Improving the digital landscape
Key takeaways from independent evaluations
The year 2019-2020 saw eTrade for all undergo an independent external evaluation, at the request of the government of Finland, one of its core donors, as well as an indirect assessment through the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) exercise.
The Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) which comprises 19 countries that share a common interest in assessing the effectiveness of the major multilateral organisations they fund, organized in 2019 an evaluation of the technical assistance pillar of UNCTAD.
The evaluation highlights the contribution of the eTrade for all initiative as a positive example of inter-agency co-operation, building on the principles of complementarity and comparative advantage. Read the full report here:
The dedicated evaluation on eTrade for all highlighted the role UNCTAD has played in bringing together approximately 30 agencies on a market platform. It allows requesters to see which partner is the most relevant for them, encourages transparency between the agencies about their areas of specialization and areas of alignment, and reduces duplication. UNCTAD serves as the coordinator of the eTrade for all initiative, but it acts as a neutral broker for it.
The independent eTrade for all evaluation by the Government of Finland not only provides accountability to all interested stakeholders, but it also offers a timely snapshot of where the initiative stands after four years of existence. Read the full report here:
Selected conclusions from the dedicated eTrade for all evaluation
- eTrade for all IS EXTREMELY RELEVANT
It provides a unique value-added to the various parties involved in the digital economy. According to the independent evaluator, the initiative responds to the specific group (donors, beneficiary countries and partners). The multi-stakeholder approach of the project, which is at the heart of the initiative, is what makes for a strong contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular to SDGs 8 and 17.
- eTrade for all IS BOTH EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT
The initiative has largely achieved its set of objectives and has made excellent and efficient use of its resources. In particular, eTrade for all has:
- Increased collaboration and synergies among partners, therefore reducing the duplication of work in the area of e-commerce
- Strengthened coherence and synergies among partners’ e-commerce activities
- Contributed to enhancing aid efficiency
- Generated positive spillover effects, including two spin-off projects with separate funding sources: the eTrade Readiness Assessments (eT Readies) programme and the eTrade for Women initiative.
- THE PARTNERSHIP CULTURE IS THE BACKBONE OF eTrade for all
The coordination efforts of the initiative allow silos to be broken within and between the partnering organizations. The regular involvement of partners in the eCommerce Weeks, their joint engagement in delivering the eTrade for all indicators and the benefits in widening partners’ programmes geographic scope have all been recognized as key success factors for this type of joint venture.
- THE WEB-BASED PLATFORM ETRADEFORALL.ORG
It is a fundamental tool for all stakeholders. The user-friendly approach and variety of resources available on the platform have been commended by all participating in the evaluation. The rich and updated information on the platform has actually enhanced the global knowledge regarding e-commerce.
- DUE TO ITS HOLISTIC NATURE, GENDER IS TREATED AS A CROSS-CUTTING ELEMENT ALONG THE SEVEN POLICY AREAS
But more importantly, given the fact that gender issues are largely absent from the digital agendas of many countries, the role of the initiative has also been to bring the attention of these countries on the need to include the gender dimension in their e-commerce policies to address the gender digital divide.
- eTrade for all DELIVERS SUSTAINABLE KNOWLEDGE TO BENEFICIARY COUNTRIES
Supplemented by a long-lasting impact and change in the attitude towards e-commerce in these countries, where the e-commerce starts to be recognized as a driver for development.