Conflict Prevention and Peace Preservation Project in Sierra Leone

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Sierra Leone
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2017
Completion Date:
11/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
22,726

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Title Conflict Prevention and Peace Preservation Project in Sierra Leone
Atlas Project Number: 00077436
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Sierra Leone
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2017
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.2.2 National and local systems enabled and communities empowered to ensure the restoration of justice institutions, redress mechanisms and community security
Evaluation Budget(US $): 22,726
Source of Funding: Core Resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 35,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Madhab Regmi Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist josephine.scott-manga@undp.org
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Internal Affairs; Office of National Security; National Commission for Democracy; West Africa Network for Peace; Advocate Plus; Serve Sierra Leone; Democracy and Developments Associates; Political Parties Registration Commission; University of Makeni; Hope Sierra Leone
Countries: SIERRA LEONE
Lessons
1.

UNDP formulated the project based on continuation of UNIPSIL previous roles in support to the security sector in promoting dialogue between political parties (page 9). However, the ONS is fundamentally an intelligence organisation, whose principal mandate is the coordination of the security and intelligence sectors. The implied threat for the use of force that underlies the core function of security organisations therefore places UNDP in a difficult position to reconcile its principles of ‘doing no harm’ and human rights-based approaches. A comprehensive SWOT analysis should have helped UNDP to identify more amenable national institutions to partner with in terms of promoting and facilitating broad-based dialogue and conflict resolution


2.

The project document indicates the Attorney General (AG) as member of the project governance structure. However, a review of project board minutes shows that the AG did not participate in any of the meetings (page 12). In addition, DISEC members in Kenema observed the absence of the judiciary sector negatively affected beneficiaries’ access to justice (page 19). Also, as at the time of this evaluation, the PPRC said they were not aware of the project, even though UNDP lists it among its IPs and beneficiaries


3.

UNDP continued the project in 2016 and 2017, and redirected its focus to civic education without seeking either an extension of the project or revising the project document (page 14). As a result, some stakeholders had reservations as to the appropriateness of having the security sector institutions having governance oversight role over civic education activities.


4.

Although the project focus was essentially on ‘capacity building’, there was no evidence of a comprehensive capacity needs assessment (page 18). This has effect on the project design in terms of identifying appropriate results and performance indicators.


5.

While all planned activities under the project’s outcome 1 were completed (page 15), there was no follow up by IPs, with regards to the trained community monitors and conflict mediators (pages 17-19). As a result, their direct impact at the community level remained a matter of conjecture.


6.

Most of the reports produced by IPs narrated the activities that had been undertaken without linking them to the expected outputs/results (page 25). Some IPs were not familiar with UNDP procedures about the required thresholds for micro-grants.


Findings
1.

The overall project objective “to strengthen conflict resolution mechanisms in Sierra Leone by supporting national stakeholders in institutionalising systems for preserving peace through (i) an early warning and response system, and (ii) creating a culture of dialogues with a particular focus on engaging youth at risk”, is considered to be highly relevant and aligned to the country context as well as the needs and priorities of the government.

However, the project had some design weaknesses in the results, monitoring and evaluation framework, including output statements which describe activities that will be carried out, rather than the expected result of the activity; thereby making it difficult to frame relevant and appropriate indicators for the outputs.


2.

Some of the project implementing partners (IPs) identified in the project document did not participate in its implementation, such as for example the Attorney General shown in the Project Document as part of the management structure.


3.

All the planned project activities were implemented and completed, although the extent of contribution to the expected results was limited due to the scale of the interventions. The project supported deployment of conflict monitors in all 149 chiefdoms, but due to limited resources did not plan to support expansion of the CHISECs beyond the 15 border districts. However, the national early warning system (NEWS) established with UNDP support continued to produce early warning reports, including: weekly highlights of incidents as they occurred; situation tracking on current, potential or emerging threats to peace and human security with recommendations; quick updates on incidents and/or eminent threats to peace and human security at the local and national levels


4.

All four (4) milestones were achieved:

·     20 Chiefdom-level early warning systems and structures established by Nov 2015 –achieved;

·     Communication structures for national early warning and response system reviewed by Dec 2014 – achieved;

·     20 early warning and response systems supported by Dec 2015 – achieved;

·     20 potential conflicts brought to attention of the national network of mediators by Dec 2015 – achieved.


5.

With regards to the establishment and training of conflict mediators and dialogue facilitators, UNDP partnered with a local NGO – Advocate Plus-Sierra Leone. A network of 149 men and women were trained in conflict mediation and dialogue facilitation and deployed in all the chiefdoms as peace ambassadors. Some key informants noted however that there has been no follow up since the project ended in December 2015 due to lack of resources  to provide the mediators with transport to travel outside of their communities to facilitate dialogue or mediate conflicts


6.

After the project ended in December 2015, UNDP continued implementing and refocused its interventions to civic education. However, some corporate programming principles were not followed, including:

(i)        Closing the project after its completion in December 2015 and conduct final project evaluation,

(ii)      Obtaining a no-cost extension in order to continue project implementation after funding ended,

(iii)    Seeking a project (and budget) revision to amend the project document.


7.

With regards to timely implementation and budget delivery, the components contained in the signed project document were completed on time and within budget. However, the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) stopped funding the project in December 2015, after which all activities in 2016 and 2017 were funded only by UNDP.


8.

The evaluation also found that the project the fundamental institutional infrastructure for early warning and response, in particular the CHISEC and DISEC structures were already in existence in the border chiefdoms and districts. These structures would likely continue beyond the project’s lifecycle, although the government lacked resources to expand this infrastructure beyond the border districts, and the project had not contributed to establishment of any additional CHISECs.


Recommendations
1

UNDP should strengthen RBM capacity and ensure that project design, including formulation of indicators adheres to basic standard

2

UNDP should always base its project planning and design on comprehensive situation analysis, including analysis of its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), in order to ensure that its interventions are fully aligned with its core values and principles.

3

UNDP should ensure that project management adheres to its corporate programming principles, including

a) Seeking extension of project timeframe through either no-cost or with-cost extension if the project is to be continued beyond its planned timeframe;
b) Revision of project document if the project has to refocus its activities and outputs.

4

UNDP should continue supporting the initiatives for civic education, especially through:
a) Advocacy work leading to enactment of legislation and attendant policies and regulations for implementation of the national Civic Education Strategy;
b) Collaboration with NCD and other relevant partners to ensure smooth roll-out and implementation of the Civic Education Curriculum, both in the formal school education system and informal sector.
 

1. Recommendation:

UNDP should strengthen RBM capacity and ensure that project design, including formulation of indicators adheres to basic standard

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/07]

Recommendation is noted. UNDP continues to build capacity of its staff through annual external and inhouse trainings in RBM.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Cluster and CO will hold 1 inhouse peer learning refresher trainings for Programme staff in addition to those held already by colleagues from RBA
[Added: 2018/11/07]
UNDP 2019/11 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should always base its project planning and design on comprehensive situation analysis, including analysis of its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), in order to ensure that its interventions are fully aligned with its core values and principles.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/07]

Recommendation is noted and key actions put in place

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will continue to utilise internal structures to adhere to principles and procedures.
[Added: 2018/11/07]
UNDP 2019/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: UNDP planning and design is based on up to date situation analysis and based on Programme/Project management guidelines in POPP and validated by stakeholders]
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should ensure that project management adheres to its corporate programming principles, including

a) Seeking extension of project timeframe through either no-cost or with-cost extension if the project is to be continued beyond its planned timeframe;
b) Revision of project document if the project has to refocus its activities and outputs.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/07]

Recommendation Noted and key actions put in place

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recommendation noted.
[Added: 2018/11/07]
UNDP 2019/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: UNDP continues to adhere to programming principles. The lapses in programming occured in the period of EVD outbrak but this has been revised and corrected]
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should continue supporting the initiatives for civic education, especially through:
a) Advocacy work leading to enactment of legislation and attendant policies and regulations for implementation of the national Civic Education Strategy;
b) Collaboration with NCD and other relevant partners to ensure smooth roll-out and implementation of the Civic Education Curriculum, both in the formal school education system and informal sector.
 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/07]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation. Civic education is critical to enhancing citizen's voice and participation in political processes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will develop intervention to promote civic education through implementation of the national civic education strategy. UNDP will link civi education work of parliament with that of the civic education rollout for increased impact.
[Added: 2018/11/07]
UNDP 2020/12 Not Initiated

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