Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Ethiopia

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document ICPE Ethiopia ToR.pdf tor English 279.33 KB Posted 327
Download document ICPE Ethiopia Annexes.pdf related-document English 591.42 KB Posted 182
Download document ICPE_Ethiopia.pdf report English 5251.53 KB Posted 217
Download document ICPE_Ethiopia_EvalBrief.pdf summary English 206.58 KB Posted 88
Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Ethiopia
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Resilience
  • 4. Sustainable
  • 5. Not Applicable
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
  • 2. Output 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
  • 3. Output 1.3.1 National capacities and evidence-based assessment and planning tools enable gender-responsive and risk-informed development investments, including for response to and recovery from crisis
  • 4. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
  • 5. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
  • 6. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
  • 7. Output 2.3.1 Data and risk-informed development policies, plans, systems and financing incorporate integrated and gender-responsive solutions to reduce disaster risks, enable climate change adaptation and mitigation, and prevent risk of conflict
  • 8. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
  • 9. Output 3.2.1 National capacities strengthened for reintegration, reconciliation, peaceful management of conflict and prevention of violent extremism in response to national policies and priorities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 66,300
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 66,300
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Oanh Nguyen Evaluation Specialist
Amanuel Zerihoun Evaluation Specialist
James Gasana Evaluation consultants
Yoseph Endeshaw Evaluation consultants
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: ETHIOPIA

Finding 1. Building on past successful support in the agricultural sector, UNDP interventions under the period reviewed have mostly consisted of small-scale follow-up support to structures. Overall, UNDP support has enabled the strengthening of institutional capacity to develop policies/strategies and to provide better services to farmers, as well as the improvement of the marketing systems and farming practices. These, in turn, are contributing to increased agricultural productivity and market access in beneficiary communities. However, the contribution of UNDP in increasing agricultural productivity should be seen as more of indirect and limited in scale.

Tag: Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction Programme Synergy Coherence Relevance Agriculture Livestock Technical Support


Finding 2. UNDP interventions in inclusive growth of the industrial sector have enhanced capacity to effectively implement and coordinate strategies for industrial transformation. Through the Entrepreneurship Development Programme, UNDP has contributed to the development of entrepreneurship culture and skills, private sector expansion and job creation. In the tourism sector, UNDP strengthened the institutional capacity of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization. However, the scale of UNDP’s interventions and results in enhancing the inclusiveness, sustainability and competitiveness of the industrial and service sectors is limited.

Tag: Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Effectiveness Technical Support


Finding 3. UNDP has been supporting national development planning, implementation, and coordination through support for technical and institutional capacity development of the Planning and Development Commission and the hosting of an aid coordination forum, the Development Assistance Group. While this support is appreciated by partners and encourages ownership of the development agenda by the Ethiopian Government, there is room to enhance the value of aid coordination in promoting synergies in project implementation and to act beyond its role as a forum for information sharing among partners.

Tag: Capacity Building Operational Efficiency Aid Coordination Coherence Relevance Technical Support


Finding 4. UNDP has contributed substantially to the implementation of various interventions in the areas of climate change and natural resource management in partnership with the Government. It has been successful in the mobilization of funds in these areas of work and the projects that it supported have been given a high priority by the Government partner agencies and show upstream and downstream results.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Operational Efficiency Ecosystem based adaption Ecosystem services Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Sustainability Technical Support


Finding 5. UNDP played an effective role in the establishment of the Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Facility and in providing support to the Ethiopian Government to address various aspects relating to climate resilience and green economy, including resource mobilization, private sector engagement, sectoral strategies, and capacity-building at the national level. UNDP’s support to the Facility allows the Government to deliver CRGE priorities and to strengthen cross-government partnership and coordination to this end. Thanks to the early achievements, the Facility has become the main portal for blending climate finance.

Tag: Green Climate Climate Change Adaptation Resilience building Strategic Positioning Green Economy Natural Resouce management Coherence Relevance Technical Support


Finding 6. UNDP has developed small-scale local responses to build the resilience of particularly vulnerable populations exposed to droughts and floods. While the approaches are relevant and demonstrate contribution to food security, building resilience is a complex task requiring much more to be done to effectively respond to its challenges.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Resilience building Vulnerable Operational Efficiency Effectiveness Technical Support


Finding 7. UNDP is working to strengthen the capacities of democratic institutions to deliver on their mandates to realize democracy, governance and human rights. It also supported dialogue forums and structures. The ongoing governance reform and transition in the country that started in early 2018 has positively affected the achievement of UNDP governance-related results.

Tag: Civic Engagement Human rights Public administration reform Operational Efficiency Effectiveness Technical Support


Finding 8. UNDP is increasingly supporting interventions aimed at enhancing the capacity of institutional authorities to promote peacebuilding and social cohesion which are relevant.

Tag: Capacity Building Social cohesion Crisis prevention Promotion of dialogue Effectiveness Technical Support


Finding 9. Despite relatively stable ODA to Ethiopia, UNDP has found it challenging to attract donor funding in the area of economic growth and poverty reduction. Vertical trust funding for the environment programme has increased steadily in this cycle, and the area of democratic governance presents important prospects for resource mobilization, notably with the change in context and the upcoming elections support programme.

Tag: Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction Donor relations Multilateral Partners Resource mobilization Efficiency Coordination


Finding 10. The country programme portfolio is fragmented and there is insufficient synergy among interventions, which has compromised UNDP’s efficiency and effectiveness. There are, however, some encouraging and good practices in applying an integrated and clustered approach to programming which can be built on and expanded by the country office.

Tag: Programme Synergy Effectiveness Efficiency


Finding 11. The sustainability of the results achieved in the country programme varies. Strong ownership by implementing partners; the focus of most interventions on capacity development; and the integration of structures and initiatives in targeted institutions are some of the factors contributing to sustainability. On the other hand, factors such as lack of adequate exit strategies and strategies for scaling up; lack of holistic approach and scattered nature of projects; and high staff turnover have compromised the sustainability of some interventions and their achievements

Tag: Strategic Positioning Sustainability


Finding 12. The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) function of the country office is not adequate, given the size and complexity of programmatic activities and the complexity of the environment in which UNDP operates in Ethiopia. Complementarities between the knowledge management and evaluation function of the country office are weak and not oriented to enhancing understanding of and managing conditions and trajectories for the success of UNDP’s interventions.

Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Coherence Relevance UN Country Team


Finding 13. UNDP has been active in producing, compiling and disseminating knowledge for various uses. However, UNDP lacks a clearly defined communication strategy that balances the promotion of UNDP with the task of contributing to and stimulating policy debates and influencing policy development.

Tag: Knowledge management Coherence Relevance Technical Support


Finding 14. The country office has developed a Gender Equality Strategy and put in place internal mechanisms to facilitate its implementation. Most UNDP projects and programmes incorporate some gender issues and promote the participation of women. However, there is a long way to go to systematically and adequately mainstream gender and achieve more gender-responsive and gender-transformative results.

Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Implementation Modality Effectiveness Efficiency Advocacy


Finding 15. UNDP is a trusted partner in Ethiopia, particularly by the Government. It has developed strong partnerships with several national government institutions but has limited partnerships with regional governments. UNDP has mostly good partnerships with donors and UN agencies, but communication and knowledge sharing could be improved. There have been efforts to develop partnerships with CSOs, the private sector and the academia, which need to be strengthened. However, engagement is almost non-existent with smallholder producers’ organizations and other actors in rural-based value chains.

Tag: Knowledge management Partnership Strategic Positioning Coherence Relevance Country Government


For its next country programme in Ethiopia, UNDP should strengthen the linkages between upstream and downstream interventions in order to enhance the likelihood for transformational change. It should strengthen its strategic focus and ensure integration between thematic areas, to better build synergies and reduce fragmented initiatives. Clear theories of change should be developed, and guidelines provided for the selection of programmes and projects, as well as for maintaining and strengthening the downstream-upstream linkages.

The existence of a large number of small and fragmented projects in the country programme is a serious challenge that needs to be addressed, as it affects the efficiency as well as effective achievement of results. Building on existing good practices such as the GDPP programme, UNDP should adopt an approach of developing larger and comprehensive programmes in major sectors or thematic areas and should minimize the creation of smaller and isolated projects. Small-scale livelihood support initiatives should be avoided unless they are appropriately integrated with policy and institutional partners that can learn from and replicate results.

UNDP’s main value addition should consist in its ability to provide highlevel evidence-based policy advice, technical support for policy formulation, capacity development, and innovations from downstream work for scaling up. UNDP needs to adopt clear criteria for deciding to engage in downstream and community development interventions, such as to test innovative or pilot approaches; produce evidence from the ground to inform policy interventions; address geographic-specific and serious development and humanitarian issues; etc.

The strategic focus should adequately combine thematic focus and geographic targeting. With regard to themes like climate change, natural resources management, forestry, DRR, peacebuilding, biodiversity, the geographic targeting for interventions to be supported should be determined by the identification of ‘hotspots’, focusing on poorer regions based on regional human development index. Partnership should be built with ‘champion regions’ committed to fulfilling what the achievement of the partnership aim requires.


UNDP should take advantage of the opportunities that have been generated by the 2018 political changes to promote stronger engagement and partnerships with regional states, including the development of regional capacities in areas where it has comparative advantages.

Ethiopia is a vast, geographically and culturally diverse country, with numerous development challenges that need to be addressed at multiple levels. Regional states can be appropriate partners, where relevant, for implementing downstream development interventions.

The importance of such partnerships resides in the fact that national growth policies, plans and strategies are not uniformly implemented across the country because each region may be facing specific constraints. Despite the country’s overall economic progress of recent years, interregional inequities persist, and there are stagnations and even reversals in regions that are subject to natural disasters or conflicts. A particular targeting package of these regions should be given priority in order to address, in addition to the needs of the population groups, the capacity constraints of the regional states’ administrations. One illustrative example: DRR must not only be incorporated in national sectoral policies, plans and strategies but also be implemented through regional state plans and strategies where there are recurrent disasters (such as flooding and droughts) which impact the lives and well-being of the populations. In such cases, UNDP should have a particular focus on providing regional states support to build their capacity so that they can exercise increased responsibility and responsiveness in that domain.


UNDP should develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for multistakeholder partnerships to mobilize expertise, knowledge and resources, and promote greater synergies with the operations of other actors in the development landscape of Ethiopia.

Supporting Ethiopia to achieve the SDGs is a huge challenge. The country’s development context is very complex and UNDP’s resources are limited. Effective partnerships in the country in line with SDG 17 are a critical factor for UNDP success. The approach should consider the development and shaping of a whole-of-government-and-society approach which would include continued traditional and non-traditional partnerships with government actors, UN agencies and other development partners, and that would be outward looking to CSOs, academia, research institutions, and private sector organizations. This should be envisaged to enhance synergies, harmonization, and coherence in implementing interventions in poverty reduction, governance, human rights and peacebuilding. UNDP’s partnership and collaboration with different stakeholders and actors would be best served and streamlined if it is guided by a clear strategy and action plan. This in turn would require better mapping of interventions and outcomes to which certain actors intend to contribute to and in what ways.


UNDP should continue and strengthen the application of a rights-based and inclusive approach in its programming. Particularly, UNDP should prioritize gender mainstreaming and ensure the effective implementation of its Gender Equality Strategy. It should make gender equality and women’s empowerment a critical component of its interventions.

Although there is encouraging recent progress in mainstreaming gender in the country office, there is still a long way to ensure the full implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021 and the effective mainstreaming of gender in the country programme. The country office should give adequate attention and allocate sufficient resources to ensure the full implementation of its Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021.

UNDP projects should have a stronger focus on women’s empowerment and inclusion of young people. UNDP’s strategy and implementation approaches should fully integrate a gender-equality perspective and actively promote the social and economic empowerment of women; as well as create sustainable and attractive rural opportunities for youth of both sexes by promoting their access to opportunities for capacity development, financial resources and sustainable livelihoods.


While continuing its upstream level support to the Government’s efforts in implementing peace policies, and to the Ministry of Peace in its strategy and processes for peace and conflict resolution, UNDP should advocate and adopt a more deliberate and integrated approach in addressing underlying causes of conflicts and of instability.

The next country programme interventions must address the causes of conflict, seek to strengthen community resilience and respect for human rights. An integrated approach is needed to fully strengthen human security and promote peace in areas where socio-political tensions exist, and to mitigate conflict factors. A more comprehensive approach towards addressing human security and promoting peace in conflict areas is necessary. It should emphasize interventions that seek to mitigate conflict factors and to enhance peace drivers. This requires that UNDP mainstreams conflict prevention and peacebuilding in all its programme priorities. To be sustainable, peacebuilding and conflict-prevention actions need to be based on the support to governance reforms that also take into account aspects such as resource-based issues, basic service delivery, capacity-building for peace, confidence-building opportunities, cultural events between and among groups or sectors, etc.


UNDP should improve the M&E system of the country programme to ensure that it better captures UNDP’s contributions to transformative changes for sustainable development and also supports knowledge management and communication for development, which in turn would strengthen the ability of UNDP to demonstrate the added value of its interventions and enhance the prospect for scaling up. The M&E and the communication teams should coordinate their work to strengthen knowledge management and to develop access to that knowledge not only for internal needs but also for the national partners’ needs. Partner institutions should be facilitated to participate in publishing and disseminating knowledge. In addition to knowledge management, UNDP should also improve communication of the results obtained, thus reinforcing the exchange of knowledge and use of UNDP’s specialized networks to generate and promote learning that can strategically contribute in a timely manner to better-informed decision-making. Given UNDP’s rich and recognized contribution to Ethiopia’s national development, there is an opportunity in using communication for development as a tool to further position itself more strategically, including enhancing the prospect for scaling up of its successful interventions. Together with M&E and other specialized units, the Communication Unit can help increase the visibility of the UNDP’s contributions to the SDGs and to transformative changes.

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213