities will be able to sustain it without external support, because of the labour required and access to necessary materials. Communities indicate indeed that “they live hand to mouth” and will not be able to buy stones or construction material when the roads will need rehabilitation after a few rainy seasons. At this stage, it appears too early to be able to observe the sustainability of the SC2 and Mainstreaming Conflict Sensitivity components, which have been relatively recently put in place, although some approaches aim to ensure sustainability, as described below.


Tag: Sustainability Civic Engagement Local Governance Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Peace Building Security Jobs and Livelihoods Data and Statistics

34.

6 SUSTAINABILITY (continuation)

Organizational strategies ( continuation) Concerning SC2, output 5 was one of the first and few programmes that a) explicitly used social cohesion language, where in Myanmar, ‘peacebuilding’ is the more familiar term; and b) explicitly combined downstream assistance with social cohesion aims. It allowed partners, both at international and national levels, to gain capacities, and replicate their knowledge afterwards, with other donors in some cases. The output consisted also an entry point for INGOs in some areas, notably by giving them access to State authorities, and contributed to build the capacities of its partners in the country, local IP and INGOs. National NGOs are so far limitedly involved in peacebuilding work, led by SFCG and IA, and in a sustainability perspective, local competencies have also to be built on that respect. The strategy for sustainability for the capacity-development and policy support initiatives were designed around for SC2 - using Training of Trainers approaches to developing local resources, designing a Myanmar specific course material and for the conflict sensitivity mainstreaming work – establishing an inter-ministerial study group to function as a reference group, devising a Myanmar-specific training module for government institutions on mainstreaming conflict sensitivity into local and community development; and ongoing work, devising with the government an indicator framework for measuring conflict sensitivity in local and community development programmes. The pool of 104 local ”ethnic” trainers from 6 States obviously is indeed a factor for sustainability, to the extent that there is clear followup and mentoring (so as to avoid misunderstanding and wrong interpretation or use of a newly acquired position for damaging interventions), as well as good integration of the local practices and specificities – in terms of languages and culture notably. A tailor-made social cohesion foundation course, and the availability of course material in Myanmar, Kayah and Mon where using stock material, largely in English, is the norm, also gave a specific added value to this initiative and aimed for more sustainability to a better and deeper appropriation by the participants (who reported nonetheless to the team that drawings and content of the training manual was still work in process to be fully adequate to the audience).


Tag: Sustainability Civic Engagement Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Peace Building Social cohesion Institutional Strengthening

35.

6 SUSTAINABILITY (continuation)

Institutionalization of the output achievements

Some approaches tend to the institutionalization of some initiatives. For example, as of mid-2016, an inter-ministerial study group on conflict sensitivity (comprising 3 ministries and 6 departments implementing local and community development projects) is in place. This group serves as a reference group for the capacitydevelopment and policy support work we’ve started on, to mainstream conflict sensitivity into local and community development programming in Myanmar. The various capacity development efforts are not yet fully institutionalized. The evaluation team did not identify clear strategy or official policy of the government on community based approaches / livelihoods / social cohesion. The structures which have been created are also not clearly institutionalized at the national level, with specific role, registration and ToRs. The status of the CBOs and their linkages with the local governance structures at the township level remain quite informal. Community of Practice, Social Cohesion networks, dialogue platforms are also not yet clearly included in the institutions policies and practices, with official recognition / registration notably if a number of international development interventions start to be put in place, and clear linkages with Township and State level development planning. This raises the risk that various development actors multiply structures, at the community level or for social cohesion / peacebuilding notably.


Tag: Sustainability Civic Engagement Communication Integration Knowledge management Partnership Country Government Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Institutional Strengthening

Recommendations
1

Recommendations

Those recommendations are drawn from the most significant topics identified by the evaluation, taking into account that a new country programme will be drafted at the end of 2017 and that previous project evaluations have already addressed some of the challenges, which have also been reported in partner’s monitoring report. Those recommendations mostly concern UNDP. To UNDP

UNDP’s lead role in supporting State planning is key, and hence the organization should support the drafting of dedicated strategies and policies on community based approaches to livelihoods and social cohesion.

UNDP should then ensure coordination and experience sharing through dedicated coordination structures and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned through the early recovery cluster or other coordination channels. This is intended to avoid the duplication of efforts and introduction of a number of approaches and systems on similar subjects in the country, as well as to ensure capitalization and sustainability of previous approaches.

2

Further support should be provided to inter-ministerial structures on conflict sensitivity and social cohesion and UNDP should play a key role in ensuring that those aspects are included in a cross-cutting manner in sectoral governance as a way to address social cohesion challenges, particularly structural ones (related to natural resources management, including land, infrastructures etc…).

3

The evaluation understands that there has been a strategic shift from the downstream to upstream level given the change in context. Nonetheless, UNDP has a clear role in early recovery / resilience, which can make it difficult to totally withdraw from any opportunity for work at the downstream level. This possibility could still be considered when needs are particularly high and unaddressed, and when UNDP has specific comparative advantages. Those advantages consist of unique official access to conflict affected areas (owing to the good relationships with and trust of the government), and/or specific linkages with the peace process by providing peace dividends to fragile populations in unstable settings, by introducing social cohesion capacities in those areas through livelihoods support, breaking up the isolation of unstable and remote communities and creating demand for peace. Outside of any political connotation, this also means reinstating development dynamics in conflict affected areas equally benefitting all stakeholders.

4

UNDP has a clear comparative advantage in bringing together different stakeholders, which should be pursued through dialogue platforms, social cohesion networks, and some form of support to village clusters.

Mixed structures created should be supported further to promote entities where various types of stakeholders are involved, keep them alive and maintain their legitimacy. Ensure that there is sufficient data available on the various types of conflicts and their intensity, particularly in border areas, as well as of situations which could create conflicts in other areas; Based on this support, an approach targeting the most vulnerable communities and households, and linkages with priorities in terms of conflicts / social cohesion issues should be used.

• For this, their propositions, in terms of action plans and ideas to improve social cohesion and mitigate local challenges, should be further sustained. In terms of social cohesion networks, this means supporting them directly or ensuring that an organization supports them for interventions at the community level, where conflict situations actually happen. • Social cohesion networks, and more broadly participants in SC2, could constitute a pool that should be nurtured with information exchanges, for example, when relevant with exchange visits for experience sharing or occasionally to sensitize hard to reach stakeholders.

• In addition, the capacity and activity of the pool of ethnic trainers should be maintained. 

5

Support institutionalization of capacity development initiatives at the Union and State levels, through linkages with Tatmadaw, linkages with universities, and integration in the capacity development plans, as well as systems of knowledge dissemination and replication.

6

A logical follow-up would also be to institutionalize CBOs at the national level, with clear roles and ToRs. Notably, if a number of international development interventions start to be put in place, they should ensure that they link up with Township and State level development planning.

7

Gender mainstreaming should be reinforced to take into qualitative analysis in the design (which covers appropriateness of the intervention timeframe for men and women and strategies to ensure female commitment) to facilitate the access to those groups and monitoring stages.

8

In the next programme design and annual work plans, support the conceptualization and planning of an integrated programmatic approach to optimize the synergies between the outputs and with other UN agencies, where relevant. Conflict sensitivity should also be streamlined in all the country programme components, and output 5 is well positioned to support this.

9

The opportunities for supporting access to markets should be considered in both ways of the trading circuits: access to efficient products and opportunities to sell local production and strengthen the value chain). Related to this, UNDP and its partners should consider further engagement of the corporate sector (companies, distributors, and professional associations) in social cohesion dynamics.

10

The level of institutional commitment of the various State services benefitting the activities should be strengthened to increase sustainability. As such, interventions should be included in the institutions’ plans, such as capacity building development plans or operational / strategic planning to strengthen the accountability line. Hence, participants should be held accountable for work on social cohesion.

11

The operational linkages of the various capacity building interventions, in terms of targeting of the participants and content of the training modules, should be strengthened. This would also include involving Tatmadaw and police in SC2, land, infrastructures, natural resources departments, and community leaders.

12

Findings of the different interventions, which have already been developed, related to the work of the best practices committee, social cohesion networks and CBOs, when relevant, should be disseminated further through specific communication strategies in various media to increase the outreach, in the first place in border / remote and fragile areas.

13

Further work should be undertaken on the identification of local resources, connectors, and coping mechanisms, to ensure that the interventions capitalize on them, in relation to context / conflict analysis and implementation of Do No Harm approaches in the various States. Notably, this should include traditional practices in conflict mitigation, role of religious structures and of religious education, festivals, and mapping of key opinion leaders.

14

Ensure that there is sufficient data available on the various types of conflicts and their intensity, particularly in border areas, as well as of situations which could create conflicts in other areas; Based on this support, an approach targeting the most vulnerable communities and households, and linkages with priorities in terms of conflicts / social cohesion issues should be used.

15

Support further engagement of EAOs in social cohesion initiatives, through specific attention to stakeholders’ engagement strategies and communication, if necessary and depending on the context, through specific interventions for EAOs at the beginning, when participating in activities with other relevant stakeholders (CBOs, CSOs, community leaders, local governance structures)

16

In the various interventions, and particularly while supporting new structures or acting on conflict / social cohesion dynamics, ensure that a strategy is developed to analyse the impact and sustainability aspects of the interventions.

17

The opportunities for supporting access to markets should be considered in both ways of the trading circuits: access to efficient products and opportunities to sell local production and strengthen the value chain). Related to this, UNDP and its partners should consider further engagement of the corporate sector (companies, distributors, and professional associations) in social cohesion dynamics.

18

To UNDP and donors

Resource mobilization strategies and donor’s approaches should take into account the timeframe required to trigger the required effects on capacity building and effects on the conflict patterns, by improving the predictability and funding on a longer-term (multi-year) basis.

1. Recommendation:

Recommendations

Those recommendations are drawn from the most significant topics identified by the evaluation, taking into account that a new country programme will be drafted at the end of 2017 and that previous project evaluations have already addressed some of the challenges, which have also been reported in partner’s monitoring report. Those recommendations mostly concern UNDP. To UNDP

UNDP’s lead role in supporting State planning is key, and hence the organization should support the drafting of dedicated strategies and policies on community based approaches to livelihoods and social cohesion.

UNDP should then ensure coordination and experience sharing through dedicated coordination structures and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned through the early recovery cluster or other coordination channels. This is intended to avoid the duplication of efforts and introduction of a number of approaches and systems on similar subjects in the country, as well as to ensure capitalization and sustainability of previous approaches.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

The recommendation is well reflected in ongoing interventions to mainstream social cohesion and conflict sensitivity into government policies and programmes and institution

UNDP already facilitates early recovery coordination efforts in Rakhine, and supports development coordination more broadly through its support to the Cooperation Partners Group (CPG). These activities are ongoing and will continue, but are beyond the programme. 

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Further support should be provided to inter-ministerial structures on conflict sensitivity and social cohesion and UNDP should play a key role in ensuring that those aspects are included in a cross-cutting manner in sectoral governance as a way to address social cohesion challenges, particularly structural ones (related to natural resources management, including land, infrastructures etc…).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Since 2016, Output 5’s work on mainstreaming conflict sensitivity into local and community development programming has been anchored with a inter-ministerial study group, comprised of 3 ministries and 6 departments. This group serves as a reference-point for the work, including validating the training module for government (completed) and devising an indicator framework (ongoing). Also, At the request of the Ministry of Border Affairs, in 2017, Output 5 will be starting an initiative to integrate peacebuilding and social cohesion curricula into the academic and training institutions administered by the Ministry.

The new country programme will mainstream conflict sensitivity and social cohesion into UNDP’s sectoral governance interventions.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

The evaluation understands that there has been a strategic shift from the downstream to upstream level given the change in context. Nonetheless, UNDP has a clear role in early recovery / resilience, which can make it difficult to totally withdraw from any opportunity for work at the downstream level. This possibility could still be considered when needs are particularly high and unaddressed, and when UNDP has specific comparative advantages. Those advantages consist of unique official access to conflict affected areas (owing to the good relationships with and trust of the government), and/or specific linkages with the peace process by providing peace dividends to fragile populations in unstable settings, by introducing social cohesion capacities in those areas through livelihoods support, breaking up the isolation of unstable and remote communities and creating demand for peace. Outside of any political connotation, this also means reinstating development dynamics in conflict affected areas equally benefitting all stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

The decision to phase-out the downstream work was largely resource-driven, notwithstanding the comparative advantage. At the start of the programme (2013), the livelihoods assistance targeted 330 villages in 24 townships in 7 states. The thinking was to stay focused on these locations and use a building blocks approach so to speak – food banks, capital assistance, skills development, infrastructure, market approaches – while strengthening (and pushing the boundaries) on strengthening social cohesion at the community level. With reduced resource envelopes in subsequent year (notably in 2015 and 2016) it was not possible to continue with this strategy. Important to add here that many bilateral donors are putting their downstream resources into humanitarian actions or (for recovery and development) see a value-added and cost-benefit in putting their money into established mechanisms (trust-funds such as 3MDGs and LIFT). Also, while 05’s coverage is significant, it is still does not provide the scale of programmes such as CDD.

While the programme under evaluation phased-out its downstream assistance activities, there’s a downstream focus to several other streams of work, including to UNDP’s work with women’s groups and UNDP’s work in disaster resilience, where these comparative advantages will and continue to be leveraged.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

UNDP has a clear comparative advantage in bringing together different stakeholders, which should be pursued through dialogue platforms, social cohesion networks, and some form of support to village clusters.

Mixed structures created should be supported further to promote entities where various types of stakeholders are involved, keep them alive and maintain their legitimacy. Ensure that there is sufficient data available on the various types of conflicts and their intensity, particularly in border areas, as well as of situations which could create conflicts in other areas; Based on this support, an approach targeting the most vulnerable communities and households, and linkages with priorities in terms of conflicts / social cohesion issues should be used.

• For this, their propositions, in terms of action plans and ideas to improve social cohesion and mitigate local challenges, should be further sustained. In terms of social cohesion networks, this means supporting them directly or ensuring that an organization supports them for interventions at the community level, where conflict situations actually happen. • Social cohesion networks, and more broadly participants in SC2, could constitute a pool that should be nurtured with information exchanges, for example, when relevant with exchange visits for experience sharing or occasionally to sensitize hard to reach stakeholders.

• In addition, the capacity and activity of the pool of ethnic trainers should be maintained. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

UNDP will have a stronger direct programmatic and mainstreaming focus on social cohesion in its new country programme that leverage on this comparative advantage. This will include support to stronger analytics at national and sub-national level

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Support institutionalization of capacity development initiatives at the Union and State levels, through linkages with Tatmadaw, linkages with universities, and integration in the capacity development plans, as well as systems of knowledge dissemination and replication.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Starting in 2016, Output 5 has made more concrete efforts to institutionalize capacity-development activities, though also recognizing that a) for some topics and concepts, finding institutional ‘houses’ is more challenging and b) in some instances working outside institutions provides an opportunity to bring stakeholders from across different target groups and institutions together. At the request of the Ministry of Border Affairs, in 2017, Output 5 will be starting an initiative to integrate peacebuilding and social cohesion curricula into the academic and training institutions administered by the Ministry.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

A logical follow-up would also be to institutionalize CBOs at the national level, with clear roles and ToRs. Notably, if a number of international development interventions start to be put in place, they should ensure that they link up with Township and State level development planning.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Outside the Output, UNDP has already undertaken a significant body of work to formalize women’s CBOs into a national network, and to develop CSO networks in several states/regions.

In 2017 and in the new country programme, UNDP’s flagship programme will be a participatory sub-national planning intervention.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Gender mainstreaming should be reinforced to take into qualitative analysis in the design (which covers appropriateness of the intervention timeframe for men and women and strategies to ensure female commitment) to facilitate the access to those groups and monitoring stages.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

The Output has already a strong gender mainstreaming approach, with careful monitoring. Gender disaggregated baseline and results data and gender-specific targets – e.g. 50% of CBO members should be women, 50% of beneficiaries targeted for livelihood assistance should be women. Under the technology innovations work, the final product line was determined based also on whether they helped to reduce socio-economic burdens on women (e.g. firewood collection, cooking times) and improved security (e.g. improved lighting). Also, we targeted women and youth as of sales agents.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

In the next programme design and annual work plans, support the conceptualization and planning of an integrated programmatic approach to optimize the synergies between the outputs and with other UN agencies, where relevant. Conflict sensitivity should also be streamlined in all the country programme components, and output 5 is well positioned to support this.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

The whole UNDP office is going through a structural change that will lead to a change in the way programs are delivered, with a stronger focus on integrated programming.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

The opportunities for supporting access to markets should be considered in both ways of the trading circuits: access to efficient products and opportunities to sell local production and strengthen the value chain). Related to this, UNDP and its partners should consider further engagement of the corporate sector (companies, distributors, and professional associations) in social cohesion dynamics.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

While beyond the remit of Output 5, the new country programme will have a strong focus on inclusive growth.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

The level of institutional commitment of the various State services benefitting the activities should be strengthened to increase sustainability. As such, interventions should be included in the institutions’ plans, such as capacity building development plans or operational / strategic planning to strengthen the accountability line. Hence, participants should be held accountable for work on social cohesion.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

The operational linkages of the various capacity building interventions, in terms of targeting of the participants and content of the training modules, should be strengthened. This would also include involving Tatmadaw and police in SC2, land, infrastructures, natural resources departments, and community leaders.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Findings of the different interventions, which have already been developed, related to the work of the best practices committee, social cohesion networks and CBOs, when relevant, should be disseminated further through specific communication strategies in various media to increase the outreach, in the first place in border / remote and fragile areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

Further work should be undertaken on the identification of local resources, connectors, and coping mechanisms, to ensure that the interventions capitalize on them, in relation to context / conflict analysis and implementation of Do No Harm approaches in the various States. Notably, this should include traditional practices in conflict mitigation, role of religious structures and of religious education, festivals, and mapping of key opinion leaders.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

Ensure that there is sufficient data available on the various types of conflicts and their intensity, particularly in border areas, as well as of situations which could create conflicts in other areas; Based on this support, an approach targeting the most vulnerable communities and households, and linkages with priorities in terms of conflicts / social cohesion issues should be used.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

Support further engagement of EAOs in social cohesion initiatives, through specific attention to stakeholders’ engagement strategies and communication, if necessary and depending on the context, through specific interventions for EAOs at the beginning, when participating in activities with other relevant stakeholders (CBOs, CSOs, community leaders, local governance structures)

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation:

In the various interventions, and particularly while supporting new structures or acting on conflict / social cohesion dynamics, ensure that a strategy is developed to analyse the impact and sustainability aspects of the interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation:

The opportunities for supporting access to markets should be considered in both ways of the trading circuits: access to efficient products and opportunities to sell local production and strengthen the value chain). Related to this, UNDP and its partners should consider further engagement of the corporate sector (companies, distributors, and professional associations) in social cohesion dynamics.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation:

To UNDP and donors

Resource mobilization strategies and donor’s approaches should take into account the timeframe required to trigger the required effects on capacity building and effects on the conflict patterns, by improving the predictability and funding on a longer-term (multi-year) basis.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/08] [Last Updated: 2021/02/20]

Key Actions:

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