Terminal Evaluation of National Strategy for Urban Poor Project
The report evaluates the national strategy for the urban poor project and includes an assessment of results and sustainability of the project.
1.1 TERMINAL EVALUATION EXERCISE
Terminal evaluation of National Strategy for Urban Poor (NSUP) project was carried out by Raman Development Consultants Private Limited (RDC) during September 2009 and December 2009. The evaluation team comprised of Rajendra Jani (Team Leader), Rajendra Joshi, Madhu Bharati Sharma and Dr. Ketan Gandhi.
1.2 THE PROJECT
NSUP project was signed in November 2003 between UNDP and Government of India (GOI) for a five year period with end date of December 31st 2007 with allocated budget of USD 6 Million including UNDP share of USD 5 Million. NSUP had two components i.e. a national component and a National Capital Region (NCR) component. The planned project result and intended outcomes are highlighted in the text box.
Project Result - Encouraging informed debate and formulate national and state level strategies on urban poverty reduction
Project Outcome 1 - Enhanced understanding on trends and directions of urban poverty in India
Project Outcome 2 - An all India network on urban poor livelihood established to support wider stakeholders’ dialogue and exchange of information within India and with other countries.
Project Outcome 3 - Innovative and promising livelihood initiatives of urban poor communities broadened and deepened across the country
Project Outcome 4 - Capacity building for a national strategy on urban poverty reduction
Project Outcome-5 - Comprehensive review and capacity analysis to formulate operational strategies for financing livelihood intensive social/physical infrastructure and improved regulatory environment in NCR
NSUP design was re-casted in 2006 to align with seven point charter of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). NSUP was extended twice with final end date being December 31st, 2009. The project was examined in its various aspects through various evaluation exercises comprising Mid Term Evaluation (2007), Evaluation of NGOs/CBOs under NCR component (2008), Management Audit (2008), Outcome Evaluation of service line 2.6 and 3.1 of CPAP 2003-2007 (2006). Terminal Evaluation takes all above reports in cognizance.
1.3 THE CHANGING CONTEXT
Understanding of Urban Poverty has matured with passage of time from the belief that poverty exists only in villages and rich live in cities; to urban poverty is a transient phenomenon; to urban poverty is a spill over of rural poverty; to now the holistic understanding of urban poverty as multidimensional and complex phenomenon including access poverty.
With growing understanding, responses to the Urban Poverty have also broadened in India, as evident from various programs and schemes of urban poverty alleviation (NRY, EIUS, LCS, SJSRY, etc.) from the Fifth National Plan onwards to agenda of “inclusive growth” in the Eleventh National Plan. The apex institutional structure at national level also has undergone several changes and since 2004, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) is the apex national policy making and nodal body with responsibility for urban poverty alleviation. While NSUP was taken up under “Decentralization” theme of UNDAF 2002-07, it was the first time UNDP –India office had a project on Urban Poverty.
The immediate policy and program environment has undergone sea changes during the tenure of NSUP including launching of one of the largest program of GOI on urban renewal in the name of JNNURM with sub mission on Basic Service for Urban Poor (BSUP), Re-casting of SJSRY and recently announced Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) etc.
Broader environment has also changed significantly with Right to Information (RTI) Act, growing emphasis on Bottom of Pyramid approach, holistic paradigm of urban planning, increasing use of Information and Communication Technology and E-Governance.
1.4 EVALUATION OBJECTIVE AND METHODOLOGY
Terminal Evaluation had five objectives of -
To monitor and evaluate results and impacts, including an assessment of sustainability.
To provide a basis for decision making on actions to be taken post-project.
To assess the effectiveness and efficiency of resource use.
To document, provide feedback on, and disseminate lessons learned.
To assess the project’s response to, and the validity of, recommendations made by the midterm review (MTR) undertaken in 2007.
Methodology of evaluation comprised designing and finalizing inquiry framework, deciding stakeholders for meetings in consultation with UNDP, evaluation inquiry based on check list, semi structured interviews and wherever possible small group meetings. Teleconferences were resorted to whenever physical meetings were a constraint.
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF EVALUATIONS
The evaluation is limited by comparison of intended outcomes with re-casted implementation of NSUP.
1.6 FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS –OVERALL NSUP
Mission evaluates NSUP overall as “Satisfactory” based on evaluation with respect to its intended result.
Relevance of NSUP is as per developmental priorities of GOI and priority areas of UNDP. Effectiveness of NSUP is rated as “satisfactory”; Efficiency as “satisfactory”; Results as “highly satisfactory”; Sustainability as “highly satisfactory”.
Mission identifies significant outcomes of NSUP including significant capacity built in terms of network structures and partner institutions at all levels; outputs at draft policy/strategy levels including draft National Strategy for Urban Poverty Reduction, India Poverty Report, Mumbai HDR and draft Model Acts on varied themes affecting urban poor; strengthening the agenda of urban poverty at national level; systems enhancing the program efficiencies like I-POMS, Poverty toolkits and planning manuals at city levels and the sustainability of significant outcomes of NSUP.
Critical Success Factors contributing to the performance of NSUP are identified as strong leadership, collegial environment and adaptive management practices by MoHUPA, selection of credible and interested partners in the project by MoHUPA and UNDP, high level of energy spends by policy cell, high motivation of partners and strong knowledge inputs and coordination by UNDP. Mission notes that JNNURM-BSUP and NSUP both drew from each other and created synergies for both the projects.
Mission critiques the design in terms of logic flow among output-outcome-results especially NCR components, limited involvementof urban poor in NSUP and project management systems.
1.7 FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS-OUTCOME LEVEL
Findings of outcome level evaluation have a dissonance with overall evaluation of NSUP based on results, due to disconnect in the NSUP design and logic flow between result and intended outcomes.
Outcome -1 of “Enhanced understanding on trends and directions of urban poverty in India” is judged to be significantly achieved and “highly satisfactory”. Outcome-2 of “An all India network on urban poor livelihood established to support wider stakeholders’ dialogue and exchange of information within India and with other countries” is judged to be partly achieved and “moderately satisfactory”. Outcome-3 of “Innovative and promising livelihood initiatives of urban poor communities broadened and deepened across the country” is judged to be partly achieved and “moderately satisfactory”. Outcome-4 of “Capacity building for a national strategy on urban poverty reduction” is judged to be significantly achieved and “highly satisfactory”. Outcome-5 of “comprehensive review and capacity analysis to formulate operational strategies for financing livelihood intensive social/physical infrastructure and improved regulatory environment in NCR” is judged to be significantly not achieved and “moderately unsatisfactory”. Outcome-6 of “Targeted support to community associations and NGOs active in the NCR of Delhi to promote urban poor concerns and to address multiple vulnerabilities of urban poor” is judged to be partly achieved and ‘moderately satisfactory”.
Mission recommends that:
i. MoHUPA should develop and implement comprehensive scale up and transit strategy and plan to sustain NSUP outcomes
ii. UNDP should consider focusing on strategic niches created by NSUP through programs like capacity building of urban poor networks; program of model ULBs; capacity building of ULBs.
iii. UNDP should consider strategic niches in other priorities areas based on strengths demonstrated by NSUP of facilitating policy enabling programs.
iv. UNDP should focus on convergence and alignment of its geographical areas of focus, priority areas and ongoing projects.
v. UNDP should develop and implement protocols ad guide for tapping potential convergence and linkages between ongoing projects.
vi. UNDP should develop design guides and protocols for policy enabling green field programs.
NSUP has generated significant learning comprising:
i. Role of adaptive management practices in policy enabling projects with changing context
ii. Capacity building as a central plank strategy for enhancing sustainability
iii. Need for involving primary stakeholders in policy programs despite of difficulties associated
iv. Need for sound logic flow among mix of outputs-outcome-project result
v. Role of proper mix of outcomes to enhance sustainability
vi. Catalytic use of developmental partner funded program and budget in tandem with government programs and budgets
vii. Critical Success Factors for project success including magic of strong leadership, collegial environment, high energy spends by the Policy Cell, credible and interested partners and strong knowledge input and coordination by UNDP
viii. Tapping synergies of ongoing projects within UNDP through strong linkages and convergence