29 January 2008

                   Evaluation of results-based management in UNDP:

            UNDP response to questi...
29 January 2008

      outcome indicators and targets, and linked the responsible
      individual staff members.

29 January 2008

         Could the Evaluation Office elaborate on this statement to help Board
          members unders...
29 January 2008

    evaluation plan to verify, inter alia, that it reflects the UNDP
    programming framework.
  o The ...
29 January 2008

The appraisal is conducted through the formal meeting of the Project
Appraisal Committee (PAC). The PA...
29 January 2008

Answer:    A wide variety of systems and processes are currently in
place or under preparation to addres...
29 January 2008

4. The Evaluation Office states that the report is limited in that “(it)
   did not focus on how results...
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Evaluation of results-based management in UNDP:.doc

  1. 1. 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 management initiative.  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 performance. 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 monitoring. o The UNDP/Tajikistan project monitoring site is using score carding of development results performance, including 1
  2. 2. 29 January 2008 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 http://mirror.undp.org/magnet/policy/default.htm 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.” 2
  3. 3. 29 January 2008  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 UNDP accountable 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 results planning”? 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 3
  4. 4. 29 January 2008 evaluation plan to verify, inter alia, that it reflects the UNDP programming framework. 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, and outcomes. o Ensuring clear linkages between the CDP results and the UNDAF results. 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 monitorable terms? 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. 4
  5. 5. 29 January 2008 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 project. 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 management arrangements o Achievable project approach and plan, including capacity development activities 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 advancement.”  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? 1 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 2 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. 5
  6. 6. 29 January 2008 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 corporate levels. 6
  7. 7. 29 January 2008 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 indicators selected.”  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. 7