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Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Georgia
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Completion Date: 12/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Georgia
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: UNDP should ensure alignment of its next CPD with Georgia’s SDG commitments and focus on the areas identified by the MAPS mission as lagging behind. In particular, UNDP should:

a. Deepen and broaden its engagement in the area of human rights and gender equality, including in new areas such as the care economy. UNDP should continue to advocate for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and support the State Inspector’s Service (SIS) in its role to investigate and prosecute human rights violations by law enforcement and security offices. In the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women, given the interrelated nature of inequalities that affect the capacity of women to fully enjoy their rights, UNDP should continue working in close cooperation with other UN country team members, and through a closer engagement with the executive branch of the government, on policy and programmatic interventions that would both promote positive discrimination and tackle behaviour change. To continue working effectively in this area, the country office should strengthen its capacities by establishing a dedicated gender team.

b. Deepen its engagement at the local level with a focus on addressing rural-urban disparities and invest in the human capital development of youth, strengthening the integration of its portfolios. UNDP should deepen its engagement in rural areas to address the poverty divide and the negative demographic dynamics that are affecting the socioeconomic development of the country, promoting education and jobs that are in line with current and future market demands. Taking advantage of ENPARD’s size and comprehensiveness, UNDP should consider how to strengthen linkages with activities in the area of natural resource management to promote green jobs.

c. Reinforce its engagement in the areas of green energy and sustainable cities at the policy level. UNDP should formalize good practices and lessons learned from its different pilot initiatives in the area of energy and environment and ensure their integration into national policies and strategies. The country office should promote dialogue among different stakeholders, including at the local level and in the private sector, around regulations and incentives. In all these areas, UNDP should work in close coordination with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office and define joint or coordinated interventions based on its areas of comparative and collaborative advantage.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/06/18]

This recommendation is noted with appreciation, given that it aligns completely with CO planning for the coming 2021-2025 period and with UNDP’s assessment of country needs and priorities. The CO will ensure that CPD is developed with a focus on “leaving no one behind” and boosting country efforts to achieve the SDGs. The CPD build on the MAPS findings to address issues identified as particularly core to the country’s SDG agenda. UNDP Georgia will work with partners and donors to deepen and broaden its engagement in human rights and gender equality, with a focus on the care economy; on unlocking the potential of Georgia’s rural areas and its young people; and on building a greener economy and society. Building on its UN-wide role as “SDG integrator,” UNDP Georgia will promote greater cooperation across sectors and regions to ensure that development solutions build synergies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1a/ Support elaboration of National Human Rights Strategy 2021-2030 that will cover all the major human rights priorities in the country
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/12/29]
UNDP/Human Rights project 2020/12 Completed National Human Rights Strategy 2021-2030 is elaborated and submitted for endorsement. History
1a/2 Strengthen the capacity of SIS investigators in investigation standards; assist SIS to establish international partnership with international human rights bodies
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/12/29]
UNDP/Human Rights project 2020/12 Completed The CO has mobilized resources from EU delegation for second phase of JP Human rights, where further strengthening of SIS capacity is one of its priorities and therefore these actions will be addressed through JP Human Rights 2. History
1a/3 Conduct survey for exploring public perceptions of gender roles to inform programming and tackle behavior change
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2021/03/26]
UNDP/Gender project 2020/12 Completed The survey was conducted and the report “Men, Women, and Gender Relations in Georgia: Public Perceptions and Attitudes. 2020” (https://www.ge.undp.org/content/georgia/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2020/gender-survey.html) was launched in June 2020 with the participation of the Government, international community, academia, CSOs and other stakeholders (https://www.ge.undp.org/content/georgia/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2020/gender-survey.html). Building on the results of a similar study carried out in 2013, the research unveiled lingering disparities in the social perceptions of gender roles in Georgia while showing that traditional gender stereotypes have become less common than they were seven years ago. The results of the survey will be used for future programming. History
1a/4 Conduct needs assessment (policy study) for supporting the development of care economy and developing new programmatic activities based on its findings (subject to resource mobilization)
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2021/03/26]
UNDP/Gender project 2020/12 Completed UNDP facilitated establishment of ad-hoc UNCT coordination group on care economy, which conducted 2 meetings in 2020. The work will continue in 2021 under UNDP’s leadership. History
1a/5 Establish and lead an ad-hoc UNCT coordination group on care economy
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2021/03/26]
UNDP/Gender project 2020/12 Completed UNDP facilitated establishment of ad-hoc UNCT coordination group on care economy, which conducted 2 meetings in 2020. The work will continue in 2021 under UNDP’s leadership. History
1b. Youth development will be addressed as a cross-cutting issue across all portfolios, for example by coordinating skills training with local and rural development, and disability inclusion with local governance programming. Youth development will also remain one of the key drivers of UNDP’s innovation agenda.
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
ED/DG/ Portfolio 2021/12 Completed Youth development has been integrated in all portfolios and is tracked in annual reporting through special marker. Under Good Governance portfolio youth has been targeted in community-driven grant schemes and in parallel through policy advocacy as well: In 2021 UNDP supported Parliament to conduct a thematic inquiry on youth employment opportunities and provided recommendations to respective government agencies to take concrete measures in developing and broadening job opportunities for young people. Environment portfolio targets youth in awareness raising activities including on climate-smart agriculture, as well as through Small Grant Programme. In 2021 two projects contributed to youth capacity development - one in area of traditional bread-baking and long-lost Indigenous cuisine and the other in local youth engagement in the field of tourism services. Investing in youth and rural areas is one of the primary focus of the Economic Development portfolio per CPD 2021-2025. UNDP pursues reform of the vocational training system, which will aim to provide rural youth with the technical, digital and soft skills needed to thrive in the private sector. Almost 25% of UNDP’s Rural Development project beneficiaries in 2021 were youth. Youth is one of targeted beneficiary of CSO grants mechanism operated under Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR) portfolio. The portfolio has sought international expertise to assist grantees in better mainstreaming youth aspects in their projects and ensure meaningful participation of youth in peace initiatives. Youth is one of the primary target of Innovations activities as well. In 2021 focus was made on enhancing skills of vulnerable youth in technical subjects, as well as building skills of young citypreneurs in collaborative design and resource mobilization through crowdfunding on digital portal OrbelianiMeti. History
1c CO will continue advocacy efforts to promote green energy solutions on policy level, including identifying gaps in Georgia’s climate / energy-related legislation and providing technical support for harmonization with the EU acquis. UNDP will maintain policy level support and build on its interventions on the lessons learnt and experiences from earlier interventions, such as sustainable urban transport/green cities and biomass production and utilization as renewable energy sources.
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Energy & Environment Portfolio 2021/11 Completed Thanks to CO’s policy level advocacy efforts Georgia is part of UNDP’s Climate Promise plan and contributed via development of Long-Term Low Emission Development Plan – country’s vision until 2050 to ensure carbon neutrality and make economies green/sustainable. UNDP supported preparation of National Energy and Climate Action Plan to meet Energy Community requirements, as well as climate change mainstreaming recommendation documents in Energy, Health and Agriculture sectors. History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: In preparing the next CPD, and in consultation with stakeholders, UNDP should develop issue-based theories of change against which it could map current and planned interventions.

In relation to issues UNDP considers important to tackle, UNDP should develop – in consultation with national and international stakeholders – theories of change that identify its expected contribution vis-à-vis that of other partners. A systemic mapping of initiatives against expected results would reveal opportunities for synergies not only among projects and activities implemented by UNDP, but also with those of other donors operating in the respective areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/06/18]

For the next CPD cycle (2021-2025) UNDP will develop theories of change in line with the national challenges and priorities identified during preparation of the new UN country strategy, as well as the SDG accelerators proposed by the MAPS findings, and coordinate its efforts with the Government, United Nations organizations, the donor community, the private sector, civil society and local communities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Theories of Change will be elaborated in developing the CPD for 2021-2025, mapping possible strategies for addressing development problems in complementarity with other development partners in the field.
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/12/29]
UNDP Programme Unit 2020/12 Completed Theory of Change was elaborated for the CPD 2021-2025, which captures possible strategies for addressing development problems in complementarity with other development partners in the field. History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: With the approval of the Decentralization Strategy, UNDP should enhance its efforts to build the capacity of municipalities for the delivery of services at the local level and promote further integration of its portfolios.

Since municipalities will have enhanced functions and responsibilities as a result of the approval of the Decentralization Strategy, UNDP should continue to build their capacity around the delivery of specific services, based on a theory of change approach linking service delivery to enhanced socioeconomic benefits for rural and vulnerable populations. UNDP should reinforce the cooperation between its governance and local economic development portfolios, particularly through the ENPARD project and its support to civil society in rural areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/06/18]

The recommendation is accepted and is already a CO priority. Even before the legal framework for decentralization had been put formally in place, UNDP had already shifted its focus to field implementation and monitoring of core elements of the Decentralization Strategy, with a particular emphasis on local economic development. Efforts to enhance cross portfolio synergies among the projects working in the regions (ENPARD, FRLD, DGG, VET, etc) will intensify over the coming period and are welcomed by both the Government partners and the donor community

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.3/ Implement matching grant programme for rural non-farm entrepreneurs under ENPARD to stimulate local economy diversification by providing funding to non-agriculture businesses, facilitate jobs creation in rural areas and increase of income of beneficiary MSMEs.
[Added: 2020/06/18]
ENPARD project 2022/12 Initiated
3.4/ Establish joint planning mechanism between FRLD and ENPARD to streamline local and rural development policy support and coordinate activities for civil engagement.
[Added: 2020/06/18]
FRLD-2 and ENPARD projects 2022/12 Initiated
3.1/ Establish pilot performance management system in 23 municipalities to improve delivery of street cleaning and waste management services; promotion of the PMS nationwide
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
Fostering Regional Local Development (FRLD)/Decentralization and Good Governance (DGG) projects 2021/10 Completed E-tool for Performance Management System in Waste Management is being finalized by Municipal Service Development Agency. It will be incorporated in the United Electronic System of Municipal Services and final rollout in 63 municipalities is planned for April 2022. History
3.2/ Develop capacities of local self-governments to carry out economic initiatives and facilitate Local Economic Development as a whole.
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
FRLD-2 project 2021/12 Completed Series of LED trainings have been organized for newly appointed staff members in FRLD target municipalities covering 4 regions of Georgia. Trainings will be finalized by April 2022. History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: In agreement with the Georgian Government and Abkhaz de facto authorities, UNDP should extend the dialogue across the administrative boundary line beyond professionals to include decision-makers at the local level and communities to promote technical solutions for sustainable development.

In the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, UNDP should consider any opportunity to develop and implement integrated area-based programmes, including community-based infrastructure works.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/06/18]

This has been UNDP’s approach already for quite some time. UNDP projects in Abkhazia and for Abkhazia have been promoting and facilitating dialogue across the ABL for years involving various stakeholders, including local decision-makers and local communities. Under the EU-funded flagship COBERM project, UNDP Georgia had an opportunity on various occasions to support the sub-projects with track 1.5 component where decision-makers from Georgian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian sides in their individual capacities would engage in the dialogue and constructive discussions of topics of mutual concern. UNDP Georgia is also already working towards greater integration of its programmes in Abkhazia, trying to complement them with each other and to synergize with initiatives of other UN agencies. Five of six projects under the CPR portfolio are Abkhazia based. The Country Office acknowledges importance of area-based projects but also considers it significant and useful to maintain strong cross-ABL component in its programmatic interventions in/for Abkhazia with eventual goal to promote enabling environment for reconciliation and lasting peace across the ABL.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: UNDP should strengthen its monitoring and evaluation practices by adopting the following measures:

a. Based on theories of change developed for the new CPD, establish outcome-level indicators that reflect behaviour change that originated in one or more project interventions. These indicators should be pitched at a level where the contribution is easier to determine than by using UNPSD indicators.

b. Consider expanding the population survey to cover the effectiveness and impact of UNDP’s initiatives related to governance and improvement of service delivery at large, to assess needs and inform future planning in these areas.

c. Establish a baseline and explore the use of qualitative indicators and perception surveys to assess the effectiveness of results in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia in terms of enhanced social cohesion.

d. Carry out more thematic or outcome-level evaluations, which are more cost-efficient and provide better evidence of aggregate results achieved by UNDP in its key areas of intervention.

e. Continue tracking the implementation of pilots beyond the end of a project’s lifetime – which is typically too short to allow for a definitive assessment of success/effectiveness.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2022/04/12]

The CO is keen to build an even stronger results-based planning, monitoring and reporting system. All recommendations are noted and accepted, except for the point 5d and 5b. Regarding 5d: Experience with the previous CPD cycle proved redundancy of outcome level evaluations, especially that the entire CO programme will undergo evaluation, plus outcome level results will be evaluated under UNDAF final (and possibly mid-term) evaluations. Regarding 5b, the CO does not find appropriate to mix measurement of the efficiency of public services with the appraisal of UNDP’s impact. However, it does see the value of using surveys and other more innovative tools to measure behavioral change stimulated by its programmes. For Abkhazia, these tools need to be applied with extreme caution owing to local sensitivities and the positioning of the UNDP programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.a/ The CO will strive to establish outcome level indicators reflecting behavioral change in its new CPD, subject to availability of respective sources of verification (possible ideas include measuring behavioral change of civil servants across all public institutions upon implementation of new civil service reform and behavioral changes in the public perceptions of gender roles).
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]
UNDP Programme Unit 2020/12 Completed The CO addressed the recommendation to the extent possible, incorporating in the CPD output indicators reflecting behavioral change in public servants (in terms of appreciating the value of professional development plans, realizing the importance of professional growth, etc). Indicators reflecting behavioral changes will be considered during project design as well. History
5.e/ In principle CO is eager to track pilots beyond the project cycle. However, the issue is subject to funding constraints. Follow-up is feasible and will be implemented for scale-up projects, dealing with the same subject as pilot initiatives.
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2022/01/24]
Programme unit, Innovations specialist 2021/12 Completed The CO will be practicing not only piloting of initiatives across all the portfolios in the programme cycle 2021-2025, but also tracking success of pilots. For instance, in 2021 UNDP established pilot Social Inclusion Center in Mountainous Ambrolauri, which will provide social activities/professional skills development for up to 50 PwDs from Racha region. The activities of the Center will be traced for at least 2 years. Also UNDP piloted innovative participatory mechanism (FORESIGHT, Urban Game, Crowdfunding) in the city of Rustavi, which is being tracked and per latest information, this mechanism was upscaled in 3 municipalities (Bolnisi, Marneuli, Dmanisi) by Rustavi Innovations Hub and Orbeliani Platform. History
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6:UNDP should develop a long-term resource mobilization strategy and minimize over-reliance on EU funding.

The strategy should ideally be coordinated with a UN country team resource mobilization strategy and recognize cost-sharing with national actors (government institutions and private sector) as the most sustainable path towards diversification.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/06/18]

The recommendation is noted. Donor funding is already quite well diversified, and continuation of this effort is a CO priority. UNDP Georgia will collaborate with other UN agencies and the donor community in adopting a strategy that prioritizes coordination and maximizes competencies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1/ Consider the recommendation when preparing resource mobilization plan for the new programming cycle 2021-2025 in coordination with UNCT resource mobilization strategy.
[Added: 2020/06/18] [Last Updated: 2020/12/29]
CO management, Programme Unit 2020/12 Completed Resource mobilization plan was elaborated for the new programming cycle 2021-2025, which is in sync with UNSDCF resource mobilization strategy. History

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