Evaluation of results-based management in UNDP:.doc
29 January 2008
Evaluation of results-based management in UNDP:
UNDP response to questions raised by Board members
1. Regarding conclusion 3 of the evaluation report, UNDP
management does not fully accept the statement that “… for
UNDP as a whole there are no sustainable human development
objectives with substantive measurable indicators. Hence there
are no clear ways to demonstrate how country projects
contribute to the goals of sustainable human development.”
UNDP management asserts “that country offices have piloted a
wide variety of approaches linking project results to substantive,
measurable development indicators. These pilots have serves as
‘best practices’ within the context of the broader results-based
management initiative that seeks to develop a more standard
approach at the country and regional levels. “
How many country offices have conducted these pilots?
Answer: A systematic inventory of all country office experiences in this
area has not been undertaken. A total of eight country and regional
case studies were utilized as inputs for the enhanced results-based
What has each pilot done to link project results to development indicators?
Answer: Here are brief summaries from four of the pilot experiences:
o UNDP/Albania developed a “Performance Book” that
integrates monitoring of development results (including MDG
substantive results, MDG enabling environment, advocacy and
partnership) with monitoring of financial and management
o UNDP/Argentina developed “La Biblia” a systematic approach
to quarterly monitoring that includes development, institutional
and UN coordination results. Development monitoring reviews
project level results (outputs), programme level results
(outcomes) and risk management.
o The project database created by UNDP/Indonesia
disaggregates project info per geographic area and contains
development and management information. Development
results monitoring integrates the UNDG harmonized results
chain, including both project level and outcome level
o The UNDP/Tajikistan project monitoring site is using score
carding of development results performance, including
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outcome indicators and targets, and linked the responsible
individual staff members.
How are the results of these pilots distilled into best practices and spread
widely for adoption?
Answer: In line with the management objectives of the strategic plan
2008-2011, UNDP launched a corporate initiative in June 2006 to
enhance and integrate its RBM system. During the design phase of
this project, the results of these pilots were distilled into best
practices and the most relevant aspects were adopted as standard
practices within the enhanced RBM platform. The platform integrates
and organizes all current RBM tools for development, management
and UN coordination results under a single web address. It is
designed to be adaptable to specific user needs at the country
office, regional bureau and corporate level. This platform in its
various stages of development has been introduced to hundreds of
UNDP staff members from all country offices through regional and
headquarters workshops. It will be formally launched as a corporate
tool for all units at the end of January.
Could the Evaluation Office explain what is meant by “sustainable human
development” and “sustainable human development objectives”?
Answer: The evaluators took this from EB decision 94/14 which stated that
“the overall mission of UNDP is to realize sustainable human
development, in line with their national development programmes
and priorities”. UNDP defines sustainable human development as
expanding the choices for all people in society – women, men and
children, current and future generations.
Source: UNDP Policy document, January 1997
2. Regarding conclusion 4, UNDP management disagrees with the
statement that “Under current procedures, country programmes
are not scrutinized for development potential by either regional
management or the Executive Board, an abdication of
responsibility.” Management asserts that “… all country
programmes are reviewed by the relevant regional bureau for
compliance with UNDP policies, including those related to
effective results planning.”
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Could the Evaluation Office elaborate on this statement to help Board
members understand its meaning better, including what the Board should do
to “scrutinize” country programmes for “development potential”?
Answer: Scrutinizing country programmes for development potential
the evaluation would involve ensuring that:
o The programme content of draft CPDs is within UNDP’s
mandate and comparative advantage,
o The proposed CPD outcomes are realistic, measurable and are
tracked and results evaluated at the end of the cycle to hold
o The proposed programmes are likely to contribute towards the
stated outcomes, and
o The CPD outcomes will contribute towards corporate goals
legislated by the Executive Board.
Substantive accountability would also require using evaluative
information at the end of the programme cycle to ensure that the
intended programme focus was maintained during implementation
and that intended results were achieved.
Could UNDP management elaborate on regional bureau country programme
review processes, for example, who in the bureau reviews the programmes
and the criteria used to review compliance with UNDP policies and “effective
Answer: The following UNDP procedures apply:
The director of the regional bureau is accountable for the submission
of a high-quality draft CPD for Executive Board review and approval.
The country office and the regional bureau are jointly responsible for
determining an appropriate formulation and appraisal process, which
would normally include the following:
o The regional bureau provides substantive feedback to the
resident representative on the Common Country Assessment
(CCA). The bureau should at that time also indicate how it
intends to participate in the UNDAF and draft CPD formulation
in order to ensure timely contributions from headquarters,
which are indispensable to minimize the need for detailed
review or significant changes at a late stage in the process.
o The regional bureau reviews through a Bureau Programme
Appraisal Committee (PAC) the draft CPD along with its
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evaluation plan to verify, inter alia, that it reflects the UNDP
o The regional bureau ensures that the advice of the PAC and
other comments are taken into consideration in the final draft
and arranges for the financial data to be cleared by the Office
of Planning and Budgeting (OPB) before forwarding the draft
CPD to the Executive Office for clearance and forwarding to
the Executive Board Secretariat.
At the time of submission of draft CPDs to the regional bureau,
country offices should attach records of appraisal process and a
completed check list ensuring all important programming and quality
aspects relevant to CPD process and content are satisfactorily
addressed. The checklist for quality programming includes a wide
range of criteria, including:
o The integration of lessons learned from prior country
programme implementation and evaluation.
o The alignment of proposed outcomes to national priorities.
o Ensuring a clear logical relationship between inputs, outputs,
o Ensuring clear linkages between the CDP results and the
The review undertaken by the Bureau PAC uses a similar checklist,
which includes criteria such as:
o Are expected results in each programme area by the end of
the CPD period clearly expressed in realistic, tangible and
o Are outcome indicators and outputs expressed in terms which
can be readily monitored?
Who reviews projects and other activities conducted under the country
programme umbrella? And how are they reviewed for compliance with UNDP
policies and results planning and reporting?
Answer: UNDP project management procedures are fully aligned with
PRINCE2, an internationally accredited project management
technology. The following UNDP procedures apply:
All projects funded by UNDP must be appraised before approval.
During appraisal, appropriate UNDP representatives and
stakeholders ensure that the project has been designed in a clear
focus on agreed results. Appraisal is based on the same checklist
for quality programming described above, which includes criteria for
compliance with UNDP policies and results planning and reporting.
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The appraisal is conducted through the formal meeting of the Project
Appraisal Committee (PAC). The PAC is established by the UNDP
Resident Representative, based on terms of reference that are
prepared locally based on standard Terms of References. The PAC
shall reflect a participatory process involving stakeholders, most
especially intended beneficiaries. The proposed Project Board1
members should attend the PAC and Outcome Board members
should be invited2. For the appraisal to serve as the independent
checkpoint that it is supposed to be, it is important that individuals
with relevant expertise in the thematic area of the proposed project
are invited to participate meaningfully in the PAC. These
representatives should not have participated in the formulation of the
project and should have no vested interest in the approval of the
The PAC meeting reviews and appraises the project along a number
of dimensions including:
o Clarity in definition of measurable and achievable results
o Appropriate designation of Implementing Partner and
o Achievable project approach and plan, including capacity
o Integration of the cross-cutting issues as appropriate
o Realistic and justifiable project budget
o Complete and comprehensive identification of project risks and
selected actions and strategy to manage those risks
o Determination of the need for and timing of evaluations
3. Regarding conclusion 6, UNDP management recognizes the
importance of accountability for results and states that processes
are in place “to track, measure and report managers’ success
in managing for results, including staff incentives and clear
linkages between results achievements and career
What are the systems/processes to track and measure manager performance
in managing for results and how is an individual employee’s ability to produce
results linked to their career achievement?
The Project Board is the group responsible for making by consensus, management
decisions for a project when guidance is required by the Project Manager, including
approval of project plans and revisions
Each CPD outcome has an Outcome Board responsible for the monitoring
progress on outcome achievement, and the extent to which lessons are being fed
back into programming.
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Answer: A wide variety of systems and processes are currently in
place or under preparation to address these corporate needs. As
mentioned above, the enhanced RBM initiative seeks to rationalize
and integrate these different instruments and procedures. The most
relevant in terms of managerial performance include:
o The Balanced Scorecard, which monitors unit performance
with respect to key corporate priorities and which is utilized in
the assessment of unit manager’s performance.
o The results-based management work plan, prepared annually,
which encompasses all key management priorities for the unit,
linked to budgetary requirements and to the corporate Results
Based Budgeting framework.
o The Results and Competency Assessment System (RCA),
which is the tool for individual results planning and assessment,
linked to career management.
How are results tracked, measured and reported at the project, country
programme, and corporate levels? And how are managers at the project,
country, and corporate levels held accountable for achieving these results.
Answer: During the MYFF period (2004-2007), project level monitoring
procedures were updated to: a) take advantage of the functionalities
available from the ATLAS project management module, including risk
management; and b) conform to PRINCE2 standards. Alignment
with the MYFF results framework, annual outcome level planning and
corporate reporting on outcome achievements and use of the MYFF
development effectiveness drivers within this framework was
facilitated by a web-based interface. Annual MYFF reports were
prepared on the basis of this information, together with information
from other sources, including evaluation and surveys.
UNDP procedures on results monitoring and reported are currently
being further updated to reflect the requirements of the strategic
plan 2008-2011 as well as the enhancements being incorporated into
the integrated RBM platform. These enhancements are very much
focused on facilitating the analysis by country office managers of the
linkages between project level output achievements and country
programme level outcome achievements. The platform—by allowing
country programme outcomes and outputs to be linked to the
strategic plan development results focus areas and key result areas
and by allowing unit-level management work plans and results-based
budgets to be linked to the corporate RBB framework—serves as
means for regular corporate level reporting for all units, including
country offices and for oversight of performance at the regional and
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4. The Evaluation Office states that the report is limited in that “(it)
did not focus on how results-based management systems are
used in reporting on UNDP’s performance to the Executive
Board, or on the quality of the results frameworks used or
Does the evaluation Office have plans to evaluate these areas not covered in
the current report? If yes, what are the plans, timelines for their
implementation, and resource requirements? If not, why not?
Answer: This is covered by extended audits that are conducted every
four years. There are a number of reviews and studies conducted
by UNDP and partners that have looked at existing systems and
tools and addressed issues of quality of the results frameworks used
or indicators selected. The evaluation referred to these studies but
did not duplicate their work.
Which management responses and evaluation report findings need further
reconciliation, elaboration, or further study?
Answer: In paragraph 16 the management response refers to
statements that are not in the final version of evaluation report.