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UNIAP Phase III
Commissioning Unit: Thailand
Evaluation Plan: 2007-2011
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 03/2009
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Thailand
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: Take steps to hire an M&E specialist (as mentioned in the original PDD) on a full or part-time basis, to be based in the PMO.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP agrees that a part time M&E specialist is needed. This person would help to develop a system for UNIAP and for the interagency community as a whole. A consultancy announcement has been circulated to identify potential candidates (June 2009).

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: Establish clear lines of responsibility and accountability for M&E amongst UNIAP staff
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

These lines of responsibility will be outlined following consultations between our Project Management Office, our country offices and our partners. This process will be initiated following the selection of the M&E consultant.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: Invest in M&E capacity building of UNIAP staff and partners (e.g. through regional and national training programmes), drawing on the expertise of partner agencies as appropriate.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP has revised and improved our regional training program to include a stronger M&E component. UNIAP's Information Analysts and National Project Coordinators will receive continuing education on this topic when they come together for periodic events (e.g. Project Steering Committee meetings, Senior Officials Meetings and Regional Training Programs). The Regional Training Programme Component on M&E has been revised. Future capacity building events will be scheduled over time.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Although UNIAP's Finance/Operations Specialist and her team have already made major improvements to the Project's financial management systems, any possibilities for further streamlining should be explored.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP's regional financial unit has recently updated and developed the capacity of our project assistants to improve our efficiency and effectiveness. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: The Project should continue to work together with donors to harmonise reporting requirements as much as possible, to reduce the load on Project management. Clearly, donors have a major responsibility in this regard.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

For many of our donors, we have an agreement that two semi-annual reports will come out annually - January and July. For those donors that have their own internal requirements that cannot be changed, we will continue to accommodate their needs. UNIAP has a semi-annual schedule for Norway, Sweden, Canada and New Zealand. For USAID, GTIP and ADB, specific reporting requirements will continue to be followed.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: The Project should explore the possibility of drawing more upon human resources available at national and regional level to fill core staff positions currently occupied by short-term expatriate staff.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP agrees with this approach. When opportunities present themselves, core staff positions will be filled by national-level staff. Local project officers are being recruited in Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: The relationship of UNIAP with the UNRCs needs to be clarified and formalised, for example through the drafting of ToR drawing on past examples of good practice. The role of the UNRC in conducting high-level advocacy at national level on UNIAP's behalf should be specified.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

In September 2009, the UNRC for Thailand sent a letter to the UNRCs in the five Mekong countries outlining the role of UNIAP and the possible role that each UNRC could play to support the project. All six UNRCs have been included on UNIAP's monthly report mailing list and have been encouraged to participate in more UNIAP activities. UNIAP regional and country staff will continue to find ways of including the UNRCs in on-going counter trafficking activities in each country and work to standardize their role across the various countries.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: The possibility of locating UNIAP under the UNDP Regional Centre should be explored as an option for Phase IV, as this would provide a clearer apex to the organisational structure as well as a regional UN voice for advocacy.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

The topic will be discussed in the context of the next phase formulation, bearing in mind that this is an inter-agency project. UNIAP has no plans to act on this recommendation unless we hear otherwise.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: The role and membership of UNIAP's Management Board need to be clarified through discussion with, and then clearly communicated to, all major stakeholders. Transparency should be increased, with full minutes being circulated to all stakeholders, and the NGO seat should be held by a recognised NGO representative, if at all possible.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

This issue of board membership falls beyond UNIAP's management control. It is a topic that needs to be discussed within the Board itself. UNIAP is willing and able to share the full UNIAP Board Minutes if asked by the board to do so. UNIAP will seek board inputs related to this set of recommendations.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: The Project, particularly Project management, needs to place more emphasis on communication with stakeholders while not allowing the very significant technical gains made in Phase III to slip away. Communication needs to be more cohesive and systematic, and be linked to the M&E system so that its effectiveness can be assessed.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP/PMO has increased internal and external communication through additional emails, meetings and events. UNIAP will also be getting a new Communications Officer in November 2009. Upon her arrival, a strategic plan will be developed through a collaborative, participatory process with our own staff and partners. Better and more frequent communication between partners has begun. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: Particular emphasis should be placed on more clearly communicating the rationale behind Project Objectives 2, 3 and 4, especially to stakeholders in government, the UN and other international agencies.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP will continue to communicate the rationale behind Project objectives 2, 3 and 4, through the following: improvements to our website, periodic news digest updates, presentations at interagency events (both regional/country), updating our brochure, etc. UNIAP has updated our website and improved our general presentation on our work to better reflect these objectives. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation: UNIAP's draft communication strategy appears to a non-specialist to be somewhat theoretical in nature, so attention will need to be paid to its operationalisation, especially at CO level.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP will be getting a new Communications Officer in November 2009. Upon his/her arrival, a new strategic plan will be developed through a collaborative, participatory process with our own staff and our partners. The new draft will be more practical and less theoretical in nature. This activity will be initiated in November 2009.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation: More innovative approaches should be adopted for disseminating information. For example, rather than just a newsletter, more impact could be achieved through occasional well-focused OpEd pieces in local newspapers.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP will work to identify new approaches to disseminate information. This will include sending information to a range of other websites, using more Op Eds, press releases and periodic flyers, and linking our messages. UNIAP recently hired a part-time communications/media specialist to help improve our dissemination approaches.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation: More Project documentation should be translated into national languages. This applies not only to SIREN reports and the like, but also to important planning documents and progress reports.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP agrees with this recommendation and will set aside more funding for translation or use our in-house staff. UNIAP/country offices have been asked to translate more materials in recent months to expand our documentation transparency. This includes the newly revised regional training programme modules. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation: There is an urgent need to raise the levels of awareness and understanding of many senior decision- and policy-makers regarding human trafficking. An opportunistic approach must be taken in order to reach them with appropriate messages, for example by including well-designed awareness-raising sessions in the SOMs.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP will use whatever methods are possible to help raise levels of awareness and understanding of senior decision-makers. To help in this endeavour, UNIAP will have our communications staff include this as a component in the communications strategy. When the communications strategy is reviewed and updated, this issue will be included in the TOR.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation: The next UNIAP staff retreat should discuss issues related to communication within the Project. The involvement of an external facilitator may be of assistance.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

An internal staffing survey will be used prior to the next UNIAP retreat. This survey will allow staff to provide confidential feedback to improve transparency. UNIAP's next retreat is pending an availability of funds.

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation: The roles and responsibilities of PMO staff, particularly their authority to approve requests, should be more clearly communicated to CO staff.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

During the proposed NPC retreat (September 2009), staff received a thorough briefing on roles and responsibilities, lines of authority and the approval process. Action for this recommendation was taken at the September 2009 NPC retreat. This information will be included in UNIAP's operations manual and which is now being updated based on feedback received.

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation: The PMO should ensure that all CO staff have a consistent understanding of the Project and its approach. Orientation for new staff should be improved.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

While UNIAP has a two-day orientation schedule for most new staff, we realize that this approach needs to be updated and standardized. PMO human resources staff have been asked to review the present procedure and offer suggestions for improvement.

Key Actions:

19. Recommendation: The PMO should keep COs better-informed on the overall context and status (financial, programmatic and strategic) of the Project.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

PMO has recently instituted a new procedure to provide regular financial updates to our COs. Efforts will be made to improve programmatic and strategic updates through: 1) international events (when our NPCs come together, 2) more regular email updates and 3) our proposed retreat (pending the availability of funds.) A one-day mini-retreat was held for our National Project Officers following the Project Steering Committee Meeting (September 2009). PMO provided a detailed description of financial, programmatic and strategic elements of the Project to the NPCs. Monthly email updates will be provided to each NPC. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

20. Recommendation: Administrative communication procedures and etiquette should be clarified (for example, some CO staff noted that it would be useful for the PMO to acknowledge all email messages and, where action has been requested by the CO, set a date by which action will be take).
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

New financial and approval procedures have been instituted to reduce the possibility of actions being delayed when approving-staff are on Mission. These procedures will be discussed at the proposed UNIAP retreat to clarify and acquire feedback. New procedures have been put in place. They will be tested and refined over time.

Key Actions:

21. Recommendation: The practice of allocating the same amount of money to each COMMIT member state in support of COMMIT activities is understandable in diplomatic terms, but fund allocations should logically be made on the basis of relative need, linked also to ongoing country performance in meeting specified targets in order to provide an appropriate incentive.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP does not agree with this recommendation. We feel that if any country was offered more than another, this would breach our role as a neutral broker. Since most countries do not come close to spending their fully allocated budget, we will continue to offer $100,000 per year per country. No action required.

Key Actions:

22. Recommendation: Regarding PPC 1 (Training and Capacity Building), the ongoing Training Needs Assessment should provide detailed recommendations. Pending the release of the TNA, the evaluators would make the following general recommendations: Structural constraints also need to be addressed, with UNIAP?s role being to identify key constraints and then engage suitable partners with the capacity to address them. There is a need for regular training on basic human trafficking topics for government officials holding relevant positions, as turnover is often high. Short courses and in-service training options are the only realistic option for many hard-pressed government staff. There is in general a need for more in-house training and on-the-job mentoring, especially in areas such as social work. Counter-trafficking modules should be included in generic pre- and in-service training courses, such as those attended by civil servants and police officers, as this would be an effective approach to institutionalising training capacity and reaching those who are, or will become, decision-makers. There needs to be an increased focus on supporting the governments in rolling out training programmes at sub-national levels, not just national level. Government agencies with responsibility for labour issues are, for a variety of reasons, generally less engaged in training and capacity-building activities than their peers. Efforts to engage such agencies need to be redoubled. Where possible, CSOs should also be invited to participate in training events. There should be much more evaluation of training impact and follow-up of trainees, in order to assess effectiveness.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP agrees that there is a need for regular training on basic human trafficking topics for government officials holding relevant positions. To address this need, UNIAP will work with our partners to develop a variety of different short courses and in-service training options. UNIAP agrees that in-house training and on-the-job mentoring are effective tools. These options will be reviewed extensively as the Training Needs Assessment discussions take place with our partners. UNIAP agrees that trainings should also be made available at the sub-national levels, not just national level. In recent times, several such trainings have been initiated in China and Laos. UNIAP will work with government agencies with responsibility for labour issues to help motivate them to be more engaged in training and capacity-building . UNIAP agrees that there should be much more evaluation of training impact and follow-up of trainees in order to assess effectiveness. The Training Needs Assessment report will be used as a means of addressing the issues outlined in this recommendation. A systematic, interagency process will be adopted to address both national and regional training factors. At the upcoming Project Steering Committee meeting, this topic will be discussed.

Key Actions:

23. Recommendation: Regarding PPC 6 (Preventive Measures, evaluation of the impact of preventive measures has been lacking sector-wide (with a few notable exceptions, such as ILO's region-wide impact assessment in 2008). The Project should explore whether the impact assessment methodologies being employed by MTV Exit and its subcontractors would be of relevance to the wider counter-trafficking community.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP agrees that impact assessments for all components of human trafficking are weak, especially preventive measures. UNIAP will address this issue during our interagency meetings to see if a combined approach can be explored (including reviewing the work MTV is doing and others that have attempted to put in place impact assessments). Beginning in 2010, the development and implementation of an inter-agency process to put in place IMPACT assessments will be included in COMMIT and non-COMMIT workplans. In September 2009, UNIAP/PMO worked with the government of Myanmar, UN and civil society partners to develop and launch a national prevention impact assessment. The results will be reported at SOM 7 January 2009.

Key Actions:

24. Recommendation: The Senior Officials' Meetings (SOMs) should address the issue of non-completion of commitments under annual work plans. Linking financial support to a clear, time-bound plan would be both equitable and provide support to NPCs as they strive to engage governments.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP has developed a COMMIT SPA II annual report. This will be shared at the Project Steering Committee meeting in September 2009. The report identifies both completion and non-completion of workplan activities. Action was taken to provide feedback at the next Project Steering Committee meeting (September 2009).

Key Actions:

25. Recommendation: The Project needs to explore, in consultation with stakeholders, ways to make regional and national quarterly inter-agency working group meetings more effective (for example, through the use of more focused agendas or more specific themes).
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP regional and national offices will be encouraged to focus more attention on targeted, priority issues within quarterly meetings. Recommendations made at these events will be minuted and followed up to ensure appropriate follow through. UNIAP/PMO continues to provide suggestions and technical support to improve the stakeholder consultation meetings.

Key Actions:

26. Recommendation: The relevance to other countries of the approach used by UNIAP Cambodia and its partners to improve coordination should be explored.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP has made presentations on COMMIT and the interagency process to representatives from Malaysia and Indonesia. Outputs from UNIAP and our partners are regularly shared with other partners all over the world. This process will be continued. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

27. Recommendation: UNIAP and its UN agency partners should strive to adopt an integrated, joint approach to donors, which would be a radical contribution towards a more harmonised approach overall.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

Once a year, UNIAP and its partners (UN and civil society) hold a meeting for donors. This event, which is entitled State of Human Trafficking, explores ways to better harmonize joint donor vision and resources. The next donor meeting is scheduled for December 2009.

Key Actions:

28. Recommendation: Regarding SIREN, governments should be informed in advance of the release of potentially sensitive reports, as should other counter-trafficking agencies or projects whose work may also be affected, without compromising the report content.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/11/24]

Since October 2008, UNIAP has had a regular policy of disseminating SIREN reports to relevant government offices prior to their final publication. This has resulted in useful feedback that has been incorporated into the final versions. This process will continue. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

29. Recommendation: Dissemination of SIREN in hard copy is likely to be more effective for the many government staff who have limited internet access. As much relevant SIREN material as possible should be translated into national languages, otherwise its impact amongst both government and non-government staff will be limited.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP has urged all country offices to translate and print sufficient copies of all SIREN reports. They will be disseminated at workshops, conferences and meetings. This is an on-going effort.

Key Actions:

30. Recommendation: Reactions to the redesigned website should be evaluated, as the old version received lukewarm reviews from most stakeholders and needs to be significantly improved.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

In December 2009, UNIAP will carry out a survey to identify feedback on the new website design features. This will give partners time to use the service. Preliminary feedback to date has been very positive. A survey tool will be developed in November 2009 and disseminated in December 2009.

Key Actions:

31. Recommendation: The Project's ultimate aim under this Objective of supporting the eventual consolidation and institutionalisation of successful approaches? is an area that UNIAP should focus on improving through working more effectively with international agency and government partners.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

UNIAP works with a broad range of different organizations that focus on addressing the needs of underserved victims. Over time, this network has grown and become more collaborative. It is our hope to eventually have a network in place that will link government, NGO and UN partners together to this endeavour. UNIAP will continue to strengthen and expand the alliance of organizations addressing this objective. COMPLETED.

Key Actions:

32. Recommendation: Gender sensitivity training is recommended for CO staff, with a special focus on its relevance to human trafficking issues.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP considers gender sensitivity training to be important. In-service training on this topic will be included in the UNIAP staff retreat (date yet to be determined) UNIAP is seeking training materials on this subject.

Key Actions:

33. Recommendation: The mainstreaming of gender perspectives into the curriculum of the Regional Training Programme and into national training programmes should be improved.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

The Regional Training Programme has gender perspectives integrated into the curriculum. Feedback from participants and trainers will be collected to refine and improve this component. Feedback will be collected at the Regional Training Programme event in October 2009.

Key Actions:

34. Recommendation: UNIAP should make use of existing UN gender expertise, through strengthening partnerships with UNIFEM at sub-regional level and/or seeking gender advisory input from the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP has not developed strong ties with UNIFEM or the UNDP Regional Centre gender advisor. UNIAP will initiate a series of discussions with UNIFEM and UNDP RCB advisors.

Key Actions:

35. Recommendation: UNIAP should continue with its efforts to increase research into issues facing ethnic minority groups in the GMS, and draw on such research to inform programming.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

UNIAP will work closely with UNESCO to address this emphasis in Laos. The outcome of this effort can be used as a starting point for other initiatives elsewhere. Work with UNESCO will begin in November 2009.

Key Actions:

36. Recommendation: A strong case can be made for a fourth phase of three to four years' duration, the design of which should include serious consideration of a realistic.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

This recommendation will be left to the board and the COMMIT taskforces for consideration. This topic will be raised at the December 2009 Board meeting.

Key Actions:

37. Recommendation: Exit strategy for the Project
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

The sustainability of the project is important and therefore regardless of whether there is a next phase or not, an exit strategy will be discussed and planned for. This topic will be raised at the December 2009 Board meeting.

Key Actions:

38. Recommendation: The design process for Phase IV should be carefully planned and adequately funded. A wide range of stakeholders should be involved in a well-structured manner, as this will provide an opportunity to address and resolve (at least for Phase IV) many of the issues raised in this report regarding UNIAP's role, mandate and approach.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

Sustainability of the project is important. At the September 2009 COMMIT TF meeting, this topic was discussed. While the topic of sustainability was considered important, the governments indicate that the COMMIT process was still new and independent UN support would be needed a few more years to come.

Key Actions:

39. Recommendation: The Phase IV design should be more tightly focused; however, given that it is still likely to be broad, the use of nested logframes should be considered. A sound M&E framework should form part of the Project Design Document.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

This recommendation will be left to the board and the COMMIT taskforces for consideration. Work on this will begin following the Board's decision on a Phase four.

Key Actions:

40. Recommendation: The entire duration of Phase IV should be fully budgeted for, from the outset.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24]

This recommendation will be left to the board and the COMMIT taskforces for consideration. Work on this will begin following the Board?s decision on a phase four.

Key Actions:

41. Recommendation: Core staff positions should be properly budgeted for and occupied by long-term staff.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/11/24] [Last Updated: 2009/12/03]

This recommendation will be left to the board and the COMMIT taskforces for consideration. Work on this will begin following the Board's decision on a phase four.

Key Actions:

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