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Evaluation of UNDP Contribution to Strengthening Local Governance
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Completion Date: 12/2010
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: UNDP should more explicitly and effectively mainstream local governance into all its programmatic areas of support by developing a coherent framework that is firmly grounded in the practice of human development.

UNDP should develop a unified framework that identifies and establishes the many linkages of the essential constituents of local governance with human development. Central to such an exercise will be the articulation of theories of change that underscore the different connections between various local governance reform measures and an expansion of human capabilities. That should help UNDP to look beyond processes and projects that promote participation, market-led development, biodiversity, etc., to more tangible outcomes such as political empowerment, greater voice for the disadvantaged, transparency and accountability as well as promotion of sustainable livelihoods for the poor, peace and security, and conflict prevention.

Such an overarching framework for local governance should be informed by learning from the rich and diverse experience of UNDP in this area. While developing such a framework, it will be important to keep in mind that a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach may dilute the relevance, hamper local ownership and adversely affect the sustainability of local governance reforms. Guidance notes need to be updated and revised based on the wealth of existing UNDP knowledge and experience in the field of local governance, and new ones need to be developed to address different aspects of local governance and decentralization in different contexts.

Management Response: [Added: 2011/01/12] [Last Updated: 2020/07/04]

A strategy note will be developed to guide UNDP's practices in addressing local governance in an integrated, coordinated manner, recognizing the specific challenges encountered in various conditions and environments. Further guidelines will be developed on the role of local governance in each of the key priority areas, including gender. The strategy note will include guidance on partnerships within the UN as well as with other development partners and civil society organizations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strategy note on UNDP's cross-practice approach to local governance for local development with UNCDF, UNV, etc
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
BDP 2011/05 Overdue-Initiated - - The first draft of the Strategy Paper for Local Development and Local Governance completed and comments from review group incorporated - A Verification workshop on the document held at Kiev and comments incorporated - A Task Force, BDP Team meeting will be held in February for final draft approval on 28th February and document will be ready by 15th March 2014. Further delays encountered due to suspension of process for the LGLD paper to take into consideration the perspectives and priorities of the new UNDP strategic plan (2014-2017) The initial timeframe also did not acknowledge the complexity entailed in such a comprehensive cross-practice approach.
Guidance notes on local governance and local development developed in close collaboration with country offices and coordinated with other United Nations agencies and with the involvement of associated funds
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
BCPR, BDP 2011/12 Overdue-Initiated -- - A joint BCPR-BDP Report ?Governance for Peace ? securing the Social Contract? was published early 2012. At the Kiev workshop the plans to develop a Guidance note on LG&LD in fragile and conflict affected environments was also discussed and a planning meeting was held between BCPR and BDP on developing the guidance note. Governance for Peace: Securing the Social Contract | UNDP - Guidance note on scaling up local development innovations for poverty reduction is completed. - Guidance note on Urban Governance was also discussed in Kiev and completed to be submitted for final approval by the EG. - Guidance note on Transparent and Accountable Local Governance was initiated in 2013 and will be completed for approval in June 2014 - Revised delivery timeframe for the guidance notes is the end of 2014 , as start will be contingent upon the completion of the Strategy Paper on LG&LD.
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: In developing new pilot initiatives on local governance, UNDP should be more rigorous in ensuring that they can be, and are, upscaled in support of broader policy and programmatic development results.

UNDP should invest more thoroughly in the development of pilot initiatives in order to ensure their success. At the outset, that would involve conducting in-depth problem analysis and involving the central Government, subnational governments, local communities, non-state actors and other development partners in order to establish the initiative’s potential for success. That approach will facilitate the development of mechanisms that will support the upscaling of the pilot initiative and the sustainability of its benefits. It would imply the establishment of rigorous planning frameworks, including meaningful indicators, baselines and targets. It would also require regular monitoring and evaluation, including of unintended effects, and involving all stakeholders, in order to learn from experience as the project is implemented. Finally, exit strategies should be clearly defined and implemented and lessons learned documented as upscaling, in most cases, will be led by national authorities with the support of other partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2011/01/12] [Last Updated: 2020/07/04]

The aim is not to systematically scale up all pilots, which is ultimately the choice of national policy-makers. In addition to using the global and regional programmes as vehicles for more strategic and integrated local-governance work, country offices will be encouraged and helped to use properly the newly launched planning and monitoring tools which provide clearer corporate standards for defining realistic outcomes, for selecting indicators and for monitoring progress. An online learning platform on managing for development results is expected to be launched by 2011. Guides and toolkits (on measuring local governance, methodologies for governance and capacity assessments) will support well-informed programme design.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Training of staff in support of joint local governance programming (for CCA and UNDAF)
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
UNDP Learning Centre, BDP, UNCDF, UN Staff college 2012/12 Overdue-Initiated --- Verification workshop was used to introduce the new integrated LGLD approach to 36 participants from the country offices and regional centres. - The first training assessment workshop on the LGLD strategy was held in Brazil for 25 country offices principally to identify required tools, methodologies and potential areas for guidelines As soon as the LG&LD strategy is approved, training modules will be developed (target date end of 2014)
Lessons learned from pilots are systematically discussed with government partners and the decision to scale up or not is made jointly
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
Country Offices 2011/12 Overdue-Initiated -- - A guidance note on scale-up local development innovations for transformational change has been published in 2013. - Lessons learned from 6 countries have been documented (Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal and Tajikistan) and widely disseminated through seminars, Teamworks, websites and social media. UNDP Local governance programmes participated in three side events in the South-South Expo in Kenya.. - 15 Proposals for scaling-up local innovations have been developed through the UNDP/UNCDF country office teams in discussion with the government. 8 of the proposals have been funded by Korea MDG Trust Fund. - Lessons-learned review of experiences of ART programme has started in Latin America (7 countries) and will be expanded. A review on the impact of Local Development Agencies is completed.ISSUU - ART Methodology by ART
Global and regional programs and/or initiatives support increasing number of country offices to respond to demand for strategic and sustainable local governance initiatives
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/12/23]
BDP, BCPR, Regional Bureaus, UNCDF 2013/12 Completed -- - BCPR & UNCDF are developing a framework for joint action on ?Promoting Recovery through Improved Local Development/Governance, Economic Recovery and Financial Inclusion in Post-Crisis Countries?. The Framework will be signed in Q1 2013 and the joint approach will be piloted in two countries in 2013 - There are currently a large number of initiatives on local governance and local development in the different UNDP practices, UNCDF and UNV, in nearly every programme country (the count at the country level for the UNDP Strategic plan revealed 274 local governance projects in 81 countries). These are vital for governance, service delivery and poverty reduction. There are already countries which self-started the integrated approach in 2013 including Botswana, Bolivia and Myanmar. - UNDP and UNCDF responded in an integrated manner to the rising demand from Arab States (Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Libya) particularly in areas of policy, institutional capacity and financing. More such integrated programmes were rolled out in Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Bhutan in 2012 and continued in 2013 in Liberia, Lebanon and Burundi. - In other regions also (e.g. RBEC/CIS) country offices adapted ongoing projects (e.g. in Kyrgystan area based offices will be established and in Uzbekistan an integrated approach to local service delivery was piloted through One Stop Shop Offices.). An evaluation of the Ukraine community development programme was done this year and has adopted LG&LD framework. - In Asia-pacific, responding to local finance gaps a study ?Implications of local governance and decentralisation for the delivery of climate change finance? was conducted jointly by UNDP/UNCDF and UNEP and continued with the ; capacity development of local practitioners to be strengthened for better access to manage climate finance. Joint work with UNCDF initiated in Timor Leste, Solomon Islands, Myanmar and Bhutan. Local Governance and Climate Change: A Discussion Note | UNDP - . - ART and BDP local Governance team have integrated and have a shared work plan
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: UNDP should more pro-actively and systematically collate, codify, analyse, distil and disseminate the lessons learned from the extensive experience it has in the field of local governance.

UNDP needs to more systematically produce knowledge products that distil the lessons learned from its vast experience in local governance across diverse and difficult settings. The extensive body of knowledge regarding local governance should be properly codified, collated and analysed. Where such documentation and analyses exist, effective mechanisms should be established for bureaux and managers within UNDP and outside to tap them effectively and systematically.

Management Response: [Added: 2011/01/12] [Last Updated: 2020/07/04]

Despite documented research and active knowledge sharing over the networks, management agrees there is still a need to intensify cross-practice comparative analysis and knowledge codification and sharing within and between regions. Regular exchange of that knowledge will be supported through a joint UNDP-UNCDF Community of Practice on Local Governance and Local Development, also involving UNV and other UN agencies (e.g. UNHABITAT, UNICEF and WHO). Enhanced partnerships and increased advocacy in national and international forums will help to increase our visibility and dissemination of our policy positions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Joint Community of Practice on Local Governance and Local development (with UNCDF and UN agencies) and resources allocated to make it operational
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
BDP, UNCDF 2011/12 Overdue-Initiated -- - Jointly organized with UNCDF, UN Women, ILO the World Forum for Local Economic Development in Brazil with 5000 participants from 43 countries patronizing in November 2013. - Jointly organized with UNCDF, UN Women, side-event on Local Economic Development (LED) for territorial development for the Post 2015 Open Working Group. - Two COPs organized by UNDP and UNCDF in Africa (Arusha, Tanzania on Capacity development for Decentralization and Local development in Africa with the participation of Africa Union in November 2012. In Asia pacific a COP was organized by UNDP/UNCDF and UNEP on climate change financing at the local level in Bangkok in September 2012. - Joint APRC/UNHABITAT ?Climate Change and Pro-Poor Urban Governance Capacity Development Workshop: Promoting Sustainable Human Development in Cities of Asia-Pacific? in October, 2012 and work underway to develop a report on Voices of the Urban Poor: the forgotten people?. - UNDP (BCPR-BDP) organised a regional meeting on ?Governance for Peaceful Transitions: A UNDP approach to strengthen the social contract for Peace building and State building? including LG/LD interventions in Ghana (2012) and also in in Bangkok (June 2013) - Active involvement of community members in the teamwork space of local governance and local development on issues on LED, Urban Governance and local governance in post-conflict areas. - Involvement of task force members in the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and UN Habitat in organizing the Global Task Force for Regions and local Governments in Rabat in November 2013. - Involvement of task force members in the World Urban Forum in Napoli (September 2012) UNDP and UNCDF were also represented in Africities conference and organized 6 Side-events on Local Governance capacity development, decentralized cooperation local financing and local economic development,which attracted many and influential partners in Dakar,in (December 2012). - UNDP through the ART programme is also facilitating discussions in the preparations for the second World Forum on Local Economic Development, Itaipu, Brazil, October 2013. - - COP event took place in Kiev in November 2012 for the validation of the Draft Strategy on Integrated LG&LD. - Local consultative process in 12 Latin American, Arab states and African countries conducted on the territorial approach and sustainable development (ART /Local Government Associations/ Country Offices)COP event on Accountable and Transparent LG took place in four Regions in 2013. Local consultative process in 12 Latin American, Arab states and African countries conducted on the territorial approach and sustainable development (ART /Local Government Associations/ Country Offices)
Enhance partnerships in the area of local governance and local development and increase advocacy in national and international forums
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
BDP, BCPR, Regional centres, PB 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated - Established a new link with Foundations and Philanthropic organizations on sustainable urban governance and organized a side event during the GA in 2013 - Jointly organized a Workshop with Commonwealth local Governance Forum on Post 2015 leading to the Kampala declaration on localization of Post 2015 in 2013 - Links with the Development Partner Working Group on Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLOG) strengthened and initial presentation of the draft Integrated Framework on LG&LD to the wider group of development partners. - Supported CLGF to facilitate Local governments in the Caribbean to undertake viable local economic development for marginalized groups - Closer collaboration between UNDP initiatives and programmes through joint fact finding and monitoring missions, representation at board meetings, and participation in global events, including the Global Task Force on Habitat III The UCLG, FOGAR, DeLoG and CLGF were facilitated to participate in the Post 2015 Governance consultation in Johannesburg in February 2013. Governance | Governance | World We Want 2015
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: UNDP should strengthen its partnerships with its associated funds and programmes in order to enhance the effectiveness of its initiatives in local governance.

UNDP should take measures to further strengthen and streamline corporate arrangements for deepening local governance in partnerships with the associated funds and programmes. In order to improve the effectiveness of their partnership, at the country level, UNDP and UNCDF should jointly develop a long-term strategic plan for local governance which is consistent with and integral to national development plans and priorities. That would help in more systematically addressing deficiencies in capacity-building and resource mobilization that arise and adversely affect sustainability. Better understanding and communication of the roles and responsibilities of UNDP and UNCDF would help to reduce inefficiencies in operations. They should work on improving advocacy and lobbying functions, both within the United Nations and outside.

The UNDP partnership with UNV at the country level should move beyond project collaboration and become more strategic based on a shared long-term vision of strengthening local governance. UNDP needs to make a more explicit commitment to the mandates of UNV, and not view the partnership merely as a management arrangement. In other words, UNDP should commit itself to partnering with UNV, on mainstreaming volunteerism for the many benefits that such mainstreaming brings to people, while ensuring that the deployment of volunteers builds local capacities in a sustainable manner.

Management Response: [Added: 2011/01/12] [Last Updated: 2020/07/04]

Building on past experiences and lessons learned from the recent global and regional initiatives, a UNDP/UNCDF flagship publication on Local Governance for Human Development will be commissioned in 2011. UNDP's partnerships with UNV will be reviewed through the joint work on the local governance strategy note and related guidance notes. Both UNDP and UNV are committed to a more strategic partnership based on a shared long-term vision of strengthening capacities for local governance. UNV will also be invited to join the UNDP-UNCDF COP. UNDP will work with UN Women on conducting a lessons learned review of the UN approach to public administration and local governance in post-conflict environments.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNV/UNDP partnership on local governance reviewed through strategy note, guidance note and regular working meetings
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/12/23]
BDP, BCPR, UNV 2012/12 Completed - UNV is full part of the task force mandated to develop the integrated framework on LG&LD and will be a keen participant in the development of specific guidance notes.
Collaboration with UN Women on a lessons learned review of UN engagement in public administration and local governance in post-conflict
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/12/23]
BDP, BCPR 2011/09 Completed - UNDP and UN Women have developed a joint programme on ?Advancing Gender Responsive Local Governance? which will be approved in 2014 - Lessons learned review on public administration and local governance in post-conflict finalised. UNWOMEN is a member of the UN working Group on Public Administration in post-conflict. - On 1 February 2012, the European Commission, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced the launch of a joint global initiative on WOMEN, PEACE and SECURITY: Enhancing Women?s Participation in Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Planning. It is being implemented in Liberia, Timor-Leste, and Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) and is on track. The programme has strengthened coordination between the UN, national partners and EU to promote women?s leadership in peace and security programming initiatives and support women?s participation in national reconciliation and peacebuilding processes. The programme established UN SCR 1325 Advisory Groups to develop and implement joint annual working plan on WPS agenda UNSCR 1325.Despite the late transfer of fund and administrative challenges, the programme has harmonised and strengthened UNDP-UN Women and EU partnership in their assistance to the three countries/location This collaboration will also further enrich and strengthen the sustainability of our initiatives on integrated approaches to local governance and local development in post-conflict environments.
Joint UNDP-UNCDF flagship publication on Local Governance and Human development
[Added: 2011/04/07] [Last Updated: 2014/02/21]
BDP, BCPR, UNCDF 2012/12 Overdue-Not Initiated - Due to the delays in designing and testing the integrated framework on local governance and local development, the preparations for the joint flagship publication are expected to start only by the beginning of 2014 and this has been incorporated as part of the key activities of the umbrella programme..

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