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

Recommendation 1. Building on UNDP's mandates globally, the country programme should give further emphasis on core development support. Capital Investment Plan and National Development Plan provide opportunities for engaging in key development issues. 

With the adoption of the Capital Investment Plan and subsequent national plans and strategies, the policy change processes are gaining momentum in Lebanon. UNDP should pivot its current and forthcoming initiatives towards a sustainable development centred programming with propositions that would address structural challenges undermining development and governance in Lebanon. UNDP should refocus on organisations core areas of expertise with a stronger focus on promoting well-tested programme models on inclusive growth and employment generation and service delivery. 

UNDP should promote solutions that would enable a development approach to the Syrian refugee response. In a protracted Syrian refugee crisis humanitarian dividends are closely linked to addressing development and institutional capacity issues and reducing development disparities at the subnational level. A more strategic nexus approach is needed to enable structural accelerators of development. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

Recognizing the growing trend of complex context in Lebanon, the CO will develop new CPD to address the core development challenges and emerging issues of Lebanon. In this regard, the CO will work with UNCT to finalize CCA and UNSDF for 2021-2024.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Description activities, then specifics as needed a. the new CPD 2021-2024 will focus on the core development challenges of the country. b. The basis of the work will be the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the commitment to ‘leave no one behind.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Resident Representative, Deputy Resident Representative, Programme Teams 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. Consolidate municipal level initiatives to provide viable long term, programme models. Consider promoting integrated municipal development solutions to strengthen services, improve sustainable livelihoods, and bridge refugee response and local development initiatives. There should be substantive engagement in areas UNDP chooses to support, as against one-off micro initiatives; efforts to linking successful models being developed at the municipal level to national policies and implementation.

Leverage on UNDPs engagement and strong partnerships in over 200 municipalities to demonstrate comprehensive programme models that are replicable and can inform policies. UNDP should promote integrated municipal development solutions on select development issues that can engage key actors including the government and the private sector in providing more holistic responses. Integrated municipal development models have the potential to provide necessary strategies to access diverse funding for municipal development as well as strengthening local governance. A deliberate approach to service sectors such as solid waste management, water management, and energy efficiency should be pursued for strategic engagement.

Promote solutions that are fit for the Lebanon context and enable sustainable solutions. Revisit the approach of LHSP to develop it into a sustainable local development model. Consolidation of programme activities will strengthen UNDPs response and enhance its programme contribution. Rather than isolated initiatives, peacebuilding and social cohesion should be integrated across programmes at the municipality. Similarly UNDP should consolidate sustainable livelihoods and local economic development efforts across programme areas,. Strengthen the documentation of municipal models and incorporate these into training programmes and guidelines.

Reconsider engaging in initiatives such as labour-intensive CfW infrastructure initiatives given the possible quality risks as well as their limitations in addressing unemployment issues. Instead, pursue inclusive growth and employment models that have the potential for replication and inform public policies. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The CO will foster greater coherence of disaster risk reduction efforts, strengthening conflict sensitive preparedness and response measures, and promoting transparency and accountability in most vulnerable communities hosting Syrian refugees:

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 description activities, then specifics as needed Establish solid synergy among several initiatives to respond to an integrated municipal support through: • developing local disaster risk reduction plans (prevention, preparedness response, and recovery) • Forming and building the capacity of disaster response teams. • building municipal capacity in transparency and accountability concerning the implementation regulatory frameworks related to anti-corruption. • updating the SME Strategy at national level for longer term and more transformative interventions and boost local economies.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Resident Representative, Deputy Resident Representative and Programme teams 2024/12 Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. Solid waste management is a critical issue and long term solutions are needed to avert recurring crises. UNDP should consider support to sustainable solid waste management solutions, beyond temporary fixes. 

Environmental related tensions such as solid waste, pollution of Litani river are evident which with the risk of escalation. Going beyond short-term solutions such as landfills, UNDP should consider the role it can play in providing sustainable solutions for solid waste management for the effective implementation of the national solid waste management strategy. In addition to ensuring compliance with all environmental standards for the landfills UNDP supported, UNDP should support measures should be taken to address ad hoc dumping/landfills that reached capacity. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

Lebanon has already prepared an Integrated Solid Waste Management National Strategy. UNDP will continue to provide technical support to Ministry of Energy and Environment and advocate for the full implementation of the strategy.    

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Advocate for the adoption and implementation of the national solid waste strategy. Provide technical support for the  implementation of the strategy.  description activities, then specifics as needed a. Work closely with Ministry of Environment to support the adoption of the strategy. b. Coordinate with relevant national institutions and international partners on building national capacities to address solid waste management and to implement solutions on the ground. c. Provide assistance to draft legal, technical and regulatory guidelines to support the Ministry of Environment to implement the national solid waste management strategy and the related action plan.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Resident Representative, Deputy Resident Representative and programme teams 2024/12 Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. Leverage UNDPs standing and partnership with government institutions to engage in core governance initiatives.

Recent public protests on corruption only reinforce the need for public sector reforms and addressing issues of accountability and transparency in governance. The administrative reforms required under CEDRE provides avenues for engaging in reform agenda. UNDP should identify areas for more substantive engagement in strengthening governance and institutional processes. Anticorruption is a high priority for Lebanon and critical for citizen’s trust in government. Rather than a more generic engagement, UNDP should support specific measures such as e-governance in service sectors that would have a more tangible impact on corruption. The global compact with the World Bank should be strategically used to support anti-corruption measures in key sectors.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

As acknowledge by Government as the main demands of the population, UNDP has taken the anti-corruption agenda as its top priority which is necessary and critical for Lebanon’s context.  It is also the demands of the population that was witnessed during unprecedented waves of social upheaval since 17 October 2019.

- Develop a new strategy to deal with and combat corruption through an integrated and targeted approach.

- Provide technical support to the relevant Lebanese institutions in developing and adopting the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) and Lebanon’s commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), to which Lebanon is a State Party since 2009.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 • Develop a new strategy to deal with and combat corruption through an integrated and targeted approach. • Provide technical support to the relevant Lebanese institutions in developing and adopting the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) and Lebanon’s commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), to which Lebanon is a State Party since 2009. Activities specified as needed: a. develops new project document on anti-corruption b. advocate for the adoption of the national anti-corruption strategy.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Responsible Unit(s) Responsible Unit(s) RR, DRR and programme team, regional office of RBAS in Lebanon 2020/06 Completed NACS is adopted and new project documents is launched
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. Considering the reputational risk for UNDP and its mandate, clarify assistance to human resource and technical staff facilitation.

The evaluation recognizes UNDP is committed to providing development support services to the government and national institutions upon their request. UNDP should distinguish between support services to Lebanese institutions that whil important are operational and should be cautious not to generalize them as institutional strengthening. 

UNDP support to the advisory, technical and support staff positions in the ministries and government institutions remains a contentious issue, despite continued expectations for this support. Jointly with government entities, UNDP should proactively outline an exit plan that would enable government agencies to put in place formal recruitment processes or make alternate arrangements. Projectisation of advisory and support staff services with a specific supervisory role for UNDP does not reflect the realities and can have negative accountability implications for UNDP. While broader issues are addressed, consider defining advisory and support staff services as human resource services with appropriate mechanisms to manage it, clarifying UNDPs role and responsibilities. This is essential to respond to negative perceptions of UNDP support and will also free programme staff to focus on core development work.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

UNDP Lebanon will work to elaborate Core Government Functions Strategic framework prioritizing UNDP’s support to advisory functions as an essential part of UNDP support to the GOL’s efforts on strengthening core governance institutions in line with the 2030 Agenda.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Review the existing project advisory support provided to Line Ministries and Government institutions. description activities, then specifics as needed a. Put in place a facility to support short-term advisory capacity in specific areas on government request, over stand-alone units, b. Institutionalize a pogramme oversight body overseeing all advisory inputs through specific projects, c. ensures that policy deliberations and inputs through UNDP contribute to a process of public consultation and engagement.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Responsible Unit(s) Responsible Unit(s) RR, DRR and programme team 2024/12 Initiated Work is in progress. UNDP is working with UNCT to develop new CCA, UNSDF that would be the bases for the new CPD 2021-2024.
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6. Prioritize work on the SDGs. For SDG sector integration, identify accelerators for the facilitation of policy and prioritization of targets, localisation, and data coordination. UNDP should continue its support to data, and statistics for evidence-based public policy as well as monitoring SDG progress. Support efforts to improve conflict sensitivity in humanitarian and development efforts and institutionalise municipal level assessments. 

UNDP should continue its support for strengthening CAS capacities in producing quality and timely statistics critical for public policy and monitoring SDG progress. More structured support to CAS, including collaboration in areas where UNDP as a UN agency can bring credibility will be critical. UNDP should consider support to harmonisation and strengthening administrative records to meet short-term needs as well as be a credible source of data. Collaborations and coordination of UN agencies support to data and statistics will be critical and UNDP should proactively enable this. Clarify UNDPs SDG integrator role and propositions UNDP can bring to the UN and other actors in Lebanon.

MRS needs improvements in quality, institutionalisation, and wider use which need to be addressed. Building on the MRS assessment UNDP should invest in enabling a framework for comprehensive municipal level development assessments. Periodic assessments are critical for informing coordinated development and humanitarian support, developing strategic solutions, and for private sector engagement. 

UNDP made a timely investment in tension mapping and sharing it with government and international agencies. Considering the importance of conflict sensitivity for development, peace, and humanitarian interventions, support streamlining tension analysis to establish appropriate institutional linkages that would enable necessary action. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The basis of this response will be the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. Based on the capacity assessment’s recommendations to provide sustainable support to CAS that extends beyond the scope of one specific exercise

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 • Develop joint pogramme on SDGs • Provide technical support to CAS and description activities, then specifics as needed a. Develop and finalize joint SDG project in collaboration with UNRCO and UN participating agencies. b. UNDP will be providing capacity-building assistance that would allow CAS to perform all future activities requiring further analysis on the data. UNDP will help CAS in devising a data/information dissemination strategy
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Responsible Unit(s) Responsible Unit(s) RR, DRR and programme team 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated Status • Join SDG project document is drafted • Support to CAS is on progress
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7. Given the importance of financing for progress on SDGs, UNDP should increase the pace and thrust of its private sector engagement. 

UNDP should revisit its private sector strategy to identify appropriate tools and areas for systematically pursuing private sector engagement and development. Private sector engagement at the municipal and union of municipalities level should be prioritised to develop local level strategies for investment and financing modalities to attract the right profile of partners and capital. Promote integrated municipal development model, using integrator approach, that would enable municipalities to better access private sector financing in priority areas. Flexible tools that are fit for purpose and can maximize the impacts of partnership at the municipal level should be developed. Instead of leaving it open-ended, UNDP should be more targeted in private sector development support, focusing on specific gaps in inclusive growth and employment and services.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The CO is working to expand the sphere of its partnership with private sector.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 • Expand its existing partnerships with private sector and goodwill ambassadors, bank sector and others as well as CSOs. description activities, then specifics as needed a. Conduct mapping on potential Lebanese private sector b. Reach out individual business-people who could contribute to UNDP programmatic interventions. c) Collaborate with CSOs
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Responsible Unit(s) Responsible Unit(s) RR, DRR and programme team 2024/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8. Ongoing efforts to promote gender equality in UNDP programmes should be pursued across interventions. 

UNDP should take specific measures to integrate gender equality across programme activities and prioritise efforts to enhance UNDP’s contribution to gender-equal development outcomes. Adequate resource investments should be made to ensure gender equality is addressed in programme design and implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

Mainstream gender in all programmatic initiatives and increase the gender capacity experts of the CO.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 description activities, then specifics as needed a. strengthening the efforts on gender mainstreaming and build the CO gender experts by recruiting one international and national gender experts. b. Already the CO has achieved progress on gender activities and has received a silver certification with a score of 72/100.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Responsible Unit(s) Responsible Unit(s) RR, DRR and programme team 2021/12 Initiated On progress, recruitment already started
9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9. Partnerships between development and humanitarian agencies demonstrated in Syrian refugee response through instruments such as LCRP and 3RP is an important step in the right direction. For such collaborations to have development and peace dividend in Lebanon, address the constraints in pursuing a nexus approach. UNDP as the lead agency for enabling resilience approach should be proactive in enabling adequate thrust on long-term approaches. Revisit UNDPs programme positioning in LCRP and restrategize based on UNDPs strengths. 

For a protracted crisis such as the Syrian refugee response, it is fundamental to addressed development needs underpinning refugee crisis in the host country, which the LCRP was less successful in enabling. Linkages between Syrian refugee response and development of Lebanon cannot be more underscored at this juncture and international agencies/ donors need to recognize this given the rising tensions. Protracted refugee crisis needs a development focus. UNDP played an important role in LCRP coordination, bringing a stabilisation perspective into predominantly humanitarian response. It is time UNDP restrategize its recovery support to enable humanitarian and development linkages. This is also critical for getting the buy-in of the government.

Moving forward LCRP should establish stronger linkages with the national policy processes and development at the municipal level and related reform processes to address the challenges that underpin and effective Syrian refugee response. LCRP should manage expectations and take measures to avoid becoming counterproductive undermining development and peacebuilding discourse in Lebanon. Donor agencies should recognise the importance of funding nexus issues although Lebanon is a MIC, particularly support medium- to long-term funding window.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The LCRP is as an integrated response to the impact of the Syria crisis. Under UNDPs co-leadership of the LCRP strong efforts are being made to ensure that short term humanitarian efforts are coupled with medium term stabilisation and resilience efforts for vulnerable Lebanese.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 A significant part of the response (USD 245 million is 2019) is directed towards strengthening national and local institutions in Lebanon. Thus, UNDP will work that the LCRP response ensures the delivery of basic services to vulnerable populations in the country. description activities, then specifics as needed a. Ensure that LCRP response is integrated into the new UNSDF to contribute directly to the SDGs in Lebanon. b. Further strengthen the resilience efforts and link it to development and peace building through piloting area-based programming. c. Stronger engagement of local actors mainstreamed conflict sensitivity.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Responsible Unit(s) Responsible Unit(s) RR, DRR and programme and LCRP team 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated

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