International Cooperation

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Kazakhstan
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title International Cooperation
Atlas Project Number: 92005,80789,84687
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Kazakhstan
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 18,600
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: KAZAKHSTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

3.1 Relevance
3.1.1 Outcome Design and Themes. The Outcome’s design features three inter-linked outputs and a range of activities, each of which is relevant to regional cooperation. The three outputs were intended to be synergistic; and there have been several complementary interactions between the Outcome’s ODA and Hub components43.
The Outcome’s most visible cross-cutting issues are capacity building and partnership, and these are discussed below, under 3.2, “Effectiveness”. Gender has been less well integrated, and GEWE is referenced only in the Afghanistan project.


Tag: Relevance Gender Equality Capacity Building South-South Cooperation

2.


3.1 Relevance

3.1.2 Relevance of the Outcome. The Outcome’s relevance is closely linked to its alignment with the national development priorities and policies presented in the Government’s Strategy Kazakhstan 2050, its Foreign Policy Concept for 2014-2020, its ODA-related legislation, including the 2014 ODA law and the 2017 midterm ODA strategies, and the Civil Service Acts of 1999 and 2015, among others. The Outcome is therefore highly relevant to and explicitly supports Kazakhstan’s current foreign policy goals, including its intention to become an OECD member state and its intention, at the time of the Outcome’s formulation, to attain UNSC membership.


The Outcome also aligns with UN strategies and programming frameworks, including the 2016-2020 UNPFD, the current UNDP Strategic Plan (see above pp.); and the UNDP strategy on SSTC. Although designed prior to the launch of the international 2030 Agenda, it nonetheless supports SDG themes, particularly for Goals 1 on poverty eradication, 5 on gender equality, 16 on accountable institutions, and 17 on the global partnership for sustainable development.


The overall theme of the Regional Cooperation Outcome is thus relevant to UNDP strategies and programming frameworks, as well as to the Kazakhstan context and to the Outcome’s intended beneficiaries.


Tag: Relevance Agenda 2030 SDG Integration

3.

Relevance

3.1.2 Post-Design Issues. Since the Regional Cooperation Outcome was formulated in 2015, the international 2030 Agenda has been introduced; and innovative solutions for SDG financing and achievement, including “Southern” solutions, have been developed and/or applied. These include Islamic financing instruments such as sukuk and zakat, as well as innovation labs and other kinds of platforms for SDG partnerships which have been developed in the global South – including in the CIS45 – and which are additional vehicles through which Kazakhstan can contribute to and benefit from SS and SSTC. These are also areas in which UNDP has demonstrated experience and expertise. It is, therefore, appropriate to integrate them more visibly in the Outcome’s future programming in order to enhance its relevance to the current global development agenda, as well as to Kazakhstan’s intentional regional positioning. Some of these “Southern” solutions already feature in the Hub project; and some are also anticipated in the Regional Cooperation Outcome’s third Output.


Tag: Relevance Integration South-South Cooperation Technical Support Agenda 2030 SDG Integration

4.

3.2 Effectiveness
The Outcome’s progress towards expected results are summarized below in Table

 


Tag: Effectiveness Communication Capacity Building SDG Integration

5.

3.2.1 Outcome progress against plan. UNDP’s high-level technical expertise and international convening power have been well-demonstrated in the Outcome. The Outcome has also been highly effective as a platform for regional and international partnership brokerage through each of its interventions (see below, Annexes 6 and 7, on assessments of the KAZ ODA and Afghanistan projects, respectively); and through the Outcome’s Hub Support Project, UNDP has strategically further strengthened its position as a broker of development solutions.


Tag: Country Support Platform Integration Technical Support

6.

3.2.1.1 The Hub Support Output. Overall, the Hub Support output has delivered its expected results to date and, in some instances, exceeded them. For example, a notable result of this output has been the successful brokerage and maintenance of partnerships to build a global network of participants including over 40 countries; and it has achieved this primarily by leveraging UNDP’s global network. Moreover, SSTC intervention respondents, including academic partners and civil servant beneficiaries, also expressed their satisfaction with the level of service provided by UNDP, particularly in regard to event management and in its support to the generation of knowledge management products. The Hub output has also progressed towards its expected result of capacitating HUB staff: for example, although UNDP managed the procurement and contracting of external management consultancy firms for the pay scale and competencies framework projects, HUB respondents felt that their abilities to initiate and manage similar tasks were now sufficient to do so – if the Hub were a legal entity that could engage in contracting processes.


 


Tag: Knowledge management Partnership Policies & Procedures

7.

3.2.1.2 The ODA Output. Under this output, which includes the KAZ ODA and Afghanistan projects, UNDP KZ CO has strengthened its alliances with UNDP COs in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; and it has developed constructive relationships with the UNDP Afghanistan CO, the GIRA MFA and MoWA and the Kazakhstan facilitating/implementing partners, in addition to its existing partnerships with the KZ MFA and JICA. The initial contacts between UNDP KZ and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRA) MoWA and other Afghanistan government bodies also offer a basis for future collaborations. However, as a GIRA protocol requires that trainings of less than one year offered to Afghan civil servants should be reviewed through the Civil Service Institute (CSI) to determine whether such trainings can be credited for career progression, as well as to confirm that the proposed training is relevant to Afghanistan’s civil service reform process, the CSI would be a key local partner to include any future short-term capacity building sessions.


 


Tag: Challenges Partnership Capacity Building

8.

3.2.2 Capacity Building. While there is anecdotal evidence that the trainings provided through the Outcome strengthened the skills of its beneficiaries, there is no documentation, either post-training follow up or client satisfaction surveys which has been collected by UNDP for any of the Outcome’s capacity building activities, and which would provide an evidence base to assess their results and UNDP’s contribution to them. An evaluation of the entire Astana Hub Project, which is beyond this evaluation’s assessment of UNDP’s expert support to the Hub, and which is planned for 2019, should consider this. There is anecdotal evidence that the professional skill sets of the MFA/FEPD staff were strengthened by the training provided through the ODA Output52. However, there was no institutional capacity or functional assessment of MFA/FEPD staff undertaken by UNDP at the beginning of the KAZ ODA project which would have provided a baseline for the degree to which staff capacities and competencies were increased, although such an assessment was envisaged53. It is therefore difficult to qualify the extent to which training sessions strengthened either individual competencies or MFA’s institutional capacity. Moreover, the evaluator was informed that all of the MFA/FEPD staff who participated in the ODA-related trainings, except for the current FEPD director, have since been rotated to postings outside of Kazakhstan; and, in the absence of capacitated staff, it is unclear what mechanisms for skills and knowledge transfer exist within the MFA/FEPD, beyond the ODA themed manuals and other tools prepared by UNDP.


Tag: Capacity Building

9.

3.3 Efficiency
3.3.1 Financing. The Outcome has proven highly efficient as a platform for resource mobilization. The GoK has demonstrated strong national ownership of the Outcome’s activities by sharing over 90% of the costs for the Astana Hub project, as well as 75% of costs for the KAZ ODA project, with UNDP. The Government also provided an in-kind contribution to the Afghanistan project.
However, both the ODA and Astana Hub projects were designed and received pledged GoK support prior to the Government’s 2015-2018 freeze on new programmes; and the GoK contribution to the Afghanistan project, which was launched in 2016, was in-kind rather than financial. The extent to which the Government will cost-share future programmes is not guaranteed, and UNDP will require a wider resource base to reliably finance additional Outcome activities. As UNDP has demonstrated expertise and experience in utilizing various innovative financing modalities for development in other countries, exploration of new funding modalities which are appropriate to the Kazakhstan context could also prove productive for the UNDP KZ CO.


Tag: Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Resource mobilization Technical Support

10.

3.3 Efficiency

3.3.2 Project Management Costs. Day to day project management for each of the Outcome projects was handled through Project Implementation Units (PIUs); the KAZ ODA PIU was referred to as a Secretariat. The KAZ ODA and Afghanistan projects’ PIUs included a project manager and project assistant as well as national and international experts as needed; the Hub support project, which is considerably larger, has a PIU with x staff. For small projects like the ODA interventions, PIUs are not cost-efficient, as they also entail rental costs and, often, administrative expenses; and the secondment of agency staff to national institutions for joint projects or capacity building does not involve these costs. Although the PIUs for both ODA projects were closed upon project completion, UNDP has seconded a Project Assistant to continue to work in the MFA with FEPD staff on ODA matters. This is a cost-effective way of continuing to support MFA with its ODA responsibilities, as well as to maintain the visibility of UNDP’s partnership with the Ministry, until the time that the enabling legislation for the KAZ ODA agency is approved.


Tag: Efficiency Implementation Modality Project and Programme management

11.

3.3 Efficiency

3.3.3 Timeliness of Output Delivery. Overall, the delivery of most of the Outcome’s planned outputs has been timely. However, at midpoint in the CP cycle, the expected result of its ODA component, the establishment of the KAZ ODA agency, has not yet been realized; and the KAZ ODA project required two one year no-cost extensions to deliver several of its other outputs. As noted above, a key challenge to the full achievement of the ODA Component’s expected results was that many were contingent upon Government approval of the legislation to establish the ODA entity; and this legislation has not yet been enacted.


Tag: Efficiency Service delivery Technical Support

12.

3.3 Efficiency

3.3.4 Monitoring and Evaluation. The progress reports produced for each of the Outcome projects focus on the delivery of outputs, such as the number of capacity building workshops conducted, as well as on financial utilization; and there is a paucity of more substantive information or analysis of emerging outcomes such institutional change or other strategic issues. It is therefore difficult to quantify or to qualify many of the results that are anecdotally attributed to the Outcome, including the extent to which it has contributed to Kazakhstan’s development priorities. To some extent, the dearth of outcome reporting under the Regional Cooperation Outcome may be due to the terminology used in project reporting templates. However, insufficient project outcome reporting has been noted as an issue in at least one other CPD Outcome evaluation as well as in the 2018 UNPDF MTE58, and this indicates that the RBM and M&E skills of the project report writers require strengthening.


Finally, due to the lack of any post-training follow up of participants in any of the Outcome’s projects, additional information which would allow an evidence-based assessment of their contributions to women’s empowerment, individual skill sets and/or institutional capacity development, w neither post-training follow up activities included in their designs, workplans or budgets. Consequently, the Outcome’s actual progress against plan to date may be under-reported.


Tag: Efficiency Communication Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Building

13.

3.4 Sustainability
The institutionalization of a key Outcome product, the Midterm Strategy on ODA 2016-2020, through the ODA output, and the production and dissemination of knowledge management products in various formats through the Hub Support project, are positive indicators for the sustainability of the Outcome’s results to date. As also noted above, in anticipation of the establishment of an ODA agency, UNDP has undertaken extensive capacity building of MFA/FEPD staff, as well as of staff from other ministries involved in ODA-related activities. However, institutional capacity building can be achieved and sustained only through retention of the capacitated staff, and/or if their skills are transferred to other staff. In the ODA component, the MFA/FEDP staff who received ODA training have since been rotated to postings outside of Kazakhstan (see below, Annex 6, “KAZ ODA Project”, for additional details); and for the Hub Support project, as yet no tracer study which could demonstrate the institutionalization of trainee skills has been undertaken. Therefore, although there is anecdotal evidence that the Outcome’s capacity building interventions strengthened individuals’ skills, there is no evidence base for this as yet.


In the absence of a dedicated ODA agency with staff who are not subject to external rotation, this type of ODA capacity building by UNDP for MFA at the FEPD level is unsustainable; and this poses a risk to the sustainability of the results to date to which the Outcome has contributed. Secondment of a UNDP Project Assistant to the FEPD (see above, “Efficiency”) is a more cost-efficient capacity building option.


Tag: Sustainability Communication Knowledge management Capacity Building

14.

3.4 Sustainability

3.4.2 Institutionalization of the Hub is one of the aims of the current Project. The current financing model for the Hub, which receives over 95% of its support from the GoK, is not sustainable; and other funding modalities are now under consideration. One of the options suggested involves transitioning the Project Board into a legal entity, which would still allow continued funding, oversight and quality control through UNDP.60 Various forms of SSTC, funded by donors other than the GoK, could support this, for example, initiatives involving technical advice from Kazakhstan subject experts; or capacity building programmes provided by the HUB for public servants from LICs which would be funded by donors other than the GoK. The Hub already has experience in implementing these kinds of programmes.


Tag: Sustainability Donor relations Capacity Building South-South Cooperation Technical Support

15.

3.4 Sustainability

3.5 GEWE
Gender has been incompletely integrated into the Outcome. Although the Afghanistan project reports do differentiate the numbers of its beneficiaries by gender, none of the Outcome activities include gender disaggregated baselines or other data which would allow an evidence-based assessment of the Outcome’s contribution to GEWE in the public sector either in Kazakhstan or in any of the other countries which have benefitted from the Outcome’s activities. Moreover, the project managers for each of the Outcome’s interventions are/have been male.


Tag: Sustainability Gender Equality

Recommendations
1

Strengthen the relevance of the Outcome by more visibly referencing innovative solutions for SDG financing and achievement, including Southern solutions, in future programming.

2

Strengthen the effectiveness of the Outcome in the areas of :

Partnership and Coordination by

Maintaining current national partnerships. To maintain the visibility of UNDP’s partnership with the MFA, continue the secondment of a Project Assistant to the MFA/FEPD as a cost-effective way to work with staff on ODA matters until the KAZ ODA agency is established. Scale up UNDP support after the ODA agency is launched.

Brokering wider strategic partnerships. In the Outcome’s ODA component, UNDP must increase its coordination with GoK stakeholders beyond the MFA/FEPD/ODA unit in order to more effectively and strategically influence ODA policies at the national level, including building national consensus on the establishment of an ODA agency. UNDP should therefore increase its coordination in ODA-related areas with the line ministries with whom its works through its other portfolios, as well as with its ministry partners from the Afghanistan SSTC project. Options to increase ODA-related coordination include the secondment of UNDP staff to selected ministries. UNDP must move beyond having a national partner to having national consensus on the establishment of an ODA agency ; and it must identify other entry points, beyond MFA, as well as champions, for this.

Build on the Hub Support Project. Build on the institutional and country partnerships developed through the Hub Support project to grow the number of SSTC intervenions under this output, both to increase the project’s operational financing ; and also to support the GoK’s intended regional leadership role.

3

Strengthen the Outcome’s operational efficiency in the areas of:1.   Monitoring and evaluation through:

Post-training follow up.  To better document and measure the Outcome’s capacity development results, include post-training follow up activities in the design, workplans and budgets of future Outcome projects.

Improved outcome reporting. To improve outcome reporting, revise the current reporting template to more explicitly differentiate between outputs/activities and outcomes/results ; and provide guidance on M&E requirements to staff during the project inception phase.

2.   Financing through

Innovative financing instruments scoping study. To widen UNDP’s resource base, undertake a scoping study of the innovative development financing instruments which have proved effective in other MICs, including “Southern” solutions such as Islamic financing modalities, to better identify those which are most feasible within the current Kazakhstan context, and most appropriate for UNDP as an international development agency,  and upon which the agency can focus its resource mobilization and partnership efforts for the remaining and forthcoming CP cycles.

Innovative financing workshop.  To further inform and guide Outcome resource mobilization, convene a half day workshop by an accredited authority for UNDP management and staff to provide them with a basic level of understanding on innovative development financing options and how they can support the achievement of the SDGs.

4

Mitigate sustainability risks by:

  1. Re-focusing support to national capacities for ODA management: In the absence of a functional ODA agency with dedicated staff and a KM strategy, reduce the sustainability risks related to high staff turnover in the MFA/FEPD by providing introductory training on ODA-related topics to MFA staff more broadly, beyond the FEPD, as a part of MFA staff induction.  Utilize the FAQs and other tools produced by UNDP for the KAZ ODA project in these trainings. See also above, recommendations for Efficiency, “Maintain current national partnerships” and “Broker wider strategic partnerships”.
  2. Institutionalizing the Hub Project:  Determine options for transitioning the Hub’s Project Board into a legal entity, and its implications for continued funding and project support through UNDP; and finalize the most appropriate institutionalization option before the end of the current project cycle in 2020
5

Improve GEWE integration in the Outcome, and strengthen the assessment of UNDP’s contribution to GEWE through the Outcome, with

1. Gender-specific baselines, indicators and targets.  Articulate and use gender-specific baselines, targets and SMART indicators in project formulation, implementation and evaluation, including in RRFs, AWPs, reporting templates and other project management tools, in order to better assess Outcome’s progress on and contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment. 2.  Gender-responsive budgeting in projects.  Use GRB tools to determine and allocate a percentage of projects’ budgets to GEWE.3.  Gender parity in project management.  Aim for gender parity on project boards and in project management and support roles, in accordance with UNDP gender equality standards.

 

6

Improve GEWE integration in the Outcome, and strengthen the assessment of UNDP’s contribution to GEWE through the Outcome, with

1. Gender-specific baselines, indicators and targets. Articulate and use gender-specific baselines, targets and SMART indicators in project formulation, implementation and evaluation, including in RRFs, AWPs, reporting templates and other project management tools, in order to better assess Outcome’s progress on and contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

2. Gender-responsive budgeting in projects. Use GRB tools to determine and allocate a percentage of projects’ budgets to GEWE.

3. Gender parity in project management. Aim for gender parity on project boards and in project management and support roles.

1. Recommendation:

Strengthen the relevance of the Outcome by more visibly referencing innovative solutions for SDG financing and achievement, including Southern solutions, in future programming.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

The country office accepts the recommendation.

 

 

The CO will start implementing a new project in 2019 aimed at supporting the SDG nationalization process in Kazakhstan. Through this project, the CO will engage, domestically, with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan to raise awareness on the commitments set forth in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. The project will also help the Ministry of Finance to assess the readiness of the current public financial management system to finance SDGs by mapping different financing flows and reviewing national/sectoral financing policies, reviewing the effectiveness of spending, the institutional arrangements and capacities for managing different financing flows, identifying and costing of priority SDG targets and defining financing strategy for SDGs implementation. This will be done by applying UNDP tool Development Finance Assessments (DFAs), which help authorities to analyze financing flows in their country and develop strategies for mobilizing new resources and making expenditures more effective. Once analyzed domestically, the CO will support the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Economy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share this experience with the countries in the region, utilizing South-South and triangular cooperation approaches. In addition, the CO is planning to explore options of applying Islamic Financing for SDGs in Kazakhstan. 

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CO will engage into the dialogue with the Ministry of Finance on financing for Agenda 2030 (SDGs), provide technical and expert support and capacity development trainings as appropriate.
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/02]
CO management team 2019/12 Completed In January 2019 UNDP started a new project jointly with ADB and the Ministry of National Economy on the support to the Government to build SDG platform in Kazakhstan. With the framework of the project, UNDP in cooperation with ADB initiated a process on Development Finance Assessment, a methodology developed by UNDP globally and a Rapid Integrated Assessment of the national budget. For that purpose, UNDP engaged a local think tank "TALAP" - a Center for Applied Research and ADB engaged an international consultant with experience of performing DFA's in different countries. As part of the assignment, TALAP is required to provide a training to the employees of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Economy, as well as conduct regular meetings with the Vice-Ministers to discuss the process of the DFA and RIA of national budget in Kazakhstan. The training was held on 30 October 2019, with the presence of the VM of National Economy - Mr. Zhaslan Madiyev and the VM of Finance - Mr. Ruslan Yensebayev, which was proceeded by a business lunch to discuss the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the importance of the national partners engagement in the exercise. Additionally, on 15-16 November 2019, a First Regional SDG Summit on Mobilizing Finance for SDGs was held in Almaty. The Summit was dedicated to financing Planet issues: Water, Energy and Climate Change. The Summit gathered 290 participants from CAREC region and also we had government officials from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In 2019, the DFA in Kazakhstan focuses on 2 dimensions of the Analytical framework module. It will take more than a year to complete the whole DFA in Kazakhstan. Since, no official request to perform the DFA was done from the Government, UNDP applies all efforts to get a government buy-in and ensure a national ownership of the process. History
2. Recommendation:

Strengthen the effectiveness of the Outcome in the areas of :

Partnership and Coordination by

Maintaining current national partnerships. To maintain the visibility of UNDP’s partnership with the MFA, continue the secondment of a Project Assistant to the MFA/FEPD as a cost-effective way to work with staff on ODA matters until the KAZ ODA agency is established. Scale up UNDP support after the ODA agency is launched.

Brokering wider strategic partnerships. In the Outcome’s ODA component, UNDP must increase its coordination with GoK stakeholders beyond the MFA/FEPD/ODA unit in order to more effectively and strategically influence ODA policies at the national level, including building national consensus on the establishment of an ODA agency. UNDP should therefore increase its coordination in ODA-related areas with the line ministries with whom its works through its other portfolios, as well as with its ministry partners from the Afghanistan SSTC project. Options to increase ODA-related coordination include the secondment of UNDP staff to selected ministries. UNDP must move beyond having a national partner to having national consensus on the establishment of an ODA agency ; and it must identify other entry points, beyond MFA, as well as champions, for this.

Build on the Hub Support Project. Build on the institutional and country partnerships developed through the Hub Support project to grow the number of SSTC intervenions under this output, both to increase the project’s operational financing ; and also to support the GoK’s intended regional leadership role.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

The country office partially accepts the recommendations.

The CO will continue supporting the MFA (its respective KAZODA Unit) in developing the national ODA system in Kazakhstan through various available avenues. These includes the “secondment” of the UNDP project staff to the KAZODA Unit at MFA, providing on-demand expert support, and trainings. In addition, a strategy for promoting the establishment of an ODA agency has been agreed between the UNDP CO and MFA. This includes development of the non-paper stating the arguments for the establishment of the ODA Agency by the GoK and meetings with relevant decision-makers.

As regards to the programmatic activities with/for Afghanistan, the CO is actively exploring new opportunities. Three project concepts have been developed and discussed with partners at highest political level and have offered to the GoK to fund their implementation through UNDP. The possibility to implement a joint project for empowering Afghani women through their education in Kazakhstan has been discussed with the European Unit Delegation in Kazakhstan.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a non-paper stating the arguments for the establishment of the ODA Agency by the Government of Kazakhstan
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/09/16]
ARR 2019/06 Completed As an upper middle-income country, Kazakhstan’s efforts in the South-South Cooperation and contributions towards the implementation of the SDGs play an important role in the international development agenda. In order to bring the national official development assistance (ODA) system in line with the priorities of the foreign policy, Kazakhstan adopted Law on ODA and Decree on the main directions of state policy in the field of ODA for 2017-2020 (ODA Strategy). Establishment of the ODA Agency will systematize its aid efforts through strengthening its role as a donor. Once the Agency is established, it will have its special budget line to realize ODA projects efficiently. MFA is lack of specialists to implement the above-mentioned Law and Decree signed by the First President. Decree underlines the role of the private sector and civil society as many traditional donor states practice in their ODA projects. However, it does not work here yet. History
Conduct meetings jointly with Ministry of Foreign Affairs with relevant decision-makers for promoting KAZ ODA Agency
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
ARR 2019/12 Completed After the meeting between RR, DRR, ARR and National Coordinator held on 1 August, UNDP Project Assistant’s contract has been extended upon the request of the Ministry since it still needs a support from UNDP. Currently, KAZ ODA Unit of the Ministry with a support of the Project Assistant is preparing the information on the budget and structure of the Agency. With a support of UNDP, the main lines of the state policy in the field of ODA for 2021-2025 (ODA Strategy) and M&E rules are drafted and submitted to the review of the Ministry. KAZ ODA Unit of the Ministry has sent a list of topics on ODA capacity building trainings and workshops to UNDP IRH through Country Office History
Follow up with EU, GoK and other potential donors on funding for the projects in/with Afghanistan
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
CO management team 2020/09 Completed In June 2019 UNDP started a new project for 2 mln EUR jointly with EU as a donor and key stakeholder and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a key national partner. This is a regional project with the participating of UNDP Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. The project is deemed to provide for a more efficient delivery of higher education (Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) certificates) due to the proximity and the experience of the government and higher education institutions in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in providing international exchange education. The priority sectors for education will be agriculture, applied statistics and mining, deemed to be growth sectors with particular importance for promoting gender equality. The project is intended as a pilot that will facilitate the development of a sustainable system of exchange education that will allow women from Afghanistan to benefit from higher education opportunities in Central Asia also beyond the project lifetime. History
3. Recommendation:

Strengthen the Outcome’s operational efficiency in the areas of:1.   Monitoring and evaluation through:

Post-training follow up.  To better document and measure the Outcome’s capacity development results, include post-training follow up activities in the design, workplans and budgets of future Outcome projects.

Improved outcome reporting. To improve outcome reporting, revise the current reporting template to more explicitly differentiate between outputs/activities and outcomes/results ; and provide guidance on M&E requirements to staff during the project inception phase.

2.   Financing through

Innovative financing instruments scoping study. To widen UNDP’s resource base, undertake a scoping study of the innovative development financing instruments which have proved effective in other MICs, including “Southern” solutions such as Islamic financing modalities, to better identify those which are most feasible within the current Kazakhstan context, and most appropriate for UNDP as an international development agency,  and upon which the agency can focus its resource mobilization and partnership efforts for the remaining and forthcoming CP cycles.

Innovative financing workshop.  To further inform and guide Outcome resource mobilization, convene a half day workshop by an accredited authority for UNDP management and staff to provide them with a basic level of understanding on innovative development financing options and how they can support the achievement of the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

The CO partially agrees with this recommendation

CO is continuously working to enhance the monitoring system and RBM and will ensure the improvement of planning and reporting (internally and outside UNDP) both on the programme and projects outcome level. Programme and projects staff are duly informed and trained on the reporting tools and how to make best use of it. Anyhow CO sees the place for the improvement of M&E system in the office. The country office will work to improve outcome reporting both on CPD and project level to build up capacity and enhance the knowledge of the of the staff in the area of M&E and RBM.

The CO has been actively exploring new financing instruments. Thus, two projects have been launched in 2018 with the IsDB, where UNDP CO implements a part of the IsDB loan to the GoK in the area of water resources management. Also, the successful project funded by the GoK through the World Bank, with UNDP CO as an implementing partner, resulted in signing two more projects with WB in 2019 in the area of justice reform. The CO is planning to include in its Resource Mobilization plan for 2019 webinar for its staff and a scoping study on Islamic Financing potential in Kazakhstan. The CO will consider possibility to convene a half day workshop on innovative development financing options and how they can support the achievement of the SDGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Maintenance of the practice of M&E trainings for the projects staff for M&E and RBM in programming and implementation in the projects.
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/01]
M&E Associate 2019/12 Completed CO has developed and launched the SOPs on the project implementation cycle reinforced based on the PPM reforms and POPP. SOP adequately articulates the role and the procedures for M&E and RBM use in the project management. History
Conduct the trainings for the projects staff for programme and projects staff in the project document development, report writing, presentation of the project results to the national partners.
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/01]
M&E Associate 2019/12 Completed CO reinforced the knowledge sharing practice in M&E and RBM in CO through the presentations of the projects best practices at all staff meetings as well as the Units meetings. CO regularly circulates the best samples of the reports and presentations among the projects for a wide use. History
Reinforcement of M&E and RBM in the country office Standard Operating Procedures for the project management through the design, implementation and closure stages
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/01]
M&E Assoacite 2019/12 Completed CO reinforced the knowledge sharing practice in M&E and RBM in CO through the presentations of the projects best practices at all staff meetings as well as the Units meetings. CO regularly circulates the best samples of the reports and presentations among the projects for a wide use. History
Conduct a webinar for CO programme staff on Islamic Financing potential in Kazakhstan and explore options for its implementation at the national and regional levels
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/09/16]
CO management team 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The action is no more applicable.]
History
4. Recommendation:

Mitigate sustainability risks by:

  1. Re-focusing support to national capacities for ODA management: In the absence of a functional ODA agency with dedicated staff and a KM strategy, reduce the sustainability risks related to high staff turnover in the MFA/FEPD by providing introductory training on ODA-related topics to MFA staff more broadly, beyond the FEPD, as a part of MFA staff induction.  Utilize the FAQs and other tools produced by UNDP for the KAZ ODA project in these trainings. See also above, recommendations for Efficiency, “Maintain current national partnerships” and “Broker wider strategic partnerships”.
  2. Institutionalizing the Hub Project:  Determine options for transitioning the Hub’s Project Board into a legal entity, and its implications for continued funding and project support through UNDP; and finalize the most appropriate institutionalization option before the end of the current project cycle in 2020
Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

1.The CO does not agree with the proposed recommendation as it goes beyond the scope of UNDP’s role and responsibility. Within the frame of its ODA-related project, the UNDP CO has developed all tools (FAQs and guidance on ODA for government officials) that the MFA, as the ODA coordinator as per the ODA Law, might consider promoting as part of MFA staff induction training.    

2.  The country office accepts the recommendation. The most relevant and optimal options at this stage for transitioning the Hub would comprise an institution that advocates public service excellence by applying research findings towards the improvement of government policies and UNDP’s programming. The guiding principles of Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (Singapore) might be replicated in the framework of the SDGs and development visions/strategies, policy coherence, resilient planning and public service innovation. Contextual issues will be customized accordingly.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To work out the optimal option for HUB institutionalization
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/02]
CO management, HUB project team 2019/12 Completed The country office and the project has jointly worked out the option of the additional funding for the project for anotehr 3 years cycle as the project extension is the demand in the regional context and highly supportedby the Governemnt of Kazakhstan and HUB participating countries. History
5. Recommendation:

Improve GEWE integration in the Outcome, and strengthen the assessment of UNDP’s contribution to GEWE through the Outcome, with

1. Gender-specific baselines, indicators and targets.  Articulate and use gender-specific baselines, targets and SMART indicators in project formulation, implementation and evaluation, including in RRFs, AWPs, reporting templates and other project management tools, in order to better assess Outcome’s progress on and contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment. 2.  Gender-responsive budgeting in projects.  Use GRB tools to determine and allocate a percentage of projects’ budgets to GEWE.3.  Gender parity in project management.  Aim for gender parity on project boards and in project management and support roles, in accordance with UNDP gender equality standards.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

The country office accepts the recommendation.

UNDP will ensure that all programmes will apply a human rights-based approach and gender mainstreaming throughout this country programme cycle, thus capacity development of programme managers/staff on gender tools, including the use of sex-disaggregated data in screening of the programme outcomes needs to take place and will become a part of the new CO Gender Equality Strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects will be ensured in 2019 and reflected in the CO’s Gender Action Plan for 2019. Reporting of gender equality results will be strengthened by building a stronger process of planning, monitoring and evaluating gender related indicators
[Added: 2019/05/31] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
Gender Focal Point, Gender task Force, Gender Specialist. 2019/12 Completed Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects is ensured through the CO Gender Action Plan and SOP on Project Manage History
6. Recommendation:

Improve GEWE integration in the Outcome, and strengthen the assessment of UNDP’s contribution to GEWE through the Outcome, with

1. Gender-specific baselines, indicators and targets. Articulate and use gender-specific baselines, targets and SMART indicators in project formulation, implementation and evaluation, including in RRFs, AWPs, reporting templates and other project management tools, in order to better assess Outcome’s progress on and contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

2. Gender-responsive budgeting in projects. Use GRB tools to determine and allocate a percentage of projects’ budgets to GEWE.

3. Gender parity in project management. Aim for gender parity on project boards and in project management and support roles.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects will be ensured in 2019 and reflected in the CO’s Gender Action Plan for 2019. Reporting of gender equality results will be strengthened by building a stronger process of planning, monitoring and evaluating gender related indicators
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
Gender Focal Point, Gender task Force, Gender Specialist. 2019/12 Completed Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects is ensured through the CO Gender Action Plan and SOP on Project Manage History

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