Final evaluation: Local Governance Support Project II

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Uzbekistan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
09/2017
Completion Date:
08/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Final evaluation: Local Governance Support Project II
Atlas Project Number: 00078177
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Uzbekistan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2017
Planned End Date: 09/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 3.2. Functions, financing and capacity of sub-national level institutions enabled to deliver improved basic services and respond to priorities voiced by the public
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: UNDP TRAC
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,440
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Olga Moreva International Consultant morevaolga@yahoo.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Cabinet of ministers and other national partners
Countries: UZBEKISTAN
Lessons
1.

3. Improve Project and Programme Operations

3.1 Strengthen Result-oriented Management. It is recommended to provide training on Result-based Management and Monitoring to all core UNDP staff and all the project employees and consultants on an annual basis.  Many activities and tools introduced by UNDP projects tend to become an ‘end in itself’ or ‘endless processes’ and declared as ‘development results’ even before they are scaled up and adopted (e.g. laws, OSS, functional analyses, etc.).

3.2 Ensure Establishing Measurable and Verified Baselines and Indicators. It is recommended to establish measurable and verifiable baselines and indicators in each UNDP project. Sometimes it requires conducting baseline studies and surveys that might seem to be an extra cost in the situation of limited funding. However, SMART approach is an investment that will eventually help to achieve development results at reasonable cost or cut ineffective projects.

3.3 Develop Realistic Budgets. It is recommended not to design projects that have more than 30% funding gap. It is always possible to scale up and/or expand successfully implemented activities with additional funding.

3.4 Improve Quality and Presentation of Project Reports. It is recommended that UNDP should require all projects to have a background section, an executive summary and result and activity narrative and the documentary evidence attached to the reports so that an external reader could easily and quickly familiarise themselves with the project progress and achievements.

3.5 Ensure Coordination and Prevention of Effort Duplication. Country Office should have and in-house facility for the Country Programme, Thematic Areas and individual projects monitoring and a regular (quarterly basis) in order to identify and prevent the duplication of activities.


Findings
1.

3.1 Relevance

Master Question: Project Strategy: To what extent is the LGSP strategy relevant to the country’s and UNDP priorities, country ownership, and the best route towards expected results?

Related evaluation questions from the Terms of Reference:

Project concept and design: The evaluator will assess the project concept and design. He/she should review and provide an evaluation of the project strategy, planned outputs, activities and inputs, implementation modality, clarity and effectiveness of management arrangements and cost-effectiveness of approaches taken in relation to the overall project objectives.

Project strategy: How and why outputs contribute to the achievement of the expected results. Examine their relevance and whether they provide the most effective route towards results.

 

Relevance to National Strategies

LGSP followed the priorities of the National Welfare Improvement Strategies (WIS) 2008-2010, and later WIS 2013-2015. It is in line with the priorities for national and local development of the National Development Strategy 2017-2021. As discussed in Section 1, the project is highly relevant to the Outcome 4 of the CP/UNDAF 2010-2015 and Outcome 7 in UNDAF 2016-2020, as well as most of UNDP Outcomes, MDGs and SDGs at least in the last two decades in Uzbekistan. There are, however, no direct poverty alleviation measures nor direct link to other MDGS/SDGs envisaged in the LGSP Programme.

One of the priorities of the Uzbekistan Government is to reduce the subventions dependence’ of the regions, districts and cities.

The Strategy of Actions 2017-2021 sets the following priority actions for local governance and local development in Section 3.5:

Integrated and balanced socio-economic development of regions, districts and cities, their effective and efficient utilization:

To ensure the complex and effective use of natural, mineral and raw material, industrial, agricultural, tourism and labor potential of each region to develop socioeconomic development, increase the living standards and income of the population;

Accelerated development of districts and towns, minimizing the difference in the level of socio-economic development of the regions by expanding the scale of the modernization and diversification of the regions' economy, primarily by increasing the industrial and export potential;

Active involvement of urban small towns and towns through the creation of new industrial production and service centers, attracting large business associations' funds, bank loans and private foreign investment;

Expansion of the revenue base of local budgets through the [reduction of sub-urban and urban areas, possibly inaccurate trannslation], the rapid development of industry and services;

Creation of favorable conditions for the placement of industrial and other production facilities, further development and modernization of production, engineering, communication and social infrastructure of the regions to improve the well-being of the population.

Gap Between MDGs/SDGs, UNDAF/CDP and LGSP Design

LGSP falls in the Governance Outcome in UN/DP strategies. It is mainly measured by qualitative indicators that have no link to measurable MDGs/SDGs in other Outcomes. This way, the link to Poverty alleviation is lost, in the first instance. The evaluation has not been able to find any explanation in the project documentation for this departure from the core UN Development Goal, in the project that was supposed to ‘empower lives’ of the people in the poor regions of Uzbekistan through inclusive, effective and efficient democratic local governance.

At the national level, ‘governance’ involves a range of specific intervention areas, from judicial to local governance to human rights. However, measuring the Local Governance reforms only using the qualitative civil service/public administration reform indicators in fact, cuts off the whole area of Economic Governance and Indicators from effective design of the local governance and local development programmes and make them Activities-centered and Process-oriented vs. Result-oriented projects, with no clear indicators/targets.

It is a common place in the donor reports, including National MDG Report 2015 that Uzbekistan has made a great progress in the poverty level reduction from nearly 28% fifteen years ago to around 13% in 2015. However, the official poverty line is Uzbekistan is an equivalent of 2,100 Kcal per day. One should not be an expert in poverty alleviation to appreciate that if 14% of the population have to choose whether to eat every day or to buy some clothes or pay utility bills that IS the extreme poverty.

The World Bank’s $1.90 poverty measure status has been unknown since the latest survey in 2004 (when it was 67%). If it has been falling down at the rate of the official poverty, it is now around 35%. The $1.25 measure would then be 46% of the population (52% down from 88%).

According to HDR 2016, “Uzbekistan’s HDI for 2015 was 0.701. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.590, a loss of 15.8 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices”.  The Multidimensional Poverty Index has not been measured by UNDP since 2006 in Uzbekistan when 2.6 million people were multidimensionally poor, with 36.6% intensity.[1]

The rural poverty is much higher than the urban poverty. “As of 2013, about 16 per cent of people in Uzbekistan lived below the national poverty line, 75 per cent of whom live in rural areas[2].

Hence, the poverty problem has hardly been resolved in Uzbekistan and it presents a major obstacle for local and national development. MDG1 and SDG1 have not been directly addressed by UNDP’s Local Governance and Local Development Programme, its impact and effectiveness might be highly questionable.

LGSP-2 reports 2016 attempts to link the activities implemented to SDG 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 - irrespective of the Prodoc’s RRF which is a very welcome development. However, one of the key indicators of SDG 16  –“16.6.2 Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services[3] was not used nor measured.

Other applicable indicators include:

“16.7.2 Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group”

16.5.2 Proportion of businesses that had at least one contact with a public official and that paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials during the previous 12 months

1.4.1 Proportion of population living in households with access to basic services

1.a.2 Proportion of total government spending on essential services (education, health and social protection)

6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services

7.1.1 Proportion of population with access to electricity

11.1.1 Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing

Activity-centered vs Result-oriented LGSP

The lack of the result orientation in LGSP-1 was noted in its Final Evaluation Report, November 2013 and emphasized across all UNDP Outcomes in the Mid-term Evaluation of CAP in December 2013:

“Relevance could be increased even further, if UNDP could clarify the results framework and elevate its efforts in this field from an activity-centric project-focused approach to a more results-oriented programme approach…There is a need for a more consistent, programme-based rather than a project-focused approach, and room for improvement in terms of results-based management overall, and M&E,  in particular.

The tension between the relationship- and process-centred nature of the CPAP and the requirements of results-based management is evident throughout.”

Project Strategy

Due to separation of the Governance outcomes from other Outcomes, MDGs/SDGs, the LGSP Outcome and Output had the same wording for both phases Project Documents:

UNDAF 2010-2015 Outcome: “Effectiveness, inclusiveness, accountability of governance at the central and local levels enhanced”;

Expected CP Outcome: “Strengthened public administration at all levels that exercises efficient, accountable and inclusive governance.”

Expected Output: “Strengthened Government and Parliamentary capacity (legislative, representative and oversight functions) at national and local levels to execute public administration in a more transparent, equitable and efficient manner”.

UNDAF 2016-2020, Outcome #4: “Effectiveness, inclusiveness, accountability of governance at the central and local levels enhanced”, and the UNDP Country Programme Outcome 3.2 “Strengthened public administration at all levels that exercises efficient, accountable and inclusive governance”.

The overall comment to the Result Framework format is that 1) there is a significant confusion between actions, activities, inputs, outputs and outcomes that, in itself unfortunately results in reduced projects effectiveness; 2) placing the high level outcomes and outputs at the same level with activities creates an impression that activities have the same weight as outcomes and outputs. It is advisable for UNDP to first concentrate at the outcome and output level with the relevant indcators to measure the progress against those, and less on activities that could be only indicatively developed at the design stage and should be subject to felxible chage during the implementation in the constantly changing context.

Baselines

Some of the LGSP-1 baselines were clearly defined in Prodoc’s RRF, e.g. “1.3 In executive power authorities men constitute 96.6% and 3.4% - women”, while most of the baselines rather represented subjective opinions and/or assumptions., e.g. “1.1 There is generally insufficient understanding of the concepts of local governance, and progressive ways of public administration”. They could not be used for benchmarking the reforms progress supported by the project. Some of the baseline create an impression that the governance reform in Uzbekisan only started in 2010 (which is not true -tthe public administration/civil service/local governance reforms had been at least declared by the Government in all its policies and supported by UNDP and multiple other donor activities since the very Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991).

The project was designed to improve the efficiency of the internal processes and the public services provided by the pilot khokimiyats, inter alia. However, no baseline study was conducted to determine the list of procedures//processes/services, the time and cost required to implement them before introducing the electronic systems and One Stop Shops.

The LGSP-2 baselines have the same baselines deficiencies as LGSP, partially because even the available progress indicators were ignored by LGSP-1.

Targets and Indicators

In spite of lack of clear baselines, LGSP Phase 1 attempted to introduce quantitative indicators to measure the progress of outputs:

“Percentage of women in the civil service at the local level holding executive positions”

“Number of main partners and their contribution to the reform process”;

“Number of OSS users”;

“Number of abolished government functions”;

“Number of laws revised, abolished, and newly drafted”;

“Number of citizens/media requests fulfilled”;

“Percentage of government business handled electronically”;

“Number of officials trained”;

“Number of NGOs and businesses involved in public-private dialogue”;

‘Number of new businesses established”, and

“Number of Public-Private Partnership projects launched.

The progress on the LGSP-1’s six project components was not measured using the Prodoc indicators (see LGSP-1 Final Project Review Report, December 5, 2013 approved by UNDP and NPC). Regrettably, this was not noted by the LGSP-1 Final Evaluation. The evaluator even criticised the “Number of Partners” indicator as irrelevant to the project (while it was actually MDG 8).

The World Bank’s Doing Business presents a clear methodology of how the public services efficiency and effectiveness can be measured, e.g. time, number of procedures and cost for Starting Business. This methodology is used by the UNDP Business Forum Project. A similar methodology could have been used by LGSP to establish the baselines and indicators to measure the progress against.

As a result of no measured results of LGSP, it was also difficult to establish measurable baselines for LGSP-2. The RRF suffers even from more deficiencies in baselines and indicators as LGSP-1. The few measurable targets in LGSP-2 have again not been monitored nor reported against:

 “1.3 The number of user/clients (men and women) and companies using One-Stop-Shops and other e-services of local governments; the number of public services transformed into e-services”;

“2.1 The number of initiatives taken by local authorities for additional income generation”;

“3.1 The frequency of public events/consultations to inform local government decisions; the quantity of feedback received from public”;

“3.2 The number of documented tools for the performance of public oversight, representative and rulemaking functions, fulfilled by Kengashes in cooperation with local stakeholders.”

The progress against other (qualitative) indicators and targets are also not reported against in LGSP-2 or reported in the long list of ‘Activities’ column in the progress reports some of which could have contributed to the Targets or even Outputs.

For reasons not explained to this evaluation, both phases of LGSP did not report on the total number of people that directly benefited from project support nor the numbers by components disaggregated by gender and social groups.

Outputs, Targets and Activity Results

In the LGSP-1 RRF there were: 1 UNDAF Outcome; 1 CP Outcome Indicator; 1 Key Result Area from UNDP Strategic Plan ’08-11;  1 Goal/Output; 40 Annual Output Targets; 13 Output Baselines; 13 Output Indicators;  2 Components, 6 Activity Results (also titled Indicative Activities), 19 Actions; 41 Sub-actions;  about 115 Inputs, 25 budget figures, around 20 Responsible Parties;  7 columns, and 10 pages – and no clear Project Results Column.

In LGSP-2 RRF there are: 1 CP Outcome; 3 CP RRF Indicators; 1 Key Result Area from Strategic Plan ’14-17; 1 Output; 8 Output Targets; 7 Baselines; 7 Indicators; 3 Activity Results (also title Indicative Activities); 6 Actions; 64 sub-activities; 25 Responsible Partners; 22 inputs; 4 budget figures; 12 pages; 5 columns – and no clear Project Result column.

The reduction of columns, Actions and Budget Figures in the LGSP-2 RRF was definitely a positive development in LGSP-2 RRF. Reduction of Result Areas seemed to have a good intention to focus the project but ended up with three very broad areas synonymous to the Outcome and Output and difficult to distinguish between the three. The reduction of baselines and indicators was a negative development in terms of the lost opportunity to measure the implementation progress. But once most of the quantity Indicators were neglected in the LGSP-2 monitoring and reporting, there was no added value to develop many qualitative indicators that are difficult to measure.

Clearly, it was difficult for the project team and UNDP CO to comprehend, monitor and manage the RRFs that was in effect an attempt to combine the project logical framework, annual plan and budget – three design and management tools serving different purposes in one.

It is probably because of the absence of clear result chain or logical framework, the LGSP-2 team kept working and presenting different sets of the Project Outputs/Components/Result Areas at every Inter-agency Coordination Work Group Meeting and in each report: 6 at the ICWG on 27.02.14; 3 at ICWG 24.11.16; 3 in the AWP and Budgets; 6 in 2014 Progress Report, 8 in 2015 and 2016 Progress Reports, and 3 in 2017 Progress Report.

Clearly, for the same reason is was around 250 LGSP-2 Activities were reported as Results in the 2014-2017 Result Framework dated 3 July 2017 without any explanation of how exactly these activities have contributed to the Project Output or Outcome.

Following are examples of the Outcome Indicators that should have been applied to the Local Governance Project: in the evaluation view:

Economic wellbeing: Indicator: Poverty and extreme poverty as well as inequality data disaggregated by gender, regions, rural-urban dimensions

Baselines (2007): Overall poverty—23.6%; Urban poverty—17.6%; Rural poverty—27.1%

Targets (2015): Overall poverty—14%; Urban poverty—11%; Rural poverty—16%” (UNDAF 2010-2015

Improving the efficiency of public spending to ensure sustainable socio-economic development of regions:

Indicator 1.6: inter-regional poverty rate disparities as measured by the ratio of the sum of the four highest oblast-level poverty rates to that of the four lowest (including for Tashkent city)

Baseline:  3,2 in 2013 ?. Target:   2.4 (UNDAF 2016-2020)

It is not clear why Good Governance is only measured by Non-SMART process/relationship/activity-centered indicators and not people-centered ones, particularly at the local level.  In many cases, it is the same agencies and the same people that are involved in both but reported differently. While the ultimate purpose of the Good Governance is improvement in people’s lives.

Qualitative Indicators

Depending on the development context, a particular policy/system improvement tool can be an interim result in itself, e.g. a law, a methodology, a strategy – but never the end development result because they are just the tools to achieve some development result for people.

Generally, the development of these tools is measured by process and/or input indicators and their impacts by Regulatory Impact Assessment or Result-oriented Monitoring and Evaluation tools based on SMART indicators and baselines.

A UNDP document obtained from Internet and titled “UNDAF_2015_ENG_Consoilidated_Final.xls” contains the following Guideline for reporting qualitative indicators in Uzbekistan:

“Guideline for reporting qualitative indicators

The way to report your progress

when your target is “submission of draft law/introduction of system (scheme, etc.)”

   

The level of achievement

What have you done?

0

Original condition, could be the baseline, where there is no concept codified in the national system.

10%

Preparatory literature review done/ International experience studied

20%

Consultations with the national/ government counterparts. Forming the expert group to develop the Concept of the Law/ new system

30%

Concept of the draft Law or new system is developed/ publicly discussed and submitted to national counterparts

40%

The Concept is finalized to reflect the comments received from partners.  Expert group starts the preparation of the draft Law / formulation of the new system with the counterpart

70%

Draft of the Law / system is completed

80%

Public consultations are held to widely discuss the draft of the Law / new system

90%

The draft of the Law/ new system finalized in line with comments received during public discussions

100%

Draft is submitted to the respective Government body / System is introduced => target achieved

 

It is not clear if the LGSP team was privy to this Guideline that would have helped both the team and the evaluator to expediently assess the interim reform tools progress.

However, it should be noted that  after the submission to “the respective government body”, the laws should be adopted by the Parliament and enforced, as well as the ‘systems’ must be approved and implemented. Thus, simply ‘submitting a “drat law or system” to the respective Government body in fact represents only 50% of the relevant reform implementation. Particularly, in the post-Soviet space where the best laws are often not enforced and the best intended systems at time create more problems for ordinary people than benefits without monitoring and corrective action.

One example is many experiments with One-Stop-Shops in CIS, with some of those resulting in several new “One-Stop-Shops” in addition to the old twenty. In other words, the actual enforcement/implementation of the laws and systems should be monitored and adjusted before reporting 100% success. This is what LGSP has not done so far.

De-facto LGSP Strategy

The actual project strategy in both phases did not finally target the poor people nor entrepreneurs nor achievement of any measurable socio-economic results in the pilot regions. It targeted developing, testing and promoting a number of tools for local and/or national government that would potentially be scaled-up and incorporated in the national and regional policies, laws and practices.  It is the tools that became and end in itself for this Programme not the impact they had on the lives of ordinary people for who the national and local governments provide services to.

The tools, once developed were delivered to the national level and dropped there without monitoring of their use during the testing stage nor after they were transferred to the Government or other UNDP projects.

Relevance of Regions Selection

As previously mentioned, the poverty dimension nearly completely disappeared in LGSP-2 (LGSP-1 at least mentioned the target of developing pro-poor services at the design stage).

There is little rationale or criteria available to the evaluation against which the pilot Djizak and Namangan regions were selected for LGSP Phase 1. The Project Document 2010 reads:”it is suggested to select two subsidized regions with low index of human development: Djizzak and Namangan regions”. However, there are regions in Uzbekistan than Namangan and Djizzak with poorer performance on HDI and level of subsidies as illustrated in the Background section).  It is presumed that one of the criteria was relatively high levels of poverty in those regions. The rationale of the selection of the Tashkent region with much lower poverty rates for Phase 2 is unknown (See Figure 11 for comparisons of the Uzbek regions poverty rates).

Due to LGSP support, Tashkent region lead in open data national rating 2016 with over 250 datasets in 25 spheres published for open access (https://data.gov.uz/ru/statistic/organization). However, the successful current e-governance and Open Data reforms at the national level would probably be available to about 25% of the regional populations. The rural, poor and elderly have not yet benefited from the e-reforms.

Figure 11. Poverty Rate by Region of Uzbekistan, 2004-2012, %

Source: National MDG Report 2015, State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan

 


[1] Based on World Bank data http://data.worldbank.org/indicator and MDG Report Uzbekistan 2015

[2] http://www.uz.undp.org/content/uzbekistan/en/home/countryinfo.html

[3] https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/indicators/indicators-list/


2.

3.2 Effectiveness

Master Question: Progress Towards Results: To what extent have the expected outcomes and objectives of LGSP been achieved thus far?

TOR: “Particular emphasis should be put on the project results, the lessons learned from the project and recommendations for the follow-up activities.

Project outputs, outcomes: The evaluation will assess the outputs in relation to the Country Program outcomes, achieved by the project as well as the likely sustainability of project results. This should encompass an assessment of the achievement of the immediate objectives and the contribution to attaining the overall objective of the project.

The evaluation will also examine if the project has had significant unexpected effects, whether of beneficial or detrimental character.

What are main outputs and outcomes of the project?

Measurement of change: Progress towards results should be based on a comparison of indicators before and after the project intervention.

Has project contributed to establishment of efficient national institutional frameworks for promotion of local governance and decentralization reforms. delivery of public services. improvements in regional development planning and implementation, promoting transparency and accountability in local authorities?

Has the UNDP partnership strategy been appropriate and effective?

Has awareness on local governance and decentralization reforms, increasing transparency and accountability of local governance bodies. e-governance, improving the effectiveness of local representative bodies (Kengashes). regional development in general and among stakeholders been increased?

Has attention of stakeholders to local governance and decentralization reforms, increasing transparency and accountability of local governance bodies, improving the effectiveness of local representative bodies (Kengashes), regional development increased and has it been reflected in concrete actions?

Has capacity of local governments in pilot regions been increased in terms of: regional development planning, local partnership building; resource mobilization skills; self-advocacy skills?

Has implementation of public administration reform, e-governance and decentralization initiatives improved?

 

Results at the Outcome and Output Level

As follows from the LGSP-2 Project Document 2014, the main goal/output of LGSP-2 is
Strengthening local governance at regional and district levels to ensure accountable, inclusive and equitable local development.”

The qualitative evidence suggests that the Project Output has been partially achieved: the local governance has become more transparent and equitable.

The LGSP Programme has not been linked to concrete and measurable MDG/SDG indicators nor to any Uzbekistan strategy indicators. No baseline assessment was conducted at the design stage against which the progress at outcome and output level could be conducted. The LGSP-1 evaluation was based on the process rather than results. The baselines for both LGSP-1 and LGSP-2 are mere assumptions of the designers or simply background sections. This posed a significant challenge for this evaluation for the only way to assess the outcome/output results was to evaluate the assumptions made at the design against the overall evidence of the progress of the local governance reforms by the time the LGSP Programme started – from other than LGSP sources - and by the time the LGSP will end in 2017 and then try and establish the attribution of various activities carried out by LGSP to the overall progress of the reforms.

Based on the in-country interviews and study of over 1000 government, NGO and donor documents, the evaluation has observed that the face of the governance in Uzbekistan has generally improved in the last three to five years with the Open Data policies, President-People Dialogue portals, One-stop-shops and e-governance-services reforms. LGSP contributed to improvements in these areas in collaboration with other UNDP projects and the government. However, no data have been made available to the evaluator on how many people benefited, what services and to what extent have been improved (nature, number, time, costs, procedures), how many people received the information and/or resolved their grievances through the Open Data portals.

With the significant progress on the government openness, there has not been any significant progress achieved in the decentralisation and local governance reform. The Local government laws have not been amended or adopted. The regions still cannot make any budget, economic or social decisions without the central government’s approval. The khokims still accumulate the executive and legislative powers. There are some steps to make the local Kengashes operational through hokimiyats’ budgets and reports hearings, however, they still report to local khokims and do not have any real power to revise major decisions and/or remove ineffective governors. There is still a long way for NGOs to become independent and be involved in local governance. Business seems to be more empowered and could potentially change the way the decisions at the local level are made. LGSP has put a lot of effort into the Local Governance Law.

There are no clear baselines nor indicators in the LGSP-2 RRF against which the achievement of the overall programme output could be measured.

In the RRF’s Output Targets and Indicative Activities, it was specified that the project was to develop, scale-up and offer to the Government the tools for “strengthening local governance at regional and district levels” and “ensuring accountable, inclusive and equitable local development”.

There was no clear justification why specific tools were selected for piloting within LGSP-1 from many other available, why some of the same tools were chosen for LGSP-2 without assessment of their effectiveness, and why some of the tools were dropped in the course of the LGSP-2 implementation (e.g. OSS).

Some of the tools were piloted in Phase 1 of LGSP: e-Government; One-Stop-Shops, Local Government Information Services (LGIC), Functional Analysis, and Regional Development Strategies (RDS). For the sake of the overall effectiveness assessment and because it is at times difficult to exactly identify which of the related activities were implemented at the Phase 1 and Phase 2, their overall progress and results are assessed under the LGSP-2 component headings.

  1. Activity Result No 1. Reforming the system of public administration and strengthening the administrative capacity of local authorities and management

Baselines and Indicators:

Baseline 1.1: Nether central nor local authorities have methodologies for streamlining service delivery at the local level; the out-of-date law ‘On Local Government’ precludes local results-based governance and sustainable development

The first sentence suggests that LGSP-1 achieved no results – this is due to lack of RBM at Phase 1. The second sentence incorrectly suggests that a new Law on Local Governance will automatically improve the government practices.

Indicator 1.1: The government is provided with methodology/policy options for the functional review of the streamlining of public services delivery as an institutional aspect of civil service reform, and the decentralization//deconcentration of powers between central and local level authorities; The government is provided with a comprehensive concept of administrative decentralisation, and recommendations on Law ‘On Local Government’.

The indicator in fact contains two outputs of the project: functional review and concept of the administrative reform.

Evaluation comment: Baseline 1.1 is a subjective assumption of a project designer who simply ignored or was not familiar with in Uzbekistan since 1991 independence. In fact, there have been USD billions spent on developing and testing various methodologies for streamlining public service delivery, decentralisation and local governance by UNDP and other donors. The recent examples include LGSP-1, BFU, IFC, WB, EU, all PRSPs, WIS and many other. It has been rather lack of political will to start the real decentralisation than the lack of tools.

The “Local Government Law’ is outdated (depending, of course, on the actual intentions of the new power). However, even a perfect law will not guarantee an RBM culture. It should be developed through real accountability to public and RBM training. UNDP project should shown an example of RBM that has not happened in this project. In any case, if the Law is adopted its implementation will require a thorough monitoring and public reporting on the progress. The ‘sustainable development’ is usually broader than what a Local Government Law could regulate. No single law is a panacea for equitable, inclusive, accountable and sustainable local development but a useful tool and ingredient of a broader reform.

The baseline should have established what public services are provided at the national and local levels, are they in line with the Country Strategy, which are redundant, which are missing and which could be transferred to the local level and/or what sets of/how the government  functions are duplicated, which are redunant and which are to be developed. The indicator should be which function/how many will be transferred to the local government, which/how many would be eliminated/reduced; what will be added (if any). A baseline survey should be done to identify the functions to inform the project design.

The Concept of Administrative Reform should be based on a clear baseline based on the strategy and clearly formulated targets.

The indicator contains several tools that are not formulated in an inclusive way. UNDP is not ‘to provide’ but to support the reforms as a partner. Otherwise, there is no ownership and the reform tools will not be used and will be again forgotten.

Judging on the Activities Commlumn in the RRF, the functional analysis was planned to be a part of “Streamlining of the Multi-channel delivery of local public services, in cooperation with national and regional partners, in three cities” (Prodoc, p 14)

Development Results of the Multi-channel Services Delivery and Functional Review

  1. One-stop Shop (OSS)

OSS is presented in the LGSP/UNDP reports and media article as one of the key results of LGSP-1. It was piloted in Djizzak and Namangan khokimiyats  as a dedicated physical centre for a number of general public services. At the pilot stage in 2010-2013, OSS mainly provided information and photocopying services. The final evaluation 2013 noted the model was struggling with the demand and sustainability. LGSP-1 did not measure the progress of the OSS, the number of its clients, types of services, gender, satisfactions levels, thus missing an opportunity to establish both the baselines and inform the public service reform.

In parallel to the LGSP OSS, a separate UNDP Business Forum (BFU) Project was developing OSS for entrepreneurs.

General pubic service OSS continued in Djizzak and Namangan in 2014. In 2015, all regional and district OSS were transformed into OSS for entrepreneurs by the government resolution effective from 2016. After that, LGSP-2 issued methodological guidance to support the transformation, a one-time report on potential challenges of the new OSS and completely abandoned the OSS and multi-channel public services bloc of activities (Prodoc 14-16, Indicative Activities).

On the one hand, it seems logical to delegate the SME public services to the project specialising in this area. On the other hand, the project titled “Local Governance Support” simply did not deliver the analysis and support to improve the delivery of something like 90% of public services to ordinary people who are not involved in entrepreneurship. It is clearly a missed development opportunity.

That said, services to entrepreneurs are public services. BFU was not operational in the Djizzak, Namangan and Tashken regions LGSP could have monitored the new OSS to measure their effectiveness and derive he lessons learnt for the functional analysis. The lessons learnt from the past have been that the OSS reforms declared at different stages of Uzbekistan development did not finally achieve the intended result, e.g:

In 2001, the Government of Uzbekistan attempted to introduce legislation to create a ‘one stop shop’ to make the company registration process easier. These ‘one stop shops’ are located in the local government offices (Hokimiyats) throughout Uzbekistan and have reportedly improved individuals’ abilities to form new businesses. However, even with the new regulations, businesses discover local and federal regulatory roadblocks that force them to continue the bureaucratic process at a minimum of 5-10 locations.”[1]

In February 2017, OSS were transferred from local khokimiyats to the Republican Ministry of Justice. There remains concern if MOJ is sufficiently empowered to coordinate OSS with other government agencies involved and effectively streamline the services through OSS. This development is also a step back from the local governance reform and should be closely monitored, as well as whether general public services would be provided to the people through OSS at any stage.

At the same time, LGSP significantly contributed to the promotion of the concept of OSS in the mass media and with the national government as evidence in more than 1000 publications and Minutes of the Inter-agency Working Group.

Conclusion: The OSS and multi-channel public services component have not achieved the intended development results/Activity Result 1 in terms of analysis, implementation and outreach to direct beneficiaries. It remains a major untackled area for the Government and donors, particularly for those poor and disadvantaged people that are not covered with e-governance reforms.

  1. Functional Review (FR)

LGSP attempted a functional review of Four Public Service during Phase 1. The government was not yet ready for the exercise and provided negative comments to the review, It is crucially important that the tools like functional review are implemented in organisations that want change.

The functional review of the Ministry of Labour and the Tashkent Regional Administration in 2015 seem to have been more welcome and participatory. The results of the review in MOL are not available. The report on the Tashkent Region Functional Analysis used a methodology offered by an international expert, identified over 800 functions, and about 25% of redundancies and functions duplicated with the central authorities and other departments/khokimiyats. It is interesting to note here that there are also “nesvoistvennye” (not typical for government)” functions identified – this very much depends on the country strategy – many governments in the world choose not to be directly involved in the economic activities, while in Uzbekistan it is a normal practice. Thus any functional analysis to a great extent depends on the government strategy and mission and should start from there.

Whether the President was made familiar with the Tashkent region  functional analysis report, on 20 July 2017 he issued a Resolution on the Tashkent Region[2] to the following effect:

  • “Reorganising the administrative division in the region, with a new capital in Toytepa (now Nurafshon), adding one new district and assigning the regional subordination of Toytepa,  Akhangaran and Yangiyul towns;
  • In the structure of the khokimiyat of the Tashkent region, the position of the first deputy governor for the development of urban infrastructure, improvement and communal services was introduced.
  • In the khokimiyat, the Tourism Development Department has been established with a staff of 35 from among the staff of financial, tax and economic bodies to be reduced. In addition, the secretariat of the deputy hokim for tourism development is strengthened by 5 additional staff units. The new department is subordinated to both the khokimiyat and the newly established Information and Analytical Department for Tourism Development of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan.
  • The resolution established the republican commission for the effective use of previously privatized and unfinished facilities and unused production areas headed by Prime Minister Abdulla
  • The activities of khokimiyats of Kibray, Zangiatin, Yangiyul, Chinaz and Tashkent regions on the cultivation, processing and export of fruit and vegetable products will be coordinated by Ulugbek Rosukulov, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Uzavtosanoat.”

Possibly a ‘transition measure’, but the Resolution clearly demonstrates that if the LGSP functional review helped to reduce the redundant staff and duplicative functions, the President immediately created several functions and departments that have double subordination to the central and khkomiyat government, with clear duplication of functions, thus perpetuating the existing practices.

On I July 2017, LGSP was requested by the Academy of public Administration to be part of the Functional Analysis group for selected districts in the Tashkent Region and Andijan region. It is a positive sign that LGSP is recognised as having expertise in FR, but it was not explained based on what criteria the regions were selected and why LGSP was going to be involved in Andijan activities while FR of the official pilot regions Djizzak and Namagan was not carried out five months before the project end.

Another positive development is that APA seems to be in the process of development of the local capacity for FR, within the existing institutions (Centre for Economic Research, APA).

Similar to OSS, LGSP carried out a good media campaign and promoted the tool at the Inter-agency Working Group.

Conclusion: So far, the Functional Analysis has brought mixed results, expect for reintroducing the potential of the FR tool (that was, in fact implemented by First President in 2004 and was again promoted in WIS 2008).

It should be noted that there is no single FR methodology that would be good for all countries. It is crucially important that the FR should adjusted to the local strategies, conditions and reality. The new ‘methodologies” should be assessed not by their availability but on how they are implemented (process and ownership) and people-centred results.

Baseline 1.2 In the absence of civil service reform, there are few opportunities for local civil servants to improve their performance.

The baseline is vague and does not describe what opportunities existed prior to 2014 to compare the progress with and what exactly aspects of the very broad Civil Service Reform should have impacted the opportunities. The Civil Service Reform was targeted through multiple activities of LGSP-1. It is not clear why LGSP-2 does not acknowledge the LGSP-1 achievements nor builds on the lessons learnt.

Indicator 1.2 Curriculum development at the Academy of Public Administration extended to local governments.

The Civil Service Reform is ongoing in Uzbekistan. Ideally it should be further developed in a single Civil Service Coded or Law. The APA, BFA and other training institutions have been providing training and education services, mainly for civil servants and state enterprise managers for decades. MOF has a Training Centre.

The curriculum assessment of APA and BFA with whom LGSP-2 has cooperated was not available for the evaluation. Several training courses were produced by LGSP that are of reasonable quality. It is not clear based on what criteria the courses themes were selected. Both BFA and APA expressed the need to develop further courses.

The e-portal of APA max.dba.uz seems operational. However, the materials are only available in the Uzbek language. The evaluation did not have the capacity to assess the e-portal. There is not progress reported by LGS on how the local government officials can get access to the portal and what courses are available/at what cost. It is presumed that UNDP-funded courses should be free of charge.

It is not clear how many local government officials or NGOs had access to the APA and BFA training courses and e-learning portal. The people met during the country visit did not report any experience using these services. Thus, it is not possible to assess this activity. Generally, it seems a stretch of the limited resources of LGSP and requires a separate project systematically developing both the administrative, training and technical capacity and the training institutions and development of the respective policies.

The positive development is that APA is used as an expert organisation to develop the reforms analyses and proposals, and the platform for public discussions f=of the reforms.

Baseline 1.3 Public access to e-government services is limited at local level.

The baseline does not specify what ‘limited’ means, therefore it does not provide the basic parameters (e.g. types of services, number of people using them, satisfaction levels) to measure against.

Indicator 1.3 The number of users/clients (men and women) and companies using One-Stop-Shops and other e-services of local governments; the number of public services transformed into e-services.

There is no assessment in Baseline 1.3 of what share of urban and rural population had access to physical OSS services. It is presumed ‘OSS and other e-services’ was a mistake for OSS predominantly physically provide services. There is no assessment of how many people and Internet and e-services in the three pilot regions in 2014. Without clear numbers and/or percentages, the baseline is useless. E-government is a good tool used to improve the efficiency of the public services (not effectiveness).

Indicator 1.3 is robust and satisfies SMART principles, except for the missing indicator of “population satisfaction levels”. It is regretful it was not used neither by LGSP-1 nor LGSP-2.

E-governance

Uzbekistan has made an impressive progress in e-governance, e-services and e-transparence of the government, including Open Data. LGSP reportedly contributed to this reform through developing the software solutions, introducing and training on e-hujjat systems in Djizak and Namangan (LGSP-1) and Tashkent region (LGSP-2).

The LGSP effort were primarily focused on the internal electronic document systems development rather than electronic services to the population. The LGSP Annual Report 2014 reported the number of documents processed within the two regions e-hujjats. However, it is not possible to assess this achievement without a clear quantitative baseline.

Unfortunately, LGSP did not measure the effectiveness of the document systems on the pilot regions at the beginning of LGSP-1 not LGSP-2. The pilot khokimiyat officials interviewed during the in-country visit only referred to the ‘improved capacity to process documents from more budget organisations in certain periods of time and by the same levels of staff”.

A positive development is that LGSP-2 conducted needs assessment in 18 Tashkent region khokimiyats to define the necessary support.

It should be emphasized that the transfer of the existing services, documents and decision making is not a substitute for the administrative reforms. On the other hand, there is an anecdotal evidence that some of the procedures/process are ‘optimised’ through Business Process Reengineering.

UNDP is supporting a separate e-governance project that is providing assistance to the Government e-governance Centre. The project has been recently evaluated but the report was not made available to this LGSP evaluation. The evaluator attempted to directly obtain the results of the e-governance support but the measurable results were not available.

The reports of monitoring of e-hujjat systems in the pilot regions envisaged in the Prodoc, p14 were not available to the evaluation.

The has not been a study conducted of what social strata in Uzbekistan have and are projected to have access to Internet and to e-services. The evaluation can only assess overall access  There is a significant risk that the government will ignore the needs of public services for poorest and most vulnerable population, particularly in the rural areas.

Conclusion: LGSP has provided the contribution to the overall and regional e-governance reform that is difficult to measure in the absence of clear people-centered indicators and targets.

Concept of Administrative Reform

The Concept of Administrative Reform was developed based on the LGSP recommendations and published for public consultations on https://regulation.gov.uz/ru/documents/1596 for six days in 23-29 August 2017. The Concept contains the key democratic principles of government administration and basics for liberalisation of economy. The implementation of the Concept will require at least USD 100 million and at least five years of implementation.

The time for public consultation (six days) and publication only in Russian are in contradiction to the very spirit of the Concept. It is unusual that the reform was initiated by the Chief Prosecutor’s office and not by the Parliament.

In case the Concept would be approved by the President, it will be in stark contract with some of the government resolutions issued under new leadership within the last 12 months. The President’s Resolution on Priority Measures for Advanced Social and Economic Development of the Regions of 8 August 2017 is a combination of the ‘manual’ administration and democratic governance measures.

The paradox is that the President aims at achieving a ‘quick fix’ of the problems of the people in the regions, districts and mahallas. However, it is impossible to resolve the local issues without the participation and contribution of the people themselves, and the truly democratic reforms will take time.

It is only actual implementation and public monitoring of the reform components that can show the development value of the reform.

Activity result No 2. Empowered local governments for equitable development/ local accountability, and for better quality and transparency of financial management regarding the planning and performance of local budgets.

 

Once this Result includes regional strategies and public finance management, it would be necessary to add: “empowered local governments, civil society and business”.

Baseline 2.1 Highly centralised fiscal and public finance management does not empower local governments to seek additional sources  of local revenue generation for equitable development;

Indicator 2.1 The number of initiatives taken by local authorities for additional revenue generation, in collaboration with local stakeholders

Baseline 2.2.Planning strategy for the cities are sector- based, with a predominantly narrow focus on economic development

From the development perspective, it would have been more relevant to establish a baseline based on the poverty levels in the selected pilot regions and low participation of the population in the development of the regional strategies.

The development theory and practice require that Regional and Local Development Strategies should have public finance as one of the Strategy components.

Technically, LGSP contributed to developing capacity of the Namagan city to develop mid-term budgeting and slight increase of the locally managed budget through fines and penalties of the court and police systems in the pilot regions. However, the development results can only be assessed based on how the extra or better planned budget have improved the services and/or welfare of the population. This assessment is not available.

Indicator 2.2. The availability of cross practice Local Development Strategies (LDS) for cities (discussed and adopted in consultations with CSOs, the private sector and with citizens);

LGSP supported the LDS development in a number of districts and cities of Namangan, Djizzak and Tashkent regions. The project reports that over 1000 public consultations have been held through the meetings with business and NGOs and at the same time, the ‘’low participation of civil society and entrepreneurs” were noted in the reports. (Progress Report 2015, pp 6 and 8). It is not clear how the project addressed the issue of the low participation after 2015, particularly that LGSP is currently in the process of developing new local strategies for the period of 2017-2021.

It is important because the degree of the public participation and the mechanisms of the public involvement are they key criteria of the quality of the LDS. The participation and ownership are even more important than the quality of the analysis and planning because they ensure the implementation, monitoring and corrective action, as well as desire and commitment to achieve common objectives.

A mere ‘availability’ of LDS, particularly developed by external consultants has zero development value. Particularly that the LDS available for the evaluation did not have Implementation Plans not clear measurable indicators of achievement. The development success of LDS should be measured by the achievement of the LDS objectives based on the indicators, e.g. “poverty reduction in Djizak from 30% to 10% by 2021”.

The LDS methodology developed with support of the project provides a good basis and tools for further adaptation for the Uzbekistan needs and realities. The adapted methodology should also address how the ‘complex territorial development strategy” will coordinate with the existing sectoral programmes.

Activity result No. 3. Increased democratic accountability and openness of local executive and representative authorities, as well as active public participation in local decision-making

The public participation should be one of the key activities in each of the Result Areas. To some extent, it was addressed in the LDS development in Activity Result 2. It should be noted that LGSP did not provide support to the local self-government councils (mahallas).

Baseline 3.1 The public has a limited voice in local government decision- making

The baseline is not clearly defined. It would be fair to state that the public had zero participation. It is only some selected government-funded NGOs who formally participate.

Baseline 3.2 Kengashes have limited capacities to effectively carry out their oversight, representative and rule-making functions, in partnership with local stakeholders.

Relative to the nominal role the local Kengashes used to play in the local governance priori to LGSP, the project has been successful in identifying the procedural and capacity gaps of Kengashes in the pilot regions and provided extensive support to increase the transparency, efficiency and involvement of Kengashes in the local decisions (e.g. review of budgets, reports on the socio-economic regional development). These functions had been granted by the Constitution and laws but not enforced.

There is an indication from the recent government rhetoric that empowerment of Kengashes will be a priority (e.g. resolutions in July and August 2017 on local development and establishing district Kengashes in Tashkent where they did not exist before).

However, this Result has been only partially achieved because the separation of executive and representative powers have not yet taken place and Kengashes still report to local khokims. It is anticipated that the Law on Local Government that LGSP separating the powers has been promoting for the last eight years will be finally adopted implemented by end 2017. 

The new Administrative Reform Concept presumes that direct involvement of the President and Central Government in the local kengashes and government decisions will also be significantly reduced.

Indicator 3.1. The frequency of public events/consultations to inform local government decisions; the quantity of feedback received from public

The Tashkent, Djizak and Namangan Region Kengashes regularly publicize the information about the Kengash sessions, committee’s activities, information on elections, deputies, events and decisions.[3] The feedback of the public is not easily identifiable on the websites and there are no numbers or analysis of feedback available in the project progress reports.

The project helped establish six Information Services in the pilot khokimiyats that have been incorporated into the full-time staff structure of the khokimiyats. The filed visit has confirmed their operations and websites. However, the media plans and two-way communications with the public analyses are not available for the evaluation

Indicator 3.2. The number of documented tools for the performance of public oversight, representative and rulemaking functions, fulfilled by Kengashes in cooperation with local stakeholders.

The total number was not available for the evaluation. The tools include websites and Open Data, ‘townhall’ meetings; proposed kengash and committee’s operational guidelines and sessions planning and support.

Women Empowerment

 

The total number of beneficiaries was not reported by LGSP. The manual extraction of the numbers from the Annual Progress Reports yields between 13,000 and 15,000 of all training, discussions and other activity participants. The beneficiary data were only partially disaggregated by gender. The disaggregated data suggest women participation of around 18%.

 

There are no baselines of women participation in the LGSP-1 nor LGSP-2 in the pilot regions. The official government websites and Committee of Women of Uzbekistan report an increase of women in the government from 3.4% in 2005 to 20% in 2015, and 23.5% in local kengashes in 2015.[4] The Functional Review of the Tashkent Region 2015 reports 9% of women working in the khokimiyat, with two women in management positions.

 

LGSP addressed the issues of women employment in the government as part of the preparatory Civil Service reforms documents. However, many of the analytical documents do not even contain the word “woman”, notably the Local Development Strategies developed by the project (while the LDS methodology addresses the gender aspects of strategic planning).

 

The current levels of women employment in the pilot governments, kengashes, private and state enterprises, and NGOs is unknown.

 

“In Uzbekistan, non-governmental organizations in these matters are very hesitant, inconsistent, and they are limited in capacity due to lack of funding. For example, in the neighboring Kazakhstan there are 2,500 women's non-governmental organizations, in Uzbekistan - only 210. The Women's Committee of Uzbekistan is de jure considered a non-governmental organization, and is engaged in the protection of women's rights in the work and family spheres, although, de facto, this is certainly not the case. Therefore, the status of this organization requires revision long ago. It would be logical to transform it into a state structure - the State Women's Committee or the Ministry of the Family, which would greatly enhance the political and administrative weight and capabilities of the Committee in promoting gender equality in Uzbekistan.”[5]

 

It is also not reported whether women participation in the local activities has increased in the course of the project. New approaches to women involvement have not been reported.

 

Conclusion: The women participation improvement can be potentially achieved when the Civil Service Reform is implemented and the overall culture would be more women inclusive. However, LGSP has not achieved this development result.

 


[1] 2005 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, the Office of the US Trade Representative

[2] http://president.uz/uz/lists/view/808

[3] http://kengash.namangan.uz/ru/; http://kengash.jizzax.uz/ru/ ; http://kengash.tashkent.uz/ru

[4] http://uzbekistan.nsk.ru/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6318:2017-03-10-11-24-41&catid=1:2010-03-12-13-22-28&Itemid=113

[5] https://anhor.uz/columnists/ravni-li-zhenshini-i-muzhchini-v-uzbekistane


3.

3.3 Efficiency

Master Question: Project Implementation and Adaptive Management: Has LGSP been implemented efficiently, cost- effectively, and been able to adapt to any changing conditions thus far? To what extent are project-level monitoring and evaluation systems, reporting, and project communications supporting the project’s implementation?

Questions from the TOR:

“Implementation: The evaluation will assess the implementation of the project in terms of quality and timeliness of inputs. efficiency and effectiveness of activities carried out. Effectiveness of management. the quality and timeliness of monitoring and backstopping by all parties to the project should also be evaluated. In particular, the evaluation is to assess the Project team's use of adaptive management in project implementation.

Project's Adaptive Management Framework:

Monitoring Systems

  • Assess the monitoring tools currently being used:
  • Do they provide the necessary information?
  • Do they involve key partners?
  • Are they efficient?
  • Do they encourage disaggregation of data (by sex, region. age, education)?
  • Are additional tools required?

Overall Project Efficiency

As a clearly activity-focused project, LGSP-2 demonstrated high level of quality, cost-efficiency and timeliness  for over 250 types if activities implemented (except for the activities in Result Area 1.1. One-stop-shops and streamlining of the multi-channel delivery of local public service as further evidenced).

 

The following factors and practices ensured the efficiency of the activities:

 

  • Highly qualified team of legal and economics experts with background in the Uzbekistan civil service and good understanding how government reforms work;
  • Ability to deliver within limited and/or uncertain funding situation with high quality;
  • Good selection and synergy of international and national expertise;
  • Annual Work Plans of work with partner Khokimiyats and the Academy for Public Administration (APA) jointly developed with and formally approved by the partners.
  • Successful establishment and support to the Inter-agency Working Group at the Cabinetof Ministers that started in LGSP-1 and continued in LGSP-2 providing a platform for project outputs and progress discussions and political support;
  • Excellent capacity to organize project events and awareness campaigns;
  • Support from the UNDP CO.

Summary of activities progress as per LGSP-2 Prodoc 2014 p. 13 and RRF:

Table 5. Project Activities Progress

Activities Fulfilled/Partially Fiulfilled

Status

Proposals regarding the Law “On local public authorities

Fulfilled, the Law is expected to be adopted by end 2017

Proposals to the Budget Code in order to improve the quality of finance administration and increase the income on a local level

 

Partially fulfilled

Draft Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on One Stop Shops (OSS) and OSS functioning sustainably in the pilot regions

 

Fulfilled (in cooperation with UNDP BFU and E-government Projects)

Proposals about the development of entrepreneurship, enhancing the attractiveness of regions for foreign investors, as well as optimizing tax burden on individuals and legal entities

Partially fulfilled in the part of optmizing the tax burden (unified social payment) and Regional Development Startegies SWOT

Draft legal acts, provisions on openness of admission to the vacant civil servant positions, as well as provisions on introducing the system of performance assessment of civil servants

 

Fulfilled, to be used as part of the future Civil Service Reform

Methodology/ options of proposals for vertical functional analysis of public services

Partially fulfilled (for Tashkent Region)

Reports on local multichannel public services

Partially fulfilled; Delegated to E-Goverment and BFU projects

Strategies of local development for Djizakh and Namangan cities

Fulfilled, aslo strategies forTashkent Region, Zafarabad and Kibray districts

Evaluation report on "e-Hujjat“ functioning in 20 khokimiats of Tashkent region

e-Hujjat reported operational, evaluation report not available

Evaluation reports on increased efficiency of regional Kengashes of people’s deputies, as well as of Djizakh and Namangan cities

Empowerment activities reported, evaluation reports not available

Assessment of curriculum and development/integration of brand new training courses for mid-level and senior government officials at the Academy of Public Administration

Partially fufliled: Materials for new training courses developed; assessment of the curricuum not available

Establishment and support to Information and Computerisation Centres

Fulfiled. The project support to Information and Computerisation Centres in the regions was highly appreciated by the beneficiaries. Their work plans or reports summarizing efficiency or publicity gains were not available for the evaluation. However, the websites created with the LGSP support are operational. Te Tashkent region even leads among all regional government in the National Transparency Index, with Djizak and Namagan also among the data open champions

Trainings across the Activities

Partially achieved.Hundreds if not thousands of people are reported trained (no total figure reported). However, no evidence of agendas, participants, or satisfaction/feedback surveys.

Study Tours

12 conducted, persinal interviews with trainees, reporting and followup activities evidence the high efficiency and effectiveness, with one reservation that no women participated and some men participated more than one time in both phases.

Conduct national and regional events on awareness-raising regarding issues of local governance reform and civil service reform, as well as the dissemination of knowledge products (brochures, bulletins, reports, info- graphics, etc.) among the public.

Overfulfilled, thousands of events, publications and promotion materials (the exact number is not reported)

Activities Not Fulilled

 

Reports on local multichannel public services

 

Not fulfilled

  • Support measures to ensure the continuing development of services, and quality, inclusive and equal public  access for OSSs, etc.;
  • Train in-country capacities for rolling out the optimisation for service provision, with the aim of streamline services;
  • If the legal status and financial sustainability of OSSs are assured by a decision of the government, provide methodological support to assist local governments in establishing  additional OSSs in areas of low internet access. Identify alternative delivery models  for rural areas, e.g. small OSSs located in local government buildings, mahallas, mobile OSS, other.

Not fulfiled. The activities related to OSS were dropped in 2015.

Evaluation report on "e-Hujjat“ functioning in 20 khokimiats of Tashkent region;

Not fulfilled or not available

Evaluation reports on increased the efficiency of regional Kengashes of people’s deputies,  as well as of Djizakh and Namangan cities

 

Assessment of curriculum of APA

Not avaiable/not fulfilled

The monitoring of six Local Government Information Centres in the Djizak and Namangan regions with a view  to provide recommendations for regional khokimyiats regarding the improvement of two-way communication with citizens, CSOs and mass media;

 

Not available//not fulfilled

Development of Concept on personnel reserve for the central and local governments (including the 30% quota for female professionals and managers).

 

Not available/not fulfilled

 

Legislation Drafting Activities

The LGSP activities in support of drafting legislation should be separately noted. Table 6 presents and impressive list of the legislative work the LGSP specialists were involved in, with high degree of acceptance. The caveat to be made is that adoption of progressive legislation  by the government does not automatically lead to development results and positive impacts on people. Any legislation needs enforcement, monitoring and corrective action.

Project's Adaptive Management Framework:

Questions related to TOR: Reporting, Coordination and Monitoring Systems:

  • Assess the monitoring tools currently being used:
  • Do they provide the necessary information?
  • Do they involve key partners?
  • Are they efficient?
  • Do they encourage disaggregation of data (by sex, region, age, education)?
  • Are additional tools required?

Partnerships

  • The evaluation should also assess the extent to which the implementation of the project has been inclusive of relevant stakeholders and to which it has been able to create collaboration between different partners.

The project management was adaptive and inclusive but overly concentrated on activities vs results that was reflected on the quality of reporting and monitoring.

Involvement and Coordination of Stakeholders

LGSP-2 has efficiently assisted the Central and local partner governments to identify and reform local governance aspects of the public administration and local development. This has been done in partnership with the Cabinet of Ministers, MoE, MoJ and affiliated think tanks and the Academy for Public Administration, as well as Banking and Finance Academy, with the use of research and opportunities for dialogue to highlight the needs and current challenges, and offered examples of effective local government policies from other countries.

The project activities are coordinated by the Interagency Coordination Working Group (ICWG). The ICWG panel was approved by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan in September 2011. Head of the ICWG panel - National project coordinator F. Bakiev, Head of Consolidated Information and Analytical Department (CIAD) of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan. ICWG includes representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, Heads of the ministries and organization, as well as deputy khokims of pilot regions and LGSP Project Manager.

The activities of LGSP-2 were included in the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No.190 from July 11, 2014 "On measures of technical assistance attraction (grants) to the Republic of Uzbekistan from donor countries, international and foreign governmental and nongovernmental organizations in 2014 – 2016 ".

Project Reporting

The English and Russian versions of annual project pans, reports, budget and expenditure were available for the evaluation review. Some versions of the Annual Work Plans/Budgets and Annual Progress Reports 2014-2017 reviewed followed the structure of the Result and Resources Framework in the Prodoc with 3 Result Areas. Other versions reported from 6 to 8 result areas that were challenging to follow as per the original project documentation.

The progress reports are presented in a form of a table, with no Background section nor Executive Summary where the previous project achievement and changes in context would be summarised for ease of external reader understanding.

The reports provide detailed list activities implemented within the reporting period without reference to their contribution to the outputs and against the targets and indicators.

The evidence of the activities is not attached to the reports and had to be requested separately. In the situation where there is not central storage of all the project documents it is a time-consuming task.  The training reports were not made available for the evaluation.

As part of the activities, the project reported on its contributions to numerous regulations and legislations. These a listed by their titles without much explanation of the nature of the changes promoted through the legislation.

Most activities were disaggregated by gender.

Although some of the reports required to indicate changes to the original plans, LGSP did not explain the reasons why its flagship activity One-stop-shops were abandoned in 2015 and some other activities were delayed.

As discussed in the Effectiveness Section, no result-based monitoring tools were used in LGSP. The quantifiable indicators were not measured. No satisfaction surveys of public surveys users or trainees were conducted. Even the overall number of the direct and indirect beneficiaries was not available.

The lack of RBM resulted in either non-achievement of the development results or not measuring the results that were achieved downgrading their value for upscaling and replication.

It is ironic that the project promoting RBM approach in the government did not use it for its own progress monitoring.

The project has implemented around 450 activities that fall in one or several of the following categories:

  • Secretariat functions for the Inter-agency Coordination Work Group (ICWG)
  • Organising and conducting trainings;
  • Organising Study Tours;
  • Organising Round tables and conferences;
  • Developing analytical reports
  • Developing training manuals and courses materials;
  • Drafting legislation and legal concepts;
  • Information dissemination and PR;
  • Procuring equipment.

Most of these activities are characteristic of a think-tank or resource centre that the LGSP-2 Project Team, in fact, has been to support the Cabinet of Ministers-led ICWG and its members.

In general, the activities have been implemented in line with or insignificant delays as to the Annual Plans, with the proper adjustment to the complex and often much delayed reforms, e.g. Civil Service and Local Government legislation. However, it must be again emphasised that planning for 70% funding gap from the outset has adverse effect on the implementation overstretching the resources and/or spreading the activities thin at the cost of the results.

Cost-efficiency

In spite of the 40% funding gap, the team will have delivered most of the activities in the Prodoc 2014 in the most cost-efficient manner as compared to technical assistance projects of similar scale (at least from the 25 years of the evaluator’s experience).

According to the LGSP management, the economy was achieved through negotiating down the consultant’s contracts, reducing the number of hard copies of the project materials and manuals and number of foreign study tour participants.

Some savings were apparently through transfer of OSS and e-government work to other UNDP projects and on RBM. As the effectiveness analysis demonstrates, LGSP also saved on RBM, satisfaction survey and the result depth.

The budget distribution by implementation year:

The percentage by Activity Result of the total is 45%; 38%, and 18%. The distribution by year and in total does not clearly follow from the reported activities but due to the very broadly formulated Activity Areas some sub-activities might have been reported under different AR. Clearly, the funding of public participation (AR 3) reflects the real state of affairs in the regions.

It is difficult to identify the spending on individual activities because the budget is not activity-based but rather based on types of expenditure: consulting services, fuel, office supplies, etc.

 


4.

3.4 Sustainability

Master Question: Can the project-supported models and activities be further implemented without donor support? To what extent are there financial, institutional, socio-economic, and/or environmental risks to sustaining long-term project results?

Related questions in the TOR:

Sustainability: Extent to which the benefits of the project will continue, within or outside the project domain. after it has come to an end. Relevant factors include for example: development of a sustainability strategy, establishment of financial and economic instruments and mechanisms, mainstreaming project objectives into the local economy, etc.
_____________________________________________________________________________

The LGSP Programme’s outputs have achieved or have the potential to achieve varying levels of sustainability:

  • The LGSP project successfully contributed to institutionalisation of the Information Services in the pilot regions.
  • It is very unfortunate that LGSP-2 did not proceed with monitoring of the existing OSS in the regions and districts and other multi-channel services in the pilot regions and districts. This could have been the first-hand people-centered experience informing all further local governance reforms. However, the intensive promotion of OSS by LGSP have contributed to scaling up the OSS in all the 194 municipalities of Uzbekistan in 2015-2016. Their sustainability is yet to be monitored and assessed.
  • The Local Development Strategies developed by LGSP will need a lot of improvement: Action Plans, measurable indicators, RBM, gender aspects and higher participation to be a sustainable local development tool.
  • The piloted e-hujjat systems have been sustainably incorporated into the e-government reform.
  • There is a potential sustainability of the regulatory and legislative initiatives developed by LGSP, provided there is further political will to public administration, civil service and local governance reform.
  • The Concept of Administrative Reform will require a lot of time, effort, players and resources to be successfully and sustainably implemented. However, if the Government were to establish a Public Administration Reform Center as part of the President’s Administration, the LGSP project specialists would be the best candidates to technically support the reforms (except for the RBM function).

The key risk to the sustainability of the LGSP results is that after eight years of the UNDP support to local governance, there have not yet been convincing local development results achieved, - to the extent that some of the LGSP piloted approaches, e.g. OSS and Regional Territorial Development Departments, were reversed back to the central subordination due to lack of the local government capacity to run them effectively.


5.

3.5 Impact

Master Question: To what extent has LGSP contributed to the welfare of men and women, youth and disadvantaged within and beyond the project scale? What models, systems and practices are replicable and have broader impact beyond the pilot regions?

Related questions in the TOR:

 

What are the impacts of the project? Do they have equal value for women and men beneficiaries?

_________________________________________________________________________________

As discussed in the Effectiveness and Monitoring sections, it is hard to assess the ful impact of the project in the absence of the Result-Oriented Monitoring and SMART indicators.

The 450 project activities involved around 13,000 people. Most of the beneficiaries (up to 90%) are civil servants. Presuming their competencies and public service skills have been improved due to the project, the activities can have a broad positive impact on improving the local governance. The hard evidence to that is yet to be sought.

The Open Data, E-Government, and online services to which the project contributed have much more significant effect with hundreds of online resources and up to hundred thousand users to date.

However, this impact should be treated by UNDP with caution. The technical Internet capacity is developing fast and in 2016, 51% of the population had access to Internet. Still 49% of the population do not have access to or do not use Internet or online services. The evaluation conducted a number of interviews in Tashkent and the regions and the findings are that the people with no Internet connection face the same challenges obtaining basic services as decades ago, prior to the 2013 ICT reform.

Hence, there is a risk that the poorest and most vulnerable population would not benefit from the e-government reform and would need alternative development support for public services and governance participation..

There is no analysis available for Uzbekistan of which social groups are exactly offline. But the article based on the USA survey (Box 1) can easily be extrapolated to the Uzbekistan poor, elderly and rural population:

 


Recommendations
1

Improve Linkage between Projects and SDGs. Ensure better links between Governance projects and SDGs, UNDAF and UNDP Country Strategies, so that projects would clearly contribute to the higher-level targets and goals in a measurable way. Government is responsible for all the 17 SDGs achievement and its effectiveness should be measured by nationalised SDGs plus other globally measured benchmarks: HDI, World Governance Index; Doing Business, Freedom Index, Transparency Index, and other. For example – SDG 1 eradicate extreme poverty – identify and eradicate the extreme poverty cases in Uzbekistan through local governance/development projects. The SDG will be then further translated to the regions, city/district and mahalla levels.

1.1 Ensure Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals. There is an existing SDG working groups at the Statistics Committee that is to lead the Government on the nationalisation of SDGs. UN CO can support an additional SDG Localisation Work Group that would translated the adapted Uzbekistan National SDGs into Regional and, potentially District SDGs., using the established SDG indicators. After the indicators and action plans are agreed for each region, the national and regional monitoring will be conducted, with publicly available annual and five-year reports, corrective action publicly discussed.

2

Consider Further Areas of Local Governance Support:

While the President of Uzbekistan has been successfully establishing a series of new government rules, it is recommended to concentrate future support in the Local Governance sector on developing local governance and self-governance institutions, and in particular their following functions:

2.1 Inclusiveness: involvement of women, NGO, poor, disabled, youth, entrepreneurs through encouraging their self-organizations and institutionalizing their involvement in all local decisions at all levels: mahalla, rayon, city, oblast – by law and by practice. Monitor, measure, publicly acknowledge their involvement.

2.2 Integrated Regional Strategic Development: technical support in further development of integrated regional strategic planning based on robust baseline assessments, measurable socio-economic indicators and quarterly, annual and triannual monitoring and evaluation as part of effective institutions development.

2.3 Local Civil Service Committed to People-centered Reforms: support the implementation of the Civil Service Reform at the local levels, transparent and accountable standards for all levels of the local civil servants and help measure the impact on their service on the various strata of the local population – through detailed, clear and measurable system of performance indicators and population opinion surveys.

2.4 Trade Potential Assessments: Taking into consideration a number of the Uzbekistan regions bordering other countries, regional trade assessments as well as potential impact of WTO accession on the local development could be of high value and would inform the regional development plans.

3

Improve Project and Programme Operations

3.1 Strengthen Result-oriented Management. It is recommended to provide training on Result-based Management and Monitoring to all core UNDP staff and all the project employees and consultants on an annual basis.  Many activities and tools introduced by UNDP projects tend to become an ‘end in itself’ or ‘endless processes’ and declared as ‘development results’ even before they are scaled up and adopted (e.g. laws, OSS, functional analyses, etc.).

3.2 Ensure Establishing Measurable and Verified Baselines and Indicators. It is recommended to establish measurable and verifiable baselines and indicators in each UNDP project. Sometimes it requires conducting baseline studies and surveys that might seem to be an extra cost in the situation of limited funding. However, SMART approach is an investment that will eventually help to achieve development results at reasonable cost or cut ineffective projects.

3.3 Develop Realistic Budgets. It is recommended not to design projects that have more than 30% funding gap. It is always possible to scale up and/or expand successfully implemented activities with additional funding.

3.4 Improve Quality and Presentation of Project Reports. It is recommended that UNDP should require all projects to have a background section, an executive summary and result and activity narrative and the documentary evidence attached to the reports so that an external reader could easily and quickly familiarise themselves with the project progress and achievements.

3.5 Ensure Coordination and Prevention of Effort Duplication. Country Office should have and in-house facility for the Country Programme, Thematic Areas and individual projects monitoring and a regular (quarterly basis) in order to identify and prevent the duplication of activities.

4

Mobilise Specialist Support to Women Empowerment. Cooperate with UN Women for any women component in any project, including Governance. The time of simple declaration of women importance is over. Tailor made approaches by specialist organisation are necessary to achieve gender improvements.

5

Promote and Support a Population Census. In a series of public speeches, President Mirziyoyev has emphasised the gaping gap of information on how many people live in each Uzbekistan household, what age they are, what is their employment status and what help they might need. This information is needed to improve people’s welfare and to better plan and manage the budget resources. The last Census in Uzbekistan was conducted in 1989. There have been a lot of population changes since then. The new Census that can be supported by UN Group and other donors could address that population information need. This can be done using modern ICT technologies, including mobile phone applications (there are 21.5 million mobile services users as of August 2017).

6

Utilise Internationally and Regionally Benchmarkable Governance Measuring Methodologies, e.g. Subnational Doing Business Surveys. It is recommended to assist the Government Commission on Doing Business Reforms design and conduct a Subnational Doing Business Survey using the World Bank’s Doing Business methodology with four sampling groups: e-governance clients; one-stop-shop clients, non-one-stop-shop clients, women entrepreneurs; rural entrepreneurs, at least 50 in each group. Currently, BFU-3 is considering conducting subnational DB surveys in Tashkent and two other regions. It is recommended that UNDP supports the subnational surveys in all the 14 regions of Uzbekistan that will present an internationally comparable assessment of the business climate at the regional level. It is recommended that the Government of Uzbekistan would then run an annual regional DB competition, similar to the e-Transparency Competition introduced in 2016.

A separate sub-national survey of selected public (non-entrepreneurship-related) services in regional centres, districts and cities and mahallas – either a standalone exercise to inform the governance reforms or as part of a more comprehensive local development project, e.g. as described below.

7

7.1 Top-down. It is recommended that the Government of Uzbekistan could establish a dedicated team for the Public Administration Reform design and implementation (commission) directly reporting to the President. The initial analysis will be based on 1)The long-term objectives of the country, e.g. nationalised Agenda-2030: prosperity, eradication of poverty, achieving high income status, etc.; 2) The key objectives of the Country Strategy in place, e.g. Strategy of Actions 2017-2021; 3) Comprehensive analysis of all public services and functions at the national, regional, local and mahalla levels, as there are currently both vertical and horizontal redundancies, duplications and inefficiencies; 4) Clear targets, indicators, timelines and resource pan for the reform; 5) Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism in place to take corrective action at all levels.

It is recommended that UNDP consider supporting the initiation of such commission and its support. The LGSP Inter-agency Working Group could be a prototype of the possible commission. However, unlike LGSP, the Government funding would be a prerequisite for its operations and the reforms.

7.2 Bottom-up. Following the Uzbekistan President’s Resolution Priority Measure if Local Development Resolution of 8 August 2017, all the local development reforms will be from now on in the order of “Mahalla-District/City-Oblast-Republic”, i.e. based on ordinary people needs. It is proposed to concentrate future UNDP interventions both on the top-down and bottom-up governance initiatives;  assist the local officials in selected disadvantaged local mahalla councils, district knokimityats and regions to collect primary statistical and socio-economic data, inform the district development, support local development projects, strengthen self-governance; help decrease the dependence on subsidies and scale up the successful practices, while at the same time preparing the policy framework for the Public Administration and Local Participatory Governance Reform at the national level.

1. Recommendation:

Improve Linkage between Projects and SDGs. Ensure better links between Governance projects and SDGs, UNDAF and UNDP Country Strategies, so that projects would clearly contribute to the higher-level targets and goals in a measurable way. Government is responsible for all the 17 SDGs achievement and its effectiveness should be measured by nationalised SDGs plus other globally measured benchmarks: HDI, World Governance Index; Doing Business, Freedom Index, Transparency Index, and other. For example – SDG 1 eradicate extreme poverty – identify and eradicate the extreme poverty cases in Uzbekistan through local governance/development projects. The SDG will be then further translated to the regions, city/district and mahalla levels.

1.1 Ensure Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals. There is an existing SDG working groups at the Statistics Committee that is to lead the Government on the nationalisation of SDGs. UN CO can support an additional SDG Localisation Work Group that would translated the adapted Uzbekistan National SDGs into Regional and, potentially District SDGs., using the established SDG indicators. After the indicators and action plans are agreed for each region, the national and regional monitoring will be conducted, with publicly available annual and five-year reports, corrective action publicly discussed.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/01/02]

Localization of SDGs, i.e designing national SDGs, targets and indicators is already underway through wider UN activity in the country, as well as within the framework recently launched “Support to Policy Research for Sustainable Development" project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Improvement of linkage of project with SDGs will be ensured through more close interaction and review during the design stage, especially during the Pre-PAC and LPAC meetings, as well as during consultations with national partners and beneficiaries.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/12/12]
Cluster on Good Governance, Policy and Communication 2018/12 Completed Government has nationalized SDGs and adopted resolution with national goals and targets. http://lex.uz/docs/4013358 History
2. Recommendation:

Consider Further Areas of Local Governance Support:

While the President of Uzbekistan has been successfully establishing a series of new government rules, it is recommended to concentrate future support in the Local Governance sector on developing local governance and self-governance institutions, and in particular their following functions:

2.1 Inclusiveness: involvement of women, NGO, poor, disabled, youth, entrepreneurs through encouraging their self-organizations and institutionalizing their involvement in all local decisions at all levels: mahalla, rayon, city, oblast – by law and by practice. Monitor, measure, publicly acknowledge their involvement.

2.2 Integrated Regional Strategic Development: technical support in further development of integrated regional strategic planning based on robust baseline assessments, measurable socio-economic indicators and quarterly, annual and triannual monitoring and evaluation as part of effective institutions development.

2.3 Local Civil Service Committed to People-centered Reforms: support the implementation of the Civil Service Reform at the local levels, transparent and accountable standards for all levels of the local civil servants and help measure the impact on their service on the various strata of the local population – through detailed, clear and measurable system of performance indicators and population opinion surveys.

2.4 Trade Potential Assessments: Taking into consideration a number of the Uzbekistan regions bordering other countries, regional trade assessments as well as potential impact of WTO accession on the local development could be of high value and would inform the regional development plans.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/01/02]

The recommendations will be considered and integrated in future development interventions in local governance area, particularly in close consultation with the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy, regional administrations and other relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries. Particularly, in line with national development priorities and Action Strategy for 2017-2021, the priority areas of local governance, including enhanced and evidence-based policymaking will be incorporated into project proposal to potential donors, such the European Union.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Underline these areas in talking points for high-level meetings with the national partners, consider to include these points into new project proposal on local governance.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/12/12]
Cluster on Good Governance, Policy and Communication 2018/12 Completed After long negotiations between UNDP and EUD, EU has approved a grant proposal on public services in rural areas. Implementation of this project will be carried out through UNDP Uzbekistan. National partner will be Ministry of Justice and Agency for Public. UNDP-EU proposal on cooperation with MoJ http://www.minjust.uz/ru/press-center/news/91164/ History
3. Recommendation:

Improve Project and Programme Operations

3.1 Strengthen Result-oriented Management. It is recommended to provide training on Result-based Management and Monitoring to all core UNDP staff and all the project employees and consultants on an annual basis.  Many activities and tools introduced by UNDP projects tend to become an ‘end in itself’ or ‘endless processes’ and declared as ‘development results’ even before they are scaled up and adopted (e.g. laws, OSS, functional analyses, etc.).

3.2 Ensure Establishing Measurable and Verified Baselines and Indicators. It is recommended to establish measurable and verifiable baselines and indicators in each UNDP project. Sometimes it requires conducting baseline studies and surveys that might seem to be an extra cost in the situation of limited funding. However, SMART approach is an investment that will eventually help to achieve development results at reasonable cost or cut ineffective projects.

3.3 Develop Realistic Budgets. It is recommended not to design projects that have more than 30% funding gap. It is always possible to scale up and/or expand successfully implemented activities with additional funding.

3.4 Improve Quality and Presentation of Project Reports. It is recommended that UNDP should require all projects to have a background section, an executive summary and result and activity narrative and the documentary evidence attached to the reports so that an external reader could easily and quickly familiarise themselves with the project progress and achievements.

3.5 Ensure Coordination and Prevention of Effort Duplication. Country Office should have and in-house facility for the Country Programme, Thematic Areas and individual projects monitoring and a regular (quarterly basis) in order to identify and prevent the duplication of activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/01/02]

Efforts aimed at enhancement of programme administration and project management should be streamlined and increased.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conducting trainings on results-based management, Monitoring and Evaluation, sharing the best practice and guidelines, organizing meetings between projects to identify possible synergies, designing template for reports and quality assurance by programme staff.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2019/04/07]
CO M&E focal point 2019/09 Initiated Resource Management Associate will conduct training on M&E on 11 April 2019 and request for support to conduct RBM training is submitted to RBEC. see ad hoc request at SN 2019 History
4. Recommendation:

Mobilise Specialist Support to Women Empowerment. Cooperate with UN Women for any women component in any project, including Governance. The time of simple declaration of women importance is over. Tailor made approaches by specialist organisation are necessary to achieve gender improvements.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/01/02]

Special support to women empowerment at the local level will be integrated into a new project "Empowering women to participate in public administration and socio-economic life" designed jointly with the Women's Committee of Uzbekistan. Considering the absence of UN Women at the country level, cooperation will be organized through RCO and regional office of UN Women in Almaty.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include the recommendation into CO Gender equality team meeting agenda and discuss more concrete ways forward. Discuss with Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan areas for joint cooperation to promote women empowerment.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/12/12]
CO Gender Focal Point 2018/12 Completed Women empowerment project was launched with Women's committee. UNDP has mobilized UN Task force on preparation of substantial inputs to the draft Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence. all comments were shared with Government. Role of women was highlighted in the international conference dedicated to women and PAR. UN in Uzbekistan is supporting 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. Link to conference https://regulation.gov.uz/ru/document/658 History
5. Recommendation:

Promote and Support a Population Census. In a series of public speeches, President Mirziyoyev has emphasised the gaping gap of information on how many people live in each Uzbekistan household, what age they are, what is their employment status and what help they might need. This information is needed to improve people’s welfare and to better plan and manage the budget resources. The last Census in Uzbekistan was conducted in 1989. There have been a lot of population changes since then. The new Census that can be supported by UN Group and other donors could address that population information need. This can be done using modern ICT technologies, including mobile phone applications (there are 21.5 million mobile services users as of August 2017).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/01/02]

The recommendation will be promoted during the consultation with national partners, as well as UNDAF Steering Committee meetings, donor coordination meetings. Subject to government's approval and availability of funding.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize meeting with Sustainable Development Cluster and discuss possibility to support jointly a Population Census. Discuss with UNICEF within the framework in UNDAF Results Group on Governance other alternative ways to Population census.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/12/12]
Cluster on Good Governance, Policy and Communication 2018/12 Completed Government has made decision to conduct Population census in 2020. In addition, under national SDGs indicators, Government is considering the conduct MICS survey in cooperation with UNICEF. Survey design is planned for 2019. https://www.gazeta.uz/ru/2017/12/14/population/ History
6. Recommendation:

Utilise Internationally and Regionally Benchmarkable Governance Measuring Methodologies, e.g. Subnational Doing Business Surveys. It is recommended to assist the Government Commission on Doing Business Reforms design and conduct a Subnational Doing Business Survey using the World Bank’s Doing Business methodology with four sampling groups: e-governance clients; one-stop-shop clients, non-one-stop-shop clients, women entrepreneurs; rural entrepreneurs, at least 50 in each group. Currently, BFU-3 is considering conducting subnational DB surveys in Tashkent and two other regions. It is recommended that UNDP supports the subnational surveys in all the 14 regions of Uzbekistan that will present an internationally comparable assessment of the business climate at the regional level. It is recommended that the Government of Uzbekistan would then run an annual regional DB competition, similar to the e-Transparency Competition introduced in 2016.

A separate sub-national survey of selected public (non-entrepreneurship-related) services in regional centres, districts and cities and mahallas – either a standalone exercise to inform the governance reforms or as part of a more comprehensive local development project, e.g. as described below.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/01/02]

Introduction and implementation of Governance Measuring Methodologies will be promoted during SDG localization process, i.e. identifying national SDG indicators. Conducting and supporting the subnational survey across the country will require both national ownership and additional funding.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To propose to include the recommendation to new UNDAF JWP for 2018-2020 as an indicator and discuss the possibility with national partners.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/12/12]
Cluster on Good Governance, Policy and Communication 2018/12 Completed National SDGs foresees the indicators which should be measures by different surveys, including WB surveys. Uzbekistan participates actively in WB Doing business survey. http://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/country/u/uzbekistan/UZB.pdf History
7. Recommendation:

7.1 Top-down. It is recommended that the Government of Uzbekistan could establish a dedicated team for the Public Administration Reform design and implementation (commission) directly reporting to the President. The initial analysis will be based on 1)The long-term objectives of the country, e.g. nationalised Agenda-2030: prosperity, eradication of poverty, achieving high income status, etc.; 2) The key objectives of the Country Strategy in place, e.g. Strategy of Actions 2017-2021; 3) Comprehensive analysis of all public services and functions at the national, regional, local and mahalla levels, as there are currently both vertical and horizontal redundancies, duplications and inefficiencies; 4) Clear targets, indicators, timelines and resource pan for the reform; 5) Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism in place to take corrective action at all levels.

It is recommended that UNDP consider supporting the initiation of such commission and its support. The LGSP Inter-agency Working Group could be a prototype of the possible commission. However, unlike LGSP, the Government funding would be a prerequisite for its operations and the reforms.

7.2 Bottom-up. Following the Uzbekistan President’s Resolution Priority Measure if Local Development Resolution of 8 August 2017, all the local development reforms will be from now on in the order of “Mahalla-District/City-Oblast-Republic”, i.e. based on ordinary people needs. It is proposed to concentrate future UNDP interventions both on the top-down and bottom-up governance initiatives;  assist the local officials in selected disadvantaged local mahalla councils, district knokimityats and regions to collect primary statistical and socio-economic data, inform the district development, support local development projects, strengthen self-governance; help decrease the dependence on subsidies and scale up the successful practices, while at the same time preparing the policy framework for the Public Administration and Local Participatory Governance Reform at the national level.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/04]

The recommendations will be considered in future development interventions in governance area, particularly in close consultation with the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy, regional administrations and other interested agencies and ministries, taking into account the scope of intervention and availability of funding.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Underline these areas in talking points for high-level meetings with the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy, regional administrations and other interested agencies, as well as potential donors.
[Added: 2017/12/04] [Last Updated: 2018/12/12]
Cluster on Good Governance, Policy and Communication 2018/12 Completed Concept of Administrative reforms was adopted in September 2017. It was designed with support of UNDP. Government has created a special department in Presidential Administration, which is responsible for legal support of all reforms. UNDP has supported the portal of "Meningfikrim" (my opinion) which allows e-petitions directly from people. Link to concept https://meningfikrim.uz/ru http://lex.uz/docs/3291072 History

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