Mid Term Review India CO CPAP 2013-2017`

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, India
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Country Programme Evaluation
Planned End Date:
01/2016
Completion Date:
03/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

The MTR of the CPAP revealed a programme consisting of a fairly large portfolio of over 30 projects which is broadly on course to deliver the CPAP objectives. A strong team of committed professionals are successfully bringing adjustments that will yield further improvements to UNDPs performance over the years immediately ahead. Consultations with Government counterparts proved that UNDP is viewed as a dependable partner. The programme has some excellent projects in its arsenal. The Country Office management is right to be aspiring for even greater impact. The new operating context at national and global level continues to be demanding, with a relatively new Government championing new national initiatives and bold global development agenda that has adopted 17 new and ambitious SDG targets. India has a central role to play in securing the global targets. For this reason ‘leave no one behind’ has a particular resonance and implication for UNDP if the inclusive growth and poverty eradication aspirations are to achieve their full effect in India. This MTR makes a number of observations and recommendations for both short and medium term consideration that will help UNDP fully meet the goals of the current CPAP and lay important foundations for its successor

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Title Mid Term Review India CO CPAP 2013-2017`
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, India
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Country Programme Evaluation
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2016
Planned End Date: 01/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Cross-cutting Development Issue
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Country Office Core Budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 30,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ian Holland Mr. ianrholland@yahoo.com
Sudhakar Yedla Mr. s_yedla@yahoo.com INDIA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: INDIA
Comments:

Request to add the project evaluation as it was missed out during the development of the evaluation plan

Lessons
1.

The MTR of the CPAP revealed a programme consisting of a fairly large portfolio of over 30 projects which is broadly on course to deliver the CPAP objectives. A strong team of committed professionals are successfully bringing adjustments that will yield further improvements to UNDPs performance over the years immediately ahead. Consultations with Government counterparts proved that UNDP is viewed as a dependable partner. The programme has some excellent projects in its arsenal. The Country Office management is right to be aspiring for even greater impact. The new operating context at national and global level continues to be demanding, with a relatively new Government championing new national initiatives and bold global development agenda that has adopted 17 new and ambitious SDG targets. India has a central role to play in securing the global targets. For this reason ‘leave no one behind’ has a particular resonance and implication for UNDP if the inclusive growth and poverty eradication aspirations are to achieve their full effect in India. This MTR makes a number of observations and recommendations for both short and medium term consideration that will help UNDP fully meet the goals of the current CPAP and lay important foundations for its successor


Findings
1.

The first area relates to UNDP assuming full leadership of the SDG agenda and to supporting Government at all levels. This will include advocacy, co-ordination, technical assistance and support for south-south platforms. It also entails working closely with the Government’s national missions and programmes and helping to leverage the entire governance system for SDG attainment. UNDP is uniquely positioned to take a comprehensive and strategic approach to supporting the Government, and all partners, to accomplish the SDG agenda in India. The second strongly encourages UNDP to continue to work towards strengthening its approach for the formulation and implementation of integrated development solutions. This requires a more  creative and agile organisational set up to which UNDP is clearly moving towards. The third area of focus relates to putting further measures in place that promote the systematic management of the internal knowledge ecosystem. This necessarily entails the full baselining and documenting of progress in the life cycle of the project from its various social, economic, environmental and  institutional perspectives. It provides the evidence base for learning fully about the impact of development interventions and in determining if a project is capable and worthy of replication and expansion. The fourth area, linked closely to the third above, entails greater attention to the successful cultivation of demonstration projects that can be taken to scale and simultaneously achieve last mile impact. From the work of this MTR it is evident that projects go to scale by successfully navigating a series of 3 or 4 successive stages in their evolution. Allied closely to this are a number of critical success factors that appear to be central in most instances in which projects appear capable of realising their scalability. The formulation and implementation of integrated development solutions utilizing a robust knowledge ecosystem will also reinforce UNDPs ability to bring projects to scale that fully demonstrate last mile impact. The fifth area for UNDPs consideration will be the move to establish a stronger State level presence. Strategic outreach to States will enable UNDP promote the SDGs throughout India and assist technically and through coordination support in their delivery and reporting. Closer access to States is also  imperative for UNDP to assist in institutional strengthening for development results and be closer to the ground for the purposes of supporting the cultivation of opportunities for ‘scalable replication’ and ‘final mile’ impact


Recommendations
1

The first three years of the programme have witnessed good overall progress against the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) outputs. UNDP is in a strong and trusted position in relation to its partnership with the Government of India. UNDP Country Office team, which has recently been through a restructuring process, has emerged stronger. Under a relatively new leadership team the UNDP office recognizes the requirement for ongoing incremental improvement that provides a consistent flow of scalable and integrated development solutions to be brought to the support of the Government

2

UNDPs own internal financial resources have also since diminished with the impact that the organization is no longer a significant ‘donor’ in the traditional sense, but rather a facilitator of development solutions, technical support and development knowledge management. The development discourse in India has also been more particularly directed towards scalability and final mile impact. The observations and recommendation of this MTR have attempted to take these changing circumstances into account

3

The universal adoption of the UNDP standard format for results reporting would enable a completely harmonized approach to be taken. Whilst Project Steering Committees do meet at least annually, these platforms could be utilized for more effective stakeholder consultation, knowledge capture and dissemination of results, including for the early approval of the Annual Work Plan (AWP) at the commencement of the financial year

4

UNDP should continue to attach prominence to facilitating south-south cooperation platforms for knowledge exchange in key areas

5

Firstly, as a champion of ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030 and by strengthening its inclusive development and poverty reduction portfolio. Secondly, in providing lead UN support for the coordination and operationalization of the SDGs, in particular to support governance programmes contribution to the achievement of development results. Thirdly, through strengthened support in the Natural Resource Management (NRM), climate change and Disaster Response Management (DRM) arena. Aligned to national priorities, UNDP can further reinforce its support to Government for the identification, promotion and implementation of project scalability and final mile SDG impact

UNDP should give consideration to being the catalyst for a pan-UN social and economic inclusion programme. A combined advocacy and empowerment programme would be consistent with the 2030 Development Agenda and the pledge of all nations to ‘leave no-one behind’

Further efforts should be made to also support the Government deepen its partnership with civil society that will enable inclusion and participation of a multitude of potentially marginalized and at risk groups of vulnerable poor

6

To improve coordination and coherence within the democratic governance pillar, the MTR recommends that consideration should be given to more closely aligning the projects in this part of  the portfolio, even to the extent of streaming them into a single unified governance programme

7

Over successive programme cycles UNDP has brought a number of projects to scale in India, among them being the Human Development Report (HDR) methodology and DRM. There are other scalable project examples currently in the making, particularly in the steel and railways sectors.It is timely for UNDP to invest more heavily in these demonstration projects to bring them fully ‘to scale’

8

UNDP should continue to reinforce its ‘knowledge management ecosystem’ to ensure the systematic documenting, consultation, reporting and learning that is required for the identification, intensification and upscaling of integrated development solutions. Projects which successfully demonstrate the integration of economic, social, environmental and institutional gains through the pursuit of development solutions will be especially prized since they offer the greatest overall impact and the potential for multiple SDG attainment.

1. Recommendation:

The first three years of the programme have witnessed good overall progress against the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) outputs. UNDP is in a strong and trusted position in relation to its partnership with the Government of India. UNDP Country Office team, which has recently been through a restructuring process, has emerged stronger. Under a relatively new leadership team the UNDP office recognizes the requirement for ongoing incremental improvement that provides a consistent flow of scalable and integrated development solutions to be brought to the support of the Government

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

UNDP India Country Office (CO) welcomes the observation and recommendations from the MTR. The CO current programme has been witness to some substantial economic and political changes in the country in last 2-3 years. There are two major considerations that need to be appreciated.

 

First, the new Government came in to place in 2014, which was the second year of the current CPAP for India CO. The country is undergoing an upward trajectory economically registering 6-8% growth annually. India is now considered between a lower middle income to middle income country.  The new Government has established its own priorities and development agenda. UNDP India CO has and continues to adapt its existing programme in consideration of the development agenda adopted by the new Government as well as its functioning

 

Secondly, the UNDP core resources available to the CO are rapidly diminishing – which in turn influences how the CO responds to the emerging priorities set by the Government in lieu with the resources available.

 

UNDP India CO has adopted an ambitious strategy of participating in the development of the nation in two ways – One: by mobilising resources locally and second to partner with the Government at the Central and State level towards high impact and large scale initiatives – which are more sustainable and had clear demonstrated reach to a wider section of the population.

 

UNDP CO internally underwent an introspection to ascertain its capacity and organisational structure to adapt to the new business model it aims to implement. The office underwent a restructuring process to make it fit for purpose which is now concluded and implemented. The CO also undertook a detailed assessment of the operational side of its functioning and streamlined mechanisms and processes to be more efficient and effective.

 

The process has been incremental in nature and we do witness a positive change in its approach and functioning. Since the completion of the MTR the India CO has been able to work towards developing and implementing scalable and integrated development solutions at the state level such as the River Ganda rejuvenation project in the state of Jharkhand.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

UNDPs own internal financial resources have also since diminished with the impact that the organization is no longer a significant ‘donor’ in the traditional sense, but rather a facilitator of development solutions, technical support and development knowledge management. The development discourse in India has also been more particularly directed towards scalability and final mile impact. The observations and recommendation of this MTR have attempted to take these changing circumstances into account

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

As mentioned above UNDP India CO recognizes the paradigm shift in functioning at the country level, from a traditional donor. It has taken some very concrete steps to ensure its relevance and financial sustainability in the country.

 

UNDP India CO recognises the opportunity to partner and support the Government of India in realising its goals and objectives. The CO is continuously striving on developing integrated and large scale solutions with the Government of India to ensure final mile impact. Some examples to substantiate the claims that are currently being implemented are given below

  1. River Ganga Rejuvenation Project – a wide scale project in the state of Jharkhand supported by the State Government to establish integrated solutions for solid and liquid waste management, livelihood opportunities and community mobilisation – towards an overall impact of reducing pollution reaching the Ganga River form human population establishments along the banks
  2. An integrated nationwide electronic vaccine intelligence network (eVIN) established and functional in all states, district and sub district level to ensure availability of life saving vaccines to all children and expecting mothers in the country
  3. Demonstration initiatives under the skilling India initiative by the Government of India, UNDP India CO is implementing a holistic project in 4 states of the country to demonstrate models of increasing availability and accessibility of skilled human resources – particularly women from the economically weaker sections on the society. A project supported by the IKEA foundation and in partnership with Government of India skill India initiative.

 

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

The universal adoption of the UNDP standard format for results reporting would enable a completely harmonized approach to be taken. Whilst Project Steering Committees do meet at least annually, these platforms could be utilized for more effective stakeholder consultation, knowledge capture and dissemination of results, including for the early approval of the Annual Work Plan (AWP) at the commencement of the financial year

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

India CO accepts the recommendation of harmonising UNDP standard formats for results reporting and has taken steps towards its implementation. The Quarterly and Annual Progress Reports formats have been standardised and the new recommended Annual Work Plan template and Project Document template have been introduced across all projects.

 

India CO is working towards ensuring Project Steering Committees have stronger and in-depth agenda and functioning. The early approval of Annual Work Plans has been an ongoing challenge and we hope to resolve the issue by bringing forward the annual planning process to fourth quarter of every year. This will ensure earlier approval of the AWPs 2017 onwards

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

UNDP should continue to attach prominence to facilitating south-south cooperation platforms for knowledge exchange in key areas

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

UNDP CO will further strive in facilitating south-south coorperation platforms as recommended. The latest example in that of the International Solar Alliance. International Solar Alliance has invited UN to become a strategic partner of ISA to leverage UNDP’s global development network to promote solar energy and sustainable development; and for UNDP to act as a lead agency facilitating the engagement and collaboration of the wider UN system to contribute to technical expertise and inputs to ISA. UNDP India will participate in supporting the Government of India in establishing the mechanism in the country bringing examples from other countries.
On the Save Snow Leopards global call, UNDP India hosted a team from Uzbekistan to learn from the Save Himalaya Initiative being launched

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Firstly, as a champion of ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030 and by strengthening its inclusive development and poverty reduction portfolio. Secondly, in providing lead UN support for the coordination and operationalization of the SDGs, in particular to support governance programmes contribution to the achievement of development results. Thirdly, through strengthened support in the Natural Resource Management (NRM), climate change and Disaster Response Management (DRM) arena. Aligned to national priorities, UNDP can further reinforce its support to Government for the identification, promotion and implementation of project scalability and final mile SDG impact

UNDP should give consideration to being the catalyst for a pan-UN social and economic inclusion programme. A combined advocacy and empowerment programme would be consistent with the 2030 Development Agenda and the pledge of all nations to ‘leave no-one behind’

Further efforts should be made to also support the Government deepen its partnership with civil society that will enable inclusion and participation of a multitude of potentially marginalized and at risk groups of vulnerable poor

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

UNDP CO is critically aware that conforming to the UNDP’s global mandate of inclusive development and poverty reduction should remain at the core its programming and development agenda. The CO has been intrinsically ensuring the portfolio continues to grow in the direction. One clear example from our existing work is our project Governance and Accelerated Livelihoods (GOALS) with the Ministry of Rural Development to make poverty reduction schemes and initiatives in the country more inclusive and efficient.

 

Similarly, our upcoming work on supporting the Government of India’s ambitious plan to provide 30 million safe and liveable Houses by 2022, UNDP is engaging by facilitating engagement of financial and community institutions including Self Help Groups for effective mobilization and deployment of funds required by poor households to supplement Government grants to 10 million existing houses requiring significant repairs. UNDP will also support by building National and State Capacity by the development of training modules and content for improved skills and competencies of more than 10,000 government officials, 1,000 NGO functionaries, 400,000 masons and private sector agencies engaged in rural housing across the country. UNDP will further strengthened public delivery mechanisms by the development of new mechanisms for effective outreach of services related to rural housing, including access to improved housing designs, supply of basic and pre-fabricated construction materials, skilled construction technicians and maintenance services in 13 focus states. In a recent development 2 states have initiated process to constructing models houses as demonstration to the larger steps ahead

 

In particular relation with the 2030 agenda and Sustainable Development Goals – UNDP India CO along with the Resident Coordinators Office (RCO) since the MTR has been working very actively with the NITI Aayog – the nodal agency for the Government of India in taking the SDG agenda forward in the country. Our collaboration with the NITI Aayog are

  • Undertaking a mapping of SDG Goals and Targets with Schemes; identification of nodal Ministries and Government Departments for each of the Goals and Targets
  • Requesting State Governments to undertake a similar mapping to ‘fast track achievement of SDGs and related targets’.
  • Initiating the work on the long-term vision document (Vision 2030) for India to achieve its broader social objectives in line with the 14th Finance Commission recommendations and SDGs.

 

UNDP India CO realises that State and local governments are best placed to ‘put people first’ and ensure ‘no one is left behind’. The CO is therefore focusing its energies on state involvement in coordination and operationalizing the SDG, the following initiatives are being supported by UNDP in 4 states

  • Develop Vision for  the State: Identifying bottlenecks and investing in ‘accelerators’ – focusing on areas that can yield multiple dividends
  • Prepare integrated implementation plans: Recognising that some goals and targets are enablers, others are outcomes; Recognition of trade-offs and synergies
  • Ensure Policy Integration: need to bridge the gap between the current silo institutional structures at national, state and district levels and the reality where different dimensions and sectors are interconnected
  • Linking the SDG vision document to the State Budget process: identifying gaps in the budget and suggesting relevant interventions for addressing them
  • Invest in Monitoring to ensure that no one is left behind: disaggregating data to track progress, undertaking quality and outcome-based targets, feedback and adaptation of strategies
  • Invest in Capacity Development: SDGs require upgraded, coordinated and integrated institutions and capacities

 

UNDP CO as mentioned earlier is aligning is activities with India’s priorities and needs. For examples, Clean India Movement, Make in India, Skilling India and others which are top 10 priorities spelt out by the Government.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

To improve coordination and coherence within the democratic governance pillar, the MTR recommends that consideration should be given to more closely aligning the projects in this part of  the portfolio, even to the extent of streaming them into a single unified governance programme

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

The CO understands the need to consolidate the Democratic Governance Portfolio and has taken some initial steps towards the purpose. We have been able to merge two project under one ministry, however bring all the projects with 6 lines ministries under one umbrella is proving to be challenge. The diverse nature of work and activities, as well as the stakeholders is making the process difficult in the current five year programme cycle. This is however, be given consideration during the design of the next five year programme 2018-22. In the time being, UNDP CO will strength further the common governance board consisting all the respective line ministries to better achieve convergence and realisation of the expected results

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Over successive programme cycles UNDP has brought a number of projects to scale in India, among them being the Human Development Report (HDR) methodology and DRM. There are other scalable project examples currently in the making, particularly in the steel and railways sectors.It is timely for UNDP to invest more heavily in these demonstration projects to bring them fully ‘to scale’

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

The CO welcomes the recommendation and has been working on ensuring current projects are scalable and the demonstrations projects are taken to scale. Towards this purpose CO is working on

  1. Accelerating the deployment of rooftop and on-land Solar Photovoltaic systems by effectively utilizing waste land and rooftops in Indian Railways up to 5 Giga Watts, 5 times of the Indian target
  2. Increasing in Energy Efficiency in the Steel Industry by 1000 additional steel units to be rendered energy efficient in the next 5 years
  3. Improving the health and quality of life of 45,000 households located in 78 villages of the Ganga river basin in Jharkhand through improved sanitation practices, while also improving the quality of waste water and storm water runoff flowing from the 78 villages into the river Ganga
  4. Upscaling of the rural housing programme from its current target of construction of around two million new houses annually to an annual target of more than four million houses
  5. Undertaking a nationwide assessment will build on and bring together the extensive experience of UNDP on aspects including coordination, engagement in all phases of disaster management, institution building, capacity development and community empowerment to manage disaster risk

Supporting the Government of India in its efforts to upscale capacity building efforts to enable rural local governments/ panchayats to plan effectively, implement programmes, account for funds utilized and monitor service delivery

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

UNDP should continue to reinforce its ‘knowledge management ecosystem’ to ensure the systematic documenting, consultation, reporting and learning that is required for the identification, intensification and upscaling of integrated development solutions. Projects which successfully demonstrate the integration of economic, social, environmental and institutional gains through the pursuit of development solutions will be especially prized since they offer the greatest overall impact and the potential for multiple SDG attainment.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/09/07]

UNDP CO will work towards enforcing the “Knowledge Management Ecosystem” and has taken some concrete steps towards the purpose

  1. The CO has strengthened its current communication unit to ensure strong and appropriate documentation the existing and upcoming integrated solutions
  2. UNDP CO is developing the knowledge management portal and existing website to increase availability and access to information, tools and guides and other relevant documents

UNDP CO has a dedicated Monitoring and Evaluation unit which monitors and supports the projects in its implementation to include development of baselines, assessing progress and ascertaining results

Key Actions:

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