End of Project Evaluation- Integrated Support to Devolution Process in Kenya

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2018, Kenya
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
09/2018
Completion Date:
09/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
70,000

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Title End of Project Evaluation- Integrated Support to Devolution Process in Kenya
Atlas Project Number: 68057
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2018, Kenya
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2018
Planned End Date: 09/2018
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
Evaluation Budget(US $): 70,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 70,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
  • Joint with UN Women
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Angela Ambitho Team Leader angela@infotrakresearch.com KENYA
Otieno Aluoka Team Member KENYA
Martin Oloo Team Member KENYA
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government of Kenya
Countries: KENYA
Lessons
1.
  1. Partnering with both county executives and assemblies: Current devolution projects have focused on supporting the county executives and not engaged county assemblies, which also play a pivotal role in county development. This has led to delays in budget approval and ignored needed training of county assemblies in their oversight and legislative roles. Involving both the county assembly and the executive at initial stages of planning and strengthening capacities of both arms of government enhances their ability to work together to deliver better services for citizens.
  2. Counties’ weak accountability on financial management has led to high fiduciary risks which necessitate careful control mechanisms and strengthening county public finance management.
  3. County budgeting has been weak on social inclusion which leads to overlooking activities that target marginalised groups. Strengthening social planning, including public participation and gender responsive budgeting, will improve this.
  4. Identifying and utilising regional blocs and national training institutes to implement activities leads to economies of scale in resource use and further enhances county-to-county learning.
  5. Increased field presence of technical officers provides greater knowledge of county challenges and realities. Future interventions will benefit from using regional blocs with positioning of decentralised technical assistance to meet the county needs.
  6. Several governmental functions are not fully devolved leading to lack of clarity on responsibilities between the two levels of government. Future interventions need to take a lead role in facilitating relations and strengthening coordination between the two-levels of government.
  7. Despite 5 years of devolution, poverty, education and healthcare indicators for women and children remain disproportionately poor with 56% of girls in the arid and semi-arid northern counties being married underage and lagging behind boys in the realisation of their basic rights across most sectors. New innovative approaches will need to be considered to address the issues in ASAL counties.
  8. The lack of evidence-based programming approaches and data generation and usage has led to counties not effectively addressing citizen needs through their interventions. Strengthening county capacity to use such information and analysis to assess citizen needs, including CIMES, NIMES and County Spatial Plans, will help counties track and measure progress as they implement their CIDPs and ADPs, particularly as they impact marginalised groups and areas within the county.
  9. Counties need support to align the planning of CIDPs, sectoral plans, and ADPs and budgets to allow for implementation of planned activities to achieve desired results.
  10. Improved coordination of planning between national and county levels, development partners, and other actors involved in implementing devolution will enhance proper use of resources, avoid duplications, and facilitate each actor to learn from and build on others’ efforts.
  11. Communication strategies need to be revamped between the project, implementing partners, and donors to allow for efficient information sharing and knowledge management with relevant partners in a clear format and timely manner.
  12. Performance Management Systems (PMS) support to counties led to realisation of performance contracting and appraisal in counties which steered better planning, budgeting and execution of intended activities. Cross-cutting issues like public participation, gender equality, climate change and disaster risk reduction received more attention by being included in the performance contracts.
  13. Counties lack resilience to shocks such as drought, insecurity, population movement to informal settlements, general elections, industrial actions (e.g. nurse/doctor strikes) which impacts on county priorities and human development. Supporting counties to better prepare and respond to the shocks will enable them to continue with CIDP and ADP implementation while addressing emerging issues.
  14. The majority of the counties have lacked political will and capacity to share with their communities on budgeting and planning processes, particularly with special interest groups of women, youth, PWDs. There is a need to continue investing and promoting inclusion of marginalized groups and public participation in decision making at all levels as a long-term strategy to produce greater equity in counties.
  15. Increasing efforts on women’s economic empowerment leads to improvement of women’s participation and inclusion of socio-economic interventions. There is a need to develop tools and strategies that specifically target vulnerable/marginalised groups and to uphold the principle of leaving no one behind.
  16. Utilizing multi-UN Agencies provides greater sectoral expertise and a more impactful county process.

Findings
1.
  1. Strategy

The ISPDP has contributed to Kenya’s national priorities by aligning its interventions along the UNDAF and UNDP-Kenya CPD 2014-2018, Kenya Vision 2030, and Medium Term Plan II as demonstrated through the interviews with various stakeholders. The project has provided technical support to national institutions and county governments through capacity building and strengthening of governance systems. Further, the project has contributed towards MTP III by ensuring that issues of gender, disaster risk reduction and climate change are mainstreamed in national and county policies, plans and budgets.

2. Design

The project enhanced interaction between the counties and the national government institutions. The capacity building interactions, whether through the training activities or other linkages, enabled better working relationship between the two levels of government. The programme design also promoted peer learning among supported counties. This aspect of the project was highly commended.

During the evaluation, several programme design defects were noted. The different components of the project were brought on board at different times. The components of gender, climate change and disaster risk reduction were introduced a year later in 2015, hence didn’t have adequate time to implement their activities. In 2016, the project increased the number of counties reached from 13 to 21. However, the project did not mobilise more resources to cover this additional demand, hence this constrained the existing project resources.

The ISPDP design focused more on the county executive leaving out county assemblies, which play a critical role in county legislation and budget-making. As such, drawbacks were noted in several supported counties where key draft legislations and policies are still pending in the respective county assemblies. The project also gave more focus to the supply side (i.e. county governments) and left out the demand side which includes the citizenry and civil society organizations (CSOs).

3. Relevance

According to the stakeholders interviewed, the project was very relevant to their needs as implementing institutions and county governments. Further, county governments indicated that the project was very relevant since it focused on strengthening the capacity of counties in planning, policy and legislation. It also strengthened county capacities in terms of performance management system as well as monitoring and evaluation. Since these were some of the critical needs of the counties, in tackling them, the project proved quite relevant to devolution.

4. Effectiveness

The ISPDP has contributed immensely to improving the quality of governance and socio-economic development in the country and in the counties. The project assisted counties to identify and fill gaps in their service delivery. During the evaluation, counties attested that indeed the project had assisted them to improve service delivery capacity, which in turn, contributed to improved governance systems.

County staff interviewed reported that their respective county governments were now able to do budgets in a better way after benefiting from the project capacity building programmes. Through monitoring and evaluation, they were able to track the progress of different projects and activities.  Owing to the project interventions, Nyeri county government staff reported that they have improved capacity to prepare budgets and monitor implementation of projects. 

The introduction and establishment of Performance Management Systems (PMS) in the counties re-engineered innovation and a new culture of service delivery. It occasioned great attitude change across the sectoral units in the county administration, which in turn improved the change management dynamics that were consistent with the transition into the devolved governance. In Samburu County, performance contracting was set and signed between the CECs and the Governor. By having a M & E framework in place, the county government of Samburu is now able to monitor up to the ward level, the extent to which the county government projects are being implemented and their impacts to the citizenry.

Peer to peer learning among county governments has enabled them to pick up best practices that can be replicated across board. Whereas public participation framework was strong in Laikipia, Taita Taveta and Kwale counties, Climate Change came strong in Makueni and Narok counties. Additionally, Bungoma and Kericho counties had strong PMS and M & E systems, while Baringo and Kilifi counties were highly visible for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) models.

Review of the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPS) gave the supported counties a better focus and understanding of their mandates. As they moved to the second transition (2018-2022), the development of the CIDPs became seamless and better managed. This is totally different from county experiences during the first CIDP, which in many situations were not even aligned to the county constitutional functions and mandates.

5. Project Impact

Though not directly attributable to the ISPDP, a majority (75 per cent) of the surveyed members of public affirmed that their respective counties are now better compared to 5 years. This is an indication of improved service delivery by county governments. Makueni, Laikipia and Kitui counties had the highest proportion of respondents who opined that their counties were now better compared to 5 years.

Overall, 65.5 per cent of the surveyed respondents[1] expressed satisfaction with public service delivery by National and County Governments. This is a 2 per cent increase from the indicator baseline value as outlined in the project Log frame.  Two thirds (66 per cent) of the surveyed respondents expressed satisfaction with the national government’s service provision. On the other hand, 65 per cent of the respondents expressed satisfaction with their county government’s service provision. Members of public were mainly satisfied with their county government’s service provision on: County education services - early childhood education, village polytechnics (72 per cent); county health services (67 per cent); provision of clean water (66 per cent), and county planning and development (66 per cent).

On public participation, 34 per cent of the surveyed respondents affirmed that they had attended a public/town hall meeting to discuss affairs of their county. This is a 14 per cent increase from a County Scorecard Index[2] conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting in 2015, whose public participation stood at 20 per cent.

The end term evaluation also noted improved awareness of county governments among members of public. About nine 9 out of every ten respondents affirmed their awareness of county governments. However, awareness of the structure and functions of county governments is low. Only about three out of every ten surveyed members of public indicated that they were aware of the organization and functions of the county government executive and assembly.

6. Project Efficiency, Management and Monitoring

The end term evaluation noted that the project management and implementation was in line with the Prodoc document. Most of the implementing partners interviewed were satisfied with the project management. They affirmed that their roles and responsibilities were clearly defined and respected during project implementation.

The project encouraged several cost containment strategies including; utilisation of internal expertise within county governments to draft policies and Bills; cost sharing between UNDP and county governments to meet costs of training workshops; use of the Kenya School of Government to provide capacity building; and pooling counties together during trainings to cut down on training days and cost.

The project also tapped into the expertise and resources of several UN Agencies such UNICEF, UNDP, UNDP, UN Women, WFP and UNV. UNDP played a pivotal role in coordinating the project as well as implementing governance, climate change and disaster risk reduction.

The evaluation established that consultations did exist amongst Development Partners to avoid project overlaps and duplications. Through Donor Working Group and the Devolution Sector Working Group, Development Partners were able to consultatively select counties for their programmes to ensure national coverage and avoid duplication or overlap of activities. However, few instances of project duplication were noted, especially on capacity building of county government staff.

On project monitoring and evaluation, interviewed project staff, implementing partners and project donors affirmed that they shared and received project M & E documents regularly.  A mid-term evaluation was undertaken in 2017 to measure the project progress, in line with the prodoc document.

As at the time of the ETE, the project had managed to mobilise 21.6 million USD which translates to 62 per cent of the entire envisaged project resources. Further, the project had utilised 17.8 million USD of the mobilised resources, which translates to 82.4 per cent absorption rate. Owing to the reduced funding, meeting the huge demand of resources therefore became a challenge for UNDP. This also meant that some components of the project such as gender were only implemented at the national level.

7. Project Sustainability and National Ownership

The end of term evaluation noted that most of the supported county governments have adopted performance management systems for improved public service delivery. The beneficiary counties have also come up with M & E policies and systems which, if operationalized, will assist in collecting and monitoring of periodic data on all county project activities and outputs.

Capacity building of both national implementing partners and county governments has created ownership and will ensure sustainability over time. Mainstreaming of project activities and cross-cutting issues of gender, climate change, disaster risk reduction and HIV into county plans, budgets, CIDPs, policies and laws will also ensure sustainability of the project results over time.

Implementation of the project through national government institutions ensured ownership of the project. Through such institutions, several policies and pieces of legislation have been developed and cascaded to county governments.

Project Social and Environmental Standards

(a) Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE)

The most effective anchor for engendering county activities was inclusion of gender indicators in performance contracting as well as county monitoring and evaluation frameworks. Gender mainstreaming was included in county plans and activities. The second generation CIDPs have demonstrably integrated more gender concerns than before. It was also noted that the supported county budgets are aligned to the CIDPs, meaning they are more engendered.

Analysis of AGPO statistics also shows improvement in the number and value of government contracts awarded to women, youths and persons with disabilities. The number of tenders awarded to women led businesses increased tremendously from 7 per cent in 2013/2014 to 40 per cent in 2016/2017.The project may have partly contributed to this improvement through UN Women’s work with PPRA, AGPO Secretariat and the National Treasury.

UNDP supported several women empowerment activities in Taita Taveta and Vihiga counties, especially on women leadership. Taita Taveta county government organized public sensitisation forums to change perception towards women and leadership. As a result, the number of women contestants for the various elective positions increased significantly during the 2017 general elections. One of the beneficiaries of the women and leadership trainings in the county was elected as an MCA.

(b) Climate Change /Disaster Risk Reduction

Supported counties have incorporated climate change and disaster risk reduction activities into their CIDPs and plans.  Some of the counties that have integrated CC/DRR activities into their plans, budgets and policies include Makueni, Turkana and Samburu.

The county governments have included climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into their activities particularly; proper land use and management measures (on irrigation, adaptability, among others.), conservation of catchment areas, reforestations and flood control. For example, Makueni County Government has mainstreamed climate change in all its projects. Kilifi, Kericho, Narok, Baringo, Busia, and Vihiga counties have incorporated climate change as a cross-cutting issue in their CIDPs, annual development plans and budgets.

On disaster risk reduction, some of the supported counties have elaborate mechanisms for disaster management and response. Counties such as Kwale and Kilifi have passed a law (Disaster Management and Preparedness Act) and formed disaster committees.  Such county disaster committees are in the process of establishing a Disaster Operation Centre in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Kenya Red Cross and National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). Further, Vihiga and Baringo counties have developed plans and budgets for disaster response centres to handle any disasters.

 


[1] The evaluation surveyed a total of 900 respondents using systematic random sampling in 15 ISPDP supported counties. Each county had a sample of 60 respondents

[2] The survey was conducted in all 47 counties to gauge county government performance including public participation by the citizenry


Recommendations
1

The project was too broad. UNDP to be strategic and focused in designing the next project. Only relevant national institutions and county governments need to be brought on board.

2

Different components of the project were brought on board at different times. Additional counties were also brought on board at different times without resources.

3
  • Next programme should engage county assemblies and the citizenry/and or CSOs more.
  • Support county governments to enhance public participation, service delivery, generation of county disaggregated data.
4
  • Continue supporting counties and other national institutions to maintain the gender mainstreaming momentum.
  • Continue supporting counties to put the necessary structures in place for climate change and DRR mainstreaming
5

•Encourage national and county government institutions to take lead and commit resources

•Reach out to more donors to fund the project activities

•Collaborate with and leverage on other similar devolution support programmes

6

In the next devolution programme, UNDP should endeavor to have representatives in the supported counties to streamline communication and project monitoring.

7

•Identify and come up with intervention areas for the FCDC counties such as community resilience, improved service delivery, peace building, climate change/DRR and others

•Design a project to help in the fight against corruption.

1. Recommendation:

The project was too broad. UNDP to be strategic and focused in designing the next project. Only relevant national institutions and county governments need to be brought on board.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

Noted and accepted for action. A new criteria for selection of target counties for the next phase has been developed. The new project will support fewer counties to have more impactful interventions. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review counties selection criteria and envisaged resources to determine a realistic number of counties for support.
[Added: 2018/10/24]
GPS, IPs and UN Agencies involved in the design of the new project 2018/12 Completed Selection criteria for counties was revised and applied in the design of the next project.
2. Recommendation:

Different components of the project were brought on board at different times. Additional counties were also brought on board at different times without resources.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

Noted. However, this was inevitable given that the project did not mobilise all the resources at once to cover all issues. The government and donors requested UNDP to take on board more counties to ensure equity in development support coverage at county levels. UNDP will work closely with government and donors to ensure that county level support is agreed in advance within the framework of the new project and that any request for additional support is accompanied by resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continuous dialogue with government and donors to determine project coverage based on available resources.
[Added: 2018/10/24]
GPS and Ministry of Devolution and ASAL Areas (MoDA) 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated On-Going
3. Recommendation:
  • Next programme should engage county assemblies and the citizenry/and or CSOs more.
  • Support county governments to enhance public participation, service delivery, generation of county disaggregated data.
Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

County assemblies and CSOs will be key actors in the next project. The project will work closely with UNDP’s Amkeni Wakenya programme and the County Assembly Forum. Initial pilot activities already conducted with Turkana and Wajir counties.

Public participation, service delivery and data strengthening will be key element of the next project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Undertake one more activity on county assembly engagement with another county assembly. Lessons learned in this pilot phase will inform the design of the next phase. 3.2 Incorporate public participation, service delivery and data strengthening as key elements of the next project.
[Added: 2018/10/24]
GPS, MoDA, other UN Agencies 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated 3.1 Initiated 3.2 Completed
4. Recommendation:
  • Continue supporting counties and other national institutions to maintain the gender mainstreaming momentum.
  • Continue supporting counties to put the necessary structures in place for climate change and DRR mainstreaming
Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

Gender mainstreaming, climate change and DRR mainstreaming will be scaled up in the new project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include gender, DRR and CC components as part of the next project
[Added: 2018/10/24]
GPS, EECCU, MoDA, other UN Agencies 2018/12 Completed Completed
5. Recommendation:

•Encourage national and county government institutions to take lead and commit resources

•Reach out to more donors to fund the project activities

•Collaborate with and leverage on other similar devolution support programmes

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

The government is taking lead in the design of the new project. A draft Concept Note has been shared with potential donors to support the next project phase. The project is working closely with KDSP (World Bank) and AHADI to leverage interventions and to avoid overlaps.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Request IPs to provide counterpart funding for the project as per the PFM Act. 5.2 Increase resource mobilization including to donors who did not support the current phase of the project. 5.3 Engage with AHADI and World Bank on the design of the next project and ensure continuous information sharing.
[Added: 2018/10/24]
5.1 UNDP, UN Agencies, IPs 5.2 UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF 5.3 UN Agencies, Ahadi and World Bank 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated 5.1 Initiated 5.2 Initiated 5.3 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

In the next devolution programme, UNDP should endeavor to have representatives in the supported counties to streamline communication and project monitoring.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

UNDP will work closely with CoG and CAF to strengthen their representation at the project board and formulate mechanisms of county level feedback based on board decisions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a strong communication component during the next project design and link with CoG and CAF to ensure information flow to counties.
[Added: 2018/10/24]
UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF, IPs, counties 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated In the design of the next Devolution Project, communication will be a core element.
7. Recommendation:

•Identify and come up with intervention areas for the FCDC counties such as community resilience, improved service delivery, peace building, climate change/DRR and others

•Design a project to help in the fight against corruption.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

FCDC counties will be target counties in the next project. The mentioned intervention areas in the recommendation will be core elements of the project including in FCDC counties.

UNDP notes the recommendation on a project to fight corruption. While a stand alone project may not be feasible at this point,  UNDP will assist counties to enhance programme management including strengthening audits, values and ethics, integrity and accountabilities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Identify governance and resilience activities that are unique to FCDC counties and work to embed them into the next project.
[Added: 2018/10/24]
UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF, IPs, counties 2018/12 Completed FCDC counties are part of the 17 target counties for the next devolution project.

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