End of Programme Evaluation of the Capacity Building of Local Government and Service Delivery Programme (2012-2015)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Zimbabwe
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2016
Completion Date:
07/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title End of Programme Evaluation of the Capacity Building of Local Government and Service Delivery Programme (2012-2015)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Zimbabwe
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2016
Planned End Date: 06/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 3.2. Functions, financing and capacity of sub-national level institutions enabled to deliver improved basic services and respond to priorities voiced by the public
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 20,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, MLGURD
Countries: ZIMBABWE
Lessons
1.

 

  • The theory of change for the programme could have been agreed very early on so that it could be used to authenticate and attribute the successes of the project.
  • The mid-term evaluation should have been conducted as a matter of both process and also to gauge progress and course-correct if necessary
  • There is need to balance the software and hardware components of the programme
  • There is need to do a gap assessment of local authorities and design interventions that are appropriate to the different scenarios so that there is impact
  • Whilst appreciating the resource constraints there should always be an important to address the demand and supply of such programmes. The current programme only focused on building the capacity of local authorities without necessarily strengthening the demand side.
  • The following mistakes can be avoided in the future if such initiatives are to be replicated, 
  • Delays in appointing key personnel
  • Not having a full time team to support the Coordinator
  • Raising expectations that would prove difficult to meet
  • This is an easy project to replicate in terms of design because all developing countries and more so in sub-Saharan Africa are facing serious challenges of service delivery.
  • There are still a lot of capacity gaps in in local authorities and with staff attrition, there is always need to ensure that these gaps are filled.
  • However, the programmes would have to be designed to meet the unique country level gaps, attitudes and aptitude in local government issues.

Findings
1.

In terms of programmatic impact, the greatest achievements of the project included the institutionalisation of IRBM and strategic planning in local government, skills training and development in areas such as financial modelling and ensuring that councillors received the necessary training to allow them to carry out their oversight roles.

The programme was designed during the GNU and therefore relevant at that point to take advantage of the improved relations between local authorities and residents and spell out the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in service delivery. The relative political calm that has existed since that time has helped to build this relationship. 

In most of the local authorities visited, revenue collection rates have greatly improved which is testimony to a better relationship between the local authorities and the residents. 

The project was also relevant and in line with UNDP’s mandate to improve service delivery through strengthening the capacity of local authorities as the lowest tier of Government which is closest to the people. It is important to note that this project was the first of its magnitude and scope after the Rural District Councils Capacity Building Programme (RDCCBP) which ran from 1995 to 2001. This puts the UNDP at the forefront of local governance and local government capacity building initiatives. Programmes such as the Strengthening Capacity For Local Governance and Service Delivery in Zimbabwe Project implemented by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) and the Municipal Development Partnership (MDP) now have a platform to achieve greater results. 

The value that UNDP added to the capacity building discourse in Zimbabwe was to catalyse processes within the Ministry not only through providing resources but also the technical guidance and support.

The programme delivery methodology was effective since it used both national and local structures and built the capacity especially for the Provincial Facilitation Teams (PFT) that were critical in the training and delivery of Integrated Results Based Management (IRBM) and Strategic Planning. Discussions with the Ministry pointed to the fact that the PFTs would be an important entry point to similar processes in the future. 

One of the highlights of the programme was that it had a functional Board made up of experts from different disciplines. Going through the Board minutes and deliberations it is very clear that the programme benefitted very much from this innovation.

Efficiency: the project was implemented respecting the value for money (VfM) principles and resources were used for intended purposes. With a programme of this nature, there would always be challenges in terms of activities taking place in accordance with the schedule but the fact that almost all the activities were implemented by the end of the project is a huge plus on the stakeholders that were involved in the process.

Sustainability: the project was designed as a low input high output intervention focusing more on processes and building the technical capacity of local authorities. This increases its chances of being sustainable in the long run because focus areas such as integrated results based management and strategic planning will always be key components of local authority operations. 

From the evaluation, it was clear that the Ministry had benefitted a lot from the programme in terms of understanding how to work with local authorities better but also how to use internal resources to strengthen capacities in finance and general administration of their work. Whilst there will always be questions raised on attribution on the strengthening of skills and capacities within the Ministry and local authorities to the programme, it is important to note that within the implementation period of the programme, discernible areas of progress such as financial management with some of the local authorities were coming to the fore.

 


Recommendations
1

To ensure the effective implementation of future programmes, there is need to have a fully-fledged team working with the National Programme Coordinator.

2

There is need for future programmes to address both the supply and demand side of service delivery

3

Capacity building programmes should find a way of also focusing on the lower level structures within local authorities

4

There should be established a panel of experts to provide a sounding board for the ministries on service delivery and local government issues. 

5

There is still need to focus on the legal framework for local government there is still need to focus on the legal framework for local government

1. Recommendation:

To ensure the effective implementation of future programmes, there is need to have a fully-fledged team working with the National Programme Coordinator.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/08/23]

The recommendation is noted. In the successor project that has been developed, the spirit of this recommendation has been taken into account. The implementing partner and the responsible party have seconded officers to the project. The officers will be capacitated to eventually manage the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Capacity development of the officers seconded to the project in the realms of project management, leadership and financial management
[Added: 2016/08/23]
UNDP/GGM/Project Team 2020/12 Initiated The process of capacity building has already began
2. Recommendation:

There is need for future programmes to address both the supply and demand side of service delivery

Management Response: [Added: 2016/08/23]

The recommendation has been taken on board in the successor project. The successor project is going to be focusing on the supply (local authority) side and demand (citizens) side. On the supply side the successor project is focusing on improving the “science of service delivery”; which on the demand side the focusing will be enhancing the capacity of the citizens to demand transparency and accountable. The demand side is also focusing on capacitating the citizens to meet their objections.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of the successor project รข??Strengthening Local Government Service Delivery Capacity for Sustainable and Inclusive Development
[Added: 2016/08/23]
GGM/ Project Team 2020/12 Initiated The implementation of the successor project has began.
3. Recommendation:

Capacity building programmes should find a way of also focusing on the lower level structures within local authorities

Management Response: [Added: 2016/08/23]

This recommendation is well noted. UNDP in the successor programme has clearly built in this recommendation in the successor project. The successor project has clear output that focus on creating an enabling environment for citizen participation and strengthening the capacities sub-district participation structures,

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Development of the citizen participation and engagement framework and policy
[Added: 2016/08/23]
UNDP CO/GGM/Project Team 2020/12 Not Initiated
Strengthening capacities of the sub-district participation structures such the Village Development Committees (VIDCOS) and Ward Development Committees (WARDCOs)
[Added: 2016/08/23]
UNDP CO/GGM/Project Team 2020/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

There should be established a panel of experts to provide a sounding board for the ministries on service delivery and local government issues. 

Management Response: [Added: 2016/08/23]

The recommendation is noted. UNDP in the successor programme has set up a Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG is made up of experts in the local government sector, academia and major donors in the country. The Terms of Reference for the TWG have been developed and signed by the IP, Responsible Party and UNDP. The TWG meets quarterly before the Project Board Meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Technical Working Group quarterly meetings
[Added: 2016/08/23]
GGM 2020/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

There is still need to focus on the legal framework for local government there is still need to focus on the legal framework for local government

Management Response: [Added: 2016/08/23]

This recommendation is noted. UNDP and its partners in the successor programme have agreed to continue working on the creation of an enabling legislative and policy environment of the local government sector. The successor programme is going to support the alignment of the local government legislation to the Constitution

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review of the Local Authorities Bill
[Added: 2016/08/23]
UNDP Country Office/ GGM Unit/ Project Team 2020/12 Initiated The draft Local Authorities Bill is in place. The Memorandum of Principles have been approved by the Cabinet.
Finalization of the Traditional Leadership Bill
[Added: 2016/08/23]
UNDP Country Office/ GGM Unit/ Project Team 2020/12 Initiated The draft Traditional Leadership Bill is now place. The next process is holding of national consultations.
Alignment of other local government legislations to the Constitution
[Added: 2016/08/23]
UNDP Country Office/ GGM Unit/ Project Team 2020/12 Initiated The thirty pieces of legislation that need to be-aligned have been identified.

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