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Mid-term evaluation of Promotion of Non-Fired Brick Production (NFB) Production and Utilization in Viet Nam project (00075827)
Commissioning Unit: Viet Nam
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 06/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Viet Nam
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
1. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 1. Revise Strategic Results Framework

The project should urgently look into its strategic results framework, with support from UNDP (and the GEF), to make sure that components have outcome-focused objectives, and that baselines, targets and indicators are meaningful and representative of the actual situation. A revision of the strategic results framework would ideally also include a review of project activities, to merge these into a more manageable number of comprehensive outputs and make sure that all activities contribute directly to the key objective of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22]

Management response: Agreed and implemented

Even though the MTR has found that the project has remained strategically focused and is on track, it would be preferable to revise definitions and update baselines at this stage, to make sure that project monitoring can correctly track impacts of the project. UNDP together with the Project Management Team and Steering Committee has discussed the strategic results framework, including revisions suggested in the MTR, and has adopted revisions as recommended. The strategic result framework is updated accordingly with complete baseline descriptions and impact-focused targets.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Review and adopt revision of strategic results framework
[Added: 2018/08/22]
Country Office Viet Nam BRH Bangkok 2018/07 Completed
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 2. Strengthen project monitoring

Following the revision of the strategic results framework, monitoring of the project needs to be reinitiated, based on meaningful, outcome-based baselines, targets and indicators. Activity monitoring was elaborated in the project document, however, impact monitoring was to be developed during implementation of the project.  The project document identifies the RCA as the person best placed to develop impact monitoring and the project intends to engage with the RCA for this as a matter of urgency.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22]

Management response: Agreed

Based on the revised result framework, the annual targets are updated and will guide the development of impact monitoring

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Develop impact monitoring in line with the project document and (revised) strategic results framework
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/12/10]
RTA, BRH Bangkok 2018/12 Completed The RTA oversees that impact monitoring is conducted in line with the revised result framework History
2.2 Implement impact monitoring plan
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/08]
Project Management Unit 2019/12 Completed The impact monitoring is integrated in the PIR, PIR 2019 was conducted in line with the revised result framework History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 3. Take action to broaden the impact of the project

Within the various components of the project, actions are needed to make sure that the project reaches its full potential.  These include (in brief):

  • Continued development of technical standards for the use of non-fired bricks
  • A strategy for improved compliance with government requirements for non-fired bricks
  • Training of a larger group of stakeholders, through a less resource-intensive approach
  • Downscaling of further work on sustainable financing for manufacturing
  • Reduction of work on Autoclaved Aerated Concrete bricks
  • Quality assurance for concrete bricks, in some form

An integrated strategy for the development of the demand side of the market, including a budget shift from production-focused to marketing and usage-focused activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22]

Management response: Agreed on general direction, some specific actions need further analysis

The project has been very successful in its first years, reaching impacts that were expected only towards the end of the project (as observed in the MTR).  This has given the opportunity to widen activities to achieve broader impacts for the project; the rapid development of the market in Viet Nam for non-fired bricks also somewhat necessitates that the project broadens its activities (within the agreed objective and components) to address new challenges that were not foreseeable when the project started (and the market in Viet Nam was in a different state).  The MTR suggests consideration of several detailed actions, and for each action the project team will consider whether the MTR recommendation can be implemented soon or if a more conservative approach is preferable.  The project team will reflect on this as part of its annual planning and budget process and will report annually (with the APR).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Review and discuss suggested actions to broaden the impact of the project
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/12/03]
Project Steering Committee, Project Management Board 2018/11 Completed Discussion on actions to broaden impact of the project took place during September and November 2018. Final decision will be at made at the project steering committee in January 2019 and reflected in the project 2019 AWP. History
3.2 Adopt agreed changes in action
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2020/01/08]
Project Steering Committee, Project Management Unit 2019/12 Completed The key changes were integrated in the project work-plan 2019 which was approved at the steering committee meeting in January 2019. Changes include the inclusion of new strategic activities i.e. inputs to the formulation of NFB market development strategy, communication activities to raise awareness of the users’ side of NFB History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 4. Enhance strategic focus in project management

Recommendations were made to enhance the strategic focus in the management and supervision of the project, in detail:

  • Annual reviews of the project’s strategy (through its steering committee)
  • Strengthened mandates for project management to focus (for the project manager) on on-going government strategy discussions and interaction with institutions, and for the senior project manager on the development and management of new activities

To start preparing for the end of the project, and have an exit strategy for on-going activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22]

Management response: Agreed

The policy landscape and market outlook in Viet Nam have developed tremendously in recent years, largely in response to the project (actions by the initiating Ministries, stakeholders and the project team).  As a result, more frequent and deeper adjustments of the project’s alignment with government policy developments are needed.  An ongoing policy dialogue between Government actors, which the PMU can initiate and coordinate, would be a good method to optimize the efforts of all parties involved and make sure that Viet Nam’s market transformation to non-fired bricks bricks, moves as rapidly as possible.  The better-than-expected success of the project, which touches upon many aspect of policy and the construction market in Viet Nam, also necessitates a clear handover plan (“exit strategy”) so that all involved parties are clear which activities the project will continue (and until when), which ones will stop (and when) and which ones will need to be handed over to another party (and which party that is).  The project will consult with stakeholders and work closely with the Steering Committee for this handover plan / exit strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Discuss and determine continuation needs for each of the project’s activities
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2018/12/03]
Project Management Unit 2018/12 Completed This has been discussed recently and reflected in the project work plan for 2019. History
4.2 Develop and agree handover plan / exit strategy
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2021/01/07]
Project Steering Committee and Project Management Unit 2020/12 Completed Please find attached final report and exit plan History
4.3 Hand over selected activities to other parties
[Added: 2018/08/22] [Last Updated: 2021/01/07]
Project Management Unit 2020/12 Completed See further information in the project Terminal Report and Exit Plan History
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 5. Review project development and review process

The MTR finds that it would be useful for UNDP and the GEF to review their project development and review process, since there are clear guidelines about how project results frameworks should be composed which appear not to have been followed and it is important to learn from this for future projects. 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/08/22]

Management response: Noted and No action is required

The project was rated positively (two aspects highly satisfactory; three aspects satisfactory; likely sustainability of results), strategically focused and well on-track. Though the results framework covers some indicators at output/activities level, they provide a good guidance for the project team in the project implementation. The suggestion of revising the strategic results framework is not resulted from poor performance of the project but on the evaluator’s view of how the results framework should be designed. Based on the reviewers’ suggestion, the revision of the results framework mainly focuses on additional description of baselines and merger of activity based indicators into output based indicators. Key impact-indicators are unchanged.

The project results framework was updated at the MTR and so further action is required.

Key Actions:

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