Integrated area-based development in Osh province, Kyrgyzstan

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Kyrgyzstan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
12/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

The UNDP area-based development approach and its considerable concentration on regional and local development enabled it to make a significant contribution to community development and accumulate extensive knowledge of local development challenges. In 2016, UNDP launched the “Integrated Development of the Osh Province of the Kyrgyz Republic” Program (hereinafter referred to as the Program), with the goal to assist the Government of Kyrgyzstan in ensuring conditions for conflict prevention and sustainable development in the Osh Province. The comprehensive interrelated measures of the Program were aimed at improving the well - being of vulnerable target communities of the Osh Province through various types of economic activities, improving access to water, environmental security, job creation and rehabilitation of the socio - economic infrastructure.

The program was implemented in 30 pilot villages of 17 municipalities of Kara-Kulja, Nookat and Uzgen districts of the Osh Province, which were chosen using new mechanisms that ensured the quality of their selection processes.

The main activities of the Program fully correspond to the country priorities as well as national and regional programs of socio - economic development. The components of the program are comprehensive, covering the most important issues of human life in the rural area. The activities of the Program are based on the achievements, experience and lessons learnt from the implementation of the UNDP Program in the Naryn and Batken Provinces.

The program combined the main approaches of UNDP in the promotion of good governance and sustainable development and focused its interventions on strengthening the capacity of key national partners:

  • The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in creating the enabling environment for growth through development programs and the sharing of positive experiences throughout the country;
  • Local authorities in implementation, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of local sustainable development plans;
  • Rural communities in combating poverty by improving access to services and sources of income.

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Title Integrated area-based development in Osh province, Kyrgyzstan
Atlas Project Number: 00089664
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Kyrgyzstan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding: RF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 9,990
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Osh Oblast Administration
Countries: KYRGYZSTAN
Comments:

Mr. Birsan Marius, International Consultant

Lessons
Findings
1.

Chapter 3: Effectiveness

The project was initiated with signing a Project Document in May 2016, detailing the actions to be taken between 2016 and 2019 with an initial budget of $3,500,000.

In the first phase of the implementation, the Programme team conducted virtually on every component evaluation studies and created a Baseline Report, based on which the Programme’s management identified areas of action and measures. This approach applied by the Programme not only ensured achievement of set goals but also created conditions for building the capacity of local consulting organizations, as the knowledge and skills that they gained can be further used to serve the interests of their communities.

The next step was the selection of the pilot communities. The Programme conducted a socioeconomic and environmental analysis in 47 communes (Ayil Okmotu), comprising of 101 villages in three pilot districts (Kara-Kuldja, Nookat and Uzgen). The analysis was conducted in the communes taking into consideration indicators like poverty rate, infrastructure quality, access to basic public services, and others. Based on the results of this analysis and subsequent consultations with local authorities and civil society, 17 municipalities were selected (seven municipalities in Uzgen district, six in Nookat district, and four in Kara-Kulja district). Based on the agreed and approved selection criteria, the municipalities selected 30 villages. The final list of villages was discussed within extensive consultations and approved by local councils (keneshes).

 After selecting the target communities, the subsequent steps were: - Analyzed the situation in the province through assessment of local characteristics, gaps and issues, comparative local advantages and opportunities for the development; matched priorities with local development plans; - Discussed the results of the analysis with the regional and district administrations and local communities; In cooperation with the local authorities, identified the needs and requirements of the pilot villages’ population. Established a list of needs and prioritized them; - Provided regular assistance to communities in developing and implementing project proposals; received support in complying with UNDP procedures related to the grant implementation; - Ensured monitoring and reporting of the results. 

 At the time of final evaluation (November 2019), the Programme provided support to 215 projects through the five components, with the total value of $3,392,064.


Tag: Water resources Effectiveness Gender Parity Women's Empowerment Local Governance Knowledge management Capacity Building Technology

2.

OUTPUT 2: WATER SUPPLY REHABILITATION (POTABLE WATER AND IRRIGATION) IN THE PILOT DISTRICTS, ALSO THROUGH LOW COST ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE TECHNOLOGIES, WILL IMPROVE ACCESS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES TO SUSTAINABLE WATER SUPPLY IN TARGET DISTRICTS (WITH 4 INDICATORS)

 


Tag: Rural development Water resources Effectiveness Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Gender Equality Gender Parity Women's Empowerment Health Sector Migration Jobs and Livelihoods Technology

3.

OUTPUT 3: SOCIO-ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION WILL FACILITATE IMPROVED RURAL COMMUNITY WELFARE IN TARGET DISTRICTS (WITH 6 INDICATORS); SUSTAINABLE WATER SUPPLY IN TARGET DISTRICTS (WITH 4 INDICATORS).


Tag: Rural development Water resources Effectiveness Local Governance Health Sector Jobs and Livelihoods

4.

OUTPUT 4: ENHANCED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION WILL RAISE EMPLOYMENT IN TARGET DISTRICTS IN A LONG TERM (WITH 5 INDICATORS);


Tag: Vulnerable Effectiveness Sustainability Women's Empowerment Education Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Youth

5.

OUTPUT 5: LOCAL COMMUNITIES ARE MORE RESILIENT TO LOCAL NATURAL CALAMITIES AND TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN TARGET DISTRICTS (WITH 5 INDICATORS).


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Disaster Risk Reduction Water resources Local Governance Health Sector Results-Based Management Theory of Change Technology

6.

Chapter 4: Efficiency

The initial Programme budget amounted to $3,5 million (provided by the Russian Federation), complemented by UNDP contribution ($58,750) and national contribution ($500,000). As a result of the Steering Committee’s decision in 2019, the budget was supplemented with $200,000, increasing the total final budget to $4,7 million. The budget execution versus plan shows good project management, the only notable difference being recorded in 2018 when delays were caused by public procurement procedures, re-tenders, or delays in inputs on the part of local communities. Factors that could speed up procurement processes are increasing threshold requiring public tenders, and introduction of esignature to speed up bureaucratic procedures.

 A financial performance per component is difficult to estimate, as the financial reporting slightly changed the format during the years as a percentage from the total budget. However, comparing ex-post the net amounts disbursed each year, the following charts show us a global picture:(see figures 10 and 11).

The annual dynamic in budget expenditure differs for each of the Programme components. For instance, for Component 2 (Access to sustainable water supply for rural communities) the first year focused on preparatory work and awareness-raising, which did not incur high costs. In exchange, when the proper works on the field were executed (or the payments were disbursed), the expenditure was much higher than in the previous years. A similar pattern is observed for Component 5 (Disaster risk management). With the highest share in the Programme, Component 1 (Sustainable development) had a more balanced expenditure across the years (considering that the activities started in the second half of 2016), denoting a higher focus on the broad range of activities. The Programme Management costs are around 16%, a normal value considering the complexity and quantity of the activities to be implemented (the value includes salaries, travel, contracts and other programme related costs).

The Programme benefitted from reliable financial management systems and solid accounting practices. The UNDP Automatically Tuned Linear Algebra Software (ATLAS) and the UNDP KR Standard Operating Procedures were followed for budgeting and payments, as well as detailed cash-flow management. The evaluation does not see any issues or potential improvements in this matter.

 The actual financial flow towards the implementing communities was ensured through grants transfer modality (Small Grants Fund). The grants were transferred by UNDP to accounts of the pilot Ayil Okmotu, opened for UNDP projects in agreement with the Central Treasury of the Ministry of Finance of the KR. The grant transfers employed a two-level grant control system and eliminated misuse of resources by the grant recipients: 1. At Ayil Okmotu level, the project budget and estimated costs were approved by local deputies during special sessions. The approval was followed by funds disbursement and the project implementation; 2. At the Central Treasury level, where all financial operations were implemented strictly in accordance with the pre-approved budget estimate.

The chosen modality ensured proper funds commitment and disbursement. Both the Programme staff and the partners at the regional and local levels confirmed the modality as being appropriately chosen and used.

 In order to maximize efficiency, the Programme was integrated into the existing Programme Management Unit based in Osh city, benefiting from the already established facilities and capacities. Based on the knowledge of UNDP, the Programme also employed additional principles to increase efficiency: value for money principles, selection of the best and economically efficient schemes to deliver capacity-building activities by engaging local expertise (except for cases when the engagement of the outside expertise (primarily from Russia) was necessary.

 The UNDP Operations Section ensured Programme operating management compliance with UNDP internal and global policies and procedures. The team is comprised of a programme manager, three UNDP programme analysts in charge of Programme component execution, and support staff shared with other projects. Given the size and complexity of the Programme, the staffing was tightly allocated. During the interviews with staff (and validated by interviews with partners) it became evident that many of the results were achieved on the cost of overworking. To the complexity of the Programme, one has to add the burden incurred by the infrastructure, any mission in target communities taking longer hours than in other settings. For a future similar Programme, the Country Office should perform a realistic estimate of the staff working hours, also considering the ‘work-life-balance’ principle.

 Two additional factors contributed to increasing the efficiency of the Programme: the involvement of the Government of the Kyrgyzstan in co-financing some projects (between 10% to 63% of the total value18, depending on the complexity of the activity). The second factor was the commitment of the emigrant’s communities to co-fund small projects. Besides increasing the efficiency of the Programme, this approach contributed to increasing the ownership and accountability. People gained a feeling that they co-financed and ‘own’ the public good od service to a certain extent, making them more responsible for consumption behavior. On the other hand, people will request higher accountability on the public funds co-invested in their stakes.

 


Tag: Coherence Efficiency Operational Efficiency Partnership Policies & Procedures Programme Synergy Results-Based Management Migration

7.

Chapter 5: Sustainability

The project’s intervention logic foresaw capacity building activities across all components and direct material support in other several components. The ProDoc states that “Sustainability will be achieved through the coordination of the project with the policy of the Government at central and local levels, building and increasing the capacity of government, local governments and civil society, the involvement of private sector in the dialogue and the provision of delegated services. Generally, the programme will focus on enhancing the relationship between public and nongovernmental institutions.” This statement, although general, points to the philosophy of the intervention and partially on the goal of the programme.


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Disaster Risk Reduction Green Economy Tourism Water resources Sustainability Civic Engagement Local Governance Results-Based Management Theory of Change Country Government Private Sector Jobs and Livelihoods Trade and Development

8.

Chapter 6: Impact

The updated definition of the impact evaluation criteria is: “The extent to which the intervention has generated or is expected to generate significant positive or negative, intended or unintended, higher-level effects.” The term ‘higher-level’ tries to capture the significance, the scope, and the transformative nature of the effects.


Tag: Water resources Impact Health Sector Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Technology Data and Statistics

9.

Chapter 7: Gender considerations

The ProDoc offers the first elements of the strategy to support women’s empowerment and gender equality in the province. The situation analysis briefly presents the socio-economic situation of women, with two components relevant for the Programme: the vulnerable and unprotected status versus men, and the situation of abandoned wives and children of the emigrating men. As a general statement, the Programme had “an overall target of 50% female participation across its activities” (ProDoc, page 39). In the section “Social and Environmental Risk Screening Checklist”, the four questions have been answered as having no adverse effects or discrimination on women, and no women raised gender equality concerns. 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Jobs and Livelihoods Youth

10.

Chapter 8: Monitoring and Evaluation

The ProDoc foresaw a Results and Resources Framework (RRF) as well as a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (although the latter only had provisions on Monitoring). The RRF is well designed, informing on output indicators, sources for data, baseline values and annual and final targets for each indicator, as well as data collection methods and risks. As not all indicators in the RRF have been defined at the output level, the monitoring and reporting of the project have been kept mainly at this level. For example, for activity 3.1 – establishing the Public Services Centers – indicators were correctly formulated both at output level (Number of established and sustainable Public Services Centers based on a ‘single window’ principle) as well at outcome level (% of beneficiaries confirming the improvement in provision of municipal and public services quality). For the water supply component, the indicators are vaguely formulated: “At least 150,000 (30,000 households) improved their welfare through effective water management in the pilot municipalities” – not offering a scale to understand how the Programme defines “improved welfare” and how it measures it. Additionally, a very powerful outcome indicator (for instance, the decline in waterborne diseases in communities) has not been defined and measured. This indicator could easily be monitored and reported by the local communities, and prove sustainable improvements in the life of beneficiaries. The lack of monitoring at the outcome level for this indicator is in stark contrast with the situation analysis, as the ProDoc stated: “The low-quality water pre-conditions frequent communicable disease outbreaks. The shortage of potable water affects human health and brings more risk of dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid fever. According to the epidemiological surveillance agency analysis, such outbreaks are frequent in districts with limited access to quality potable water”.


Tag: Drinking water supply Communication Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management

11.

Relevance and Programme Design

Country context Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country situated in Central Asia, in the heart of the Eurasian continent, with a population of 6.3 million inhabitants. Since its independence in 1991, the Kyrgyz Republic has strived to attain lasting democracy and civic freedom in spite of episodes of insecurity and violence, arising from the weakness of post-independence political institutions, inter-regional tensions over public resource allocations, and inter-ethnic conflict. 

On UN’s the Human Development Index scale, the country is considered as having a medium development. The Index recorded an 8.8% increase between 1990 and 2017 (from 0.618 to 0.672), All indices noted a severe drop after the country declared its independence but increased continuously after 1995. The Gender Development Index (GDI)5 recorded in 2017 a value of 0.960 (0.654 for women and 0.681 for men), well above the global average of 0.878. The Gender Inequality Index (GII) ranks Kyrgyzstan 91st from 160 countries.

The country’s economy is vulnerable to external variations due to its unbalanced Gross Domestic Product (GDP) structure: the production of the gold mine Kumtor accounts for about 10 percent of GDP, while worker remittances amount to about 27 percent of GDP in 2018 (World Bank Country Profile, 2019). The drop of remittances registered in 2015 generated the drop of GDP in the same year and is partially explained by the economic crisis in the Russian Federation, where most of the emigrant workers had their jobs. This underlines the economy’s vulnerability and dependence on external conditions (see Figure 1).

The country had variable growth rates of its GDP since its independence, reaching a minimum level after the 1998 financial crisis. To be noted the relatively slight drop Kyrgyzstan faced during the global financial crisis of 2008 – 2009, a sign of weak connectedness to the global financial markets.

As structure, in 2018 the GDP is composed of 11.6% agricultural production (18,8 in 2009), 8.8% – Constructions Sector, 46.8% - services Sector (46,6% in 2009), and 18.6% - Industrial Production, with the rest of 14.4% being represented by net taxes on products and imports. The weight of agricultural production slightly decreased from 18.8% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2018. At least 439,602 peasant enterprises (farms) were registered in Kyrgyzstan at the beginning of 2019, an increase of 55200 since 2014.

The Osh province plays an important role in the socio-economic and political life, as a major administrative territorial entity and the most populated region of the country after the capital region. It comprises seven districts, three cities, two urban settlements, 79 communes, and 469 rural communities. As of January 2012, the Osh Province had a population of 1,147,750 people, with a balanced gender structure, and increased to 1,341,900 in 2018. The poverty level was of 31,7% (2013), but constantly decreased to 14,8% in 2018 - one of the lowest in Kyrgyzstan. Interestingly, the poverty level of the Osh city registered little change, with 35,5% in 2018 (compared to 38,3% in 2015). With a population representing 40% of the country’s population, the Province’s share in national GDP was 9% in 2015, and per capita GDP was 44% of the national average.

 The National Statistics Committee (NSC) reported that labor migrants’ remittance subtraction from consumption would raise poverty in Osh Province to 67%. On the one hand, migration has a positive impact on household welfare. On the other hand, the surging labor flight may result in a shortage of both skilled and unskilled manpower in the country. Moreover, the remittances are spent mostly on basic needs satisfaction, with only a minor share reinvested in the national economy.

 In the province, agriculture is the main economic sector with 35% of the regional GDP, while the industrial output accounts for only 3% from the national level (2015 data) 12. Trade and services also offer opportunities for development, given the size of the population and geographical access to Ferghana Valley. Thanks to its mountainous nature, the Osh province boasts important drivers for tourism development.

 Emigration is another challenge for the region. Given the limited economic chances and the state of infrastructure and services, unemployment and inadequate social services determinesrural residents emigrate to more appealing regions and other countries, primarily the Russian Federation (RF) and Kazakhstan. RF alone has taken on a formal record over 700 000 labor immigrants from Kyrgyzstan, mostly from Osh, Djalal-Abad, and Batken regions.

The access to quality water supply in the region was deficient at the time of the project start, not only in Osh province but in the rural South of KR. The reasons are either lack of utilities or their decay due to delayed or no capital repairs. In the Osh Province, only 61.3% of villages had a potable water supply at the beginning of the Programme, while the rest used canals, irrigating ditches or rivers. Open-source water is subject to contamination, and not always suitable for drinking. The main causes of poor water supply are either the lack of pipelines or their high rate of wear.

Gender equality and women’s rights are sensitive issues in Osh Province. During the inception phase, as stated in ProDoc, “businesswomen emphasized recurrently their vulnerable and unprotected status versus men, and are willing to unite to protect and promote their interests and build peace using economic instruments”. Additionally, the labor migration poses an extra burden on the women and children, during the times when men are gone for work longer periods.

The Osh province was and remains highly vulnerable to various natural calamities, including climate change-driven hazards. The dangerous natural phenomena are linked to weather, landscape, and seismic activity. Many areas in Osh Province are subject to water-related dangerous natural events (flooding, landslides, and land erosion).

Kara Kuldja district (90 kilometers north-east from Osh city) is a mountainous mono-ethnic district with no immediate exit to transport arteries. Natural disasters are frequent (flooding, landslides, and avalanches), has limited modern communication means and low availability of financial institutions. Communities of Kara-Kuldja district were active in inter-ethnic clashes in June 2010. At the time of Programme start, it was the poorest district and needed a comprehensive approach for development.

Uzgen district and its administrative center (55 kilometers from Osh) are located between major cities of Osh and Djalal-Abad. Being mainly flatland, the Bishkek-Osh public trunk highway crosses Uzgen and is strategic for business development and agricultural and livestock produce supply to both regional and national capitals. The proximity to the Uzbek border with no border crossing-point hinders, however, the economic activity, access to resources and limits the available market. Uzgen was selected also thanks to its vicinity to the Kara Kuldja district, which is important for integrated development. Uzgen is poly-ethnic, with six major minority groups: Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Turks, Russians, Uygurs, Tatars, Tadjiks.

Nookat district is a mountainous/plain land district bordering on the Republic of Uzbekistan and crossed by the important Osh-Bishkek-Isfahan motor highway exiting to the Republic of Tajikistan. Nookat represents an economic hub for both Osh Province and the Fergana Valley, interconnecting three countries. As a partially mountainous district, Nookat is rich in natural resources and enjoys sizable resources for construction materials. The district is poly-ethnic, with six significant minorities (Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Khemshils, Turks, Russians, and Tatars). Agriculture is advanced in the flatland and piedmont areas. Nookat is a leading producer of potato, apples, and tobacco.

The Kyrgyz National Sustainable Development Strategy embodied the objective to establish the time frame 2013 – 2017 as the “five constructive years - to succeed as a state and lay the foundation for successful development of Kyrgyzstan”. Among its ways to achieve this goal, the Strategy sets focus on the development of local self-government, achievement of the inter-ethnic accord, increased environmental security, risk reduction and improvement of preparedness for emergencies, among others. Special focus was set on improving the business environment and investment climate (especially small and medium enterprises development), but also on the development of strategic economic sectors: agri-industrial, energy, mining, transport and communications, tourism and services. Chapter 11 of the Strategy is dedicated to the economic development of the regions and defines broadly issues and potential solutions.

 Attempting to give a new impetus to regional development, the President of Kyrgyzstan announced in the Decree dated 9 January 2018, that 2018 is “the Year of Regional Development”15 and called to national stakeholders for joint efforts to develop the regions. This attention continued in 2019, when besides digitalization, regional development was again in focus.

 As the key programmatic document for the UN System in the country, the 2012 – 2016 United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) , prolonged to 2018, defines three pillars for contributing to the sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan: (1) Peace and Cohesion, Effective Democratic Governance, and Human Rights, including deepening State-building, security and justice for all. (2) Social Inclusion and Equity - encompassing issues of social protection, food security, education and health; and (3) Inclusive and Sustainable Job-Rich Growth for Poverty Reduction, with particular attention to women and youth, as well as to vulnerable groups and disaster-prone communities. 

 All pillars aimed to contribute to achieving objectives under all the MDGs valid at the time of Programme design. The subsequent UNDAF 2018-2022 confirms the priorities and redefines them in more detail, adding the environment-related priority: (1) Sustainable and inclusive economic growth, industrial, rural and agricultural development, food security and nutrition; (2) Good governance, rule of law, human rights and gender equality; (3) Environment, climate change, and disaster risk management; (4) Social protection, health, and education.

The five Programme components defined by the ProDoc were designed to contribute to achieving goals of the three pillars (2012-2016/18) and the four priorities (2018-2019), and they are implicitly relevant for all eight MDGs. Subsequently, as during the Programme implementation the SDGs have been adopted, the components have been re-linked with their contribution to the respective SDGs. Concretely, the programme contributes to seven of the SDGs: Nr.1 No poverty;

Nr. 5 Gender Equality; Nr. 6 Clean Water and Sanitation; Nr. 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth; Nr. 13 Climate Change Action; Nr. 16 Peace, justice, and strong institutions; Nr. 17 Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals.


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Relevance Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Programme/Project Design Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Urbanization

Recommendations
1

Strategic Recommendations

Recommendation 1 - UNDP could be the catalyst to bring together national partners and other international organizations, to create a bigger programme with more impact in the regions. Although the Programme has a significant scale and complexity, given the nature of the challenges and the size of the region, the impact is limited. Building on the good results, scaling up and replicating the best practices in other municipalities is the next logical step. Mobilizing more resources from other donors and continuing to involve the national and regional partners (as well as beneficiaries, where applicable) proves to be a working model. The coordination should be done following the Paris Principles for Aid Effectiveness, and UNDP could play a central role in coagulating a high-level partnership platform in Kyrgyzstan

2

Strategic Recommendations

Recommendation 2 - UNDP should establish a more Results-Based Management oriented working approach. In the context of financing for sustainable development, more and more emphasis is set on mobilizing funds from other donors and private sector. To attract these potential partners and to increase accountability, a results oriented working culture becomes more and more important. An internal training programme on RBM and/or Financing for development in the SDGs context could be considered.

R2.1. Additionally, to offer evidence-based results at impact level (lasting 3 to 5 years after project completion), it would be useful to find and learn from what are the enduring results left of the Area-Based Development (ABD) projects in Batken and Naryn regions. The impact assessment should match the results with the lessons learned, thus increasing the learning culture in the organization.

3

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 3 - To design future similar interventions, the programme management should better analyze potential distortions induced on the free market. In cases where a business initiative is supported, care should be taken that this support does not create an unfair competitive advantage. This recommendation draws from the finding where a high school created a car repair shop, and plans to open a new in a city where similar businesses already exist.

R3. Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will provide work on assessing the impact of projects that affect the sustainability of its activities, strengthen planning and monitoring of pilot initiatives and their demonstration effects

4

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 4 - For a future similar programme, the UNDP Country Office should perform a realistic estimate of the staff working hours, taking into account the ‘work-life-balance’ principle. For the current Programme, the workload generated by the complex and numerous activities was augmented by the precarious infrastructure. Every mission took a considerable time, and mobile working is severely limited, so staff had to work extra hours after completing field missions.

 

 

5

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 5 - Test and deploy tools to speed up public procurement procedures. The public procurement is sometimes causing unwanted delays, and UNDP could test approaches to speed up processes. Two suggestions repeatedly occurred during the interviews: increasing the threshold requiring public tenders, and introduction of e-signature to speed up bureaucratic procedures. Testing and eventual introduction of these measures should be assessed versus the UNDP Policies and Procedures.

6

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 6-  Focus on activities increasing added-value in economy. While acknowledging the peculiarities of the economy in Osh province, focusing on agricultural production and trade/export of raw products, future projects could increase the stakes and support more processing industry. This would enable entrepreneurs generate more value and employ more people. Then, the processed products with more value can be exported at higher prices. This will generate increased cash-flows, allowing the businesses to invest in modern facilities. 

 

7

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 7 - Pilot development of new sectors, like Information Technology and Communication (IT&C) and digital economy. Kyrgyzstan has very good IT&C mobile services (coverage and affordability). Although having facile access to quality IT&C infrastructure, the young generation lacks knowledge on developing start-ups and business in the digital economy. New educational programs, IT business incubators and research laboratories could be supported.

 

1. Recommendation:

Strategic Recommendations

Recommendation 1 - UNDP could be the catalyst to bring together national partners and other international organizations, to create a bigger programme with more impact in the regions. Although the Programme has a significant scale and complexity, given the nature of the challenges and the size of the region, the impact is limited. Building on the good results, scaling up and replicating the best practices in other municipalities is the next logical step. Mobilizing more resources from other donors and continuing to involve the national and regional partners (as well as beneficiaries, where applicable) proves to be a working model. The coordination should be done following the Paris Principles for Aid Effectiveness, and UNDP could play a central role in coagulating a high-level partnership platform in Kyrgyzstan

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan has launched a review of its projects in order to replicate the best practices of local and regional development in the country. UNDP will continue to support the government and local authorities in implementing the regional development model and coordinate the development partners at the local level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review the projects whose implementation is aimed at regional development in order to strengthen the local development model with the union of national partners and other international organizations.
[Added: 2020/01/02]
CO, Osh ABD 2019/12 Completed The UNDP projects are reviewed thoroughly and the implementation of their part relevant to the Osh ABD will be included into the work plan of Osh ABD in 2020 and implemented by the project staff properly with proper reporting lines
2. Recommendation:

Strategic Recommendations

Recommendation 2 - UNDP should establish a more Results-Based Management oriented working approach. In the context of financing for sustainable development, more and more emphasis is set on mobilizing funds from other donors and private sector. To attract these potential partners and to increase accountability, a results oriented working culture becomes more and more important. An internal training programme on RBM and/or Financing for development in the SDGs context could be considered.

R2.1. Additionally, to offer evidence-based results at impact level (lasting 3 to 5 years after project completion), it would be useful to find and learn from what are the enduring results left of the Area-Based Development (ABD) projects in Batken and Naryn regions. The impact assessment should match the results with the lessons learned, thus increasing the learning culture in the organization.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted. UNDP KR will strengthen its work to improve the management system based on concrete results through improving the development and implementation of M&E plans. Measurable indicators will be more effectively integrated into the framework of programme outcomes and other programme management documents

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Modernization of data collection in systems through the introduction of additional measurable indicators of impact and sustainability, tools for measuring target results
[Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/12/13]
CO, Osh ABD 2020/12 Completed The additional measurable indicators introduced and reported during the final project board History
Strengthening plans for an effective monitoring and evaluation process
[Added: 2020/01/02]
CO, Osh ABD 2019/12 Completed M&E plan is done based on the Project document and in compliance with the RBM
Enhanced capacity of UNDP staff on the use of tools for measuring impact and sustainability indicators, established data collection.
[Added: 2020/01/02]
CO M&E 2019/12 Completed The training on RBM is conducted regularly to the Programme/Project personnel
3. Recommendation:

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 3 - To design future similar interventions, the programme management should better analyze potential distortions induced on the free market. In cases where a business initiative is supported, care should be taken that this support does not create an unfair competitive advantage. This recommendation draws from the finding where a high school created a car repair shop, and plans to open a new in a city where similar businesses already exist.

R3. Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will provide work on assessing the impact of projects that affect the sustainability of its activities, strengthen planning and monitoring of pilot initiatives and their demonstration effects

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will provide work on assessing the impact of projects that affect the sustainability of its activities, strengthen planning and monitoring of pilot initiatives and their demonstration effects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To conduct Impact Assessment to offer evidence-based results
[Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/12/13]
CO, Osh ABD 2020/12 Completed The final report with the narrative on impact assessment is provided to the donor. History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 4 - For a future similar programme, the UNDP Country Office should perform a realistic estimate of the staff working hours, taking into account the ‘work-life-balance’ principle. For the current Programme, the workload generated by the complex and numerous activities was augmented by the precarious infrastructure. Every mission took a considerable time, and mobile working is severely limited, so staff had to work extra hours after completing field missions.

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will implement its economic development programs based on market research, will continue to support businesses in implementing the regional development model and coordinate the activities of development partners at the local level. Within economic programs, UNDP will strengthen its work to build the capacity of entrepreneurs, farmers, and local authorities. UNDP will strengthen the planning and monitoring of pilot initiatives and their demonstration effects so that their reproducibility and scale up are more effectively controlled.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Annual work plans will be developed taking into account the mandatory market research and support for business in the implementation of the regional development model and coordinate the development partners at the local level, as well as taking into account the regular capacity building of entrepreneurs, farmers, and local authorities.
[Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/12/13]
CO, Osh ABD 2020/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The recommendations will be taken into account during the next project design and implementation. The project is completed in 2019 with financial closure in 2020. ]
History
Strengthening the planning and monitoring of pilot initiatives and their demonstration effects so that their reproducibility and scale up are more effectively controlled.
[Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/12/13]
CO, Osh ABD 2020/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The recommendation will be taken into the account during the next project design and implementation. The project is operationally completed in 2019. ]
History
5. Recommendation:

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 5 - Test and deploy tools to speed up public procurement procedures. The public procurement is sometimes causing unwanted delays, and UNDP could test approaches to speed up processes. Two suggestions repeatedly occurred during the interviews: increasing the threshold requiring public tenders, and introduction of e-signature to speed up bureaucratic procedures. Testing and eventual introduction of these measures should be assessed versus the UNDP Policies and Procedures.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted and will be taken into account for similar programmes and projects

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recommendation is accepted and will be taken into account for future similar programmes and projects
[Added: 2020/01/02]
HR 2019/12 Completed
6. Recommendation:

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 6-  Focus on activities increasing added-value in economy. While acknowledging the peculiarities of the economy in Osh province, focusing on agricultural production and trade/export of raw products, future projects could increase the stakes and support more processing industry. This would enable entrepreneurs generate more value and employ more people. Then, the processed products with more value can be exported at higher prices. This will generate increased cash-flows, allowing the businesses to invest in modern facilities. 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will continue to strengthen the implementation of annual project work plans for the further establishment of permanent and stable channels of interaction between partners and beneficiaries in matters of effective partnership and cooperation in the use of project achievements, rational use of resources, etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Providing more reliable data in the framework of M&E and project documents when executing project annual work plans to further establish permanent and stable channels of interaction between partners and beneficiaries in matters of effective partnership and cooperation in the use of project achievements, rational use of resources, etc.
[Added: 2020/01/02]
CO, Osh ABD 2019/12 Completed The 2020 Annual work plan reflects strong partnership between the beneficiaries and local administration and other stakeholders
7. Recommendation:

Recommendations at Project / Component Level

Recommendation 7 - Pilot development of new sectors, like Information Technology and Communication (IT&C) and digital economy. Kyrgyzstan has very good IT&C mobile services (coverage and affordability). Although having facile access to quality IT&C infrastructure, the young generation lacks knowledge on developing start-ups and business in the digital economy. New educational programs, IT business incubators and research laboratories could be supported.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/11/08]

Recommendation is accepted. UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will continue to strengthen its activities to increase value added and continue to work on the development and implementation of e-economy tools.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The introduction of joint work with the Government of Kyrgyzstan on the preparation of the National Strategy for the Development of Digital Skills and the corresponding Action Plan.
[Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/12/13]
CO, Osh ABD 2020/12 Completed The recommendation is addressed within the other UNDP project on Youth digital skills within the same Results area. History
Creating a platform for innovative partnerships with the private sector in support of initiatives to accelerate the growth of digital employment and business in the country; institutions to provide access to venture capital or other forms of capital.
[Added: 2020/01/02] [Last Updated: 2020/12/13]
CO, Osh ABD 2020/12 Completed The recommendation is addressed within the Youth digital skills project implemented within the same Results area. History

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