Decentralization & Local Development Support Mid term

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
01/2019
Completion Date:
01/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
5,000

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Title Decentralization & Local Development Support Mid term
Atlas Project Number: 00104537
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2019
Planned End Date: 01/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
SDG Goal
  • 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
SDG Target
  • 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 5,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 4,180
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: JORDAN
Comments:

The uploaded  evaluation plan differs slightly in terms of titles but still targets the same areas mentioned in the CPD evaluation plan.

Changes to the evaluation plan has been discussed and approved by the regional bureau.

Lessons
Findings
1.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness

1. What is the overall effectiveness of DLDSP for achieving its goals? a. I s the activity achieving its intended outcomes? b. A re there certain areas/activities and components that are more effective than other areas/ activities and components? c. H ow well has the program developed synergies with other donor programs that support similar activities as DLDSP?

Introduction The narrative below begins by reviewing the program?s reported achievements and their effectiveness. The discussion next turns to whether the program?s interventions achieved their intended outcomes assessing and synthesizing data. Next, the narrative explores whether certain interventions are more effective than others and finally how current cooperation and coordination models are impacting the program?s effectiveness and whether synergies were created and realized.

Is the Activity Achieving its intended project outcomes? DLDSP is a young program. It has been operational for only a year and a half now. Any discussion of intended outcomes will need to acknowledge the short period it had had to implement activities. The program has made some progress towards achieving its intended outcomes. Despite challenges to its start-up phase which have seen the program design refocused and its implementation handed primarily to UNDP, the program has been able to realize some output level achievements. A review of the program's result's framework revealed that the operationalization of the program's three main results can be strengthened. Indicators will need to be amended and new ones developed to enable a wider and more meaningful capture of the program's efforts. In this vein, the implementation efforts and enhanced capacity of government officials as a result of the technical support provided by the program are not currently being measured. Policy related work also requires more measurable goals. 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Gender Mainstreaming Local Governance Public administration reform Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Theory of Change Technical Support

2.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

The program attempted to remain relevant to the process by initiating a scoping mission which took place in May 2018 to develop a quick diagnostic of the status of reforms and determine how a decentralisation program can be formulated. According to government respondents, the ensuing report developed by the program was especially effective in highlighting challenges, gaps and opportunities the government should address and capitalize on to move the reform process forward. In fact, one government official said the report, disseminated to members of the IMC and EC, “helped the government rethink the its decentralization model.” The report has not generated much traction but based on it a Decentralisation Implementation Programme (DIP) outline was drafted and submitted to the Prime Minister through the IMC Chairman requesting guidance on how to move the process forward

According to program reports, the DIP has since then not engendered much traction. KIIs with government respondents confirmed a lack of a uniform vision as to how to move forward on the nature of or need for reforms. Further, and according to a DLDSP consultant, reforms remain politically driven with little indication of a genuine and local development-driven impetus for change. According to the DLDSP scoping mission report, the program's future work will need to respond to a clear GOJ demand. Absent such demand, the report recommends focusing on technical work at sub-national levels. At the same time, the government has recently launched a national dialogue on decentralisation which the DLDSP consultants proposed in their scoping mission report. This development could have been a result of the report, but the evaluation could not verify that. According to key informants, the DLDSP is slated to provide technical support to the dialogue to be led by MOPPA even though the PM Office has not as yet had a reaction to the DIP outline and letter submitted by the program. This development, according to respondents, confirms the program?s relevance and valuable support despite remaining challenges. It is also an opportunity for the program to continue its policy reorientation work related to decentralisation.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Local Governance Public administration reform Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Theory of Change Promotion of dialogue

3.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

Under Result 2, DLDSP drafted a national capacity building plan for governorates and municipalities to improve capacities for the implementation of Laws No. 49 and 41 at the central, governorate and municipal levels including the LDDs at MOI and MOMA, Governorate Local Development Directorates (GLDDs) at the governorate level and Municipal Local Development Units (MLDUs) at the level of municipalities. The draft National Capacity Development Plan (NCDP) aimed at helping GOJ monitor the implementation of different programs by both local bodies and development partners was shared with institutional development departments in MOI, MOMA and MOPIC for their feedback. MOPIC has already provided feedback which is being addressed by the program. Commenting on the plan, a member of the Executive Council expressed concern about donors' general disinclination to access other donors' or government's work in the same programmatic space and to build their interventions on what has already been achieved. In his opinion the draft plan should have recognized the action plan for capacity building that had already been developed by MOPIC. According to the EC member, the ministry had already developed organizational charts and job descriptions for the various positions, “but then donors went and duplicated the effort.” 

That said, the KII with the EC member revealed the favorable opinion the Committee has of certain DLDSP interventions including the support provided to the IMC and the responsive nature of that support. The EC member acknowledged the IMC's own limitations which have affected the program's ability to provide support. He highlighted the importance of the “Renaissance project” announced recently by the Prime Minister which includes a component on decentralisation. In his opinion, the realization of this project will be more important than that of the decentralisation strategy DLDSP has been after. His comments echoed those of other respondents about the GOJ's overall decentralisation goal to shore up participation under the current legal structure rather than to propel local development under an amended one.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Local Governance Donor relations Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures Institutional Strengthening National Institutions Regional Institutions

4.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

As part of the same Result 2 component, and to bolster the capabilities of local government structures to engage in strategic planning, a list of socio-economic indicators in more than 15 sectors were identified at the governorate and municipal levels. The number of indicators at the governorate and municipal levels reached 280 and 180 respectively. Three respondents expressed concern about the number of indicators the program developed. They said that updating the numerous indicators will prove cumbersome for resource stripped governorates and municipalities and will significantly affect data quality. “It is far better to have a few indicators that will be used effectively and can be self-managed” one key informant said.Trainings were also held in the three selected governorates to expose participants from sectoral directorates to fundamentals of statistical data, and the importance of indicators for planning. Further TOT training was provided to participants and trainers were selected from the pool of participants. In support of this effort, 3 manuals were developed by the program on the development of statistical tables and indicators, measurement of the quality of statistical data outputs and sectoral indicators and on quality control of data entry and calculation. MOI LDD and governorate GLDD staff found the trainings beneficial. Further, interviewed GLDD staff expressed interest in additional trainings that would deepen their knowledge and further equip them to engage in planning. 


Tag: Effectiveness e-Governance Local Governance Project and Programme management Institutional Strengthening Data and Statistics Regional Institutions

5.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

Challenges

The program has been affected by limitations related to its design, strategic approach, organization and management and contextual realities. The most important challenges are:

The Program's Broad Scope, Short Timeframe and Limited Resources: Several respondents spoke about how the program is stretched in different directions with very limited resources to support the various interventions. According to three key informants, the program is working at too many levels including the LDDs at both MOMA, and MOI, the IMC, governorates and civil society. This according to them, dilutes the impact of what the program is trying to achieve, and affects ownership of accomplishments and their sustainability. This was clear to the evaluator during interviews with some supposed beneficiaries who did not exhibit deep understanding of the program or commitment to their participation in it. On the other hand, and according to respondents, the reliance of the program on shortterm consultants as opposed to long-term expertise affects the congruence of its components and the “outcome and quality of support provided.” Relatedly, the short timeframe of the program curtails its ability to attract and retain high-caliber permanent staff looking for longer-term opportunities.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Resource mobilization Local Governance Public administration reform Rule of law Human and Financial resources Results-Based Management Theory of Change

6.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

Challenges(continuation)

Association with MOI: The program's design has allowed political economy factors to play out against it. It saw the DLDSP anchored in the MOI, as the leading institution in the implementation of decentralisation reforms, reporting to the IMC. On the 18th of March 2018, the Prime Minister took the decision to reorganize the IMC to be chaired by MOPPA with the membership of the Ministers of MOI, MOMA, MOPIC, ICT and MOF. This for respondents has disadvantaged the program. According to one, based on an opaque understanding of what is politically feasible during this phase, “the program's approach was designed on assumptions that did not all hold.” The program recognized the pivotal role of the MOI in rolling out the decentralisation process in Jordan; meanwhile MOPPA took over and became the lead of the process. While the program's close association with MOI continues to facilitate its capacity building efforts, it is negatively impacting the program's higher-level policy support work. Relatedly, four respondents alluded to the debilitating “competition” between subcommittees reporting to the IMC, and their unclear mandate or workplan. One respondent said: “The problem is that the committees only meet if they are asked to. They don't have a work plan, or clear agenda. If they need to endorse something they meet, but strategically they don't have a vision.” He then added that the real challenge is when “committees block actions if they are threatened or intimidated by plans of other committees they feel will undermine their role or visibility.” Another respondent said the IMC is largely ineffective and being connected to it through MOI has in effect crippled the program's work. 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Local Governance Human and Financial resources Country Government Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

7.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

Most Effective Interventions

Respondents agreed about the effectiveness of the donor mapping exercise the program undertook to comprehensively map and categorize development partner interventions supporting decentralisation reform and the development of the targeted tiers of the local government/administration system. This was also indicative of the strategic role of the program manifested in the formal request UNDP and the Organization of for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) received from the MOPIC to conduct this exercise. All respondents interviewed for the evaluation agreed that the mapping exercise and report constituted a useful program deliverable that addressed an identified gap preventing government from coordinating between donors in any effective way. In addition to the provision of information about what each donor and development partners is doing, the report identified the gaps in programming supporting decentralisation. That said, it was difficult for respondents to articulate the impact of the report on donors' or government's coordination efforts. That said, three respondents said that the government's drive to coordinate and streamline the various donors' manuals and methodologies for developing strategic plans and manual needs has been a direct result of DLDSP's mapping exercise. 


Tag: Effectiveness Local Governance Communication Donor relations Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Technology Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

8.

EQ1 Findings

Effectiveness (continuation)

Synergies with Other Programs Supporting Decentralisation

The main program deliverables namely the Decentralisation Strategy and Capacity Building Plan are meant to align and better organise the resources deployed by donors and governmental entities to support the implementation of decentralisation. Both plans have not yet materialized. According to one respondent, the capacity building one still needs time and will need to be endorsed by the IMC.

The DLDSP, through the PSU, is providing support to the LDD/MOMA to coordinate activities supported by other donors. Seeking synergies with other development partners, the DLDSP, AECID/Qudra-EU Programme and MOI organized two Seminars on “Local Development Plans in the context of Jordan´s decentralisation process” on the 5-6 and 7-8 of May 2018 in Mafraq and Irbid governorates. According to program documents, governorate councils, executive councils, LDD and LDUs' staff, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBO) benefitted from these events. The evaluator could not verify the accurateness of this statement. DLDSP is also supporting the LDD to carry out field missions and technical discussions with AECID's supported project “Support to Mafraq region's resilience, through improvement of participative local governance.” 


Tag: Effectiveness Aid Coordination Civic Engagement Local Governance Donor relations Policies & Procedures Programme Synergy Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

9.

EQ2 Findings

Sustainability

2. W hich interventions under DLDSP are most likely to be sustained over time? Why and how? To what extent are DLDSP efforts being sustained by targeted bodies of decentralisation including municipalities and governorate councils?

Introduction In response to the initial question about the extent to which the project interventions are likely to be sustained, the narrative below discusses the sustainability potential of the program's interventions identifying which interventions may have an impact beyond the program's lifespan. The discussion then turns to the question of whether interventions are being sustained by stakeholders and what challenges affect sustainability. 

Interventions More Likely to be Sustained Given that the program has changed direction in the past, DLDSP's interventions have taken place in a concerted manner for only a year and a half. It is therefore difficult to assess the impact of these young interventions with any certainty. That said, some key respondents' opinions were suggestive of the need for deeper engagement. In general, most respondents said, as alluded to earlier, that the program is trying to do too much preferring breadth over depth which is generally detrimental to sustainability. Under Result 2, and through its close engagement with MOI LDD, the program has successfully initiated the process of reviewing the different methodologies and manuals for developing municipal and governorate strategic plans and needs manuals by various development partners to ensure their alignment and eventual integration before they are endorsed and mainstreamed. According to government respondents, this was an effective activity that will have positive implications for the program's sustainability and impact. One respondent noted: “governorates were using different processes to generate strategic plans; the program is helping ensure this is no longer the case.” 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Sustainability Local Governance Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Promotion of dialogue

10.

EQ2 Findings

Sustainability (continuation)

Further, the evaluation revealed a significant time lag between activities. One respondent said that he would have preferred it if the timeline for the program activities was clearer. “In October, we did the data collection then things became dormant. The program did not take advantage of the momentum it created. Beneficiaries are confused as to why they are doing a strategic plan again.” Beneficiaries at the governorate level are not aware which strategic plan will be endorsed, the one developed under CITIES or DLDSP. Another respondent commented on the quality of the training. He said: “sometimes we don't understand what we are doing. Training was short. We don't feel competent to engage in strategic planning. We need more in-depth training.” A program respondent responded to these comments later by emphasizing that training on strategic planning has not commenced yet. Beneficiaries will have an opportunity to receive further training. Respondents also mentioned that learning is not cumulative. While these comments were not verified by the evaluation, the perceptions are suggestive of weak engagement of governorate level teams, and the emphasis of capacity building on specific functionalities without ensuring a more holistic understanding of strategic planning.


Tag: Challenges Sustainability Local Governance Policies & Procedures Programme Synergy Institutional Strengthening Data and Statistics National Institutions Regional Institutions

11.

EQ2 Findings

Sustainability (continuation)

Again, the issue of incentives emerged. Respondents at the governorate level said that governorate staff are not incentivized to learn new skills. They feel overwhelmed by the volume of work at the local development units “which they did not anticipate when they asked to join these units.” According to respondents, going forward, the program will have issues retaining participants and maintaining their commitment to the program. Other challenges to sustainability discussed under EQ1 include the weak capacity and lack of incentives for DST members. While the program is trying to activate their role in leading reforms on governorate and municipal levels their limited capacity, and lack of interest in acquiring new skills, constitute a significant challenge to sustainability. According to a program consultant: “This is really an ad hoc approach but if it works the government will need to pick it up.” How does the government “pick it up” and will it do that remains to be answered.


Tag: Efficiency Sustainability Civic Engagement Local Governance Human and Financial resources Education Capacity Building

12.

EQ3 Findings

Learning

Based on the performance of DLDSP, both in terms of effectiveness and sustainability, what are some key lessons learned, by component? Were there unintended positive or negative outcomes? Are there opportunities for improvement during the remaining time the program has?

Introduction This section is meant to provide a synthesis of lessons learned to improve program performance and impact and contribute to organizational learning. 

Key Lessons Learned

The scope of the program and its resources are misaligned: The program's overall effectiveness is limited by its design, operations and the contextual landscape in which it is operating. Considering DLDSP's limited resources, the program is technically and geographically stretched. The nature of the DLDSP's design necessitates close coordination with the higher echelon of government which in turn requires the navigation of a delicate power structure with several actors the program's resources are ill-suited for. While the outside experts the program relies on have all been favorably spoken of by government respondents, if the program is to go forward, its resources especially program staff should be bolstered. 


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Sustainability Local Governance Coordination Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

13.

EQ3 Findings

Learning (continuation)

Key lessons Learned

To sustain engagement and continue pilot experimentation in 3 governorates, deeper engagement and follow up is required at the local level: In governorates and municipalities, the challenge will be to maintain the GOJ's buy-in so that staff would remain committed to participation. For that to happen, beneficiaries will need to have a more holistic understanding of the strategic planning process and their role in it. Another key challenge will be to manage the expectations of local government structures about the benefits that this program is likely to generate. If these expectations are not managed, the program may experience push back from governorate or municipal leadership.In the same vein, the need for a closer working relationship and engagement with University of Jordan stakeholders is advisable to ensure the academic program DLDSP is planning with the University of Jordan achieves its goals.

The program's experiential learning approach to capacity building is more robust and effective at the central level: The program's approach of relying on integrative hands-on learning that allows staff to adapt what they have learned in practice has been found effective by beneficiaries especially at MOI. Engagement at local level with beneficiaries is comparatively weaker and can be deepened to ensure learning is institutionalized and system is in place to monitor and evaluate performance based on new learning. This engagement can be enhanced with clear role delineation, increased transparency especially in selecting beneficiaries and communication throughout the various stages of each program phase, including design, implementation and monitoring. Further, capacity building must be accompanied by an effective transfer of responsibilities and resources to local government and performance should be evaluated to ensure capacity building is in effect enhancing performance. Incentive systems that reward good performance are also needed. Support for evidence-based interventions is evident in the program. Studies, reports, public information products and lessons learned events held at the end of each phase to reflect on experiences have helped the program to capture good practices and develop a repository of information on which future program successes can be built. Promoting the dissemination of this knowledge and an uptake of captured lessons especially among donors and government stakeholders will enhance their utility for the benefit of the program and its intended beneficiaries. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Sustainability Civic Engagement Local Governance Knowledge management Ownership Partnership Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening

14.

EQ3 Findings

Learning (continuation)

Key lessons Learned

Donor coordination requires government leadership: Coordination is still weak and significant overlap in programming exists. The lack of an overall strategy for a national reform process whose vision remains oblique is seeing donors gravitate towards their own programmatic experimentation at the local level. The government should be aware that this could very well engender disjointed interventions that can work against local development and will be difficult to unify and mainstream. As one respondent said, “There is so much money going around. If government comes up with a national program and donors are willing to realign their programs with policy, then that would be good. If government is not willing, then that is more difficult because donors should act within the context that the government sets up. There has to be a national owner for this experimentation.Further, the practical application and experimentation of decentralisation schemes the program has adopted as a mean to unleash the potential for local development, improve public services, and generally ensure effectiveness of new processes or methodologies before they are nationally mainstreamed requires closer follow through and a government interlocutor willing to accept experimentation and is able to mainstream reforms when they prove effective.


Tag: Efficiency Impact Gender Mainstreaming Local Governance Donor relations Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Coordination

Recommendations
1

Recognize that government demand for the program’s support could be subject to unexpected change in directions and that a demand driven approach could engender scope creep. In this vein, continue to seek the government’s endorsement of an overall decentralisation strategy in addition to a clear division of roles with other donors working in the same space.

2

In terms of the program’s organization and structure, its overreliance on short-term consultants will need to be offsetted by the recruitment of long-term staff. Consider therefore expanding the program team to ensure interventions are adequately supported and their impact is sustained.

3

If the program is to continue activities under Result 1 and support the national dialogue, carry out a political economy analysis (PEA) to cultivate a clearer understanding of the prevailing political and economic processes in Jordan; specifically, the relationships, incentives and contestation of power between the different stakeholders.  This would help situate the program’s interventions within a clearer understanding of contextual limitations and what is politically feasible within this context. It would also help the program set more realistic expectations of what outcomes can be secured, over what timescale and the risks involved. One direct outcome of this exercise would be to unpack the nature and limits of the existing political will for decentralisation reform.

4

Ensure program support for the national dialogue secures leverage to affect policy and cultivates political buy-in with MOPPA and other government stakeholders.

5

Ensure technical assistance provided by UNDP is clearly “visible” as a program differentiator.

6

Continue to seek direct association with the Prime Ministry and ensure that all support is demand driven either by responding to government direct request for assistance or generating demand through awareness raising. In both cases, DLDSP should ensure a clear commitment from government to utilize, adopt and if applicable mainstream the generated products. Relatedly, consider developing dissemination and utilization plans for technical deliverables that GOJ would be asked to sign off on from the start.

7

In working on legislative reform, widen the focus of the program beyond MOI and reach out to MOPPA, the ministry with the current mandate to support legislative reform.

8
  1. Because the evidence revealed that some interventions have not as yet generated impact, and the program in general has little leverage to reorient policy, a more realistic adaptation would see more focus on ensuring the depth, instead of breadth, of interventions. Accordingly, use the time remaining for the program to:
    1. Deepen engagement of governorate staff and ensure ownership of strategic planning and PEM processes;
    2. “Encourage contagion” of best practices and lessons learned from pilot governorate interventions to bring effective practices into other governorates;
    3. Continue the process of institutional building of the MOI LDD to help it implement the new laws; and
    4. Support the academic component through direct and close engagement with the University of Jordan.
9

Considering decentralisation in Jordan is largely a political process and awareness of what it entails and how to operationalize is weak even among key stakeholders, cultivate demand for studies/reports akin to the scoping mission report the program produced earlier to clarify the decentralisation-development nexus in support of local development. Such analysis would elucidate the effects of decentralisation on government responsiveness and poverty-orientation, exploring how investments and resources may shift in favour of marginalized communities, and what political gains and losses may result from this process.

10

To promote sustainability and deepen programmatic impact, catalyse opportunities to promote the work DLDSP is undertaking including the dissemination of narratives of successful activities to spread best practices and lessons learned beyond the program’s immediate circle of implementation. This can increase the program’s visibility and contribute to its donors’ coordination efforts.

11

Ensure that selected indicators the governorates develop are manageable and that updating them will not prove too cumbersome for resource stripped local level structures. Further, ensure participants have a clear and holistic understanding of the process and develop sufficient ownership of it. Also, ensure they understand the program’s results chain and its intended impact.

12

Ensure that communication and feedback channels in governorates (and partner ministries) is a key component of implementation. Perceptions of beneficiaries and stakeholders can be detrimental to programming and results.

13

Ensure M&E framework design clearly articulates hierarchy of objectives and includes carefully selected SMART indicators.  In this vein, strengthen indicators to better capture program’s efforts and measure progress, and plan appropriate MEL activities to monitor and evaluate results, and capture learning.  In addition, consider adding to a main team member a more pronounced monitoring, evaluation and learning function.

14

Consider working more closely with the University of Jordan and ensure university interlocutors understand the program results chain and intended impact.

1. Recommendation:

Recognize that government demand for the program’s support could be subject to unexpected change in directions and that a demand driven approach could engender scope creep. In this vein, continue to seek the government’s endorsement of an overall decentralisation strategy in addition to a clear division of roles with other donors working in the same space.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP Jordan accepts this recommendation, and has already identified the relevance of potential risks of “political situation changes” and “limited commitment and political will by the members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee or disagreements regarding their respective roles in the process” as part of a Risk Management Matrix approach, as shown in the DLDSP Quarterly Report for Q4/2018. A number of mitigating measures have consequently been taken, including that UNDP has maintained close and regular contacts with all relevant actors, especially the MOI, MOMA and MOPPA, as well as closer engagement with the IMC, the EUDEL and other national and international stakeholders in order to decide on any adjustments needed in case of political or institutional changes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continuously monitor the situation and maintain close contacts with the government and decide timely adjustments if required
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/31]
UNDP 2020/12 Completed the support is going to be extended through a second phase of the project History
2. Recommendation:

In terms of the program’s organization and structure, its overreliance on short-term consultants will need to be offsetted by the recruitment of long-term staff. Consider therefore expanding the program team to ensure interventions are adequately supported and their impact is sustained.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP would generally agree with recommendation that recruiting more long-term staff would enable better support for the Programme’s interventions and contribute to sustainability of its impact; however, DLDSP and UNDP have budgetary restrictions that limit their ability to recruit longer-term staff. Mitigating solutions have been identified, such as the contracting of a longer-term Research and Reporting Specialist Consultant to support programme structure and organization through reporting, coordination and knowledge management. In addition, UNDP will contract additional technical experts in the fields of development of integrated territorial planning processes and capacity building and local engagement with long-term contracts in case the Programme is extended.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Contract Research and Reporting Officer
[Added: 2019/03/24]
UNDP Project Officer 2019/02 Completed
Contract long term technical experts in the fields of a) development of integrated territorial planning processes and b) capacity building and local engagement
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/31]
UNDP "Project Officer" 2020/12 Completed an integrated planning process has been developed; and local engagement has been increased History
3. Recommendation:

If the program is to continue activities under Result 1 and support the national dialogue, carry out a political economy analysis (PEA) to cultivate a clearer understanding of the prevailing political and economic processes in Jordan; specifically, the relationships, incentives and contestation of power between the different stakeholders.  This would help situate the program’s interventions within a clearer understanding of contextual limitations and what is politically feasible within this context. It would also help the program set more realistic expectations of what outcomes can be secured, over what timescale and the risks involved. One direct outcome of this exercise would be to unpack the nature and limits of the existing political will for decentralisation reform.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

If the program is to continue activities under Result 1 and support the national dialogue, carry out a political economy analysis (PEA) to cultivate a clearer understanding of the prevailing political and economic processes in Jordan; specifically, the relationships, incentives and contestation of power between the different stakeholders.  This would help situate the program’s interventions within a clearer understanding of contextual limitations and what is politically feasible within this context. It would also help the program set more realistic expectations of what outcomes can be secured, over what timescale and the risks involved. One direct outcome of this exercise would be to unpack the nature and limits of the existing political will for decentralisation reform.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a note for supporting the National Dialogue on Decentralization including policy options for the decentralization way forward
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/31]
Project experts on Decentralisation 2020/12 Completed a second phase is starting in 2021 History
4. Recommendation:

Ensure program support for the national dialogue secures leverage to affect policy and cultivates political buy-in with MOPPA and other government stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP agrees to work on this recommendation. The DLDSP is closely working with governmental stakeholders in identifying the lead actor of the National Dialogue on Decentralization. As noted in the Management Response to Recommendation 3 above, UNDP has an active role in supporting ESC in drafting policy paper on the National Dialogue and thus leveraging the future direction of the decentralisation process from both a political and technical perspective

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Engagement in the national dialogue process demonstrated
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/31]
UNDP and Experts on Decentralisation 2020/12 Completed several online engagements have been conducted covering this area History
5. Recommendation:

Ensure technical assistance provided by UNDP is clearly “visible” as a program differentiator.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP has taken several actions aimed at ensuring that the DLDSP  achievements and its donor’s contributions are adequately disseminated. DLDSP’s Communication & Visibility Plan was drafted in June 2018 to reinforce the Programme’s mission and strategic vision throughout and beyond the project life. The Plan seeks to a) showcase the DLDSP as a successful mechanism for the GoJ in the implementation of its Decentralization policy and related national priorities; b) achieve a better understanding among the different stakeholders of the decentralization process and its implementation framework; c) Support full understanding of the role of citizens and civil society in the decentralization process among the governorate-based structures and municipalities; d) provide acknowledgement and recognition of donor support and agency engagement. The Communication and Visibility Plan takes into account EU’s Communication and Visibility Requirements for implementing partners.

A Communication consultant and a Research and Reporting Specialist have been contracted to strengthen Programme’s outreach and visibility, in particular by drafting and circulating monthly reports to the stakeholders, organizing visibility events and increasing DLDSP’s presence in the social and traditional media.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Circulate monthly reports to the stakeholders, organize visibility events (TOT graduation ceremony, signing of MoU between University of Jordan, the Hague Academy and MoI, launch of the Tanmiah tool)
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Research and Reporting Specialist and Communication consultant . 2020/12 Completed DLDSP has produced and shared regular narrative and financial reports with the European Union Delegation in Jordan. Programme team has organised and widely circulated information on the following programmatic activities and events: - TOT graduation ceremony - MoU signing with MoI to develop and implement the MA programme on Local Administration and Development; as well as wide circulation of information on EU-funded scholarships for the MA programme - Session on Decentralisation process in Jordan (together with ESC) - Start of the MA degree event at the MoI - Launch of small grants programme with 12 CBOs - Intensive training course on Local Administration in cooperation with the Arab Development Organisation. History
6. Recommendation:

Continue to seek direct association with the Prime Ministry and ensure that all support is demand driven either by responding to government direct request for assistance or generating demand through awareness raising. In both cases, DLDSP should ensure a clear commitment from government to utilize, adopt and if applicable mainstream the generated products. Relatedly, consider developing dissemination and utilization plans for technical deliverables that GOJ would be asked to sign off on from the start.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP accepts this recommendation. As also noted in the Management Responses to Recommendations 3 and 5, UNDP is maintaining close contact with the government and is actively cooperating in identifying government’s needs within the decentralization process. The DLDSP experts on Decentralisation will expand the policy note “Supporting the National Dialogue on Decentralisation” that was drafted in January 2019 and will come to Jordan in April to help ESC finalize the approach to the National Dialogue on Decentralisation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize the visit of DLDSP experts on Decentralisation to Jordan and facilitate meetings with governmental stakeholders with a view of identifying the need for DLDSP to draft document on decentralization reform’s policy options and clear role in supporting the GoJ
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/31]
Project Experts on Decentralisation 2020/12 Completed a project document has been drafted; taking the needs of the government stakeholders History
7. Recommendation:

In working on legislative reform, widen the focus of the program beyond MOI and reach out to MOPPA, the ministry with the current mandate to support legislative reform.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP takes note of this recommendation and confirms action has been taken in establishing closer relations with MOPPA through regular meetings and through the DLDSP liaison officer based in MOPPA.  A key component of the DLDSP is focused on providing support to legislative reform and, as noted above in relation to Recommendation 3, DLDSP is supporting the National Dialogue on Decentralization, and based on the outcome, will be in position to better adjust to institutional rearrangements on legislative reform and the roles of different entities

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Depending on the selection of the policy options and which track to take, the DLDSP will expand engagement on the legislative reforms
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
UNDP and Project experts 2020/12 Completed UNDP through the DLDSP has supported the Economic and Social Council in carrying out a National Dialogue on Decentralisation reforms. Programme team/ UNDP senior management positioned itself strategically to support the drafting of the reformed Decentralisation laws once the process is relaunched. History
8. Recommendation:
  1. Because the evidence revealed that some interventions have not as yet generated impact, and the program in general has little leverage to reorient policy, a more realistic adaptation would see more focus on ensuring the depth, instead of breadth, of interventions. Accordingly, use the time remaining for the program to:
    1. Deepen engagement of governorate staff and ensure ownership of strategic planning and PEM processes;
    2. “Encourage contagion” of best practices and lessons learned from pilot governorate interventions to bring effective practices into other governorates;
    3. Continue the process of institutional building of the MOI LDD to help it implement the new laws; and
    4. Support the academic component through direct and close engagement with the University of Jordan.
Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP is pleased to note that the Annual Working Plan for 2019 fully captures and is in line with the recommendations listed above. In particular, the Annual Work Plan envisages a range of actions: (a) Develop multi- partner action plans to support the development of the local government system (b1) Develop three Governorates Development Reports for the Aqaba, Irbid and Balqa (b2) Develop and deploy the socio- economic data at the governorate and municipal levels (Tanmiah tool) (c) Capture and document best practices in monthly and final reports and showcase success stories with donors and governmental stakeholders (d) Establish and sign MoUs between University of Jordan and the Hague Academy to design and start a university programme on Local Development

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop multi- partner action plans to support the development of the local government system
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Decentralization & Local Governance Specialist 2020/12 Completed Under the request of Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, DLDSP mapped the interventions by UN Agencies and development partners in support of decentralization and the subnational system in 2017 and 2019. The information generated through this mapping was used by the Ministries of Interior and Local Administration to develop a multi-partner action plan in support of a systematic process of application of the Decentralization and Municipalities Laws and the broader development of the subnational system. History
Develop three Governorates Development Reports for the Aqaba, Irbid and Balqa
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Decentralization & Local Governance Specialist 2020/12 Completed Taking stock of information gathered through the socio-economic and services database’s indicators, the project supported the Governorates of Aqaba, Balqa and Irbid in drafting the first of their kind governorate development reports. The strategic and analytical documents provide an assessment of the existing level of development in the area and serve as a foundation for the follow-up phases of planning and budgeting activities. History
Develop and deploy the socio- economic data at the governorate and municipal levels (Tanmiah tool)
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Officer 2020/12 Completed The first of its kind in Jordan, a local level database comprising 420 socio-economic and municipal services indicators in three pilot governorates and eight municipalities was developed. The new system enhances and facilitates local data gathering and sharing and enables knowledge-based planning and decision making on a local level. History
Capture and document best practices in monthly and final reports and showcase success stories with donors and governmental stakeholders
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/12 Completed DLDSP has produced and shared regular narrative and financial reports with the European Union Delegation in Jordan History
Establish and sign MoUs between University of Jordan and the Hague Academy to design and start a university programme on Local Development.
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Officer UNDP 2020/12 Completed On the 3rd of July, under the patronage of the Minister of Interior H.E. Salamah Hammad Al- Sahaim, UNDP, the Ministry of Interior and the University of Jordan held a launching ceremony of the Jordan University Programme. During the ceremony, H.E Minister of Interior, President of the University of Jordan and UNDP representative signed two memoranda of understanding. History
9. Recommendation:

Considering decentralisation in Jordan is largely a political process and awareness of what it entails and how to operationalize is weak even among key stakeholders, cultivate demand for studies/reports akin to the scoping mission report the program produced earlier to clarify the decentralisation-development nexus in support of local development. Such analysis would elucidate the effects of decentralisation on government responsiveness and poverty-orientation, exploring how investments and resources may shift in favour of marginalized communities, and what political gains and losses may result from this process.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP agrees with the above recommendation. One of the central goals of DLDSP’s Communication & Visibility Plan is to achieve a better understanding among the different stakeholders of the decentralization process and its implementation framework and raise awareness across national institutions regarding the importance of opening the decision-making spaces to the participation of citizens.

DLDSP is working with King Hussain Foundation on the CBOs Capacity Building project through which 14 selected CBOs will receive training based on the capacity development needs assessment and graduated CBOs will be eligible to participate in the grants programme aimed to support their initiatives. This is expected to enhance the role of CBOs in local development through their engagement and the participation in decision-making process on the local administration and improvement of service delivery leading to the enhancement of local economy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1 Organize the visit of DLDSP experts on Decentralisation to Jordan and facilitate meetings with governmental stakeholders with a view of identifying the need for DLDSP to draft document on decentralization reform’s policy options
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Experts on Decentralisation 2020/12 Completed DLDSP experts on Decentralisation, L. Romeo and M. Mensi visited Jordan in April 2019 and met with several stakeholders involved in the Decentralisation process. Based on their meetings, UNDP/DLDSP developed a Policy Note on the Decentralisation Dialogue (April 2019) and together with the Economic and Social Council, organised a session on the decentralisation process in Jordan. UNDP has also repeatedly engaged the Minister of Local Administration with assurances of its readiness to support the drafting of reformed Decentralisation laws. History
Develop the CBOs/ NGOs comprehensive component including the tools and mechanism to monitor and follow up the impact of the decentralization on the local development, especially the LED and improving service delivery programmes (accessibility and quality)
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Officer 2020/12 Completed DLDSP signed a cooperation agreement with KHF to carry out a project with an aim of increasing citizens’ participation in local development decision making in the pilot municipalities of Aqaba, Balqa and Irbid. The project encourages experimentation of new forms of community organisations and local authorities in municipalities and governorates in order to create enabling environment for the improvement of services. The project promoted the creation of CBOs’ capacities to lobby and negotiate at communities’ level. 14 local community-based organisations received training and grants to implement mission-based initiatives aimed at enhancing local services and strengthen the relationship between the community and the government. Nine projects were designed through consultations with local communities focusing on women’s empowerment, education and health services in their respective municipalities. History
10. Recommendation:

To promote sustainability and deepen programmatic impact, catalyse opportunities to promote the work DLDSP is undertaking including the dissemination of narratives of successful activities to spread best practices and lessons learned beyond the program’s immediate circle of implementation. This can increase the program’s visibility and contribute to its donors’ coordination efforts.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

As noted above in relation to Recommendation 3 and 5, DLDSP has contracted Research and Reporting Specialist to strengthen Programme’s outreach and visibility, which includes documenting and circulating DLDSP’s success stories. A stakeholder meeting is planned in April 2019 to provide update on DLDSP’s work.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Draft a paper making recommendations on method and content of the National Dialogue on Decentralization
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Project Experts 2019/02 Completed
Circulate monthly reports to the stakeholders.
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/12 Completed DLDSP has produced and shared regular monthly and quarterly narrative and financial reports, including the final report, as well as responded to ad-hoc requests for information by the European Union Delegation in Jordan. DLDSP provided information on its activities and achievements through UNDP Governance pillar bi-monthly newsletter circulated to a wide array of national and international stakeholders. History
UNDP will organize a donor/ stakeholders meeting to provide an update on DLDSP’s work
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Whole Project team and UNDP 2020/12 Completed Due to Covid-19 restrictions and ramifications, most of the communication with the donor and stakeholders were held remotely. History
11. Recommendation:

Ensure that selected indicators the governorates develop are manageable and that updating them will not prove too cumbersome for resource stripped local level structures. Further, ensure participants have a clear and holistic understanding of the process and develop sufficient ownership of it. Also, ensure they understand the program’s results chain and its intended impact.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP takes note of this recommendation and is pleased to confirm specific measures are in place to ensure local officials receive necessary training on the process of gathering and verifying data for socio-economic indicators.

In February 2019, the first version of socio-economic database for the three governorates (Aqaba, Balqaa and Irbid) has been established. New team of specialists in statistics have joined the DLDSP and initiated their work to improve and refine the newly established socio-economic databases within the three selected governorates. 

DLDSP’s specialists will work on validating and refining the socio-economic database in close coordination with all sectors in the three-targeted governorates and integrating them to TANMIAH planning tool.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide technical Assistance and on-job training to develop institutional capacities on territorial planning
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Decentralization & Local Governance Specialist 2020/12 Completed DLDSP conducted three main workshops during July – September 2019 in the pilot governorates, Al-Aqaba (29 -31 July), Irbid (9-12 September) and Abalqa (22-24 September). The main goal of these workshops was to present to the planning committee at the governorate level the Development Report and its results per each sector (20 sectors). It was agreed with the governors that The sectoral directorates at the governorate level will be responsible for updating the socio-economic database and drafting/updating the report content per each sector accordingly on annual basis (every year during Jan -March). The LDDs will provide the needed Technical support throughout the process under the overall guidance and supervision of the Governor and the planning committee. A total of 893 individual trainings on budgeting, local expenditure management, data collection, reporting, IT systems, strategic planning, community engagement, fiscal decentralisation, territorial planning were delivered to the staff of Local Development teams in pilot governorates and municipalities, and Ministries of Interior, Local Administration and Finance, throughout a lifetime of DLDSP. History
Launch the TANMIAH planning tool at the local level (3 governorates and 8 municipalities)
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Manager 2020/12 Completed With a view of strengthening local planning and project implementation, an IT system “Tanmiah” was developed and operationalized in three pilot governorates, while the Project Management System is functioning in all twelve governorates of Jordan. The Minister of Interior approved the system and instructed governors to utilize it in their planning, coordination and project implementation processes. History
12. Recommendation:

Ensure that communication and feedback channels in governorates (and partner ministries) is a key component of implementation. Perceptions of beneficiaries and stakeholders can be detrimental to programming and results.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP fully agrees that adequate communication is critical in measuring the quality and impact of DLDSP’s interventions. Implementing partners and experts have regularly gathered beneficiaries’ feedback in 2018-2019 through questionnaires and surveys.  DLDSP will continue to capture feedback where possible within programmes interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Liaise with experts to ensure that questionnaires are distributed to stakeholders and beneficiaries; include the results in monthly reports
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/12 Completed Questionnaires were developed and completed by the beneficiaries of Citizen Participation, MA in Local Development and Administration and ARADO programmes and training sessions. History
Liaise with experts to ensure that questionnaires are distributed to stakeholders and beneficiaries; include the results in monthly reports
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Research and Reporting officer 2020/12 Completed Questionnaires were developed and completed by the beneficiaries of Citizen Participation, MA in Local Development and Administration and ARADO programmes and training sessions. History
13. Recommendation:

Ensure M&E framework design clearly articulates hierarchy of objectives and includes carefully selected SMART indicators.  In this vein, strengthen indicators to better capture program’s efforts and measure progress, and plan appropriate MEL activities to monitor and evaluate results, and capture learning.  In addition, consider adding to a main team member a more pronounced monitoring, evaluation and learning function.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

As set out in the Programme Monitoring Framework of DLDSP Project Document, the M&E framework is designed and utilized to track the, process, assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation on a quarterly basis. The system of quarterly narrative progress reports has been complemented by Annual Report 2018, which reflects on broader progress towards objectives using a self-evaluation approach. As noted above, DLDSP contracted Research and Reporting Specialist to support the establishment of monthly reporting and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at all the implementation levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop monthly reports
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/12 Completed DLDSP has produced and shared regular monthly and quarterly narrative and financial reports, including the final report, as well as responded to ad-hoc requests for information by the European Union Delegation in Jordan. DLDSP provided information on its activities and achievements through UNDP Governance pillar bi-monthly newsletter circulated to a wide array of national and international stakeholders. History
Contract Research and Reporting Officer
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Manager 2020/12 Completed DLDSP has contracted Research and Reporting Officer until the end of the Programme in June 2020 History
14. Recommendation:

Consider working more closely with the University of Jordan and ensure university interlocutors understand the program results chain and intended impact.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

UNDP is pleased to note that University of Jordan and DLDSP’s proposed master and higher certificate degree programmes were accredited by the Jordanian Accreditation Bureau. DLDSP liaised with the Head of the Public Administration Section at the Faculty of Business of the University of Jordan to agree on the pool of professors who will cooperate with the European professors from the University of Florence, the University of Groningen, and The Hague Academy for Local Governance in developing the curriculum of both the master and higher diploma degree programmes on Local Administration and Local Development.

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between MoI, UoJ and The Hague Academy is planned for the first part of April, followed by further stages of training of academic staff, selection of scholarship recipients and start of programmes in September 2019.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish and sign MoUs between University of Jordan and the Hague Academy to design and start a university programme on Local Development.
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/27]
Project Manager 2020/12 Completed On the 3rd of July 2019, under the patronage of the Minister of Interior H.E. Salamah Hammad Al- Sahaim, UNDP the Ministry of Interior and the University of Jordan held a launching ceremony of the Jordan University Programme. During the ceremony, H.E Minister of Interior, President of the University of Jordan and UNDP representative signed two memoranda of understanding. Subsequently, in partnership with Jordanian and European academic partners, a master’s degree in Local Development and Administration was accredited and launched. Two cohorts of European Union-funded scholarship recipients were enrolled, making a total number of 66 fully funded students pursuing the programme as of January 2021. History
Organize ToT sessions and curriculum development by Jordanian and international professors through Skype meetings and email communication and agree on the dates of TOT session at Jordan University.
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2019/11/11]
Project Officer 2019/10 Completed the training of trainers sessions have been conducted History
Liaise with the management of the University of Jordan on the accreditation process of both Master and Diploma courses.
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2019/09/01]
Project Officer 2019/07 Completed the courses are accredited and open for admission. History
Liaise with the management of the University of Jordan on the accreditation process of both Master and Diploma courses.
[Added: 2019/03/24] [Last Updated: 2019/09/01]
Project Officer 2019/06 Completed the courses are accredited and open for admission. History

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