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Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Kenya
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2022-2025
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Completion Date: 04/2022
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Kenya
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

The UNDP devolution programme will remain relevant and should maintain its overall focus, while making adjustments to strengthen the training components for county officials, data collection and analysis capacity, and monitoring and communication of results.

In view of the turnover of executive officials in county governments following elections in 2022, UNDP training activities on governance and devolution priorities need to continue, with a greater focus on targeting the permanent staff of county administrations to ensure continuity and limit the loss of institutional memory. Future training activities should also incorporate the lessons from previous training cycles, especially as some of these have resulted in capacity being developed to a level of sustainable self-sufficiency, and others have been perceived as one-off instances with limited impact on improved service delivery.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 The country office will further assess the overall progress of the joint devolution programme including training activities and engagement with counties as part of the planned Mid Term Evaluation. Lessons learnt and recommendations will inform ongoing training activities on financial management, M&E, CIDPs with a greater focus on the permanent staff of county administrations to ensure continuity and limit the loss of institutional memory.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
Devolution Project Team/GIG 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated The procurement process for the MTE consultancy has commenced for completion by June 2022.
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should further consolidate and strengthen synergy between its work in peace and security, elections, and human rights and the rule of law, where it has had real impact and is well established. Not only should synergy should be captured between projects within this outcome, but linkages to devolution, the environment and youth and inclusive growth should be ensured.

UNDP has been working on these thematic areas at both national and county levels. Because of this long-term work, there is a need for UNDP to conduct a critical assessment to identify gaps and develop projects that create impact by deepening the work as opposed to covering several counties or regions without going into depth. A good example to draw from is past projects targeting electoral support, where all agencies working on elections are funded and work together to add value to the elections process.

Areas of potential synergy are both thematic and geographical. For example, UNDP has focused on peace and security, elections and human rights. While human rights and elections support seem to have thematic synergy, peace and security is very broad and needs to have more clearly-defined, specific sub-areas of work. UNDP should reflect on how to best conceptualize and define topics such as peacebuilding, or combine soft and hard security issues. This will help in defining thematic areas of work in the next CPD, so that programmes within the peace and security portfolio are designed to achieve maximum impact, with clear results.

Furthermore, UNDP should build on its experience and position to bring together multiple actors working on issues. For instance, there are several partners conducting training for security actors and psychosocial workers, and there is potential to create more synergy and harmonization of approaches and curricula. UNDP should facilitate consultations among partners so that they better coordinate such training. Similarly, in terms of geographical scope, UNDP has so far focused on counties in northern Kenya, although projects are designed as national. The new CPD should identify ways to draw lessons from the targeted areas which can be relevant to other counties.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 To further consolidate and strengthen synergies in in its governance, peace and security pillar, the country office will enhance the use of the portfolio approach in its programming under the new CPD 2022-2026 while exploiting existing opportunities for collaboration and joint programming with other UN agencies working in the governance and peace sector.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
GIG 2022/12 Initiated Tracking of this more integrated approach will be undertaken through annual reporting, programme reviews, the new CPD 2022-2026 Roll-out and the CO RESET 2.0 Cluster meetings.
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should redesign its inclusive growth portfolio based on lessons of the previous implementations cycle. The new CPD should maintain its objectives to promote sustainable youth employment with significant changes to the implementation of its business development activities at county level. There should be greater attention to analysing labour market needs, clearer provisions for institutionalization and the sustainability of results, closer follow-up with partners, and improved monitoring. The programme should also seek synergy with other areas of work such as the Accelerator Labs.

The flagship EEP will remain highly relevant in view of Kenya’s high youth unemployment. The specific approach of promoting employment through the establishment of county-level business centres also has the potential to generate employment, and new projects in this area should learn from the positive case of Kwale County. The design of training programmes needs to pay closer attention to the needs of employers and businesses in the counties, as well as the sectors with high growth potential. As such, the identification of training topics should be based on solid data and evidence of skill gaps in the labour market.

The design of business centres needs to be more clearly conceptualized, especially in relation to their financing model. Centres should identify financing sources, whether from the county budget or revenue streams from the services it provides, or a combination. UNDP needs to ensure close follow-up and frequent communication with its project partners, and ensure that any staff turnover is accompanied by appropriate handover and retention of knowledge. The setting of targets and monitoring of results needs to significantly improve, to track both project outputs and outcomes. Finally, there are other areas of work across the UNDP portfolio with a focus on youth employment, primarily the Accelerator Labs. There are opportunities to link these projects, for instance through common geographical targeting, which should be pursued.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 The country office has strengthened its support for youth-led businesses in the forestry and agroforestry sectors through its Green Economy Youth Activation Programme (GReYAP). Further, the country office has maintained its focus on strengthening youth employment and strengthening collaboration with the Acc Lab as well as better institutionalizing the country office Youth Sounding Board as part of its new CPD 2022-2026.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
GIG/SPAU and the Acc Lab 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated In September 2020 UNDP conducted a review of the Biashara centres and developed a Market development approach to BDS delivery which emphasizes the business to business and partnership with business associations, cooperatives and suppliers. Further, through the project Green Economy Youth Activation Programme (GrEYAP) developed in December 2020, the CO is implementing innovative mechanisms for BDS delivery anchored in key institutions such as Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya Institute of Business Training, among others, GrEYAP also include anticipated intervention to develop the Green jobs strategy and action plan in partnership with the Ministry of Labour. The IG pillar is building on the 2020 Acc Lab/MSEA MSME Impact Assessment Report findings that focused on the environment and needs for MSMEs to adopt digital technology. Interventions such as the development of an e-commerce platform for MSMEs and digital capacity building of MSMEs ongoing.
3.2 The country office will enhance its Acc Lab’s efforts in mapping and developing the innovation ecosystem for startup growth and maturity in collaboration with UN sister agencies.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
Acc Lab 2022/12 Initiated Acc Lab and partners such as Konza Technopolis and Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs are currently mapping the innovation ecosystem to identify areas of possible collaboration and engagement by stakeholders and the SDG Accelerator Lab that will seek the growth and development of local startups.
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should retain and build on its leadership in the environment area by strengthening its procurement of technical expertise and being more focused and targeted in its downstream activities. Successful approaches such as the community engagement and landscape/ seascape approach should be replicated.

UNDP has built a substantial GEF and non-GEF environment portfolio and is in a strong position to continue supporting Kenya in its pursuit of environmental objectives. Its focus so far on supporting policy and strategy development has been highly valued and should be further improved in specific areas such as the procurement of technical expertise, and by ensuring greater involvement of government counterparts in the identification of expertise. This could entail obtaining the necessary capacity from within the staff of Government agencies, and greater consultation or involvement in selection processes.

Downstream activities at community level have had success in some projects, but been somewhat scattered in others. The new CPD should aim to promote the implementation of Kenya’s environmental policies and strategies at community and devolved levels, but the design of such activities should be targeted in both thematic and geographical scope. Some of the successful practices used should be replicated and further scaled up, such as extensive community engagement and the landscape/ seascape approach as part of the GEF SGP programme.

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Undertake extensive community engagements and the landscape/seascape approach as part of the GEF-SGP programme
[Added: 2022/05/23]
GIG, Acc Lab and SPAU. 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated This action is already initiated through the approved 7th phase of GEF-SGP, which is due to start in Q1 of 2022, and will build on lessons learned and best practices of the landscape/seascape approach which was initiated in the 6th phase of GEF. The Project Document awaits finalize signature by the National Treasury.
5. Recommendation:

Youth should feature more prominently in the new CPD, with a dedicated approach and articulated programme theory, in view of their critical importance in several dimensions of the country’s development agenda. UNDP can draw from previous programme experience in addressing youth inclusion and employment in the peace and security and inclusive growth portfolios to conceptualize its future approach.

The UNDP portfolio during the CPD period has acknowledged the importance of contributing to youth employment, but the new CPD should develop a more comprehensive and strategic approach to address the social and economic challenges faced by Kenyan youth. This area of work should be developed in a participatory way with representatives of youth organizations. The Youth Sounding Board, established by UNDP in 2020, can serve as a key forum for UNDP to ensure that its youth programme is relevant and responsive to the needs of the youth.

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 UN Kenya’s Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for 2022-2026 has prominently located youth as a key focus, partner and beneficiary of the CF over the next four years. Similarly, the draft CPD is nested within the Cooperation Framework and aligned to the UNDP Corporate Strategic Plan and UNDP Offer in Africa. The country office has anchored innovation as a driver for youth employment in its new CPD 2022-2026 which is to be presented to the June 2022 Executive Board.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
GIG, Acc Lab and SPAU. 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated The draft CPD 2022-2026 has been developed through an extensive consultation process and HQ review. It is currently posted on the EB website for member state review in preparation for submission to the June 2022 Executive Board.
6. Recommendation:

The results chain and theory of change of the new CPD need to be designed to clearly track the UNDP contributions to national and United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework objectives. The country office monitoring system needs upgrading, to centrally compile and better organize data for decision-making, accountability and knowledge management.

While the new CPD is mandated to align closely with the UNSDCF, UNDP needs to more clearly articulate its programme logic so that contributions to higher-level objectives can be clearly traced to project-level activities and outputs. The CPD Theory of Change needs to identify multiple layers of results, distinguishing between those that are under the direct control of UNDP and those to which UNDP contributes. All indicators should be SMART and have clearly identified data sources, frequency and collection methods.

The country office should establish a consolidated programme monitoring system that compiles and organizes data on project achievements. This can serve multiple learning, reporting, communication and management decision-making needs as well as improve accountability. Similarly, a system for the collection and storage of project documentation such as project documents, work plans, progress reports, steering committee meeting minutes, midterm and final evaluations, needs to be established.

As part of its knowledge management and project implementation efforts, the country office should ensure that any staff turnover is accompanied by sufficient handover briefings for new staff, as well as clear communication with its project partners.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.2 The country office will streamline its M&E coordination structures internally and externally to support better data collection, data verification, results monitoring and reporting, knowledge management and accountability.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
Internally, a country office M&E hub will be formalized to facilitate constant monitoring and reporting on the progress on the CPD IRRF. Externally, joint programming with other agencies will be prioritized to strengthen data collection and verification, annual outcome level performance reviews with government and national partners and use the data to inform policy, strategic decisions, accountability and knowledge management. 2022/12 Initiated Internally, a country office M&E hub will be formalized to facilitate constant monitoring and reporting on the progress on the CPD IRRF. Externally, joint programming with other agencies will be prioritized to strengthen data collection and verification, annual outcome level performance reviews with government and national partners and use the data to inform policy, strategic decisions, accountability and knowledge management.
6.1 The country office will develop a results chain and theory of change for the new CPD that is aligned to the UNSDCF 2022-2026 objectives and national priorities
[Added: 2022/05/23]
CPD Taskforce /SMT 2022/06 Completed The country office has developed a theory of change and the results chain for the 2022-2026 CPD that is aligned with the 2022-2026 UNSDCF and the national priorities. The result chain will be used to track UNDP’s contributions and will be the basis for tracking programme implementation, monitoring and reporting.
7. Recommendation:

UNDP should set more realistic resource mobilization targets and establish contingency plans which document how project activities can be scaled down or redesigned in case of resource shortfalls. Projects should also improve their approach to budgeting and disbursement.

In view of the resource shortfalls in the previous CPD, as well as the changing donor landscape in Kenya, UNDP should set more modest and realistic resource mobilization targets for its programmes. Given the uncertainty around the amount of funds that will be mobilized, UNDP projects should consider establishing explicit prioritization of activities or geographic areas which will be carried out in proportion to the available resources. Close consultation with government counterparts should continue for activity planning but, as much as possible, UNDP should plan early in view of the misalignment between the budget cycles of Government and UNDP.

As part of its support to financing of the SDGs, UNDP could accelerate its support to Kenya’s institutional readiness for the roll-out of the INFF, building on the progress made so far. As part of this process, UNDP should assist the Government of Kenya to identify potential sources of financing to support its development agenda, bearing in mind its recently attained middle-income status. This should include a focus on potential private sector partnerships, which were recognised as important in the CPD but had limited results.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 The country office has rationalized its resource targets under the new CPD 2022-2026 to $120m to address shifting donor priorities and Kenya’s elevation to a lower middle income country. The country office will elaborate its Partnership & Resource Mobilization plan including contingency plans for scaled project funding levels.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
PMSU, SMT, GIG, ERU 2022/12 Initiated The country office has noted the 2021 Management Audit recommendations and incorporated more realistic targeting within its new CPD 2022-2026 to be presented to the June 2022 Executive Board.
8. Recommendation:

UNDP programmes should improve the way they address gender issues, by improving baseline gender analysis and introducing measures to promote empowerment and equality in decision-making.

To achieve this, UNDP should consider preparing a Gender Action Plan for the forthcoming CPD period, to articulate its strategy and objectives for gender mainstreaming. UNDP should also ensure that there are appropriate resources to support gender mainstreaming, such as a dedicated focal point function and allocations for training of staff to increase their understanding of gender in their respective areas of work.

Across its portfolio, UNDP should go beyond the inclusion of women and men in training activities and other project activities. The efforts made by UNDP to advocate for gender equality at the institutional level should be matched by UNDP leadership in mainstreaming gender in its project portfolio, tailoring its approach to the different thematic and geographical areas of work.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/25] [Last Updated: 2022/05/23]

Fully Accept

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 The country office incorporated critical inputs from its Gender Working Group as well as the RBA’s gender team ensuring adequate analysis and consultations on gender transformative programming. To effectively implement this, the country office will develop a new gender strategy and implement its gender seal action plan to guide its collective gender related activities through a more transformative approach.
[Added: 2022/05/23]
GFT/SMT 2022/12 Initiated The country office has commenced the gender seal process and critically reviewed its self-assessment for the development of its action plan and an updated gender strategy in line with the new corporate Gender Strategy.

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