Friday, 08 March 2019 12:46

Summary

The project aims to strengthen gender equality, empower rural women and tackle environmental degradation using solar-powered electrification. It will transform rural women’s lives by increasing income and social capital through integration in the distribution of energy from a solar generator, and promoting the use of improved stoves.

Challenge

In Burundi, there is an excessive use of firewood for fuel and low electrification rate (5%, compared to average of 16% across Africa, 41% average in other low-income countries). This limits economic capacity and impedes on children’s access to education. The burden of wood gathering exacerbates inequalities, including an increased safety risk for women. Finally, the use of firewood for fuel is contributing to Burundi’s rapid forest degradation, which is currently at risk of complete destruction by 2024. 

Solution

The light fountain is a solar system with 1 or 2 panels and rechargeable lamps which are rented by women’s associations to the communities with a commercial fee. Income generated from the lamps will be partially used for reinvestment and business expansion.

The project will also promote the fabrication and use of improved stoves by women as an incentive to access the light fountain lamps. Contracts will be signed with selected women’s associations to engage in the production of improved stoves, and members will be trained to produce and use improved stoves in their households.

Expected results (financial and technical):

  1. 80% beneficiaries have increased up to 10% their revenues from solar energy-related activities 
  2. Additional resources mobilised for women and access to energy
  3. Women become active economic agents in their communities through their roles in the distribution of energy and protection of the environment
  4. Broadened partnerships with Swiss cooperation, European Union and other stakeholders
  5. Women, men and children have access to domestic lighting and energy for their basic needs

Other expected benefits include:

  • Solar energy is promoted in rural areas and entrepreneurs are more interested in this sector
  • Schoolchildren improve their evening study conditions
  • Gender based violence is reduced
  • Basic social services are improved thanks to the availability of night lighting
  • The use of wood is reduced
  • Women save time and participate in social activities.

The Ministries of Energy and of Gender will be involved in the choice of sites and localities and will be in charge of supervising the implementation of the project as well as seeking additional funding.

The Ministry of Energy supports the resource mobilisation efforts, for example through the organisation of a multi-stakeholder round table event, and through facilitation and coordination.

The Ministry of Gender supports grassroot engagement with women, through their Community Based Development Centres (CDFC). The CDFC, in partnership with a selected CSO, will engage with and follow up on the activities of the women’s groups.

A local CSO will lead women’s training in improved stoves fabrication and the monitoring of their household use.

The project includes an exploration of South-South Cooperation exchanges relevant to energy solutions. Part of the project strategy is the ongoing mobilisation of funds, including stakeholder engagement, for example with Swiss Cooperation Agency and The European Union as energy solutions and women’s empowerment align with their priorities.

Provider Country: Burundi/UNDP

Beneficiary Country: Burundi

Supported by: UNDP (Innovation Fund)

Implementing Agency: Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Gender, Local CSO

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 14/06/2018 – 31/12/2019

Contact Person: Aminata Ba, Gender Advisor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pascal Mukanya, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:40

Summary

This project aims to improve relations between the UNDP and its customers (UN agencies, staff, etc), by creating a real-time user-experience feedback tool. The country office’s various departments (ICT, senior management, etc) will work together and engage with users for quality control.

Challenge

Current organisational cultural evaluation mechanisms are ineffective:

  • Frequency of collection, which takes place several months after delivery of service
  • Questions are often generic, not targeting the service immediately rendered
  • Lag between the proposed solutions and the problem identified
  • Low response rate

This can affect mobilization of resources, image, transparency, efficiency, as well as quality of services rendered can also be affected.

Solution

The project proposes the ‘Customer Thermometer’ to streamline feedback process in real-time and introduce a star-rating system integrated into the email. In a single click, within an email, customers can provide feedback on their user experience. 

The tool will be fully integrated and compatible with the currently used tool (Outlook) with graphical and user-friendly interfaces, powerful analytics and alerts platform to track real time feedback. This first line survey will help to better orient and fine-tune annual satisfactory survey​.

Expected results (financial and technical):

  1. Improve organizational culture ​
  2. Improve operational efficiency 
  3. Reinforce accountability and transparency toward customers ​
  4. Provide alternative to currently-used traditional survey
  5. Simplified and user-friendly feedback loops 

The project will engage with technical experts (Email Service HQ and ICT team) for system configuration and local support and training. Customers (UN agencies, staff, etc) will be engaged with for quality control.

In the second phase of the project, Senior Management and the Regional Innovation Advisor will conduct awareness raising and dialogues with other African countries.

Provider Country: UNDP DRC

Beneficiary Country: DRC

Supported by: UNDP DRC

Implementing Agency: UNDP DRC

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: Jul 01, 2018 - Jun 30, 2019

Contact Person: Bourema Younoussa, Deputy Country Director Operations, UNDP DRC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gaston Osango, Operations Specialist, UNDP DRC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Amadou SOW, Operations Specialist, UNDP DRC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 11:27

Summary

The UNDP Benin Country Office aims to mobilise the private sector and set up a Labour Market Information System to improve access to information for young job-seekers, and to provide the basis for effective, targeted job creation policies.

Challenge

Youth unemployment rates are increasing in Benin, from 50% in 2011 to close to 70% in 2013. The challenge is compounded by a weak market information system, inefficient public action, weak synergy between stakeholders, and the younger population’s gaps in training and preference for salaried jobs.

Solution

By creating partnerships with the private sector, the Benin country office aims to mobilise private resources and collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to achieve the SDGs.

A Labour Market Information System would provide timely and reliable data to help inform decisions relating to employment, such as the skills and training of the youth population.

Expected results include:

  • Signed engagement with private sector
  • Benin government designs and implements evidence-informed policies
  • USD8 million mobilised over four years
  • An efficient Labour Market Information System used by more than 2 million people
  • Well-designed and funded project implemented
  • Using resources mobilised, 11 000 youth and women will benefit from an Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program.
  • The increase in the productivity of major crops, access to market and increase in revenue will improve food security for the most vulnerable populations.

The National Employment Agency is implementing the Labour System Market, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries is implementing the Youth Entrepreneurship Project.

Tripartite partnerships would be forged between the government of Benin, the UNDP country office, and a private sector entity (e.g. bank, mobile technology entreprises, IFIs, etc.)

Provider Country: Benin

Beneficiary Country: Benin

Supported by: UNDP Benin TRAC Resources; Administrator CIF Funds; Indian Government; Benin Government through a cost sharing Agreement

Implementing Agency: The National Employment Agency; The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: Until July 2019

Contact Person: Irene Cocovi Mensah Azagnandji, Programme Analyst, UNDP Benin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Adama Bocar Soko, Deputy Res. Rep Program, UNDP Benin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 11:17

Summary

The project explores applications of Big Data to measure SDG 16.6.2: public satisfaction with public institutions’ service delivery. Drawing sentiment data from Facebook, the aim is to assess user experiences of public services in real time, as a means to bridge the gap between evidence and informed decision-making on service delivery.

Challenge

In Botswana, reliable and timely measurement of the Sustainable Development Goals is at risk of being inhibited by structural constraints on institutions, low quality data, limited technical capacities, and insufficient financial investments in data collection, analysis, and use. The UNDP Country Programme (2017 – 2021) highlights that achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals requires the availability of comprehensive data for design, prioritization and continuous progress tracking. However, the national data systems currently experience inadequate robustness to achieve this, motivating a need for reforms in order to meet the increasing and evolving needs of data users, including for the full implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Solution

As part of a cross-regional initiative to measure progress on SDG indicators, the Government of Botswana and UNDP are testing the potential of social-media generated Big Data for improved public services. The project aims to leverage new and emerging data sources to produce better and real-time insights that help deliver on the SDGs and improve decision-making.

The tool will serve both as a regular feedback mechanism for line managers to improve public services in the short term, and an evidence base upon which to improve policies and make structural improvements to systems in the long term.

Results include:

  • National and sub-national institutions are able to measure indicators for which standards and methods for measurement are not developed hence contributing to data gaps and responding to Tier 3 data gaps.
  • SDG indicators are measured and monitored using new sources of data and analytical methodologies.
  • The findings are used for national and sub national SDG reporting and feed into national policies and/or decisions.
  • Partnerships forged in development and adoption on new methodologies and tools (hardware and software).

The Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development (MELSD) has volunteered to pilot the data collection approach, and the Office of the President, as custodian of overall public service delivery will provide logistical support where required. The UNDP Innovation Facility and Istanbul Regional Hub provided financial resources, Data Pop Alliance provided technical expertise in prototype design, and the National Statistical Organisation will provide technical support in terms of adherence to data collection standards.   

The project focal points engaged with the UNDP Iraq office, to launch a similar initiative relevant to the Iraqi context.

Provider Country: Botswana

Beneficiary Country: Botswana

Supported By: UNDP Botswana

Implementing Agency: UNDP, Pilot Ministry - MELSD

Project Status: Completed

Project Period: October 2017 - March 2018

Contact Person: Wilmot Reeves, Economics Advisor, UNDP Botswana, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Bame Mannathoko, Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst, UNDP Botswana, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 05 March 2019 15:04

Summary

This initiative aims to establish a partnership between the mining sector, the UN system and the Guinean Government in order to develop a programmatic framework to map, communicate and fund local initiatives geared towards enhancing the development impact of mining operations in the country. Guinea’s Chamber of Mines, a key actor in this initiative, will have its capacity reinforced to play an intermediary role between all the involved stakeholders.

Challenge

One of Africa’s poorest countries, Guinea is ranked 175th of 189 countries according to the Human Development Index. More than 55% of Guinea’s 10.5 million inhabitants live with an income of less than US$1.90 per day. Mining is the predominant economic sector, based on the large-scale extraction of bauxite, aluminium and gold, and represents about 13% of the GDP. However, mining operations leave behind environmental damage and often create social tensions. Indeed, mining requires machinery and skills that are not locally available; therefore jobs for indigenous people often have low remuneration. Hence, whilst mining operations contribute to aggregate GDP, they do not always foster local development and can sometimes even harm local economies. A major factor limiting the mining sector’s contribution to local wealth is the absence of financial instruments to support access to domestic finance for project sponsors.

Solution

The objective of this project is to strengthen the capacity of Guinea’s Chamber of Mines to play an intermediary role between the mining industry, the UN system and local governments in order to develop a robust and innovative partnership to realize greater development impacts. The project will develop a programmatic framework focused on issues of common concern, such as climate change adaptation, which cannot be addressed solely by individual mining companies at the local level and require a national-level engagement. At the same time, tackling such issues must be factored into all initiatives to offset the negative impacts of the exploitation of natural resources through mining activities. The framework will also enable partners to address challenges related to the development of skills and the creation of local employment opportunities through local content in mining supply chains at a sector-wide level. Further, the project will assist in preparing a communication plan to engage with all relevant stakeholders (including local communities), to build awareness about the joint vision for the development of the Guinean mining sector, corporate social responsibility and local-content obligations of mining companies, as well as the structures in place to put these into practice. It will inform the concerned stakeholders about the objectives, actions and expected impacts at both local and sector levels, including the alignment with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Building on the achievements of an earlier programme (“Support for improved governance of mining royalties” – AGREM), which focused on the promotion of inclusive, transparent and accountable practices in the management and use of resources at the local-government level, the project will also set up a local-development fund, capitalized from the mining industry’s contribution with additional support from the UN system and development banks. The local-development fund will finance strategic investments aligned with the programmatic framework, with high local-development potential, using a range of financial instruments: matching grants, revolving grants for private initiatives, public-private partnerships etc. When possible the investments will be used to leverage contributions from other stakeholders such as the Government, local communities and donor-funded development projects.

Extractive industries represent an important part of the economy in Africa and initiatives that can make this sector more socially and environmentally responsible can add value to a more inclusive development. The project will contribute to this end by generating and testing a new funding stream to invest in local development. Through enhanced South-South Cooperation within the region, this project can provide a model for replication in African countries in which the mining sector accounts for a large share of the GDP (such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal).

Provider Country: Guinea

Beneficiary Country: Guinea

Supported by: UNDP

Implementing Agency: UNCDF and UNDP Guinea

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: From end of 2018 to end of 2019

Contact Person: Christel Alvergne; Regional Technical Advisor, Local Development Finance; UNCDF; Senegal; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 05 March 2019 14:52

Summary

This initiative aims to mobilize savings from Senegalese living in Senegal and from the diaspora communities, helping them to invest in local productive initiatives.

Challenge

Despite Senegal’s 6.7% GDP growth rate in 2017, nearly half of the country’s 15.4 million inhabitants live in poverty, with a concentration in rural areas (66% of poor, compared to 23% in Dakar). Although many poverty-reduction initiatives have been implemented over the years, economic growth is not leading to sufficient reduction of poverty. The decentralization process has not yet been able to trigger the desired local development in rural areas, and the lack of resources in and for secondary cities undermines development prospects. Moreover, due to poverty, migration to other countries is significant. Remittances thus play an important role in supporting families, but they also tend to widen economic disparities in local communities and motivate more migration as a result of social comparisons. At the same time, a large part of private savings is being invested in non-productive sectors (real estate, in particular).

Solution

The objective of this initiative is to develop Investment Clubs (ICs), targeting both Senegalese living in the country and those from the diaspora communities in West Africa, Libya, Mauritania, Europe and the United States, to help them engage in productive investments. By building financial and legal structures, providing financial education to the rising middle class and migrants, as well as offering technical assistance, this UNCDF initiative will strengthen the contributions of the diaspora’s South-South remittances to more inclusive development, by channelling them towards productive and economically viable investments with high social impact in secondary cities and rural areas.

The structuring of the ICs includes the establishment of investment funds, which will be supported by a matching grant to boost participants’ willingness to invest, while seeking social change alongside financial returns. The resulting fund is to be allocated in the form of seed capital to catalytic and bankable projects with strong developmental impact. These projects will be prepared and de-risked by UNCDF through the technical assistance of its mechanisms, in particular the Local Finance Initiative. The ICs initiative intends to be a demonstrative experience for the Senegalese middle class and diaspora groups to learn about how their savings can contribute to local economic development. When compared to other similar ongoing private initiatives in Senegal, the advantage of the Investment Clubs is linked to UNCDF’s capacity to source projects geared towards the achievement of the SDGs and to carry out feasibility studies for the selected initiatives until they reach financial sustainability. Indeed, the projects will benefit from UNCDF’s key dual system to asses and monitor their impacts as well as to provide technical assistance and capacity building so that the projects can reach a creditworthiness stage.

Activities already accomplished within this initiative include the elaboration of a market research aimed at identifying the key requirements expected from the ICs and developing the concept, and the definition of an investment strategy. In the long term, it is expected that the programme will impact local development through 20 Investment Clubs created, US$4 million of mobilized funds and 6,000 people educated on financial investment for social development. The initiative also paves the way to many development opportunities for other countries within West Africa, given the common challenge to develop saving habits and promote local-impact investments, and the shared opportunities offered by a rising middle class, the contribution of diaspora communities to a large portion of the GDP and a common economic union, ECOWAS. In a context of intense migration flows within the region, strengthened South-South Cooperation within ECOWAS could enable the scaling-up of the initiative in order to boost the engagement of the diasporas and rising middle-class to save and invest in projects with high local-development impacts.

Provider Country: Senegal

Beneficiary Country: Senegal

Supported by: UNDP

Implementing Agency: UNCDF and UNDP Senegal

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: November 2016 - beginning 2020

Contact Person: Christel Alvergne; Regional Technical Advisor, Local Development Finance; UNCDF; Senegal; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 04 March 2019 10:58

Summary

The main distributor of medines and medical equipment in Zambia,  Medical Stores Limited, required upgrading of its infrastructure in order to improve on the quality and volumes of logistic services it is providing. The support provided by UNDP is aimed at increasing the storage capacity from 7,000m2 to 21,000m2 in Lusaka, improve on the storage and handling systems at MSL and construct four (4) regional warehouses and distribution hubs in four provinces around the country.

Challenge

MSL is the central factor in the storage and distribution of health commodities for the public sector in Zambia, covering over 2,000 health institutions. As a result of increased provision of health services to the general public the supply volumes handled by MSL have increased dramaticaly over the years and MSL faced serious challenges with the storage space available.

Solution

The initiative supported the construction in Lusaka of a new central warehouse for medicines and four regional pharmaceutical warehouses, which meet international quality standards. This initiative significantly enhances capacity of Medical Stores Limited and efficiency to store and distribute medicines, and more broadly assist MSL and the Ministry of Health to improve the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the pharmaceutical supply management system. This will ultimately benefit the health needs of the Zambian people.

This support to MSL is part of the broader south south cooperation aimed at improving the availability and correct use of good quality medicines for the people of Zambia, Congo and Mozambique.

Provider Country: Government of Zambia

Beneficiary Country: Zambia

Supported by: UNDP, EU, GFTAM, World Bank, Government of Zambia

Implementing agency: UNDP

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 17 January 2017-31 December 2019

Contact Person: Jan Willem van den Broek, Officer in Charge, Inclusive Growth and SDGs. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Thursday, 28 February 2019 16:48

Summary

The objective of the programme is to improve urban resilience to promote economic recovery, the basic social services delivery for the poor and vulnerable urban population in Zimbabwe.

Challenge

Generally, poverty is perceived as a rural phenomenon. However, recent studies have shown that poverty in the urban areas is increasing faster than in the rural areas. Whilst the rural resilience programming has enhanced the rural communities’ resilience capacities, there is a need to also focus attention on urban resilience given the magnitude of the shocks and hazards in urban areas. Zimbabwe has been experiencing economic challenges which include a high unemployment rate of more than 90%, cash liquidity challenges and eroded livelihood options. Unlike the rural population, the urban population relies on formal and non-formal employment for their livelihoods as agriculture is not a sustainable source of livelihoods in urban areas.  As a result of the ongoing cash liquidity problems, closing of industry, low foreign investment and low salaries, most households in most cities are highly vulnerable and poor with very limited access to basic social services including safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. About 1.5 million people (2018) were estimated to be food insecure representing 37% of the urban population. Nationally, the majority of households (65%) in urban areas experience a shock/stressor .  Zimbabwe has the second largest informal sector in the world (2018), accounting for more than 94% of the country’s employment. The Petty Trade resulting from the informal economy is one of the important sources of income 11% (2018).

Some of the urban poor cannot afford access to electricity and heavily rely on fossil fuels such as wood as their main source of fuel/energy. The infrastructure deficits may further be worsened as result of the environmental challenges in most of the urban areas such as pollution, poor waste management, deforestation and biodiversity loss. Urban areas in the country are also affected by extreme climate like droughts and floods.  Prevalence of urban food insecurity rose from 31% in 2016 to 37% in 2018. Under-investment in infrastructure maintenance also contributes to the poor living conditions of urban residents, characterised by significant infrastructure deficits for basic services: water and sanitation (WASH), waste management, transport, health services, and electricity. Environment-related health risks, including cholera and typhoid, are very high, as is evident from regular and recent outbreaks, particularly in the larger urban areas amongst the most vulnerable and under-served. These challenges are exacerbated by climate change. Climate change impacts also result in greater rural-to-urban migration, or urbanisation, with the rate of growth increasing faster than what city governments have the capacity to absorb, overwhelming waste water and sewerage systems. Extreme poverty is concentrated in high density urban areas, and the government often struggles to accommodate the rising population in cities. Migrant populations are congregating in illegal settlements which are more vulnerable to climate change. Migrant women are particularly vulnerable, who may live in make-shift houses in unplanned settlements with inadequate water access and poor sanitation. Inappropriate crop production in wetlands around cities has also affected water supply. Loss of wetlands in Harare, for example, has depleted the water table from 12 meters to 30 meters below ground level. There is therefore a need to commit to more sustainable solutions for the WASH and related social services to withstand the shocks and stresses.

Solution

In response to the above UNDP has initiated Urban Resilience programme to generate evidence for building urban resilience in Zimbabwe. The objective of this Programme is to develop urban resilience model in selected local authorities as well as generating evidence and knowledge to strengthen the urban resilience in the country.

The programme adopts one of the approaches to address youth unemployment and well as livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups, which is linking provision of basic social services (including WASH) with generation of employment opportunities: by providing better access to WASH services, developing enterprise opportunities, while at the same time generating jobs in the sector of WASH infrastructure development.

The overall goal of the programme is to improve economic recovery and access to the provision of basic social services of unemployed youths, women, and vulnerable groups in urban areas of Zimbabwe. The Programme approach recognizes the synergistic relationship between a WASH, LED and Basic Social Services Sectors.

The programme focuses on two interrelated components: 1. Basic social services and community infrastructure; 2. Green jobs and social bonds, aiming at employment for the youth that focuses on green technologies to help solve some of the key constraints facing urban populations.

Preliminary consultations led to the formulation of a Preparatory Support Document following the approval of the initiative by the Local Project Appraisal Committee (LPAC) at meeting on the 1 November 2018. An LPAC meeting was attended by UN Agencies, Government, Private Sector, Civil Society and Donors who welcomed and approved the new initiative, given the high levels of urban food insecurity and new outbreaks of Cholera and Typhoid in the targeted areas. Overall the programme would build on previous lessons learned coupled with a strong evidence and knowledge-based component, strong partnerships and a modest resource envelop to leverage other past and future investments. A preparatory support document has been prepared covering the pilot phase that will contribute to the crafting of the medium and long term urban resilience programme. A joint field visit comprising UNICEF, UNDP, and the Ministry representatives was conducted to Gwanda Municipality on 5-7 December 2018 to engage the Local Authority (LA) and identify the needs of the local communities. Consultations in relation to basic social services, employment creation, and private sector partnership were held with Gwanda Municipality and stakeholders to identify areas of collaboration. A field visit resulted in the Gwanda Town Council passing a Resolution in support of the urban resilience programme, paving the way for the implementation of the planned actions.

The programme is also expected to expansion of it to other countries that could be scaled up under South South Cooperation facilities.

Provider Country: UNDP Zimbabwe

Beneficiary Country: Zimbabwe

Supported By: UNDP Country Investment Facility

Implementing Agency: UNDP Zimbabwe, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Selected local authorities, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 2018-2019

Contact Person: Georges Van Montfort, UNDP Zimbabwe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Summary

The initiative brings clean energy and safe water to off-grid marginalized communities by introducing technological solution.

Challenge

Only 16% (2016) of the population in rural areas in Tanzania have access to electricity. Electricity supply is not reliable. Electricity generation is heavily dependent on hydropower- 42%, natural gas – 45% and liquid fuel 13%. Power cuts are frequent and unpredictable due aged transmission lines. With the exception of the hydro-electric, the other two sources of power generation are expensive. Thus, renewable energy sources provide a viable and sustainable option which is yet to be fully exploited in Tanzania. Tanzania's sunshine hours per year range between 2080 and 3500 with global horizontal radiation of 4-7 kwh per square per day. Tapping into this renewable source of energy will give rural populations numerous possibilities including increasing agricultural productivity, income generation and climate resilience. Women, who shoulder a disproportionate responsibility for household fuel and water collection, food preparation, is the population group most affected by inadequate access to clean energy and safe water supply. Typically, women and children spend over two hours a day collecting water, and up to seven hours in remote rural areas. As it is now, most families in the marginalized rural areas buy kerosene for lighting and incur big cost to pay for treatment of diseases cause by use of unclean and unsafe water.So, there has been need to address some key challenges on accessibility to clean energy and safe water in targeted rural areas.

Solution

The main purpose of the project is to bring clean energy and safe water to off-grid marginalized communities by introducing technological solution in Three villages i.e. Mungaa, Makotea & Mtavila in Ikungi districts, Singida region, two villages i.e. Busami & Mwamigingwa in Busega district Simiyu and Three islands i.e. Sozia, Namuguma & Buyanza in Bunda district, Mara region. The areas to be selected do not currently feature in the national plan for electrification. The technology is called 'The Off-Grid Box' (https://www.offgridbox.com), which is a 6x6x6 feet shipping container, equipped with all the hardware needed to produce electricity and clean water. The Off-Grid Box has a warranty of 10 years. The application of this technology helps the communities to access clean energy and safe water for the first time. This is a pilot which could be replicated later in other localities facing similar challenges.A unit of the Off-Grid Box Technology can provide for up to 300 households which may have approximately 1500 people. This makes the project a community transformation initiative, with a long-term impact on the affected communities' livelihood. The Off-Grid Box technology is completely renewable and will be 36% more cost effective than diesel when used to generate electricity in off-grid areas. The electricity produced by one Off-Grid Box unit per year can eliminate the burning of 1.4 tons of diesel fuel (fossil fuel).The project involves the drilling of boreholes to tap underground water, which is additional to harvested rainwater in the relevant communities and ensures the availability of clean and safe water throughout the year.

The project has the potential to attract private sector investment because the technology allows use of mobile payment methods whereby consumers pay for the services provided by using mobile phones. The project also promotes the productive use of energy in agricultural, commercial and mini-industrial activities in rural areas that require electricity services as a direct input to the production of goods or provision of services. These changes reduce rural-urban migration, promote the growth and sustainability of businesses in rural settings.

The project prioritizes women and youth in all services that it directly provides or supports, such as collecting water user fees, security and trainings.

The plan is to continue to develop the Off-grid box and to replicate it to other regions in Tanzania after the completion of the pilot project. Off-Grid Boxes have already been piloted in the South South region, including in Rwanda and South Africa and is expected to spread further in other countries.

Provider Country: UNDP and Rwanda, South Africa

Beneficiary Country: Tanzania

Supported By: UNDP Country Support Facility

Implementing Agency: UNDP Tanzania, Local government Authorities – Ikungi, Busega, and Bunda, Ministry of Energy, Rural Electrification Agency, Private Sector UNCDF

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 2018-2019

Contact Person: Emmanuel C. Nnko, UNGC Network Coordinator, UNDP Tanzania, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 28 February 2019 10:13

Summary

The intervention supports youth and women entrepreneurs creating meaningful progress towards achieving the SDGs through sustainable and smart business solutions. It provides a platform for the development of innovative solutions to address development challenges faced by the country as well as the implementation of SDGs in the areas of Renewable Energy and Waste Management.

Challenge

In Eswatini (Swaziland), two of the primary barriers to successfully establishing new entrepreneurship start-ups, especially by youth and women, is lack of access to capital as well as lack of guidance and coaching that facilitates knowledge transfer from a more experienced generation to the younger generation. Economic growth has remained very low. The results of the country's sluggish growth are high unemployment (51.6% among the youth), underdeveloped labour markets, poor industrial performance, and low entrepreneurial activity. While the global community is gaining momentous strides on the use of innovative approaches to drive sustainable development and create opportunities for economic growth and employment, the country is challenged with establishing linkages applied innovation practices for poverty alleviation, addressing unemployment, ensuring sustainable livelihoods and improved wellbeing. This is compounded by an ineffective science, technology and innovative investments leading to low innovation capacities, and inadequate infrastructure in general. The country is among the least innovative countries in the SADC Region, with a low technological readiness and industrial competitiveness amongst the countries in the region. Strengthening technical skills, for both young men and women, and developing 'brain gain' approaches are absolute prerequisites for the country given the significant youth population dividend, making up 79% of the country's population.

Renewable energy is a sector that has been prioritised by the government, and significant work has been undertaken to create a conducive legislative and policy environment that would promote interventions that increase the share of renewable energy in the national energy mix. A wide range of research and policy papers have highlighted the high potential of the country in terms of solar power due to high solar radiation coefficients almost uniformly across the country. As the country only produces 16% of its energy domestically, the expansion of the use of solar energy also serves as a strategic diversification of the energy supply and reduces the need for imports of this critical commodity. The promotion of solar energy also fits well with the focus of the government and UNDP on Climate Change related interventions, where there is scope to expand climate change mitigation related interventions by promoting new technology and innovation in this sector. Waste management is in its infancy in the country, with only rudimentary waste collection systems in place. Waste separation is very limited, and the logistics of collection and reprocessing have proven to be a challenge. There is scope for knowledge sharing and exchange of waste management solutions across the globe, which will enhance the country's ability to develop and implement a sustainable domestic system.

Young people today are faced with various challenges and in Eswatini (Swaziland) one of the biggest challenges is unemployment. Despite strengths such as favourable location and climate, good infrastructure, diversified production base and skilled labour force, investment in research, applied technology for development solutions remain low in the country. The country still needs to consider developing employment and entrepreneurship policies to integrate the youth into the labour market.

Lack of readily available credit facilities limits the ability of the integration of innovation solutions progression into mainstream business applications. Although in general relatively well educated, young entrepreneurs and women especially lack access to financial resources. With 63% of the population living below the poverty line this problem is further amplified as most of the potential users of credit having limited to no access to collateral often required for loans.

Lack of information and experience form a barrier to develop and position their business proposals well, with a clearly defined place in the supply chain governing renewable energy and waste management. Private sector, including commercial banks, has indicated an interest to invest in these innovative sectors and in young start-up businesses provided they can position themselves clearly with a clear value-added proposition, e.g. how they add value to the supply chain driving the Eswatini (Swaziland) economy in general and the existing industry. There is low uptake for technology and lower progression of start-ups into matured and applied business solutions. This is exacerbated by the lack of public awareness on available facilities and opportunities which could be enabled through communication and robust advocacy actions for establishment of partnerships and networks.

Solution

The SDG Empowerment Fund and the range of services provided under the fund provide a catalytic environment to address a range of development challenges in line with the national priorities, and in areas where there is demonstrable need and interest. By targeting renewable energy and energy efficiency and waste management, the Fund provides critical support to supporting the development of a sector that has demonstrated potential, but that is held back by limited access to knowledge and experience from a business perspective and access to financial resources. By prioritising youth and women, the project aims to contribute to creating employment and income generation for two of the most vulnerable groups in the country. As the Fund does not "just" provide money but also provides coaching and guidance to participants and enhances the chances that the capital provided provides return in investment in terms of economic and social dividend. Entrepreneurs, youth, women and communities can submit proposals in support of renewable energy and waste management solutions to the Fund through a partner commercial bank, Standard Bank Eswatini. UNDP used part of the funds to set up a Loan Guarantee Scheme within Standard Bank to enable the bank to issue collateral free loans for the youth and women enterprises. In addition, Standard Bank increased the value the fund by issuing loans double the guarantee funds available.

UNDP has also partnered with the GOS Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP)to provide capacity building and business advisory services for candidates qualifying for the loans. RSTP is a public enterprise established as a hub for stimulating the knowledge-based economy.

The Fund is composed of following components:

  1. Fund management: Entrepreneurs, youth, women and communities submit proposals in support of renewable energy and waste management solutions to a partner commercial bank. Recipients will pay back the loan based on revenue generated from the new enterprise or from cost avoidance generated by the new technology (in the case of solar). UNDP provides security for the loans and will only pay out in case of defaults.
  2. Using youth-targeted advocacy and communication the project promotes information sharing to create awareness on the need for adoption of science and technology careers and use for innovative approaches to socio-economic growth.
  3. Capacity building is provided for the youth's greater interaction for skills development. This is provided for corporate governance skills development; organizational and systems development; business management; access to credit and credit management; partnership building for mentorship, coaching and job shadowing; and incubation of ideas. The mentoring and coaching space is facilitated by RSTP through a pool of seasoned and experienced entrepreneurs and executives.
  4. Networking and partnerships is promoted to enable further engagement the private sector. This is expected to establish a demand for the innovation solutions for improved efficiency and business profits. Solutions for small enterprises are also promoted for implementation in local governments and rural communities. An increased demand for the services is expected leading to increased financing for such enterprises by commercial banks and other financiers.
  5. Knowledge Creation, Exchange and Management (South-South Triangular Cooperation) is promoted at national and regional levels to expose the youth to information and knowledge which is expected to 'spark' socio-economic solutions leading to entrepreneurship and business entity development.

Results achieved among others include agreement with Standard Bank to double the available funds when issuing loans to the youth and women enterprises.

Providing Country: UNDP Swaziland

Beneficiary Country: (Eswatini) Swaziland

Supported by: UNDP Country Investment Facility

Implementing Agency: UNDP Eswatini, Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP), Eswatini Environment Authority (EEA), Innovation Association of Eswatini (IAS)

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 2018-2019

Contact person: Gugulethu Dlamini,
Programme Analyst,
UNDP Eswatini (Swaziland)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thursday, 28 February 2019 09:59

Summary

More than half of the health clinics in Namibia have limited access to electricity. UNDP’s Solar for Health initiative, supported under the Country Engagement Facility, is providing solar energy to clinics. Clinics can provide 24/7 health services to the population, reduced electricity bills, and safely store medicines and vaccines. The initiative provides increased access to quality health services for the general population including vulnerable populations especially in rural settings of Namibia through the use of solar energy.

Challenge

Namibia’s electricity sector faces major challenges. Security of supplies, both nationally and regionally, is not guaranteed, and regional electricity supply capacities have become substantially constrained. Namibia has only 550MW installed capacity of power generation, mainly from Hydro and thermal sources. Only 45% of the population have access to power. Namibian urban households’ electrification is estimated at 70%, whereas for rural households is 19%. These conditions pose challenges that negatively affect the operability of the health system. Modern health services require stable and reliable energy supply. This is even more important for the supply chain of health commodities, where correct temperature conditions are essential for the quality and durability of medicines, diagnostics, equipment and reagents. Over the last several decades, health supply projects have struggled with the issue of securing sustainable energy supply. Many of storage facilities in remote areas are not linked to the national grid and their energy supply can be erratic. Wood, or other biomass such as crop waste, is the dominant fuel for cooking, lighting and heating. This comes at a huge cost to the environment as families continue to cut down trees (resulting in the deforestation of forests) for much-needed fuel.

The government of Namibia has a clear policy to encourage the use of renewable energy sources; however, the use of solar energy in Namibia remains marginal. For too long, energy poverty has prevented access to healthcare for many vulnerable people around Namibia. Most health facilities in Namibia lack reliable access to energy, and significant number of facilities do not have access to electricity at all. Even health facilities with access to electricity face frequent and significant power shortages, interrupting service provisions and hindering service delivery. Traditionally, diesel generators have powered off-grid facilities and served as back-up power sources in grid-connected healthcare facilities. Yet these come with both high fuel cost and unreliable fuel delivery. The reality is that intermittent or unreliable power sources put people’s lives at risk. The most impacted by these are the vulnerable rural poor.

Health clinics, maternity wards, surgery blocks, medical warehouses, and laboratories all rely on electricity to refrigerate medicines, power the lights and operate life-saving medical devices. Without reliable energy sources, medicines and vaccines are stored in poor condition (cold chain), utility bills are high, and hospitals are in debt. Renewable energy solutions such as Solar PV Systems serve as a promising tool in ensuring that rural health facilities have reliable and cost-effective electricity.

As Namibia is geographically located in a sunshine rich region and has some of the highest solar radiation potential in the world, the country is an ideal place to deploy a cost-effective solution for the energy supply in rural areas. The use of solar power can assist the Namibian health system to increase its resilience to the challenges presented by climate change, including extreme weather events that can affect conventional sources of electricity. The deployment of PV systems for health services has been considered by development organizations and governmental agencies worldwide. This includes the ‘Solar for Health’ initiative by the UNDP, which has supported Namibia in providing Solar PV systems to rural health facilities.

Solution

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Namibia collaborated with Global Fund and Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services on a pilot project under the UNDP global initiative Solar for Health (S4H). S4H is supporting the installation of solar power systems in health centres and clinics in rural areas to reach underserved communities. The goal is to provide healthcare for all, wherever they may be, and to ensure no one is left behind. For example, maternal mortality is higher for women living in rural areas and among poorer communities. The installation of solar panels is helping to ensure that health care workers are better equipped to provide improved health services to reduce complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth.  Further, this also addresses the critical negative impacts on human and natural systems such as health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth.

The pilot project involved the installation of solar energy photo-voltaic (PV) systems in select clinics across Namibia. These systems provide constant and cost-effective access to electricity, assisting vulnerable communities in mitigating climate change and poverty conditions. The pilot is ongoing in terms of upkeep and maintenance which is done through a local solar energy company SolTec and overseen by the installation company GSOL.

The expected results of the initiative include 100% return on investment (ROI) within 2-5 years. The S4H initiative will allow health facilities to save money, which can be reinvested to support other priority health programmes. A scale-up of S4H will transform the country’s health system and contribute to the universal health coverage. It will test and demonstrate a sustainable business model for health sector energy management, enabling the Government and potential private sector partners to increase their investments in reliable energy and promote climate resilient systems for health. The long-term financial benefit would be a reduction in health sector operational costs, with the expected long-term outcome of higher quality supply of medicines in rural health facilities and a reduction in CO2 emissions. This action, although relatively small, if replicated at a global scale will make a larger contribution to avoid the “dangerous 1.5oC warmer earth”. As noted by the IPCC 2018, vulnerable populations are at disproportionately higher risks and impacts on these groups will increase rapidly after the 1.5oC limit is reached. This solution will be especially relevant in SIDS and LDCs, noted to be more vulnerable and higher risks.

This proposal seeks to unlock the up-front capital needed for investments in solar energy for the health sector, and to document the feasibility of different payment for outcome models to ensure sustainability and support scale-up. By exploring the cost effectiveness and development impact of different options, this proposal will serve as a catalyst for new partnerships, including South-South Cooperation initiatives and public-private partnerships where appropriate. The Solar for Health pilot project has already leveraged South-South Cooperation in regard to procurement to initiate the pilot, as procurement was secured in partnership with Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The major lesson learnt was that joint procurement significantly reduces individual country cost.

The feasibility study will assess financing solutions among the 4 countries in the region to gather sufficient information to justify acceptance, modification or rejection of the proposed Solar for Health financing model for further financing and implementation.

Provider Country: UNDP and Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe

Beneficiary Country: Namibia

Supported by: UNDP Country Investment Facility, Global Fund

Implementing Agency: Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS)

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 2018-2019

For more information: https://economist.com.na/32008/community-and-culture/undp-health-ministry-light-up-rural-clinics/

Contact Person: 
Geraldine Van Wyk
Gender and Governance Focal Point
UNDP Namibia
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 15:47

Summary

The project seeks to support the Government of Liberia to design a Performance Management System to improve the overall performance of the civil service with measurable indicators for effective performance monitoring towards improved service delivery, through a combination of performance contracting and active harvesting and analysis of citizen feedback data.

Challenge

Liberia is slowly transitioning from a prolonged period of conflict and fragility. Following a peaceful political transition, the new government may struggle to fulfill its pro-poor policy agenda and will be particularly challenged to address significant poverty, high unemployment and disadvantaged rural areas. The Government of Liberia is committed to delivering a pro-poor development agenda that outlines ambitious improvements in the living conditions for ordinary Liberians. A centerpiece of the agenda is to improve the provision of quality public services to all citizens including the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of the population. Improved access to quality health care and education, significant infrastructure improvements as well as the establishment of transparent, accountable and effective public institutions have been some of the promises that Liberians' now eagerly are waiting for the government to fulfill. This has necessitated a civil service characterized by effective planning, sound formulation of specific policy objectives within realistic timelines and effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track progress; all within the context of an institutional environment characterized by transparency, accountability and purpose. This is a tall order considering that the civil service regularly is accused of poor responsiveness to citizens' needs. Maladministration, corruption and adherence to archaic rules and excessive red tape, are also frequently attributed to the civil service. A key reason lies with the low remuneration levels that demotivate civil servants to provide quality and timely services. In addition, they often receive insufficiently opportunities for systematic professional growth, and existing performance evaluation systems are often substandard with little to no value attached to the outcome. As a result, the civil service is unable to attract and retain high-quality professionals with required skills, knowledge and experience.

Solution

In an effort to improve the performance culture of the Liberian civil service, the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs with the support of UNDP started to support the design of a performance management system that includes performance contracts for the President to sign with key public officials that have clear indicators and monitoring tools for effective delivery of services. Such a system, widely applied in many South countries such as Sierra Leone, Kenya and many others, seek to ensure the accountability of public officials by having them identify and commit to clearly defined annual targets along with their indicators of success to measure service delivery. It is a strategic approach to management, which equips leaders, managers, employees and other stakeholders at various levels with a set of tools and techniques to regularly plan, continuously monitor, periodically measure and review the performance of the organization in terms of indicators and targets for efficiency, effectiveness and impact.

The initiative has two components:

1. Development of Performance Contracts: As a first step, all ministers appointed by the President sign annual performance contracts with Cabinet Ministers that monitor their performance in delivering agreed targets that contribute towards the achievement of key Government of Liberia development priorities. The indicators in the performance tracking tables, through which government ministers are monitored will reflect system-wide performance of their ministries. The achievement of the targets is dependent on performance by staff at various levels within the ministry from the lowest to the highest graded staff, making performance a shared responsibility. It is important that all members of the team are held accountable for the performance of their ministry. The PDU within the Presidency has the sole responsibility for coordinating performance management and service improvement efforts within ministries and agencies. The PDU takes responsibility in coordinating performance contracting, help in developing the requisite tools such as the guidelines, performance evaluation system, tracking tables, etc, and in generating the required information and data to assist in tracking, monitoring and evaluating performance, ensuring cross-synergies with the appraisal system for the public service.

2. Citizen Feedback System (CFS): With various digital technologies such as e-mail, text messaging, online reporting etc., citizens are able to report anything from teacher absenteeism, damaged roads and improper behavior by civil servants to the CFS. Once the report is filed, and following validation by the PDU team, it is forwarded to the relevant ministry or government agency. The concerned institution then sends a response through the CFS with an SMS notification to the reporting citizen/complainant about the action taken. This whole process is designed to be completed within days. Quarterly progress reports on compiled citizen feedback data is presented to the heads of each ministry and agency. Furthermore, if a public institution fails to respond to a complaint within one month the CFS team reports this to the President's Delivery Unit creating a strong disincentive for non-compliance. A major strength with this initiative is that it provides a speedy, low-cost channel for a citizen to voice their concerns and influence public services through modern technology. This is particularly important in Liberia which suffers from severe infrastructure deficits coupled with a very challenging geographical environment. Moreover, with internet usage and mobile connectivity on the rise, this is a tool that to a very low cost would allow citizens in large parts of Liberia to increasingly have a say in the quality of services and how they can be improved.

Some signature achievements of the initiative include:

  • A revised Cabinet Members’ Handbook and updated Cabinet Guidelines for Ministries Agencies and Commissions (MACs);
  • A Performance Manual for Cabinet Secretariats to enable effective follow up on the outcomes of Cabinet retreats, as well as decisions taken at regular meetings of the Cabinet;
  • Institutional systems improvements combined with capacity development initiatives that will enable Cabinet Secretariat staff to support MACs in an effective and evidence-based manner; and
  • The outline of Performance Contracts signed between the President and high ranking public officials that strengthen accountable and effective ministerial delivery of essential services.

A Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism that will improve provision of public services to all Liberians, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, by helping the government compile and analyze essential services data to better understand what kind of services need to be improved in what parts of the country for what kind of individuals (women, men, girls, boys, old, young). The Citizen’s Feedback Mechanism is geared towards improving the overall performance management systems of the Government, combined with compilation and analysis of citizens’ feedback data to improve public services.

Improving access to basic service delivery is key to helping the government through Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACS), achieve milestones under its national development agenda and promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism has a strong potential to help make the voices of the people heard. The initiative will go a long way in helping the government connect to ordinary Liberians on how services are being accessed and utilized and what needs to be improved. The Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism has the potential to play a significant role in realizing the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD’s) policy goal under Pillar IV, as it directly speaks to building “An inclusive and accountable public sector for shared prosperity and sustainable development, building state institutions and making evidence-based decisions”. At the heart of the Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism is an ICT platform that allows service users to report on their experiences, through simple, fast, and low-cost digital technologies, e.g., Whatsapp, text messaging, e-mails etc. Over time, the Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism will generate large quantities of data on service delivery. A critical success factor is a very positive impact the initiative can generate for citizens in terms of improving service delivery in various sectors- education, healthcare and infrastructure services. Moreover, through a comprehensive analysis of the large quantities of data compiled by the Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism, it is anticipated to play a supporting role with a significant impact in planning, implementation and monitoring of SDG performance nationally as well as sub-nationally.

There is also significant potential for expansion and growth of the initiative under South-South Cooperation. As the initiative scales up, there will be ample scope for new and strengthened partnerships to be formed with some key international partners. With UNDP support, the Government of Liberia has also been host to a High-Level Forum of Africa Cabinet Secretaries. The Forum provides an unusually newsworthy opportunity and good media platform to demonstrate Liberia’s far-reaching Performance Management reform accomplishments since 2018, through UNDP Country Investment Facility support.

Provider Country: UNDP Liberia

Beneficiary Country: Liberia

Supported by: UNDP Country Investment Facility

Implementing Agency: Ministry of State of Presidential Affairs, Civil Service Agency, Governance Commission

Project Status: On-going

Project Period: 2018-2019

Contact Person: Henrik Lindroth, UNDP Liberia
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.