External Assessment: Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) 2016 – 2019

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
01/2019
Completion Date:
11/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
52,000

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Title External Assessment: Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) 2016 – 2019
Atlas Project Number: 86365
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 01/2019
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 $): 52,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 52,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Jonathan Morphy Consultant jonathan.morphy@democraticgovernance.net
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: NZMFAT
Countries: FIJI
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Support development and enhancement of medium to long term institutional development plans by each of the five parliaments, fostering national ownership, enabling the planning of development activities within a structured framework and avoiding ad hoc initiatives

2

Build upon the innovative and sustainable strategy of shared learning piloted in the floating budget office, in which key staff from the five parliaments, from developed country parliaments (and where appropriate, other non-focus country Pacific Islands parliaments) work together to develop and implement enhanced parliamentary functions, especially related to committee oversight work, budget scrutiny, and budget accounting;

3

Deepen the process of translating global and national development objectives (such as the SDGs) into the practical work of parliament, particularly through integration of development goals into the oversight work of parliamentary committees. The project has demonstrated the viability of this approach, and a next phase should support development and implementation of medium-term committee plans that use SDG and national development goals as a framework for evaluating legislation, policy, and government programmes; 

4
  1. Review and enhance the strategy for enhancing women’s political representation and leadership. The project has efficiently carried out the planned activities and has enabled women leaders to strengthen their skills, and increased attention of parties to the need for gender equality in political life and tools to achieve it. Gender inequality in political leadership in the region remains a major outstanding development and governance issue. A next project stage should look at means to expand the project partners engaged specifically on this issue, to include civil society, relevant government ministries, and other key social actors. This will enable activities to be planned that follow up on and maximize impact of the practice parliaments. 
5
  1. Enhance the understanding of citizens and civil society on the roles of parliament, and develop opportunities for structured citizen engagement in parliamentary processes through tools including parliamentary hearings, outreach to constituencies, and improved two-way parliamentary communications using both traditional and new technologies
6

Foster closer engagement of the New Zealand House of Representatives as a project partner, including as a member of the project board, and participation in annual project planning workshops with the beneficiary parliaments, allowing enhanced planning of NZ technical support

7

An enhanced system for developing and tracking country-level objectives and impacts, with clear integration into each parliament’s institutional development strategy, with support to that strategy development and implementation as needed and requested. The annual PPEI planning process includes bilateral discussions with individual parliaments and agreement on an annual workplan, however in reporting the activities are grouped across countries under the 5 results areas. This will enhance the project’s institutional development focus

8

Enable non-focus parliaments within the region to benefit from PPEI-II support on an as-needed basis. This could take two forms; staff from non-focus countries could participate when multi-country activities are conducted such as the ‘floating budget office’, thus benefitting from PPEI core capacity-building; and, one-time support could be provided for specific strengthening activities engaged by non-focus country parliaments that are also not covered by other UNDP strengthening projects, which could include Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Palau.

1. Recommendation:

Support development and enhancement of medium to long term institutional development plans by each of the five parliaments, fostering national ownership, enabling the planning of development activities within a structured framework and avoiding ad hoc initiatives

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30] [Last Updated: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. The project will prioritize working with the five parliaments to develop medium to long terms plans to enable proper organization of activities and allocation of resources, both on the parliament and the project side.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Build upon the innovative and sustainable strategy of shared learning piloted in the floating budget office, in which key staff from the five parliaments, from developed country parliaments (and where appropriate, other non-focus country Pacific Islands parliaments) work together to develop and implement enhanced parliamentary functions, especially related to committee oversight work, budget scrutiny, and budget accounting;

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. Should there be a PPEI Phase II, the project will continue to build on the floating budget model as a shared learning platform for PPEI countries, developed parliaments and non-focus Pacific Islands parliament. Further, it would be useful and practical for the project to also include staff of participating parliaments (should their schedule permit) who have the capacity but have never participated in the activity, so the learning benefits are shared among staff.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Deepen the process of translating global and national development objectives (such as the SDGs) into the practical work of parliament, particularly through integration of development goals into the oversight work of parliamentary committees. The project has demonstrated the viability of this approach, and a next phase should support development and implementation of medium-term committee plans that use SDG and national development goals as a framework for evaluating legislation, policy, and government programmes; 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. The next phase of PPEI will continue to work with parliaments on engaging SDGs with a particular focus on committees and how they use SDs and national development goals in their work. In particular, using the shared learning and South-South model, it would be useful for the project to also seek global best practices and explore how this can be adapted in the Pacific context

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:
  1. Review and enhance the strategy for enhancing women’s political representation and leadership. The project has efficiently carried out the planned activities and has enabled women leaders to strengthen their skills, and increased attention of parties to the need for gender equality in political life and tools to achieve it. Gender inequality in political leadership in the region remains a major outstanding development and governance issue. A next project stage should look at means to expand the project partners engaged specifically on this issue, to include civil society, relevant government ministries, and other key social actors. This will enable activities to be planned that follow up on and maximize impact of the practice parliaments. 
Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. Depending on the agreed scope of the PPEI Phase II, the project will explore ways to effectively engage with relevant partners to ensure effectiveness of activities and maximum impacts. The approach would also include maximum engagement of in-country partners like CSOs, social actors and relevant government ministries who can also contribute to the design of practice parliaments given their strong knowledge of context.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:
  1. Enhance the understanding of citizens and civil society on the roles of parliament, and develop opportunities for structured citizen engagement in parliamentary processes through tools including parliamentary hearings, outreach to constituencies, and improved two-way parliamentary communications using both traditional and new technologies
Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. A key focus of PPEI Phase II will be enhanced citizen engagement with a focus to greater use of parliamentary hearings, outreach to constituencies and improved two-way parliamentary communications using both traditional and new technologies

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Foster closer engagement of the New Zealand House of Representatives as a project partner, including as a member of the project board, and participation in annual project planning workshops with the beneficiary parliaments, allowing enhanced planning of NZ technical support

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. As a strong supporter of the project in Phase I, a Phase II would see the New Zealand House of Representatives  as project partner.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

An enhanced system for developing and tracking country-level objectives and impacts, with clear integration into each parliament’s institutional development strategy, with support to that strategy development and implementation as needed and requested. The annual PPEI planning process includes bilateral discussions with individual parliaments and agreement on an annual workplan, however in reporting the activities are grouped across countries under the 5 results areas. This will enhance the project’s institutional development focus

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. PPEI Phase II will develop a solid M&E framework with realistic indicators that will be used to measure project success aligned to the parliament’s strategic plans.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Enable non-focus parliaments within the region to benefit from PPEI-II support on an as-needed basis. This could take two forms; staff from non-focus countries could participate when multi-country activities are conducted such as the ‘floating budget office’, thus benefitting from PPEI core capacity-building; and, one-time support could be provided for specific strengthening activities engaged by non-focus country parliaments that are also not covered by other UNDP strengthening projects, which could include Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Palau.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/30]

Agreed. The project would also on creatively engaging non-focus Pacific Parliaments to benefit from PPEI II support, upon request. The Pacific Floating Budget Office is one such platform, there are others including country-level trainings for staff or MPs or attachment where neighboring non-focus countries, for example, could be invited to participate. Tuvalu and Kiribati staff in a Fiji Parliament staff training as an example.

Key Actions:

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