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Evaluation of the Juvenile Court Project
Commissioning Unit: Trinidad and Tobago
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 09/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Trinidad and Tobago
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Very careful and detailed planning must be undertaken before the start of any project similar to the Juvenile Court Project (JCP) to ensure that the scope of works is properly specified. This must involve a comprehensive range of key stakeholders and it is essential that legal experts be included at this stage. It should also be anticipated that the quantity of work may expand once the project gets underway and allowances must be made for this eventuality. 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/19]

For similar projects in the future the UNDP Country Office would endeavour to engage legal experts to determine the project scope as such expertise is not found in-house. The CO will also engage key stakeholders at the point of project inception not only to encourage buy-in but to examine the various aspects of the projects. This will assist the CO to better understand the project requirements and develop a comprehensive workplan. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The recommendation to recruit legal experts and engage key stakeholders at project inception to determine the scope of work has been documented and will be taken into consideration in the event a similar project is to be undertaken by the UNDP Country Office.
[Added: 2018/09/18]
UNDP Country Office 2018/09 Completed The Juvenile Court Project has come to its conclusion and actions are currently being taken to operationally and financially close the project in ATLAS. The recommendation and accompanying management response will be taken into consideration in the event a similar project is to be developed by the UNDP Country Office.
2. Recommendation:

Where a similar project is to be done in the future specific attention should be paid to the issue of gender equity in the administration of justice and documentation and procedures which speak specifically to this issue should be developed.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/19]

Management has determined that any future iteration of the project would take into account the issue of gender equity in the administration of justice.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The existing project has since come to a conclusion. However, for future iterations of the project the CO will pay specific attention to the issue of gender equity. This will be included in the project document and an activity would be created that would examine gender equity specifically.
[Added: 2018/09/19]
UNDP Country Office 2018/09 Completed The UNDP Country Office has begun to place focus on gender and gender equity issues in its project design
3. Recommendation:

The use of a dedicated programme and procurement staff members is recommended if a project like the JCP is to be done in the future. Future projects of this nature should also have a separate program manager and financial manager. The separation of these functions is important due to the large volume of work required for each post.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19]

Management agrees with the above-mentioned recommendation and will endeavour to assign dedicated programme and operational staff to assist in the management of such complex projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
For future iterations of such complex projects the UNDP CO would incorporate into the project document direct project costing (DPC) to facilitate the financing of dedicated programme and operational staff deemed necessary for the efficient running of such projects.
[Added: 2018/09/19]
UNDP Country Office 2018/09 Completed The UNDP Country Office has examined the use of direct project costing (DPC) in its project development and has begun to incorporate this in project design for future projects where dedicated programme and operational staff is deemed necessary for the success of these projects.
4. Recommendation:

In undertaking a project of this nature it is critical to keep funds under continuous review to ensure that funding is available. Risks related to lines of funding should be assessed. Where risks exist, strategies should be developed which could be implemented to source additional funding if it becomes necessary to do so.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19]

The UNDP Country Office does not agree with this recommendation as stated. The finances of the Juvenile Court Project was closely monitored throughout the life of the project. Any cost overruns were offset by savings in other areas. Extra funds for the financing of the project was requested as a result of an expansion of the scope of the project. This was authorized by the project board.  

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Future projects like the JCP should put systems to review and forecast resource requirements so that procurement requests could be placed in advance to allow for the processing time required by the procurement and finance departments so as not to cause delays in project progress.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/19]

Management is in agreement with the recommendation as stated above. To respond to this issue the UNDP Country Office will facilitate training of programme staff in the use of a new procurement platform which will be used to improve the coordination between procurement and programme staff with respect to annual procurement projections. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Facilitate training of programme staff in the use of Procurement Planning and Management Platform (PROMPT2), a real-time online system which would allow programme team members to upload procurement plans at the beginning of the year and enter new procurement cases throughout the year. It is expected that this will strengthen procurement at the level of the country office and facilitate coordination between procurement and the programme team thus allowing for proper scheduling of procurement requests.
[Added: 2018/09/19]
UNDP Country Office 2018/07 Completed Training of programme staff in PROMPT 2 was conducted and the programme staff ha begun to utilize this system in forecasting its procurement needs.
6. Recommendation:

projects of a similar nature should consider constructing a building as opposed to renting one. it is difficult to locate buildings with all of the specific requirements for courts, and in the long run, the cost of construction is cheaper than the cost of rent.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19]

If future iterations of this project is undertaken management will insist on a cost benefit analysis to determine whether to lease or construct.a building as required.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the future, for similar projects, a cost benefit analysis would be conducted to determine whether to lease or build. This would be included in the project documentation
[Added: 2018/09/19]
UNDP Country Office/ Key Stakeholders 2018/09 Completed The project has come to its conclusion and is awaiting to be operationally and financially closed. In the future, however the CO would insist that a cost benefit analysis be conducted to determine whether to lease or build.
7. Recommendation:

Future projects like the JCP should separate the functions of the project team and the persons who are actually involved in the implementation. Clear demarcations of the functions of other entities should also be done prior to project start.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/21]

The UNDP Country Office does not agree with the recommendation as it is currently stated. The work of the project team is to drive implementation of the project so it is expected that they will be involved in project implementation. If perhaps the volume of work proved too great for the team then this could be addressed through the farming out of some of these responsibilities in the form of consultancies or through the recruitment of more project staff. This of course is only possible if there are sufficient funds in the project that will allow this.

The functions of the key project implementing partners were stated in the project document.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

A champion is essential for a project such as the JCP if it is to be undertaken in the future. A champio is someone who has all the right connections and sufficient influence in government and other agencies so that they can get buy-in to the project and can leverage the main actors to properly do their respective parts within the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19]

Management agrees that having an influential individual championing any project would assist the project in meetings its deliverables. Unfortunately ensuring that each project has at least one such individual is outside the control of the UNDP Country Office.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

If a project of this nature is to be undertaken in the future it is recommended that a Project Manager not only have expertise in project management, but should also possess expertise in areas specific to the project, most critically in the area of law, and importantly must also possess the type of social capital which can be used to engage key stakeholders in government and other agencies which can support the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19]

This recommendation is agreed to in principle. However in reality finding such an individual may prove to be exceedingly difficult. Nevertheless the Country Office would make concerted efforts to recruit such individuals as project managers for any future iterations of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP Country Office will endeavour to draft comprehensive terms of reference (ToR) to assist in the recruitment of suitable candidate for the position of project manager.
[Added: 2018/09/19]
UNDP Country Office 2018/09 Completed The project has come to its conclusion. However if a similar project were to be undertaken in the future, the Country Office will ensure that the necessary expertise, as stated in the recommendation above, is included in the terms of reference for the post of project manager.
10. Recommendation:

If a project of a similar nature was to be undertaken, it is essential that there are open and clear channels of communication ampong the agencies which are involved, that there are clear lines of funding and that there is a management and financial system which ensures efficiency, transparency and accountability.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/19]

The UNDP Country Office agrees in principle with the ststement of the evaluator made above but questions its relevance to the JCP project. Clear channels of communication between the agencies involved in the project existed throughout the duration of the project. Further to this the project, during the course of its implementation, abided by UNDP project and financial management rules thereby ensuring transparency and accountability.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Similar projects of this nature should dedicate sufficient time for training purposes as training may involve not only the dissemination of information but may seek to change attitudes so that recipients of training become more open to newer approaches to child justice.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/19]

Management agrees with this recommendation to an extent. Training may result to some degree in behavioural change, however true change in attitudes are derived from the persistent use of new processes and procedures. It is through the successful use of new concepts and implementation of new ideas that persons may be inclined to change their way of thinking. This however takes a considerable period of time. It is unlikely given the limited resources that such time could be factored into a project.  

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

A project such as the JCP should develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for the courts.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is not in agreement with the recommendation as stated. A monitoring and evaluation plan was derived for the project and implemented over the project duration. A monitoring and evaluation plan for the courts themselves is outside the scope of the project. As the project has come to its conclusion and operation of the courts have been passed to the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Judiciary would therefore be entity responsible for developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for the Children Courts. 

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

Future projects like the JCP should, after developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for the courts, ensure the customization of the Court case Management System so that it captures data relevant to the plan.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20] [Last Updated: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is not in agreement with the recommendation as stated. A monitoring and evaluation plan was derived for the project and implemented over the project duration. A monitoring and evaluation plan for the courts themselves and any customiztion of the Court Case management System to facilitate such a plan are both outside the scope of the project. As the project has come to its conclusion and operation of the courts have been passed to the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Judiciary would therefore be entity responsible for developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for the Children Courts and any customization to the Court Case Management System.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

Future projects like the JCP should consider an e-filing system at the courts.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP TTO is not in agreement with the recommendation as stated above. This recommendation falls outside of the scope of the project objectives as stated in the project document. The establishment of an e-filing system, which may enhance the operation of the courts, would not necessarily assist in the attainment of the stated oblectives of the project. In fact the implementation of an e-filing system may be considered a project in itself.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

If a project such as the JCP is to be undertaken in the future there should be a dedicated legal team to lead the modification of legislation. Projects of this nature should also have persons with social work experience.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20] [Last Updated: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is in agreement with the afore-mentioned recommendation. For the JCP project to establish the Children Courts 18 pieces of legislation needed to be amended. this required considerable legal expertise. Further to this having experienced social workers on the project team would have assisted greatly in the assessment of court annexed programs. The UNDP TTO wold therefore ensure for future iterations of the project efforts would be made to recruit legal experts and social workers to assist in project implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
For similar projects the UNDP Country Office in collaboration with the implementing partner will seek to recruit persons with sufficient experience in law and social work to be part of the project team.
[Added: 2018/09/20]
UNDP Country Office and Implementing Partners 2018/09 Completed The current JCP project has come to a conclusion. For similar projects the UNDP Country Office in collaboration with the implementing partner will seek to recruit persons with sufficient experience in law and social work to be part of the project team.
16. Recommendation:

Future projects similar to the JCP should create a prototype which specifies the requirements for Children Court buildings as it applies to each of the key areas which need to be considered (e.g. location, building design, security issues, layout of the court and other areas, etc.).

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20] [Last Updated: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office does not understand the relevance of the afore-mentioned recommendation. The JCP project is in fact a prototype project as it is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. Any similar projects undertaken in the future would refer to the JCP project as a guide. 

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation:

Future projects of this nature must consider as part of their communications strategy the nature and mechanisms for internal communication among the project partners engaged in the project. This must facilitate clear and open communications among all parties.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20] [Last Updated: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office agrees in principle with the statement of the evaluator made above but questions its relevance to the JCP project. Clear channels of communication between the project partners existed throughout the duration of the project.

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation:

If a project such as the JCP is to be done in the future it is recommended that careful consideration be given to the needs of the project when determining the suitability of a location/building to house a project of this nature. Sufficient work space and meeting facilities are essential.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP CO is in agreement with this recommendation. In the future the UNDP Country Office will examine the composition and nees of the project team so as to provide them with facilities that would meet their needs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Prior to project implementation the UNDP Country Office would liaise with the project team to determine a comprehensive list of their needs. This list of requirements will be used to select an appropriate location for the team and to provide them with the necessary resources to assist them to successfully manage the project.
[Added: 2018/09/20]
UNDP Country Office/ Project Team 2018/09 Completed The JCP project has come to its conclusion. However for future such projects the UNDP Country Office will liaise with the project team to determine a list of their needs.
19. Recommendation:

In projects such as the JCP, if possible, project partners should collaborate to come up with a reporting template which is acceptable to all partners so that the same report could be disseminated to all a partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is in agreement with the recommendation stated above. For similar projects that have reporting requirements for various partners, the CO would liaise with the partners in order to develop a reporting template that is suited to all. This would reduce the number of reports generated by the project team allowing them more time to focus on actual project implementation. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop reporting template that would meet the reporting requirements of the various project partners.
[Added: 2018/09/20]
UNDP Country Office; Project Partners 2018/09 Completed As the project has come to its conclusion this key action cannot be implemented for the JCP project. However, for future projects that require reporting to various project partners, the UNDP Country Office in collaboration with the partners would seek to standardize the reporting requirements so as to reduce the number of reports generated by the project team.
20. Recommendation:

Future projects such as the JCP should encourage the continuation of public eductaion and outreach after the project has ended. This is because the development of buy-in to the newer approcahes to child justice is critical to the success of the courts. The public education component should also have a dedicated budget.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is not in agreement with the recommendation as stated by the evaluator. First, there were funds earmarked at the beginning of the project for the implementation of a public awareness campaign. These funds were expended on public awareness activities over the duration of the project. It is not reasonable to expect that after the project has been concluded that the project would continue its public education and outreach campaign. The continuance of such a campaign would have to be driven by the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who was the implementing partner and who is now responsible for the operation of the Children Courts. 

Key Actions:

21. Recommendation:

For future projects similar to the JCP attention should be paid to the requirements of special needs children and that court annexed programs which cater to these needs be included among those which are eventually selelcted.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20] [Last Updated: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is in full agreement with the recommendation stated above. To ensure that no child is left behind focus will be placed on the requirements of special needs children in the design of similar projects in the future.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
At the stage of project design the UNDP Country Office will ensure that the requirements of special needs children are taken into consideration in the formulation of such projects in the future.
[Added: 2018/09/20]
UNDP Country Office 2018/09 Completed As the JCP project has reached its conclusion the factoring of the requirements of children with special needs cannot be done at this time. However, the recommendation is duly noted by the Country Office and any future iteration of the project will include a component to meet these requirements.
22. Recommendation:

Future projects such as the JCP should digitize training modules which will be required after the completion of the project. The peer resolution training module is an example.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20]

The UNDP Country Office is in agreement with the afore-mentioned recommendation. Training documents generated as a result of the project should be digitized to ensure continuity of practices and procedures. For future projects the Country Office will ensure that all training documenxts generated by the project are recorded electronically. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Training modules generated as an output of the project will be recorded electronically in the future.
[Added: 2018/09/20]
UNDP Country Office; Relevant Stakeholder 2018/09 Completed
23. Recommendation:

Future projects such as the JCP should include a mapping exercise to determine what types of data are collected by different agencies which work with children and should devote resources to the harmonization of the data collection system with the view of streamlining communication and sharing of information among agencies and between agencies and the courts.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/09/20] [Last Updated: 2018/09/21]

The UNDP Country Office agrees with the recommendation in principle but recognizes that such a mapping exercise is outside the scope of the project. Indeed a workshop on the harmonizing of Juvenile Justice multi-Agency data was held as part of the project. However, an exercise to map the data collected by the various agencies and harmonize this data would be too large and complex an undertaking to incorporate into a project that is already very complex. Such an endeavour could perhaps be examined as a separate project that could improve the operation of the child justice system in Trinidad and Tobago.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP Country Office will liaise with key actors in the child justice system in Trinidad and Tobago to examine the possibility of a follow-on project that would seek to harmonize that data and sharing of information among agencies that comprise the child justice system.
[Added: 2018/09/20]
UNDP Country Office 2019/09 Initiated The Country Office will seek meeting with key child justice actors to explore the possibility of a related project that would seek to harmonize data collection and information sharing among the child justice actors in Trinidad and Tobago.

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