Final Evaluation of Gender Equality Project II (GEP II)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2016
Completion Date:
12/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document FINAL EVALUATION GEP -II PROJECT REPORT - 2016.PDF report English 1281.71 KB Posted 1452
Download document GEP II Project TOR.pdf tor English 520.39 KB Posted 599
Title Final Evaluation of Gender Equality Project II (GEP II)
Atlas Project Number: 00071928
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2017
Planned End Date: 06/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 4.1. Country led measures accelerated to advance women's economic empowerment
  • 2. Output 4.2. Measures in place and implemented across sectors to prevent and respond to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
  • 3. Output 4.3. Evidence-informed national strategies and partnerships to advance gender equality and women's empowerment
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: Project Resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 40,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
ZUBAIR FATAHI Consultant AFGHANISTAN
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

4.0 FINDINGS

This section will outline the main activities and results of the three main outputs as outlined in the GEP II Project Document. The project at formulation stage had budgeted USD 30 million for a three-year span (2013-2015). However, the project received a total of USD$19,209,117 from 5 donors which included Korea, Italy, Denmark, CIDA, Afghanistan’s MoF and the UNDP core funding. From 2013 till April 2016 (the project got a 4 months no-cost extension), a total of USD$ 15, 131, 504 had been spent giving a total financial delivery rate of 78,7%. In this section, we will provide findings per each pillar/output where the first part of each output will give an overall outlook of the major outcomes and achievements in each respective pillar. The second part will be a brief analysis of each pillar/output under the framework of this evaluation criterion. And finally, a recommendation section will be proffered for each pillar. 

4.1 PILLAR 1: Policy Review and Support Output 1: Enhanced MoWA’s capacity for policymaking and oversight for NAPWA implementation.

All activities under the Policy pillar of GEP II were relevant to the context of Afghanistan. Coordination with the MoWA has been excellent. Being embedded in the ministry, the GEP II pursued a very active coordination approach with the government. A total of USD$4,386.002 was spent under this pillar. However, being a late bloomer where almost all results have been achieved in the final phase of the program, there are concerns regarding the sustainability of these results especially if the project is just left at the phase it is at the moment. All MoWA directorates that were interviewed and asked about the sustainability of the project responded noting that they are some activities which they sustain but emphasized that they are not yet fully equipped both technically and financially to sustain most of the project’s activities. However, UNDP program management noted that there is a successor project, Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan (EGEMA) that builds on the successes of GEP II’s policy pillar. There has been an increased sense of ownership of the project within MoWA though there have been challenges in MoWA’s engagement, influenced by political uncertainty and leadership change in the Ministry. Also, most activities were achieved with the engagement of NTAs by GEP but nonetheless there seemed to be no concrete indication of MOWA’s purposeful engagement in transferring capacity to its staff, and retaining the highly skilled staff. Nonetheless, there were a significant number of outcomes as follows:


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights Public administration reform Donor relations Policies & Procedures Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

2.

4.1 PILLAR 1: Policy Review and Support Output 1: Enhanced MoWA’s capacity for policymaking and oversight for NAPWA implementation.(continuation)

o The six piloted line ministries have been trained and have included gender aspects of the budget using the Budget Circular 1 and Budget Circular 2 guidelines that have been verified by the MoF. - Development and approval of GRB guidelines by MoF, - Development of a GRB handbook and training manual to standardize trainings and implementation of GRB. c) Monitoring of NAPWA- the main government policy for empowerment of women - Establishment of an online database for capturing information related to NAPWA implementation and enabling MoWA to produce and analyse reports that can inform policy and decision-making. - MoWA staff has also received preliminary training on how to use the database. d) Support to Gender Units: - Strengthening of 5 line ministries and 4 university Gender Units - Development of a gender mainstreaming toolkit - Establishment of a Sub Gender Cabinet Committee, which has enhanced the coordination role of MoWA and Gender Units in monitoring implementation of gender commitments. Establishment of the gender sub-committee of the Cabinet is a right direction towards ensuring better coordination among the relevant government agencies. Chaired by the Second Vice president, the sub-committee has high potential in directing the government agencies to prioritize gender issues into their policies and programs. e) Gender Studies Institute at Kabul University Introduction of the Masters in Gender and Women’s Studies program under the Social Science department of the Kabul University directly answers the critical issue of building the capacity of Afghans in regards to gender related issue. A total of 27 students enrolled with five however withdrawing. 22 students now form the core of the Programme, which promises to be a milestone in assisting the government, civil society organization and other development agencies in finding homegrown cadre with strong academic knowledge of gender issues. 


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Human and Financial resources Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Institutional Strengthening Data and Statistics Civil Societies and NGOs National Institutions Women and gilrs Youth

3.

4.3 Pillar II: Economic Empowerment of Women Output 2: Women’s entrepreneurship skills developed for women entrepreneurs and cooperatives in 19 provinces. 

All activities under this pillar were highly relevant given Afghanistan’s context in relation to women and the economy and their lack of secure livelihoods. The project’s coordination was satisfactory with positive reviews from implementing partners. Overall, activities from this pillar have seen an increase in women’s sense of economic and social empowerment as well as their self-esteem in all groups of women (those reporting increasing returns and with declining returns). However, the target of 19 provinces was over-ambitious and hence required downsizing. Major results from the planned activities included: a) Supporting women’s economic empowerment activities as individual entrepreneurs and through cooperatives.- Women cooperatives in handicrafts, jewellery making and food processing were supported through various means including skills training, provision of business development services and support with raw materials. -3 new clean technologies were introduced in Balkh, Nangahar and Kabul for food processing activities b) Providing ICT skills - Training of 303 students in English basic skills and ICT at Herat and Bamyan Universities and Nangahar DoWA. c) Support of 2 Production and Demonstration centres in Kabul and Herat. d) Strengthening of 15 PWDCs and establishment of 4 new ones in Samangan, Diakundi, Laghman and Helmand to identify gender needs in their respective communities.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Local Governance Knowledge management Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Women and gilrs

4.

4.3 Pillar II: Economic Empowerment of Women Output 2: Women’s entrepreneurship skills developed for women entrepreneurs and cooperatives in 19 provinces. (Continuation)

On the other hand there were some initial excellent results that have however, turned mediocre due to a number of factors. For instance, the GEP II program successfully provided jewelry making training to 20 rural women from Herat province. The mid-term evaluation reported that these women were each making an average of USD$ 25/a month, an income that they reported to boost their confidence and levels of empowerment at personal, household and community levels. Nonetheless, during the final evaluation, it was found out that the average monthly income has dropped and is now less than USD$10/month per each individual. This decline in income can be attributed to three factors, a) these women mainly sell their products in their neighborhood and this market has been saturated b) these women did not try to reach out to new markets and customers, and c) they only acquired skills for producing basic products, meaning they have not diversified the design and quality of their work to reach out to new markets. In this case, GEP II could have built on the strong foundation of the first activity by providing additional training support to these women to help them improve their skills and products and/or move up in the value chain.

Failed Intervention As aforementioned, the economic empowerment activities yielded varying levels of success and unfortunately there were cases of stark failure caused by a number of extenuating factors. In this case, GEP supported two cooperatives in Balkh province to grow Saffron. During the focus group discussions, it was found out that the annual income from Saffron cultivation is on average USD$8, ranging from USD$0 to USD$25 per individual/annum. Saffron is a high value cash crop with high economic returns however, its cultivation becomes profitable with economies of scale, meaning it is not considered as ideal choice for small land owners. The larger the land, the more expected profit. Yet this project was introduced to women with small plots of land that they were using for subsistence vegetable growing. In this case a proper economic viability assessment was not carried out before implementation of the project and these women ended up not being able to produce the vegetables for home use and focusing on the year long cultivation season for saffron, with little or no returns.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Sustainability Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Women and gilrs

5.

4.4 PILLAR 3: ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Output 3: Access to justice for women including awareness on women’s rights among men & women increased. Activities under this pillar were relevant albeit being over-ambitious. Excellent coordination was reported especially with MoHRA. The main results from this pillar were: - Establishment of 5 Women Assistance Centres in Herat, Balkh, Nangahar, Bamyan and Helmand provinces within DoWA premises. - Awareness and sensitization of religious leaders - Women’s leadership and advocacy of women’s rights through the N-Peace Initiatives. - Publication of a Women’s rights and the Islamic Law book that is being used as a manual for trained mullahs’ teachings


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights Justice system Local Governance Coordination Women and gilrs

6.

4.6 PROJECT MANAGEMENT

The project document was well articulated, with highly relevant issues to the Afghanistan context. Unfortunately, the theory of change was not clear and this was evident in the number of activities and unrealistic targets that were set within a short project life span. This, and a case of a partly funded budget have significantly affected the project’s delivery rate. As aforementioned, it was also reported that the project started with a major huddle with the project manager resigning at the end of 2013. The change in management posed challenges and delays in the approval of the AWPs, budgets, HR plans and procurement plans. Notably, there was a slack in following the project document in the first two years of the project with no official management records provided on decisions to change course or not implement activities as noted on the AWP. It was also noted that time needed for the recruitment process of staff and partners and approval of project documents was not factored in the implementation plan and design of AWP and hence this also caused delays in implementation. The project had also projected funding up to USD$30,000,000 which however, was not fulfilled. This posed challenges in the implementation of some activities, which remained unfunded, and delays in receiving funds also ultimately resulted in the delaying of various activities. In some instances, there were revisions to the AWP activities, a necessity, given the delays and amount of unfunded activities for 2013.


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Theory of Change

Recommendations
1

The six policies that have been revised and finalized should now enter the implementation phase. It is the role of MoWA to closely monitor the progress to make sure policies do not remain inactive. Nonetheless, MoWA still needs to be further strengthened to be able to achieve this role and lobby for the other reviewed policies and strategies to be finalized and adopted as well as maintain a coordinating and oversight role that ensures a pro-active uptake of the Policy Review Toolkit by government offices.

2

The operationalization of the database is also central to the success of monitoring NAPWA. Hence MoWA and other relevant government agencies at national and subnational level require training and further support on how to effectively maintain and use the database.

3

Strong foundations for GRB have been laid down, however both MoF and line ministries still require further capacity development and training to become fully ready for implementation of GRB. However, other development partners have shown their willingness to technically support the MoF with GRB and this gives room to the GEP project to concentrate on other policy issues. 

4

The recently introduced M.A program has immense potential to become a regionally and globally recognized degree producing the much needed gender activists and cadres to drive the gender agenda in Afghanistan. However, this entails further support to the Institute until it is fully institutionalized into the University systems. Gender is a new academic concept for the Kabul University hence, although the KU has a number of professors in subjects closely related to gender issues, it does not have professors with particular specialization on gender studies.  Therefore, to achieve a wholesome success story of the Gender Institute, it is imperative to help build the capacity of its professors to give them a firm understanding of theoretical and academic aspects of gender. In the interim, the suggestion of inviting guest lecturers from within and outside Afghanistan is quite noble as it exposes the current students as well as staff to established gender academics.

5

For future interventions, it is highly recommended to plan economic activities providing a full continuum of support especially for businesses. This entails taking groups through a full value chain in business development as one-time support may produce excellent results in the short run, however, without enough foundation to sustain the results.

6

It is highly recommended to conduct detailed market/business analysis before embarking on any economic activity and support only activities that have value for money and good return of investment.

7

Working directly with beneficiaries in the provinces has produced high operations cost for UNDP hence substantially decreasing the value for money and rate of return on investment mainly due to additional costs associated with security risk. To ensure having a maximum amount of budget directly invested on Afghan women, it is highly recommended that UNDP subcontract economic activities to NGOs or local firms; or implement through the government by adopting NIM modality.

8

The evaluation team also highly recommends continued support of the Kabul PTDC for another year or two as it has great potential for women’s economic empowerment and sustainability once its foundations are properly set.

9

Though the Women Assistance Centers (WACs) had significantly positive results and surpassed targets, this activity has many other development players working on it including other UNDP projects and UNWomen. In future gender projects development, this activity can therefore be left to other players who can efficiently and effectively provide the full package under this activity.

10

The sensitization trainings of mullahs are a highly relevant activity in attaining gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan. However, there is need for redesigning this activity in a number of ways to increase its impact. A robust monitoring and evaluation system needs to be put in place, starting with a baseline survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices in gender issues of both mullahs and the general populace in various provinces.

11

Also, it was reported that the trainings are targeting registered mullahs only. There is possibility to extend to unregistered mullahs in the most conservative provinces, however, with a clear plan on how to monitor their activities.

12

Future projects need to be flexible and not just focus on adhering to the project document as there are situations that demands adjustments. However, a proper management record should be in place to document any changes as well as a record of justifications for changes and deviations.

13

Future projects need to intensify efforts in developing and maintaining a robust monitoring and evaluation system. Results based management should be followed. Quarterly visits to project sites/provinces by management team are highly recommended

14

Delays in payments to vendors and partners affect productive partnerships. Future interventions need to identify bottlenecks and address these issues to accelerate the process.  

15

AWP indicative activities should be designed in such a way that they all work towards the realization of set main project/ pillar targets. There is a danger of having a number of activities under a pillar that however do not necessarily address the achievement of the set main targets.

16

4.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

The six policies that have been revised and finalized should now enter the implementation phase. It is the role of MoWA to closely monitor the progress to make sure policies do not remain inactive. Nonetheless, MoWA still needs to be further strengthened to be able to achieve this role and lobby for the other reviewed policies and strategies to be finalized and adopted as well as maintain a coordinating and oversight role that ensures a pro-active uptake of the Policy Review Toolkit by government offices.

The operationalization of the database is also central to the success of monitoring NAPWA. Hence MoWA and other relevant government agencies at national and subnational level require training and further support on how to effectively maintain and use the database.

Strong foundations for GRB have been laid down, however both MoF and line ministries still require further capacity development and training to become fully ready for implementation of GRB. However, other development partners have shown their willingness to technically support the MoF with GRB and this gives room to the GEP project to concentrate on other policy issues. 

 The recently introduced M.A program has immense potential to become a regionally and globally recognized degree producing the much needed gender activists and cadres to drive the gender agenda in Afghanistan. However, this entails further support to the Institute until it is fully institutionalized into the University systems. Gender is a new academic concept for the Kabul University hence, although the KU has a number of professors in subjects closely related to gender issues, it does not have professors with particular specialization on gender studies. Therefore, to achieve a wholesome success story of the Gender Institute, it is imperative to help build the capacity of its professors to give them a firm understanding of theoretical and academic aspects of gender. In the interim, the suggestion of inviting guest lecturers from within and outside Afghanistan is quite noble as it exposes the current students as well as staff to established gender academics. 

17

4.4 RECOMMENDATIONS:

For future interventions, it is highly recommended to plan economic activities providing a full continuum of support especially for businesses. This entails taking groups through a full value chain in business development as one-time support may produce excellent results in the short run, however, without enough foundation to sustain the results.

It is highly recommended to conduct detailed market/business analysis before embarking on any economic activity and support only activities that have value for money and good return of investment.

Working directly with beneficiaries in the provinces has produced high operations cost for UNDP hence substantially decreasing the value for money and rate of return on investment mainly due to additional costs associated with security risk. To ensure having a maximum amount of budget directly invested on Afghan women, it is highly recommended that UNDP subcontract economic activities to NGOs or local firms; or implement through the government by adopting NIM modality.

The evaluation team also highly recommends continued support of the Kabul PTDC for another year or two as it has great potential for women’s economic empowerment and sustainability once its foundations are properly set.

18

4.5 RECOMMENDATIONS

Though the WACs had significantly positive results and surpassed targets, this activity has many other development players working on it including other UNDP projects and UNWomen. In future gender projects development, this activity can therefore be left to other players who can efficiently and effectively provide the full package under this activity.

The sensitization trainings of mullahs are a highly relevant activity in attaining gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan. However, there is need for redesigning this activity in a number of ways to increase its impact. A robust monitoring and evaluation system needs to be put in place, starting with a baseline survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices in gender issues of both mullahs and the general populace in various provinces.

Also, it was reported that the trainings are targeting registered mullahs only. There is possibility to extend to unregistered mullahs in the most conservative provinces, however, with a clear plan on how to monitor their activities. 

19

4.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Future projects need to be flexible and not just focus on adhering to the project document as there are situations that demands adjustments. However, a proper management record should be in place to document any changes as well as a record of justifications for changes and deviations.

2. Future projects need to intensify efforts in developing and maintaining a robust monitoring and evaluation system. Results based management should be followed. Quarterly visits to project sites/provinces by management team are highly recommended.

3. Delays in payments to vendors and partners affect productive partnerships. Future interventions need to identify bottlenecks and address these issues to accelerate the process.

4. AWP indicative activities should be designed in such a way that they all work towards the realization of set main project/ pillar targets. There is a danger of having a number of activities under a pillar that however do not necessarily address the achievement of the set main targets.

5. New projects and subsequent activities should be designed in line with available committed resources. There is always room for expansion of activities and scope of project vs developing a huge project with limited resources and working on reducing activities.

6. Three-year project life-spans seem short to be able to measure impact for the project’s activities especially around policy reviews and integration as well as measuring social and economic transformation. We recommend that future projects are designed to be implemented over 4-5 years or if they are to be 3 years, due care should be taken in setting out achievable and measurable project activities and targets within the proposed project life-span.

1. Recommendation:

The six policies that have been revised and finalized should now enter the implementation phase. It is the role of MoWA to closely monitor the progress to make sure policies do not remain inactive. Nonetheless, MoWA still needs to be further strengthened to be able to achieve this role and lobby for the other reviewed policies and strategies to be finalized and adopted as well as maintain a coordinating and oversight role that ensures a pro-active uptake of the Policy Review Toolkit by government offices.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. The successor of GEP II, Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan (EGEMA), will capacitate MoWA’s Policy unit to review and integrated gender in policies/strategies and take coordination and oversight role for policy implementation. EGEMA would place significant emphasis for implementation of policies which were already revised and will support their capacity to oversee their implementation outcomes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
MoWA Policy Unit, sectorial ministries (policy, human resources, gender, finance and M&E departments’ key staff) and other relevant staff of MoWA trained on gender mainstreaming and policy implementation
[Added: 2017/12/13]
Policy Unit of MoWA, and EGEMA’s Policy and Planning Specialist 2016/10 Completed
To review 10 polices and 2 sector specific policy review toolkits developed
[Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/07/10]
Policy Unit of MoWA, And EGEMA’s Policy and Planning Specialist 2018/05 Completed The policy revision team, established within MOWA with the Project’s support, has reviewed and provided recommendation for engendering 11 policies of line ministries along with their 6 strategies. Revision process with technical support of UNDP involved development of recommendations on improving internal working conditions to enable women to grow professionally within abovementioned institutions as well as measured to expand women’s opportunities and access to basic services, such as health, education and etc . History
Review four policies/strategies of line ministries reviewed on gender mainstreaming basis
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA’s Policy and Planning Specialist 2017/03 Completed 3 National Consultants for supporting the offices of the Minister and the Deputy Minister of Policy and Technical Affairs hired under IC arrangement
2. Recommendation:

The operationalization of the database is also central to the success of monitoring NAPWA. Hence MoWA and other relevant government agencies at national and subnational level require training and further support on how to effectively maintain and use the database.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. Operationalization of NAPWA database is planned under EGEMA project. EGEMA will train a number of staff from 6 key ministries on how to use and maintain the database effectively.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Capacity Building of MoWA’s M&E and Statistics Units are built to manage and administer the NAPWA online database
[Added: 2017/12/13]
M&E of MoWA and EGEMA Data Analyst 2016/10 Completed The action carried-out in coordination and partnership with UN Women-Afghanistan
Develop and implement 3 years’ strategy on NAPWA online database
[Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/07/10]
M&E of MoWA and EGEMA Data Analyst 2018/05 Completed As a result of extensive capacity building trainings, ten Government staff (female) improved their skills (by approximately 60%, following analysis of assessment of knowledge) and understanding of the National Action Plan for Women in Afghanistan (NAPWA) online database in the Monitoring Department as well as Policy Directorate of MOWA. History
Capacity building of relevant staff from 6 line ministries and directorates on NAPWA online database
[Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/07/10]
M&E officer of MoWA and EGEMA Data Analyst 2018/05 Completed The NAPWA database was revised with UNDP’s support following restructuring of the NAPWA’s reporting forms for each Ministry and Institutions. The restructured database is now compliant with monitoring and evaluation standards. The data collection and management mechanism in the form of standard operating procedures (SOP) was finalized and presented to the MOWA management . History
3. Recommendation:

Strong foundations for GRB have been laid down, however both MoF and line ministries still require further capacity development and training to become fully ready for implementation of GRB. However, other development partners have shown their willingness to technically support the MoF with GRB and this gives room to the GEP project to concentrate on other policy issues. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. During EGEMA Design phase, UN women has accepted to take over the GRB support to the ministry of finance. EGEMA will no longer support MoF on GRB, however, it helps establish the capacity inside MoWA to work with MoF on GRB.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
to improve policy development capacity of relevant MoWA officials to follow up on GRB
[Added: 2017/12/13]
Policy unit in MoWA and EGEMA team 2016/05 Completed
4. Recommendation:

The recently introduced M.A program has immense potential to become a regionally and globally recognized degree producing the much needed gender activists and cadres to drive the gender agenda in Afghanistan. However, this entails further support to the Institute until it is fully institutionalized into the University systems. Gender is a new academic concept for the Kabul University hence, although the KU has a number of professors in subjects closely related to gender issues, it does not have professors with particular specialization on gender studies.  Therefore, to achieve a wholesome success story of the Gender Institute, it is imperative to help build the capacity of its professors to give them a firm understanding of theoretical and academic aspects of gender. In the interim, the suggestion of inviting guest lecturers from within and outside Afghanistan is quite noble as it exposes the current students as well as staff to established gender academics.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. The successor project has embraced the support needed to institutionalize the Master Degree Programme into the University system. Professors of Master Degree Programme will get gender focused capacity building programmes in the form of trainings, professor exchange Programme or guest lecturer.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Involve Gender Experts available locally and internationally as Guest Lecturers to KU
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA Gender Specialist and Kabul University 2017/06 Completed
Establish partnerships with tow relevant institutions internationally
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA Gender Specialist, Kabul University and Partner University 2017/02 Completed
5. Recommendation:

For future interventions, it is highly recommended to plan economic activities providing a full continuum of support especially for businesses. This entails taking groups through a full value chain in business development as one-time support may produce excellent results in the short run, however, without enough foundation to sustain the results.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Partially agree. This might be quite ambitious considering the short project duration of the successor project. However, the successor project takes measures to provide marketing support through different means to the extent possible.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
to provide start up package and Marketing support in for targeted women in 3 provinces
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA/Livelihood and International consultant 2017/03 Completed
6. Recommendation:

It is highly recommended to conduct detailed market/business analysis before embarking on any economic activity and support only activities that have value for money and good return of investment.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. Detailed Market Analysis will be conducted to identify activities that have greater value for money and potential for sustainability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Undertaking value chain analysis and market assessment
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA/Livelihood Specialist, MAIL, MOWA, MOCI, ACCI, AISA 2016/12 Completed assessment is needed to identify livelihood opportunities with potential for sustainability
7. Recommendation:

Working directly with beneficiaries in the provinces has produced high operations cost for UNDP hence substantially decreasing the value for money and rate of return on investment mainly due to additional costs associated with security risk. To ensure having a maximum amount of budget directly invested on Afghan women, it is highly recommended that UNDP subcontract economic activities to NGOs or local firms; or implement through the government by adopting NIM modality.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. UNDP will consider the outsourcing of economic empowerment activities at the provincial level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Livelihood opportunity for women in Daikundi to be outsourced
[Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/07/10]
EGEMA/Livelihood Specialist, MAIL, MOWA, MOCI, ACCI, AISA 2018/05 Completed Daikundi new business project on beekeeping (Ref to EGEMA report) emplys 200 women and was outsourced to a private company for execution based on competitive selection History
8. Recommendation:

The evaluation team also highly recommends continued support of the Kabul PTDC for another year or two as it has great potential for women’s economic empowerment and sustainability once its foundations are properly set.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed, UNDP will continue supporting Production, Trainng and Demonstration Center PTDC while giving significant importance to and exit strategy that ensure sustainability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue financial and technical Support to Production,
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA/Livelihood Specialist, MAIL, 2016/09 Completed
Demonstration and Training Centre for women
[Added: 2017/12/13]
MOWA, MOCI, ACCI, AISA 2016/12 Completed
Development of customized training curriculum covering all necessary value chain steps
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA/Livelihood Specialist, MAIL, MOWA, MOCI 2016/11 Completed
9. Recommendation:

Though the Women Assistance Centers (WACs) had significantly positive results and surpassed targets, this activity has many other development players working on it including other UNDP projects and UNWomen. In future gender projects development, this activity can therefore be left to other players who can efficiently and effectively provide the full package under this activity.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. It was anticipated during the design of the successor project; thus the women assistance centers will not be supported under the new project.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

The sensitization trainings of mullahs are a highly relevant activity in attaining gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan. However, there is need for redesigning this activity in a number of ways to increase its impact. A robust monitoring and evaluation system needs to be put in place, starting with a baseline survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices in gender issues of both mullahs and the general populace in various provinces.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Partially Agreed. The successor project intends to strengthen the monitoring system aiming to measure impacts of the intervention on Mullahs. A survey will be conducted to establish basslines among target religious leaders to establish baselines. Further, MoHRA monitoring system will be strengthened to capture required data information on the cases addressed by Mullahs.    

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Perception Survey will be conducted to evaluate the impact of the conducted activities and establish a baseline
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA Gender Specialist and MoHRA 2017/03 Completed
Conduct Annual Conference of Mulla’s preaching for Women’s right from Islamic Perspective to discuss their progress in the field, develop new work plan and make suggestion where needed through the help of MoHRA, MoWA and UNDP.
[Added: 2017/12/13]
EGEMA Gender Specialist, MoWA and MoHRA 2016/11 Completed
11. Recommendation:

Also, it was reported that the trainings are targeting registered mullahs only. There is possibility to extend to unregistered mullahs in the most conservative provinces, however, with a clear plan on how to monitor their activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Disagree. The unregistered mullahs are not accountable to MoHRA, hence, it is quite challenging to monitor their activities

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Future projects need to be flexible and not just focus on adhering to the project document as there are situations that demands adjustments. However, a proper management record should be in place to document any changes as well as a record of justifications for changes and deviations.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. When a need arises the project document for the successor project will be substantively revised to integrate activities that are not anticipated at the first place. 

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

Future projects need to intensify efforts in developing and maintaining a robust monitoring and evaluation system. Results based management should be followed. Quarterly visits to project sites/provinces by management team are highly recommended

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. The future project will establishes a strong monitoring mechanism  including project Monitoring Plans.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Annual Monitoring Plans will be developed and implemented for EGEMA project
[Added: 2017/12/13]
MoWA and EGEMA team 2016/09 Completed
Field visits to monitor progress under three components of EGEMA
[Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/07/10]
EGEMA with partners 2018/06 Completed Project adopts M&E Plan and monitoring missions are performed to all project sites. History
14. Recommendation:

Delays in payments to vendors and partners affect productive partnerships. Future interventions need to identify bottlenecks and address these issues to accelerate the process.  

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Partially Agree. UNDP will make its best efforts to avoid any delay in the payment of vendors. However, in some cases delay might be caused by late delivery of services and goods.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Monthly financial monitoring mechanism at the project activity level introduced to have right system of forecasting as well as tracking actual expanses to identify under/over performance and proposing correcting actions to avoid unnecessary delays.
[Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/07/10]
EGEMA team 2018/06 Completed EGEMA did not face issues with late payments to its vendors to date. History
15. Recommendation:

AWP indicative activities should be designed in such a way that they all work towards the realization of set main project/ pillar targets. There is a danger of having a number of activities under a pillar that however do not necessarily address the achievement of the set main targets.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/13] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Agreed. The AWP for successor project will be in line with targets set forth in the project document.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Make sure the project AWP is in-line with targets in Project document
[Added: 2017/12/13]
Project Manager/Monitoring Specialist 2016/08 Completed
16. Recommendation:

4.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

The six policies that have been revised and finalized should now enter the implementation phase. It is the role of MoWA to closely monitor the progress to make sure policies do not remain inactive. Nonetheless, MoWA still needs to be further strengthened to be able to achieve this role and lobby for the other reviewed policies and strategies to be finalized and adopted as well as maintain a coordinating and oversight role that ensures a pro-active uptake of the Policy Review Toolkit by government offices.

The operationalization of the database is also central to the success of monitoring NAPWA. Hence MoWA and other relevant government agencies at national and subnational level require training and further support on how to effectively maintain and use the database.

Strong foundations for GRB have been laid down, however both MoF and line ministries still require further capacity development and training to become fully ready for implementation of GRB. However, other development partners have shown their willingness to technically support the MoF with GRB and this gives room to the GEP project to concentrate on other policy issues. 

 The recently introduced M.A program has immense potential to become a regionally and globally recognized degree producing the much needed gender activists and cadres to drive the gender agenda in Afghanistan. However, this entails further support to the Institute until it is fully institutionalized into the University systems. Gender is a new academic concept for the Kabul University hence, although the KU has a number of professors in subjects closely related to gender issues, it does not have professors with particular specialization on gender studies. Therefore, to achieve a wholesome success story of the Gender Institute, it is imperative to help build the capacity of its professors to give them a firm understanding of theoretical and academic aspects of gender. In the interim, the suggestion of inviting guest lecturers from within and outside Afghanistan is quite noble as it exposes the current students as well as staff to established gender academics. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation:

4.4 RECOMMENDATIONS:

For future interventions, it is highly recommended to plan economic activities providing a full continuum of support especially for businesses. This entails taking groups through a full value chain in business development as one-time support may produce excellent results in the short run, however, without enough foundation to sustain the results.

It is highly recommended to conduct detailed market/business analysis before embarking on any economic activity and support only activities that have value for money and good return of investment.

Working directly with beneficiaries in the provinces has produced high operations cost for UNDP hence substantially decreasing the value for money and rate of return on investment mainly due to additional costs associated with security risk. To ensure having a maximum amount of budget directly invested on Afghan women, it is highly recommended that UNDP subcontract economic activities to NGOs or local firms; or implement through the government by adopting NIM modality.

The evaluation team also highly recommends continued support of the Kabul PTDC for another year or two as it has great potential for women’s economic empowerment and sustainability once its foundations are properly set.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation:

4.5 RECOMMENDATIONS

Though the WACs had significantly positive results and surpassed targets, this activity has many other development players working on it including other UNDP projects and UNWomen. In future gender projects development, this activity can therefore be left to other players who can efficiently and effectively provide the full package under this activity.

The sensitization trainings of mullahs are a highly relevant activity in attaining gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan. However, there is need for redesigning this activity in a number of ways to increase its impact. A robust monitoring and evaluation system needs to be put in place, starting with a baseline survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices in gender issues of both mullahs and the general populace in various provinces.

Also, it was reported that the trainings are targeting registered mullahs only. There is possibility to extend to unregistered mullahs in the most conservative provinces, however, with a clear plan on how to monitor their activities. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Key Actions:

19. Recommendation:

4.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Future projects need to be flexible and not just focus on adhering to the project document as there are situations that demands adjustments. However, a proper management record should be in place to document any changes as well as a record of justifications for changes and deviations.

2. Future projects need to intensify efforts in developing and maintaining a robust monitoring and evaluation system. Results based management should be followed. Quarterly visits to project sites/provinces by management team are highly recommended.

3. Delays in payments to vendors and partners affect productive partnerships. Future interventions need to identify bottlenecks and address these issues to accelerate the process.

4. AWP indicative activities should be designed in such a way that they all work towards the realization of set main project/ pillar targets. There is a danger of having a number of activities under a pillar that however do not necessarily address the achievement of the set main targets.

5. New projects and subsequent activities should be designed in line with available committed resources. There is always room for expansion of activities and scope of project vs developing a huge project with limited resources and working on reducing activities.

6. Three-year project life-spans seem short to be able to measure impact for the project’s activities especially around policy reviews and integration as well as measuring social and economic transformation. We recommend that future projects are designed to be implemented over 4-5 years or if they are to be 3 years, due care should be taken in setting out achievable and measurable project activities and targets within the proposed project life-span.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/24]

Key Actions:

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org