2013 Philippines: Final Evaluation of the Joint Programme: “Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor”
Author: Richard M Chiwara, and Socorro L Reyes
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The Joint Programme was implemented by two UN agencies – the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the National Economic development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) was also responsible for some outputs. 36 Local Government Units (LGUs) were targeted in 12 provinces from 5 regions. The JP contributed to two outcomes; (1) Investment support mechanisms established for poor communities/municipalities to improve efficiency, access, affordability and quality of potable water, and (2) Enhanced capacities of LGUs and WSPs to develop, operate and manage potable water services.
In line with the instructions contained in the MDG-F M&E Strategy, a final evaluation seeks to track and measure the overall impact of the JP on the MDGs and in multilateralism. The overall purpose of this evaluation was to (a) Measure the extent to which the JP delivered its intended outputs and contribution to outcomes2, and (b) Generate substantive evidence based knowledge, by identifying good practices and lessons learned that could be useful to other development interventions at national (scale up) and international level (replicability). The primary users of the evaluation include the JP partner UN agencies, national and local government partners, civil society organizations and beneficiary communities, the MDG Fund Secretariat as well as the wider UN development system organisations.
An initial desk review of official background documents and JP files and reports conducted culminating with drafting of an Inception Report outlining the scope of work and evaluation design. The Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) and MDG-F Secretariat reviewed the Inception Report and provided comments resulting in the revised Inception Report. Based on the agreed plan and design, a country mission to the Philippines was carried out from May 13 to June 14, 2013. The mission included field visits to 7 Local Government Units (LGUs) in five provinces4 from the total 36 municipalities in the 12 provinces covered by the JP.
During the course of the country mission to the Philippines, individual interviews were carried out with the JP UN agency senior management and programme staff, senior management and programme staff of the participating national and provincial Government departments, staff of the LGUs and community beneficiaries. Additional documents were also made available and were also reviewed as part of the evaluation. The list of documents reviewed is at Annex 1 to this report. At the end of the country mission, a presentation of the evaluation findings, conclusions and recommendations was made to the ERG, and their comments were incorporated in the draft report.
Selection of the municipalities was based on purposeful sampling of LGUs was done in consultation with the JP partners. The rationale for the sampling approach was to identify the LGUs with information intensity as time limitations did not allow visits to all 36 participating LGUs. Annex 2 contains the full list of participating LGUs and those that were included in the sample.
Data collection and analysis
Main sources of data included both secondary (document review) and primary (interviews and focus group discussions). Individual interviews were conducted mainly in Manila with partner UN agency staff and officials of participating national Government departments. In the LGUs, focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with members of the LGU staff as well as representatives of the beneficiary communities. The list of individuals interviewed is provided at Annex 3.
Quantitative analysis techniques were applied to assess JP performance related to quantitative targets and indicators; for example, number of households targeted to have access to water. However, mostly qualitative analysis was used to determine the JP’s contribution to outcomes. The specific analysis tools used relative to the evaluation criteria were (Box 2):
Findings and Conclusions:
Chapter IV provides an analysis of the evidence relating to the evaluation criteria, and addresses the key evaluation questions as set out in the evaluation Terms of Reference.
The most significant accomplishments of the JP were in raising awareness that water was not just an engineering concern for installation of pipes and faucets, but a basic human right and governance issue. Target 10 of MDG 7, aimed to cut in half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. At the Johannesburg World Summit for Sustainable Development, in 2002, this target was expanded to include basic sanitation, and water as a resource was recognized as a critical factor for meeting all the MDGs. In December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly, in resolution A/RES/58/217, proclaimed the period 2005-2015 International Decade for Action 'Water for Life'. The decade officially started on World Water Day, March 22, 2005. (Box 5).
Based on the conclusions contained in chapter V, the evaluation makes the following seven specific recommendations.
Recommendation 1: Continue to Strengthen Integrated Water Resources Management
Recommendation 2: National ownership should be mainstreamed and reflected in programme governance and management mechanisms.
Recommendation 3: Strengthen LGU capacity to acquire resources for developing water supply infrastructure.
Recommendation 4: Strengthen policy advocacy towards lead agency for the water sector
Recommendation 5: Strengthen rights-based approach to water governance.
Recommendation 6: Strengthen support to the Regional WATSAN hubs.
Recommendation 7: Mainstream inclusive civil society participatory programmes for water governance.
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