Mid-Term evaluation Supporting Public Administration Reform in Georgia Through the Governance Reform Fund / DFID

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Georgia
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
02/2019
Completion Date:
09/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
107,000

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Title Mid-Term evaluation Supporting Public Administration Reform in Georgia Through the Governance Reform Fund / DFID
Atlas Project Number: 00089758
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Georgia
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2019
Planned End Date: 02/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
Evaluation Budget(US $): 107,000
Source of Funding: DFID
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 19,420
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Elinor Bajraktari Independent Evaluator elinorbajraktari@gmail.com ALBANIA
Giorgi Gabrielashvili Independent Evaluator giorgigab2@gmail.com GEORGIA, REPUBLIC OF
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Administration of the Government of Georgia (AoG): Policy Planning Unit (PPU), the Donor Coordination Unit (DCU); Civil Service Bureau (CSB), International Education Centre (IEC), Public Service Development Agency (PSDA) and Data Exchange Agency (DEA)
Countries: GEORGIA, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Policy Making: The project should focus on strengthening the system for the monitoring and evaluation of policies and the engagement of citizens, Parliament and local governments in the policy making process. The project should also promote stronger links between the policy making and public financial management processes and improved coordination among development partners in this area.

2

2/ Change management: articulate in clear terms the benefits of the change management process. If pursued further, change management approach should be designed in a well thought out process and should be linked to other reform processes in the public sector.

3

3/ Civil Servant Training: Support CSB so that the “wheel does not get reinvented” while designing the online training platform for civil servants.

4

4/ Performance Appraisals: Offer continued support in building the capacity of CSB So that the latter can guide the ministries to independently conduct performance appraisals.

5

5/ Alternative Dispute Resolution: The project should maintain its cautious approach and monitor opportunities for more substantive support based on evolution of the political situation.

6

6/ Emerging needs component: Further explore the use of “emerging needs” initiatives to also test high-risk innovative solutions to PAR-related challenges, rather than replicating or reinforcing activities undertaken through the other components. The project could also explore the possibility of using the “emerging needs” initiatives for closer engagement with local governments and communities.

7

7/ Grant initiatives: Further increase the quality and policy impact of grant initiatives

8

8/ Service Delivery: Prioritize support to Public Service Development Agency (PSDA) in implementing Public Service Design and Delivery (PSDD) standards

9

9/ E-government: advocate for clarity among government counterparts with regards to the electronic platforms used by the different branches of government; the project should advocate for the use of existing platforms where feasible

10

10/ E-services: The project should continue to facilitate DEA’s interactions with other government agencies, especially at the local level, with the view to easing the other agencies’ compliance with the requirements for integration of their services into the unified online portal

11

11/ Adjustments to the project planning documents: The project team should reflect more effectively in project planning documents changes in the political context and the PAR agenda and the approaches taken in response in terms of how project outputs and outcomes are defined

12

12/ Absorption and Sustainability of Training: the project team should track more effectively the extent to which this training is being absorbed by recipients. A more systematic tool could be conceived for this purpose, allowing the team to easily track the quality of training over time. The project should strengthen the sustainability of training by ensuring that the respective government institutions are capable to continue its delivery after the project has ended.

13

13/ Communication and Coordination with National Partners: The project should continue placing considerable emphasis on strengthening communication and coordination with national partners and citizens. This includes not only the project’s communications to external partners and audiences, but also support for the authorities’ communications on aspects of the PAR agenda that are related to the project activities

14

14/ Support for Civil Society:  The project should explore opportunities for expanding support to non-governmental actors not only in the area of research, but also strengthening their watchdog capacity. Given the space that exists in Georgia for civil society, NGOs could be used in a sensible way for the monitoring the implementation of certain components of the PAR agenda by the respective government institutions.

15

15/ Political Support and Advocacy: UNDP leadership should advocate more vigorously at the political level for PAR initiatives that the project is promoting. UNDP political support for reforms should complement, and be closely coordinated, with technical support from the PAR project (and other relevant UNDP projects).

16

16/ Gender: further integrate gender equality into project activities and articulate the gender perspective more clearly in project documents. Overall, the project’s initiatives and results should be assessed with the gender perspective in mind. Also, given the political nature of this project, roles and power within decision making in the public administration should be assessed from the gender perspective.

1. Recommendation:

Policy Making: The project should focus on strengthening the system for the monitoring and evaluation of policies and the engagement of citizens, Parliament and local governments in the policy making process. The project should also promote stronger links between the policy making and public financial management processes and improved coordination among development partners in this area.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

Agree. There is a definite need of reflecting the advances in policymaking methodology both at the level of legislature and in local government, as well as linking up the policymaking with financial management. Regarding the latter the Administration of Government has already actively engaged the Ministry of Finance in the process of drafting the revised policymaking guidelines to ensure the coherence between policy making and budgeting; Moreover as per the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) report produced by World Bank, as part of the  PFM Reform, the relation between the policy documents and the annual budget has been developed and has significantly improved with the introduction of program-based (result-oriented) budgeting. To further enhance these linkages, whole-of-government coordination is required, over which the project has limited control; it also requires parallel coordination with other projects at UNDP and with other international partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Continue close collaboration with the Administration of Government (AoG) regarding the parameters and scope of the Government-wide M&E platform;
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
1.2 Work with UNDP Parliament and Local Government projects to ensure exchange of information on new policy guidelines/standards both with the Parliament and the relevant Local Government Units, UNDP is actively supporting;
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
1.3 Encourage dialogue of the ministries and agencies responsible for policy making to ensure integration of the policy process with budgeting.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

2/ Change management: articulate in clear terms the benefits of the change management process. If pursued further, change management approach should be designed in a well thought out process and should be linked to other reform processes in the public sector.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

2/ Partially agree. Change management thinking guides internal project planning and implementation logic, and to that extent it proved an extremely valuable framework. We agree, that the national partners have demonstrated lower rate of ownership of “change management” thinking, than we initially anticipated. This was to a large extent due to institutional and personnel instability. However, we seem to be approaching the stage, where the importance of visionary leadership and cohesive approach is understood not only abstractly, but in a very practical sense. The team will test the feasibility of re-actualizing some of change management thinking among the counterparts and will re-evaluate the approach accordingly.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Offer advice on the position of Senior Civil Servants, as the key agents of change at the level of line ministries/agencies, based on the findings of the study (underway) by a partner CSO;
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
2.2. Continue empowering the HR Forum as a change management tool at the technical level.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
3. Recommendation:

3/ Civil Servant Training: Support CSB so that the “wheel does not get reinvented” while designing the online training platform for civil servants.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

3/ Agree.  The project already provides relevant support in the area.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Encourage discussions and support decisions of Civil Service Bureau (CSB) and Data Exchange Agency (DEA) regarding the online training platform.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

4/ Performance Appraisals: Offer continued support in building the capacity of CSB So that the latter can guide the ministries to independently conduct performance appraisals.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

4/ Agree. Specific actions are planned and being implemented in this regard

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Provide support for building capacity to provide ongoing training in performance appraisals to HR professionals and managers through CSB.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

5/ Alternative Dispute Resolution: The project should maintain its cautious approach and monitor opportunities for more substantive support based on evolution of the political situation.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

5/ Agree. Implementation is under way

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Continue support for CSB in narrowing down the legally and politically feasible options for introducing alternative dispute resolution (ADR);
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
5.2 Refine the previous “difficult conversations” training and extend it to new departments and ministries.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

6/ Emerging needs component: Further explore the use of “emerging needs” initiatives to also test high-risk innovative solutions to PAR-related challenges, rather than replicating or reinforcing activities undertaken through the other components. The project could also explore the possibility of using the “emerging needs” initiatives for closer engagement with local governments and communities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

6/ Partially agree. Usage of “emerging needs” component for high-risk innovations might be limited, since the component falls under stringent control regarding its impact both from the national partners and the donor. The project management will explore the possibilities for using the component more to expand PAR footprint through innovations and to the regional and local levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. Explore the opportunities for “emerging needs” projects in collaboration with UNDP Innovations team and in consultation with national counterparts.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
7. Recommendation:

7/ Grant initiatives: Further increase the quality and policy impact of grant initiatives

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

7/ Agree. The ongoing round of grant initiatives has been designed with above concerns in mind.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Closer monitor the impact of grant initiatives to improve the quality and credibility of research outputs.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

8/ Service Delivery: Prioritize support to Public Service Development Agency (PSDA) in implementing Public Service Design and Delivery (PSDD) standards

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

8/ Agree. The work is under way, however some of activities may fall outside the current timeframe of project implementation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1. Support PSDA with the development of PSDD compliance mechanisms and guidelines for service design, delivery, quality assurance and costing/pricing of public services;
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
9. Recommendation:

9/ E-government: advocate for clarity among government counterparts with regards to the electronic platforms used by the different branches of government; the project should advocate for the use of existing platforms where feasible

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

9/ Agree. The project will continue to advocate for using the existing platforms wherever needed. At the same time, use of different platforms in various branches is a heritage problem, which can best be addressed by maintaining and strengthening of the capacity of Data Exchange Agency for ensuring the compatibility of communication protocols.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1. Advocate for the possibility of the joint government e-training platform among relevant government agencies and international partners supporting related initiatives.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
10. Recommendation:

10/ E-services: The project should continue to facilitate DEA’s interactions with other government agencies, especially at the local level, with the view to easing the other agencies’ compliance with the requirements for integration of their services into the unified online portal

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

10/ Agree. The adapted implementation agreement (LOA) signed with DEA envisages continued support to its coordinating capacity

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1. Further develop DEA capacities and role in communication with line ministries/agencies for integration of additional services into unified portal my.gov.ge and building awareness of this online portal.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
11. Recommendation:

11/ Adjustments to the project planning documents: The project team should reflect more effectively in project planning documents changes in the political context and the PAR agenda and the approaches taken in response in terms of how project outputs and outcomes are defined

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

11/ Agree. The documents for 2020 will be adjusted accordingly.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1. The project’s results and resources framework will be adjusted by end-2019 accordingly.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
12. Recommendation:

12/ Absorption and Sustainability of Training: the project team should track more effectively the extent to which this training is being absorbed by recipients. A more systematic tool could be conceived for this purpose, allowing the team to easily track the quality of training over time. The project should strengthen the sustainability of training by ensuring that the respective government institutions are capable to continue its delivery after the project has ended.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

12/ Agreed. The project will enhance tracking the sustainability of the trainings.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.1 The project will create tailor-made monitoring tool for each and every type of training conducted within the distinct pillars of the project.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
12.1 The project will create tailor-made monitoring tool for each and every type of training conducted within the distinct pillars of the project.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
13. Recommendation:

13/ Communication and Coordination with National Partners: The project should continue placing considerable emphasis on strengthening communication and coordination with national partners and citizens. This includes not only the project’s communications to external partners and audiences, but also support for the authorities’ communications on aspects of the PAR agenda that are related to the project activities

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

13/ Agree. Close communication and collaboration with national counterparts is an integral part of the project culture.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1 Maintain policy level dialogue with national partners on PAR;
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
13.2. Continue supporting national partners, including AoG, CSB, DEA, PSDA on internal and external communication around PAR.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
14. Recommendation:

14/ Support for Civil Society:  The project should explore opportunities for expanding support to non-governmental actors not only in the area of research, but also strengthening their watchdog capacity. Given the space that exists in Georgia for civil society, NGOs could be used in a sensible way for the monitoring the implementation of certain components of the PAR agenda by the respective government institutions.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

14/ Agree. The grant component already supports both research and monitoring elements of CSO work. When it comes to classic watchdog functions, however, these are traditionally better served by other international stakeholders

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
14.1. Continue supporting both research and monitoring elements of CSO work under PAR.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
15. Recommendation:

15/ Political Support and Advocacy: UNDP leadership should advocate more vigorously at the political level for PAR initiatives that the project is promoting. UNDP political support for reforms should complement, and be closely coordinated, with technical support from the PAR project (and other relevant UNDP projects).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

15/ Agree. The leadership of UNDP has been engaged in promoting PAR objectives at the highest political level and this advocacy will be further enhanced in light of the upcoming changes in the Government

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
15.1. Project team will regularly brief the UNDP Resident Representative on PAR priorities and monitor the implementation context for pinpointing the “entry doors” for their proactive engagement.
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated
16. Recommendation:

16/ Gender: further integrate gender equality into project activities and articulate the gender perspective more clearly in project documents. Overall, the project’s initiatives and results should be assessed with the gender perspective in mind. Also, given the political nature of this project, roles and power within decision making in the public administration should be assessed from the gender perspective.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/04]

16/ Agree. The project will implement measures to ensure integration of gender equality into the activities

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
16.1. Provide further support to ensure integration of gender mainstreaming aspects into PAR CSO initiatives
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
16.1. Provide further support to ensure integration of gender mainstreaming aspects into PAR CSO initiatives
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR Project 2020/12 Initiated
16.2 Conduct targeted activities on mainstreaming gender through commissioning studies particularly targeting gender aspects in PAR and especially in Civil Service Reform (CSR).
[Added: 2019/11/04]
PAR project 2020/12 Initiated

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