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Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Philippines
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Completion Date: 12/2017
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Philippines
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1. National Acceleration Modality approaches need to be planned, entered into and implemented within an agreed memorandum of understanding between UNDP and the Government of the Philippines. This should include a clear strategic understanding of technical assistance needs and focus with a strategic vision for UNDP moving out as a service delivery agent and the Government acting as primary delivery agent in the future.

 

UNDP and the Government of the Philippines need a clear understanding and updated and improved general agreement on the NAM approach including project design, roles and responsibilities, implementation and financial reporting schedules, management oversight responsibilities and should not rely on historic agreements between the Government and the UN as the basis for NAM implementation. This should also include from the outset of projects a clear and agreed understanding of all project and technical support costs. UNDP should also undertake very detailed risk analysis prior to all NAM approaches that details implementation, financial and reputation risk and this should be monitored throughout implementation. An understanding and agreement should also be reached on the role of NEDA in the oversight of this new form of support in its position as overseer of inward ODA and donor activities within the country. At the same time, UNDP as a whole, globally and regionally, as it increasingly pursues Government cost sharing agreements (GCS) needs to develop guidelines and approaches for country offices that outline how to address design, contractual, implementation, financial and reputational risk aspects of the service delivery modality and also allow and recognize the need for country-level flexibility in design. This is especially needed if regional and country office annual targets for GCS are going to continue to be set and increased (the target is currently 15 percent for public and private co-financing for the region). The experience of NAM in the Philippines provides strong support to this process. UNDP in the Philippines needs to develop a technical capacity support strategy for the NAM modality as a whole and for individual projects and its support to key service delivery areas, especially in procurement. This should include a detailed assessment of constraints within the Philippine Government’s procurement and service delivery systems and a clear plan of support to address these challenges as well as an action plan for regulatory and policy changes that will ensure strengthened government procurement systems and service delivery. UNDP should continue to ensure that it moves towards improvements in the government system itself and provides capacity and technical support to strengthen service delivery by the responsible government agencies ensuring that future use of parallel systems is avoided and a clear exit strategy for UNDP is developed. As part of this, UNDP and the Government of the Philippines need to clarify roles and come to an agreement on how and for what accrued technical assistance funds can be used.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/19] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]

The National Acceleration Modality operates under the SBAA and is a variant of the DIM.  The modality has never been one focused on supplanting the government’s role as primary delivery agent.  The intention has always been to provide temporary and time bound support to accelerate delivery where the government considers it lacks sufficient capacity to do so and in parallel support the strengthening of capacity and systems with a clear exit strategy to phase out the support as that capacity develops.  Each intervention is jointly planned and entered and implemented under a Government Financing agreement and a project document as per UNDP POPP.

An assessment of constraints within the Philippine Government’s procurement (and to a lesser extent service delivery) systems has been undertaken and will provide the basis for an action plan to strengthen institutional capacity including regulatory and policy instruments.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project Boards will guide and monitor implementation. NEDA’s role will continue its oversight role through its participation in Project Boards and review of Country Programme implementation.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
CO 2021/12 Overdue-Initiated History
The modality will be specifically referenced in the new CPD where its logic and its role in the overall country strategy will be clearly articulated.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2018/12 Completed History
Government Financing agreements and project documents will continue to be jointly agreed and used to govern implementation. The documents and annual work plans will continue to detail all project and technical support costs.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]
CO 2019/12 Completed The Project Initiation Plan or Project Documents of Government Financing agreements are jointly developed with the government donor and signed off as an attachment to the cost sharing agreement. All project and technical support costs (GMS, DPC, TA facility) are detailed in the multi-year and annual work plans. History
UNDP will strengthen the quality of the risk analysis that is undertaken prior to project design finalization, including detailing implementation, financial and reputational risks. Risks will be monitored throughout implementation.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
CO 2019/12 Completed Risk and SESP review conducted during IPAC/LPAC stage. On risk monitoring, the UNDP corporate project risk dashboard already incorporated in the CO-developed Portfolio Review Dashboard (To date, the CO has a 100% completion rate on risk entries). Risk assessments of IPs/RPs integrated in CO programme monitoring visit BTOR template under HACT. Progress reports capture risk updates, including risks identified from SESP, quarterly. This is updated in Atlas bi-annually per Enterprise Risk Management policy. History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2. Experience from the response to and recovery from Typhoon Yolanda and other disasters over the period needs to be consolidated and documented and UNDP Philippines could ensure that this strengthens its own response plan and its coordination role for future disasters as well as feeds into existing and developing government response, recovery and preparedness work.

 

During this period, UNDP has been highly responsive to a range of disasters across the country, including flooding, typhoons and storms, earthquakes and conflict. It holds a strong partnership with the Government in response and recovery as well as disaster preparedness. However, challenges remain and UNDP should support a review of DRM to clearly identify weaknesses and future areas that may need to be strengthened when responding to disasters and moving to recovery work. This could include a review of access to the many government systems and funds in place to support impacted LGUs and communities but which were reported by some to be difficult to access and slow to disburse. This would be in line with proposed PFM reviews under NAM programmes. The UNDP/EU programme was implemented in a highly professional way, with a focus on quality and smart demonstration. The UNDP/ EU programme provided model demonstrations with observed capacity strengthened and targeted implementation of solution-oriented projects, including resilient infrastructure and sustainable livelihoods and was highly illustrative of the technical implementation links between environment/climate change and risk reduction. A key finding based on the evaluation of the UNDP/EU recovery activities was the need for reconstruction to a medium standard. While it was positive that UNDP supported high standards for building and construction, a major finding was the need for a minimum standard and support for a low standard which is safe and secure and is also financially accessible by the Government, LGUs and communities. At the same time, a high number of shelters have been constructed or are under construction, supported by a range of donors including the Government, international donors as well as CSOs and individual citizen donations. In turn, there are a large number and variety of construction styles and levels. UNDP could consider a broad review of permanent shelter construction with the Government of the Philippines to help implement policy and standards for future disaster support.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/19] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]

The experience from response and recovery efforts during Typhoon Yolanda has been documented through the After Action Review (2014) and project evaluations of UNDP early recovery and rehabilitation efforts.  UNDP also supported the government in reviewing the broader Typhoon Yolanda experience by commissioning 2 major studies: the Assessment of Housing Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines after Two Years, and Typhoon Yolanda Recovery in the context of Large-scale International Recovery Experiences. The reports also highlighted good practices to strengthen the recovery process moving forward.  A Compendium of Resettlement Approaches for the Yolanda Response was also prepared and which was well received by key shelter agencies, the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Drawing on the lessons from the Yolanda experience, UNDP also conducted a disaster preparedness desktop exercise for Country Office staff. The exercise aimed to strengthen UNDP’s response capability and ability to continue in parallel its development interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will document and undertake assessments of future disaster interventions.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2023/12 Initiated History
UNDP considers that it is the Government’s role to coordinate responses to future disasters. UNDP will support this role as appropriate and as requested. UNDP will also facilitate the Early Recovery Cluster operations under the Humanitarian Country Team structure to contribute that UN support to Government is coordinated, timely, effective and relevant. The new CPD will emphasise the need to integrate UNDP disaster recovery responses with support for strengthening of capacity within Government for disaster risk reduction and management
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2018/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3. UNDP needs to give greater strategic focus to areas of crosscutting concern to UNDP as a whole including gender, South-South cooperation (SSC) as well its evaluation of programmes and projects.

 

While a gender focal point is in place, it is important that adequate training is given to the focal point in order for them to give support to projects and staff. At the same time, project staff in general need to also ensure that gender is integrated within all programme and project designs. Management should also develop a gender strategy, prioritizing gender mainstreaming in the next country programme and implement a strategy for achievement of the gender seal. The country office should also identify areas where South-South cooperation could benefit the development needs of the country and also where the experience and knowledge of the Philippines could be shared to aid the development of other countries. The country’s experience in disaster response and preparedness is one such area. UNDP should continue to support the Government of the Philippines in its localization of the SDGs across its plans and strategies as well as ensuring that the SDGs and targets are addressed within its own work. The evaluation plan for the next CPD cycle should ensure a well-balanced approach enabling all outcomes and large or strategic programmes opportunity for evaluation to ensure lessons are learned and UNDP Philippines is accountable to the Government. This will also allow for course correction if needed. At the same time, new modalities such as NAM, though funded by the Government of the Philippines, should also be evaluated to capture their impact and identify future programmatic adjustments that may be needed.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/19] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]

Management acknowledges the need for the CO to strengthen mainstreaming of gender equality, south-south cooperation, and evaluation of programmes and projects.   The CO however notes that the current Country Programme, which was endorsed by the Government, did not have a major role for south-south cooperation (SSC) but acknowledges the inherent value of such cooperation. The Philippines’ role in SSC is now moving from a recipient of experience from the South towards more as a provider, considering the amount of knowledge and experience that the country has to share in terms of its innovations in biodiversity financing, disaster response, and SDG mainstreaming and localization.   This is clearly evident in the regular requests from countries in the region to visit the Philippines to draw on the experience and expertise here.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will develop a Gender Equality mainstreaming action plan and will aim to achieve the gender equality seal in the next CPD cycle.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/25]
CO 2021/12 Overdue-Initiated History
The UNDP gender marker will be used to monitor expenditure and improve gender-based planning and decision making. Project gender markers and gender integration in programmes will be reviewed through project quality assurance mechanisms and the conduct of gender assessments, especially for large-scale projects.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2018/12 Completed History
UNDP will collaborate with UN Women on substantive joint initiatives to promote SDG 5 in the next UNDAF and Country Programme.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]
CO 2019/12 Completed UNDP and UN Women provided joint technical support to the strategic planning for the Bangsamoro Women’s Commission right after the launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. UNDP also engaged UN Women in the design of the Women Insider Mediators’ Rapid Action and Mobilization Platform. Lastly, UNDP coordinated with UN Women regarding inputs on the development of the Framework on LGU-based Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Recovery Planning for COVID-19. History
UNDP will strengthen its documentation and sharing of project successes and solutions to provide easy and broad access to other countries and with national and global think tanks to facilitate exchange of development solutions and address the challenges in achieving the SDGs. In certain cases, UNDP will seek to draw on lessons and experience in the region for example in the normalization process for former combatants and in e-governance
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2018/12 Completed History
1. UNDP will ensure a well-balanced approach in evaluations, ensuring that the outcomes and consolidated results of projects are evaluated regularly to capture their impact and identify future programmatic adjustments that may be needed. Thematic evaluations will also be conducted for all CPD outcomes, measuring the consolidated contributions of individual projects to programme results. UNDP will pursue partnerships with academic and research institutions to implement its evaluation plan and to generate more regular independent assessments of project achievements, with the aim of contributing to high level policy discussions. UNDP will also support the National Economic and Development Authority in formulating and implementing the National Evaluation Agenda for 2018-2022 to evaluate the Philippine Development Plan, the Public Investment Programme, and progress against the SDGs.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2018/12 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4. UNDP in the Philippines needs to develop a more strategic approach in some areas of intervention, especially aspects of its governance work including human rights issues and support to responsible Philippine institutions, in order to ensure support is optimal and targeted and allows UNDP and Philippine partners to address challenges strategically and sustainably.

Current interventions in key democratic governance programmatic areas including support to human rights, anti-corruption, access to justice and the deepening of democracy are not strategically focused and do not strategically address existing and emerging needs of the country in these areas. To a degree, this is due to the declining funding available for support. UNDP’s strong role and history of support and partnership in areas many others might consider sensitive or struggle to find opportunities for support, such as human rights, places UNDP in a strong position to seek further external funding. UNDP Philippines in coordination with partner agencies for human rights, access to justice, anti-corruption and support to democracy should develop a strategic framework for support beyond the previous programmatic structure that allowed for loose interventions. A greater strategic focus going forward would recognize and address key issues within the government system and areas and would also support the leveraging of additional support from other donors. UNDP should consider the continuation of support to the Regional Human Rights Commission in ARMM and should encourage support for the RHRC from the ARMM administration as well as through the newly developing Mindanao Peace and Development Financing Facility Trust Fund.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/19] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]

While the logic underlying this recommendation is acknowledged, the lack of a sustained resource base constrains the capacity of the CO to provide optimal and sustained support for governance and human rights.

UNDP notes the importance of strengthening governance systems and institutional capacities through a human rights-based approach as well as deepening citizens involvement to promote integrity, transparency, and accountability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will also expand its partnership with the private sector to include the adoption of the UN guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to ensure enterprises positively impact on people’s lives and prevent risks of potential adverse impact.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]
CO 2021/12 Overdue-Initiated History
UNDP will adopt a human rights-based approach and the strengthening of democratic processes as a cross-cutting theme in the new CPD.
[Added: 2018/07/30]
CO 2018/12 Completed
To support improved access to quality basic social services, justice, and economic opportunities especially among marginalize groups and most-at-risk, the new CPD will include as a sub-outcome, strengthening governance in national and sub national government entities and citizen engagement in the development process.
[Added: 2018/07/30]
CO 2018/12 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5. UNDP with the Government of the Philippines should review its current and past interventions and support to the environment, natural resources and climate change, especially those financed through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to ensure that the support is balanced and is addressing the main needs and priorities of current and future policy and strategy priorities, that interventions are meeting key needs and that gaps in support are not developing.

UNDP in partnership with the Government of the Philippines should review GEF programmes and their alignment with the Government’s range of strategies and policies for environment, natural resources and climate change to ensure that interventions are aligned with current Philippine legislation for the environment and climate change, identify gaps in support and weakness in legislation and to ensure that future support and programme implementation is aligned with both the demands of the Philippine Government and at the policy as well as at the grassroots levels. This analysis should then inform a longer term strategy of support for use of the GEF funds and programmatic support that has a broader strategic framework ensuring coordination and harmonization across programmes and avoiding individual programme-focused interventions. 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/19] [Last Updated: 2020/06/10]

Global priorities of GEF are set every four years through the Programming Guidelines. These are developed based on guidance given by the relevant Conventions (e.g., Convention on Biodiversity, Desertification, Climate Change, Basel, Nagoya Protocol, etc.); based on inputs from member countries including the Philippines. Countries are given opportunities to develop their respective country programs and strategies for GEF that involves an analysis of drivers of environmental degradation. UNDP has played a key role in this process by directly supporting the national strategic planning process.  GEF projects therefore, while developed and implemented individually are derived from a national prioritization exercise, and therefore contribute to the overall aim of addressing underlying drivers of environmental degradation.

The GCF also provides an opportunity to support Government efforts in climate change adaptation and mitigation.  UNDP is working with Government on the formulation of a national programme that will identify how GCF can support the main needs and strategic priorities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will suggest to the Government that the evaluation of the country’s GEF projects be included under the National Evaluation Agenda for 2018-2022.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]
CO 2023/12 Initiated History
UNDP will continue to closely collaborate with Government to ensure that GEF projects are aligned with government priorities to address environmental degradation.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2018/12/20]
CO 2018/12 Completed History
Through UNDP’s support to the Philippines to access GCF, government capacities will be strengthened to effectively and efficiently plan for, manage, and monitor climate finance, as well to implement the country’s National Action Plan and Nationally Determined Contributions.
[Added: 2018/07/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]
CO 2019/12 Completed UNDP supported the formulation of the Country’s National Programme, and assisted in the accreditation of National AEs (accredited entities) namely the Land Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines, and Foundation for Phil Environment (FPE) for GCF. LBP secured their accreditation already, and is now preparing a submission of its own to GCF. This support also put in place, an appraisal and prioritization process within the GCF Nationally Designated Authority )(NDA) for review of future funding proposals for GCF. This mechanism is now working under the auspices of the NDA. History

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