Midterm Evaluation of Integrated Territorial Development 2 Project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Download document 2018-IC-049 Mid-Term Evaluation International Specialist TOR.PDF tor English 500.96 KB Posted 1128
Download document 2018-IC-050 Mid-Term Eval Local Specialist TOR.PDF tor English 640.31 KB Posted 1109
Download document INTERDEV2 Mid Term Evaluation Report.pdf report English 1986.44 KB Posted 1585
Title Midterm Evaluation of Integrated Territorial Development 2 Project
Atlas Project Number: 104334,104340
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: 11266 - ADA
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 15,555
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Thomas Vasseur International Evaluation Specialist
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Municipalities of Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce, Viti/Vitina, Local Development Fund from Suharekë/Suva Reka and project beneficiaries
Countries: KOSOVO
Lessons
1.

Small businesses are more vulnerable when isolated and when not transforming their production:


2.

The right actors at the right place at the right time:


3.

INTERDEV is delivering on results and produces an impact since INTERDEV 1.


4.

Agriculture and food production oriented toward rural tourism


Findings
1.

Continued relevance to main beneficiaries
Finding 1 (F1): INTERDEV 2 activities strongly relevant to beneficiary needs and leading towards further livelihood stabilisation
Vulnerability of marginalised groups, long-term unemployment, slow economic development, remain priority needs in the three municipalities of intervention. Addressing these challenges is clearly supported at the policy level and has been confirmed through all interviews with the representatives of the local institutions met. The strongest evidence the evaluation has gathered, is the systematic expression of those concerns by the TEP and LDF grant beneficiaries interviewed, for whom there is little alternative to self-employment given, with very few job opening opportunities.


Tag: Challenges Relevance Small Grants Programme Jobs and Livelihoods

2.

Mountainous municipalities belong to the South and East region of Kosovo have a rare but highly relevant opportunity not to be missed: the region is the focus of at least five international actor that share the following features, matching closely the region’s needs:

  • A commitment over the long-term:
  • A vision (of sustainable rural development) for geographic areas with a rich natural resources potential
  • Field presence and trustful partnership with local governments
  • Technical expertise, capacity and experience (organic production development, value chain …)
  • Values (social inclusion, gender equality, protection of environment)
  • Interest and capacity of mobilizing resources
  • Interest and capacity to leverage more adequate commitment from Kosovo central government

After meeting with those stakeholders (ADA, Swiss Cooperation, UNDP, Caritas Switzerland, Swiss Helvetas, Swiss Contact), the evaluation believes that altogether combined, the above-listed characteristics represent great assets that can significantly increase the impact of future interventions.


Tag: Relevance Strategic Positioning

3.

While the project is producing key figures about its achievements, it could promote its impact by developing indicators on its qualitative achievements. (number of rural business that are still existing, number of business that have expanded and created jobs, number of business that have taken concrete measures to reduce impact on environment)


Tag: Impact Relevance Jobs and Livelihoods

4.

Agritourism emerges as a relevant model for sustainable and inclusive development for the municipalities offering strong natural resources and landscapes characteristics, such as Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce and Viti/Vitina.

A development model integrating agritourism as a pillar of its local economy is offering a wider perspective on the natural resources: More than just focusing on the transformation of natural resources into products bound to leave the territory, it aims at attracting visitors to enjoy locally more than just food products, but its natural environment. If properly organised (rural cooperatives, social enterprises) and managed (Local Action Group, other local actors), such a model can bring a number of benefits:


Tag: Tourism Relevance Jobs and Livelihoods

5.

2.1.2. Relevance in addressing key challenges and problems Finding 2 (F2) No key challenges experienced at mid-term
The evaluation team has not identified any key challenge that has jeopardized the smooth implementation of the first half of INTERDEV 2 and the realisation of the objectives set by the end of the project. The stakeholders’ interviews have systematically asked about challenges experienced so far or possible risks for INTERDEV 2 to miss its final objectives. None of the exchanges or the reports are indicating any major unexpected challenge. On the contrary, individuals consistently indicated that over the years since start of INTERDEV in 2014, the implementation modalities have been improved and fine-tuned, resulting overall in a smoother implementation of activities with INTERDEV 2 as compared to the initial phase.


Tag: Tourism Efficiency Relevance

6.

2.1.3. Relevance to addressing cross-cutting issues Finding 3 (F3) Cross-cutting issues effectively addressed with potential for improved reporting
Social inclusion, gender equality and environmental protection, have been explicitly considered both, in the design and implementation phase. In its conception, INTERDEV 2’s logical framework has set clear targets and indicators for those two dimensions as well as for non-majority communities.
As far as gender is concerned, one objective-level indicator has been established for the share of jobs created by the project for women (50%). (A similar indicator - with a 40% threshold target - has been set up for non-majority job creation.) At the output-level, INTERDEV 2 is equipped with two indicators: the share (with a 35% target) of LDF grants women-led business initiatives and the percentage of TEP intervention job opportunities (with a 40% target) created for women.
 


Tag: Relevance Gender Equality Programme/Project Design Jobs and Livelihoods

7.

2.1.4. Adjustment to policies and strategic development changes
Finding 4 (F4) No major policy changes while priorities and needs are increasingly acute (environment, eco dev)
The INTERDEV 2 project document establishes very clear references to the numerous policy and strategic priorities its proposed intervention is supporting. INTERDEV 2 has extended the policy relevance initiated with its first phase.


Tag: Strategic Positioning Country Government Jobs and Livelihoods Agenda 2030 Vulnerable

8.

2.1.5. Areas of relevance for future interventions Finding 5 (F5)
INTERDEV 2 has been raising awareness about promising future areas of relevance
Areas of relevance for future interventions have been identified by the evaluation and it corresponds to creating the conditions required to create sustainable rural development. While this is presented into more details in the SUSTAINABILITY and RECOMMENDATIONS sections, in brief, this entail the following areas:

  • Support to small rural business protection and organisation (cooperatives)
  • Mainstreaming of social enterprise model
  • Implement and use value chain analysis recommendations
  • Integrated agritourism development model

Tag: Sustainability Jobs and Livelihoods

9.

2.1.6. Links and contribution to Sustainable Development Goals INTERDEV 2 is a multi-faceted project and as such, it is contributing to the achievement of several SDGs, more specifically 7 such Goals and 12 specific objectives.

Of all the above-listed SDG, the evaluation has found INTERDEV 2 has made specifically valuable contribution to the following targets, by order of importance of contribution:
Target 8.3: INTERDEV 2 is supporting all aspects of this target: At the local policy level with TEP, formalisation of growth with small business registration as a condition to receiving assistance . Formalisation is also achieved through social enterprises creation.


Tag: Relevance Jobs and Livelihoods Value Chain Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening Agenda 2030 National Institutions

10.

2.2.1. Achievements and progress towards reaching project purpose and expected results Finding (F6): First half of INTERDEV 2 is already showing strong results
At mid-term, INTERDEV 2 has already achieved strong results (please see the boxes highlighting “key data from field interview sample” and “summary of key results”) and seems to be well on track to reaching, if not exceeding the target set for this phase two.
 


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods

11.

2.2.2. Timeliness to expected results achievements Finding (F7):
INTERDEV 2 is on track reaching objectives 

The project progress reports together with latest updated results provided by the INTERDEV 2 team to the evaluation and consolidated with the feedback from stakeholder interviews and beneficiary visits confirms the timey implementation of project activities and delivery of results.
The Territorial Employment Pacts and Value Chain Analysis – key outputs to this phase – have also been developed for and delivered to the three municipalities.
The 2017 annual workplan has been implemented and the 2018 plan is also implemented smoothly. The second round of call for proposals of small rural business upgrades is completed and all of the planned activities have been implemented timely at the time this evaluation was conducted.
Additionally, there was no expected delays in the expected timely completion of activi ties planned for 2018 and no risk have been identified as preventing the timely completion of all INTERDEV 2 objectives.


Tag: Effectiveness Monitoring and Evaluation Jobs and Livelihoods

12.

2.2.3. Identified challenges, proposed solutions and risk mitigation measures
Finding (F8): No major challenges experienced owing to tried and tested implementation mechanisms and experienced team but areas to be consolidated in the future
INTERDEV 2 seems to have addressed potential implementation challenges by following and verifying the effects of its mechanisms. It has done so thoroughly also with external evaluators of the LDF to review the procedures of its call of proposal under LDF management, which has resulted in revising and clarifying the application package to make it more accessible to applicants but also to improve the likeliness of selecting successful beneficiaries.
 


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Risk Management Jobs and Livelihoods Trade and Development Value Chain

13.

2.2.4. Identified possibilities for implementation improvement during INTERDEV 2’second half

Limited number of results indicators and data collection (gender, use of pesticides..)

Three years of INTERDEV 1 and one-and-a-half year of INTERDEV 2 implementation mean the intervention has had time to practice and learn from experience. The evaluation has found the project has adopted a continuous learning approach, with the use of previous evaluation recommendations or external consulting to review competitive grant beneficiary call for proposal procedures.
INTERDEV 2 is equipped with elaborated mechanisms and uses its presence within the municipalities of intervention to collect feedback from institutional partners and beneficiaries. The project does so regularly but mostly informally through the regular exchanges between MPSO and local actors and beneficiaries.
 


Tag: Sustainability Knowledge management Project and Programme management Inclusive economic growth

14.

Finding (F10): Implementing further some of the recommendations formulated in the value chain analysis studies conducted in each municipality
INTERDEV as a whole, has invested resources into value chain analysis in the three targeted municipalities: Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce during Phase 1 and Viti/Vitina, during Phase 2. This has led to the production of documents which importance is multiple: It provides guidance about the strategic directions towards increasing locally the value into key economic sectors which potential is yet mostly untapped. Value chain analysis reports also suggests specific interventions supporting local inclusive economic development.


Tag: Tourism Jobs and Livelihoods Value Chain

15.

2.3.1. Efficient use of resources to achieving results
Finding (F11): Efficient use of resources thanks to detailed, flexible, transparent, improved implementation mechanisms have
The evaluation has found INTERDEV 2 is making a highly efficient use of resources to achieving results.
A first evidence of this is given by the quantitative results reached thus far. With respectively 82% of TEP and 89% of small business grants target reached so far, half way into the three years of INTERDEV 2’s project, another round of call for proposal and additional TEP beneficiaries planned to be assisted next year, the project will most likely exceed the numerical targets stated in the logi cal framework.
 


Tag: Small Grants Programme Human and Financial resources Country Government Efficiency

16.

2.3.2. Efficiency of aid coordination
Finding (F12): Dynamic Aid coordination contributes to implementation efficiency and creates added-value
This is one another added-value of enjoying permanent physical field presence: The INTERDEV Municipal Project Support Officers are best placed to become aware of events or external interventions at the municipal level. There are currently three other international organisations operating in the same sector as INTERDEV 2 in one of more among the Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce and Viti/Vitina municipalities.
 


Tag: Efficiency Bilateral partners Coordination Civil Societies and NGOs

17.

2.3.3. Efficiency of management and administrative arrangements Finding (F13): Management and administrative arrangements are key factors to efficiency
INTERDEV implementation relies on well-defined administrative procedures that do comply with UNDP standards rule and quality standards. Overall, the evaluation has found no issues with the administration being supportive to operations. INTERDEV 2 is a small team of 5 members, located geographically within easy reach. The team uses the benefit of its small size to work on flexible and responsive manner. The project management is field-support oriented and the manager pays very regular visits to its colleagues but also stake -holder in the field. The evaluation has found this approach to be efficient and well-adjusted to the needs of the project; especially given that, the diversity and important number of activities requires flexibility, responsiveness and mentorship back-up.


Tag: Efficiency Project and Programme management

18.

Finding (F14): INTERDEV 2’s presence at municipal level ensures continuous monitoring of project relevance
INTERDEV’s Municipal Project Support Officers, physical daily presence at the municipality is granting a direct access to local institutions and the priority challenges they are facing. MPSOs regular joint field visits with municipal staff (Director of Agriculture and Rural Development…) to project beneficiary and potential future beneficiary provides the most concrete approach to verifying the relevance of the projects outcomes and outputs.
During the field mission, the evaluation team has clearly heard from the unemployment office, mayors and their teams that INTERDEV 2 continues to tackle needs the municipality has also set as their priorities.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management

19.

2.4.1. Evidence of long lasting desired changes Finding (F15): INTERDEV 1 has produced long-lasting changes, consolidated by INTERDEV 2
Though recognizing all of the long-lasting changes of INTERDEV 1 would require a more thorough introspective survey, the evaluation has indeed been able to identify long-lasting changes from the first phase.
All of the ten INTERDEV 1 beneficiaries visited in the field are still engaged in the activities they were or have engaged during the first phase of the intervention. They are all active today and have, in the worst case, have been able to maintain a steady level of income, while, most of them have been able to progressively expand the volume of their business and increase their income. While this is a limited sample, the accounts of municipal stakeholders and INTERDEV staff who are maintaining contacts with other beneficiaries from the first phase, are indicating that the vast majori ty of smal l businesses are still active today and continue to generate incomes for the households.
 


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Jobs and Livelihoods Value Chain

20.

2.4.2. Observation of behaviour and motivation changes towards vulnerable groups
Finding (F16): Local governments show an increased awareness and commitment towards social inclusion
The interviews held with mayors, deputy mayors, heads of employment office, head of the directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development, Municipal Gender officers have touched upon the consideration and commitments of local institutions towards social inclusion.
All of the interviewees have explained that INTERDEV (1 and 2) has provided an opportunity and the financial resources for their institutions to work closely together and bring concrete solutions to long-term job seekers. The economic performance achieved by the small rural business beneficiaries has also contributed to change favourably beneficiary’s self-esteem and confidence as well as the external perception. From inactive marginalized social cases, the self-employed business owners are seen as economic actors with a great determination and demonstration of capacities.
The municipalities have praised and have decided to continue using the Territorial Employment Pact approach to tackle unemployment in the future.
Though it is difficult to measure exactly the extent to which local authorities are committed to support social inclusion, the evaluation has gathered several indicators of their involvement in the section (2.5.4 Ownership transfer to local stakeholders.).


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Country Government Vulnerable

21.

2.4.3. Project outreach to targeted groups
Finding (F17): Thorough beneficiary selection mechanisms and field presence ensure proper reach out to vulnerable groups
As explained in the EFFECTIVENESS section of this report, INTERDEV 2 is equipped with an elaborated beneficiary outreach and selection process that ensures applicants are exclusively from the various vulnerable categories target by the project: long-term unemployed youth and women, non-majority communities.
In its fifth year of implementation, INTERDEV has gained a strong reputation and a very high level of awareness among the target communities. Additionally, the word of mouth including in rural remote areas is efficiently circulating among the vulnerable populations. This matter of fact has been confirmed by all the interviewed beneficiaries.

The opportunities offered through INTERDEV are made public via the municipalities’ website and are also posted on municipal buildings, while local institutions, such as the employment office is relaying training, employment or self-employment opportunities to the unemployed on this list.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Communication Country Government Vulnerable

22.

2.4.4. Project effects on social inclusion, vulnerable groups participation and benefits

Finding (F18): Progress on the social inclusion situation as a result of the project addressing both the social and economic obstacles
INTERDEV 2 is providing tailored solutions to different population groups that are experiencing various degree of social and economic exclusion. INTERDEV 2 has established the following speci fic target groups that are characterized by the nature of the barriers its socio-economic inclusion:
• Youth’s barriers to social inclusion: Low or no professional skills, no professional certificate or vocational training relevant to labour market needs, disconnect from public services (not registered at employment office), lack of or no access to relevant information (job opportunities, vocational training opportunities….), lack of or no access to resources (start up capital), little to no professional practice/experience limiting factor to access employment


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Capacity Building Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

23.

2.4.5. Impact on sustainable management of natural resources Finding (F19): Positive impact on natural resources management worth measuring
Several of the interviews held with small rural business owners have revealed that some of them have taken concrete steps towards reducing their impact on the environment. This situation is not marginal as more than a good third of interviewees have explained they have already taken action in that direction. Additionally, another number of farmers have indicated they are intending to change their cultivation or breeding practice.


Tag: Agriculture Natural Resouce management Impact Sustainability

24.

2.4.6. Evidence of institutional capacity development mechanisms supporting sustainable and inclusive development
Finding (F20): Institutional initiatives supporting sustainable and inclusive development are effective but need to be further pursued
Territorial Employment Pacts and Local Action Group have proven effective modalities as they have successfully involving key local stakeholders to take an active role in supporting the implementation of INTERDEV 2 activities.
UNDP has previously introduced the TEP model in other municipalities in Kosovo12 (e.g. Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje, Obiliq/Obilic, and recently in Gjakov?/Djakovica), and the approach has already proven successful as it put local institutions in the front line of implementation of providing employment solutions to the unemployed from vulnerable communities. INTERDEV 1 and 2 has confirmed this approach has also been effective in the three targeted municipalities as the developed TEPs would not have brought results of the first phase and those reached at mid-term without institutions taking a pro-active role in the process.
Similarly, INTERDEV 2 has used and was to rely on LAG as a true partner to supervise, coordination, support and report on project activities.
The further sustainability of the above mechanisms over the longer-term remains subject to two conditions: Will the LAG continue to act as central stakeholder after internally-funded projects are completed? And is the process guiding TEP sufficiently institutionalised so that future similar employment-creation initiatives will continue to use the TEP model in the future?


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Capacity Building Vulnerable

25.

2.5.1 Sustainability of project results and impacts

Finding (F21): A permanent field presence significantly enhancing sustainability

INTERDEV 2 is stimulating the sustainability of its results in several ways:

• A mentorship presence: The Municipal Project Support Officer is central to instigating sustainability. The officer has coaching/counselling role to municipal authorities, local institutions. Through daily interaction and concrete situation, the MPSO ensures the municipality and its units (Gender, Rural development) does not only acquire new knowledge but learn from practice through joint field monitoring and advisory visits to beneficiaries. The physical presence over an extended period of time is what makes the difference with one-off interventions only delivering technical knowledge. This is also what contributes to ensuring sustainability of practices as the knowledge and the reflexion, is practiced and experienced jointly with local actors. Lessons learned from capacity development context, indicate that i t is the mentorship role and extended period that ensures capacities are acquired durably and contextually; versus when knowledge is transferred punctually only.


Tag: Sustainability Gender Equality Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening National Institutions Vulnerable

26.

2.5.2 Sustainability of INTERDEV 1 results. Links and changes between both phases
Finding (F22): INTERDEV 1 provides sustainable results, upon which INTERDEV 2 has improved and indicates potential to scale up sustainability

The links between the first and the second INTERDEV phases are strong in that INTERDEV 2 has been designed taking into account the lessons learned from phase 1, from instance, moving from a strictly training and expertise-based capacity-building to a functional and mentorship support focusing a more results-focus Directorates for Agriculture and Rural Development.

By keeping the same municipalities of Dragash/Dragaš and Shtërpcë/Štrpce while adding another one, Viti/Vitina, sharing similar characteristics with the previous two, INTERDEV 2 has built on INTERDEV 1 to strengthen the model of intervention (by taking some of the phase 1 beneficiaries to a further level but also targeting rural business to the upper category). INTERDEV 2 has also stimulated inter-municipal cooperation to transfer some of the phase 1 experience to the municipality of Viti/Vitina. This has already proven successful as this municipality has caught up to speed wi th the other two co-municipal beneficiaries.


Tag: Relevance Sustainability Programme Synergy Project and Programme management

27.

2.5.3 Identified sustainability risks Finding (F23): Low sustainability risks in the short-term but mid-term risks to be integrated
The evaluation has identified two categories of risks, likely to affect differently sustainability in the short-term and mid to longer-term:
? The first sustainability risks relate to the current capacities of the local level institutions and the mechanisms established by INTERDEV 1 and 2. The project results to date, the degree commitments demonstrated from municipalities, the effective functioning of LAG, and local stakeholders’ participation to TEP, which are indicators of their improved capacities. With municipal authorities confirming INTERDEV’s priorities are their priorities and that they have adopted the project modalities (TEP, LAG…), the aspects of ownership, demonstrated capacities and commitment are giving a substantial level of confidence that local level institutions and the project mechanisms in place, will ensure local economic development is sustained and socially inclusive. As the municipal authorities pointed out clearly, they remain highly dependent on international donor funded projects. INTERDEV and similar interventions are strengthening, activating and pushing forward the institutionalisation of bodies such as LAGs. However, the future of LAG remains to some extent related to international projects.
 


Tag: Sustainability Risk Management Jobs and Livelihoods Value Chain

28.

2.5.4 Ownership transfer to local stakeholders Finding (F24): There is a growing ownership of INTERDEV 2 impacts and actions
INTERDEV 2 has also been characterized with a growing ownership of the project activities by the municipalities and local institutions involved. Though, measuring ownership in quantitative terms is challenging and complex, the evaluations has identified elements indicating a strong commitment to achieving INTERDEV 2 objectives:

- The mayors of the three municipalities interviewed during the evaluation have expressed very strong support and appreciation of the second phase of INTERDEV 2. They consider the project as completely supportive of the priorities of their municipality and have praised the grants scheme as the most efficient of all programmes in their territories.
- Even though it is limited in absolute value, the financial contribution of municipalities to INTERDEV 2 are significant in that their resources for projects are very limited.
- Municipalities have taken concrete steps toward the cross-cutting issues tackled by INTERDEV 2. For instance, the municipality of Shtërpcë/Štrpce has developed a plan for energy efficiency and waste management. It is monitoring the use of illegal waste disposal and has launched a smartphone application for citizens to report situation of criminal acts of pollution.
- The local institutions (Employment Office, Gender Officer, Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development) have fully involved in the activities (field monitoring and assistance to beneficiaries, facilitation of beneficiaries into the selection and arrangement of vocational training, support to professional placement….)
- The LAG and its members have fully and pro-actively assumed their roles in coordinating and facilitating the implementation of INTERDEV 2 activities.
In the meantime, municipal authorities are aware of the fact that they are still in need of improving capacity, including it terms of being able to provide technical assistance, especially, when looking at the strategic potential of the future economic development. Indeed, organic farming, rural tourism and other professional sectors identified in the value chain analysis documents are requiring competencies, including organic agriculture management, rural cooperatives that is not yet fully existing.


Tag: Sustainability Ownership National Institutions

29.

Finding (F25): INTERDEV 2 is empowering local institutions though it is a continued process
INTERDEV is not just about establishing formal partnerships with the municipalities just for the sake of ticking the box of this conditionality of external assistance. Rather, INTERDEV’s strategy has focused on establishing a cooperative platform (TEP) where the local institutions and relevant stakeholders are willing to participate, and commit based on the awareness that they are part of the solution.
INTERDEV has also reactivated an existing body – LAG – by granting it a concrete role and responsibility in the implementation of the project.
Finally, by placing a full-time staff within each municipality building, the project has expressed its intention to get physically – versus “on the paper” - engaged in a partnership with Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce and Viti/Vitina.
The outcome of this approach is that local institutions have been the drivers and implementors of INTERDEV. LAGs have mobilized local actors, and each actor; for instance, the employment offices in assisted beneficiaries of TEP interventions to identify their training needs; has been concretely engaged in the implementation.


Tag: Sustainability Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

30.

Finding (F26): Results are well defined, appropriate, measurable and verifiable
The evaluation has found the results to be defined, appropriate, measurable and verifiable to a high degree.
The three years of INTERDEV Phase 1 field presence has provided a privileged period to consult local actors, review needs and shape the expects results for the second phase, using the participatory mechanisms established during the first phase.
The results are thoroughly defined with the proposed intervention clearly intending to address grassroot needs of the target populations, the challenges of local governments, the obstacles to socio-economic inclusion while ensuring the results are clearly coherent and supportive of the policy, strategy, and programme dimensions at local, national (Kosovo), regional (Western Balkans EU accession sectoral priorities), supra-regional (EU-level strategies) and global level (SDGs).


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Agenda 2030

31.

Finding (F27): The theory of change is realistic though longer-term assumptions needs to be formulated
INTERDEV has produced very concrete and visible changes in the municipality improved support to rural development and introducing a socially inclusive economy that has benefited with hundreds of improved livelihoods to women, the youth, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups.


Tag: Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning Theory of Change Inclusive economic growth Institutional Strengthening

32.

Finding (F28): INTERDEV 2 has enabled unemployed women to increase their financial autonomy and professional independence
Gender is strongly mainstreamed across all activities of INTERDEV 2 and this dimension is back with a substantial approach and clear indicators. Territorial Employment Pacts have integrated exclusion challenges faced by women and provide empowering labour solutions to the majority of employment opportunities to females. The Social Enterprise model, recently implemented, responds to the challenges of women working informally, precarious conditions, while offering perspectives with expected increase in the income generation, improvement of their overall projection and increase their professional perspectives for growth, through work organisation, production diversification and better market positioning. Independent Association of Women from Sevcë/Sevce, is a concrete example of all the potential a social enterprise can bring to change women’s working and living conditions.
INTERDEV 2 has outperformed its gender equality objective with 51.7% of women being empowered through an array of services and assistance versus the 40% originally targeted under the TEP, whi le for the LDF component the project has so far reached 42.5% versus the target of 35% women-led businesses.
 


Tag: Gender Equality Jobs and Livelihoods Women and gilrs

33.

Finding (F29): Social Enterprise provides more than just employment to women
While rural cooperatives are relevant models to those rural actors who are small in size, but al ready established economically, the social enterprise model appears to be well adjusted to those formally unemployed, but active and experiencing a higher degree of vulnerability. The case of the Independent Association of Women from Sevcë/Sevce (Shtërpcë/Štrpce Municipality) – NUŽS, supported by INTERDEV 2 to move from informal work to organised labour under the Social Enterprise form, shows how this model of entrepreneurial organisation can transform the si tuation of the women it employs.


Tag: Relevance Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Jobs and Livelihoods Women and gilrs

34.

INTERDEV 2 has developed an array of activities that specifically addresses the above-listed barriers to produce the following results:
• Getting long-term socially excluded and economically vulnerable individuals into an active and productive life
• Improving livelihoods and business perspectives of small rural business by providing equipment, counselling and connection to business opportunities
• Formalising the work, increasing livelihoods and increasing labour protection of women engaged in informal work through social enterprises


Tag: Effectiveness Capacity Building Coordination Vulnerable

Recommendations
1

1. Enrich Monitoring and data collection with additional indicators

2

2. Formulate INTERDEV 2 capacity benchmarks and objectives for local institutions

3

3. Prepare the development of the next phase for INTERDEV during the remaining half of INTERDEV 2

4

Consult international actors engaged in supporting the inclusive, sustainable, ecological, rural development of the Municipalities from the Sharr/Šar region (or the South East region of Kosovo)

5

Strengthen the organisation of small rural economic actors through the promotion of a rural cooperative model and continue supporting the social enterprise model

6

Develop/update rural economic development action plan that integrates and promotes economic activities related to rural tourism

7

Review the possibility to empower LAG (or any other relevant local stakeholder) as a central stakeholder to inclusive rural (agritourism) economic development

8

 Continue to support inter-municipal cooperation based on the coherence of territorial identity (municipal territories sharing similar characteristics)

1. Recommendation:

1. Enrich Monitoring and data collection with additional indicators

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/17] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

UNDP considers that there is always scope to improve the data collection for this project, hence takes the recommendation of the evaluation very seriously. Data availability in Kosovo is still rather limited, especially disaggregated on the municipal level. The INTERDEV 2 has relied on a number of qualitative indicators and further efforts to capture the change at community level will continue to take place. Expanded wide-spread monitoring, in particular on outcome and impact-level changes, require tools and expertise (such as surveys, data analysis, software, etc.) that may require additional financial resources. The project in collaboration with the Programme team will work to find options to enrich monitoring and data collection with additional indicators for more accurate reporting on achievements. The team will define types of indicators/data to be collected with all elements captured (gender, environmental elements, etc.). A research, expertise and observations from the field with involvement of the municipal departments with their expertise, will be taking place, to define what is realistic and valid for the context. This will lead to development of a data collection tools, for internal (Department for Agricultural and Rural Development Services, Municipal Gender Officer to demonstrate progress on delivery of services, good environmental practices, progress on the gender equality dimension) and external purposes (for INTERDEV 2 to report more accurately on achievements).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop an enriched monitoring framework and data collection system with additional indicators.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2019/11/18]
Project Team 2019/11 Completed https://bit.ly/34dfaIE History
2. Recommendation:

2. Formulate INTERDEV 2 capacity benchmarks and objectives for local institutions

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/17] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

As evidenced by the evaluation “The Expected Result 1, relating to enhanced municipal capacity in the provision of services in rural development is, by nature, challenging to measure as it recovers a complex reality, composed of tangible and less tangible results. While the evaluation finds the two results indicators from the project’s logical framework to be relevant (ER 1.1. and ER 1.2), it appears somehow limited to gauge progress on the capacity of an institution.” Linked to the recommendation 1, the project will work to develop additional indicators to reflect on the improved competence of the supported municipal agriculture and rural development departments with the view of facilitating inclusive local economic and rural development. The mentoring and coaching activities which started being implemented have shown some progress with relevant municipal officials, but it is obvious further support is required to improve the quality and establish a useful database with hands-on tools for the municipal officials, as well as for the project to measure its transformative impact. Similarly, as above, however, monitoring in particular on outcome and impact-level changes require tools and expertise (such as surveys, data analysis, etc.) that may require additional financial resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will work with municipal departments for Agricultural and Rural Development Services to establish and maintain a database for improving monitoring capacities provided by those units. Mentoring and coaching activities will be an approach to ensure the progress is made and database is being used from Municipalities. It must be noted that extensive monitoring systems require additional resources in expertise, data collection methods, as well as tools for analysis.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2019/12/16]
INTERDEV2 Project Team and Municipal Directorates of Agriculture 2020/03 Completed The agriculture and economic development units in the three partner municipalities have further enhanced their capacities through mentoring and coaching services provided throughout 2019. History
3. Recommendation:

3. Prepare the development of the next phase for INTERDEV during the remaining half of INTERDEV 2

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/17] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

This is a very relevant and important point. The programme and project team will start developing the main objectives and activities in the third year of current project activities (2019), and will also consult with other international actors likely to continue their interventions in similar sectors and geographic areas, to ensure inter-project coherence and synergy for a stronger inclusive economic growth potential and maximizing a value-chain based agritourism model.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Programme and Project team will coordinate closely with relevant actors/other donor-funded projects in South of Kosovo, with purpose to define the key activities in support to sustainable rural and economic development.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2019/04/08]
Programme Team 2019/03 Completed The UNDP Programme Team is in process of collaborative discussions with relevant donors and implementers in the realm of rural development, with the aim of developing a follow up phase of INTERDEV, responding to upcoming potential funding windows. History
The Programme and Project team will consolidate lessons learned from INTERDEV 2 to design the new project activities for the next phase with incorporated feedback from relevant actors and from the project team.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2019/10/04]
Programme Team 2019/09 Completed The lessons learned from Phase 2 were consolidated by the project and the programe team and were integrated in the application for the new phase which was submitted to the ADA call for funding. History
4. Recommendation:

Consult international actors engaged in supporting the inclusive, sustainable, ecological, rural development of the Municipalities from the Sharr/Šar region (or the South East region of Kosovo)

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

Switzerland and Helvetas Swiss are currently planning future interventions closely connected to INTERDEV’s sector of intervention; Swiss Contact is also engaged into organic food production. As explored in the evaluation, this presence of several actors does represent a great opportunity to review how potential future interventions can utilise all the expertise available, lessons learned from the various interventions, and take this into consideration when developing a potential further intervention not only by UNDP but other actors as applicable

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will take a lead and will continue to organize regular coordination meetings and strengthen further the cooperation with relevant actors active in organic food production, value chains development support, funding of fairs, coordination mechanisms.
[Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2019/12/16]
Programme 2019/12 Completed The selected participants/farmers have developed their investment plans and practical road-map for farming rural production households and are presented their registration process. History
5. Recommendation:

Strengthen the organisation of small rural economic actors through the promotion of a rural cooperative model and continue supporting the social enterprise model

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

A solid recommendation, also linking to findings from a study trip conducted to Austria under INTERDEV 1 where this model is successful. It is evident that further organization of farmers is necessary in order to strengthen the local value chains, as well as market security. Together with external expertise where possible and applicable, the project team will explore a rural cooperative model, an embedded model to drive sustainable inclusive growth by combining the social enterprise approach and the rural cooperative model, where feasible.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Together with external expertise where applicable, the project will explore the Rural Cooperative model pre-conditioned with appropriate plan related to awareness raising of benefits, responsibilities and obligations, detailed business plan, functioning and defined managing/mentorship during the initial period until it is effectively functioning. In line with this, the project team will keep promoting the Social entrepreneurship approach by representing a model answering the challenges of socially excluded groups-highly vulnerable.
[Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2020/10/12]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Completed Social/rural entrepreneurship has been promoted in all three partner municipalities. The Social Enterprise “Mladi na Selu” have brand registered products. Furthermore, the selling kiosks were placed at the main town square “Micheline Calmy-Rey” in Viti/Vitina serving a social enterprise selling points for all women groups, smallholder farmers and handicrafts. The new, all-women social enterprise NUŽS in Shtërpcë/Štrpce opened its production unit, expanded and modernized the production line of rural gastronomic items. Most importantly, the SE also strengthened their capacities in business management, production, and operations. 2 Business Modelling Plans (NUŽS in Shtërpcë/Štrpce and 13 selling kiosks at “Micheline Calmy-Rey” in Viti/Vitina), have been designed and are serving as living business development and marketing guiding documents for the 2 new SEs. History
Consequently, the project team will incorporate the grant scheme tailored to such enterprises and cooperatives, using criteria and conditions related to the functioning principles of these two economic models.
[Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2020/10/12]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Completed There wasn’t specifically a call tailored for the grant scheme on social enterprises, but this was captures under the LDF Call 3 (2019), that considered eligibility for the processing rural/social enterprises. History
6. Recommendation:

Develop/update rural economic development action plan that integrates and promotes economic activities related to rural tourism

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

This is important point, however, beyond the scope of activities planned under INTERDEV 2. Local economic development planning is a municipality-driven process. UNDP is ready to support the municipal structures in this process to the extent possible, potentially in a follow-up phase if applicable. Naturally, recommendations and lessons learned, along with knowledge products (value chains analyses) and the approach of TEPs will feed into the development of such plans. In year 3, the project envisages the development of an exit strategy, where these recommendations and considerations will be included.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme will start exploring in that direction, and design the proposal for a future intervention, in consultation with international actors who are committed to sustainable rural development. The value chain recommendations and the potential to create higher value locally will be considered as a strategic direction for a possible future phase of INTERDEV, which can also collaborate and/or feed into such action plan.
[Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2020/10/12]
Programme 2020/09 Completed This recommendation was addressed in the proposal prepared for the phase III and also in other new proposals. Modalities and technical issues are being discussed with donors and government. History
7. Recommendation:

Review the possibility to empower LAG (or any other relevant local stakeholder) as a central stakeholder to inclusive rural (agritourism) economic development

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

The project will continue to empower LAG (Local Action Groups) to take a central role in the implementation of various INTERDEV actions. Since future economic development will need to have a local-level stakeholder – such as the LAG is, this structure needs to further be strengthened. As such, the project will work and coordinate closely with LAG to include a strong representation of key rural development economic actors (LDF grantees, cooperatives…)     for carrying the agritourism development to the more developed level as a long-term driver for this development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will continue to empower LAG (Local Action Groups) to take a central role in the implementation of various INTERDEV actions. Since future economic development will need to have a local-level stakeholder – such as the LAG is, this structure needs to further be strengthened. As such, the project will work and coordinate closely with LAG to include a strong representation of key rural development economic actors (LDF grantees, cooperatives…) for carrying the agritourism development to the more developed level as a long-term driver for this development.
[Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2020/10/12]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Completed LAGs in municipalities continued to lead the processes within the TEPs, by actively being involved in the implementation stage of interventions. They remain an essential structure with an active role in each municipality also for possible future cooperation in the rural and economic development particularly local agro-tourism development. History
8. Recommendation:

 Continue to support inter-municipal cooperation based on the coherence of territorial identity (municipal territories sharing similar characteristics)

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]

Building on the implemented inter-municipal cooperation activities since 2014, the project will continue to work with all three municipalities to create a common synergy for the long-term economic development through inter-municipal initiatives. This can be further elaborated in the exit strategy in year 3 of INTERDEV 2, and in the development of the follow-up stage of INTERDEV if applicable.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will work to define the common synergy for the three municipalities, and since the municipalities share in common a strong, natural and legitimate branding such as the Sharr/Šar region is, the three municipalities will organise joint events such as a Sharr/Šar regional (e.g. Regional Gastronomic Fairs, Cultural events, DokuFest, NgomFest in Prizren and similar), or creation of digital tools such as websites or social media.
[Added: 2018/12/21] [Last Updated: 2020/10/12]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Completed The common synergy of the three LAGs has been developed during various events. As such, producers increased know how practices with the support from LAGs during completion of a fair with local products in Viti/Vitina Municipality for all three partner municipalities on diaspora days. Prepared and distributed joint brochure named “My Municipality”, getting closer to its citizens with information and services that are being provided in each department of partner municipalities up to the intensified activities in 2019, through a study visit to explore best practices of B&B services and rural tourism offers benefiting from the experience of similar initiatives in Gjakov?/Ðakovica and Valbonë valley, the municipal videos and the book stories. History

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