New flexible UNDAF (2015-2019) M&E framework
for better UNCT accountability and communication of results
Given the specific context of Tunisia's democratic transition, the Tunisian Government and the UN system have agreed to adopt a flexible and adaptable approach to manage the implementation of our 3rd UNDAF 2015-2019. It bears keeping in mind that the first UNDAF for Tunisia was for the period 2002-2006 and the second was for the period 2007- 2011. This last UNDAF was interrupted in February 2011 immediately after the revolution. Instead the UNCT developed a Transition support strategy (as a bridge between the 2nd and the third UNDAF).
For the new UNDAF (2015-2019) the UNCT decided indeed to keep UNDAF results matrix at the outcome level. This choice raised challenges in terms of UN system accountability. In fact, the two main questions to which we tried to respond are the following:
- How to monitor UN system contribution to the UNDAF outcomes and guarantee UN system accountability without having outputs in the UNDAF matrix?
- How to find a compromise between on one hand flexibility; essential to allow UNCT respond to new Government (after election) priorities as they arise and on the other hand, guarantee UN system accountability?
In response to these challenges, we tried to build an accountability system easy to understand, easy to implement, easy to measure and easy to communicate.
I. UNDAF M&E framework: Designed at the same time as the results matrix (which is the basis of the M&E plan), UNDAF M&E plan highlights mechanisms and modalities to monitor three different aspects:
- Monitoring of Outcome Achievements through indicators baselines and targets provided by UNDAF resultsmatrix.
- Monitoring UN system contribution towards achievement of outcomes: in order to ensure that output level contributions of all agencies to UNDAF outcomes are captured, monitored and reported on, a mapping ("plan de correspondence") was designed to clarify the link between UNDAF outcomes and agency outputs. Agency contributions are then compiled and reported according to 4 cross-cutting issues: advocacy, capacity building of national partners, production and knowledge management and direct support to policy formulation.
- Resources in order to appreciate UN System's performance in terms of fundraising and disbursement. Mid-term external evaluation (once per cycle) will be also conducted in 2017, to assess relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of UN contribution to national priorities, as described in UNDAF.
II. UNDAF implementation (see attached schema) will be delivered through:
- Steering Committee (SC) at the central level co-chaired by the Representative of Tunisian Government (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the UN System's coordinator in Tunisia (the Resident Coordinator). It brings together representatives of governmental departments, national organizations, including labor unions and employers' organizations, civil society as well as UNCT. It meets once a year in order, to examine the reports of the results working groups (see below) in order to gain an appreciation of progress towards results outlined in the UNDAF, and to be better appraised of constraints and opportunities. The committee will also provide guidance to ensure better achievement of the UNDAF's results and also validate UNDAF Annual Review. New flexible UNDAF (2015-2019) M&E framework for better UNCT accountability and communication of results
- Five Result Working Groups (RWG) established to better coordinate UN work organized in three UNDAF thematic area across agencies: (1)democratic governance, (2) Inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic model and (3)social protection and equitable access to high quality of social services, and two cross-cutting issues: (1) gender and (2) youth. Each RWG is chaired by lead UN agency (and in case of temporary absence by alternate UN agency). The RWGs meet at least twice a year with the participation of M&E focal points in order to i) assess progress, identify constraints and opportunities and prepare annual report to the SC; and ii) explore opportunities for joint programming and promote synergies among programs.
- Inter-agency M&E Working Group (see attached TOR): It brings together M&E focal points of all Agencies, coordinated by M&E RCO. It meets quarterly to support: i) planning monitoring and evaluation process; ii) results groups in formulating SMART results and indicators, baselines, targets, MOV, updating risks & hypotheses…); monitoring UNDAF result; fundraising and disbursement as well as preparation of periodic result based reports; iii) UNCT in organizing joint annual reviews and mid-term evaluation; iv) M&E capacity building oriented to UN Staff (refresher sessions, training…) and partners in order to promote RBM and the evaluation culture at UNCT and national level; and finally v) making optimal use of lessons learned from evaluations, facilitating knowledge transfer and dissemination of M&E best practices;
III. UNDAF Reporting for better result communication
Once approved by steering committee, RWG reports are consolidated by RCO in UNDAF annual progress reviews. It reflects cumulative achievements of all agencies during the year. UNDAF annual review is shared then with the ministry of foreign affairs and UNDG/R.
Five Communication fact sheets are developed with different colors (rainbow colors) to ensure better internal (inter-agency) and external (with national partners and donors) communication of results achieved by UN System in Tunisia. i) Three fact sheets on achievements in three UNDAF thematic areas (mentioned above) and ii) two fact sheets on achievements in two cross-cutting thematic (youth, gender). These sheets are regularly updated and communicated in the first quarter of the year following the annual review year.
IV. Capacity building on M&E
In order to contribute to the global movement of national evaluation capacity development guided by EvalPartners intiative "2015 International Year of Evaluation" (EvalYear), new initiatives were taken such as:
- A new fact sheet called "ABC Monitoring &Evaluation" (see copy attached) was designed to make RBM concepts more accessible, comprehensive and usable.it aims also to disseminate M&E best practices.
- A New evaluation association in Tunisia called Tunisian Evaluation Network (TEN) was supported.
- A Mapping study on national evaluation capacity development in Tunisia was supported
Contact : email@example.com M&E officer Tunis- November 2014