Final evaluation of the Support to Tajikistan Mine Action Programme

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Tajikistan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

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Title Final evaluation of the Support to Tajikistan Mine Action Programme
Atlas Project Number: 00090122
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Tajikistan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 11/2019
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 3.5 Communities empowered and security sector institutions enabled for increased citizen safety and reduced levels of armed violence
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding: core
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 9,950
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Rebecca Roberts
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre
Countries: TAJIKISTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

3. Mine Action Progress and Achievements

STMAP III has focused on strengthening TNMAC’s capacity as a national entity to fulfil its role effectively and independently. The following section examines the institutional development of TNMAC, its capacity in land release, MRE, victim assistance, and information management as well as its progress in mainstreaming gender and diversity.

3.1 Institutional Development 

With the GoT, UNDP established the Tajikistan Mine Action Centre, which became a national entity under the name, the Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre in 2014. Through ongoing capacity building and technical support and the development of the 2015 transition strategy, the aim was to transfer responsibility for mine action to TNMAC which should be able to operate independently. 

TNMAC is a recognized government entity with direct reporting lines to the Office of the President. This gives TNMAC a profile within government structures and facilitates efficient reporting and decision-making affecting mine action activities. The CIIHL act as the national mine action authority. Roles and responsibilities and standards are clear and legally binding. In 2016, Parliament passed thenational mine action law and the national mine action standards (NMAS) were approved by the GoT in 2017.

A key indicator of TNMAC’s capacity is its financial management. US DoS provides funding directly to TNMAC satisfied that it is capable of managing and disbursing funds. Bilateral funding has reduced the overheads on budget management which occur when funding is channelled through a third party such as UNDP. As TNMAC also acts as the conduit for funding for national mine action implementing partners, the Centre must ensure that it can separate these roles and responsibilities and maintain its focus on coordination and quality assurance to avoid becoming involved in implementation.

UNDP was successful in recruiting national and international staff to work in the mine action centre that, in addition to possessing the necessary thematic expertise, were capable of providing capacity building and mentoring. There have been six international chief technical advisors who seem to have been capable of facilitating strategic planning processes and day-to-day management with the active participation of centre staff. Capacity building, mentoring and facilitation skills are not universal and not all those with technical expertise are capable of passing that expertise onto others. Furthermore, the STMAP staff have shown commitment to the mine action centre by making themselves available for the evaluation, in some instances, two years their contracts ended and by providing informal support to TNMAC when requested.

Since 2003 to date, through STMAP and other initiatives, staff at TMAC and TNMAC have attended various training courses in Tajikistan and abroad on management and operational issues and have received on-the-job training and mentoring. South-South cooperation has been strong, with UNDP and Tajikistan showing regional leadership in mine action. TMAC and TNMAC staff have participated in exchange programmes, worked directly with other national mine action centres, conducted or supported training in other countries and advised on the mainstreaming of victim assistance in which Tajikistan has been very successful.

The primary aim of STMAP, to develop a national mine action centre that is nationally owned and staff has been achieved. The main challenge is retention of staff capacity. It is understandable that most STMAP staff on UN salaries could not afford to accept a reduced national salary once TNMAC became government owned. However, this means that the STMAP staff who had themselves been in receipt of capacity building as well as mentoring others, were lost to TNMAC. It is difficult to know how this could have been prevented as economic hardships and lack of suitable employment opportunities force people to migrate for work. The STMAP staff have gone on to work internationally or for international organizations in mine action or sectors that complement mine action so their capacity has been retained by the sector. 

The STMAP would not have been successful without the positive contributions of the other mine action stakeholders. For example, between 2010 and 2012, there was no STMAP CTA and FSD and NPA provided external support to the mine action centre informally. The mine action centre has had only two national directors both of whom are government appointees and made important contributions to the development of the centre. The current Director has been instrumental in formalizing the nationalization process through the government. The Director is also credited with creating a positive working environment within the mine action sector and responding quickly to requests for meetings and decision. He has also facilitated communication with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for access to contaminated areas along the TAB. His contribution has been important to the achievements of TNMAC and the mine action sector.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Parliament Human and Financial resources Quality Assurance Country Government Capacity Building Advocacy Coordination South-South Cooperation Technical Support

2.

3.3 Land Release

Land release operations was the first area of responsibility relinquished by STMAP to TNMAC. Maintaining the capacity of STMAP staff is particularly challenging in the areas of land release and information management (see below) as the methods and technology in both these areas are developing to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of mine action. In particular, greater emphasis is being given by the sector to data analysis and more effective non-technical and technical survey methodologies to reduce the areas that are physically cleared as well as identifying the most effective clearance methods. This approach requires effective cooperation between TNMAC operations and information management. Concerns were expressed that because of the small number of actors and strong working relationship, quality management may slip. It was suggested that a third party from outside the country should provide oversight to ensure quality management and highlight any shortcomings which can then be addressed in a timely manner.


Tag: Mine Action Oversight Policies & Procedures Capacity Building Technology

3.

3.4 Information Management

STMAP recruited and developed good national information management (IM) capacity for TNMAC. The last STMAP IM staff member left in September 2019. He and TNMAC staff worked together to develop TNMAC staff capacity but there are concerns that it will be difficult to maintain IM at its current level. There is a need to improve English language skills and for ongoing training as mine action information management systems continue to evolve. TNMAC also needs to maintain computer equipment and licences for software. It does not have its own funding to do this although, to date, GICHD has been providing this support.


Tag: Resource mobilization e-Governance Capacity Building Technology Technical Support Data and Statistics

4.

3.5 Mine/ERW Risk Education

With the exception of 2006 and 2007 when UNICEF was involved in MRE, TMAC/TNMAC with support through STMAP, has been responsible for coordination and quality assurance of MRE. TNMAC is also responsible for overseeing the delivery of MRE in areas of Afghanistan where FSD is working. The MRE STMAP staff member was well-networked, communicated effectively with implementing partners and facilitated field visits for RSCT to see the volunteers. She also supported the capacity development of her successor. Since 2013, MRE has been delivered to around 30,00 people annually mainly through RCST volunteers and teachers in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. MRE facilitates the reporting of contamination by raising awareness among the population of what contamination might look like and how to report it to the authorities. The network of volunteers and use of schoolteachers has proved successful and cost effective. However, funding for MRE has been in decline and there are limited resources to develop and print new materials. 


Tag: Mine Action Effectiveness Efficiency Resource mobilization Knowledge management Quality Assurance Risk Management Capacity Building Education Advocacy Coordination South-South Cooperation

5.

3.6 Victim Assistance

According to TNMAC the total number of casualties recorded from explosive ordnance from 1992 until October 2019 is 876 of whom 347 died. In the last five years there have been 19 casualties. Tajikistan is an active member of the group of 28+ States Parties with a sizeable number of landmine/ERW victims. The table disaggregates casualty data by gender from 1992 to October 2019.


Tag: Mine Action Vulnerable Effectiveness Sustainability Resource mobilization Human rights Justice system UN Agencies Disabilities Advocacy Technical Support Data and Statistics

6.

3.7 Gender and Diversity 

As part of STMAP III, in response to previous external assessments and in line with Article 3 of Tajikistan’s National Mine Action Strategy, UNDP contracted the Gender in Mine Action Programme (GMAP) to support TNMAC and its partners to develop a Gender and Diversity Strategy. The strategy was accepted by TNMAC in September 2017 and, according to the TNMAC Director, the GoT has approved the strategy to be used within the mine action sector as it is consistent with Tajikistan’s gender policy. However, the GoT will not approve the strategy at the government level as it wants entities to adopt the GoT gender policy rather than develop their own. The GoT response is logical and allows the mine action sector to implement a strategy tailored to its specific needs.


Tag: Mine Action Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures Data and Statistics

7.

3.8 Socioeconomic Impact

To date, mine action interventions have had impact and many of these are sustainable. A study commissioned by the UNDP’s Independent Evaluation Office in 2015 concluded that, although relatively small areas of Tajikistan are contaminated with explosive ordnance, the impact on civilian lives and livelihoods is significant. Where land release had been completed, without exception, the positive impact on the livelihood and wellbeing of the population had been significant. This is because only 7 percent of land in Tajikistan is arable land and around 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, is poor and heavily dependent on agriculture for its own consumption and income generation. The survival of rural populations is precarious and their food production, shelter, heating and traditional medicines as well as their mental wellbeing are all affected by contamination or suspected contamination.


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Mine Action Impact Migration Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction

Recommendations
1

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 1. Meet with Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre (TNMAC, the government body in charge of mine action coordination) staff and partners to explain why STMAP has ended, what it achieved and how UNDP intends to support TNMAC and the mine action sector in future. This meeting should be arranged as soon as possible.

2

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 2. Advocate for funding for TNMAC and mine action. Promote Tajikistan as potentially mine free by 2025.

3

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 3. Publicize the mine action successes in Tajikistan.

4

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 4. Using a participatory approach, facilitate the development of the 2021-2025 national mine action strategy.

5

For UNDP CO

Recommendaiton 5. Provide ongoing technical support for TNMAC for at least the next two years to support capacity building, institutional development and help to maintain and improve operational standards.

6

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 6. Support the development of strategies to promote sustainability and ensure capacity for residual clearance and initiatives to use Tajikistan’s mine action capacity post 2025.

7

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 7. Promote the success of STMAP to the UNDP Regional Hub and New York, request technical and financial support and support in drawing attention to mine action needs in Tajikistan.

8

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 8. Approach UNOPS to facilitate recruitment of mine action expertise through its roster of consultants

9

For TNMAC

Recommendations 9-17 

 • Promote Tajikistan as potentially mine free by 2025 to support resource mobilization

• In consultation with stakeholders develop the 2021-2025 national mine action strategy, resource mobilization strategy, communications strategy.

• Develop a strategy to maintain capacity to deal with residual contamination and identify how surplus mine action capacity can contribute to other initiatives post-2025.

• Focus on coordination and quality assurance and avoid implementation to ensure that there is no conflict of interests.

• Ensure that TNMAC has appropriate oversight for all MRE activities.

• Delegate responsibilities for MRE and VA to other partners and focus on coordination and quality assurance for these mine action pillars

• Hold meetings for victim assistance in a place that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

• Work actively with partners including UNDP to mobilize resources and coordinate efforts to approach donors.

• Provide leadership and oversight for the implementation of the gender and diversity strategy. 

10

For the Tajikistan Mine Action Sector

Recommendations 18-27:

• Continue to work closely together and share resources.

• Participate in the development of the next national mine action strategy and other strategies for resource mobilization, communications etc.

• Continue to improve land release methodologies.

• Continue to liaise closely with GICHD, OSCE and UNDP and seek their support for resource mobilization, capacity building and technical support.

• Maintain clear roles and responsibilities and transparent financial and administrative procedures.

• Ensure that quality assurance is maintained. Consider requesting regular reviews from an external party.

• Examine the feasibility of physically clearing all remaining contamination. If some areas are determined to be impossible to clear using existing methods and technology, agree a strategy for marking as well as ways to communicate effectively the necessity of marking to the relevant international regulatory bodies.

• Individual organizations that have commissioned studies into the different aspect of mine action should consider sharing them with all mine action stakeholders to maximize effective use of resources and avoid duplication of efforts. Use existing strategies and assessments - many of them contain useful recommendations and advice that is still relevant.

• Mainstream gender and diversity through the next national mine action strategy and implementation of mine action activities as articulated in the 2017 gender and diversity strategy.

1. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 1. Meet with Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre (TNMAC, the government body in charge of mine action coordination) staff and partners to explain why STMAP has ended, what it achieved and how UNDP intends to support TNMAC and the mine action sector in future. This meeting should be arranged as soon as possible.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The meeting will be arranged with TNMAC and counterparts in January-February 2019.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Request the TNMAC to facilitate the organization of the meeting, and conduct the meeting on UNDP’s support to TNMAC beyond 2019.
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Nargizakhon Usmanova 2020/02 No Longer Applicable [Justification: the project ended and UNDP didn't receive any request for support from TNMAC]
History
2. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 2. Advocate for funding for TNMAC and mine action. Promote Tajikistan as potentially mine free by 2025.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Once/if the request from Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre (TNMAC, the government body in charge of mine action coordination) with concrete areas of technical support required from UNDP is received, UNDP will develop several concept notes to mobilize funding to provide the required support to TNMAC.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. UNDP will develop several concept notes to mobilize funding to provide the required support to TNMAC.
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Nargizakhon Usmanova 2020/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Since UNDP didn’t receive any formal request from TNMAC, the government body in charge of mine action coordination with concrete areas of technical support required from UNDP - UNDP didn’t proceed with the development of concept notes for additional resource mobilization beyond the end of the Programme]
History
3. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 3. Publicize the mine action successes in Tajikistan.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The mine action successes in Tajikistan are being publicized globally.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Contribute into UNDP Global Report on Mine Action (2018-19)
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Nargizakhon Usmanova 2020/01 Completed the action completed History
2. Provide inputs into SG’s report on Mine Action
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Nargizakhon Usmanova 2020/01 Completed the action completed History
4. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 4. Using a participatory approach, facilitate the development of the 2021-2025 national mine action strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The development of 2021-2025 national mine action strategy will be supported, once/if the request for such technical support is received by UNDP from Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre (the government body in charge of mine action coordination).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. The development of 2021-2025 national mine action strategy will be supported through existing advisory and policy support capacities within UNDP.
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Olaf Juergensen, Regional Development and Mine Action Specialist, HQ/Crisis Bureau 2020/12 Not Initiated the project ended History
5. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendaiton 5. Provide ongoing technical support for TNMAC for at least the next two years to support capacity building, institutional development and help to maintain and improve operational standards.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The implementation of this recommendation requires mobilization of funding for mine action work by UNDP Tajikistan, and will be implemented once/if funding is mobilized, and UNDP is approached by the Government of Tajikistan with specific request on technical support in mine action.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 6. Support the development of strategies to promote sustainability and ensure capacity for residual clearance and initiatives to use Tajikistan’s mine action capacity post 2025.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

The implementation of this recommendation requires mobilization of funding for mine action by UNDP Tajikistan, and will be implemented once/if funding is mobilized, and UNDP is approached by the Government of Tajikistan with specific request on technical support in mine action.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 7. Promote the success of STMAP to the UNDP Regional Hub and New York, request technical and financial support and support in drawing attention to mine action needs in Tajikistan.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

UNDP Country Office will provide inputs and contributions to corporate level reporting on mine action, as required.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Contribute into UNDP Global Report on Mine Action (2018-19)
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Nargizakhon Usmanova 2020/01 Completed the action completed History
2. Provide inputs into SG’s report on Mine Action
[Added: 2020/01/11] [Last Updated: 2020/10/08]
Nargizakhon Usmanova 2020/01 Completed the action completed History
8. Recommendation:

For UNDP CO

Recommendation 8. Approach UNOPS to facilitate recruitment of mine action expertise through its roster of consultants

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

For TNMAC

Recommendations 9-17 

 • Promote Tajikistan as potentially mine free by 2025 to support resource mobilization

• In consultation with stakeholders develop the 2021-2025 national mine action strategy, resource mobilization strategy, communications strategy.

• Develop a strategy to maintain capacity to deal with residual contamination and identify how surplus mine action capacity can contribute to other initiatives post-2025.

• Focus on coordination and quality assurance and avoid implementation to ensure that there is no conflict of interests.

• Ensure that TNMAC has appropriate oversight for all MRE activities.

• Delegate responsibilities for MRE and VA to other partners and focus on coordination and quality assurance for these mine action pillars

• Hold meetings for victim assistance in a place that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

• Work actively with partners including UNDP to mobilize resources and coordinate efforts to approach donors.

• Provide leadership and oversight for the implementation of the gender and diversity strategy. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

For the Tajikistan Mine Action Sector

Recommendations 18-27:

• Continue to work closely together and share resources.

• Participate in the development of the next national mine action strategy and other strategies for resource mobilization, communications etc.

• Continue to improve land release methodologies.

• Continue to liaise closely with GICHD, OSCE and UNDP and seek their support for resource mobilization, capacity building and technical support.

• Maintain clear roles and responsibilities and transparent financial and administrative procedures.

• Ensure that quality assurance is maintained. Consider requesting regular reviews from an external party.

• Examine the feasibility of physically clearing all remaining contamination. If some areas are determined to be impossible to clear using existing methods and technology, agree a strategy for marking as well as ways to communicate effectively the necessity of marking to the relevant international regulatory bodies.

• Individual organizations that have commissioned studies into the different aspect of mine action should consider sharing them with all mine action stakeholders to maximize effective use of resources and avoid duplication of efforts. Use existing strategies and assessments - many of them contain useful recommendations and advice that is still relevant.

• Mainstream gender and diversity through the next national mine action strategy and implementation of mine action activities as articulated in the 2017 gender and diversity strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/03] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Key Actions:

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