STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TERMINAL EVALUATION REPORT

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2020, Ethiopia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TERMINAL EVALUATION REPORT
Atlas Project Number: 00079925
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2020, Ethiopia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Goal
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG Target
  • 10.1 By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average
  • 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 6,529
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Abera Gayesa Local consultant abera.gayesa@gmail.com ETHIOPIA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ethiopian Tourism organization
Countries: ETHIOPIA
Lessons
1.

The evaluation also highlighted the following key lessons learned:
? It has been learned that the project implementation was primarily attached to top management of ETO, viz. CEO and D/CEO. This lagged back the project implementation process as the CEO’s are reappointed frequently. Project implementation process and progress towards results can be better achieved if the project interventions and activities are assigned to and executed by relevant departments, destination and marketing departments, so that interventions and results will have direct ownership and any turnover of top management will not affect project operations.
? It has also been learned that the Project Coordinator needs to be permanent throughout the project life to channel project outputs to relevant departments, regularly prepare reports and submit to funding agency. The project coordinator can alternatively be head of planning department if the ETO has this structure.
31
? It has also been learned that the right people, vision and strategy will result in achieving desired outcomes and outputs.


Findings
1.

3.1.1 Alignment with National Policies and Priorities
The project is found to be well aligned with the national tourism policy and strategic priorities. The Ethiopian Tourism Policy of 2009 gives priority to institutional capacity development of the sector, develop existing and new tourist destination variety, scale and quality, and undertake promotional ties through creation of market ties in order to become competitive on international market.


Tag: Relevance Institutional Strengthening Private Sector

2.

3.1.2 Consistency with needs of beneficiary
The major beneficiary of the project outputs and interventions was the Ethiopian Tourism Organization. ETO is a newly established organization that has constraints of skilled manpower, office equipment and furniture, ICT infrastructure and functional office premise. ETO partners to whom the ETO provides supportive services were also in need of the support of the project through ETO. Therefore, the support of the project was consistent with meeting the needs and priorities of beneficiary, i.e, ETO. On these grounds, the evaluator confirmed that the project was focused on the needs of the beneficiaries. During the consultations made with former CEO of ETO and officials of MoCT, it has been confirmed that the project has been designed based on the need and request of ETO so as to strengthen its institutional capacity.


Tag: Efficiency Relevance Capacity Building Technical Support National Institutions

3.

3.1.3 Alignment with policy of development partner and donors
The project was well informed with UNDP Strategic Plan, 2014 – 2017 and aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), 2016 – 2020. The UNDAF has taken full cognizance of the national context, the national development priorities as specified in GTP II, 2016-2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was a 2030 development agenda adopted by Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at UN Headquarter from 25 to 27 September 2015, which encompasses 17 SDGs and 169 associated targets that are people-centered, transformative, universal and integrated. Tourism has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly to all of the goals. In particular, it has been included as targets in Goals 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all), 12 (ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) and 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources).
In view of the above assessment and elaboration, it is concluded that the project is highly relevant in all dimensions


Tag: Relevance Strategic Positioning UN Agencies Agenda 2030

4.

3.2 Effectiveness
The assessment of effectiveness focused primarily on determining the extent to which the expected results of the project were achieved at the output level, and where available, based on objectively verifiable indicators and targets.
The overall objective of the project was to generate a fundamental transformational change in the scale, quality, diversity, and socio-economic benefit of the nation’s tourism sector thereby generating wealth, increased foreign exchange earnings, and local employment creation. As described in chapter 2, five outputs were designed to achieve the overall objective of the project. This performance assessment was based on whether each of the output level indicators set forth in the project results log framework have been achieved. The assessment towards the set indicators and targets set under each output has been elaborated in the following sub-sections.
 


Tag: Effectiveness Human and Financial resources Capacity Building Technical Support

5.

Output 2: Destination and product development enhanced: Under this output, the project has targeted to develop national tourism destination development strategy. Towards this end, the national tourism destination strategy was developed by consultant and validated by stakeholders meeting, which is 100% achievement against the the set indicator.
The other targeted intervention against the indicator set forth was articulation and promotion of attractive and competitive tourism routes/products. To this end, it has been confirmed that tourism products were budgeted and conducted during 2017 and 2018 (70% achievement).


Tag: Effectiveness Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening

6.

Output 3: Ethiopia's tourism sector effectively branded and promoted:- Another component of this project would be to effectively market and brand the massive potential of the country domestically and abroad. With the support of this project, it has been targeted to develop market research plan, prepare and implement operational market promotion strategy, develop and implement branding and marketing strategy. Against these targeted interventions, it has been confirmed that market research plan and joint strategy (ETO, ETA, etc.) on market prioritized products by destination have been developed (65%). Furthermore, it has been assessed that the targeted tourism branding and marketing strategy development has been conducted by major tourism destination regions and documented (65%). In addition, it has been confirmed that tourism branding has been developed in the major tourism destination areas (70% achievement). In conclusion, the overall achievement of output 3 has been estimated as acceptable with 67% achievement.


Tag: Effectiveness Communication

7.

Output 4: Inclusive and sustainable private sector tourism development strengthened:There has been limited private sector investment in tourism sector due to complexity of doing business in the sector and lack of incentives and finance given to potential investors in the tourism sector. In order to reduce these challenges and limitations, the project targeted to provide investment facilitation support to potential investors; develop investment incentive package and conduct public-private partnership dialoge; engage SMEs in in provision of tourism business development services; and conduct knowledge sharing platforms on competitive and sustainable tourism. Towards these targeted interventions against each indicator set forth, it has been confirmed that investment facilitation support was given to 20 investors and one (1) investor licensed, the achievement of which is 85%.


Tag: Challenges Sustainability Knowledge management Partnership Private Sector

8.

Output 5: Strong partnership and stakeholder engagement in place:- The current level of public and private sector partnership in tourism industry in Ethiopia is not at desired level compared to other destinations in the region. In order to enhance partnership and stakeholder engagement in tourism sector and make Ethiopia a competitive destination, the project targeted to support ETO to undertake rigorous stakeholder mapping, expand bilateral and multilateral partnership agreements, and create new partnership with relevant domestic and international organizations.


Tag: Partnership Bilateral partners Private Sector

9.

3.3.1 Management, Coordination and Facilitation
With regards to management, coordination and facilitation, the project document and progress reports indicate that regular monitoring and follow up was being done by UNDP program specialist (later on by Project Manager). At ETO level, the CEO and Project Coordinator were responsible to monitor implementation process, identify issues and take timely corrective action. The Tourism Board also oversee the overall operations of the organization, review and and approve the organization’s work programs and budgets prior to their submission to the Ministry, evaluate performance of the organization including key projects, and approves the organization’s operational directives. In view of these, the evaluator believes that such monitoring, follow up and guidance have contributed to efficiency of the project.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Project and Programme management Coordination

10.

3.3.2 Utilization of Budget as Compared to Planned Budget
Regarding budget utilization, the project utilized 77 percent of the total awarded budget of US$ 852,012.20 over the period 2015/16 to February 2018. The performance of budget utilization was much better in initial year (2015/16) with performance utilization of 98 percents (see Table 1). This also indicates efficiency of the project.
It has been confirmed from financial and budget revision reports that the allocated budget has been awarded almost each quarter based on the annual work and budget plans, provided 80% of previously advanced budget is settled. This confirms timely delivery of required inputs and financial resources, which indicates efficiency of the project to convert inputs and funds into results. This has also been confirmed from conversation made with former ETO CEO and project coordinator that there was timely delivery of funds as per AWPs and Annual Budget Plans.


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency

11.

3.3.3 Timely Implementation of Planned Interventions
The consultations made with CEO of ETO and project manager revealed that most of the interventions were implemented timely as per the plans, particularly during the periods 2016 and 2017. This factor also contributes to the efficiency of the project. However, it has been indicated that timely implementation of the project has been affected duringthe first half of 2018 due to changes in government and turnover of ETO key officials.
In view of the above elaborations, the efficiency of the project has been rated as satisfactory.


Tag: Efficiency Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management

12.

3.4.1 Institutional and organizational sustainability
The owners of the results of the project are primarily ETO and the players of tourism sector engaged in tourism customer services provision sub-sector such as Government Offices (Airlines, Immigration, Customs Clearance, etc), Hotels, and Tours Operators.
It has been assessed that ETO has been institutionally strengthened through equipping with ICT equipments and office furniture; technical advisory services unit, and skill development of officers and experts. The evaluator has the opinion that these outputs put in place will contribute to institutional and organizational sustainability, with the government budget allocated per annum.


Tag: Sustainability Institutional Strengthening Technical Support

13.

3.4.2 Economic and financial sustainability
The Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) was established with Council of Ministers Regulation No. 294/2013 as an autonomous federal government organ mandated to operationalize strategic guidance given by the Tourism Transformation Council (TTC) to enhance benefits of the tourism sector by mobilizing tourism sector actors and stakeholders towards development of the sector.


Tag: Sustainability Efficiency

14.

3.5.1 Impact on Institutional and Organization Capacity Development It has been found that the UNDP supported project has strengthened technical and policy advisory capacities of ETO’s through establishing strategic advisory unit, equipped with IT equipment, provided modern office furniture creating functional office premise, recruiting senior specialists in IT, investment and strategy development, and conducted on job and customer service trainings. It is hoped that this capacity building intervention have improved execution capacity and competitiveness of the Organization.
The skill and knowledge development trainings provided on customer service delivery to government and private organization staffs including chefs have improved quality of customer services provided to tourists at different tourism destinations. Some of the stakeholders like hotel owners and tour operator association officials consulted during the assessment have confirmed existence these improvements/impacts. They, however, noted that the interventions carried out are at their initial stage and impacts are expected in the future. They also noted that the support of UNDP is at initial stage and not sufficient to bring improvements/ impacts in quality of service delivery at tourism information centre and destinations. They have the opinion that the project support should continue interventions that strengthen tourism destination and product development, marketing promotion, and related activities.
This primarily increased the economic activities generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services. The impact achieved in this regard has to be studied and quantified in near future.


Tag: Impact Sustainability Knowledge management Jobs and Livelihoods Institutional Strengthening Technical Support

15.

3.5.2 Impact on Economic Contribution of Tourism Sector
Although it is difficult to segregate the attribution of othe tourism projects like the Ethiopian Sustainable Development Project funded by World Bank, this project has also contributed to the economic activity of the country in terms of GDP, foreign exchange earnings, and direct employment creation. In this regard, the contribution of travel and tourism sector to GDP has changed or grown from the level of ETB 40,130.3 million in 2014 to ETB 49,144.2 million in 2017 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2015 – 2018). Similarly, the contribution the sector to foreign exchange earnings has grown from the level of ETB 45,878.5 million in 2014 to ETB 50,447.7 million. These improved achievements in the contribution of tourism sector to the economic activity coincides with the establishment of ETO in 2014 and the launch of UNDP supported institutional and organizational enhancement project which partly enhanced the contribution of the tourism sector to the achievements and improvements recorded in the economic activities. The direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to economic activities in Ethiopia is presented in Table 7 below.


Tag: Impact Bilateral partners Jobs and Livelihoods National Institutions

16.

3.6.1 Integration of Gender Equality
It has been assessed that the issue of gender equality has not been integrated in the project interventions during design phase. This has been confirmed by former CEO of ETO and MoCT officials that integration of gender equality has not been planned during project design.
It has been assessed that the achievement of the project has not been disaggregated by gender. It has only been indicated in one of the progress reports that 30 ETO staff obtained on job skill training, out of which 30% were women. This needs to be focused in the future to integrate gender equality during project design and progress report preparation phases.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Programme/Project Design

17.

3.6.2 Integration of Environment
Although it is normal to consider environmental issues at each levels of tourism destination and products development such as hotels, resorts, and visiting sites, it has been assessed that environmental issues were not integrated into the project during design phase. This has been confirmed by former CEO of ETO. 

However, the evaluator has the opinion that environment cannot be seen as risk since project interventions were mostly focused on strengthening institutional capacities in the form of sector staff knowledge and skill development. This opinion has also been reflected by stakeholders consulted during the assessment, particularly by MoCT, ETO and key stakeholders.
However, environmental issues should be considered during project design and implementation phases in the future and should be climate SMART enough to carry out interventions on tourism destination and marketing developments.


Tag: Knowledge management Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening

18.

3.6.3 Capacity Development
As described under section 3.2, the project supported capacity development of ETO, Government institutions involved in tourism facilitation, and private business organizations like Hotel Owners and Tour Operators Associations.
The capacity development interventions undertaken in the form of skill and knowledge trainings of professionals and operators engaged in the sector is part of capacity development activity integrated into the project. Institutional equipping of ETO with modern IT equipment, provision of office furniture that creates functional office premise were the main targets of the project in capacity development. This has been confirmed by key stakeholders, mainly UNDP Project Team, MoCT, ETO, Sunrise Tours Ethiopia, and Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Association during the consultation and interview assessments.
In conclusion, it has been assessed that the project did not integrate gender equality and environmental factor into planned outputs during project design, monitoring and evaluation phases. It was only capacity development theme that was integrated.


Tag: Gender Equality Knowledge management Country Government Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening

19.

3.7 Assessment of Management Arrangements and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
The project was designed in a manner that the UNDP Country Office in partnership with MoCT as implementing partner (IP) and ETO as responsible party (RP) will implement the project entitled ‘‘strengthening institutional capacity for sustainable tourism development’’. MoFEC (formerly MoFED) shall be responsible for an overall oversight while project implementation manual (PIM) (as revised by United Nations Assistance programs in Ethiopia) agreed rules and procedures shall be applicable in pursuing agreed activities of the project. The project was also subject to UNDP’s national implementation project audit.


Tag: Effectiveness Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Institutional Strengthening

Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1:  The execution and ownership of the project should be assigned to relevant departmental structures, so as to create commitment and ownership of project implementation and sustaining the results to be achieved. If so, any change in top management will not hinder implementation of project.

2

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2:  The project should give focused attention to create strong public-private partnership (PPP) in which investment, resource and experience sharing will be committed towards tourism destination and product development and marketing promotion and development there by realizing sustainable tourism sector development. UNDP and relevant donors should support the realization of this effort.

3

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: Gender equality and environmental factors were not considered right from project design as well as during project progress reporting process. As all UNDP country - based interventions needs to integrate gender equality and environmental factors, the project should incorporate gender equality and environment into the project cycles, particularly during design, monitoring and evaluation during the next phase.

4

Recommendation 2: The project needs to be designed in the next phase should assign Project Coordinator on permanent basis throughout the project life to channel project resources and outputs to relevant departments, regularly prepare reports and submit to funding agency, liaise project implementation and monitoring between CEOs, UNDP and functional departments. The project coordinator can alternatively be head of planning department of ETO if the organization has this structure.

5

Recommendation 4: The project should have been given attention to tourism destination branding, promotion, and image building, which need to be focused in the next phase of project interventions.

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 1:  The execution and ownership of the project should be assigned to relevant departmental structures, so as to create commitment and ownership of project implementation and sustaining the results to be achieved. If so, any change in top management will not hinder implementation of project.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2021/01/02]

Management Response: UNDP management has discussed programmatic issues and formulation of a full-fledged programme with the Minister of Culture and Tourism and formulation of new programme document incorporating institutional arrangements and sustainability is underway.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions held with Minister of Culture and Tourism and the Head of Office.
[Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2020/08/03]
IGSD 2019/02 Completed completed History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 2:  The project should give focused attention to create strong public-private partnership (PPP) in which investment, resource and experience sharing will be committed towards tourism destination and product development and marketing promotion and development there by realizing sustainable tourism sector development. UNDP and relevant donors should support the realization of this effort.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2021/01/02]

Management Response: Formulation of a new programme document in process, which looks into working on the whole tourism value chain, focusing on public-private partnership, private sector participation as well as job creation potential of the whole sector. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
. description activities, then specifics as needed a. Brainstorming session on formulation of new programme conducted with donors to ensure the programme has sufficient donor support.
[Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2020/08/03]
Ministry of Culture and Tourism/IGSD 2019/03 Completed Completed History
Consultancy advertised for undertaking a quick needs assessment and formulation of new programme document
[Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2020/08/03]
UNDP 2019/03 Completed Completed History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue 3: Gender equality and environmental factors were not considered right from project design as well as during project progress reporting process. As all UNDP country - based interventions needs to integrate gender equality and environmental factors, the project should incorporate gender equality and environment into the project cycles, particularly during design, monitoring and evaluation during the next phase.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2021/01/02]

Management Response: The new programme is to ensure that gender equality and inclusiveness is well planned and thought through, ensuring that the programme has clear gender markers and milestones that are measurable and achievable.  It is to also address environmental factors, particularly in destination areas and heritage sites.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 description activities, then specifics as needed a. Identification of gender analysis and gaps during the needs assessment and incorporating clear targets and milestones in formulation of programme
[Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2020/08/03]
IGSD 2019/03 Completed Completed History
Address environmental factors in programme formulation
[Added: 2019/01/01] [Last Updated: 2020/08/03]
IGSD 2019/03 Completed Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: The project needs to be designed in the next phase should assign Project Coordinator on permanent basis throughout the project life to channel project resources and outputs to relevant departments, regularly prepare reports and submit to funding agency, liaise project implementation and monitoring between CEOs, UNDP and functional departments. The project coordinator can alternatively be head of planning department of ETO if the organization has this structure.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/12/20] [Last Updated: 2021/01/02]

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: The project should have been given attention to tourism destination branding, promotion, and image building, which need to be focused in the next phase of project interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/12/20] [Last Updated: 2021/01/02]

Key Actions:

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