Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Kuwait

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
ICPE/ADR
Planned End Date:
12/2017
Completion Date:
12/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
28,000

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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Kuwait
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2017
Planned End Date: 12/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
  • 2. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
  • 3. Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national
  • 4. Output 3.2. Functions, financing and capacity of sub-national level institutions enabled to deliver improved basic services and respond to priorities voiced by the public
Evaluation Budget(US $): 28,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Richard Jones Associate Evaluator
Deqa Ibrahim Musa Lead Evaluator
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: KUWAIT
Lessons
Findings
1.

Finding 1. Implementing partners and UNDP staff acknowledged the unlikelihood of achieving most anticipated results by the end of the programme cycle. A need for accelerated implementation processes was recognized. However, this may place further risks on projects and project managers as the focus will continue to be on activity implementation and financial disbursement at the expense of quality.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Relevance Public administration reform Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Ownership Policies & Procedures Procurement Project and Programme management Capacity Building Technology

2.

Finding 2. The current approach of the country programme in project/programme development, approval and implementation undertaken through a tripartite management structure is inefficient in implementation and decision-making and causes considerable delays. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Communication Policies & Procedures Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Inclusive economic growth Youth

3.

Finding 3. With many projects being finalized and approved only recently, and at the time of the evaluation just entering the recruitment stages for project managers/coordinators and technical experts, further delays were expected given past recruitment experience as projects struggle to attract appropriate staff. In addition, any recruitment will also require tripartite agreement and possibly further negotiations between all three parties.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Country Support Platform Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Policies & Procedures Private Sector

4.

Finding 4. Financial management issues within UNDP have recently come to light that will challenge the sustainability of the UNDP office in the future and have caused concerns from the Government of Kuwait in the use of their funds.


Tag: Efficiency Sustainability Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Operational Services

5.

Finding 5. Frequent turnover within government institutions was highlighted as impacting effectiveness and sustainability of UNDP-supported interventions.


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Human and Financial resources

6.

Finding 6. The evaluation found scope for UNDP to further leverage and expand the space and the role it occupies in Kuwait as the sole UN development agency in order to enhance its strategic relevance and effectiveness. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Strategic Positioning

7.

Finding 7. The country office required more support in adapting its programme approach to the net contributor country context.


Tag: Coherence Relevance Resource mobilization Human rights Implementation Modality Strategic Positioning Advocacy

8.

Finding 8. Notwithstanding the above challenges and constraints, stakeholders valued UNDP for its strong operational and delivery mechanisms, neutrality and ability to facilitate knowledge transfer and most indicated a willingness to work with UNDP again if the opportunity arose.


Tag: Efficiency Implementation Modality Knowledge management Operational Efficiency Partnership Policies & Procedures Operational Services

9.

Finding 9. UNDP’s engagement with civil society groups in the implementation of the country programme is on the decline as there is a move to institutionalize such efforts and partnerships within Government-affiliated agencies in the ongoing programme.


Tag: Coherence Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Partnership

Recommendations
1

The focus of UNDP support to the Government of Kuwait should be revisited to ensure engagement strategies that are sufficiently tailored to the net contributor context.

 

The draft UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 describes the range of development contexts UNDP works in and introduces a range of responses tailored to each context. UNDP offices in net contributor countries, including Kuwait should be able to seize this opportunity to initiate overdue adjustments to their programme approach. A change in approach and focus will need greater support and direction from UNDP corporate level which will encompass all net contributor countries. Future UNDP support to Kuwait should balance a project implementer or support role with policy advocacy and innovative support to address constraints and bottlenecks in Kuwait’s institutional environment which impede the full implementation of the national agenda. UNDP programmes have focused on providing short-term support to speed up the implementation of the national development plan but what is needed is long-term change. As implementation lessons and solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be found in other countries, UNDP should facilitate the transfer of this knowledge between countries. UNDP should also be able to support and further advance the Government of Kuwait in its role as global and regional advocate, leader and vanguard in many areas, such as humanitarian issues and regional diplomacy. As part of UNDP’s refocusing of its programming approach in Kuwait, UNDP Kuwait should consider rationalizing staff functions and skill sets vis-à-vis the needs of the programme. This too would require UNDP corporate level guidance. In the meantime, UNDP should consider extending the ongoing country programme to allow for delayed interventions to be implemented in full and with full consideration of the impact of interventions.

2

UNDP should provide more flexible programme/project implementation modalities to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. As part of this, UNDP should also be given greater freedom for decision-making, especially in areas for which UNDP has been engaged for its value-added, such as project management.

 

UNDP has a well proven programme and project management structure and system. However, one size does not fit all. There needs to be flexibility in terms of project design options and implementation modalities to suit different contexts to address the challenges highlighted in this report. The draft UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 recognizes the need for flexibility to enhance efficiency and this should provide the needed entry point. UNDP also needs to communicate better and familiarize government partners with its procedures. This would, for example, address standing grievances on recruitment and ATLAS external access module. On the other hand, the systems UNDP operates and its ability to recruit appropriate technical assistance are among the reasons UNDP has been trusted to manage government funds. Reporting structures should be established to allow oversight by the Government of Kuwait while leaving daily implementation decisions to UNDP.

3

UNDP should build on its previous support to and partner with CSOs and academic institutions, including the partnering of Kuwaiti agencies outside of the Government as implementing partners as well as beneficiaries.

UNDP has a convening role and can bring different actors to the table for the implementation of the SDGs. Civil society is a key actor in this regard and can play an important role in raising awareness of citizens through advocacy, dialogue and networking as well as mediating between citizens and governments. The country programme aims to promote dialogue and partnerships between the Government, civil society and the private sector and UNDP should continue to advocate with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development for continued engagement of CSOs in the design and implementation of the country programme. Several interventions, such as the development of the 2016 Kuwait Human Development Report, are planned to be implemented by UNDP with the support of external technical assistance. In order to enhance and build capacity within the country, UNDP should leverage existing resources within the country, partnering with local and regional agencies based in Kuwait. The preparation of the national human development report presents local research institutions with an opportunity for capacity-building.

1. Recommendation:

The focus of UNDP support to the Government of Kuwait should be revisited to ensure engagement strategies that are sufficiently tailored to the net contributor context.

 

The draft UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 describes the range of development contexts UNDP works in and introduces a range of responses tailored to each context. UNDP offices in net contributor countries, including Kuwait should be able to seize this opportunity to initiate overdue adjustments to their programme approach. A change in approach and focus will need greater support and direction from UNDP corporate level which will encompass all net contributor countries. Future UNDP support to Kuwait should balance a project implementer or support role with policy advocacy and innovative support to address constraints and bottlenecks in Kuwait’s institutional environment which impede the full implementation of the national agenda. UNDP programmes have focused on providing short-term support to speed up the implementation of the national development plan but what is needed is long-term change. As implementation lessons and solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be found in other countries, UNDP should facilitate the transfer of this knowledge between countries. UNDP should also be able to support and further advance the Government of Kuwait in its role as global and regional advocate, leader and vanguard in many areas, such as humanitarian issues and regional diplomacy. As part of UNDP’s refocusing of its programming approach in Kuwait, UNDP Kuwait should consider rationalizing staff functions and skill sets vis-à-vis the needs of the programme. This too would require UNDP corporate level guidance. In the meantime, UNDP should consider extending the ongoing country programme to allow for delayed interventions to be implemented in full and with full consideration of the impact of interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2020/06/12]

The CO is in consultations with the Government through the developement of the new CPD which will be aligned with the context and needs of Kuwait. It will be tailored to the needs of the country and as a net contributor.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct Consultations with the Government and UNDP to ensure the new CPD is tailored according to the government needs and tailored for the NCC Context
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
UNDP Programme 2019/12 Completed Done and New CPD was approved in Feb 2020 History
Develop new CPD inline with the government needs.
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
UNDP Programme 2019/12 Completed Done and new CPD was approved in Feb2020 History
Develop the Strategic partnership framework and ensure the new CPD is inlined with it.
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
UNDP Programme 2019/12 Completed Done and new CPD was approved in Feb 2020 History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should provide more flexible programme/project implementation modalities to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. As part of this, UNDP should also be given greater freedom for decision-making, especially in areas for which UNDP has been engaged for its value-added, such as project management.

 

UNDP has a well proven programme and project management structure and system. However, one size does not fit all. There needs to be flexibility in terms of project design options and implementation modalities to suit different contexts to address the challenges highlighted in this report. The draft UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 recognizes the need for flexibility to enhance efficiency and this should provide the needed entry point. UNDP also needs to communicate better and familiarize government partners with its procedures. This would, for example, address standing grievances on recruitment and ATLAS external access module. On the other hand, the systems UNDP operates and its ability to recruit appropriate technical assistance are among the reasons UNDP has been trusted to manage government funds. Reporting structures should be established to allow oversight by the Government of Kuwait while leaving daily implementation decisions to UNDP.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2020/06/12]

As part of the development of the new CPD, the CO plans to move from projectizing to programming, which would open an opportunity for the country office to discuss new partnership models with its key national stakeholders. The CO intends to improve its SOPs with the governement to enable a quicker and efficient delivery. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discuss new SOPs with government to ensure efficient stream lining procedures.
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
UNDP Management 2019/12 Completed UNDP rules and regulations will be used History
Develop and approve new streamlined SOPs with the government to ensure greater freedom and timely delivery
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
UNDP Management 2019/12 Completed UNDP Rules and Regulations will be used History
Develop a unified SOPs and agreements with the government for all UN agencies.
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
RC 2019/01 Completed Delinked from the RC Jan 2019 History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should build on its previous support to and partner with CSOs and academic institutions, including the partnering of Kuwaiti agencies outside of the Government as implementing partners as well as beneficiaries.

UNDP has a convening role and can bring different actors to the table for the implementation of the SDGs. Civil society is a key actor in this regard and can play an important role in raising awareness of citizens through advocacy, dialogue and networking as well as mediating between citizens and governments. The country programme aims to promote dialogue and partnerships between the Government, civil society and the private sector and UNDP should continue to advocate with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development for continued engagement of CSOs in the design and implementation of the country programme. Several interventions, such as the development of the 2016 Kuwait Human Development Report, are planned to be implemented by UNDP with the support of external technical assistance. In order to enhance and build capacity within the country, UNDP should leverage existing resources within the country, partnering with local and regional agencies based in Kuwait. The preparation of the national human development report presents local research institutions with an opportunity for capacity-building.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2020/06/12]

The UNDP CO is in current partnerships with CSOs such as KFAS, KISR while also engaging with you. The CO will continue to have round table discussions that will include different governement and none governement bodies. Projects such as the support to KPPC Project include the aspect of engaging with Civil organizations, the project will be expanded in the new CPD. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct round table discussions inclusive of CSOs, Government and other none- government bodies.
[Added: 2019/02/11] [Last Updated: 2020/02/13]
Project and Programme 2019/12 Completed New CPD was approved in Feb 2020 History

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