The evaluation covered WFP’s country portfolio in Cambodia between 2011–2017, assessing the standard questions for Country Portfolio Evaluations: strategic positioning and alignment, the influencing factors and quality of strategic decision-making, and portfolio performance and results; including WFP's application of humanitarian principles and a comparative cost analysis of cash-based transfers. The evaluation was timed to inform the Cambodia Country Strategic Plan due in November 2018. It was conducted by the Office of Evaluation with an external team of 5 evaluators.
The portfolio covers operations under corporate WFP Strategic Plans 2008-2013 and 2014-2017. WFP’s interventions consisted of a Country Programme, two emergency operations, a trust fund activity to develop a Humanitarian Response Forum, and bilateral research on rice fortification.
Despite the absence of a Country Strategy, the portfolio has been highly strategic and supports the Government’s priority development sectors. WFP Cambodia is shifting its approach from direct implementation of food assistance to capacity development of national partners to establish and manage programmes autonomously. WFP’s efforts as a strategic partner include greater technical collaboration with decentralized government offices and communes. The operations reached 67 percent of planned beneficiaries due to resource shortfalls. Overall, the Country Programme and the largest emergency operation, received 59 and 53 percent of their total requirements, respectively. The country portfolio has attained targets for gender equality in the proportion of men and women participating in activities. Overall, the evaluation found that the country portfolio was efficient and well implemented despite a challenging funding and political environment. The Country Office activities and outputs were generally of high technical quality.
The evaluation made two operational and four strategic recommendations.
1.Organise a sense-making workshop to consolidate results of numerous assessments/studies to integrate into the Strategic Review/CSP process;
2. Develop a range of information products and knowledge management strategies that consolidate the Country Office’s technical and financial contributions;
3. Strengthen support to the decentralisation process by examining a variety of models to strengthen sub-national capacities;
4. Rationalise and right-size Country Office staff capacity for its new institutional role;
5. Right-size the portfolio to fit Country Office capacity and resource outlook; and
6. Define required support from Headquarters and the Regional Bureau for the CO’s programmatic and institutional transition process.