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UNDP Country Programme - End of Cycle Evaluation
Commissioning Unit: Malawi
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2018
Evaluation Type: Country Programme Evaluation
Completion Date: 11/2016
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Malawi
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

UNDP should undertake a comprehensive review of its comparative advantage in the context of other development actors, including state and non-state actors, in order to identify strategies and interventions that will have a transformational impact on the development landscape in Malawi. This strategy should reflect UNDP’s corporate objectives based on the Strategic Plan 2014 – 2017; as well as the central theme for Agenda 2030 of ‘leaving no one behind’.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

In principle, UNDP agrees with the need to assess its comparative advantage vis-à-vis other development actors.  However, instead of conducting a standalone comprehensive review, UNDP will rely on the process of developing a theory of change (ToC) for the new Country Programme planned for early 2017 to assess its comparative advantage.  The ToC process will assist in identifying strategies and key areas of interventions.  By design, UNDP’s assistance will be aligned with the corporate strategic plan and operationalize the normative elements of the Agenda 2030.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Incorporate a comprehensive review of UNDP’s comparative advantage in the Country Programme Theory of Change (ToC )
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2017/12/05]
All Programme Portfolios and the Development Impact Advisory Team (DIAT) 2017/12 Completed A Theory of Change process has been completed for the new Country Programme - 2019-2023. A comparative advantage and stakeholder analysis has been conducted as part of the UN assessment History
Facilitate inclusion of SDGs targets and indicators during UNDAF and CPD programming
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
All Programme Portfolios and DIAT. 2018/12 Completed Both are considered inclusion of relevant indicators from the SDGs. History
2. Recommendation:

The UNCT decided to extend the UNDAF for two years in order to align with the national development planning cycle. UNDP should use this opportunity to explore new approaches and develop new business lines. This should include identifying and developing new partnerships, including exploring ways of engaging with non-traditional donors. In addition, UNDP should use this opportunity to enable its restructured portfolios to develop their respective portfolio strategies as foundation for the future CPD with specific emphasis on resilience-building and strengthening government implementation capacity at all levels.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP acknowledges the need to continually seek to explore new approaches and develop new partnerships.  As such, UNDP will conduct a mapping of development partners and their areas of work to identify potential partners as part of the implementation of its 2016/2017 Resource Mobilization Action Plan.  In principle, UNDP agrees with the need to foster work on resilience-building and strengthening government implementation capacity at all levels. However, specific interventions will be guided by the ToC process for the country programme and subsequent project formulation exercises, focusing on innovative partnerships and building capacity of other stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct donor mapping for Malawi.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
Communications Analyst 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated This is exercise will be done in 2018. History
Define specific resilience-building targets in planning.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
Resilience and Sustainable Growth Portfolio 2017/12 Completed This has been done in the new Country Programme document. History
3. Recommendation:

While the restructuring of its programme units into two portfolios was a move in the right direction, UNDP should reduce fragmented project approaches towards more programmatic delivery models. This will entail focused development of a clear and strategic theory of change model; as well as continuously evaluating all proposed interventions against this overarching strategy. Stated differently, this also means that UNDP should have the courage to say no to any earmarked resources that do not fit into the overall framework of its programme framework and strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation to reduce fragmentation of project in the future portfolio and will seek to apply the theory of change to develop a coherent framework for a programme approach.  Interventions which are not consistent with the programme change model will be discontinued or declined.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a theory of Change for the new country programme.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2017/11/21]
All Programme Units and DIAT. 2017/06 Completed History
Develop a theory of change for the Responsive Institutions and Citizen Engagement thematic areas.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
Responsive Institutions and Citizen Engagement (RICE) Portfolio and DIAT. 2017/12 Completed History
Conduct a theories of change for the Resilience and Sustainable Growth thematic areas.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
RSG Portfolio and DIAT 2017/12 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

As observed throughout the foregoing analysis, UNDP has been more effective in its normative work, particularly in advocacy for Malawi to adopt and implement its international obligations. In addition, most of its partners also recognise UNDP’s comparative advantage in upstream-level work, establishing systems and policy frameworks. UNDP should focus its interventions at that level, including strengthening implementation capacity at sub-national level. UNDP should also consider ways to strengthen its partnerships, particularly with non-state actors in order to assure implementation and ownership of its upstream policies at downstream level. This approach ensures that UNDP can do what it does best, while also adding value for its partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation to strengthen implementation capacity at the sub-national level, subject to availability of resources, and the strengthening of partnerships with non-state actors for effective achievement of results and ownership of policies and programmes at the downstream level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support programming to strengthen implementation capacity at the district level
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/08/21]
RSG and RICE Portfolios. 2018/12 Completed Few initiatives have been included in projects towards strengthening implementation capacity at district level e.g. Spotlight initiative; Catalysing Climate Change Adaptation; Implementing Priority Adaptation measures. History
Include consideration for partnerships with non-state actors in project design terms of reference.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
RSG and RICE Portfolios. 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated History
5. Recommendation:

UNDP should enhance the application of its core programming principles by ensuring that all principles are adequately and effectively mainstreamed across all programme interventions. Even in instances where there are specific projects that address core programming principles, such as human rights and gender equality, they should still be mainstreamed across all programmes.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP agrees a multiple-track approach for mainstreaming application of core programming principles to ensure their integration across the substantive work of all sectors. For instance, UNDP will promote standalone projects/outputs on gender, human rights and environment and capacity development while facilitating mainstreaming of the same in other projects or outputs. This approach is also known as using vertical as well as horizontal programming.  However, the extent of the application of the approach will be context specific and dependent on resource availability.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include mainstreaming of gender, human rights and environment considerations in project and programme formulation terms of reference.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
RICE and RSG Portfolios. 2018/12 Completed The requirements for gender, human rights and environment considerations are part of the mandatory programming requirements for projects. History
6. Recommendation:

While national implementation has been applied in the majority of interventions, UNDP should encourage more national ownership and leadership of its programme and implementation processes. This also entails reviewing management support to IPs, as well as bringing them on board early enough during the design of proposals to enhance participatory approaches, both as a capacity building tool as well as to promote sustainability through stronger ownership and leadership.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation to strengthen national ownership and sustainability of interventions and its notes that current programming processes are designed to achieve these attributes.  UNDP will review its management support to Implementing Partners to ensure that it promotes participation and builds capacities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review UNDP - IP support to identify best practices that embed capacity development and ownership elements.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
M&E and Programme Coordination 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

While focusing on normative role to support the development of national systems, policies and tools, UNDP should strengthen the component of institutional capacity-building in addition to individual skills. The secondment of technical advisors is a particularly good practice for knowledge transfer, including at the decentralised district levels.  In addition, this entails strengthening advocacy and strategic partnership with civil society to create awareness of existing policies with the objective of strengthening demand-side capacity for implementation of policies as well as up scaling of catalytic interventions to achieve greater impact.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2016/12/23]

UNDP will continue to strengthen the component of institutional capacity building in addition to individuals as part of its programming principle.  UNDP agrees with the need to strengthen advocacy and strategic partnership with civil society to create awareness of existing policies with the objective of strengthening demand-side capacity for their implementation of policies and up scaling of catalytic interventions to achieve greater impact.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a civil society mapping by thematic area to identify those working in UNDP normative areas.
[Added: 2016/12/23]
RSG and RICE Portfolios, supported by Development Impact Advisory Team (DIAT). 2018/12 Overdue-Not Initiated History
Strengthen the earmarked civil society organizations to play various roles in awareness and advocacy in UNDP normative areas.
[Added: 2016/12/23]
RSG and RICE Portfolios, supported by Development Impact Advisory Team (DIAT) 2018/12 Overdue-Not Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

In order to enhance its accountability and also to show case its added value, UNDP should invest in strengthening capacities of its staff in RBM. This also has direct linkages to its resource mobilisation strategy, and will further enhance its visibility and positioning as a neutral and trusted partner among stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP agrees with the need for strengthening capacities of its staff in RBM as part of the promotion of the development of theory of change.  This will include exploration of measures to encourage application of RBM in programming cycle.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Assess the impact of previous RBM training among UN staff.
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/08/21]
Learning Committee and M&E and Programme Coordination. 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated History
Conduct RBM training for UNDP programme staff
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/05/02]
Learning Committee and Planning, M&E Unit 2018/12 Overdue-Not Initiated History
9. Recommendation:

In line with its push towards increased delivery, the CO should also strengthen its capacity for resource mobilisation to ensure that required resources are available at an early stage. This will also further minimise the tendency towards accepting earmarked funding for interventions that are misaligned with its strategic framework.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

Country Office agrees with the need for strengthening its capacity for resource mobilization. However, given the length of time that it takes for resource mobilization efforts to materialize and given that resource mobilization is project specific and such may not necessarily provide any relief to projects that might require them.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct an Orientation Session on resource mobilization and partnership development for staff
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
Learning Committee and Communications Analyst. 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated History
10. Recommendation:

By their nature, upstream level results tend to be self-sustaining in that legal instruments and policies continue to exist beyond the lifetime of the projects that supported their development. However, the implementation of those policies and frameworks are usually embedded in political will, commitment and institutional capacity, including budgetary resources. UNDP should therefore ensure that it develops and integrates specific exit and sustainability strategies in all its programming documents as a standard rule.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/23]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation to develop and integrate specific exit and sustainability strategies in project documents.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include development of exit strategies in the checklist for local project appraisal committees (L-PAC).
[Added: 2016/12/23] [Last Updated: 2018/05/02]
RSG and RICE Portfolios 2017/12 Completed This is done. History

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