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

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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: 00086365
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 01/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
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
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
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
1.

2.0 PPEI design (programme theory)

The project is designed with a matrix approach; that is, the project aimed to support changes in five result areas, across five (originally four) national parliaments. The anticipated results are drawn from the UNDP Pacific Office project document 2014 – 2017, based on the UNDP Asia-Pacific regional programme document 2014 - 2017, and in turn are based on the 2014-2017 UNDP strategic plan, approved by its UN member states’ Executive Board. The Pacific Office work plan had the overarching goal to "achieve simultaneously the eradication of poverty and the significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion in the Pacific". The PPEI project supports the following two outputs, and associated results, of the overall UNDP Pacific Office mandate:

Output 2.1. Parliaments, constitution-making bodies and electoral institutions enabled to perform core functions for improved accountability, participation and representation, including for peaceful transitions

Result 2.1. A Members of Parliament are supported more effectively by the parliamentary secretariat through the provision of induction training for first time members, research and briefing materials

Result 2.1. B Cross-cutting development issues mainstreamed in Pacific parliaments

Result 2.1. C Development of a participatory and transparent National planning and budget process

Output 2.6. Measures in place to increase women’s participation in decision-making

Result 2.6. A Capacity of potential women candidates increased through provision of training and capacity building activities

Result 2.6. B Increased number of women candidates selected by political parties in selected Pacific countries.


Tag: Parliament Human and Financial resources Programme/Project Design

2.

Continuing

2.0 PPEI design (programme theory)

The project’s design attentiveness to the differential circumstances in each country is clear. In the project summary proposal submitted to New Zealand MFAT, the circumstances of each country’s parliament is described in some detail (as is the case for the addendum in which Vanuatu is added to the project beneficiaries). The document contains a historical overview of the development of the parliament, the current challenges being faced by the Parliament, and the support that has been provided over recent years by UNDP and other development partners.


Tag: Parliament Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

3.

Continuing

2.0 PPEI design (programme theory)

Result 2.1. A: Members of Parliament are supported more effectively by the parliamentary secretariat through the provision of induction training for first time members, research and briefing materials

The objective of this action is straightforward. MPs are the decision-makers in parliament, and in order to do their job effectively they need first to understand their mandates and their roles. MPs come from varied walks of life and do not necessarily have experience or deep understanding of government mechanisms when they first arrive in parliament. Effective induction enables new MPs to quickly assume their responsibilities, and can avoid misunderstandings and conflicts regarding the role of MPs vis-à-vis other governance actors.

In larger, strongly institutionalized parliaments, detailed inductions are organized by parliamentary and party caucus staff. In the smaller parliaments of the Pacific region, there are few parliamentary staff and they may not be equipped to carry out effective inductions. Further, in some PPEI parliaments, the exact roles of parliaments and of MPs are not always clear, with practice sometimes diverging substantially from the formal rules of procedure. As a result, international support to induction, including bringing staff and MPs from other parliaments, provides a means to institutionalize good parliamentary practice from the outset of a new parliament.


Tag: Effectiveness Parliament Operational Efficiency Policies & Procedures

4.

Continuing

2.0  PPEI design(programme theory)

Result 2.1. A: Members of Parliament are supported more effectively by the parliamentary secretariat through the provision of induction training for first time members, research and briefing materials

The second part of result 2.1. A involves support to strengthening the professional staff support provided to parliamentarians in the course of their work. Parliamentarians cannot be experts in all aspects of governance, and thus depend on professional, impartial, advice from parliamentary staff. In small parliaments where MPs may find themselves involved on committees covering a wide range of policy areas, the need for support is even greater. Without such support, parliaments risk becoming ‘rubber stamp’ institutions thus failing to provide robust oversight, or equally problematic, poor decisions may be made based on inaccurate understanding of issues.

The most sustainable means to enhance technical support to parliamentarians is through strengthening parliamentary services. Facilitating access to experts can also be helpful, and it is a good practice for parliaments to make use of locally available skills, such as from academic institutions. When faced with particularly complex and sensitive issues, as occurred in one country, Tonga, a support project such as PPEI can make contact with a regional and global network of parliamentary experts to provide a qualified and independent rules interpretation.

The support to induction and strengthening of the secretariat’s technical capacities was carried out in practice through a flexible approach in which the needs of parliament were discussed with the parliamentary political and administrative leadership, both at the annual planning workshop and in ad hoc discussions, and a series of support activities was programmed for the year ahead. In some cases, this was supplemented through ad hoc requests for support to address emergent issues.


Tag: Effectiveness Parliament Operational Efficiency Oversight Technical Support

5.

Continuing

2.1 PPEI design (programme theory)

Result 2.1. A:Members of Parliament are supported more effectively by the parliamentary secretariat through the provision of induction training for first time members, research and briefing materials

In interviews with parliamentary key informants, all appreciated the support to strengthening the parliamentary secretariats, and particularly appreciated the opportunities for staff exchanges with Pacific parliaments. The activities for each parliament were closely tailored according to need within the framework of the overall result objective. This entailed substantial variations in the support provided.

For example, the Cook Islands parliament chose to develop a handbook which is used both for induction of new MPs and staff, and as a guide of government civil servants on the parliament, its roles and processes. In PNG, training was delivered on committee functioning (responding to a weakness of the PNG parliament) and Hansard training was delivered. In Tonga, staff were supported in completing the McGill University Canada programme on Parliamentary Management. Several parliaments were supported through organizing staff attachments to New Zealand, Fiji, and Australian parliaments. In Tonga, as noted, specialized support focused on rules interpretation for the Clerk, enabling successful resolution of a complex constitutional issue.


Tag: Effectiveness Parliament Communication Operational Efficiency Oversight Policies & Procedures Capacity Building

6.

Continuing

2.0 PPEI design (programme theory)

Result 2.1.B: Cross cutting development issues mainstreamed in Pacific Parliaments

The objective of good governance, and of democratic governance strengthening programmes, is ultimately to improve the lives of citizens, through enhancing human development. This is reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations as the world’s development goals to 2030, and which frame the development assistance policies of many countries, including New Zealand.

The project’s implementation of this objective has evolved during the course of the project. The SDGs were adopted in 2015 as the successor to the Millennium Development Goals which had proven an effective means of focusing development actions on key and measurable outcomes directly tied to improving lives globally. The SDGs are broader than the MDGs and thus require a more comprehensive explanation and roll-out. In line with this, the project began its activities focusing particularly on explaining the SDGs to the PPEI parliaments, and also exposing the ways in which parliaments can make use of SDGs in their work (for example in framing oversight objectives, and in considering the necessary national legislative agenda for sustainable development).


Tag: Integration MDGs Oversight Agenda 2030 SDG Integration

7.

Continuing

2.1 PPEI design(programme theory)

Result 2.1.B: Cross cutting development issues mainstreamed in Pacific Parliaments

Weaknesses in Pacific parliaments’ capacities for effective financial oversight have been widely noted in the past, and these present an issue not only for citizens of the Pacific states, but also for development partners in shifting towards budget support in line with the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. In two countries, the Solomon Islands and the Cook Islands, the project was instrumental in enabling the activation of the previously dormant or limited functioning Public Accounts Committee; and, in all five parliaments, there has been a significant enhancement of the functioning of both the PAC and of the budget scrutiny process.


Tag: Efficiency Parliament Human and Financial resources Oversight

8.

Continuing

2.1 PPEI design (programme theory)

Result 2.6.A: Capacity of potential women candidates to campaign and engage in policy debates increased through provision of training and capacity building activities

The Pacific Island countries have one of the lowest proportion of women political leaders, and specifically of women MPs, in the world. Therefore, a priority, also in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 5, is to ensure that women are enabled to run as candidates and to be elected in both national and local elections. Further, the objective of enhancing women’s role in decision-making has been emphasized by Pacific Islands leaders in their 2012 Gender Equality Declaration. Under the Declaration, Leaders made commitments in six key areas – including both gender responsive government policies and programmes, and improving women’s participation in decision making.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Election Parliament Knowledge management Capacity Building SDG monitoring and reporting

9.

Result 2.6. B Increased number of women candidates selected by political parties in selected Pacific countries.

One of the challenges to increasing the number of women MPs has been opposition in several countries to the institution of legislated gender quotas for elections to parliament. In the region, but outside PPEI, Samoa has successfully instituted a minimum 10% quota for women MPs, and several other countries have quotas for elected office at subnational level. At the same time, the issue of quotas (often described as temporary special measures – TSM) has become sufficiently controversial that it can be difficult to raise the subject of gender equality in parliaments without generating a critique that external actors are attempting to ‘force’ gender quotas. While it’s clear from examples of other countries including Samoa, that instituting gender quotas can be an effective way of both increasing women’s political representation and enhancing gender sensitive policy-making, it is important to be able to pursue the gender equality goals even in countries where the quota approach is not currently supported.

The approach of working with political parties to increase their capacity and receptivity to recruit, develop, and run women candidates for election has been used successfully in numerous countries in the world. In many of the most developed countries, this approach, rather than a formal quota, has been adopted with success. In New Zealand, for example, in which in 1893 became the first independent nation to permit women to vote, but where there are no formal quotas, the 2017 election resulted in the highest ever number and proportion of women MPs in the country’s history, 46, or 38% of the 120-seat parliament. While this has occurred without a formal legal requirement such as a quota system, parties have taken various measures internally both to foster women’s candidacy through encouraging women to run, and in the case of some major parties, to assure gender equity through requiring party lists to place as many women as men in electoral positions where they are likely to be elected. These informal approaches focusing at the party level do not guarantee parity but have been shown to be effective in moving towards parity.


Tag: Challenges Gender Equality Gender Parity Parliament Capacity Building Data and Statistics

10.

3.Impact (meso) objectives

The impact or meso aspect of programme assessment examines the ways in which the beneficiary parliaments, through support of the project, have enhanced their functioning in the areas of support. This aspect of assessment provides the most direct measure of project impact, although projects may have deeper and more long-term effects through changing institutional approaches and political perspectives, which cannot easily be isolated from other environmental factors. The attainment of the objectives was reviewed by examining the main fields of intervention in each country and seeking changes in institutional processes.

Cook Islands

In Cook Islands, the project has directly supported a significant improvement in the public financial management capacities of the institution, both at the budget scrutiny and at the budget auditing phases. For the first time since independence, the budget was fully scrutinized by parliament (the proposed allocations to each ministry scrutinized by parliament before each vote) – according to a rational methodology for time allocation developed in conjunction with the parliament. And, also with the support of PPEI, for the first time, the Public Accounts Committee was established, and scrutinized the Auditor General reports. The PAC wrote and tabled their own committee report on the AG Reports.

These are substantial improvements in functioning, and are of particular significance in the context of national budgeting, as well as the potential for direct budget support by development partners, which requires robust national budget systems. Both budget scrutiny (indicator 18) and legislative budget expenditure oversight (indicator 31) are key elements of the PEFA Framework for assessing public financial management which is an international standard for determining the robustness of national public financial management. From the information available to the assessment, this would likely result in an upwards revision in Cook Islands attainment on both I-18 and I-31 from a score of D (below international standard) to B.

Another area in which specific improvement was noted is in the effectiveness of women’s political leadership. Cook Islands has benefited from support to women’s political leadership through practice parliaments and the establishment of the network of women clerks. At 4 out of 24 members, plus the woman Speaker, Cook Islands already scores at the top end of the region in women’s political representation. At the budget debate session held in 2018, women members were particularly effective in raising concerns relevant to them, including those related to young women.


Tag: Impact Gender transformation Parliament Human and Financial resources Oversight Youth

11.

Continuing

3.Impact (meso)objectives

The impact or meso aspect of programme assessment examines the ways in which the beneficiary parliaments, through support of the project, have enhanced their functioning in the areas of support. This aspect of assessment provides the most direct measure of project impact, although projects may have deeper and more long-term effects through changing institutional approaches and political perspectives, which cannot easily be isolated from other environmental factors. The attainment of the objectives was reviewed by examining the main fields of intervention in each country and seeking changes in institutional processes.

Papua New Guinea

As noted in the project reporting, and discussed with the project funder over the course of the PPEI project, parliamentary reform continues to be an incremental process in PNG. In terms of governance generally, the country faces a number of challenges including political instability, as well as high levels of reported corruption. The diversity and geography of the country renders effective citizen engagement difficult. PNG is one of the two countries within PPEI, along with Vanuatu, where there are currently no women MPs, which again reflects structural issues beyond parliament itself.

In this context the project focused on two main outcome objectives; strengthening of committees with a focus on improving the budgeting process in particular, and building political party capacity to support women candidates. At the outset of the project, although the parliament had 35 committees, few were functional, and as noted, there are no women MPs.

 


Tag: Impact Gender Equality Election Human and Financial resources Oversight

12.

Continuing

3.Impact (meso)objectives

The impact or meso aspect of programme assessment examines the ways in which the beneficiary parliaments, through support of the project, have enhanced their functioning in the areas of support. This aspect of assessment provides the most direct measure of project impact, although projects may have deeper and more long-term effects through changing institutional approaches and political perspectives, which cannot easily be isolated from other environmental factors. The attainment of the objectives was reviewed by examining the main fields of intervention in each country and seeking changes in institutional processes.

Solomon Islands

The work with the Solomon Islands has focused on integrating sustainable development benchmarks into the oversight work of the parliament, enhancing parliamentary oversight of the budget cycle, and working with practice parliaments and political parties to enhance opportunities for women’s political leadership.

The work with Solomon Islands has enabled an institutional development approach, the linking of parliamentary oversight work with development outcomes, and the strengthening of parliamentary oversight of government work at both the budget scrutiny and audit phases of the annual cycle. These are all clear outcomes of the project work, also facilitated by the strong commitment of the parliamentary leadership to a development approach.

PPEI supported parliament in oversight missions of three committees to the isolated eastern Temotu region of the country, focused on rising sea level, on border security, and on quality of health care. This integration of SDGs into committee work enables parliamentary oversight based on development objectives and citizen input, thus connecting state budgeting and programming to human development outcomes. Following this initiative, UNDP supported the Solomon Islands parliament’s development of a full committee review that took into account the focus on development outcomes, and considered organizational and resources implications. This promising approach resulted in the development and adoption of a Strategic Development Plan for the Solomon Islands Parliament 2017 – 2021, an important programme outcome that shifts the institution towards an organizational development framework. The Strategic Development Plan will require continuing follow-up in a future phase of support to the project. Integration of governance outcome oversight into committee workplans will ensure consistency and sustainability of committee work; however, this will depend on parliamentary committee resources (and resource prioritisation) as well as initial support from PPEI, again dependent on available financing.

 


Tag: Impact Gender Equality Parliament Human and Financial resources Oversight Results-Based Management SDG monitoring and reporting

13.

Continuing

3.Impact (meso)objectives

The impact or meso aspect of programme assessment examines the ways in which the beneficiary parliaments, through support of the project, have enhanced their functioning in the areas of support. This aspect of assessment provides the most direct measure of project impact, although projects may have deeper and more long-term effects through changing institutional approaches and political perspectives, which cannot easily be isolated from other environmental factors. The attainment of the objectives was reviewed by examining the main fields of intervention in each country and seeking changes in institutional processes.

Tonga

Tonga is in transition towards a constitutional monarchy, in which the role of parliament must necessarily change in order to assume its expanded functions, while the exact interpretation of the reforms that have been launched over the past decade remains contested by different parts of Tongan society. In this circumstance, the support of the project has been particularly important in assisting the leadership of the secretariat to navigate sensitive political issues related to revision of the standing orders and rules of procedure, including the process for conducting votes of no confidence in the government. The support provided to the parliament by PPEI, including through provision of international constitutional expertise, enable these and other rules interpretation issues to be addressed smoothly, a clear project impact on institutional functioning in objective 2.1.A.

The support to a revised rules framework enabled the parliament to restore normal parliamentary processes that had fallen into disuse, such as the re-instauration of an Oral Question period, another step towards parliament exercising an effective oversight role.


Tag: Agriculture Fishery Climate change governance Impact Gender Equality Anti-corruption Parliament Public administration reform Rule of law Policies & Procedures SDG Integration

14.

Continuing

3.Impact (meso)objectives

The impact or meso aspect of programme assessment examines the ways in which the beneficiary parliaments, through support of the project, have enhanced their functioning in the areas of support. This aspect of assessment provides the most direct measure of project impact, although projects may have deeper and more long-term effects through changing institutional approaches and political perspectives, which cannot easily be isolated from other environmental factors. The attainment of the objectives was reviewed by examining the main fields of intervention in each country and seeking changes in institutional processes.

Vanuatu

The project did not begin work in Vanuatu until the first quarter of 2018, and therefore it is very early to measure direct project impact. The keystone initial activity was the joint needs assessment carried out jointly by UNDP and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Subsequent activities have focused on support to enhanced organization and functioning of committees and staff support to the committees, and enhancing the functioning of the Hansard unit. A workplan for support to PAC for 2018 has been developed jointly with the parliament, and its first steps are already implemented. In the first 8 months of the year, the PAC quadrupled the number of its meetings compared to the previous year, and held three meetings with the Auditor General (one aiming at establishing collaboration mechanisms, and the two others to start working on the AG reports).


Tag: Impact Gender Equality Election Parliament Human and Financial resources Oversight

15.

4.Organization of project activities

An assessment of a programme should include tracking of activities carried out, compared against plans. The assessment also asked the interview respondents to describe their engagement with the different activities carried out in their countries, and their impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of the activities.

The parliamentary beneficiaries expressed satisfaction with the activities programmed, with no specific criticisms or concerns mentioned by any of the respondents. The New Zealand High Commission representatives also expressed satisfaction with the events that they had attended. Three parliamentary beneficiaries underlined their appreciation that the activities had been planned jointly at the annual project planning workshop, and that thus the work plan was as expected. These sessions, which have involved collective and then bilateral parliament-project discussions, resulted in the development of detailed activity plans for 2016, 2017, and 2018. These activity plans were then translated into the annual project workplan matrix, which was also used for reporting purposes.


Tag: Parliament Donor relations Oversight UNDP Regional Bureaux

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: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

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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