Final Evaluation of the project "Afghanistan Access to Justice" (AA2J)

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2019
Completion Date:
07/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
70,000

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Title Final Evaluation of the project "Afghanistan Access to Justice" (AA2J)
Atlas Project Number: 00094291
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2019
Planned End Date: 06/2019
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.2.2 National and local systems enabled and communities empowered to ensure the restoration of justice institutions, redress mechanisms and community security
SDG Target
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 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 $): 70,000
Source of Funding: Project resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 70,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Enhanced partnerships through platform programming: The next phase of the AA2J project should be designed in an innovative manner as a “platform project “where UNDP gathers strategic partners around the same goal, without being at the center of the project design.

2

Top-down protection and bottom-up empowerment: The next phase of the project is developed in line with the human rights-based approach to programming

3

Promote Change Management Approach: The project staff is empowered with appropriate levels of responsibility combined with decision-making authority to ensure effective project implementation. The project team needs to be fit for purpose with a suitable balance of technical knowledge and project management skills.

4

Partner-orientated focus: In the next phase, the project partnership should focus more on building a higher degree of trust, adequately communicating and managing expectations and limitations, seizing opportunities and creating solutions. In addition to the already existing coordination mechanisms in the project, through the Project Board, and the Technical Working Group on Rule of Law, establishing a specific Access to Justice Policy Dialogue Platform should be considered.

5

Adaptive programming: The next phase of the project should be looking more at incubating and seeding, including with regards to the provision of free legal aid and development of a state funded and managed system of legal aid provision.

6

Implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation Recommendations: All project partners should have an M&E system at the lower and central level, with UNDP project staff backstopping them to ensure standards and quality. In addition, significant resources should be allocated for data quality assurance in the next phase of the project to ensure that the data collected in reliable and usable

7

Ownership and Sustainability: Follow a participatory approach during the development of the next phase of the project, including consultations with all relevant partners, sharing the draft project document and actively seeking their validation of the planned lines of support.

8

Upstreaming engagement: In the next phase senior management play a more active role in elevating the project profile, significance and impact as well as positioning UNDP more as policy partners at the policy dialogue level, rather than simply as providers of logistical support.

1. Recommendation:

Enhanced partnerships through platform programming: The next phase of the AA2J project should be designed in an innovative manner as a “platform project “where UNDP gathers strategic partners around the same goal, without being at the center of the project design.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

This recommendation was already taken forward in the design process of the new project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Platform programming and consultative project design
[Added: 2019/12/18]
ROLHS 2019/12 Completed Project document submitted for donor credit proposal. Credit proposal accepted by SDC for funding 50% of the project funding. Awaiting an additional 50% support in funding
2. Recommendation:

Top-down protection and bottom-up empowerment: The next phase of the project is developed in line with the human rights-based approach to programming

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

Agreed and the AA2J Phase II project (named AQJS project – Access to Quality Justice Services) has been designed to address both demand (bottom-up empowerment for people) and supply (government institutional support) sides of the needs to increase access to justice in Afghanistan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To include both demand (bottom-up empowerment for people) and supply (government institutional support for top-down protection) sides in the new project scope.
[Added: 2019/12/18]
ROLHS 2019/12 Completed Project Document completed and accepted by SDC for 50% funding.
Conduct a thorough mapping and develop comprehensive criteria to identify the NGOs to partner with to pilot legal aid provision.
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/04/05]
ROLHS 2020/03 Completed The AA2J project is now closed and this action is being undertaken through the Access to Quality Justice Services (AQJS) project and already been initiated. History
3. Recommendation:

Promote Change Management Approach: The project staff is empowered with appropriate levels of responsibility combined with decision-making authority to ensure effective project implementation. The project team needs to be fit for purpose with a suitable balance of technical knowledge and project management skills.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

UNDP agreed with this recommendation and will implement the change management approach as one of the project management tools for the next phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Identify the project staff capacity gap on various technical issues and provide capacity building trainings mainly on issues related to ‘change management’
[Added: 2019/12/18]
ROLHS 2020/12 Initiated Identification of gaps in staff capacity will be undertaken in the first quarter of 2020 within the inception period of the new AQJS project. Specific and targeted on the job trainings on “change management” will be provided throughout the period of year 1 of the project.
Recruit qualified and experienced staff for the new project with relevant technical knowledge and project management skills.
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/04/05]
ROLHS 2020/03 Completed The AA2J project is now closed and this action is being undertaken through the Access to Quality Justice Services (AQJS) project and already been initiated History
4. Recommendation:

Partner-orientated focus: In the next phase, the project partnership should focus more on building a higher degree of trust, adequately communicating and managing expectations and limitations, seizing opportunities and creating solutions. In addition to the already existing coordination mechanisms in the project, through the Project Board, and the Technical Working Group on Rule of Law, establishing a specific Access to Justice Policy Dialogue Platform should be considered.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

UNDP agreed with this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish “Access to Justice Policy Dialogue Platform”, which will be facilitated by UNDP and comprised of three components, a Policy Dialogue Group, a Donor Coordination Council and a Collaboration of relevant CSOs and NGOs.
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/07/26]
AQJS/Project Team 2020/12 Initiated Due to COVID-19 situation, all coordination platforms have been put on hold. The AQJS project is in progress to establish online coordination platform together with donors and government History
5. Recommendation:

Adaptive programming: The next phase of the project should be looking more at incubating and seeding, including with regards to the provision of free legal aid and development of a state funded and managed system of legal aid provision.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

This recommendation has already been considered by UNDP in the new project design to pilot multiple streams of free legal aid provision approaches and identify the most successful approach in the Afghanistan socio-political context for future scaling-up.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Consult all stakeholders and develop Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Legal Aid Provision Small Grant
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/04/05]
AQJS Project Team 2020/03 Completed The AA2J project is now closed and this action is being undertaken through the Access to Quality Justice Services (AQJS) project and already been initiated History
Launch a call for proposals for the Legal Aid Provision Small Grant and select CSOs
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/04/05]
AQJS Project Team 2020/03 Completed The AA2J project is now closed and this action is being undertaken through the Access to Quality Justice Services (AQJS) project and already been initiated History
6. Recommendation:

Implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation Recommendations: All project partners should have an M&E system at the lower and central level, with UNDP project staff backstopping them to ensure standards and quality. In addition, significant resources should be allocated for data quality assurance in the next phase of the project to ensure that the data collected in reliable and usable

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

UNDP agreed with this recommendation and Justice Perception survey was conducted in Q2 2019. More comprehensive surveys and M&E activities will be conducted together with RoLHS LOTFA M&E team .

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish function and decentralized M&E system for each implementing partner of the project
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/07/26]
AQJS Project Team 2020/12 Initiated Due to COVID-19 situation, all planned M&E mechanism for all implementing partners have been put on hold as requested by the government partner. The AQJS project team is in process to establish online mechanism to serve this purpose. However, with limited internet access and security reasons, History
Develop data quality assurance mechanism for the project
[Added: 2019/12/18] [Last Updated: 2020/07/26]
AQJS Project Team 2020/12 Initiated Due to COVID-19 situation, all planned M&E mechanism for all implementing partners have been put on hold as requested by the government partner. The AQJS project team is in process to establish online mechanism to serve this purpose. However, with limited internet access and security reasons, History
Conduct a baseline survey in the specific provinces within which the project will be implemented to collect accurate data on the project results indicators.
[Added: 2019/12/18]
AQJS Project Team 2019/12 Completed The Access to Justice Rapid perception survey was undertaken across 12 provinces in 5 regions. Preliminary analysis from the survey was used to inform the programmatic design and interventions identified under the new AQJS project document. This perception survey will serve as baseline for the AQJS project to be implemented from 01.01.2020.
7. Recommendation:

Ownership and Sustainability: Follow a participatory approach during the development of the next phase of the project, including consultations with all relevant partners, sharing the draft project document and actively seeking their validation of the planned lines of support.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

UNDP has already considered this recommendation and engaged/consulted all relevant stakeholders in designing process of the next phase of the project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hold regular discussion with the Ministry of Finance and other respective institutions to secure appropriate funding for greater sustainability of the project results achieved.
[Added: 2019/12/18]
AQJS Project Team 2020/12 Initiated This is a continuous activity throughout the project period. At the Programme level, RoLHS unit ensures the comprehensive dialogues are regularly held with partners with engagement across all LOTFA windows including Justice.
Share the draft project document and actively seek all stakeholders input, validation and endorsement of the planned lines of support to secure buy-in and ownership right from the inception
[Added: 2019/12/18]
ROLHS 2019/10 Completed The Pro Doc for the new AQJS project (to be implemented from 01.01.2020) was finalised through comprehensive consultations, inputs and feedback from the government partners.
8. Recommendation:

Upstreaming engagement: In the next phase senior management play a more active role in elevating the project profile, significance and impact as well as positioning UNDP more as policy partners at the policy dialogue level, rather than simply as providers of logistical support.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/18]

UNDP agreed with this recommendation to increase the commitment and engagement of the senior management of UNDP at policy dialogues related to access to justice in Afghanistan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Senior Management of UNDP attend high level meetings with partners to advocate the issues of access justice in Afghanistan.
[Added: 2019/12/18]
ROLHS 2020/12 Initiated This is a continuous activity throughout the project period

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