Success message
error message
warn message
Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Vietnam
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Completion Date: 12/2020
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Viet Nam
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

UNDP should develop a detailed theory of change, that identifies a clear intervention logic with intermediate results and a pathway to change, including a detailed assessment of risks and assumptions. This ToC should guide the integration of upstream and downstream interventions as well as promote synergy across and within projects, outputs and outcomes, especially if used as a living document that is consulted and adjusted on a regular basis throughout the programme cycle.

A clearer and more detailed ToC should serve as the basis for the development of the new UNDP country programme and all subsequent projects and programmes (including regional programmes) that directly contribute to the key results and CPD outcomes. This will mean investing more time and resources in the design stages to understand (and design for) the drivers of change, clarify the intervention logic and impact pathways, and conduct thorough mapping and analysis of stakeholders to clarify roles, assumptions, unintended outcomes and future expectations. It will also help to identify and promote linkages between projects, build synergy and ensure coherence. A detailed ToC with short- and medium-term changes will help to map sequences of interventions and design appropriate and realistic indicators to capture intermediate changes that lead to results and CPD outcomes. This should be complemented by institutional mechanisms that allow for periodic critical self-reflection based on project and programme monitoring and evaluation tools and after-action reviews, using the ToC as a dynamic and living tool for learning and decision-making. The ToC needs to be updated, revised and adjusted to reflect any changes during the programme cycle. A solid ToC should guide the CPD in identifying activities with sustainable potential. This means that UNDP should avoid focusing on small-scale activities, or individual campaigns and conferences. The current programme cycle has innovatively introduced the concept of AAA governance. One way forward is to map out how this may be developed and applied to policy processes with involvement from CSOs and the private sector to ensure their sustainability. Pilot activities need to build on areas of comparative strength, past experience and demand from Government, and be grouped or designed so as to contribute collectively to results.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/27] [Last Updated: 2021/07/30]

UNDP accepts this recommendation. The new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2022-2026 and its TOC will be derived from the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and its TOC, taking into account ICPE’s recommendations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Analysis and consultations on the theory of change conducted for the Cooperation Framework is used for UNDP CPD. UNDP CPD TOC is elaborated during the formulation of the new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2022-2026, mapping strategies for upstream and downstream interventions, risks and assumptions.
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR and Team Leaders - supported by the M&E Analyst) 2021/12 Completed The CPD 22-26 together with the TOC have been submitted to EB for approval, tentatively in Feb 2022. History
1.2 As part of the TOC/CPD formulation, a programme sense making exercise is undertaken to better define and develop interlinkages and complementarities between different solution pathways.
[Added: 2021/07/30]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DDR, CO M&E focal Point, COSQA, Programme Units and Accelerator Lab Team CO & BRH) 2021/12 Completed A programme sense making workshop took place in April with the support of the Regional Innovation Center (RIC) team. Follow up discussions took place during May-June and the results were incorporated in the CPD Draft.
2. Recommendation:

The M&E system needs to focus on outcome-level results, with more frequent project monitoring and evaluation throughout the programme cycle, to capture system-level and real change on the ground, including transformative changes in gender equality and women’s empowerment and leaving no one behind. Findings from M&E should be consistently reflected upon and used for learning and management decision-making to allow for necessary course corrections in a timely manner.

Currently, UNDP reporting mostly collects reports from national partners (ministries in the NIM modality). These reports generally focus on activities, numbers of participants, policies etc., as well as assumptions about implicit benefits deriving from geographical coverage. They do not provide much evidence or analysis of changes in the quality of life of beneficiary households or improved opportunities for small businesses in a way that can be related back to policy change. More appropriate performance indicators to which different projects will contribute, and frequent independent performance monitoring, would clarify what exactly has changed and help to develop business cases showing net benefits that would, in turn, support the replication and scale-up of new initiatives. The identification of appropriate performance indicators, based on the needs and expectations of stakeholders, will also help to track changes in the behaviours, lives, livelihoods and quality of life of communities, which can be measured during the life of the project rather than relying on national-level statistics that cannot easily be tracked back to specific initiatives. This will help to shift the focus from a strictly regulatory approach to adaptive management, and shape future policy direction for meaningful impact.

In a similar vein, UNDP needs to better leverage the gains it has made in mainstreaming and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment initiatives, to go beyond reporting numbers towards identifying improvements in normative behaviour and changes in the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities. Together with the review of gender markers, a report on the implementation of the country office Gender Strategy could help to inform gender analysis and provide an accurate picture of the level of focus needed for transformative results in leaving no one behind.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/27] [Last Updated: 2021/07/30]

UNDP accepts this recommendation and it will be incorporated into the design of new Country Programme. Additionally, a thorough review of the current approach will be undertaken, to identify the weakness and gaps, strengthen the CO capacity and revise the approach to address the current weaknesses.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 New output level indicators are formulated to measure behavior change, improvement in communities’ livelihoods, their quality of life and transformative changes on gender equality and social inclusion with disaggregated data to measure such improvements.
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR and Team Leaders - supported by the M&E Analyst, the newly established M&E task team and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Task Team) 2022/03 Overdue-Initiated History
2.2 An appropriate mechanism is developed to regularly monitor/track and measure CPD’s indicators, risks and assumption log, including performance indicators and data extracted from project monitoring systems (point 2.3 below)
[Added: 2021/07/30]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR and Team Leaders - supported by the M&E Analyst, the newly established M&E task team and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Task Team) 2022/06 Initiated
2.4 The CO’s project cycle management approach (formulation, appraisal, implementation/monitoring and evaluation) is strengthened with appropriate roles, capacities and mechanisms to improve project monitoring and evaluation, throughout the programme cycle, which will allow the CO to identify and measure changes on the ground, and allow course corrections when needed. (same as 3.2 below)
[Added: 2021/07/30]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR - supported by the Operation Manager, M&E Analyst, the newly established M&E task team and all programme teams) 2022/06 Initiated
2.3 Country Office’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Action Plan is developed as part of the new CPD 2022-2026, ensuring that LNOB is a cornerstone of UNDP’s work in Vietnam (in project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation)
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR and Team Leaders - supported by the M&E Analyst, the newly established M&E task team and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Task Team) 2021/12 Completed The CO has been actively participating in the Gender Seal initiative, with a separate gender taskforce driving gender equality in the office. The CPD has also been designed to ensure that communities left furthest behind are included in the development achievements. History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP needs to systematically reflect on how to properly design and measure the impact of the capacity building and awareness raising that it supports.

UNDP needs a more comprehensive approach to capacity development, delineating the pathway to change and knowledge management processes that ensure the integration of learning and innovation into the capacity development process. UNDP needs to reflect more systematically on how to support the capacity building of its implementing partners across the country programme portfolio, including those at subnational levels, to promote innovation and achieve the objective of ‘leave no one behind’ outlined in the National Target programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction, the Master Plan for Social Assistance, and the upcoming National Target programme on Social Economic Development in Ethnic Minority Areas.

UNDP has supported Viet Nam to develop comprehensive policy frameworks with innovative components. Implementation success largely depends on the capacities of responsible agencies. UNDP and national partners should discuss and agree which aspects of their capacities will be required to implement multidimensional poverty reduction programmes, social assistance frameworks and climate change and adaptation programmes. Emphasis should be given to both institutional capacity and the capacities of individual actors involved in implementation. The former may include areas such as coordination with public and private institutions and technological infrastructure, while the latter may include technical capacities in areas of planning and monitoring. For national stakeholders in the public sector, and for capacity development results to be sustainable, UNDP should advocate for the expected capacities to be integrated into job descriptions, performance management and promotion in the civil service system.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/27] [Last Updated: 2021/07/30]

UNDP accepts this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.2 The CO’s project cycle management approach (formulation, appraisal, implementation/monitoring and evaluation) is strengthened with appropriate roles, capacities and mechanisms to improve project monitoring and evaluation, throughout the programme cycle, which will allow the CO to identify and measure changes on the ground (including those relating to capacity building interventions), and allow course corrections when needed (supported by a new M&E task team). (same as 2.4 above)
[Added: 2021/07/30]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR - supported by the Operation Manager, M&E Analyst, all programme teams and the newly established M&E task team) 2022/06 Initiated
3.1. Capacity building is integrated in the new CPD 2022-2026 which will guide the formulation and implementation of all UNDP projects and interventions.
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR, DRR, Programme Units) 2021/12 Completed As recommended by the ICPE, the office will invest in results-based management systems, to better monitor and evaluate the programme and undertake course correction as needed. UNDP will undertake specific initiatives to ensure programme quality, efficiency, and effectiveness in the pursuit of development results, while minimizing risks and pursuing opportunities to maximize benefits to target groups. History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should support the Government of Viet Nam to undertake an evidence-based full life cycle analysis of some of its procurement programmes and key state industries, that will help to monetize the benefits of ‘green’ actions, to inform the Government, private sector and civil society and promote their scale-up and sustainability.

To address the lack of understanding behind ‘green’ concepts like ‘green growth’, ‘green chemistry’ and ‘circular economy’, and their limited replication, uptake and buy-in across various stakeholder groups including government ministries, private sector and civil society, UNDP should advocate for, and (resources permitting) support the Government in undertaking, economic valuations in some important sectors, to monetize the long-term benefits of green actions.

The energy, transport and food production sectors are three examples where there is significant government control and intervention that could be changed to allow a ‘greener’ approach. A full life cycle comparative analysis of actions in these three areas, based on the previous ten years and projected ten years into the future, should include and examine all inputs, actions and outputs for energy consumption, waste production and inefficiencies. These should then be monetized in terms of GHG emissions and environmental quality, so that the benefits of investments in “greening” these sectors are clearer and understood by all stakeholders: the Government, private sector, civil society, and citizens. This would help to ensure better buy-in, promoting the uptake of green concepts and their sustainability.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/27] [Last Updated: 2021/07/30]

UNDP accepts this recommendation with the clarification that UNDP has been responding to requests by  the government to undertake economic evaluations that monetize the long term benefits of green actions in specific sectors/sub-sectors to provide convincing evidence for triggering scalable actions by the government and concerned stakeholders to advance sustainable development of the country. However, it is noted that  UNDP is currently not engaging in, nor has been requested by the Government to review “some of its procurement programmes and key state industries” as referred to in the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Undertake an assessment of the contribution of the ocean-based sectors of oil and gas, fishery, tourism, maritime transport, wind and solar power, and natural resources to sustainable ocean economy and SDGs and to inform and trigger actions for sustainability of coastal and ocean resources.
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (Climate Change and Environment programme team) 2022/06 Initiated History
4.2 Undertake a review of Climate Expenditure and Investments in Viet Nam to present trends and alignment of the expenditure with the strategic priorities and trigger effective fund allocation and spending to address climate change.
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (Climate Change and Environment programme team) 2022/06 Initiated History
5. Recommendation:

UNDP needs to develop a balanced portfolio to ensure its leading role in governance. Support to accountability institutions and mechanisms with an aim to buttress government integrity and performance should be considered as key components of UNDP efforts.

UNDP needs to draw lessons learned from its past support to strengthening accountability institution mechanisms, in order to identify entry points for future interventions to promote government integrity and performance. These should contribute to the Government’s priorities for 2021-2030, especially the transition to IR 4.0 in the context of COVID-19 recovery and the digital transformation of Government administrative service delivery. The focus on accountability institutions and mechanisms should also contribute to the socioeconomic and associated rights of marginalized groups (people with disabilities, women, ethnic minorities, MSMEs). A ToC that includes a component of accountability institutions and mechanisms should also link how these changes may expedite SDG implementation in general, and national development plans in particular.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/07/27] [Last Updated: 2021/07/30]

UNDP accepts this recommendation, with the clarification that governance is a cross-cutting element throughout all UNDP outcomes and interventions such as:  improving policy/legal frameworks and institutional functions as well as mechanisms to promote the government integrity, transparency and performance, as well as oversight by people-elected bodies. Additionally, Governance is a standalone outcome of the new UN SDG Cooperation Framework and a strong focus of the forthcoming CPD. The below action is proposed for the Governance portfolio.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 The Theory of Change for the Governance and Justice outcome is elaborated and validated during the formulation of the UNSDCF and Country Programme Document (CPD) 2022-2026, based on the GOVN’s Socio-economic Development Strategy and key policies resolutions in emerging priorities such as national strategies for IR.4.0, digital transformation and anti-corruption.
[Added: 2021/07/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
UNDP Viet Nam Country Office (RR/DRR, Governance and Participation Team) 2021/12 Completed The CPD 22-26 together with its TOC have been submitted to EB for approval (tentatively in Feb 2022). The GOVN’s Socio-economic Development Strategy and key policies resolutions in emerging priorities such as national strategies for IR.4.0, digital transformation and anti-corruption have been incorporated in TOC design. History

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org