Capacity (mandator programme staff capacity)

Strategic Management - Baseline Study Moldovan MIA

Outputs and outcomes

ISSAT produced a comprehensive report that evolved from the original request of doing a baseline report to one that looked at the various needs and made substantial recommendations. Note that the term ‘baseline’ suggests that programme areas have been already identified and the study is to see where the process evolved from. This mandate actually needed the programme areas to be identified.

In order to capture a broader array of views, an electronic survey was developed by the team and distributed to key personnel in the Central Apparatus/MIA and the heads and deputy heads of a number of departments within the General Inspectorate of Police, Border Police, and the “Stefan cel Mare” Academy (SCM) following the first main mission.

The findings of the review were considered robust, sharp and timely both by the mandator and the MIA. They point to the exceptional progress made in 18 months in strategic management at the MIA  under the current minister, while identifying gaps in different areas. The report was used by the mandator (Sweden) to develop a programme by DCAF with the MIA, with a suggestion made in the AAR that findings from the baseline assessment can be carried forward by DCAF.

The recommendations are meant to quickly shore up gains obtained so far with the need to sustain reform in the longer term, also against the prospect of a change of tide in Moldovan politics. The question raised in the AAR is whether those recommendations can be implemented in the existing conditions, due to political constraints and limited human and financial resources.

Early on the mission, the team  had discussions with Swedish embassy staff on what the role of ISSAT was regarding capacity building and the question remains if ISSAT’s ‘reinforce not replace’ role was effectively delivered. There were plans to have an afternoon capacity building session with the embassy staff, which never materialised due to time constraints and uneven engagement. From the perspective of the mandator, though, the results were tangible in terms of apprehending methods and tools.

Assessment to inform potential options for future international support on Police reform in DRC

Renforcer vs Remplacer

DFID n’a pas de réelle capacité opérationnelle pour mener ce type de mandat. DFID n’a sans doute pas non plus la volonté d’obtenir cette capacité en interne. DFID externalise toujours ce type de mandat et dès lors utilise ISSAT comme un contractant. Ce mandat a donc principalement été pour remplacer les mandataires et non pas les renforcer.

Néanmoins, le renforcement s’est fait au travers du travail rapproché de l’équipe d’ISSAT avec le staff de DFID et UE, individuellement.

De plus, DFID est satisfait d’utiliser ISSAT comme contractant pour certains mandats en RDC, puisque ISSAT a une bonne réputation, provenant de ses compétences et son expérience des évaluations annuelles du programme SSAPR. ISSAT est respecté auprès des interlocuteurs internationaux et nationaux. ISSAT est reconnu comme indépendant et donc utile pour mener à bien des évaluations. Néanmoins, le présent mandat n’était pas une évaluation indépendante, mais bien une étude préalable pour identifier les options pour les futurs programmes soutenus par DFID et UE. L’aspect d’indépendance est moins essentiel, mais DFID a vu ce mandat comme les autres. Il n’y avait donc que très peu d’options pour réellement renforcer et travailler main dans la main avec DFID et l’UE.

Leçons identifiées:

-         Mentionner clairement dans les TdR qu’ISSAT fait partie intégrante de l’équipe du mandatairesur le terrain pour la durée du mandat.

-         Discuter avec DFID HQ sur leur volonté d’obtenir d’ISSAT un renforcement de leur capacité, de quelle manière et dans quelle situation. Pour un mandat d’évaluation, l’indépendance peut être un aspect crucial. Mais pour d’autres types de mandat, ceci ne doit pas spécialement être le cas.

-         Travailler main dans la main avec le staff des mandataires sur le terrain. Mentionner dans les TdR certaines activités de renforcement des capacités lorsque l’équipe est déployée sur le terrain.

Review of the Rule of Law Advisory Mission on Moldova (NORLAM)

Capacity building of the mandator

Capacity building activities were mainly carried out individually, through the participation to the field mission of one staff from Norad. It was clear from the start that someone on the mandator side had to participate to the mandate and it proved to be very useful. The evaluation methodology was not new to the mandator but applying it made the terms and concepts more understandable. The mandate took a structured and systematic approach in collecting and sharing the information, with day-to-day team briefings, planning the interview questions ahead of time, etc. This was considered to be very good. The involvement of Norad staff was limited to the field mission. It could have been better if he would have been involved also during the planning and reporting phases.

The role of ISSAT in terms of capacity building was not clear. It should have been clarified since the beginning in the ToR. NORLAM staff could have benefitted from capacity building activities on the methodology and the use of terms such as output, outcome, impact, etc. Moreover, they do not have the in-house expertise to implement some of the recommendations on strategic planning, project design, etc.

NORLAM staff considered that the ISSAT field mission was very time consuming in terms of planning interviews and logistics. They did not expect that at all and were very busy with their day-to-day work. The mission added a lot of work on top of everything else. Even though the ToR clarifies that “Overall responsibility for co-ordination of the team’s activities on the ground will be provided by NORLAM. i.e. making appointments, providing transport, etc.”, this investment should have been better communicated and someone should have been dedicated to that. There seems to be some confusion on the role of the local expert, part of the review team, in terms of planning and logistics.

It is recognised that time was a big constraint for this mandate. The field mission was very intense with a lot of interviews and only 10 days in Moldova. But this mandate was very well organised and very well led by the team leader. Team members were impressed by that. An additional 2 days on the ground could have been foreseen in order to collect additional information or meet again with some interlocutors to clarify certain issues.

Lessons identified on capacity building:

  • Include a staff member from the mandator side since the beginning of the mandate, from the planning to the reporting phase. Clarify her/his role in the ToR as well as capacity building activities to be undertaken during the mandate.
  • Propose a workshop on the evaluation methodology to the mandator staff in the field. This could be done in half a day at the beginning of the field mission.
  • Clarify and communicate as much as possible on who should plan interviews and take care of the logistics. Recognise that it takes time and plan that well in advance (3 weeks before the deployment of the team in the field).
  • If possible, leave two free days at the end of the field mission in order to be flexible to investigate further certain issues and plan additional interviews.