Mid-Term Evaluation of Policy Support Programme

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Pakistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
09/2021
Completion Date:
10/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Mid-Term Evaluation of Policy Support Programme
Atlas Project Number: 00074907
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Pakistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2021
Planned End Date: 09/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Others
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
SDG Goal
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG Target
  • 17.14 Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
  • 17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 8,100
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Adbul Hamid Khan Evaluation Consultant ahamid07@gmail.com PAKISTAN
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP; Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms; Provincial Planning & Development Departments
Countries: PAKISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Project Design: The project design has a number of areas for improvement. Theory of Change is an important component of UNDP projects. A clear TOC with underlying assumptions and based on cause-effect rationale is critical for clarity about the project’s scope, expected results, and implementation pathways. Similarly, a well-articulated project results framework is important to assess project effectiveness and impact at a later stage. To the extent possible, the results framework should have output targets bifurcated by the sub-thematic focus of an output. Project output indicators and targets should be disaggregated by gender and other filters. UNDP’s guidelines also require gender-disaggregated needs analysis of different vulnerable groups during the design phase of the project. Therefore, the next iteration of the project should pay attention to these and other observations made in this report

2

PSP Linking to Outcome and Output: Currently, the project is not linked to the right UNSDF outcome and CPD output. UNDP should revisit this. The most appropriate outcome to which PSP should be linked will be UNSDF outcome 1. This needs to be catered to once the new UNSDF is developed.

3

Sub-National Partnerships: The overall implementation and partnership for PSP remain appropriate. However, given the decentralized nature of governance in Pakistan, project partnerships should go beyond institutions at the federal and provincial levels. PSP has partnered with city governments/administrations (Islamabad and Rawalpindi) through the urban platform. Based on the analysis and feedback from KIIs, it is inferred that the policy instruments proposed by such policy projects could have a higher impact and chances of sustainability through partnerships at the sub-national level. 

4

Leave No One Behind: Both the project design and partnership strategies should clearly define how the objective of “leave no one behind” will be achieved. While composite indices like MPI, Gender Inequality Index, produced as part of a composite index, are important, policy projects should also produce standalone policy instruments and analyses on burning issues concerning marginalized groups of society. For example, violence against women is a serious and recurring issue in Pakistan. Analysis of the root causes of such an issue, policy dialogues and policy proposals against such issues could play an important role in addressing such matters. However, to ensure broader inclusion, the different policy instruments like NHDR and DAP should also cover issues faced by religious and other minorities

5

Project Documentation: The evaluator gathered a lot of information about the project through simple google searches and review of generally accessible documents on the internet. A significant portion of this information was not available in the project reports. It is recommended lessons learned and project best practices are regularly documented and analyzed. This would play a critical role in knowledge and experience sharing about such important policy projects.

6

Political Engagement: Policy instruments should not be treated as technical standalone tools. Policy actions in follow up to proposed policy instruments depend on political ownership. The engagement of concerned political offices is therefore critical. Policy projects must have a clear partnership strategy for political engagement. PSP has used some good practices (like the engagement of political parties in the Advisory Councils for NHDRs) which should also inform political engagement for other policy instruments

7

UN Participation: PSP forged constructive partnerships with some of the UN agencies including UNFPA and UNICEF. Many of the policy instruments – including HDI, MPI – are cross-cutting and applicable to the work of other UN agencies. The UN Country Team and the UN Resident Coordinator Office could play an instrumental role in the design of comprehensive policy proposals, their advocacy, and institutionalization by the government as well as UN agencies. PSP consulted many of the UN agencies for the NDHR on Youth. The next phase of PSP should further build on this and should deploy a more systematic approach to the engagement of UN agencies for its policy work

8

Sustainable Development: Inclusive growth and sustainability (related to environment and climate change) should go hand in hand. These two, besides the overall issues concerning inclusion and leave no one behind, should be the building rocks of any policy project. PSP covered to a larger extent the issues of inclusive growth but could have done more on issues related to sustainable production and consumption. Sustainability should be the key area of focus for any future project on policy support. The engagement with the Climate Change Unit of UNDP is less compared to Governance and CPRU and should be enhanced. 

9

Financing for Development: Through the PSP platform, UNDP had initiated some interesting work on “financing for development” in 2019. Partnerships were developed with Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development for exploring green Sukuk (green bond). Some initial work was done with Tundra Fund for SDG aligned investments. The project has also produced an analysis of city revenue potential, Debt Swaps, and Zakat. The future work of PSP should build on such and pursue financing for development as on its major stream of work.   

1. Recommendation:

Project Design: The project design has a number of areas for improvement. Theory of Change is an important component of UNDP projects. A clear TOC with underlying assumptions and based on cause-effect rationale is critical for clarity about the project’s scope, expected results, and implementation pathways. Similarly, a well-articulated project results framework is important to assess project effectiveness and impact at a later stage. To the extent possible, the results framework should have output targets bifurcated by the sub-thematic focus of an output. Project output indicators and targets should be disaggregated by gender and other filters. UNDP’s guidelines also require gender-disaggregated needs analysis of different vulnerable groups during the design phase of the project. Therefore, the next iteration of the project should pay attention to these and other observations made in this report

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

UNDP is agreed with the Recomendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 The Unit will prepare a new project document to reflect recommendations and also align it with new UNSDCF (OPIII) and UNDP CPD and UNDP Global Strategic Framework.
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit-UNDP 2022/05 Initiated The consultative program design is underway.
2. Recommendation:

PSP Linking to Outcome and Output: Currently, the project is not linked to the right UNSDF outcome and CPD output. UNDP should revisit this. The most appropriate outcome to which PSP should be linked will be UNSDF outcome 1. This needs to be catered to once the new UNSDF is developed.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the Recommendation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 The project will review the current UNSDF and its linkages with relevant outcomes and output. Additionally, once the next UNSDCF is finalized the project document will be aligned accordingly.
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit 2022/05 Initiated The new project document is being aligned with the current UNSDF outcome and outputs
3. Recommendation:

Sub-National Partnerships: The overall implementation and partnership for PSP remain appropriate. However, given the decentralized nature of governance in Pakistan, project partnerships should go beyond institutions at the federal and provincial levels. PSP has partnered with city governments/administrations (Islamabad and Rawalpindi) through the urban platform. Based on the analysis and feedback from KIIs, it is inferred that the policy instruments proposed by such policy projects could have a higher impact and chances of sustainability through partnerships at the sub-national level. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the recomendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 The new program document will focus on deepening and diversifying existing sub-national partnerships with provincial and regional governments as well as other key stakeholders including civil society, academia, and the private sector.
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit 2022/05 Initiated Consultation with relevant sub-national stakeholders will be undertaken in the revision of the project document. A draft list of stakeholders has been drafted.
4. Recommendation:

Leave No One Behind: Both the project design and partnership strategies should clearly define how the objective of “leave no one behind” will be achieved. While composite indices like MPI, Gender Inequality Index, produced as part of a composite index, are important, policy projects should also produce standalone policy instruments and analyses on burning issues concerning marginalized groups of society. For example, violence against women is a serious and recurring issue in Pakistan. Analysis of the root causes of such an issue, policy dialogues and policy proposals against such issues could play an important role in addressing such matters. However, to ensure broader inclusion, the different policy instruments like NHDR and DAP should also cover issues faced by religious and other minorities

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 The new project document will adequately address the objective of leaving no one behind especially in line with the recommendations of NHDR 2020 on inequality, with a special focus on women, youth, minorities, specially-abled people, refugees and other vulnerable groups
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit 2022/05 Initiated History
4.2 DPU publications including DAP and NHDR 2020 already reflect issues faced by marginalized groups. Additionally, the next NHDR 2023 on digital transformation will also have to leave no one behind as a cross-cutting core theme and this will be reflected in the new project document.
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit UNDP 2021/11 Completed the key action is already completed History
5. Recommendation:

Project Documentation: The evaluator gathered a lot of information about the project through simple google searches and review of generally accessible documents on the internet. A significant portion of this information was not available in the project reports. It is recommended lessons learned and project best practices are regularly documented and analyzed. This would play a critical role in knowledge and experience sharing about such important policy projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the Recomendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 The Project will maintain and produce Annual Progress Reports to document lesson learned and project best practices
[Added: 2021/11/25] [Last Updated: 2022/02/04]
Development Policy Unit-UNDP 2022/01 Completed the project is generating an annual report( Narratives and financial as per the provided template. So the key action ahs been met. History
6. Recommendation:

Political Engagement: Policy instruments should not be treated as technical standalone tools. Policy actions in follow up to proposed policy instruments depend on political ownership. The engagement of concerned political offices is therefore critical. Policy projects must have a clear partnership strategy for political engagement. PSP has used some good practices (like the engagement of political parties in the Advisory Councils for NHDRs) which should also inform political engagement for other policy instruments

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the recomendations

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 The revised project document will build on existing political relationships at national and sub-national levels with a focus on deepening high-level political and policy relationships and partnerships. Necessary program advisory and management structures would be reviewed and introduced in the new project document reflecting high-level policy partnerships between the Government and UNDP
[Added: 2021/11/25] [Last Updated: 2022/03/01]
Development Policy Unit-UNDP 2022/08 Initiated The action is in process. DPU has ensured high-level political engagement in all its interventions, in 2022. For example, for the gender component of our work, we presented policy research to relevant members of the Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs. The same is envisioned for our research on social protection. The approach will be formally institutionalized as part of the project document for the next phase of the project. the end date need to be extended till August 2022 History
7. Recommendation:

UN Participation: PSP forged constructive partnerships with some of the UN agencies including UNFPA and UNICEF. Many of the policy instruments – including HDI, MPI – are cross-cutting and applicable to the work of other UN agencies. The UN Country Team and the UN Resident Coordinator Office could play an instrumental role in the design of comprehensive policy proposals, their advocacy, and institutionalization by the government as well as UN agencies. PSP consulted many of the UN agencies for the NDHR on Youth. The next phase of PSP should further build on this and should deploy a more systematic approach to the engagement of UN agencies for its policy work

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the Recomendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 The new Project Document will create a structured programmatic rationale and interventions to enhance UNDPs policy footprint for sustainable development as well as building and leveraging UNDPs SDG integrator role in close partnership with RCO and other UN Agencies.
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit 2022/05 Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

Sustainable Development: Inclusive growth and sustainability (related to environment and climate change) should go hand in hand. These two, besides the overall issues concerning inclusion and leave no one behind, should be the building rocks of any policy project. PSP covered to a larger extent the issues of inclusive growth but could have done more on issues related to sustainable production and consumption. Sustainability should be the key area of focus for any future project on policy support. The engagement with the Climate Change Unit of UNDP is less compared to Governance and CPRU and should be enhanced. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 The project will establish forums in the revised Project Document to engage with units and identify avenues for collaboration. Meanwhile, the project will engage with ECCU, CPRU, DGU, and Accelerator Lab colleagues to work collaboratively on avenues of mutual interests
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development Policy Unit 2022/05 Initiated The economy is being jointly organized. Similarly, Twitter Chat on COP26 is being planned. DPU has produced several editions of DAP mutually in consultation with other program units.
9. Recommendation:

Financing for Development: Through the PSP platform, UNDP had initiated some interesting work on “financing for development” in 2019. Partnerships were developed with Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development for exploring green Sukuk (green bond). Some initial work was done with Tundra Fund for SDG aligned investments. The project has also produced an analysis of city revenue potential, Debt Swaps, and Zakat. The future work of PSP should build on such and pursue financing for development as on its major stream of work.   

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/25]

Agreed with the Recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 The project will identify and initiate work on the Financing for Development portfolio. This will also be reflected as part of the revised project document
[Added: 2021/11/25]
Development policy Unit 2022/05 Initiated The project has initiated initiatives around the F4D theme, including Climate Financing, Insurance, and Risk Financing, and SDG investments

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