External Evaluation of the 'Technical Support to the Lebanese Parliament" Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Lebanon
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

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Title External Evaluation of the 'Technical Support to the Lebanese Parliament" Project
Atlas Project Number: 00061026
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Lebanon
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 2.1. Parliaments, constitution making bodies and electoral institutions enabled to perform core functions for improved accountability, participation and representation, including for peaceful transitions
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
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
SDG Target
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 15,750
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Mouawad Jamil Dr mouawad.jamil@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Parliament, CDR
Countries: LEBANON
Lessons
Findings
1.

2. Relevance

The evaluation finds that the overall project objectives are highly consistent with beneficiary requirements and expectations, but the project has failed to overcome the national political context. The overall stated objective “Strengthening the legislative, oversight and representative role of the Lebanese Parliament” is highly relevant. Relevance is explained below according to different groups of beneficiaries: 

Assess the relevance of the project in the context of Lebanon’s parliamentary system; The project is highly relevant and necessary in the context of Lebanon’s parliamentary system. First and foremost, the parliament system does not have specialized bodies to help MPs draft and/or review legislation. Secondly, MPs do not have access to resources and/or allocated budgets to hire advisors for the purpose of legislation. Thirdly, the role of the MP in the current Lebanese political system tends to be more service-oriented rather than legislation-oriented. In other words, MPs focus more on serving their constituencies. They are also busy with securing their own political survival and that of the larger political group or party to which they belong .  Assess mechanisms of coordination with other donors and actors working with Parliament; The project suffers from a lack of coordination with actors working with the parliament. The UNDP-TSLP did not liaise with other actors, namely the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the European Union, which both provide similar support to the Lebanese Parliament in order to strengthen its capacity and resources for effective legislative and oversight functions. The interaction between the project and these two actors is solely restricted to mutual invitations to participate in events and workshops. The evaluator did not receive sufficient explanation as to why there exist a lack of coordination. The only respond by the project manager was that the “despite that the two projects do not jointly work together, however, they do share their work plans to not have overlaps between the activities”.


Tag: Challenges Relevance Resource mobilization Parliament Donor relations Humanitarian development nexus Coordination Technical Support

2.

2. Relevance (continuation)

Indeed, this current evaluation commissioned by UNDP attests to the great interest of UNDP in the project and reflects their will to reshape and re-boost its activities. It coincides with the election of a new parliament. It should be highlighted in this context that the Director of Research at the Issam Fares Institute (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) professor Nasser Yassin is currently conducting an assessment study with some parliamentarians in order to launch a project to support the Lebanese parliament. This assessment according to Yassin, aims “to enhance oversight role, make legislation process more systemic, strengthen capacities of parliament staff & build trust with society”. Indeed, this initiative is very identical to the one originally developed by UNDP in the project document. The initiative was announced on Yassin’s twitter account and should be investigated further either to initiative collaboration with UNDP, or to assess potential “competition” and therefore avoid duplication work. It remains unclear whether this initiative is endorsed by the Parliament Administration or the Speaker’s office. 

• Assess the extent to which the project has addressed the issues of gender inclusion, women’s equality and empowerment, and the extent to which gender perspectives have been mainstreamed into the design and implementation of the project; Both in its design and implementation, the project addresses gender inclusion, women’s equality and empowerment. In fact, in all project documents since 2011, there is a clear mention of gender mainstreaming. The Project Documents (PDs) clearly states that the general strategy of the project is grounded in “gender equality” among other democratic governance practices, such as Human Rights and anti-corruption. Moreover, the PDs emphasize that the project should promote “gender equality and women and youth empowerment, inclusive participation (with a special focus on woman and youth)”. It is to be noted, therefore, that the project’s design and activities are indeed gender sensitive and offer some practical steps towards achieving gender mainstreaming. In other words, and to a large extent the project does respond successfully to the criteria set by UNDP on the importance of gender mainstreaming


Tag: Relevance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender Parity Women's Empowerment Election Human rights Parliament Rule of law Strategic Positioning Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

3.

3. Effectiveness

The evaluation finds that the project has achieved its expected results with different levels of success and that project effectiveness has been compromised by three main challenges: the general political and security situation of the country, the lack of responsiveness by many MPs towards the project, and the eventual constraints placed by the Parliament Administration on the project activities. These challenges have led the project to be implemented in an ad hoc fashion, whereby its activities are implemented inconsistently and according to the personal initiatives of certain MPs.

It is noteworthy that the project has made significant progress throughout the years on many levels, including building and maintaining excellent relations with the Lebanese Parliament Administration, the NHRAP, the LPIP, and most recently, the SDG Parliamentary Body. It has also remarkably developed very good relations with representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), a point that will be developed below (Under Efficiency). Yet it remains very difficult to objectively assess and to quantify the effectiveness of the project since 2011 because the Results and Resources Framework (RRF) is very quantitative and focused on activities. Bearing in mind the nature of the parliament and its slow and long-term nature, it is complicated to measure the extent to which the activities have contributed towards achieving results and producing an impact on the institutions itself. 

• The evaluation assesses the extent to which project’s objectives have been achieved and consider if the planned activities are coherent with the overall objectives and project purpose. Under this evaluation criterion the evaluator should, inter alia: • Validate results achieved against Project Document (and subsequent revisions) as well as the related standard framework for M&E;


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Parliament Partnership Results-Based Management Theory of Change Humanitarian development nexus Institutional Strengthening Technical Support

4.

3. Effectiveness (continuation)

Alternatively, and under the same Output 2, the project has been more effective in working on the organization of Regional Periodic Workshops (RPWs), “one of the most essential components of this project” according to a UN senior staff. These RDWs aims to facilitate dialogue and exchange between the government, local authorities, public agencies, the private sector, CSOs, and the parliamentarians. Indeed, the evaluation finds that these workshops and the publications they produce are very useful. It is striking, however, that these reports have not been published on the website of the parliament, a website that has been updated and yearly subsidized by the UNDP project, because “everything takes time and the prior agreement of the Parliament Administration”. Still, over time these workshops have lost momentum and their numbers have decreased (Annex 5: List of RPWs).  

Between 2011 and 2013, the project was very active in supporting parliamentary committees with studies and expertise, such as the technical support provided to the Administration and Justice parliamentary committee or the one of the Youth and Sports.

In addition, and always under Output 1, the efforts deployed to support women and children issues are remarkable. In fact, on many occasions, the project facilitated the interaction of CSOs with the parliament. This is the case for instance, of the assistance that was provided to the head of the Woman and Child Parliamentary Committee in studying “the draft law proposal on the optional personal status” presented by a CSO (SHAML).


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Civic Engagement Parliament Communication Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Institutional Strengthening Technical Support National Institutions Private Sector

5.

3. Effectiveness (continuation)

 The yearly report of 2011 does not explain or justify this shift. But, according to the project manager, “the renewal of the PD depends on the trustworthy relation between the parliament administration and the project management… the activities are not thoroughly discussed during the yearly board meetings. Alternatively, all activities require the pre-approval of the administration. That’s why the project presents to the National Coordinator, a detailed background on the activities, stating the main purpose, objectives, and direct and indirect involved stakeholders as well as the expected outcomes. This draft should then be approved by the Speaker of the House…. And this is when the parliament administration did not approve Output 2. (tracking system) and has to be omitted at another stage”. While this description is very clear and comprehensive, it shows the extent to which the parliament administration for reasons that remains unclear to the evaluator, are able to set a “ceiling” for the project and even go farther to push for the amendment of the PD. 

Finally, Output 3 (from 2011-2013) was successfully implemented. In fact, the project played crucial role in supporting the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee (HRPC) in finalizing and adopting the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRP) and ensuring buy-in by all stakeholders. The process is highly appreciated by Dr. Michel Moussa, the Head of the HRPC, who have expressed all gratitude to the project for pushing for the adoption of the NHRAP and is also expecting a similar role from the project to adopt the NHRIP. 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Resource mobilization Parliament Partnership Quality Assurance Results-Based Management Technical Support

6.

4. Efficiency

• The evaluator will assess how economically inputs, such as expertise and time, are converted to results. Under this evaluation criterion the evaluator should, inter alia: • Assess the existing governance structure of the UNDP project and analyze areas of strength and weakness as well as provide concrete recommendations on possible new models and approaches for future phase post 2018 elections. In order to assess the existing governance structure of the project and analyze areas of strength and weakness, the evaluation looks closely at the project board, the relationship between the project management and the wider UNDP-GP and the project team. 

a. The Project Board While the project has enjoyed ongoing support from the part of the project board, the evaluation finds that the role of the project board remains somewhat limited. The project board brings together a representative of the UNDP, the Parliamentary Administration and MPs with whom the project has worked since its inception. The project board is expected to meet at least twice a year and conduct a Tripartite Review at the end of the year in order 1) to assess and evaluate the achievements of the project 2) to discuss a new action plan as well as 3) to renew the cooperation agreement between both parties. In effect, the board meets only once a year, for a maximum of two hours. During the first hour, the general activities implemented by the project are discussed. Thereafter, the board discusses and approves the renewal of the project for the year to come. While this serves to maintain the momentum of the project, and crucially, to prolong its life, the project board does not provide critical feedback based on performance evaluation reports or criteria. To date, the project board has not invited additional partners or stakeholders in their capacity as observers to share relevant information as and when required. Moreover, there is general consensus that the board adopts a very informal approach towards the project, in that it does not have input in the content of the project, but rather primarily serves to renew trust between the UNDP and the Lebanese Parliament. In the words of a project team member, “The board is extremely supportive, especially the Parliamentary Administration. We know already that the project will be renewed”. In fact, this statement reflects, once again, the that the relations between the project and the Lebanese administration and the project board are built on trust. But this trust does not extend to play a real supportive role to the project, where the board play an essential role in fulfilling some prerogatives that help to guide and support not only the project per se, but rather the activities of the project as set in the PD. The evaluation finds that the project board should remain positive and supportive, but it should expand to include other development partner representatives and former MPs. Most importantly, its prerogatives should be laid out and specified in a document resembling a mandate. 


Tag: Efficiency Parliament Human and Financial resources Oversight Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Technical Support

7.

4. Efficiency (continuation)

c. The Relationship between the Project Management and the UNDP - GP The project falls under the Governance Program of the UNDP and the relationship between the project management and the program is by and large productive and smooth. The UNDP-GP regularly reviews and approves the project work plans and reports as well as the appointment and responsibilities of its staff. Nevertheless, the relationship finds itself in a grey area with regards to the coordination of fundraising and the emphasis on deliverables. - Coordination of Fundraising: ambiguity regarding who should be raising funds for the project has affected fundraising for the project, whereby both project management and UNDP-GP have not deployed sufficient efforts to communicate with donors, raise and secure additional funds. It is important to note that, according to a UNDP – GP staff member, “GP program has shared all possible and available funding opportunities or call for proposals with the project team and jointly developed more than 9 proposals”. Despite these efforts, there is a lack of understanding about what is to be done and who is to do it with regards to fundraising. And given the strategic role of the project UNDP senior management is expected to play an active role in raising funds for the project. - Emphasis on Deliverables: the relationship between the project management and the program is skewed towards meeting the requirements of the UNDP-GP, which revolves mainly around deliverables or the importance of conducting activities that might eventually be incorporated in the quarterly or yearly reports. This contrasts with the nature of working with the Lebanese Parliament, which tends to be slow and oriented towards long-term objectives rather than short-term ones. This might have led the project management to focus on organizing workshops, and the project to develop a reputation as a “secretariat” of the Lebanese Parliament and the Parliament Administration, a point which will be explored in more detail below.  


Tag: Efficiency Parliament Knowledge management Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Risk Management Strategic Positioning Technical Support

8.

4. Efficiency (continuation)

a. A cautious approach Since the project works to support the Lebanese Parliament, the latter is positioned to set the terms of this support. The project requires the prior approval of the Lebanese Parliament Administration for its annual work plans as well as its activities. As highlighted by one civil society activist who organized a workshop with the project, “the Lebanese Parliament Administration can and does cancel events, and change or veto names of certain participants and speakers and, most crucially, the choice of policy issue.” This has led the project management to be rather cautious in planning and implementing activities. This is clearly expressed by the project manager, “I only work upon requests by heads of parliamentary committees, and not individual MPs, and when I have the prior authorization from the Parliament Administration. This cautious approach in dealing with the parliament administration comes after two different project managers before 2011. The first manager had to leave his position for “unknown reasons” as explained by many interlocutors. After his departure the cooperation activities with the French and Belgian embassies and their national parliaments were suspended (exchange visits). Another manager did not last for more than one year as “she was either very daring”, or “did not understand the project”. Another evidence also is due to the fact that the parliament asked the project to “withdraw a publication on a specific topic that was opposed by a political party”. 

This has led the project to operate in a very cautious and reluctant way, which gives rise to contradictory effects. On the one hand, this guarantees the sustainability of the project, which enjoys the ongoing support of the Parliament Administration. On the other hand, however, this compromises some of the project’s outputs that do not find interest in the Parliament Administration. For instance, the parliamentary internship program for university students, which was previously considered a success story and a major activity towards achieving Output 2, is no longer managed by the project and has lost its momentum under the leadership of the parliament. As revealed by a member of the Parliament Administration, “The internship program opened the doors of the parliament to young people, but also granted them access to otherwise undisclosed information and backdoor politics.” 


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Parliament Partnership Project and Programme management Coordination Technical Support

9.

4. Efficiency (continuation)

c. Underfunded Project The project has been seriously underfunded since at least 2014. As a direct result of this budgetary shortage, the project outputs and activities have become unrealistic. This has been echoed on several occasions by the project manager who deplores the lack of funds and the inability to support MPs and respond to their requests. On several occasions, for instance, the head of the Sports and Youth Parliamentary Committee has requested an action plan for the committee, but the project has been unable to deliver due to the lack of funds. Yet despite this funding shortage, if the skill sets of the project team are more efficiently deployed, they can continue to meet the various requests of MPs. With regards to cost-sharing between the UNDP and the Parliament, payments by the latter have been considerably delayed and in turn the UNDP has taken it upon itself to cover the payments out of their “kit money”. While this reveals mutual commitment to the project and the partnership, it also places undue pressure on the project team, who was unsure that the project can continue to pay their salaries. Indeed, the project’s struggle with funding has been exacerbated by the dramatic political deadlock and the lack of interest by donors to support the inactive. Today, however, with the newly elected parliament, there is momentum to build on and to position the project as a strategic one for the sake of strengthening Lebanese state institutions. 


Tag: Efficiency Resource mobilization Parliament Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Results-Based Management

10.

4. Efficiency (continuation)

Undertake a comprehensive risk assessment for the future phase post 2018 elections; The risk analysis included in previous project documents is very comprehensive and logically laid out. With every risk factor, there is a relevant countermeasure. For the future post-2018 elections phase, the risk analysis should incorporate an additional risk factor related to the lack of political consensus and resulting political deadlock. The countermeasure of this risk factor should be holding activities that might eventually secure a rapprochement among MPs along the political spectrum. This guarantees that the project does not stall if or when political stalemate should arise. An additional risk factor relating to the loss of donor interest in the Lebanese Parliament should be incorporated into the analysis. The countermeasure of this risk factor should be setting a deadline to develop a new project document (two months from now), a new fundraising strategy as well as a communication strategy that introduces the project to all MPs (one month from now). 

Assess the multiple stakeholders approach, engaging with different partnership levels with public institutions, Civil Society Organizations, the international community, UN agencies, and experts/academia. This evaluation finds that the project activities are to a large extent confined to the institution of the parliament. While the project has successfully coordinated with CSOs, it made relatively little effort to engage with other UN agencies and development organizations. The evaluation looks closely at three primary actors with whom the project has interacted or should eventually interact with in the post-2018 elections phase


Tag: Efficiency Civic Engagement Parliament Results-Based Management Risk Management UN Agencies Technical Support

11.

5. Impact and Sustainability

• The evaluator will provide credible observations regarding the impact achieved by the project with regards to the beneficiaries.

• Assess benefits to beneficiaries that can be directly attributed to the project

Impact

The project has contributed to many activities with two main direct beneficiaries as per the project documents: the Lebanese Parliament Administration and the Parliamentarians (both as Heads of Parliamentary committees and MPs). 

(1) Lebanese Parliament and its Administration: The Lebanese Parliament Administration has benefited greatly from the project specifically in terms of training and exchange visits. In fact, almost all interviews conducted with the Administration confirmed that trainings and exchange visits were the most beneficial. In this context, the head of the “research and studies administration” at the parliament asked the project to deliver further training on research methods for its staff. On the other hand, the project successfully implemented the LPIP that opened the door for young people to have a first-hand experience on how the parliament functions. Different people working at the administration, including General Directors, deplore that this program is no longer as efficient as it used to attack a large numbers of applicants. Currently, the LPIP is managed by the parliament administration and it is not clear whether they are active in recruiting young interns or not; effectively, the project previously attracted more than 100 applications and for instance in 2016 enrolled up to 15 trainees per year at the General Directorate of Foreign Affairs and General Director Consultant office. The project also supported the process of redesigning and updating the parliament website. The website is regularly being updated; however, not all studies of the UNDP project are posted online yet. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Impact Parliament Ownership Institutional Strengthening Technical Support National Institutions Youth

12.

5. Impact and Sustainability 

Impact (continuation)

• What are the direct or indirect, intended or unintended changes that can be attributed to the project’s assistance? 

Civil Society Organizations: In fact, the project has served as a sort of gatekeeper and entry point to the parliament. Through its permanent presence in the parliament in addition to the legitimacy and trust that the project team has acquired over the years with certain MPs and parliament staff, the project has facilitated access for civil society groups to MPs. The project has enabled NGOs to advance their reform agendas, which have also been followed up on by the project team in the parliament. For instance, and most recently, the project worked closely with ALEF to organize a workshop at the Lebanese parliament: “the project facilitated contact with parliament”. Over time, the project has become a reference point for some civil society groups. The latter continue to approach the project manager on how best to navigate the bureaucracy of the parliament and how to approach MPs (i.e. how to set an agenda, to use logos, to suggest names to speak on panels...), as observed first hand by the evaluator. The project has also developed advanced knowledge in certain portfolios particularly the one of the women. As a civil society activist reported, nowadays, the “project is able to provide assistance and expertise to anybody on issues related to women from the rights to the nationality etc.” 


Tag: Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Civic Engagement Parliament Knowledge management Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

13.

5. Impact and Sustainability 

Sustainability

• The evaluator will assess the project capacity to produce and reproduce benefits over time by considering to what extent intervention benefits will continue even after the project is concluded. • Review the efforts of the project to ensure the national ownership and the measures that serve to enhance national capacity enough to guarantee the sustainability of results

First and foremost, the evaluation finds that the sustainability of the project outputs are structurally dependent on its endorsement by the Speaker of the Parliament as well as its approval and support by the Lebanese Parliament Administration. This is evidenced by the fact that up to 75% of the project’s current budget is secured by the parliament, while the remaining 25% comes directly from the UN. Secondly, the evaluation finds that the sustainability of the project is very precarious given that the current project document does not attract donor interest, according to a UNDP senior official. Thirdly, the effectiveness and impact of the project have largely depended on the responsiveness and will of certain MPs. This further increases the precarity of project sustainability, since these MPs might not remain in office. This is the case of one MP who worked very closely and efficiently with the project but was not re-elected during the 2018 elections. The project has not yet found similar momentum with the MP who replaced the latter as the head of the Parliamentary Committee he used to preside. Fourthly, and on a related note, the project’s work with MPs has led it to operate in an ad hoc fashion rather than sufficiently address structures and procedures, which ultimately compromises its long-term impact and sustainability. In fact, its focus on short-term activities and workshops dampens the sustainability of its impact, for instance, such as its impact on civil society as described above. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Sustainability Civic Engagement Public administration reform Donor relations Ownership Partnership

Recommendations
1

7. Recommendations

The evaluation recommends that the project draft a new project document within the Result and Resources Framework (RRF). The recommendations are divided into two parts: (1) general recommendations pertaining to the requirements for laying the groundwork for successful project design and implementation; and (2) specific recommendations with regards to project design and implementation during the post-2018 phase.

7.1 General Recommendations 

R1. Political Buy-In: The UNDP country office has a vital role to play in ensuring that the project stays on track and secures the buy-in of the national political leadership. Any renewal and revision of the project design requires a priori the involvement and endorsement of the speaker’s office and the parliament administration. In addition, there should be a buy-in from all different political parliamentary blocs that represent the Lebanese political landscape.  This is the key to the success of the project from the outset

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R2. Ownership by the MPs: The project document is a living document, and as such, requires the input of its primary stakeholders. The UNDP can facilitate an inclusive process that draws in the MPs and highlights their needs and priorities, which can be accurately reflected and integrated into the project document. The ownership of the project by the MPs revives the importance of the project and ensures its effectiveness and the sustainability of its outcome

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R3. Terms of engagement: The project can be more creative and daring in order to free itself from the cautious and reluctant approach in dealing with the parliament administration.  This could be possible only when the project is sufficiently backed up by UNDP country office

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R4. Champions of the project: The project can benefit from the presence of highly motivated MPs who might champion the project among their colleagues. These MPs should be the main partners of the project and should be regularly incentivized.

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R5. Active role for the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP: The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP senior management can play an essential role in supporting the project by working to secure the endorsement of different political parties or the one of the UN agencies working in Lebanon. This can be achieved by highlighting the role of the Lebanese parliament as central to resolving the most pressing issues that Lebanon is currently facing such as the Environment and Economic challenges (CEDRE). This positioning of the project as a “key access point to endorse the parliament and support it will eventually not only attract the interest of the UN agencies but most importantly the one of donor community too

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R6. Thematic areas of focus: Through the inclusive process bringing together the UNDP, the parliament administration and the MPs, the project should jointly identify three or four areas as the main focus of the project for the coming three years. The established SDG parliamentary unit can play a key role in this process. These thematic areas of focus can be implemented through a process-oriented strategy rather than the previous default ad-hoc strategy. Such thematic areas might include the environment, human rights, and economy (relevant to CEDRE), but also women political participation as an integrated approach with other projects, regional programme, and other agencies (Specifically UN women, whose representative expressed all willingness to closely collaborate with the project and implement joint activities). Indeed, these areas should be identified within the national priorities, in consultation with the beneficiaries of the project.

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7.2 Specific Recommendations

a. A new project document - The evaluation finds that the current project document is very broad and does not provide donors with incentives to invest in the project. The UNDP should adopt a strategy for the early involvement of development partners, based on regular consultation, for the next phase of the project. This requires setting a clear deadline and strategy to involve different stakeholders (first and foremost, the MPs) in the project design. The design of the next phase should be done in an inclusive process that draws in all the stakeholders. The project can benefit from an expert in project design and development and the expertise available at the Country Office and other UNDP Regional Programmes. - The project design should place more emphasis on procedures and structures to enhance the sustainability of the project. More specifically, project outputs should be conceived in such a flexible and long-term way tailored to an institution like the Lebanese Parliament. Such procedures and structures might include a legislative tracking mechanism or a technical legislative unit. - Setting a deadline to develop a new project document (two months from now), a new fundraising strategy as well as a communication strategy that introduces the project to all MPs (one month from now). - The project design should also include the development of a communication strategy that (1) introduces the project to all the current MPs and to donors and development agencies; (2) valorizes the strategic importance of the UNDP project and its competitive role; and (3) highlights project achievements and updates. The project can benefit from the expertise of a communication strategy specialist. 

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7.2 Specific Recommendations 

b. Project governance Project Board The project should reactivate and give more prerogatives to the project board. It can do so to include senior representatives of the parliament, UNDP officials, and development partner representatives etc. The project board should meet every three months with a clear description of the meeting’s objectives and should communicate its updates to MPs in order to incentivize them and guarantee progress of the work. 

Parliament Forum The project should convene an annual parliament forum that meets twice a year and brings together all the project stakeholders including current and former MPs, UN agencies, the donor community and development agencies, in order to disseminate project results and encourage coordination and networking. 

c. The Project Team The Team - Revise the ToR and Divide the tasks according to new TORs; - Provide specialized Training for the team especially in areas pertaining to parliamentary work; - Capitalize on the individual knowledge and expertise of the project team members; - Expand the project team in light of the project’s need for the coming phase. This can include, for instance, a legal expert that provides support to the President of the Parliament and to the Committees. 

d. Outcomes and Support to the Parliament: Procedures and Mechanisms. Legislation Unit - Set in place a Legislation Unit at the parliament to help MPs draft and review legislation; This unit on the long run will eventually put in place a systematic follow-up on the work of parliamentary committees and the legislation they are conducting (comparative studies etc.); - The unit should recruit non-partisan staff, that can provide unbiased research and information; - The Unit will adopt an integrated approach to legislation: which is based on interdisciplinary analysis and advice that brings together the legal, technical, budget and gender expertise available in the Project; - The Unit will play an active role in supporting the course to train the MPs legal advisors. 

Legislative Tracking Mechanism: - Re-Initiate a Legislative Tracking Mechanism in order to identify the state of affairs of all pending legislation pertaining to specific sectors (health, environment etc.)

Oversight - Conduct specialize induction courses for MPs on oversight mechanisms 

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7.2 Specific Recommendations 

e. Support activities 

- Course for Advisors: In order to compensate for the lack of legislation bodies and in the immediate term, the project should develop and conduct training courses for advisor of MPs. Even though only few MPs have advisor, this can be an incentives for other MPs to appoint new advisor. The UNDP project should send a letter to MPs asking them to appoint candidates to follow the course. These candidates can eventually support the MP in drafting and reviewing legislation. - Course for Journalists on Parliamentary work: In order to sensitize journalists on the role of MPs, the project should develop and conduct a training course for them. This can eventually help journalists develop expertise on the parliamentary affairs. - Enhance mechanisms of coordination with all UN agencies and donor community. - The project could indeed rely on in-house expertise available at the UNDP and other UN agencies and this is specially required in order to provide an opportunity for cross-fertilization within the UNDP governance program and other projects or programs at UNDP. This can also compensate on the lack of financial resources. - Establish new and/or reactive cooperation programs with other Arab and Foreign Parliaments     

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