Mid term Outcome evaluation of the Sustainable Growth Programme

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Gambia
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
10/2019
Completion Date:
11/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title Mid term Outcome evaluation of the Sustainable Growth Programme
Atlas Project Number: 00066971
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Gambia
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2019
Planned End Date: 10/2019
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Output 3.1. Core functions of government enabled (in post conflict situations) to ensure national ownership of recovery and development processes
  • 4. Output 7.1. Global consensus on completion of MDGs and the post 2015 agenda informed by contributions from UNDP
  • 5. 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
  • 6. Output 1.2. Options enabled and facilitated for inclusive and sustainable social protection
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 45,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Clifford Nuwakora Independant Evaluator cliff.nuwakora@gmail.com UGANDA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: GAMBIA
Lessons
Findings
1.

2.0 Findings

The presentation of findings follows the OECD/DAC evaluation criteria. The findings presented are informed by the stakeholders’ opinions as well as the expert and independent judgement of the consultant. On the basis of these findings, the conclusions, lessons learnt, best practices and recommendations are made as also presented in the last section of this report.

2.1 Programme relevance

The internal and external programme consistence was the key parameter on which programme relevance was assessed. Externally, the evaluation analyzed the degree of programme alignment with the national development aspirations enshrined in various development documents as well the UNDAF strategic direction. Internally, analysis of the programme concept and design, implementation and management as well as monitoring and evaluation arrangements have formed a central part of the relevance analysis as presented hereunder;


Tag: Relevance Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Risk Management Theory of Change Country Government Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction

2.

2.1 Programme relevance

2.1.2 Programme implementation and Management

The programme implementation and management roles have been clearly defined in the project documents. The mechanisms that were put in place is to use existing Government structures such as the Project Coordinating or management Units in the line ministries for executing the NIM and carrying out the responsibilities of coordination, procurement, accounting, monitoring and evaluation of projects. This implementation arrangement was premised on the strategy to develop Government’s capacity and strengthen the existing structures to ensure that there is increased accountability, improved programme delivery and lay the foundation for sustainability. The PCU at the Ministry of Finance for the project ‘Support to strengthened capacities of national institutions responsible for economic management and evidence-based policy, planning and budgeting to achieve inclusive growth and poverty reduction in the Gambia (2017- 2021)’ is found to be well staffed and have over a decade technical expertise in procurement, finance and coordination. Government recruited a Program Officer who is fully dedicated to managing the UNDP’s project and carrying out quality assurance measures thereby strengthening the monitoring and evaluation function of the Unit. The Evaluation found out that the Unit is positioned to offer advisory services to Implementing Partners and function effectively. 

The PCU at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment managing the project “ Support to Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Development for Inclusive Growth, Employment Generation and Poverty Reduction 2017-21’ is also responsible for coordination, procurement, accounting, monitoring and evaluation of activities using the NIM. However, during the programme cycle, a micro assessment was conducted, and the Ministry was found to be of high risk hence all the transactions were done through UNDP assisted NIM. This modality has some unfavorable consequences for both UNDP and Government. The unexpectedness of this downgrade has resulted in the implementation rate decreasing from 90% to 60% and added pressure on both the programme and Operations sections at UNDP to take up the extra work of processing all the payments. 


Tag: Coherence Relevance Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Country Government Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction Policy Advisory

3.

2.2 Effectiveness

Programme contribution towards an improvement in national government’s capacity for economic management and private sector led growth for employment generation and poverty reduction forms the central piece in the effectiveness analysis presented in this sub section. More specifically, the sub section articulates the evaluative evidence of UNDP’s contribution towards the realization of the desired results under the two projects feeding into CPD outcome 1. As required in the ToR, the analysis is extended to the effectiveness of the programme delivery strategies including UNDP’s partnership strategy, its comparative advantage in meaningful delivery of the required support as well as facilitating and inhibiting factors for performance as seen hereunder;

2.2.1 Programme contribution towards improved capacity for economic management

Enhanced economic management capacity is a requirement for proper alignment of national resources and its development ambitions which is a pathway to inclusive growth and poverty reduction. In its CPD 2017-21, UNDP has prioritized capacity strengthening support to key national institutions responsible for economic management and evidencebased policy, planning and budgeting to achieve inclusive growth and poverty reduction in the Gambia. They include the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and The Gambia Bureau of Statistics. 

The effects of weak economic management was detrimental to national development and inclusive growth as it was the leading factor behind the widening fiscal deficits, rising public debt and balance of payments problems. Furthermore, the weak linkages between planning and budgeting was a great inhibitor to achieving enhanced alignment between priority areas and resources allocation hence leading to exclusive growth2 . In the light of the country’s predicaments in economic management as articulated in the EMP document, UNDP set out to strengthen the institutional policies and technical capacities needed to manage the economy, while stimulating multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral cooperation for effective implementation of national policies and programme. This ambition is to be achieved through delivering four core outputs: i) Strengthen capacity for sound economic (fiscal) policy, research and data for evidence based decisionmaking including use of foresight and generation of scenarios in addition to projections; (ii) Enhance capacity for pro-poor and gender-responsive budgeting, resource allocation, management and reporting, while demystifying the planning and budgetary process and making these processes inclusive and participatory by engaging all citizens including the most marginalized to reflect the priorities, realities and yield greater positive impact on the welfare of the poor and vulnerable; (iii) Build and strengthen capacity for effective development planning, monitoring and evaluation across Government and Councils; and (iv) Strengthen capacity for effective public finance management, internal controls and increased accountability in government operations.

The evaluation noted that substantial results have been achieved under each of the outputs at midline and this conveys hope for the realization of envisaged results at full implementation should the implementation momentum be maintained and/or scaled up. Midline results are discussed hereunder; 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Mainstreaming Project and Programme management Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction Data and Statistics

4.

2.2 Effectiveness (continuation)

ii) Capacity for pro-poor and gender-responsive budgeting, resource allocation, management and reporting

The quality of budgeting processes and appropriateness of resource allocation, management practices, monitoring and reporting are key requirements for achieving inclusive growth that is pro-poor and gender sensitive. This necessitates functional planning, budgeting and monitoring systems at both national and sub national levels. At baseline, only 2 government institutions had functional planning, budgeting and monitoring systems albeit they still needed further strengthening. It was against this backdrop that the EMP was designed to strengthen pro-poor policy, planning and budgeting capacities of key government institutions with planning and budgeting mandate. Prioritized interventions/activities are: i) provide training on the IFMIS Budget Module; ii) raise public awareness on budget planning, execution and monitoring through supported interface with private sector, NGOs, and Civil Societies; iii) integration of CSDRMS with the settlement system at Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG); iv) develop of an offline module and integration of AMP with IFMIS. 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Results-Based Management Poverty Reduction Data and Statistics

5.

2.2 Effectiveness (Continuation)

iii) Capacity for effective development planning, monitoring and evaluation across Government and Councils

The capacity of multi-layered planning structures is critical for achieving participatory planning through a bottom-up approach. This would enable successful trickle down of the priorities in the national and international development (NDP, SDGs and Agenda 2063) into sub national and sectoral plans. This makes the need for appropriate planning and budgeting coordination mechanisms critical. Thus, strengthening national and subnational capacity for effective planning, monitoring and evaluation formed a key intervention under the Economic Management Project. Under the EMP, support is prioritized for: i) formulation of a national planning policy/strategy ii) capacity building for Planners; iii) developing strategic planning tools and guidelines; iii) conducting periodic reviews and evaluation of national development plans and the SDGs; iv) establishment of South-South Cooperation on best practices in development planning; and implementation of the Public-Private-Partnerships. These interventions are envisaged to yield: i) strengthened linkages between the National Development Plan, SDGs, Agenda 2063 and sectors and regional plans and policies; ii) strengthened linkage between national development priorities and budgets; and iii) a vibrant Public-Private-Partnerships as a viable option to raise funds for implementation of programmes.

With the EMP support quarterly planners’ meetings (8) have been successfully held in addition to other capacity strengthening achievements registered through Development & review of sectoral & Regional Strategic plans; national and sub national staff trainings, acquisition of requisite equipment and public sensitization on key national development policies. In respect to policy formulation, the project supported the Development Planning policy as well as the Strategic plans for Basse, Kuntaur, Kerewan, Mansakonko, Kanifing and Banjul LGA’s. Additionally, the project supported trainings in project planning & proposal development and Results Based Monitoring benefited 50 planners and 34 planners & M&E officers respectively. Furthermore, a 40 day EMP supported land and property valuation and GIS training benefited 39 MoLRG&RA & Council Staff.

The evaluation noted that the planned interventions under this output adequately designed to address the policy, system and human capacity gaps and are their potentially able to generate the desired results. However, weakness has been noted in the poor follow-ups to ascertain the changes in competence levels and further inform continuous capacity strengthening. Furthermore, while the support for the formulation of the LGAs strategic plans is in the right direction, support for the implementation of these plans is still critically need if the desired nation-wide transformational changes are to be holistically achieved. In tandem with the project target of increasing the number of national and sub national and subnational governments with functioning planning, budgeting and monitoring systems from 2 (baseline) to 6 (End line)10, the evaluation noted that this target has been achieved at midline. Additional 6 (LRR, NBR, KMC, BJL, CCRN, URR) sub national governments have been supported to establish functional planning, budgeting and monitoring systems through the project supported interventions discussed here above.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Project and Programme management Country Government Inclusive economic growth SDG Integration

6.

2.2 Effectiveness (Continuation)

2.2.2 Programme contribution towards improved private sector led growth for employment generation and poverty reduction

A vibrant private sector that is built on sound policy and regulatory framework for entrepreneurship enhancement is a key pathway to addressing poverty, inequality and exclusion. These are the major development challenges for which the EPSDP was designed to address. Disproportionate distribution of benefits of growth as well as limited employment opportunities for women and the youths remained key development challenges and indicators of poverty and exclusion. With 48.4% of the population living below the poverty line and national unemployment rate as high as 29.2%, the need for more specific growth interventions for the Gambians became more necessary. It continued to emerge that unemployment rate was higher in the rural areas (31.1%) than urban areas (28.4%) with women shouldering the disproportional burden than their male counterparts (38.3%: 20.9%) respectively. Whilst the government of The Gambia has been committed to a private sector led policy programme to drive growth and development, weaknesses in policy implementation remained a key hindrance16 to the achievement of the desired results. It was against this backdrop that the EPSDP was designed and implemented. The project thrust revolves around three core outcome areas under which the midline progress was assessed as seen hereunder;


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Private Sector Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Youth

7.

2.2 Effectiveness (Continuation)

ii) Capacity development of local entrepreneurs for improved productivity and competitiveness

The interventional focus for achieving the desired results under this outcome area include: i) training programme for entrepreneurship, business management and technical support; ii) post training support through mentorship, networking and knowledge development and sharing; iii) support NGOs, individuals and institutions supporting innovative skills; iv) Enterprise establishment; v) improve and consolidate the gains made by flagship projects such as EMPRETEC and Songhai; and vi) institutionalization of skills development and entrepreneurship training by developing curricula.

The review of the interventional focus and the EPSDP work plan indicates that the project priorities were well integrated in the work plan and budget; a factor that facilitated smooth implementation. As such, the project set out to support the training of 4000 entrepreneurs in addition to establishing a mechanism for supporting continuous entrepreneurship training. The MTR established that the EPSDP has so far supported entrepreneurship trainings, business advisory services that have led to job and livelihood creation as summarized in table 2.1 below.

In the light of the overall target of training 4000 entrepreneurs, the achievement hitherto still fall short of the midline expectation as it constitutes about 40% of the target. The MTR noted that there has not been a systematic criteria of distributing the overall target across the project implementation phases (annual and quarterly). In such a scenario, the achievement of the end line target may seriously be jeopardized due to lack of systematic targeting. The MTR further noted that the project has established an effective supportive monitoring of the entrepreneurs which provides opportunities for post-training mentorship. As a result of the business support services, 352 businesses have demonstrated an improvement in their business through profits, book keeping and expansion of networks.

Institutional support to Gambia Songhai initiatives has been well delivered in a manner that strengthens the capacity of the institution. The MTR learnt that the project is supporting the institute with the salaries of 13 staff19 in addition to 108 students out of 200 targeted that are being supported at the centre. Other project supported activities include the tracer study, an incubator as well as the assessment of the institute and development of a business plan. In the area of enterprise establishment, the contribution of the project has also be worthwhile. Project support towards the establishment and functionality of Single Window Business Registry, PENDA Platform, the National Business Council and SME Help Desk is much appreciated by the stakeholders that participated in this evaluation. Through these initiatives, enterprise establishment and formalization is gaining momentum country-wide. The process for registering a business has been simplified and the enterprises that have been registered ever since are reportedly higher compared to the period before the project according to project staff. Knowledge development, sharing and networking has also received appropriate attention. More specifically, the project support to trade fairs, youth connekt, and studytours to other case studies are strategic initiatives to enable experience sharing which leads to business growth and employment creation. Despite the slow pace towards achievement of the overall target of 4000 entrepreneurs trained, the initiatives implemented under this outcome area are strategic and with high potential of generating the desired results. However, the implementation of the prioritized initiatives herein exhibits the following gaps.

. ü The evaluation did not establish the existence of a clear criteria for selecting trainees. Whereas a rapid assessment to identify beneficiaries and local partners was proposed in the project document, it was not accordingly planned and budgeted for in the work plan. ü Furthermore, whereas the project reporting requires desegregated data in terms of gender and disability, the evaluation could not ascertain any affirmative actions undertaken to ensure that the targeted special interest groups (women, youths and people with disabilities) are adequately targeted. ü The content provided in progress reporting is marred with variations. For example in 2018 progress report, the number of people trained, jobs and livelihoods created are provided which is not the case in other progress report (refer to table 2.1 above). ü The evaluation could not ascertain the pre and post training assessment of the beneficiaries in order to assess the effectiveness of the training and possible other areas in which training might be needed.

The above implementation and reporting gaps notwithstanding, the MTR noted that the interventions under this outcome area were adequately designed with potential to deliver the intended results should the identified gaps highlighted above be addressed.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Private Sector Jobs and Livelihoods

8.

2.2 Effectiveness (Continuation)

2.2.3 Progress towards CPD outcome 1 indicators and targets

Four outcome level indicators were identified for CPD outcome 1. They are: i) Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth from 4.2% (2016) at baseline to 7% by 2021; ii) Percentage of population below $1.75 per day (‘poverty headcount’) reduced from 48.4% (2010) at baseline to 20% by 2021; iii) increase in real GDP per capita from $271 (2014) to $1,250 by 2021 and iv) reduction in unemployment rate from 29.2% (National), 31.1% (rural), 28.4% (urban) as well as 20.9% and 38.3% among male and female respectively to 10% by 20212.

According to the Economic Outlook for Gambia (2018) Real GDP has grown from 4.2% in 2017 to 6.6% in 2018 and that it continued to grow during the first half of 2019. GDP per capita also shows an upward trend having grown from $271 (2014) to $754 in 2018. 

Lower mid-income poverty is also indicated to have reduced from 48.4% in 2010 to 37.8% in 201822. However, much as the Economic outlook for the Gambia indicates that poverty has declined as indicated in the figure above, these statistics cannot be verified without reference to results from the National Integrated Household survey. This is because there could be some variations in the measurement of poverty indicators. However, the envisaged results in the employment sector seem not to have been realized despite the great investment committed under the two CPD outcome 1 projects. The 2018 labor force survey still indicate national unemployment rate stands at 35.2% and of these male and female constitute 44.7% and 55.3% respectively23. Urban a rural unemployment rates are still high 23.4% and 76.6% respectively. In the rural areas the percentage of unemployed male and female is un expectedly higher (74.3% and 78.4% respectively) than the baseline and even the project targets and the same in true in urban areas (25.7% and 21.6% respectively). The Labour Force Survey further indicates that the percentage of the unemployed population that was previously employed is higher than that seeking first employment (70.2% and 41.0% for male and 29.8% and 59.0% for female respectively). The implications of these findings is that the factors that are making the Gambians unemployed are still very active and require further investigations.

In the light of the current unemployment situation and the programme target of reducing unemployment to 10%, the achievement of this target hangs in balance. Accordingly, the 4000 targeted entrepreneurs to be trained under the EPSDP constitute 1.7% of the 234,725 unemployed population aged between 15-64. Even if each trained entrepreneur is able to create 10 jobs (which may not even be possible), unemployment rate may not drastically reduce as projected. It is from this analysis that the MTR noted that the targets in relation to unemployment rate are a bit ambitious. The programme has however supported strategic initiatives with high potential of creating both jobs and incomes. This is envisaged to support job creation directly or indirectly. Below are some of the supported enterprises.

Nevertheless, the MTR noted that the delivery of outputs under each of the projects is on track and strategically positioned to support the realization of the outcome indicators. This will however be more possible if the current implementation bottlenecks are adequately addressed. It is important for the key performance enablers to be harnessed while the inhibitors timely addressed as presented in the next sub section.


Tag: Effectiveness Theory of Change Poverty Reduction

9.

2.3 Efficiency

Efficiency analysis was pivoted on the whether the programme successfully integrated cost effectiveness in its design and implementation. Central in the analysis is the appropriateness of the adopted strategies and models in ensuring economical use of resources while ensuring that maximum results are achieved, robustness of M&E system in ensuring systematic tracking of progress as well as the program financial performance hitherto as further explained hereunder;

2.2.1 Programme financial performance to date

The two projects supporting the realization of CPD outcome 1 are to be implemented at a cost of USD 7,822,348 being contributed by both the government of The Gambia (422,348(5.4%) and UNDP (6,900,000 (88.2%). However, at the design of the EPSDP, a funding gap of USD 500,000 existed as shown in the table 2.1 and figure 2.2 below. The overall implementation cost for the EMP and EPSDP stand at USD 4,121,748 and 3700600 respectively. The evaluation noted that out of the overall total budget, USD 1431250 and 1394631 have so far been realized for the EMP and EPSDP constituting 34.7% and 37.7% respectively as shown in the figure below.

Midline analysis of the projects budget realization reveals that government cash contribution towards the implementation of the two projects cannot be evidenced although 43.3% and 62.8% of the resources for EMP and EPSDP have been disbursed through the government system respectively24. On the whole, UNDP’s midline contribution towards EMP and EPSDP stands at 40.9%. UNDP is on track to providing the pledged resources and the achievement hitherto as shown in Fig 2.3 conveys hope that the pledged resources shall be availed by the end of the programme implementation. The results above imply that UNDP continues to make significant contribution towards the implementation of the two projects which is an indicator of her strong commitment to support national development in Gambia. However, the midline contribution from the government is not evidence although it has provided its infrastructure and structures and systems to support the programme. Since the project budgets were well aligned with activity implementation, the observed resource utilization rate has strong reflection on the level of activity implementation. However, a cross section of project implementation team revealed that activity implementation is on course with more than 80% of the planned mid-level activities successfully implemented. This is also in conformity with the audit report for the EMP that activity implementation is well on course. The evaluation noted that there is overall consciousness among the project implementation team to ensure efficient processes and deliver maximum results. The next sub section discussed the efficiency maximization strategies that were embedded in the project design and currently being implemented. 


Tag: Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Results-Based Management

10.

2.3 Efficiency (Continuation)

2.3.4 UNDP Role and Comparative advantage Coordination, Commitment and support from UNDP country office: UNDP country office has played a critical supporting role in implementation of the two programme interventions. Coordination hinged on regularly bringing IPs and other stakeholders in planning, regular monitoring and approval of annual workplans as well as back stopping at critical junctions.

Leveraging from other related UNDP funded projects and Technical Support; Drawing experience from past programing, UNDP has been able to mobilize requisite resources and technical support from various doors and stakeholders to support the programme interventions. According to the two project documents, quite sizeable amount of financial resources has been martialed under UNDP initiative in terms of focus to support programming activities with no reported drop in donor contributions. 


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Strategic Positioning Coordination Technical Support SDG Integration

11.

2.4 Sustainability

Programme sustainability analysis was anchored on the likelihood of both activity and benefit continuity beyond the programme funding period. Results indicate that CPD Outcome 1 interventions have well integrated the four pillars of sustainability namely; participation, ownership, contribution and capacity building. The mid-term evaluation generated a lot of evidence in support of the four pillars of sustainability as elaborated. It is however observed that effective programme sustainability faces both opportunities and challenges as presented hereunder

2.4.1 Opportunities to programme sustainability

The programme sustainability potential lies in its design and implementation arrangements as well as the general socio-economic and political landscape of Gambia. These constitute the factors worth harnessing for ensuring the continuity of the programme interventions and benefits beyond the programme funding period as seen hereunder;

i) Clear sustainability plans for the two projects have been developed At the design level, the projects documents have clear sustainability plans that elaborated the institutional anchoring in both MDAs and the private sector and CSOs actors for continued support of results. In the Economic management project capacity focused on infrastructure like IT, management information systems and staff training while in Entrepreneurship project linkages promoted with private sector like Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

ii) Capacity building and trainings offered to Staff Capacity building formed one of the key intervention areas to implementing partners that formed IPs and other stakeholders. Capacity building comprised of human resource development, infrastructure strengthening including equipment and institutional building at the upstream and downstream. At the upstream, capacity building targeted MDAs through training to staff and infrastructure support. For example, the support in the areas of procurement and internal audit systems and processes and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Regional Integration initiatives to strengthen the technical capacities of senior staff and partners in order to respond effectively to the demands of these reforms were case examples of at the upstream sustainability endeavors. Such capacity built will enable the ministries, departments and Agencies to carry on its duties and respond to the emerging demands in sustainable basis in the long-term beyond programme period. At the downstream institutions that benefited for local government ward councilors and management which has enhanced participatory bottom -up planning and budgeting. This capacity has made making development plans and budgets more people-centred and addressing local priorities. Other downstream interventions were targeted at the private sector in institutional building and support frameworks were initiated and support forming a base upon which entrepreneur results would be sustained. Notable among others was the launch of the National Business Council, establishment of SME Help Desk as an inquiry point for MSME and launch of the research centre, development of the Youth App for the Chamber linking all youth related issues to meaningful business for employment creation and livelihood. The above institutions provide long-term sustained initiatives with adequate resource base and reach to the upcoming entrepreneurs specifically youth and women. 

iii) Use of existing government structures and systems The programme is well anchored MDAs and their operational systems. Notable among these are the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia Pubic Procurement Authority, Gambia Revenue Authorities, Office of The President; The Auditor General & National audit office, Personnel Management Office, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), Ministry of Youths and Support (MOYS), Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) and The Women’s Bureau. Furthermore, support to the Government of The Gambia (GoTG) Public Financial Management (PFM) especially with the introduction of results budget instrument are some of the institutional frameworks aimed at enhancing sustainability of the programme interventions.


Tag: Sustainability Implementation Modality Ownership Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Country Government Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth

12.

2.4 Sustainability (Continuation)

v) Program consistence with Government priorities presents long term opportunities for sustainability Program interventions feed into Vision 2020 as operationalized in the NDP 2018-2021 providing opportunities of sustained funding from donors and government as technical support from development partners. The Long-term financial commitment of government demonstrated by annualizing the subvention support and mobilizing the required investment funds to put in place a full boarded Songhai facility is critical to enhance resource sustainability advocacy for the participation of other funding partners. Thus, the political will and donor support sustainability is a guaranteed in the future. It is also envisaged that the active participation of both private sector, CBOs and NGOs operators that support government development initiatives is a plus to the program interventions.

The Inter Ministry, Agency and Private Sector partnerships present a sustainable synchronized, resource support in the long term through government budget support, increased tax and non-tax revenue to government critical for enhanced service delivery. For example, Single Window Business Registration that brings together MoTIE and the Ministry of Justice contracting dot.gov and its Gambian partner Cayorr Enterprise to set up the online business registration platform in Basse, URR (single window Business Registration) is an evidence of sustenance of the programme results. The operationalization of the institutional framework the SWBR served as a one-stop center comprising of all the different stakeholders involved in starting a business in The Gambia. These stakeholders include the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), the Trade License Offices (BAC) and the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC). Such institutional structures are part and parcel of existing legal government structures in place to provide critical services. For instance, having easy access in terms of geographical access and short term i.e the formalization of businesses in provincial Gambia and reduce the cost of trekking up to Banjul or Knifing to register a business and registering within one working day imply that prospective local entrepreneurs and investors will feel attracting to such opportunities well beyond the programme period. 


Tag: Efficiency Relevance Sustainability Government Cost-sharing Implementation Modality Knowledge management Ownership Partnership Results-Based Management Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Private Sector South-South Cooperation

13.

2.4 Sustainability (Continue)

2.4.2 Threats to Programme sustainability Despite the enormous sustainability opportunities and potential, the MTR also noted some challenges that would compromise effective sustainability if necessary redress measures are not adequately undertaken. These challenges are hereunder explained.

i) Weak coordination mechanisms at government levels as there is a disconnect between upstream central government and downstream LGAs This threat is occasioned by lack of consistence in governance systems in situation where decentralization should be the nature of government administration. Much of the capacity building are upstream and little has been done at the local government level. As a consequence, there is low policy implementation which further jeopardizes sustainability of the programme results.


Tag: Challenges Sustainability Government Cost-sharing Local Governance Communication Operational Efficiency Donor Capacity Building Coordination

14.

2.5 Cross-cutting issues

i) Social Protection: The Gambia Government recognizes and prioritizes social protection and a key outcome in the National Development Plan 2018-2021 is that ‘the Poor and most Vulnerable benefit from Social Safety Nets and Social Security as an integral part of a Sustainable, Affordable, and Effective Social and Child Protection Systems’. The long-term vision (2015-2025) for social protection in the Gambia as indicated in the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) seeks to establish an inclusive integrated and comprehensive social protection system that will effectively provide preventive, promotive, protective and transformative measures to safeguard the lives of all poor and vulnerable groups and contribute to broader human development, greater economic productivity, and inclusive growth. 

From 2012 to date, a lot of knowledge on Social protection in the Gambia has been generated to guide the evolution of the social protection sector. In 2012, a National Social Protection Steering Committee was set up; 2012-13, a comprehensive diagnostics and mapping of the social protection system was done; 2013-14, the participatory formulation of its first-ever National Social Protection Policy (NSPP 2015- 2035) and Implementation Plan (NSPIP) was drafted and approved by Cabinet in February 2016; The Gambia Social Safety Nets Diagnostic and the Fiscal Space Analysis for Social Protection in The Gambia were drafted in 2018; The Gambia Functional Review of Social Protection Coordination Mechanism was done in 2018 and finally the Social Protection Secretariat was established in 2019 to lead and coordinate the Social Protection Sector. There are numerous Social protection programmes being implemented but the programmes are not coordinated and they are limited in scope compared to the high levels of poverty at 48.6% and needs. The Sector is faced with persistent and perennial issues such as fragmentation and low coverage of existing Social Protection programmes; inadequate budgeting and underfinancing of social sectors; low capacities; low coverage of social security and donor driven projects which affects the Social Protection sector.A specific project under the UNDP CPD outcome 1 namely “Options enabled and facilitated for inclusive and sustainable social protection” was to support Government in this area but the support was contingent on Government embarking on establishing a Social protection Secretariat under the Office of the Vice President with the support of development partners. The role of the secretariat is to support the National Social Protection Steering Committee in providing leadership and coordination across the totality of social protection efforts in the country, managing the social registry and working proactively with all providers of social protection programmes and services in national and local government and with development partners and non-governmental organizations. 

The process of setting up the secretariat even though is ongoing, it is slow and thereby dragging the support from development partners such as UNDP. The evaluation revealed that UNDP even though has not yet designed this project, nonetheless they collaborated with World Food Organisation and supported the Fiscal Space Analysis for Social Protection in The Gambia and provided technical assistance to Government. The way forward for this component is to pool resources with other UN agencies and shift the support to where the UN has a comparative advantage i.e. knowledge generation and technical expertise.


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights

Recommendations
1

Recommendaton 1. The Government of Gambia ownership through budget allocations and subventions

The government of the Gambia should mobilize adequate resources to be able to allocate appropriate budgetary allocations and subventions thereby reducing ondependence on donors. This not only enhances sustainability of the programme results but enhances national ownership as well.

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Recommendation 2. Government should implement a clear and competitive staff retention strategy. 

Better staff remuneration and benefits of staff in key government departments like planning, aid office, Gambia Revenue Authority, Gambia Bureau of Statistics. This will serve to enhance capacity but also attract other competent staff to the vital positions.

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Recommendation 3. Development of Robust National Multimedia Communication Strategy. 

The strategy is long overdue yet it is critical for creating much more needed awareness to the citizens about the available trade and skills training opportunities that they can seize to improve on their wellbeing. A multimedia communication strategy therefore would go a long way in popularizing and sustaining the CPD and NDP results in manner that reinforces sustainability of development interventions.

 

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Recommendation 4. Creation of synergies with similar projects such as the youth Empowerment project & Reliance Women Empowerment Project. 

Synergies with similar projects have tendency to have reinforcement and replication effect that serves to achievement of maximum benefits by the targeted beneficiaries and institutions in a way that builds on past gains for better programme results. It can also provide opportunities to further strengthen existing capacity development activities with business development services (coaching, linkages to micro finance, etc) for a holistic and continuum package of capacity development.

5

Recommendation 5. Creation of platforms by trainees to enable continuous intra capacity strengthening. 

This approach to sustain capacity should be embraced within the MDAs and private sector bodies to cater for gaps that arises as result of staff attrition due to mobility of staff to greener pastures, transfers and death and retirements in public service. In addition, they can use avenues such corporate responsibility initiatives that bring on board the expertise and financial resources from the private Sector and CSOs in specific sectors that can benefit them in form of continuous capacity building.

6

Recommendation 6. Program visibility should be emphasized and supported through appropriate program branding. 

This should be done as part of the inaugural ceremonies and continuous monitoring using a multi-media approach to ensure wide range of publicity with wide geographical coverage and targeted audience particularly the beneficiaries.

 

7

Recommendation 7. Recruitment of an M&E specialist by for strengthening of implementing partners’ reporting capacity – RBM principles

The Role of a strong M&E support system in any phase of program and project is very critical. This should be done to ensure smooth implementation of the project cycle in sense that there is timely reporting that enhances better planning and execution of project activities for yield of results.

 

8

Recommendation 8. Need for efficiency improvement in the financial systems to allow faster resource disbursement and procurements

A number of IPs complained of delayed disbursements that often resulted into delayed activity implementation. Much as the systems should be followed in financial management processes, there is need for streamlining process issues to timely expedience of financial resources to partners and services providers.

 

9

Recommendation 9. UNDP should focus on interventions where it has comparative advantage. 

Should put more focus on upstream policy support and capacity strengthening and leave microlevel interventions to local partners.

10

Recommendation 11. UNDP to work on ensuring the inclusion of marginalized groups in their support by incorporating gender and disabled friendly curriculum to capacity building projects, ensuring that there exists a conducive environment for all people regardless of gender or ability in order to abide by the SDGs “leaving no one behind” principle. The focus on ensuring strategic implementation of SDGs in all the programming aspects and support should be monitored closely in the interventions under CPD and how they feed into UNDAF, NDP and UN as One.

11

Recommendaition 12. UNDP should explore and where possible support Government’s identified emerging Strategic areas.

This will ensure UNDP programme is targeted at national priorities that have more effects on economic development while considering vulnerable groups such as women, youth and disabled persons.

1. Recommendation:

Recommendaton 1. The Government of Gambia ownership through budget allocations and subventions

The government of the Gambia should mobilize adequate resources to be able to allocate appropriate budgetary allocations and subventions thereby reducing ondependence on donors. This not only enhances sustainability of the programme results but enhances national ownership as well.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Follow up on Government of Gambia committment to support community level initiatives through development service support.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Follow-up on commitments through Programme for Accelerated Community Development initiative
[Added: 2019/11/19]
Programme Specialist 2020/04 Overdue-Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. Government should implement a clear and competitive staff retention strategy. 

Better staff remuneration and benefits of staff in key government departments like planning, aid office, Gambia Revenue Authority, Gambia Bureau of Statistics. This will serve to enhance capacity but also attract other competent staff to the vital positions.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

This is noted, with coming on board of communication analyst, focused attention on a communication strategy will be taken.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop communication strategy for Inclusive Growth Outcome in concert with partners
[Added: 2019/11/19]
Communication Analyst and Programme Specialist 2020/06 Overdue-Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. Development of Robust National Multimedia Communication Strategy. 

The strategy is long overdue yet it is critical for creating much more needed awareness to the citizens about the available trade and skills training opportunities that they can seize to improve on their wellbeing. A multimedia communication strategy therefore would go a long way in popularizing and sustaining the CPD and NDP results in manner that reinforces sustainability of development interventions.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Ad hoc collaboration on-going but can be strenghtened through more deliberate action planning

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Define an action plan with YEP and Reliance Women Economic project to define joint actions and collaborations
[Added: 2019/11/19]
Programme Specialist 2020/11 Not Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. Creation of synergies with similar projects such as the youth Empowerment project & Reliance Women Empowerment Project. 

Synergies with similar projects have tendency to have reinforcement and replication effect that serves to achievement of maximum benefits by the targeted beneficiaries and institutions in a way that builds on past gains for better programme results. It can also provide opportunities to further strengthen existing capacity development activities with business development services (coaching, linkages to micro finance, etc) for a holistic and continuum package of capacity development.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Tracer study provides datanase to initatie such a platform as a followup action

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a simple interactive tool for trainee interactions based on expressed requirement preference of trainee
[Added: 2019/11/19]
Programme Specialist working with Ministry of Youth and Ministry of Trade 2021/05 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. Creation of platforms by trainees to enable continuous intra capacity strengthening. 

This approach to sustain capacity should be embraced within the MDAs and private sector bodies to cater for gaps that arises as result of staff attrition due to mobility of staff to greener pastures, transfers and death and retirements in public service. In addition, they can use avenues such corporate responsibility initiatives that bring on board the expertise and financial resources from the private Sector and CSOs in specific sectors that can benefit them in form of continuous capacity building.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Noting the entrants of new players post transition, UNDP takes note of need to define a clear value proposition in the sector focused on Aid ccordination, long term and perspective planning ; data and statistics strenghtning as well as Africa Regional Integration.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Undertake strategic review of programmes and define revised portfolio of action and strategies
[Added: 2019/11/19]
Programme Specialist 2020/07 Overdue-Not Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6. Program visibility should be emphasized and supported through appropriate program branding. 

This should be done as part of the inaugural ceremonies and continuous monitoring using a multi-media approach to ensure wide range of publicity with wide geographical coverage and targeted audience particularly the beneficiaries.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

As part of UNDP new strategic offer, inclusion of marginalised groups will remain at the forefront.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design Programme of Accelerated Community Development for income marginalized
[Added: 2019/11/19]
PADC Team lead 2020/04 Overdue-Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7. Recruitment of an M&E specialist by for strengthening of implementing partners’ reporting capacity – RBM principles

The Role of a strong M&E support system in any phase of program and project is very critical. This should be done to ensure smooth implementation of the project cycle in sense that there is timely reporting that enhances better planning and execution of project activities for yield of results.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/19] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Important linkage and connection issues raised, this would be paramount to supporting trasnformational entrepreneurship and private sector development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize a dialogue on linkages and outline recommendation to strengthen such linkages
[Added: 2019/11/19]
Ministry of Trade 2020/09 Overdue-Not Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8. Need for efficiency improvement in the financial systems to allow faster resource disbursement and procurements

A number of IPs complained of delayed disbursements that often resulted into delayed activity implementation. Much as the systems should be followed in financial management processes, there is need for streamlining process issues to timely expedience of financial resources to partners and services providers.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/10] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9. UNDP should focus on interventions where it has comparative advantage. 

Should put more focus on upstream policy support and capacity strengthening and leave microlevel interventions to local partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/10] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11. UNDP to work on ensuring the inclusion of marginalized groups in their support by incorporating gender and disabled friendly curriculum to capacity building projects, ensuring that there exists a conducive environment for all people regardless of gender or ability in order to abide by the SDGs “leaving no one behind” principle. The focus on ensuring strategic implementation of SDGs in all the programming aspects and support should be monitored closely in the interventions under CPD and how they feed into UNDAF, NDP and UN as One.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/10] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Recommendaition 12. UNDP should explore and where possible support Government’s identified emerging Strategic areas.

This will ensure UNDP programme is targeted at national priorities that have more effects on economic development while considering vulnerable groups such as women, youth and disabled persons.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/10] [Last Updated: 2020/11/14]

Key Actions:

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