Final Evaluation of the Finnish-Funded Projects in Kosovo in 2016

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2017
Completion Date:
12/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
521

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Title Final Evaluation of the Finnish-Funded Projects in Kosovo in 2016
Atlas Project Number: 00080204,00063661,00082765,00086525,00086571
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2017
Planned End Date: 12/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. 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
  • 2. Output 4.1. Country led measures accelerated to advance women's economic empowerment
Evaluation Budget(US $): 521
Source of Funding: Government of Finland - 00110
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 521
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with Donors
  • Joint with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland and UNDP;
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Juhani Härkönen International Consultant www.fcg.fi
Rozeta Hajdari Local Consultant www.fcg.fi KOSOVO
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland and UNDP; Ministry of Labour and Soc. Welfare. Ministry of Education Science and Technology; Ministry of Diaspora; Minister of Environment; Municipalities of North Mitrovica, Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok, Ministry of Justice etc
Countries: KOSOVO
Comments:

This evaluation will be financed by donor (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland), the fore the budget for this evaluation cannot be added at this point in time  

Lessons
1.

Dissemination, validation and replication of program results in three pilot municipalities


Findings
1.

The focus of the current phase of the programme (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017) is in Kosovo North. The programme is implemented through UN Kosovo Team of five UN organisations including UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, OHCHR and UNICEF. The programme should  scale-up in other municipalities


Recommendations
1

The MFA Finland funded project portfolio has been carried out in Kosovo by organisations already operational in the country. In case of the DEED, two organisations are involved (UNDP, IOM) and even five UN agencies work for the GBV programme in the position of the implementing agency. This type of “multi-agency approach” applied to the implementation of complex projects seems to work well, involved organisations being complementary to each other regarding their capacities and skills. We recommend that the donor agencies and the Government of Kosovo would apply this type of multi-agency approach to demanding multi-sectoral projects also in the future.

2

An EC IPA project fiche for Kosovo of EUR 8 million for the ALMP is planned to start by mid-2017. At this moment, it seems that this support would be implemented mostly through grants to NGOs. This is a great concern Finland has raised both for the Minister of Labour and in donor coordination meetings in Pristina and Brussels: if NGOs or other entities would implement ALMPs bypassing the local government structures, there is a higher risk of corruption. In addition, this would risk losing the results of the Finnish-funded ALMP 2 programme and its predecessor ALMP 1, namely the institutionalisation of the ALMP within relevant government agencies that has been achieved in the municipalities and at the central level in Pristina. We recommend that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Kosovo, European Union Office in Kosovo (EUSR) and the other donor society actively present in Pristina, also involving the MFA Finland, would draw lessons learnt and define best practices for ALMPs based on implemented programs and find ways to continue to support relevant government institutions to strengthen their capacities to implement active labour market policies.

3

The Finnish bilateral development cooperation has come to the end in Kosovo. The evaluation team noticed that regarding other alternative cooperation instruments, such as e.g. Business Partnership Support (BPS) grants by Finnpartnership, Finnfund and BEAM – Business with Impact programme by TEKES, representatives of Kosovar stakeholder organisations indicated a low awareness of these tools available for commercially viable businesses in Kosovo. We recommend that the MFA Finland would increase promotion of these instruments and would use the Diaspora Business Union in Finland and the Global Union of Diaspora Business or Chamber of Commerce in Pristina to facilitate this promotion.

4

The Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC) is a part of the implementation of the development policy of the Government of Finland and it complements other Finnish development efforts. FLC for Kosovo has been a funding instrument managed by the Embassy of Finland in Pristina. In 2016, the yearly fund available was EUR 150,000 (in 2015 and some years before the annual FLC budget was EUR 300,000).

The Embassy has launched calls for Concept Notes, and organisations with a successful Concept Note have been asked to provide a full application with annexes. This financing instrument has been considered a practical mean for locally important initiatives focusing on a geographically limited area and/or a limited field(s) of activities, i.e. projects with a clear focus. However, a decision to close Finnish development assistance in Kosovo also applies to this instrument.

Instead of closing the FLC instrument we recommend that the MFA Finland would reinstate the FLC in Kosovo to pave the way for further transition and cooperation through business linkages and commercial stakeholder cooperation

5

Kosovo is still a fragile country, politically, socially and economically in an unstable situation. Therefore we recommend that the MFA Finland would reconsider phasing out of its support, and review any opportunities for continuation of bilateral development cooperation in Kosovo even on a limited scale. This support could be addressed, for instance, to youth education and employment with equal participation of all ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups.

1. Recommendation:

The MFA Finland funded project portfolio has been carried out in Kosovo by organisations already operational in the country. In case of the DEED, two organisations are involved (UNDP, IOM) and even five UN agencies work for the GBV programme in the position of the implementing agency. This type of “multi-agency approach” applied to the implementation of complex projects seems to work well, involved organisations being complementary to each other regarding their capacities and skills. We recommend that the donor agencies and the Government of Kosovo would apply this type of multi-agency approach to demanding multi-sectoral projects also in the future.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/21] [Last Updated: 2017/12/21]

Point well taken, it has proven that leveraging each UN agency’s niche expertise and strategic positioning can lead to a stronger programme and more impactful and targeted results. The new phase of the GBV programme under the framework of the Justice 2020 programme in Kosovo is envisaged as a multi-agency programme with UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF participating. New phase or iteration of the Forestry project would likely be a joint FAO-UNDP programme, building on each other’s expertise. UNDP will continue to further explore potentials for joint UN initiatives where fruitful and relevant, as well as other non-UN partners that can bring onboard the proper expertise and resources to deliver a high-quality, well-targeted programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue the work on addressing gender-based violence under the UN Joint Programme on GBV and Access to Justice under the Justice 2020 programme
[Added: 2017/12/21]
UNDP Programme Team 2020/12 Initiated
Explore the concept, donors, and eventual project in forestry management and/or combatting illegal logging in Kosovo, jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.
[Added: 2017/12/21]
UNDP Programme Team and FAO 2018/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
Explore new concepts for joint UN programmes, as well as programmes with non-UN implementing partners, in order to leverage best expertise and strategic positioning of each agency.
[Added: 2017/12/21]
UNDP Programme Team 2019/12 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

An EC IPA project fiche for Kosovo of EUR 8 million for the ALMP is planned to start by mid-2017. At this moment, it seems that this support would be implemented mostly through grants to NGOs. This is a great concern Finland has raised both for the Minister of Labour and in donor coordination meetings in Pristina and Brussels: if NGOs or other entities would implement ALMPs bypassing the local government structures, there is a higher risk of corruption. In addition, this would risk losing the results of the Finnish-funded ALMP 2 programme and its predecessor ALMP 1, namely the institutionalisation of the ALMP within relevant government agencies that has been achieved in the municipalities and at the central level in Pristina. We recommend that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Kosovo, European Union Office in Kosovo (EUSR) and the other donor society actively present in Pristina, also involving the MFA Finland, would draw lessons learnt and define best practices for ALMPs based on implemented programs and find ways to continue to support relevant government institutions to strengthen their capacities to implement active labour market policies.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/21] [Last Updated: 2017/12/21]

This was identified as a significant risk by UNDP as well. UNDP has been actively lobbying the EU office and MLSW in Kosovo to change the aforementioned approach, in order to ensure the sustainability of the strong results of the public employment services reform and modernization and the mechanisms of the active labour market measures, achieved under the ALMP project. The project continues to work with the MLSW and its newly operationalized Employment Agency to ensure the sustainability of systems, tools, evidence-base, and direct job & skills development mechanism. Further lobbying will be done

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continuous collaboration with the Kosovo Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare & lobbying to other partners and donors to ensure sustainability of the ALMPs mechanisms.
[Added: 2017/12/21]
UNDP Programme Team and ALMP2 project 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated
3. Recommendation:

The Finnish bilateral development cooperation has come to the end in Kosovo. The evaluation team noticed that regarding other alternative cooperation instruments, such as e.g. Business Partnership Support (BPS) grants by Finnpartnership, Finnfund and BEAM – Business with Impact programme by TEKES, representatives of Kosovar stakeholder organisations indicated a low awareness of these tools available for commercially viable businesses in Kosovo. We recommend that the MFA Finland would increase promotion of these instruments and would use the Diaspora Business Union in Finland and the Global Union of Diaspora Business or Chamber of Commerce in Pristina to facilitate this promotion.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/21] [Last Updated: 2017/12/21]

While this recommendation is addressed to the MFA of Finland, UNDP can play an important role in facilitating such collaboration. UNDP under the DEED project facilitated the establishment of 25 business networks worldwide as well as the global union, and as such can be a prime conduit of mobilizing these mechanisms to Kosovo where and as applicable.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore the potential of facilitating or supporting such funding mechanisms in Kosovo as applicable and feasible.
[Added: 2017/12/21]
UNDP Sustainable Development Programme Team 2020/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

The Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC) is a part of the implementation of the development policy of the Government of Finland and it complements other Finnish development efforts. FLC for Kosovo has been a funding instrument managed by the Embassy of Finland in Pristina. In 2016, the yearly fund available was EUR 150,000 (in 2015 and some years before the annual FLC budget was EUR 300,000).

The Embassy has launched calls for Concept Notes, and organisations with a successful Concept Note have been asked to provide a full application with annexes. This financing instrument has been considered a practical mean for locally important initiatives focusing on a geographically limited area and/or a limited field(s) of activities, i.e. projects with a clear focus. However, a decision to close Finnish development assistance in Kosovo also applies to this instrument.

Instead of closing the FLC instrument we recommend that the MFA Finland would reinstate the FLC in Kosovo to pave the way for further transition and cooperation through business linkages and commercial stakeholder cooperation

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/21] [Last Updated: 2017/12/21]

This recommendation is addressed to the MFA of Finland, UNDP does not have a response

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Kosovo is still a fragile country, politically, socially and economically in an unstable situation. Therefore we recommend that the MFA Finland would reconsider phasing out of its support, and review any opportunities for continuation of bilateral development cooperation in Kosovo even on a limited scale. This support could be addressed, for instance, to youth education and employment with equal participation of all ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/21] [Last Updated: 2017/12/21]

This recommendation is addressed to the MFA of Finland. UNDP continues to work in the fields strongly supported by the Finnish MFA, scaling up the interventions and fostering the sustainability of the results of the Finnish-funded projects. Naturally, as a strong partner to UNDP worldwide, return of the Finnish ODA to Kosovo would be very welcome and UNDP would strive to continue to be the prime partner in Kosovo

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore further collaboration with the MFA of Finland in development cooperation with Kosovo, should the MFA decide on returning to Kosovo with ODA.
[Added: 2017/12/21]
UNDP Sustainable Development Programme Team 2020/12 Initiated

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