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

For its next country programme in Ethiopia, UNDP should strengthen the linkages between upstream and downstream interventions in order to enhance the likelihood for transformational change. It should strengthen its strategic focus and ensure integration between thematic areas, to better build synergies and reduce fragmented initiatives. Clear theories of change should be developed, and guidelines provided for the selection of programmes and projects, as well as for maintaining and strengthening the downstream-upstream linkages.

The existence of a large number of small and fragmented projects in the country programme is a serious challenge that needs to be addressed, as it affects the efficiency as well as effective achievement of results. Building on existing good practices such as the GDPP programme, UNDP should adopt an approach of developing larger and comprehensive programmes in major sectors or thematic areas and should minimize the creation of smaller and isolated projects. Small-scale livelihood support initiatives should be avoided unless they are appropriately integrated with policy and institutional partners that can learn from and replicate results.

UNDP’s main value addition should consist in its ability to provide highlevel evidence-based policy advice, technical support for policy formulation, capacity development, and innovations from downstream work for scaling up. UNDP needs to adopt clear criteria for deciding to engage in downstream and community development interventions, such as to test innovative or pilot approaches; produce evidence from the ground to inform policy interventions; address geographic-specific and serious development and humanitarian issues; etc.

The strategic focus should adequately combine thematic focus and geographic targeting. With regard to themes like climate change, natural resources management, forestry, DRR, peacebuilding, biodiversity, the geographic targeting for interventions to be supported should be determined by the identification of ‘hotspots’, focusing on poorer regions based on regional human development index. Partnership should be built with ‘champion regions’ committed to fulfilling what the achievement of the partnership aim requires.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/23] [Last Updated: 2020/05/12]

Agreed.  The CO has independently come to the same conclusion.  The upcoming portfolio review is expected to generate the evidence base needed to address this issue going into the next CPD.  Furthermore, the additional analytic work being done by the CO through the Common Country Assessment (CCA), using a simple but potentially insightful systems mapping approach, will highlight core issues for an integrated response to the SDGs in Ethiopia.  This will feed, in turn, into in-depth CO-wide brainstorming and consultation processes that will connect with outreach to Government, UN agencies and entities, development partners, civil society and the private sector.  A robust theory of change (ToC) will be developed with clear and plausible change pathways backed by credible evidence to define programme priorities.   Furthermore, risks and assumptions will be clearly articulated in the CPD M&E plan and the ToC linked with the CO’s partnership strategy.

 

Expected outcomes include a more focused programme, based on a clear and convincing strategic logic; adoption of portfolio management approaches across traditional thematic clusters; and greater emphasis on upstream-downstream linkages not least through deeper, broader and more systematic engagement with Regional Governments that can connect with strategy and policy work at Federal level. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Utilise the CCA to build the analytic case for strategic re-positioning.
[Added: 2020/02/13]
Senior Management (SM), TLs of Progs. 2019/10 Completed
1.2 Undertake a comprehensive Portfolio Review.
[Added: 2020/02/13]
SM, PMSU and IGSD 2019/09 Completed
1.3 Develop a robust TOC with plausible change pathways backed by credible evidence, clearly stated risks and assumptions for the new CPD.
[Added: 2020/02/13]
SM and Team Leaders (TLs) in Progs. and Ops. 2020/01 Completed
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should take advantage of the opportunities that have been generated by the 2018 political changes to promote stronger engagement and partnerships with regional states, including the development of regional capacities in areas where it has comparative advantages.

Ethiopia is a vast, geographically and culturally diverse country, with numerous development challenges that need to be addressed at multiple levels. Regional states can be appropriate partners, where relevant, for implementing downstream development interventions.

The importance of such partnerships resides in the fact that national growth policies, plans and strategies are not uniformly implemented across the country because each region may be facing specific constraints. Despite the country’s overall economic progress of recent years, interregional inequities persist, and there are stagnations and even reversals in regions that are subject to natural disasters or conflicts. A particular targeting package of these regions should be given priority in order to address, in addition to the needs of the population groups, the capacity constraints of the regional states’ administrations. One illustrative example: DRR must not only be incorporated in national sectoral policies, plans and strategies but also be implemented through regional state plans and strategies where there are recurrent disasters (such as flooding and droughts) which impact the lives and well-being of the populations. In such cases, UNDP should have a particular focus on providing regional states support to build their capacity so that they can exercise increased responsibility and responsiveness in that domain.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/23] [Last Updated: 2020/05/12]

Management response:

Agreed.  In line with the response to Recommendation 1, the CO is seriously considering a redesigned structure for the next CPD that involves programmatic components at both Federal and Regional levels.  This should yield: first, stronger, more consistent and timely linkages between Federal and Regional action which should, in turn, unlock greater and faster progress on a wide range of issues; second, a much more strategic, formal and sustainable partnership between UNDP and Regional States that begins to mirror the close and trusted relationships that have been built up over time with the Federal Government.  UNDP’s existing – albeit somewhat ad hoc - work at regional level can provide a useful springboard for moving in this direction. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Conduct rapid capacity assessments at regional level.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/04/07]
PMSU, Governance, IGSD 2021/03 Completed Rapid capacity and recovery assessments conducted for Tigray region. AWP developed and implementation will commence soon. History
2.2 Develop a regional approach within the next CPD.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2021/04/07]
SM, TLs on Progs. and Ops. 2021/03 Completed Developed a regional approach as part of the new CPD. UNDP has completed recovery assessment for Tigray and will commence implementation soon. UNDP will partner closely with regional governments on implementation of the FSDP. History
2.3 Conduct micro-assessments, NIM/HACT audits and spot checks for selected regional/local partners to enable rapid movement to deeper and broader programme implementation.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2020/09/18]
PMSU 2020/02 Completed Regional level micro assessments and spot checks are done History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for multistakeholder partnerships to mobilize expertise, knowledge and resources, and promote greater synergies with the operations of other actors in the development landscape of Ethiopia.

Supporting Ethiopia to achieve the SDGs is a huge challenge. The country’s development context is very complex and UNDP’s resources are limited. Effective partnerships in the country in line with SDG 17 are a critical factor for UNDP success. The approach should consider the development and shaping of a whole-of-government-and-society approach which would include continued traditional and non-traditional partnerships with government actors, UN agencies and other development partners, and that would be outward looking to CSOs, academia, research institutions, and private sector organizations. This should be envisaged to enhance synergies, harmonization, and coherence in implementing interventions in poverty reduction, governance, human rights and peacebuilding. UNDP’s partnership and collaboration with different stakeholders and actors would be best served and streamlined if it is guided by a clear strategy and action plan. This in turn would require better mapping of interventions and outcomes to which certain actors intend to contribute to and in what ways.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/23] [Last Updated: 2020/05/12]

Agreed.  This recommendation is in line with the new guidelines governing the design of new CPDs. The CO will develop a comprehensive Partnerships and Communication Action Plan (PCAP) to provide a framework for partnerships management, communications/outreach and resource mobilisation as part of the new CPD.  While the CO has recently redoubled its efforts to increase and diversify its donor and partnership base to include Government Cost Sharing and EHF, further efforts will be made to promote greater collaboration with the private sector, foundations, academia, civil society and IFIs.  The CO intends to proactively build partnerships around concrete and substantive programmatic ideas – for instance, the Accelerator Lab, a sector-wide approach to MSME development, peacebuilding and innovative financing – so that funding and other forms of partnerships cohere with rather than distract from strategic goals.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.2 Revisit partnership management approaches and arrangements within the CO – potentially, with assistance from BERA - to substantially raise the quality, reach and effectiveness of partnership development and management, building on lessons learned from the experience of the existing CO Partnership Task Force (PTF).
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
SM, PMSU 2022/07 Overdue-Initiated Task initiated History
3.1 Prepare a comprehensive partnership and communication action plan (PCAP) as part of the new CPD.
[Added: 2020/02/13]
SM, PMSU and Comms 2020/06 Completed Comprehensive partnership and communication action plan (PCAP) has been prepared and submitted to HQ History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should continue and strengthen the application of a rights-based and inclusive approach in its programming. Particularly, UNDP should prioritize gender mainstreaming and ensure the effective implementation of its Gender Equality Strategy. It should make gender equality and women’s empowerment a critical component of its interventions.

Although there is encouraging recent progress in mainstreaming gender in the country office, there is still a long way to ensure the full implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021 and the effective mainstreaming of gender in the country programme. The country office should give adequate attention and allocate sufficient resources to ensure the full implementation of its Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021.

UNDP projects should have a stronger focus on women’s empowerment and inclusion of young people. UNDP’s strategy and implementation approaches should fully integrate a gender-equality perspective and actively promote the social and economic empowerment of women; as well as create sustainable and attractive rural opportunities for youth of both sexes by promoting their access to opportunities for capacity development, financial resources and sustainable livelihoods.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/23] [Last Updated: 2020/05/12]

Management response: 

Agreed. The CO is already implementing a Gender Equality Seal Action Plan, rolling out training for staff. A gender focal team is also active.  The new CPD offers an opportunity for deeper gender analysis to ensure that gender equality concerns are fully and consistently reflected in the programme rationale, priority areas and corresponding RRF.  As per the Gender Seal standard, the aim is to ensure that 15% of the programme budget will be allocated for gender transformative projects/outcomes/outputs (GEN3 projects); and at least 50% of the CO programme expenditure will contribute directly to gender equality results (GEN2 and GEN3 projects together).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Clearly articulate a GEWE approach within the strategy for the next CPD, consistent with corporate and CO level Gender Equality Strategies.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2020/09/29]
SM, all Units 2020/12 Completed completed History
4.2 Institutionalise gender analysis in programme and project design/formulation.
[Added: 2020/02/13]
Policy Analysis Unit (PAU), PMSU, TLs in Progs 2019/09 Completed Comprehensive gender analysis has been done for CCA /2020-2025/ History
4.3 Institutionalise assessment of gender-differentiated impacts through monitoring and evaluation.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2020/09/29]
PAU, PMSU, TLs in Progs. 2020/12 Completed Completed History
4.4 Develop staff capacity on gender mainstreaming through structured inductions, training and learning events.
[Added: 2020/02/13]
PAU 2019/09 Completed Gender mainstreaming training and learning events conducted twice in 2019 History
5. Recommendation:

While continuing its upstream level support to the Government’s efforts in implementing peace policies, and to the Ministry of Peace in its strategy and processes for peace and conflict resolution, UNDP should advocate and adopt a more deliberate and integrated approach in addressing underlying causes of conflicts and of instability.

The next country programme interventions must address the causes of conflict, seek to strengthen community resilience and respect for human rights. An integrated approach is needed to fully strengthen human security and promote peace in areas where socio-political tensions exist, and to mitigate conflict factors. A more comprehensive approach towards addressing human security and promoting peace in conflict areas is necessary. It should emphasize interventions that seek to mitigate conflict factors and to enhance peace drivers. This requires that UNDP mainstreams conflict prevention and peacebuilding in all its programme priorities. To be sustainable, peacebuilding and conflict-prevention actions need to be based on the support to governance reforms that also take into account aspects such as resource-based issues, basic service delivery, capacity-building for peace, confidence-building opportunities, cultural events between and among groups or sectors, etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/23] [Last Updated: 2020/05/12]

Agreed.  The recommendation is well aligned with the CO’s current thinking on what should constitute priorities in the run-up to the development of the new CPD.  The CO believes that there is a compelling case for a peacebuilding and reconciliation programme that will include support to the Government and other partners on conflict analysis and a roadmap that elaborates short, medium and long-term options for ensuring sustainable peace.  This is meant to be a major undertaking by the CO in the near term. Establishment of the new Ministry of Peace provides UNDP with an opportunity to consolidate existing initiatives to engage strategically on this issue.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Conduct a national conflict mapping study and develop proposals for a peace building architecture.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
Governance 2022/08 Overdue-Initiated Task initiated History
5.2 Develop and launch a standalone conflict prevention/peace building portfolio.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
Governance 2022/08 Overdue-Initiated Task initiated History
6. Recommendation:

UNDP should improve the M&E system of the country programme to ensure that it better captures UNDP’s contributions to transformative changes for sustainable development and also supports knowledge management and communication for development, which in turn would strengthen the ability of UNDP to demonstrate the added value of its interventions and enhance the prospect for scaling up. The M&E and the communication teams should coordinate their work to strengthen knowledge management and to develop access to that knowledge not only for internal needs but also for the national partners’ needs. Partner institutions should be facilitated to participate in publishing and disseminating knowledge. In addition to knowledge management, UNDP should also improve communication of the results obtained, thus reinforcing the exchange of knowledge and use of UNDP’s specialized networks to generate and promote learning that can strategically contribute in a timely manner to better-informed decision-making. Given UNDP’s rich and recognized contribution to Ethiopia’s national development, there is an opportunity in using communication for development as a tool to further position itself more strategically, including enhancing the prospect for scaling up of its successful interventions. Together with M&E and other specialized units, the Communication Unit can help increase the visibility of the UNDP’s contributions to the SDGs and to transformative changes.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/23] [Last Updated: 2020/05/12]

Agreed.  The CO will review and strengthen its M&E function aligning it with programme size and complexity as well as the requirements of a dynamic country context.  In addition, as part of the CPD process, efforts will be made to ensure that programme results are defined at an appropriate level and are drawn from a clearly articulated theory of change

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Develop a robust M&E framework for the new CPD to ensure it better captures higher level results and supports knowledge management as well as communications.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
PMSU, TLs of Prog. 2022/04 Overdue-Initiated History
6.2 Formulate and implement a multi-year development research programme that, among other things, draws systematically from UNDP’s implementation experience to highlight lessons learned and implications for programme/project design but also, crucially, policy design.
[Added: 2020/02/13] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
SM, PAU, TLs of Progs. 2022/10 Overdue-Initiated Task initiated History

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