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Final evaluation of Korea Facility for Poverty Alleviation
Commissioning Unit: UN Office for South-South Cooperation
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 11/2021
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: UN Office for South-South Cooperation
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

The project could have used a logical framework approach for systematic and analytical planning processes to identify beneficiary countries upfront before having a signed off Phase 2 Programme document

The EPE observes, as also highlighted in the mid-term evaluation, that the project could have benefitted from developing and using a logical framework approach for the following reasons:

  • systematic and analytical planning processes to identify beneficiary countries upfront before having a signed off Phase 2 Programme document alongside in-country project champions. This would have helped strengthen the project design and implementation.
  • its overarching goal would have determined the causal links between project activities/interventions that the Programme supported and noted progress in achieving impact at the national and local levels, not solely expected results/outputs (tracked by the existing results-based M&E), since log frames enable the tracking of results towards sustainable impact, as a way of interpreting the intensity and significance of results/outputs.
Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/02/02]

UNOSSC fully accepts this recommendation and is committed to further enhance result orientation of the ROK-UNOSSC Facility Phase III project. The issue related to enhancement of result orientation of the ROK-UNOSSC Facility Phase III was also discussed during the ProDoc PAC Meeting.

On the observations, the most significant one that echoes the findings of the midterm evaluation is that the implementation of the project could have benefitted from a log frame. The basis for this recommendation is that there is evidence that major partners such as Cambodia and Indonesia were identified after the RoK technical capacity-building institutions were identified. However, the findings are also that the project achieved its objectives and stated outputs. There are several points to respond to this observation. It is not made in the context of the development of the project (mostly by funder and technical cooperation partner (UNOSSC). The recommendation could have addressed the desirability of this model of designing a TrC project as compared to others, e.g. Technical Cooperation providing partner and receiving partner engage resource provider, or, the three parties work together on the project idea from inception to implementation. These starting points will have different pathways to implementation of the project.  The second point is that due to the processes that the funding partner has to follow to access the resources and the year-by-year disbursement of these resources, the project had to resort to agile mechanisms for resolving implementation issues rather than laid out (log-frame) provisions. An example is that it became so difficult to follow the signed LOAs as this would have required a revision each time resources were made available (this is the intended approach in phase 3 based on lessons learnt in Phase 2) that LoAs became quite irrelevant.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Design and review/improve the Result Framework of the new project (Phase III) of the ROK-UNOSSC Facility in collaboration with partners following corporate guidance on enhancement of project level results as applicable.
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Asia Pacific Regional Office supported by Result Management Specialist 2022/12 Initiated Review/improvement building on lessons learnt from initial phase of implementation
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation/observation 2.

The project could have fostered greater use of efficient and less time-consuming cooperative program of work options amongst partnering institutions.

Greater use of efficient and less time-consuming cooperative program of work options amongst partnering institutions could have included the following:

  • where feasible consideration of virtual proximity and the exponential boom of online and virtual meetings could have positively contributed towards breaking down the physical barriers/silos of physical distance amongst institutions. It must be noted that not all meetings needed to be physically in person convenings and remote meetings in instances where the technology exists or was available at local levels could have cut down on wasted travel time without requiring any travel budget (a hybrid of both physical and online as necessary could have been of benefit as opposed to one option over the other).
Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/02/02]

UNOSSC partially accept this recommendation. Learning from experiences during COVID-19, UNOSSC encourages further leveraging virtual meeting facilities and/or hybrid mode of meeting/events, limiting travel to critical minimum levels.

However, pertaining to comments on planning meetings, the findings were unknown to project management prior to the evaluation, project management were unaware that there had been any difficulties. On the assertion that it was not necessary to always have face-to-face meetings and that significant cost-savings could have been realized with online-meetings, this observation seems to be made across two periods, before and during COVID-19. The project management note that after COVID-19, there were restrictions on mobility and access to communities. Thus, very few if any face-to-face meetings took place. At the same time communication platforms became readily available and most of the meetings were on-line. Before COVID-19, a lot of meetings were face to face and sometimes on done on Skype.  This was the norm of doing business. It is not clear what the basis for this finding is if nature of meetings is taken in the context of normal business during the relevant times.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Virtual and hybrid meetings will be further encouraged in Phase III of ROK facility, as appropriate.
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Asia Pacific Regional Office 2022/12 Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

The continuous strengthening of the understanding/implications of SS & TrC and what it entailed for all stakeholders and partner countries involved would have been beneficial

For a Programme that was incubating innovative, integrated, and demand-driven southern owned solutions, with multi-disciplinarily approaches, this could have included the following:

  • continuously making a clear understanding of the characteristics and principles of SS & TrC to all the stakeholders.
  • besides the once off project implementation kick-off induction session/workshop, the project could have used all its other follow up meeting sessions/workshops where all the stakeholders convened to ensure that there is also a focus on continued orientation to fully understand the SS & TrC implications.
Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/02/02]

UNOSSC partially accept this recommendation and will continue make efforts to enhance understanding of SSC, especially in view of broadened partnership of the ROK Facility through Phase III.

However, the Project Management has different observations of this finding about Phase II: A number of institutions participating from RoK had also been in Phase 1 and therefore already knowledgeable of SS and Trc.  During the long design period of the project, many presentations were made on triangular cooperation. For partner countries, the nature of the project, a capacity building triangular cooperation project was explained many times. However, at joint consultative meetings with local government and communities, there was no need to explain South-South and triangular cooperation, what was more important was understanding what stakeholders were involved and the coordination mechanisms for the whole project and individual countries.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Integrate SSC and TrC knowledge sharing and awareness building in the design of Phase III.
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Asia Pacific Regional Office 2021/09 Completed
4. Recommendation:

The project could have granted more flexibility to encourage women participation on targeted Programme activities and ensured that they were designed around the convenience of women participation despite their matriarchal responsibility for taking care of their homes and families

This could have included the following:

  • the Programme’s activities targeted at women being flexibly designed around their responsibility for taking care of their homes and families so that women participation was easily encouraged with buy-in to the process.
  • Women/female participants could also have been identified well in advance so that those who required to pre-plan their family life around the project activities (where applicable) as participants on the program were able to do so with great ease from any limitations and/or barriers.

For example, a full two (2) days training session can be run over eight (8) quarter days training sessions so that women can benefit from the training without being unable to take care of their homes and families – this flexibility needs to consider the matriarchal roles played by women as opposed to using matriarchal roles as an excuse of convenience to create barriers to participation that disadvantage women from being active participants and benefactors of the programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/02/02]

UNOSSC partially accept this recommendation. This observation maybe a result of incidents particular to implementing partners and their respective project participants. Project management were never made aware of such a problem during monitoring, i.e.  there were difficulties in getting the women in the communities to participate in the project activities as planned. If brought to attention of UNOSSC or relevant government, this could have been easily facilitated by local partners and local government if it had emerged as a significant impediment to project implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 UNOSSC continue highlighting gender equality to all partners during Phase III, encouraging early identification of opportunities, challenges and solutions to ensure women participation
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Asia Pacific Regional Office 2022/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

The project could have had a clearer definition of the cross-cutting target of gender equality and/or gender disaggregated target setting in the results framework (was the aim “gender equality” or “gender disaggregated data”?)

 This could have included the following:

o   the Programme’s activities targeted at women being flexibly designed around their responsibility for taking care of their homes and families[1] so that women participation was easily encouraged with buy-in to the process.

o   Women/female participants could also have been identified well in advance so that those who required to pre-plan their family life around the project activities (where applicable) as participants on the program were able to do so with great ease from any limitations and/or barriers.

 


[1] For example, a full two (2) days training session can be run over eight (8) quarter days training sessions so that women can benefit from the training without being unable to take care of their homes and families – this flexibility needs to consider the matriarchal roles played by women as opposed to using matriarchal roles as an excuse of convenience to create barriers to participation that disadvantage women from being active participants and benefactors of the programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/02/02]

UNOSSC partially accept this recommendation. The evaluator states that it was not clear what was meant by “gender equality” in the project document. Management agrees that in the project document, there is a focus on gender through one of the six components of the Consortium delivered by the Asia-Pacific Women Network (APWINC) from Sookmyung University. Furthermore, the project management ensured that data on various aspects of participation in the project was gender disaggregated. The reference to “gender equality is from a drop-down in the gender marker that refers to gender equality in a very generic manner. The evaluator is right in that this project did not attempt to address all aspects of gender equality and management do not think that would have been  the intention or  appropriate approach.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 UNOSSC continue highlighting gender equality to all partners during Phase III, encouraging early identification of opportunities, challenges and solutions to ensure women participation
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Asia Pacific Regional Office 2022/12 Not Initiated
6. Recommendation:

There is evidence that a RoK-UNOSSC Facility Result Framework (Project Results tracking system) existed and was updated on a quarterly basis to keep track of progress towards achieving project outputs and objectives.

This could have included the following:

  • clarity in the Programme/Facility results framework by having gender disaggregated targeting explicitly captured since gender equality is an aspect that a project targets using a gender capacity building approach.
  • alternatively, if that was not the intention, then a clear definition of what the Programme implied by gender equality could have been developed as this clarity was missing.

Sample Gender Equality Indicators could include: 1). Evidence that training and capacity building strategies include gender equality objectives and activities to address barriers to equitable outcomes or 2). Evidence that training and capacity building curricula delivery promotes equality between women and men, girls and boys https://www.oecd.org/derec/adb/tool-kit-gender-equality-results-indicators.pdf

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/02/02]

UNOSSC fully accepts this recommendation and will enhance project implementation of the ROK-UNOSSC Facility Phase III targeting to benefit women and promoting gender quality. UNOSSC will enhance the result framework of the ROK-UNOSSC Facility Phase III, which will include indicators disaggregated by gender – as applicable.

The Evaluator mentions that the Results Framework was adjusted on a Quarterly basis. The reporting was on a Quarterly basis but changes to the Results Framework were only undertaken on consultation and endorsement by the Steering Committee.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 The improved result framework of ROK-UNOSSC Facility Phase III (as mentioned in recommendation 1) will include indicators disaggregated by gender as applicable.
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Asia Pacific Regional Office supported by Result Management Specialist 2022/12 Not Initiated

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