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Review of country programme document 2011 - 2015
Commissioning Unit: China
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2015
Evaluation Type: Others
Completion Date: 12/2014
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: China
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: 1. The Government of the People?s Republic of China very much values the support of the UNDP over the past three decades and looks forward to UNDP being an integral part of its national and international development priorities. In this context, it is vital that UNDP ensures adequate resources, technical expertise, and continues to play the role of knowledge broker in responding rapidly and efficiently to the Government?s development objectives.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30] [Last Updated: 2014/12/30]

The CO agreed. UNDP will not only act as a gateway to China?s knowledge, technology and expertise but will also mobilize expertise from the UNDP global development knowledge network alongside that of the whole United Nations system.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: 2. Given this fairly unique reliance on government cost-sharing for programming, the review team would recommend looking into diversifying its partners and pools of funds to enable more independence and impact and to ensure a smoother flow of delivery. Bringing more to the ?table? in terms of funds for programming would also enable UNDP to have more leverage in terms of influencing policy and enabling reforms that are aligned with corporate mandates.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

A Resource Mobilization Team was established to strengthen partnerships and resource-mobilization. As the country has become a middle-income country, with rapid economic growth in recent years, the office has placed and will continue to encourage greater emphasis on strengthening partnership with the private sector and sub-national governments in the country, which resulted in significant resource mobilization. Interaction with civil society will also increase both in projects and policy work.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3. UNDP has made great inroads attracting private sector partners such as Coca-Cola, the Mary Kay Foundation, the Baidu Group, Jala and others. Sustaining and expanding this pool of external, non-traditional donors will be critical and should be made a priority. This expansion is more critical if the total budget is expected to remain at approximately $50 million per year with much of that coming from the government and the GEF. The review team feels even with ?traditional? donors and partners, increasingly moving out of working directly in China (such as the European Union) that with the right mutual incentives which match with the development interests of bi-laterals, UNDP could re-attract donors, and even perhaps utilize more regional (that have begun in this cycle) and global mechanisms to include those partners that wish to remain engaged in supporting China?s national development priorities and South-South cooperation.[1] China, will no doubt remain a critical nation for many other nations to continue engagement on all fronts.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

The Office agreed that funding is a challenge for the sustainability of the Country Programme. In the new Country Programme Cycle, UNDP will work closely with the Government and other development partners, including the private sector, to mobilize additional non-core resources. While bilateral and TRAC funding are decreasing, the government co-sharing baseline is growing. The GEF and the Montreal protocol, together with government cost-sharing, have become the CO?s major sources of funding.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: 4.The review team feels that, given budget constraints and to maintain maximum impact and influence, UNDP should reduce its Outcome areas in the next cycle. At maximum four areas should be prioritized, with three being an optimal number. Doing so will help mitigate diffusion of resources, ensure greater policy impact and contribute to efficiency through more impactful cross-cutting approaches to achieve objectives that are in concurrence with both UNDP?s own corporate strategic plan and the Govt. of China?s priorities which will soon be elaborated in its 13th five year plan.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

The recommendation has been taken into consideration in preparing the UNDP new Country Programme Document (CPD) for China (2016-2020). Under the new CPD, the number of active projects has been reduced and will be consolidated into 3 outcome areas in line with the new UNDAF.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: 5. While considering ?merging? the current outcome areas, ensuring better structural communication between programme teams and with policy advisors based in the SPPU, would be a clear added benefit. Currently, there is a basis for discussion on a monthly basis through the SPARC mechanism, however, it appears to the review team, that this remains more ad hoc rather than structurally mandated. The review team believes that strengthening coordination and communication within all units of the office can only assist in better implementation overall.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

While the programme and policy units have clear division in their field of specialties, the two do come across in project management, strategic planning and review, and resource mobilization. The office will continue its current practice in bringing the two units together through SPARC meetings, weekly Resource Mobilization meetings and other possible interactions, where the two units learn and share their work and thoughts during project formation, implementation and fund raising.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: 6. The review team recommends that serious thought be given to mainstreaming gender throughout the various programme areas, rather than continue to maintain its status as a separate outcome. Further, this mainstreaming should be captured in a stronger more results-oriented fashion in the next cycle.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

The CO agreed. The issue of gender will no longer be a separate outcome in China Office next CPD cycle (2016-2020) but incorporated into all outcomes where applicable.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: 7. In general, the RRF should be strengthened across all outcome areas. While verifiable data collection remains problematic, UNDP could help alleviate this reporting issue through a more thorough process of aligning indicators with baselines and targets, as well ensuring that the results language is less vague.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

The recommendations were well taken by the UNDP CO. For instance, the CPD (2011-2015) as well as IRRF output-relinked indicators have been reviewed and updated, and a CO M&E manual has been developed and put into implementation. This was done in close collaboration with project partners in order to monitor the implementation and management of programmes/projects in a timely manner. In the next CPD cycle (2016-2020), the office will continue its efforts in strengthening the results based management and ensure good quality of the new RRF.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: 8. Thought should be given to promoting SSC cooperation as a crosscutting issue during the next cycle for most outcome areas, particularly in the areas of poverty alleviation, environmental and energy issues and disaster management/climate change adaptation.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

As part of the stronger commitment to promote South-South cooperation and global partnerships, UNDP will work closely with the Government to share China?s knowledge and expertise with other countries both regionally and globally to enrich partnership building and safeguard sustainable development processes. The CO will seek more opportunities for SSC in its programme areas of poverty reduction, environmental and energy, and disaster management.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: 9. During discussions with various counterparts, it was often noted that China has all the requisite laws but implementation or capacity to administer or apply the law is weak. In this regard, the review team would recommend that while maintaining its ?upstream? approach in key areas, local level capacity building to implement regulations and ensure access to justice is made a priority in the next cycle, either within the governance area, or through other cross-cutting methods.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/30]

There will be prominent amount of capacity building in the area of environment and energy. Effective achievement of the outcome requires enhanced institutional capacity of local partners for implementation of environmental projects. UNDP will therefore work closely with the ministries and agencies, at national, provincial and local levels responsible for the implementation of the Environmental Conventions, to identify the capacity building needs of the local partners needed for improving the local level engagement and interventions in the convention areas. UNDP?s engagement will primarily focus on individual and institutional capacity building of local governmental institutions, but other key partners such as NGO and businesses will also be engaged as relevant. Further the capacity building will be focused on address the main barriers which are (at the time) prohibiting or slowing down the local actions needed for China to meet its national commitments to the Environment Conventions.

Key Actions:

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