Terminal Evaluation of Peace Achitecture project

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Uganda
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
09/2018
Completion Date:
10/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of Peace Achitecture project
Atlas Project Number: 00092245,00070364
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Uganda
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2018
Planned End Date: 09/2018
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 $): 25,000
Source of Funding: UNDP TRAC
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,000
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
CLIFF BERNARD NUWAKORA Consultant cliff@caseconsultug.com UGANDA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government, CSOs and Private Sector
Countries: UGANDA
Lessons
1.

3.1 Lessons learnt

164. The use of existing structures in project implementation is associated with enormous efficiency gains. This is because the implementation of the peace architecture project did not suffer significant setbacks despite having a small (only project specific staff) implementation unit. Because of its successful integration in the existing structures and systems, the project was able to receive support from non-specific staff which reduced the overall project implementation cost in terms of management.

 

165. Effective stakeholder participation is key for project success and sustainability. It is learnt that the full involvement of the stakeholders facilitated quick buy-ins for the project that in turn facilitated commitments and smooth implementation. Therefore, once stakeholders are effectively and meaningfully involved at all stages of the project cycle, stakeholder ownership of the project is enhanced which stimulates contribution and sustainability.

 

166. Use of government structures is critical for securing government buy-in of the project which enhances sustainability. Government structures are often more trusted by government and any project that is mainstreamed in its structures is quickly supported. Through this project, the involvement of NCF; a constitutionally mandated political dialogue structure enabled the project to attract government support.

 

167. The Direct Implementation Modality is associated with significant efficiency and effectiveness gains as it facilitates faster project implementation processes. This is because it allows the project implementation to leverage the institutional strengthen of the financing agency in order to overcome the capacity gaps of the responsible parties. In this project, this financing modality sufficiently bridged institutional capacity gaps of responsible parties such as TEFU that did not have financial management systems that would support the accountability procedures of the financing agency.

 

168. the support of the media is critical in the successful and effective election management. This is because the media plays a critical role in agenda setting and dissemination of information to a multiplicity of electoral stakeholders in a timely manner. Having such a stakeholder with such a big following is advantageous in terms of cost effective information dissemination. It was reported that several media houses offered EC free airtime to sensitization the public on various electoral events and processes. It is position that the improved relations between the EC and the media helped the former to improve its public relations in 2016 general elections compared to the previous elections.

 

169. Religious fraternity provides an effective and efficient opportunity of disseminating information to the biggest population. Uganda being a highly religious country, the population that goes to places of worship on various days is big. Therefore, the information disseminated through religious networks at various levels reaches the biggest population cost effectively.

 

170. Successful conflict transformation strongly builds on objective research. Facts and evidence are the most significant building blocks of peaceful societies. Basing on the spirited commitment of IRCU in research and documentation and the results thereof, the role of evidence-based programming in peace and conflict transformation is uncontestable. This supports the design and implementation of most relevant interventions with the most appropriate stakeholders in the lead which lays a strong foundation for success.

 

171. Effective partnerships are critical in conflict transformation initiatives. It facilitates the aggregation of strengths and amplifies voice for common results. The partnership that was formed for pushing for the presidential debates demonstrates the best example.  The coming together of all the actors strengthened their voices and was able to win over all the other stakeholders to support the initiative.

 

172. The rising tensions and conflicts continue to call for sustained conflict resolution engagements at various levels. Much as substantial achievement towards peace and conflict transformation was supported by this project, it is apparent that a number of conflicts in all spheres of socio-economic and political organization remain unresolved. Therefore, continued engagements are necessary for the attainment of conflict free Uganda in the short, medium and long term.


2.

3.2 Lessons/Best practices

Through consultations and evaluators’ independent opinons based on the results presented above, a number of projects that consistent yield superior results were flagged as best practices as presented hereunder;

 

Direct Implementation Modality

173. Premised on the results and views of majority of the stakeholders, the adoption of DIM for this project was a well thought through decision given the efficiency and effectiveness gains it created. The modality enabled the project to tap into the vast technical expertise of UNDP in the areas of programming and financial management. The direct involvement of UNDP staff and systems enabled faster decision making especially regarding procurement which in turn favored faster activity implementation. Although some cases of delays were reported, there was general consensus among the stakeholder consulted that the DIM arrangement best suited the operational context that underpinned the project.

 

Political debates

174. According to several stakeholders, the political debates at different levels sowed seeds of change in the political landscape of the country from personality-based to issues-based politics. These debates provided the candidates with a joint platform for demsfying their political ideologies in relation to national development. The notion of bringing together candidates especially presidential on the same table to face the electorates was a significant step towards neutralizing hostilities towards each other based on personal sentiments. On the same presidential candidates’ table, commitments to ensuring a peaceful Uganda was secured from each candidate before the general population and it served as a social obligation and contract with the nation.

 

Partnerships

175. The partnerships that were created along the implementation process of the Peace Architecture project were instrumental in ensuring its success. Development partners under the leadership of UNDP smoothly collaborated in a way that enabled each to commit both financial resources and expertise for the success of the project. Besides, the partnership among the responsible parties was also significant in ensuring effective and efficient execution of the project activities. Joint activities were undertaken in a manner that promotes synergies and cost effectiveness. All these demonstrate that forging effective partnerships is instrumental for project success.

 

Volunteerism spirit among the peace actors

176. The IRCU regional peace and stability structures have displayed valuable volunteerism in the execution of their work. For example in Kasese, a member of the peace structure has resigned his office to concentrate on the work of peace building. Although apart from ARLPI was had various funders for their peace engagements, other regional peace structures did not have specific sources of funding, yet peace and conflict resolution work was going on. The volunteerism spirit is a strong foundation for the sustainability of the peace and conflict transformation engagements.

 

177. The creation of conflict prevention and mediation capacities has been the greatest achievement of the project. Spaces for dialogue have been created and/or revitalized with credible personalities to impactfully undertake dialogue for peace building and conflict transformation. It is therefore apparent that though not fully, the project has laid a strong foundation upon which the achievement of its aspirations on a continual basis hinge. The strong partnership and collaboration that was built especially during implementation is one major unintended result that is worth harnessing. A group of six organisations including IRCU, TEFU, WSR, IPOD, NCF and EC have continued to ride on the linkages established during the project to execute their current tasks especially towards the organization of National Dialogue.

 

178. Following the example set by the presidential debates, the concept of political debates by contestants has been adopted even at lower levels of political organization. It is apparent that once this spirit is maintained, there will be a shift in the politics of the country from personalities to issues. The coming together of political opponents on the same table to present their political proposals to the electorate is an indicator of political maturity and political tolerance which can rightly be attributed to the project though it was not enlisted among the intended project results.


Findings
1.

Relevance: The project was consistent with the national development priorities of the country as enshrined in NDP II and Vision 2040. Besides, the evaluation found satisfactory alignment between the project outcomes and ouputs with the strategic direction of both UNDP and the wider UN development framework as articulated in CDP and UNDAF (2016/20). UN agencies have successfully aligned their programmes to national development framework and to this extent therefore, their supported projects are obviously in tandem with the national development priorities.

There is a notable internal coherence as the project strategies and activities were appropriate in supporting the realization of the desired results. However, the evaluation noted some gaps in the results framework and they include;

  • The causal-effect relationship was not properly articulated in the project document to justify the project activities and strategies;
  • Performance targets were not clearly define using a SMART lens
  • The project time was short to allow the results of the project to settle.

 

 

Despite some gaps in the project design above, the project implementation arrangement was sound and it facilitated the achievement of enhanced results. In the first place, i)DIM was the most appropriate given the short project period vis-à-vis the bureaucracies in the public sector; ii) The project ably developed strong partnership which favoured experience sharing, networking and joint activity implementation; iii) levelaging the clout of the responsible parties given their mandate; iv) attaching experts to the responsible parties especially at EC.

 

The project well integrated gender with deliberate and sound strategies of involving women and youths in project implementation. Through the work of WSR, women and youths were accorded adequate platform to participate in national development especially during the elections.

 

Effectiveness: The project supported the development of impartial and neutral spaces for dialogue that ably facilitated a number of conflict resolution. The functionality of the Elder’s Forum was revitalised by addressing the key impediments that existed before. Furthermore, the visibility of NCF was strengthened through its increased engagements with key stakeholders that was supported by the project. IRCU interventions at regional level were strengthened through project supported regional engagements.

 

The project support production and dissemination of knowledge products that have been instrumental in building the capacity of the institutions of peace building and conflict transformation. With the support of the project, the functionality of these institutions has been strengthened and as such, they have mediated in a number of conflicts including inter alia; Kasese peace agreement, negotiations on a number of electoral reforms and processes.

 

The project support to the electoral commission was significant as it facilitated a number of processes and activities such as media engagements that helped to improve EC’s public relations.  It is apparent that by strengthening the capacity of these institutions, their participation in national development especially in the arena of deepening democracy was enhanced.

 

The strengthened capacity of these institutions lays a strong foundation for continual engagements and advocacy for democratic processes in the country. Besides, the project partners have established partnerships that are likely to continue beyond the project period.

 

The regional peace structures were mobilized during the project and were equipped with skills for proper mediation and conflict resolution. It was noted that despite the closure of the project these structures have remained functional as evidenced by their continuous engagements even past the project period.

 

The success of presidential debates was notably the most outstanding achievement of the project. Several stakeholders consulted revealed the project ably redirected the politics of Uganda from personality-based to issues-based. The political debates, prayer breakfasts that were organised with the project support brought all key stakeholders on a same table to discuss the national development. As such, the spirit of tolerance was steadily cultivated in the political landscape of the country.

 

However, whereas great achievements are noticeable, the absence of the clear targets constrains full assessment the achievements in respect to these targets. Nevertheless, the project supported the rejuvenation of institutional engagement in dialogue and conflict transformation which is a key step towards democratic systems and practices.

 

Efficiency: Project resources were fairly availed on time and was appropriately utilized. Project expenditure was well aligned with the work plan and the budget. As such the project was implemented with positive variance. UNDP’s programming and financial management systems were vital in ensuring better alignment between the project outputs and expenditures. DIM was instrumental in ensuring timely project procurement. Although cases of delayed disbursement of funds were revealed by the implementing partners, their magnitude is less compared to what would have happened if NIM was used.

 

Sustainability: There is strong potential for sustainability of the project results. This is because; i) the project activities have been integrated in other running projects in accordance with the strategic plans of the implementing parties; ii)There is government commitment to supporting project initiated activities and processes especially the national dialogue; iii) There was great volunteerism spirit especially among the regional peace structures that they are willing to continue with the conflict transformation work even beyond the project period.

 

Conclusion: The project ably supported the creation of a peace architecture that provides great opportunities for conflict transformation. However, the responsible institutions still require more capacity strengthening for effective functionality. Much as the non-state actors have played a significant role in peace building and conflict transformation, their success depend on government commitment to dialogue and democratic values. It on the basis of the results presented in this report that the evaluation makes the following recommendations.

 


Recommendations
1

1. IRCU should strengthen its strategic management system in which a clear view about its strategic direction (Vision, Mission, strategic objectives and actions) is created among and appreciated by all its multi-layers structures in order to achieve enhanced alignment of their actions with the strategic direction of the entire organization.

2

2. More support is required for institutional capacity strengthening especially for NCF. There is need for NCF to have its fully ledged secretariat with its own staff and equipment for enhanced institutional performance.

3

3.Finalization of the peace policy should be fast tracked in order to give a strong base to the peace initiatives in the country. It will form a strong basis and framework for mobilizing resources and other support for the peace processes in the country

4

4. National dialogue processes should also be fast tracked with strong government support and ownership while ensuring effective participation of all key stakeholders. Government should be at the helm of national peace initiatives if they are to be effective and sustainable

5

5. Citizen education should be an on-going initiative not only being influenced by the upcoming election and Presidential debates should be planned long enough and include on the electoral road

6

6. There is need for an update conflict mapping and analysis report to inform future programming more holistically. and Quick responses to conflicts are needed in order to contain conflict escalation. This calls for putting in place early warning mechanisms

1. Recommendation:

1. IRCU should strengthen its strategic management system in which a clear view about its strategic direction (Vision, Mission, strategic objectives and actions) is created among and appreciated by all its multi-layers structures in order to achieve enhanced alignment of their actions with the strategic direction of the entire organization.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/04]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
? Ensure measures for enhanced impartiality of the peace committees in order to build public confidence in the committee. ? Ensure the secretariat has enhanced transparency in order to facilitate commitment and effective participation of their structures at various levels
[Added: 2018/10/04]
IRCU/UNDP 2020/12 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

2. More support is required for institutional capacity strengthening especially for NCF. There is need for NCF to have its fully ledged secretariat with its own staff and equipment for enhanced institutional performance.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/04]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support NCF to have its fully fledged secretariat with its own staff and equipment for enhanced institutional performance.
[Added: 2018/10/04]
UNDP/Government 2020/12 Initiated
3. Recommendation:

3.Finalization of the peace policy should be fast tracked in order to give a strong base to the peace initiatives in the country. It will form a strong basis and framework for mobilizing resources and other support for the peace processes in the country

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/04]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support Finalization of the peace policy to give a strong base to the peace initiatives in the country
[Added: 2018/10/04]
Government/UNDP 2020/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

4. National dialogue processes should also be fast tracked with strong government support and ownership while ensuring effective participation of all key stakeholders. Government should be at the helm of national peace initiatives if they are to be effective and sustainable

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/04]

Agree

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

5. Citizen education should be an on-going initiative not only being influenced by the upcoming election and Presidential debates should be planned long enough and include on the electoral road

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/04]

Agree

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

6. There is need for an update conflict mapping and analysis report to inform future programming more holistically. and Quick responses to conflicts are needed in order to contain conflict escalation. This calls for putting in place early warning mechanisms

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/04]

Agree

Key Actions:

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