Decentralization & Local Development Support Mid term

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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: 104537
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2019
Planned End Date: 01/2019
Management Response: Yes
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
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
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
UNDP 2020/05 Not Initiated Steps will be demonstrated in DLDSP project reports.
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
UNDP "Project Officer" 2019/12 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Project experts on Decentralisation 2019/12 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
UNDP and Experts on Decentralisation 2019/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

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

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/13] [Last Updated: 2019/04/02]

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]
Project Research and Reporting Specialist and Communication consultant . 2020/03 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Project Experts on Decentralisation 2020/12 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
UNDP and Project experts 2019/12 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Decentralization & Local Governance Specialist 2019/12 Initiated
Develop three Governorates Development Reports for the Aqaba, Irbid and Balqa
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Decentralization & Local Governance Specialist 2020/04 Initiated
Develop and deploy the socio- economic data at the governorate and municipal levels (Tanmiah tool)
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Project Officer 2020/05 Initiated
Capture and document best practices in monthly and final reports and showcase success stories with donors and governmental stakeholders
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/06 Initiated 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]
Project Officer UNDP 2020/03 Initiated 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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Experts on Decentralisation 2020/03 Initiated
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]
Project Officer 2019/11 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/05 Initiated
3 UNDP will organize a donor/ stakeholders meeting to provide an update on DLDSP’s work
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Whole Project team and UNDP 2020/05 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Decentralization & Local Governance Specialist 2019/12 Initiated
Launch the TANMIAH planning tool at the local level (3 governorates and 8 municipalities)
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Project Manager 2020/04 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Research and Reporting Officer 2020/06 Initiated
Liaise with experts to ensure that questionnaires are distributed to stakeholders and beneficiaries; include the results in monthly reports
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Research and Reporting officer 2020/05 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Research and Reporting Officer 2019/12 Initiated
Contract Research and Reporting Officer
[Added: 2019/03/24]
Project Manager 2020/02 Initiated
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: 2019/04/02]

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]
Project Manager 2020/04 Initiated
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]
Project Officer 2019/10 Initiated
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: 2019/06/04]
Project Officer 2019/07 Initiated 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: 2019/04/30]
Project Officer 2019/06 Initiated History

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