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Midterm Evaluation: UNDP Regional Programme for Supporting the Upscaling of the YouthConnekt model in Africa
Commissioning Unit: RBA
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 05/2021
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: RBA
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

An extension of the Youth Connekt project is recommended for three (3) years, however the evaluation identified the need for revision of the project results framework and overall focus in the context analysis, theory of change, expected outcomes and resource mobilisation strategy. Due to the internal and external changes that the project has experienced in the first phase (including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, organizational structure, development of the UNDP renewed strategic offer, etc.), a clear and targeted framework is required that responds to the renewed priorities. It is also necessary for the project to reformulate the framework taking into account resource and capacity constraints. The development of a clear results framework may require engagement of partners and stakeholders in the assessment and formulation of key project priorities. Making the process as inclusive as possible is expected to increase ownership of the project and renew commitment from its implementing partners.

 

Revision of the project document should take the following into consideration:

  • Revisit the overall scope: a focused and less ambitious results framework for the entire duration of the second phase should be developed.
  • The project should not only focus on the number of implementing countries but also on the effectiveness and sustainability of each national chapter and therefore a clear needs assessment should be conducted to respond accordingly.

The overall project target outcomes could be reduced to maximum of 2 with a reduced number of outputs. Instead of focusing on multiple isolated outputs and activities, the project results framework and related implementing plan should be focused on the principle of ‘Think big, start small & scale fast’.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/08/17]

Fully Accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
discuss with key stakeholders around revision of the project priorities in the second phase based on findings of the MTE
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/08/19]
Regional Youth Team 2021/06 Completed Completed. Joint Workplan developed History
Revise the project results framework and Annual Workplan
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/08/19]
Regional Youth Team 2021/06 Completed Completed History
2. Recommendation:

Creation of a strong ‘community of practice’ for knowledge exchange between initiatives and monitoring of activities, particularly at country level. Youth Connekt being a multi-country project, a central knowledge repository where countries can log ongoing activities and see key events in other places can be useful in improving communication between programmes, and in serving monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/08/17]

Fully Accept the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Update contact list of YouthConnekt CO focal points and re-engage in development of a knowledge repository on each programme
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/08/19]
Regional Youth Team 2021/07 Completed Completed History
develop a communication and knowledge exchange strategy between initiatives
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/11/19]
Regional Youth Team 2021/07 Completed monthly meeting with the Youth Connekt Africa Hub and focal point meetings facilitate knowledge exchange. A needs assessment survey was also conducted to identify gaps and a report on best practices produced History
develop a tentative calendar of meetings with the YouthConnekt CO focal points
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/11/19]
Regional Youth Team 2021/08 Completed youth focal points in COs identifies and meetings held monthly History
3. Recommendation:

Development of a strong sustainability and resource mobilization plan

The evaluation noted that the project lacks a comprehensive sustainability/exit plan to inform continuity of YouthConnekt after completion of the project cycle. The evaluation however recognizes that the YC Hub has been established to ensure continuity of programme but could not assess the extent to which it was self-sustaining as it still requires financial support from RSCA.  

The overall financial sustainability of the entire project as defined within the project budget at the current level of activities is also a great concern. This is mainly due to lack of an effective and well targeted partnerships and resource mobilization strategy. The evaluation recommends development of a robust resource mobilization strategy (as well as a targeted communications plan) for the next phase to ensure consistent engagement of partners and mobilization of resources to fill the funding gap.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/08/17]

Fully accept this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
formulate an exit strategy for the project
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
UNDP Regional Youth Team/ YouthConnekt Africa Hub 2022/06 Overdue-Initiated History
formulate an exit strategy for the project
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/11/19]
UNDP Regional Youth Team/ YouthConnekt Africa Hub 2022/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: action duplicated]
History
Develop a robust resource mobilization strategy including mapping of partners
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
UNDP Regional Youth Team 2022/12 Not Initiated History
Develop a targeted communications plan for the next phase to ensure consistent engagement of partners
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
UNDP Regional Youth Team 2022/12 Not Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

The evaluation recommends redesigning the project implementation and monitoring board particularly at the technical level with the overall objective of achieving the following:

  • a structured, standardized, and well-coordinated implementation plan whereby specific support to country level YC projects are fairly distributed and coordinated. This will help bring up performance of country YC chapters to a relatively even level and respond collectively to areas where the needs are greatest.
  • strong engagement with the AU and RECs youth development programmes as well as their consistent inclusion in the YouthConnekt steering board.
  • a robust and well-coordinated M&E process that fosters clear linkages between country and regional level programming particularly in the provision of regular progress reports. The M&E process should be able to provide a real time snapshot of all activities at any given point in time. The annual and quarterly reports  compiled at all levels should form the basis of accurately assessing the overall contribution of the project to youth development in Africa.
  • a stronger coordination mechanism between RSCA and YC Hub to include more regular senior management meetings, especially keeping in view the overall mandates they both carry in supporting national level implementation
Management Response: [Added: 2021/08/17]

Fully accept this recommendation

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

The evaluation recommends redesigning the project implementation and monitoring board particularly at the technical level with the overall objective of achieving the following:

  • a structured, standardized, and well-coordinated implementation plan whereby specific support to country level YC projects are fairly distributed and coordinated. This will help bring up performance of country YC chapters to a relatively even level and respond collectively to areas where the needs are greatest.
  • strong engagement with the AU and RECs youth development programmes as well as their consistent inclusion in the YouthConnekt steering board.
  • a robust and well-coordinated M&E process that fosters clear linkages between country and regional level programming particularly in the provision of regular progress reports. The M&E process should be able to provide a real time snapshot of all activities at any given point in time. The annual and quarterly reports  compiled at all levels should form the basis of accurately assessing the overall contribution of the project to youth development in Africa.
  • a stronger coordination mechanism between RSCA and YC Hub to include more regular senior management meetings, especially keeping in view the overall mandates they both carry in supporting national level implementation
Management Response: [Added: 2021/08/17]

Fully accept this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Formulate/Revise a joint M&E framework and project M&E framework to provide a real time snapshot of all activities
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
Regional Youth Team 2022/06 Overdue-Initiated History
Institute a regular reporting mechanism to correspond with revised M&E framework.
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
Regional Youth Team 2022/07 Overdue-Initiated History
Re-engage African Union in YouthConnekt Steering Board and initiate discussions with RECs towards them joining steering board and support role out of the programme
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
Regional Youth Team 2022/08 Initiated History
institute regular meetings between RSCA Youth Team and YouthConnekt Hub
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
Regional Youth Team 2022/08 Initiated History
conduct a needs assessment to determine support required by existing YouthConnekt national programmes and develop corresponding actions
[Added: 2021/08/17] [Last Updated: 2021/12/13]
Regional Youth Team 2022/08 Not Initiated History

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