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End of Term Evaluation of the Private Sector Development Project
Commissioning Unit: Malawi
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2018
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 06/2017
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Malawi
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

While UNDP has a strong comparative advantage in upstream work, the institution could consider some targeted interventions to support the implementation of policies and strategies it has helped to develop with a view to facilitating the realization of the desired improvements in institutional strengthening to achieve the needed economic transformation and developmental impacts.

Indeed, UNDP has delivered a commendable policy work, but the total expected benefits of this work, as discussed in this Report, has not yet been felt due to the slow pace of implementation. This support will go along with increasing the chances of sustainability of benefits given the current institutional fragility and budgetary constraints faced by the MoITT. One potential area for consideration would be the TIP SWAp Secretariat as further discussed below. It is understood that TIP SWAp is not the onus of UNDP, and, therefore, other development partners, such as the EU which is in the process of preparing its future cooperation program with Malawi, and has provided assistance to TIP SWAp in the past, could be approached to discuss possible areas of collaboration.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation. UNDP should focus on facilitating implementation of policies. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Identify catalytic interventions from policies and strategies for UNDP’s support
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/18]
RSG 2018/10 Completed UNDP supporting implementation of the Buy Malawi Strategy, Marketing and Communications Plan as indicated in the 2018 project annual work plan. History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should provide support to enhance the capacity of the TIP SWAp Secretariat to support the implementation of policy frameworks and strategies that have been developed with UNDP assistance, through effective functioning of the SWG and the six Technical Working Groups. The Secretariat is the best entry point for building the capacities of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism to lead, coordinate and implement reforms. A well-functional and dedicated Secretariat was one of the preconditions for the effective implementation of the National Export Strategy, the Joint Sector Plan and the TIP SWAp as a consultative mechanism for trade, industry and private sector-related policies.

To ensure its visibility, the revamped Secretariat, rather than being hosted by the Department of Planning of the MoITT, would be attached to the Permanent Secretary and led by a National Coordinator. Critical capacity gaps that hampered a good functioning of TIP SWAp Secretariat were already identified in the MoITT’s functional review of 2013/2014 and were taken into consideration in the preparation of the Capacity Development Plan for TIP SWAp, formulated with UNDP’s assistance in 2015 and finalized this year. To this effect, the evaluation proposes support in four areas, the two first of which are in line with the recommendations made in the aforementioned Plan:

1) Support the capacity development of the Secretariat and the MoITT in five critical areas that will help to cement its ability to lead, coordinate and manage the structural transformation process underway: (1) strategic leadership or capacity to build consensus among stakeholders, to push for reforms, to champion TIP SWAp and to produce actionoriented policies; (2) coordination or the ability to organize different stakeholders so that they can effectively work well together , or the ability to synchronize efforts to produce unity of action; (3) resource mobilization or the ability to raise money and mobilize other resources to support the implementation of TIP SWAp work and technical working groups; (4) management or the ability to practice management styles that foster team building and two-way communication; and (5) monitoring and evaluation, or the ability to measure and follow progress, learn from it, account for results and adjust policies. 

2) Ensure the visibility of the Secretariat by establishing a direct reporting line from the TIP SWAp Secretariat to the PS- Level Executive Committee of the TIP SWAp through the MoITT’s Permanent Secretary. 

3) Support the recruitment of three national consultants/experts (chief economist and two economists) for initial duration of at least ten months for the Secretariat to ensure continuity and ownership. They will be responsible for strategic guidance, coordination, management operations, communication and resource mobilization to facilitate the implementation of TIP SWAp-related policies and activities. It is expected that these national consultants would be later hired as full time staff members by the Ministry as its budgetary situation improves. 

4) Advocate for the Secretariat to have its own office space and be provided with acceptable working conditions. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

UNDP is already supporting TIP-SWAp. Placing the TIP SWAp under the Office of the PS might indeed raise the profile of the Secretariat.  However, UNDP might not have much influence on such a decision.

In principle, UNDP supports capacity building activities.  However, such efforts need to be well thought of and planned to produce the desired results.  There will be a need to carry out capacity needs assessment before developing any programme.

With regard to recruiting, experts to carry out capacity building activities, again the approach to capacity building needs proper planning to ensure cost-effectiveness. Different options would have to be considered.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a capacity development needs assessment for the TIP SWAp and Ministry
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/18]
RSG 2018/04 No Longer Applicable [Justification: This activity has been absorbed in an African Development Bank initiative.]
History
Development a capacity building programme
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/04/18]
RSG 2018/04 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Activity to be part of an AfDB initiative. However, UNDP is supporting skills development in the area of web site maintenance.]
History
3. Recommendation:

The MoITT with UNDP’s assistance has developed multi -year implementation plans for the National Industrial Policy and the National Trade Policy. UNDP should work with the Ministry to identify priority actions, especially those in need of financing and on which it could provide its support. 

In particular, interventions could be considered for : 

  • Strengthening the linkages between domestic and international trade through support for institutional strengthening of the MBS’s capacity and the implementation of the National Trade Facilitation Plan.
  •  Eliminating external and domestic policy barriers to trade (support to negotiations for the elimination of non-tariff barriers prevalence in exports, support for the development and maintenance of a national trade database).
  •  Supporting a training program to facilitate MSMEs in meeting standards for priority products and markets.
  •  Mainstreaming trade priorities into sectoral plans and budgets.
  •  Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry and trade-related institutions in trade negotiations and investment promotion.
  •  Improving the participation of MSMEs in manufacturing and market linkages.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Agree in principle, the Ministry needs to prioritize interventions from the two policies and mobilize resources to implement the initiatives. UNDP should instead assist the government to develop programme to implement priority initiatives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Facilitate identification of priority interventions from the Trade and Industry Policies.
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
RSG 2018/12 Completed The exercise will be conducted as part of the planning process for a new project on private sector support in 2019 if decided History
Facilitate formulation of project support document for implementation of the priority initiatives
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
RSG 2018/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project will close in 2019. It is not certain whether the project will be continued.]
The project ends in 2019. Any decision on preparation of a new project will be made in 2019. History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should consider the possibility of supporting a youth entrepreneurship project. Youth unemployment is one of the major development issues in Malawi given the high proportion of the youth population in the country (more than 60%). UNDP could help establish a start-up grant mechanism to support young entrepreneurs in the agribusiness and industrial sector. The grant could be accompanied with business incubation services (financial management training, coaching, physical space, and business advisory services). The EU has an entrepreneurship program in its next cooperation framework for Malawi, and UNDP could discuss with them the potential areas of cooperation.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Agreed – UNDP project quality standards require that each project should articulate an exit strategy or sustainability plan for the project results. Sustainability will   To be taken into account in developing project support documents.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure that terms of reference for project formulation exercises include strategies of sustaining project results.
[Added: 2017/12/29] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
Resilience and Sustainable Growth and Responsive Institutions and Civic Engagement portfoilos 2018/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Project formulation will be decided in 2019.]
History
5. Recommendation:

If the same private sector development project has to be reformulated, or to design a similar project, UNDP should ensure that:

? all key stakeholders are involved at the design stage, including potential donors to discuss possible co-financing options when UNDP has very limited resources to invest in the project;

? there is no dispersion of efforts by concentrating on a few selected areas where it can achieve a maximum developmental impact;

? the formulation of project results and indicators is based on SMART criteria, and does not lend to multiple interpretations. This will facilitate project monitoring and evaluation within the context of the results-based management approach

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Agreed.  UNDP is developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for project formulation which will complement the standard project quality requirements. These will ensure involvement of stakeholders, focus on results and development of SMART indicators, among other quality standards.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop project formulation SOPs to ensure that standard quality requirements are met.
[Added: 2017/12/29] [Last Updated: 2018/11/11]
Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Programme Coordination Specialist 2018/10 Completed Project formulation SOPs have been developed. In addition, UNDP project quality assurance assessment tool acts as a check list of quality requirements. History
6. Recommendation:

Human capacity development is critical to ensure ownership and sustainability of benefits in Malawi. The present phase was weak in capacity development interventions. UNDP should facilitate the participation of key national officers and officials in short-term residential and external training programs as well as study visits to strengthen their performance capacities in key areas, such as enterprise development and value chains, industrial and trade policy formulation, coordination, implementation and evaluation; international marketing and export promotion, international trade negotiations, project cycle and leadership and change management within the context of structural economic transformations involving the private sector. Programs that are designed to help participants acquire specific technical competencies must be privileged as opposed to those intended to raise awareness around some thematic areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

If the future PSDP is executed under the National Implementation Modality and one of the major responsibilities of its Project Manager is to advise the government, it would be preferable that the Project Manager be housed where national counterparts are to facilitate coaching and capacity development.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/19] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

UNDP should invest in analytical work designed to show case best practices in industrial policy coordination involving the private sector, using the example of TIP SWAp. The generated knowledge could be shared with all relevant national stakeholders and could be disseminated at the regional and international level.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

UNDP should plan for the sustainability of project benefits by defining specific exit strategies during project design and formulation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

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