Management Response

: Kyrgyzstan
: 2015 - 2017 , Kyrgyzstan (CO)
: Evaluation of PBF project “Building a Constituency for Peace”
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: Kyrgyzstan
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The final evaluation of the PRF funded “Building a Constituency for Peace” project certified that the project reached or exceeded all its targets at output and outcome level and contributed to key national strategies in the area of gender equality and peacebuilding. Furthermore, the evaluation found that the knowledge and skills on life- and livelihoods acquired by students via the gender rights and empowerment oriented MSPS component and the sustainable livelihoods focused MPF components will be of value to them throughout their lives, putting students on a successful trajectory. The project was implemented between 2013 and 2016 by the UN Women Kyrgyzstan Country Office in partnership with two national NGOs under the Responsible Partner modality. The Local Self-Governance (LSG) component of the project was implemented by the Foundation for Tolerance International, supporting 20 municipalities in implementing 49 action plans addressing the root causes of conflict. Through the My Prosperous Farm (MPF) course, implemented by the Rural Advisory Service Jalalabad, more than 2,300 students learned and implemented environmentally sound agricultural practices and business skills in their home vegetable gardens, setting themselves up for pursing a livelihood in their village rather than having to go into labour migration to Russia. 2,099 students, a majority being girls, participated in peer-led student study groups learning about gender equality and human rights and advocating for them in their schools and communities within the framework of the My Safe and Peaceful School (MSPS) course implemented directly by UN Women. The MSPS component in particular laid the foundation for a rejuvenation of the gender equality movement by engaging and preparing a new generation of gender activists. The evaluation provided UN Women Kyrgyzstan Country Office and its partners with a useful assessment of project achievements and produced actionable findings and recommendations and documented lessons learned. The purpose of the evaluation was to contribute to effective programming and policy-making in the thematic area of Women, Peace and Security, to engage policy makers and other stakeholders in evidence-based dialogues, and to advocate for gender-responsive strategies to peacebuilding and conflict-prevention with a particular focus on engaging adolescents in dialogues of gender equality, human rights, and peace and security at local, national and regional levels. Findings and recommendations of the evaluation will help inform the development of the Country Office’s next Strategic Note 2018-2022, future programming within the WPS portfolio and beyond, and provide inputs for management decisions in an on-going project with similar approaches and methodologies. By applying a gender-responsive methodology, the evaluation paid special attention and provided important evidence on the effect of the project on power relations in the participating communities and among project beneficiaries - including structural and other causes that give rise to inequities and discrimination. The evaluation also studied how men and women experienced and benefitted differently from the project. The evaluation team reviewed project related documentation, conducted interviews with 105 adult project stakeholders and obtained views of 129 students (95 girls and 29 boys) who participated in the MSPS and MPF components through a participatory exercise mapping change initiated by the project.

: Approved
Recommendation: Use MSPS model as a key instrument for peacebuilding and promotion of gender equality and human rights. Evaluation has found that MSPS component was most effective and efficient in terms of creating informal ‘networks of effective action’ spreading peaceful ideas as well as promoting gender equality and human right in communities. In addition, participation in events organized by MSPS student study groups proved to be a good entry point for local authorities to get engaged in public dialogue on human rights, gender equality and conflict prevention topics
Management Response: The recommendation is accepted. Since the conclusion of the evaluation the CO has received formal approval of the courses designed and implemented under the project from the National Academy of Education (KAO) which is the competent body for reviewing and approving education materials for use in educational institutions. KAO recommended that both the MSPS and MPF courses should be used throughout the school system as extra-curricular classes; and that MPF should also be used to support the relevant mandatory subjects taught as per the national curriculum during class hours. The CO will continue to update, use and introduce both courses into new schools as per funds available for this purpose, while actively soliciting those funds.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Periodically update both courses and specifically in relation to this recommendation the MSPS. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed The MPF and MSPS courses were updated in relation to equal rights, access to and effective use of natural resources as climate change adaptation measures. Both courses were implemented within "Livelihoods through participation and equal access to water" project funded by the Government of Finland, that ended in June 2018. Moreover, both courses serve as a basis for the training module on empowerment of women and girls within PVE initiatives.
To actively seek to acquire new projects where MSPS (and MPF) are key components. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/09 Completed A medium likelihood of success. The CO has developed and submitted two concept notes and one full proposal, and is in the process of finalizing another full proposal to be submitted to the donor utilizing the MSPS component.
Recommendation: Continue fostering social networking between peer educators and UN Women specialists through social media, face-to-face events and joint activities like using graduate peer educators to train next ‘generations’ of peer educators. Project experience confirms that informal social networks are more effective in term of reaching to and engaging with people than formal networks. The evaluation has found several cases when MSPS students were able to reach to ayil okmotu executives through informal social networks going through parents or respected teachers and school directors. The latter actually suggests that It may be easier to reach ayil okmotu executives through schools than trying to reach schools through district akims and ayil okmotu heads.
Management Response: The recommendation is accepted. As the recommendation mentions, UN Women will continue with its work, started in 2013, of qualifying a group of young gender advocates made up of secondary school students who completed the My Safe and Peaceful School course within the framework of several projects in the WPS impact area. The CO has been actively networking and engaging peer educators in various activities on national and local levels, The CO is developing a strategy to sustain and more systematically engage the young gender advocates as agents of change for GEWE and to build platforms for dialogue with local and national authorities.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Review options and identify a legal modality to establish a network joining past, present and future peer educators and peers managed by the members themselves. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed Discussions were held with a legal professional on a simple format for such institutionalisations. Active peer educators were consulted but preferred an informal network. The informal nework is up and running and the CO continues to support it and partned with it during events and campaigns.
Support the peer educators and peers in launching the network. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed The CO is supporting the informal network and partners with it during events and campaigns.
Recommendation: Consider creating a course that could be a continuation of MSPS course and could be used by graduated peer educators to create study groups in colleges and in communities if they don’t go to college. All students who were involved in MSPS study group are saying that they want to continue. MSPS course offers them a very intense and rewarding experience and builds a habit of group work. Once the course is over, people miss being part of a group. UN Women could capitalize on this demand by offering MSPS students who have graduated from high school a “graduate” version of MSPS course.
Management Response: Consider developing a continuation of MSPS course for school students who went through MSPS course but continue in high school. MSPS course gives students skills of project design (action planning, tree analysis) and even community analysis skills though participatory rural appraisal sessions. There is a number of models where the similar sets skill is taught to teams of high school students who then use them to design and implement community service projects and even engage adults, including local authorities, into their implementations. All students who were involved in MSPS study group are saying that they want to continue. MSPS course offers them a very intense and rewarding experience and builds a habit of group work. Once the course is over, people miss being part of a group. UN Women could capitalize on this demand by offering MSPS students who have graduated from high school a “graduate” version of MSPS course.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Introduce jointly with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) a summer school and possibly a course that trains university students on gender sensitive research. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/09 Ongoing A discussion with AUCA faculty took place in 2017. There was an interest in principle of some AUCA faculty for cooperation on the topic, but currently the initiative does not have funding. At the end of 2018, the OSCE Academy approached the CO with a request to integrate such work into an elective degree course on mixed methods research for master students The teaching of the course has taken place in March 2019 and discussions will be held with the OSCE Academy during 2019 to develop the cooperation further and give students access to UN Women projects in its next iteration in 2020. In addition, the CO plans to enhance collaboration with academia by inviting representatives of academic institutions to key activities throughout the year, including the Beijing +25 discussions. In addition, the CO is considering contracting an intern to map out gender research components of local academic institutions (AUCA, UCA, OSCE Academy etc.) and identify individual academics with a relevant research background and to identify gaps to identify avenues for cooperation. The CO will also include this on the project development checklist as an item to be considered when applying for funding. In the context of the programme on Preventing Violent Extremism, 13 young members of the State Agency on Religious Affairs are being trained on how to conduct gender-sensitive research. A guide on how to conduct gender-sensitive research will be produced and shared with universities locally by the end of 2019.
Support the network and its members referred to under recommendation 2 substantially on GEWE and gender-sensitive peacebuilding. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2022/12 Initiated The UN Women Country Office supports individual peer educators by inviting them to various activities, for example UNiTE workshops and recently to Technovation Caravan events. This item will be added on checklist with specific criteria for project development to be created by the National Programme Officer and M&E Specialist
Recommendation: Consider developing a continuation of MSPS course for school students who went through MSPS course but continue in high school. MSPS course gives students skills of project design (action planning, tree analysis) and even community analysis skills though participatory rural appraisal sessions. There is a number of models where the similar sets skill is taught to teams of high school students who then use them to design and implement community service projects and even engage adults, including local authorities, into their implementations. All students who were involved in MSPS study group are saying that they want to continue. MSPS course offers them a very intense and rewarding experience and builds a habit of group work. Once the course is over, people miss being part of a group. UN Women could capitalize on this demand by offering MSPS students who have graduated from high school a “graduate” version of MSPS course.
Management Response: The recommendations are accepted. UN Women will conduct customized training for a group of highly accomplished peer educators on GEWE issues. Subject to acquiring additional project funds, the CO is interested in developing additional curricula as recommended.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Organize a summer school on GEWE for high accomplished peer educators UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed A summer school for such peer educators, selected on merit, took place in summer 2017 under the auspices of the equal access to water project.
Introduce jointly with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) a summer school and possibly a course that trains university students on gender sensitive research, for training content to be cascaded to high achieving peer educators. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/09 No Longer Applicable Due to lack of funding the development of a summer school is cancelled but the plan is to mobilize funding for this in the future. The activity will be added as a checklist item in the project development checklist to be developed by the National Programme Officer and M&E Specialist. In the context of the programme on Preventing Violent Extremism, 13 young members of the State Agency on Religious Affairs are being trained on how to conduct gender-sensitive research. A guide on how to conduct gender-sensitive research will be produced and shared with universities locally by the end of 2019. Also see key activity 2 for recommendation 3 above (which will continue to be updated).
Recommendation: Consider doing a redesign of MSPS (and MPF) manuals and make them black and white to facilitate production of low-cost photo and printed copies by interested students and schools. The high quality of MSPS and MPF manuals in terms of design and print was an advantage in the course of project implementation by providing additional appeal to students and giving them a sense of being a part of bigger group united by the common cause. But now high quality manuals is an integral part of MSPS and MPF brands and both teachers and student expect quality. Making photocopies of used books or printing black and white copies.
Management Response: The recommendation is accepted. UN Women has already identified and implemented a number of ways to meet the demand for MSPS and MPF manuals by 1) giving books to peer educators trained to distribute to an additional group of peers expecting graduation and 2) distributing electronic copies of MSPS and MPF manuals to schools. Both manuals have been officially approved by the Ministry of Education and Kyrgyz Academy of Education who recommended including them in the national curriculum of public schools as extracurricular courses and using selected chapters in mandatory courses within such subjects as Humanity and Society and Introduction to Economics. The CO will explore the opportunities to redesign the manuals in black and white.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The CO will discuss the possibilities to produce a black-and-white version with designers based on updated manuals. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed The layout for the black and white and colour publication are available as a resource material for school teachers on the website of the Kyrgyz Academy of Education in Russian and Kyrgyz and can be printed out whenever needed.
Recommendation: Continue using the approach of holding project beneficiaries accountable for project success as it facilitates effectiveness of development interventions. But in keeping with ‘No one left behind’ principle consider adapting this approach to allow for a reasonable adjustment of requirements that project beneficiaries have to meet to continue their participation in the project based on their individual situations to compensate for existing disadvantages. Within the context of the BCP project keeping beneficiaries accountable for project success proved very effective and facilitated achievement of expected results. The downside of this approach is that it gives advantage to people who already have some advantages in terms of access to technology, better social capital, living closer to a major city, etc.
Management Response: The recommendation is accepted. The CO’s aforementioned activities are aimed at further involvement of graduated peer educators. In each additional activity, there is an expectation of the participant to give back to his or her community in relation to the training content. Furthermore, in the current Equal Access to Water Resources project, UN Women again provides inputs and incentives based on performance in relation to previously agreed milestones.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Human Rights, Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The CO will pay attention to this recommendation in designing new interventions to ensure that new approaches are more inclusive and adaptable. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/06 Completed In frame of new UN Joint projects and another project on cross-border communities, this recommendation will be implemented from spring 2018.
Best practices will be mainstreamed into all projects of the existing programme as applicable. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed Best practices have been mainstreamed during development of three new projects which will commence implementation in spring 2018.
Recommendation: In keeping with ‘No one left behind’ principle continue reaching to municipalities that have not worked with development projects before or worked unsuccessfully, but adjust the level of support to local level of capacity: the less the capacity, the more support is needed. Support in this context does not mean the project staff should do some activities instead of local beneficiaries, but that, for example, advice may be provided regarding the feasibility of action plans developed by community to ensure success that would encourage further action. The BCP project worked better where top decision makers (heads of ayil okmotu for LSG component and school directors for MPF and MSPS component) were interested and supportive. The project in general and its separate components worked better where people had previous successful experience with similar activities. LSG component worked better in municipalities that had already been involved in other similar projects. MPF component worked better in communities with a long history of land cultivation. Working with individuals and institutions with a relatively high capacity allows projects produce more results with less effort and resources and supposedly increases project efficiency. (Though overall efficiency of developmental efforts is probably decreasing, e.g. when the same people go through similar trainings again and again.) But this also amplifies differences between more and less capacitated individuals and communities and promotes inequality instead of combatting it.
Management Response: The recommendation is accepted. Reaching out to remote areas was always the project’s strategy which the CO continues to apply in on-going projects with similar components. We observe a higher buy-in and more ownership in situations were few opportunities for partnering with development actors existed previously.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Human Rights
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The CO is developing a new Strategic Note 2018-2022 and will pay attention to this recommendation during the process. UN Women Kyrgyzstan CO 2017/12 Completed Our commitment continues to be to attend to remote areas and excluded sections of the society, which presupposes that we have activities enabling us to serve these people (sufficient funds). The new Strategic Note, accepted by HQ, sees a focus also on excluded groups, so that no one is left behind. Projects have been designed and acquired in late 2017 that focus also on this target group.