Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Joint Programme Final Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2019, Yemen
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2019
Completion Date:
08/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
52,000

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Title Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Joint Programme Final Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00095492
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2019, Yemen
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2019
Planned End Date: 06/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • 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
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 52,000
Source of Funding: ERRY Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 65,000
Joint Programme: Yes
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
  • Joint with FAO, ILO & WFP
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Giorgio V.Brandolini Evaluator
Naresh Singh Evaluator
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: YEMEN
Lessons
Findings
1.

3. Findings

3.1. Effectiveness

Effectiveness is analysed by outputs areas. The analysis seeks to assess the degree to which the programme reached its intended targets. It should be mentioned that the relative importance of the ERRY JP outputs and immediate outcomes has sometimes been different from the intended one. Progress made in some secondary outputs was greater than the main ones. For instance, the variable security situation has increased (in the eyes of the beneficiaries) the importance of Cash for Work and Assets as a source of family income while the macro instability has limited the value of the rehabilitation of some infrastructure that could only be exploited in a limited way. The implementation of the planned activities has been adapted to the different context of each community thus limiting their convergence to achieve a common impact. Achievements are presented individually in section 3.1.2. 


Tag: Rural development Energy Effectiveness Local Governance Peace Building Resilience Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit

2.

3.1.1 Contribution towards Outcomes (continuation)

Off-farm production. More than 80% of the micro-businesses are stable, and a large portion (about 70%) of them are making profits (see Fig. 8). Around 99% of the total surveyed operating Microbusiness owners are satisfied and plan to stay in the same sector. This result correlates with the stable performance of 87% of the interviewed Micro-business owners and expectation by 80% of them to expand their businesses. Also 58% of the Apprentices confirmed an improvement of their employment status and only 16% of those who did not have a wage prior to joining the programme still do not have a wage now. The average wage is now over 15,000 YER/month. Micro-businesses also experienced a significant increase, with 70% of the beneficiaries that have completed their businesses plans. A confirmation of the positive impact of the programme consists in the fact that the majority of micro-businesses reported that they could save 20%-40% of their income. The increase of the income of beneficiaries, their food security and livelihoods were mutually reinforcing. The increase in income and food production (milk/derivatives, oil/fat and cereals) are reflected in a diet consuming in part animal and in part vegetable food. The food consumption score of a sample of beneficiaries reveals that the 72% is acceptable and that for the Household’s dietary diversity score, 39% of food items belong to six or more Food groups (High Dietary Diversity), a positive value in the prolonged conflict context. The practical benefits of the programme are still strictly linked to the improvement of their basic living conditions. The establishment of basic tools for the resilience to shocks has been achieved at the individual, household, and community level. Substantial progress in resilience requires the expansion of interventions along a territorial (or socio-ecological) approach ensuring the conservation of natural resources and complementarity and integration of assets rehabilitation, livelihoods development and social interventions. The field actions have achieved micro and meso-sustainability but not at the macro-level. Thus, the impact of the programme may be considered positive but limited by the insufficient linkages of the resilience elements to the management of the territory. This might be addressed by a socio-ecological systems viewpoint that incorporates the Area Development Based approach. The SWOT analysis of the overall programme is split into its progress to achieve resilience (see Annex 10.1) and its efficiency (see Annex 10.2). The first one concerns the convergence of the components, the second one the modalities of implementation of its activities 

Such satisfactory impacts are confirmed through the assisted communities by the mentioned diversification of the household diet, improved access to education, health services and WASH, as well as the positive outlook of their production reported by the farmers, craft-people, and small-businesses. While they confirm the increase in the welfare of their families (diet, access to social services), they express confidence in the expansion of their work and interest to supply markets external to their communities. The increase in the farm yield, diversification of the production, food consumption and access to social services – supported by the strengthening of the community governance mechanisms ad social inclusion - measure three key elements of individual and household resilience. The beneficiaries have increased their individual income and family welfare and grafted such progress in the recovery of community assets and governance that link resilience to local development. Although the available data are aggregate, the improvement of social cohesion confirm that they are consistent at the level of the single assisted communities, that they have positively impacted on poverty reduction. The insecurity situation and the negative macroeconomic framework still threaten income and livelihood but are effectively challenged at the micro level by the improvement in the household and community resilience, in their economic and social revitalization and better use of the production and welfare inputs. 


Tag: Rural development Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Local Governance Conflict resolution Peace Building Resilience Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Poverty Reduction Social Protection

3.

Effectiveness (continuation)

3.1.2 Outputs achievement and their contribution to Outcomes

The programme has established the conditions for building resilience and progressed in the creation of some of its elements in the assisted communities. Progress in the transition from humanitarian aid to resilience is mainly due to the improvement in community governance and social inclusion along with the rehabilitation of socio-economic assets. Livelihoods initiatives have been directed to the strengthening of value chains (vertical interventions) and the diversification of the income generation (horizontal intervention) thus increasing resilience and reducing food insecurity of a diversified set of beneficiaries in the assisted communities. Annex 7 (Programme Logical Framework) lists the values of the Output indicators. Annex 9 shows that a total of 362,213 direct beneficiaries were reached and presents a break down according to sector, agency and geography. 

Output 1.1: Community livelihoods and productive assets are improved to strengthen resilience and economic self-reliance.

3.1.2.1 Cash for Work and Assets

WFP provided cash transfers to households in return for work on building or restoring community assets. Apart from the increase in household income, a positive benefit of CFA was the acquisition of new skills. The assets built or rehabilitated are still functional by the 88%, natural hazards being the main challenge here. Most beneficiaries of the CFA (79%) utilize the cash to cover their food needs, followed by general household needs and to a lesser extent for education, health or livestock regeneration (Fig. 9). As a consequence, the food consumption scores improved between 35% to 40% across the Governorates. This component fills in humanitarian gaps and establishes the assets that support the other components building resilience. Thus, the case by case collaboration with other components has broadened its impact and contribution to the programme longer term goal. Beneficiaries primarily enjoy a source of emergency income not available otherwise. Implementing Partners report that the CFA payments were late due to the tedious internal process. They are necessary to ensure accountability and transparency for the most part1 In fact, people might already have the capacity and economic use. become more effective if associated to another programme component that strengthens the users’ capacities (e.g., agriculture, microbusinesses, and solar systems). Beneficiaries usually are the fraction of the community dwellers that are marginalized by the lack of their own productive assets. The community members manage and maintain the CFA assets with some external aid by humanitarian agencies. Some assets are productive and may recover costs, as the marketplaces infrastructure, irrigation water wells and canals. They have the potential to generate income and pay for their maintenance. But in the case of schools, health centers, roads / rangeland and drinking water wells maintenance and repair are a challenge to sustainability. In fact, interviewees report that the villagers don’t pay for their use. As productivity is not the only criteria – they are also important for health, education and WASH outcomes – the project filled the initial gap while the local government is expected to do the maintenance. The activities covered the 4 target Governorates in 2016-2017. At the end of 2017 it was decided to concentrate the remaining funds to assist Hajjah in the North and Lahj in the South. The achievements of this component surpassed the target (103 vs. 100), although these are about half of the approved resilience plans (213). Beneficiaries included women (27 %) and minorities (5%). 

Key achievements include (Table 2): - About 20,500 vulnerable individuals (represent 3,426 Households) were selected, most vulnerable people, to receive cash incentives on monthly basis for their participation in the community assets creation.; - 100 km of feeder roads connecting villages to markets and other social services were maintained. ; - 129 water points, including wells, water gateways, water harvesting tanks, irrigation canals etc., were rehabilitated/built.; - 54 activities undertaken in the agricultural and grazing lands reclamation, including around 22 ha of agricultural and grazing lands being reclaimed by removing the harmful bushes and trees and building protectives for the natural pastures.; - 6 education activities building new classes and school latrines.; - 63 Sanitation Network and latrine sites were built.; - 5 solid waste piles were cleaned.; - 20 activities of women handicrafts have been established; - 2 workshops have been built for women to practice productive handicrafts to diversify their livelihoods and income sources.; Table 2. Cash for Work and Assets rehabilitations

The rehabilitated assets represented the priorities set by the communities, their basic needs: water infrastructure ranking higher in the North and productive assets (roads and agriculture) everywhere (Fig. 10). The interviewed beneficiaries appreciated the dual purpose of this intervention as balancing their immediate needs and expectation for economic recovery. The SFD representative noted that cash could be less effective than food in the conflict areas due to the deterioration of nutritional situation and disruption of the local markets. However, the evaluation did not find additional evidence to support this allegation and it is mentioned here for further investigation. The participants in the FGDs considered that the beneficiaries fairly represent the different groups of the population, including marginal people who are usually engaged as generic labor employed in public works. Several interviewees confirmed that the search for work is still the main stress related coping strategy in their communities. The increase of income of the workers contracted by the CFA projects too is a temporary remedy to this situation while the assets rebuilt are expected to contribute to welfare and livelihoods but are still subject to human and environmental hazards, in absence of disaster hazard management tools. This modality builds alternative options to target the most vulnerable population through assistance other than humanitarian aid and can eventually be used to phase out humanitarian aid where it is no longer needed. Annex 10.3 presents the SWOT analysis of the component Cash for Work and Assets.


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Effectiveness Humanitarian development nexus Peace Building Resilience Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit

4.

Effectiveness (continuation)

3.1.2 Outputs achievement and their contribution to Outcomes

3.1.2.3 Microbusinesses Development

This project has created a substantial source of income for the microbusiness owners. The receiving skills and advisories from training and experts enabled the entrepreneurs to build skills essential to enter the market and to expand their businesses. Skills and techniques related to financial management, sales, and marketing were the most appreciated among the business owners as they perceived them to be core skills to startup businesses. Accounting and cash management helped owners manage their business expenses effectively to be able to make savings from the profitsMore than 80% of the microbusinesses are stable, and a large portion are making profits Micro businesses did not contribute much to job creation. The volatility of prices and poor purchasing power of the citizen challenge the business growth, as well as the continuation of the war mainly in the North. The new income improved the access to vital services like health and education, food quality and quantity, etc. Women who run microbusinesses, as in Hajjah where ten women are selling electric solar lamps and a group of women has started a micro grid business - have gained a greater respect for their ability to stand up and manage their business. This component has exploited the contribution of the others, by selecting and forming entrepreneurs that have caught the opportunities offered by the reestablishment of assets, transfer of technology and support to consumption (CFA). The microbusinesses exploit the market of the village and in some cases expand to the district and urban area. The needs to raise the capacities of the human capital are huge. Some external production factors are still missing (market regulation, financial services) due to the macro-economic instability. According to implementing agencies microbusinesses are challenged by macro-economic instability. The thriving sectors such as solar, beekeeping, livelihoods, food industry, textile, pottery, etc. are linked to the local consumption. Their expansion beyond the village economy horizon is challenged by the shifting insecurity situation. With the return of security, they will also be challenged by external competition that will lower the price of their products and require support in the transition to acting in an open market economy. The success rate of 90% recorded at the time of the Impact study is in part due to the ongoing project support. Although in the last 8-9 months they did not receive any support, inflation, disruption of transportation are serious hurdles to the continuation of 50% of these initiatives. A further shock could originate upon reestablishment of security from the entry of external competitors – exploiting scale economies and value chain integration - in the village and sub-district market.


Tag: Rural development Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Local Governance Resilience Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Poverty Reduction

5.

Effectiveness (continuation)

Output 1.2 Communities benefit from solar energy for sustainable livelihoods opportunities

3.1.2.4. Access to Solar Energy: Education, Health, Agriculture, WASH, Welfare and Productive Assets

Solar lanterns were provided to the most vulnerable and IDPs in Abyan, Hajjah, Hodaidah, and Lahj and Productive Associations extending the average working hours of their members. This change improved the beneficiaries’ incomes, jobs, and employment opportunities as well assavings due to the reduction of the energy costs. Women increased income by 60%. Benefits were shared by neighbors during their reciprocal visits concern charging mobile phones, listening to the radio, and watching television. This has encouraged friends and relatives of the beneficiaries to install similar systems. It has also increased the social cohesion within the Productive Association’s communities where they are being used as community hubs. The introduction of solar energy has been more impactful in the North where the public electricity grid has been disrupted than in the South where it is partially running and the solar technology plays the role of a complementary source of energy. The impact of solar energy on the education and health sector was reflected in the increase in school attendance and working hours, improvement of services to the population and reduction of operation and maintenance costs. Solar systems in WASH also expanded the served population from 1,730 to 6,209 people and improved the efficiency in water collection as well as reduced operation and maintenance costs.

Most of the WUAs recognize that solar pump systems improve access to water for irrigation with positive impacts on the reduction of the operation and maintenance costs, increase in yield and crops diversification, including the expansion of farmed land. The introduction of this technology matches the environmental and human context. They are an alternative to the degraded public electric grid during the present crisis and have the potential to expand to cover off-grid rural areas. The market services development approach of this component is fostering interlinkages with the microbusinesses one with positive effects on the access to electric energy. The programme strategy has exploited the introduction of solar energy in the supported livelihoods, e.g. in irrigation water pumping, contributing to the resilience of the beneficiaries’ livelihoods. The access to solar energy filled a basic need linked to the conflict – where grid electricity is unavailable or delivered a few hours per day. A minority of households had access to grid electricity that, furthermore, the crisis had cut off from most of the country. The introduction of the solar energy technology in the rural households and social and economic activities has supported a diversified set of exigencies. The project performed a study of the situation and technology options for accessing to energy. This study identified the potential and modalities for the adoption of solar photovoltaic systems. On this basis, a value chain approach was designed to establish assets, create capacities and develop supporting services.

In the first two years, the primary focus of the interventions was on providing solar system and tools to support affected communities to access energy, in practice it was conceived in terms of a relief action. In 2018, the focus shifted to the promotion of income generation and the services supplying solar energy in rural areas. Thus, after the lantern distribution to the families, this intervention contributed to the restoration of assets, production and social services (such as schools, hospital, public offices in the intervention areas) enhancing the impact of microbusinesses and agricultural production. This component has prompted the establishment of microbusiness in charge of solar energy services that make possible the continuation and expansion of the supplied solar photovoltaic systems. The exchange of experiences through a national level advocacy platform was established to ensure that the solar systems were customized to the different contexts of the different sectors and Governorates. Strong links have been forged with the irrigation activities (FAO), to use solar energy to pump water, Producers’ associations (dairy, handicraft, and local markets) and microbusinesses impacts on livelihoods were enhanced. The distribution of solar lanterns to the marginalized people was aimed at achieving social inclusion. Procurement is the main challenge to the performance of these activities, as there is a couple of providers of solar equipment in each region limiting the choice of equipment with different features and at competitive prices.

Key achievements include (Table 6): - 5,600 people received Photovoltaic lanterns including IDPs, returnees and host communities.; - 176 public service institutions accessed solar energy (Schools and health centres, public facilities, solar vaccination refrigerators); - 30 drinking water systems, irrigation facilities, productive assets, and market centers were equipped with solar energy. ; - 210 Microbusinesses were established to generate income and decentralize services such as electricity generation through solar micro-grid.; Table 6. Solar systems installation

The collaboration with the other components contributed to the technical choices and customization of the solar systems (Fig. 14). This synergy was extremely important in the case of WASH and irrigation fields that require careful analysis of the dimensioning and operational modalities of electricity production and use. The harsh conditions and variable energy consumption require robust equipment and materials. Interviewed users believe that they have received good stuff and that they have access to services that will extend its duration. The project has collaborated with users’ groups to create technical capacities for running and maintaining the solar systems. At a greater scale, the establishment of the solar microbusinesses has established technical and commercial capacities that complete the value chain on the side of procurement, maintenance and recycling of the solar equipment. Annex 10.6 presents the SWOT analysis of the component Solar energy.


Tag: Agriculture Energy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Health Sector Service delivery Conflict resolution Humanitarian development nexus Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Technical Support

6.

Effectiveness (continuation)

Output 2.1: Functions, financing and capacity of local authorities enabled to deliver improved basic services and respond to public priorities

3.1.2.6. Local governance

The core roles of VCCs were the development of community resilience plans, identifying priorities, community and resources mobilization, and implementing the community initiatives. Resilience plans focused on service delivery, social cohesion, basic services and livelihoods recovery. Eventually this is expected to contribute to stabilization in Yemen’s communities and to provide a solid foundation for the country’s recovery when the political situation allows. The plans focused on mapping priority community needs; services functionality; existing natural, physical and human resources; identification of hazards and conflicts; analysis of people’s positive and negative coping strategies; and listing of potential solutions to mitigate risks and improve basic service delivery affected by the conflict. As a result of resilience planning and the active role of VCCs, 414 self-help initiatives were implemented using communities’ own resources. The smallscale initiatives that were implemented by VCCs and targeted communities with matching grants from ERRY reached the number of 321 and have benefited 56,175 individuals. People actively engaged in establishing the committees, and meeting the requirements related to the representation of women (Fig. 15) and certain social groups, including young people in the structure of these committees. Their growing activities confirm the community’s acceptance.

Local governance interventions contributed to service delivery, social cohesion and peace building, thus increasing resilience. Priorities included water and education, road networks, life skills, and capacity building for livelihood opportunities. The improved service delivery communities benefited through: increased opportunities to gain income to meet basic emergency needs; increased access to improved community assets and services; enhanced personal skills; enhanced attitudes and norms at the community and resilience plans have also improved community attitudes towards organizing themselves, with the aim of mobilizing resources and building linkages to implement community resilience initiatives, instead of waiting for external support. The importance of this component to the programme resilience strategy is evident as it allows the rural communities to elaborate their own way to recovery and welfare. It also strengthened the links between local authorities and communities making possible the conversion from short to long term projects. The delay in linking the actions of the PUNOs to the Community resilience plans are due to the uncertainty created by the crisis. Lack of progress in security, institutional and macro-economic stabilization, necessitates cautious steps in investing in development. The local governance progress is going to reduce local conflicts but has little impact on the broader context. In this context, the broader perspective provided by the CRP is producing a stronger collaboration between local authorities and communities and with the private sector. Such achievement is substantial although at this stage no more than a contribution to shaping the framework for development. The establishment or rehabilitation of livelihoods is constrained by the broader context that limits the access to external markets and raises the risks to investments. Overall, the local governance has restored the participation of the villagers in decision making and confidence in their own representatives dealing with local authorities and humanitarian and development agencies. It is also contributing to establishing a shared vision of the latter on the assistance to the communities and coordination of their actions. This component supported the establishment of the VCCs, LCCs and District Management Teams (DMT). The core roles of VCCs are the development of community resilience plans, identifying priorities, community and resources mobilization, and implementing the forecast community initiatives. Resilience plans focused on improving community service delivery, social cohesion, establishing basic services and supporting the rehabilitation of livelihoods to recover from the negative impacts of the conflict. They have a strong pro-local development orientation. Eventually this is expected to contribute to stabilization in Yemen’s communities and to provide a solid foundation for the country’s recovery when the political situation allows. 


Tag: Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Local Governance Policies & Procedures Service delivery Resilience Social cohesion Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods

7.

Effectiveness (continuation)

Output 2.2: Increased capacity of local actors and strengthened partnership of private sector to enhance economic recovery

3.1.2.7. Skills development

This component exploited the relatively good situation of the TEVT institutions and craft-masters. It leveraged local knowledge and skills, thus reducing the dependence on external resources, in line with the sustainability approach of capacity building. The collaboration with the Microbusinesses component also contributed to building resilience by broadening the perspective of the entrepreneurs and apprentices. However, the positive impact of such activities has not yet been harvested due to the longer than expected duration of the apprenticeships and the more limited scope of the business development skills activities. Their beneficiaries face the same challenges as those of the 3x6, i.e. a limited expansion of the market and investments due to security, institutional and macro-economic concerns. The ILO intervention supported the creation and relaunching of microbusinesses and professional services in non-agriculture sectors with high potential for job creation in: (1) auto-mechanic repair; 2) mobile phone repair/maintenance; 3) solar installation, repair and maintenance. The baseline study contributed to identify the key hurdles to microbusinesses, notably limited entrepreneurial and vocational skills, lack of start-up capital, market volatility.

The capacity building of entrepreneurs was implemented along the ILO My First Business (MFB) Module and Semi-literate Training Packages (STP) with the collaboration of the Master trainers and Training of Trainers (ToT), capacitated by the project. The 2,693 entrepreneurs trained included 1,185 that had been selected by the UNDP 3x6 project. About 50% of the beneficiaries were illiterate – especially women - and could have not fully exploited the classroom teaching. The impact assessment of livelihood shows that the priorities in capacity building of the assisted micro-businesses center on building accounting and sales & marketing capacities (Fig. 18). They confirm that this intervention has leveraged technical and production skills existing in the assisted communities and that social inclusion has benefitted people not acquainted with the complexities of business development. This survey of the beneficiaries’ expectations confirms that the livelihood activities have achieved their results and that as stand-alone are insufficient to break-through the stabilization of the village, sub-district economy. In practice, this picture illustrates the limits of the progress made in revitalizing small businesses in absence of a stable macro-economic and institutional context. 


Tag: Knowledge management Partnership Private Sector Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit

8.

3.2 Efficiency

3.2.1 Coordination

Following the Mid-term review, the revision of the programme strategy has considered a stricter convergence of the PUNOs actions by using the District recovery plans (DRP) as the frame for the planning of field interventions. The formulation of the DRP and the buildup of the capacities of the local authorities has made it possible to perform coherent, aligned intervention across the programme components. 

The elaborate programme coordination strategy matches the complexity of the context but in so doing has become quite burdensome. The PUNOs have balanced their interventions in the North and in the South not to be seen as partial to any the conflicting parties. The changing security situation and the contribution of the beneficiaries and local authorities have challenged the identification and implementation of the activities. The PUNOs held technical annual review meetings for the preparation of the Annual reports 2016 to 2018. The Joint coordination unit is in charge of joint planning, M&E and reporting, communication, donor relations, ensuring synergies (see Annex 11). It also submits the Annual plan to the Programme steering committee (PSC) and then to the donor. The PSC meetings deal with strategy and funds allocation. The PUNO heads of agency meet twice a year, to prepare the PSC. At the beginning of the project each agency was trying to establish itself and their collaboration was not very strong but it has augmented with time.


Tag: Efficiency Local Governance Partnership Security Coordination

9.

3.2 Efficiency

3.2.1 Coordination (continuation)

The collaboration with the national and local authorities and implementing partners has produced a complex, multi-level set of coordination and technical bodies. The PSC minutes show that this body - composed of the National institutions, Heads of PUNOs and Donor - addresses the strategic issues of the programme intervention, its alignment with the overall humanitarian effort, its linkages with the evolving humanitarian situation, and the mutual understanding between the parties. In practice, it concentrates on the strategic issues and conditions enabling the programme implementation. Operational and technical choices are dealt with by a group of coordination and technical bodies each interacting with specific groups of partners. The ERRY Joint coordination unit (JCU), based in Sana’a and liaising with the backstopping office in Amman, together with the ERRY Technical team – composed of the programme officers of the PUNOs based in Sana’a and Aden ensures the unity and technical coherence of the PUNOs actions (Annex 12). They formulate the programme conceptual tools and strategic documents. They also perform the planning, liaise and harmonize the PUNOs actions and monitor their implementation. The JCU main tasks is to transfer the strategic choices made by the PSC into the harmonization of the operational arrangements between the PUNOs. It gives coherence to their work.


Tag: Efficiency Partnership Coordination

10.

3.2.2 Monitoring and Evaluation

Conceptual: Annex 2 presents a reconstructed Theory of change and Annex 6 the ERRY revised logic model which provided the frame for the execution of the M&E of ERRY. A clearer theory of change at the beginning of the ERRY design process would have been helpful to the M&E by showing more clearly what synergies among the output components would be critical to allow effective outcome achievement. This would have set the stage for monitoring both individual outputs and their outcomes (immediate outcomes) and over all programme outcomes (intermediate and contributions to ultimate outcomes). Resilience is achieved at the intermediate and ultimate outcome levels. The M&E system description lacks a clear articulation of the theory of change through which outputs lead to outcomes and then the levels at which outcomes will be measured.


Tag: Local Governance Communication Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Results-Based Management Theory of Change UN Agencies Resilience Jobs and Livelihoods

11.

3.2.2 Monitoring and Evaluation (continuation)

As the individual PUNOs reporting in the ERRY JP documents made available for this Evaluation is based on Governorate and District disaggregation of data, the convergence of different components to build the community resilience is not evident in their output or outcome indicators. An interactive map has been developed that helps visualize the major areas of interventions as well as the number of beneficiaries disaggregated by gender, district, etc. In fact, the reporting of the programme activities and results in the ERRY JP documents made available for this Evaluation is limited to the Governorate level, except in the case of FAO and of some UNDP actions. Communication of the programme results and impact had a major impact upstream on the inter PUNOs and institutional communication with the donor and national institutions, facilitating the shaping of a consolidated approach among their strategies and harmonization of actions up to the Governorate level. The communication materials and reports in Arabic are shared to stakeholders and partners at the governorate, districts, and IPs. In addition, regular meetings are held with local authorities which are arranged by the programmed sub-national coordinators in both regions. However, the FGD and interviews of IPs representatives show that communication was less effective at the local level due to the obvious limitation in field reach and variability of situations, perceptions and expectations of the communities and local authorities – a situation little enhanced by the aggregate dimension of the communication messages that often escape the beneficiaries direct experience. 


Tag: Local Governance Communication Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation UN Agencies Data and Statistics

12.

3.3 Relevance

In this section we pursue two main lines of enquiry and present our assessment accordingly:

1) how well the various ERRY outputs and sub-outputs as well as the programme strategy were aligned with the communities’ resilience building needs including the needs of women, youth, IDPs, marginalised groups and visible minorities as well as government and agency priorities, and

2) how relevant is ERRY to the current realities of Yemen.

The extent to which the programme outputs were achieved is discussed in Section 3.1 about Effectiveness. Annex 2 illustrates the ERRY JP reconstructed Theory of Change that links the programme outputs to resilience building (outcome) and development goal.

3.3.1. Cash for Work and Assets (CFA) Rehabilitation 

The Cash for Work and Assets (CFA) rebuilding component targeted more than 20,000 vulnerable individuals (47% females) in the 4 governorates and while it provided only temporary employment and income, the assets that were rebuilt were clearly relevant to the ERRY resilience building goals. This component is also well aligned with WFP mandate. The assets had the potential to contribute to longer term resilience by reducing risks and the impact of shocks such as drought and floods. The CFA was very relevant to meeting basic needs and supporting livelihoods recovery in general but was not always relevant to women’s needs as the assets selected for rehabilitation were often more suited to men. The women could’ve done the light rehabilitation works but it was not culturally accepted. Hence the diversification of activities and the extension into handicraft and other training opportunities focused on women to close the gap. The WFP standard operating procedures if followed and not interfered with would result in high levels of relevance to selected individuals as well as needed assets consistent with local resilience plans. For example, for assets selection “Priority assets for the 6-month cycle” should be determined through a participatory approach. Representative community committees, including women and marginalized groups, should be consulted to determine the most needed assets. Community resilience plans and local development plans should be used as a reference where available. Our findings suggest that while the procedures were generally followed there are instances where they were not and equally importantly on many occasions potential beneficiaries and Village Cooperative Councils (VCC) were not fully aware of or had access to the WFP standard operating procedures. It is therefore recommended that to improve relevance more effective communications, increased access and reduced interference be instituted.

3.3.2 Agriculture

According to the impact assessment the seeds (cereals, forage and vegetables) provided by FAO met the needs of farmers. The surveyed parties confirmed that the assistance was timely and needed. It has not only made them engaged and saved their budget for other household needs, but also generated income. The Farmer Field Schools (FFS) ensured raising the knowledge and skills on the application of new practices. This was reflected in the high rate of applying new knowledge and skills, as well as practices application, among surveyed farmers. The relevance of these interventions was however reduced when the seeds were not appropriately sourced from nearby locations. Irrigation interventions were welcomed by farmers especially when supported by solar energy as costs of diesel had gone through the roof. Livestock interventions including molasses-based feeds and feed blocks fattened animals in a shorter time and increased milk production thus improving farmers income, food security, household livelihoods thus were directly relevant to the resilience building needs of farming communities. Women who are actively engaged in milk processing to make cheese and yoghurt etc. directly benefitted. Choppers were much appreciated as a labor-saving device. Animal vaccinations help to reduce prevalence of disease among livestock and more work is needed in this area. Relevance of the livestock interventions can however be enhanced by raising awareness of the benefit of the new technologies and by skills developed to use these technologies. The Farmer Field Schools has proven itself quite relevant in this regard.


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Energy Relevance Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit

13.

3.3 Relevance (continuation)

3.3.5 Social Cohesion

In conflict contexts like in Yemen building social cohesion is necessary for both reducing tensions and the potential of violent conflict as well generating the social capital on which resilience can be built. ERRY contributed to building social cohesion both directly through Insider Mediators (IM) and their interventions as well as indirectly through its other interventions thus reinforcing the latter. IMs initiated Community dialogues with the participation of the affected people, conflicting parties, and members from the local authorities. The role of IMs is to create awareness among the targeted communities, facilitate the dialogue process, and mentor communities to implement self-initiatives. Conflict resolution interventions by IMs assisting the Local Community Councils (LCC) to solve the local conflicts involved 48 small projects implemented through 60 small project grants. The results of these interventions were mixed. Other ERRY components contributed significantly to social cohesion. For example, solar energy built social capital through radio communication, people watching TV together or using sports facilities. Similarly, networks of microbusiness owners. About 37% of committees’ members that were interviewed stated that the project contributed in a significant way to social cohesion and thus peace building. Another 21% thought that the project had at least some positive effect in this respect. However, the members of one out of five committees reported that the project had little or no impact on social cohesion and peace building in their communities. 


Tag: Relevance Local Governance Conflict resolution Humanitarian development nexus Peace Building Resilience Social cohesion Capacity Building Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Poverty Reduction

14.

3.4 Sustainability

This section considers sustainability of ERRY interventions from two broad viewpoints. The first is to consider the actual or potential self sustainability inherent in the various immediate outcomes of the outputs. The second is to consider sustainability from an external perspective in terms of ERRY exit strategies and the sustainability of the broader outcomes when ERRY concludes. The latter might be considered premature in the Yemeni context, but an evaluation needs to consider the evidence as it is anyway. Environmental sustainability is dealt with in section 3.6.

3.4.1. Cash for Work and Assets

This project has filled in a temporary food gap through a conditional cash transfer during the duration of the activity while it has substantially contributed to longer term food security and access to basic social services through the assets created/rehabilitated. It should be mentioned that the work supported under this component and the resulting incomes are temporary by design and cannot be expected to lead to sustainable livelihoods unless linked to other investments and activities such as 3x6 or UIA/BDS. On the other hand, the assets that are rehabilitated have a great potential for contributing to sustainable livelihoods in the communities in which they are present. The evidence available to the evaluation suggests that while it is too early to determine whether these assets will continue to be maintained by the community / local authorities over time the early signals are quite positive. The rehabilitated assets included water points, grazing lands, schools, and handicraft facilities. In terms of continued functioning, 88% of the respondents indicated that those assets built or rehabilitated are still functional. In the few cases where the assets were not functioning it was because of natural factors (wind, water etc.) or they were not completed as yet. Only 19% of people interviewed during the impact assessment indicated that they had not used the assets in the last month while 40% had used some assets every day.

3.4.2. Microbusinesses

The contribution of this component to sustainability of livelihoods in the context of resilience building needs to be examined beyond merely the sustainability of the business and include the training received, the financial aspects of the microbusinesses, the contribution to employment and any contributions to social cohesion. In terms of the microbusinesses themselves, according to the impact assessment and confirmed by the KIIs and FGDs More than 80% of the microbusinesses are stable, and a large portion (about 70%) of them are making profits. Female Microbusiness owners were more able to reach breakeven than male owners. This result was evident because female microbusiness owners demonstrated a greater ability to make savings than their male counterparts. The FGDs revealed that in general the microbusinesses were doing well financially being able to cover household expenses quite well and even allowing for savings to be able to grow the business and serve as a cushion in the face of volatility. Another pointer to financial sustainability is debt management. According to the Impact Assessment Microbusiness owners managed the amount of credit (customers who owe the microbusiness) and debts (loans are taken by the microbusiness) to protect their businesses. Microbusiness owners understood the difficulties they may face because of the inability of many citizens to pay back for what they get. On the other hand, very few of the microbusiness owners owed debts which did not, therefore, impact their businesses. From the perspective of the training received this has clearly served the prospective business owners quite well but beyond that, even for those whose businesses failed they felt the training will prove useful in the future. While the microbusinesses did not create many jobs beyond the household the potential for some of these businesses to grow into small and medium businesses over time now needs to be assessed and supported in ERRY 2 where feasible. Sustainability of microbusinesses also requires a supportive ecosystem of services and networks. This is now starting to form and ERRY 2 should give this explicit attention though value chain plus development.

3.4.3. Agriculture

The self-sustainability of the crops and livestock interventions depends on the farmers acceptance of the new technologies and their capability to use them effectively, make a decent profit and then be able to manage production and marketing so that self -sustaining business results. In addition, it is important to develop local support groups such as users or marketing associations to support farmers specially to cope with shocks and stresses that they would face in the challenging Yemeni situation. In the case of crops the main contributions were the introduction of new seeds for cereals, forage and vegetables. In general, the new seeds have improved productivity, farmers are using them to earn good income and will be in a position soon to produce their own or pay for the seeds. There were some situations in which the seeds did not perform as expected but his has been corrected. A challenge to sustainability is the possibility of over production at times for example of perishable tomatoes that can lead to a glut, very low process or even spoilage and loss of the produce. A possible solution is processing into tomato paste, manufacture of salsa or other products. Some of this has started but more needs to be done more systematically so that all interested farmers can benefit. This could be an area where links with UIA and BDS could provide synergy and increased sustainability. Solar energy is providing an affordable source of energy for irrigation of cultivated lands and so enhancing productivity as well sustainability. Livestock interventions included the introductions of new feeds based on molasses, feed blocks and new dairy equipment. Training and skills development were provided by FFS, agronomists were engaged for extension services, and community-based users and producers groups were established like Water Users Association and Dairy Producers Association. The introduction of new cost-effective technologies has been welcomed by farmers and increasing their bottom line to the point where they are increasingly being able to pay for these products. Solar energy is also increasing productivity of livestock producers allowing multiple shifts for milk processing, for example. In addition, the community based institutional arrangements will provide the cushions to allow beneficiaries to cope with and bounce back from shocks and stresses. Together these arrangements augur well for future sustainability. 


Tag: Agriculture Energy Local Governance Communication Implementation Modality Conflict resolution Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit

15.

3.4 Sustainability (continuation)

3.4.6. Local governance

It well known that both the political and economic governance of Yemen as a country have been severely compromised. The national context was reviewed in section 1.3 of this report. Sustainability requires functional institutions of governance which can oversee the provision of public goods and services such as security, basic services like health, education and WASH, as well as macro-economic planning for the productive sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, trade, financial services, energy, transport etc. In the absence of much capacity at the national level reliance has to be placed at the local level. In this regard ERRY has made significant contributions in revitalizing the LCCs, the DMTs, LCCs, CMs. The core roles of VCCs were the development of community resilience plans, identifying priorities, community and resources mobilization, and implementing the community initiatives. These structures are beginning to show signs of selfsustainability based on people’s interest, their participation and their desire to see these arrangements work for them, for example in restoring basic services. However, by themselves, without strengthening the Local Authorities capacity to function normally and taking steps to wipe out local corruption; institutional sustainability will continue be challenged.


Tag: Sustainability Local Governance Knowledge management Capacity Building Jobs and Livelihoods

16.

3.5. Gender equality, women’s empowerment and inclusion

The ERRY programme document makes clear that it will “focus on the most vulnerable such as women, the unemployed, youth, the Muhamasheen, Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stressed host communities” . This section does a summary assessment of the extent to which this goal was pursued and achieved. The contributions to this goal were of course integrated throughout the project and pursued under each output area and have been assessed as such in terms of how many beneficiaries belonged to these groups and how they benefitted from the interventions. A review of the data presented under each of the output areas shows that women and unemployed persons received attention in all areas, youth received special attention under the microbusiness, UIA and BDS; IDPs were considered in many areas but results were highlighted in solar energy and agriculture. The results for Muhamasheen and stressed host communities are not clearly visible. Since most of the communities in which ERRY worked are likely to have been stressed host communities, it is likely that the overall achievements reflect them as the major beneficiaries. As the majority of Muhamasheen live in the Hodaidah governorate, among the targeted governorates, they were among the most targeted through Cash for Work and Assets activities there and partly in the Bani Qais district of Hajjah Governorate. This leaves the Muhamasheen who seemed not have received much attention in the other components of the ERRY JP. 

ERRY commissioned a separate assessment of its impact on women. Preliminary findings indicate that ERRY’s interventions have been able to create an enabling environment for women’s empowerment. This evaluation obtained direct evidence form FGDs with women beneficiaries from Abyan and Lahj which were generally consistent with the preliminary finding of this assessment. Women reported impact in several aspects such as economic empowerment, social and institutional norms, power and agency. The main area of impact was increased income to meet basic needs. This was followed by increased access to improved community services and assets, increased participation of women in the local governance structures, enhanced personal skills, and women’s economic advancement. A significant change has been observed in communities’ perspectives on women’s participation in the community governance structures and their ability to influence what they consider priorities of community initiatives. Women representation reached 50% in the local governance structures (VCCs), 30% in the insider mediators, and about 30% in all committees established by the other interventions (water projects, school parents’ committees, CFA committees, etc.). Although there were several examples of successful micro businesses set up by women, the evidence suggests that women still face several limitations that hinder their empowerment and economic advancement. These obstacles include levels of education, preoccupation with family responsibilities in which men do not share much households’ chores, limited control over spending of resources due to cultural norms, limited exposure to newer time saving technologies. In the case of Cash for Work and Assets the choice of the assets to be rehabilitated were generally more suited to men’s involvement and so women could not fully participate. Women benefitted greatly from solar energy basic services areas such as health, education and WASH and in the productive sectors such as dairy production and processing. What was perhaps even more important for gender equality was the shift in cultural norms where women are now more willing and able to sell milk products which was previously under a social taboo. Women are becoming much more confident and having a greater say in household decisions as they explained to us during the beneficiary interviews. 


Tag: Vulnerable Biodiversity Energy Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Displaced People Social cohesion Cash Transfers Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Technology Youth

17.

3.7 Integration with the European Union country strategy

Prior to the conflict the European Union (EU) assistance to Yemen focused on human rights, conflict prevention, small and medium enterprises, social equity and primary health care through Civil Society Organizations (CSO). With the start of the crisis in 2015 the EU has prioritized the UN-led negotiations to the conflict along with the delivery of humanitarian aid (food, water, emergency shelter, and hygiene items, to people in war-affected areas and to displaced populations) and the restoration of livelihoods. Focal areas include health, resilience and food security in rural areas. Thus, the sectors of concentration of the EU assistance are:

a. Political support, security and human rights ; b. Humanitarian assistance; c. Development assistance 

The EU’s has allocated over €544 million for assistance in Yemen since the start of the crisis of which about half for humanitarian aid. The EU’s humanitarian commitment goes to projects implemented by EU traditional partners (UN, ICRC and International NGOs) that focus on nutrition, emergency healthcare and food security. The Yemen Development Cooperation Instrument forecasts the allocation of further €150 million for the period 2018-2020 in resilience and food security, health and education as well as to support the Internally displaced people (€30 million). According to the EU, the crisis calls for increased humanitarian assistance but also for ensuring development aid in strategic areas that can contribute meaningfully to improved livelihoods, pave the ground for dialogue and reconciliation and promote stability. The EU engagement complements relief with resilience building through EERY and the Yemen Economic Support Programme (YESP) that focuses on private sector development and facilitates the Small and medium enterprises access to finance with a specific focus on women and youth. The ERRY programme (€70 million and running from 2016 to 2021) is based on building the resilience of the rural population. It bridges the immediate relief needs to long term development through the restoration of the conditions for wellbeing and livelihoods. It ensures that communities are protected from famine and disease, strengthening their capabilities to cope with food insecurity. The targeted assistance to IDPs completes this broad strategy. Table 9. The EU assistance to Yemen.


Tag: Human rights Integration Bilateral partners Conflict Food Security Humanitarian development nexus Resilience Social cohesion Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction

Recommendations
1

ERRY management should consider a long-term vision for building resilience and sustainability of ERRY outcomes in Yemen, including the revision of the logic model, theory of change and the establishment of high-level indicators

2

Build the microbusinesses’ capacities to deal with micro-finance initiatives by organizing exchanges of experiences

3

Involve other humanitarian agencies and local institutions in the assistance to VCCs, and the formulation of the Community resilience plans / District recovery plans.

4

Identify the gaps in the value chain of the disposal of the solar systems equipment and design service support to fill it

1. Recommendation:

ERRY management should consider a long-term vision for building resilience and sustainability of ERRY outcomes in Yemen, including the revision of the logic model, theory of change and the establishment of high-level indicators

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

Comment is well-taken. In fact, this issue has already been addressed during phase II.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise Theory of Change
[Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/09/07]
JCU & PUNOs 2020/07 Completed Please refer to the attached document History
Revise the Log-frame indicators and add outcome level indicators
[Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/09/07]
JCU 2020/07 Completed Please refer to the attached document History
Define resilience and narrate what to be expected to achieve as long-term vision
[Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/09/07]
JCU 2020/07 Completed Please refer to the attached document History
2. Recommendation:

Build the microbusinesses’ capacities to deal with micro-finance initiatives by organizing exchanges of experiences

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

Taken into consideration

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The following activities will be carried out to address this recommendation: Train beneficiaries in financial products; MFIs to be invited and present their products for all beneficiaries; MFIs to be part of the management and financial advisory services provided to micro businesses.
[Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/02]
UNDP 2020/12 Completed Beneficiaries received training on financial management, available products and information on accessing loans from MFIs. Business to Business platform was developed. MFI are being linked with MSMEs to provide set of products. Mechanism. Link to products: https://yemeni-dukaan.com/ History
3. Recommendation:

Involve other humanitarian agencies and local institutions in the assistance to VCCs, and the formulation of the Community resilience plans / District recovery plans.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

Taken into consideration

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Local partners in project aras will be involved in the planning and implementation of project activities
[Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/02]
Responsible Unit(s) UNDP 2020/12 Completed Other partners working in project areas such as SEARCH, CARE, OXFAM participate in the formulation and implementation of Community Resilience Plans. Local communities are also involved in the selection of Village Cooperative Council (VCC) and the Subdistrict Development Committee (SDC) members and ultimately in community development activities. History
4. Recommendation:

Identify the gaps in the value chain of the disposal of the solar systems equipment and design service support to fill it

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

Taken into consideration

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
a) In phase II, high quality and high efficiency batteries will be procured to reduce the replacement cycles over the total span life of the solar system. b) To reduce the dependency level of solar batteries as the main component of off-grid systems, Battery Less solar inverters (new technology) will be used, which will help reduce the number of charge/discharge cycles and depth of discharge DOD% of the batteries. c) In phase II, ERRY will establish solar system/equipment related SME. d) UNDP-established Solar Working Group will enhance partnership with government institutions and private sector to support solar including recycling of solar system equipment.
[Added: 2019/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/02]
UNDP 2020/12 Completed New inverter was installed to supply the energy directly during daytime and store the remaining power in the batteries. Partnership with private sector and NGOs has been developed to produce Solar Lantern locally through micro, small and medium enterprises. History

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