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

Recommendation 1. UNDP should ensure that the next Country programme cycle is founded on well articulated theory of change and supported by a results framework that includes measurable and realistic indicators for measuring change at the outcome level. 

 

UNDP has been implementing a range of important and relevant initiatives across its country programme, which have had transformative effects on local communities and the country as a whole. However, evidence of actual degree of transformation is not readily available even for communities which have benefited from UNDP (and other UN) assistance for prolonged periods of time. It is fundamental that UNDP improves its results framework and M&E systems, to be able to learn about outcomes of its assistance but also to enhance the outreach and visibility of its achievement. As a starting point, the next programme design should include a carefully articulated theory of change for the overall programme and for each outcome area to identify and develop a set of realistic and measurable indicators. Each indicator needs to be assessed from the point of availability of data including baselines. In absence of readily available data, UNDP should define measures (e.g. research and baseline studies, M&E systems, etc.) through which data will be collected and baselines established. At the same time, UNDP should develop approaches to enhance the availability of data through capacity development, and in line with its engagement in integrating the 2030 agenda in national policies and frameworks. These instruments should serve to identify areas where UNDP efforts have triggered long term change processes that could lead to the structural transformations required to support the country in meeting its SDG commitments. A robust M&E framework should also be developed, with clear and realistic approach to capturing and evidencing such outcome level changes. It should further enhance internal oversight, monitoring of progress towards strategic results and capitalization and marketing of experiences and lessons for adequate upscaling and replication by the government. Presence of Field Project Offices should be further utilized for collection and analysis of regional level data, through strengthening their structures with focused M&E expertise wherever possible. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted.

The CO will ensure that the next Country Programme is built upon a solid theory of change, supported by a strong results framework and responds to the strategic priorities of the country

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. The CO will engage under the current Country Programme Cycle in undertaking analytical activities that would result in building stronger evidence for programming. This would enable UNDP and partners to engage in developing a theory of change that would respond to critical priority areas, as identified and validated. This engagement would also ensure the development or update of baseline data, which would enable the CO and Government to effectively measure and capture impact and change.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Programme Unit 2022/09 Initiated History
1.2. The CO will prepare evidence based new Country Programme Document to respond to strategic priorities of the Country demonstrated through a solid Theory of Change (ToC). Special attention, as recommended in the Evaluation, will be given to devising results framework that would present the value addition of the CO with measurable and realistic indicators.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Programme Unit 2022/12 Not Initiated Timeline conditioned by corporate requirements and deadlines
1.3. The CO, with support the Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH), will undertake a design stage programme quality assurance assessment prior to submission for approval by the EB to ensure that UNDP quality standards for programming are followed
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Programme Unit; Senior Management 2022/12 Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. UNDP should invest in promoting the scaling up and institutionalization of pilots and models it has promoted across the country programme portfolio. 

During this country programme cycle, UNDP has invested in and promoted models of critical importance for improving government services across the board (for example civil registry and free legal aid) and promoting environmental sustainability and resilience (for example DRM and IWRM). These models and their related results are fragile and dependent on government commitment and capacity to scale them up. UNDP should follow through to the full scale up and institutionalization of such models by ensuring appropriate legislative basis and funding commitments are in place for their sustainability. This will take a lot of UNDP resources and attention within the next country cycle. UNDP should take a cautious approach and resist the temptation of embarking in new areas where it does not have strong leverage and comparative advantage (for example social protection). 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted.

The CO will employ the successful pilots and innovative approaches in evidence-based policy dialogues for institutionalization and scaling of results as well as in new programming   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. The CO will document lessons of successful pilots and innovative approaches that have yielded high impact and results and use these for evidence-based policy dialogues for institutionalization and scaling of results through partnerships.
[Added: 2020/12/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/28]
Programme Unit 2022/12 Initiated History
2.2 Further analysis will be performed on the scalability of already tested and successful pilots/models to inform policies and new programming.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
Programme Unit 2022/12 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. UNDP should further integrate and consolidate its economic and private sector development portfolio to generate evidence from the models for scaling up and promote a systematic approach to value chains and promotion of trade.  

UNDP has piloted innovative models and approaches to enhance agricultural production and marketing across Tajikistan, with some important lessons learned. Its integrative approaches through investment in water supply, energy and social infrastructure in combination with access to micro loans, education and trade opportunities have brought transformative effects on families and communities. However, these approaches are still largely individualized and focused on farmers or clusters of producers in limited number of communities. UNDP should analyze these workable models, generate evidence and draw out lessons and best practices to develop models and systemic solutions, and advocate for their scaling up by the government. UNDP should further consolidate its approach based on these lessons and (a) continue assisting the government to build its institutional and policy solutions, and (b) partner with the private sector to enhance business opportunities. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted.

The CO will explore ways to integrate and consolidate the economic and private sector portfolios through creation of better synergies and integration within the portfolio and strengthening the systematic approach to greening the value chains and promotion of trade

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. The CO will initiate a comprehensive strategic Review of the SED Portfolio from SDG perspective and will focus on creating better synergies and integration within the portfolio and explore cross cutting entry points with other portfolios, explore ways to scale up success models and integrator role of UNDP. The planned review will be based on internal dialogue with all CO thematic Portfolios as well as with key external government and other partners in February 2020 and will also contribute in shaping transformational new strategic priorities for SED in 2020 and beyond and in positioning UNDP.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
SED cluster 2021/06 Not Initiated History
3.2. A systematic approach to greening the value chains and promotion of trade, domestically as well as regionally, will be strengthened under SED projects
[Added: 2020/12/23]
SED cluster 2022/12 Not Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. UNDP should continue focusing on enabling national and local partners (including private sector) and communities to create more jobs and strengthen livelihood opportunities, with special focus on women and vulnerable groups, promoting cross-sector integration. 

UNDP has managed to enhance holistic approach to sectoral interventions during this country programme cycle through integrating different elements of environment- governance- livelihoods nexus across sectors. Investment in integrated approach paid off through transformative effects, particularly in remote and deprived communities. UNDP should ensure continuous cross-sector integration when promoting governance and livelihoods by interlinking investments in these fields with DRM/resilience/climate change adaptation, environmental protection, community empowerment and economic growth programmes – with equity focus in mind. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted.

The CO will further expand its programming on supporting jobs creation and strengthening livelihood opportunities including through the use of existing partnerships and attracting new resources from donors  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. CO will strengthen its support for job creation using a multipronged approach including entrepreneurship development of vulnerable population, establishment of institutional eco-system at national and local levels for starts ups, innovative financing, mentorship, and capacity building of national and local stakeholders, including private sector as well as will promote reforms and partnership to address inequalities and creation of job opportunities, etc. for youth and most vulnerable and marginalized population
[Added: 2020/12/23]
SED; Senior Management 2022/12 Initiated due date is set until the end of current CPD cycle (Dec 2022)
4.2. The results and lessons of ongoing projects on women economic empowerment will be consolidated, analyzed and captured in a Strategic policy paper/Lesson Learnt report and used to shape the future resource mobilization and strategic positioning of UNDP for women empowerment.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
SED 2021/06 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. UNDP should strengthen its focus and address climate change adaptation in a more integrated manner, linking it to addressing environmental degradation, wastewater management and biodiversity conservation. 

While continuing the support for DRM (with a focus on preparedness) and water and sanitation sector policy, UNDP should ensure a stronger focus on climate change adaptation and climate change mainstreaming into different sectors in the next CPD, supporting the Government in developing, adopting and implementing the awaited National Adaptation Plan. Among other measures, this should include efforts to increase the capacity of central and local government and other relevant institutions to generate, analyse, assess, and disseminate climate related information and raise the awareness of critical decision-makers about the importance of adaptation for sustainable development. UNDP should tackle climate change adaptation in a more integrated manner, linking it to addressing environmental degradation (including with improved wastewater management strategy) and biodiversity conservation.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted.

The CO will be adopting an ‘integrated landscape approach’ in its programming, through its Adaption Fund Project on the integrated landscape approach to enhancing the climate resilience of small-scale farmers and pastoralists in Tajikistan

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. To-date, the CO’s interventions in climate change were focused on policy advice and provision of technical expertise. The CO is already considering adopting the ‘integrated landscape approach’ in its programming. The approach considers urban environments, rural agricultural settings and all ecosystems (biodiversity, forests, pastures, etc.) in designing its projects with interventions on climate change adaptation at the local (community) level.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
DRR, resilience and environmental sustainability 2022/12 Initiated due date is set until the end of current CPD cycle (Dec 2022)
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6. UNDP should consider merging its ‘Disaster Risk Management Programme’ and ‘Energy and Environment Programme’ under one umbrella programme and supplement it with a resultsbased learning and management strategy. 

UNDPs Resilience and Environmental Sustainability programme has evolved as two programmes running in parallel (Disaster Risk Management Programme and Energy and Environment Programme). Traditionally, Energy and Environment portfolio has revolved around GEF-funded projects on biodiversity, climate change mitigation, chemicals management, so called GEF Enabling Activities on support to fulfil the national reporting obligations towards multilateral environmental agreements. During CPD 2016- 2020, Energy and Environment portfolio expanded with initiatives funded by other donors (OFID, SDC, Coca Cola, EADB), along with those funded by GEF, focused on water and energy sectors, as well as mainstreaming of environmental issues into “economic development” initiatives. The focus of the Disaster Risk Management Programme has also shifted in the current CPD 2016-2020 from disaster response to risk-reduction and management. It has now evolved into a full-fledge structured portfolio of interventions with a larger scope and diverse range of donors (SDC, Government of Japan, Russian Federation), with interventions tackling different areas of disaster risk reduction and management, moving up from localized interventions to larger policy level support on DRM. In future, Resilience and Environmental Sustainability area will have a stronger focus on climate change adaptation and climate change mainstreaming into different sectors (with funding utilized from GCF and Adaptation Fund). While UNDP is committed to ensuring that more efforts will be made to integrate environmental and climate change issues across different clusters/portfolios/initiatives within UNDP, it is worth considering bringing these two portfolios - its ‘Disaster Risk Management Programme’ and ‘Energy and Environment Programme’ under one umbrella. This will allow for more in-depth and operational synergies around climate change response theme. This should be complemented with a results-based learning and management strategy that includes: (a) a system to capture the learning from the pilots to feed into policy and decisions for replication and institutionalisation by the Government; and (b) an enhanced monitoring framework, linked to improved government statistics and SDG monitoring framework. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/23]

The recommendation is accepted.

The CO programming has been inspired by UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and is designed to fit signature solutions that define the core work of UNDP. The CO’s energy, environment, climate change and disaster risk management portfolios reflect signature solution 3 on enhancing national prevention and recovery capacities for resilient societies, signature solution 4 on promoting nature-based solutions for a sustainable planet, and signature solution 5 on energy. The UNDP CO takes note of this recommendation to ensure programmatic coherence and cohesion yet considers that its two ‘programmes’ are under one programmatic umbrella and contribute to common result areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. The CO will initiate strategic review of its energy, environment, DRR and climate change portfolio to strengthen current programmatic coherence cohesion and alignment to SDGs and identify new niche priorities for UNDP support. The management structure of the Portfolio will also be addressed.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
DRR, resilience and environmental sustainability; Senior Management 2021/12 Not Initiated
6.2 Future projects under development will ensure stronger linkage and will address DRR and Energy and Environment interlinkages under one programmatic structure.
[Added: 2020/12/23]
DRR, resilience and environmental sustainability 2022/12 Not Initiated due date is set until the end of current CPD cycle (Dec 2022)

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