End-Term Evaluation of the UNDP Sri Lanka Country Programme (2018-2022)

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Sri Lanka
Evaluation Type:
Country Programme Evaluation
Planned End Date:
12/2021
Completion Date:
10/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
44,000

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Title End-Term Evaluation of the UNDP Sri Lanka Country Programme (2018-2022)
Atlas Project Number: 00057445,00112897,00117353,00083575,00117979,00134411,00085746,00090074,00127689,00128701,00127154,00116943,00119366,00079607,00129864,00112513,00093957,00061752,00093879,00127470,00078432,00106358,00103135,00091122,00079409,00085741,00068311,00091115,00086251,00080228,00093902,00062498,00075042
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Sri Lanka
Evaluation Type: Country Programme Evaluation
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2021
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • 11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 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
  • 3.d Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 44,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 44,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Juan Louis Larrabure Lead Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Department of National Planning, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses, Human Rights Commission
Countries: SRI LANKA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

RECOMMENDATION No. 1: UNDP should prioritize IFIs within its resource mobilization strategy by either establishing a dedicated resource mobilization unit, or alternatively, supporting its existing structure through a project that engages high-level external consultants with requisite expertise in securing funding from IFIs. One consultant could be an ex-WB or IADB country representative, and the second an ex-ÚNDP Resident Representative, who negotiated large successful agreements. Their support should be limited to two or three short missions and include their availability to assist in guiding the process. Such a project should be staffed by at least one professional at an adequate NOC level with experience in dealing with the IFIs, and one GS support staff.

2

RECOMMENDATION No. 2: UNDP should review the existing structure of the teams to ensure that leadership roles within them are more clearly and coherently defined to ensure that administrative and policy/technical functions are (to the extent possible) bifurcated, and the leadership roles with respect to programme delivery and quality assurance are performed by separate personnel.

3

RECOMMENDATION No. 3: UNDP should ensure that each M&E project framework has clear, realistic, well-defined, and measurable baseline and success indicators (for each outcome, output and sub-output), and that a common, accessible, and up-to-date reporting database is maintained from which progress reports can be produced.

4

RECOMMENDATION No. 4: UNDP should identify CSOs that have the potential to be longterm partners in the design and delivery of the CP and develop a strategy to invest in the organisational capacity and sustainability of these CSO partners.

5

RECOMMENDATION No. 5: UNDP should expand the way gender mainstreaming within budgets is assessed by also measuring disaggregated spending on specific gender-related initiatives.

6

RECOMMENDATION No. 6: UNDP should assess all aspects of the CP with a view to identifying opportunities to further integrate and mainstream disability rights within the CP. This exercise should be undertaken to ensure that all related stakeholders are aware of how to incorporate this priority into social cohesion programming, CCA, DRR, natural resource management, and energy sector project implementation, and access to data interventions.

7

RECOMMENDATION No. 7: UNDP should fully operationalize the recalibrated SDG16 Portfolio to enable UNDP to better align with and influence the current government’s policy agenda and develop coherent and workable partnership strategies pertaining to key institutions, such as the Ministry of Justice, as part of such operationalization.

8

RECOMMENDATION No. 8: UNDP should vet all interventions within the broader social cohesion programme area to ensure that protection concerns remain paramount, and to minimize the involvement of security-oriented institutions within programming

9

RECOMMENDATION No. 9: UNDP should continue to facilitate national level state sector institutions, expand interventions to engage provincial and local government stakeholders, and CSOs as implementing partners in CCA, DRR, natural resource management, and focus more on private sector resource mobilisation for the renewable energy sector and low carbon development.

10

RECOMMENDATION No. 10: UNDP should ensure the systems and practices developed are integrated within the existing institutional
frameworks at the national and sub-national levels, and the practices of vulnerable communities, by partnering with state and private sector stakeholders.

11

RECOMMENDATION No. 11: UNDP should consider establishing a project designed to create a unified national data gathering and analysis system under the Department of Census and Statistics, which can be the repository and analytical tool for all demographic, microeconomic, macroeconomic, social, and operational statistics.

1. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 1: UNDP should prioritize IFIs within its resource mobilization strategy by either establishing a dedicated resource mobilization unit, or alternatively, supporting its existing structure through a project that engages high-level external consultants with requisite expertise in securing funding from IFIs. One consultant could be an ex-WB or IADB country representative, and the second an ex-ÚNDP Resident Representative, who negotiated large successful agreements. Their support should be limited to two or three short missions and include their availability to assist in guiding the process. Such a project should be staffed by at least one professional at an adequate NOC level with experience in dealing with the IFIs, and one GS support staff.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office (CO) partially agrees with the recommendation. There has been a concious effort to optimize the CO's capacity on resource mobilization via the Policy and Engagement team, which includes a dedicated partnerships focal point. This unit is the custodian of the Partnership & Communications Action Plan (PCAP) which was developed in 2021 and regualrly updated together with Partner Engagement Plans (PEP) targetting non-traditional donors, IFIs, Government partners, private sector and bilateral donors, which are actively pursued. 

The CO has had several consultations with ADB and WB in the recent past, with close to 6-7 strategic discussions between Senior Officials of ADB and UNDP Senior Management, including a high level discussion during the visit of the UNDP Regional Director in early 2022. Additionally, technical teams continue to have regular meetings with ADB and WB technical focals, with World Bank, and IFC participating as speakers in the UNDP hosted Colombo Development Dialogues on Green Development. 

These efforts are laying the ground work for strong working relationships, particlarly with ADB on Innovation & SDG integration, with promising developments/opportunities on Energy. Engagement with the World Bank continues to evolve, leveraging the regional and global partnership committments with other UNDP country offices in the region. 
 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of the IFI- PEPs, translating into concrete partnership opportunities (e.g ADB and ESCAP for Knowledge partnership on SDGs).
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
Partnership and Engagement Unit, SDG Integration Specialist, Programme Team Leads 2024/12 Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 2: UNDP should review the existing structure of the teams to ensure that leadership roles within them are more clearly and coherently defined to ensure that administrative and policy/technical functions are (to the extent possible) bifurcated, and the leadership roles with respect to programme delivery and quality assurance are performed by separate personnel.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]

The Country Office partially agrees with the recommendation. The delineation between leadership roles and administrative and policy/technical functions were the result of a whole-of-office review process completed in 2019. Refinements could be taken into consideration in the implementation of the new country program

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 3: UNDP should ensure that each M&E project framework has clear, realistic, well-defined, and measurable baseline and success indicators (for each outcome, output and sub-output), and that a common, accessible, and up-to-date reporting database is maintained from which progress reports can be produced.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office agrees with the recommendation. Enhancing the CO RBM capacity via better systems in place to track results and measure impact of development results, is a key prirority within the new Country Program. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure the CO has a funcitional systematic process that generates evidence and tracking of results, with clear links to project output contributions to the country program resuls.
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
RRMT unit 2023/06 Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 4: UNDP should identify CSOs that have the potential to be longterm partners in the design and delivery of the CP and develop a strategy to invest in the organisational capacity and sustainability of these CSO partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office agrees with the recommendation. A CSO strategy for the program is in place since later part of 2021, whilst CSO engagement within the new country program cycle 2023-27 will be further strengthened. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of the CSO strategy- 2023.
[Added: 2022/05/11]
Inclusive Governance Team Unit 2023/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 5: UNDP should expand the way gender mainstreaming within budgets is assessed by also measuring disaggregated spending on specific gender-related initiatives.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office agrees with the recommendation. The management is committed to achieving the gold standard of the gender seal certification which prioritizes gender initiatives amongst programme and project interventions, including allocating budgets as per UNDP standards, and providing much emphasis to upgrading projects from GEN 1 to GEN 2 and 3. Gender is also mainstreamed in the new CPD across all four primary outputs, to ensure stronger integration within projects. 
 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Training sessions on gender budgeting
[Added: 2022/05/11]
Country Office Gender Specialist 2023/06 Initiated
Gender Focal Team reviews and provides inputs to new projects being designed-
[Added: 2022/05/11]
Country Office Gender Specialist 2024/12 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 6: UNDP should assess all aspects of the CP with a view to identifying opportunities to further integrate and mainstream disability rights within the CP. This exercise should be undertaken to ensure that all related stakeholders are aware of how to incorporate this priority into social cohesion programming, CCA, DRR, natural resource management, and energy sector project implementation, and access to data interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office accepts the recommendation. The new country program integrates disability inclusion as a priority with the need for disaggregated data on people with disabilities built in to the RRF. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Training and knowledge sessions on disability inclusion in project design and effective monitoring.
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
RRMT, Programme Team, CO Disability Focal Point. 2023/12 Not Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 7: UNDP should fully operationalize the recalibrated SDG16 Portfolio to enable UNDP to better align with and influence the current government’s policy agenda and develop coherent and workable partnership strategies pertaining to key institutions, such as the Ministry of Justice, as part of such operationalization.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office accepts the recommendation and has fully recalibrated SDG16 Portfolio in 2021, which includes the new justice sector reform flagship UNDP Joint Project with UNICEF, funded by the EU- a key partnership established with the Ministry of Justice. 
 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of the SDG 16 re-calibrated portfolio
[Added: 2022/05/11]
IGT 2027/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 8: UNDP should vet all interventions within the broader social cohesion programme area to ensure that protection concerns remain paramount, and to minimize the involvement of security-oriented institutions within programming

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office accepts the recommendation. Necessary due diligence in accordance with UNDP policy and procedures on Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) and Human Right Due Diligence Process (HRDDP) is undertaken on a periodic basis.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Undertake SES and HRDDP assessments in line with UNDP Program and Policy Management practices, as necessary
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
RRMT 2027/12 Initiated History
9. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 9: UNDP should continue to facilitate national level state sector institutions, expand interventions to engage provincial and local government stakeholders, and CSOs as implementing partners in CCA, DRR, natural resource management, and focus more on private sector resource mobilisation for the renewable energy sector and low carbon development.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office accepts the recommendation. UNDP works closely with national-level institutions, including government ministries and departments, which function as implementing partners and responsible parties of UNDP projects. In the new Country Program, Green Development will be a key priority, pushing for funded solutions package (policy, partnerships and programmatic) offer in 2022, to accelerate climate actions to achieve national policy ambitions of 70% renewable energy by 2030, carbon neutrality by 2050 and post-COP26 support to implement the NDCs. It will further explore Area Based Development as a coherent approach leveraging UNDP’s ground presence drawing on the CDLG, together with mobilizing local government financing (e.g., waste to energy solutions) and private capital (e.g., first investor map rolled out). 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Launch of funded Green Development Portfolio
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
DRR, CET Team Lead 2023/03 Initiated History
Roll out of first SDG investor map
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
SDG Integraton Specialist 2022/12 Initiated History
10. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 10: UNDP should ensure the systems and practices developed are integrated within the existing institutional
frameworks at the national and sub-national levels, and the practices of vulnerable communities, by partnering with state and private sector stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office agrees with the recommendation. Programmatic interventions are delivered in partnership with the respective national and local institutions (LPAC's involve several national Ministry partners), ensuring the policy/ strategy formulation/ endorsement process including the time needed to ensure national ownership and participatory process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure LPAC meetings and project review boards are represented by National Partners and key stakholders of projects
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
RRMT, and Portfolio Teams 2024/12 Initiated History
11. Recommendation:

RECOMMENDATION No. 11: UNDP should consider establishing a project designed to create a unified national data gathering and analysis system under the Department of Census and Statistics, which can be the repository and analytical tool for all demographic, microeconomic, macroeconomic, social, and operational statistics.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/11]

The Country Office partially agrees with the recommendation. The CO is committed to support national systems for SDGs  (e.g SDG data portal launched with the Dept. of Census and Statistics, in 2021). SDG monitoring (particularly SDG16 and gender) and national data architecture will be further advanced via the CO's SDG acceleration portfolio to be designed and launched in 2022. Projects under this portfolio will not be limited to data  and analysis, but support a more wholistic approach to policy coherance on social inclusion, poverty alleviation within the larger ambit of SDG accelration. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
SDG acceleration portfolio to be launched
[Added: 2022/05/11] [Last Updated: 2022/05/12]
SDG Integration Specialist 2022/12 Initiated History

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