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Final Evaluation of Access to Information programme II
Commissioning Unit: Bangladesh
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 09/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bangladesh
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

The a2i project has managed to achieve remarkable results over past years across many domains and strategic areas, even beyond their core mandate of ensuring easy access to simplified and digitised public services. While such diversification of efforts is commendable, such spreading out of activities portfolio has impeded in certain ways the managerial oversight that is important for ensuring the quality of project interventions and outcome. This also got reflected in the efforts of a2i team in collating relevant follow-up information that the Evaluation team for carrying out their mandate. It would be helpful for the a2i project team to focus on consolidating the gains towards institutionalisation and mainstreaming of successful high- impact initiatives (such as e-Nothi, e-Mutation and P2G payment system).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/29]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account during the designing of the new project. Component 1 of the new project focuses on this recommendation and implementation of focusing towards institutionalization and mainstreaming of high-impact initiatives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Initiate the discussion on the given recommendation during the first project steering committee meeting
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/03 Overdue-Not Initiated
Introduce a clear support structure at organizational level for institutionalization and mainstreaming
[Added: 2019/09/29]
a2i, ICT Division, Cabinet Division 2022/06 Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

This should be complemented with nuanced efforts of capacitating a2i partners at all levels: Ministries / Divisions, Districts and sub-District levels, through planned effusion of organisational competences and good practices of a2i to its partners – so that the initiatives ideated and spearheaded by the project could eventually be transferred for mainstreaming by respective Ministries and Divisions. The Evaluation team would also recommend conducting a methodologically robust study to better understand the scale of capacity development requirements of mid-level civil servants and lower bureaucracy over the next five year. The project should also explore the feasibility of building on the accomplishments of change-agents at all levels of government, encouraging them to become the ambassadors of change.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/29]

Agreed. UNDP has already taken steps to infuse a2i’s organizational competences and good practices across the ministries and institution during the new project cycle.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Finalize designing the implementation initiative that will focus on capacity development of civil servants that goes beyond public service innovation
[Added: 2019/09/29]
a2i, ICT Divsion 2020/10 Not Initiated
Start implementing the new initiative across the ministries
[Added: 2019/09/29]
a2i, Cabinet Division 2020/12 Not Initiated
Hire a research institute/academic institute/consulting firm which will conduct a relevant study
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/06 Not Initiated
Share the findings with respected ministries & department
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/11 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

The End-line Evaluation did not manage to gather sufficient evidence with regard to programme level emphasis of a2i on gender-specific targets; and there is an urgent need of taking corrective and affirmative measures for achieving different goals of a2i’s gender strategy. To begin with, the gender strategy needs internalization and appreciation among a2i staff. The curriculum of training package on gender should be reviewed and new issues related to a2i projects should be included in the orientation and training package. Other three critical areas of interventions could be

  • Integration of gender considerations in all programmatic interventions of a2i. The Gender Task Force, which was created in 2015 should be made functional. The project should also consider developing gender specific compliance l markers for decisions on any new initiatives under a2i. A framework should be developed for gathering gender disaggregated data; and this should be used by all project interventions under a2i. Affirmative support for scaling up of gender sensitive innovation may also be considered.

  • Promotion of gender-sensitive partnerships for women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship development in UDCs. Initiatives like Ek-Shop and Agent Banking should be made more accessible to women with affirmative bias toward women’s participation.

  • a2i should consider augmenting its Facilitate development of gender-responsive government institutions.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/29]

Agreed. UNDP will take measures to achieve the different goals of a2i gender strategy. The project will consider gender issues in designing new programmatic interventions. Moreover, the following actions will be taken to address the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hire a gender specialist (consultant) who will provide strategic guideline and monitor a2i’s gender-specific targets and activities
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/06 Not Initiated
Institutionalize a Gender Tasks force which will mitigate gender-related issues within a2i
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/12 Initiated
Ensure gender-specific compliance is established in all current and new initiatives
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2021/06 Not Initiated History
Continue to ensure gender-disaggregated data are collected for all a2i initiatives
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2024/06 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

The Evaluation team would strongly recommend employing the expertise of an Organizational Development Specialist to appraise the present ways-of-working of a2i team and present plausible scenarios on next-generation operating model for a2i; and on the basis of these inputs propose appropriate structuring of a more efficient implementation support mechanism for the new Aspire to Innovate (a2i) programme. The OD expert could build on the insights derived from the portfolio sense-making session conducted by UNDP with the a2i team, which recognized the need of articulating core capabilities of a2i in terms of process rather than project-oriented outcomes. The OD appraisal should also include an enterprise wide informational audit, to be followed by appropriate corrective measures to ensure that the programme level data-system of a2i is more robust with strong analytical insight and capabilities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/29] [Last Updated: 2019/09/29]

Agreed. a2i has already hired an OD expert, who will propose a skills matrix needed within the organizational structure to effectively implement the project during its next stage.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hire an international consultant of OD for a2i to develop an organizational structure and skills matrix
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2019/07 Completed Dr. Subash Masters came on board as a consultant to oversee this task.
Create an implementation plan based on the OD report
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/03 Overdue-Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Organisational, operational management and regulatory strengthening of the functioning of Union Digital Centres to become the unified channel for delivering digital service (and products) of government as well as private sector at the grassroots. Studies carried out by Transparency International Bangladesh and Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka have a number of relevant suggestions in this regard. The project might consider constituting a task-force / working group comprising of members from both the study teams to holistically look at,

  • the business model under the 4P (Public-Private-People Partnership) principle for financial viability of Digital Centres as well as to achieve the goals of societal wellbeing and value of money;

  • appropriate legislative framework and policy guidelines for UDCs to function as one-stop-shop for electronic delivery of all the important public services.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/29]

Agreed. UNDP will be taking following initiatives to explore the findings from the researches more in details.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Host a joint session with Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) to discuss this recommendation
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/06 Not Initiated
Discuss an appropriate legislative framework/ policy guideline on UDCs in the Board Meeting (PSC) of a new project
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/07 Not Initiated
Create an action plan for possible next steps if necessary, based on the session
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/12 Not Initiated
6. Recommendation:

a2i has initiated a number of public service innovations and also contributed towards formulating a number of policies, rules and legislative mandates; but the process documentations of such innovations are sketchy and not properly recorded. Going forward the project should definitely lay emphasis on documenting its processes of sparking / supporting innovations and policy reform efforts, as well as its subtle role of advocating within the government. Simultaneously, the a2i team should consider communicating externally – sharing their ideas and learning near real time through blog posts and other social media posts; and undertaking policy oriented longitudinal research that builds upon its rich repository of knowledge on public sector performance and innovation in Bangladesh.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/29]

Agreed. The new project will be looking into establishing a strategic learning unit, which will oversee the knowledge management and knowledge dissemination of the learning inside and outside a2i.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Create a process document outline that will clearly highlight and record programmatic and policy-level changes taking place as a result of a2i intervention
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/06 Not Initiated
Appoint one process documentation focal in each team of A2i, who will coordinate with the A2i’s Project Management and Data team to ensure proper documentation process
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/06 Not Initiated History
Capacitate all a2i teams on knowledge management and process documentation
[Added: 2019/09/29]
A2i 2020/12 Not Initiated

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