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External Evaluation of the 'Technical Support to the Lebanese Parliament" Project
Commissioning Unit: Lebanon
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Lebanon
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

7. Recommendations

The evaluation recommends that the project draft a new project document within the Result and Resources Framework (RRF). The recommendations are divided into two parts: (1) general recommendations pertaining to the requirements for laying the groundwork for successful project design and implementation; and (2) specific recommendations with regards to project design and implementation during the post-2018 phase.

7.1 General Recommendations 

R1. Political Buy-In: The UNDP country office has a vital role to play in ensuring that the project stays on track and secures the buy-in of the national political leadership. Any renewal and revision of the project design requires a priori the involvement and endorsement of the speaker’s office and the parliament administration. In addition, there should be a buy-in from all different political parliamentary blocs that represent the Lebanese political landscape.  This is the key to the success of the project from the outset

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

The CO and project will ensure the political buy in of all stakeholders through adopting an inclusive approach in the new project design and expanding the project board

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Drafting a new Memorundum of Understanding(MOU) between UNDP and Parliament 1.2 Officially requesting the expansion of the project board to include members of the parliamentary bureau board or representative of different political blocs.
[Added: 2019/05/21] [Last Updated: 2020/12/20]
DG programme TSLP Project 2020/07 Completed The project was closed on July 31, 2020 As agreed with the Parliamentary Administration represented by its Secretary General, the partnership will be shaped in a different form, through an engagement facility and based on specific priority areas. History
2. Recommendation:

R2. Ownership by the MPs: The project document is a living document, and as such, requires the input of its primary stakeholders. The UNDP can facilitate an inclusive process that draws in the MPs and highlights their needs and priorities, which can be accurately reflected and integrated into the project document. The ownership of the project by the MPs revives the importance of the project and ensures its effectiveness and the sustainability of its outcome

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

The CO and project is currently drafting a new strategy and will draft a new Project Document in consultation with the project board highlighting their needs and priorities

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
As agreed with the Parliamentary Administration represented by its Secretary General, the partnership will be shaped in a different form, through an engagement facility and based on specific priority areas. The modality of cooperation and partnership will change, and as such, it might result in a number of projects supporting the Parliament and not a single ProDoc.
[Added: 2019/05/21] [Last Updated: 2020/12/20]
DG programme TSLP Project Project Board 2020/07 Completed For instance, UNDP and the Parliament will work together towards integrating gender in parliamentary work, as part of the “Integrating Gender in Lebanese Institutions” project, in the framework of which, UNDP will provide specific expertise to the parliament. History
3. Recommendation:

R3. Terms of engagement: The project can be more creative and daring in order to free itself from the cautious and reluctant approach in dealing with the parliament administration.  This could be possible only when the project is sufficiently backed up by UNDP country office

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

The CO will ensure there is enough support to the project on all levels and will work with in house experts to explore fundraising modalities and develop a strategic communication plan

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Drafing a fundraising strategy for the project 3.2 Drafting a communication strategy for the project 3.3 Implement the project’s new structure based on needs assessment
[Added: 2019/05/21] [Last Updated: 2020/12/20]
DG Programme 2020/07 Completed The agreed upon modality will be matched with a fundraising strategy. There will not be a project specific structure, but a much more dynamic/flexible modality History
4. Recommendation:

R4. Champions of the project: The project can benefit from the presence of highly motivated MPs who might champion the project among their colleagues. These MPs should be the main partners of the project and should be regularly incentivized.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

The project  will work on drafting a communication strategy and identify champions among the new Members of Parliament and will ensure  coordination and networking with all stakeholders

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

R5. Active role for the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP: The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP senior management can play an essential role in supporting the project by working to secure the endorsement of different political parties or the one of the UN agencies working in Lebanon. This can be achieved by highlighting the role of the Lebanese parliament as central to resolving the most pressing issues that Lebanon is currently facing such as the Environment and Economic challenges (CEDRE). This positioning of the project as a “key access point to endorse the parliament and support it will eventually not only attract the interest of the UN agencies but most importantly the one of donor community too

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

The DG Programme will work in close coordination with UNRC team to put in place a stronger inter-agency coordination mechanism with regards to Parliament

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.2 Identify champions among the new MPs / establish a follow up committee of champion MPs to follow up closely on the project acitivities 5.3 Organize a parliament forum once a year to enourage coordination and networking between all project’s stakeholders
[Added: 2019/05/21] [Last Updated: 2020/12/20]
TSLP Project 2020/07 Completed The project was closed on July 31, 2020. The recommendation will be very useful when the new modality is formalized because it will bring together the different components of engagement with the parliament. History
6. Recommendation:

R6. Thematic areas of focus: Through the inclusive process bringing together the UNDP, the parliament administration and the MPs, the project should jointly identify three or four areas as the main focus of the project for the coming three years. The established SDG parliamentary unit can play a key role in this process. These thematic areas of focus can be implemented through a process-oriented strategy rather than the previous default ad-hoc strategy. Such thematic areas might include the environment, human rights, and economy (relevant to CEDRE), but also women political participation as an integrated approach with other projects, regional programme, and other agencies (Specifically UN women, whose representative expressed all willingness to closely collaborate with the project and implement joint activities). Indeed, these areas should be identified within the national priorities, in consultation with the beneficiaries of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

7.2 Specific Recommendations

a. A new project document - The evaluation finds that the current project document is very broad and does not provide donors with incentives to invest in the project. The UNDP should adopt a strategy for the early involvement of development partners, based on regular consultation, for the next phase of the project. This requires setting a clear deadline and strategy to involve different stakeholders (first and foremost, the MPs) in the project design. The design of the next phase should be done in an inclusive process that draws in all the stakeholders. The project can benefit from an expert in project design and development and the expertise available at the Country Office and other UNDP Regional Programmes. - The project design should place more emphasis on procedures and structures to enhance the sustainability of the project. More specifically, project outputs should be conceived in such a flexible and long-term way tailored to an institution like the Lebanese Parliament. Such procedures and structures might include a legislative tracking mechanism or a technical legislative unit. - Setting a deadline to develop a new project document (two months from now), a new fundraising strategy as well as a communication strategy that introduces the project to all MPs (one month from now). - The project design should also include the development of a communication strategy that (1) introduces the project to all the current MPs and to donors and development agencies; (2) valorizes the strategic importance of the UNDP project and its competitive role; and (3) highlights project achievements and updates. The project can benefit from the expertise of a communication strategy specialist. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

7.2 Specific Recommendations 

b. Project governance Project Board The project should reactivate and give more prerogatives to the project board. It can do so to include senior representatives of the parliament, UNDP officials, and development partner representatives etc. The project board should meet every three months with a clear description of the meeting’s objectives and should communicate its updates to MPs in order to incentivize them and guarantee progress of the work. 

Parliament Forum The project should convene an annual parliament forum that meets twice a year and brings together all the project stakeholders including current and former MPs, UN agencies, the donor community and development agencies, in order to disseminate project results and encourage coordination and networking. 

c. The Project Team The Team - Revise the ToR and Divide the tasks according to new TORs; - Provide specialized Training for the team especially in areas pertaining to parliamentary work; - Capitalize on the individual knowledge and expertise of the project team members; - Expand the project team in light of the project’s need for the coming phase. This can include, for instance, a legal expert that provides support to the President of the Parliament and to the Committees. 

d. Outcomes and Support to the Parliament: Procedures and Mechanisms. Legislation Unit - Set in place a Legislation Unit at the parliament to help MPs draft and review legislation; This unit on the long run will eventually put in place a systematic follow-up on the work of parliamentary committees and the legislation they are conducting (comparative studies etc.); - The unit should recruit non-partisan staff, that can provide unbiased research and information; - The Unit will adopt an integrated approach to legislation: which is based on interdisciplinary analysis and advice that brings together the legal, technical, budget and gender expertise available in the Project; - The Unit will play an active role in supporting the course to train the MPs legal advisors. 

Legislative Tracking Mechanism: - Re-Initiate a Legislative Tracking Mechanism in order to identify the state of affairs of all pending legislation pertaining to specific sectors (health, environment etc.)

Oversight - Conduct specialize induction courses for MPs on oversight mechanisms 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

7.2 Specific Recommendations 

e. Support activities 

- Course for Advisors: In order to compensate for the lack of legislation bodies and in the immediate term, the project should develop and conduct training courses for advisor of MPs. Even though only few MPs have advisor, this can be an incentives for other MPs to appoint new advisor. The UNDP project should send a letter to MPs asking them to appoint candidates to follow the course. These candidates can eventually support the MP in drafting and reviewing legislation. - Course for Journalists on Parliamentary work: In order to sensitize journalists on the role of MPs, the project should develop and conduct a training course for them. This can eventually help journalists develop expertise on the parliamentary affairs. - Enhance mechanisms of coordination with all UN agencies and donor community. - The project could indeed rely on in-house expertise available at the UNDP and other UN agencies and this is specially required in order to provide an opportunity for cross-fertilization within the UNDP governance program and other projects or programs at UNDP. This can also compensate on the lack of financial resources. - Establish new and/or reactive cooperation programs with other Arab and Foreign Parliaments     

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04] [Last Updated: 2021/02/07]

Key Actions:

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