As a Cluster Lead Agency, UNDP has commissioned an independent prospective evaluation on the scope of the Global Cluster for Early Recovery (GCER) at global level and on the work of the Early Recovery clusters/sectors in countries where clusters/sectors were formally activated by the IASC. The purpose of the evaluation was two-fold: firstly, to evaluate the overall effectiveness of GCER coordination, and secondly to support UNDP’s consideration of the most appropriate way to support Early Recovery in the future.
The evaluation team visited six case study countries and used a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative methods. More than 90 key stakeholders in Geneva and New York, as well the internal Reference Group and external Advisory Group, validated the findings and together refined five options for the GCER. More than 90 key stakeholders in Geneva and New York, as well the internal Reference Group and external Advisory Group, validated the findings and together refined five options for the GCER, ranging from recommitment to an improved version of the existing cluster model to complete closure.
Evaluation Key Findings
- Despite the best efforts of the GCER, the concept of Early Recovery and the legitimacy of a dedicated Early Recovery Cluster have not taken hold.
- The horizontal strategic functions of the Early Recovery Advisor were more effective than the vertical functions of the country level Early Recovery Cluster coordination.
- In crisis contexts, the Early Recovery Cluster is a low priority, but Early Recovery work seems to be well supported by other clusters and UNDP’s regular programming.
- Early Recovery Clusters (and Early Recovery Advisors) are better suited to sudden onset disasters than to conflict settings, especially when conflicts are protracted. New models of coordination are emerging in some protracted conflict settings, including area-based planning.
- GCER is not the platform from which UNDP should engage in the Humanitarian Development (Peacebuilding) Nexus.
- UNDP is well-placed to serve as a bridge between humanitarian, development and peacebuilding action.
Evaluation Main Recommendations
- The IASC Principals to reiterate the importance of integrating Early Recovery in humanitarian response and to sharpen the accountability of Humanitarian Coordinators for mainstreaming Early Recovery into the entire humanitarian response and for Early Recovery results.
- UNDP to request the IASC Principals to: (a) create a successor body to the GCER, attached to the IASC, that would provide support for strategic integration of Early Recovery into the entire humanitarian response, through deployment of Early Recovery Advisors to support Humanitarian Coordinators and Humanitarian Country Teams when required, and particularly in sudden onset crises; (b) make appropriate transition arrangements regarding transfer of knowledge, tools, activities and resources at global and country levels, such that the essential and valued elements of GCER work are carried forward by the successor mechanism and by other clusters; and (c) close country-level Early Recovery clusters in orderly fashion by the end of 2018.
- Continue to support the GCER at global and country levels, until such time as the IASC has made decisions regarding these recommendations and, thereafter, close the GCER.
- Inform the Senior Advisory Group of UNDP’s intention to request that the IASC close the GCER after transition arrangements are in place.
- UNDP should retain its membership in the IASC, including the Emergency Directors’ Group, retain its membership of country-level Humanitarian Country Teams, continue to advocate for Early Recovery in the humanitarian area and continue to deliver Early Recovery programming both inside and outside the humanitarian appeals.
- Actively encourage the IASC and UNDG to create a new mechanism to ensure Humanitarian Development (Peacebuilding) Nexus coordination and to support the operationalization of the NWoW in the field, including deployments of advisors in protracted crises where relevant. UNDP should play a central role in developing this new mechanism. It is well-placed to do so as it sits at the centre of the development stakeholders, has a mandated integrator role and is one of the vice-chairs of the Joint Steering Committee to advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration.
- UNDP’s management response has largely endorsed the evaluation recommendations.
- The recommendations of the evaluation will be tabled for discussions and endorsement at a forthcoming IASC Principals’ meeting, possibly in December.
- While awaiting the decision of the IASC Principals, the GCER has initiated conversations with other Global Cluster Coordinators to discuss and develop global arrangements on transition.
- Besides, the cluster transition will have to be tailored to each country context as the development of 2019 Humanitarian Response Plans has already started. Colleagues from the Crisis Bureau Geneva team are in contact with colleagues in the field and available to design and support country specific transitions.