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Strategic Evaluation of the Pilot Country Strategic Plans

Evaluation of the Pilot Country Strategic Plans
This strategic evaluation assesses WFP’s progress so far in the formulation and initial implementation of Country Strategic Plans (CSPs), in the framework of the Integrated Road Map (IRM).

The evaluation concluded that adopting CSPs as the framework for planning, managing and delivering WFP’s contributions to the achievement of zero hunger was a significant step forward for the organization. At this early stage of implementing the CSP framework, the contribution of the CSP to the intended organizational outcomes has, on balance, been positive, but has varied significantly across the ten organizational outcomes reviewed and across country contexts.

By building on a comprehensive review of national needs, the CSP has often been a catalyst for helping WFP move to from ‘deliverer’ to ‘enabler’ (and back again when necessary) and to develop better conceptual links between humanitarian and development work. However, the CSP has not yet resulted in the expected gains from the increased transparency and accountability that the framework offers, specifically a move to more flexible and predictable funding.

It is impossible to say whether a more gradual process of reform would have made a stronger contribution to the intended organizational outcomes in the longer term. But the rapid speed at which the elements of the IRM have been implemented has heightened the challenges of coordination, staff capacity strengthening, learning and the application of lessons learned. A key positive feature of the CSP process has been the ability to better align to national priorities. But achievement of operational and administrative standardisation around core systems and procedures should be balanced with the flexibility to adapt as necessary.

The task of introducing and stabilising CSPs and their supporting systems is far from complete, and multiple adjustments lie ahead. Further years of intensive, focused commitment by the organization at all levels are thus needed to achieve what the IRM and the CSP Policy intended.

The evaluation made five groups of recommendations:

  1. Management of the CSP framework: Strengthen existing management structures and the system of systematic learning; undertake a comprehensive review in 2020
  2. CSP processes and guidance: Complete simplification process; develop and update existing guidance; address cross-cutting issues
  3. UN reform: Continue engagement in UN reform process; develop strategies to align CSPs with UNDAF cycles
  4. Monitoring and reporting performance: Ensure that the comprehensive system of monitoring and reporting performance is aligned with the revised CRF; ensure a central role for Country Portfolio evaluations
  5. Funding: Address constraints to more flexible and predictable financing