Table of Contents

  • This evaluation report could not have been completed without contributions from many people. First and foremost, it resulted from the efforts of the evaluation team: the team leader, Siddiqur R. Osmani, the team members, Souklaty Sysaneth, Jasmine Subasat, Souksamay Saisouphanh, and the task manager, Masahiro Igarashi. We would also like to thank all the stakeholders who took time to respond to requests from the team, including government officials and other representatives at the national and local levels, project directors and coordinators, representatives of civil society organizations, development partner agencies and sister UN agencies, and beneficiaries and their families. Our special thanks go to the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment, particularly its Deputy Director-General Sisomboun Ounavong. The earnest and valuable support of colleagues in the country office in Lao PDR contributed significantly to the report. It greatly benefited from inputs and reviews from Ryo Sasaki, Mana Takasugi, Watana Patanapongse, Pim Intaravitak and Alan Fox, as well as support from Evelyn Wong, Cecilia Corpus and Christopher Nunez. Anish Pradhan and Marina Blinova assisted in the editing and publication process with the help of an external editor, Sanjay Upadhya.

  • This report presents an independent country-level evaluation conducted by the UNDP Evaluation Office in 2010. The evaluation examines the strategic relevance and positioning of UNDP support and contributions to the development of Lao PDR under the present UNDP country programme 2007-2011. The report assesses the results of UNDP interventions under various thematic areas and makes forward-looking recommendations for the next country programme starting in 2012.

  • The Assessment of Development Results (ADR) in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is an independent country-level evaluation conducted by the Evaluation Office of UNDP in 2010. Its objective is to assess UNDP’s overall performance and contribution to development in Lao PDR during its most recent programming cycle (2007-2011) and to draw lessons for future strategies, particularly for the next programming cycle.

  • The Assessment of Development Results (ADR) in Lao PDR is an independent country-level evaluation conducted by the Evaluation Office of UNDP in 2010. Its objective is to assess UNDP’s overall performance and contribution to development in Lao PDR during its most recent programming cycle (2007-2011) and to draw lessons for future strategies, particularly for the next programming cycle.

  • Lao PDR is a small, mountainous, landlocked LDC bordering Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It was established in 1975, succeeding the Kingdom of Laos, after decades of civil war and involvement in the larger Indochina War.

  • UNDP, together with its sister agencies in the UNCT, is committed to support the Government of Lao PDR to achieve the overarching national goals of meeting the MDG targets and lifting the country from the ranks of LDCs by 2020. At the programmatic level, UNDP is supporting a number of initiatives aimed at meeting these objectives, within the context of UNDAF (2007-2011), the government’s NSEDP (2006-2010), and the CCA (2006). At the policy dialogue level, UNDP plays a key role, through the UN Resident Coordinator, in facilitating discussions and coordination between the government and the donor community.

  • UNDP has an exceptionally high-profile presence in Lao PDR, far disproportionate to its direct financial contribution. This is also true for the UNCT in general and the UN Resident Coordinator in particular. From meetings with government officials, development partners, and civil society organizations, it was evident to the evaluation team that UNDP is highly valued and trusted by the Government of Lao PDR – perhaps more so than any other development partner. UNDP’s pre-eminence among Lao PDR’s development partners is a testament to its success in making itself strategically highly relevant to the government through various programmes and other activities.

  • The primary objective of UNDP in Lao PDR is to assist the government in its quest to achieve the overarching development goal of poverty reduction and equitable growth. Almost everything that UNDP does has direct or indirect bearing on this outcome. However, some activities are intended to be more directly relevant to poverty reduction than others are. These are the ones that will be reviewed in this section for their relevance and for their effectiveness in terms of development impact.

  • The highest priority of the Government of Lao PDR is to graduate from the LDC status by 2020. To this end, the government has devised strategies to ensure rapid and pro-poor growth, to develop a legal and governance structure commensurate with a modern globalized economy, and to pursue economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner. In all these areas, UNDP has been playing a major role in assisting the government in devising as well as implementing strategies. UNDP has also made a major contribution on the issue of special significance to Lao PDR – mitigating impact of UXO inherited from the Second Indochina War. While focusing mainly on long-term development, UNDP has also responded flexibly to meet the short-term needs of the government in dealing with natural disasters and epidemics.