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Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Afghanistan
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Completion Date: 12/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Afghanistan
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1. UNDP should revisit its approach to operating in Afghanistan as a fragile country in a protracted conflict. It should focus on strategic, analytical work to support the initial conceptualization for the next country programme. UNDP should use the SDGs to bolster its position in the country, ensuring its development work is informed by the triple nexus approach, complementing humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts supported by other partners. Key areas of concern and of importance should be addressed, including: (i) risk-informed, evidence-based programme design with the primary objective of capacity development to foster Afghanistan’s self-reliance; (ii) improved regional operation capacity (enhancing the role of the sub-offices to inform programme design and engage in field oversight), including areas under non-State control; (iii) inclusion of substantive policy-level dialogue in all programme areas; (iv) improved transparency in allocation and use of donor funds; and (v) continued strategic communication activities.  

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed. Since July 2019, UNDP has initiated a series of roundtable consultations with government and donor partners on integrating SDGs into national macro-economic planning and budgeting, programming and monitoring. In August 2019, the Country Office (CO) initiated a process of reorganizing its current programme portfolio in preparation for developing the new country programme document in 2020.  Accordingly, the Livelihoods, Rule of Law and Governance portfolios and pipeline projects are being re-clustered under the following four new programmatic pillars that are currently being developed as follows:

  • Inclusive Economic Transformation pillar;
  • Social Protection pillar;
  • Governance for Peace pillar, and
  • Energy & Environment pillar.

The four pillars will be established to function as an interralted and mutually reinforcing circular system, instead of the traditional siloed approach.

UNDP has started to engage the government and donor partners, amongst other development stakeholders, to ensure financial sustainability and national ownership of its programmes. This includes building the foundation for an integrated SDG Country Support Platform in 2020, including a robust monitoring, evaluation and information management system, with an estimated annual resource mobilization target of USD 250m from 2021 - 2025 – excluding the Support to Payroll Management project under the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan. All new activities from design through to programming will be risk–informed and evidence-based, leveraging the new technology, methodology and systems developed under the LOTFA MPTF. The CO has initiated decentralizing its work and strengthening its regional capacities, by launching missions to consult with local provincial government and other stakeholders on their priorities.  UNDP is bringing in partners early, including the government to ensure a collaborative, dialogue and consensus-based approach. A new communication strategy that supports increased transparency, combined with a new CO wide approach for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), with related systems has also been initiated. The new strategies will be implemented beginning 2020. The Senior Management Team of the CO will be undertaking a Strategic Review with RBAP, through which the management and reporting of programme financial information to donor partners will be addressed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A regional deployment and expansion strategy is being developed to improve UNDP’s field office presence and capacities.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
SDRR, Programme & Operations 2021/12 Initiated Still ongoing History
UNDP will establish a greater role for its regional operations - in the areas of programme/ project design process; gather, monitor and analyses and report on field-based project activities in collaboration with project staff and local stakeholders.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
SDRR, Programme, Operations 2021/12 Initiated Still ongoing History
UNDP Afghanistan is integrating the SDGs at the core of its programming and will strengthen its role as the SDGs integrator in Afghanistan
[Added: 2020/07/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/10]
RR & SDRR, supported by PSRU 2020/03 Completed UNDP Afghanistan has integrating the SDGs at the core of its all programming and has strengthen its role as the SDGs integrator in Afghanistan History
Develop an SDG Country Support Platform action plan, which includes a comprehensive communications and monitoring strategy
[Added: 2021/01/10]
RR & SDRR and PSRU 2020/03 Completed The SDG Country Support Platform action plan, which includes a comprehensive communications and monitoring strategy is completed History
UNDP Afghanistan will focus on coherent, risk-informed, evidence-based programming with capacity development objectives.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
SDRR, PSRU 2020/03 Completed done - UNDP Afghanistan has focused on coherent, risk-informed, evidence-based programming with capacity development objectives.
UNDP has commissioned new political economy analyses and Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling efforts to better understand the evolving Afghan context, and to provide more strategic policy advisory and country programming support.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
SDRR, PSRU 2020/03 Completed Done
UNDP Afghanistan will focus on effective communication between programmes and projects through development and implementation of a coherent communication strategy.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
Communication Unit 2020/03 Completed This action is completed History
UNDP Afghanistan will improve its reporting mechanism (based on results) to ensure timeliness and transparency, through the Strategic Review.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
RBAP & CO Senior Management 2020/06 Completed Done - The reporting mechanism (based on results) improved to ensure timeliness and transparency, through the Strategic Review. History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. UNDP should ensure that MOIA’s institutional capacity development remains an urgent and key objective under LOTFA. The new LOTFA MPTF should establish strong linkages with the governance programme, especially in anti-corruption efforts; strengthen collaboration with current and potential partners in the rule-of-law and security sectors; and fully roll out its M&E strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed. UNDP will ensure MOIA institutional capacity development is prioritized through LOTFA MPTF.

In 2019, the LOTFA MPTF undertook multiple baseline surveys and functional reviews, including Afghan National Police (ANP) satisfaction surveys; IT infrastructure survey in MOIA / Police Headquarters at the provincial level (PHQ), including functional reviews of PHQs. The data will ensure the design of the new Institutional Support Project to MOIA (ISM) is evidence based, and focused on providing targeted support for building the MOIA and ANP- PHQs’ capacities in financial and Human Resource Management (HRM) systems, logistic management, ICT etc. The ISM project design is planned for completion by mid-March 2020, with implementation expected to commence by June or July 2020. 

As part of interim programme management arrangements, the Governance Unit and Rule of Law Unit (including LOTFA) have been merged under a new, amalgamated Governance for Peace Team in September 2019. This will ensure improved coherence and synergy between security, justice and anti-corruption programming under LOTFA MPTF with the governance portfolio.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will design and initiate implementation of a new evidence-based capacity development project for MOIA-ANP, under the Security Window of LOTFA- MPTF.
[Added: 2021/01/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]
Heads of Governance for Peace Team 2020/06 Completed developed only one project as a successor to TSM PIP Outputs called Catalytic Support to MOIA (CSM). The transitioned 3 outputs of TSM PIP into a standalone japan funded project on 1st July 2020. Also designed and drafted the project documents of Public Services Centre (PSC) which is yet to be approved by donors and MoIA. History
UNDP Afghanistan will enhance its programmatic synergies (LOTFA-MPTF) to identify connectors and establish linkages with the other new programmatic pillars.
[Added: 2021/01/10]
SDRR-P and PSRU 2020/06 Completed Completed
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. UNDP should continue to explore the avenues for solidifying its country programme portfolio. In addition to continuing the focus on governance and rule of law, UNDP should strengthen the livelihoods and resilience programme to ensure the appropriate scale and relevance of its contribution to national development priorities. The emerging initiatives launched in the present cycle under the governance portfolio (e.g. RECCA and the Global Fund) should be fully mapped under clear, dedicated CPD outcomes. The governance programme should ensure it has programmatic synergies and linkages with the other programmes (e.g. new LOTFA and Livelihoods on regional cooperation).

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

As part of the recent repositioning of UNDP in Afghanistan and building a new Country Programme portfolio, UNDP is preparing a joint SDG Country Support Platform with the Government of Afghanistan, with integrated planning units to be designed and established within key line ministries. UNDP has initiated drafting of Project Initiation Plan (PIP) for developing this platform in October 2019. This will entail the development and application of a multi-disciplinary, evidenced based, adaptive management and integrated systems approach to the design of innovative and catalytic solutions to address complex and interrelated development challenges.

Accordingly, the PIP will establish the outputs, activities, timelines and resources required for UNDP to develop and launch the SDG Country Support Platform by 2021. By investing in new data collection and information management systems, cutting-edge multi-disciplinary analysis and new programming, UNDP will be well positioned to deliver on its mandate as the SDG Integrator through the four new programmatic pillars of the Platform.

From January to December 2020, the PIP will work with Afghan counterparts and other development partners to produce the following outputs:

Output 1: SDG Impact-Monitoring Systems and Tools Developed;

Output 2: SDG Analyses Developed to Bridge Policy and Implementation, including SDG Financing Strategies and Analyses for Afghanistan;         

Output 3: New SDG-Specific Programming and Projects Developed; In response to the CPD mid-term review exercise, the Country Office agrees to add specific outputs to establish linkages with the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and the Global Fund Projects under the new CPD to be developed in 2020.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP Afghanistan will finalize reorganization of country programme portfolio under four new programmatic pillars, under an SDG Platform.
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Senior Management 2020/06 Completed This action is completed
The RECCA and the Global Fund Projects will be linked to a clear Outcome/Output in the new CPD Results Framework.
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Programme Units, PSRU 2020/09 Completed This action is completed
UNDP will map all new pillars against SDGs and NPPs
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Programme Units, PSRU 2019/12 Completed This action is completed
Launch of Country Support Platform on SDGs for Afghanistan
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Senior Management, PSRU 2021/12 Completed This action is completed
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. UNDP should develop a robust partnership and resource mobilization strategy to strengthen its role in the country. This needs to include the major players in this fragile State (e.g. international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank, as well as UNAMA and CSOs) and reflect resource mobilization opportunities.


 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed: The CO is preparing a resource mobilization strategy (RMS) that supports the new strategic direction and SDG focused programming for Afghanistan. The RMS will consolidate the existing base of long-term donors, but also seek to diversify the donor base through building relations with non-traditional donors and piloting innovative blended finance initiatives to support national budgeting, resourcing and planning on SDGs. The new RMS will reflect the new needs for SDG financing and improved capacity building across key GIRoA ministries

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct a Development Finance Assessment and SDG Costing exercise.
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Senior Advisor on SDG Finance, Resource Mobilization and Partnership Specialist 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated Delayed in 2020 but a service provider was contracted to do the SDG cost estimation. Ongoing work on both SDG costing and DFA
Conduct a thorough analysis of UNDP Afghanistan´s funding data in recent years, deriving funding trends, risks and opportunities (i.e. by using the Resource Mobilization Analytics tool)
[Added: 2021/04/17]
BERA Staff 2019/09 Completed This action is completed History
Resource Mobilization Strategy drafted
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Resource Mobilization and Partnership Specialist 2020/09 Completed This has been completed
Conduct a contextual analysis (political developments, socio-economic factors, global trends, ODA, etc.), taking into account short-term and long-term perspectives
[Added: 2021/04/17]
Resource Mobilization and Partnership Specialist 2021/03 Completed This is done
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. The country office, in close consultation with RBAP, should examine and address workplace matters at UNDP Afghanistan. Issues — such as office-wide communication, staff learning and development — have arisen from the fast-paced changes in its business model in the midst of an active conflict. UNDP should ensure that the gender strategy is fully implemented with sensitivity, and that the office addresses its low gender parity, particularly at the management level.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/04/17]

Agreed. In response to general workplace matters, the CO is developing a new communication strategy under the supervision of a dedicated international communications consultant. A new Learning Committee is finalizing a new learning strategy in accordance with the corporate ‘People for 2030’ strategy, where Afghanistan is a pilot country. Additionally, the CO has made progress in the completion of all eight mandatory courses from 72% in 2018 to 92% in 2019, including Fraud and Corruption Awareness and Prevention, Ethics and Integrity, UN Human Rights and Responsibilities, Legal Framework, and BSAFE.

In addition, the CO is fully implementing the CO Gender Equality Strategy through development of Gender Focal Team Action Plan and the implementation of an initiative called ‘Young Women Professional Programme’ to address low gender parity. Also, the CO has improved the percent completion of gender related Mandatory Courses by staff as follows: (1) The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of the Local Population (PSEA) from 77% in 2018 to 92% in 2019, (2) The Gender Journey 75% in 2018 to 94% in 2019, and (3) the United Nations Course on Prevention of Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority 76% in 2018 to 93% in 2019.

At the senior management level, the appointment of a woman from Zimbabwe as the D1 Senior Deputy Resident Representative for operations has been completed. A woman from Senegal has been recruited as the Senior Advisor to the Resident Representative on SDG Finance. At the middle-management leave, a woman has been appointed as the P3 Human Resource Management Specialist/Head of HR Unit, and a P3 Programme Management Specialist from Japan for the Livelihoods Unit, as well as a P3 Programme Management  Specialist from India for the Justice Window of the LOTFA MPTF have been recruited.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP AFG will revise its HR Policy for Gender Parity
[Added: 2021/04/17]
HR Unit and Gender Specialist (with support from RBAP) 2021/06 Overdue-Initiated ongoing History
UNDP will ensure a safe and harmonious workplace with consideration to: • Persons with disability • Prevention of harassment and discrimination
[Added: 2021/04/17]
RR, SDRR (Operations and Programmes) and Staff Association 2019/12 Completed This action is done
UNDP will put in place tailored mechanisms for staff learning and development, corresponding to the UNDP People 2030 strategy
[Added: 2021/04/17]
HR Unit, Learning Committee 2019/12 Completed This action is completed
UNDP will revise the Gender Strategy and develop its Action Plan
[Added: 2021/04/17]
SDRRs, Gender Specialist, PSRU 2020/06 Completed This action is completed

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