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Governance Evaluation
Commissioning Unit: Samoa
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2012
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Completion Date: 03/2009
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Samoa
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
1. Recommendation: 1. (a) Establish a UNDP website for the four programmes and train UNDP officers how to input to the website for its development and currency; (b) ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the website design and development and are encouraged to provide feedback for its further development to ensure the websites are focused on government and community needs rather than being internally driven.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/04/09]

? UNDP Website is managed by an internal UNDP Website Task Force and is updated on a regular basis as new information is made available. The content of the website has been upgraded and improved significantly to reflect community programmes and strategic linkages with relevant government programmes. News items are uploaded on the website is a way of disseminating and sharing information among countries and with relevant partners and stakeholders. With regards to setting up a platform of portal for knowledge sharing as part of the UNDP website, this has not been explored given the complexities in setting such a system. The UNDP Intranet and Knowledge Networks are being used to facilitate knowledge sharing instead. ? Updated information on MDGs are available on the UNDP website and MDG specific activities are incorporated into the MCO?s main programmes. The results of these are yet to be realized and once they are available these will be uploaded onto the UNDP website under the MDG webpage. ? The Community Centred Sustainable Development Programme (CCSDP) of the MCO is in its second year of operation with the first year spent on formulation of the programme and Village Sustainable Development Plans. A separate webpage has been created on the UNDP website dedicated to the CCSDP and it contains all key information and deliverables produced by the CCSDP to date. It is still a long way to go to in terms of improving the contents of the CCSDP webpage to show more hands on practical lessons learnt from community interventions as these are yet to be realized. However, the intention is to share lessons learnt as widely as possible using the UNDP website and other available information sharing platforms. ? The UNDP website has been upgraded to focus more on the MCO?s overall focus on climate change. Climate change now features prominently in the UNDP website with information from the different climate change initiatives of the MCO reflected under the Environment and Climate Change webpage. There are also web links established with relevant websites hosted by Implementing Partners on their respective climate change projects that are funded by UNDP. The Climate Change Centre concept did not materialize so this recommendation in the Evaluation Report is now redundant.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: 2. Write more relevant intended outcomes to UNDP projects. The intended outcomes for these projects had little or nothing to do with the reality on the ground in the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/04/09]

? With the new CPAP 2008 -2012 signed by all the four programming countries, these now replace the detailed UNDP Project Documents. The Annual Work Plans to support the of implementation of the country priorities in the CPAPs are now more focused with strategic outcomes and outputs clearly specified with linkages to the relevant CPAP outcomes. The CPAP will be reviewed in 2010 and this will help to further streamline the CPAP outcomes and priorities and align them to current development issues and reality on the ground.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3. Review of financial administration of UNDP MCO in Samoa. All the 3 projects reviewed in the evaluation have had problems with delays in securing their financial advances which slows down project implementation and lower disbursement rates. This indicates a problem inside the UNDP MCO.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/04/09]

? Capacity constraints in the 3 countries in terms of experienced professional Project Managers is an issue that the MCO will be addressing more proactively in the new cycle to ensure that Project Managers produce and submit proper documentation to support advance requests. The lack of proper work planning, reporting and requesting of funds in the proper manner has been the chief cause for the delays in UNDP being able to advance funds. This will be addressed through regular training of new project managers and UNDP staff in all UNDP NEX procedures, RBM principles and accountability tools such as audits, evaluations, more regular field visits and follow-up, and more forming a closer relationship and communication with the PMs. ? Internal UNDP financial management systems were reviewed in 2009 with new streamlined work flow processes put in place to ensure the efficacy of these systems. The new work flow processes are now under implementation. ? A re-vamped Programme Management Support Unit (PMSU), under the supervision of a ARR will provide ongoing training to new UNDP programme staff and new Project Managers to ensure that they are fully aware of NEX financial and reporting accountability as well as RBM principles. This also takes into account the high turnover rates of staff in the government due to rapid out-migration and depopulation movements, a significant factor which was not adequately captured in the Evaluation Report and recommendations. ? The Face Form requirement under the HACT was rolled to projects in 2009 with training provided by UNDP to all the Implementing Partners on how to accurately complete the face forms. Payments to the Cook Islands and Niue continue to be processed electronically via the electronic fund transfer modality while Samoa and Tokelau are issued cheques given that they are based locally in Apia. All Implementing Partners are informed once a payment is transferred through the Bank.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: 4. Ensure clear accountability for project managers. There were problems with accountability in all 3 projects reviewed and with unclear or conflicting accountability, the result is project implementation is impacted.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/04/09]

? The MCO continues to work closely with project managers and to assist them to understand their roles and responsibilities better. The Steering Committee meetings are one mechanism which provides quality assurance and checks for project managers. Quarterly reports submitted and reviewed by UNDP is another form of ensuring accountability of project managers. ? The MCO intends to strengthen its quality assurance role in 2010 and is planning to reinstate the quarterly programming review meetings with government counterparts especially in Samoa, which has the largest programme and resources. This is a strong mechanism which will help to hold project managers accountable for their results.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Internal systems for follow-up to management responses
Management Response: [Added: 2010/04/09]

? The MCO in November 2009 appointed one of the Assistant Resident Representative to head the Programme Management Support Unit supported by one Programme Associate. With the new PMSU in place, this will help to provide quality assurance and checks and also to facilitate with the efficient processing of project funds. In 2009, a Finance Assistant was recruited to provide support to the Finance Unit. Three Programme Associates dedicate 80 percent of their time on financial management of projects. ? UNDP is a member of the Steering Committees for all the Samoa UNDP funded projects. Given the geographical challenges for the projects in the Cook Islands and Niue, UNDP is not able to participate in project Steering Committee meetings. For Tokelau, a programmatic approach is taken where meetings are held at the CPAP level to review all UNDP funded programmes in Tokelau rather than on a project specific arrangement. ? UNDP internally, continues to hold regular programme meetings to discuss substantive and operational issues pertaining to projects and actions to take.

Key Actions:

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