Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Afghanistan

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
100,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Afghanistan
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Output 1.3.1 National capacities and evidence-based assessment and planning tools enable gender-responsive and risk-informed development investments, including for response to and recovery from crisis
  • 4. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
Evaluation Budget(US $): 100,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 100,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Elizabeth Wojnar Research Consultant elizabeth.wojnar@undp.org
Abhijit Bhattacharjee Evaluation Consultant
Paul George Evaluation Consultant
Rita Reddy Evaluation Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1. In preparation for the current CPD (2015–2019) as well as during the readjustment of the UNDAF, UNDP made significant efforts to align its programme with Afghanistan’s national priorities. 


Tag: Coherence Relevance Donor relations Joint UN Programme UN Country Team Poverty Reduction Agenda 2030

2.

Finding 2. Specific adjustments were made during the period under review based on the internal reviews, bringing about immediate changes to programme management practices. These included a strengthened results team, creation of regional sub-offices and a revamped communication strategy. There were positive signs of improved programme management as well as emerging challenges.


Tag: Coherence Effectiveness Relevance Gender Mainstreaming Change Management Communication Country Support Platform Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management

3.

Finding 3. While the office maintained a favourable overall programme delivery rate, there was considerable variability between programmes during the period under review. This suggests there were different practices in project budgeting and/or challenges in implementation and resource mobilization. 


Tag: Efficiency Operational Efficiency

4.

Finding 4. With changes in its business model to accommodate leaner project teams, the office saw a steady decline in its workforce. Gender parity was consistently low, particularly among national staff. There are continuing challenges in attracting and retaining qualified staff, and investment in staff development is not adequate. The UN Volunteers have augmented UNDP’s critical human resource needs, providing administrative services, acting as technical advisers for programmes/projects and assuming managerial roles as the heads of newly created regional sub-offices.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Parity Business Model

5.

Finding 5. UNDP has improved the capacity of national electoral institutions to plan and conduct elections, including the 2018 parliamentary elections. Progress was made in establishing a credible voter registration system and improving transparency. Efforts are needed to maintain momentum leading up to future elections, improve donor reporting and strengthen programme design.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Anti-corruption Election Donor relations Programme/Project Design

6.

Finding 6. There was some success in building national consensus on a peace process and enhancing the capacity of civil society, including women, to engage in decision-making and advocacy. However, UNDP support to peacebuilding has had a limited impact because of the lack of a clear strategy and weak partner engagement.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Partnership Peace Building Promotion of dialogue

7.

Finding 7. UNDP has increased awareness among civil society and subnational governments on transparency and budget oversight. However, continuing instability and insecurity dominated the operational environment and hampered programme delivery, monitoring and evaluation.


Tag: Civic Engagement Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency

8.

Finding 8. UNDP’s support to the SDGs helped establish a preliminary structural framework under the key coordinating ministry. Translation of the SDGs into meaningful and substantive policy development is limited by a lack of funding.


Tag: SDG Integration SDG monitoring and reporting

9.

Finding 9. A new initiative to support a growing regional economic cooperation framework provides an opportunity to diversify UNDP’s programme portfolio.


Tag: Effectiveness Inclusive economic growth

10.

Finding 10. UNDP efforts to enhance the political, social, legal, economic and civil rights of Afghan women have progressed despite deep-rooted cultural challenges. 


Tag: Challenges Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment

11.

Finding 11. As the principal recipient of the Global Fund, UNDP has demonstrated its ability to manage relevant projects as it enters the second grant cycle. Various implementation challenges were identified during the period under review, including inefficient administrative processes, overly ambitious targets, weaknesses in grant proposals and poor communication between implementing partners at central and field level. Although substantial progress has been made, many elements of health service delivery remain fragile and require continued support. UNDP also needs to clearly link its efforts with the outcomelevel country programme strategy.


Tag: Efficiency Global Fund HIV / AIDS Pandemic Results-Based Management

12.

Finding 12. UNDP has helped parliamentary institutions inculcate a culture of legitimate, accountable and inclusive governance by supporting the gender directorates to increase women’s political participation; and by establishing conflict-of-interest guidelines for Afghanistan National Assembly staff and enhancing accountability through increased public access to information. UNDP also helped improve the physical security of the Parliament.


Tag: Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Anti-corruption Parliament Peace Building

13.

Finding 13. UNDP’s LOTFA remained a significant source of support to the Government for strengthening its national police force. UNDP support architecture evolved during the period under review, meeting the Government’s emerging needs. 


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Rule of law Country Government

14.

Finding 14. UNDP addressed and improved the technical aspect of the police payroll management during the period under review, including by developing standard operating procedures and governance and oversight mechanisms. The timing of the full transfer of the payroll functions to the Government was delayed, however, and remains a contentious issue.


Tag: Effectiveness Oversight Policies & Procedures

15.

Finding 15. The institutional capacity-building component of LOTFA has not progressed as initially planned, with the key project ending prematurely. A new LOTFA framework (MPTF) is promising, but significant consultation and partnerships will be needed to fulfil its ambitious objectives.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Anti-corruption Rule of law Theory of Change Capacity Building

16.

Finding 16. UNDP continued to support the recruitment, training and deployment of female police. Its initial trainee training provided a steady source of trained women for ANP’s female police force. As in the past, challenges remained for female officers, including lack of fairness in internal workplace and human resource practices (e.g. allocation of assignments, promotion decisions) and access to training.


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment UN Agencies

17.

Finding 17. UNDP has supported the Government to promote human rights and gender equality and make justice more accessible to the population. Working closely with its partners, UNDP conducted advocacy activities, trained government and civil society actors, and facilitated legal aid services. Access to legal aid services has improved, particularly for women. However, UNDP had limited substantive collaboration with the relevant key actors, missing an opportunity to design robust, evidence-based programmes, at scale, particularly in countering gender-based violence. 


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Gender Equality Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Human rights Justice system Capacity Building

18.

Finding 18. Though started later in the country programme cycle, UNDP’s anti-corruption efforts through its Project Initiation Plan paved the way for developing a new anti-corruption project. Through close collaboration with partners, various important foundational activities were completed, such as baseline studies, enhancement of the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre (ACJC) operational environment, and outreach. Together, these have shaped UNDP’s approach to addressing corruption. UNDP’s anti-corruption efforts have so far been limited to the justice and security sectors.


Tag: Relevance Anti-corruption Justice system Joint UN Programme Country Government

19.

Finding 19. Coordination of stakeholders is complex in Afghanistan’s rule-of-law and justice sector. UNDP has so far lacked visibility, leadership to facilitate substantive discussions and a consultative approach at the technical level, despite high expectations from its development partners.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Gender Equality Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Justice system Rule of law Joint UN Programme Civil Societies and NGOs UN Agencies Coordination Technical Support

20.

Finding 20. Resource mobilization for the outcome during the period under review has been substantially less than expected, forcing major reductions in the scope of planned activities.


Tag: Resource mobilization Operational Efficiency

21.

Finding 21. UNDP adapted to changes in the context that emerged after the CPD formulation, especially with regard to the increasing rate of forced displacement and return from other countries. Though it was not envisaged in the original CPD, UNDP began to respond to the needs of internally displaced people and those returning from neighbouring countries.


Tag: UN Agencies Displaced People

22.

Finding 22. In economic livelihoods, UNDP provided employment opportunities and improved access to markets for farmers and producers in targeted areas. But some projects are still in a formative state, with insufficient outputs so far to make a difference in peoples’ livelihoods. The limited scale of the projects also means that the effects are highly localized, extending to a handful of communities in a few villages of a few districts. UNDP’s interventions could have offered larger scale benefits had they combined delivery of activities with systematic evidence-based research and advocacy, which were missing in the programme.


Tag: Results-Based Management Jobs and Livelihoods

23.

Finding 23. Modest results have been achieved in supporting access to natural resources and affordable energy and improved environmental governance.


Tag: Energy Natural Resouce management Global Environment Facility fund

24.

Finding 24. UNDP has developed models for community-level approaches to climate change adaptation and assisted relevant government agencies in developing appropriate policies in this regard. However, its work related to strengthening early warning system needs to be informed by better analysis of existing systems in the country.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance

25.

Finding 25. The CPD identified the key issues and challenges in the country. Although the CPD did not have an explicit theory of change for the livelihoods programme, there were implicit assumptions that underpinned its results chain. However, the validity of the assumptions had not been confirmed. A deeper analysis of UNDP’s capacity, resources and competence would have given the portfolio a greater focus. Rather than the country programme being driven solely by the country’s needs, it should have been driven by evidence and the potential for impact, i.e. an assessment of where UNDP can add value, working with others to drive changes that are achievable in the context.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Theory of Change Jobs and Livelihoods

26.

Finding 26. UNDP’s support on livelihoods and natural resource management has produced several important project-level outputs. However, the level of UNDP’s contribution to the CPD outcome is speculative, as the outputs are not linked to the CPD indicators. Significant implementation delays were also reported among some projects (SALAM, ASERD and CDRRP).


Tag: Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Relevance Results-Based Management Jobs and Livelihoods

27.

Finding 27. UNDP’s efforts under outcome 9 are fragmented, uncoordinated, isolated and lacking in influence. UNDP has yet to find an appropriate niche to influence the pro-poor development landscape in the country.


Tag: Coherence Relevance Resource mobilization Partnership Programme Synergy Theory of Change Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction

28.

Finding 28. UNDP needs to strengthen gender and equity consideration in its programming in terms of how its benefits are distributed among communities.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Results-Based Management

29.

Finding 29. There is little evidence of UNDP playing a coordinating or convening role in the country on livelihoods, climate change or resilience issues. That role has been taken over by the World Bank.


Tag: Climate change governance Coherence Relevance Partnership International Financial Institutions UN Agencies Resilience Jobs and Livelihoods Coordination

30.

Finding 30. Some projects have strong government ownership, which encourages sustainability. Others will require continued funding for the foreseeable future to ensure that benefits continue to flow. Capacity development has been an elusive goal in some cases.


Tag: Sustainability Ownership Capacity Building

31.

Finding 31. Through its partnerships with the Government, UNDP is well placed to contribute to and influence policy debate and development. Despite much expectation among partners, UNDP’s engagement in policy dialogue has been limited. In the presence of UNAMA and large-scale players, UNDP has yet to play its traditional convener role.


Tag: Coherence Relevance Human rights Rule of law Knowledge management Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Country Government Poverty Reduction Policy Advisory

32.

Finding 32. The Government’s SDG efforts to date have been supported through a dedicated project under the Governance programme. Across UNDP’s portfolios, however, limited attempt was observed to explain how they link to specific Goals or how their results feed into monitoring and analysis efforts at national/subnational levels. Given Afghanistan’s continuing conflict, supporting the SDGs has also been viewed as somewhat secondary to its core work. A fragility-sensitive approach should be fully applied to the SDGs. A broader government engagement would be required for its financial sustainability.


Tag: Coherence Relevance Harmonization Results-Based Management Theory of Change Country Government Conflict Humanitarian development nexus Inclusive economic growth SDG Integration Voluntary National Review

33.

Finding 33. Lessons from the last country programme evaluation and reviews have largely been reflected in UNDP’s portfolios. UNDP continued to prioritize the flagship programmes (Governance and LOTFA) and introduced smaller scale projects with community-level support (Livelihoods). Along the way, however, opportunities to provide high-level strategic advice were missed. UNDP has struggled to position its livelihoods work in the overall development landscape of Afghanistan.


Tag: Relevance Justice system Rule of law Policy Advisory

34.

Finding 34. UNDP’s programme performance was influenced by various factors. Favourable results were observed (or indications were promising) when UNDP exploited its long-term relationships with government and UN partners and used innovation. Weaknesses in programme design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluations were observed in all programme areas. Lack of clarity in the overall programme-level strategy, capacity development approach and attention to the country’s fragility are critical issues moving forward.


Tag: Effectiveness Innovation Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Country Government UN Agencies

35.

Finding 35. The partnership and resource mobilization strategy is outdated, containing UNDP’s value propositions that do not reflect the reality of the country. While the timing of the transfer of LOTFA payroll management to the Government has been continually debated, there is an urgent need for the country office to develop an appropriate strategy. This should be done in parallel with the identification of UNDP’s next country programme focus, reflecting Afghanistan’s fragile state context. 


Tag: Efficiency Relevance Global Fund Resource mobilization Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs International Financial Institutions Humanitarian development nexus

36.

Finding 36. Despite some positive elements (e.g. government ownership), sustainability is a major challenge in UNDP’s programme operations in Afghanistan. This is due to the continued erosion of security, donor fatigue, weak institutional capacity and pervasive corruption. 


Tag: Sustainability Ownership

37.

Finding 37. A majority of UNDP’s projects were designed with limited contribution to gender equality (GEN1 on Gender Marker). Among those examined, results ranged from ‘gender targeted’ to ‘gender responsive.’ Reflection of gender in its programming remains a challenge at UNDP Afghanistan. During the review period, the office developed a gender strategy with entry points identified for each programme area and appointed a full-time gender focal point, creating a foundation for improvement.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Global Fund Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Human rights Justice system Rule of law Programme/Project Design Jobs and Livelihoods

Recommendations
1

Recommendation 1. UNDP should revisit its approach to operating in Afghanistan as a fragile country in a protracted conflict. It should focus on strategic, analytical work to support the initial conceptualization for the next country programme. UNDP should use the SDGs to bolster its position in the country, ensuring its development work is informed by the triple nexus approach, complementing humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts supported by other partners. Key areas of concern and of importance should be addressed, including: (i) risk-informed, evidence-based programme design with the primary objective of capacity development to foster Afghanistan’s self-reliance; (ii) improved regional operation capacity (enhancing the role of the sub-offices to inform programme design and engage in field oversight), including areas under non-State control; (iii) inclusion of substantive policy-level dialogue in all programme areas; (iv) improved transparency in allocation and use of donor funds; and (v) continued strategic communication activities.  

 

 

2

Recommendation 2. UNDP should ensure that MOIA’s institutional capacity development remains an urgent and key objective under LOTFA. The new LOTFA MPTF should establish strong linkages with the governance programme, especially in anti-corruption efforts; strengthen collaboration with current and potential partners in the rule-of-law and security sectors; and fully roll out its M&E strategy.

3

Recommendation 3. UNDP should continue to explore the avenues for solidifying its country programme portfolio. In addition to continuing the focus on governance and rule of law, UNDP should strengthen the livelihoods and resilience programme to ensure the appropriate scale and relevance of its contribution to national development priorities. The emerging initiatives launched in the present cycle under the governance portfolio (e.g. RECCA and the Global Fund) should be fully mapped under clear, dedicated CPD outcomes. The governance programme should ensure it has programmatic synergies and linkages with the other programmes (e.g. new LOTFA and Livelihoods on regional cooperation).

 

4

Recommendation 4. UNDP should develop a robust partnership and resource mobilization strategy to strengthen its role in the country. This needs to include the major players in this fragile State (e.g. international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank, as well as UNAMA and CSOs) and reflect resource mobilization opportunities.


 

5

Recommendation 5. The country office, in close consultation with RBAP, should examine and address workplace matters at UNDP Afghanistan. Issues — such as office-wide communication, staff learning and development — have arisen from the fast-paced changes in its business model in the midst of an active conflict. UNDP should ensure that the gender strategy is fully implemented with sensitivity, and that the office addresses its low gender parity, particularly at the management level.

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1. UNDP should revisit its approach to operating in Afghanistan as a fragile country in a protracted conflict. It should focus on strategic, analytical work to support the initial conceptualization for the next country programme. UNDP should use the SDGs to bolster its position in the country, ensuring its development work is informed by the triple nexus approach, complementing humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts supported by other partners. Key areas of concern and of importance should be addressed, including: (i) risk-informed, evidence-based programme design with the primary objective of capacity development to foster Afghanistan’s self-reliance; (ii) improved regional operation capacity (enhancing the role of the sub-offices to inform programme design and engage in field oversight), including areas under non-State control; (iii) inclusion of substantive policy-level dialogue in all programme areas; (iv) improved transparency in allocation and use of donor funds; and (v) continued strategic communication activities.  

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed. Since July 2019, UNDP has initiated a series of roundtable consultations with government and donor partners on integrating SDGs into national macro-economic planning and budgeting, programming and monitoring. In August 2019, the Country Office (CO) initiated a process of reorganizing its current programme portfolio in preparation for developing the new country programme document in 2020.  Accordingly, the Livelihoods, Rule of Law and Governance portfolios and pipeline projects are being re-clustered under the following four new programmatic pillars that are currently being developed as follows:

  • Inclusive Economic Transformation pillar;
  • Social Protection pillar;
  • Governance for Peace pillar, and
  • Energy & Environment pillar.

The four pillars will be established to function as an interralted and mutually reinforcing circular system, instead of the traditional siloed approach.

UNDP has started to engage the government and donor partners, amongst other development stakeholders, to ensure financial sustainability and national ownership of its programmes. This includes building the foundation for an integrated SDG Country Support Platform in 2020, including a robust monitoring, evaluation and information management system, with an estimated annual resource mobilization target of USD 250m from 2021 - 2025 – excluding the Support to Payroll Management project under the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan. All new activities from design through to programming will be risk–informed and evidence-based, leveraging the new technology, methodology and systems developed under the LOTFA MPTF. The CO has initiated decentralizing its work and strengthening its regional capacities, by launching missions to consult with local provincial government and other stakeholders on their priorities.  UNDP is bringing in partners early, including the government to ensure a collaborative, dialogue and consensus-based approach. A new communication strategy that supports increased transparency, combined with a new CO wide approach for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), with related systems has also been initiated. The new strategies will be implemented beginning 2020. The Senior Management Team of the CO will be undertaking a Strategic Review with RBAP, through which the management and reporting of programme financial information to donor partners will be addressed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A regional deployment and expansion strategy is being developed to improve UNDP’s field office presence and capacities.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
SDRR, Programme & Operations 2021/12 Initiated Still ongoing History
UNDP will establish a greater role for its regional operations - in the areas of programme/ project design process; gather, monitor and analyses and report on field-based project activities in collaboration with project staff and local stakeholders.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
SDRR, Programme, Operations 2021/12 Initiated Still ongoing History
UNDP Afghanistan is integrating the SDGs at the core of its programming and will strengthen its role as the SDGs integrator in Afghanistan
[Added: 2020/07/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/10]
RR & SDRR, supported by PSRU 2020/03 Completed UNDP Afghanistan has integrating the SDGs at the core of its all programming and has strengthen its role as the SDGs integrator in Afghanistan History
Develop an SDG Country Support Platform action plan, which includes a comprehensive communications and monitoring strategy
[Added: 2021/01/10]
RR & SDRR and PSRU 2020/03 Completed The SDG Country Support Platform action plan, which includes a comprehensive communications and monitoring strategy is completed History
UNDP Afghanistan will focus on coherent, risk-informed, evidence-based programming with capacity development objectives.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
SDRR, PSRU 2020/03 Completed done - UNDP Afghanistan has focused on coherent, risk-informed, evidence-based programming with capacity development objectives.
UNDP has commissioned new political economy analyses and Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling efforts to better understand the evolving Afghan context, and to provide more strategic policy advisory and country programming support.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
SDRR, PSRU 2020/03 Completed Done
UNDP Afghanistan will focus on effective communication between programmes and projects through development and implementation of a coherent communication strategy.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
Communication Unit 2020/03 Completed This action is completed History
UNDP Afghanistan will improve its reporting mechanism (based on results) to ensure timeliness and transparency, through the Strategic Review.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
RBAP & CO Senior Management 2020/06 Completed Done - The reporting mechanism (based on results) improved to ensure timeliness and transparency, through the Strategic Review. History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. UNDP should ensure that MOIA’s institutional capacity development remains an urgent and key objective under LOTFA. The new LOTFA MPTF should establish strong linkages with the governance programme, especially in anti-corruption efforts; strengthen collaboration with current and potential partners in the rule-of-law and security sectors; and fully roll out its M&E strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed. UNDP will ensure MOIA institutional capacity development is prioritized through LOTFA MPTF.

In 2019, the LOTFA MPTF undertook multiple baseline surveys and functional reviews, including Afghan National Police (ANP) satisfaction surveys; IT infrastructure survey in MOIA / Police Headquarters at the provincial level (PHQ), including functional reviews of PHQs. The data will ensure the design of the new Institutional Support Project to MOIA (ISM) is evidence based, and focused on providing targeted support for building the MOIA and ANP- PHQs’ capacities in financial and Human Resource Management (HRM) systems, logistic management, ICT etc. The ISM project design is planned for completion by mid-March 2020, with implementation expected to commence by June or July 2020. 

As part of interim programme management arrangements, the Governance Unit and Rule of Law Unit (including LOTFA) have been merged under a new, amalgamated Governance for Peace Team in September 2019. This will ensure improved coherence and synergy between security, justice and anti-corruption programming under LOTFA MPTF with the governance portfolio.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will design and initiate implementation of a new evidence-based capacity development project for MOIA-ANP, under the Security Window of LOTFA- MPTF.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
Heads of Governance for Peace Team 2020/06 Completed developed only one project as a successor to TSM PIP Outputs called Catalytic Support to MOIA (CSM). The transitioned 3 outputs of TSM PIP into a standalone japan funded project on 1st July 2020. Also designed and drafted the project documents of Public Services Centre (PSC) which is yet to be approved by donors and MoIA. History
UNDP Afghanistan will enhance its programmatic synergies (LOTFA-MPTF) to identify connectors and establish linkages with the other new programmatic pillars.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
SDRR-P and PSRU 2020/06 Completed Completed
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. UNDP should continue to explore the avenues for solidifying its country programme portfolio. In addition to continuing the focus on governance and rule of law, UNDP should strengthen the livelihoods and resilience programme to ensure the appropriate scale and relevance of its contribution to national development priorities. The emerging initiatives launched in the present cycle under the governance portfolio (e.g. RECCA and the Global Fund) should be fully mapped under clear, dedicated CPD outcomes. The governance programme should ensure it has programmatic synergies and linkages with the other programmes (e.g. new LOTFA and Livelihoods on regional cooperation).

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

As part of the recent repositioning of UNDP in Afghanistan and building a new Country Programme portfolio, UNDP is preparing a joint SDG Country Support Platform with the Government of Afghanistan, with integrated planning units to be designed and established within key line ministries. UNDP has initiated drafting of Project Initiation Plan (PIP) for developing this platform in October 2019. This will entail the development and application of a multi-disciplinary, evidenced based, adaptive management and integrated systems approach to the design of innovative and catalytic solutions to address complex and interrelated development challenges.

Accordingly, the PIP will establish the outputs, activities, timelines and resources required for UNDP to develop and launch the SDG Country Support Platform by 2021. By investing in new data collection and information management systems, cutting-edge multi-disciplinary analysis and new programming, UNDP will be well positioned to deliver on its mandate as the SDG Integrator through the four new programmatic pillars of the Platform.

From January to December 2020, the PIP will work with Afghan counterparts and other development partners to produce the following outputs:

Output 1: SDG Impact-Monitoring Systems and Tools Developed;

Output 2: SDG Analyses Developed to Bridge Policy and Implementation, including SDG Financing Strategies and Analyses for Afghanistan;         

Output 3: New SDG-Specific Programming and Projects Developed; In response to the CPD mid-term review exercise, the Country Office agrees to add specific outputs to establish linkages with the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and the Global Fund Projects under the new CPD to be developed in 2020.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP Afghanistan will finalize reorganization of country programme portfolio under four new programmatic pillars, under an SDG Platform.
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Senior Management 2020/06 Completed This action is completed
The RECCA and the Global Fund Projects will be linked to a clear Outcome/Output in the new CPD Results Framework.
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Programme Units, PSRU 2020/09 Completed This action is completed
UNDP will map all new pillars against SDGs and NPPs
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Programme Units, PSRU 2019/12 Completed This action is completed
Launch of Country Support Platform on SDGs for Afghanistan
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Senior Management, PSRU 2021/12 Completed This action is completed
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. UNDP should develop a robust partnership and resource mobilization strategy to strengthen its role in the country. This needs to include the major players in this fragile State (e.g. international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank, as well as UNAMA and CSOs) and reflect resource mobilization opportunities.


 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed: The CO is preparing a resource mobilization strategy (RMS) that supports the new strategic direction and SDG focused programming for Afghanistan. The RMS will consolidate the existing base of long-term donors, but also seek to diversify the donor base through building relations with non-traditional donors and piloting innovative blended finance initiatives to support national budgeting, resourcing and planning on SDGs. The new RMS will reflect the new needs for SDG financing and improved capacity building across key GIRoA ministries

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a Development Finance Assessment and SDG Costing exercise.
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Senior Advisor on SDG Finance, Resource Mobilization and Partnership Specialist 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated Delayed in 2020 but a service provider was contracted to do the SDG cost estimation. Ongoing work on both SDG costing and DFA
Conduct a thorough analysis of UNDP Afghanistan´s funding data in recent years, deriving funding trends, risks and opportunities (i.e. by using the Resource Mobilization Analytics tool)
[Added: 2021/04/17]
BERA Staff 2019/09 Completed This action is completed History
Resource Mobilization Strategy drafted
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Resource Mobilization and Partnership Specialist 2020/09 Completed This has been completed
Conduct a contextual analysis (political developments, socio-economic factors, global trends, ODA, etc.), taking into account short-term and long-term perspectives
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Resource Mobilization and Partnership Specialist 2021/03 Completed This is done
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. The country office, in close consultation with RBAP, should examine and address workplace matters at UNDP Afghanistan. Issues — such as office-wide communication, staff learning and development — have arisen from the fast-paced changes in its business model in the midst of an active conflict. UNDP should ensure that the gender strategy is fully implemented with sensitivity, and that the office addresses its low gender parity, particularly at the management level.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed. In response to general workplace matters, the CO is developing a new communication strategy under the supervision of a dedicated international communications consultant. A new Learning Committee is finalizing a new learning strategy in accordance with the corporate ‘People for 2030’ strategy, where Afghanistan is a pilot country. Additionally, the CO has made progress in the completion of all eight mandatory courses from 72% in 2018 to 92% in 2019, including Fraud and Corruption Awareness and Prevention, Ethics and Integrity, UN Human Rights and Responsibilities, Legal Framework, and BSAFE.

In addition, the CO is fully implementing the CO Gender Equality Strategy through development of Gender Focal Team Action Plan and the implementation of an initiative called ‘Young Women Professional Programme’ to address low gender parity. Also, the CO has improved the percent completion of gender related Mandatory Courses by staff as follows: (1) The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of the Local Population (PSEA) from 77% in 2018 to 92% in 2019, (2) The Gender Journey 75% in 2018 to 94% in 2019, and (3) the United Nations Course on Prevention of Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority 76% in 2018 to 93% in 2019.

At the senior management level, the appointment of a woman from Zimbabwe as the D1 Senior Deputy Resident Representative for operations has been completed. A woman from Senegal has been recruited as the Senior Advisor to the Resident Representative on SDG Finance. At the middle-management leave, a woman has been appointed as the P3 Human Resource Management Specialist/Head of HR Unit, and a P3 Programme Management Specialist from Japan for the Livelihoods Unit, as well as a P3 Programme Management  Specialist from India for the Justice Window of the LOTFA MPTF have been recruited.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP AFG will revise its HR Policy for Gender Parity
[Added: 2021/04/17]
HR Unit and Gender Specialist (with support from RBAP) 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated ongoing History
UNDP will ensure a safe and harmonious workplace with consideration to: • Persons with disability • Prevention of harassment and discrimination
[Added: 2021/04/17]
RR, SDRR (Operations and Programmes) and Staff Association 2019/12 Completed This action is done
UNDP will put in place tailored mechanisms for staff learning and development, corresponding to the UNDP People 2030 strategy
[Added: 2021/04/17]
HR Unit, Learning Committee 2019/12 Completed This action is completed
UNDP will revise the Gender Strategy and develop its Action Plan
[Added: 2021/04/17]
SDRRs, Gender Specialist, PSRU 2020/06 Completed This action is completed

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