Sustainable local development in rural areas of Chernivtsi and Odesa oblast

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Ukraine
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
09/2019
Completion Date:
09/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
5,610

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Title Sustainable local development in rural areas of Chernivtsi and Odesa oblast
Atlas Project Number: 00083522
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Ukraine
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2019
Planned End Date: 09/2019
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 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG Target
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
Evaluation Budget(US $): 5,610
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 12,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Kateryna Kravchuk Ms kateryna.kravchuk@gmail.com UKRAINE
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: UKRAINE
Lessons
1.

1. Money works better together with social mobilization and education

Some respondents listed that capacity building component was even more beneficial for them than the financial support. At the same time, it is important to underline that visible changes in the local infrastructure remain the main motivating factor for the local beneficiaries to participate in the similar initiatives.

2. Small business initiatives demonstrate a high level of effectiveness when they are an integral part of the holistic approach to the local community development

Community-discussed business ideas are a vivid example of how a local economic ecosystem is being created. Entrepreneurs mentioned that they started to demand better services from the local authorities since they had contributed to the local budget through their taxes. At the same time members of the local communities support the entrepreneurs and consume the local goods/services since they can observe the positive influence of the local economic development on the quality of life (new jobs, new services, positive impact on migration process, opportunities for vulnerable groups, etc.)

3. Business support initiatives are much more efficient if they are followed by a training and capacity-building component;

There are some legal difficulties for the newly emerged ASCs, since the legislation for ASCs in Ukraine is changing. It is possible that some of them would not be able to preserve their non-profit status after this change and they are likely to close down their activities in this case. Follow-up support to the alumni of the training programs is a significant benefit for the newly emerged entrepreneurs and community organisations for the first several years of their activity.

4. Entrepreneurs perceive their role in the local community differently when their idea is discussed publicly by the potential consumers. Entrepreneur feels both more confident during the business launch phase and more accountable when it comes to the quality of the services or tax payments to the local budget.

5. Communication of the project results is essential for analysing the long-term impact.

6. Methodology of the evaluation study is sufficient, more working days for the case study development would create the added value to the report.

7. Evaluation process was quick and efficient due to the well-organized project structure, openness of the final beneficiaries, positive image of the project partners.


Findings
1.

4. Findings

The findings are structured around the evaluation questions described in the evaluation matrix (Annex 3) and based on the results of the desk review and field study (Annexes 4-12). The variances between planned and actual results are explained below, as well as factors affecting the achievement of intended results.

According to the Logic of Intervention described in the project document (Annex 2) the project outcome is: Sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development at the local level promoted by strengthening participatory governance and encouraging community-based initiatives in two oblasts (Chernivtsi and Odesa)

Relevance

Key evaluation question: What was your main motivation to join the project?

Most common responses: - We wanted better life for our communities - We have been inspired by the other initiatives that have been participating in the project before - We have been observing positive effects of the CBA methodology - The project matches our funding priorities


Tag: Relevance Local Governance Health Sector Knowledge management Programme Synergy Capacity Building Education Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction Leaving no one behind

2.

Efficiency

Key evaluation question: Have resources (funds, human resources, time, expertise, etc.) been allocated strategically to achieve the relevant outputs and outcomes? Most common responses:

- The project is balancing very well the complex multi-stakeholder governance model and timely implementation of the project activities

- Main supporting factors: coherent cooperation of the project partners (win-win scenarios); previous experience with the CBA program; intensive training programmes and day-to-day support for the final beneficiaries;

- Main challenging factors: lack of qualitative indicators in the project document; low capacity of the grassroots-level partners (digital literacy, project management, public speaking skills, strategic planning)


Tag: Efficiency Civic Engagement Partnership Programme Synergy Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Capacity Building Technology Coordination Data and Statistics

3.

Effectiveness

Key evaluation question: Was the overall performance of the project carried out with reference to its respective strategy?

Most common responses:

- The project implementation was carried out according to the declared objectives and methodology

- Main results achieved beyond the initial LogFrame indicators are: increased sense of ownership by the local communities over their assets and contributions; increased level of trust between the main stakeholders; increased capacity of the local institutions; visible changes in the local infrastructure; decreased energy consumption levels; personal empowerment for the representatives of the vulnerable groups.


Tag: Vulnerable Effectiveness Women's Empowerment Local Governance Ownership Results-Based Management Service delivery Capacity Building

4.

Sustainability

Key evaluation question: To what extent are project results likely to continue after the project ends?

Most common responses:

- We are ready to participate in similar initiatives (We are already participating in similar initiatives) 

- We continue to consult each other on matters related and not directly related to the project

- The changing legal environment in Ukraine makes us unsure of the financial sustainability of our business initiatives

- It remains difficult to collaborate with the representatives of medium/large business and regional authorities (most common answer for the areas not yet involved (or less involved) in the decentralization process)

According to the results of CBA project, usually local communities in Ukraine demonstrate a low level of trust to the rayon and oblast authorities and to the representatives of local businesses. According to the surveys held in the CBA target communities, the most trusted and most transparent public bodies are those at the local level (e.g. village councils), because they can be better controlled by the local residents. Therefore, personal readiness of final beneficiaries to co-fund local initiatives and participate in the project implementation was much higher when the overall project management and final decision making was carried out by the local public or non-profit institution. The project LSDRA in Odesa and Chernivtsi oblasts' relied on this experience and used the mechanisms that had proven their effectiveness in the CBA methodology. During the field study, beneficiaries mentioned multiple times that they had overcome their mistrust to the partnering institutions and had the sense of ownership over the project implementation, which had built the strong foundation for other collaborative projects in the future. This was ensured mainly by the mechanism of the public oversight for all stages of the project cycle, including financial management carried out by the local COs. This tool was called by the local partners a diamond of the projects‘ methodology and had been recommended by many for further replication and continuous practicing. The governance structure of the project was based on the multi-stakeholder platforms for joint decision making (LLD, RRC, OIC/OIU, etc.) and is likely to continue to certain extent after the project ends. Both formal and informal networks that emerged within the project framework keep functioning beyond the project activities (alumni of the training seminars consulting each other, public officials contacting the representatives from universities and COs etc).


Tag: Rural development Sustainability Local Governance Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth

5.

Impact

Key evaluation question: Has the project contributed or is likely to contribute to long-term social, economic, institutional changes for individuals, local communities and institutions related to the project?

Most common responses:

- We have spent much more money in total than the project could offer as grant support but if not for the project we would never have started

- We have realized how much we possess: our people, our children, our land and natural resources, our culture are our main assets

- Money is not the only key for development; knowledge, expertise, technologies, and collaboration are crucial

- Quality of life does not necessarily mean moving somewhere else to get a good service, it rather means making our own place full of dignity and opportunities


Tag: Energy Impact Resource mobilization Local Governance

6.

Cross-cutting issues

Key evaluation question: What measures can be taken to improve the involvement of stakeholders, gender equality, social inclusion, human rights and environmental protection in similar initiatives? Relevant responses:

- Most significant barriers for self-realization: for women – lack of jobs, social infrastructure for childcare, self-care, psychological support, boosting creativity; for men – lack of jobs, quality of leisure activities, work migration (breadwinner burden); for youth – lack of jobs, opportunities for self-development, quality of leisure activities, support for creative initiatives; for elderly – lack of finance, socialisation.

-Most significant environmental challenges: waste management, deforestation, pollution of the riverbanks, heat, quality of the drinking water, herbicides/pesticides (soil/air pollution).


Tag: Vulnerable Drinking water supply Natural Resouce management Waste management Water resources Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights Service delivery Jobs and Livelihoods Youth Advocacy

7.

Good practices

The number of case studies can be further promoted as a good practices for replicating or scaling up in other rural communities, e.g.:

 - Elderly/family business. Few entrepreneurs (esp. men) mentioned that if they had not received the grant for business support, they would otherwise migrate for work abroad. With the financial support and support from the local communities they had not only stayed with their families, but also involved their younger family members to join the business (e.g. carpenter from Chervona Dibrova, car service from Cherepkivtsi, ASC Myvira from Mykhailivka, Chernivtsi oblast). This had not only mitigated the risk of the broken families typical for low-income areas, but also created new opportunities for young people.

- Young people that have received grant support mentioned that starting a business convinced them to stay in the rural area because they started to see development perspectives there (e.g. womenled sewing studio in Banyliv, travel agency in Berehomet).

- Several female beneficiaries inspired their female friends to start other service-oriented businesses in their communities (e.g. event agency in Banyliv, beauty salon in Berehomet). They are not only supporting each other in the business activities but also enjoy an improved quality of life at the local level. They agree that their sense of dignity and confidence had increased. (Now I can afford a manicure, but I have no time to go to Chernivtsi to receive a good service. Thanks to my colleague, now I can get it in my village; Being a businesswoman is a good feeling, I feel that people respect me (a single mother of two).

Ethnic minorities. Mamalyha ATC is a visible example how the projects‘ holistic approach to sustainable rural development addresses the needs of the local communities and leads to better social cohesion ((e.g. Head of the ATC council (representative of Moldovan ethnic minority) working in close collaboration with the Ukrainian deputy head and local Moldovan CO members to open the pilot linguaphone classroom at school (the first one in Chernivtsi oblast); 50 people from the village joining the local entrepreneur for weekend to help him renovate the space for the future car service).

- Social integration. ASC Veterany ATO Lymanshchyny – example of agricultural cooperative being both an economic tool to sustain the livelihood of the war veterans and rehabilitation tool to help them overcome the post-traumatic syndrome.  ASC employed a cheese production technologist from the local IDP community in Mykhailivka, Chernivtsi oblast. This is an example of creating employment for vulnerable groups, but also using economic development tools for community integration processes at the local level.

- ASC =TopAgroService‘ submitted a micro project proposal which stated that the co-op strives to minimize harmful impacts on the environment. Prior to starting the planned activities, ASC has conducted a complex analysis (soil sampling) of the soil from the field planned to be used for vegetable production. Monitoring of the mentioned activities was executed during the site monitoring visits of the project field staff and followed up by a study visit to the research unit of the Institute of Plant Protection (National Academy of Science in Ukraine) in May 2019 in order to ensure environmentally safe land cultivation within the micro project implementation. This approach is a rare case of cooperation between a local academic institution and small farm initiative in the rural areas of Ukraine aimed at sustainable agricultural practice. The outcomes of this cooperation shall be further monitored and promoted for similar initiatives.

- People with disabilities. A footwear repair shop from Zatyshshya (Odesa oblast) was initiated by a disabled person. The equipment purchased within the seed grant support not only allowed for the creation of a workplace for the project initiator but also high demand for good quality service has contributed to the business initiative growing into a small family business (now the wife and three sons of the owner are working for the company). The technical characteristics of the equipment also allow extending the service portfolio to other leather and fabric products (e.g. bags, belts, etc). The team is planning to attend additional trainings in order to provide better service. 


Tag: Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Social cohesion Disabilities Micro-credit Social Protection Youth

Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation 1: It is recommended that the results of the project are replicated in other disadvantaged rural areas in Ukraine due to its efficiency in addressing the needs of the rural population.  

2

Evaluation Recommendation 2: It is recommended that the project team continues the extended collaboration within the relevant institutions in the framework of the decentralization process in Ukraine (e.g. by promoting the mechanisms of the civic oversight and participatory decision making at the relevant national level events).

3

Evaluation Recommendation 3: Multi-stakeholder coalitions for the rural development purpose might be launched in order to strengthen various components of the project. The following are examples of possible partners:

  • Large agricultural companies (esp. human development component);
  • Bohdan Havrylyshyn Foundation (Young Generation Will Change Ukraine program includes Austria among 6 priority countries for the case study);
  • State Fund for Regional Development (promotion of the governance models piloted by the project on the local level);
  • German-funded Rural Initiatives Workshop (soft skills development); and

UNDP network in the neighbouring countries (cross-border cooperation for rural development and knowledge transfer (esp. economic development component)).
 

4

Evaluation Recommendation 4: To ensure that the gender and social standard mainstreaming applied in the project was relevant to the needs of the vulnerable groups, it is recommended that the survey planned by the project Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team for October 2019 includes qualitative indicators for the assessment of the change in the attitudes, practices, plans and relationships in the local communities.

5

Evaluation Recommendation 5: It is recommended that the decisions for the replication or scaling-up the project’s outcomes are based on the results of the survey, recommendations of this evaluation and conclusions of the final semi-annual report submitted to the donor in September 2019.

6

Evaluation Recommendation 6: It is recommended that the following soft components are included in the next iterations of the project:

  • Baseline study covering the needs of the vulnerable groups in target communities (e.g. using the 3R method) and a baseline study on major environmental risks within the local value chains;
  • Training needs analysis that will provide the information on exact areas and skills that will support better advocacy and lobbying to address the challenges that cannot be solved at the local level;
  • Implementation of the pilot projects illustrating how the needs of the vulnerable groups can be met using the project methodology or how the environmental challenges can be overcome through the holistic approach to project implementation (some case studies from this project can be used as an example, see above); and

Networking, field visits and exchanges that will ensure knowledge transfer, promotion of good practices will strengthen the sustainability of the project results (bringing exact technical expertise to the sites might increase the cost efficiency of the soft component).

7

Evaluation Recommendation 7: It is recommended to continue cooperation with existing project beneficiaries in order to explore how the increased organizational capacity of the local institutions can serve as a foundation for the breakthrough innovations that can build upon the best global solutions for rural areas. (e.g. benefit from Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the local universities signed until 2022).

8

Evaluation Recommendation 8: It is recommended that the Business Support Organization (BSOs) continue to provide the consultancy support to the entrepreneurs from the rural areas for at least 3-year incubation phase.

9

Evaluation Recommendation 9: It is recommended to involve the leaders of local businesses as the board of experts for the newly emerging business initiatives. This could increase the capacity of the young entrepreneurs and contribute to the overall engagement of the private sector in the public debate on the sustainable local development.  

10

Evaluation Recommendation 10: It is recommended that the project methodology is piloted to tackle specific development challenges such as the following:

  • Cross-border cooperation; environmental protection (e.g. Lower Dniester area or Carpathian Mountains); promotion of human rights (non-violence, women’s empowerment, integration of minorities, etc.);
  • creating opportunities for youth (e.g. digitalization of the local governing practices); and

development of culture, tourism and creative industries (Culture in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guide for local action might provide some insights on how the latter might be mainstreamed to the grassroots level).  

11

Evaluation Recommendation 11: It is recommended to apply Assets Based Community Development Approach while facilitating Local Development Forums (LDFs) to strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders in strategic planning and boost the long-term thinking over the development priorities of the local communities.

12

Evaluation Recommendation 12: To promote the holistic approach - think global act local principle - to the local development, it is recommended to include the local value chain analysis in the awareness-raising campaigns and training materials for the local stakeholders. The Leaky Bucket tool might be used to increase an overall economic literacy at the grassroots level.

13

Country level

-The project has a proven efficiency to address the needs of the rural population; therefore, it is recommended that its results are replicated in other disadvantaged rural areas in Ukraine.

- It is recommended for the project team to continue the extended collaboration within the relevant institutions in the framework of the decentralisation process in Ukraine (e.g. by promoting the mechanisms of the civic oversight and participatory decision making at the relevant national level events).

- Multi-stakeholder coalitions for the rural development purpose might be launched in order to strengthen various components of the project. (E.g. possible partners: large agricultural companies (esp. human development component); Bohdan Havrylyshyn Foundation (Young Generation Will Change Ukraine10 program includes Austria among 6 priority countries for the case study); State Fund for Regional Development (promotion of the governance models piloted by the project on the local level); German-funded Rural Initiatives Workshop 11 (soft skills development); UNDP network in the neighbouring countries (cross-border cooperation for rural development and knowledge transfer (esp. economic development component)).

14

Organisational level

- In order to ensure that the gender and social standard mainstreaming applied in the project was relevant to the needs of the vulnerable groups it is recommended that the survey planned by the project M&E team for October 2019 includes the qualitative indicators that will measure the change in the attitudes, practices, plans and relationships in the local communities. The design of the survey should be consulted with the relevant gender experts (e.g. UN Women).

- It is recommended that the decisions for the replication or scaling-up of the project outcomes are based on the results of the survey, recommendations of this evaluation and conclusions of the final semi-annual report submitted to the donor in September 2019.

- It is recommended that the following soft components are included in the next iterations of the project: 

o Baseline study covering the needs of the vulnerable groups in target communities (e.g. using the 3R method12); baseline study on the major environmental risks within the local value chains; o Training needs analysis that will provide the information on exact areas and skills that will support better advocacy and lobbying to address the challenges that cannot be solved at the local level;

o Implementation of the pilot projects illustrating how the needs of the vulnerable groups can be met using the project methodology or how the environmental challenges can be overcome through the holistic approach to project implementation (some case studies from this project can be used as an example, see above);

o Networking, field visits and exchanges that will ensure knowledge transfer, promotion of good practices will strengthen the sustainability of the project results (bringing exact technical expertise to the sites might increase the cost efficiency of the soft component).

15

Regional level

- It is recommended to continue cooperation with existing project beneficiaries in order to explore how the increased organizational capacity of the local institutions can serve as a foundation for the breakthrough innovations that can build upon the best global solutions for rural areas. (e.g. benefit from MoUs with the local universities signed until 2022)

- It is recommended that the BSOs continue to provide the consultancy support to the entrepreneurs from the rural areas for at least 3-year incubation phase.

- It is recommended to involve the leaders of the local businesses as the board of experts for the newly emerging business initiatives. This might not only increase the capacity of the young entrepreneurs but will also contribute to the overall engagement of the private sector to the public debate on the sustainable local development.

16

Local level

- It is recommended that the project methodology is piloted to tackle the specific development challenges: e.g. cross-border cooperation; environmental protection (e.g. Lower Dniester area or Carpathian mountains); promotion of human rights (non-violence, women‘s empowerment, integration of minorities, etc.); creating opportunities for youth (e.g. digitalisation of the local governing practices); development of culture, tourism and creative industries (Culture in SDGs guide for local action might provide some insights on how the latter might be mainstreamed to the grassroots level).

- In order to strengthen the capacity of the local stakeholders in strategic planning and boost the long-term thinking over the development priorities of the local communities, it is recommended to apply Assets Based Community Development Approach while facilitating LDFs.

- In order to promote the holistic approach to the local development (think global act local principle), include the local value chain analysis in the awareness-raising campaigns and training materials for the local stakeholders. The Leaky Bucket tool might be used to increase an overall economic literacy at the grassroots level

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 1: It is recommended that the results of the project are replicated in other disadvantaged rural areas in Ukraine due to its efficiency in addressing the needs of the rural population.  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

The recommendation is acceptable and will be integrated into future UNDP programming on local development. Future programming will in particular cover Chernobyl area, Chernivtsi, Odesa, Mykolaiv and Vinnitsa oblasts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. New project proposal for sustainable rural development titled ‘Support to Rural Communities in Transition”, covering Chernivtsi, Odesa, Mykolaiv and Vinnitsa designed.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Mustafa Sait-Ametov, Portfolio Manager 2019/12 Completed A new project proposal developed and submitted to the potential donor (ADA) back in 2019. The project proposal was not supported because the current donor’s strategy do not support Ukraine specifically History
1.2. Community-based approach to sustainable development (replicating the evaluated project methodology) of rural territories in the Chernobyl zone to be integrated into the Joint UNDP Ukraine-UNDP Belarus project concept “Next Generation’ UNDP Belarus Chernobyl Programme”
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Mustafa Sait-Ametov, Portfolio Manager 2020/02 Completed Prepared in collaboration with UNDP Belarus, not supported. History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 2: It is recommended that the project team continues the extended collaboration within the relevant institutions in the framework of the decentralization process in Ukraine (e.g. by promoting the mechanisms of the civic oversight and participatory decision making at the relevant national level events).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

The proposed extension of collaboration government, civil society, and other partners will allow UNDP to strengthen its presence and operations on regional and local level in order to serve the populations in need. This recommendation is accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Through its network of 24 regional coordinators UNDP will continue strengthening the collaboration between government, civil society, business, academia and media to promote sustainable local development.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager, Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst, Maria Gutsman. 2021/05 Completed During 2018-2020 UNDP strengthened collaboration between different development actors through SDGs Advocacy Days held in 22 regions of Ukraine; and the implementation of “Empowered Partnership for Sustainable Development- pilot phase project” (SIDA – donor). The project is focused on establishment of the challenge-driven partnerships between government, academia, NGOs and private sector to promote sustainable local development at the local level. Given its innovative and successful approach to the promotion of sustainable local development, the project was extended in 2020 through the end of 2021. History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 3: Multi-stakeholder coalitions for the rural development purpose might be launched in order to strengthen various components of the project. The following are examples of possible partners:

  • Large agricultural companies (esp. human development component);
  • Bohdan Havrylyshyn Foundation (Young Generation Will Change Ukraine program includes Austria among 6 priority countries for the case study);
  • State Fund for Regional Development (promotion of the governance models piloted by the project on the local level);
  • German-funded Rural Initiatives Workshop (soft skills development); and

UNDP network in the neighbouring countries (cross-border cooperation for rural development and knowledge transfer (esp. economic development component)).
 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation offers new opportunities for programmatic development and resource mobilization hence is accepted and will be integrated into future UNDP programming.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Intensify dialogue with donors and partners on ADA success stories and achieved results in order to mobilize resources and partnerships for new projects on local development.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager, Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst, Maria Gutsman. 2020/12 Completed The team has development its resource mobilization plan and engaged in cooperation on local development with SIDA, GIZ and the UK. History
3.2 UNDP will invite suggested partners to the international conference on sustainable local development to be held in the framework of the SIDA-financed project
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager, Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst, Maria Gutsman. 2021/05 Completed An online event was organized on 22 June 2020 and key project’s results presented to the donor and government’s community. The project will publish success stories and share widely with the donor community. History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 4: To ensure that the gender and social standard mainstreaming applied in the project was relevant to the needs of the vulnerable groups, it is recommended that the survey planned by the project Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team for October 2019 includes qualitative indicators for the assessment of the change in the attitudes, practices, plans and relationships in the local communities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation is accepted as it is an integral part of UNDP’s quality assurance and risk management approach to programming.

Moreover, UNDP is committed to mainstream social and environmental sustainability in our programmes and projects as underpinned in UNDP’s Environmental Standards. UNDP is also committed to integrate gender equality into all aspects of UNDP programmes and projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. M&E Analyst/Associate and Gender Specialist to provide guidelines, advice and assistance on gender-responsive M&E qualitative indicators for project staff and incorporate these into future projects
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman, Gender Specialist Tetiana Grytsenko, Tetyana Diyeva, Communication and Monitoring Associate 2019/12 Completed All projects implemented as part of Regional Development Programme include gender-disaggregated indicators in their M&E plans, gender dimension of the projects enhanced by adding gender-specific activities to the projects AWPs. History
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 5: It is recommended that the decisions for the replication or scaling-up the project’s outcomes are based on the results of the survey, recommendations of this evaluation and conclusions of the final semi-annual report submitted to the donor in September 2019.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

Accepted and implemented.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Share lessons learnt, surveys, evaluation results with partners.
[Added: 2019/11/27]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2019/09 Completed
5.2. Integrate the findings into a replication or scaling-up project.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/02 Completed The Evaluation findings were integrated in the concept of the follow up action, which is replicating and scaling up the project. Based on this concept, a new project proposal was developed and submitted to potential donor (see p. 1.1. above). History
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 6: It is recommended that the following soft components are included in the next iterations of the project:

  • Baseline study covering the needs of the vulnerable groups in target communities (e.g. using the 3R method) and a baseline study on major environmental risks within the local value chains;
  • Training needs analysis that will provide the information on exact areas and skills that will support better advocacy and lobbying to address the challenges that cannot be solved at the local level;
  • Implementation of the pilot projects illustrating how the needs of the vulnerable groups can be met using the project methodology or how the environmental challenges can be overcome through the holistic approach to project implementation (some case studies from this project can be used as an example, see above); and

Networking, field visits and exchanges that will ensure knowledge transfer, promotion of good practices will strengthen the sustainability of the project results (bringing exact technical expertise to the sites might increase the cost efficiency of the soft component).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

UNDP will consider the opportunities of applying some of the components into projects related to local development. UNDP is currently arranging field visits to ensure knowledge transfer. This has been ensured during the ADA project and is currently a practice adapted in the SDGs Area-based Programming i.g. the HOUSES Project.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. The recommendation will be integrated into new and ongoing project and programmes to build on experience, expertise and partnerships of earlier and ongoing UNDP projects in Ukraine.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/11 Completed The recommendations have been added to the design of the project’s next phase, not supported by the donor. In addition, trainings, exchange tours, field visits are the essential part of the “Homeowners of Ukraine for Sustainable Energy Solutions (HOUSES)” project (EU financed) and have been actively implemented at the local level. History
7. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 7: It is recommended to continue cooperation with existing project beneficiaries in order to explore how the increased organizational capacity of the local institutions can serve as a foundation for the breakthrough innovations that can build upon the best global solutions for rural areas. (e.g. benefit from Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the local universities signed until 2022).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation is valid and relevant to UNDP’s mandate of the development integrator and specifically to the SDG-Area based portfolio primarily operating in non-Kyiv regions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Identify new regional and local partners working within the area of local development and establish new partnership under the SDG-Area based portfolio
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/06 Completed New cross-sectoral partnerships established with private sector and academia under the Empowered Partnership for Sustainable Development project; cooperation intensified with regional authorities in Kherson oblast (Local Socio-Economic Recovery Engagement Facility launched in 2020). History
8. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 8: It is recommended that the Business Support Organization (BSOs) continue to provide the consultancy support to the entrepreneurs from the rural areas for at least 3-year incubation phase.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation is partially accepted as the support of the BSOs was pre-defined by the Project document and couldn’t be prolong beyond the Project’s closure. However, it can be considered for future overall UNDP programmatic activities, notably, a new Project aimed at developing Business Membership Organizations (BMO-II), funded by the Government of Switzerland and to be launched in 2020 under which such support can be ensured. This recommendation is partially accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1. The recommendation will be integrated in new projects on local development especially those focusing on development of MSMEs.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/12 Completed A new proposal on MSME support action (to be implemented as part of a new phased of EU4Business: SME Support in Ukraine) developed and submitted to EU in April 2020. The proposal was not supported by the donor History
8.2. To establish partnership with the existing network of the BSO, SMEDO and other similar platforms at the sub-national and local levels
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/06 Completed Partnership established with SMEDO and the Ministry of Digital Transformation, which run their own platforms for support to MSMEs. The existing network of BSO is engaged within “Business Membership Organizations, the Phase II” (BMO-II) project launched in 2020. History
9. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 9: It is recommended to involve the leaders of local businesses as the board of experts for the newly emerging business initiatives. This could increase the capacity of the young entrepreneurs and contribute to the overall engagement of the private sector in the public debate on the sustainable local development.  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation is relevant to the local development and will be incorporated in the future UNDP initiatives focusing on improved regulatory framework for MSMEs as well as innovative business support at local level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.2. Develop and submit a new project proposal on promotion and supporting MSMEs in rural and urban areas across Ukraine to potential donor.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/06 Completed The proposal has been developed and declined by the donor History
10. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 10: It is recommended that the project methodology is piloted to tackle specific development challenges such as the following:

  • Cross-border cooperation; environmental protection (e.g. Lower Dniester area or Carpathian Mountains); promotion of human rights (non-violence, women’s empowerment, integration of minorities, etc.);
  • creating opportunities for youth (e.g. digitalization of the local governing practices); and

development of culture, tourism and creative industries (Culture in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guide for local action might provide some insights on how the latter might be mainstreamed to the grassroots level).  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

Well taken and will be implemented to the extent possible. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1. The recommendation will be integrated the concept note on cross-border cooperation in the Dnister river.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/08/07]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2019/12 Completed The cross border cooperation and women economic empowerment are integrated in the on-going “Empowered partnership for sustainable development” project. History
10.2. The recommendation will be integrated in new projects on local development.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/12 Completed Support to the development of local tourism, promotion of social entrepreneurship and creation of opportunities for youth, improvement of the access of the vulnerable population to the online education have been supported through “Local Socio-Economic Recovery” engagement facility project. History
11. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 11: It is recommended to apply Assets Based Community Development Approach while facilitating Local Development Forums (LDFs) to strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders in strategic planning and boost the long-term thinking over the development priorities of the local communities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation is partially accepted and can be considered in future programmatic activities.  The current Project was built on community-based methodology. The proposed Assets Based Community Development Approach need to be discussed with the experts’ community while developing a new project’s methodology.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1. The recommendation will be integrated in new projects on local development.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov, Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman, and Tetyana Diyeva, Communication and Monitoring Associate 2020/12 Completed “Empowered Partnership for Sustainable Development – pilot phase” project partially applies a similar methodology of building a partnership, which comprises each partner’s assets (financial, intellectual, in-kind contribution) for the common goal – promotion of sustainable development at the local level. History
12. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 12: To promote the holistic approach - think global act local principle - to the local development, it is recommended to include the local value chain analysis in the awareness-raising campaigns and training materials for the local stakeholders. The Leaky Bucket tool might be used to increase an overall economic literacy at the grassroots level.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/28] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

This recommendation is partially accepted and will be implemented into future UNDP’s programmatic activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.To explore the proposed inclusion of the local value chain analysis and use of the Leaky Bucket tools for the benefit of more holistic and comprehensive approach to the local rural development.
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov, Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman, and Tetyana Diyeva, Communication and Monitoring Associate 2020/12 Completed Local value chain analysis included into the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme development activities, implemented in eastern Ukraine. Reports will be available at the UNDP website. History
12.2. The recommendation will be integrated in new projects on local development
[Added: 2019/11/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]
Programme Manager Mustafa Sait-Ametov and Programme Analyst Maria Gutsman. 2020/12 Completed Local value chain analysis included into the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme development activities, implemented in eastern Ukraine. History
13. Recommendation:

Country level

-The project has a proven efficiency to address the needs of the rural population; therefore, it is recommended that its results are replicated in other disadvantaged rural areas in Ukraine.

- It is recommended for the project team to continue the extended collaboration within the relevant institutions in the framework of the decentralisation process in Ukraine (e.g. by promoting the mechanisms of the civic oversight and participatory decision making at the relevant national level events).

- Multi-stakeholder coalitions for the rural development purpose might be launched in order to strengthen various components of the project. (E.g. possible partners: large agricultural companies (esp. human development component); Bohdan Havrylyshyn Foundation (Young Generation Will Change Ukraine10 program includes Austria among 6 priority countries for the case study); State Fund for Regional Development (promotion of the governance models piloted by the project on the local level); German-funded Rural Initiatives Workshop 11 (soft skills development); UNDP network in the neighbouring countries (cross-border cooperation for rural development and knowledge transfer (esp. economic development component)).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/26] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

Organisational level

- In order to ensure that the gender and social standard mainstreaming applied in the project was relevant to the needs of the vulnerable groups it is recommended that the survey planned by the project M&E team for October 2019 includes the qualitative indicators that will measure the change in the attitudes, practices, plans and relationships in the local communities. The design of the survey should be consulted with the relevant gender experts (e.g. UN Women).

- It is recommended that the decisions for the replication or scaling-up of the project outcomes are based on the results of the survey, recommendations of this evaluation and conclusions of the final semi-annual report submitted to the donor in September 2019.

- It is recommended that the following soft components are included in the next iterations of the project: 

o Baseline study covering the needs of the vulnerable groups in target communities (e.g. using the 3R method12); baseline study on the major environmental risks within the local value chains; o Training needs analysis that will provide the information on exact areas and skills that will support better advocacy and lobbying to address the challenges that cannot be solved at the local level;

o Implementation of the pilot projects illustrating how the needs of the vulnerable groups can be met using the project methodology or how the environmental challenges can be overcome through the holistic approach to project implementation (some case studies from this project can be used as an example, see above);

o Networking, field visits and exchanges that will ensure knowledge transfer, promotion of good practices will strengthen the sustainability of the project results (bringing exact technical expertise to the sites might increase the cost efficiency of the soft component).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/26] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

Regional level

- It is recommended to continue cooperation with existing project beneficiaries in order to explore how the increased organizational capacity of the local institutions can serve as a foundation for the breakthrough innovations that can build upon the best global solutions for rural areas. (e.g. benefit from MoUs with the local universities signed until 2022)

- It is recommended that the BSOs continue to provide the consultancy support to the entrepreneurs from the rural areas for at least 3-year incubation phase.

- It is recommended to involve the leaders of the local businesses as the board of experts for the newly emerging business initiatives. This might not only increase the capacity of the young entrepreneurs but will also contribute to the overall engagement of the private sector to the public debate on the sustainable local development.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/26] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation:

Local level

- It is recommended that the project methodology is piloted to tackle the specific development challenges: e.g. cross-border cooperation; environmental protection (e.g. Lower Dniester area or Carpathian mountains); promotion of human rights (non-violence, women‘s empowerment, integration of minorities, etc.); creating opportunities for youth (e.g. digitalisation of the local governing practices); development of culture, tourism and creative industries (Culture in SDGs guide for local action might provide some insights on how the latter might be mainstreamed to the grassroots level).

- In order to strengthen the capacity of the local stakeholders in strategic planning and boost the long-term thinking over the development priorities of the local communities, it is recommended to apply Assets Based Community Development Approach while facilitating LDFs.

- In order to promote the holistic approach to the local development (think global act local principle), include the local value chain analysis in the awareness-raising campaigns and training materials for the local stakeholders. The Leaky Bucket tool might be used to increase an overall economic literacy at the grassroots level

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/26] [Last Updated: 2020/11/29]

Key Actions:

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