Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Colombia

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
76,000

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Download document ICPE_Evaluation-Brief.pdf summary English 242.18 KB Posted 151
Download document ICPE_Colombia_report.pdf report English 5139.71 KB Posted 334
Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Colombia
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
  • 2. Output 1.4. Scaled up action on climate change adaptation and mitigation across sectors which is funded and implemented
Evaluation Budget(US $): 76,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 76,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Vijayalakshmi Vaidvelu TEam leader and Evaluaiton Advisory vijayalakshmi.vadivelu@undp.org INDIA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: COLOMBIA
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1: UNDP’s country programme 2015-2019 addressed peace and development priorities in Colombia. UNDP’s response showed a recognition that development disparities need to be addressed in non-conflict regions alongside support to peace-related efforts in areas affected by armed conflict.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Post Conflict Coherence Effectiveness Relevance Technical Support

2.

Finding 2: UNDP was well-prepared, strategically positioning itself, to support Colombia at a crucial time when the Peace Accord was signed and initiated, providing timely assistance. Partnerships UNDP established, with the national and local governments as well as the communities, were an enabling factor in UNDP’s positioning. A notable contribution of UNDP, beyond its programme support, is the catalytic and convening role in strengthening community-level enabling environment for reincorporation, dialogue and mediation, and putting citizens security on the peace agenda.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Humanitarian development nexus Post Conflict Promotion of dialogue Effectiveness Relevance Coordination Technical Support

3.

Finding 3: UNDP’s territorial offices and community-level presence further increased its programme relevance. A significant strength of the UNDP programme is its presence in 11 territories, which allowed UNDP to reach areas where there is limited government presence. Reaching out to remote conflict-affected areas made UNDP support more significant.


Tag: Conflict resolution Strategic Positioning Conflict Effectiveness Relevance Technical Support

4.

Finding 4: Knowledge management is not sufficiently institutionalized or anchored in specific thematic analysis and policy-focused reflections to inform public policies.


Tag: Knowledge management Challenges Technical Support

5.

Finding 5: UNDP’s inclusive growth programmes at the community level were pertinent in a context where there was a high level of rural poverty and challenges remain in creating employment and growth. UNDP’s programmes were appropriate in the regions affected by armed conflict as well as the poorer regions.


Tag: Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Operational Efficiency Conflict Effectiveness Relevance Technical Support

6.

Finding 6: UNDP supported national and district level diagnostics and assessments to inform poverty-reduction efforts and more equitable sectoral policies. For greater policy relevance, such efforts needed further consolidation.


Tag: Inclusive economic growth Knowledge management Effectiveness Technical Support

7.

Finding 7: Initiatives aimed at productive capacities and employment at the local level have the potential for diversifying income-generation options and agricultural practices. Value chain initiatives for agriculture products are critical; such efforts are in the early stages and need technical inputs and policy linkages. Sufficient anchoring in government policies and programmes is critical for entrepreneurship development efforts and for wider replication of the successful initiatives.


Tag: Jobs and Livelihoods Effectiveness Relevance Agriculture Technical Support

8.

Finding 8: UNDP support to economic revitalization and strengthening livelihood capacities contributed to integrating communities affected by armed conflict into mainstream employment efforts.


Tag: Economic Recovery Conflict Effectiveness Technical Support

9.

Finding 9: Structural challenges are yet to be addressed. Micro-level interventions are constrained by lack of macro-level linkages, and projects lack scale and threshold level.

 


Tag: Local Governance Challenges Technical Support

10.

Finding 10: SDGs mainstreaming efforts are in progress but more at a technocratic stage. The localization of SDGs is an evolving area in Colombia. UNDP is yet to streamline its support to the SDGs.

 


Tag: Agenda 2030 Operational Efficiency Effectiveness Technical Support

11.

Finding 11: UNDP promoted practical approaches to enhance an enabling environment in the private sector for a more gender-equitable labour force.

 


Tag: Gender Equality Effectiveness Private Sector Technical Support

12.

Finding 12: There are ongoing efforts by the Government of Colombia to address environmental protection issues and improve protected area coverage. Institutional capacity development and policies supported by UNDP contributed to government efforts in protecting ecosystems and mitigation. UNDP’s policy support had more salience for the changes and adjustments made to regional and local instruments.

 


Tag: Capacity Building Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Environment Policy Protected Areas Effectiveness Relevance Technical Support

13.

Finding 13: Support to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by the industry received emphasis in UNDP’s support. While these initiatives are important, the outcomes depend on the commitment of national industries and productive sectors in meeting Colombia’s international commitments.

 


Tag: Emission Reduction Effectiveness Relevance Technical Support

14.

Finding 14: UNDP support to biodiversity and ecosystems management had tangible outcomes at the community level. UNDP support to ecosystem conservation in FARC-occupied regions has been critical for protected areas management. These ecosystems-centred territorial models have the potential for upscaling.

 


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Effectiveness Technical Support

15.

Finding 15: While UNDP projects used a multifocal approach and have complementary objectives, there were moderate synergies between ecosystems, biodiversity and conservation initiatives. UNDP is yet to use its programme presence in stabilization and inclusive growth areas to play a greater role in the integrated ecosystems management support in areas affected by armed conflict.


Tag: Programme Synergy Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Protected Areas Challenges Technical Support

16.

Finding 16: There is scope for more strategic engagement in the extractive industries sector.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Extractive Industries Coherence Relevance Technical Support

17.

Finding 17: Focus on community democratic processes, particularly in areas affected by armed conflict, assumes significance given the importance of engaging citizens in local stabilization processes and income generation. Strengthening municipal and local-level capacities while useful were small in scope.


Tag: Local Governance Conflict Crisis prevention Effectiveness Technical Support

18.

Finding 18: An inclusive approach to local development made UNDP’s support more distinct. Besides targeted programmes, specific efforts were made to support women and youth in programme processes. A valued contribution of such initiatives is the mobilization of the women and communities as political actors, empowering them to assert their rights and demand actions.


Tag: Youth Local Governance Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Effectiveness Technical Support

19.

Finding 19: UNDP support filled important gaps at the municipal level, particularly strengthening local access to justice and security.


Tag: Human rights Justice system Local Governance Effectiveness Technical Support

20.

Finding 20: UNDP had some level of success in engaging public and private sector companies in local development and inclusive growth efforts. A more structured approach to private and blended financing is yet to be pursued.


Tag: Inclusive economic growth Operational Efficiency Partnership Country Government Private Sector Advocacy

21.

Finding 21: Despite territorial offices, UNDP is yet to build a strong governance portfolio to address structural governance challenges at the local level.


Tag: Local Governance UNDP management Efficiency Technical Support

22.

Finding 22: UNDP support to peace negotiations enabled an effective presence and engagement of citizens and victims in the peace talks, which has high significance for the legitimacy of the Peace Accord and to ensure citizens’ ownership of the peace process.


Tag: Conflict resolution Sustainability Advocacy

23.

Finding 23: Consistent work on promoting peace in Colombia, organizational experience, credibility, operational capacity, high-level access to all actors, and presence at the local level have positioned UNDP advantageously to add value in a complex process of reincorporation.


Tag: Conflict resolution Strategic Positioning Efficiency Relevance Technical Support

24.

Finding 24: UNDP has played a pivotal role in putting in place a well-functioning transitional justice architecture. The unprecedented changes in the national peace context with the adoption of the Peace Accord demanded a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness. Given the sensitivities associated with the Peace Accord implementation, it was crucial not only to do the right thing but also to be able to do it at the right time, in a highly time-sensitive context. UNDP contribution has been significant on both counts


Tag: Justice system Conflict resolution Effectiveness Technical Support

25.

Finding 25: An important area of UNDP’s role and contribution is in the provision of much-needed credibility and trust in different platforms of dialogue. More sustained support is needed for dialogue in areas affected by armed conflict.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Promotion of dialogue Efficiency Relevance Advocacy

26.

Finding 26: Contributions to the peace education and communication strategy of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace had mixed outcomes considering that the communication process was initiated late.


Tag: Conflict resolution Post Conflict Promotion of dialogue Effectiveness Efficiency Technical Support

27.

Finding 27: UNDP’s support to the implementation of the UN MPTF enabled speedy implementation of peace initiatives. There are positive lessons from Colombia’s example for MPTF management in other countries.


Tag: Crisis prevention Effectiveness UN Agencies

28.

Finding 28: There are areas where ad hoc responses were insufficient to address large-scale challenges.


Tag: Displacement Challenges Rural development

Recommendations
1

UNDP is well positioned to promote a development centred stabilization and sustainable peace approach. UNDP needs to be more proactive in identifying key areas for its engagement in Peace Accord implementation. UNDP’s ability to inform national policies and link community-level initiatives with national programmes lies in demonstrating well-tested programme models.

2

UNDP should consider facilitating a comprehensive contextualized territorial development signature solution that can engage various actors towards a common agreed plan. In line with national development strategies, the solution should aim to accelerate employment and livelihoods, promote a sustainable environment, and strengthen inclusive governance.

3

UNDP should strategize support to private sector development and impact investment in Colombia.

4

Programme synergies and mutual reinforcement need to be pursued for enhancing development outcomes. UNDP should have a deliberate approach to overcome programme silos within/between sustainable development programme areas.

5

UNDP should take measures to strengthen and formalize programmatic partnerships with the United Nations agencies as well as other international agencies.

6

UNDP should consider specific measures to strengthen knowledge management to inform policy processes.

7

To avoid reputational risk, conscious efforts are needed to clarify UNDP’s development and fiduciary service provider role. UNDP should position itself in a way that it can adequately balance providing development services as well as engage on more substantive issues.

1. Recommendation:

UNDP is well positioned to promote a development centred stabilization and sustainable peace approach. UNDP needs to be more proactive in identifying key areas for its engagement in Peace Accord implementation. UNDP’s ability to inform national policies and link community-level initiatives with national programmes lies in demonstrating well-tested programme models.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

UNDP has been able to support the new government in some of its main priorities (e.g.: Creative Economy Initiatives – “Economía Naranja”, Presidential Delivery Unit, Development Programmes with Territorial Focus/PDETs etc.), because of its well perceived positioning and the proactive actions taken.

The change in priorities i) of the new government -that will be stated in its new National Development Plan (under discussion in the Congress), ii) the UNS (through the new UNDAF) and ii) UNDP (new CPD), effectively open the gate to identify new areas of work, based on UNDP’s lessons learnt and comparative advantages.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Analysis of UNDP’s evaluative evidence to identify lessons learnt, comparative advantages and thematic opportunities. - Analysis of the new National Development Plan with reference to its alignment to UNDP Strategic Plan. - Leadership role in the UNDAF process formulation to identify potential areas of engagement within the UNS in Colombia. - Development of a Partnerships/Resource Mobilization and Communications Strategy, as part of the new CPD.
[Added: 2019/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/07/24]
RR/DRR, Strategic Management Support Unit, Communications Unit 2020/03 Completed UNDP has an active role in UNSDCF formulation. The document was approved by Colombian Government and include lessons learnt, UNDP SP solutions. Also a new CPD has been elaborated and will be presented on EB September. This document already include a deeper analysis on different topics and attend Government recommendations. History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should consider facilitating a comprehensive contextualized territorial development signature solution that can engage various actors towards a common agreed plan. In line with national development strategies, the solution should aim to accelerate employment and livelihoods, promote a sustainable environment, and strengthen inclusive governance.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

As stated by CPD evaluation, national counterparts and different allies have highly valued UNDP’s territorial presence.

In line with national, territorial (new local authorities in 2020) and organizational priorities, CO will revamp its territorial presence strategy (including its programmatic, financial and operational scope).

In doing so, it will identify the best models/mechanism(s) (e.g.: a signature solution, country support platform etc.) to promote and implement UNDP’s initiatives at territorial level in a coherent way, with the final aim of strengthening capacities of local institutions. One example that is being working on this regard is related with UNDP’s contribution to the Development Programmes with Territorial Focus (PDETs)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Develop a new CO’s Territorial Strategy directed to foster UNDP’s positioning, improve results and strength local institutions. - Develop a strategy to support government’s implementation of the Development Programmes with Territorial Focus (PDETs)
[Added: 2019/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/07/24]
RR/DRR, Territorial Coordinator, Programme/Operational Areas, Strategic Management Support Unit 2020/03 Completed The new CO’s Territorial Strategy was already design and its been implementing through PDET strategy to support government’s implementation of this programmes as reflected on attached document History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should strategize support to private sector development and impact investment in Colombia.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

Despite different difficulties faced when engaging with private sector, the CO has been very active in promoting its involvement in many of its key initiatives (e.g.: Gender Equality Seal, employment and livelihoods. SDGs etc.).

Nowadays, the relevance of this sector for providing knowledge, innovative approaches and funds to development initiatives, the provision by the organization of new tools (included in the new PPM) and schemes (blended finances etc.) create an enabling environment to identify new private sector allies and the best way to approach/engage them to UNDP’s efforts to contribute to national priorities

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Development of a Partnerships/Resource Mobilization and Communications Strategy, as part of the new CPD, making emphasis on understanding and identify innovative ways when approaching private sector actors. - As a result of the above Strategy, includes a chapter for approaching and fostering engagement with the Private Sector.
[Added: 2019/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/07/24]
RR/DRR, Programme/Operational Areas, Strategic Management Support Unit, Communications Unit 2020/03 Completed UNDP has an active role in UNSDCF formulation. The document was approved by Colombian Government and include lessons learnt, UNDP SP solutions. Also a new CPD has been elaborated and will be presented on EB September. This document already include a deeper analysis on different topics and attend Government recommendations. History
4. Recommendation:

Programme synergies and mutual reinforcement need to be pursued for enhancing development outcomes. UNDP should have a deliberate approach to overcome programme silos within/between sustainable development programme areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

Although different key projects have been designed and implemented under collaboration of more than one area (i.e.: UNDP Support to Peace Accords implementation such as in the Reintegration of FARC’s ex-Combatants, support to Medellín’s Public Enterprises/EPM development investments in its areas of influence, Development Programmes with Territorial Focus/PDETs etc.) further efforts need to be done on this regard taking advantage of the new tools provided by the PPM (e.g.: Support Platforms, Portfolio of Projects etc.) and the formulation of the new strategic framework for the organization in Colombia (UNDAF/CPD)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Design next CPD under a UNDP perspective based on an integral approach to development challenges (that should be reflected in its Theory of Change) avoiding sectorial or areas approaches. - PPM Action Plan -already formulated for the Office, enhanced for fostering collaboration between programme areas at the time of designing and implementing key initiatives. - Put on place measures that give incentives to approach collectively sustainable development challenges and value its advance on PMDs.
[Added: 2019/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/07/24]
RR/DRR, Programme/Operational Areas, Strategic Management Support Unit 2020/04 Completed UNDP has an active role in UNSDCF formulation. The document was approved by Colombian Government and include lessons learnt, UNDP SP solutions. Also a new CPD has been elaborated and will be presented on EB September. This document already include a deeper analysis on different topics and attend Government recommendations. Attached proposed CPD to be consider in EB History
5. Recommendation:

UNDP should take measures to strengthen and formalize programmatic partnerships with the United Nations agencies as well as other international agencies.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

Effectively, there is an opportunity to explore and strength partnerships with the UNS in Colombia -specially through Joint Programmes, in line with the “integrator” role that is expected for UNDP and the “coordinator” one for RCO -as part of the delinking process, and the development of the new strategic framework (UNDAF/CPD). However, it is important to note that UNDP has had during current CPD collaborations with different UN agencies under the framework of its projects, Joint Programmes, the MPTF and with other international organizations (such as IADB, NIMD etc.). For 2018 UNDP led 6 UNDAF’s indicators out of 17 and 11 of its projects had interagency actions (out of 77 projects)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Leadership role in the UNDAF process formulation to identify potential areas of engagement within the UNS. - Development of a Partnerships/Resource Mobilization and Communications Strategy, as part of the new CPD -which is in line with the UNDAF, including actions to approach and formalize partnerships with UN agencies and other international organizations.
[Added: 2019/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/07/24]
RR/DRR, Strategic Management Support Unit, Communications Unit 2020/03 Completed UNDP has an active role in UNSDCF formulation. The document was approved by Colombian Government and include lessons learnt, UNDP SP solutions. Also a new CPD has been elaborated and will be presented on EB September. This document already include a deeper analysis on different topics and attend Government recommendations. History
6. Recommendation:

UNDP should consider specific measures to strengthen knowledge management to inform policy processes.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

Although fostering knowledge management efforts have been devised since last CO’s strengthening process (2015), an integral strategy has not been agreed and therefore implemented.

However, CO have produced different knowledge products because of the success of several key initiatives (e.g.: “Saber Hacer Colombia” with APC, Suppliers Development Programme, Territorial Peace Management Model in Valle del Cauca etc.).

The organizational context, which is prioritizing innovative approaches and supporting new initiatives such as the Acceleration Labs and a new generation of HDRs, opens the opportunity to strength CO’s capacities and position it on knowledge management issues to have a substantive role on priority development areas with key allies

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Strengthening knowledge management capacities in key areas through the implementation of the Acceleration Lab and the development of a new HDR. - Development and implementation of an integral CO’s Knowledge Management Strategy.
[Added: 2019/12/11]
RR/DRR, Programme Areas, Strategic Management Support Unit 2020/06 Overdue-Initiated
7. Recommendation:

To avoid reputational risk, conscious efforts are needed to clarify UNDP’s development and fiduciary service provider role. UNDP should position itself in a way that it can adequately balance providing development services as well as engage on more substantive issues.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/05/19]

Current PPM (through for example the Memorandum for the Provision of Services) assumes that the added value of the organization, relies also in its operational capacity and efficiency at the time of provide services to key issues and allies (e.g.: in Colombia, supporting the i) Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, ii) UN Political Mission set up, iii) MPTF Civil Society Window).

Although they could give the perception that UNDP has only played a fiduciary role, in the end they have contributed enormously to development goals.

This does not exclude that there is the opportunity to improve in identifying and explaining the connection that exists between the provision of operational services and reaching development goals.

During last years big projects perceived as fiduciary ones (e.g.: Royalties and Peace Fund etc.), have diminished their weight in relation with the total delivery from around less than 50% to 30% in 2018. Because of organizational and country priorities changes, the Royalties project is in the process of being closed, and the Peace Fund has substantially decreased its budget

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- During design and PAC process approval, projects with high levels of operational activities must identify and propose communication actions for explaining their contribution to development results within the CPD framework.
[Added: 2019/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/07/24]
RR/DRR, Programme/Operational Areas, Strategic Management Support Unit 2020/02 Completed UNDP has an active role in UNSDCF formulation. The document was approved by Colombian Government and include lessons learnt, UNDP SP solutions. Also a new CPD has been elaborated and will be presented on EB September. This document already include a deeper analysis on different topics and attend Government recommendations. During PAC meetings and minutes CO already include contribution to development results within the CPD framework. Also to UNSDCF framework to reflect the aggregate collaboration. History

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