This report presents an independent country-level evaluation conducted by the UNDP Evaluation Office in 2010. The evaluation examines the strategic relevance and positioning of UNDP support, and its contribution to the development of Thailand under the two recent country programmes for 2002-2006 and 2007-2011.
The report found that UNDP has been particularly effective in supporting participatory local governance, environmental and natural resources management, and targeted assistance such as to highland ethnic peoples for their human rights and to mobile population vulnerable to HIV infection. The challenge has often been to ensure the results are sustained by national partners and the local-level success is scaled up to the national level.
As Thailand has become a middle-income country, UNDP has been seeking to reposition itself, making an effort to shift its approach from a project-based one to policy-level support. However, it has still been running projects that are often parallel to national programmes and activities, relying on the funds it has raised. With shrinking funding base, this mode of operation has put a limitation on the impact it could have. It is also a part of the reason why many UNDP initiatives faced difficulties in ensuring the sustainability of the results achieved.
The report found high expectations among the Thai people for UNDP to represent and promote the values that UN espouses. While UNDP engages in a variety of advocacy activities, their scope has been rather limited. The report suggests UNDP to further enhance and broaden the outreach of its advocacy to general public.
UNDP could support more effectively Thailand’s efforts in South-South cooperation by using its global network.