Table of Contents

  • This report presents an assessment of key development results in Ethiopia over the last five to seven years, and UNDP’s contribution towards their achievement. The assessment was carried out by the UNDP Evaluation Office (EO) in 2004 as part of a series of independent country evaluations known as Assessment of Development Results (ADRs). ADRs serve UNDP requirements for results-based management, corporate accountability, quality assurance, lesson-learning from country-level experiences, and the use of this experience to strengthen corporate knowledge and policies. ADRs also provide an opportunity for UNDP to analyse its relevance and effectiveness at the country level, and then to re-position and re-orientate country programmes in response to findings.

  • This report focuses on changes in the enabling policy and institutional environment in Ethiopia that promise opportunities for development in the future. The emphasis of this largely qualitative evaluation is UNDP’s contribution to national development outcomes, in particular its role in coordination among national authorities and other development stakeholders.

  • This evaluation is an Assessment of Development Results (ADRs) that examines Ethiopia’s development results, the strategic positioning of UNDP, and contributions made by UNDP to development results in Ethiopia. Key lessons, emerging issues and recommendations on the future role of UNDP in Ethiopia conclude the report.

  • Ethiopia has a population of nearly 70 million people, of which some 45 percent are below 15 years of age. It is a multi-lingual and ethnically diverse society with many different types of agro-ecological and climatic conditions. During the last half-century, Ethiopia has experienced periods of economic and social progress, only to be set back again by war, internal upheaval, drought and famine. Opportunities for the poor to change their living conditions continue to be limited by a high rate of population growth, rapid soil erosion and increasingly, HIV/AIDS.

  • UNDP supported Ethiopia through the Fifth Country Programme (CP-V) from 1993 to 1997. Activities included 86 projects and six multi-sectoral programmes that focused on building capacities to tackle the problems of recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation. There was evidence that CP-V programmes lacked focus and resources were thinly spread. Moreover, and as noted in the CP-V evaluation, the availability of ‘absorptive’ capacities was not always present, in particular at the decentralized levels and with respect to cross-sectoral coordination.

  • Few major gains in national development have taken place in Ethiopia over the last decade. The ‘development results’ that form the basis of this assessment are therefore largely from within the policy and institutional environment, including cooperation between national authorities and external development partners. In those areas, positive changes have given rise to the current mood of optimism regarding future prospects for livelihood improvement and poverty reduction.

  • As Ethiopian governance undergoes fundamental changes, UNDP and its partners are trying to find ways to help the Government undertake these changes in ways that produce sustainable improvements in the living standards of the poor. The changes will determine the level at which Government decisions are taken and, beyond this, the roles that elected bodies, civil society and the private sector will play in generating jobs, income and food security.