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Formative Evaluation of the Global Peace and Security Fund

(February 2008)

(PDF Version, 704 KB) *


Acronyms

ADM
Assistant Deputy Minister
AMIS
African Union Mission in Sudan
AWG
Assessment Working Group
BCF
Foreign Policy and Corporate Communications Division
CAD
Canadian Dollar
CCHS
Canadian Consortium on Human Security
CIDA
Canadian International Development Agency
CIC
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
CPPB
Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
CSIS
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
CSC
Correctional Services Canada
DCL
Cabinet and Parliamentary Liaison Division
DDR
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
DG
Director General
DM
Deputy Minister
DFAIT
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
DFID
UK Department of International Development
DND
Department of National Defence
EAC
Evaluation Advisory Committee
ELAP
E-Learning for African Peacekeepers
FSDN
Sudan Task Force
FSG
Fragile States Group
FSO
Foreign Service Officer
FTAG
Afghanistan Task Force
GBP
Glyn Berry Program
GDS
Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development Strategy Division
GHH
Human rights, Gender Equality, Health and Population Division
GHS
Human Security Policy Division
GoC
Government of Canada
GPOP
Global Peace Operations Programme
GPSF
Global Peace and Security Fund
GPSP
Global Peace and Security Programme
HSP
Human Security Program
IAM
Area Management Office
ICT
International Crime and Terrorism Division
IDP
Internally Displaced Persons
IDRC
International Development Research Centre
ILX
Mine Action and small Arms Group
IRC
Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Group
IRD
Executive Office - START
IFM
International Security Branch
IRH
Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response Group
IRP
Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Group
IXS
Program Services Unit
JLH
UN, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Section
JUS
Justice Legal Services Division
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
NGO
Non Governmental Organization
ODA
Overseas Development Assistance
OECD
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OGDs
Other Government Departments
PAA
Program Activity Architecture
PCO
Privy Council Office
PDM
Project Development and Management Group
PDR
Strategic Planning Division
PPC
Program Planning Committee
PSEP-C
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
RBAF
Risk-Based Audit Framework
RBM
Results-Based Management
RBPF
Results-Based Performance Framework
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
RMAF
Results-based Management and Accountability Framework
SAB
START Advisory Board
SIDA
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
SMART
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, realistic and Time-bound
SMFH
Financial Services
SMPA
Program Analysis
SOPs
Standard Operating Procedures
SPPG
Contracting
START
Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force
T&Cs
Terms and Conditions
TB
Treasury Board Secretariat
TORs
Terms of Reference
UK
United Kingdom
UN
United Nations
UNDP
United Nations Development Program
UN-DPKO
United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
USAID
United States Agency for International Development
WoG
Whole of Government
ZIE
Evaluation Division

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Executive Summary

Background

In response to the need for a rapid coordinated Canadian response to crises in the world caused by conflict, natural disasters, and failed and fragile states, the Government of Canada (GoC) established, in May 2005, the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) along with the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) under the authority of the Minister of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) with a budget of $500 million over five years (2005-2010). The GPSF was created to fill institutional and funding gaps within the GoC by providing dedicated resources for activities that are necessary for a timely response to countries in crisis or at risk of crisis, but are not within the responsibilities of the Department of National Defence (DND), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The GPSF and its sub-programs are managed by the START Secretariat. Its mandate covers an integrated package of policy, operational and programming work in the areas of: Peace Keeping and Peace Operations; Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding; Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response; and, Mine Action and Small Arms and Light Weapons. In the implementation of the GPSF, START is also provided with guidance from the START Advisory Board (SAB) made up of Directors General (DG) from the DFAIT, CIDA, DND and other relevant federal entities. This Advisory Board is charged with establishing Whole of Government (WoG) strategic policy, priority setting and direction with respect to fragile states and complex emergencies.

The GPSF is divided into three sub-programs. The Global Peace Operations Program (GPOP) supports the development of global capacity for peace operations with a primary focus on Africa through medium-term capacity building for integrated peace operations involving military, police and other civilians. The program fulfills Canada's commitments to the G8 as reaffirmed by the Prime Minister at the St. Petersburg and Heiligendamn Summits. The Global Peace and Security Program (GPSP) is intended to provide timely, coherent and effective responses to peace and security challenges of fragile states, including conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization initiatives.

The GPSP's objective is to stabilize large-scale crisis situations and restore security for local populations while maintaining an analytical capacity to provide expert advice on conflict prevention and early warning. Finally the Glyn Berry Program (GBP) (Formerly known as the Human Security Program - HSP) is intended to advance Canadian foreign policy priorities of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world through diplomatic leadership and policy advocacy, strengthening multilateral mechanisms, Canadian capacity building and targeted country-specific initiatives. Each of the GPSF sub-programs, arguably with the exception of GPOP, have been divided into sub-programming units most commonly known as funding envelopes.

Methodology

The findings in this report are based on over 40 interviews and a review of internal documents and worldwide literature. The evaluation also included the use of three 'illustrative examples' focusing on a specific component of each sub-program, which were utilized as data sources to inform the larger report. It is important to note that no field data collection was undertaken.

Evaluation findings were subject to several limitations. For various reasons related to the needs of DFAIT to report to Cabinet the evaluation was completed on a condensed time-line, including the submission of draft findings in less than six weeks after the functional/operational start of the evaluation. In addition, the evaluators were also challenged by the rapid evolution of GPSF structures and systems during the course of the evaluation. For example, at the time the evaluation was conducted, START was in the process of revising its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and developing logic models for the sub-programs. Every effort was made to ensure that this report cited the most up-to-date sources; however, some information may already be dated.

Defining GPSF for the Purposes of this Evaluation

In practice START and GPSF are separate entities. START is an organizational unit tasked with ensuring the development of a standing capacity for implementation of Canadian policy priorities in emergencies, conflict prevention and peace-building on a WoG basis. The GPSF is the funding instrument used to support initiatives in the areas of crisis response, conflict prevention, peace operations and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction. However, both START and GPSF are governed by a single RMAF - the GPSF RMAF. As a result, START and GPSF are often referred to as one and the same entity.

This conflation of objectives and results articulation of START with the GPSF presented a challenge to the evaluators in terms of the focus and scope of the evaluation. Notwithstanding this defect in the RMAF design, the evaluation team relied on the current GPSF RMAF to guide the evaluation. It has done so because the current RMAF constitutes the agreed upon reporting framework between DFAIT and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TB) and because TB policy requires evaluations to comply with the RMAF. As a consequence, the performance of START assumes level of prominence in the report that would not otherwise be the case had the RMAF been more clearly GPSF focused.

International Context

Peace-building and conflict prevention have evolved rapidly since the end of the Cold War with a multiplicity of overlapping activities emerging as 'best practices'. In the last seven years, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) took a lead role in codifying and clarifying emerging best practices. In its latest publication "Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States" (April 2007), OECD presented 10 principles for good practice. These include: the need for strong understanding of the causes and context of conflicts; the need for fast and flexible responses; the need for longer-term engagement to ensure success; and the importance of a WoG approach in coordinating responses. In terms of institutional arrangements, the United Kingdom (UK) and several other counties have established separate funds for rapid response - in most cases utilized on a WoG basis - similar to Canada's approach through the GPSF.

GPSF Context

Both the GPSF and START are relatively new, and both are evolving. Since START was created, there have been ongoing refinements and changes in its mandate, organizational structure, programs and operational procedures. Moreover, for much of the period covered by this formative evaluation, the GPSF operated under the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of the then pre-existing Human Security Program (HSP). These T&Cs restricted the kind of programming the GPSF could engage in, the type of support that it could provide and the level and duration of the GPSF funding. More specifically, these restrictions limited the funds available for programming, made it difficult to support multilateral organizations, and provide multi-year commitments. Furthermore, for a period of several months, the GPSF operated under the burden of Governor General Special Warrants, which meant that START could not make commitments unless it could provide 100 percent assurance that requested GPSF funds would be disbursed. Finally, late approval of the GPSF T&Cs contributed to delays in disbursements to projects spanning fiscal years. These operational constraints remained in effect until September 2006, at which time the GPSF finally secured its own T&Cs. Although TB, following its review of the second GPSF submission, unfroze funding for the balance of FY 2006-2007, funding for FY 2007-2008 was approved only for initiatives in Afghanistan, Sudan, and Haiti. Funding after March 31, 2007 for other GPSF sub-programs required TB re-approval. All spending under the GPSF is frozen after March 31, 2008, pending a formative evaluation of the GPSF and a return to TB before March 31, 2008 with a report on the achievements of the Program.

Canadian Context

GPSF remains responsive to and supportive of the international policy priorities of the GoC. Since January 2006, the GoC has, in a variety of international fora, declared its commitment to respond to international crises (both natural and human made) and to support peacebuilding, post conflict stabilization and reconstruction efforts in countries in crisis or at risk of crisis. Examples include commitments to Haiti (made at the International Donors' Conference for Haiti's Social and Economic Development, held in Port-au-Prince (July 2006) totaling CAD $520 million over 5 years (2006-2011).(1) In 2006, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the CAD $25 million Lebanon Relief Fund to respond effectively to the need for relief, rapid recovery, and stabilization.(2)

There have been several changes to the institutional landscape in Canada relating to crisis response, peacebuilding and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction. The establishment of the Sudan Task Force and the Afghanistan Task Force, as well as the launch in October 2006 of the Office for Democratic Governance (housed within CIDA), have had implications for START in terms of its WoG coordination of the GPSF. START has made adjustments to avoid overlap and discordance between these entities and START. However, ambiguities in the relationship and accountabilities between entities remain, and desired synergies are an unfulfilled goal.

Relevance of GPSF

As of late 2007, the original rationale for GPSF's role as a funding mechanism (providing a significant amount of dedicated resources for conflict prevention, peace operations, peace-building, and post conflict stabilization) remained valid. Further, it is clear that the institutional gap filled by START in its implementation of the GPSF, as a standing capacity to deploy GPSF resources, also remains a valid role. The emergence of entities such as the Afghan Task Force should not be viewed as the emergence of 'competing entities.' Rather, they represent the manifestation of GoC's foreign policy priorities that extend beyond the mandate of START/GPSF. Further, it was noted that the WoG elements of START/GPSF are consistent with international best practices and the needs of the GoC in meetings its international commitments.

GPSF Design

The design of GPSF, as articulated in the RMAF/RBAF, and in particular the program logic, was too generic to provide adequate guidance for the implementation of the GPSF. Implementation of GPSF is further confounded by the integration of START's design with the GPSF design under a single program logic model that blends organizational functions of START and the funding functions of GPSF. This conflation of START with the GPSF has contributed to a blending of mandates and roles that has confounded observers and frustrated program monitoring and reporting.

GPSF Enabling Instruments

The constraints imposed by GPSF's enabling instruments - specifically the, TB approvals and the T&Cs - negatively impacted the implementation of GPSF in several ways. For example, the need for annual re-approvals of GPSF through TB Submissions and funding freezes imposed by TB limited the ability of GPSF planners and recipients to engage in strategic, multi-year engagements, which are a key component of international best practices in this field. Furthermore, it increased risks and stresses on GPSF staff by concentrating programming into reduced time frames (effectively 6 months or less), and reduced the level of Canada's flexibility to respond to newly emerging crises. The GPSF's limited granting authority (compared to OGDs engaged with the same organizational partners) increased START's level of dependence on contribution agreements, which require a greater level of effort to prepare and monitor, thus adding transaction and opportunity costs to the implementation of GPSF.

GPSF Governance

The START Advisory Board (SAB) is a "foreign policy mechanism" intended to align the GoC's geographic and thematic priorities for fragile states and provide coherence in the allocation of resources. The majority of interview respondents (from both DFAIT and OGDs) indicated that the SAB was not fulfilling its intended roles. This is in part due to the fact that the mandate of SAB appears to be beyond the authority of a DG-level entity. Further, it was noted in some cases that Task Forces inaugurated by Cabinet had no formal written understanding relating to the re-division of roles and accountabilities vis-à-vis START/SAB. As a result, some uncertainties arose regarding roles and responsibilities with respect to WoG planning, monitoring and reporting.

In addition to this, establishing geographic priorities for GPSF engagement, which was a clear responsibility of the SAB, was assumed by the Government of Canada. While ensuring alignment of GPSF programming with GoC priorities, the need to obtain Government of Canada approval for programming in countries outside those designated by the government of Canada encumbers START's ability to respond flexibly to new and emerging crises.

GPSF Accountabilities

Though ultimate accountability at the branch level is clear, it was noted that at the program and sub-program levels, and to a lesser extent at the envelope and project levels, accountabilities were not clear. For example, while the START Secretariat is clearly responsible for payments, programmatic responsibilities for the GBP are divided between two entities. Many interviewees characterized START as a 'shared accountability model', though it was noted that for the most part accountability arrangements are assumed rather than formalized within GPSF.

GPSF Strategic Management

Key program design elements from the RMAF and RBAF have not been elaborated in any document that describes how the GPSF would be implemented. There is no overall multi-year strategy for implementing the GPSF, thus making it difficult for START to monitor, measure progress and report on results against an approved strategy. The lack of a detailed strategic implementation plan has contributed to various ambiguities about GPSF's design and implementation.

At the envelope level, the short programming time-frames accorded by GPSF funding authorities and the T&Cs have limited the ability of START to engage in strategic planning for GPSF investments in a traditional sense, though START has found innovative solutions to overcome this.

GPSF Program and Project Management

The GPSF is managed at four different levels: the overall program level, the sub-program level, the envelope level, and the project (individual investment) level.

At the overall program level START has made some progress in establishing systems for monitoring and reporting, financial management and accountability of the GPSF. There remain, however, significant gaps that have manifested themselves at the other three levels of management of GPSF investments.

The three sub-programs housed under GPSF resulted from a mix of inherited and new programs, leading to some thematic overlaps between the three sub-programs. It was noted that, as they currently stand, the three sub-programs do not have the structural and accountability characteristics of true programs and do not represent functional units of management for GPSF programming. Rather, the envelopes (i.e., countries and themes) have emerged as the practical and de facto units of program management under GPSF.

The analysis of the GPSF envelope-level management processes and procedures indicated that adequate management processes and procedures are coming on line, with room for improvement. In the opinion of the evaluation team, the envelope level forms a more effective 'unit of management' than the sub-program level.

In general, the systems for project-level management were found to be adequate for the needs of GPSF.

Cross Cutting Themes

At the project design stage, there is evidence that some attention has been paid to cross-cutting issues such as the environment, gender, human rights, conflict sensitivity, cultural diversity and sustainability of results. Further, there is some evidence that cross cutting issues are also being addressed in project-level reporting. These issues are only being addressed to a limited degree at higher levels of project management (e.g. sub-programs, envelopes) and often inconsistently. Though the evaluation team found little evidence of broader mainstreaming of cross-cutting themes, START is working to address this problem.

Risk Management

START systems to manage risks for GPSF at the corporate (IFM), program, sub-program, envelope, and project levels vary considerably both in terms of their appropriateness and their utilization. START has yet to achieve 'balance' between risk tolerance and due diligence. The GPSF is, by design, operating in inherently 'riskier' environments. If DFAIT is overly cautious in terms of risk tolerance in the implementation of GPSF, it runs the real danger of becoming irrelevant to potential partners.

Human Resource Management

While progress has been made toward bringing START divisions to full numeric strength, effective operationalization of the GPSF continues to be hampered by unresolved human resource issues, including the securing of staff with appropriate expertise. Further, fundamental issues related to the division and utilization of labour are only now being addressed. The evaluation team noted a dearth of much needed administrative operational support for project officers.

Financial Management

Weaknesses in the financial management systems identified in the Capacity Check, such as the use of at least three sets of books (Access data base, Financial Officer's spread sheets, and Division spread sheets), continue to pose a risk to the effective financial management of START and consequently the GPSF. IXS, in cooperation with Corporate Services (SXD and SMD), has taken positive steps to address this issue.

GPSF Success - Implementation of the GPSF

Despite a wide range of contextual challenges and legacy issues pertaining to the old HSP, a defective RMAF, the short time START was called upon to operationalize the GPSF, restrictive T&Cs, a moratorium on hiring, and the hazards of programming in conflict situations, START has made progress in establishing an infrastructure to support the implementation of the GPSF. In its two years of existence, the GPSF has supported many initiatives that have garnered international recognition for their contribution towards the advancement of peace, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Notwithstanding these achievements capacity gaps remain that threaten to undermine GPSF performance.

GPSF Success - Program and Policy Leadership

There are numerous examples of programming leadership by START through the GPSF. Support to the Kimberly Process, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission are but a few examples where Canadian assistance played a catalytic role in garnering international support for these initiatives. GPSF early support to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) proved instrumental in attracting international donor support to that peacekeeping enterprise, as has GPSF support to the Haitian National Police Reform process. However, overall evidence of Canadian policy leadership is mixed, depending on the subject area. Programming demands have, during the period under review, impacted human and financial resources available for policy development, which has undermined prospects for policy leadership by Canada.

In the area of human security, resources made available under GPSF have been instrumental in raising the profile of Canada's human security agenda and in garnering international recognition and support of the same. Canada's human security agenda continues to be advanced though innovative policy development initiatives in such areas as human security and war economies and democratic transitions. With regards to GPOP, Canada is one of only two G8 partners providing assistance to the development of peace operations doctrine and training within the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO).

GPSF Success - GoC Capacity for Crisis Response

GPSF's contributions toward developing a standing capacity for GoC responses to crises (e.g. authority, command structures, procedures, arrangements, etc) in the case of immediate crises (disaster response), protracted or on-going crises (conflict management), and emerging crises (conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization) have been noted.

In terms of disaster response, intra and inter-departmental roles and responsibilities are documented, well understood by stakeholders, and supported by SOPs. Further, START has also trained over 200 people in crisis response and has developed deployment kits to enable rapid deployment of staff in crisis situations.

With regard to on-going or protracted crises (e.g., Afghanistan, Haiti and Sudan) WoG coordination has been realized through a number of different mechanisms at a variety of different levels e.g., SAB, country task forces and steering committees, etc. Making funds available to OGDs through the GPSF offers an incentive for OGD participation and supports WoG coordination; however, limited progress has been made on establishing predictable funding arrangements with OGDs and mechanisms to govern these relationships. Notwithstanding the above, both intra and extra-departmental coordination, especially at the operational or project level, is generally regarded as good.

The conflict in Lebanon presented START with its first opportunity to lead WoG efforts in response to a new and emerging crisis, supported by the Lebanon Relief Fund that was announced by the Prime Minister (PM) in August 2006. An inter-departmental assessment mission, lead by START, quickly identified areas of intervention where Canadian WoG resources could be mobilized to support post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction efforts. Notwithstanding the above, Canada's WoG efforts were encumbered by the absence of SOPs specific to post-conflict situations, as well as legal restrictions specific to Lebanon (anti-terrorist legislation).

GPSF Success - Increased Access to Expertise, Knowledge and Resources

The GPSF has supported Canadian organizations (e.g., the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, the Canadian Consortium on Human Security, and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, to name a few) in ways that have contributed to the pool of knowledge and expertise within Canada in areas relevant to GPSF policy development and programming. Accessing this pool of talent, however, remains a challenge.

GPSF Success - Improved Capacity Within Funded Organizations

Across the GPSF, capacity building is an underlying theme for many project investments. There have been some examples of results in terms of capacity building. For example, GPSF support to the UN DPKO Change Management Office, including the Peacekeeping Best Practices section and the Integrated Training Service section, reportedly made significant contributions to DPKO's ability to achieve its targets under the "Peace Operations 2010" reform agenda. Notwithstanding these achievements, capacity development objectives have been undermined by the absence of a clearly articulated vision or approach to building sustainable capacities in funded organizations, as well as time and funding limitations of the GPSF T&Cs. In some instances, these constraints have proven detrimental to recipients of GPSF funds.

Recommendations

  1. With the view to differentiating the roles of START from GPSF, DFAIT, along with representatives of relevant Canadian OGDs, should review, redefine and clearly distinguish the objectives of START from those of GPSF. This should be:
    1. accompanied by the development of separate logic model for the GPSF; and
    2. supported by implementation strategies and guidelines that clarify the operationalization of concepts such as Whole of Government and capacity building, gender, environment, sustainability and conflict analysis.
  2. Given the challenges of managing GPOP, GPSP and GBP, START is advised to consider alternatives to the status quo. This will include clarification of the need for, and value of, partitioning the GPSF into sub-program units.
  3. DFAIT, in association with representatives from relevant Canadian OGDs, should review the mandate and operational modalities of the START Advisory Board, in conjunction with the mandates and operational modalities of other GPSF governance bodies, with the view to making it more relevant and effective.
  4. DFAIT, in association with relevant stakeholders, should document the division of responsibilities between START and the Bilateral Relations Branch/Country Task Forces; START and the other GPSF governance bodies; and START and the functional divisions drawing on the GPSF.
  5. START should continue efforts to establish multi-year funding authorities as well as more flexible options for both, grants and contribution agreements.
  6. START should expedite actions on the recommendations of recent external reviews, including the Capacity Check.
  7. START should continue efforts to establish funding and governance mechanisms with OGDs to facilitate and expedite the use of OGD resources as well as explore mechanisms to access expertise in the private and non-governmental sectors.

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Evaluation

In the last decade, the international community has become increasingly cognizant of the fact that responding to the challenges posed by international crises calls for an integrated and coherent approach to the provision of humanitarian and developmental aid in concert with security and political initiatives in the areas of justice and security system reform, as well as post conflict stabilization and reconstruction.

The Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) was established by the Government of Canada (GoC) in April 2005 and authorized by Cabinet in May of the same year with a total budget of $100 million per year for a five year period (2005 to 2010). In October 2005, the GPSF became partially operational under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but with a reduced budget of $15 million per year, and placed under the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) of the pre-existing Human Security Program (HSP). Following Treasury Board (TB) approval of GPSF's own T&Cs in September 2006, the GPSF became fully operational.

The GPSF was created in order to fill a policy/funding gap in the GoC's ability to provide an integrated and timely package of assistance to countries emerging from crisis, at risk of or in crisis, along with CIDA, DND's traditional activities and roles in this field, and other government departments, as appropriate. The GPSF realizes its mission through three sub programs: the Global Peace and Security Program (GPSP); the Global Peace Operations Program (GPOP); and the Glyn Berry Program (GBP) - previously named the Human Security Program (HSP).

The GPSF and its sub-programs are managed by the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) Secretariat. START Secretariat began its operations as a bureau within the International Security Branch (IFM) of DFAIT in September 2005. Its mandate covers an integrated package of policy, operational and programming work in the areas of: Peace Keeping and Peace Operations; Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding; Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response; and Mine Action and Small Arms and Light Weapons. A mid-term formative evaluation is required under the GPSF evaluation plan to inform a report to the Government of Canada and the TB on the achievements of the GPSF that will be submitted before April 1, 2008.

1.2 Evolution of the GPSF

The GPSF was created to fill an institutional and funding gap within the GoC by providing dedicated resources for activities that are necessary for a timely response to countries at risk of crisis, but are not part of the responsibility of DND, or the core purposes of Canada's Official Development Assistance (ODA) Program, primarily administered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In May 2005, the GoC allocated $500 million over five years to DFAIT to establish START and the GPSF.

START began operations as a bureau within the International Security Branch of DFAIT on September 5, 2005. The TB approved an interim submission in October 2005 that provided authority for START and the GPSF to become operational under the T&Cs of the then pre-existing HSP. It was anticipated that, through a second TB submission, the GPSF would secure its own T&Cs before the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2005-2006. A change in government following the federal January 2006 elections placed a freeze on all new spending, thereby locking the GPSF into the T&Cs of the HSP.

HSP T&Cs restricted the kind of programming the GPSF could engage in. Under the HSP T&Cs, for example, the GPSF was deprived of the authority to offer grants, which complicated contributions to projects administered by international organizations. Projects could not exceed $500,000; as a result, GPSF commitments that exceeded the $500,000 threshold (e.g., commitments to Sudan) had to be programmed through CIDA whose spending authority was not so encumbered.

Moreover, the GPSF could not support projects with a life cycle beyond 12 months, thereby depriving it of authority to make multi-year commitments. Waiting for approval of the GPSF T&Cs, further contributed to delays in disbursements to projects spanning each FY. Finally, the GPSF operated under the burden of Governor General Special Warrants, which meant that START could not make commitments without assurance that 100 percent of the funds requested would be disbursed. These operational constraints remained in effect until September 2006, when the GPSF and START finally secured their own T&Cs.

Although the Treasury Board Secretariat (TB), following its review of the second GPSF submission, unfroze funding for the balance of Fiscal Year (FY) 2006-2007, funding for FY2007-2008 was approved only for initiatives in Afghanistan, Sudan, and Haiti. Funding after March 31, 2007 for other GPSF sub-programs, principally the Global  Peace Operations Program (GPOP) and HSP, would require TB approval. All spending under the GPSF is frozen after March 31, 2008, pending the results of a formative evaluation of the GPSF.

1.3 GPSF Objectives and Outcomes

The objectives of the GPSF are cast slightly differently depending on the source document relied on. One document defines the objectives of the GPSF as supporting crisis operations, meeting Canada's G8 Sea Island commitments to help build global peace support capacity, and to provide resources to advance Canada's human security objectives. The GPSF's Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework and Risk-Based Audit Framework (RMAF/RBAF) cast the objectives differently, stating that "the objective of the GPSF is to ensure timely, coordinated responses to international crises requiring effective whole-of-government action through the planning and delivery of coherent and effective conflict prevention, crisis response, civilian protection, and stabilization initiatives in fragile state situations implicating Canadian interests." The START Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Manual (2006) more or less echoes the objectives as framed in the GPSF RMAF/RBAF, with one additional objective: "to manage, in a whole of government context, the GPSF and its three sub-programs."

GPSF Ultimate Outcomes

  • Improved Canadian contribution to peace and security and the safety and well being of beneficiaries in targeted areas

GPSF Final Outcomes

  • More rapid, integrated, and better coordinated Canadian response to international requirements for short and medium term crisis prevention, stabilization, peace-building and reconstruction
  • mproved Canadian contribution to the mitigation of natural disasters and complex emergencies, and restoration of security and indigenous governance capacity
  • Expanded global and regional capacity for peace support operations

GPSF Intermediate Outcomes

  • Improved Canadian whole-of-government coherence
  • Improved timeliness and cost-effectiveness of Canadian response to crises and humanitarian issues
  • Increased Canadian influence and catalytic leadership
  • Increased sustainability of the capacity of funded organizations
  • Increased knowledge and mainstreaming of HSP issues internationally
  • Enhanced prospects for reconstruction and stabilization
  • More effective and stable post-conflict institutions
  • Increased public understanding and support for Canada's role in international crisis response

While all these expressions of the objectives of the GPSF accurately convey key elements of the GPSF, the above mentioned differences cannot be understated for the purpose of this evaluation. For example, the first articulation of the objectives of the GPSF cited above makes no reference to WoG, while WoG figures prominently in the GPSF RMAF/RBAF. The former also makes explicit reference to Canada's Human Security Agenda, while the latter does not. This inconsistency in the articulation of the GPSF objectives presented a challenge to the evaluators in terms of focus and coverage.

As is examined in considerable detail later in this report, the GPSF RMAF articulation of the GPSF objectives conflates the objectives of START and its WoG mandate with the objectives of GPSF itself which, though an instrument to promote WoG programming, is more precisely focussed on conflict prevention, peace operations, civilian protection and post-conflict stabilization initiatives. The conflation of START and GPSF objectives is replicated throughout the entire document, including the performance and evaluation frameworks, which focus heavily on START performance and results achievements rather than on the GPSF performance.

Notwithstanding the problems with the existing RMAF, and in with particular the Evaluation Framework contained in it, the evaluation team, in consultation with the Project Authority, decided to consider the outcome statements included in the GPSF Logic Model for the purpose of this formative evaluation. It did so for three primary reasons: first, the RMAF serves as the basic "blueprint" for program architecture, describing not only the link between resources and expected outcomes, but also the roles and responsibilities; second, the RMAF is the approved reporting framework between DFAIT and TB; and third, TB policy requires evaluations to report against the RMAF. In other words, DFAIT is committed to report against the RMAF.

1.4 GPSF Programming

GPSF programming is comprised of three sub-layers: sub-programs, envelopes and projects. These are described below.

1.4.1 Sub-Programs

The GPSF is divided into three sub-programs, each of which has its own distinct objectives as described below.

Global Peace Operations Program (GPOP):

The objective of GPOP is to support the development of global capacity for peace operations with a primary focus on Africa through medium-term capacity-building initiatives in the areas of institutional decision making, planning, doctrinal development, training for integrated operations involving military, police and other civilians. The program is Canada's contribution to the 2004 G8 Seal Island Summit global peace operations initiative which has been reaffirmed by the Prime Minister and other G8 members at the 2007 Heiligendamn Summit and in St. Petersburg.

Global Peace and Security Program (GPSP):

The objective of GPSP is to support timely, coherent and effective responses to peace and security challenges of fragile states, including conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization initiatives. The GPSP priority is to stabilize large-scale crisis situation and restore security for local populations while maintaining an analytical capacity to provide expert advice on conflict prevention and early warning.

Glyn Berry Program (GBP) (Formerly known as the Human Security Program - HSP):

During most of the period relevant to this evaluation, the objective of the HSP was to advance Canadian foreign policy priorities under the human security agenda, namely the protection of civilians, conflict prevention, public safety, peace operations, and governance and accountability. The newly renamed and refocused GBP seeks to advance the Canadian priorities of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world through four areas of activities: diplomatic leadership and policy advocacy; strengthening multilateral mechanisms; Canadian capacity building; and targeted country-specific initiatives. The specific thematic areas of focus are: Democratic Transitions, Rule of Law and Accountability, Human Rights and Protection of Civilians, Conflict Prevention, and Public Safety.

1.4.2 The GPSF Funding Envelopes

Each of the GPSF sub-programs has been divided into sub-programming units most commonly known as funding envelopes (or envelopes). Each envelope is guided by an approved concept paper and budget which cover a one-year period. In the case of GPOP, sub-programming units are instead called "priorities" and they are included in an "Omnibus concept paper" for the whole of GPOP. Envelopes can and do change from year to year, reflecting changed policy and programming priorities. A profile of the GPSF envelopes by sub-program at November 2007 is provided in Exhibit 1.1.

Exhibit 1.1 Profile of the GPSF Envelopes at November 2007
Sub
Program
No. of
Envelopes
List of EnvelopesAllocation for FY 07-08
(as of Nov. 07)
Responsible
Division
GPSP7Sudan Peace Building$18.1MIRC
Haiti$20MIRC
Fragile statesUganda $5M
Colombia $5M
IRC
IRC
Lebanon$8.4MIRC
Sudan (AMIS)$96MIRP
MEPP$4MIRC
Afghanistan$30MIRP
GPOP5AU and African capacity building$1MIRP
ECOWAS and African center of excellence$1.5MIRP
Pan-African police capacity building$2MIRP
UN peacekeeping capacity building$1.6MIRP
Americas, IAPTC and other projects$1.3MIRP
GBP17Democratic transition$3MGHS
Rule of law and accountability:
Security System Reform and the Rule of Law$280KIRP and IRC
The International Criminal Court and Accountability Campaign$500KJLH
Women, Peace and Security$305KGHH
Human rights and protection of civilians:
Legal and physical protection of civilians$555KIRH-GHA
Human rights and Minorities$150KGHH
Children in Armed conflict$750KGHS
Responsibility to protect$280KGHS
Conflict prevention:
Small Arms and Light Weapons$600KILX
War Economies$280KGHS
Business and Human Rights (CSR)$645KGHS
Mediation Capacity Building$250KIRC
Conflict Prevention Policy$330KGHS
Public Safety:
Transnational crime
Narcotics
Trafficking in persons
Corruption
$600kICT
Policy:
Emerging Human Security$445KGHS and
Partnerships$390GHS
Communications$90KGHS
Total29   

1.4.3 GPSF Projects

The smallest GPSF programming unit is a project. Each project is guided by an approved proposal and annual budget, and a grant or contribution agreement with the implementing partner. At the time of writing, there were a total of 367 completed and 112 approved/on-going GPSF projects. Notable characteristics of funded projects in 2006-2007(3) are shown in Exhibit 1.2.

Exhibit 1.2 The GPSF Projects by Sub-Program for FY06-07
SubprogramsCharacteristics
 No of ProjectsAverage Value of Projects
GPSP70$1,525,000
GPOP18$224,591
GBP180$86,975
Totals268 

1.5 GPSF Expenditures

Of the roughly $500 million of GPSF resources allocated as of May 2005, approximately $260 million (or 50%) had been expended by November 2007. A summary of total GPSF expenditures for the period May 2005 to November 2007 is provided in Exhibit 1.3. The greatest expenditures have been in GPSP (around 77%, including support provided to AMIS and expenditures under HSP T&Cs), followed by the GBP (around 12%, including support provided through the HSP and GBP) and GPOP (2.5%, including expenditures under HSP T&Cs). The remaining funds were used for operating expenses (8% and minor capital expenditures).

In terms of expenditures by country (see Exhibit 1.4), the vast majority of expenditures to date have been in Sudan (77%) followed by Haiti (9%) and Afghanistan (7%). Expenditures in the rest of the world accounted for less than 7% of all GPSF expenditures.(4) by Year to Date (5)

Exhibit 1.3 The GPSF Expenditures by Sub Program 
Sub ProgramFunding Source2005/062006/072007/08Totals
GPSPCIDA (AMIS)45,126,01668,933,670 114,059,686
DFAIT 39,061,17850,026,69089,087,868
Sub total   203,147,554
% of Total   77.42%
GPOPSub Total1,461,0004,042,6411,067,2646,570,905
% of Total   2.50%
GBP-HSPGBP  579,286579,286
HSP14,889,00015,872,825 30,761,825
Sub Total   31,341,111
% of Total   11.94%
Other ExpendituresOperating Expenses4,220,6238,191,4858,044,52020,456,628
Minor Capital732,132135,107 867,239
Sub Total   21,323,867
% of Total   8.0%
Totals 66,428,771136,236,90659,717,760$262,383,437

 

Exhibit 1.4 The GPSF Expenditures to November 2007 - By Country
CharacteristicRegion/Country
 AfghanistanSudanHaitiLebanonFragile StatesMEPPTotal GPSF
Expenditures(6)
Total Expenditures13,806,876157,849,86718,332,9271,711,15210,562,7412,570,982204,834,545
% of total6.7%77.3%8.9 %0.8%5.1%1.2%100%

1.6 START Mandate and Organizational Structure

1.6.1 START Mandate

START's mandate is to:

  • Ensure whole-of-government coherence in policy development and integrated conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization initiatives with respect to fragile states; and
  • Plan and deliver coherent and effective conflict prevention, crisis response, civilian protection, and stabilization initiatives in fragile and failed state situations implicating Canadian interests; and
  • In a whole-of-government context, manage the GPSF and its three sub-programs.

1.6.2. START Organizational Structure

START consists of the START Secretariat and the START Advisory Board (SAB). START has established two committees to support the GPSF management (the Program Planning Committee and the Project Management and Development Group). A summary of the responsibilities of these bodies is provided below.

START Secretariat

START Secretariat has overall responsibility for the management of the GPSF. It was established in September 2005, brought together and reinforced existing departmental capabilities drawn from other DFAIT Divisions for managing peace and security fund program funds; for developing and delivering country-specific conflict prevention and peace-building plans and initiatives; and for coordinating peace support operations and coordinating humanitarian policy and crisis responses. A Director General (DG), who reports directly to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), International Security in DFAIT, leads the Secretariat.

The Secretariat consists of an Executive Office (IRD) (led by a Senior Director) and four policy and programming groups which are responsible for the identification, approval, monitoring, management and evaluation of individual GPSF projects (each of which is led by a Director). The Secretariat had a total of 82 staff based in Ottawa at the time of writing.

Executive Office (IRD):

IRD is responsible for the strategic and policy management of START and for overall program management of the GPS Funds. IRD provides programming and project management expertise to thematic groups and serves as available surge capacity for ongoing programming. The financial staff housed within IRD verifies budgets as submitted in applications and provides financial wrap up of individual sub-programs to the START Secretariat. IRD also guides and manages START's relationships with key partner institutions, in particular the UN. IRD has 19 staff.

Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Group (IRC):

IRC is responsible for providing policy and operational leadership within START in the development of coherent, whole-of-government approaches to conflict prevention and peace building (governance, state-capacity building, democratic development and human rights) in the context of fragile states and those already in crisis, as well as building a new, robust Canadian capacity to mediate conflicts within or between states. It provides ongoing early warning conflict and crisis risk assessments for senior government officials. IRC has 16 staff.

Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response Group (IRH):

IRH is responsible for developing, implementing and coordinating government-wide policy on international humanitarian affairs and development of Canadian responses to humanitarian crises, in both conflict (i.e., complex emergencies) and natural disasters. IRH has 9 staff.

Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Group (IRP):

IRP is responsible for peace operations policy and best practices, security sector reform and engagement, and management of Canada's international police peacekeeping engagement. It is also responsible for planning and implementing Canadian engagement in integrated peace operations. It expands and contracts as necessary, contributing to Bureau-wide Task Forces and Working Groups. IRP has 25 staff.

Mine Action and Small Arms Group (ILX):

ILX is responsible for managing DFAIT's program to support the promotion, "universalization" and full implementation of the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines, and for providing guidance to the overall intergovernmental program. It is also responsible for coordinating Canada's efforts to curb the threat posed by the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and our diplomatic engagement under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). ILX has 13 staff.

START Committees

START has established two committees (the Director General level Program Planning Committee and the operational level Project Management and Development Group) to assist in the GPSF management as described below.

Program Planning Committee (PPC):

Chaired by the START DG or Senior Director, the PPC meets as required to review concept papers related to program policy and/or specific projects (usually projects valued at $500,000 or more, and projects that respond to GoC commitments and projects that raise the profile of the GoC). It is tasked with providing overall direction in the planning of these initiatives. The Committee includes relevant geographic and thematic DGs from within DFAIT and the START Directors as appropriate and relevant START program officials make presentations. The PPC Secretariat is housed within IRD and report directly to the START DG.

Project Development and Management Group (PDM):

The START Senior Director chairs this group. As a consultative body, the PDM endeavors to meet every week to review incoming proposals, make recommendations for funding consideration and raise technical issues on the GPSF programming at large. The main purpose of the PDM is to provide a technical review of all the GPSF proposals. The PDM includes representatives from each of the units within START, functional and geographic bureaux, as well as contracting legal, financial and other expertise as appropriate. The PDM Secretariat is also housed within IRD.

1.6.3 START Advisory Board

The START Advisory Board is an interdepartmental, information-sharing body chaired by the Director General (DG) of the Secretariat. It is comprised of senior officials (mostly Director Generals from across government) that includes DFAIT, CIDA, DND and other relevant federal departments, agencies, and crown corporations with responsibilities and capacities related to stabilization, reconstruction, peace-building, and international crises management (including Public Safety Canada (PSEP-C), Privy Council Office (PCO)/FDP, the Department of Justice Canada, and others as required).

The Advisory Board provides the Secretariat (IRD in particular) with information on other government programs and priorities; an opportunity to coordinate Canada's response to natural disasters and complex emergencies; and the opportunity to share advice and experience between and amongst represented departments and agencies. It is a foreign policy mechanism to align the GoC's geographic and thematic priorities for fragile states and to provide coherence in the allocation of resources to programs beyond those of the GPSF. Its specific responsibilities are for:

  • Establishing a whole-of-government strategic policy, priority setting and direction with respect to fragile states and complex emergencies within the framework of individual departmental authorities.
  • Undertaking regular (annual or more frequent) assessments of progress towards the milestones and exit strategies defined in specific integrated country strategies along with the potential for reallocation of resources in line with the pace of events and opportunities presented by competing crises and priorities.
  • Information exchange on program-related activities to ensure activities complement each other and avoid duplication, while encouraging the formation of country task forces at the operational level as required.

1.6.4 Working Groups

According to GPSF SOPs, strategic country/regional priorities for Canadian engagement for conflict prevention and peace-building initiatives will be established annually through the work of an Assessment Working Group (AWG) and a Fragile States Group (FSG). At the time of writing, there is no evidence that the AWG was ever operational as a working group.

Other thematic working groups have been established in order to develop strategies for specific sectors, such as the working group on Transitional Justice Policy, Canadian Mediation Capacity and Haiti Security Sector Reform.

1.6.5 Other DFAIT Divisions

Some other divisions in DFAIT also support the START Secretariat as well as draw on the GPSF for programming. These divisions are briefly described below.

1.6.5.1 Divisions Providing Support to START

Divisions within DFAIT that support START include country representatives of priority GPSF countries (the Country Task Forces or Steering Committees), Program Services Unit (IXS), Financial Services (SMFH), Program Analysis (SMPA), Justice Legal Services Division (JUS), Environmental Policies and Sustainable Development Strategies Division (GDS), Contracting (SPPG), Area Management Office (IAM), Foreign Policy and Corporate Communications Division (BCF), and the Cabinet and Parliamentary Liaison Division (DCL). Several of the more significant bodies which interact with START are described in detail below:

Program Services Unit (IXS):

IXS is responsible for the provision of financial; legal; contracting; risk and results-based management; information management; and, program advisory services for the International Security Branch (IFM) programming bureau, including the START Secretariat, the Global Partnership Program, and the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program. The Division is charged with promoting branch-wide approaches to program delivery that are consistent with relevant Treasury Board policy and Government of Canada requirements. IXS also carries-out planning, reporting and other corporate functions for the IFM Branch.

Sudan Task Force (FSDN):

The Sudan Task Force is responsible for coordinating the implementation of Canada's whole-of-government strategy in support of peace in Sudan. This includes representing Canada in international discussions on Sudan, bilateral relations with the Government of Sudan, developing and providing policy advice to government across the range of Canadian engagements in Sudan (including diplomatic, peace support, peace building, humanitarian and reconstruction initiatives) as well as implementing the Canadian communications strategy and engaging with Canadian civil society.

Afghanistan Task Force (FTAG):

DFAIT Afghanistan Task Force provides a single address in DFAIT for Afghanistan related issues. The WoG effort is led and coordinated by an associate deputy minister in Foreign Affairs, who is a high-ranking official appointed directly by the Prime Minister. This action allows Canada's relations with Afghanistan within DFAIT, as well as OGDs, to be managed by single chain of command. In addition to consolidating the file, action has been taken to increase the staff complement (13 positions in winter 2007 growing to 53 by end of summer 2007).

Haiti Steering Committee:

START's WoG programming in Haiti is supported by the work of an inter-departmental steering committee, co-chaired by DFAIT/RHL and CIDA and composed of START, DND, RCMP and Other Government Departments as required. An inter-departmental working group on security in Haiti is chaired by START. The work of these groups contributed to strengthening the whole-of-government approach to Canada's engagement in Haiti through development of an integrated strategy for Haiti.

1.6.5.2 Divisions Outside START Drawing on the GPSF

Functional divisions outside START which draw on the GPSF for programming include: the Human Security Policy Division (GHS), which is responsible for the largest share of GBP programming; the International Crime and Terrorism Division (ICT), which is responsible for the largest share of GBP programming under the "Public Safety" envelope; the Human Rights, gender Equality, Health and Population Division (GHH), which administers initiatives under the "Rule of Law and Accountability" as well as the "Human Rights and Protection of Civilian" envelopes of the GBP, and; the United Nation, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law section (JLH), which administers initiatives under the "Rule of Law and Accountability" envelope of the GBP.

1.6.6 Other Government Departments

Three other key Canadian government departments (CIDA, DND and RCMP) work closely with DFAIT on the GPSF. Other governments departments, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Correctional Services Canada, Justice Canada are also involved in specific aspects of GPSF programming.

CIDA

CIDA's mandate is to promote sustainable development and provide humanitarian assistance to reduce poverty in the poorest countries measured through progress on the development goals of economic well being, social development, environment sustainability, and governance (including freedom and democracy, human rights, rule of law, justice and accountability re public institutions). CIDA has the operational lead for Canadian humanitarian assistance to natural and man-made disasters. CIDA works primarily through longer-term social and economic development and institution building. Development policy and programming as part of coherent Canadian foreign policy is the responsibility of CIDA.

In the context of the GPSF, CIDA and DFAIT have agreed that:

  • CIDA will support immediate and transitional humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, as well as longer-term development programs and policies, as set forward in Country Development Programming Frameworks and other CIDA strategy, program approval or policy documents approved by the Minister.
  • DFAIT will support immediate and transitional crisis response for up to two years, and in selected instances (e.g., security system reform), for longer periods. Longer time frames are to be flagged for discussion at the START Advisory Board at inception.

A detailed breakdown of DFAIT/CIDA mandates, roles and responsibilities and operating principles in regards to Crisis Response and Fragile States is set out in Treasury Board documents.

DND

The DND's mission is to defend Canada, Canadian interests and values while contributing to international peace and security. DND has identified the principal international security concerns related to fragile states as intra- and inter-state conflicts, international terrorism and the potential threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction. Recent DND policy statements include promises to re-equip and expand the Canadian Forces to permit Canada to play a more significant role in international security and peace support operations. DND continues to facilitate interdepartmental co-operation through its expanded role in interdepartmental committees and through more effective liaison at all levels including mechanisms such as the START Advisory Board.

RCMP

The RCMP's International Peace Operations Branch (IPOB) deploys Canadian police personnel to failed and fragile states and countries around the world that have or are presently experiencing conflict. These individuals provide training and police-related expertise which in turn helps promote international peace and security and increases social stability. The decision to deploy Canadian police is made within the framework of the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Public Safety and the Canadian International Development Agency.

1.7 Cross Cutting Priorities

The GPSF SOPs highlights three areas requiring special attention in GPSF programming: gender and environmental considerations, as well as sustainability of GPSF results.

Environment

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act is one of the GPSF Regulatory and Management Frameworks listed in the SOPs. DFAIT's Sustainable Development Division (GDS) has developed a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) form and guidance document for DFAIT officers administering grants or contributions. GPSF project officers, as well as all other DFAIT officers, complete this form before deciding whether to recommend and/or approve any grants or contributions. This requirement is re-stated in GPSF SOP.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA)

Project environmental assessment is a requirement under the CEAA and pertains mainly to initiatives with physical attributes. Strategic environmental assessment is a non-statutory requirement under the 1999 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and pertains to policy-type initiatives. The purpose of this assessment to ensure that funding does not support activities that may adversely affect the environment.

Gender

Canada is committed to the view that gender equality is not only a human rights issue, but is also an essential component of sustainable development, social justice, peace, and security. This view is explicitly recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) - human rights instruments ratified by Canada in 1948 and 1979 respectively.

While DFAIT, as all other departments, is committed to this plan, it is not mentioned as one of the GPSF Regulatory and Management Frameworks listed in the SOPs. However, in practice, GPSF programming takes into consideration gender at the project level: implementing partners are requested to take gender considerations into account when planning and reporting on the progress of GPSF funded initiatives. START is also developing a training module on gender, expected to be launched in January/ February 08, which will be offered to all START officers and GPSF stakeholder divisions.

Federal Plan for Gender Equality (1995)

Canada's foreign policy priorities include the elimination of violence against women, the full and equal participation of women in decision-making, and the mainstreaming of a gender perspective. The Government of Canada adopted the Federal Plan for Gender Equality in 1995, as a response to the Beijing Platform for Action created at the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995). The key commitment of the Federal Plan was to "implement gender-based analysis throughout federal departments and agencies."

Sustainability of Results

A sustainable project or program is one whose benefits last after funding stops. DFAIT does not have a departmental policy on sustainability of results. However, the inclusion of capacity building as an explicit objective in the GPSF design indicates a concern for sustainable results. In particular, one of the GPSF intermediate outcomes is "increased sustainability of capacity of funded organizations". The GPSF SOPS require all project proposals to contain a section on "sustainability of results".

1.8 Evaluation Purpose and Methodology

1.8.1 Purpose and Objectives

The primary purpose of this formative evaluation is to assess the extent to which the GPSF and the current administrative infrastructure in support thereof present a relevant, efficient and effective mechanism for crisis response, conflict prevention, peace building and post-conflict stabilization.

The objectives of this evaluation are:

  • To determine whether the GPSF fills a "policy and funding gap" in a manner that is needed to respond to emerging and existing international crises;
  • To determine whether the GPSF presents an agile mechanism, able to respond to the changing priorities of the GOC and the international community with regard to emerging international crises;
  • To determine the extent to which the GPSF's three sub-programs complement and productively intersect with each other, where appropriate, so as to present a coherent approach to the challenges of crisis response, conflict prevention, peace-building and post-conflict stabilization;
  • To determine whether existing results and performance measurement instruments, and internal capacities (e.g., HR, systems, etc), are adequate to inform policy development and programming by highlighting their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement;
  • To determine whether the division of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities between the various DFAIT divisions involved in the administration of the GPSF support effective program planning, administration and reporting;
  • To determine whether the current distribution of human resources, in terms of numbers, skill sets and hierarchy, is the most appropriate for the implementation of the GPSF; and
  • To derive lessons learned, particularly with respect to the structure and governance of START as it relates to the administration of the GPSF, which will assist in future programming and improve overall performance.

The evaluation focuses on the overall design of the GPSF and the capacity of START as steward of the GPSF, to plan, manage, and demonstrate results. The evaluation covers the period May 2005 to November 2007.

1.8.2 Methodology

Formative, Forward-Looking Approach

This is a formative evaluation intended to focus on ways to improve future practice. The GPSF is a relatively new fund with an evolving management structure and mandate and a challenging context in Canada and in the countries it supports. Many of START's early actions were responsive within this context and should not be judged with the same standards expected of a long-established program.

Evaluation Framework

To guide data collection for the evaluation, an evaluation framework was developed, which had key foci as shown below.

GPSF Evaluation Foci

  • GPSF Context
  • GPSF Relevance and Appropriateness of Design
  • GPSF Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness
  • GPSF Programming Success (Effectiveness)
  • Lessons Learned and Recommendations.
Data Sources

There were two main sources of data: people and documents.

People:

Over 40 people were interviewed for this evaluation. This included senior representatives of DFAIT's branches, START directors, managers and officers; representatives from all five START Secretariat Groups, eight DFAIT Divisions involved in the GPSF, the Afghanistan and Sudan Task Forces and the Haiti Division; representatives of Canadian OGDs including CIDA, DND, RCMP, Justice Canada and Treasury Board of Canada; and others.

Documentation:

A large number of reports, files and other documents were reviewed for this evaluation.

Illustrative Examples:

The evaluation team conducted an in-depth review of projects supported by the GPSP in Haiti and by the UN under GPOP. These projects, or illustrative examples, were examined based on advice offered by the START Secretariat during the evaluation work plan phase and endorsed by the Evaluation Advisory Committee (EAC).

GPSF Illustrative Examples

  • GPSP: Haiti
  • GPOP: UN Peacekeeping capacity building
  • GBP: a comparison between HSP and GBP.

Three main question areas were reviewed in each example: what was the rationale in deciding to intervene in the selected focus areas, how were these decisions made and implemented, and with what result? The answer to these questions, as pertain to the illustrative example, has informed the completion of the 'Performance Chart' reflecting the GPSF RMAF Key Performance Issues and Indicators. These illustrative examples have been used as a source of data to inform the larger study.

Although the Evaluation Team examined projects funded under the GBP, a different approach was adopted for GBP, again based on advice furnished by the START Secretariat and endorsed by the Evaluation Advisory Committee. The examination of the GBP focused on how its current configuration differs from the former HSP with the view to determining the extent to which the GBP complements and productively intersects with its sister programs, GPOP and GPSP.

1.9 Limitations

These findings are subject to several limitations, including:

Condensed Timeframes

The evaluation Terms of Reference (TORs) were not formally approved until late July 2007, and work on the study, did not commence in earnest until September 2007 due to contractual complications. This condensed the time available for data collection and precluded field visits to countries that received GPSF funding. As a consequence, the main data sources for this evaluation are informant interviews in Canada and existing DFAIT documents. Furthermore, an unexpected requirement to submit early findings (late October, 2007) forced the evaluation team to rely on a limited sample of projects (those constituting the illustrative examples), to support the findings.

Evolving Structure and Sub-programs

Both the GPSF and START are relatively new, and both are evolving. Since START was created, there have been some refinements and changes in its mandate, organizational structure and programs. Similarly, some GPSF guiding procedures changed prior to and during the course of the evaluation. For example, at the time the evaluation was conducted, START was in the process of revising its SOPs manual as well as developing Logic Models for the three sub-programs. Every effort was made to ensure that this report cites the most up-to-date sources; however, the task was made difficult at times by the prevalence of multiple versions of undated documents, the number of documents whose official status was indeterminate, as well as inconsistencies in some factual information found among documents (e.g., the GPSF objectives and results are not defined consistently in the RMAF).

Program at Different Stages of Evolution

For half of the time covered by this formative evaluation, the GPSF operated under the T&Cs of the HSP; the impact of this on programming is discussed earlier in this chapter. Although an RMAF for the GPSF had been developed in 2005, the RMAF for HSP remained in effect and in use up until October 2006.(7) This presented a challenge to the evaluation team as it was faced with two very different frameworks for assessing performance and results for the same program. As the Treasury Board Secretariat has called on DFAIT to report on the performance of the GPSF under the T&Cs granted to it on September 18, 2006, a decision was made by the Project Authority, in consultation with START and other stakeholders, to rely on the performance and evaluation frameworks outlined in the GPSF RMAF, notwithstanding that programming and reporting occurred during the study period under a different programming and reporting regime.

1.10 Overview of the Report

This report is comprised of five chapters. Following this introductory chapter, the second chapter examines the context within which the GPSF is operating. The third chapter examines the relevance, governance and management of the GPSF, while the fourth chapter reviews the overall effectiveness of the GPSF. The final chapter consists of conclusions and recommendations.

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2.0 Context

2.1 Introduction

The purpose of this section is to consider the Canadian and International contexts within which GPSF operates, and to identify any significant changes that may have impacted on the implementation of the GPSF since May 2005. Given the global reach and broad scope of GPSF's mandate, there are innumerable contextual issues that have affected the implementation of GPSF, the most significant of which are examined in the following section.

2.2 International Context

Finding 1:
Theories of conflict prevention and peace building engagement change continually. These changes tend to be incremental rather than dramatic. Against this backdrop, there is a general consensus within the international donor community on the best practices regarding responses to crises and for human security engagement.

For the past thirty years, and in particular since the end of the Cold War, the international community has pursued a multiplicity of activities broadly grouped under the headings of peace-building and conflict prevention. While there are significant overlaps in the type and nature of activities (an activity that is considered conflict management in one context might be conflict prevention in another) there is an emerging consensus at the conceptual/principle level concerning what constitutes 'good practice'. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been a leader internationally in the coordination and articulation of this good practice. One of their most recent publications is the April 2007 "Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States,"(8) which outlined 10 principles for good practice (see below). While all of the principles are important, there are several of particular relevance to START and GPSF, such as: taking the context as the starting point (based on strong conflict analysis); act fast (and flexibly in responding to the needs for fragile states on short notice to take advantage of windows of opportunity); and be prepared to stay long enough to give success a chance. Further, the OECD notes a whole-of-government approach, involving those responsible for security, political and economic affairs, as well as those responsible for development aid and humanitarian assistance, is necessary for effective engagement.

OECD's 10 Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States

  1. Take context as the starting point.
  2. Do no harm.
  3. Focus on state-building as the central objective.
  4. Prioritize prevention.
  5. Recognize the links between political, security and development objectives.
  6. Promote non-discrimination as a basis for inclusive and stable societies.
  7. Align with local priorities in different ways and different contexts.
  8. Agree on practical coordination mechanisms between international actors.
  9. Act fast…but stay engaged long enough to give success and chance.
  10. Avoid pockets of exclusion.

A scan of several donor states suggests a degree of consistency in the funding and institutional arrangements being used to embody best practices. For example, several governments have established separate funds that are governed by terms and conditions that should allow for rapid response. In many cases, these funds are supra-departmental and the use/management of the funds is shared between key actors. Further, many states have defined policy platforms that express their WoG doctrine. A sample of the arrangement of other donor states is provided in the chart below.

Exhibit 2.1 Comparison of Donor Country Approaches to Peace and Conflict Programming
Donor Policy AreasNetherlands (9)Japan (10)Germany (11)UK (12)
Separate Fund for Peace and Conflict ProgrammingDutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages a Stability FundJapan established the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS)Not applicableGlobal Conflict Prevention Pools managed jointly by DFID and the Ministry of Defense
Whole-of GovernmentPolicy Agenda 2008 outlines a government-wide, integrated foreign policy approachNot applicableThe German Government's Action Plan is an inter-ministerial strategy for civilian crisis prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building. It's based in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentThe UK government's Public Service Agreement 2005-2008 outlines that government departments work together in conflict prevention

2.3 Canadian Context

Finding 2:
The Government of Canada, through a series of announcements in various international fora, has declared its commitment to peacebuilding, stabilization and reconstruction initiatives, with a focus on promoting democratic governance, human rights, and the rule of law, as key priorities in its foreign policy. The mandate of the GPSF, and the activities its supports, is consistent with and supportive of the Government of Canada priorities.

Since January 2006, the GoC has, in a variety of international fora, declared its commitment to respond to international crises, both natural and human made, and to support peacebuilding, post conflict stabilization and reconstruction efforts in countries in crisis or at risk of crisis. For example, in May 2006, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Canada's support for peace and post conflict stabilization efforts in Sudan, remarking that Canada would "pursue a two-pronged approach, splitting… efforts between the provision of humanitarian aid and peace support assistance [which] combined …will help normalize and stabilize the region, the first step necessary if the peace process is to succeed."

In September 2006, the Prime Minister of Canada before the United Nations General Assembly remarked that "the multinational security and reconstruction operation in Afghanistan [was] both the UN's biggest mission and Canada's most important international mission," while also making reference to Canada's contributions in support of peace and stabilization in Haiti, Sudan and the Middle East. At the EU Summit held in Berlin in June 2006, the Prime Minister stated that Canada and the EU share an interest in promoting an "international order based on effective multilateralism, international law, democracy, the rule of law and human rights," as well as a shared interest in enhancing the "UN's capacities in crisis management and peacebuilding," while making specific reference to the role of START in these endeavors.

These international policy priorities find expression in DFAIT's Program Activity Architecture (PAA), which lists departmental programs and corresponding resources and accountabilities to strategic outcomes and sub-activities. GPSF and START, indicated as a sub-activity in the PAA, support Canada's first strategic outcome: "to shape the international agenda to Canada's benefit and advantage in accordance with Canadian interests and values." The GPSF does so by making resources available to support the GoC's declared interest in responding to crises and by bringing stability to crisis-prone countries through the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

Examples of Canada's commitment to respond to crises are numerous. In May 2006 the GoC committed CAD $4.1 million to relief efforts to the Java earthquake, involving IRH-GHA as the WoG coordination point. More directly relevant to GPSF, the GoC announced new commitments to Haiti (at the International Donors' Conference for Haiti's Social and Economic Development, held in Port-au-Prince (July 2006) totaling CAD $520 million over 5 years (2006-2011),(13) as well to Lebanon (in 2006 the Prime Minister of Canada announced the creation of the CAD $25 million Lebanon Relief Fund to respond effectively to the need for relief, rapid recovery, and stabilization).(14) These are but a few of examples of the GoC's response to situations in fragile states requiring START's consideration within a WoG context - and in some cases, direct programmatic involvement.

In short, the GPSF remains responsive to and supportive of the international policy priorities of the GoC, and an important resource to advance the same.

Finding 3:
There have been several changes to the institutional landscape in Canada relating to crisis response, peacebuilding and post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. START has adjusted to these changes to avoid overlap and discordance with varying degrees of success.

Canada has two major funds dedicated to peace and conflict issues. In October 1996, the GoC launched the Canadian Peacebuilding Initiative as a collaborative effort between DFAIT and CIDA. In April 1997, CIDA created its own Peacebuilding Fund, in complement to DFAIT's Human Security Program (now called the Glyn Berry Program housed under the GPSF).

The CIDA Peacebuilding Fund and components of GPSF share a similar focus in promoting freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law.(15) They also have shared clients. For example, at one time both the CIDA Peacebuilding Fund and the HSP provided financial support to the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre; the former proved core funding and the latter, project specific funding. Cognizant of the risk of overlap and duplication of effort, DFAIT and CIDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure coordination and synergy between the two departments.

In addition to the aforementioned funds, several other funding sources, such as the $25M Lebanon Relief Fund and the crisis reserve, have emerged and can be tapped to respond to the need for relief, rapid recovery, and stabilization.(16) These other funds often have related mandates (e.g., the $25M Lebanon Relief Fund has dedicated some $1M toward mine-action activities). Other changes since GPSF was launched include the establishment of the Sudan and the Afghanistan Task Forces, as well the launch in October 2006 of CIDA's Office for Democratic Governance which represented the addition of a new actor in the area of post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction.

As shall be discussed later in this report, START's response to these shifts (e.g., addressing them through WoG coordination functions) has varied.

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3.0 GPSF Programming

3.1 Introduction

This chapter has several purposes. It examines: i) the relevance of GPSF as a Fund; ii) the appropriateness of the GPSF design; and iii) the extent to which GPSF is well governed and managed.

3.2 Relevance

The purpose of this section is to assess the extent to which GPSF continues to make sense from three different perspectives: i) Canadian policies, priorities and international commitments; ii) international best practices; and iii) the needs of fragile states.

Finding 4:
GPSF continues to fill a funding gap that enhances Canada's ability to respond rapidly to international crises, meet Canada's St. Petersburg commitments to help build global peace support capacity, and provide resources to advance Canada's conflict prevention, crisis response, civilian protection, and post-conflict stabilization objectives.

Over the last twenty years, there has been increasing recognition that there is an overlapping zone between security and development programming in fragile states. This zone, commonly referred to as 'peace-building', is increasingly understood to represent a suite of interventions including conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict stabilization. As peace building has evolved as a form of integrated intervention, a range of new and innovative programming (e.g., justice and security system reform, trans-national justice, governance, rule of law, etc.) has evolved with it. These, in turn, have required both supra-national organizations and states to reconsider and revise the institutional arrangements required to fulfill objectives and commitments in this regard.(17)

In keeping with these emerging practices, in 2005 Canada formally adopted a '3D' approach to addressing the security, peace and development needs of fragile states. This 3D model saw the elevation of Diplomacy as a third element, along with Defense and Development, to pursue a WoG approach to making a difference in conflict situations.(18)

To support implementation of the 3D model, the Canadian government recognized that it needed to address a funding gap for peace-building activities. Until 2005, resources for crisis response and peace-building were largely drawn from the ODA budget on an ad hoc basis, which not only put pressures on that budget but periodically required CIDA to program outside of its ODA mandate. Similarly, the mandates of other government departments, notably DND, also limited the degree to which their resources could be dedicated to peace-building activities. Thus the Government established the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) to: i) provide a regularized funding mechanism for rapid response to international crises; ii) meet Canada's commitments to peace-building; and iii) fill a funding gap.

"GPSF-like" mechanisms in other countries

It is interesting to note that the establishment of the GPSF is in keeping with emerging practices in other like-minded states, such as the UK (where the Treasury dedicates resources to a Global Conflict Prevention Pool and an Africa Conflict Prevention Pool) and the Netherlands (which has established a Stability Fund) in an effort to promote policy and programming coherence in its Whole of Government approach to security and development.(19)

Wolfgang Koerner. 'In Brief - Security Reform: Defense and Diplomacy' (PRB 06-12E). Parliamentary Information and Reserach Service, Library of Parliament

In 2007, the original rationale for creating the GPSF continues to be valid. GPSF is the only fund that provides a significant amount of dedicated resources for peace-building and fosters synergies and resource sharing among GoC departments for purposes of peacebuilding internationally. The only other government resources dedicated to specifically to peace-building is CIDA's Peacebuilding Fund (started in 1997). While it shares some similar objectives with GPSF, particularly with the thematic priorities of GBP, it is much smaller in size ($10 million annual budget as compared to $100 million). In addition, it is focused on developing the capacity of international organizations and key NGOs working in the area of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Finding 5:
The Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force fills an institutional gap required to facilitate and promote Canadian Whole-of -Government responses to crises, peace operations, conflict prevention, and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction. It also enables Canada to fulfill its international commitments.

Best practice from the international community suggests that WoG approaches to fragile state situations, which bring together and coordinate economic, development, diplomatic and security initiatives, contribute to effectiveness and improved results in terms of peace and conflict programming. Further, it has been noted that the WoG model is an important complement to the commitments set out in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.(20) This suggests that the effective management of a fund such as the GPSF ideally requires a START-like entity tasked with similar roles and responsibilities.

Key informant interviews and document reviews suggested that, prior to the establishment of START, Canada's approach to coordination of peace and conflict policy and programming, involved the striking of ad hoc entities (crisis teams, interdepartmental working groups and so forth) which was viewed as inefficient and time consuming, in particular for smaller scale events. Further, these ad hoc models tended to focus on coordinating Canada's post-event response and did not allow for pre-crisis conflict analysis and prevention. Given that the latter forms a key element of Canada's international policy related to fragile states, there was a need for a institutional mechanism that would have the standing capacity to: a) monitor crisis situations b) plan and rapidly deliver integrated policy and programming responses (in a range of areas including conflict prevention) and c) coordinate and draw upon the expertise of OGDs and government agencies, as well as the NGO and private sector in crisis response. These needs have been acknowledged by the GoC, providing continued rationale for an entity that provides proactive pre-crisis conflict analysis and prevention. Finally, in its management of the GPSF, START also provides an institutional mechanism for Canada to address its commitments arising from the G8 Sea Island and the St. Petersburg Summits.

There has been one significant change in the institutional landscape in recent years, namely the creation of several informal and formal ad hoc entities (e.g., the Afghanistan Task Force, the Sudan Task Force and the Haiti Steering Committee) to respond to crises where the scope of Canada's response requires dedicated country-focused mechanisms that play institutional roles similar to START. The original design of START envisaged the need for such mechanisms, and they are now part of the suite of options being utilized by the government in its WoG coordination of responses to crises. In this changing landscape, START's niche is to respond to initial crises and support the creation of additional, spin-off mechanisms as required to support ramping-up to scale in large crisis events.

Task Forces

From an organizational perspective, there is a limit to the size of crisis to which a body with 'standing capacity' can respond, even with surge-capacity plans in place. This limit is driven by the cost-effectiveness having standing 'resources' in reserve. Evidence from interviews with START informants suggests their general agreement that in some cases, Afghanistan for example, the magnitude of the Canadian response would have been beyond their capacity to manage.

 

Finding 6:
The GPSF priorities are in keeping with international best practices relating to crisis response, conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

An assessment of the GPSF's priorities vis-à-vis current international trends in conflict prevention and peacebuilding suggests that there is a high degree of alignment between the two. At the policy level, there is considerable consistency between Canada's policy on fragile states and the policies of like-minded governments in terms of the causes of conflict and an emphasis on prevention through development strategies; support for human rights and democracy; diplomacy to prevent conflict; and contributions to build human security.(21) Further, there is also a demonstrated consistency between Canadian and UN policy development. Finally, the policy foundations of the GPSF are also in line with the OECD guideline on helping to prevent violent conflict.(22)

At the programmatic (e.g., sub-program and thematic envelope) and project level, GPSF priorities and programming investments are consistent with most elements of the 'Utstein palette' of activities.(23) Further, it can be demonstrated that the mandate of START to coordinate a WoG policy and programming response to crises supports other elements of the 'palette' not covered directly under GPSF.

Utstien Palette

A suite of themes and activities deemed to contribute to peace building and conflict prevention including: Reform of Justice and Security Institutions; Good Governance, Socio-Economic Development; and creating a Culture of Truth Justice and Reconciliation.

These categories are taken from an updated and adapted 'Utstein Palette' as presented in the OECD-DAC's 'Evaluation Conflict Prevention and Peace Building (CPPB) Activities - 2007 Fact Sheet'. 2007. pp.2.

Finding 7:
At a broad level, the objectives of START, which focus on supporting timely, coordinated, whole-of-government responses to crises using GPSF, are relevant given the context and priority needs of fragile states as well as consistent with international best practices. However, adherence to these international best practices varies.

Taken at the highest level, the objectives of START and the GPSF are largely aligned with international best practices (the OECD '10 Principles' and the Utstien Palette as discussed above). In some instances it was noted that operational challenges limited START's ability to conform to some of these practices. For example:

  • Timely and Flexible Interventions, but with a Long -Term Vision and Engagement:Timely and flexible action is fundamental in crises response in order to be able to deal with emergencies and rapidly changing scenarios. However, fragile states require a long term vision and financial commitment. According to the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States (OECD DAC) the approach should be: "act fast…but stay engaged long enough to give success a chance". Given the low capacity and the extent of challenges facing fragile states, developing capacities in core institutions requires an engagement of at least 10 years. The GPSF, however, was created to provide timely and flexible responses to international crises within short to medium term time horizons. The short to medium-term timeframes are, in and of themselves, not a problem if interventions initially supported by the GPSF are subsequently taken up by other benefactors. Although the WoG approach at least notionally holds the promise of facilitating transition from immediate stabilization to longer-term development, the practice has proven challenging. Mechanisms to support transition remain underdeveloped with attendant risks to investment sustainability and impact.

    In the geographic areas where GPSF has been mandated by the GoC to operate, the timeliness and flexibility of responses have been generally been good, with several examples of where resources have been mobilized and deployed very rapidly. Interviewees, however, have also noted instances where elongated approval processes for specific initiatives resulted in missed opportunities. Of concern, however, is the ability of GPSF to respond rapidly to emerging crises, due to the need to obtain central agency approval before responding to such crises.

  • Local Participation and Open Dialogue: According to Tschirgi,(24) "Peacebuilding is ultimately a political exercise and one of the main challenges that all external actors face is how to influence political processes in a constructive way." Peacebuilding requires a fundamental rethinking of the terms of engagement between the international and national or sub-national actors, including governments, communities, NGOs, and other social and political groups in conflict zones." Peacebuilding interventions need to solicit and encourage local participation and ownership as well as wide and deep dialogue among all stakeholders in order to find viable, sustainable and inclusive solutions. This, however, is easier said that done, particularly in conflict situations where the parties involved may be hostile to or uncooperative with third party interveners. To date, there appears to be little evidence that START has adopted a structural approach to local ownership, even if at the operational level some efforts are made. This has been due, in part, to the lack of GPSF presence on the ground in some programming theaters and the inherently contextual and invariably complicated situations on the ground.

At the level of interventions, given the complexity of violent crises in fragile states, all peacebuilding actors should be cognizant of the fact that not all results are conflict-neutral and that some of them, even if intended to tackle a particular aspect of the conflict, could have negative effects on others. For this reason, it is very important that all actors have a thorough knowledge of the context of their intervention and that conflict analysis be applied to all interventions. Within the GPSF, it was reported that some officers were using approaches to conflict analysis developed by integrating a combination of the approaches used by the World Bank, the Swedish International development Agency (SIDA), the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) and the United States agency for International development (USAID).(25) However, there was no evidence that this framework was being systematically used across the GPSF, nor was there specific evidence to suggest that the situational analysis and early warning assessments have been produced based on the findings of these conflict analyses. Several informants suggested that conflict analysis was primarily done through context scanning and significant reliance on the context analysis done by Canadian proponents and other donors on the ground. This may represent a gap in the approach to ensuring that GPSF investments are relevant to the needs of fragile states.

3.3 Appropriateness of the GPSF Design

The purpose of this section is to examine the appropriateness of the GPSF design from a number of different perspectives, including: i) program logic; ii) structures, implementation strategies and financial and human resource allocations given stated program objectives; and iii) identified assumptions, risks and mitigating strategies.

Finding 8:
There is a general consensus among stakeholders that the decision to house GPSF and START within DFAIT was appropriate.

Given the specificity of each donor state, there is no international consensus on the 'right model' of institutional arrangement for the funding and implementation of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuiling (CPPB) activities. Based on the mandates, capacities, and capabilities of different organizations, management of GPSF-type funds' responsibilities for their coordination on a WoG basis lies variously in development agencies, offices for foreign affairs, and/or in purpose-built supra-departmental agencies. While there are clearly other potential arrangements (e.g., the creation of a multi-departmental office), several interviewees suggested that, within the Canadian context (i.e., given the mandates and capacities of the various governmental bodies with a role to play internationally in terms of peace and conflict programming) that DFAIT was the most appropriate institutional home for START and, therein, GPSF.

Finding 9:
There is a general consensus that the design of GPSF as articulated in the GPSF RMAF/RBAF has limitations in terms of the program logic. These limitations have frustrated GPSF planning, management, and results reporting.

START and the GPSF were created in 2005 in rapidly evolving and highly pressured Canadian and international contexts. In keeping with GoC requirements of the day, the START and GPSF design processes concentrated on the development of an RMAF/RBAF and an MC, processes which took place between May and December 2005. At the same time, Canada was ramping up its programming support for Sudan, another very intensive process that relied upon many of the same people engaged in the START/GPSF design and operational set-up. This limited staff time to work out all the programming and operational details for the GPSF, thoroughly and formally.

Key Milestones in the GPSF Design

  • April 2005 The START and the GPSF are identified in the IPS as new policy and funding instruments intended to support Canada's peacebuilding commitments
  • May 2005 GoC allocates $500 million over 5 years for DFAIT to establish START
  • September 2005 START begins operations as a Bureau within the International Security Branch of DFAIT
  • October 2005 Approval of interim Treasury Board Submission that permits START and the GPSF to become operational under the Terms and Conditions of the pre-existing Human Security Program
  • December 2005 The RMAF for GPSF is completed (and approved ZIE and TBS)
  • September 2006 START secures its own T&Cs.
  • August 2007 START begins developing logic models for the three sub-programs.

The design of GPSF culminated in the development of the GPSF RMAF, which though submitted for approval in December 2005 was not formally approved until September 2006, some 17 months after START began operations as a bureau within DFAIT. While short delays are not uncommon, they are far from ideal when addressing complex issues such as peace and conflict and WoG coordination. This elongated delay proved to be a distinct impediment to the creation of START and the implementation of the GPSF. A review of the GPSF design, as well as interviews with GPSF stakeholders inside and outside DFAIT, suggested that there were several weaknesses in the original design.

As noted earlier in this report, the GPSF RMAF/RBAF logic model conflates START's performance logic with the performance logic of the GPSF. For example, the approved logic model includes a list of over 50 outputs and outcomes, though most of these (70%) focus on Canadian institutions and/or public; giving the misleading impression that the main purpose of GPSF is to benefit Canada.

Logic Model for START or GPSF?

  • While there is a clear relation between START and the GPSF, the merging of what can be called G START performance logic with GPSF performance logic under the heading of the GPSF RMAF/RBAF has created some confusion about the differentiation of the results of the START mechanism and the Fund.
  • In the approved logic framework, it can be argued that the implicit expected results of START overshadow those of GPSF.
  • In retrospect, housing the design of both START and GPSF under a single RMAF/RBAF (or possibly even just under a single logic model) may have detracted from clarity for both endeavors.

Despite the stated purpose of the GPSF, results are not targeted at countries or regions in crisis, but rather at the micro level (individually funded organizations or institutions) or at the macro level (global or regional capacity building). As a consequence, the approved logic model does not provide a sound basis for guiding the implementation of the GPSF, nor for measuring its success. Further, at the project officer level, many informants noted that the provided result-statements were often vague or overly broad, thus making it challenging to create linkages between proposed investments and intended results. According to informants, the logic model is highly complex and difficult to follow since the casual links between different levels are not clear or obvious. In addition, most of the results do not meet the SMART criteria associated with good results statements.(26) Other noted limitations included: the absence of defined indicators and baseline data for the majority of identified outputs and outcomes; and some gaps in the vertical logic among outputs and outcomes (e.g., it is unclear which specific outputs and immediate outcomes will contribute to improved Canadian WoG coherence).

The evaluators were advised that the performance logic was purposefully designed to be generic to allow START some flexibility as GPSF was evolving. In response to a perceived disconnect between high-level outcomes articulated in the RMAF and the outcomes of specific GPSF-supported initiatives, a decision was made to develop logic models for the three sub-programs to serve as a bridge between the two.

Finding 10:
The themes addressed and approaches taken at the envelope and project levels within the three sub-programs are appropriate and, despite some thematic overlaps, are generally complementary. However, the rationale underpinning the existing sub-program design of GPSF appears fragile.

Canada's commitments and activities in addressing peace and conflict issues predate GPSF and START. GPSF/START did not therefore begin from a 'zero-base' but, rather, were intended to incorporate, consolidate and enhance existing initiatives as well as addressing new commitments. As evidenced by interviews with key informants, the drivers behind the three program design that emerged varied and in some cases might no longer be relevant in light of the realities and practicalities of sub-program level management - a contention examined in this and the following sections.

In the case of GPOP, the motivation for establishing a separate sub-program was clearly driven by a need to house the financial and human capacity necessary to meet Canada's G8 Sea Island commitments. As a consequence of the relative level of clarity, as shall be discussed later, GPOP constitutes a coherent programmatic entity akin to the 'envelope-level' within the other two sub-programs, both in terms of the conceptual coherence and the magnitude of investment (about 2% of the total GPSF budget). Notwithstanding the distinctiveness of GPOP's mandate relative to the other sub-programs, there is overlap at the thematic level with GPSP, particularly in the area of security system reform.

HSP was integrated into GPSF based on its clear thematic connections to Canada's peace building and conflict prevention agenda. The recent reshaping of HSP into GBP, while more clearly focusing on the priorities of the GoC, has not substantially changed these characteristics, nor eliminated overlaps with the thematic priorities of the GPSP. Moreover, the evaluation team noted that the sometimes limited alignment of GBP investments within the broader GPSF objectives raised questions not only about the appropriateness of the GBP, as currently configured, being housed within GPSF, but its relevance as a distinctive sub-program.

Arguably, both in terms of the size of the fund and its mandate, GPSP forms the 'core' of GPSF, and, indeed, GPSP's overall objectives are virtually identical to that of the GPSF's. Given its focus on several different countries - each with distinctive needs - it is difficult to manage GPSP programmatically (and indeed there is no overall concept paper for GPSP). The nominal definition of GPSP as a sub-program does not appear to add value to the way its programming is planned, managed, and delivered. Rather, the functional management units in this case are the country and thematic envelopes that at times overlap with the other two sub-programs.

START was clearly cognizant of the risk of overlaps between the sub-programs, and has taken steps to mitigate this risk. Where there is clear thematic overlap between the sub-programs, distinctions have been drawn at the activity level. For example, in the realm of security system reform, which falls within the mandates of both GPOP and GPSP, GPOP focuses on institutional capacity building (training, equipment, functional support), whereas GPSP focuses on the legislative and policy development dimensions of security system reform. Similar efforts have been made at the activity level where there is overlap between GBP and GPSP, the former focusing on developing international norms through multilateral mechanisms, while the latter focuses on country-specific initiatives intended to implement those norms. These distinctions, however, have never been formally documented, with functional divisions that have been assigned responsibility for sub-program management generally working it out between themselves who should assume carriage of any given project.

At times the distinction between the sub-programs, in terms of which sub-program an intervention would be funded, was found to be permeable. In some instances, the driver of 'fit' appeared to be financial magnitude rather than thematic 'fit.' In other instances, the character of the recipient (multi-lateral vs. bi-lateral) appeared to be the determining factor. In still other cases, the focus of support (policy development vs. institutional development) provided the rationale for assigning a project under one sub-program versus another. While this flexibility does have certain advantages, it is inconsistent with standard program logic and raises questions about the functional utility of the three sub-program design.

The contention that the sub-program design may be of limited utility is further reinforced by the alignment between the three sub-programs and the four functional divisions. For the sake of practicality, sub-program leadership has been assigned to different functional divisions - however, in many cases parts of any given sub-program are managed in divisions other than the one designated as the 'lead' which results in divided accountabilities as discussed later in this document. (See Section 3.5)

In short, the characterization of GPOP, GBP and GPSP as sub-programs is something of a misnomer, as they do not possess normal program characteristics. They are, for all practical purposes, funding streams, wherein countries and themes (i.e. envelopes) are appearing to be surfacing as the natural units of management, which would suggest that functional divisions should be reporting against the envelopes, and not the sub-programs.

3.4 Governance of GPSF

The purpose of this section is to assess the extent to which the GPSF is well governed by DFAIT and well guided by other specially established mechanisms, such as the SAB. This section examines the roles played by IFM, the START Advisory Board, the Country Task Forces and the Assessment and Fragile States Working Groups.

Finding 11:
The START Advisory Board has had limited success in fulfilling its mandate as envisaged in the RMAF and the Treasury Board submission.

The TB submission states that SAB is a foreign policy mechanism intended to align GoC's geographic and thematic priorities for fragile states and provide coherence in the allocation of resources; SAB was given three main responsibilities that are listed in Exhibit 3.1. The TB submission notes that SAB will be chaired by START and include senior representatives from DFAIT, CIDA, DND, PCO, PSEP-C and its agencies, notably RCMP and CSIS, and others, mainly from the DG level.

Setting Regional/Country Priorities

According to reviewed START documents, strategic country/regional priorities for Canadian engagement for conflict prevention and peace-building initiatives will be established annually through the work of an Assessment Working Group (AWG) and Fragile States Group (FSG).

The FSG is responsible for developing Canadian engagement strategies for each of the fragile states/regions based on guidance and input received from the START Advisory Board. Once agreed by all stakeholder departments and agencies, the strategies are presented to the START Advisory Board for final consideration.

More than 90% of interview respondents (from both DFAIT and OGDs) who commented on SAB stated that it was underperforming. Comments to this effect included: 'the SAB does not work', 'the SAB is ineffective' and 'the SAB is not functioning well'. An examination of the SAB meeting minutes supports the contention that SAB is not fulfilling its mandate as envisaged, as demonstrated in the Exhibit 3.1.

Exhibit 3.1 Observations regarding the realization of SAB Responsibilities
SAB ResponsibilitiesObservations
Establishing a WoG strategic policy, priority-setting and direction with respect to fragile states and complex emergencies within the framework of individual departmental authoritiesAn assessment of the SAB minutes indicates that there has been limited effort in this regard. SAB did provide some limited advice to the Fragile States Group's (FSG) on approach to presenting their recommendations to the Minister.
Undertaking regular assessments (i.e., annual or more frequent) of progress toward milestones and exit strategies defined in specific integrated country strategies, along with the potential for reallocation of resources in line with the pace of events and opportunities presented by competing crises and prioritiesThe SAB has not carried out this responsibility to date. However it is not evident that an Advisory Board should have such an operational responsibility. It would appear that these should instead be borne by others such as the appropriate Division within DFAIT responsible for the GPSF funded initiative, or by START.

A more appropriate role for such an inter-departmental Advisory Board would be to examine the GPSF from a more strategic perspective.

Information exchange on program-related activities to ensure complementarities and avoid duplication, while encouraging the formation of country task forces at the operational level as requiredInterview informants suggested that the SAB did play this role to a limited degree by acting as the only GPSF forum in which a range of OGD's played a prominent role. It is interesting to note that several DFAIT-based informants suggested that the OGD's were playing too passive a role in the SAB - attending mainly as consumers of information and 'not brining much to the table'.

Some allowance for the performance gaps may be attributed to the broader context of START. As a relatively new entity, early meetings would understandably be focused on issues such as establishing a consensus around the roles and responsibilities of the SAB itself. In addition to this, based on the realities of the T&Cs, some meeting time was also devoted to TB- related processes. However, analysis indicates that there are a number of factors that have limited the effectiveness of SAB, including:

  • Appropriateness of SAB Make-Up: It is not clear that the mandate of SAB, in particular, the 'establishing of WoG strategic policy, priority-setting and direction with respect to fragile states and complex emergencies within the framework of individual departmental authorities' is within the DG authority level.
  • New Foreign Policy Mechanisms: Along with the increased Canadian commitments to Sudan, Afghanistan and Haiti, the government has created Task Forces and, in the case of Haiti, a Steering Committee to formally assume some "SAB-like" roles and responsibilities. The emergence of these new mechanisms has contributed to some ambiguity regarding the role of SAB as well as some real/potential overlap in responsibilities between these new mechanisms and SAB (See Finding 12 for details).
  • DG Participation in Meetings: A review of SAB meeting minutes indicates that very few DGs have attended the meetings to date. Excluding the START DG, only two or three DGs have attended meetings to date, suggesting a significant discrepancy between the actual authorities of its members and those required by its mandate.
  • Frequency of Meetings: While the SAB met thrice in the 2006 calendar year, a full year passed between the third and fourth meetings (fall 2006 to fall 2007). This does not appear to be a sufficient meeting frequency for SAB to fulfill its mandate in a meaningful fashion.
  • GoC Representation in Meetings: SAB meetings tend to have a large number of participants: between 16 and 25 persons have attended the four meetings to date. In the meetings that have taken place, participation of organizations has varied greatly: START and its functional divisions have been well represented, with almost 100% participation in each meeting; OGDs have also been well represented. However, DFAIT geographic desk participation has varied significantly (from between 2 and 19 participants per meeting). In some cases, as many as five persons or more from the same organization or unit attended SAB meetings, thus undermining effectiveness. There are no protocols established to distinguish the individual responsibilities and obligations of "core" SAB members from those of other observers.

There is a general consensus among those interviewed, both inside and outside of DFAIT, that effective management of the GPSF requires a SAB-like body. However, to be effective, such a body should have an appropriate mandate, clearly defined decision-making responsibilities and members who have the authority to make such decisions. Several interviewees pointed to the ADM committee that governs the CIDA-DFAIT MOU as an example of what the SAB could be like, while others reiterated the need for a fully functional multi-level governance structure akin to that which exists for Haiti: a DM committee that does policy; an ADM committee that sets strategy for policy implementation; and a DG committee that monitors the implementation of strategy and reports back upward. Whatever decisions are made, it is clear that the SAB mandate and operational modalities need to be revisited, either with the view to rendering it a bone fide decision-making body or adjusting its mandate and authority to suite its advisory role. A recent SAB meeting, held in November 2007, focused on this issue.

Finding 12:
The relationships between the new foreign policy mechanisms, such as the Country Task Forces, and SAB have not been fully and formally clarified. This has contributed to some ambiguity regarding the responsibilities vis-à-vis SAB and START.

During the past several years, new foreign policy mechanisms/entities (e.g. Country Task Forces or Steering Committees) have emerged. These entities are established in several ways. For example, the Sudan and Afghanistan Task Forces were formed under the direction of the GoC. The Haiti Steering Committee, and its sub-bodies, was described by informants as having 'self-generated' to respond to issues relating to Canada's involvement in Haiti outside the mandate of START. Though the WoG mandate of the Task Forces and committees extend beyond the GPSF, it bears keeping in mind that the mandate of the SAB is similarly not confined to the GPSF.

Where formal mandates exist, these sometimes overlap with or replace the roles intended to be played by the SAB and START (see below). In the case of Afghanistan, it is apparent that the two entities 'negotiated' their relationship over time reactively rather than proactively, based on agreements and consensus (e.g., around issues such as monitoring and reporting on GPSF-funded initiatives). This is made more challenging by the fact that each body has different terms of reference (see below). For most intents and purposes, there is no formal written understanding concerning roles and accountability between the Task Forces and START/SAB. This issue was also highlighted in the first START annual report.(27)

Foreign Policy Mechanisms

  • The Afghanistan Task Force (FTAG) Model: The Task Force has assumed both a policy and coordination lead with respect to Canada Whole of Government engagement in Afghanistan. While there is cooperation between START and FTAG, and indeed START, through the GPSF, pays for the salaries of several FTAG officers, there is a concern that START could be held accountable for performance and results over which it no longer has strategic decision making authority.
  • The Sudan Task Force (FSDN) Model: This model has been characterized as a 'hybrid' where both the Task Force and START share Whole of Government coordination and accountability.
  • The Haiti Steering Committee: Under this model, accountability for Whole of Government coordination lies with the Bilateral Relations Branch, outside START, with a series of parallel structures (GD, ADM, and DM committees as well as operational working groups). START leads the Haiti Security Working Group that reports to the Steering Committee.
  • Other Countries/Themes: START plays the lead role in terms of conflict prevention and peacebuilding in cooperation with the Country Desk (e.g. Uganda).

3.5 Accountabilities

Finding 13:
There is considerable ambiguity in the systems for accountability at all levels of GPSF's implementation.

While ultimate accountability for the GPSF clearly rests with IFM, the evaluation team found it exceedingly difficult to map the responsibilities and accountabilities at the sub-program level.

Accountability for Whole-of -Government Coordination

The roles, responsibilities and accountability for WoG coordination between START and the various Task Forces and similar emergent bodies are complex and often not well defined. It appears that at least four models of WoG accountability are emerging. What is significant in the first three models is that, for most intents and purposes, there is no formal written or common understanding regarding roles and accountabilities.(28) This issue was also highlighted in the first START annual report.

Canada's Office of the Auditor General (OAG) defines accountability as a "requirement to answer for what you have accomplished (or not) that is of significance and of value", noting as well that accountability "is seen to be assumed and/or agreed to by each party in a recognized accountability relationship, even when one party does indeed delegate responsibilities to the other."

General Policies, Definition, Mandate, Accountability, Access to Information. Office of the Auditor General. 2004

Program-Level Accountability

At the program governance level, it was unclear where accountabilities lie with respect to GPSF performance and results monitoring and reporting. For example, SAB has a mandate to regularly review the progress of START/GPSF. As noted above, to date, START has only produced one draft report in this regard that had not, at the time of writing this report, been presented to the SAB. It is questionable however, given the advisory role of SAB, whether it is the appropriate repository for program-level accountability. Moreover, while START reports to IFM (e.g. it feeds into IFM's Departmental Performance Report), it is unclear what IFM's monitoring and reporting requirements are vis-à-vis START and GPSF.

Multi-Level Ambiguities in Accountability

With regard to Afghanistan, the FTAG sets policy and programming priorities for Afghanistan, and has several staff funded through GPSF tasked with identifying, developing and monitoring GPSF projects (though they apparently report to FTAG and not to a START functional division. The FTAG reported that within START, IRP has the lead on the Afghanistan envelope - with the Director signing for payments - though there are also projects managed by IRC coming from this envelope. Again, the evaluation team was unable to determine where ultimate accountability lay.

Sub-Program, Envelope and Project-Level Accountability

Informant interviews suggested that accountability for the GPSF at these levels is best characterized as a 'shared accountability model' - what some informants referred to as a 'matrix management and accountability system'. The evaluation team found that very often it was not apparent where the accountabilities actually lie in this model. The chart below (Exhibit 3.2) assesses the status of 'accountability' in the sub-programs.

Exhibit 3.2 Observations on GPSF Sub-Program, Envelope and Project-Level Accountabilities
Sub ProgramObservations
GPOPWithin GPOP the management and accountability structure is clear. This may be reflective of the clarity of the GPOP mandate (i.e. to fulfill Canada's G8 Sea-Island commitments) which allows GPOP to function as a coherent program in a more traditional sense.
GBPGBP funds are used by eight different divisions, including three GHD divisions. In total, some 70% of the funds are used by GHD divisions. While there is a clear signing authority for payments (the IRD Senior Director), at least two people are perceived by interviewees as the 'lead' for GBP (IRD Senior Director and the Senior Program Officer - GHS). Further, within the 14 envelopes identified for 2007-2008, each of the eight divisions has been identified as being 'responsible' for at least one envelope with two envelopes being co-led by two divisions. However, the nature of this responsibility - and the accompanying accountabilities - has not been clearly defined or documented. Further, IRD has recently, with the agreement of GHS, delegated responsibility for reporting on GBP to GHS for 2006-2007 though it is not clear where accountability for this function will lie in future. At least one unit outside of START reported confusion in this regard.
GPSPThe accountability structures within GPSP are extremely convoluted. For example, the Haiti envelop is led by IRC - whose Director signs all payments related to Haiti - however, several of the Haiti projects are managed by officers in IRP who report and are accountable to the Director of IRP. Although both IRC and IRP are accountable to the DG of IRD, the evaluation team observed a lack of agreement on the nature and scope of that accountability. With regard to Afghanistan, the FTAG sets policy and programming priorities for Afghanistan, and has several staff funded through GPSF tasked with identifying, developing and monitoring GPSF projects, though they apparently report to FTAG and not to a START functional division. The FTAG reported that within START, IRP has the lead on the Afghanistan envelope - with the Director signing for payments - though there are also projects managed by IRC coming from this envelope. Again, the evaluation team was unable to determine where ultimate accountability lay. Within DFAIT, there are some indications that managers who are responsible for signing off on projects over which they have no programmatic authority find the arrangement 'uncomfortable'.

As indicated above, accountability varies greatly between the different sub-programs. At the broadest level, it was noted that there has not been sub-program specific reporting produced to date. Rather, there have been 'results and achievements reports' produced at the envelop-level, but with no roll-up to a sub-program level of reporting. This tendency is reflected in the document understood to be the first START annual report.

While complex systems of shared accountability are challenging to work with, the situation within GPSF is exacerbated by the fact that many of the accountability arrangements are assumed rather than formalized. If a Director was to leave, for example, the new Director would likely have to infer their responsibilities and accountabilities based on existing programming. As several other interviewees noted: 'the system of accountability is not a problem at the moment as significant breakdown in a project has not occurred'. Managers remarked that though the 'current system works because of the people involved it may not be sustainable and could fail if there was turnover in key positions'. This lack of clearly charted and agreed upon accountabilities poses a risk to GPSF. This concern was echoed in interviews with key senior managers.

Matrix Management

While not declared as such in its planning document, several respondents suggested that GPSF functions under a matrix model for accountability and management purposes. It is unclear if this is indeed the case. However, a review of literature on matrix management models suggests that there are several 'best practices' to successful matrix management, beginning with clarity of structures, roles and responsibilities. It is not apparent that this has been achieved to date in the management of GPSF.

Adapted from Gunn, Ron 'Five Not-So-Easy Pieces of Matrix Management.

As remarked elsewhere in this report, the sub-programs are best described as 'pseudo-programs' in that they do not have the characteristics and accountability structures normally associated with programs, thus giving rise to the ambiguities around accountability discussed above. Arguably if the three sub-programs comprising the GPSF were transformed into bone fide programs with management and reporting relationships aligned accordingly this would have the potential to simplify the current system of accountability. However, in the opinion of the evaluation team the nature of the GPSF does not readily lend itself to functional management at the sub-program level. Indeed, to stove-pipe the sub-programs in this fashion would likely increase the risk of duplication and/or programming gaps. Thus, while accountabilities may be clarified by upgrading the sub-programs to engender the attributes of true programs (including clarified accountabilities and management structures), it is not apparent that this approach would significantly add to DFAIT's ability to manage the GPSF for results. Moreover, this option would require significant structural reorganization within DFAIT involving disruption of personnel, as well as significant investments both in terms of systems development and change management.

As discussed further in this chapter, the level of management currently referred to as the envelope level (generally identified in terms of specific countries and themes) appears to be the de facto unit of management for the GPSF. The evaluation team noted some exceptions to this analysis. GPOP, for example, was identified by most interviewees as 'most closely' representing a coherent program in terms of the clarity of its accountability. However, it was also observed that in terms of the magnitude of GPOP's funding allotment, its clear focused mandate, and its management approaches (e.g., GPOP is the only sub-program with a coherent concept paper), GPOP could be argued to constitute an 'envelope' rather than a sub-program in the current GPSF nomenclature.

In light of the preceding analysis, the evaluation team is of the view that the envelope serves as the natural and most appropriate unit for clarification of accountabilities and that the division of the GPSF into sub-programs adds little value to the administration of the fund and indeed unduly complicates accountability relationships. Transforming the GPSF into a single funding mechanism with multiple funding streams (e.g., one stream for each country or theme) would, in the opinion of the evaluation team, simplify the management of the GPSF and related accountabilities. Many of the structures and systems to manage under this scenario are already in place. Taking advantage of existing structures, including high-level processes for selection of countries of focus, would limit the degree of re-organization or disruption required. Further, this model would lead to the streamlining of planning and reporting processes through the elimination of the sub-program-level management deliverables which, as noted above, do not appear to be functional given the contextual differences of the investment envelopes, thus reducing overall transaction costs in the management of GPSF.

3.6 GPSF Management

The purpose of this section is to assess the implementation of GPSF in terms of the quality of its management systems and approaches. It includes a review of strategic planning, program and project management, administration, risk management, financial management and information management.

3.6.1 Strategic Planning

Finding 14:
At the program level, there is no evidence of a clear strategic plan for the implementation of the GPSF RMAF/RBAF.

In 2005, the TB revised its content requirements for RMAF/RBAFs. Under the previous requirements, released in 2001, RMAF/RBAFs included elements such as a 'Delivery Approach' which allowed the document to serve dual roles as both a 'guiding document' and a strategic plan for program implementation. The GoC has not apparently introduced a 'strategic planning' requirement for programs in light of these reductions in the RMAF/RBAF requirements. Several informants suggested that the TB Submissions constituted the strategic plans for the implementation of GPSF.

While it is acknowledged that these documents have provided a 'space' for some articulation of a general strategic 'vision' for GPSF, there are several reason why they are less than ideal for program planning, monitoring and reporting purposes. TB Submissions are more operationally focused, documenting a program's design, delivery and implementation mechanisms, but these elements generally find expression in the RMAF that accompanies the TB Submission which, in the case of the GPSF, is generally understood to be defective.

As a result, key program design elements from the RMAF and RBAF have not been elaborated in any document that describes how the GPSF would be implemented. Apart from the MC's and TB Submissions, with the limitations noted above, there is no overall multi-year strategy for implementing the GPSF, thus making it difficult for START to monitor, measure progress and report on results against an approved strategy. The lack of detailed strategic implementation plan has contributed to various ambiguities about GPSF's design and implementation. For example:

  • Whole-of-Government Coordination: How would the WoG approach be addressed in the context of the GPSF implementation? The RMAF makes multiple references to WoG, but no implementation strategy for the GPSF was ever formally defined in any planning document, thus contributing to uncertainties regarding how WoG would be implemented, and how it would be measured. As a consequence, it remains difficult to assess if and how successful START has been in promoting a WoG approach for the GPSF.
  • GPSF Management at Different Levels: How would GPSF be planned, managed, monitored, reported on and evaluated at various levels, and who would be responsible and accountable for each level? While ample attention is paid to the project level (in the RMAF and, more recently, the SOPs), much less attention has been paid to defining the specific management procedures, mechanisms and strategies that would be used at other levels. In the absence of guiding frameworks, those left managing the different levels had to work out processes as they went along.
  • Capacity Building: What was the meaning of capacity building in the GPSF context, and how would it be planned, supported, managed, measured, monitored and evaluated? Was it intended to focus on individuals or on organizations? Were capacities expected to be sustained or not? What were the guiding principles and strategies that would be employed to support such capacity building? These matters are not discussed in any of the GPSF guiding documents, though the evaluation team was advised late in the evaluation process that START was working to address this problem. As a consequence, the concept was interpreted differently for different GPSF investments, contributing to mixed types of investments and results. Moreover, as discussed in Section 4.0, evidence suggests there are contradictions between the typical needs of capacity building projects (multi-year support) and the types and duration of support permitted by GPSF instruments (short-term support for one year or less).
  • Human Resources: What types of human resources would be required to implement the GPSF in Canada and overseas? How many people would be required? What expertise and management skills should they have? While such matters are touched upon in the RMAF in the risk assessment section, there is no explicit strategy that addresses GPSF human resource needs. As discussed in Section 3.6.5, START has faced considerable challenges in staffing over the past couple of years, which has affected the GPSF implementation.
  • Task Forces: How would emerging Task Forces relate to the START Advisory Board? Again, though reference to the existence of such entities is made in the RMAF, there is no other document that explains the implications of such new entities, their roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. This too has contributed to some ambiguities and blurred accountabilities for the GPSF and START; and subject examined in the following Finding.
Finding 15:
GPSF's design expressly includes mechanisms to establish geographic priorities on an annual basis, though this responsibility has largely been assumed by Cabinet. As a consequence, these mechanisms have not functioned as originally envisaged.

The GPSF design includes a working group to set strategic country/ regional priorities for Canadian engagement for conflict prevention and peacebuilding - the Fragile States Group (FSG). FSG created a list of 11 countries deemed to be priorities for the GPSF, which was presented to the START AB. This list was shared with the Government of Canada, which identified a smaller list of its priorities, namely Sudan, Haiti, and Afghanistan. Although reserve funds exist, which change from year to year, to respond to new and emerging crises, the current requirement to return to the government for funding approval is inconsistent with the original purpose of the GPSF.

3.6.2 Program and Project Management

Finding 16:
Systems for program and project management of GPSF have not been established uniformly at the program, sub-program, envelope, and project levels. Processes and systems are better defined at the project and envelop levels, than at the overall fund and, in particular, sub-program levels.

GPSF is a multi-layered program/fund that is managed at the overall program level, the sub-program level, the envelope level, and the project (individual investment) level. In assessing the GPSF management structure, the evaluation team drew on its experience in organizational assessment to define a series of seven elements of program and project management. These seven elements relate to processes and procedures that are deemed essential for adequate management. The seven elements of program and project management considered include:

  • Setting Objectives;
  • Multi-year (Strategic Planning) Planning;
  • Annual Planning; Progress Monitoring and Reporting;
  • Evaluation;
  • Financial Reporting, Management and Control; and
  • Accountability.

The evaluation team undertook an analysis of the four levels of management within GPSF in reference to these seven elements. The narrative below provides a summary of this assessment. Exhibit 3.3 provides a more detailed assessment.

Overall GPSF Management

Analysis in Exhibit 3.3 suggests that overall GPSF management has been partially successful in addressing the seven elements of program and project management. For example, there has been some success in addressing objectives setting at the overall, sub-program, envelope, and project levels. At the time the evaluation was conducted gaps were observed in the approaches to strategic planning and annual planning, as discussed in Section 3.6.2, with partial success, as discussed in Sections 3.6.4 and 3.6.6, in establishing systems for monitoring and reporting, financial management and accountability respectively. Interviews with START suggest, in some instances, that the sheer level of effort required to comply with the annual TB submission requirement placed limits on the time available to address other management priorities. While this may be true, it is clear that the fundamental gaps will need to be addressed promptly in order to ensure that the GPSF is managed adequately.

Sub-Program Management

The analysis of GPSF management processes and procedures at the sub-program level indicates that very few system and procedures, except those required for annual financial planning, have been put into place at the sub-program level. While objectives have been defined for each of the sub-programs, and new sub-program logic models have been developed, START has not uniformly established corporate systems to plan, monitor and/evaluate at the sub-program level, though it should be noted that at the time of writing systems were in the process of being introduced.

In terms of planning, GPOP is the only sub-program with a concept paper which provides a multi-year vision for the implementation of this time-limited investment. GBP and GPSP are not governed by overarching sub-program concept papers. Rather, these sub-programs focus on the development of country and/or envelope/thematic concept papers that link to the overarching policy priorities in the GPSF logic model to guide programming. Moreover, with the notable exception of GPOP which is managed by IRP, the other sub-programs are not clearly linked to distinct responsibility centres that have clearly defined management or accountability for each "sub-program" (see Exhibit 3.2). Therefore, while the sub-programs have recently developed logic models which are intended to guide planning and reporting, sub-program accountabilities for GBP and GPSP are not clearly defined.

Partial progress in establishing sub-program level management systems is, in the view of the evaluation team, due in part to the fact that the sub-programs do not clearly represent coherent 'units of management,' with GPOP potentially being an exception. GPSP, for example, has several disparate and dissimilar envelopes (country and thematic), the planning or reporting for which cannot easily be rolled-up at a sub-program level, notwithstanding recent efforts to do so through the development of sub-program logic models. The reality for GBP is similar. It would appear that the sub-program envelopes constitute more appropriate units of management and are, in effect, the de-facto GPSF "sub-programs".

Envelope Management

The analysis of GPSF envelope level management processes and procedures, detailed in Exhibit 3.3, indicates adequate compliance with most of the seven areas of review. Noted shortcomings include: the absence of strategic multi-year planning mechanisms; the lack of defined evaluation norms; and a disconnect between START planning and financial management systems, which do not generate and report GPSF financial information by envelope, which is instead tracked by Divisions.

Table of Contents from the UK's Global Conflict Prevention Pool - 2003 Annual Report

Section A: Tackling Conflict

  • The Afghanistan strategy
  • The Balkans strategy
  • The Belize and Guatemala strategy
  • The Central and Eastern Europe strategy
  • The India and Pakistan strategy
  • The Indonesia and East Timor strategy
  • The Middle East and North Africa strategy
  • The Nepal strategy
  • The Russia and the Former Soviet Union strategy
  • The Sri Lanka strategy

Section B: Supporting the Strategies

  • The security sector reform strategy
  • The small arms and light weapons strategy

Section C: Strengthening International Response

  • The EU civilian crisis management strategy
  • The OSCE and CoE strategy
  • The UN strategy

Notwithstanding the above, the evaluation team observed, in the majority of cases, that efforts are made to link the rationale and objectives outlined in the envelope concept papers to the overarching results of GPSF as articulated in the RMAF/RBAF logic model. This awareness and attention to systematic application of performance logic is positive. In addition, the evaluation team found evidence of a WoG approach to the development of country and theme-level concept papers, though there is clear room for a more systematic approach in this regard.

In the opinion of the evaluation team, the envelope level forms a more natural and effective 'unit of management' than the sub-program level. It is of interest to note that in the UK its funding mechanisms also appear to operate on an 'envelope' basis. As noted below, reporting is undertaken on the equivalent of the GPSF 'envelope' level without attempting to 'roll-up' results reporting from widely differing contexts. This is in keeping with the observation made by several GPSF interviewees that understanding and acknowledging context is one of the most important differentiating factors in addressing peace building and conflict prevention in different theaters.

Project Level Management

In general, the systems for project-level management were found to be adequate for the needs of GPSF. At the project level, as shown in Exhibit 3.3, management processes in place satisfy 6 of the 7 review areas. With the exception of multi-year planning, which has not been undertaken to date since GPSF projects have a life span of less than one year, START has adequate procedures in place to manage GPSF projects. This is the consequence of several years of dedicated attention paid by START to project level management. Processes and procedures have been reviewed and fine-tuned over time, with notable improvements (e.g., development and adoption of new proposal and reporting templates, and of new project close-out procedures). The shortage of on-the-ground staff was noted as a significant impediment to project monitoring.

Multi-year planning at the project level

It was interesting to note that, despite the time limitations imposed by the Terms and Conditions, at an operational/project level, multi-year investment strategies were pursued to a certain degree. In GPSP, for example, it was not uncommon to find partners who had received funding on specific themes in multiple years. Despite this innovation, it is important to note that the file review and interviews with officers strongly suggested that the uncertainty created by the lack of a clear, announced multi-year strategy made engagement challenging in some instances.

While a rigorous system of project screening has been instituted (see Section 3.7) which helps ensure that projects are properly designed and assigned to the appropriate functional division, this check applies mostly to project proposals that have been accepted by the functional divisions and submitted to the PDM for review. Project proposals are typically received by project officers who assess their relevance to the mandate and priorities of the GPSF. Although the GPSF SOPs clearly call on project officers to advise the START Secretariat of all proposals received that are rejected, the evaluation team observed that this requirement is not respected consistently and uniformly across divisions, thereby depriving the START Secretariat of useful information on applicants, as well as information useful for planning purposes.

The evaluation team was advised that once the GPSF database is perfected and rendered fully operational, all proposals, accepted and rejected, will be logged by the divisional program administrators and tracked.

Conclusion

In sum, START has had mixed success in establishing systems for management of the GPSF. At the project and envelope levels the foundations have been laid for an adequate management system, though there are gaps that require attention. At the overall program level, systems are less well defined and distinct gaps in strategic planning have hampered GPSF implementation. Finally, it is not clear that the sub-program level represents a meaningful management unit.

Table 1: Exhibit 3.3 Overview of Processes Used to Manage the GPSF
LevelManagement Process
 Setting ObjectivesMulti-year PlanningAnnual PlanningProgress Monitoring, Reporting
ProjectDefined for each project, and linked to objectives in the relevant envelopeGenerally not done as most projects are approved for periods of less than one yearDone for each projectDone for each project. Project monitoring is done by the project officer. Reporting is done by the recipient.

Lack of on-the-ground staff was noted as an impediment to monitoring.

EnvelopeDefined for each envelope, and linked to the relevant

GPSF objective

Done
(Concept Papers)
Done
(Concept Papers)
Since the end of the 2006/2007 FY, annual reports are prepared for each envelope. Reporting is done against the objectives set in the Concept Paper. Project results are summarized by envelope. Reporting at the Sub-program applies only for GPOP.
Sub-programDefined in the RMAF

Sub-program logic models are being developed.

Not done, except for GPOPNot done, except for GPOPEnvelope-level reports formerly not rolled up, though new reporting templates have recently been developed to facilitate progress monitoring and reporting and roll up.

Mid and End of year progress and achievements reports are prepared by IRD).

GHS was asked by IRD to collect the envelope progress and achievements reports. Summarized in a "HSP Achievements Presentation".

Overall GPSF ProgramDefined in the RMAF, although this definition is inconsistent with the definition given in the MC.Reflected in the original RMAF. Has not been updated to reflect noted design short-comings, though plans to revise the RMAF are under consider-ationNot doneRequired by the RMAF, but not produced until 2006/07. A partial report that summarized progress for the three envelopes and the Whole of Government approach for the year ending 2006/07 was produced in June 2007

 

Table 2: Exhibit 3.3 Overview of Processes Used to Manage the GPSF
LevelManagement Process
 EvaluationFinancial Reporting, Management and ControlAccountability
ProjectRequirements are established for each project in the contribution agreement.This is clearly identified as the responsibility of the assigned project officer. Reporting is the recipient's responsibility.This is clearly identified as the responsibility of the assigned project officer
EnvelopeThere is no established procedure regarding the evaluation of envelopes; it is dependent on what is stated in the MC. In the case of Sudan, a formative evaluation of the Sudan Program was commissioned in 2007/08.This is clearly identified as the responsibility of one assigned "responsible" officer/manager.This is clearly identified as the responsibility of one assigned "responsible" officer/manager.
Sub-programNot required and not doneVaries by sub-program.

IRP reports on GPOP expenditures

GHS collected HSP end of year financial information for the Achievements presentation. But IRD presented it and is formally responsible for it.

IRC and IRP are responsible for reporting on GPSP expenditures by priority country.

The division or person accountable for each sub-program has not been clearly identified. For example, IRP is accountable for GPOP and no one unit is clearly accountable for GBP; financial accountability lies in IRD). For GPSP, the responsibility is dependent on the envelope; one of IRP or IRC is accountable, depending on the envelope.
Overall GPSF ProgramPlanned Formative and Summative EvaluationsIRD tracks and reports on this information by sub-programIRD has overall accountability for the GPSF

 

Finding 17:
There is evidence that attention is being paid to cross-cutting GPSF issues at the project level; this, however, is less evident at other defined GPSF management levels (envelope, sub-program and GPSF overall).

As noted in Section 1, there are several cross-cutting issues that are explicitly or implicitly given importance in the GPSF design: gender, environment and sustainability of results.

Project Level

Although reviewed PDM meetings minutes did not show any evidence of discussion of gender, the environment or sustainability of results, proposal templates call on proponents of new projects to address these issues. Observation of the PDM in action confirmed that these issues are indeed discussed, and at times in considerable detail. Thus, attention is being paid to environment, gender and sustainability of results at the design stage. That said the evaluation team noted that consideration of these cross-cutting issues is only partially reflected in GPSF reporting requirements and reports.

Environment:

GPSF programming, as for all GoC transfer payment programs, must respect the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The responsible GPSF project officer must complete an Environmental Assessment for every project proposal to determine potential environmental implications. A review of the projects receiving GPSF funding suggests that this requirement is being addressed. However, implementing partners are not required to report against environmental considerations.

Gender:

According to the SOPs, project proposals should address gender issues. This requirement is reflected in the GPSF proposal templates in use since autumn of 2006. A sub-section in the final narrative reports is dedicated to gender considerations though gender assessments in the reports reviewed were not informed by specific indicators, and thus the quality of reporting varied. Moreover, gender considerations were not included in the end-of-project summary report written by the responsible project officer. Notwithstanding the above, START's new final project reporting template requires recipients to report on gender considerations and moreover now provides indicators to assist in this endeavor.

Sustainability:

A sustainability section is included in all project proposals. However, implementing partners are not specifically requested to report on sustainability, though they are required to report on impact which may or may not address this issue. Moreover, although project officers are now required to report on overall outcomes in the Results and Achievement Papers, sustainability, depending on the outcome articulation, may or may not be addressed.

Other Levels of GPSF Programming

At the envelope, sub-program and overall GPSF levels, there are very few references to gender, environmental and sustainability of results as cross-cutting issues. However, there is evidence that steps towards gender mainstreaming in overall GPSF programming is being taken at the level of individual initiatives (see below).

Under the GBP-Women Peace and Security envelope, GHH will make efforts in FY 07-08 "to ensure that gender equality issues are integrated in GPSF programming" (Envelope concept paper). One consultant has already been hired and a work plan has started to be developed. A budget of $40,000.00 was allocated in FY 07-08 to pursue these activities. This partly responds to some of the suggestions emerging from the December 2006 Program officers meeting on gender mainstreaming. The main suggestions at that time were: the need to provide GPSF officers with greater guidance in project proposal templates in regards to gender considerations; revisions to the SOPs manual to include an Annex on Gender which would include examples of how different types of projects can incorporate gender; contracting a gender expert to review all proposals from a gender perspective; and, gender training for officers.

Other cross-cutting themes, such as human rights, conflict sensitivity, and cultural diversity, are often taken into consideration, though on an ad hoc and non-structured way at the project and envelope levels. There is no evidence of a broader mainstreaming of these cross-cutting themes. GPSF lacks dedicated human and financial resources for doing so. Nonetheless a more structural approach, especially to conflict sensitivity as suggested by the DAC principles for engagement in fragile states, should be pursued.

Finding 18:
While some improvements have been made in the last year in the provision of tools and support to project officers, gaps remain. This is due, in part, to the fact that the role and function of IXS in supporting GPSF implementation has not yet been fully clarified as recommended in the Capacity Check.

The GPSF Capacity Check recommended that senior management review the role of IXS in consultation with the START Secretariat and IXS management to clarify its mandate and authorities and determine the most effective way to provide operational support to GPSF programs.

Interviewees remarked that there has been a general improvement in the tools available to project officers to support them in their work, however, it was noted that certain tools, such as the SOPs, require further refinement. Observations concerning other tools - such as project IMS and reporting templates - are made elsewhere in this document.

Informant interviews painted a mixed picture of performance with respect to services being provided to project officers. On the one hand, there is a general consensus among informants that the legal and grants & contributions advice provided was highly valued and met internal client expectations. Less agreement was evident on the value of services provided on risk management, results-based management, financial management, and human resource support services.

This mixed performance in the delivery of support services can be attributed to at least two factors. First, there is an apparent disconnect between client expectations and corporate intentions regarding the delivery of support services, and in particular the role of IXS. As highlighted in the Capacity Check, IXS was created to avoid duplication and ensure that best practices with respect to processes, procedures and technical solutions, applied across divisions. Conversely, the functional divisions see IXS as a provider of badly needed operational support. The Capacity Check recommended that the roles and responsibilities of IXS be clarified in a formal operational agreement. While some actions have been taken to address the above mentioned recommendation, a final agreement has not yet to be reached. Achieving such an agreement has in part been frustrated by uncertainties surrounding the outcome of the on-going Strategic Review process.

Demand for IXS Services

It is apparent that project officers are overstretched with administrative minutia. Without additional support in such areas as risk management, results-based management, financial management, etc, officers will continue to find it difficult to balance policy and programming demands with the attendant risks to both. As remarked in the Capacity Check, and affirmed again in this report (see Sections 3.6.5 and 3.7) there is an urgent need to clarify, and formally document, IXS's role vis-à-vis START and the GPSF.

Second, should IXS be recast in a service provision role, the current staff allotment of IXS is not sufficient to support the demand for its services. Addressing both the clarity in IXS's role and the related needs of project officers for timely support services will become paramount in the near future as GPSF moves to its full functionality.

3.6.3 Risk Management

Finding 19:
START systems to manage risks for GPSF at the corporate (IFM), program, sub-program, envelope, and project levels vary considerably in terms of both their appropriateness and their utilization. Challenges remain in striking a balance between risk tolerance and due diligence.

 

Treasury Board Definition of Risk

Risk refers to the uncertainty that surrounds future events and outcomes. It is the expression of the likelihood and impact of an event with the potential to influence the achievement of the program's objectives.

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. "Integrated Risk Management Framework". 2001. pp.8.

The April 2003 Auditor General's Report highlighted the importance of integrated risk management in improving the effectiveness of the public service by contributing to improved program management, program delivery, programmatic value for money, and better decision-making.(29) By their nature the contexts in which GPSF operates are volatile and unstable, and as such carry significant risks. In response to the need to manage these risks the GPSF is governed by a multi-layered system which seeks to identify and mitigate risks.

GPSF Terms and Conditions

It was noted that GPSF's authorities and its Terms and Condition affected risk management adversely. For example, the risk and due diligence regime required of START in the administration of GPSF funds is often more intense than that of CIDA when working with the same organizations in the same environments. In some cases, this has created tension between GPSF and, for example, UN agencies that have had to 'bend' their own rules concerning unified donor planning and reporting, in order to meet the requirements of GPSF.

Analysis of the systems in place for managing GPSF risks at different levels is presented in Exhibit 3.4. This analysis indicates that there is considerable variability in the completeness, utilization and appropriateness of these systems. At a broad level it is not apparent that START in the implementation of the GPSF has yet been able to strike a balance between the higher-levels of risk tolerance required for programming in fragile environments and the need for due diligence. Some interviewees felt that the risk assessment systems in place are not thorough enough given the nature of the programming environments - noting the need for risk analysis to support due diligence was greater in such contexts. An almost an equal number of informants noted that the exigencies of programming in fragile state contexts, including the need for rapid flexible responses, dictated a higher degree of risk tolerance.

Risk Management in IFM

In March 2007, IFM released its Risks Profile and Strategy Report prepared by Public Works and Government Services Canada. This report, prepared based on consultations with GPSF and other IFM programs, assisted in clarifying the risk profile of IFM and outlined a series of steps required for the implementation of an Integrated Risk Management System. To date, there is limited evidence of follow-up n action-steps outlined in the report in terms of their affect on START's approach to risk management in GPSF.

The GPSF is, by design, operating in environments subject to all kinds of risks. If it is overly cautious in terms of risk tolerance, it runs the real danger of becoming irrelevant to potential partners. START would do well to examine its risk management systems with the view to defining a risk management strategy that would provide a more appropriate balance between risk tolerance and due diligence.

Exhibit 3.4 Assessment of the Risk Management Systems in Place for the GPSF
LevelRisk Management SystemObservations
Overall GPSFThe approach to risk management is primarily articulated in the RMAF/RBAF. This risk analysis appears to have been undertaken on a systemic basis using a commonly accepted model for assessing and ranking risks in terms of both their 'likelihood' and 'effects'. The document provides a list of 21 risks which have been ranked using a scorecard to yield three 'core' risks and a list of the 'Top Ten Risks' for GPSF (including the three core risks). The RMAF/RBAF then goes on to provide a risk mitigation plan for each of the 'Top Ten'. The RBAF/RMAF risk assessment highlights several important risks - such risks to safety of individuals involved in the management and delivery of GPSF programming - that appear both relevant and appropriate in relation to START's management of the GPSF.Some of the other risks identified - such as the risk performance tracking systems will not be established or managed or that START's 'readiness infrastructure' will not be sufficiently robust to deliver rapid/integrate response to crisis - are essentially statements that START may not be successful in fulfilling its mandate with regard to GPSF. Further, it was also noted that many of the risk mitigation strategies - in particular those addressing internal risks - are statements of good management and administration practice rather than targeted risk mitigation efforts. This blurring of the risk definition adds to the complexity of the risk management system and may detract energies from the management of more fundamental risks that lie to a greater extent outside of START's sphere of influence.

There are several other challenges with the approach to managing risks as outlined in the RMAF/RBAF. For example, while it is positive that the risks mitigation planning identifies responsibilities for the management of a given risk, the list of those 'responsible' is often very long (in some cases up to six entities are identified as having responsibility). Further, in some cases responsibility for risk mitigation is assigned upward to high-level bodies such as the Global Affairs Committee, though it is not clear how this has been communicated to those entities or the degree to which the START, in its management of GPSF, has the authority to designate responsibilities in this manner.

Related to this, based on a review of the minutes of the SAB and interviews with key informants, there does not appear to have been systematic follow-up and monitoring related to risks except in incidental cases where risk approaches overlap with management and administration (as referred to above). That said it is also important to note that many managers interviewed implied that risk management underpinned their day-to-day management of different aspects of GPSF.

Sub program levelThis is not addressed in the RMAFThe lack of a specific system at the sub program level is consistent with observations made elsewhere in this report
EnvelopeThis is not addressed in the RMAFThe quality of these risk assessments varies. Some make clear efforts to both a) consider the overarching GPSF risks (e.g. poor donor coordination, absorptive capacity of local implementing agencies, etc), and b) to integrate context-specific risk assessment. In other instances, the risk assessment appears to be more cursory or to address issues related more to the rationale for investment rather than risks related to GPSF's involvement and programmatic contributions. In terms of risk monitoring at this level, the approach tends to be more of an on-going informal assessment rather than a purposeful reflection based on the identified risks. Given that relatively recent introduction of concept papers at this level, it is too early to comment on the efficacy of the management approaches.
ProjectsThe greater part of GPSF risk assessment efforts are focused at the level of individual investments (projects). The risk management systems at these levels are manifold, in part dependant on whether a specific investment is responsive or directive. In the case of responsive projects, applicants are requested to incorporate risk assessment into the various front-end documents required before an investment is approved (concept papers, proposals, etc). This assessment is then subject to review and/or revision at various points in the project approval process. In the case of directive projects, risk assessment is more of a collaborative effort involving the program officer responsible for the project, however, its articulation in planning documents in similar to that of responsive projects, as is the vetting process. This programmatic risk assessment is backed-up by several tools such as the 'Risk Management Checklists' that accompany each project file and help to ensure that both programmatic and administrative diligence has been exercised and witnessed.

This risk management system is support by a series of project vetting mechanisms. Program officers, in the preparation of proposals, undertake significant consultation with people with relevant programmatic, financial and administrative expertise. Further, project level risk-analyses are vetted through the PDM and PPC as appropriate.

Follow-up and report-back on risks (in project reports and closing documentation) is limited and does not appear to reflect significant ongoing analysis and management of risks.

The minutes of these meetings provide evidence that risks are indeed addressed at these levels as suggested in the SOPs.

While the appropriateness and efficiency of the overall project approval process is discussed elsewhere in this document, it is important to note that both documentary evidence and interviews suggest that there are challenges in the operationalization of this system. For example:

  • Informants suggested that, in particular at the PDM, the amount of time available for risk assessment on a given project is limited by the time constraints faced in the meeting in general.
  • Informants also noted that the time officers have to do active and ongoing risk monitoring was also limited
  • The experience of officers with risk management in conflict situations varies greatly and at times the degree to which the risk assessment is grounded in conflict as well as context analysis appears limited.

3.6.4 Performance Management

Finding 20:
The GPSF RMAF does not provide a suitable framework for planning, managing, monitoring and reporting on the performance of the GPSF.

As noted earlier in this report, the GPSF logic model has not provided a good basis for managing, monitoring and reporting on performance. In recognition of this short-coming, START and IXS launched a process in the summer of 2007 aimed at clarifying the GPSF logic at the level of the GPSF sub-programs, and the development of reporting templates that will be used to report progress at the sub-program level. At the time of writing (November 2007) a team of external consultants commissioned to support START and IXS in the development of GPSF sub-program logic models and new reporting templates had largely completed their work. The process for development of these logic models involved significant levels of consultation with the START team and beyond.

Clarity in Results Articulation

One of the logic models suggests that a the Immediate Outcome level 'Organizations and States have the capacity to contribute to policy development for peace operations' while at the Intermediate Outcome level it is noted that 'Organizations and States contribute to policy development for peace operations'. This 'flip-side' style of results articulation does not provide a clear enough statement of the change in either capacity or performance terms.

At an operational level, the draft logic models made available to the evaluation team have merit. They are clearly 'GPSF-focused,' rather than START-focused, and provide a greater, albeit generic, focus on the fulfillment of needs of fragile states. In this sense, they begin to divorce GPSF's programmatic performance from START's institutional/in-Canada performance. It is conceivable that project officers, many of whom took part in the development of the frameworks, would have an easier time finding a 'results-home' for their proposed investments. However, the need for the models to be generic detracts somewhat from the quality and utility of results articulation. Further, and notwithstanding the different articulation of outputs and outcomes between the GPSP and GBP, there remain considerable thematic overlaps between the sub-programs.

More importantly, as remarked elsewhere in this report, it is not readily apparent that the sub-program is the optimal unit for planning and analysis of the GPSF as a whole (See Section 3.6.1). While a case could be made for a GPOP performance framework and reporting regime, due to its relative coherence as a program or at least an envelope, it is not clear that GBP or GPSP can easily be managed as programs. Finally, it is not apparent that having a sub-program level performance framework, which would require a reporting roll-up, would add significant value to the performance assessment of GPSF as a whole.

Key or Priority Performance Issues and Indicators

Following Treasury Board RMAF guidelines (2005), the RMAF instead includes a list of 15 activities and outcomes (referred to as Key or Priority Performance Issues and Indicators) which is to be used as the basis for START to report annually in performance reports and is to be captured in periodic evaluations.

One notable limitation with this list is that several of the indicators refer to international norms and standards. However, in most cases in the field of peace, security and nation building, there are few if any international standards.

Along with the introduction of the new sub-program logic models, START/IXS launched a new monitoring/reporting regime for GPSF. This new regime involves a five-step process for performance measurement and reporting. The regime is outlined in Exhibit 3.5.(30)

While this initiative is encouraging, and can be seen as a step in the right direction, there are some concerns and issues that require attention. At an overall level, the introduction of the new reporting regime has been largely focused on developing the templates and mechanisms to ensure reporting compliance. While these are important elements of introducing a results-orientation into the program, experience from other organizations suggest it is a common mistake to place too much emphasis on systems development to the detriment of building knowledge and skills of staff in understanding the principles of results-based management. START is cognizant of this risk and has, with the cooperation of IXS, provided training to staff on RBM and on the new templates that have been developed.

Other concerns about the new reporting regime include the following:

Project Level (Results-Based Performance Framework):

Essentially a modified Logical Framework Analysis (LFA) with reporting elements integrated into it. Reporting at this level is strictly tabular with relatively little space provided for meaningful analysis. Key elements of good results-based planning and reporting, such as context updates, risk updates, cross-cutting themes, lessons learned, reach, etc., which will become important once GPSF is able to fund longer-term projects, are not present in the current model. The immediate-outcome level indicators provided are highly generic in nature and it is not clear that they will facilitate the telling of an adequate performance story. Space is not provided for both cumulative and past-period reporting.

Project Level (Project Summary Report):

Intended to be completed by project officers, the template for this level of reporting is simpler in design. This model has some potential to be a useful summary of project level results; however, the quality of reporting at this level will largely rest on the quality of reporting provided by the project proponent at the Project Level. Again, key elements of good results-based planning and reporting noted above are not present. The 'Quality of Deliverables' rating system will need to be accompanied by specific criteria for the ratings to have consistency and meaning when rolled-up.

Fund Envelope Level:

For GBP and GPSP this level is perhaps most important for meaningful rolling-up of analysis. However, reporting at this level will be a challenge due to the need to capture highly diverse results, as articulated in the concept papers, under a series of generic indicators. Key elements of good results-based planning and reporting are not present.

Sub-Program Level:

As discussed above, the sub-program level may not prove to be a meaningful unit for analysis in the case of GBP and GPSP. Again, key elements of good results-based planning and reporting are not present. Moreover, the tabular format may not support quality reporting.

Program Level:

The key elements of good results-based planning and reporting are not present at this level. The tabular format may not support quality reporting at this high a level. Further, there is no room to report on fund management issues or other topics.

Systems for collecting and managing performance monitoring data (both financial and narrative) were largely under-defined as noted elsewhere in this report. For the most part, project management is being done 'at a distance' by Canadian-based officers who make periodic field visits for monitoring purposes. It was noted that the ability to monitor projects was greatly enhanced where GPSF was able to establish an on-the-ground presence, such as in Haiti.

In sum, it appears that using the sub-program as a fundamental unit of management might not add significant value to the management of GPSF overall. This contention, noted elsewhere in this report, is supported in part by the fact that envelope management is much better defined within GPSF, suggesting that it is a more realistic unit of management. Further, while the effort to introduce a new, inter-linked system of reporting is a positive one, the approach appears to have been overly generic in nature, with little attention being paid to the specifics of the sector involved.

Exhibit 3.5 New Reporting Regime
StageFocus of ReportingResponsibility for ReportFrequency
Fund Summary ReportFund Level

Summary of Sub-Program Summary Reports

Provides an analysis of performance in relation to the ultimate outcomes

IRDBi/Annual or Annual
Sub Program Summary ReportSub-Program Level

Summary of Fund Envelope Report (project status, outputs, immediate and intermediate outcomes)

Provides an analysis of performance in relation to the ultimate outcomes

IRDBiannual
Fund Envelope Summary ReportFund Envelope Level

Summary of Result-Based Performance Frameworks and Individual Project Summary Reports (project status, outputs and immediate outcomes)

Provides an analysis of performance in relation to the intermediate outcomes

ManagerBiannual
Individual Project Summary ReportProject and Portfolio Level

Summary of Result-Based Performance Frameworks (specifically actuals)

Provides an analysis of the portfolio of projects under the responsibility of Project Officers for ongoing project management purposes

Project OfficerQuarterly
Results-Based Performance FrameworkProject Level

Activities, Outputs and Immediate outcomes

Project proponent

Project Officer

Completion of RBPF at the project proposals stage

Actual performance reporting quarterly

3.6.5 Human Resources Management

Finding 21:
While progress has been made toward bringing START divisions to full numeric strength, effective operationalization of the GPSF continues to be hampered by unresolved human resource issues, including the securing of staff with appropriate expertise. Further, fundamental issues related to the division and utilization of labour have yet to be addressed.

The Capacity Check (Fall 2006) recommended that "senior management place priority on the staffing needs of the department as it takes on increasing responsibility for program delivery, paying special attention to hiring program managers, and subject and area specialists". Based on the evidence collected, START has made progress in this regard. START reports that all positions are now staffed - 70% of those with permanent staff member (FSO's or PM's with indeterminate status).(31) START has also succeeded in placing GPSF staff on the ground in some theaters of programming (e.g., in Haiti and Afghanistan). In addition, START/IXS have also delivered training programs in areas such as RBM for staff. This is considered to have had a positive effect on START's capacity to identify, develop, implement and monitor project investments, as well as to coordinate with other Canadian agencies and the international donor community. In short, the gains made in addressing staffing issues have contributed, in a broad sense, to improving START's capacity to analyze and rapidly respond to crisis and conflict situations.

START's progress in addressing HR needs relating to GPSF has been supported by a branch-wide staffing plan launched by IFM. More specifically, the IFM Departmental Human Resource and Business Plan Priority (2007-2010) highlights the need to develop program management capacities in such areas as training, organizational development and staffing actions. The efficacy of this plan for addressing START's HR issues, however, is not clear given that the plan was only approved at the time of writing.

Notwithstanding the above, interviewees overwhelmingly remarked that on-going challenges in securing project management expertise within START remains a significant impediment to the effective GPSF implementation. As many interviewees noted, DFAIT has historically been a policy-oriented organization with little experience in programming. As such, 'project management' work is considered to be administrative in nature and less prestigious than policy work. Under these conditions, attracting, motivating and retaining staff to engage in project management work is difficult.

Related to the above, many project officers remarked on the challenges of balancing policy and programming responsibilities - what some referred to as a 'hybrid' officer model. Several senior START managers appear to consider this experiment in combining the two functions a failure. There are at least two reasons cited for this. First, it was noted that the skills sets required to work in policy and programming are fundamentally different and few people possess both. Second, it was noted that officers are generally too engaged with the minutiae of programming and have simply do not have time to engage adequately in policy development. The latter of these reasons links to a question about division of labour discussed in more detail below. However, this policy/programming divide may be more definitional than practical in nature.

The evaluation team noted significant variance in what is considered 'policy' and 'programming' with regard to the implementation of the GPSF. In some instances, 'policy work' was defined by informants to include a range of activities, including developing SOPs for crisis assessment, country or thematic concept papers, and project concept papers, several or which would, in other organizations with an implementation mandate, be considered as strategic planning, not policy work. Based on the informal START definition of 'policy work', the challenge that START faces in addressing policy and programming under one roof appears to be more related to the demands on individual officers time rather than the differences in skill sets.

As noted elsewhere in this report, the lack of on-the-ground capacity greatly undermines START's ability to monitor its project investments, as well as engage in donor coordination. There was a general consensus that in countries such as Haiti, where START has dedicated staff in the field, this was beneficial. The evaluation team was advised that that START intends to staff personnel in Islamabad to work on Afghanistan/Pakistan border issues.

The evaluation team noted a dearth of much needed administrative operational support for project officers. This is related, in part, to the perceived roles and actual capacity available to IXS and other units to provide these types of services. To date, these services are being provided on an advisory basis only. Several managers and officers indicated that they spend a significant amount of time trying to navigate the minutiae that they feel a competent expert could address more efficiently. Based on experience in other organizations with an implementation mandate, the evaluation team generally concurs with this assessment.

Other HR gaps identified in the Capacity Check, such as securing subject area experts (e.g., gender, security and environmental experts) with appropriate experience in post-conflict and peace-building environments, the introduction of performance reviews, and provision of adequate compensation for staff working in high-risk environments, have yet to be addressed.

The timeliness of addressing challenges in HR has been encumbered by a range of factors. Some of these relate to the rotational nature of the Foreign Service Officer (FSO) cadre of staff working within the Bureau, the current moratorium on hiring and the generally slow pace hiring in general within the GoC, and the uncertainties regarding renewed funding related to GPSF T&Cs, which are beyond the control of START. However, others issues, such as a high rate of turn over in the HR managers' position in IXS and the general overloading of HR staff are manageable within START's mandate.

3.6.6 Financial Resources Management

Finding 22:
At the time of writing, the weaknesses in the financial management systems identified in the Capacity Check continued to pose a risk to the effective financial management of START, and consequently GPSF. IXS, in cooperation with Corporate Services (SXD and SMD), has taken positive steps to address this issue.

The Capacity Check (Fall 2006) recommended that "senior management move quickly to develop and put in place a comprehensive, reliable, system of financial management that is integrated with program management". The document 'Backgrounder for an IFM-Financial Management System (IFM-FMS)' noted that as of August 2007 IFM Programs continued to hold information in stand-alone systems ('Black-Book Systems') that gave rise to excessive transaction costs and increased the risk of errors/loss of data integrity due to the 'manual handling' of data. Informants also remarked on the limited reporting capability of the current system. While most managers indicated that reporting was adequate, it was also noted that the demands for financial reporting have been minimal to date. A concern was raised that as the GPSF continues to mature, the current system will not be able to provide timely accurate financial data that meets the needs of managers.

IXS, after consultations with IRD and in cooperation with Corporate Services (SXD and SMD), is working to address this problem, however at the time of writing the issue is not yet completely resolved.

3.6.7 Information Management

Finding 23:
START, in cooperation with IXS and SXKI, have made some progress to address the shortcomings in information management raised in the Capacity Check; however, the current systems for information management are insufficient and underutilized, thus limiting START's ability to track and monitor GPSF performance information, thereby posing a threat to corporate memory.

The Capacity Check highlighted the risks posed to the continuity and consistency of corporate memory by the ongoing lack of a centralized document management system for GPSF. To its credit, START worked to introduce a Relational Data Management System (RMDS) using the MS Access platform. This system is intended to store key project data including 'tombstone' data, information about partners, cost and other financial information, projects results and outcomes. A database administrator has been hired to maintain the system. Evidence from interviews, suggests that this is a stop-gap measure at best, the utility of which is hampered by:

  • Poor Data Quality: The overall quality of the data in the system is questionable in terms accuracy and completeness. In some cases, these are inherited weaknesses based on the quality of the paper-based records upon which the system was based. In other cases, it appears that the system is not being regularly, accurately and/or uniformly updated with new data.
  • Accessibility and Search-Ability: The search capability of the current system is limited to a single envelope and cross-referencing is not possible.
  • Lack of Integration: The current system is essentially a stand-alone tool that is not integrated within a larger MIS. As a result, financial data is input manually from other sources, increasing the risk of human error in the data. Further, project performance data is not comprehensively captured.

START has attempted to address some of the issues outlined above by providing training to project officers on the use of the system, but it is understood that a more robust system is needed.

The Capacity Check also recommended the creation of a project management database for the GPSF and a commitment to adopt usage of the DFAIT corporate IM system, InfoBank. This process was to be facilitated in cooperation with the IFM Program Bureaux, SXKI and other stakeholders, and include the review and updating the existing MOU between SXKI and IXS to ensure that the appropriate departmental IM systems are in place within GPSF and IFM. To date, however, addressing these problems in DFAIT information management systems remains a work in progress. This is due in part to the need for outstanding the IMS issues to be addressed through integrated corporate solution, and in part to the perceived confusion about roles and responsibilities for leading the development of information management systems - in particular who, in relationship to GPSF, is responsible for corporate-level cooperation (e.g., IRD or IXS).

It appears that progress on the development and maintenance of adequate paper-based project information has also been limited. IXS has developed a project registry at the request of START; however, this system is reportedly under-utilized. There has also been some interaction with SKXI, who have opened seven administrative files for GPSF within their Records Integrated Classification System (RICS); however, they report that there has been little interaction with IRD or IXS since last year in terms of developing this system, or supporting the development of a system within START. These conditions present a risk to performance management and the threats to corporate memory retention.

3.7 Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness

Finding 24:
START has instituted a rigorous mechanism of project screening intended to ensure the exercise of due diligence in terms of policy coherence, programming expertise, risks management, administrative integrity and financial probity. Achieving an optimal balance between the demands of due diligence, rapid response and coherency in partner engagement, remains a challenge.

Based on the interviews and document analysis, it appears that the project approval process generally operates according to the systems outlined in the SOPs, though in some cases there have been adaptations that are not yet reflected in the SOPs (e.g., the 'scorecard' for project assessment is no longer used). However, several concerns were raised about the efficiency of the approval process.

Delegated Authorities for GPSF per project, per eligible recipient, per year are:

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to $10M
  • Assistant Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs/ International Security and Policy Director up to $5M
  • Director General (START) up to $2M
  • Senior Director (START) up to $500K

Scale and Scope:

Several informants noted a concern that the process for project approval required the same level of effort regardless of the size of the proposed investment. This level of rigor is linked to the need to ensure adequate management of investment risk. Small projects, in terms of fund allocation, may engender higher political and diplomatic risks than large projects. Achieving a balance in terms of time between small and large investments remains a challenge.

Consensus on Revisions:

Several informants noted that the approval process involved multiple points of consultation (both formal and informal) on content, budget and administrative issues, leading to repeat revisions. The concern raised was that the consultation process was overly linear. As a result, officers were required to make revisions (e.g., budget revisions) at each contact point, rather than having a single collective and consensus-based consultation on technical matters leading them to a single revision process. While there are clear efficiency issues in this regard, of greater concern is the need to return to the proposing organization for approval of the revisions. The evaluation team was advised that in several cases project officers were required to return to the applicant three to four times requesting changes with each subsequent round of changes contradicting previous requests for revisions. Officers expressed a concern that this situation projected an image of lack of coherence, thereby undermining Canada's credibility in the eyes of partners. Several informants remarked on the need for a 'one-stop' consultation process on issues relating to technical merit.

PDM and PPC:

Some questions were raised about the efficiency of the PPC and PDM as forums for consultation. Many interviewees noted that the time that could be devoted to each project in these forums was limited in part due to the sheer number of projects. Others suggested that the system of appointing 'focal points' charged with reviewing particular projects in the PMD meetings often led to projects being reviewed by officers with little or no knowledge of the proposal or expertise to comment on the same, thus raising question about the added value of the process.

It is also important to note that in some cases, projects could be 'fast-tracked' where there was a pressing need. The evaluators were provided several examples, such as support for gender mainstreaming in the Darfur-Darfur Peace Talks, where funding and resources were deployed in a matter of days.

Finding 25:
Limitations imposed by GPSF's enabling authorities have inhibited START's ability to fulfill it mandate.

There was strong agreement among interviewees that the limitations imposed by GPSF's enabling instruments - specifically the MCs, TB approvals and the T&Cs imposed by these - impacted on the implementation of GPSF in several ways. For example:

  • The need to seek re-approvals through TB Submissions detracted resources away from other endeavors (e.g., systems development) required for the effective functioning of the GPSF
  • The funding freezes imposed limited the ability of START to engage in multi-year programming arrangements through the GPSF. This constrained the ability to of GPSF to engage in the type of multi-year investments that are suited to its capacity building goals.
  • The delays in TB approvals meant reduced windows for programming (often as little as six months to complete concept, approval, and implementation before the DFAIT fiscal year end). This was noted as having adverse effects on partners (sometimes requiring them to seek bridge funding from other donors) and on the reputation of Canada
  • The reduced programming windows also mean that annual spending was heavily concentrated in the last two quarters of each fiscal year - subjecting GPSF and START to additional risks and strains on the START operational staff.
  • GPSF's limited granting authority increased the level of dependence on contribution agreements - which require a greater level of effort to prepare and monitor - as the primary implementing arrangement. This added transaction costs and opportunity costs to the implementation of GPSF. It was noted that in some instances, START was not able to enter into grant arrangements - or required a greater level of rigor in engaging with - with international organizations that are already engaged in grant arrangements with OGDs.
  • Often the reporting requirements on grants and contributions under GPSF were more rigorous than those required in the granting or contribution arrangements of OGDs. Also, the GPSF grant reporting requirements often were contradictory to the internal policies on reporting harmonization of, for example, UN agencies. In some cases, this led to tension with recipients and was noted to have had an adverse effect on Canada's reputation and operational relationships.

As a result of these limitations, GPSF's ability to fulfill its mandate was impeded.

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4.0 GPSF Success

4.1 Introduction

There are several evolving frameworks for reporting on progress and success for the GPSF (e.g., the RMAF logic model, the RMAF performance measurement framework, the RMAF evaluation framework, the Sub-Program Concept Papers, and newly developed log-frames for the sub-programs to name a few). These various frameworks, while demonstrating a certain degree of alignment with the original concept of the GPSF, each define progress and success in slightly different ways.

For the purpose of reporting on progress and success for this evaluation, the evaluation team utilized the evaluation framework provided in the GPSF RMAF. As remarked elsewhere in this report, the GPSF RMAF conflates START with the GPSF, casting the activities, outputs, and outcomes of the two as more or less synonymous. As regard the formative evaluation issues/questions listed in the GPSF RMAF, many of these specifically pertain to START, and therefore do not capture the full range of activities and outputs of GPSF's three sub-programs.

Under the sub-heading Progress/Success within the GPSF RMAF formative evaluation framework, DFAIT is called upon to respond to a number of evaluations issues/questions. In general, these evaluation issues/questions speak to the extent to which the GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has contributed to:

  • Improved GoC coherence in the areas of human security, crisis response, peace operations, conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction;
  • Canadian programming and policy leadership in the areas of human security, crisis response, peace operations, conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction
  • Improved readiness to respond to crises, especially in failed or failing states, in a timely and coordinated fashion;
  • Improved access to expertise, knowledge and resources; and
  • Improved capacity of funded organizations.

The following section endeavors to respond to each of these evaluation issues/questions separately, citing examples gleaned from the document and project file review where appropriate. In many instances evidence in support of the findings under this chapter are elaborated on in greater detail in other chapters or sections of this report. In such instances, the reader is directed to these chapters or sections.

4.2 Overall Observations

Despite a wide range of contextual challenges - legacy issues pertaining to the old HSP, a defective RMAF, the short time START was called upon to operationalize the GPSF, highly restrictive T&Cs, a moratorium on hiring, and the hazards of programming in conflict situations - START has made progress in establishing an infrastructure to support the implementation of the GPSF. In its two years of existence, the GPSF has supported many initiatives that have garnered international recognition for their contribution towards the advancement of peace, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Notwithstanding these achievements, capacity gaps remain that threaten to undermine performance. Some of these achievements, as well as outstanding challenges, are discussed in the following overview of GPSF performance in reference to the formative evaluation criteria outlined in the GPSF RMAF.

4.2.1 Improved GoC Coherence

The section examines the extent to which GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has contributed to improved GoC coherence in the areas of crisis response, peace operations, conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction.

Finding 26:
Mechanisms have emerged to support coherent whole of government responses to crises, complex emergencies, and stabilization and reconstruction efforts in post-conflict settings. These mechanisms vary in mandate, scope, operational modalities, as well as performance.

The GPSF RMAF Evaluation Framework does not define "coherence" though allusions are made throughout the document to at least two expressions of coherence in the context of WoG; inter-departmental policy and priority coherence, and inter-departmental programming coherence. Both expressions of WoG coherence are supported, to varying degrees, by a number of different mechanisms at a variety of levels e.g., the SAB, country level task forces and steering committees, subject or sector -specific working groups, and the project review committees.

The START Advisory Board (SAB) was intended to function as a "foreign policy mechanism...to align the GoC's geographic and thematic priorities for fragile states..." It is an ambitious undertaking, particularly as regard OGDs whose mandates and planning priorities may differ significantly from those of the GPSF and over which START may have limited influence in terms of priority setting and resource allocation. As noted in earlier in this report, SAB has, for a variety of reasons, had limited success in providing strategic policy direction with respect to fragile state engagement.

Notwithstanding this deficit, mechanisms have emerged, some under the leadership of START, others not, which support WoG policy and programming coherence. At the country level, country task forces and steering committees serve as fora which bring together relevant stakeholders, both within and outside DFAIT, to share information, forge common priorities and collaborative approaches to challenges. Outside of the organizational framework of country tasks forces and steering committees - notably Uganda and Colombia - functional divisions within START have worked collaboratively with stakeholders, again both within DFAIT and with OGDs, to develop common priorities and approaches to programming and problem solving.

In recognition of the need for subject or sector specific policy and programming coherence, intra and inter-departmental working groups have also emerged - again, some initiated and led by START and some not - to respond to the policy and programming challenges in these subject areas or sectors e.g., the inter-departmental working group, chaired by IRC, on security sector reform or the inter-departmental working group on governance, chaired by CIDA.

Policy and programming coherence is further supported by the project screening processes that have been established within START and which are currently being refined that require proponents of project proposals to demonstrate alignment with GoC, departmental, GPSF program, sub-program and country and sector-specific policies and priorities. Proponents of project proposals are further required to demonstrate that all relevant stakeholders - departmental, extra-departmental, and international - have been consulted to ensure their respective support for the initiative.

Notwithstanding the role these various mechanisms play in ensuring WoG policy and programming coherence, performance varies depending on the mechanism in question. At the country level, for example, ambiguities regarding roles and responsibilities of the task forces and steering committees vis-à-vis START, particularly with respect to leadership in areas of policy, strategic planning, monitoring and reporting, place policy and programming coherence at risk.

While the inter-departmental working groups hold the promise of promoting policy and programming coherence with respect to specific sectors of engagement, the output of these groups remain largely untested, with buy-in by no means assured.

Canadian policy and programming coherence continues to be placed at risk by deficits in policy development in such areas as conflict analysis, needs assessment, and in particular exit strategies. START is cognizant of these deficits and is actively endeavoring to address them.

4.2.2 Canadian Programming and Policy Leadership

This section examines the extent to which GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has contributed to Canadian programming and policy leadership in the areas of human security, crisis response, peace operations, conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction.

Finding 27:
There are numerous examples of where START, through the GPSF, has demonstrated programming leadership. However, overall evidence of Canadian policy leadership is mixed, depending on the subject area. Programming demands have, during the period under review, diminished resources available for policy development, which undermines prospects for policy leadership.
Programming Leadership

Among the projects examined for this evaluation, which is by no means exhaustive of the entire suite of initiatives supported by the GPSF, there are numerous examples of where Canada has demonstrated programming leadership. Support to the Kimberly Process, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission are but a few examples where Canadian assistance played a catalytic role on garnering international support for these initiatives.

In the area of peace operations, leadership has been demonstrated through GPSF support of the UN DPKO "Peace Operation 2010" reform agenda, and other initiatives which have galvanized international support. A case in point is the UNITAR E-learning for African Peacekeepers (ELAP) project. This project was initially funded by Canada and Norway, but subsequently attracted the support of other donors, namely the UK and Croatia. The success of this project was formally acknowledged at a UN 34 Committee meeting held in February, 2007.

GPSF early support to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) proved instrumental in attracting international donor support to that peacekeeping enterprise, as has GPSF support to the Haitian National Police Reform process. GPSF's suite of projects relating to border management and migration, including the Counter Trafficking in Persons Project, the Capacity Building in Migration Management Project, and the Haiti Border Stabilization and Human Rights Initiative, Phase 1, have served to bring into relief this otherwise neglected sector and attracted both domestic and international support.

Policy Leadership

In the area of human security, resources made available under the HSP/GBP envelopes have been instrumental in raising the profile of Canada's human security agenda and in garnering international recognition and support for the same. Canada's human security agenda continues to be advanced though innovative policy development initiatives in such areas as human security in cities and democratic transitions.

HSP Role (2004 Evaluation)

Special mention in that study was made of the HSP's role in advancing dialogue and action on such issues as the responsibility to protect, war-affected children, and the illegal diamond trade, as well as the HSP's contribution to establishing new international norms and standards on such issues as transitional justice, sexual slavery, and treatment of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The review of projects in support of peace operations undertaken for this evaluation reveals a significant focus on policy development, though with a strong operational orientation. GPSF's broad policy objectives for GPOP are documented in its Omnibus Concept Paper (May 2006) for the period 2006-2007. The Concept Paper reflects Canada's 2004 G8 Sea Island Commitments as well as strong support for the UN "Peace Operation 2010" reform agenda. While Canada did not set the agenda for UN DPKO reform, it has, through GPOP, made significant contributions towards the development of policies, procedures, and doctrine relating to the conduct of peace operations, which are key elements of the "Peace Operation 2010" reform agenda.

Canada support to UN DPKO

Canada is one of only two G8 partners (with the UK) to provide assistance to the development of peace operations doctrine and training within the UN DPKO. GPOP's Omnibus Concept Paper, updated in June 2007, calls for support to strategic policy development and advocacy aimed at building international understanding and consensus on the effective conduct of complex, integrated, multi-disciplinary peace operations.

As remarked elsewhere in this report, policy development and leadership in the areas of crisis response, conflict prevention, and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction has not kept pace with programming in these domains. This is due in large part to the significant demands of programming, which leaves staff little time to invest in policy development, as well as a general lack of resources dedicated specifically to policy development. The problem has also been compounded by a relatively high staff turnover and a recent moratorium on hiring (see Section 3.6.5).

Notwithstanding these constraints, several working groups have been formed and mandated with the responsibility to develop sector specific policy positions, notably the security sector, rule of law and governance working groups. As noted in Finding 28, the results of these efforts have yet to be delivered. There also appears to be problem of limited buy-in from other stakeholders.

It is important to bear in mind that policy and doctrine with respect to conflict prevention, peace building, and post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction is in a state of evolution. Practice is continually testing established policy and doctrine. Theories of peace building and conflict resolution abound, but each is disproved as often as it is proved. The challenge of developing coherent policies and strategies of engagement is further compounded by a lack of consensus on definitions. Activities commonly associated with peacebuilding in one context may constitute conflict prevention in another.

START is not alone in grappling with these issues. All members of the international community engaged in CPPB activities face similar challenges. In this regard, the OECD DAC has become something of an international clearing house for CPPB policy development and best practices. START, through the GPSF, has and continues to support research and policy development relating to CPPB undertaken by the OECD DAC and other international organizations, the results of which may in time inform Canadian policy and doctrine.

4.2.3 Improved Readiness to Respond to Crises

This section examines the extent to which GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has contributed to improved readiness to respond to crises, especially in failed and failing states, in a timely and coordinated fashion.

Finding 28:
Mechanisms to support timely and coordinated responses to immediate, protected, and emerging crises exist, but vary in capacity and performance.

Readiness for the purpose of this section is understood to mean institutional capacity - i.e., authority, command structures, procedures, arrangements, etc. - to mobilize GoC resources in response to crises in a timely and efficient way. Crises, of course, assume different forms, requiring different response modalities. The GPSF RMAF contemplates at least three types of crises: immediate crises (disaster response), protracted or on-going crises (conflict management), and emerging crises (conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization). Notwithstanding that there are problems with this taxonomy - for example, post conflict stabilization can be considered conflict prevention in so far as the former reduces the likelihood of a return to conflict - success under this evaluation issue is examined in reference to these crisis types.

Response to Immediate Crisis (Disaster Response)

The inter-departmental Task Force for Natural Disasters, established to coordinate GoC responses to the same, and chaired by DFAIT (IRH-GHA), has responded to a number of significant disasters, including, but not limited to, the Hurricane Katrina (2005), the Pakistan earthquake (2005), and the Java earthquake (2006). The Task Force has performed well, and indeed has attracted both attention and accolades from the international community (see Peer Review: Review of the Development Co-operation Policies and Programmes of Canada, OECD-DAC, 20-Sept-2007).

Intra and inter-departmental roles and responsibilities with respect to disaster response are documented, well understood by stakeholders, and supported by SOPs that are continually reviewed and updated through a system of post-crisis assessment. These post-crises assessment reports support corporate learning and continual improvement in crisis management. START has also trained over 200 people in crisis response and has developed deployment kits to enable rapid deployment of staff in crisis situations.

The aforementioned provides solid evidence of a mature and robust system which supports rapid resource mobilization and effective coordination. Notwithstanding these achievements, however, challenges remain in streamlining processes relating to the deployments of experts (both governmental and non-governmental) and in expediting the MC process to access Crisis Pool resources.

Response to Protracted Crises

With regards to on-going or protracted crises, which would include Afghanistan, Haiti and Sudan, WoG coordination is given effect through a number of different mechanisms at a variety of different levels e.g., the SAB, country task forces and steering committees, subject or sector specific working groups, and the project review committees. The degree of coordination and the effectiveness thereof, varies depending on the mechanism in question.

As stated earlier, effective coordination of WoG resources requires, in the first instance, the participation of OGDs, which presupposes the existence of a robust incentive regime. While the GPSF, by making funds available to OGDs, offers such an incentive, incomplete progress towards establishing predictable funding arrangements with OGDs - as noted above - and mechanism to govern these relationships undermines effective use and coordination of WoG resources.

Moreover, effective coordination, particularly in conflict settings, requires integrating military with civilian plans for stabilization and reconstruction. Experience in Haiti and Afghanistan show that where such integration is lacking, opportunities for synergistic programming is missed and the risk of duplication of effort and the misuse of resources is greatly increased.

At the country level, the task forces and country steering committees play an important role in facilitating the coordination of the efforts of stakeholders, both within and outside DFAIT. Stakeholder participation and buy-in, which is a precondition for effective coordination, is generally good at this level, though there have been instances of discordance between stakeholders on priorities and approaches to programming.

Notwithstanding the above, both intra and extra-departmental coordination, especially at the operational or project level, is generally good. Project officers have developed a network of contacts with their counterparts both within DFAIT and with OGDs, and consult regularly - a practice that is supported by the GPSF SOPs. Most informants interviewed for this evaluation remarked on the spirit of openness and cooperation that characterizes relations between colleagues both within and outside DFAIT, and this significantly mitigates the risk of duplication and incongruence.

Among the GPSF initiatives examined for this evaluation, most provided solid evidence of effective coordination. A case in point is the Community Security Project in Haiti. Because of a potential overlap in mandates between START and CIDA, the parties worked together to partition roles and responsibilities. This project also presents a rare of example of inter-departmental cooperation with respect to transition. It is hoped that CIDA will take over the funding of the Community Security Project at the end of GPSF's engagement.

There are, however, examples where the mechanism in place to facilitate effective coordination has failed. A case in point is the Placement of Canadian Correctional Officers in MINUSTA - another Haiti project. In this instance, Correction Canada's refusal to grant leave to corrections officers to participate on an assignment for the reason that it would adversely impact on domestic capacity delayed deployment. In yet another case, the UNDP Community Security (DDR) project in Haiti, which was being administered by IRC, failed to capitalize on work of ILX, which had administered a project in the same field, thus presenting a missed opportunity for synergistic programming.

As important as intra and inter-departmental coordination is for the realization of GPSF objectives, effective coordination among Canadian and international donors is equally vital to the realization of the same. Again, coordination of Canadian sponsored initiatives with those of other donors is effected through a variety of mechanisms (e.g., country tasks forces and steering committees, sector specific working groups, etc).

These mechanisms have, for the most part, worked reasonably well, though effective donor coordination has proved a persistent challenge at the country and sector level. Mechanisms have been created, some under the auspices of the UN and others by like-minded donors (e.g., the Joint Donor Team in Sudan), to facilitate effective inter-donor coordination, though results of these efforts have been checkered. As remarked in the formative evaluation of GPSF programming in Sudan (see below), support for and participation in these fora is critical to secure GPSF investments. It is an imperative that has, until recently, not been given adequate attention. START is beginning to address this problem, as evidenced by its support to the Joint Donor Team in Sudan, the Government of Haiti's Interim Cooperation Framework, and the Uganda Coordination Group.

Donor Coordination

The Report on the Formative Evaluation of Canada's Global Peace and Security Fund: Sudan, inter donor cooperation and coordination is a critical to success in the enterprise of conflict prevention, peace building and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction, and this in turn requires a commitment of resources to support such mechanisms and fora as may arise in any given conflict or post conflict setting. In the case of Sudan, Canada's ability to participate in, profit from, and influence activities has been undermined by a lack of presence on the ground, highlighting the need for START representation in these fora.

As noted elsewhere in this report, GPSF does fill institutional and funding gaps in Canada crisis response capability, allowing the GoC to mobilize resources and respond to crises in a relatively rapid manner, certainly compared with response capabilities of OGDs that neither have the dedicated resources or mandates to do the same. GPSF initiatives examined for this evaluation found several examples of where START was able to mobilize resources in a timely manner to respond to demands of protracted crises (e.g., GPSF support to AMIS and the Haiti Border Stabilization and Human Rights Initiative, Phase 1).

However, both timeliness and effectiveness has been compromised by GPSF's funding authority and T&Cs. As remarked elsewhere in this report, limited granting authority (unavailable for all intents and purposes until September 2006) and heavy reliance on the use contribution agreements caused considerable delays in the implementation of projects, in particular those projects with UN partners. The absence of multi-year funding has similarly adversely impacted on timeliness and effectiveness, owing to delays in receiving funding authority. This, in practice, has resulted in programming gap of some months (March to September), which poses significant risks: staff retention, continuity, loss of momentum.

The absence of multi-year funding was a major problem for several GPOP projects. In the case of ELAP, a project that garnered accolades by the UN, the disruption in funding at the end of the FY resulted in a relinquishment of Canadian leadership in the project, which was taken up by other donors.

While the project review and approval process in effect is rigorous and supports corporate learning, it has, in the view of many informants, contributed to delays in project implementation, added to transaction costs, and strained relations with partners (See Section 3.7). Instances of repeat returns to the project review committees constitutes evidence of a failure in the exercise due diligence at the front-end of the project development process, highlighting the need for greater access to technical support, as well as oversight, at this phase of the project cycle.

Response to Emerging Crises

The conflict in Lebanon presented START with its first opportunity to lead WoG efforts in response to a new and emerging crisis, supported by the Lebanon Relief Fund that was announced by the PM in August 2006. An inter-departmental assessment mission, lead by START, quickly identified areas of intervention where Canadian WoG resources could be mobilized to support post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction efforts.

Notwithstanding the above, Canada's WoG efforts were encumbered by the absence of SOPs specific to post-conflict situations, legal restrictions specific to Lebanon (Anti-terrorist legislation) and GPSF T&C's which have compromised the timeliness of Canada's response. Months passed following the first assessment mission before projects were in place owing to delays in securing the requisite spending and programming authority, resulting in lost opportunities.

Moreover, START's ability to respond to new and emerging crises in a timely way remains encumbered by the absence of leadership at the SAB level, specifically with respect to the formulation of WoG strategies of engagement for fragile states and by challenges in accessing and deploying functional experts, both within the GoC and civil society - a subject discussed in the next section. Addressing this institutional and funding gap is key to the realization of START's mandate.

4.2.4 Increased Access to Expertise, Knowledge and Resources

This section examines the extent to which GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has increased access to expertise, knowledge and resources.

Finding 29:
GPSF has contributed to the development of knowledge and expertise within Canada relating to its mission and mandate, and has established mechanisms to access these resources, though significant capacity deficits remain. Progress has been frustrated by GPSF's enabling authorities and continued challenges in developing cost-effective arrangements to engage expertise within OGDs and civil society.

The GPSF has supported Canadian organizations (e.g., the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, the Canadian Consortium on Human Security, and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, to name a few) that has contributed to the pool of knowledge and expertise within Canada in areas relevant to GPSF policy development and programming.

Accessing this pool of talent, however, remains a challenge. Contacts with experts within this pool are generally informal and ad-hoc - experts are often made known to START officials either by reputation or word of mouth. In order to make better use of this expertise, which the GPSF has nurtured, START needs something akin to a registry or roster of experts which would support quick identification of and access to the same according to the needs of the various functional divisions within the bureau and beyond.

Moreover, although the GBP makes funds available for research and policy development, which any functional division may draw upon, the thematic priorities of the GBP do not always align neatly with the research and policy development needs of all the functional divisions within START, thereby reducing the utility of this resource for research and policy development purposes. While it is acknowledged that the GBP advances departmental foreign policy priorities not exclusive to the mandate of the GPSF, and indeed was never intended to limit itself to addressing issues identified as priorities by START, it calls into question why the GBP is housed within the GPSF/START framework.

The establishment of the Canadian Police Arrangement provides Canada with a standing capacity to deploy up to 200 police officers to UN and regionally based peace operations. This arrangement is considered something of a model for police peacekeeping deployments that has garnered the attention of the international community. Replicating this model, or some variant thereof, with other OGDs (e.g., Elections Canada, Corrections Canada, etc,), remains a work in progress. Developing capacities within OGDs and financial compensation arrangements to facilitate expert deployments is critical to the realization of GPSF's mandate.

While CANADEM facilitates access to domestic expertise, GPSF T&Cs currently encumber the GPSF's ability to fully exploit these resources. For example, CANADEM has already reached its funding limit, and deployments cannot, at present, exceed one year. The negative impact of the absence of multi-year funding authority, particularly with respect to institutional capacity building initiatives which rely heavily on expert deployments, cannot be overstated, and constitutes a major capacity deficit.

4.2.5 Improved Capacity Within Funded Organizations

This section examines the extent to which the GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has contributed to improved capacity within funded organizations.

Finding 30:
Across GPSF, capacity building is an underlying theme for many project investments. GPSF, however, has not clearly articulated a vision or approach to building sustainable capacities in funded organizations. Further, success in this regard has been encumbered by the limited time frames and options for programming afforded under the GPSF authorities.

Capacity development has been widely adopted as an important strategy to support aid effectiveness and sustainable development. However, the 'what, why and how' of capacity development is the subject of considerable debate and research, and is challenging those engaged in capacity development to keep pace with the latest thinking and approaches. In Capacity Development, Why, What and How, Bolger(32) highlights other important messages about capacity development (see below).

Organizational capacities are not developed through training individuals, delivering information or participating in collaborative projects alone. These can be important components of a capacity building strategy, but only when they address organizational priorities.

Evaluation Capacity Development Experiences from Research and Development Organizations around the World (IDRC, 2003) p. 50

In recent years, there has been increased attention to the results of capacity development efforts, and particularly the inter-relationships between organizational capacity, change and performance. The European Center for Development Policy Management has launched a study for DAC on Capacities, Change and Performance. Some of this research is generating useful insights regarding organizational capacity development. For example, a study conducted by the International Development Research Council (IDRC 2003),(33) which reviewed its experience with capacity development projects found that the traditional linear approach to capacity development assumed that the development of individual and project-level capacities would lead to improved organizational capacity. This approach had modest success for reasons as suggested below.

Lessons learned about Capacity Development

  • There is a need for a common understanding and definition of what stakeholders mean by capacity and capacity development.
  • It is important to understand the context within which development programming is taking place.
  • Capacity development is fundamentally about change and transformation.
  • Capacity development relies on learning and adapting behaviour, which requires openness to the lessons of experience and the flexibility to modify approaches as required.
  • Capacity development is rooted in a set of principles that underline the importance of a systems perspective, a long-term orientation supported by strategic partnerships, effective coordination and coherence in programming frameworks.

Authors of that study advocated for a more holistic approach to organizational capacity development, and identified six steps that can foster a more holistic approach to capacity development advocated (see Exhibit 4.1).

Exhibit 4.1 Capacity Development - Holistic Approach

Steps in a holistic approach to capacity development

Principles of a holistic approach to organizational capacity development
  • Take ownership for your organization's capacity building development initiative
  • Focus on the needs and priorities of the organization as a whole
  • Management of capacity development processes is crucial for success
  • Prepare for monitoring and evaluation at the outset of a capacity building initiative
  • Capacity development is more than a one-off event - it is a process that evolves over time and requires resources
  • Engage stakeholders in the capacity development process
  • Cultivate political support
  • Preserve your autonomy
  • Establish an environment conducive to learning and change

Evaluation Capacity Development Experiences from Research and Development Organizations around the World (IDRC, 2003)

One of the GPSF's intermediate outcomes is "Increased sustainability of the capacity of funded organizations." As noted earlier, the GPSF's potential effectiveness in realizing this outcome is hampered by the lack of a definition of what is meant by capacity building in the GPSF context and what sustained capacities should look like. A review of funded GPSF projects suggests that most, if not all, of them reflect so-called linear approaches to capacity development. This has, in part, been a pragmatic response to the recipient funding caps of the GPSF T&Cs, and the absence of multi-year funding authority.

In some instances, the absence of multi-year funding authority has proven fatal to recipients of GPSF support. For example the Canadian Consortium on Human Security (CCHS) is an academic-based network that supports policy relevant research on human security. Notwithstanding the conclusions of a summative evaluation of the CCHS (April 2007), which affirmed the organization's relevance and contribution to the study of human security, the CCHS was forced to cease operations owing to persistent uncertainties and disruptions in funding. While START cannot be held accountable for the inability of the CCHS to diversify its funding base, thus leading to its demise, this constituted a loss to both DFAIT and the broader academic and NGO community engaged in human security research, policy development, and programming.

In Haiti, the capacity building impact of Canada's support to the Haitian National Police (HNP) through the deployment of 80 Canadian civilian police officers is alleged to have been diluted by police officers being tasked with work that was unintended, offering evidence of a lack of a clear capacity building approach in their mandate.

At the same time, it is important to note that, even relying on the linear model, there have been some excellent results in terms of capacity building. For example, GPSF support to the UN DPKO Change Management Office, including the Peacekeeping Best Practices section and the Integrated Training Service section, reportedly made significant contributions to DPKO's ability to achieve its targets under the "Peace Operations 2010" reform agenda. GPSF financial support to the UNITAR E-Learning for African Peacekeepers (ELAP) resulted in a significant expansion of the program's target reach in terms of enrolment, partnerships with key African institutions, and the development and translation of training products, as well as an expansion of its funding base.

Notwithstanding these achievements, capacity development objectives have been undermined by the absence of multi-year funding authority. In one case, the ELAP project cited above, and which was considered an excellent project, the end of FY funding limit resulted in the loss of this project to other donors. As noted elsewhere in this report, the GPSF funding authority, for all practical purposes, limits programming within a 6 month time frame. Capacity building projects tend to have a longer time span (years rather than months), and implementing them within 6 months is not only demanding on partners but inconsistent with more holistic approaches.

It was observed that there are no guiding documents or strategies to assist project officers plan, support, monitor or evaluate such capacity development projects. It is, thus, not surprising to find that GPSF has been used to finance a broad range of activities under the auspices of capacity building. START has yet to develop a holistic model of capacity building that would help avoid 'shotgun-type' interventions.

It should be noted that START has expressed a desire for GPSF to become more holistic in its approach to capacity development, as evidenced by recent interest in exploring the use of organizational assessment as a key approach to capacity development (and risks management).

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5.0 Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusions

START and GPSF were created in 2005 in rapidly evolving and highly pressured Canadian and international contexts. In keeping with GoC requirements of the day, the START and GPSF design processes concentrated on the development of an RMAF/RBAF, a process which took place between May and December 2005. At the same time, Canada was ramping up its programming support for Sudan, another very intensive process that relied upon many of the same people engaged in the START/GPSF design and operational set-up. This limited available staff time to work out all the programming and operational details for the GPSF. As a consequence, those responsible for the GPSF were faced with the challenge of designing the program at the very time that it was supposed to be operating - a daunting task fraught with risks.

Objective of GPSF

To ensure timely, coordinated responses to international crises requiring effective whole-of-government actions through the planning and delivery of coherent and effective conflict prevention, crisis response, civilian protection, and stabilization initiatives in fragile sat situations implicating Canadian interests.

Programs, such as the GPSF operate in dynamic, demanding and fluid global environments. Theoretical approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding engagements change continually. These shifts tend to be incremental rather than dramatic. Against this backdrop, there has emerged a general consensus in the international donor community on best practices for conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and post-conflict stabilization, as expressed in the OECD-DAC Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations, 2007. This document highlights the importance of timely, flexible response mechanisms involving WoG participation.

Both GPSF and START largely conform to these best-practice principles. GPSF continues to fill a funding gap that enhances Canada's ability to respond rapidly to international crises, meet Canada's St Petersburg commitments to help build global peace-support capacity, and provide resources to advance Canada's conflict prevention, crisis response, civilian protection, and post-conflict stabilization objectives. START fills an institutional gap required to implement the GPSF by providing a mechanism to facilitate and promote Canadian WoG responses to crisis, peace operations, conflict prevention, and post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. Similalry, GPSF objectives, focused on ensuring timely, coordinated, WoG responses to crises, are relevant given both the context and priority needs of fragile states.

The GoC has emphasized crisis response, conflict prevention, peacebuilding and post-conflict stabilization as key priorities in Canadian foreign policy. Over the the last several years the GoC has made a series of commitments, usually in response to emergency situations, that have had some programmatic implications for START in the implementation of GPSF. More specifically, START's flexibility to respond to international crises in a timely way has been encumbered by the necessity to obtain Cabinet approval for unanticipated crises.

There is a general consensus that the design of GPSF, as articulated in the GPSF RMAF/RBAF, had limitations in terms of the program logic. These limitations have had lasting adverse effects on the implementation of the GPSF. In particular, insufficient attention paid to: i) conceptualizing how success of the GPSF would be measured; ii) codifying governance structures and accountability requirements as they related to the GPSF; and iii) defining terms and concepts and their implications for the GPSF success (including the whole-of-government approach and capacity building). These issues are currently being addressed by START.

There is considerable ambiguity in the systems for governace and accountability at all levels of GPSF's implementation. While IFM is clearly accountable for the GPSF, its responsibilities re governance of START in its implementation of GPSF is not. SAB has had limited success in fulfilling its mandate as envisaged in the RMAF and TB submission, owing to a disconnect between its mandate and actual authority. The relationships between the new foreign policy mechanisms (such as the Country Task Forces) and SAB have not been fully and formally clarified. This has contributed to some ambiguity regarding their responsibilities vis-à-vis SAB and START. The GPSF design included mechanisms to establish geographic priorities for START/GPSF on an annual basis; these mechanisms have not functioned as originally envisaged.

Historical reasons explain the division of GPSF into three sub-programs, which are perhaps more appropriately defined as funding pools than programs. There is, in the view of the evaluation team, sparse evidence that this division adds significant value to GPSF planning, management and delivery. Indeed, as argued throughout this report, it appears to have complicated planning, monitoring and reporting on GPSF investments. While the three sub-program design is sustainable, in the opinion of the evaluation team, this configuation adds a layer of bureacracy which may not be necessary, given that effective management occurs at the envelope level.

At the overall program level, there is little evidence of a clear strategic plan for the implementation of the GPSF RMAF/RBAF. This has contributed to important gaps in the performance measurement systems at the different GPSF programming levels. Moreover, systems for program and project management of GPSF have not been established uniformly at the program, sub-program, envelope, and project levels. Processes and systems are better defined at the project and envelope levels, than at the program and, in particular, sub-program levels. There is evidence of some attention being paid to cross-cutting GPSF priorities at the project level; this is less evident at other defined GPSF management levels (envelope, sub-program and GPSF overall).

While some improvements have been made in the last year, gaps remain in the suite of tools and resources available to project officers responsible for managing projects supported with GPSF funds. This is due, in part, to the fact that the role and function of IXS in supporting GPSF implementation has not yet been fully clarified as recommended in the Capacity Check. START has established systems to manage risks for GPSF at the corporate (IFM), program, sub-program, envelope, and project levels. The appropriateness and utilization of these systems vary considerably; the needed 'balance' between risk tolerance, risk management and due diligence has not yet been achieved.

START has instituted a rigorous mechanism of project screening intended to ensure the exercise of due diligence in terms of policy coherence, programming expertise, risks management, administrative integrity and financial probity. This system does not appear to be optimal in balancing due diligence, rapid response and coherency in partner engagement.

Capacity Check

In terms of human resources management, progress has been made toward bringing START divisions to full numeric strength. However, effective operationalization of the GPSF continues to be hampered by unresolved human resource issues including the securing of staff with appropriate expertise. Further, fundamental issues related to the division and utilization of labor have not yet been addressed. At the time of writing, the weaknesses in the financial management systems identified in the Capacity Check continued to pose a risk to the effective financial management of START and consequently the GPSF, and the current systems for information management are insufficient and underutilized.

The 2006 Capacity Check flagged a number of limitations in regard to human resources, financial and information management by START for GPSF. START has taken steps to address some of the concerns raised. However, overall progress in resolving these matters has been slow. Its success has been adversely affected by a lack of institutional support within DFAIT, as well as the lack of follow up by START staff due to the multiplicity of competing demands on their time (e.g., for preparing MCs).

Notwithstanding these deficits, as well as the significant limitations on its funding authority noted throughout this document, GPSF, under the stewardship of START, has delivered for the most part on its mandate. GPSF resources have been used to finance almost 500 projects to date, many of which have attracted international attention for their innovation and contribution to conflict prevention, peace operations and post conflict stabilization. Moreover, cumulative GPSF expenditures are more or less on track; just over 50% of the GPSF funds have been expended to date, in keeping with the half-way mark in its five year lifespan.

There are several evolving frameworks for reporting on progress and success for the GPSF, e.g. the RMAF logic model, the RMAF performance measurement framework, the RMAF evaluation framework, the Sub-Program Concept Papers, and newly developed log-models for the sub-programs.

Formative Evaluation Foci: RMAF

  • Improved GoC coherence in the areas of human security, crisis response, peace operations, conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction;
  • Canadian programming and policy leadership in the areas of human security, crisis response, peace operations, conflict prevention and post conflict stabilization and reconstruction
  • Improved readiness to respond to crises, especially in failed or failing states, in a timely and coordinated fashion;
  • Improved access to expertise, knowledge and resources; and
  • Improved capacity of funded organizations.

These various frameworks, while demonstrating a certain degree of alignment with the original concept of GPSF, each define progress and success in slightly different ways. For the purpose of reporting on progress and success for this evaluation, the evaluation team utilized the results flagged in the evaluation framework provided in the GPSF RMAF. It should be noted that some of these results pertain more to START than GPSF, reflecting the blurred distinction between the two.

5.2 Recommendations

Recommendation 1:

With the view to differentiating the roles of START from GPSF, DFAIT, along with representatives of relevant Canadian OGDs, should review, redefine and clearly distinguish the objectives of START from those of GPSF. This should be: a) accompanied by the development of a separate logic model for GPSF, and b) supported by implementation strategies and guidelines that clarify the operationalization of concepts such as whole-of-government and capacity building, gender, environment, sustainability and conflict analysis.

Recommendation 2:

Given the challenges of managing GPOP, GPSP and GBP, START is advised to consider alternatives to the status quo. This will include clarification of the need for, and value of, partitioning the GPSF into sub-program units.

Recommendation 3:

DFAIT, in association with representatives of relevant Canadian OGDs, should review the mandate and operational modalities of the START Advisory Board, in conjunction with the mandates and operational modalities of other GPSF governance bodies, with the view to making it more relevant and effective.

Recommendation 4:

DFAIT, in association with relevant stakeholders, should document the division of responsibilities between START and the Bilateral Relations Branch/ Country Task Forces; START and the other GPSF governance bodies; and START and the functional divisions drawing on GPSF.

Recommendation 5:

START should continue efforts to establish multi-year funding authorities as well as more flexible options for both grants and contribution agreements.

Recommendation 6:

START should expedite actions on the recommendations of recent external reviews, including the Capacity Check.

Recommendation 7:

START should continue efforts to establish funding and governance mechanisms with OGDs to facilitate and expedite the use of OGD resources as well as explore mechanisms to access expertise in the private and non-governmental sectors.

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Appendix 1: Management Response and Action Plan

1. Introduction

In September 2007, DFAIT commissioned a formative evaluation of the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) to inform upcoming reports to Treasury Board on the achievements of the programme. The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the extent to which the GPSF presents a relevant, efficient and effective mechanism for crisis response, conflict prevention, peace building and post-conflict stabilisation. In this second year of GPSF operations, the Stabilisation and Reconstruction Task Force (START), the organizational unit charged with managing the Fund, requested this evaluation to capture lessons learned and feed into existing processes of refining programming efficiencies and management in order to improve future practice.

The evaluation focused on the overall design of the GPSF and the capacity of START, as stewards of the GPSF, to plan, manage, and demonstrate results. The evaluators noted that the GPSF is a relatively new fund and, as such, has an evolving management structure and mandate, and that throughout its existence there have been ongoing refinements and changes in its programs and operational procedures. They further explained that this, coupled with the demanding context in its countries of priority, the repeated requirement for renewed authorities, and the conflation of the GPSF's mandate with that of START, has created a challenging environment in which to programme.

At the same time, the evaluators confirmed the continuing validity of the GPSF's original purpose: to provide dedicated resources for conflict prevention, peace operations, peace-building, and post conflict stabilisation. They also noted that the work being done through the GPSF on Whole-of-Government (WOG) contributions to these issues is consistent with international best practices.

The evaluation highlighted the need to separate the objectives and results articulation of START from the GPSF in key guiding documents such as the RMAF. The evaluators were challenged by this conflation in terms of establishing the focus and scope of the evaluation, making it difficult to separate the fund from the bureau. As a result, one of the key recommendations addresses the need for DFAIT to develop separate tools and set out clearly the expectations of the Fund as distinct from START.

The evaluators also considered the extent to which the GPSF's three sub-programs complement and productively intersect with each other; reviewed existing results and performance measurement instruments, to determine whether they were adequate to inform policy development and programming; and examined the division of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities among the various DFAIT divisions involved in the administration of the GPSF.

Due to the requirement to prepare the reports to Cabinet and Treasury Board in late 2007, the evaluation was conducted under very condensed timeframes in October and November 2007. It covered the period from the GPSF's inception in May 2005 up to September 2007, more than half of which was governed by the Human Security Programme's Terms and Conditions, thus limiting the type, level and duration of support that the Fund could provide. The GPSF did not begin programming under its own Terms and Conditions until they were approved by TB in September 2006.

2. START Management Response to the GPSF Formative Evaluation

The GPSF Formative Evaluation Report has identified key areas that merit the attention of START (as the managers of the GPSF), DFAIT as a whole, and other government departments (OGDs) engaged in the implementation of funding through the GPSF. These were reflected in the seven recommendations listed below.

Recommendation 1:
With the view to differentiating the roles of START from GPSF, DFAIT, along with representatives of relevant Canadian OGDs, should review, redefine and clearly distinguish the objectives of START from those of GPSF. This should be: a) accompanied by the development of separate logic model for the GPSF; and b) supported by implementation strategies and guidelines that clarify the operationalisation of concepts such as Whole of Government and capacity building, gender, environment, sustainability and conflict analysis.

DFAIT Comment:

As the evaluators noted, the conflation of START with the GPSF has contributed to a complex blending of mandates and roles. DFAIT recognises that the blending of START and the GPSF in the RMAF has resulted in confusion within DFAIT, with START's OGD interlocutors, and in several founding documents including Treasury Board Submissions. This was highlighted during the process of both the formative evaluations undertaken in the past year, where the evaluators were forced to assess the GPSF based on criteria in the RMAF, some of which were meant to guide START's non-GPSF-related activities.

One key step in clarifying the objectives of the GPSF is the creation of a separate logic model for the Fund alone, which START has already drafted. This will be enhanced by the new GPSF mandate, distinct from that of START, which was outlined in the recent Treasury Board submission going forward for Treasury Board Ministers' endorsement in May 2008.

Other concepts which directly impact the effective implementation of the GPSF such as Whole of Government, gender and environment have, and will continue to be, priority areas for improvements. However, DFAIT is not addressing these issues on its own. As mentioned in the Management Response to the GPSF Sudan Formative Evaluation, there are responsibilities at central agencies for the larger question of strategic vision for the Whole of Government approach, while DFAIT, as a whole, guides the WOG approach to specific fragile states. START has the clear responsibility on how this approach is addressed vis-à-vis the GPSF in fragile states at large, and has the policy lead on key stabilisation and peace building issues such as Security System Reform (SSR), Mediation, the prevention and combat of the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Civilian Police Deployment (Civpol). In some cases, such as in Sudan, there is a clear understanding by stakeholders of the roles and responsibilities of the various interlocutors. In other cases, it is recognised that a more formal description of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities will serve to enhance further the implementation of GPSF programming. Work is continuing with GPSF stakeholders to clarify and operationalise these concepts, including a revision of the CIDA/DFAIT Roles and Responsibilities document which specifically addresses operating principles, and roles and responsibilities for the two departments' respective programming in fragile states. This revision takes into account the lessons learned over the past year-and-a-half of GPSF programming.

START has also been proactive in identifying and establishing a set of mandatory training courses on such issues as project management, environmental assessment, gender, the anti-terrorism due diligence provisions and performance management.

Way Forward:

DFAIT has already begun the process of reviewing the GPSF RMAF and anticipates major changes to the document to ensure that it meets the needs of the GPSF going forward. This will entail the assistance and participation of other GPSF interlocutors, both within and outside DFAIT. A critical step in this process is the revision of the GPSF Logic Model to clearly represent GPSF activities, outputs and outcomes and create a relevant document that would ensure GPSF results are captured and recorded.

DFAIT will review its own tools and systems to ensure that its approach to the creation of whole-of-government modalities and strategies are clearly understood by all stakeholders and formally documented. START will be undertaking a study of the various management models that DFAIT employs to address fragile state environments, including the Afghanistan Task Force, Sudan Task Force and Haiti Steering Committee.  The purpose of the study is to determine the advantages and disadvantages to each model in order to respond appropriately when a new crisis emerges i.e., applying the most appropriate management model. It is anticipated that through this process, the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities will be better defined and documented.

Work has also begun on some of the other cross-cutting issues required to enhance GPSF programming, in particular gender and the environment. START considers training of officers and managers who work on the GPSF to be a priority and ensures that courses are available that address the specific and challenging needs of the Fund. To date, officers have been trained on Grants and Contributions, project management, environmental assessment and performance management, and work is currently underway on gender and anti-terrorism due diligence training. DFAIT has engaged a gender consultant to assess the needs of the officers, managers and recipients of the GPSF funding and provide training to all staff members engaged with the GPSF. This mandatory training is scheduled to begin early in Fiscal Year 2008/2009, and has already been operationalised in divisional and individual learning plans.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
START, in partnership with GPSF interlocutors, will review and revised the GPSF RMAF.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will undertake a study of the various management models that DFAIT employs to address fragile state environments. First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will finalise an assessment of gendertraining needs for all staff working with the GPSF and provide training based on that assessment.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
Training on other key issues such as environmental assessment, performance management, and anti-terrorism due diligence provisions is being provided on an on-going basis.Ongoing throughout 2008/2009START Secretariat

 

Recommendation 2:
Given the challenges of managing GPOP, GPSP and GBP, START is advised to consider alternatives to the status quo. This will include clarification of the need for, and value of, partitioning the GPSF into sub-program units.

DFAIT Comment:

The evaluators presented the opinion that the three sub-programs do not have the structural and accountability characteristics of true programs and do not represent functional units of management for GPSF programming. They considered that rather the envelopes (i.e., countries and themes) have emerged as more effective 'units of management' than the sub-program level.

In DFAIT's opinion, the sub-programs continue to have value for the GPSF as distinct but complementary components of the overall Fund: the Global Peace and Security Program (GPSP) which addresses crises and stabilisation in priority states, the Global Peace Operations Program (GPOP) which seeks to improve peace operations, and the Glyn Berry Program (GBP) which develops the overarching policy and legal frameworks for peace and security.

The GPSP, on the other hand, focuses on ensuring timely, coherent and effective responses to stabilise large-scale crisis situations and restore security for local populations. It funds programming to improve security through support to the justice and security systems; reinforce and build capacity in the political sector and establish the rule of law; address reconciliation; and support policy initiatives and capacity building activities that promote civilian protection and reduce human suffering. As a complement to the on-the-ground nature of the GPSP, the modest funding allocated to the GBP supports the development of Canadian and international policies, laws and institutions that embed core objectives of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law into international peace and security efforts. The need to create and keep the peace so that reconciliation, stabilisation and reconstruction can occur is addressed through GPOP which builds sustainable and effective regional and international capacity to respond to crises by supporting states in Africa and the Americas to conduct effective peace operations.

DFAIT recognises that the use of country and theme envelopes has resulted in the perception that the GPSF is being managed at the envelope level. It is important to consider that each of these envelopes supports the outcomes of one of the sub-programs, and that their results are reported at the sub-program level. Given this perception however, DFAIT acknowledges the value of reviewing the status quo and determining if other methods of managing the priorities, scope and mandate of the GPSF would enhance its effectiveness.

Way Forward:

DFAIT will review the nature of the sub-programs and the envelopes, and their alternatives, to determine how best to strengthen the management of the GPSF. DFAIT will consider the structure of the START Secretariat and the division of envelope and sub-program responsibilities between and within the groups.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
START will conduct a review of alternatives to thesub-program model of management of the GPSF and the organisational structure which mosteffectively supports delivery.Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

 

Recommendation 3:
DFAIT, in association with representatives from relevant Canadian OGDs, should review the mandate and operational modalities of the START Advisory Board, in conjunction with the mandates and operational modalities of other GPSF governance bodies, with the view to making it more relevant and effective.

DFAIT Comment:

The evaluation indicated that the START Advisory Board (SAB), which was intended to align the Government of Canada's geographic and thematic priorities for fragile states and provide coherence in the allocation of resources, was not fulfilling its intended role. Moreover, it noted that some uncertainty existed regarding roles and responsibilities of Task Forces vis-à-vis the SAB with respect to Whole of Government planning, monitoring and reporting.

The SAB, with its membership representing seven government departments including DFAIT, advises START on whole-of-government approaches to policy development and responses to international peace and security challenges, including for the GPSF. At the same time, Task Forces have been created to address specific country challenges and guide Canada's overall political and strategic engagement in these countries. During interviews with OGD representatives for the formative evaluation of the GPSF programming in Sudan and the Program Audit, this need for high priority engagement was reiterated.

At their last meeting in March 2008, the START Advisory Board acknowledged the need to review and revise their mandate to take into account changes such as new responsibilities and consideration of the involvement of other Government of Canada stakeholders, including the geographic task forces. DFAIT recognises that a more formal description of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities between the Task Forces and the START Advisory Board, and more frequent engagement of the SAB itself, would serve to enhance further the implementation of GPSF programming.

Way Forward:

Recognising that the role played by the SAB in the management of the GPSF is critical to its success, START is working towards strengthening it in terms of membership and mandate so that it can more effectively fulfill its function. DFAIT is working with OGDs to address this crucial component of the GPSF governance structure. To date, this has included a meeting of the Advisory Board in November 2007 where the mandate was discussed and a clear workplan established. The strategic approach was further strengthened in another meeting of the SAB, in March 2008, from which a formalized annual work plan and  a new TOR is being drafted and will be finalised in early Fiscal Year 2008/2009. Another key issue discussed in the March meeting was widening the scope and depth of membership of the SAB to ensure that all relevant Canadian government departments are represented.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
DFAIT will continue to strengthen further the role of the START Advisory Board through the finalisation of the annual work plan and new Terms of Reference.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

 

Recommendation 4:
DFAIT, in association with relevant stakeholders, should document the division of responsibilities between START and the Bilateral Relations Branch/Country Task Forces; START and the other GPSF governance bodies; and START and the functional divisions drawing on the GPSF.

DFAIT Comment:

The evaluation perceived some uncertainty in both DFAIT and OGDs as to roles and responsibilities of START vis-à-vis some of its key interlocutors such as the Country Task Forces, its governance bodies and the functional divisions that use GPSF programming funds.

Whereas it is clear to those engaged directly in programming the GPSF that START has ultimate responsibility for the Fund in the priority states, and the geographic desks/task forces have responsibility for Canada's overall political and strategic engagement in those same countries, DFAIT acknowledges that increased clarity and documentation of these roles and responsibilities would enhance the implementation of the GPSF as a whole.

To address this, START, the Sudan Task Force and the Mission in Khartoum produced a document clarifying mandates and outlining specific roles and responsibilities for an integrated departmental response to conflict prevention and peacebuilding needs in Sudan. In addition, START is currently working with the Afghan Task Force to create Terms of Reference (TOR) that will guide GPSF-related interaction in Afghanistan. These documents will serve as the basis for TORs with other task forces and geographic desks, as required.

Way Forward:

As stated above, START will be undertaking a study of the various management models that DFAIT employees use to address fragile state environments, including the Afghanistan Task Force, the Sudan Task Force and the Haiti Steering Committee. The purpose of the study is to determine the advantages and disadvantages to each model in order to more appropriately respond when a new crisis emerges. It is anticipated that through this process agreements setting out accountabilities and roles and responsibilities will be defined and documented.

DFAIT will continue to work with the START Advisory Board, the geographic desks and Task Forces, and other divisions who utilise GPSF funds to set out more formal descriptions of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, as they relate to the GPSF. There have already been working-level exchanges on roles and responsibilities between START and the some of the relationships with geographic desks which will be formalized in TORs in the very near future.

Finally, DFAIT will review strategic and planning tools to determine how best to ensure that GPSF activities fit within the overall country strategies.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
START will undertake a study of the various management models that DFAIT employs to address fragile state environments including the Afghanistan Task Force, Sudan Task Force and Haiti Steering Committee. First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will set out more formal TORs with other START interlocutors within DFAIT.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will review strategic and planning tools vis-à-vis the overall country strategiesFirst half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

 

Recommendation 5:
START should continue efforts to establish multi-year funding authorities as well as more flexible options for both grants and contribution agreements.

DFAIT Comment:

The evaluators recognized the challenges encountered by DFAIT in implementing the GPSF when faced with repeated requirements to return to Cabinet and Treasury Board for authorities. They acknowledged that the lack of multi-year funding authorities for the GPSF has negatively impacted its implementation, as strategic, multi-year engagements with key partners are out of the question in such an environment. Delays within fiscal years in obtaining authorities further truncated the available timeframes for programming, reducing them to a matter of months and limiting the ability of the Fund to respond to crises as they emerge as well as reporting on results.

At the same time, the evaluators noted that START's efforts to implement programming under those conditions were further hampered by its limited granting authority. This is in contrast to other departments, such as CIDA, which in many cases work with the same institutional recipients, such as the UN. Not only does this cause confusion with the recipients, but it also increases the transaction and opportunity costs of the implementation of GPSF.

DFAIT recognises the impact that these two factors have had on the programming and agrees that multi-year funding authorities ensure that the GPSF is implemented in the most responsive, timely and appropriate fashion. Of note, Cabinet has recently reviewed the achievements of the GPSF and confirmed its multi-year authority until 2012/2013 which paves the way to addressing some of the issues in this recommendation. DFAIT is awaiting a decision from the Treasury Board Ministers to access the approved funds for that period.

Earlier in 2007/2008, DFAIT did receive Treasury Board approval for increased granting authority from $15 million in 2007/2008 to $30 million per year for 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. DFAIT is currently seeing an extension to these authorities for an additional three years until 2012/2013. Of note, upon the advice of the Treasury Board, DFAIT will have to return in 2010/2011 to review the GPSF Terms and Conditions (Ts and Cs) under the forthcoming new Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments. This will limit DFAIT's effective authorities to three years until such time as the GPSF Ts and Cs are renewed. Increased granting authority above the existing $30 million may be sought at that time.

Way Forward:

START will continue to work closely with the central agencies to ensure that this longer-term authority will have the most beneficial impact on the implementation of the program. In addition, START will continue to explore how its implementing arrangements can be used to make the GPSF more responsive and timely while ensuring accountability and responsible use of public funds. START is working closely with the DFAIT Grants and Contributions Centre of Excellence to ensure that the implementing arrangements that are being developed take into account the expert recommendations of the Blue Ribbon panel on a new Transfer Payment Policy which is anticipated in the next fiscal year.

With the recent approval of three additional years of program approval until 2012/2013 by Cabinet, START has now begun the process of creating Five-Year Strategic Planning Frameworks for each sub-program envelope. These are being prepared and are awaiting implementation pending the receipt of the spending authority until 2012/2013. These frameworks will be informed by annual reports on achievements, lessons learned, country strategy documents and Government of Canada priorities.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
START will present a submission to Treasury Board seeking spending authority until 2012/2013, contingent on renewal of the GPSF's Ts and Cs in 2010/2011.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will further develop its internal due diligence mechanisms for granting to ensure the maximum use of grants where appropriate recipients and projects can be identified.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will create Five-Year Strategic Planning Frameworks for each sub-program envelope.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

 

Recommendation 6:
START should expedite actions on the recommendations of recent external reviews, including the Capacity Check.

DFAIT Comment:

In the three years since its inception, and year and a half since operationalisation under its own Terms and Conditions, the GPSF has undergone several external reviews aimed at strengthening its implementation. The evaluators recognised the work that has been done in response to these reviews but felt that some areas of concern remain a priority.

The main focus of START has been on securing multi-year authorities for the GPSF which has required several returns to Cabinet and Treasury Board, and setting up key systems for accountable implementation of the Fund such as due diligence frameworks, standard operating procedures, reporting tools, training programs, logic models for sub-programmes, and performance management. DFAIT recognises however that further efforts must be made to capture lessons learned in these first few years to enhance programming and build on existing successes.

As the evaluators noted, DFAIT has taken steps to address key issues of concern such as the capacity of the financial management system. DFAIT's commitments to implement actions based on the recommendations of the Capacity check, the Audit and the GPSF Sudan Formative Evaluation are on schedule and will continue to be priority to improve the implementation of the GPSF.

Way Forward:

As with the Actions listed in this Management Response, START will present progress on the recommendations of external reviews to the START Interdepartmental Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADM) Committee. This START Interdepartmental ADM Committee meets twice yearly to ensure complementarity of efforts between START and CIDA in policy and programming engagement in fragile states. The Committee's key functions are to: provide senior level input to Deputy Minister strategic direction on crisis management and fragile states is carried out; ensure policy coherence at a strategic level; share START/CIDA key engagements in crises and fragile states (both at a programming and policy level); provide guidance to the START Advisory Board; and, review, as required, the CIDA/DFAIT Roles and Responsibilities in Crisis and Fragile States Framework and advise respective Deputy Ministers if changes are required. The next meeting of the ADM Committee will be scheduled to take place in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
DFAIT will organise the next START Interdepartmental Assistant Deputy Ministers' Committee to review progress on the actions required from past external reviews including the Capacity Check, the Audit and the GPSF formative evaluations.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

 

Recommendation 7:
START should continue efforts to establish funding and governance mechanisms with OGDs to facilitate and expedite the use of OGD resources as well as explore mechanisms to access expertise in the private and non-governmental sectors

DFAIT Comment:

The evaluation commented that while both intra and extra-departmental coordination, especially at the operational or project level, is generally regarded as good, limited progress has been made on establishing predictable funding arrangements and mechanisms with OGDs.

DFAIT acknowledges that the development of established funding mechanisms has been slower than might have been anticipated originally. The creation of such mechanisms requires not only the commitment of DFAIT but also a capacity within the other government departments to take on responsibilities, such as deployment of personnel to broaden the civilian footprint of peace support operations. DFAIT has worked closely with several departments to encourage the development of this capacity and will continue to explore the best mechanisms for ensuring that the expertise across government is made available to the GPSF.

Access to expertise in the private and non-governmental sectors to benefit the GPSF is also a priority issue for START. Work has begun on exploring mechanisms, existing or new, to engage, where appropriate, the wide range of experiences and expertise that exists in Canada in a timely, cost-effective, transparent and accountable manner.

Way Forward:

DFAIT will continue to work with other government departments such as Correctional Service of Canada, the RCMP and others to create or strengthen mechanisms in support of OGD participation in the GPSF. The SAB will play an important in this process and may be called upon to assist in the identification of new opportunities for partnership.

ActionTimeframeResponsibility
DFAIT will work with the SAB to explore options for strengthened or new mechanisms for OGD partnerships.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
DFAIT will explore how existing or new mechanisms for expertise outside of government, where appropriate, could best be utilised to serve the interests of the GPSFFiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

3. Conclusion

START has welcomed this formative evaluation of the GPSF as a means to identify the successes and challenges of programming the GPSF in crises and post-conflict environments. The useful recommendations, feedback and comments received from the evaluators will improve implementation as the program matures. START will continue to work closely with its partners inside DFAIT and in other government departments to address the issues raised.

Key issues which will receive START's attention in the new fiscal year will include the governance structure such as the START Advisory Board and founding documents such as the RMAF. The broader framework and operational modalities of a Whole-of-Government approach will be explored with other GPSF interlocutors within and outside DFAIT. START will also review the management structure of the GPSF and its sub-programs to ensure that the most effective and efficient means of managing the fund is utilised.

Summary of Actions, GPSF Formative Evaluation
RecommendationActionTimeframeResponsibility
  • With the view to differentiating the roles of START from GPSF, DFAIT, along with representatives of relevant Canadian OGDs, should review, redefine and clearly distinguish the objectives of START from those of GPSF. This should be: a) accompanied by the development of separate logic model for the GPSF; and b) supported by implementation strategies and guidelines that clarify the operationalisation of concepts such as Whole of Government and capacity building, gender, environment, sustainability and conflict analysis.
START, in partnership with GPSF interlocutors, will review and revised the GPSF RMAF.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will undertake a study of the various management models that DFAIT employs to address fragile state environments. First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will finalise an assessment of gender training needs for all staff working with the GPSF and provide training based on that assessment.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
Training on other key issues such as environmental assessment, performance management, and anti-terrorism due diligence provisions is being provided on an on-going basis.Ongoing throughout 2008/2009START Secretariat
  • Given the challenges of managing GPOP, GPSP and GBP, START is advised to consider alternatives to the status quo. This will include clarification of the need for, and value of, partitioning the GPSF into sub-program units.
START will conduct a review of alternatives to the sub-program model of management of the GPSF and the organisational structure which most effectively supports delivery.Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
  • DFAIT, in association with representatives from relevant Canadian OGDs, should review the mandate and operational modalities of the START Advisory Board, in conjunction with the mandates and operational modalities of other GPSF governance bodies, with the view to making it more relevant and effective.
DFAIT will continue to strengthen further the role of the START Advisory Board through the finalisation of the annual work plan and new Terms of Reference.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
  • DFAIT, in association with relevant stakeholders, should document the division of responsibilities between START and the Bilateral Relations Branch/Country Task Forces; START and the other GPSF governance bodies; and START and the functional divisions drawing on the GPSF.
START will undertake a study of the various management models that DFAIT employs to address fragile state environments including the Afghanistan Task Force, Sudan Task Force and Haiti Steering Committee.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will set out more formal TORs with other START interlocutors within DFAIT. First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will review strategic and planning tools vis-à-vis the overall country strategiesFirst half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
  • START should continue efforts to establish multi-year funding authorities as well as more flexible options for both grants and contribution agreements.
START will present a submission to Treasury Board seeking spending authority until 2012/2013, contingent on renewal of the GPSF's Ts and Cs in 2010/2011.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will further develop its internal due diligence mechanisms for granting to ensure the maximum use of grants where appropriate recipients and projects can be identified.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
START will create Five-Year Strategic Planning Frameworks for each sub-program envelope.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
  • START should expedite actions on the recommendations of recent external reviews, including the Capacity Check.
DFAIT will organise the next START Interdepartmental Assistant Deputy Ministers' Committee to review progress on the actions required from past external reviews including the Capacity Check, the Audit and the GPSF formative evaluations.First quarter of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
  • START should continue efforts to establish funding and governance mechanisms with OGDs to facilitate and expedite the use of OGD resources as well as explore mechanisms to access expertise in the private and non-governmental sectors.
DFAIT will work with the SAB to explore options for strengthened or new mechanisms for OGD partnerships.First half of Fiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat
DFAIT will explore how existing or new mechanisms for expertise outside of government, where appropriate, could best be utilised to serve the interests of the GPSFFiscal Year 2008/2009START Secretariat

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1 Review of the Development Co-operation Policies and Programmes of Canada, OECD-DAC, 20 Sept 2007.

2 Press Release: International Conference of Support to Lebanon - Canadian Statement, Government of Canada, 29 Jan 2007.

3 As the Evaluation Team did not have ready access to a complete profile of all funded GPSF projects, analysis has focused on one year only.

4 The expenditure by subprogram was obtained utilizing START data and by redistributing expenditures done under HSP T&Cs (prior to GPSF T&Cs) according to the information provided in end of year achievement reports (for HSP 06-07 and GPOP 06-07). The objective of this exercise was to know the size of the 3 subprograms from a programming point of view.

5 May 2005 to November 2007.

6 Includes all other GPSF expenditures on the GPSP and GPOP sub-programs..

7 Similarly, projects approved before October 2006 continue to follow HSP reporting templates, while those approved after October 2006 use the GPSF reporting templates.

8 Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States, OECD, 2007.

9 Information taken from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: "Stability Fund": http://www.minbuza.nl/en/developmentcooperation/Themes/Development,stability-fund/index.html and "Policy Agenda 2008": http://www.minbuza.nl/en/ministry,policy_and_budget/Policy-Agenda-2007.html#a5.

10 Information taken from "The Trust Fund for Human Security: For the Human-Centered 21st Century", 2007, found at: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human_secu/t_fund21.pdf.

11 Information taken from the German Government's 12th Development Policy Report, 2007, p. 106 found at http://www.bmz.de/en/service/infothek/fach/materialien/materialie152.pdf.

12 Information taken from "FCO: Public Service Agreement 2005-08: Technical Note" and on the website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office "The Pools": http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pageid=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1091891937471.

13 Review of the Development Co-operation Policies and Programmes of Canada, OECD-DAC, 20-Sept-2007.

14 ress Release: International Conference of Support to Lebanon - Canadian Statement, Government of Canada, 29 Jan 2007.

15 CIDA's Peacebuilding Fund does not currently have a mandate or Program outline, this thematic overlap is supported through interviews.

16 Press Release: International Conference of Support to Lebanon - Canadian Statement, Government of Canada, 29 Jan 2007.

17 Necla Tschirgi. 'Peacebuilding as the Link Between Security and Development: Is the Window of Opportunity Closing?'. International Peace Academy. 2004. pp. 1.

18 Government of Canada. Canada's International Policy Statement: A Role of Pride and Influence in the World. Foreword from the Prime Minister. http://geo.international.gc.ca/cip-pic/ips/ips-overview2-en.aspx?lang_update=1.

19 Wolfgang Koerner. 'In Brief - Security Sector Reform: Defense and Diplomacy' (PRB 06-12E). Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament. http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0612-e.htm.

20 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - Development Cooperation Directorate, Development Assistance Committee. 'Fragile States: Policy Commitment and Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations.' pp5. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/48/38293448.pdf.

21 'Working Out Strategies for Strengthening Fragile Stares - The British, American and German Experience. Country Indicators for Foreign Policy, Carleton University. 2005. & DFIS 'Global Conflict Preention Pool: A Joint UK Government Approach to Reducing Conflict' 2003. Office of the Coordination for Reconstruction and Stabilization, Department of State United States of America.

22 OECD-DAC. 'The DAC Guidelines: Helping to Prevent Violent Conflict'. 2001.

23 The "Ustein palette" includes "socio-economic development" among the suite of activities necessary for effective peacebuilding. Although support for socio-economic development falls outside the mandate of the GPSF, socio-economic development does fall within the mandate of CIDA and therefore is addressed within the context of WoG.

24 Necla Tschirgi. 'Peacebuilding as the Link Between Security and Development: Is the Window of Opportunity Closing?'. International Peace Academy. Page 9.

25 At the time of writing, the evaluation team did not have a copy of this tool for assessment.

26 SMART in this case is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. These 'criteria' for the articulation of good results are generally accepted throughout the GoC departments and agencies. See The Canadian School of Public Service website for more details. http://www.csps-efpc.gc.ca/Research/publications/html/p132/8_e.html.

27 The evaluation team was provided with a draft of the First START Annual Report to the SAB.

28 At the time of writing an IRC/FSDN/Khartoum Roles and Responsibilities in Sudan Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding was in the process of being finalized.

29 Report of the Auditor General of Canada, 2003. http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/domino/reports.nsf/html/20030401ce.html.

30 Taken from the 'Performance Measurement Training Workshop' handout used by the external consultants to launch the new reporting regime. November 2007.

31 At the outset of this assignment, in September 2006, START noted that 77% of positions were filled. As of the time of writing, START was reporting that 100% of all positions were filled (in fact, they noted that the compliment of 70 projected staff had been increased to 85 - all of which were filled).

32 Based on Capacity Development: Why, What and How in CIDA Capacity Development Occasional Series, Bolger, J. CIDA, 2000) p.35.

33 Evaluation Capacity Development Experiences from Research and Development Organizations around the World (IDRC, 2003) p. 52.

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Date Modified:
2013-01-08