Effective Governance Outcome Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Moldova
Evaluation Type:
Outcome
Planned End Date:
02/2021
Completion Date:
02/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title Effective Governance Outcome Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 94503,62264,109897,88088,101965,46278,85117
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Moldova
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2021
Planned End Date: 02/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
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 1.6.1 Country-led measures accelerated to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • 3. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
  • 4. Output 2.2.3 Capacities, functions and financing of rule of law and national human rights institutions and systems strengthened to expand access to justice and combat discrimination, with a focus on women and other marginalised groups
SDG Target
  • 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
  • 17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: Country Office Budget and projects' budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 12,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Kevin Deveaux Team leader, international expert kevin.deveaux@gmail.com
Vladimir Arachelov Local expert vlad.arachelov@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UN Women; OHCHR; Parliament; National Institute of Justice; Ministry of Interior; General Police Inspectorate; Customs Service;
Countries: MOLDOVA, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
1.

Relevance

1.1: Programme output indicators are more results-oriented and impactful when they comply with SMART indicator criteria

1.2: Programme indicators that include cross-cutting issues, such as gender equality, are more likely to result in such issues being at the core of the programme’s implementation

1.3: A programme document is critical to defining the outcome-level theory of change that is required to ensure the focus of work is at an outcome level


2.

Efficiency

2.1: A programme-wide M&E strategy and risk analysis is vital to ensuring an outcome-focused approach to implementation

2.2: Where project staff are retained for the long-term there are stronger, trusted relationships with key partners and beneficiaries and, in turn, better results at the output and outcome level


3.

Effectiveness

3.1: Results are more likely where programme/project staff embrace adaptability and are willing to adjust activities as required based on the current context and opportunities

3.2: Piloting innovative approaches to effective governance will have inherent risks, but can yield significant results

3.3: Building trusted relationships with partners and beneficiaries will mean stronger results and more ownership of proposed reforms


4.

Sustainability

4.1: Each output should have its own Theory of Change and a plan for how it will not only be achieved but made sustainable

4.2: Infrastructure procurement must be linked to a plan for capacity building and resources for maintenance in the long-term

4.3: Beneficiaries need to be routinely engaged through the implementation off activities and outputs tom ensure their ongoing support and commitment to proposed reforms


5.

Partnerships

5.1: CSO partnerships should be established at the output level and not the activity level. This may require implementing partner status for one major CSO that delivers the support to smaller and local CSOs.

5.2: Where CSOs are engaged at the strategic level of project implementation the possibility of achieving results is enhanced

5.3: Where national beneficiaries are not able or willing to lead on coordination, UNDP should use its convening power to ensure project activities are well-coordinated with other implementers


6.

Post-Pandemic Programme Delivery

 

6.1: The pandemic has shown the need to focus not only on capacity but resiliency of government institutions

6.2: Implementation during a major emergency may require more frequent monitoring and work planning in order to ensure incremental progress towards output-level results

6.3: Government institutions require contingency planning to ensure they have protocols to be able to function despite a distribution in normal working conditions

 


Findings
1.

Relevance: The EG Programme is well-aligned with the National Development Strategy, the UNDAF and CPD and is focused on the same objectives as those documents. However, the programme lacks some foundational documents, such as a programme document and monitoring plan that would better anchor the work of the programme at the outcome level. There is also a need to consider how all programme indicators can be more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).


2.

Efficiency: The programme has a model of delivery that is well appreciated by national beneficiaries, donors and partners. There was value for money in the delivery of technical advice and the procurement of infrastructure for government beneficiaries. Where project employed long-term technical advisers, strong and trusted relationships were established with counterparts that allowed for even more results. One component of a sound programme that could be enhanced is a programme-level monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan to analysis of aggregated data and information is focused on programme-level work planning and allows for adjustments as required in a dynamic sector such a governance in Moldova. 


3.

Effectiveness: The programme is on-track to achieve all results, both at the output and outcome level. This can be attributed to the strong team at the programme and project levels. But the programme may wish to consider how it can be more adaptive and nimbler in how it delivers the programme. Whether it was the constitutional crisis of 2019 or the pandemic in 2020, the governance field in Moldova is ever-changing and the ability to deliver high quality, timely advice and support to the Government will require UNDP to consider how it can adjust its programming on a routine basis.


4.

Sustainability: There are clear indications that UNDPs work has been implemented with a desire to ensure results are sustainable. In some cases, this has meant changes to sectoral policies or legal frameworks. In other cases, it has been the installation and transfer of maintenance of vital infrastructure. Certain projects have also developed useful assessment tools that have been adopted by national beneficiaries to improve their work.


5.

Partnerships: The support to small CSOs and partnering with them allows for the transfer of knowledge and skills that will have a lasting impact on their work. It has also resulted in the extension of UNDPs work to smaller and marginalised communities. There were indications that UNDP was using its role as a broker or convene to facilitate closer links between civil society and government ministries and/or agencies. Yet there could be more done to ensure partnerships were utilised at the strategic as well as the technical level of delivery of the programme.


6.

Post-Pandemic: Having established strong relationships with national beneficiaries, project teams were able to leverage these relationships for rapid adjustment required during the pandemic.  The focus on digitalisation was also an important foreshadowing of what was required to allow for certain adjustments, such as online training. Yet looking forward, the programme will need to consider how resilience can be built into national planning, along with the more established goals of accountability, inclusivity and transparency.


Recommendations
1

Establish a programme document to guide and promote outcome-level interventions. Develop a systems-wide Theory of Change to define the governance interventions that must be implemented for outcome-level results and impact. Establish mechanisms for regular context analysis (political; gender; corruption; risk) as part of a programme-level monitoring system.

2

2.1 Leverage UNDPs strong relationship with the Government of Moldova to promote space for a more robust partnership and relationship between government and civil society. 2.2 Redesign the indicators for the programme that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (i.e. – SMART)

3

Develop a more adaptive approach to programming by piloting various modalities and approaches. Promote UNDPs role as an incubator of new approaches to governance

4

UNDP’s future work in the field of effective governance should be based on core values, such as resiliency, transparency, accountability and inclusivity, and not thematic areas of work.  Support for the Government of Moldova should include a focus on achieving the SDGs through the Moldovan National Development Strategy.

5

Leverage UNDP’s strong relationship with the Government of Moldova to promote space for a more robust partnership and relationship between government and civil society. Ensure ownership of project and programme outputs by Government beneficiaries. Plan for sustainability

6

Consider more peer-to-peer knowledge transfer beyond study visits and regional conferences with a greater focus on opportunities for building strong bilateral relationships with counterparts from other countries.

7

Focus on resiliency, transparency and accountability, business continuity or contingency plans of the Government partners, including through digitalization

1. Recommendation:

Establish a programme document to guide and promote outcome-level interventions. Develop a systems-wide Theory of Change to define the governance interventions that must be implemented for outcome-level results and impact. Establish mechanisms for regular context analysis (political; gender; corruption; risk) as part of a programme-level monitoring system.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

To establish the Programme Document, Theory of Change and a mechanism for regular context analysis to define the governance interventions that must be implemented for outcome-level results and impact within the next CPD formulation process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish mechanisms for regular context analysis (political; gender; corruption; risk) as part of a programme-level monitoring system
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Custer 2021/12 Initiated History
Design a programme document with a more holistic approach and a clear articulation of how various projects interact and impact the overall results within the next CPD formulation process
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/04 Not Initiated History
Develop a Theory of Change for the Governance Outcome in the next CPD formulation process
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/10 Not Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

2.1 Leverage UNDPs strong relationship with the Government of Moldova to promote space for a more robust partnership and relationship between government and civil society. 2.2 Redesign the indicators for the programme that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (i.e. – SMART)

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

2.1 The new projects will be designed with a due consideration of the opportunities for the CSOs to engage as part of the governance mechanism and lso as partners and beneficiaries

2.2 SMART indicators to measure the progress on the Governance Outcome will be developed within the next CPD formulation exercise

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design the programme and projects to create opportunities for the civil society to be part of the project management and an active partner in achieving programme outputs
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/04 Initiated History
Ensure the indicators for measuring the progress under the Governance Outcome are identified in the next CPD formulation process
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster, M&E Specialist 2022/04 Not Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

Develop a more adaptive approach to programming by piloting various modalities and approaches. Promote UNDPs role as an incubator of new approaches to governance

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

To include piloting of innovative approaches to Governance as part of all new interventions and to collect, codify and widely circulate to the partners the lessons learned and knowledge obtained through the pilots thus strengthening trusted and strategic relationships and positioning UNDP as an incubator of new approaches to governance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure that innovation and new approaches to governance are embedded into the project concepts and project documents, the pilots’ results analyzed and circulated to partners for scaling up.
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2021/12 Initiated New approaches in governance are being piloted in the A2J, Anticorruption and Elections Projects.
4. Recommendation:

UNDP’s future work in the field of effective governance should be based on core values, such as resiliency, transparency, accountability and inclusivity, and not thematic areas of work.  Support for the Government of Moldova should include a focus on achieving the SDGs through the Moldovan National Development Strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

The Effective Governance programme will have a strong focus on the core values, support to the Government in achieving SDGs and engaging CSOs as partners and beneficiaries under the next CPD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide support to the Government in financing for SDGs area
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/04 Initiated Project on strengthening the Public Finance management started
Ensure the Effective Governance programme under the next CPD is based on the core values are at the heart of UNDP’s work in the field
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/10 Not Initiated
Ensure the Effective Governance programme under the next CPD is based on the core values are at the heart of UNDP’s work in the field
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster 2022/10 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Leverage UNDP’s strong relationship with the Government of Moldova to promote space for a more robust partnership and relationship between government and civil society. Ensure ownership of project and programme outputs by Government beneficiaries. Plan for sustainability

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

To strengthen the engagement with the Government partners towards enhancing the ownership over the joint interventions and engagement with the civil society, thus increasing the sustainability of investments

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Consult the new interventions under the Governance Outcome with the Government and CSOs partners for enhancing the ownership and include and promote participation, inclusiveness, communication and collaboration between the Government and the Civil Society. Build in sustainability plans
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster, Project managers 2021/12 Initiated New Project ideas are consulted with the Government and CSOs partners and include the sustainability strategy
6. Recommendation:

Consider more peer-to-peer knowledge transfer beyond study visits and regional conferences with a greater focus on opportunities for building strong bilateral relationships with counterparts from other countries.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

To diversify the methods for capacity development, including short-term fellowships and invitation of peers as short-term experts, as relevant and possible, and reflect this in the AWP and in the new Project Documents

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Short-term Fellowships or internships for staff of beneficiary institutions are wider used as capacity development tools in the projects, while short-term consultants are recruited, as possible, from the professionals that worked in similar roles in neighboring countries
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster, Project Managers 2022/04 Initiated Initiated. To be resumed once the COVID restrictions are lifted
7. Recommendation:

Focus on resiliency, transparency and accountability, business continuity or contingency plans of the Government partners, including through digitalization

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/02]

To support the Government in strengthening  transparency, accountability and in establishing business continuity or contingency plans, including through digitalization in the on-going and future projects

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthen the focus on digitalization as a means for strengthening transparency, accountability and resilience of the government functions in the on-going projects and in project design
[Added: 2021/03/02]
Effective Governance Cluster Project Managers 2022/04 Initiated Strong focus on digitization in the projects on Elections, Security Sector Reform, Law Enforcement, Access to Justice and Anticorruption

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