Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project Phase II

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
04/2021
Completion Date:
02/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
18,800

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Title Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project Phase II
Atlas Project Number: 00103473
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2021
Planned End Date: 04/2021
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
Evaluation Budget(US $): 18,800
Source of Funding: DFAT, EU
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 18,750
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Robertson Lawrence Mr robertsonlawrence@hotmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Home Affairs, Office of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission
Countries: FIJI
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

SECSIP should focus on what can be accomplished in final six months period of the extended project (through June 2021) under COVID-19 conditions and the preparation of a successor follow-on project.

2

UNDP/Solomon Islands should decide whether to develop either a broad democratic governance project or a more focused project supporting electoral administration.

UNDP should engage with partners, stakeholders and donors on whether to develop a successor electoral cycle support project

For both narrower successor project focused on electoral administration and as part the potential alternative broader projected focused on democratic governance

3

Evaluation recommendations 3 and 4

For both narrower successor project focused on electoral administration and as part the potential alternative broader projected focused on democratic governance:

3a. In the remaining six months of phase II, SECSIP should prioritize conducting an inclusive, comprehensive technical capacity assessment of the EO to identify clearly the existing capacity of the EMB and its capacity gaps in terms of meeting the current responsibilities and future plans of the office.

3b. SECSIP should work closely with the new leadership of the EO and the staff to facilitate     agreement and consensus on realistic goals for the EO, action plans to achieve the strategic plan, and activities to support institutional capacity building to meet the goals of the agreed-upon action plans.

3c. A follow- on project in electoral administration should considering using the same objectives of SECSIP phase I and II because internatioanl support appears to still be needed to achieve the outputs of: 

a-Sustainable voter registration system created to strengthen the inclusiveness and integrity of the election cycle

b-More efficient and effective administrative procedures designed and implemented for the EO to fulfil its mandate

c-National authorities and local networks have better capacity to train and educate the population on voter awareness and civic engagement

d-Electoral, legal and administrative reform supported to contribute to a stronger electoral commission and representative democracy

e-Increased capacity of communities to promote women’s political participation

All other areas of potential support identified as appropriate in the 2019 NAM can fit well under these objectives.

4. Any successor project should be developed through results-based methodologies that articulate clear outcomes that the project will contribute to – with clear outputs that can lead to these outcomes. Outputs should be clearly articulated and be measurable, with baseline data and plans to measure progress towards outputs going forward under the next project. However, it may be more difficult or not be possible to develop a comprehensive, clear a results-based project in outcomes in broader areas of democratic governance as there are substantial uncertainties about national choices of governance modalities and reform. Outputs should be designed with a focus on sustainable results owned by national counterparts. SECSIP should consider hiring an experienced IC for substantive dialogue and engagement to develop an outcome-based project with clear expectations about outputs and their contributions to expected outcomes.

4

Evaluation recommendations 5, 6, 7 and 8

5.UNDP should consider joining with the AHC and potentially the EU or other interested international parties to form a regular, small donor coordination group on electoral assistance (or democratic governance and electoral administration) in order to strengthen cooperation and collaboration and avoid issues. Membership and leadership of this group should be at the level above SECSIP and ESSP. A future project would benefit from a clearer, agreed roles between assistance efforts. SECSIP and this group should also consult with IFES about their workplan and activities to be conducted under their USAID contract in order not to duplicate these engagements in the development of a new project

6.UNDP should consider using the same staff or IC(s) for these linked processes and products (capacity assessment of the EO, action plan towards meeting the SIEC strategic plan, and successor UNDP electoral cycle project document

7. UNDP should increase its efforts to collaborate across UNDP projects and with other UN agencies, particularly UN Women and UNFPA,

8. UNDP should develop and sustain a dedicated website that organizes and makes widely available both brief descriptions of all projects, including SECSIP, and the products produced by these projects in ways that can be used by citizens in the Solomons and other Pacific island countries to support discussion, debate, and development in the Solomons

1. Recommendation:

SECSIP should focus on what can be accomplished in final six months period of the extended project (through June 2021) under COVID-19 conditions and the preparation of a successor follow-on project.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/03]

Agree. Priorities to be accomplished during this period include support to parliamentary and provincial by-elections scheduled for 19 May 2021 amidst COVID 19 and preparation of follow-up project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Support to parliamentary and provincial by-elections amidst COVID 19 global pandemic.
[Added: 2021/06/03]
SECSIP project management, advisers and administration, logistical and procurement staff 2021/05 Completed By-elections were held on 19 May. Results were released on 22 May.
1.2 Preparation of follow up project.
[Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/06/30]
SECSIP Project Manager 2021/06 Completed Pre-PAC/ Review on Draft ProDoc received. Chief Technical Advisor/Project Manager will finalize the comments. Once that is completed then LPAC will be done followed by signing of the Final Project Document. History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP/Solomon Islands should decide whether to develop either a broad democratic governance project or a more focused project supporting electoral administration.

UNDP should engage with partners, stakeholders and donors on whether to develop a successor electoral cycle support project

For both narrower successor project focused on electoral administration and as part the potential alternative broader projected focused on democratic governance

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/03]

Agree. UNDP Solomon Islands is preparing the new project through a widely participatory process to seek the views of national and international partners. The scope of this project will be focusing on the support of electoral administration with some areas of work impacting on a more broad democratic governance (promotion of social inclusion at all levels for more informed decisions). To this end, the project has engaged a senior expert on electoral matters to explore opportunities building on previous achievements and taking into account UNDP competitive advantage as UN lead developing entity. This process also seeks to streamline the design to identify synergies and collaboration with other partners avoiding duplication of efforts and enhancing impact of results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.2 Desk review and Consultations for project design/formulation
[Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/07/01]
SECSIP with UNDP CO support 2021/08 Overdue-Initiated Project has scheduled another meeting for mid July. History
2.1 Engagement of Senior Electoral Expert
[Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/07/28]
SECSIP with UNDP CO support 2021/07 Completed The work required for the Senior Electoral expert on reviewing the Project Document has been completed. History
2.3 Draft PRODOC
[Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/06/30]
SECSIP with UNDP CO support 2021/06 Completed Pre-PAC/ Review on Draft ProDoc received. Chief Technical Advisor/Project Manager will finalize the comments. Once that is completed then LPAC will be done followed by signing of the Final Project Document. History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendations 3 and 4

For both narrower successor project focused on electoral administration and as part the potential alternative broader projected focused on democratic governance:

3a. In the remaining six months of phase II, SECSIP should prioritize conducting an inclusive, comprehensive technical capacity assessment of the EO to identify clearly the existing capacity of the EMB and its capacity gaps in terms of meeting the current responsibilities and future plans of the office.

3b. SECSIP should work closely with the new leadership of the EO and the staff to facilitate     agreement and consensus on realistic goals for the EO, action plans to achieve the strategic plan, and activities to support institutional capacity building to meet the goals of the agreed-upon action plans.

3c. A follow- on project in electoral administration should considering using the same objectives of SECSIP phase I and II because internatioanl support appears to still be needed to achieve the outputs of: 

a-Sustainable voter registration system created to strengthen the inclusiveness and integrity of the election cycle

b-More efficient and effective administrative procedures designed and implemented for the EO to fulfil its mandate

c-National authorities and local networks have better capacity to train and educate the population on voter awareness and civic engagement

d-Electoral, legal and administrative reform supported to contribute to a stronger electoral commission and representative democracy

e-Increased capacity of communities to promote women’s political participation

All other areas of potential support identified as appropriate in the 2019 NAM can fit well under these objectives.

4. Any successor project should be developed through results-based methodologies that articulate clear outcomes that the project will contribute to – with clear outputs that can lead to these outcomes. Outputs should be clearly articulated and be measurable, with baseline data and plans to measure progress towards outputs going forward under the next project. However, it may be more difficult or not be possible to develop a comprehensive, clear a results-based project in outcomes in broader areas of democratic governance as there are substantial uncertainties about national choices of governance modalities and reform. Outputs should be designed with a focus on sustainable results owned by national counterparts. SECSIP should consider hiring an experienced IC for substantive dialogue and engagement to develop an outcome-based project with clear expectations about outputs and their contributions to expected outcomes.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/06/04]

Agree. As referred in response to recommendation n.2, a senior world reputed electoral expert was engaged to conduct a technical assessment of electoral support areas to be prioritized. The expert first conducted a desk review of SIEC Strategic Reform Framework, its Corporate and then conducted targeted bilateral discussions with EO and development partners  and, based on their feedback produced a ‘Priorities paper’ which once agreed with EO served as the basis for the round table discussion of 29 March. This resulted in the preparation of a concept note and a draft prodoc currently under UNDP review process for a project to be articulated in 4 outputs covering the recommended objectives:

Output 1: Institutional and operational capacities of electoral authorities strengthened (focusing on recommended objectives a and b)

Output 2: Capacity of national authorities & local networks strengthened to provide inclusive voter information and awareness & facilitate civic engagement (focusing on recommended objective c)

Output 3: Legal electoral framework reviewed and reformed (focusing on recommended objective d)

Output 4: Women’s political participation and leadership strengthened ((focusing on recommended objective e)

SECSIP will consider hiring an experienced IC to develop an outcome- based framework with indicators that are tailored to measure progress contextualized for the Solomon Islands Project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Finalization of PRODOC
[Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/06/30]
UNDP SECSIP,SOI, UNDP PACIFIC, RBAP 2021/08 Overdue-Initiated Pre-PAC/ Review on Draft ProDoc received. Chief Technical Advisor/Project Manager will finalize the comments. Once that is completed then LPAC will be done followed by signing of the Final Project Document. History
3.2 Engagement of IC with expertise on M&E
[Added: 2021/06/03] [Last Updated: 2021/07/28]
UNDP SECSIP 2021/08 Overdue-Initiated The M&E IC has contributed in designing and enhancing the RRF for the Phase 3 of the Electoral Project. The project is now looking into developing new tools in obtaining data in relation to the IRRF. History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendations 5, 6, 7 and 8

5.UNDP should consider joining with the AHC and potentially the EU or other interested international parties to form a regular, small donor coordination group on electoral assistance (or democratic governance and electoral administration) in order to strengthen cooperation and collaboration and avoid issues. Membership and leadership of this group should be at the level above SECSIP and ESSP. A future project would benefit from a clearer, agreed roles between assistance efforts. SECSIP and this group should also consult with IFES about their workplan and activities to be conducted under their USAID contract in order not to duplicate these engagements in the development of a new project

6.UNDP should consider using the same staff or IC(s) for these linked processes and products (capacity assessment of the EO, action plan towards meeting the SIEC strategic plan, and successor UNDP electoral cycle project document

7. UNDP should increase its efforts to collaborate across UNDP projects and with other UN agencies, particularly UN Women and UNFPA,

8. UNDP should develop and sustain a dedicated website that organizes and makes widely available both brief descriptions of all projects, including SECSIP, and the products produced by these projects in ways that can be used by citizens in the Solomons and other Pacific island countries to support discussion, debate, and development in the Solomons

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/04]

Agree.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Regular coordination meetings
[Added: 2021/06/04]
Throughout project implementation 2021/12 Initiated Since last year SECSIP CTA has been participating in regular monthly meetings with EO and other assistance providers as well as in bilateral calls with Australian Electoral Commission and IFES, the last one on 12 May also attended by UNDP CM
Inter-agency efforts to enhance collaboration
[Added: 2021/06/04]
UNDP and other UN entities 2021/12 Initiated SECSIP II has and SECSIP III will continue to build and expand synergies and collaboration with other UNDP SOI and UNDP Pacific Office projects (e.g Peace building, anti-corruption, parliamentary support), UNICEF, UN Women and others to maximize impact and results
Draft PRODOC has a proposed project staff maintaining key posts from SECSIP II to ensure continuity in SECSIP III
[Added: 2021/06/04] [Last Updated: 2021/06/30]
UNDP 2021/06 Completed Yes, PRODOC maintains key project staff as per recommendations History
Dedicated website
[Added: 2021/06/04]
UNDP CO 2021/12 Not Initiated This is to be decided by management at CO and regional levels. At this stage UNDP CO Communications Specialist has commenced a review of contents of UNDP SOI included in the UNDP Pacific Office website to better showcase UNDP achievements. Communication Specialist is also working with SECSIP to use social media to generate discussion and support on development issues.

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