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Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project Final Evaluation Report
Commissioning Unit: Fiji
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2017
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Fiji
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

4.2. Recommendations

Continued support to the institutions and principles of strengthening the electoral processes in the Solomon Islands.

 Work still needs to be done to improve the quality of the electoral process, electoral administration, competition and representation, EMB oversight, political party accountability and the fairness of the electoral system among others. The project should also complete the work started on the reform process and help the state institutions implement those reforms. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

The recommendation is relevant and we agree with it. Given the fact that improving the quality of the electoral process will encompasses several competing but important areas (voter registration, electoral administration including voter education and electoral reform process) which cannot be addressed within a short period, therefore it is essential that support is continued for these key electoral institutions and processes in Solomon Islands throughout the electoral cycle.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The support for key areas to improve the quality of the electoral process (voter registration, electoral administration including voter education and electoral reform process) are continued in phase II of the project.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
2. Recommendation:

Clearly articulate the strategic vision for the project in the project document and ensure that the project maintains that focus during implementation.

 Ensure that all activities selected directly contribute towards achieving the strategic vision, and that this vision is shared by the partner institutions. Use the project’s M&E plan to monitor progress towards achieving the strategic level outcomes as well as the implementation of outputs. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agree with the recommendation. The OSIEC corporate plan 2015-2018 provides the framework for achieving the strategic vision of the project which are aligned to the agreed key components of the project. This will ensure that the project maintains the focus of implementation throughout the life of the project, SECSIP Phase II project identifies activities with a general electoral focus and those with a long term focus which should continue to be addressed as are considered necessary to continue building on the enhancement of electoral capacities as required by the electoral cycle approach

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The agreed five components of the project when implemented will contribute to a stronger electoral commission and representative democracy through sustainable voter registration system, electoral, legal and administrative reforms and capacity building of national and local networks for civic engagement and voter awareness including coordinating mechanisms for enhancement of women’s political.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
3. Recommendation:

Adopt a strategic and programmatic focus for project delivery by synergizing project activities and building on activities to increase performance and contributions towards the higher level outcomes.

Include synergies to other projects to extent project reach and strengthen effectiveness. Other projects could include: women’s empowerment, civic education, transparency/accountability/anti-corruption, watchdog, media, parliament, justice, peacebuilding, public service, and reforms. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agree with recommendation. A strategic and programmatic focus for project delivery will be adopted to create synergies amongst related projects, especially in voters civic education components of the project and other related ones such as peace building project and anti-corruption project to increase performance to project outcome.  With the transition after RAMSI exit, consolidation of peace dividends after the ethnic tensions will contribute to enhancing inclusiveness and credibility of national general election outcomes. For example, in activities engaging youth, SECSIP has already started collaborating with the Peacebuilding project with a strong focus on youth and innovation, to identify stakeholders and capitalize on existing activities. SECSIP continues to enhance its cooperation with other UNDP Regional Projects supporting the consolidation of a multi-party system. Additionally, efforts are being made to enhance collaboration with other international partners including EU in particular areas including civil society and media.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Initiate proactive discussions with other UNDP governance projects (anti-corruption and peacebuilding project) on a regular basis, first through regular monthly meeting organized and led by the Effective Governance Team Leader. Periodical meetings with the UNDP Governance regional projects including those focusing on the support to parliament, multi-party system and women’s leadership have been also established.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
4. Recommendation:

Take ESSP and the planned AEC assistance into consideration in the design of SECSIP II and avoid duplication of efforts.

Strengthen coordination between technical assistance efforts and undertake joint work planning and strategy development for the duration of the assistance. Ensure design efforts for SECSIP II are inclusive and include the ESSP, OSIEC, PPIC and other actors to improve relevance and the longer term prospects for sustainable outcomes. Maintain the flexibility of the subgrant component but use it strategically to contribute to the higher level outcomes. Increase emphasis on the PPIC and strengthening the political party system. Ensure appropriate scale and scope of assistance to institutions according to the needs of the cycle and nature of the institution. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agree with the recommendation. Initial meetings of the two projects have already taken place facilitated by UNDP and DFAT. TORs and workplans of the ESSP advisors were also shared for the first time with SECSIP. ESSP Advisers have been invited to observe the procurement process for the engagement of SECSIP consultants and have collaborated in the drafting of ToRs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The design of SECSIP II was inclusive of ESSP, and other electoral actors to improve relevance and longer-term prospects for sustainable outcomes for the project and established mechanisms to enhance coordination. This includes the on-going regular attendance of ESSP advisers to SECSIP project staff weekly meetings. Additionally, an internal information sharing amongst advisers on biweekly basis is ongoing and more formally, on monthly basis to harmonize multi-lateral and bi-lateral electoral assistance.
[Added: 2017/12/11]
Implementing Partner 2017/06 Completed History
5. Recommendation:

Maximize UNDP’s strategic advantage including its ability to convene and provide a safe space for discussions to advance the policy dialogue and leverage the policy work being done through other related projects uch as the peacebuilding project, to strengthen the electoral system and institutions which have the same objectives. 

Link the policy dialogue and advocacy efforts for electoral reforms to the objectives of the SDGs and the national discussions on how to achieve those goals. In particular, for SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) which have the same objectives as SECSIP. 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Good recommendation and the SECSIP will build on the success of previous initiatives including the 2015 regional conferences on election systems and women’s participation and the more recent support to the Dialogues on options for a new election system held in 2016. The  idea of maximizing UNDP’s strategic advance and the link to national discussions is a step in the right direction, given the policy sensitive nature of the governance issues and ownership of implementing the SDGs (5 & 16) at national level. Can be implemented in partnership collaboration with other UN agencies and stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This will provided through building/establishing partner initiatives with other UN actors (UN Women, UNICEF, World Bank), government agencies and civil society organizations. The project through the effective governance unit has established coordination mechanisms to increase linkages and synergies with activities of other UNDP actors including those being implemented by the Peace Building Project in Solomon Islands as well as with other regional projects from UNDP Pacific Office located in Suva working in the areas of parliamentary support, political parties and anti-corruption, as previously indicated.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
6. Recommendation:

Increase focus on the sustainability elements of assistance.

Avoid one-off efforts and supporting activities that create a dependence on external assistance for their continuity, including for large subgrants. Build an exit strategy into the follow on phase

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Strongly agree in view of the need for increasing the sustainability and perhaps on a phased exit strategy approach given the complex nature and dynamics of promoting electoral inclusiveness in Solomon Islands.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A two year and a half broader graduate program is will be established would see employees rotated between the OSIEC, Parliament, the PPC and gain some experience in the provinces with special consideration should be given to the inclusion of women at all levels in the staffing structure of OSIEC. The first round of graduates would be able to directly support the 2019 General Elections
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
Hiring of national UNVs to fill relevant positions within OSIEC
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
7. Recommendation:

Strengthen project management and M&E efforts.

The addition of a project manager for the follow on project should help relieve some of the immediate pressures. However, ensure timely attention to planning and to the financial and procurement needs of the project, especially for the upcoming elections period. Ensure systematic tracking and monitoring of project performance beyond achievement of activity outputs and develop adequate baselines, targets and indicators early on in the follow-on project. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Strongly agree. Project governance and management arrangement for phase II has been improved with inclusion of additional officers both at the management and operational levels to ensure effective financial management for project implementation and tracking and monitoring of project performance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the second phase of the project, the PMU capacity has been considerably strengthened. In addition to the CTA and project assistant, a dedicated international P3 project coordinator position has been created to allow CTA to focus on technical advice. An M&E officer (IUNV) position has also been created to improve monitoring and reporting. Recruitment of Project Coordination Specialist and International UNV M&E Reporting Officer in phase II has been initiated and positions should be filled before November 2017.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2018/01 Completed Project Coordination Specialist is already on board since November 2017 thus now awaiting the Recruitment of UNV M&E officer pending shortlisting and interviews. Both Project Coordination Specialist and UNV M&E Officer have been recruited. History
8. Recommendation:

Provide opportunities for the Government of Solomon Islands (GSI) to reaffirm its commitment to improving the integrity of the electoral process and its administration, and for the measures needed to ensure that integrity (legal reforms, electoral justice and the provision of adequate resources for the EMBs and processes).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agree with recommendation. Since its commencement, the project’s technical assistance has contributed to enhance the measures concerning the integrity of the electoral process for example through the support to the BVR and operations. The project continues to focus on integrity aspects including support to the legislative reform through the engagement of a Legislative Drafter for the Electoral and Political Parties Bill and advocating for the allocation of resources for the effective implementation of the mandate of the EMB and the administration of elections. However, it is noted that ,  project activities may only have indirect impact on decision making process with respect to the legal reform. The project is committed to continue advocating, advising and encouraging GSI on the referred aspects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Government officials (PPC & SIEC) and Political Party representatives’ participation in the Regional Political Parties Dialogue: Does the Pacific need Political Parties? held in Fiji.
[Added: 2017/12/11]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2017/09 Completed Pending Dialogue report from UNDP Fiji.
Round table discussions with Government official on specific related topics including in-country workshops.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History
Analysis of electoral procedures and manuals conducted by Senior Electoral Adviser Carlos Valenzuela in August 2017.
[Added: 2017/12/11]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2017/12 Completed Reports produced by Consultant are submitted to the project and Country office. History
Engagement of legislative drafter for the revision of the Electoral and Political Parties Act.
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2018/03 Completed This has been completed in April. History
Use of the good offices of UNDP Senior Management for the identification of key issues and possible avenues
[Added: 2017/12/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/15]
Implementing Partner (UNDP) 2020/04 Completed Marked as completed. This key action is continuously implemented under the SECSIP Phase 2 History

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