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Final Evaluation of Knowledge for Development Management (K4DM) project
Commissioning Unit: Bangladesh
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 04/2020
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bangladesh
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

With a view to accomplish the unfinished agenda of the Project, to uphold the promising changes brought by the project so far and to meet the challenges of the changing development context the current project should be continued in its erstwhile form under Phase II.

Phase II of the Project should be started with its activities which produced notable and good outcomes. Noteworthy among such activities include: NRB engagement and South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account when designing the new phase project. Component of the new project focuses on this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Formulate ProDoc with inputs from all relevant stakeholders
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/07/31]
K4DM 2020/07 Completed The ProDoc has been formulated and shared with relevant stakeholders. It is subject to approval. History
Launch Phase II project with approval on its Prodoc
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/04/01]
K4DM 2021/03 Completed The ProDoc has been approved and signed on 11 March. History
2. Recommendation:

The second phase may focus on NRB issue in a much wider scale.  Following initiatives might be taken into consideration in this regard:

  • NRB Task Force should be made more functionally effective through forming three working groups in it-- focusing on three avenues of NRB engagement: philanthropy, investment and expertise. 
  • Capturing technical knowledge of NRBs should be the key focus of ERD. ERD in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) should try to prepare a database of NRBs having technical knowledge/expertise with a view to help government engaging them in the development process of the country whenever necessary.
  • Technical assistance/expertise from NRBs can systematically be utilized through online arrangement. For instance, for a large-scale technical project, government can engage 2-3 NRB engineers who can provide online assistance. NRB doctors may also provide online medical assistance in hospitals once a week or so. For this they should be offered some lump sum remuneration as well. 
  • NRB cell at ERD needs to be strengthened. NRB Cell should be incorporated into the organogram of the ERD. A permanent post of NRB Desk Officer should be created at the NRB Cell. Besides, qualified officials having good academic background and interests in the issues relevant to the project objectives should be recruited at the Cell.
  • An NRB Pool fund can be created through which it will be easier to invite the NRB experts, facilitate their stay in the country and to connect them with the local experts.
  • NRB website at the ERD should be linked to the field administration in order for them to be informed of the needs of the NRBs.
Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will continue to advocate to  take measures to institutionalize NRB initiative and facilitate the initiative within the government organizational structure to effectively implement the project during its next phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a database of NRBs having technical knowledge/expertise in ERD in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/06/27]
K4DM, ERD and MoFA 2021/11 Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
Take a necessary action for institutionalization and mainstreaming of NRB Cell within the ERD organogram
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2019/11 Completed An organogram of NRB Cell was sent for vetting from MoPA with the consent of ERD Secretary. A SoP was prepared and approved for NRB cell. History
Take an initiative as per the taskforce guidance on working group
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2019/12 Completed We are working with NRBs for the working group. History
Create a systematical approach to involve technical assistance/expertise of NRBs in different sectors
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed We have processed 3 projects of NRB engagement with the Government in the last 6 months. History
Connect the NRB portal with the National Portal
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/05/28]
K4DM 2021/10 Not Initiated Due to the change of the ERD leadership and the surge of COVID-19, this activity could not be implemented. Moreover, the TAPP of the K4DM Phase II has not been approved yet. History
Provide support to NRB experts for their stay in the country and connect them with the local experts
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2021/09 Not Initiated Primary discussion was initiated to connect NRB experts.
3. Recommendation:

Attempts should be undertaken to institutionalize the concept of SSC further. Not only should the Southern expertise, Bangladesh now try to share its good practices with the wider world. Northern countries can also learn many things from Bangladesh. Climate change adaptation can be cited as an example in this regard. With a view to facilitate the widening of the opportunities for such sharing and exchange of ideas and resources and to facilitate developing effective partnerships following initiatives may be undertaken in the next phase of the project:

  • South-South knowledge Centre or a Centre of Excellence for SSC should be established in order to facilitate making the knowledge partnerships more effective.
  • For SSC there has to be a Pool Fund (3-4 million USD) for making small contribution to the countries that are less advanced than us.  
  • Like NRB, the SSC Cell at ERD has to be made more effective and sustainable. For this, the Cell should be added to the ERD Organogram and a post should be created for the Desk Officer of the Cell. 
  • A Cell on SSC should be created in all ministries.
Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will continue to advocate and take measures to institutionalize SSC initiative and facilitate the initiative within the government organizational structure to effectively implement the project during its next phase.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore the opportunities and scope for creating a SSC pool fund to contribute to the less-advanced countries
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM 2021/11 Initiated After the approval of the TAPP, a study on this issue will be launched. History
Establish South-South knowledge Centre or a Centre of Excellence for SSC to facilitate the knowledge partnerships
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/07/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/10 Initiated A seed fund was received from RoK to implement the online knowledge portal on SSTC to facilitate the knowledge partnerships which will be completed in October 2021. A draft ToR has been developed and shared with Bangladesh CO to hire a firm. History
Take a necessary action for institutionalizing and mainstreaming SSC Cell within the ERD organogram
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2020/01 Completed An organogram of SSC Cell has been developed and approved.
Start SSC activities across the ministries with the SSC Focal point
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2020/01 Completed A training for the focal points of SSC in all ministries was conducted to develop a common understanding on the concept, tools & method of SS&TC.
4. Recommendation:

The key objective of the K4DM Project is to improve capacity of the ERD for exploring the innovative alternatives of financing from external sources.  This concept will be more relevant in the emerging context of Bangladesh after LDC graduation in 2024. In future, once Bangladesh loses its preferential market access facilities and other international support measures for LDC graduation, it will be in the open market and the country will have to negotiate for international support. For this, it is imperative to develop international negotiation skill of the civil servants along with the officials of the ERD.   This is true that ODA has become smaller (only 2% of GDP) than before but still it is important since donor projects have the flexibility of accepting failure, which government cannot afford. Moreover, for social sector funding ODA is necessary since government does not spend much in social sector. To obtain donor funding, improving international negotiation skill of the officials needs serious attention. The Evaluation Team found that civil servants earnestly feel that there remains a wide capacity gap among them with regard to this skill. This needs to be given serious attention by the second phase of the project.

During phase II of the Project, a permanent Centre for Capacity Development of International Negotiation Skills of Civil Servants can be created. This will help bridging the capacity gaps that currently exist among the Civil Servants on international negotiation skill particularly considering the rapidly emerging development dynamics of the country.  In this regard, it will be cost effective if initiative is undertaken to set up such a Centre within a reputed public university like the University of Dhaka or any other reputed private University.  The Centre should run under collaborative modality which will ensure the sustainability of the initiative beyond the project period.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will develop an action plan concerning the implementation of LDC Graduation and capacity development of government officials to facilitate the changed scenario.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop an action plan for capacity development of government officials to facilitate the LDC Graduation successfully
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/10 Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
5. Recommendation:

In phase II of the Project, the evaluators strongly recommend for making the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) operational. In case of development management in Bangladesh, formal partnership between the government and civil society is almost nonexistent. There is no formal platform where the civil society/academia/think tanks can take part in the major development discourses, share knowledge and experiences with each other and no mechanism is in place to channel their recommendations to the policy level. Under the K4DM Project this very journey began through forming a formal platform for developing such partnership called the EPG but it got stuck in its halfway.

In phase II of the Project, initiative should be undertaken to link the EPG to the national policy making initiatives (e.g. formulation of the National Five-Year Plan, Sector Strategies and Sectoral Policies).  Although prior to the preparation of National Plans the Planning Commission does this kind of idea sharing exercise in a small scale but there has to be a broad formal platform through which this link can be established. Thus, EPG initiative should be revived and be made sustainable and UNDP should play a proactive role in this great initiative.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will take an initiative in linking the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) with the national policy making process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise and review Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) and total 41 persons are tagged with EPG.
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/08/22]
K4DM and ERD 2020/08 Completed The recommendation has been incorporated into the Project Document for the Phase II of K4DM. The Eminent Persons’ Group has been reviewed and revised and will be operationalized in Phase II as the Policy Expert Pool (PEP). History
Discuss an appropriate framework/ policy guideline on EPG engagement
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/06/27]
K4DM 2021/10 Not Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
6. Recommendation:

The Project has tested many new concepts and a number of new initiatives which can also become stand-alone projects. The Project initiatives including NRB, SSTC, preparation of NHDR can be mentioned as potentially suitable in this regard since these have a lot of potentialities to contribute to the development of the country but they are still left severely untapped.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account when designing a new phase project. Component of the new phase of the project focuses on this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publish Bangladesh National Human Development Report during celebrating county’s golden jubilee of independence
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/09 Initiated A further revised draft of NHDR, incorporating the feedback of relevant ministries and PM Office, has been prepared. This report will go for printing soon. History
Establish NHDR publication as a regular activity of the ERD
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/01 Completed Government order was issued.
Initiate functional work of NRB and NRB cell
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed NRB cell has been established and the support for NRB’s is ongoing.
Initiate functional work of SSCTC and SSC cell
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed SSCTC cell has been established and the support for NRB’s is ongoing.
7. Recommendation:

Considering the potentials that the ERD Pedia has with regard to increasing the overall access to information by the government officials, the Evaluation Team strongly recommends that ERD should take necessary steps to make the ERD Pedia sustainable. Following measures need to be undertaken for this purpose:

  • For improved performance of the ERD Pedia, it is essential that a permanent staff as an “Officer-in-Charge” can be deployed centrally at ERD.
  • Monitoring of uploading/updating data in the Pedia is necessary. The centrally appointed “Officer-in-charge”of ERD Pedia should be made responsible for monitoring this.  In addition to this, monthly coordination meetings of ERD can also perform this monitoring function. 
  • In order to increase its utilization training /workshop on the operation/use of the Pedia for the newly joined staff could be arranged under the ERD revenue budget. In addition to this, technical weaknesses of the Pedia also need to be identified and addressed.
  • Accessibility to the Pedia should be enhanced to the officials of other ministries and relevant organizations alongside the ERD officials.   Access to the Pedia can be enhanced to the general public to facilitate the academics/researchers by categorizing the available documents as:  i) public (which can be shared with all); and ii) official (which cannot be shared with all).
Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been considered during the designing of the new project. The new phase of the project will ensure institutionalization and mainstreaming of this high-impact initiative.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Introduce a clear support structure at organizational level for institutionalization and mainstreaming of ERDpedia
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/11 Completed A training course was organized for the focal and alternative focal point officers of ERD.
Recognize the ERDpedia as the most significant innovation and increase number of users
[Added: 2020/05/13]
ERD 2019/12 Completed 20 focal and alternative focal points have been nominated from 10 wings of ERD to ensure wider use.
Updated the ERDpedia user manual and disseminated among the respective officials and users
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2019/12 Completed The user manual have been updated by the consultant who initially developed it. A refresher course was organized for the ERD officials and users to further enhance their capacity and develop knowledge on the manual.
8. Recommendation:

Preparing National Human Development Report (NHDR) was another significant initiative of the project, which already attained a significant progress with regard to forming the writers’ pool, advisors’ pool and so forth. In the second phase of the Project, it is important to give serious consideration to accomplish the preparation of NHDR in order to facilitate the National policies to be benefitted from its inputs and to help the government achieving the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. UNDP will continue to advocate and take measures to publish NHDR and facilitate the National policies to be benefitted from its inputs and to help the government achieving the SDGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop and publish National Human Development Report (NHDR)
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM and ERD 2021/09 Initiated A further revised draft of NHDR, incorporating the feedback of relevant ministries and PM Office, has been prepared. This report will go for printing soon. History
Assist ERD in organizing a meeting of the Advisors’ pool and Writers’ pool
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM and ERD 2020/03 Completed Advisors’ pool consisting 22 members and the Writers’ pool consisting 10 members have been formed. Government order has been issued and approved by the Prime Minister’s Office.
9. Recommendation:

FGDs with the officials of ERD and other ministries stressed the importance of continuing the capacity building initiative of the Project with a view to help reduce their capacity gaps. It was also mentioned by many of them that they could not receive all trainings offered by the Project although they found all of them were very much relevant to their work in the current changing development context. Based on this feedback, the evaluation team strongly suggests for continuing the capacity building initiative in a much wider scale and with more investments in the new phase of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been taken into account when designing the new phase project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Introduce an innovative and need-based capacity building initiative to enhance skill among the government officials
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/07/27]
K4DM 2021/09 Not Initiated Due to the given situation of strict lockdown of COVID-19, the approval TAPP of K4DM phase II got delayed, therefore the implementation of this activity could not be initiated. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of TAPP. History
Develop systematic process and tools to assess capacity needs among the government officials
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/05/28]
K4DM 2021/09 Not Initiated Due to the given situation of COVID-19 lockdown, this activity could not take place. Moreover, the TAPP of K4DM phase II is under the process of approval. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activities after the approval of TAPP. History
10. Recommendation:

The Evaluation Team did not manage to collect sufficient evidence with regard to gender-specific targets of project components. In the new phase of the project, it is imperative to integrate gender consideration in all components of the project. Some of the examples could be as follows:

•  Capacity building initiative should give stronger focus on gender issue

•  Under the NRB initiative, special attention should be given on the needs/aspirations and expertise of women NRBs and efforts should be taken to address and utilize them. 

•  In case of SSC, the best practices of women empowerment of the region can be shared and highlighted.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. K4DM will keep gender as a cross cutting issue while developing action plan of components (Capacity building, NRB and SSC).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a gender action plan of the project
[Added: 2020/05/13]
K4DM 2020/01 Completed A gender action plan was also developed as per the Country Office requirement while developing the AWP.
Integrate gender as a cross cutting activity within all components of the next phase of the project
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
K4DM 2020/06 Completed Gender as a cross cutting activity has been incorporated in the 2nd phase ProDoc. History
11. Recommendation:

Since the K4DM project has already undertaken many good initiatives with a potentiality of having national policy level impact, these should be driven further. Government should undertake the future initiative to sustain these initiatives on its own. Government may undertake step to sustain this through self-financing to develop ownership, commitment and sustainability. It may buy technical support from UNDP and other donors. In this regard, the Project initiative of Collaboration on resource mobilization should be rejuvenated.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2020/05/13]

Agreed. This recommendation has already been considered when designing the new phase project. A component of the new project focuses on this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish a pool of experts to support the Government to meet unique situations posed by LDC graduation
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/06/27]
K4DM 2021/10 Not Initiated Upon approval of the TAPP of K4DM phase II, this activity will be implemented. Secretary, ERD prefers to initiate the activity after the approval of the TAPP. History
Provide innovative services for resource mobilization using technology
[Added: 2020/05/13] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
K4DM 2021/11 Not Initiated Lessons learned study will be commenced to explore the innovative resource mobilization approach. History

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