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Review & Evaluation of National Capacity Self-Assesment (NCSA) Project of Cook Islands & Assistance to complete NCSA Action Plan
Commissioning Unit: Samoa
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2012
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 07/2009
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Samoa
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: The process of project inception needs to be looked at. In this case, as in other projects that I am aware of, Project Document development was led by an international consultant but there was then quite a gap until the project started. ? It is recommended that this gap, however long it is, is bridged in two possible ways: 1. The consultant involved in developing the Prodoc could be retained (as an addition to his/her contract) to spend a few days with the Project Coordinator soon after his/her appointment. They would go through the Project Document and the thinking behind the project, re-define the work plan and review budget lines. 2. The Coordinator should visit the UNDP Multi-Country Office (MCO) soon after taking up the role and undertake a similar review with staff there.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

Noted for future projects

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: UNDP to conduct a review of the Steering Committee approach across a variety of projects and countries looking for examples in which this has worked well and applying lessons learned from how these have been organised.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

Noted for future projects

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: Delays in project implementation are common in the Pacific, particularly in smaller countries where a limited number of staff are trying to cope with too many demands on their time. Granting extensions of time to complete projects is the norm. It is recommended that more careful attention is paid to duration when projects are formulated. One approach is to draft a work plan with a timeframe based on a best estimate of how long it is expected to take to complete its activities. Then either the timeframe should be extended by one third or the activities reduced by one third to account for the unexpected! This project has simply gone on for too long so that it has lost some support and is rather less likely to achieve the beneficial outcomes expected. While projects should be granted extensions when appropriate, it should be clear at the outset that these will be limited. If several extensions appear to be needed it is recommended that efforts are made to downsize the project to bring it to a timelier conclusion. There appears to be some confusion over the current status of this project. My understanding is that it has been ?closed? from a financial viewpoint which in effect means that the coordinator is no longer employed on the project but work is still happening to complete deliverables. This work is inevitably drifting as the coordinator has a new role and UNDP have also partly moved on to other ?open? projects. There needs to be greater clarity about project closure. Closure should mean that deliverables have been delivered and funds spent rather than involving some separation of the two.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

There are standard UNDP procedures for project extensions and project closure and these will be shared with the IPs accordingly.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Donors should aim for consistency in their approach. If a change is necessary this should be advised along with the reasons behind it as soon as possible, ensuring that this information reaches those delivering projects in country. The GEF should ensure that NCSA Action Plans are utilised in formulating further assistance to countries. Pacific Island Countries are clearly looking for support to take action to address environmental issues. Projects formulated to do this should use NCSA Plans to ensure that they also build the capacity required. The Government of the Cook Islands should use the NCSA Action Plan in its discussions with GEF on GEF-PAS projects and the replenishment of GEF5 as a listing of its capacity needs.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

Noted for future projects

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Donors should carefully assess the need for global or regional support mechanisms during programme development. Such mechanisms need to be set up in a timely manner and properly resourced. It should not be assumed that existing regional organisations can take on support roles without specific additional resources.
Management Response: [Added: 2011/07/15]

Noted for future projects

Key Actions:

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