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Final Evaluation of the UNDAF for Bosnia and Herzegovina (2015-2020)
Commissioning Unit: Bosnia and Hercegovina
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020
Evaluation Type: UNDAF
Completion Date: 10/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bosnia and Hercegovina
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

It is recommended to approach preparation and planning for the new UNDAF cycle carefully, considering the needs of BiH, and its citizens and analysing comparative advantages of UN Agencies in the changing development context of BiH.

UNCT should perform a critical and detailed analysis of the progress that the country is recording within the focus areas (under the outcomes) also considering the extent to which the improvement could be credibly associate with the results of the UNCT support. UNCT should consider setting interventions in the focus areas/ under outcomes where the achievement of results has been limited and explore different ways of engaging in those sectors (if there is a mutual interest with the authorities).

UN should prepare a comprehensive and analytical Theory of Change, with the findings and conclusions from the Common Country Assessment as its basis. Properly established Theory of Change should facilitate UNCT to consolidate and focus its assistance towards the root-causes of development challenges, serving as a genuine strategic document (thus avoiding UN Agency mandate specific outcomes).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

The context of BiH as well as the global one has changed since the current UNDAF has been prepared and agreed, and these changes ought to be reflected in the next UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for BiH. In line with the Roadmap for preparation of the 2021-2025 Cooperation Framework adopted in February 2019 the next Cooperation Framework is to strongly consider the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, something that was unavailable during the preparation of the current UNDAF, and align with and build upon the activities on localization and prioritization of the SDGs in BiH to date.  Furthermore, the UNCT has also acknowledged the changing and emerging priority needs such as further strengthening social cohesion, focus on youth and the humanitarian response to the inflow of refugees and migrants, which have not been prominently reflected in the current UNDAF.  As recommended, the 2019 CCA is to be the updated analytical basis upon which the discussion and consultations surrounding the next Cooperation Framework will take place.  The 2019 CCA is scheduled to be completed in the second half of September 2019 before the launch of the visualization and prioritization exercise in the last week of September and the first week of October 2019. The visualization/prioritization exercise will be facilitated and supported through an external expert and include the Theory of Change as the basis of the Framework’s preparatioThe Roadmap foresees two validation exercises with the national and international stakeholders in BiH ensuring full alignment with the actual needs and priorities under the SDGs umbrella and based on the UN’s comparative advantage in BiH.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure all the (latest) UN analytical and data documentation on the BiH context is available to the UNCT and the external consultant in advance of the prioritization/visualization exercise, including all the relevant SDG BiH related documentation.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
RCO 2019/10 Completed Prioritization exercise held in October 2019.
Ensure theory of change is embedded in the prioritization/visualization exercise for the next UNDAF/Cooperation Framework.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
RCO 2020/01 Overdue-Initiated
Develop a needs assessment which integrates gender mainstreaming across all priority areas and gender specific focus areas.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Gender Theme Group (Lead)/UNCT 2020/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

It is recommended that UNCT remains flexible and responsive to the needs and priorities of the citizens and authorities in BiH. Concerning responsiveness, some of the emerging priorities and preferences that UNCT should consider in the next UNDAF cycle should be, among other, programming related to youth and migrations.

It is recommended to establish a more systematic and integrated approach for youth-related programming. The current UNDAF already covers work with youth; still, the UNCT should explore new opportunities and expand assistance to empower young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina using more longer-term, strategic, and joint approach.

It is recommended for the UN Agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina explore opportunities and its comparative advantages to respond to development challenges related to migrations in different sectors (like governance and human rights, social services and inclusion, security and other areas).

It is recommended for UNCT to maximize its role in direct data collection and support institutions at different levels in BiH for the development of sound methodologies for data collection, in line with international standards. Underlying assumptions were identified for increased utilization of integrated SRHR services, including family planning, procedures for maternal health and monitoring maternal mortality and morbidity

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

Agrred. Migration of young, skilled workers has been on the rise in recent years. Out-migration has also been identified as main contributor to change of population structure leading to increased ageing of population and affecting the provision of public services such as health care and social welfare. In addition, the decrease of skilled workforce significantly affects implementation of any economic development initiatives and Sustainable Development Goals in general. Although migration cannot be stopped or controlled, UNCT will attempt to alleviate drivers of emigration, with a particular focus on young people. UNCT will also focus on supporting the development of relevant family and youth policies that would strengthen the human capital in line with country SDG Framework. Young people are also seen as the biggest potential agent of change in securing lasting peace and stability in the region. In that sense, UNCT will focus on building localized solutions, platforms and opportunities for young people to participate in social change. Past and ongoing UNCT initiatives relating to youth will be reviewed and upgraded to better respond to youth needs and in that sense the UNCT will develop a long-term, comprehensive, joint vision and programming relating to youth.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a situation analysis of youth in BIH.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Youth Task Force 2020/06 Initiated
Develop UN Youth Strategy and engage youth in the design of the UNSDCF, joint work planning and youth programming.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Youth Task Force 2020/03 Not Initiated
Develop a UN Joint Programme on Youth.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Youth Task Force and UNCT. 2020/04 Not Initiated
Ensure gender mainstreaming approach in any programming on youth and migration.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Gender Theme Group and Youth Task Force. 2020/12 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

It is recommended that UNCT intensify its normative work, as it was proven to be one of the most substantial comparative advantages of UNCT in BiH. In this context, it is recommended that UNCT continues and expands its support to the authorities in BiH and other stakeholders to increase understanding of norms and standards, provide technical assistance to integrate these norms and standards into policies (legislation, strategies and development plans) and support practical implementation of these policies (based on the international norms, standards, and conventions).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

Agreed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support government partners (HRIs, labor unions and industry trade groups) and other relevant stakeholders (NGOs, advocacy groups, professional associations, analysts and the Media) in BiH with the establishment of adequate mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and the implementation of the commitments BiH has obliged to, under the international conventions and treaties it signed and ratified, such as the CRC, CEDAW, CAT, CMW, CERD, CRPD and CESCR.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN agencies Support BiH to establish Human Rights Reporting mechanisms. Agency Specific: UNICEF – promote CRC, strengthen monitoring develop methodology; UN Women -support government to implement normative frameworks to advance GEEW, In particular CEDAW and Istanbul Convention; UNFPA - support Institution of Ombudsman on conducting SRHR Inquiry and follow up on recommendations with line ministries; 2025/12 Initiated
Enhance the normative role and prominence of the UN in BiH with regard to the Treaty Bodies in BiH through the UNSDCF by integrating specific elements of this throughout the CCA, UNSDCF and WPs.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN agencies present in BIH. 2020/03 Not Initiated
4. Recommendation:

It is recommended to strengthen the UNDAF Results Groups to become a sophisticated driving force for UNDAF implementation. Insisting on accountability and commitment of UN Agencies for UNDAF implementation remains the priority- in this context, it is essential to ensure active participation and appropriately senior representation of UN Agencies in the RGs; thus, enable timely and effective planning and decision making at the RGs. It is recommended to analyse current approaches to prepare and adopt Joint Work Plans and modify to the extent possible to ensure holistic, more integrative and joint planning. This would create opportunities for more effective cooperation through intensive joint planning and coordinated implementation of activities. Also, the JWP should facilitate and enable sound "joint programming" leading to timely and strategically planned joint projects and programs (replacing dominant, opportunistic and ad-hoc preparation of joint projects and programmes). It is also recommended to consider and organize regular thematic meetings and interactions among the programme staff from UN Agencies, in the framework of implementation of the JWPs.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

Result Groups (RGs) are chaired by Heads of Agencies, which ensures accountability of these mechanisms enabling UNDAF implementation. The level of seniority of UN agencies’ representatives in the RGs varies from agency to agency. However, to ensure effective functioning of these groups in the framework of the next generation UNDAF, UN agencies will further seek to ensure seniority of their representatives in these structures, as well as contribute to a more coherent, integrated and viable JWP that serves as platform for design of joint UN programmes. The UNCT takes note that joint programming has been often opportunistic and driven by existing funding; yet, in all cases, the priorities set within the JWPs have been considered as entry-points for joint programming.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Enhance the leadership and representation by senior staff in the RGs to ensure effective functioning of these structures by integrating this responsibility in the specific job descriptions or annual performance plans.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies present in BiH. 2020/12 Initiated
Develop more clear, simplified and streamlined M&E Working Group Guidelines for the JWPs preparation and clearly define the role and responsibilities of the UN M&E Working Group.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies present in BIH. 2020/12 Initiated
Place stronger focus on Result Groups to serve as the bedrock for strategic joint efforts, which are then taken further and developed into quality joint UN programmes, responding to various funding opportunities.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All BIH agencies present in BIH. 2025/12 Initiated
Support the SDGs Data Sub-Group, statistical institutes and other relevant BiH stakeholders involved in data collection and analysis.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
UN agencies (where relevant). 2025/12 Initiated
Ensure a systematic coordinated UN response to address the influx of refugees and migrants, and any other humanitarian crises.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
UNCT 2025/12 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

It is recommended to strengthen functioning of the Joint Steering Committee and ensure its strategic support and guidance for implementation of UNDAF. It is recommended to implement activities that will increase the commitment of the domestic partners to actively participate in the regular meetings and functions of the JSC. UNCT should consider the positive experience in the process of planning for localization of SDGs and use the same modality for the JSC.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

The Joint Steering Committee (JSC) is an important coordination mechanism for the alignment of UN assistance and ownership by the BiH authorities. The experiences with the Joint Steering Committee from the current UNDAF cycle certainly warrant a re-examination of this coordination mechanism against the aim of increasing the commitment and ownership of the BiH authorities participating in the Committee. The Committee at its last session in March 2019 highlighted the lack of coordination and information sharing across the BiH authorities by the BiH authorities represented in the Committee.  The functioning of the Joint Steering Committee in the next programme cycle will be on top of the agenda during the formulation and negotiation process of the next Cooperation Framework with the BiH authorities.  Depending on the future status, scope of work and authority of the current SDG Working Group in BiH, this coordination mechanism could be potentially considered, along with some other options, as the appropriate modality for the next Cooperation Framework. Regardless of the modality of the next Joint Steering Committee, the underlying premise is to ensure full coordination and information sharing across the BiH authorities represented in the Committee.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore other potential modalities for a strong and functional Joint Steering Committee set-up as part of the new 2021-2025 Cooperation Framework preparation process.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
RCO/UNCT 2020/02 Overdue-Initiated
Discuss the Joint Steering Committee set-up and modality with the new Council of Ministers members and agree the measures to increase the commitment of the BiH representatives in the Joint Steering Committee as well as information sharing.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
RCO 2020/02 Overdue-Initiated
6. Recommendation:

It is recommended to consider domestic targets for the Sustainable Development Goals as the main framework to align Standard Operating Procedures, considering how UNCT could work together to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Also, it is recommended to consider to the extent possible preparation of the Joint Resource Mobilization Strategy and facilitate greater degree of coordination among the UN Agencies in approaching funds and donors.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

Agree. Delivering as One elements are now streamlined across the UN Development System with the new corporate guidelines for Cooperation Frameworks and as such represent a mandatory consideration unlike the previous UNDAF formulation cycle.  As strongly highlighted in the UNCT’s Roadmap for the preparation of the next Cooperation Framework, the SDGs and the domestic targets will be the starting point for discussion to the extent they are available at the time the next Cooperation Framework is being prepared.  For the first time, the development finance concept is integrated in the Cooperation Framework structure and will require the UNCT to carefully re-examine its resource mobilization approach which will have to be embedded in a Joint Resource Mobilization Strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNCT is properly educated and informed of the new UNSDCF guidelines and norms, including reference to the SDG local targets in the new UNSDCF format as part of the prioritization/visualization exercise.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
RCO 2019/10 Completed The prioritization exercise held in October 2019.
All the SDG BiH related and available documentation is available to the UNCT and the UNSDCF consultant in advance of the UNSDCF preparation process and the prioritization/visualization exercise.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
RCO 2019/09 Completed
7. Recommendation:

It is recommended that UNDAF includes clear exit approach and practical sustainability strategy for the achievements/ interventions of results.

As part of the efforts to ensure sustainability of results, it is recommended that UN develop a sound approach to measure capacity development across all priority areas and assess impact of these results. Particularly important remains to continue work on the development of capacity for policy making and implementation at all levels in BiH.

The role of the domestic stakeholders in the implementation of UNDAF could not be overstated- it is recommended to enhance and ensure genuine involvement of domestic partners in all activities, from planning to implementation of interventions within UNDAF. Considering challenging governance situation in BiH, it is recommended that UNCT expands its partnership with CSOs, to strengthen their capacities across critical functional areas and ensure their active engagement in policy-making processes and participation in the delivery of public services. Also, it is recommended to strengthen the watchdog role of the CSOs for competent monitoring of development processes, policies, and strategies thus competently involve in the implementation of the SDG related-priorities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

The UNCT agrees that the next generation UN strategy should place stronger focus on sustainability of results. Unequivocally, institutional capacity development and policy support will continue to be at the front and centre of the UN work, with ever-strong focus on critical capacities for achieving the SDGs and characterized by effective engagement of socio-economic stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
More in-depth sustainability considerations and concrete approaches will be developed as an integral part of the new Cooperation Framework, in collaboration with governments and socio-economic stakeholders.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies present in BIH. 2025/12 Initiated
Institutional capacity development and policy support will continue to be at the front and centre of the UN work, focusing on building critical capacities for achieving the SDGs. A more rigorous performance and impact measuring approaches will be introduced.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All Un Agencies present in BIH. 2025/12 Initiated
The UN will continue to advance CSO’s capabilities to facilitate productive dialogue between citizens and governments, as well as to play a watchdog role in policy design and delivery, including for the SDGs.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies present in BIH. 2025/12 Initiated
UN agencies to engage in the capacity development of the women’s NGOs with the view of their critical responsibility for special service provision and support to advancing gender equality and empowerment of women.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies (Gender Theme Group technical advice provision). 2025/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

It is recommended to consider a gender transformative approach (not only participation as the mean feature of gender equality) in all interventions within UNDAF and include more elaborate gender-specific targets and gender disaggregated indicators in all these initiatives. It is recommended to introduce gender-sensitive reporting practice (to the extent possible) especially in the preparation of UNDAF annual reports.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/11/13]

It is recommended to consider a gender transformative approach (not only participation as the mean feature of gender equality) in all interventions within UNDAF and include more elaborate gender-specific targets and gender disaggregated indicators in all these initiatives. It is recommended to introduce gender-sensitive reporting practice (to the extent possible) especially in the preparation of UNDAF annual reports.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop UNCT Country Gender Equality Profile as part of the preparation process of UNSDCF 2021-2025.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies present in BiH (UN Women technical lead). 2020/05 Initiated
Conduct SWAP Gender Scorecard.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
All UN Agencies present in BiH (UN Women technical lead). 2020/12 Initiated
Develop UNCT Gender Equality Strategy (2021-2025).
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Gender Theme Group. 2020/12 Initiated
Advance gender mainstreaming practices across UNCT programming.
[Added: 2019/11/13]
Gender Theme Group. 2025/12 Initiated

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