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Mid-Term Evaluation: UN Joint Programme in Aral Sea region II
Commissioning Unit:Uzbekistan
Evaluation Plan:2016-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date:11/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Uzbekistan
1. Recommendation:

It is recommended to expand the awareness and promotion of the human security approach and the establishment of the MPHSTF in Karakalpakstan

The programme has already conducted numerous activities to raise awareness and knowledge and train local community leaders and local authorities in Karakalpakstan on the human security approach. In addition, the programme has also supported activities to demonstrate this approach through the implementation of the social-infrastructure projects in some communities. As we are approaching the launch of the MPHSTF as the main financial instrument to finance and invest in the development of the region, it is recommended to expand the promotion of this approach throughout the republic of Karakalpakstan using concrete examples from social infrastructure projects supported by the programme. The focus should be on what is a MPHSTF, what it will do and how it will work. The more aware all Karakalpak communities will be about this approach, the better chance this financial mechanism will work.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

fully agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Develop different awareness raising materials (e.g. a short animation video clip, Brochure, infographics, etc. about human security approach and MPHSTF) and distribute/showcase at the level of communities in order to raise local awareness.
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/04 Not Initiated
1.2 Conduct more training at grassroots level and also to the further regional leaders through the Presidential Academy on Human Security Concept, the structure and role of the MPHSTF in funding and investing for the development of the region with demonstration of practical examples of the UN Joint Progamme.
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/03 Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 2.

It is recommended to increase the promotion of the MPHSTF to the international donor community.

As the programme is expected to be established by the end of 2018, it is recommended to increase the promotion with the international donor community. The programme has already done a lot, has a lot of materials, and has a good network in place to reach out this community. Reinforcing the communications to this network of donors is recommended in order to maximize the chance of potential donors pledging their support to this initiative as early as possible.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

fully agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Conduct High level event (side event) by the Government of Uzbekistan at the UN HQ with the participation of member-states and international donors and finance institutions to present MPHSTF for Aral Sea region
[Added: 2018/11/21] [Last Updated: 2019/01/10]
UN JP Team 2019/01 Overdue-Initiated Concept of the event is developed and agreed by inputs of the UN HSU, UNDP MPTF, UNDP CO and Government of Uzbekistan. The exact date of the event is to be identified by the Uzb mission to UN
2.2 Develop resource mobilization strategy/plan of the MPHSTF for Aral Sea region
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/05 Not Initiated
2.3 Continuous promotion of the MPHSTF and conduct regular negotiations with donors, both in-country and abroad, to mobilize resources to the Fund
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/05 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 3.

It is recommended to add to the risk log the risk “lack of interest from international donors in participating and financing the MPHSTF”.

The review conducted for this evaluation reveals that one missing risk is the potential for a lack of interest from the international donor community to participate and finance the MPHSTF. To fully succeed in sustaining its achievements over the medium and long term, particularly the sustainability of the MPHSTF, the programme needs the involvement of other donors. The current plan is to officially establish the trust fund by the end of 2018. The partners of the programme, including the government, need pledges from other donors to support the overall strategy for an integrated development strategy of the Aral Sea region financed by a MPHSTF. It is important to monitor this risk as part of risk management of the programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

fully agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 The potential risk of the lack of interest from the international donor community to participate and finance the MPTF will be incorporated into the Fund’s Risk Ranking Matrix with indication of the risk mitigation measures.
[Added: 2018/11/21] [Last Updated: 2019/01/10]
UN JP Team 2019/01 Overdue-Not Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 4.

It is recommended to conduct a study of existing policy and legislative frameworks to identify gaps and barriers, which could hamper the implementation of a human security approach.

The government is fully committed to the establishment of the MPHSTF, which will apply the principles of human security. The programme has been demonstrating the benefits of such an approach through social infrastructure projects responding to local communities needs and priorities. A model is emerging for the development of Karakalpakstan. However, to replicate this approach in other parts of the country, there is the need to know how compatible this approach is vis-à-vis the policy and the legislative frameworks in place in Uzbekistan. It is recommended that this programme conduct a study of these frameworks, assess their compatibility with the implementation of the concept of human security and identify any gaps and barriers, which would hamper the scaling-up of such an approach.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

fully agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Conduct a research on study of existing policy and legislative frameworks and identify gaps and barriers that may hamper implementation of the HS approach
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/04 Not Initiated
4.2 On the basis of developed recommendations, work out a new training module and conduct training on HS approach at national and regional levels
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/05 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 5.

It is recommended to expand the piloting of private sector development.

The programme initiated a small private sector development, testing an innovative approach. Instead of providing cash grants, the programme in close collaboration with local authorities provide equipment to small businesses to scale-up their operations and provide access to microfinance institutions via the Business Women Association. For each initiative, an MOU is signed between the UN Joint Programme and the beneficiary, which include a business plan to describe the business venture, the equipment that is provided, and business indicators to measure the performance of the business. Once, the beneficiary complies/meets the target indicators, the UN joint programme officially transfers the equipment/machinery ownership to the beneficiary and notifies the local government office (Khakimyat). So far, 9 small business projects got the support from the programme, which has resulted in the creation of about 30 jobs.  It is recommended that the programme expand this pilot, including the promotion of technological and innovative entrepreneurship, which is also a priority of the Government (2018 is the year of innovative and technological entrepreneurship). Then, lessons learned and best practices should be identified for replicating the model once the MPHSTF will be established

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

fully agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme supported 3 technological innovative business projects namely, food (vegetables and fruits) storage, shoe manufacturing shop and milk processing shop, that expected to function by the end of 2018. In the next year 2019, it is envisioned to create at least 2 technological innovative projects in agriculture, production and service delivery.
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/04 Not Initiated
5.2 The project best-practices on this area will be also promoted through the MPHSTF for possible funding by other donors
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/05 Not Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 6.

If there is a remaining budget as of May 2019, it is recommended that the timeline of the programme be extended.

The total level of disbursement is behind when compared with the overall implementation timeline (39% vs. 67%). From an objective point of view, 37% of the budget for objective 1 has been spent so far but only 18% for objective 2, including a budget of over USD 300,000 left for supporting the establishment of the MPHSTF (objective 2). If there is a remaining budget as of May 2019, it is recommended that the timeline of the programme be extended, using this time to consolidate achievements of the programme; particularly the start-up phase of establishing the MPHSTF.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

fully agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 The programme extension topic will be brought for discussion and approval in an upcoming UN JP Board Meeting to be hold at the end of the year.
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/01 Initiated OL to MOE has been sent to organize the board meeting on December 14, 2018 and one of the topics for discussion is review the possibility of the programme extension.
6.2 Based on the UN JP Board Meeting decision, respective agreements will be made with UNTFHS; the Programme budget will be adjusted for the following periods as per the extension time-frames.
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/02 Not Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 7.

It is recommended to review the M&E system in place and reduce the number of indicators and targets to simplify the monitoring and reporting functions.

The extensive M&E system in place has been producing good progress reports. However, too much information is collected with some redundancies. The entire reporting mechanism produces good but extensive progress reports. It is recommended that the M&E function be streamlined and focus mostly on collecting information that is used to draft the annual progress reports. In particular, it is recommended to reduce the number of indicators and targets to simplify the monitoring and reporting function without changing the current quality of reporting progress.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/11/21]

Partially agree/ Given the fact that adjusting the M&E indicators approved by all partners including the Gov’t and Donor, it is proposed to keep reporting on the already set indicators.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 The UN JP management will apply RBM tools in developing annual progress reports, make it straight to point and less extensive without changing the UNTFHS and UNDP reporting guidelines and template
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/04 Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Mid-term Evaluation recommendation 8.

It is recommended to expand the financial section in progress reports to include the full financial status of the programme.

Financial information is mostly provided by donor. There is no consolidated financial summary presenting the total financing of the programme in one place. It is recommended to expand the section on “financial status” in the annual progress reports to report this consolidated financial information presenting actual disbursements against the overall budget. All this information exists internally, it is a matter of reporting it to all through progress reports and show how cost-effective is this programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/21]

Partially agree. UN JP will be develop the consolidated financial report based on the main Donor’s template (Results Monitoring table), where all activities of the all donors will be included and financial status report provided.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 UN JP will be developing the consolidated financial report based on the main Donor’s template (Results Monitoring table), where all activities of the all donors will be included and financial status report provided.
[Added: 2018/11/21]
UN JP Team 2019/05 Not Initiated The consolidated finance report has been prepared and submitted in the process of budget revision in the context of the second annual progress report submission to HSU in October 2018. The consolidated report (Results Monitoring table) includes additional funds from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Coca Cola Foundation and the UNDP Funding Window. Overall, the total budget of the Programme has increased for $ 520,000.

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