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

Recommendation 1. While UNDP has been able to address emerging challenges and navigate changes in context effectively, the implementation of the current programme has brought several issues to light that the country office will need to address in the next programme. UNDP must continue to be strategic in choosing the adequate partners in government and engage with civil society and citizens to develop frameworks that will support inclusive growth, particularly in the long run. UNDP can build on its exiting and unique position to further support on SDG integration and monitoring, on productive and sustainable use of land for the Land Reform Programme, and on continued citizen engagement and participation in future electoral processes.

As the situation in Zimbabwe remains complex both politically and economically, UNDP will need to build on the achievements of the current programme period and use its partnership with the government of Zimbabwe effectively. Recognizing the changes in institutional structures, UNDP needs to clarify its role with different government partners to continue working on SDG integration in national development policies, and to respond to demands for improved mechanisms to monitor progress on SDGs. UNDP is uniquely positioned for this work and can also build on the significant efforts it has invested in data collection and analysis, mainly through support to the PICES and through the ZRBF project, to strengthen the country’s capacity to develop pro-poor policies in the future.

While the successful development of the TSP is a recognized achievement, it did not benefit from a buyin from the whole of government, and it was developed with minimal public consultations, which raises legitimate concerns for full national ownership of the programme. The implementation of the TSP has also suffered from a strong economic downturn, rendering some of the programme’s targets impossible to reach. In the next programme, UNDP must ensure a wider engagement in the development of key development strategies.

Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme remains a contentious issue and an area where UNDP can use its neutral positioning and current momentum effectively to bring all partners together towards an agreeable solution. Furthermore, in the next programme period UNDP should make efforts to integrate successful approaches from projects in livelihoods and climate change adaptation, for the reform programme to effectively contribute to productive use of land. UNDP should also build on its proven ability for joint work to adequately involve the capacities from other UN agencies who have extensive experience in that area.

For its work on the 2018 elections, UNDP has engaged with a wide array of actors, and mobilized the contributions from several projects, leading to a successful, peaceful electoral process. UNDP must use this success to attract new financial partners and mobilize resources, and start early on the preparations for the next elections.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/17] [Last Updated: 2020/09/29]

The recommendation has been accepted. The implementation of the current CPD has brought a lot of lessons and provided opportunities that are been explored as the formulation of the successor CPD gets underway. Meanwhile, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that is further compounding the development challenges in Zimbabwe, UN is leading the UNCT in the development of the UN Socioeconomic recovery framework. The comprehensive, multi-sectoral, inclusive socioeconomic framework builds on SDG results achieved so far under the Zimbabwe UN development framework and is guided by detailed analytical work as well as immediate program recovery actions.  Furthermore, the socioeconomic recovery framework will complement the   National Development Strategy 2021-2025 that is currently under development. UNDP will use the recommendations from this evaluation to inform the NDS development process including ensuring a highly inclusive, citizen driven consultative process involving all stakeholders especially the most vulnerable. Given the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 in Zimbabwe, a 5 year development plan may not be ideal, hence the Socio Economic Framework will inform the first 12 to 18 months of the National Development Plan period. Both these processes are being crafted in the context of SDGs and the aspirations of the “Decade of Action”. Furthermore, work on the Lands project is at an advanced stage and the new comprehensive election project is under drafting following the recommendations of the NAM mission that took place in January 2020. In view of this the following are the foreseen action points under this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Provide technical support to the development of the New National Development Strategy for Zimbabwe for the period 2021-2025.
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2021/06 Initiated
1.2 Lead the development and implementation of the Socio-economic Framework 2020 to 2021.
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2021/06 Initiated The Socioeconomic Framework is being developed with full participation of the UNCT under the Government’s leadership.
1.3. Develop and implement the New Lands Project
[Added: 2020/09/30]
PRECC Unit 2023/12 Initiated UNDP has been selected as the strategic national partner to lead the pilot of the land governance administrative system in support of the national land reform agenda, this is already underway.
1.4. Continue to coordinate the monitoring and implementation of the SDGs in Zimbabwe.
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2027/12 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. The next country programme will need to be built on strengthened partnerships with the GoZ and other development actors, for the full achievement of its programme outcomes. Identifying the right partners, as UNDP has successfully done in implementing its democratic governance projects, can bring more effective and sustainable results. The issues that emerged from some of its upstream work need to be addressed together with government partners. At the district level, partnerships with local authorities must be strengthened to ensure a full contribution from all stakeholders, particularly for resilience outcomes.

The implementation of the current programme has shown how successful projects significantly rely on effective partnerships, as UNDP has shown its ability to position itself at an opportune time for a new chapter in the development of Zimbabwe, identify the most appropriate partners to work with, or support building their capacity from the ground up, as was the case with the five Chapter 12 Independent Commissions. The close involvement with state and non-state actors on the electoral process has led to positive outcomes in the governance area. But the implementation of the programme has also highlighted that some key partnerships had not been sufficiently solidified, with a lack of clarity on the most adequate partner for support on the SDGs. UNDP needs to establish which unit within central government it should be partnering with for SDG integration in national development plans, as well as for effective monitoring of the country’s progress on SDGs. This must also be accompanied with the adequate support to the national capacity for planning and evidence-based policy development. UNDP must also start working early with government partners on the next elections, in order to build on the positive results they achieved together.

Similarly, UNDP has involved several partners on the ground for its work on climate change adaptation and resilience building. The evaluation found that local authorities are natural partners for the achievement of ZRBF’s results and are very keen to play a stronger role in improving the lives of the communities they work with daily. However, while UNDP has provided training to district-level partners on resilience, there are remaining capacity gaps that UNDP should recognize, and fill in the next programme. A stronger capacity for the use and dissemination of the data collected with rural communities would support stronger and more sustainable results on the ground. 

Finally, UNDP is well positioned through its work on development policies to engage in partnerships that derive from the cross-sectoral nature of the TSP. Successful partnerships with UN agencies for the elections (UN Women), for example, can inform strategies for future effective joint work. UNDP will need to ensure close collaboration with four other UN agencies in the Spotlight initiative to achieve the ambitious objectives of the programme. Other major projects for the future of UNDP, such as the Lands reform programme and the ZRBF, will clearly benefit from the collaboration of UNDP with UN agencies, for example WFP and FAO who have clear technical strengths that can complement UNDP’s role for the management of these projects.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/17] [Last Updated: 2020/09/30]

This recommendation has been accepted. The Political and Governance space in Zimbabwe remains fragile given the long history of mistrust, conflict, and deep polarization. The anticipated reform, opening up of political space and re-engagement with the development community that was promised following the 2018 election remains elusive. However, not-withstanding these challenges, the democratic pillar has evolved during the life span of the evaluated country programme, and under this portfolio has opened up to embrace new partnerships which have allowed governance programming to remain relevant to the emerging needs from stakeholders whist adapting to the changing operating environment. The work being initiated with the Public Service Commission bears this testimony. This is a new partnership being pursued by the Country office to influence public sector standards. Additionally, the work on the Socioeconomic framework and the NDS development process mentioned above will feed into the subsequent development of the new ZUNDAF and CPD and provides an opportunity for constructive engagement with partners (development partners, government at all levels and citizens) in defining key national priorities for the country.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Implementation of the PSR project
[Added: 2020/09/30]
GPB Unit 2021/04 Initiated
2.2 Implementation of the successor Support to Parliament Project
[Added: 2020/09/30]
GPB Unit 2024/12 Initiated
2.3 Develop the Country Office new CPD for the period 2022 to 2026
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2020/12 Overdue-Initiated
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. UNDP should analyse the areas where it can address gender inequalities more strategically in its programme, to develop a response that go beyond targeting men and women. By focusing on structural barriers and root causes of gender inequalities in Zimbabwe, UNDP has the opportunity to move from inclusive interventions to truly transformative results. 

UNDP has established effective partnerships with development partners, with other UN agencies and within government that have led to important advances in the area of governance. UNDP must build on the success of the support to the elections to strengthen women’s empowerment, especially for their participation in elections as candidates and their participation in executive processes as parliamentarians. UNDP should improve the strategic approaches for more gender-transformative results in the livelihoods and the resilience areas. UNDP can build on the effective partnership it has developed with UN Women to find ways to go beyond gender-disaggregated data collection, particularly for the ZRBF project. This will require a clear strategy that covers the entire portfolio rather than for individual projects. 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/17] [Last Updated: 2020/09/30]

the current analytical work for the development of the Socioeconomic framework covers gender dimensions extensively and this along with other gender analysis data will be used to inform the new CPD. Meanwhile, UNDP is implementing the UN joint Spotlight project and through it is facilitating gender mainstreaming across the current country program as well as with the Parliament and high level engagement with the Office of the President and cabinet and Ministry of Women Affairs. Furthermore, gender is also being mainstreamed in the new Global fund grant 2021-23, the new election project and the ZRBF. The last two projects have developed gender inclusion strategies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Continue the implementation of the Spotlight programme
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2022/12 Initiated
3.2 Identify and work on capacitating key national partners on Gender issues specifically the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Gender, Parliamentary Committee on Health and the Women’s Caucus - in areas of Law making and political decision-making processes
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2024/12 Initiated
3.3 Implementation of the successor Support to Parliament Project
[Added: 2020/09/30]
GPB Unit 2024/12 Initiated
3.3 Implementation of the successor Support to Parliament Project
[Added: 2020/09/30]
GPB Unit 2024/12 Initiated
3.4 Strengthen justice sector (specifically ZRP, National Prosecuting Authorities and the Judicial Service Commission) capacity to provide adequate remedial action to GBV issues.
[Added: 2020/09/30]
GPB Unit 2024/12 Initiated
3.5 Design and launch the ZRBF gender equality and youth inclusion action plan.
[Added: 2020/09/30]
ZRBF Unit 2020/12 Overdue-Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. UNDP’s support to vulnerable communities’ livelihoods and resilience to climate and economic shocks will depend largely on its capacity to approach the complex issues of resilience in Zimbabwe effectively. While the growth in the project’s scope is the result of successes in partnership and resource mobilization, it will need to build broader partnerships and more inclusion of local and central government to ensure sustainability of the approaches.

The ZRBF needs to ensure that it differentiates itself from traditional Livelihoods and climate change adaptation approaches, especially in the face of increasing (and not reducing) resilience challenges across Zimbabwe. While the traditional responses emanating from the implementation of the current programme have led to some targeted results, the future successes of the ZRBF will depend on UNDP’s capacity to bring its full technical capacity for resilience responses.

At the same time UNDP needs to both ensure clear additionality through the provision of technical support and guidance to project management responsibilities. Allocation of conditional additional to M&E should equally ensure efficiency and effectiveness of resources and ensure that data feeds into change at community and policy levels, beyond the crisis modifier and occasional papers.

If the project is to continue to grow in financial and geographic scope, or to expand into new resilience areas, then a clear review of its current management structure, technical capacity as well as the use and role of the RKH, need to be reviewed. Challenges due to growth and additional focus must be addressed strategically and not in an ad hoc manner. 

Equally, any expansion into urban resilience will strain existing technical and management resources as well as the focus of the project. While the foundation of the project in resilience may be sound this new direction will need new technical abilities and partnerships and should not be allowed to distract ZRBF implementation.

The role of the RKH needs to closely monitored to ensure it does not operate external to the ZRBF with its own mandate and goals, using ZRBF data to do so, but should be meeting the knowledge management and learning needs ZRBF itself, as well as the consortia members and partners and is influencing policy along with the ZRBF and not in parallel.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/17] [Last Updated: 2020/09/30]

This recommendation has been accepted. UNDP is broadening its role on resilience building beyond the current rural focus of the ZRBF portfolio to encompass urban resilience, livelihood and social protection targeting youth and women led MSMEs.  The recent approval of the USD 48mil GCF project that focuses on Adaptation and Climate Resilience Building for small holder farmers in additional 13 districts further expands UNDP’s role in resilience building through climate smart agriculture. This work is being carried out through innovative and diverse partnership arrangements including private sector, NGOs, CSOs, local community and government at all levels

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Establish the national Zimbabwe Resilience Platform
[Added: 2020/09/30]
Programme Unit 2024/12 Initiated This platform will be a convergence of knowledge, experience in resilience building under UNDP though leadership.
4.2 Implementation of the Green Climate Fund programme
[Added: 2020/09/30]
PRECC Unit 2024/12 Initiated UNDP is accredited to lead the largest GCF programme in Zimbabwe, which covers three pillars.

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