UNDAF Lessons Learned Executive Summary

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  • 1. The United Nations DevelopmentAssistance Framework (UNDAF) 2005-2009 in the Philippines: Lessons Learned Final Report Manasi Bhattacharyya Consultant 5 October 2010
  • 2. Table of ContentsACRONYMS......................................................................................................................................................... IVEXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................1Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................1UNDAF 2005-2009: Formulation Process and Design ................................................................1Implementation Mechanism, UNDAF Theme Groups and Coordination ............................2Delivering as One and Joint Programming ......................................................................................3UNDAF Roll- Out: Key Emerging Issues ............................................................................................4CHAPTER-1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................71.0 Background .............................................................................................................................................71.1 Objectives ................................................................................................................................................71.2 The Approach and the Scope of the Study ...............................................................................71.3 Methodology ...........................................................................................................................................8 1.3.1 Desk Review ........................................................................................................................................... 8 1.3.2 Collection of Data ................................................................................................................................. 81.4 Analysis and Report writing ...........................................................................................................81.5 Limitations of the study ....................................................................................................................91.6 Timeline ....................................................................................................................................................9CHAPTER-2: THE PHILIPPINES UNDAF (2005-2009): THE PROCESS,THEMATIC CONTENT AND KEY EMERGING ISSUES .......................................................... 102.1 Formulation Process of the UNDAF (2005-2009) for the Philippines ...................... 102.2 The Design, Content and the Implementation Process ................................................... 11 2.2.1 The UNDAF Thematic Areas ............................................................................................................ 11 2.2.2 The UNDAF Results Matrix .............................................................................................................. 12 2.2.3 Monitoring & Evaluation plans ....................................................................................................... 13 2.2.4 The UNDAF M&E Framework .......................................................................................................... 13 2.2.5 Cross-cutting issues........................................................................................................................... 15 2.2.6 Implementation Mechanism: Thematic Groups and their Evolution ............................... 17 2.2.7 Collaboration and Partnership........................................................................................................ 21CHAPTER-3 DELIVERING AS ONE AND JOINT PROGRAMMING .............................. 233.0 The approach ........................................................................................................................................ 23
  • 3. 3.1 ‘Delivering as One’: The Philippines Context ....................................................................... 23 3.1.1Common services ................................................................................................................................. 25 3.1.2 Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers .................................................................................. 26 3.1.3 Joint Programming ............................................................................................................................. 26 3.1.4 Advocacy and Communications..................................................................................................... 29CHAPTER-4 LESSONS LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................... 304.1 Formulation of the UNDAF ............................................................................................................. 30 4.1.1 Preparatory Phase .............................................................................................................................. 30 4.1.2 Formulation Process and the Content ......................................................................................... 30 4.1.3 Addressing Cross-Cutting Issues .................................................................................................. 324.2 Implementation Mechanism: UNDAF Theme Groups and Inter-agencyCoherence ...................................................................................................................................................... 334.3 Delivering As One ............................................................................................................................... 33 4.3.2 Joint Programming: Lessons learned From the Philippines Experiences ....................... 35 4.3.3 Advocacy and Communication: Lessons learned From the Philippines Experiences 35SELECT REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................ 36ANNEXES ............................................................................................................................................................ 38ANNEX 1 UNDAF (2005-2009) – KEY OUTCOMES, OUTPUTS AND ACTIVITIES........... 38 1) UNDAF Outcome 1: Macro Economic Stability and Broad-Based and Equitable Development .................................................................................................................................................... 38 2) UNDAF Outcome 2: Basic Social Services ................................................................................... 39 3) UNDAF Outcome 3: Good Governance ......................................................................................... 40 4) UNDAF Outcome 4: Environmental sustainability and Climate Change Adaptation.... 42 5) UNDAF Outcome 5: Conflict Prevention and Peace-building ................................................ 43 6) Cross-cutting Issue: Human Rights ............................................................................................... 44 7) Cross-cutting Issue: Gender Mainstreaming .............................................................................. 44 8) Cross-cutting Issue: Humanitarian Reforms/Early Recovery ............................................... 45 9) Cross-cutting Issue: HIV/AIDS ........................................................................................................ 46 10) MDG Advocacy ....................................................................................................................................... 47 11) Avian Influenza ...................................................................................................................................... 47 12) Security Management.......................................................................................................................... 48ANNEX 2: The United Nations System in Middle-Income Countries (MIC) in South-East Asia: Development Cooperation and the UNDAF .............................................................. 49Annex 3: QUESTIONNAIRE - UNDAF (2005-2009): Lessons Learned .............................. 52
  • 4. AcronymsADB Asian Development BankAusAID Australian Agency for International DevelopmentAWP Annual Work PlanCBMS Community-based Monitoring SystemCCA Common Country AssessmentCCPP Common Country Programming ProcessCEDAW Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against WomenCPAP Country Programme Action PlanCPD Country Programme DocumentCPR Crisis Prevention and RecoveryCSA Civil Society AssemblyCSAC Civil Society Advisory CommitteeCSO Civil Society OrganizationDRM Disaster Risk ManagementGMC Gender Mainstreaming CommitteeGOP Government of the PhilippinesHDR Human Development ReportHRBA Human Rights-based ApproachJP Joint ProgrammingLGU Local Government UnitM&E Monitoring and EvaluationMDG Millennium Development GoalMDG-F Millennium Development Goal FundMIC Middle Income CountryMTPDP Medium-Term Philippine Development PlanNEDA National Economic and Development AuthorityNGO Non-governmental OrganizationNRAs Non-Resident AgenciesODA Official Development AssistanceRBM Results-based ManagementRC Resident CoordinatorRM Results MatrixTG Theme GroupsUN United NationsUNCO United Nations Coordination OfficeUNCT United Nations Country TeamUNDAF United Nations Development Assistance FrameworkUNDG United Nations Development Group
  • 5. Executive SummaryIntroductionUnder the leadership of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) representing theGovernment of the Philippines (GOP) and in close consultation with the United Nations Civil SocietyAdvisory Committee (UNCSAC) and the development partners, the United Nations Country Team(UNCT)1 in the Philippines is embarking on the preparatory activities for a new United NationsDevelopment Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the period of 2012-2016. Evaluation of the currentUNDAF2 is a prerequisite for this process.To optimize the utilization of the study, the UNCT decided to undertake a participatory lessonslearned exercise, instead of a formal evaluation, with an overall objective to inform the design andpreparation of the new UNDAF.This report is an inward-looking document, which presents the lessons learned from successes andchallenges, and identifies the issues and opportunities emerging from the current UNDAF cycle. Thestudy has drawn inputs primarily from the UN staff members and the UNCT.UNDAF 2005-2009: Formulation Process and DesignIt has been observed that, while UNDAF is important to the UN and its partners, a better appreciationof its strategic value should be ensured within the UN system. The UN staff members need to beoriented on UNDAF, and its role in the national development scenario. The relevance of UNDAF isnot clear to some UN staff in the context of an individual agency’s mandate. It will be useful todevelop a conceptual framework for providing a broader perspective and to demonstrate how agencycontributions are related to UNDAF outcomes.The current UNDAF (2005-2009) was drafted before the formulation of MTPDP (2004-2010), and, infact, it is based on the previous MTPDP (2001-2004). It is crucial to ensure that the new UNDAF isaligned with the MTPDP in terms of the cycle and priorities.The UNDAF Steering Committee was set up to guide the UNDAF formulation and it was expectedthat it would continue its functions during the implementation stage and secure the involvement of theNEDA. However, this committee ceased to function, and as stated in the Country Consultation on theTriennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development (2007)documents, this committee did not meet in 20063. There is a need for establishing a governancestructure with clear specification of shared responsibilities and accountability between the UN and theGovernment. The UNDAF should be owned by the Government to ensure an effectiveimplementation and monitoring. Government counterparts should be involved in the process as earlyas possible to ensure ownership. Participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) and other sub-national stakeholders and civil society partners is also equally important. Greater involvement of theUNCSAC and Civil Society Assembly (CSA) should be ensured in providing substantive inputs indeveloping the new UNDAF and in forging partnerships for its implementation. Efforts should alsobe made to engage the private sector, industry associations, trade unions and farmers’ cooperatives inobtaining views and perspectives external to the Government, as they are also key actors in anydevelopment process as providers of technology, financial resources, skills training, and serve as bothproducers and consumers. There is a need to define a platform for formal engagement of thesestakeholders.1 The United Nations Country Team consists of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, FAO, ILO, IFAD, UN Habitat,IMO, IOM, UNHCR, UNIDO, HABITAT, UNAIDS, ICAO, OCHA, UNDSS, and the Bretton Woods Institutions WorldBank, IMF, IFC and the ADB. Non-resident agencies such as UNEP, UNESCO, UNIFEM, UNODC, and UNOHCHR arealso part of the UNCT.2 At the request of the Government, the current UNDAF (2005-2009) has been extended until 2011. The new UNDAF willstart on 2012 to align with the national planning process and the priorities of the new Administration.3 The committee did not meet beyond 2006 (based on interviews with the UN Staff).
  • 6. Strengths of smaller/non-resident agencies (NRAs) should be recognized and they should be involvedin the process to make the UNDAF more inclusive. NRAs should be contacted in advance to ensuretheir participation. During the formulation process, especially in the course of identifying priorityareas, the staff members need to have the ability and willingness to look beyond their respectiveagency mandates and view issues from a broader perspective, through the lens of ‘Delivering asOne’. The challenge is to ensure inclusiveness, without losing the strategic focus.As regards the design, it has been noted that, commitment for each outcome and output in theUNDAF is shared by a number of agencies and their implementing partners. This has posedchallenges in attribution and accountability. To ensure clear accountability, outputs should beattributed to the agencies, as individual agencies have clear comparative advantages at this level. Forthe forthcoming UNDAF process, priority should be given to strengthening the Monitoring andEvaluation (M&E) framework. Current UNDAF Results Matrix (RM) has a number of indicators foreach result and for many of them, baseline values are missing. To maintain the focus of the RM and tomake the UNDAF operational, it is recommended that only few indicators are selected based on thehighest relevance, measurability and availability of baseline data. Moreover, in the UNDAFdocument, the RM does not contain risk analysis and assumptions; it should be included in the RM.The cross-cutting programming principles such as HRBA and gender equality were not adequatelyaddressed in the current UNDAF. Incorporation of these principles was left to the agencies. Therewere no mechanisms to ensure compliance and no incentives were provided. In the context of thePhilippines it is critical to mainstream these programmatic principles as the UN has comparativeadvantage in this area.For mainstreaming HRBA, it is critical to arrive at a common understanding and have the clarity ofpurpose. Development of concrete guidelines and tool kits will enhance skills and foster a commonunderstanding and vision among UN agencies, Government line agencies, LGUs and Civil SocietyOrganizations (CSOs). In the case of gender mainstreaming, it is important that gender equality ismainstreamed into UNDAF outcomes. The RM must contain specific gender indicators and means ofverification for monitoring and evaluating the gender dimension of the UNDAF.Implementation Mechanism, UNDAF Theme Groups and CoordinationUNDAF Theme Groups (TGs) were formed to facilitate the implementation of UNDAF outcomes.However, the TGs did not function optimally, and were disbanded in 2007. One of the key factorsbehind the low appreciation of UNDAF in the Philippines was discontinuity of the TGs. At the grouplevel, the functioning was affected by the lack of sustained commitment of the majority of themember agencies of each thematic group. Agency mandates confined their relationships withrespective constituencies and partners, which curbed the scope for cooperation between agencies. TGmembers also felt that the functioning and motivation of the groups significantly depends upon theleadership quality and strategic vision of the Convener/convening agency. A strong and committedleadership and a concrete work plan specifying clear responsibilities, M&E mechanism andcommunications plan are essential to sustain the functionality of TGs. At the personal level, somegroup members felt de-motivated due to the lack of genuine appreciation of their important roles. Formany agencies, it was not part of the staff performance appraisal4. To sustain the commitment ofgroup members it is crucial to recognize their contributions.The UN Coordination Office (UNCO) should continue providing direction and coordination foreffective functioning of the TGs. UNCO needs dedicated financial and human resources to ensurestrategic guidance to agencies to maintain focus on the achievement of UNDAF outcomes and M&E.4 UNFPA has already included participation in the UNDAF process in its staff appraisal.
  • 7. Delivering as One and Joint ProgrammingIn 2007, the GOP, through the NEDA, affirmed its commitment for a One UN System in thePhilippines by 2010. As noted by some agencies, ‘Delivering as One’ has not yet been fullyimplemented in the Philippines, though some significant initiatives have been made in this direction.Over the last few years, the UN system in the Philippines has been strengthening operationalcoordination with the improvement of common services, including, domestic courier service, travelservices including negotiated corporate airfares, common procurement, information technology (IT),and hospitalization and evacuation services for the staff. Small agencies perceive that commonservices mean savings in administrative costs, which will allow them to allocate more resources forprogramme activities.A ‘One UN House’ Task Force was convened in 2006 to oversee the process of finding commonpremises for the UN system in the Philippines. Significant progress was made in this respect with thesigning of Presidential Proclamation no. 1864 in Aug 2009 designating a government building inMakati City, Manila as the common premises of the UN System in the Philippines.In 2008, the Philippines was declared by the UN Development Operations Coordination Office(DOCO) as a fully Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) compliant country.Valuable insights about ‘Delivering as One’ process can be gained from lessons learned of first twoyears of implementation of this initiative in eight (8) pilot countries and self-starters, many of themare relevant in the Philippines context.The ‘Delivering as One’ process should begin simultaneously with the UNDAF roll-out to simplifythe programming process to ensure strategic focus, programme coherence and alignment to nationalpriorities. Pilot countries’ experiences suggest that, the UNDAF, One UN Programme, CountryProgramme Action Plan (CPAPs) and Country Programme Documents (CPDs) need to be integratedinto a single document. The UNDAF Action Plan may prove to be a viable option. The UNDAFAction Plan reflects the results already specified in the UNDAF RM. According to the UNDAFguidelines, UNCTs have the flexibility to either keep the UNDAF RM at the outcome level, ordevelop a fuller RM, that includes outputs. To maintain the focus of the UNDAF, it is suggested tokeep the RM restricted to the outcome level and specify the outputs in the UNDAF Action Plan. TheUNCT in the Philippines has agreed to the formulation of a UNDAF Action Plan.A Joint Communication Strategy facilitates support to ‘One UN Programme’. Externalcommunication can improve the visibility of the UN, whereas internal communication is crucial tosupport the change management process and to ensure enhanced coordination. A set of “core”messages agreed by the UNCT is a good start.It is critical to ensure the promotion of effective results based joint programming (JP), which willensure optimal use of resources and capacities available according to a clear division of labor andcomparative advantages. As part of the ‘Delivering as One’ initiative in the Philippines, a number ofJPs have been launched in recent years. Several important lessons have been learnt from theexperiences of implementing JPs in the Philippines.Benefits of JP need to be clearly understood. It is important to spend time in identifying good subjectsand clear roles for agencies to work together on subjects based on their comparative advantages. JPsshould be conceptualized and implemented in true spirit of ‘Delivering as One’, and must not beregarded as a mere resource mobilization strategy without thorough assessment of internal andpartners’ capacities to deliver the required outputs. One of the critical factors for improving theeffectiveness of JP is to ensure that participating agencies, especially the convening agencies, take offtheir individual UN agency hats and work for the JP. Otherwise, there would be a lot of mistrustamong the member agencies. There was a suggestion that it might be better to have a managementteam consisting of all HOAs doing the oversight of such JPs. Multi-stakeholder consultation at alllevels is critical to promote the convergence of inputs, directions and knowledge. The lack ofinclusiveness in the project design phase and lack of ownership of the national partners may meet
  • 8. resistance from Implementing Partners. Government commitment to JP is essential for the effectiveimplementation and sustainability of the program. UN agencies must use common implementationmodes and adopt harmonized administrative and financial systems. Until this harmonization happens,common work plans and outcomes are the only binding factors, which can be used to improveprogramme delivery. The JPs through Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund (MDG-F)5are good initiatives but these require dedicated resources for guidance and oversight to be provided.UNCO should play this important role. It was suggested that the JP Coordinators should report to theUNCO, which would promote the principle of ‘Delivering as One’.UNDAF Roll- Out: Key Emerging IssuesThe roll out of the new UNDAF (2012-2016) and the preparatory phase are very important in thepresent socio-economic and political context. With the new government in place, the UNCT in thePhilippines has a great opportunity to cut a niche and demonstrate the relevance and efficiency of theUN system. As expected by the GOP, the UN can set an example to other bilateral and multi-lateralpartners in the Philippines6. This will call for acceleration and strengthening of the ‘Delivering asOne’ efforts and progression towards the ‘One Programme’ in a coherent and coordinated manner,ensuring alignment with national priorities. The proposed One Programme, as the central driver of the‘Delivering as One’, provides an opportunity to put in place an integrated strategic framework of theUN’s programmatic interventions, reducing overlap and fragmentation. Comparative Advantages(CAs) of the UN system in the Philippines include the following: • Normative role in advocating and promoting global norms and standards, inclusive development, the MDGs and human rights; • Wide menu of expertise combined with access to global technical knowledge and experience, including South-South cooperation; • Impartiality/neutrality and ability to convene diverse stakeholders and build consensus; and • Ability to broker and/or mobilize resources.The UN’s strength lies in “upstream” engagement in policy and sharing of best practices and technicalknowledge especially in the context of the Philippines as a lower middle-income status country.Under the Paris Declaration, donors committed to providing technical co-operation in a manner that iscoordinated with strategies and programmes in the partner country. The results of the 2008 survey onthe monitoring of the Paris Declaration shows that 43 percent of the technical cooperation provided bythe UN was coordinated with the Philippines country programmes. Thus, there is a considerable scopefor improvement in the provision of technical knowledge in a coordinated manner.For simplification of the country programming process, ‘One Programme’ can be integrated with theUNDAF exercise. Emphasis should be given on simplifying the reporting on the programming cycle.One Year-End Report for all UN activities in a country is sufficient and increases transparency,especially with reference to the Government and development partners. To ensure a smooth transition,the organizational structure should support the vision. Skill sets of staff members should shift moretowards policy advocacy.Based on the lessons learned, the emerging issues for the next UNDAF cycle can be summarized, asfollows: • Thematic/sectoral and geographical focus of UN interventions need to be determined and areas of convergence should be identified and agreed upon;5 MDG-F is an international cooperation mechanism to accelerate progress on the MDGs world-wide. This was establishedin December 2006 with a generous contribution of Euros 528 million from the Spanish Government to the UN system at theglobal level6 Report of the 2007 UNCT Annual Retreat.
  • 9. • There is a need for establishing a management structure for the UNDAF with clear specification of responsibilities and accountability. The UNCT and the Government should be equal partners in the management mechanism. The UNDAF should be owned by the Government to ensure an effective implementation and monitoring, which is also crucial for realizing the ‘Delivering as One’; • For an operational UNDAF, participation of all stakeholders, including LGUs, civil society, donors and private sector should be fostered at all stages; • Enhanced engagement of NRAs should be ensured in the next UNDAF cycle and their inputs should be recognized; • The focus of the UNDAF should be maintained, limiting it to the outcome level. Implementation of the UNDAF Action plan, to which the UNCT has already agreed7, is a right step in this direction. However, it has to be a living document and the RM should be modified whenever necessary. The UNDAF Action Plan must be revisited periodically by the UN agencies and its partners to review the progress; • Strong Results-based Management (RBM) should be put in place for all phases of the UNDAF; • The programming principles such as gender equality and HRBA should be mainstreamed more effectively in planning, implementation and M&E; these should also be promoted in the Government line departments; • The JP should be implemented in the true spirit of ’Delivering as One’, and clear plan should be laid out for the transition to the ‘One Programme’; • There is a need for an effective Joint Communication Strategy to support One UN Programme: external communication for improving the visibility of the UN, and internal communication to support the change management process and to ensure enhanced coordination. Communication can play an important role in popularizing the UNDAF; • The UNCT should utilize its comparative advantage in policy advocacy and knowledge transfer to maintain its relevance in a middle income country: it should be a two-way exchange; • The UN should play an enhanced role in South-South Cooperation – especially in the areas of disaster preparedness and response, good governance, democratic reform and decentralization.7 UNCT meeting, 14 April 2010