Outcome Evaluation of UNDP India’s HIV and Development Programme

31 Dec 2011

The Outcome Evaluation assesses outcomes, outputs and impact of UNDP’s development assistance in HIV and Development as articulated by the Country Programme Action Plan and the Country Programme Document for India (2007-2012).

UNDP HIV and Development unit supports the National AIDS Control Program, Government of India to reduce HIV and AIDS among vulnerable groups and uphold the rights of the marginalized communities, including sexual minorities and people living with HIV as agreed upon on by the Country Program Action Plan (CPAP). UNDP HIV and Development unit works with the at-risk populations such as migrants, men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG), and people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) with a strategic thrust focus towards prevention of the spread of HIV and mitigating its impact. UNDP is the lead United Nations Organization for addressing dimensions of AIDS relating to development planning and mainstreaming; governance of AIDS response; and law, human rights and gender, including sexual minorities. The program contributes at three levels - national, for policy change; state, for enabling environment and advocacy; and districts, for decentralized access to services, stigma reduction and to gather evidence for policy advocacy.

The UNDP India Outcome Evaluation captures and demonstrates evaluative evidence of UNDP’s contributions to development outcomes at the country level with the fourfold purpose of (i) providing substantive direction to the formulation of program and project strategies (ii) supporting greater UNDP accountability to national stakeholders and partners in India (iii) serve as a means for quality assurance for interventions at the country level; and (iv) contribute to learning at corporate, regional and country levels. The approach for the evaluation includes a desk review followed by qualitative assessment of outcomes on four areas, namely, relevance, effectiveness, effi cacy and sustainability. In-depth interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews are held with various stakeholders including government counterparts, development partners, civil society organization, community groups and end users of the program both at National and State level as applicable. Field visits are made to Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan to get a direct observation and interaction with State teams and partners. Assessment is carried at strategic level, thematic programmatic level (project activities) and at programmatic level (nonproject activities).

The Outcome Evaluation brought out some interesting learnings. UNDP HIV and Development program is considered as a respected and dependable partner of the National and State AIDS Control program. As a Technical partner, UNDP HIV and Development unit has supported NACO in providing strategic directions for the formulation and implementation of prevention programs for Transgender for GFATM Round 9. The pilot initiative on link worker in 25 districts has become the forerunner of sorts for mobilization of GFATM program for rural outreach. The facilitation of consultative processes of the civil society with the Planning Commission, NALSA and the NACP IV, Wada Na Thodo Abhiyan and the XII Five Year Plan is commendable and has strengthened work on social protection for greater access to services beyond HIV and generated a conducive environment for positive people and transgender to gain some of their civil and political rights. The UNDP HIV and Development work on stigma provided evidences on how stigma can impede access to services among the HRGs and those positive, helped identify gaps in programs and inform actions for concerted efforts for NACP III implementation and IV formulation.

The leadership program with positive women has brought in new capacities for advocacy and demand for services. UNDP HIV and Development program has responded substantially to sexual minorities, rural women and positive women within a gender dimension, nevertheless, some development partners and United Nations Organizations opine that UNDP HIV and Development program does not have an anchor and competence for gender work. For UNDP, their work on gender would not have been possible in the absence of an internal resource and competence; to them, their engagement on gender stems from their inner strength and expertise.

The mainstreaming units built within a coordinated approach along with social protection measures at NACO and in fi ve states developed programs have overtime evolved uniquely in each state. The work with the government and ministries was strategic to sharpening focus on providing social protection to the marginalized communities and ensuring meaningful GIPA, nevertheless, mainstreaming has scope to provide for a greater leverage and involvement.

UNDP HIV and Development program is credited by partners for the concepts that they pick for research. Through mutually respectful partnerships, UNDP HIV and Development program brings in a strong analytical perspective to crystallize the idea and make it available for policy as tools for evidence, strategic directions and provide recommendations for policy advocacy. However, UNDP HIV and Development program is opined to have greater expertise on piloting models that Governments could take over rather than as a strategic partner

UNDP HIV and Development program is considered to have too large a mandate and the pointers for outcomes and results are not sharp. UNDP HIV and Development program is often opined to hold blurred lines between their mandates and Government’s demands and position. Instead of aggressively advocating with the Government, they are viewed as waiting for opportune moments to negotiate on contentious issues or shelve the project if support is not forthcoming from the Government. This makes them appear less effective on negotiating with the Government counterparts.

Nevertheless, UNDP HIV and Development program is considered a valuable partner by communities who greatly appreciate the handholding support of UNDP HIV and Development unit. The value that they attach to partnership is evident at each point of their work and on sharing of ownership and credits. This has made them be considered as a sensitive and respectful partner across partners and within partnerships.

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