Mid-Term evaluation of "Innovation for Service Delivery (ISDA)" project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Albania
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

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Title Mid-Term evaluation of "Innovation for Service Delivery (ISDA)" project
Atlas Project Number: 00068697
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Albania
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding: Project Budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 5,276
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Dalina Jashari External Evaluator djashari@idmalbania.org ALBANIA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration
Countries: ALBANIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The reform leading institution, given its important role, should improve capacities on technical expertise/staff in order to better respond to the dynamics of the reform’s implementation The reform leading institution, given its important role, should improve capacities on technical expertise/staff in order to better respond to the dynamics of the reform’s implementation.

2

Following the abundant support given to ADISA during these years, it is important to build its ownership, to consolidate its capacities and the self-sustainability. Interventions in this regard should be a mixture of capacity building to the existing and future staff (on topics related to the service quality, performance monitoring and evaluation), boost use of innovative tools (through the innovation lab) and assistance to ADISA’s organizational structure aiming to sustain its capacities and staff.   

3

The extent to which the reform has been implemented so far in Albania is based also on the valuable contribution from different donors support, such as the Italian and Austrian governments, United Nations, the European Union, and the World Bank. However, the donor support over the next years is still very crucial in order to consolidate even more the results achieved so far, to accelerate the processes and to respond on time to the needs particularly at  increasing the services also from other central institutions and expanding these services all over the country.

Conclusions, lessons and recommendations suggest that (due to their nature and complexity), some of the project outputs needs to be consolidated in the following years, such as ADISA’s business model and its geographic enlargement, government efforts in advancing and supporting its digital agenda as well as further assistance to the vulnerable groups such as Roma community and people with disabilities.

4

Based on the citizen-centric approach, it is recommended that additional focus should be paid to the citizens in remote areas. The ADISA Mobile Office Facility is an important initiative which should continue and expand in the future in all remote areas of the country. Based on the success of the co-location model, the Mobile Office Facility can make use of local capacities on the ground. 

5

As stated in this report, the project has paid special attention to the vulnerable groups and to gender issues. In this regard, it is recommended that the future activities should be focused on ICT literacy for these groups, development of relevant training materials targeting different age groups (especially youth in remote areas). Such initiatives can be coordinated with the education institutions in the targeted areas.

6

The success of the public Service Delivery reform is two-sided, depending both on the government’s and the citizen’s commitment. It is recommended that in the future, additional awareness raising campaigns should be focused on citizens, in order to increase their involvement as beneficiaries of the public services (i.e continue promotion of the Citizens Charter) and as monitoring agents of the public service’s quality.

1. Recommendation:

The reform leading institution, given its important role, should improve capacities on technical expertise/staff in order to better respond to the dynamics of the reform’s implementation The reform leading institution, given its important role, should improve capacities on technical expertise/staff in order to better respond to the dynamics of the reform’s implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/03]

The recommendation addresses on ongoing challenge. Recognizing the limited staff at the level of the public services reform leader in Albania, ISDA Support Project has been responsive in providing needed technical expertise. Notwithstanding, ongoing engagement in this direction should remain on focus, also considering the impact of this challenge on the pace on the planned delivery of assistance in support of the reform.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue to provide technical support in reform coordination until the closure of the project
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO Management 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated
Ensure an ongoing engagement with reform leadership to anticipate needs and plan for timely support as appropriate
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO Management 2020/12 Not Initiated To begin upon the start of the new project
2. Recommendation:

Following the abundant support given to ADISA during these years, it is important to build its ownership, to consolidate its capacities and the self-sustainability. Interventions in this regard should be a mixture of capacity building to the existing and future staff (on topics related to the service quality, performance monitoring and evaluation), boost use of innovative tools (through the innovation lab) and assistance to ADISA’s organizational structure aiming to sustain its capacities and staff.   

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/03]

This is a valid recommendation. As the reform enters its consolidation phase, strengthening institutional sustainability especially with reference to ADISA as a reform champion is a key requisite to ensure that impetus for ongoing citizen-centric improvements in public service delivery is firmly rooted. ISDA Support Project has been a strong support in embedding innovation as an overarching approach to solving problems and addressing citizen needs providing the assistance to launch in mid 2017 of the first government innovation lab in Albania, then build capacity, and support innovation project work. As ADISALab has become in 2019 a structured unit within the agency, under its Executive Director, the assistance has graduated to making ADISALab 2.0 capable of providing innovation capacities to other institutional service providers in Albania, But such efforts are only at a starting point, and ongoing support is required.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Enable ongoing assistance for innovation in public service delivery in Albania
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO Management DPM 2020/12 Initiated
3. Recommendation:

The extent to which the reform has been implemented so far in Albania is based also on the valuable contribution from different donors support, such as the Italian and Austrian governments, United Nations, the European Union, and the World Bank. However, the donor support over the next years is still very crucial in order to consolidate even more the results achieved so far, to accelerate the processes and to respond on time to the needs particularly at  increasing the services also from other central institutions and expanding these services all over the country.

Conclusions, lessons and recommendations suggest that (due to their nature and complexity), some of the project outputs needs to be consolidated in the following years, such as ADISA’s business model and its geographic enlargement, government efforts in advancing and supporting its digital agenda as well as further assistance to the vulnerable groups such as Roma community and people with disabilities.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/03]

Relevance of this recommendation is recognized. ISDA Support Project has been a valued contributor in the recognized progress of the public services reform in Albania. It has also played an important role in assuring that reform benefits reach women and the more vulnerable, such as inhabitants of remote areas, and the Roma and Egyptian communities. This becomes especially relevant considering the declared focus by the government on online public services. ‘Leave no one behind’ is, as such, embedded strongly in the design of proposed successor project, CSDA. Recognizing that at this stage the reform is increasingly facing the need to harmonize the pull towards greater efficiency, as well as effectiveness, in terms of public service access and quality, CSDA addresses the need for continuing development partner assistance, present from reform onset. As a harmonized effort with shared partner objectives as well as ongoing and planned interventions, this assistance is considered critical especially in helping to push forward the change agenda with the focus on women and the most vulnerable, build support, break resistance, raise capacity and promote sustainability

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue working with development partners and in line with government priorities towards providing ongoing assistance for the consolidation of the public services reform in Albania
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO Management 2020/04 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Based on the citizen-centric approach, it is recommended that additional focus should be paid to the citizens in remote areas. The ADISA Mobile Office Facility is an important initiative which should continue and expand in the future in all remote areas of the country. Based on the success of the co-location model, the Mobile Office Facility can make use of local capacities on the ground. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/03]

Relevance of recommendation to help promote solutions that are agile and effective and implemented in an integrated fashion is acknowledged. ISDA Support Project has been working with the reform leadership and champion institutions to ensure that identified challenges are analyzed in detail and addressed comprehensively. Hence, in terms of access to customer-care services throughout the territory, the project has supported an integrated approach that answers needs of different groups, rather than aggregations attributed to the average citizen. For the future, given the nature of traditional government, necessary bespoke solutions would require outside backing to be realized.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Incorporate assistance for experimenting, piloting and roll-out assistance for customized solutions that meet needs of citizens
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO management 2020/12 Not Initiated Ref: CSDA project document
5. Recommendation:

As stated in this report, the project has paid special attention to the vulnerable groups and to gender issues. In this regard, it is recommended that the future activities should be focused on ICT literacy for these groups, development of relevant training materials targeting different age groups (especially youth in remote areas). Such initiatives can be coordinated with the education institutions in the targeted areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/03]

This is a valid recommendation. While the ISDA Support Project has focused on the digital agenda from the government perspective, it is essential to dedicate attention to supporting the development of digital skills in Albania, so that citizens can take advantage of the benefits of information technology, and are able to engage effectively in shaping how online services are implemented. ISDA Support successor project incorporates such an imperative, and also looks at a regional perspective to address this matter collectively within the Western Balkans.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Work with development partners to help develop and implement mechanisms to improve digital literacy in Albania
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO Management 2020/12 Not Initiated Begin with the start of the new project
6. Recommendation:

The success of the public Service Delivery reform is two-sided, depending both on the government’s and the citizen’s commitment. It is recommended that in the future, additional awareness raising campaigns should be focused on citizens, in order to increase their involvement as beneficiaries of the public services (i.e continue promotion of the Citizens Charter) and as monitoring agents of the public service’s quality.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/03]

The relevance of this recommendation is recognized. Support for ongoing engagement and communications has been an important component of ISDA Support Project, which has increased progressively in weight. Considering their role, in the new project, such activities are designed as even more prominent.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Allocate needed resources in support of citizen engagement and communication in the assistance for the consolidation of the public services reform in Albania
[Added: 2020/03/03]
UNDP CO Management 2020/12 Initiated

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