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Mid-term evaluation of Strengthening Rule of Law and Human Rights to Empower People in Tajikistan
Commissioning Unit:Tajikistan
Evaluation Plan:2016-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date:05/2016
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Tajikistan
1. Recommendation:

The value of engaging [the Rule of Law project] into a large number of legal/normative acts developments seems ambiguous. There is an apparent need for a selective approach and prioritisation of donor support prior to engaging into law making/amending process. Moreover, the multiplicity of activities...  make it hard to identify what is the key innovation introduced and which are side outputs.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2016/11/21]

The RoL project is fairly broad, with a large number of interrelated activities.  This is sometimes problematic, especially given the current budget constraints.  It is also true that this can make key innovations difficult to identify. However, this broadness also has allowed the project to score successes across a wide range of activities, from legal aid to outreach to advancing the CRPD.  It has also proven useful in attracting co-funding from other donors.

We are already provided selective support to the law making/amending process; prioritization is not currently an issue for the Rule of Law project.  There has been only two outputs so far amending laws, and they have not placed a significant strain on project resources.

In this project phase, it has been important to test the ground in many directions. Now the strategic directions for the Government have become clear (via UPR and other key government documents/policies adopted) and also the new Strategy of MFA Finland. So, the recommendation is well noted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ongoing careful management of resources to match to activities in Phase One, as set forth in the AWP
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2018/09/03]
Programme Manager 2018/06 Completed the project completed
Ensure that project directions in Phase II (if approved) is more focused and includes strategic activities.
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/09/19]
CTA (Douglas Muir) in cooperation with MFAF 2017/08 Completed
2. Recommendation:

No-cost extensions of both projects through mid-2018 did not have negative implications on implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2016/11/21]

The no-cost extension into mid-2018 cut the project’s 2016 budget from EUR 500,000 to EUR 450,000, and will cut the 2017 budget from EUR 500,000 to EUR 400,000.  This will have negative implications for implementation, particularly in 2017, especially given that it is combined with a sharp drop in the EUR-dollar exchange rate.  (The exchange rate issue has already forced UNDP to commit some of its own resources.)  By the first half of 2018, project implementation will become very difficult, as the small sum allocated for that period (EUR 150,000 for six months) will be disproportionately consumed by administrative costs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
If a Phase Two is agreed upon, begin funding in 2018.
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/11/27]
CTA Douglas Muir and Programme Manager Gulbahor Nematova, subject to discussion with MFAF 2017/12 Completed ProDoc is approved. New project will start in 2018
3. Recommendation:

In order to sustain and increase the quality of the newly established state centres system for legal aid, UNDP should continue to assist them in both countries [Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan], within current project time frames, with:

  • International TA regarding legal aid quality standards;
  • Analysing lessons and good practice from the ongoing pilot period and sharing these with other players in the sector; e.g.use of mediation,and monitoring of equal access to and quality of legal aid services nationwide;
Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2016/11/21]

The Free Legal Aid (FLA) provision system is new for the country. Thus, instead of starting with adoption of a new law it was decided to pilot different models first and based on the outcomes of the piloting, efficient FLA models would be expanded and incorporated into the law. This is ongoing. To inform piloting process the Project used international TA in the past by bringing an International Consultant who contributed towards elaboration of new piloting models.   The Programme also conducted a cost benefit analysis of FLA (undertaken for the Swiss-funded Access to Justice project, but equally relevant FLA provided under the Finnish-funded Rule of Law project) to used study tours to examine international models.  The Project plans to use the same approach in the future and will learn from international best practice on quality legal aid.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue providing technical assistance while thoroughly documenting its impact (through CMA, regular studies, site visits, etc.
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/12/21]
Programme Staff 2020/01 Initiated Ongoing activity throughout the programme cycle
Ensure that NGOs have the ability to effectively monitor access and quality under the new (SALAC) system of free legal aid
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/11/27]
Programme Manager, Programme staff 2017/12 Completed This activity is being written into the draft project document for Phase Two of the SDC-funded A2J project (beginning December 2016)
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should attempt to involve the ministries of Finance (national budget owners) in project implementation, in order to facilitate prioritisation and integration of the costs of amended laws in the national budgets.

The ministries could be invited for Membership of the Steering committee/Board, and/or Participation in project monitoring Facilitating policy dialogue.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2016/11/21]

The Ministry of Finance is already involved; a MoF representative has attended every Policy Dialogue meeting so far, and the Ministry is officially aware of the commitment to co-funding the Legal Aid Centers beginning in 2019.

The key counterpart is the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry is already included as a voting member of the Steering Committee/Board, and a Deputy Minister has attended every meeting.

It may be possible to invite the Ministry of Finance to the next steering committee meeting as an observer, subject to the approval of the other members of the Board.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue to ensure that the Ministry of Finance attends policy dialogue meetings and an active member of Steering Committee meeting, informed of the financial implications for the GoT of project activities and GoT commitments.
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/09/19]
Programme Manager 2017/07 Completed
Discuss possibility of bringing an MoF representative to the next Board meeting as an observer
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/09/19]
Programme Manager, CTA 2017/01 Completed
5. Recommendation:

While amending  the project exit strategies, UNDP should sustain and harmonise key achieved outputs, focusing on quality rather than number of project interventions

Management Response: [Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2016/11/21]

As noted in Response #1, above, the RoL project is fairly broad, with a large number of interrelated activities.  This is sometimes problematic, especially given the current budget constraints.  It is also true that this can make key innovations difficult to identify. However, this broadness also has allowed the project to score successes across a wide range of activities, from legal aid to outreach to advancing the CRPD.  It has also proven useful in attracting co-funding from other donors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop project exit strategies while amending RRF and/or prodoc (see Response #1, above
[Added: 2016/11/21] [Last Updated: 2017/09/19]
CTA (Douglas Muir) in cooperation with MFAF 2017/08 Completed Exit strategy details will depend upon whether there is a Phase Two or not. subject to ProDoc approval

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