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International Cooperation
Commissioning Unit: Kazakhstan
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020
Evaluation Type: Outcome
Completion Date: 12/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Kazakhstan
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Strengthen the relevance of the Outcome by more visibly referencing innovative solutions for SDG financing and achievement, including Southern solutions, in future programming.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2019/01/09]

The country office accepts the recommendation.

 

 

The CO will start implementing a new project in 2019 aimed at supporting the SDG nationalization process in Kazakhstan. Through this project, the CO will engage, domestically, with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan to raise awareness on the commitments set forth in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. The project will also help the Ministry of Finance to assess the readiness of the current public financial management system to finance SDGs by mapping different financing flows and reviewing national/sectoral financing policies, reviewing the effectiveness of spending, the institutional arrangements and capacities for managing different financing flows, identifying and costing of priority SDG targets and defining financing strategy for SDGs implementation. This will be done by applying UNDP tool Development Finance Assessments (DFAs), which help authorities to analyze financing flows in their country and develop strategies for mobilizing new resources and making expenditures more effective. Once analyzed domestically, the CO will support the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Economy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share this experience with the countries in the region, utilizing South-South and triangular cooperation approaches. In addition, the CO is planning to explore options of applying Islamic Financing for SDGs in Kazakhstan. 

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CO will engage into the dialogue with the Ministry of Finance on financing for Agenda 2030 (SDGs), provide technical and expert support and capacity development trainings as appropriate.
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/02]
CO management team 2019/12 Completed In January 2019 UNDP started a new project jointly with ADB and the Ministry of National Economy on the support to the Government to build SDG platform in Kazakhstan. With the framework of the project, UNDP in cooperation with ADB initiated a process on Development Finance Assessment, a methodology developed by UNDP globally and a Rapid Integrated Assessment of the national budget. For that purpose, UNDP engaged a local think tank "TALAP" - a Center for Applied Research and ADB engaged an international consultant with experience of performing DFA's in different countries. As part of the assignment, TALAP is required to provide a training to the employees of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Economy, as well as conduct regular meetings with the Vice-Ministers to discuss the process of the DFA and RIA of national budget in Kazakhstan. The training was held on 30 October 2019, with the presence of the VM of National Economy - Mr. Zhaslan Madiyev and the VM of Finance - Mr. Ruslan Yensebayev, which was proceeded by a business lunch to discuss the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the importance of the national partners engagement in the exercise. Additionally, on 15-16 November 2019, a First Regional SDG Summit on Mobilizing Finance for SDGs was held in Almaty. The Summit was dedicated to financing Planet issues: Water, Energy and Climate Change. The Summit gathered 290 participants from CAREC region and also we had government officials from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In 2019, the DFA in Kazakhstan focuses on 2 dimensions of the Analytical framework module. It will take more than a year to complete the whole DFA in Kazakhstan. Since, no official request to perform the DFA was done from the Government, UNDP applies all efforts to get a government buy-in and ensure a national ownership of the process. History
2. Recommendation:

Strengthen the effectiveness of the Outcome in the areas of :

Partnership and Coordination by

Maintaining current national partnerships. To maintain the visibility of UNDP’s partnership with the MFA, continue the secondment of a Project Assistant to the MFA/FEPD as a cost-effective way to work with staff on ODA matters until the KAZ ODA agency is established. Scale up UNDP support after the ODA agency is launched.

Brokering wider strategic partnerships. In the Outcome’s ODA component, UNDP must increase its coordination with GoK stakeholders beyond the MFA/FEPD/ODA unit in order to more effectively and strategically influence ODA policies at the national level, including building national consensus on the establishment of an ODA agency. UNDP should therefore increase its coordination in ODA-related areas with the line ministries with whom its works through its other portfolios, as well as with its ministry partners from the Afghanistan SSTC project. Options to increase ODA-related coordination include the secondment of UNDP staff to selected ministries. UNDP must move beyond having a national partner to having national consensus on the establishment of an ODA agency ; and it must identify other entry points, beyond MFA, as well as champions, for this.

Build on the Hub Support Project. Build on the institutional and country partnerships developed through the Hub Support project to grow the number of SSTC intervenions under this output, both to increase the project’s operational financing ; and also to support the GoK’s intended regional leadership role.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2019/01/09]

The country office partially accepts the recommendations.

The CO will continue supporting the MFA (its respective KAZODA Unit) in developing the national ODA system in Kazakhstan through various available avenues. These includes the “secondment” of the UNDP project staff to the KAZODA Unit at MFA, providing on-demand expert support, and trainings. In addition, a strategy for promoting the establishment of an ODA agency has been agreed between the UNDP CO and MFA. This includes development of the non-paper stating the arguments for the establishment of the ODA Agency by the GoK and meetings with relevant decision-makers.

As regards to the programmatic activities with/for Afghanistan, the CO is actively exploring new opportunities. Three project concepts have been developed and discussed with partners at highest political level and have offered to the GoK to fund their implementation through UNDP. The possibility to implement a joint project for empowering Afghani women through their education in Kazakhstan has been discussed with the European Unit Delegation in Kazakhstan.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a non-paper stating the arguments for the establishment of the ODA Agency by the Government of Kazakhstan
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/09/16]
ARR 2019/06 Completed As an upper middle-income country, Kazakhstan’s efforts in the South-South Cooperation and contributions towards the implementation of the SDGs play an important role in the international development agenda. In order to bring the national official development assistance (ODA) system in line with the priorities of the foreign policy, Kazakhstan adopted Law on ODA and Decree on the main directions of state policy in the field of ODA for 2017-2020 (ODA Strategy). Establishment of the ODA Agency will systematize its aid efforts through strengthening its role as a donor. Once the Agency is established, it will have its special budget line to realize ODA projects efficiently. MFA is lack of specialists to implement the above-mentioned Law and Decree signed by the First President. Decree underlines the role of the private sector and civil society as many traditional donor states practice in their ODA projects. However, it does not work here yet. History
Conduct meetings jointly with Ministry of Foreign Affairs with relevant decision-makers for promoting KAZ ODA Agency
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
ARR 2019/12 Completed After the meeting between RR, DRR, ARR and National Coordinator held on 1 August, UNDP Project Assistant’s contract has been extended upon the request of the Ministry since it still needs a support from UNDP. Currently, KAZ ODA Unit of the Ministry with a support of the Project Assistant is preparing the information on the budget and structure of the Agency. With a support of UNDP, the main lines of the state policy in the field of ODA for 2021-2025 (ODA Strategy) and M&E rules are drafted and submitted to the review of the Ministry. KAZ ODA Unit of the Ministry has sent a list of topics on ODA capacity building trainings and workshops to UNDP IRH through Country Office History
Follow up with EU, GoK and other potential donors on funding for the projects in/with Afghanistan
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
CO management team 2020/09 Completed In June 2019 UNDP started a new project for 2 mln EUR jointly with EU as a donor and key stakeholder and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a key national partner. This is a regional project with the participating of UNDP Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. The project is deemed to provide for a more efficient delivery of higher education (Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) certificates) due to the proximity and the experience of the government and higher education institutions in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in providing international exchange education. The priority sectors for education will be agriculture, applied statistics and mining, deemed to be growth sectors with particular importance for promoting gender equality. The project is intended as a pilot that will facilitate the development of a sustainable system of exchange education that will allow women from Afghanistan to benefit from higher education opportunities in Central Asia also beyond the project lifetime. History
3. Recommendation:

Strengthen the Outcome’s operational efficiency in the areas of:1.   Monitoring and evaluation through:

Post-training follow up.  To better document and measure the Outcome’s capacity development results, include post-training follow up activities in the design, workplans and budgets of future Outcome projects.

Improved outcome reporting. To improve outcome reporting, revise the current reporting template to more explicitly differentiate between outputs/activities and outcomes/results ; and provide guidance on M&E requirements to staff during the project inception phase.

2.   Financing through

Innovative financing instruments scoping study. To widen UNDP’s resource base, undertake a scoping study of the innovative development financing instruments which have proved effective in other MICs, including “Southern” solutions such as Islamic financing modalities, to better identify those which are most feasible within the current Kazakhstan context, and most appropriate for UNDP as an international development agency,  and upon which the agency can focus its resource mobilization and partnership efforts for the remaining and forthcoming CP cycles.

Innovative financing workshop.  To further inform and guide Outcome resource mobilization, convene a half day workshop by an accredited authority for UNDP management and staff to provide them with a basic level of understanding on innovative development financing options and how they can support the achievement of the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2019/01/09]

The CO partially agrees with this recommendation

CO is continuously working to enhance the monitoring system and RBM and will ensure the improvement of planning and reporting (internally and outside UNDP) both on the programme and projects outcome level. Programme and projects staff are duly informed and trained on the reporting tools and how to make best use of it. Anyhow CO sees the place for the improvement of M&E system in the office. The country office will work to improve outcome reporting both on CPD and project level to build up capacity and enhance the knowledge of the of the staff in the area of M&E and RBM.

The CO has been actively exploring new financing instruments. Thus, two projects have been launched in 2018 with the IsDB, where UNDP CO implements a part of the IsDB loan to the GoK in the area of water resources management. Also, the successful project funded by the GoK through the World Bank, with UNDP CO as an implementing partner, resulted in signing two more projects with WB in 2019 in the area of justice reform. The CO is planning to include in its Resource Mobilization plan for 2019 webinar for its staff and a scoping study on Islamic Financing potential in Kazakhstan. The CO will consider possibility to convene a half day workshop on innovative development financing options and how they can support the achievement of the SDGs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a webinar for CO programme staff on Islamic Financing potential in Kazakhstan and explore options for its implementation at the national and regional levels
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/09/16]
CO management team 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The action is no more applicable.]
History
Maintenance of the practice of M&E trainings for the projects staff for M&E and RBM in programming and implementation in the projects.
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/01]
M&E Associate 2019/12 Completed CO has developed and launched the SOPs on the project implementation cycle reinforced based on the PPM reforms and POPP. SOP adequately articulates the role and the procedures for M&E and RBM use in the project management. History
Conduct the trainings for the projects staff for programme and projects staff in the project document development, report writing, presentation of the project results to the national partners.
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/01]
M&E Associate 2019/12 Completed CO reinforced the knowledge sharing practice in M&E and RBM in CO through the presentations of the projects best practices at all staff meetings as well as the Units meetings. CO regularly circulates the best samples of the reports and presentations among the projects for a wide use. History
Reinforcement of M&E and RBM in the country office Standard Operating Procedures for the project management through the design, implementation and closure stages
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/01]
M&E Assoacite 2019/12 Completed CO reinforced the knowledge sharing practice in M&E and RBM in CO through the presentations of the projects best practices at all staff meetings as well as the Units meetings. CO regularly circulates the best samples of the reports and presentations among the projects for a wide use. History
4. Recommendation:

Mitigate sustainability risks by:

  1. Re-focusing support to national capacities for ODA management: In the absence of a functional ODA agency with dedicated staff and a KM strategy, reduce the sustainability risks related to high staff turnover in the MFA/FEPD by providing introductory training on ODA-related topics to MFA staff more broadly, beyond the FEPD, as a part of MFA staff induction.  Utilize the FAQs and other tools produced by UNDP for the KAZ ODA project in these trainings. See also above, recommendations for Efficiency, “Maintain current national partnerships” and “Broker wider strategic partnerships”.
  2. Institutionalizing the Hub Project:  Determine options for transitioning the Hub’s Project Board into a legal entity, and its implications for continued funding and project support through UNDP; and finalize the most appropriate institutionalization option before the end of the current project cycle in 2020
Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2019/01/09]

1.The CO does not agree with the proposed recommendation as it goes beyond the scope of UNDP’s role and responsibility. Within the frame of its ODA-related project, the UNDP CO has developed all tools (FAQs and guidance on ODA for government officials) that the MFA, as the ODA coordinator as per the ODA Law, might consider promoting as part of MFA staff induction training.    

2.  The country office accepts the recommendation. The most relevant and optimal options at this stage for transitioning the Hub would comprise an institution that advocates public service excellence by applying research findings towards the improvement of government policies and UNDP’s programming. The guiding principles of Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (Singapore) might be replicated in the framework of the SDGs and development visions/strategies, policy coherence, resilient planning and public service innovation. Contextual issues will be customized accordingly.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To work out the optimal option for HUB institutionalization
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/02]
CO management, HUB project team 2019/12 Completed The country office and the project has jointly worked out the option of the additional funding for the project for anotehr 3 years cycle as the project extension is the demand in the regional context and highly supportedby the Governemnt of Kazakhstan and HUB participating countries. History
5. Recommendation:

Improve GEWE integration in the Outcome, and strengthen the assessment of UNDP’s contribution to GEWE through the Outcome, with

1. Gender-specific baselines, indicators and targets.  Articulate and use gender-specific baselines, targets and SMART indicators in project formulation, implementation and evaluation, including in RRFs, AWPs, reporting templates and other project management tools, in order to better assess Outcome’s progress on and contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment. 2.  Gender-responsive budgeting in projects.  Use GRB tools to determine and allocate a percentage of projects’ budgets to GEWE.3.  Gender parity in project management.  Aim for gender parity on project boards and in project management and support roles, in accordance with UNDP gender equality standards.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02] [Last Updated: 2019/01/09]

The country office accepts the recommendation.

UNDP will ensure that all programmes will apply a human rights-based approach and gender mainstreaming throughout this country programme cycle, thus capacity development of programme managers/staff on gender tools, including the use of sex-disaggregated data in screening of the programme outcomes needs to take place and will become a part of the new CO Gender Equality Strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects will be ensured in 2019 and reflected in the CO’s Gender Action Plan for 2019. Reporting of gender equality results will be strengthened by building a stronger process of planning, monitoring and evaluating gender related indicators
[Added: 2019/05/31] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
Gender Focal Point, Gender task Force, Gender Specialist. 2019/12 Completed Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects is ensured through the CO Gender Action Plan and SOP on Project Manage History
6. Recommendation:

Improve GEWE integration in the Outcome, and strengthen the assessment of UNDP’s contribution to GEWE through the Outcome, with

1. Gender-specific baselines, indicators and targets. Articulate and use gender-specific baselines, targets and SMART indicators in project formulation, implementation and evaluation, including in RRFs, AWPs, reporting templates and other project management tools, in order to better assess Outcome’s progress on and contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

2. Gender-responsive budgeting in projects. Use GRB tools to determine and allocate a percentage of projects’ budgets to GEWE.

3. Gender parity in project management. Aim for gender parity on project boards and in project management and support roles.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/02]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects will be ensured in 2019 and reflected in the CO’s Gender Action Plan for 2019. Reporting of gender equality results will be strengthened by building a stronger process of planning, monitoring and evaluating gender related indicators
[Added: 2019/01/09] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
Gender Focal Point, Gender task Force, Gender Specialist. 2019/12 Completed Gender mainstreaming in programme and projects is ensured through the CO Gender Action Plan and SOP on Project Manage History

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