The Institutional and Technical support for the establishment of Kuwait Public Policy Centre

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Kuwait
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
10/2018
Completion Date:
10/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title The Institutional and Technical support for the establishment of Kuwait Public Policy Centre
Atlas Project Number: 00098909
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Kuwait
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2018
Planned End Date: 10/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 7.1. Global consensus on completion of MDGs and the post 2015 agenda informed by contributions from UNDP
  • 2. Output 7.2. Global and national data collection, measurement and analytical systems in place to monitor progress on the post 2015 agenda and sustainable development goals
  • 3. Output 7.3. National development plans to address poverty and inequality are sustainable and risk resilient
  • 4. Output 7.5 South-South and Triangular cooperation partnerships established and/or strengthened for development 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
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: Project fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 8,626
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Cristina Mosneaga Independent cristina.mosneaga@oba.co.uk
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: GSSCPD
Countries: KUWAIT
Lessons
Findings
1.

The national leadership and ownership of the project are very high. All interviewed stakeholders have characterized the UNDP approach as open, constructive, and participatory in the planning and implementations of activities. Respondents confirmed that this approach has created a solid groundwork for sustainable results and positively influences partnerships that are likely to last beyond KPPC project interventions. 


Tag: Harmonization Implementation Modality Ownership Partnership Sustainability UNDP Management UNDP management

2.

In terms of leadership, some challenges persist. The capacity of individual departments within the GSSCPD and line ministries to run and co-ordinate policy research actions are weak and are mainly driven by KPPC and the PCU at the moment. Despite strong leadership at the top management level, the levels of commitment and motivation in the lower tiers of staff for change and reform remain weak.


Tag: Challenges Change Management Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Country Government Coordination

3.

The relevance of the KPPC project is overall very high. The core focus is on up-stream capacity development based on needs-assessment and planning has resulted in stronger organizational capacities. The development of the institutional level capacity is more challenging as it requires working with multiple stakeholders with different structures and institutional cultures.

 


Tag: Relevance Public administration reform Capacity Building

4.

Existing capacity constraints within the GSSCPD and other line ministries participating in KPPC Project infinitives limit the impact of the project. Although knowledge generation activities take place regularly and are at the core of the project design, there activities often are delayed and overall the project framework does not contain indicators to measure progress in this area. The current project indicators were developed during the design phase of the project document. However, they were deemed unrealistic after several months of implementation due to changes in activities and mechanisms in place, in addition to delays that took place during implementation.


Tag: Challenges Impact Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Capacity Building

5.

Despite effort from the project in laying the foundations for the KPPC operational structures, the internal structure (organigram) as well as the precise business model for the KPPC operations and interactions with other units (both within GSSCPD as well as outside ministries) remains unclear. The biggest challenge is to decide what role and legal powers will KPPC have (for e.g. would it be able to reject policy / legislation? Would it have an advisory role only?). This decision will in turn determine the KPPC position in the policy – making cycle (e.g. no policy can be submitted to Parliament without KPPC technical advice?). Nevertheless, it has to be noted that the center worked on public policies related to healthcare that were adopted by the Ministry of Health, as well as on a Macroeconomic model that caught the attention of multiple government institutions, which expressed interest in collaborating with the center. Therefore, the center has already moved from providing consultations on public policies to a more executive role, where it is working on applied policies with national ministries and stakeholders, a notable achievement for a relatively new center.


Tag: Challenges Parliament Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Country Government Coordination Policy Advisory

6.

As it stands now, KPPC is understaffed and the five people fully employed at the moment are mostly performing administrative rather than research – oriented tasks. KPPC is relying heavily on external expertise to perform evidence – based research. It does not as yet have any in-house capacity.


Tag: Challenges Human and Financial resources Procurement Project and Programme management

7.

The project is highly relevant to the needs of the country and is in line with the National Development Plan / New Kuwait Vision. The relevance of the project also stems from the KPPC work to inform the development of the next KNDP 2020-2025 by setting evidence-based policies. It particularly responds to the needs identified under the Public Administration Pillar. The project addresses the most pressing issues such as evidence-based policy making across all development areas. The project also undertakes considerable efforts in building the knowledge base of public employees through provision of tailored long and short – term technical expertise, lectures & access to international best practice. Overall the evaluator estimates that the project relevance is “highly satisfactory”.


Tag: Relevance Public administration reform Country Government Capacity Building Policy Advisory

8.

While the main targets appear to be on track, overall the project is experiencing some bottlenecks and delays throughout its implementation. The original timeframe could not be maintained, and the project duration had to be extended by 10 months (a decision by the Project Board to allow the project to run until the end of the current development plan, but also delays in recruitment of KPPC staff). Nevertheless, respondents were usually satisfied with the quality of support provided. In particular, the respondents noted the high level of commitment and availability of the PCU area team throughout the project implementation. Therefore, effectiveness is rated as “satisfactory”. 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Service delivery

9.

The project is delivering on the set targets and is on track both operationally and financially. The procurement process that the UNDP adheres to and its long-term agreements are a good indication of the value for money. Overall, efficiency is rated “satisfactory”.


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency UNDP Management UNDP management

10.

The impact of the project is visible.  Respondents were overall very enthusiastic about the KPPC as a concept and the various activities carried out so far (e.g. lecture series, technical advice in various sectors, white papers). Long-term impact would have to be assessed two or three years after project completion.  Nevertheless, based on the current situation and future projections overall impact is ranked “satisfactory”.


Tag: Impact Service delivery Technical Support

11.

Sustainability is rated “moderately likely” because the evaluator found that many activities were unlikely to continue or may lose momentum after project completion. This remark refers in particular to the policy making measures such as evidence based – research, planning & monitoring. The outlook for sustainability of the initiatives supported in partnership with KFAS is better, but whether or not this assumption holds true remains to be seen upon completion of the project and in two-three years’ time. The main concern here is the lack of a clear organigram and position of KPPC in the policy making cycle. As it stands now, the KPPC is not at its full capacity and relies mostly on expertise and assistance from external partners (channelled via the project). It was too early for the evaluator to establish this aspect in September 2018.


Tag: Challenges Sustainability Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Policy Advisory

12.

The Institutional Context Analysis (ICA) carried out in view of probing the enabling environment in Kuwait to establish the KPPC and inform better policymaking has identified opportunities for leveraging change and supporting reform. Based on the findings from the ICA, year 2017 was largely dedicated to setting up the KPPC, developing its governance framework and selecting the members of the advisory board of the center.


Tag: Effectiveness Public administration reform Change Management Policy Advisory

13.

The Project supported the GSSCPD in recruiting national staff to work at KPPC based on the agreed criteria and requirements. At present five full time national employees work at KPPC.  One national staff participated in the Public Service Leadership training at the Global UNDP Center in Singapore. The representation of Kuwait increased the exposure of KPPC at the regional level and built the capacity of selected national staff in leadership and public service management.


Tag: Effectiveness Human and Financial resources Country Government Capacity Building

14.

The project supports the KPPC in knowledge transfer and capacity building also by organizing monthly public lectures bringing on board renowned local, regional, and international speakers on topics related to each of the KNDP pillars. The lectures were attended by high-level government officials and representatives, Civil Society Organizations, private sector representatives and other national stakeholders from research and academic institutions.


Tag: Effectiveness Knowledge management Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Private Sector Capacity Building

15.

The project supported KPPC in successfully initiating the establishment of the Behavioral Insights Unit, which will assist with policy experimentation. The aim is to assist KPPC in applying the latest findings from behavioral science and economics into public policies. The ultimate objective is for KPPC to provide a platform and tools for policy experimentation and testing in challenging areas, particularly related to the implementation of the KNDP.


Tag: Public administration reform Change Management Global Policy Network Innovation Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

16.

Since its launching, the project assisted the Unit in providing policy advice and numerous recommendations to various governmental requests ranging from the review of the national youth policy, to the review of the Public Administration Management strategy and the new laws and regulations under this pillar. All the technical notes produced by the experts were presented to the GSSCPD management and the Minister of Economy and Social Affair’s office.  The policies related to 4 pillars have been reviewed and research agendas have been developed. In addition, white policy papers for the Health and Economic Growth Pillars have been finalized and endorsed by the GSSCPD.  A roundtable discussion on “Strengthening the Kuwait National Health System:  transforming it from Good to Excellent” was conducted to present the findings of the first report to national stakeholders related to the health pillar in Kuwait. Under the Economic Growth pillar, the project conducted face to face interviews with private sector CEOs to take key views on this sector and feed them into the white paper. An analysis report was also prepared to study the outcome of the interviews and take on board the policy implications.


Tag: Public administration reform Health Sector Country Government Private Sector Inclusive economic growth Policy Advisory

17.

Under the KNDP Energy Pillar, the project supported the drafting of a white paper on the sustainable national energy Strategy: “the Future of the Kuwait’s Energy System”. The white paper was developed jointly between Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), and KFAS. The paper presents the status quo of the energy system in Kuwait, implications to the present situation, challenges and proposed mitigation policies with respect to both domestic and international dimensions. The paper concludes that the implementation of the recommended policies should be adopted by national stakeholders, however, the white paper requires a national champion to coordinate the implementation; the KPPC officially adopted the strategy and is working towards the inclusion of the relevant policy options in the upcoming KNDP 2020-2025. Moreover, the project supported the launch of the UNDP Global Report Atlas on: “Mapping the oil and gas industry to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas”. The global launch catalyzed progress towards realizing the SDGs, the national aspirations enshrined in the Kuwait 2035 vision, and the country’s national development plan and goals.


Tag: Energy Public administration reform Civil Societies and NGOs Policy Advisory Agenda 2030

18.

Under the KNDP Economic Growth Pillar, the project is supporting the KPPC in conducting a review on the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in Kuwait. The technical expertise for the study is provided by the OECD through the KFAS network. Another policy paper under this pillar is being prepared with the participation of the London School of Economics. It will contribute to collecting evidence with regard to the Social Safety Nets in Kuwait.


Tag: Inclusive economic growth Policy Advisory

19.

One of the major achievements under this output is the support provided to the development of the macroeconomic model for forecasting and testing economic scenarios in Kuwait. Oxford Economics has been awarded the contract in December 2017. As a result of this intervention, KPPC staff and advisors, as well as other departments at GSSCPD, benefit now from a five-year generic integrated macroeconomic model compatible with 80 countries (among them Kuwait). The model has been customized to Kuwait.  The model provides linkages with global industries, trade, exchange rates, competitiveness, capital markets, interest rates, commodity prices and internationally traded goods and services. With the project support, the model was successfully tested and generated reliable reports for different policy scenarios. GSSCPD staff working with the model benefited from training sessions organized by Oxford Economics on how to use the model.  More specifically, 3 advanced training sessions were provided to the core team and 2 sessions were provided to the national staff at GSSCPD, MOF, CBK, KDIPA, and CSB to ensure sustainability of the model.


Tag: Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Trade and Development Policy Advisory

20.

Furthermore, the project worked closely with Amiri Diwan and KFAS to create the Community of Practice for nudging in Kuwait. It includes a team of national experts who are passionate about applying behavioral economics into policymaking by using policy experimentation and Randomized Control Trials. Amiri Diwan continues to play key role in oversighting the establishment of the nudge unit. The project ensured that all reports and deliverables are presented to the Diwan on regular basis to seek feedback. Until now, there is no official MOU between KPPC and the Amiri Diwan for the execution of the nudge unit. The centre’s reports and research are shared with the Amiri Diwan, but the centre as a whole reports solely to the Secretariat General of GSSCPD.

 


Tag: Public administration reform Change Management Global Policy Network Human and Financial resources Innovation Civil Societies and NGOs Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

21.

Moreover, the project supported KPPC in mapping out the key local, regional, and international institutions that could become partners. More specifically, the project helped to initiate an MOU between Isam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the GSSCPD. The project provided support to KPPC in establishing partnerships and MOUs with the University of Ottawa (Center of Governance) and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS). The partnerships will enable KPPC to partner on key priority policy areas and generate evidence-based studies and policy papers. 


Tag: Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Data and Statistics

Recommendations
1

Moving towards a more integrated platform. The project implementation has highlighted the need to ensure that public and private partners streamline development efforts in a coherent way rather than engaging in isolated initiatives. While the KPPC project acts as a platform and tries to reach out to multiple stakeholders in the wider framework of the KNDP, the risk is that efforts will become dispersed and lack in holistic approach / strategy. With this in mind, the government and UNCT should consider launching a joint national KNDP platform. The platform should be open to all development and public and private partners in the country. It may take the form of both a virtual and physical space hosted, for example, by the GSSCPD and supported by UNDP. The new platform could provide both public and private sector contributors with a space for experimentation, collaboration, analytics and human resource development. Evidence-based research towards a more reliable and more informed national policy-making and strategy development are an important element. The role of the platform could be that of testing and promoting new approaches, methodologies and possibly new types of institutions to provide ‘out of the box’ solutions that bring about transformative change. To do this, the platform could draw on the experience accumulated under the project so far, as well as from expertise from around the world, including UN innovation facilities and tools.

2

Clarify the mandate and decision – making powers of the KPPC. The centre is meant to address the country’s policy-making gaps and mainstream policy research and analysis studies, and stand as a reliable resource that will influence national policies and strategies across all areas pertinent to Kuwait’s 2035 Vision. However, after the initial wave of enthusiasm and several successful initiatives (e.g. lecture series, white papers and policy briefs), it is imperative that the mandate and more importantly the decision-making powers of KPPC be clarified. As of the moment of writing this report (September 2018), the full organogram of KPPC was not organised. The current capacities of KPPC rely heavily on support channelled through the project.

3

Demand-driven response to needs, but focus: This is a positive characteristic of the project. Public entities appeal to KPPC’s expertise and formulate requests for evidence-based research based on their specific needs. However, as it stands now, the KPPC does not have the capacity to cover all the sectors and pillars identified under the KNDP / New Kuwait. It is recommended that KPPC select two or three areas and provide in-depth support and research to build a portfolio. Achievements under this more narrowly focus portfolio could be used to showcase the ‘full potential’ of the KPPC and could prove useful in raising awareness and promoting the Centre in both public and private sectors.

1. Recommendation:

Moving towards a more integrated platform. The project implementation has highlighted the need to ensure that public and private partners streamline development efforts in a coherent way rather than engaging in isolated initiatives. While the KPPC project acts as a platform and tries to reach out to multiple stakeholders in the wider framework of the KNDP, the risk is that efforts will become dispersed and lack in holistic approach / strategy. With this in mind, the government and UNCT should consider launching a joint national KNDP platform. The platform should be open to all development and public and private partners in the country. It may take the form of both a virtual and physical space hosted, for example, by the GSSCPD and supported by UNDP. The new platform could provide both public and private sector contributors with a space for experimentation, collaboration, analytics and human resource development. Evidence-based research towards a more reliable and more informed national policy-making and strategy development are an important element. The role of the platform could be that of testing and promoting new approaches, methodologies and possibly new types of institutions to provide ‘out of the box’ solutions that bring about transformative change. To do this, the platform could draw on the experience accumulated under the project so far, as well as from expertise from around the world, including UN innovation facilities and tools.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/30] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The recommendation has been taken into considerations in the new UNCT Strategic Partnership Framework and will be finalized and signed by mid 2019. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support the development of the new Strategic Partnership Framework while ensuring public private partnerships are streamlined.
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/03/03]
UNCT and UNDP Programme 2019/09 Completed Multiple policy papers and knowledge products developed by the KPPC were disseminated and aided in the development of the Kuwait National Development Plan, CPD and SPF. History
2. Recommendation:

Clarify the mandate and decision – making powers of the KPPC. The centre is meant to address the country’s policy-making gaps and mainstream policy research and analysis studies, and stand as a reliable resource that will influence national policies and strategies across all areas pertinent to Kuwait’s 2035 Vision. However, after the initial wave of enthusiasm and several successful initiatives (e.g. lecture series, white papers and policy briefs), it is imperative that the mandate and more importantly the decision-making powers of KPPC be clarified. As of the moment of writing this report (September 2018), the full organogram of KPPC was not organised. The current capacities of KPPC rely heavily on support channelled through the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/12/02] [Last Updated: 2021/05/18]

This will be considered in the new phase/project and the achievements will be used as a showcase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No key action needed
[Added: 2020/12/22] [Last Updated: 2021/04/12]
N/A 2020/12 Completed Not Applicable History
No key action needed
[Added: 2020/12/22]
N/A 2020/12 Canceled
3. Recommendation:

Demand-driven response to needs, but focus: This is a positive characteristic of the project. Public entities appeal to KPPC’s expertise and formulate requests for evidence-based research based on their specific needs. However, as it stands now, the KPPC does not have the capacity to cover all the sectors and pillars identified under the KNDP / New Kuwait. It is recommended that KPPC select two or three areas and provide in-depth support and research to build a portfolio. Achievements under this more narrowly focus portfolio could be used to showcase the ‘full potential’ of the KPPC and could prove useful in raising awareness and promoting the Centre in both public and private sectors.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/12/02] [Last Updated: 2021/05/23]

The first phase of the project focused on the institutional capacity building of the center. The plan for the second phase is more focused on technical support expertise to feed into policy papers for decision makers, showcasing KPPC's full potential.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No key action needed
[Added: 2020/12/22] [Last Updated: 2021/04/12]
N/A 2020/12 Completed Not Applicable History

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