Terminal Evaluation: THE GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM (GPAR) - GOVERNANCE FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (GIDP)

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Lao
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2021
Completion Date:
12/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation: THE GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM (GPAR) - GOVERNANCE FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (GIDP)
Atlas Project Number: 00093816
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Lao
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • 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
  • 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: Project Budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 20,375
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Thongdeuane Nanthanavone Mr. LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Home Affairs
Countries: LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The District Development Fund (DDF) is a discretionary IGFT and system that has proved its relevance and effectiveness in the reform of governance development in Lao PDR and is worth continuing. The model should not only be continued but scale up nationally. 

2

In addition to retaining and scaling up the DDF nationally, the DDF needs be introduced as a provincial level development fund (i.e. the PDF) following similar advances of decentralization in neighbouring countries (Cambodia)*. The PDF will function to support provincial development initiatives and make functional the Provincial Peoples Assemblies thereby promoting a territorial approach to investments, which will complement the large BRI investments by creating essential backward economic linkages**. 

 

*DDF introduced as a complementary process to the current capital budget. Some development projects work better if implemented through PDF.  

**Current DDF involves three layers, district, province and central levels. Therefore, there is delay especially at the central level to complete the bid evaluation. When one considers the checks and balance aspect of governance, the provincial level, the PPA, is who represent the interests of the citizens. PPAs are also involve in SUFs where they can reflect the results of the surveys in to their decision. 

3

GoL should continue the roll out of the One Door Service Center (ODSC) learning from the two models developed under GIDP, by setting up more ODSCs at the district level and expanding their operations to cover more or all public services. The roll out should focus on continuing to promote transparency, speed and responsiveness in service delivery, as these have been highlighted as strong benefits for service users under the two models implemented. Despite the success, feedback from local authority officials highlighted the need for more specialized training for ODSC staff on the use and operation of office equipment that facilitates the ODSC model, including dashboards and databases. Review the regulatory framework to improve systems for the collection of fees, form fees, service charges, and other necessary charges, and to determine the timelines to receive and submit documents and for the provision of services. 

4

The policy of constant staff changes in both ODSCs - adopted as a measure for the allocation of workload and incentives fairly to staff - ought to be discontinued as it is resulting in constant staff turnover at the ODSC centers. Either ODSC staff should not be paid extra money on top of their salary or ODSC staff should be made permanent ODSC’s staff at a higher salary scale. 

5

GoL should complement the expansion of the ODSC with an increase in the pace of digitalization of public services. 

6

The Service Users Feedback System (SUFS) should be integrated in GoL planning processes and should continue to be supported as it helps to identify which services need improvement using evidence based approaches to public administration reform and promotes client orientation in local service delivery. 

7

PPAs should advocate/articulate the need for expansion of SUFS to other districts in order to increase their oversight over the executive. 

8

The Governance Sector Working Group (GSWG) and the wider Sector Working Groups (SWGs) functioning should to be reviewed by the GoL to ensure that the results framework of such groups provide strategic inputs into the Round Table Mechanism (RTM) process as well as to sector-specific planning. 

9

MoHA and development partners in the Chair and Co-Chair positions of the GSWG should be more engaged with the GSWG in playing a facilitating and advocacy role to ensure that the SWGs are more effective in their functioning in order to create synergies among and between them. 

10

There should be some procedures in place to encourage all members of the GSWG, including members of the Secretariat participating in the GSWG, especially the junior officials, to speak up. Firm commitment from the senior leaders is essential as an enabling environment for this to succeed. 

11

Continued support for PSIF and district administrations should be encouraged by MoHA and MPI to collaborate with non-government actors in local development and service delivery.

1. Recommendation:

The District Development Fund (DDF) is a discretionary IGFT and system that has proved its relevance and effectiveness in the reform of governance development in Lao PDR and is worth continuing. The model should not only be continued but scale up nationally. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/02/07]

Partially agree 

UNDP and UNCDF have had discussions with MOHA on using the newly developed SOPs to continue promoting the use DDF model as a discretionary IGFT. Both MOHA and MOF continue to promote the usage of the SOPs but there are budget and capacity limitations in government beyond the GIDP project which will make increased utilization of the tools less likely. While the DDF will continue to be promoted by MOHA and MOF, its scaling up to national level looks unlikely. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
MOHA and MOF to continue to promote use of DDF tools by district level authorities.
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
MOHA 2022/06 Completed MOHA and MOF have promoted the use of the SOP at district level but the current economic crisis has resulted in reprioritization of IFGT to provincial level and uptake by district authorities. It is planned for follow-up on issue of IFGT to be taken up by the GSWG in Q3. History
2. Recommendation:

In addition to retaining and scaling up the DDF nationally, the DDF needs be introduced as a provincial level development fund (i.e. the PDF) following similar advances of decentralization in neighbouring countries (Cambodia)*. The PDF will function to support provincial development initiatives and make functional the Provincial Peoples Assemblies thereby promoting a territorial approach to investments, which will complement the large BRI investments by creating essential backward economic linkages**. 

 

*DDF introduced as a complementary process to the current capital budget. Some development projects work better if implemented through PDF.  

**Current DDF involves three layers, district, province and central levels. Therefore, there is delay especially at the central level to complete the bid evaluation. When one considers the checks and balance aspect of governance, the provincial level, the PPA, is who represent the interests of the citizens. PPAs are also involve in SUFs where they can reflect the results of the surveys in to their decision. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Partially Agree 

UNDP and UNCDF have discussed the possibility of developing the PDF and have identified some possible interventions that could accelerate this progress of this initiative. However, no decision has yet been made by government to develop a PDF and further discussions are needed with MOHA and MOF to secure policy commitment for PDF as well as further financial support from a donor. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP and UNCDF to conduct problem framing to development of PDF to both secure policy commitment from MOHA/MOF and funding from donors
[Added: 2022/02/07]
UNDP 2022/02 Completed The problem framing included discussions with MOHA and UNCDF on next phase of DDF, including possibility of PDF. No current commitment from MOHA for PDF as without IGFT system in place the PDF will not be possible. The problem framing outlines proposal for securing further support for DDF sustainability which may in future be able to support PDF.
3. Recommendation:

GoL should continue the roll out of the One Door Service Center (ODSC) learning from the two models developed under GIDP, by setting up more ODSCs at the district level and expanding their operations to cover more or all public services. The roll out should focus on continuing to promote transparency, speed and responsiveness in service delivery, as these have been highlighted as strong benefits for service users under the two models implemented. Despite the success, feedback from local authority officials highlighted the need for more specialized training for ODSC staff on the use and operation of office equipment that facilitates the ODSC model, including dashboards and databases. Review the regulatory framework to improve systems for the collection of fees, form fees, service charges, and other necessary charges, and to determine the timelines to receive and submit documents and for the provision of services. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Agree 

These key points have been captured in the ODSC Roadmap for 2022-25, for which UNDP has provided technical support. The implementation of the Roadmap is now led by a committee of representatives from different agencies, chaired by Vice Minister MOHA.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish the ODSC Roadmap 2022-25
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
MOHA (with support from other ministries) 2022/12 Initiated MOHA have confirmed they need further support to publish the Roadmap so have agreed to partner with UNDP for Q3 and Q4 to develop the current draft into the final Roadmap by 2022. History
4. Recommendation:

The policy of constant staff changes in both ODSCs - adopted as a measure for the allocation of workload and incentives fairly to staff - ought to be discontinued as it is resulting in constant staff turnover at the ODSC centers. Either ODSC staff should not be paid extra money on top of their salary or ODSC staff should be made permanent ODSC’s staff at a higher salary scale. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Partially Agree 

The ODSC Roadmap outlines a number of steps to be taken to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the ODSCs, including personnel management. At this time no concrete policy decision has been made on this regard but the steps outlined in the roadmap will begin important discussions to reform personnel management including possibility of revising pay scales. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure recommendations onto personnel management are included in the draft ODSC Roadmap
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
MOHA 2022/06 Completed As outlined above, the plan for finalizing the ODSC Roadmap is for end of 2022, with support from UNDP and in consultation with other line ministries. The further development of the Draft Roadmap has been agreed with MOHA that recommendations on personnel management and workflows will be included in the draft. Interventions based on the final Roadmap will likely begin by 2023. History
5. Recommendation:

GoL should complement the expansion of the ODSC with an increase in the pace of digitalization of public services. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Agree 

Key to expansion of these services, to avoid fragmentation and lack of coherency in terms of infrastructure and policy, will be the development of the Digitalization Master Plan, which is supported by UNDP. The digital master plan will be built on the digital maturity assessment which includes assessment of public services being offered online. These are the next key steps to ensure the acceleration of digitalized public service sin Lao PDR. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish Digitalization Master Plan
[Added: 2022/02/07]
MTC (with support from UNDP) 2022/12 Initiated Digital maturity assessment drafted due to be published in Q1 2022 but Master Plan developed thereafter.
6. Recommendation:

The Service Users Feedback System (SUFS) should be integrated in GoL planning processes and should continue to be supported as it helps to identify which services need improvement using evidence based approaches to public administration reform and promotes client orientation in local service delivery. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Agree 

There are already commitments form the local authorities of the two participating districts, and the two relevant PPAs, to review and use the findings from SUFS-2 once released. SUFS-1 results have already been integrated into local development planning in two provinces. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish SUFS-2 results and provide technical support to two participating districts to integrate results into local planning
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
MOHA (with support from UNDP) 2022/06 Completed SUFS-2 results were launched at a workshop on 3 June, and were uploaded to the UNDP website at this link. History
7. Recommendation:

PPAs should advocate/articulate the need for expansion of SUFS to other districts in order to increase their oversight over the executive. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Partially Agree 

PPAs in the participating districts have commented that they find the results very useful in their oversight work. UNDP under the new STEPS project will continue to encourage PPAs from the relevant districts who have undertaken SUFS to use the results. In parallel UNDP will continue to seek funding to support MOHA to carry out SUFS. UNDP will continue to encourage PPAS to use results and promote the development of further SUFS, subject to the availability of resources.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct problem framing with MOHA on SUFS to secure funding for further rounds of the survey
[Added: 2022/02/07]
UNDP 2022/02 Completed Problem framing with Local Administration Department of MOHA conducted.
8. Recommendation:

The Governance Sector Working Group (GSWG) and the wider Sector Working Groups (SWGs) functioning should to be reviewed by the GoL to ensure that the results framework of such groups provide strategic inputs into the Round Table Mechanism (RTM) process as well as to sector-specific planning. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Agree 

UNDP is supporting an evaluation of the wider sector working groups mechanism, including GSWG. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Evaluate current SWG mechanism and develop number of recommendations for reform
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
MPI (support from UNDP) 2022/06 Completed SWG Evaluation was conducted in Q2, and was presented to MPI for comments on 27 June. History
9. Recommendation:

MoHA and development partners in the Chair and Co-Chair positions of the GSWG should be more engaged with the GSWG in playing a facilitating and advocacy role to ensure that the SWGs are more effective in their functioning in order to create synergies among and between them. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Agree 

The GSWG members have been consulted in the development of a multiyear workplan, which includes suggested increased advocacy and facilitation role of the chairs. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish GSWG Workplan 2022-25
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
EU, MOHA, UNDP, MOJ 2022/12 Initiated Further discussions took place on 27 June with GSWG DP Co-Chairs UNDP, SDC and EU on the funding of the GSWG. Agreement was made on finalizing the AWP for 2023 later in 2022 after the RTM process. History
10. Recommendation:

There should be some procedures in place to encourage all members of the GSWG, including members of the Secretariat participating in the GSWG, especially the junior officials, to speak up. Firm commitment from the senior leaders is essential as an enabling environment for this to succeed. 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Agree 

As  above, a number of key interventions for reform of the GSWG have been identified by members, including co-chairs, to maximize participation in GSWG meetings. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish GSWG Workplan 2022-25
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
EU, MOHA, UNDP, MOJ 2022/12 Initiated Same as above History
11. Recommendation:

Continued support for PSIF and district administrations should be encouraged by MoHA and MPI to collaborate with non-government actors in local development and service delivery.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/07]

Partially Agree 

A number of issues in terms of the effective implementation of the PSIF were experienced under GIDP. There are still further discussions to be had with MOHA on the continued implementation of the PSIF. In the absence of existing additional funding, outside of government budget, MOHA are not currently committed to continuing PSIF.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct problem framing with MOHA on PSIF to explore possibility of securing funding for further rounds of the Facility
[Added: 2022/02/07] [Last Updated: 2022/06/30]
UNDP 2022/06 Completed Problem framing conducted and confirmed that resources for continuation of PSIF not available at this time, even though principles of CSO and business partnership with government will continue through other elements of local administration work. History

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