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

Recommendation 1. Guided by a strong theory of change, UNDP should consolidate its country programme portfolio through the integration of themes and strengthen the focus and depth of interventions in a limited number of thematic areas to ensure stronger outcomes.

UNDP CPD outcomes have been sufficiently wide to provide for the demand-driven nature of UNDP and also piloting some new approaches (e.g. in the field of social services, civil society participation, PWD, climate change adaptation and energy). Considering the country’s UMIC status, limited funds and lessons learned from pilots and tested models, UNDP needs to consolidate its portfolio through the integration of themes, strengthening of focus and depth of interventions in a limited number of thematic areas to ensure stronger outcomes and contribution to impact. UNDP’s new country programme needs to be founded on a well-articulated theory of change elaborating what it intends to accomplish and how it will do it around the identified focus areas. Long-term programmes that have brought sustainable capacities, such as response to TB, should start phasing out with a carefully crafted exit strategy. New areas, such as support to social service provision, should be strongly advocated with integrated interventions to support mechanisms and policies. Human rights and gender dimension should cut across the programming and be the bedrock of UNDP’s work. While UNDP should continue piloting and modelling new approaches, these pilots should be an integral part of a wider set of interventions that take into account replication, scalability and the institutionalization of results.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted and addressed through the actions below. UNDP’s new Country Programme will be based on a well-articulated theory of change elaborating analysis of how different interventions lead to synergies and desired outcomes and contribute to overall impact of UNDP support.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Develop Theory of Change for new CPD 2021-2025 enabling integration of themes
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/25]
RR, ARR, Programme Team 2020/09 Completed The new CPD is developed and approved taking into account the recommendation. History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. UNDP should continue its coordination role in driving the SDGs and Agenda 2030 in Turkmenistan and use its strategic position to strongly advocate for the inclusion and contribution of civil society, private sector and other development partners in the fulfilment of the SDGs.

UNDP’s Strategic Plan envisages the organization undertaking an integrator role by creating a platform for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach towards the achievement of the SDGs. UNDP has led these efforts in Turkmenistan and established itself as a trusted partner of choice of the Government making positive headway in collaborating with the Government and UN agencies to create foundations for the implementation of the SDGs. This work needs to continue by ensuring that shared understanding and commitment to the fulfilment of Agenda 2030 obligations is maintained and operationalized by supporting the Government to engage in dialogue with civil society, the private sector and other development partners on further operationalization and monitoring of SDG indicators. Thus far, UNDP has had only limited success in enhancing capacities and positioning of civil society and private sector in this process, and further efforts are needed to create more space and enabling environment not only for civil society and the private sector, but also for other development partners to contribute to the fulfilment of the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP CO has played a key role in driving the SDGs and Agenda 2030 resulting in the integration of SDGs in domestic plans and policies. UNDPs efforts will be focused on providing policy advice and technical assistance to the government in adapting the SDGs to the country context together with assisting the government to develop the capacity of institutions to better manage, disseminate and use data feeding into SDG monitoring. Furthermore, in this process, UNDP will continue its role as the SDG integrator to ensure continuous onboarding of civil society, private sector and development partners in the SDG implementation framework.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.2 Collaborate with the government and UN agencies to promote the integrator platform for the implementation of the SDGs.
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/25]
RR, ARR, Programme Team 2021/12 Initiated UNDP uses its integrator role to interact with government and UN agencies on various SDG related matters History
2.1 Reflect in the CPD greater engagement with civil society, private sector and development partners in fulfillment of the SDGs.
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/25]
RR, ARR, Programme Team 2020/12 Completed All players are reflected in the new CPD History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. UNDP should capitalize on good partnership and collaboration with the Government in the area of human rights to advocate for and support implementation of its international obligations (UPR, ratified international conventions and treaties).

UNDP has contributed to laying the foundations for human rights in the country through policies and establishment of institutions such as the Ombudsperson’s Office and the Human Rights Commission. UNDP has also been a strategic partner in the implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan for 2016-2020, with the new phase coinciding with the new CP cycle. The next country programme should provide further support to empowering the Ombudsperson’s Office and Human Rights Commission to fulfil the human rights obligations and integrate global values of human rights and fundamental freedoms. UNDP should consider providing technical assistance through training and mentoring; exchanges with similar institutions in the region; supporting the Ombudsperson’s Office’s participation in the regional network of Ombudsperson’s Offices; and potentially, assisting the Ombudsperson’s Office in producing the next reports on the state of human rights in the country. Support to the Government to prepare for the next rounds of UPR should also be continued. Most importantly, UNDP should continue advocating strongly for the rights of men and women and ensure that collaboration with the Government does not take away their voice when a violation of rights happen.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted. The next Country Programme will provide further support to empowering such institutions as Ombudsperson’s office and Human Rights Commission to fulfil the human rights obligations and integrate global values of human rights. This will include more rigorous effort on advocating for the implementation of international obligations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Initiate the human rights project to provide technical assistance through trainings and mentoring, to provide support the Ombudsperson’s office participation and knowledge outreach in the regional network of Ombudsperson’s offices, and to provide support to the government in the preparation of the UPR next rounds.
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
DG Portfolio Team, Human Rights Project Team 2021/12 Initiated Ongoing project with the Institute of State, Law, and Democracy has been completed with conducted assessment of NHRAP 2016-2020 implementation. For next two-to-three-year period two projects have been initiated, with the Institute of State, Law, and Democracy and the Ombudsman’s Office. History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. UNDP should evaluate the effective models of social service provision from the perspective of their scalability and focus on their promotion, replication and institutionalization.

Support from the Global Fund and the engagement of the Red Crescent Society in the provision of services has brought positive outcomes for persons living with TB and their families and remains an example of best practice. This should be assessed in detail for its lessons learned, impacts, replicability and scalability, and promoted to the Government and international partners in light of their aspiration to invest further in the development of the social services in the country. UNDP should further strengthen the cooperation with CSOs on the social service provision and promotion of the CSOs as a partner of the Government in this sector.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP will lead on developing and testing a social contracting mechanism, all service models relating to people with disabilities and people in need of support with basic care functions. UNDP will also contract the training package providers and organize the logistics of delivering all the training inputs while ensuring that the content of training packages is coordinated with other UN agencies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Ensure the successful implementation of Joint Programme (JP) “Improving the system of social protection through the introduction of inclusive quality community-based social services” funded by Joint SDG Fund
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
DG Portfolio Team 2021/12 Initiated Despite COVID-19 restrictions CO successfully continues implementation of UNDP part of JP, specifically related to training of social workers, allied work force, service providers, etc. History
4.2 Ensure the successful implementation of the project ”Towards decent work for people with disabilities in Turkmenistan: transforming social enterprises into meaningful training and employment opportunities”
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
DG Portfolio Team 2021/12 Initiated The project document has successfully been signed and in the process of official registration. History
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. UNDP should continue supporting the Government in its response to TB as it encounters new challenges emerging from the new forms of the disease.

The partnership between the Government of Turkmenistan, WHO and UNDP has brought important results in terms of prevention, diagnostics and treatment of TB across the country. There is an ongoing demand for UNDP to continue being active and to play a key role in addressing emerging gaps in terms of treatment of new forms of TB and strengthening laboratory services, including in etraps, as well as the promotion of new forms of treatment protocols and approaches.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP will support national TB response, as well as to other infectious diseases, through two channels: 1) Global Fund’s TB grant implementation. Turkmenistan received the allocation letter from the Global Fund, according to which the country can receive $5,0 mln grant for 2021-2024. UNDP has been requested to continue being Principal Recipient of the grant. Through the TB grant UNDP will ensure effective and efficient control of drug-resistant TB in line with the most up-to-date WHO recommendations. 2) through the Govt-funded health procurement project. The MoH has initiated estimation of the needs in various lab supplies and medicines for TB, HIV, hep C control in 2021-2022 and is willing to procure those medical goods through UNDP as to ensure quality and cost-efficiency as well as programme support.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Development of “National Programme for Control of TB in Turkmenistan in 2021-2024”
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
WHO CO and UNDP CO Global Fund project implementation team 2021/03 Completed The National TB Programme for 2021-2025 is approved by the Ministry of Health in mid-March 2021. History
Development and submission of a funding request to the Global Fund for TB grant for 2021-2024 to initiate a new phase of support
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
UNDP Global Fund project implementation team 2020/08 Completed The new funding request has been submitted by the due date 31 Aug 2020. The grant-making is over. The fully signed grant agreement has been received on 21 Dec 2020. History
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6. Building on achievements, UNDP should deepen its engagement with the Government in areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate-smart agriculture and sustainable energy solutions with a strong focus on knowledge sharing, outreach and replication to promote their upscaling and institutionalization. To facilitate the implementation of policies, UNDP should continue to support building local capacities, explore innovative financing models involving the private sector and non-traditional donors, and ensure that government ownership is strong in the areas supported by UNDP.

UNDP has heavily invested for years in building the legal frameworks, awareness and knowledge on climate change adaptation, which have now resulted in a greater on-the-ground understanding of climate change impact and the importance of promoting climate-resilient practices and technologies. This uniquely positions UNDP to deepen its focus and engagement with the Government to promote a green-economy approach and institutionalization of climate-smart solutions with a strong focus on knowledge sharing, outreach and upscaling. To facilitate the implementation of policies, UNDP should continue to support building local capacities (especially with more exposure to international best practices) and explore innovative financing models involving the private sector (which is already happening with a growing engagement of UNDP with the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs) and non-traditional donors. UNDP should also ensure that government ownership is strong in the areas supported by the organization to mitigate the risk of UNDP-supported policies and laws not being adopted for a long time.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP has heavily invested for years into building the legal frameworks, awareness, behavior and knowledge on climate change adaptation, which have now resulted in a greater on-the-ground understanding of climate change impact and the importance of promoting climate resilient practices and technologies. UNDP intends to further expand its climate agenda, building on the demonstrated successes and broadening the partnership framework, including engagement of new actors such as the private sector and non-traditional donors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Explore new and innovative financing models and commence large-scale projects government in areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate smart agriculture and sustainable energy solutions
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
ARR, EE Portfolio Team 2025/12 Initiated Proposal for GCF funding on building National Adaptation Planning Process is in review stage by the GCF, Discussion in process with the Government on new project proposal aimed at upgrading the building norms and codes with energy efficiency aspects History
6.2 Develop new projects contributing to promotion of a green economy approach and institutionalization of climate smart solutions with a strong focus on knowledge sharing, outreach and up-scaling.
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
ARR, EE Portfolio Team 2025/12 Initiated New project on Early Public Warning System on DRR and Preparedness has been developed with he Government and ready for application to Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) History
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7. UNDP should integrate gender dimensions in all its work and utilize its strategic position and relationship with the Government to advocate for and address the structural causes of women’s rights and inequality.

With the establishment of the gender focal group and the action plan in 2018, the CO has taken the necessary first steps to address gender issues in its programming and increase awareness among staff. In the next programme cycle, UNDP should make concerted efforts to systematically integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment in all its programming. Gender equality remains high on the national agenda with the ratification of CEDAW, adoption of the national adaptation plan on gender equality and the SDGs. UNDP should use this as an opportunity and utilize its strategic position and relationship with the Government to advocate for and promote gender mainstreaming across national policies and budgeting process for the implementation of the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/08] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted. In the next programme cycle, UNDP will continue efforts to systematically integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment in all its programming. Besides, the new CP and RRF will to a greater extent integrate gender dimensions across the outputs and indicators.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.2 To organize training on gender issues in its programming to increase awareness among the CO and project staff
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
ARR, Gender Equality Focal Group 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated Each staff member undergoes mandatory training course on gender equality. However, due to COVID-19, in person training were not possible as planned. History
7.3 Revise and implement the Country Office Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
RR, ARR, Programme/ Project Team 2021/12 Initiated The plan is revised and extended until December 2021 History
7.1 To ensure that gender dimensions are mainstreamed through CP outputs and indicators to address gender inequalities and gender (and sex) disaggregated data and indicators in the programme and projects
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/24]
RR, ARR, Gender Equality Focal Group 2020/05 Completed UNDP has introduced gender mainstreaming action plan developed based on the global Gender equality strategy. UNDP also introduced gender equality checklist to help projects check their gender indicators against a list of questions to help improve gender scorecard and ratings. History

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