Evaluation of Governance Reform Fund (GRF) phase III implemented by UNDP Georgia

The project evaluated is the Governance Reform Fund (GRF) phase III which is funded by Sweden through the Embassy of Sweden in Tbilisi. The Governance reform Fund is managed by UNDP Georgia that is responsible for implementation of the project.

The project provides support mainly to Georgian state institutions responding to their needs based on set progremme criteria and principles. The goal of the project is to support the development of an efficient public administration system with a stronger capacity of the government to implement a national development agenda that will strengthen the rule of law and improve conditions for democratic accountability. 

The purpose or intended use of the evaluation was to help Sida and its partner UNDP Georgia to assess progress of on-going project Governance Reform Fund to learn from what works well and less well. The evaluation will be used also to provide Sida and its partner UNDP Georgia with an input to upcoming discussions concerning the preparation of a possible new phase of the project.

The primary intended users of the evaluation were:

· Embassy of Sweden in Tbilisi

· Partner organisation UNDP Georgia

The objectives of this evaluation were to assess the results achieved by GRF with the Swedish support focusing on the following: 1) to frame and summarise lessons learned, 2) evaluate the outcomes and outputs of the GRF work on government policies and assess impact, 3) Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the GRF project and formulate recommendations as an input to upcoming discussions concerning the preparation of a new phase of the project.

A team of three consultants carried out this evaluation remotely due to Covid-19, through desk review, online interviews, a survey, workshops and focus groups with the project team and partner institutions involved with the fund. The evaluation concludes that GRF was a relevant, useful and flexible mechanism in light of the public reform dynamics in the country and the objectives of compliance with the Association Agreement and the SDGs. The mechanism is relevant to the needs of the institutions since it is demand-based and facilitates access to specific expertise, notably international one, but there is no overall assessment and prioritisation. While GRF is engaged in supporting elaboration of strategic and policy documents, the implementation is not always supported by the program, challenging sustainability of the support. The report includes recommendations to Sida.

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