Mid Term Evaluation of the Lebanese Host Communities Support Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Lebanon
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
11/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
48,857

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Title Mid Term Evaluation of the Lebanese Host Communities Support Project
Atlas Project Number: 00065799
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Lebanon
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 11/2018
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.1.1 Core government functions and inclusive basic services4 restored post-crisis for stabilisation, durable solutions to displacement and return to sustainable development pathways within the framework of national policies and priorities
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Evaluation Budget(US $): 48,857
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: MoSA CDR and relevant municipalities
Countries: LEBANON
Lessons
Findings
1.

A. RELEVANCE
The analysis of relevance will focus on the extent to which the design of the project and its objectives address the problems, needs and priorities of the intended direct and indirect beneficiaries, particularly women and vulnerable. The analysis of relevance will assess the extent to which the design of the project took into consideration existing conflict dynamics and fragility as well as its adaptation to changing context. It will assess whether the target beneficiaries have ownership of the project interventions and perceived the project as relevant to their needs.


Tag: Relevance Ownership Conflict Displaced People Refugees Jobs and Livelihoods

2.

B. EFFECTIVENESS
The assessment of effectiveness will look at extent to which the project results have been delivered as planned and progress made in the achievement of specific objectives. Focus will be on issues such as: whether the planned benefits have been delivered and received by the target groups and to the satisfaction of the beneficiaries. More particularly, the effectiveness will look at the extent to which LHSP has:


Tag: Agriculture Effectiveness Civil Societies and NGOs Conflict Refugees Capacity Building Education Jobs and Livelihoods

3.

2. Effectiveness of LHSP in strengthening the capacity of local and national actors to deliver basic services in a participatory and conflict sensitive manner
Under this result, LHSP aims to develop the capacity of the municipalities, SDCs and the civil society to identify priority needs in basic services in a participatory approach, which are likely to ease pressure exerted by displaced Syrians, and thus reduce possible conflicts.


Tag: Effectiveness Bilateral partners Country Government Capacity Building

4.

3. Effectiveness of LHSP in reducing local tensions and improving community security
This result is expected to be achieved through strengthening local mechanisms for reducing local tensions related to the influx of displaced Syrian at the local level. The purpose is to improve the capacity of the local leaders to take leadership on conflict mitigation and prevention in the targeted areas12.
For this purpose, LHSP established the Mechanisms for Social Stability (MSS) that took the shape of working groups or committees with the mandate to monitor tensions and intervene whenever needed, creating a positive environment in the village through dialogue and activities. Promoting social stability by addressing social and cultural challenges faced by both Lebanese communities and displaced Syrians and enhancing local actors and local authorities’ role as inside mediators in their communities13.


Tag: Conflict Displaced People Refugees Security Social cohesion

5.

4. Effectiveness of LHSP in strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese government to respond to the influx of displaced Syrians
This component aims at building linkages between development/ stabilization and humanitarian responses, as well as between the activities being carried out at the local level and the government response to the Syrian crisis at the national level. The purpose is to support the national actors and to strengthen their capacity in responding to the crisis and coordinating the response in a conflict sensitive way.


Tag: Effectiveness Country Government Capacity Building

6.

5. Effectiveness of LHSP in integrating monitoring, knowledge management and risk management in the project implementation
1. UNDP was effective in the development of an Information Management tool as a means for a continuous monitoring of the projects in close coordination with UNDP area teams
M&E procedures are well elaborated while risks and mitigation measures are well analysed.


Tag: Effectiveness Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Risk Management

7.

C. EFFICIENCY
The assessment of efficiency will look at the extent to which the various activities of the project transformed the available resources into the intended results, in terms of quantity, quality, and timeliness. It will also look at the efficiency of the project management, governance structure and institutional arrangements.
1. LHSP has proved to be efficient in engaging in the MRR process all stakeholders of different views and achieving consensus in a relatively short period of time, though LHSP suffers from delays in the process of approvals and the implementation of projects, exceeding one year in some cases.


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources

8.

D. SUSTAINABILITY OF LHSP
The assessment of sustainability will look at the extent to which the benefits of the project are likely to continue after funding is withdrawn. It will also look at the areas of the project that are likely to be sustained and those that still needs future support. It will discuss the conditions for sustainability of future UNDP interventions.
1. LHSP sustainability is reflected in the increased capacity of municipalities and SDC/MoSA to facilitate the MRR and MSS process, as evidenced by the results achieved in most of the vulnerable communities.


Tag: Sustainability Country Government

9.

E. IMPACT
The assessment of impact will look at the extent to which the results of the project are contributing to social stability and reduction of community tensions.
LHSP contributed to the reduction of tensions through the basic services projects implemented in the most vulnerable communities, while the impact was less perceived in communities where the competition for jobs remains the major cause of tensions The impact of LHSP is assessed by its contribution to social stability and reduction of community tensions. It is, however, difficult to measure the impact on the reduction of tensions only through the key informant interviews and focus groups. The regular perception surveys conducted by Aktis provide good indication of the impact of LHSP on the reduction of tensions. The last report of Aktis (June 2018) considers that the level of tension remains significant within the Lebanese population, but recorded some decrease. Among the 6 municipalities that were part of the baseline research in February 2017, the share of respondents who believe there are tensions has declined from 74% to 68%. In governorates where there is competition in the labour market with displaced Syrians, tensions are still high. The main reasons behind these tensions remain the same as two years ago, where competing businesses and competition over low skilled jobs are reported as the main reasons for tension by both Lebanese and Syrians.17.


Tag: Impact Security Social cohesion

10.

2. LHSP was effective in enhancing the capacity of municipalities in the identification and planning of priority basic services projects, though municipalities are requesting more capacity building in the delivery of basic services.

Municipal members and employees do not have enough capacity to carry out their work, while they lack a municipal culture and vision that would allow them to identify, plan and deliver basic services in an effective way. Municipalities also face the challenge of transparency and accountability, as well as sharing information with citizens about municipal decisions and budgets. The LHSP supported capacity-building project of the newly elected municipal councils through a partnership between UNDP, MoIM and the Institute of Finance – IoF - (Irada Baladiya). Though the training was beneficial as indicated by several mayors, it was short in duration and without follow-up and coaching. Municipalities requested to be exposed to additional training. The training was not also part of a formal capacity development process that entails: capacity assessment, design and implementation of capacity development interventions to address the identified capacity gaps and evaluation and institutionalization of the developed capacity. It is worth mentioning that capacity-building of municipalities was not considered as priority by donors.
Environmental management is another area that needs to be introduced in capacity development of the municipalities. The Ministry of Environment, with the support and partnership with LHSP, has developed and tested a training curriculum for municipalities on Environmental management. The LHSP will support the implementation of this training programme of the municipalities to ensure that municipalities have the needed knowledge to manage their environment. The development of a training curriculum for municipalities was initially started as a collaboration with MoE/LHSP in early 2017.


Tag: Effectiveness Capacity Building

11.

3. LHSP support to vulnerable communities has resulted in the reduction of pressure on basic services of municipalities and in meeting the urgent needs of the communities, as evidenced by the great satisfaction expressed by the beneficiaries.


Tag: Agriculture Waste management Effectiveness Country Government Capacity Building

12.


4. LHSP was effective in enhancing the ability of municipalities to get funding for priority projects identified in the MRR process from other sources than LHSP.
The MRR process and related action plans resulted also in unintended positive effects, as several communities were able to get funding for projects identified in the action plans from sources other than LHSP. This is the case of Tal Abbas Al Gharbi in Akkar where Concern Worldwide through a UNICEF Fund will construct a Waste Water Treatment Plant in the village. Also, the LHSP project on the rehabilitation of irrigation canals in Mohamara resulted in additional support provided by Concern Worldwide and Save the Children which both worked as well on some parts of the irrigation canals. . Such involvement of the other organizations would not have been possible without LHSP initial support. This is also the case of Baysour whereby the municipality was able to get a grant from a wealthy member of Baysour to support the additional works of the sports playground.


Tag: Agriculture water resources Effectiveness Country Government Capacity Building

13.

5. LHSP has proved ability to learn from experience and adapt to changing context by starting MRR at the cluster level and the implementation of related projects LHSP is evolving through learning from past experiences and adapting to changing context. The implementation of some projects in the areas of treatment of solid waste, waste water management and drinking water has proved to be ineffective at the community level without being linked to a network at the regional or cluster level. The cluster approach also aims to increase the impact of the project by benefitting larger number of the population as well benefitting municipalities that are not part of the 251 communities, but indirectly affected by the presence of displaced Syrians in the cluster.


Tag: Waste management Water resources Effectiveness Capacity Building

Recommendations
1

Enhance the relevance of LHSP by updating the selection of targeted communities and reviewing the selection criteria

2

Enhance livelihood programme through comprehensive livelihood projects that contribute to the short, medium and long-term job creation with particular emphasis on women and youths through working with micro, meso and macro actors

3

Support locally-based area approach to scale-up LHSP

4

Enhance LHSP sustainability through the formulation and implementation of an integrated and comprehensive capacity development strategy for local actors including municipalities, SDCs and civil society

5

Review of the LHSP governance structure

6

Enhance the participation of donors in strategic issues and involve donors in the formulation of the next phase of LHSP

7

Enhance the effectiveness of LHSP Information management tool and facilitate its access to donors

1. Recommendation:

Enhance the relevance of LHSP by updating the selection of targeted communities and reviewing the selection criteria

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

LHSP refers to the vulnerability map of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (UN agencies – Government –Donors coordinated response), which should be updated. LHSP will follow the updated LCRP criteria.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Dialogue with government’s counterparts and donors to define new criteria of vulnerability
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Senior Management 2019/12 Completed Ongoing under LCRP – according to LCRP findings LHSP will adapt its criteria History
2. Recommendation:

Enhance livelihood programme through comprehensive livelihood projects that contribute to the short, medium and long-term job creation with particular emphasis on women and youths through working with micro, meso and macro actors

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

UNDP will continue to advocate with donors on this concern that has been already raised through previous evaluations and during the Steering Committee meetings. LHSP will actively promote coordination with other projects/initiative to integrate actions related to Livelihood.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Donors meetings
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Senior Management Program SLD Project LHSP 2019/12 Completed Completed as per new LHSP 2019-2022 PRODOC History
2.2. Coordination of initiative
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Program S&LD Project LHSP 2019/12 Completed Ongoing under LCRP livelihood sector History
3. Recommendation:

Support locally-based area approach to scale-up LHSP

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

LHSP is already applying the area based approach: indeed for the new phase (2019 and forward) the area based scaling up will be one of the main focuses of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Definition of criteria for clusters intervention
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
Program S&LD Program CPR Project LHSP 2019/10 Completed The project is reconsidering the cluster methodology developed in 2016. History
4. Recommendation:

Enhance LHSP sustainability through the formulation and implementation of an integrated and comprehensive capacity development strategy for local actors including municipalities, SDCs and civil society

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

UNDP will continue to advocate with donors on this matter. LHSP will actively promote coordination with other projects/initiative to integrate actions related to capacity building of local actors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Donors advocacy
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Senior Managemetn 2019/12 Completed Completed (referring to LHSP 2019-2022 PRODOC) History
4.2 Coordination with other initiatives
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Program S&LD Program CPR Project LHSP 2019/12 Completed Mechanism of coordination with UNDP-UNHABITAT MERC project established Ongoing coordination with Social Stability LCRP sector History
5. Recommendation:

Review of the LHSP governance structure

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

UNDP will consider the recommendation of the evaluator with regards to the governance structure and will discuss the recommendations with donors and partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 internal discussion and strategy
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
Senior Management Program S&LD Program CPR Project LHSP 2019/07 Completed the CTA presented and discussed with the advisors of the MoSA Minister the finding of LHSP 2015-2017 evaluation concerning the governance structure. The counterpart agreed to reinitiate the process of involvement of the core LHSP group, composed by MoSA, MoIM, CDR and PM Office. History
5.2 Donors meetings
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
Senior Management Program S&LD Program CPR Project LHSP 2019/03 Completed the CTA presented and discussed with the advisors of the MoSA Minister the finding of LHSP 2015-2017 evaluation concerning the governance structure. The counterpart agreed to reinitiate the process of involvement of the core LHSP group, composed by MoSA, MoIM, CDR and PM Office. History
5.3 Government consultation
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
Senior Management 2019/07 Completed Same as above History
6. Recommendation:

Enhance the participation of donors in strategic issues and involve donors in the formulation of the next phase of LHSP

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

UNDP has already shared and discussed with the main LHSP donors the contents of the LHSP project document for the new phase and has already a mechanism of coordination with donors related to the steering committee of LHSP. However, the recommendation is valid and UNDP will promote regular donors’ meetings on LHSP.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Quarterly donors’ meetings
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Senior Management Program S&LD Program CPR Project LHSP 2019/12 Completed Completed LHSP 2019-2022 PRODOC prepared in consultation with donors History
7. Recommendation:

Enhance the effectiveness of LHSP Information management tool and facilitate its access to donors

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

UNDP has already presented the LHSP IM tool to some donors and is working on opening access to the relevant information to them by the beginning of the next year.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Meetings with donors and agreements on the IM utilization
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Program S&LD Project LHSP 2019/10 Completed Completed with KFW (access to IM tool) History
7.2 IM arrangements for accessing the information
[Added: 2018/12/06] [Last Updated: 2019/11/14]
Project LHSP 2019/10 Completed Completed with KFW (access to IM tool) History

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