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The GRF is funded by Sida, implemented by UNDP and aims at supporting the development of an efficient public administration system with a stronger capacity of the government. The fund has two mechanisms to provide demand-based services to institutions: the Capacity Development Fund and On-Demand Consultancy Services. A team of three consultants carried out this evaluation remotely due to Covid-19, through desk review, online interviews, a survey, workshops and focus groups with the project team and partner institutions involved with the fund. The evaluation concludes that GRF was a relevant, useful and flexible mechanism in light of the public reform dynamics in the country and the objectives of compliance with the Association Agreement and the SDGs. The mechanism is relevant to the needs of the institutions since it is demand-based and facilitates access to specific expertise, notably international one, but there is no overall assessment and prioritisation. While GRF is engaged in supporting elaboration of strategic and policy documents, the implementation is not always supported by the program, challenging sustainability of the support. The report includes recommendations to Sida.
The COVID-19 virus has already by June 2020 created a global pandemic with a staggering health impact but also an unprecedented economic impact in term of size, scope and speed. We know little of the final effects of the pandemic, but we can already get a sense of the main economic transmission channels and hence the vulnerability of different countries. In April 2020, IMF revised its global projections for economic growth in 2020 from 6.3 percent to -3 percent, but already in June the World Bank came out with an even worse scenario of -5.2 percent for 2020. This would translate into a much worse recession than the financial crisis in 2008-09 when growth was -1.7 percent, over two years. What complicates the COVID-19 crisis is its complexity and unpredictability with demand and supply collapsing at the same time, challenging the use of typical policy responses.
The purpose of the evaluation was to help both the Embassy and the Georgian Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) better understand what works well and what may work less well in IDFI’s operations. The Evaluation Team assesses that IDFI’s strategic approach as well as the focus of its practical program implementation are highly relevant in relation to Sweden’s results strategy for reform cooperation. Its operations are also relevant to Georgia’s reform priorities and challenges. However, the political context in which IDFI is implementing its programme has not been conducive to change. Its operations have also been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, IDFI has produced a substantial number of high-quality outputs and contributed to several important outcomes relating freedom of information and good governance generally. There are however legitimate concerns that IDFI is taking on too many diverse issues and that this may affect its core activities. The evaluation includes recommendations to IDFI.
Final evaluation of the framework agreement regarding direct grant support and consultancy to the Agency for Gender Equality, Kosovo
This report covers the final evaluation of the 2015-2020 Swedish support to Agency for Gender Equality (AGE) in Kosovo, with the purpose to evaluate achieved results against project objectives, identify key success factors or constraints, provide suggestions, and inform future priorities. AGE was established with a responsibility for promoting equal participation of men and women in political, economic, social and cultural life. Swedish support included direct budget input and technical assistance, and it enhanced the agency’s visibility and legitimacy in relation to government and other donors. The project strengthened AGE’s capacity to take a leading role in strengthening government gender mechanisms, being one main result the creation of gender mainstreaming instruments. Indications of impact were fragile, but most of the results are paving the ground for a roll out of gender equality in Kosovo. Geographical outreach was limited, leaving lasting impact in public institutions at an incipient stage. Capacity building efforts resulted in increased gender equality awareness beyond AGE, but there was little evidence that this would continue without a substantial future input.
This brief takes a closer look at the relationship between trade, employment and poverty reduction. Rather than being comprehensive on all aspects, it aims to give an evidence-based overview of some circumstances under which trade can lead to employment generation and poverty reduction that is relevant to Sida and its partners. Sida also recognises the complexities in this context and the importance of other thematic areas and aspects related to for instance the environment, climate change and gender equality, which however are not covered in this brief.
Evaluation of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) 2017–2021
The purpose of the evaluation is to provide constructive input to CODESRIA management for the design of a new strategic plan (SP) and to provide Sida with input on how to support CODESRIA in the next phase. The overall assessment of CODESRIA during the period under evaluation is positive. Still, CODESRIA is facing basic dilemmas in terms of how the organisation is to relate to and become more relevant for its overarching goal. There is scope for short-term change and improvements, but CODESRIA should consider alternative strategic options and make careful decisions in the new SP. CODESRIA is found highly relevant for Africa at a time when critical social science research is increasingly under pressure. CODESRIA has more limited relevance for the best African SSH researchers, who seem to have found other publication platforms for their work. CODESRIA’s relevance for the donor objective of ‘poverty reduction and sustainable development’ is less clear due to the organisations limited focus on research dissemination beyond academia. CODESRIA’s two most important managerial constraints are delays in publications and vacant positions for senior staff. The report contains recommendations.
End-Term Evaluation of the Swedish Police Assistance Programme in Serbia, SPAP III hand-over (2019–2021)
This evaluation considers the Sida supported Swedish Police Assistance Programme in Serbia, SPAP III hand-over (2019–2021) jointly implemented by the Swedish Police Authority, Serbian Ministry of Interior and Serbian Police Directorate. SPAP III was very relevant at design stage and has remained so over the course of the programme. Coherence is noted across the various components of SPAP III, although coordination across the components is limited. SPAP III complements numerous other donor-supported programmes and projects. Activities have been affected by COVID-19 and changes in leadership, but most activities have been completed or are on track and the programme has largely been efficiently implemented although an underspend is noted as a result of delays. Impact at the highest level is difficult to attribute, but potential for impact and sustainability is noted. The report includes numerous recommendations for what future support might include but notes that a proper formulation process, with significant consultation with the Ministry and Police, is required.
State lending and borrowing offers opportunities for countries to enhance their national goals. The historically low interest rates during the recent years, combined with limited investment opportunities in higher income and middle-income countries, have provided many low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to boost their development efforts through loans. If the investments made with the loans lead to increased productivity, economic growth and tax revenues that outweigh the cost of the loan, the loan is sustainable, and the development outcome of state lending is positive.
This evaluation considers the Sida supported Guatemalan Institutional Justice Strengthening Project (GIJS) (2019-2022) implemented by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia (JES). GIJS aims to strengthen the capacity of the Public Ministry in Guatemala (MP), which is responsible for criminal investigation and the prosecution of crime. was relevant at design stage and has remained so over the course of the project. Good levels of coherence within the project were found and the project is complementary to support provided to the MP, including that provided by Sida under other projects. Changes in leadership and COVID-19 have delayed activities, but the project has responded well to these and has achieved or was on track to achieve its stated outcomes. Impact at the highest level is modest, but direct impact is noted in many areas. Sustainability has also been enhanced by the focus on institutional development. However, the entire project is affected by an ongoing deterioration within the MP following a decision by the Attorney- General to dismiss the Special Prosecutor Against Impunity that has led Sweden to indefinitely suspend technical cooperation with the MP.
The Mid-Term Evaluation of Afrobarometer’s Regional Programme (2018–2022), commissioned by the Embassy of Sweden, Ethiopia, was conducted between July and October 2021 by a NIRAS evalu-ation team. In addition to being a midline assessment of progress made towards achieving planned results under the current strategic period, this evaluation serves as a learning tool for AB in terms of what works well and where improvements could be introduced to optimize the impact of AB for the remainder of the current strategic period as well as for the next programming cycle. The evaluation confirmed the relevance of AB. It concluded that, following the turbulence experienced under the pre-vious strategic period, AB appears to be in ‘crisis-recovery’ mode and has successfully consolidated the Network as an institution. As AB and SIDA prepare to engage on the next phase of their coopera-tion, the evaluation recommends that additional attention be given to monitoring, evaluation and learning; the consolidation and building of partnerships, both national and regional; addressing hu-man resource capacity gaps emerging from the current restructuring of AB as well as the strengthen-ing of AB’s capacity to explore new avenues for fundraising.
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