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

Building on the lessons learned from its current portfolio, UNDP should increase its focus on medium- to long-term capacity development, including more local actors, to ensure the sustainability of results achieved.

UNDP should identify the approaches needed to ensure that necessary capacities are transferred and installed in partner institutions, for a better and more sustainable contribution. UNDP must ensure that the design and execution of projects take advantage of opportunities to strengthen partner institutions and overcome recurring capacity development bottlenecks. For example, for the reduction and mitigation of disaster risks, particular attention should be directed toward local capacity development. Finally, a clearer results chain on capacity development should allow UNDP Honduras to achieve higher-level transformative changes.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/02]

Partially Agreed

During country programme implementation, UNDP has contributed to strengthen the capacities of local and national institutions, such as Government, academia and private sector, to produce good quality data in the security, social and environmental sectors, in line with the data revolution proposed by the 2030 Agenda. UNDP has also made relevant contributions in areas of competency-based recruitment and training, which has been a key aspect that contributed to enhance credibility from a technical point of view.

It is important to emphasize that capacity development is a constant and indispensable process in a complex and changing context, full of challenges such as a pandemic scenario, mobility of actors at the local level high turnover of government officials and other external issues encountered out of UNDP control.

Over time, the UNDP strategy has moved towards better alignment on strengthening and transferring capabilities throughout its portfolio. Furthermore, the preferred execution modality for projects in Honduras is Country Office Support to National Implementation (NIM) thereby directly supporting capacity development through on-the-job training, one of the most effective means to develop skills and apply best management practices. Alongside a combination of high-level institutional development advisory support (SIGOB, among others), the country office has been applying a multidimensional, sustainable and long-term approach to capacity development. Of course, political will, financial resources and social stability are relevant factors to take into consideration. In conclusion, a more sustainable approach is already in place.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New CPD will incorporate lessons learned on capacity development.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
Programme Management 2021/10 Completed
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should develop a cohesive and integrated plan for more engagement with non-state actors, to fully benefit from these partnerships across its portfolio. The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the country’s economic vulnerability, and civil society and the private sector could support UNDP efforts for social and economic recovery.

UNDP should strengthen civil society to work on areas that require civic engagement, such as citizen security, gender equality, transparency and sustainable environmental practices. Civil society engagement should also contribute to the social sustainability of interventions, in particular by generating spaces for dialogue between civil society and the Government, or creating a sustainable mechanism for citizen participation.

Regarding the untapped potential of the private sector, UNDP should consider updating and further developing its 2017 private sector road map to align it with the new country context and needs, as well as the progressive vision of the new senior management.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/02]

Partially agreed

While we agree that UNDP should consistently promote greater engagement with non-state actors, UNDP has already established a variety of partnerships with the private sector, with Agenda 2030 stakeholders, with business entrepreneurs in the coffee and cocoa sectors, with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tegucigalpa, the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise, and the Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility.

In addition, throughout 2020, the country office has established a network of collaborators with academia and a broad range of CSOs, including the direct engagement of 39 youth organizations reaching more than 100,000 young people throughout the country in the framework of the UNDP National Human Development Report initiative.

The above is reflected in the new Partnership & Communications Action Plan under formulation for the next cycle CPD 2022-26.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Formulate the Partnership & Communications Action Plan for 2022-26 Country Programme, incorporating the recommendation.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
Programme Management 2021/10 Completed
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should leverage its positioning and trust across sectors, to work on important strategic governance issues such as e-governance and e-services. UNDP work on digitalization during COVID-19 provides an opportunity to further explore the potential for e-governance and anti-corruption.

UNDP should build on its positioning to further leverage partnerships, in particular with other United Nations agencies, as well as to more fully support SSTC opportunities to accelerate innovative development solutions. This is also an opportunity to reclaim the 2017 agreement on South-South cooperation and fulfil commitments made to contribute to the next CPD.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/02]

Partially agreed

The country office is already broadening its range of partners in order to effectively and sustainably contribute to the transparency of national institutions. New initiatives are being implemented with National Services of Entrepreneurship, SEDIS, the Secretariat of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Health. Also, digital transformation for more transparent and efficient management of service provision by the Government is ongoing. UNDP has supported the Government in strengthening its capacity for innovation in public management, through six institutions that have added transparent management tools.

In this sense, UNDP has directly supported the digitization of the services of the Trademark Registry of the Property Institute; Authentic and Apostilles of the Secretariat of Public Relations and Cooperation; and Tiered Solidarity Credit of the Solidarity Credit Programme; and others have started in the Secretariat of Education and the Supreme Court of Justice. The digitization process has a comprehensive approach to improve institutional efficiency and transparency, thereby improving access to priority public services. These vital services enable economic recovery and effective responses focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The e-governance and anti-corruption has been included in the new programmatic cycle.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New CPD will include e-governance and anti-corruption initiatives.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
Programme Management 2021/10 Completed
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should develop a gender strategy that holistically integrates a more responsive and transformative gender mainstreaming programme approach.

UNDP should capitalize on results and lessons from the implementation of initiatives to support GEWE, to develop a country office strategy to fully integrate GEWE into its portfolio. Building on its flagship projects in this area, and in collaboration with the regional gender specialist, the country office should further develop its theory of change to fully address the root causes of persistent gender-based violence, discrimination and inequalities. Interconnectivity between projects and portfolios with transformative potential for women should be developed.

This should be defined in consultation with the Government and civil society, outlining how to engage stakeholders in the design and effective delivery of interventions with transformative GEWE potential. This should be an opportunity for UNDP to identify areas in which it could support the Government to advance on GEWE policies and legislation and adapt national strategies, identify implementation gaps, and strengthen national capacities and M&E frameworks on GEWE.

This work requires dedicated capacity beyond a single part-time focal point. UNDP should recruit a full-time gender specialist as focal point, as mandated for offices delivering above $25 million.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/02]

Agreed

There are important processes to promote women’s empowerment and participation which were carried out during the evaluation period that we would have liked the evaluator to consider in the assessment: Academy of Parliamentarians, SEDIS gender policy proposal, analysis on the human rights situation of indigenous women (Tawahka, Miskitu, Pech and Garifuna) in the Honduran Moskitia. We agree that a continuous strengthening of the gender mainstreaming approach is needed. In this respect, the country office commitment to a more responsive and transformative gender approach is confirmed, as it has started the recruitment of a gender specialist as well as the process to obtain the gender seal.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The country office will reinforce GEWE in the formulation of the new CPD for the period 2022 – 2026, with the collaboration of the regional gender specialist.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
RR, DRR, Programme Unit, Management Support Unit (MSU) 2022/01 Completed
Country office is in the process to recruit a full-time gender specialist.
[Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/05/11]
RR, DRR, Human Resources 2022/04 Completed The Gender Officer was hired since April 18, 2022 History
5. Recommendation:

UNDP should strengthen its monitoring and evaluation systems to adequately guide and capture UNDP contributions to transformative change, and generate timely information to support decision-making, knowledge management and the advocacy of senior management. The results framework needs to be adjusted with an outcome focus to adequately measure UNDP concrete contributions and performance, and include clear objectives, targets and indicators on which UNDP can realistically have a measurable influence.

It is also crucial to consolidate the results and lessons learned from projects to optimize the performance and design of interventions. M&E systems should be designed to encourage active learning and feedback loops, internally and with national partners, project beneficiaries and the general public.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/02]

Partially agreed

The country office has an M&E System that complies with the institutional monitoring policy and guidelines, which includes tracking performance through the collection of appropriate and credible data, analysing evidence to inform management decision-making, reporting on performance and lessons to facilitate learning and support accountability. This is done by: i) monitoring the outcomes at least annually through the Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR); ii) monitoring the outputs through the Integrated Workplan, the ROAR, and project-specific output monitoring included in project progress reports, which are discussed and approved in the annual project board meetings; iii) lessons learned are reflected in the project quality assurance uploaded in the project document centre; iv) lessons learned are also included in project final evaluation reports, which are uploaded to the ERC; and iv) knowledge products such as project systematizations of relevant processes are uploaded to the transparency portal.

It is worth mentioning that the CPD results framework was taken from UNDAF 2017-22, which was formulated in consultation with local actors and agreed and signed with the Government. The approved CPD evaluation plan included the outcome evaluations to be carried out in the second semester of 2020 and during 2021, the inputs from these evaluations were not available for the ICPE, as the ICPE was developed in 2020.

The country office has formulated a robust new Country Programme Document 2022-25, aligned with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Framework 2022-25, which followed an extensive consultation process with local actors and which was recently signed with the Government. The results framework for the new CPD has been adequately designed with clear objectives, targets and indicators. An evaluation plan for the new CPD was also approved, ensuring evaluation of all programmatic areas and contributions.

It is important to take into account the impact that the changing context of roles and functions, as well as officials, may have in the sustainability of results and knowledge management at the institutional level.

Finally, the recent country office audit exercise by OAI acknowledged the improved M&E practices carried out by the office.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
New CPD incorporates an improved monitoring and evaluation section and results framework.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
Programme Management 2021/10 Completed
New fully costed evaluation plan, as part of the CPD, includes outcome and thematic evaluations to provide a comprehensive coverage of the next cycle programme.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
Programme Management 2021/10 Completed
The country office will seek guidance from the Regional M&E Advisor as well as the UNDP M&E community to improve knowledge sharing practices towards sustained institutional strengthening.
[Added: 2022/03/02]
Programme Management 2022/04 Completed The CO requested the guidance of the Regional Monitoring Advisor and the CO of Mexico, with whom it has initiated processes of consultation and exchange of experiences History
Develop staff capacity on evaluations through structured inductions and training courses available in the Corporate Learning Platform.
[Added: 2022/03/02] [Last Updated: 2022/11/01]
Programme and MSU 2022/10 Completed The new M&E personnel received structured and one to one inductions and mentoring over two months. The focal points in the CO have completed de M&E courses available in the Corporate Training Platform. The CO had also started with monthly sessions about the importance of M&E, its relation with project cycle and transparency. History

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