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

Given the nature and scope of UNDP engagement in Bahrain, the results and performance framework of the next CPD should reflect the UNDP comparative advantage and added value in a high- income context. This should include thematic areas in which UNDP can provide technical assistance, as well as more explicitly reflecting UNDP development support services for national objectives.

There are limitations in the operating context, which affect the value of the CPD as the main accountability tool for the UNDP Executive Board and for monitoring and evaluating performance. In this regard, the design of the next CPD should be more aligned with the nature of engagement and provide greater transparency and accountability over UNDP performance. This should include a mix of output- and processlevel performance indicators, and reflect on the range of development services that UNDP can deliver. Focusing performance monitoring around the key advisory and support service functions of the country office will provide a more accurate and transparent performance framework for the country office for national stakeholders and the UNDP corporate reporting system.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/05] [Last Updated: 2021/05/10]

The UNDP CO is awaiting the signature of the new Cooperation Framework.  The draft is rich in content that is programmatically relevant for UNDP's work in the country.  Once approved, the CPD preparatory work will proceed, reflecting key advisory and support service functions of the CO.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UN Cooperation Framework has been signed, which is paving the way for a new CPD. However, due to fiscal constraints in the Country, the preferred path at this point is to extend the current CPD. Accordingly, in close consultations with the Government of Bahrain, an extension of the CPD for 2022 has been submitted to the UNDP Executive Board.
[Added: 2021/09/01] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
CO Resident Representative 2022/12 Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

Building on its existing engagement, the country office should use the facilitation of development support services as an entry point to develop longer-term project engagement in line with its human development mandate.  

The nature of engagement in Bahrain results in requests for UNDP support that are often ad-hoc and narrow in the scope of development services provided. However, the experience of the country office suggests that there is room to build on the delivery of ad-hoc services to ministries and incrementally build project-level engagement oriented around capacity development, innovative policy development and service delivery, conducive to the achievement of national plans.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/05] [Last Updated: 2021/05/10]

The Country Office will aim at developing more comprehensive packages of services to Government entities and others, that would later be geared towards projects and other more long term programmatic arrangements. Once the new CF is approved, the joint steering committee will be the forum to propose concepts notes for new programmatic engagement including projects. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
There is an ongoing process of discussions with the Government of Bahrain on the office configuration and funding, including programmatic resources. The outcome of these discussions with the Government will allow for a proper programmatic planning, preparation and resource mobilization towards a portfolio of longer term projects.
[Added: 2021/09/01] [Last Updated: 2022/02/01]
CO Resident Representative 2022/12 Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP Bahrain should seek balance between the demand-driven nature of its engagement in a NCC context, with a more forward looking approach to project development and resource mobilisation based on clear and proactive communication of its value proposition to government authorities, in line with its mandate and operational capacity, and within the framework of national priorities.

Bahrain is a competitive funding environment for UNDP, despite being a NCC context, due to the high capacity and fiscal restrictions. Based on the funding modality in place, UNDP may have to adopt a more forward-looking approach to its programme development and resource mobilisation. This in turn requires UNDP to develop clear and detailed communication of its value proposition to attract engagement within the SPF. This should include clarity over the type of development services and areas of technical expertise available to support implementation of national plans, and conditions under which UNDP can facilitate them. Dependent on budget availability for cost sharing by line ministries, these efforts should be aligned with the government budget process to maximise chances for financing.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/05] [Last Updated: 2021/05/10]

Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Resident Coordinator Office, the Government Network for Internatoinal Relatoins held a meeting in late March, to present the work of the United Nations in Bahrain and provide some practical entry points for engagement.  During that meeting, UNDP had the possibility to make a presentation and present its work as well as the modalities for engagement.  Similarly, UNDP is aggressively stepping up its partnerships efforts by signing Statements of Intent with non-government entities, including the Bahrian Institute for Banking and Finance, the AlMabarrah AlKhalifia Foundation, and the Bahrain Paralympic Committee, which can pave the way for new funded programmatic opportunities.  Additional efforts along these lines will be made to ensure opportunities for engagement, as well as resource mobilization.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The office continues in the effort of resource mobilization and expanded partnerships with key actors, which will prepare the grounds for a new CPD with more predictable budget availability.
[Added: 2021/09/01] [Last Updated: 2022/02/01]
Country Office, Resident Representative. 2022/12 Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

With the support of the Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP Bahrain should proactively engage with the UNDP global network and roster of expertise to develop a programmatic offer that promotes innovative solutions and practices in support of Bahrain’s national objectives, and for opportunities to leverage Bahrain’s assets and experience to benefit other countries where UNDP operates.

The NCC context in which UNDP operates in Bahrain requires it to demonstrate the full strength of its comparative advantage to compete for funding and find entry points to advocate for its human development agenda. In the absence of resources to invest in programme development and resource mobilisation efforts, the country office needs to be actively supported by the UNDP corporate architecture to fully leverage its global network of knowledge and access to experience of other countries relevant to Bahrain’s national priorities. Such efforts should also seek to identify opportunities to promote and share Bahrain’s experience with other countries where UNDP operates. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/06/05] [Last Updated: 2021/05/10]

UNDP has been relying increasingly in the Regional Hub in Amman (in the areas of youth, innovation, communicatoins, and more recently the COVID socio economic response).  In addition, UNDP Bahrain has been relying on UNDP's GPN by working with Global Centres such as the Singapore Global Centre for Innovatoin, Technology and SD, to work on the digital transformation strategy gap analysis, presented in early 2021.  In addition, the office has increased its outreach and communications using more systematically social media to promote our work and latest news and activities, also ensuring the UN in Bahrain (through the RCO) amplifies those messages. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The actions described in the response above are ongoing and have been intensified.
[Added: 2021/09/01]
RR, entire CO 2021/09 Completed

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