Evaluation of Poverty Reduction among youth in Cambodia – Development of youth volunteers’ skill sets for increased employability

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, UNV
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2020
Completion Date:
03/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

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Title Evaluation of Poverty Reduction among youth in Cambodia – Development of youth volunteers’ skill sets for increased employability
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, UNV
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2020
Planned End Date: 03/2020
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 10,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
CHUN Nimul Consultant chun_nimul@hotmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: CAMBODIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

An incentivizing system should be introduced to motivate the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) implementers both at national and provincial level. Further analysis on the types of incentives should be conducted based on the internal context of MoEYS is required. For example, non-monetary motivational measure such as providing special attention and quicker responses from high level government officials could be one of them.

2

Since the demand, the system, and the capacity are already present, seed funding for developing grant proposals to continue and expand the program should be provided. The focus of the next project period should include:

  • Mobilizing technical support for the implementation of the volunteerism program from experienced volunteerism partners at both the national and international level to ensure continuous and innovative approaches;
  • Providing technical support for a monitoring and evaluation program oriented to producing insightful and quality reports that have applicable value; and
  • Seeking financial support for both mini-projects and the larger-scale mobilization of youth volunteers.
3

For project continuation, a better administrative and financial practice should be determined based on lessons learned in order to ensure effective and transparent operation and to avoid demotivation following the hard work of stakeholders at all levels.

4

Drawing in part on the findings of this evaluation report, do a cost benefit analysis and socio-economic impact study of the 61 mini-projects – (25 implemented by P3 youth volunteers and 36 by VMC youth volunteers) – in order to capitalize on the achievements and for use as a policy and advocacy mechanism for future funding from both the government and development partners.

5

Ensure more inclusiveness of the vulnerable youth by establishing improved selection criteria and appropriate procedures that would open more opportunities for them to apply, this in order to redress an imbalance favouring city and more experienced youth.

6

Being a South-South Cooperation project, there should be more strategic, attention and focus on further strengthening and promotion of South-South activities such as following up on the benefits of SSC activities and further actions on SSC to be planned in the future.

1. Recommendation:

An incentivizing system should be introduced to motivate the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) implementers both at national and provincial level. Further analysis on the types of incentives should be conducted based on the internal context of MoEYS is required. For example, non-monetary motivational measure such as providing special attention and quicker responses from high level government officials could be one of them.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

UNV has taken note of the recommendation and transferred it to MoEYS who is responsible for action.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Since the demand, the system, and the capacity are already present, seed funding for developing grant proposals to continue and expand the program should be provided. The focus of the next project period should include:

  • Mobilizing technical support for the implementation of the volunteerism program from experienced volunteerism partners at both the national and international level to ensure continuous and innovative approaches;
  • Providing technical support for a monitoring and evaluation program oriented to producing insightful and quality reports that have applicable value; and
  • Seeking financial support for both mini-projects and the larger-scale mobilization of youth volunteers.
Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

UNV accepts this recommendation and agrees that a proposal should be developed to seek funding to continue and expand the program in partnership with MoEYS. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 No further action necessary as a proposal is in the pipeline.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
UNV Regional Office for Asia-Pacific 2020/09 Overdue-Initiated Proposal submitted to China's South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF) in August 2019. A response is expected by September 2020.
2.2 UNV Cambodia and UNV Regional Office Asia-Pacific to establish a factsheet on most important steps to be taken if a new project is being developed.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
UNV Cambodia and UNV Regional Office Asia-Pacific 2020/09 Overdue-Initiated
3. Recommendation:

For project continuation, a better administrative and financial practice should be determined based on lessons learned in order to ensure effective and transparent operation and to avoid demotivation following the hard work of stakeholders at all levels.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

UNV partially accepts this recommendation. The project experienced delays in transferring funds to national and subnational implementing partners since the project had to comply with UNDP administrative and financial policies and procedures. As the project has ended in March 2020 and decision on its resumption is pending, UNV has taken note of the evaluation’s recommendations but will not be able to implement any related key actions for the time being. In case any future projects come up, implementation modality and needs and conditions for cash transfer should be analysed during programme design phase and detailed with UNDP and implementing partners during the project planning phase.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Drawing in part on the findings of this evaluation report, do a cost benefit analysis and socio-economic impact study of the 61 mini-projects – (25 implemented by P3 youth volunteers and 36 by VMC youth volunteers) – in order to capitalize on the achievements and for use as a policy and advocacy mechanism for future funding from both the government and development partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

UNV accepts this recommendation and agrees that there is a need to evaluate the mini-projects implemented by the youth volunteers to draw conclusions on their cost-benefit and socio-economic impact on communities. However, as the project has ended in March 2020 and decision on its resumption is pending, UNV has taken note of the evaluation’s recommendations but will not be able to implement any related key actions for the time being.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Ensure more inclusiveness of the vulnerable youth by establishing improved selection criteria and appropriate procedures that would open more opportunities for them to apply, this in order to redress an imbalance favouring city and more experienced youth.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

UNV has taken note of this recommendation and agrees that inclusion of vulnerable youth could be improved by revising selection procedures, however selection did not favour city and more experienced youth as the project was implemented in 17 provinces to provide opportunities to inexperienced youth not living in Cambodia’s main cities (Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap). Recommendation has been transferred to MoEYS who is responsible for action.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Being a South-South Cooperation project, there should be more strategic, attention and focus on further strengthening and promotion of South-South activities such as following up on the benefits of SSC activities and further actions on SSC to be planned in the future.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

UNV partially accepts this recommendation and agrees that further South-South activities could be strengthened and more intentionally integrated in future programme design phase. UNV rejects the recommendation to follow up on the SSC benefits and planned actions in other countries as it is beyond the scope of the project – UNV is only able to report on the impact of SSC activities in Cambodia. As the project has ended in March 2020 and decision on its resumption is pending, UNV has taken note of the evaluation’s recommendations but will not be able to implement any related key actions for the time being. Shall a national programme be developed, UNV will facilitate a knowledge exchange between MoEYS and international governmental counterparts to allow MoEYS to learn from best practices in volunteerism program and management of volunteers.

Key Actions:

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