Midterm Evaluation of Saemaul Initiative Towards Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities in Uganda (ISNC) Project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Uganda
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2017
Completion Date:
10/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Download document ToR_mid-term Evaluation_isnc, 8th March 2017.docx tor English 37.34 KB Posted 433
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Download document ISNC MRT Final Report 3rd October 2017.pdf report English 6773.40 KB Posted 767
Title Midterm Evaluation of Saemaul Initiative Towards Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities in Uganda (ISNC) Project
Atlas Project Number: 00079025
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Uganda
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2017
Planned End Date: 03/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 3. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: Government of South Korea
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
CLIFF Bernard Nuwakora M&E Consultant cliff.nuwakora@gmail.com UGANDA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Local Government
Countries: UGANDA
Lessons
1.
  • The use of community based implementation strategies contains enormous efficiency gains and facilitates community project ownership and contribution which enhance project sustainability potential.

 


2.
  • Collective engagements are key to mind change as it creates a sense of belonging and inclusion of the otherwise marginalized groups (women, youths, elderly and disabled). The ISNC project has demonstrated that the communities are considered poor can actually liberate themselves with little external assistance once they are well mobilized.

 


3.
  • The involvement of political leadership in community mobilization facilitates the process and fuels the success of community based initiatives. This is because in communities where the SMU groups were fully supported by the LC I chairpersons reported ease in mobilizing community members for community work unlike in communities where the LC I chairpersons were less supportive. In Luuka district where the LC 1 Chairpersons in Bukanga Sub-county have formed themselves into an SMU group as a means of supporting the SMU groups in their respective areas, the work of community mobilization for community work was reportedly more smooth than in Kaina parish where several LC 1 chairpersons were reportedly not supportive.

4.

 

  • The integration of the project implementation arrangements in the National Implementation Modalities (NIM) has been associated with enormous efficiency gains as it lowers the overall administrative costs. The ISNC project is being implemented with only one directly supported project staff (Focal person at the Ministry of Local Government); a factor that has kept the implementation costs low without affecting the quality and quantity of project deliverables.

5.

 

  • Effective involvement of the community in the project implementation lays a solid foundation for project sustainability as the community members’ willingness to own and contribute their resources for the project is stimulated. Thus, projects implemented with community based approaches are more likely to be sustained.

 


6.
  • The idea of integrating participatory planning at community level was key to implementation of the community priorities-parish development strategic plans feeding into sub-county development plans. As a result, the community members are motivated by seeing their local plans being work on by the Sub-county and district authorities.

7.

 

  • Leading by example is a key motivator for effective community engagements. The involvement of top technical and political leaders in the community work across all the implementing districts has been encouraging and motivated enhanced community involvement. In Luuka and Maracha districts for example, technical staff at the district have been assigned to specific SMU groups. The assigned staff participate and officiate during all the communal work undertaken by the groups. This arrangement has helped I timely identification of the needs and challenges which are presented for discussion and redress during the ISNC core team meeting at the district.

8.

 

  • Participatory engagement with the communities in planning process creates awareness of the economic resource potential within their midst that can be exploited for local economic development

9.

 

  • Revitalizing the theory of mind set change for self-help commonly known as Bulungi Bwansi can trigger development and self-sustaining initiatives within communities rather than looking up to central and local governments.

10.

 

  • For SMU model to take root and be a grounded approach in development there is need to vigorously involve and train and strengthen the local government and community leaders at all levels. Further still for any government to realize its strength there is need for a strong grass root structures such as PDCs, Parish chiefs, LCs for effective service delivery to be realized equitably.

11.

 

  • In Uganda, the model and formula of financing ratio 50:30:20 was surpassed by communities given their robust involvement and participation levels. This is also due to the fact that communities know what they want and can actually contribute enormously only if they are strategically guided by their respective leaders

 

  • Building effective partnerships at both government and community levels is critical for effective building of sustainability of development initiatives. A case in point is the ISNC partnership with The Hunger Project and Kabarole Research and Resource Centre. It is on the basis of the findings and lessons learn as presented in the main report that the evaluation made the following recommendations.

Findings
1.

Project relevance

The degree of the project’s external and internal consistence formed a key dimension in the assessment of its relevance. Therefore, key themes discussed in this subsection are; project concept and design, project implementation and management, relevance enhancement strategies and the integration of the gender in the overall project design and implementation and the results thereof. Externally, the evaluation under this section articulates how the ISNC project resonates with the international, national and sub national development agenda and priorities on one hand (external consistence) and the extent to which the project management and implementation framework has supported the realization of the expected results.


Tag: Relevance National Agenda 2030

2.

 Project concept and design
 The assessment of the project concept and design was focused on ascertaining the relevance and appropriateness of the design to the achievement of project results through community-led development as well as policies related to Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Economic Development, UNDP's mandate and UNDAF/Country Programme Document. The evaluation established that the project concept is well conceived and is modeled along the lines of successful initiatives of the community led local development- the Saemaul Undong Model (SMU) of Korea. The project embraces Uganda’s existing country development strategies which also emphasize community participation and inclusiveness focusing on demand –driven governance, local Economic Development as stipulated in the Second National Development plan (NDPII)2.
The project concept builds upon the decentralization framework structures, but this time around the emphasis is put on strengthening the local development initiatives that go hand in hand with building capacity, generating local resources as well as targeting the youth , women and other vulnerable groups3. Overall, the concept is about strengthened local initiatives that integrate government and private sector approaches to local development. It reinforces bottom-up planning and the sub-county development
models upon which the NDP II is anchored4.


Tag: Relevance Local Governance Programme/Project Design Sustainability Inclusive economic growth South-South Cooperation Vulnerable

3.

Derivation of the project relevancy

a) Project consistence with national /beneficiary needs and priorities
Since 1986, Uganda has undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at economic recovery driven by economic policy and administrative reforms that have determined the change of needs and priorities overtime. Key notable changes include;
Transformation aimed at poverty reduction from 1997 to 2008.There have also been changes in the role of local governments; their mandate has been increased to include local economic development in addition to ensuring effective local administration and service delivery. The role of Local Governments as agents for local development is to ensure that communities earn higher incomes and enjoy better livelihoods. In northern Uganda that has been afflicted by over 20 years of insurgency, priorities target post conflict rehabilitation, recovery and development. Thus local governments in northern Uganda require enhanced support to play a transformative and development role in order to consolidate the gains made in order to drive the region towards development.
Evidence adduced from the documents reviewed indicates the project is clearly addressing the priorities of Local economic development that focuses on harnessing the tripartite relationship between local governments, communities and private sector to stimulate economic growth and wealth creation at household level(see partnerships and synergies above). The SMU modelled the project in such way that communities have been actively engaged in drawing up their parish development strategic plans, a concept that rhymes well with the Community Driven Development (CDD) that places the communities in change of determining their development destiny.

 In concrete terms , the SMU project adds much value to national and beneficiary priorities as it reinforces existing interventions through proper grounding and targeting especially the bottom-up planning process, reinforced through strengthening the district government capacity to mainstream local plans and connect them to resources24
, and participation and inclusion of women, youth and other vulnerable groups.


Tag: Relevance National Regional Local Governance Sustainability Economic Recovery Trade and Development Capacity Building Policy Advisory

4.

Strengths and weaknesses of project relevance enhancement strategies 


One of the key strengths noted is that local communities have been given an opportunity to fully determine their priorities and act on them based on the local context to effectively address their development needs. The intervention puts the targeted beneficiaries in the driving seat by visioning what their future will be, what viable actions can be taken to ensure success and therefore able to monitor and evaluate their initiatives in order to ensure sustainability.
Whereas the project relevancy enhancement strategies appear impressive, the mid-term evaluation noted that one of the weakness inherent in them was weak practice that contradicts policy direction. This was apparent in failure of the piloting district local governments to fully adopt the model as the primary hybrid approach for enhancing the existing bottom-up planning approaches and other development initiatives already in place. Thus calling for the need to harmonize policy and practice when the model is the roll-out to cover the entire piloting district local governments for better replication to ensure sustainability in the medium and long term.
Weaknesses abound include the project operational manual that did not have clear guidelines on how to develop and write a development plan. There was also lack of clarity on how the development strategies interface with the overall Local government planning and budgeting process. the local government claimed that though they had the skills to implement the model, project interventions to be implemented were beyond their resource envelope. Yet technically some resources to implement the
projects are supposed to be generated locally27.


Tag: Relevance Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Sustainability

5.

Project effectiveness

As stated in the introductory section and the project document, the ISNC project was well conceived and designed with clear, realistic, economic, achievable and measurable (CREAM) performance indicators at both output and outcome levels. Therefore, the extent to which the project has achieved its performance targets at various levels as stated in the results matrix coupled with the analysis of the facilitators and inhibitors of enhanced project performance formed a central piece of this evaluation as presented in the next sub sections. The analysis in this section informed the drawing of lessons, best practices and recommendations presented in the last section of this report.
 

 Project achievements to date

The evaluation established that the project has so far registered a number of both qualitative and quantitative achievements both at output and outcome levels in line with the set targets. Indeed, the output and outcome level achievements are potentially able to propel the desired impact although tangible impact could not be vividly assessed given the short implementation period of the project hitherto. The assessment of the project achievements has been organized around the major 5 project outputs in order to vividly articulate how the project activities have supported the realization of the outputs and the resultant outcomes
both intended and unintended as seen hereunder


Tag: Effectiveness Resource mobilization National Local Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Institutional Strengthening South-South Cooperation

6.

Quick project gains

The evaluation noted a number of project successes and a great potential for enhanced results at full activity
implementation. Despite the fact that some of the project activities had not been fully implemented, the
following are some of the quick gains of the project that are evident across all the implementing districts.

i) Adoption of SMU principles The evaluation noted that the overarching SMU principles of cooperation, diligence and self-help have well been adopted not only in the host sub counties but also in a few others through the spillover effect. The project has particularly awakened the population in the pilot areas to effectively take part in their own development through concerted efforts. This move has witnessed a number of community development projects such as opening of community roads, cleaning of water sources and other public places such as health facilities, Sub-county premises and trading centres. Through the SMU groups, the sharing of materials, labour and happiness as well as the practice of saving together, produce together and market together have been greatly promoted.
The SMU groups in all the districts have continued to jointly undertake development initiatives both at community and individual levels. At the individual level, group members have supported each other to acquire and/or improve key household facilities and equipment such as erecting sanitation facilities, construction of kitchens, houses and improved cooking stoves among others. In Kabarole, 5 out of 6 SMU groups visited had made resolutions to ensure that each of their members constructs a permanent house that is solar powered. In fact, more than half of the SMU groups had by the time of the evaluation assisted their members to renovate their houses, acquire solar and other household facilities as members of Bujonjo
SMU group in Kabarole explained;


Tag: Natural Resouce management National Rural Knowledge management Inclusive economic growth Trade and Development

7.

Facilitators and inhibitors of performance

The performance of the ISNC project has been influenced by a number of facilitating and inhibiting factors but on the whole the facilitating factors by far outweigh the inhibitors as discussed hereunder.
a) Facilitators

i) Coherent project strategy Despite a few shortfalls in the project concept and design discussed under the project relevance section, the implementation strategy was generally coherent and strategic and this garnered both political and technical support for the project from all key stakeholders. For example, the leadership and nationalism training that was provided to the district and Sub-county level leaders was strategic and gave the project a smooth implementation landscape with the overwhelming support of all the key stakeholders in the districts and sub counties. As such, implementation has been well and jointly monitored by all key stakeholders largely working on a voluntary basis.
ii) Political support
The role of political leadership has been instrumental in effective community mobilization. The evaluation was particularly informed that in Maracha, community mobilization had suffered a great setback at the initial stages of the project until political leaders were effectively involved. In fact, in areas where communal work was struggling, the political leadership at the local level was reportedly not in full support. It was noted that in Bukanga Sub-county, the LC I chairpersons of the ISNC implementing villages have formed themselves into an SMU group and were effectively supporting SMU work hence its overwhelming success.
iii) Inherent values in the traditional system
The successful adoption of the SMU principles particularly community work has rod on the traditional value system. It is apparent that most societies in Uganda had had a number of avenues that used to bring them together to plan and participate in their community development. These for example included
‘Omuhigo’ in Kabarole and ‘bulungi bwansi’ in the central and most parts of the western regions. Thus, the SMU principles that underpin the entire design and implementation of ISNC project have not been new phenomenon hence facilitating their faster adoption by the communities.
iv) Management support from the centre
Management support from both the Local government and UNDP sides has also been pivotal in streamlining project implementation and hence its success. The project was well integrated in the national implementation framework hinged on the same local government structures and systems; a factor that enabled cost effective project implementation. At the district level, the ISNC core team that comprise of the heads of departments at the district and Sub-county level has ably provided strategic guidance that has supported activity implementation and project results hitherto. In Maracha and Kabarole for example, the evaluation was informed that specific technical staff at the district were attached to specific SMU groups; an
arrangement that has enabled continuous training and mentorship of the groups.


Tag: Agriculture Effectiveness Regional Civic Engagement Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Project and Programme management

8.

Project efficiency

As required in the ToR, the project efficiency analysis was focused on the availability of financial resources and their appropriate utilization with particular emphasis on value for money (VFM). Thus, this section presents an assessment of the project expenditure to date, cost minimization strategies employed by the project with particular focus on their strengths and weaknesses as well as the project’s financial management and accountability system focusing on how it has promoted appropriate utilization of the project’s financial
resources.

Project expenditure to date

The Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities (ISNC) project is a 24 month project stretching from July 2015 to June 2017 with the total budget of One Million US dollars. At the time of this evaluation, the project had completed 22 months (91.7% of the total project period) and the total expenditure to date
stands at 682822 US $ which is 68.3% of the total budget as illustrated in figure 2.4 below.


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Project and Programme management

9.

 Strategies adopted to promote economical use of financial resources

Economical use of financial resources is a key pillar for project success and increases stakeholder confidence in the project. The evaluation noted that project implementation was embedded with deliberate strategies for promoting economical use of resources and these include the following;
i) The Output Based Budgeting approach
The evaluation noted that the project activities were well thought through at the design level and have subsequently been filtered well through the annual work plans. There is indeed satisfactory alignment between the project activities and the envisaged outputs as reflected in the project’s result framework and subsequent annual work plans. Therefore, the Output Based Budgeting approach has helped to ensure that the project financial resources are spent on the activities that directly support the realization of the set outputs. The evaluation noted that project expenditure was proportionately distributed among the 5 project
outputs in line with the project activities implemented as illustrated in figure 2.6 below

It is noteworthy that much of the project budget for the years 2015 and 16 has been allocated to output three “Local resources increased and financing mechanisms improved to ensure that they reach community level through innovative and sustained financing of local development priorities identified by communitybased organizations and village development committees”. This implies that there is greater project commitment to spending resources on the core activities that generate tangible returns to the intended beneficiaries. This presents satisfactory evidence that the project cherishes principles of prudent financial allocation and management that tantamount to efficiency.
Chapter five of the SMU manual lays out an elaborate financial management framework of the ISNC project in addition to the Local Government Finance and Accounting regulations. The evaluation noted satisfactory commitment especially on the part of the implementing and responsible parties to adhere to the set regulations. This can potentially prevent financial misappropriation. Indeed, the responsible parties that had contravened the financial management regulations were made to refund all the funds in question as recommended by the project audit report.


Tag: Efficiency Regional Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Operational Efficiency Policies & Procedures Programme/Project Design

10.

Project sustainability

Project sustainability is a key pillar of project success and projects ought to embed sustainability measures in their designs and implementation arrangements. Effective stakeholder engagement and participation, degree of stakeholder ownership, stakeholder willingness and ability to contribute resources for project continuity as well as enhanced stakeholder capacity to management the project components beyond the funding period are the key tenets of project sustainability. Therefore, the assessment in this subsection was focused on ascertaining the project sustainability measures that are in place as well as the factors that are likely to affect the sustainability of the ISNC project. Thus, this section presents evaluation findings in respect to the availability and structure of the project sustainability plan, its strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and challenges for enhanced project sustainability.
Availability and structure of the sustainability plan

Both the ISNC project document and SMU manual clearly spell out the sustainability plan of the ISNC as a project and its founding principles; Self-help, diligence and cooperation. Accordingly, the sustainability of the project is envisaged through a favorable policy regime that integrates the principles of the SMU model, positive mind-set change and effective stakeholder capacity building agenda. Chapter nine of the SMU manual vividly lays out the sustainability strategy of ISNC project reflecting on eleven core elements of; competition, ideology, appraisal and selection; piloting, partnerships, planning, economic and finance, policy, structural as well as capacity building. It is noteworthy that effective implementation of all these elements would adequately support project sustainability as they all contribute to the four pillars of sustainability; participation, ownership, contribution and strengthened capacity.
In theory, the evaluation noted that right from the inception stage, significant sustainability elements were integrated in the design and implementation of the ISNC project. However, the implementation of the sustainability elements was notably at different levels though they all reflect great results and successes at full
implementation as discussed hereunder.


Tag: Sustainability Business Model Project and Programme management

11.

 Implementation status of the ISNC project sustainability strategy

The evaluation noted that the implementation of the ISNC project is well supported by a robust institutional framework involving relevant stakeholders at national, district, Sub-county and community levels; a factor that would propel scale-up and continuity. It is important to note that the ISNC is not only being implemented as a project based model but also an ideology that is intended to spread to all the sectors and planning mechanisms of the country. The composition of the national, district and Sub-county implementation teams was well thought through to involve all power centres that are concerned with community development. This is potentially able to transmit the project model and ideology to several sectors of the economy hence promoting sustainability.
At the community level, it was reported in all the three pilot districts that the project principles have spread beyond the SMU communities with non-SMU communities beginning to adopt the SMU practices as one SMU champion explained;
..because of the benefits of the ISNC project here in Oluffe, communities in the neighboring Sub-county of Kijomoro are gearing up to start on their own using their own resources. As you can see, this is a project that doesnot necessarily require a lot of external financial resources once people’s mindsets are changed…
This depicts willingness and commitment on the part of the communities to take an active role in their own development which is the core message underpinning the ISNC project and the SMU model. The community contribution that has been emphasized throughout the project has ably cultivated the spirit of ownership of the community development initiatives by the community members themselves hence increasing their confidence in supporting their own development thereby strengthening the “we can do it”
philosophy as enshrined in both the project and the model.


Tag: Sustainability National Regional Rural Partnership Programme/Project Design Capacity Building South-South Cooperation

12.

Strengths and weaknesses of the project sustainability plan

Flowing from the previous sub section, the project sustainability plan is anchored on mainstreaming the ISNC principles and practices in planning mechanisms and general service delivery at various levels with strong policy support. A critical look at this strategy reveals both strengths and weaknesses although the former much outweigh the later as here below;
The greatest strength of the project sustainability strategy lies in the fact that, it is based on the already existing structures (local governments) and policy framework which are potentially able to support the continuity of the project principles and practices once they are mainstreamed. Key policies on which the sustainability of the ISNC project hinge include inter alia; Local Economic Development (LED), community development policy and Decentralization which have attracted national commitment to their implementation.
The weakness of the sustainability strategy on the other hand is that the strategy omits a national level system of tracking the functionality of the ISNC structures and activities beyond the funding period. While it is indicated in the SMU manual that the CDO and the Parish chiefs shall continue to serve as the ISNC focal persons at the Sub-county and parish levels respectively who will continually track the functionality of ISNC structures and activities at the community, capturing of ISNC progress at the national level is not
specified.


Tag: Sustainability Business Model Human and Financial resources

13.

Opportunities and challenges to project sustainability In the light of the strengths and weaknesses of the project sustainability strategy presented in the previous sub section, the actual sustainability of the ISNC project faces both opportunities and challenges as seen hereunder;
i) Opportunities
National policy direction and institutional framework Uganda’s policy direction prioritizes community based development approaches with emphasis on massive community mobilization aimed at promoting participation and ownership of the development initiatives at the community level. A number of community focused policies such as LED, Decentralization and National Community Development are already in place and are pivotal in guiding community based interventions and development. Besides, there is a streamlined institutional framework that supports decentralized service delivery. All these present opportunities not only for the success of ISNC but also its sustainability.
Similar past and present interventions A number of community based interventions have been undertaken both in the past and the present and these include inter alia; NUSAF 2, Millennium village project, CAIIP, MTIIP, Operation Wealth Creation among others. The lessons and benefits from these interventions are still key in driving mind-set change and community development agenda. Besides, there are other projects implemented on the principles of SMU model which are vital for providing motivation and key learning lessons that would support the sustainability of the ISNC project.
Inherent values in the traditional value systems The ISNC principles of communalism and volunteerism have not been new in the Ugandan society. Therefore, the ISNC project builds on a value system that already prioritizes these principles which in turn facilitates implementation. It is apparent that the core values of the ISNC project already existed in project
area conamed ‘Bulungi Bwansi’ and ‘Omuhigo’ and the project acted as a catalyst to propel their deepening.


Tag: National Regional Local Governance Rule of law Project and Programme management Sustainability

14.

c) Gender mainstreaming
The mid -term evaluation assessed the extent to which gender mainstreaming had been implemented. At the onset of the project, gender equality was one of the set out principles in the targeting of the beneficiaries of the project. In principle, the project had set to ensure that both female and male actors have access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets. The criteria for ensuring gender equity were too embedded in the tools and implementation guide for the project. The project would also focus on increasing women’s participation as active members within the projects institutional arrangements. The project would ensure that interventions increase women’s access to productive resources and improve working conditions for women. The other cross cutting themes that were considered include; HV and AIDS, Hygiene and Sanitation18

The findings from documents reviewed indicate that indeed in all pilot districts, women had been included in the planning and implementation of the project activities. Notable evidence; 51% of the 1,980 community members that participated in the development of an inclusive community development strategy to identify community needs were women. Further, women formed about 50 % active members in the formation of 200 SMU groups to ensure participatory planning19
. Women empowerment has also been enhanced and community members reported reduction of domestic violence among families that were participating in the project. Women had been empowered as decision makers in a home and actively participated in public meetings and transactions in family owned enterprises20
. This development had the impact of strengthening the cohesion in the community as stability in the family as basic unity of society is key to better relations of individuals in the community.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Vulnerable

15.

b) Partnerships and Synergies
The implementation of the ISNC project has been based on a number of partnerships that have emerged at different levels. These have been at the global and national levels as well as within the piloting districts. At Regional/global level, a partnership/mechanism had been put in place to share knowledge and expertise and identify potential areas and partners for triangular cooperation with around 70 countries utilizing this SU discourse for development9 . Indeed, in 2016 there was second annual global project board meeting held in Cochabamba, Bolivia that reviewed the progress in the implementation of the global project titled “Saemaul Initiative Towards Sustainable and Inclusive New Communities (ISNC)” and approve the work plan for 2016- 201710.
At the national level within Uganda, there was a developing partnership between the Local Government and Academia. This was mainly one established between Makerere University School of Economics and Policy Research and Ministry of Local government. This partnership was intended to enhance learning on SU through well-crafted modules out of this ISNC pilot study. The documents reviewed did not indicate the extent to which the partnerships had been strengthened11.


Tag: National Local Governance Partnership Programme Synergy Programme/Project Design

16.

Through the VSLA component that has been incorporated in most of the SMU groups, savings and access to investment resources has been enabled which also continue to strengthen household incomes in the project area. In the absence of the baseline values that would have been used to bench mark progress, the reported improvements in household incomes is based on the testimonies of the interviewed SMU members as well as the project revenues from the income generating activities provided by the project. It was further established that some SMU groups have positioned themselves to offer services at a fee. Some provide manual labour while others have organized themselves into catering groups and events management teams which are hired on various functions. In addition to income generation, all these arrangements have
helped to entrench the spirit of cooperation as underscored by the SMU model.The members of Nyamugoro Victory SMU group in Kabarole which provides manual labour revealed that on a weekly basis, each member earns between 20000 UGX and 30000 UGX after making a mandatory saving of 10000 UGX in their group VSLA. Group members testified that before joining the group, none of them could earn that amount of money. With the enhanced household income, household’s effective demand has also be boosted with effects trickling inform of improved household feeding, ability to pay schools fees and meeting other household expenditure.


Tag: Environment Policy Site Conservation / Preservation National Local Governance Sanitation Knowledge management Capacity Building

Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1:  Production of a professional documentary and publications.

There is an urgent need for a high definition professional video documentary to capture the outcomes of the SMU model before the project end so that its able to empirically capture all the processes, activities, actions etc. With the good experiences from the beneficiaries of the ISNC, there is need for this information to be shared with the wider public if this is to be taken on and replicated by other non-participating communities

2

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2: Adoption of inclusiveness and Self-help model by Local Governments should be adopted and be resident within the local governments planning and programming processes. The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development should be highly involved right from the initial stages of project planning throughout the implementation process. There is a need for strengthening the lower level local government structures by reviving and re-awakening the Parish Development Committees (PDCs) and Parish chiefs.

3

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: Whereas the project design document was silent about the exit strategy of the project, the consultant was able to note that some implementation strategies especially using the local government and community structures and systems were good for project sustainability. However, the consultant recommends that a consolidated smooth exit strategy should now be clearly focused on in order not to jeopardize the results and impact sustainability. This can be achieved through various actions such as:

•     Formalization and consolidation of community organizations and associations such as the VSLAs and SACCOs

•     Simplified ICT platforms that can help communities and leaders in management and marketing.

4

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4: There is urgent need for the local governments to equip communities with knowledge and skills in technologies to exploit local economic potential like rain water harvesting, solar for production, energy technologies like briquettes. Public/ Private partnerships can be exploited as the potential avenues to scale up the interventions based on business models that could enhance community incomes as well as expand tax base of the local governments.

The operational manual provides a menu of labelling and identifying ISNC SMU projects and groups. These guidelines should be shared with the communities and facilitated to implement
them in order to enhance project visibility.

5

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 5: Local government leaders will need to be continuously mentored and supported to drive the change management processes that ISNC brings and the SMU model should be considered a crosscutting implementation model by all development players.

6

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 6: An activity planning and reporting template form community level which is user friendly, be designed to enable communities improve their documentation reporting by cycle two of the assessment. Documentation skills will further help them score more and also facilitate knowledge management and sharing

7

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 7: The results of this evaluation indicate that the ISNC is a successful project whose design, principles and lessons can richly benefit other projects. For example, the SMU principles should be used as the key guide in the selection of community level beneficiaries of successor projects. The distribution of Operation Wealth Creation inputs should follow the ISNC principles as they have proven successful in causing desired changes at the community level

8

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 8: The next ISNC projects should focus more on enabling communities to access low cost investment loans other than grants. This can be made possible through targeting support to VSLAs, Village Banks and other financial institutions that can easily be accessed by the communities. This will potentially encourage hard work and increase a sense of responsibility over effective utilizations of resources

9

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 9: End of project evaluation should largely be quantitative in order to capture measurable changes in the lives of the beneficiaries as a result of the project. This is because the quantitative data presented in this report have been extracted from other reports which poses challenges of data verification

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1:  Production of a professional documentary and publications.

There is an urgent need for a high definition professional video documentary to capture the outcomes of the SMU model before the project end so that its able to empirically capture all the processes, activities, actions etc. With the good experiences from the beneficiaries of the ISNC, there is need for this information to be shared with the wider public if this is to be taken on and replicated by other non-participating communities

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Establish Partnership with Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC) to support documentation of ISNC. KRC is expected to deliver the following outcome: ? Record 15 change stories at individual, group and community levels covering women and youth ? Coverage and production for 1 documentary ? Carry out radio talk shows on the KRC FM on the philosophy and impact of ISNC project in Kabarole ? Production of 24 radio magazines and 24 30-minutes radio interactions (2 per week) covering changes stories of individuals, leaders and community members ? Monthly follow up of the project activities by the head of programmes
[Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2020/07/28]
? KRC ? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2020/12 Completed Documented under the ICPE 2016-2020 History
Hire a UNV Communication Officer to support documentation at the Ministry of Local Government. The UNV will be supporting the following deliverables: ? Support drafting of 15 success stories captured during the Knowledge Management Workshop (April 2017) ? Support drafting of policy briefs for the project ? Support drafting factsheet for the project ? Support the Ministry of Local Government update its digital platforms (website and social media channels etc.). ? Provide content for the UNDP Country office’s digital/social media sites as well as photos and info graphs on the ISNC Project.
[Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2017/12 Completed 1.2 UNV Communication Officer was hired to support documentation at the Ministry of Local Government. The UNV will be supporting the following deliverables: ? Support drafting of 15 success stories captured during the Knowledge Management Workshop (April 2017) ? Support drafting of policy briefs for the project ? Support drafting factsheet for the project ? Support the Ministry of Local Government update its digital platforms (website and social media channels etc.). ? Provide content for the UNDP Country office’s digital/social media sites as well as photos and info graphs on the ISNC Project. History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2: Adoption of inclusiveness and Self-help model by Local Governments should be adopted and be resident within the local governments planning and programming processes. The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development should be highly involved right from the initial stages of project planning throughout the implementation process. There is a need for strengthening the lower level local government structures by reviving and re-awakening the Parish Development Committees (PDCs) and Parish chiefs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Activities are dedicated in the ISNC workplan to strengthen the lower local government structures. Some activities are even completed with results that the consultant has highlighted as achievements. Nonetheless, the Consultant notes a valid point to highly involve the MoGLSD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct activities dedicated to strengthen lower local government: ? Sensitize and train communities at Village, Parish and Sub-county level on self-reliance, cooperation and joint planning and Monitoring (Output 1, Activity Result 1, Action iii) ? Revitalize Village and Parish Development Committees (Output 1, Activity Result 1, Action iv) ? Leadership, nationalism and M&E training for elected leaders, management, Village Development Committee’s Parish Development Committees (PDC) and user committees in Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities Development Approaches (Output 1, Activity Result 1, Action v) ? Formation and training of Rural development and New Village management volunteers (Champions) per village, parish, Sub-county and District to support the PDCs, VDCs and S/C-DCs in collaboration with the PDC, VDCs and SC-DCs (Output 1, Activity Result 1, Action vi) ? Undertake sensitization and community dialogues on their roles in village modernization and development (Output 1, Activity Result 1, Action vii)
[Added: 2017/10/03]
? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2017/10 Completed Activities have been completed
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: Whereas the project design document was silent about the exit strategy of the project, the consultant was able to note that some implementation strategies especially using the local government and community structures and systems were good for project sustainability. However, the consultant recommends that a consolidated smooth exit strategy should now be clearly focused on in order not to jeopardize the results and impact sustainability. This can be achieved through various actions such as:

•     Formalization and consolidation of community organizations and associations such as the VSLAs and SACCOs

•     Simplified ICT platforms that can help communities and leaders in management and marketing.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

As a global initiative, the ISNC Project shares a common exit strategy: scale-up the impact of initiatives to neighboring countries with similar political and cultural context through supporting relevant institutions. MoLG and UNDP are already implementing actions to sustain the project while the search for alternative ways to sustain the project is actively ongoing. Based on the outcomes of the 3rd ISNC Global Project Board meeting, integration of the ISNC approaches in to government policies, programmes and projects is emerging as a viable option to sustain the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Support Uganda to showcase the success stories of the ISNC Project in Rwanda at a Knowledge Workshop and a National Symposium (6-10 November 2017) 3.2 Link PDCs, VDCs, enterprise and development groups to the district and sub-county planning units through formation of thematic planning and monitoring clusters / forums; link groups formed to private sector institutions and investment opportunities (Output 1, Activity Result 2, Action iii) 3.3 Establish Partnership with The Hunger Project to build a community development centre in Maracha District
[Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2017/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: project closed]
No longer applicable History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 4: There is urgent need for the local governments to equip communities with knowledge and skills in technologies to exploit local economic potential like rain water harvesting, solar for production, energy technologies like briquettes. Public/ Private partnerships can be exploited as the potential avenues to scale up the interventions based on business models that could enhance community incomes as well as expand tax base of the local governments.

The operational manual provides a menu of labelling and identifying ISNC SMU projects and groups. These guidelines should be shared with the communities and facilitated to implement
them in order to enhance project visibility.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

The Communities and District Local Governments are fully aware of the local economic potentials. Innovations and environmentally friendly technologies have been captured in the success stories. Public partnerships (NGOS) have been established. However, UNDP and MoLG will continue to explore partnerships with private sectors in the districts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Support Annual District / municipal & Bi-annual sub-county development progress review dialogue platforms for communities, their national leaders (Parliamentarians), district leaders, local leaders, CSOs, private sector and development partners. The annual dialogues will be enshrined in the District M&E system (Output 2, Activity Result 1, Action iv) 4.2 Build capacities of the local business associations, communities, business planning, cooperatives in business processes, business start-ups, pricing, financial literacy, franchise and customer care services among others (Output 2, Activity Result 2, Action iii) 4.3 Support LGs in partnership with private sector, to promote the use of renewal energy, ICT (Wind and/ or Solar energy) for lighting and cooking in homesteads and community radios as prioritized and detailed in the Village Development Strategy and promote sustainable disposal farm argo-waste through manufacturing of bio-gas through set up of one demonstration centre per community (Output 4, Activity Result 1, Action ii)
[Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2020/07/28]
? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2018/12 Completed These interventions have been incorporated in the new CPD 2021-2025 History
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 5: Local government leaders will need to be continuously mentored and supported to drive the change management processes that ISNC brings and the SMU model should be considered a crosscutting implementation model by all development players.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Conduct Orientation of Bunyangabu District Local Government on ISNC Project 5.2 Follow-up meeting of SDG Local Governance Diagnostic Executive Snapshot Tool in both Kabarole and Bunyangabu Districts
[Added: 2017/10/03]
MOLG 2017/10 Completed UNDP supported the coordination of the orientation and the follow-up meeting of the SDG Local Governance Diagnostic Executive Snapshot Toolkiit
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 6: An activity planning and reporting template form community level which is user friendly, be designed to enable communities improve their documentation reporting by cycle two of the assessment. Documentation skills will further help them score more and also facilitate knowledge management and sharing

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Agree. A Community Support and Assessment Tool (CoSAT) was developed  in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and the National SMU Centre to establish knowledge gaps and monitoring adoption of the project activities in the districts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a Community Support and Assessment Tool (CoSAT) in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and the National SMU Centre to establish knowledge gaps and monitoring adoption of the project activities in the districts.
[Added: 2017/10/03]
MoLG 2017/10 Completed Completed
7. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 7: The results of this evaluation indicate that the ISNC is a successful project whose design, principles and lessons can richly benefit other projects. For example, the SMU principles should be used as the key guide in the selection of community level beneficiaries of successor projects. The distribution of Operation Wealth Creation inputs should follow the ISNC principles as they have proven successful in causing desired changes at the community level

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Agree.  UNDP and MoLG are looking into integrating ISNC principles into existing government programmes to catalyse community mobilisation. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP and MoLG to identify existing programme areas with potential for successful integration of the ISNC principles; articulate newly emerging programmes to prioritise ISNC districts such as: • Operation Wealth Creation (GoU) • Youth Livelihood Programme (GoU) • Uganda Women Economic Empowerment Programme (GoU) • Institutional Effectiveness Programme (UNDP) • Inclusive and Equitable Local Development (UNDP, UNWomen and UNCDF)
[Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2020/07/28]
UNDP/MoLG 2019/12 Completed These interventions have been incorporated under LED initiatives in the new CPD 2021-2025 already attached. History
8. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 8: The next ISNC projects should focus more on enabling communities to access low cost investment loans other than grants. This can be made possible through targeting support to VSLAs, Village Banks and other financial institutions that can easily be accessed by the communities. This will potentially encourage hard work and increase a sense of responsibility over effective utilizations of resources

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Activities and achievements have been recorded with the progress the ISNC project has made with VSLAs. All grants indicated in the workplan are now given out to communities in the form of loan to community groups with concrete utility plans. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure all grants indicated in the workplan are given out to communities in the form of loan to community groups with concrete utility plans.
[Added: 2017/10/03]
UNDP/MOLG 2017/12 Completed
9. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 9: End of project evaluation should largely be quantitative in order to capture measurable changes in the lives of the beneficiaries as a result of the project. This is because the quantitative data presented in this report have been extracted from other reports which poses challenges of data verification

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

Agreed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure a terminal evaluation that is largely quantitative in order to capture measurable changes in the lives of the beneficiaries as a result of the project
[Added: 2017/10/03] [Last Updated: 2020/07/28]
UNDP and MOLG 2020/12 Completed The ICPE (already attached)fully captured the project results. History

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