Outcome Evaluation on the Regional Programme Outcome #2: Strengthen institutions to promote inclusive participation, prevent conflict and build peaceful societies

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, RBAS
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
07/2021
Completion Date:
07/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
37,000

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Title Outcome Evaluation on the Regional Programme Outcome #2: Strengthen institutions to promote inclusive participation, prevent conflict and build peaceful societies
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, RBAS
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2021
Planned End Date: 07/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. 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
  • 2. Output 1.2.3 Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures to maximize availability of resources for poverty eradication
  • 3. Output 2.2.1 Use of digital technologies and big data enabled for improved public services and other government functions
  • 4. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
  • 5. Output 2.6.1 Capacities strengthened to raise awareness on and undertake legal, policy and institutional reforms to fight structural barriers to women’s empowerment
  • 6. Output 3.1.1 Core government functions and inclusive basic services4 restored post-crisis for stabilisation, durable solutions to displacement and return to sustainable development pathways within the framework of national policies and priorities
  • 7. Output 3.3.2 Gender-responsive and risk-informed mechanisms supported to build consensus, improve social dialogue and promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies
Evaluation Budget(US $): 37,000
Source of Funding: TRAC
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 37,760
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
ABHIJIT BHATTACHARJEE Independent Evaluation Consultant abhijit@results-matter.co.uk
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
1.

Lack of social protection and growing inequality will continue to be important issues in the region, and the pandemic has exacerbated these issues in an already volatile, conflict-ridden context, with increasing social exclusion leading to further polarization within the Arab society.

 

 

 

 


2.

The primary value added by a regional programmes has been through: (a) facilitating regional networking and dialogue on regional issues and matters which are sensitive to be raised directly at country level; (b) research and knowledge development, exchange, sharing and learning within the region; (c) introducing innovative methods and international standards in programming; (d) bringing about a coherence in approach among various countries to addressing some of the globally complex issues and priorities like SDGs, anti-corruption, violent extremism, etc; and (e) advocacy on sensitive issues by mobilizing regional institutions and networks.


3.

Partnerships with the private sector have been leveraged to good effect by the Regional Programme.


4.

The dispersed approach to partnership with the LAS by different thematic units within UNDP leads to sub-optimal outcomes.


5.

UNDP’s monitoring and reporting which are heavily activity-oriented could be improved so as to present a clearer picture of the significant outcomes which the regional programme is realizing on the ground.


Findings
Recommendations
1

Given the slow progress on gender issues in the region and challenges in mainstreaming gender, the RBAS needs to consider well-designed projects with dedicated resources which promote strategic work on gender equality issues bult around specific SDG-5 indicators, implemented through regional networks and partnerships.

2

The Coordination Group of Arab National and Regional Developmental Institutions need to urgently develop a plan of action with clear delineation of scope and timelines regarding handover of the ADP, while ensuring that UNDP continues to play the proactive role it plays with governments and official agencies in relation to their capacity building and sharing of experiences which UNDP is uniquely placed to do with its region-wide presence.

3

If UNDP continues to manage the ADP, in discussion with the UN ESCWA, UNDP needs to harmonize the ADP with the data portal provided by the former in order to avoid duplication.

4

Building on the work on strengthening digital governance begun in 2020, develop an analytical framework for digitalization strategy which prioritizes areas that directly benefit the poor and marginalized first, so that digitalization works for the latter.

5

Improve communication about the scope of the regional programme with senior management in country offices and partners.

6

Working with all development partners and UN agencies which support the LAS, develop a joint approach and institutional development plan for the LAS on critical areas of importance for the Sustainable Goals Agenda.

7

Introduce result-oriented analytical tools in monitoring and reporting of progress of the regional programme.

1. Recommendation:

Given the slow progress on gender issues in the region and challenges in mainstreaming gender, the RBAS needs to consider well-designed projects with dedicated resources which promote strategic work on gender equality issues bult around specific SDG-5 indicators, implemented through regional networks and partnerships.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 In collaboration with other UN entities, initiate a regional project on gender equality and economic empowerment of women (related to one or more indicators: 5.4, 5.5, 5.a., 5.b, 5.c).
[Added: 2021/11/14]
UNDP-RBAS and UN agencies working on gender equality and women empowerment 2025/12 Not Initiated
1.2 Include in the regional projects a dedicated activity to conduct a gender analysis, and develop a resourced gender action plan for components with medium and high gender significance.
[Added: 2021/11/14]
RBAS Regional Programme 2025/12 Not Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

The Coordination Group of Arab National and Regional Developmental Institutions need to urgently develop a plan of action with clear delineation of scope and timelines regarding handover of the ADP, while ensuring that UNDP continues to play the proactive role it plays with governments and official agencies in relation to their capacity building and sharing of experiences which UNDP is uniquely placed to do with its region-wide presence.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Discuss and agree on the future plan of the Arab Development Portal (ADP) and handing-over process with the respective responsible parties.
[Added: 2021/11/08] [Last Updated: 2021/11/14]
The OPEC Fund for International Development Coordination Group (OFID) and member of the Consultation Group 2022/07 Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

If UNDP continues to manage the ADP, in discussion with the UN ESCWA, UNDP needs to harmonize the ADP with the data portal provided by the former in order to avoid duplication.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/14]

UNDP-RBAS considers this recommendation as valid, aiming to maintain and expand the collaboration with other United Nations organizations, in particular with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (UN-ESCWA) on data and SDGs monitoring.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Discuss with UN-ESCWA on how best to align and integrate efforts on SDGs data to avoid duplicate information, while maintaining UNDP’s regional positioning in advancing the data ecosystem at the national level.
[Added: 2021/11/08] [Last Updated: 2021/11/14]
UNDP-RBAS senior management and UN-ESCWA; the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Coordination Group of Arab and Regional Funds 2022/07 Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

Building on the work on strengthening digital governance begun in 2020, develop an analytical framework for digitalization strategy which prioritizes areas that directly benefit the poor and marginalized first, so that digitalization works for the latter.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/08]

UNDP-RBAS considers it to be a timely and valid recommendation. The evaluation has acknowledged the resulting multiplier effect of country offices’ capacity to expand into new programmatic areas, including on digitalization.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Develop a regional initiative on digitalization targeting the poor and marginalized among other beneficiaries. The initiative will aim to focus on digital governance and infrastructures, in addition to human capitals as priority areas: • Human capital needs assessment and gap identification • Access to e-services • E-learning digital literacy initiatives for all including youth, women and the disabled.
[Added: 2021/11/08] [Last Updated: 2021/11/14]
RBAS Regional Programme 2023/06 Not Initiated History
4.2 Develop a digital skills development and capacity building platform targeting refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), youth, women, the disabled and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
[Added: 2021/11/08] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
RBAS Regional Programme 2023/12 Not Initiated History
5. Recommendation:

Improve communication about the scope of the regional programme with senior management in country offices and partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/08]

UNDP-RBAS acknowledges the fact that senior management in Country Offices were partially aware of the scope and coverage of the Regional Programme Document (RPD) 2018-2021, except for regional initiatives being implemented in their respective countries.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Involve senior management in country offices and partners in the consultations and design of the Regional Programme Document for the new cycle (2022-2025).
[Added: 2021/11/08]
The Regional Programme 2021/08 Completed A dedicated consultation group meeting was convened with Resident Representatives in presence of RBAS senior management. Their input on thematic areas and interventions fed in the drafting of the new Regional Programme Document. This was held as part of the series of consultation group meetings with partners and stakeholders.
6. Recommendation:

Working with all development partners and UN agencies which support the LAS, develop a joint approach and institutional development plan for the LAS on critical areas of importance for the Sustainable Goals Agenda.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/08]

While the evaluation commended the crucial partnership UNDP-RBAS has built with the League of Arab States (LAS) in providing political space to engage with governments and on sensitive issues, UNDP acknowledges the need to extend and enhance the strategic engagement with LAS through creating synergies among the sectoral interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Assign a focal point at the hub to coordinate with the League of Arab States (LAS) on all joint interventions across sectors
[Added: 2021/11/12] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
UNDP-RBAS senior management, the Regional Hub, and LAS 2024/06 Not Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

Introduce result-oriented analytical tools in monitoring and reporting of progress of the regional programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/22] [Last Updated: 2021/11/12]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.  Acknowledging the fact that there’s a need to have the regional programme staff better trained on reporting tools, UNDP is not in a position to introduce external tools to its existing corporate system of reporting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Conduct training for the projects staff of the regional programme on the results-based management tools and how to better reflect progress and achievements of interventions in a results-oriented way.
[Added: 2021/11/12] [Last Updated: 2021/11/15]
UNDP-RBAS Regional Programme and RBM focal point at the Headquarters. 2022/12 Not Initiated History

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