Fiji Parliament Support Project – Phase 2 evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2021
Completion Date:
11/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Fiji Parliament Support Project – Phase 2 evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00097051
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2021
Planned End Date: 11/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Governance
  • 2. Others
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
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: UNDP
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
David Elder Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Fiji Parliament, Donors of the Project (Australia, New Zealand) and Members of Parliament, Japan
Countries: FIJI
Comments:

Fiji Parliament Support Project Phase 2 project has been extended till December 2021 and as such board has decided to start evaluation in September 2021 and evaluation will be ready in November 2021 as confirmed by project team.

 

 

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The primary recommendation of the evaluation team is for the continuation of a dedicated parliamentary strengthening project in Fiji. This is required to help the parliament reach its potential and build on successes in phases I and II. It is still a period of democratic consolidation and dedicated support to institutional strengthening is essential.

2

Assessing committee mandates and powers to seek opportunities to better use existing procedures or seek reform.

3

Develop the means to provide refresher training on core functions of parliament and around certain key areas such as SDGs, gender equality, human rights and disability. In addition, support follow up sessions to international engagement of MPs to ensure that the lessons learnt are disseminated and investments by the project are sustained. This can leverage ICT development in providing online and self-paced learning, also contributing to sustainability of capacity development

4

Provide skills training to MPs in areas of speech writing and public speaking combined with strengthening the provision of research support and subject-matter briefings to help improve the quality of debate in the chamber and strengthen MPs’ ability to scrutinize public policy, including in a committee context

5

Consolidate procedure and practice knowledge both for MPs and parliamentary staff with further recording and documentation of current practices, for example with the development of a procedural database and the preparation of best practice ‘how to guides’ for MPs on matters such as questions and motions

6

Further document the successes of the FBO and seek to deepen mentoring relationships with twin parliaments in the next phase of support. Consider expansion of a similar model into different service areas, such as legislative drafting; research; library services; and around knowledge and skills to conduct committee inquiries

7

Focus outreach and public engagement support around committees, including supporting committee hearings outside parliament and visits to more remote areas of Fiji. This can strengthen sustainability outcomes in this area and help committees to better address different policy areas and cross-cutting issues, as well as helping to better engage harder-to-reach communities and different ethnic groups.

8

Enhance the provision of outreach and civic engagement through ICT and social media, leveraging investments in ICT during the COVID-19 pandemic and building on the successful work with the Ministry of Education on parliamentary education.

9

Seek a renewed focus on engagement between the executive and parliament. This can include examining issues on which parliamentary committees could trial inquiry processes, engaging UN agencies or UNDP projects working with Ministries to help build support from both sides; support to government to brief on public policy; and a renewal of training for civil servants on the role and function of parliament, provided in conjunction with other UN Agencies/project partners

10

Expose the business committee of the Parliament to other practices for the determination of the business of the House, including the role that parliamentary staff play in those processes

11

Encourage a dialogue on better practices around the ongoing review of standing orders by the Standing Orders committee by sensitizing to better international practices, such as in the New Zealand, Australian and other Westminster parliaments

1. Recommendation:

The primary recommendation of the evaluation team is for the continuation of a dedicated parliamentary strengthening project in Fiji. This is required to help the parliament reach its potential and build on successes in phases I and II. It is still a period of democratic consolidation and dedicated support to institutional strengthening is essential.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Findings from the Phase 2 evaluation has been formulated into the Phase 3 design. Phase 3 Project has been signed as of February 2022 and 60% of resources mobilized.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Recap of evaluation findings discussed in: o Final Phase 2 Board Meeting
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2021/11 Completed
New project designed and developed
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2021/12 Completed Phase-3 Programme was developed and LPACed in October 2021
2. Recommendation:

Assessing committee mandates and powers to seek opportunities to better use existing procedures or seek reform.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Reform processes are embedded under Output 1 – Open Parliament Initiative and Output 3 – Strategic Planning and Change Management Process
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Activities under Open Parliament Initiative are being formulated whilst for Output 3 – it is appropriate that for the new term of Parliament to commence before activities can be planned.
3. Recommendation:

Develop the means to provide refresher training on core functions of parliament and around certain key areas such as SDGs, gender equality, human rights and disability. In addition, support follow up sessions to international engagement of MPs to ensure that the lessons learnt are disseminated and investments by the project are sustained. This can leverage ICT development in providing online and self-paced learning, also contributing to sustainability of capacity development

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Activities factored under Output 2 - Activity 1: Support the development of routine monitoring by standing committees of Government action and expenditure including NDP and SDGs commitments and the reports of the Auditor General
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/11 Initiated Activities are being formulated.
4. Recommendation:

Provide skills training to MPs in areas of speech writing and public speaking combined with strengthening the provision of research support and subject-matter briefings to help improve the quality of debate in the chamber and strengthen MPs’ ability to scrutinize public policy, including in a committee context

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Training to MPs will be carried out in 2 phases; Phase I will be a one off Induction to be carried out in late 2022 or early 2023. The more structured trainings will be carried out using a combination of consultants and academia
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Will be addressed when the new Parliament convenes
5. Recommendation:

Consolidate procedure and practice knowledge both for MPs and parliamentary staff with further recording and documentation of current practices, for example with the development of a procedural database and the preparation of best practice ‘how to guides’ for MPs on matters such as questions and motions

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Under Output 1, Parliament is also look at automation of processes and a RFQ Tender will be called out soon
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated RFQ to be developed in consultation with Parliament IT Team
6. Recommendation:

Further document the successes of the FBO and seek to deepen mentoring relationships with twin parliaments in the next phase of support. Consider expansion of a similar model into different service areas, such as legislative drafting; research; library services; and around knowledge and skills to conduct committee inquiries

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
FBO related activities are included under Outputs 1 and 2, with a specific focus on CSO engagement. This will also be expanded to include other areas which the CSOs would think they need upgrading of skills to deepen their engagement with Parliament
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Initial preparatory activities have commenced with a more detailed concept note to be defined in QTR-2, 2022
7. Recommendation:

Focus outreach and public engagement support around committees, including supporting committee hearings outside parliament and visits to more remote areas of Fiji. This can strengthen sustainability outcomes in this area and help committees to better address different policy areas and cross-cutting issues, as well as helping to better engage harder-to-reach communities and different ethnic groups.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Output 1 which will entail training and capacity building of CSOs before they can be trained to make submissions to Parliament Committees
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Concept note to kick start CSO activities under formulation.
8. Recommendation:

Enhance the provision of outreach and civic engagement through ICT and social media, leveraging investments in ICT during the COVID-19 pandemic and building on the successful work with the Ministry of Education on parliamentary education.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The first activity under Output 1 was conducted at the Pearl Resort from May 17 – 18. Amongst other things, workshop deliberated on CSO involvement on Parliament Outreach and Engagement strategy
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Effective Governance Workshop report being formulated.
9. Recommendation:

Seek a renewed focus on engagement between the executive and parliament. This can include examining issues on which parliamentary committees could trial inquiry processes, engaging UN agencies or UNDP projects working with Ministries to help build support from both sides; support to government to brief on public policy; and a renewal of training for civil servants on the role and function of parliament, provided in conjunction with other UN Agencies/project partners

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A key outcome of the afore mentioned workshop conducted in Pearl was the willingness of the Honorable Speaker to re-start the Civil Servants Brief. Work will commence on this in the second quarter
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Identify committee within Parliament and Civil Service to provide oversight and direction on this critical work
10. Recommendation:

Expose the business committee of the Parliament to other practices for the determination of the business of the House, including the role that parliamentary staff play in those processes

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To be addressed under Output 3 and more precisely once the new Parliament is sworn. A change management team comprising of the Government and Opposition Members will be selected to take this work forward
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated Activities intended for late 2023 or early 2024
11. Recommendation:

Encourage a dialogue on better practices around the ongoing review of standing orders by the Standing Orders committee by sensitizing to better international practices, such as in the New Zealand, Australian and other Westminster parliaments

Management Response: [Added: 2022/05/26]

Fully Accepted. Recommendation factored in Phase 3 Project document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This activity will be managed by the afore mentioned change management committee once it is approved and operational with the new Parliament
[Added: 2022/05/26]
Effective Governance 2022/12 Initiated History

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