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

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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 ISNC MRT Final Report 3rd October 2017.pdf report English 6773.40 KB Posted 313
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.

The project interventions are highly relevant as they resonate with both international, national and community level development priorities and aspirations as enshrined in the SDGs, NDP II and Vision 2040. The project is well aligned with the national development policies such as LED, Decentralization and the community development policy among others. By bringing the community members at the forefront of their local development, the ISNC project is well positioned to promote responsive and participatory planning processes which in turn enhance the relevance of the interventions.

 


2.

The evaluation noted that there is satisfactory progress towards the achievement of the set outputs which presents a high potential for supporting the realization of the desired outcomes and impacts. However, late implementation of some project activities has notably delayed the realization of the envisaged results; a factor that lowers the effectiveness of the project. Nevertheless, the evaluation noted a higher degree of consistence in the project results chain which would guarantee project effectiveness at full activity implementation.

 


3.

The community based implementation approaches that have been adopted coupled with sound financial management regulations as well as decentralized implementation process have ensured cost effectiveness of the project. The evaluation established that the ISNC project has been implemented with low cost since it has been integrated in the National Implementation Modalities (NIM). The voluntarism spirit that the project has promoted coupled with the community wiliness to contribute local available resources has helped to ensure project efficiency.

 


4.

Participatory implementation approach that has been adopted under the ISNC portrays the potential for enhanced project sustainability. This is because the communities have successfully owned the project interventions and as such are willing to contribute resources for sustaining the interventions. This coupled with the capacity strengthening interventions undertaken by the project, the possibility of project continuation beyond the finding period is ascertained.

 


5.

The ISNC project has shown potential for stimulating inclusive community development given the way it has mainstreamed gender and harnessed partnerships with both public and private entities at national and sub national levels. As such, project implementation contains valuable lessons and best practices worth scaling up and replication in similar circumstances as seen hereunder;

 


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.

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]

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: 2018/08/29]
? KRC ? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2020/12 Initiated This is already on-going. First draft of documentary was showcased at the 3rd ISNC Global Project Board Meeting and Community of Practice (COP) Workshop 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]

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]

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.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/10/03]

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]
? UNDP ? MoLG ? 3DLGs 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated
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]

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]

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]

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]
UNDP/MoLG 2019/12 Overdue-Initiated
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]

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]

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]
UNDP and MOLG 2020/12 Initiated

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