Assessments & Evaluations

I guess it is my successful track record in project implementation in diverse settings and sectors that led me to being invited many a times as an evaluator of the impact of projects and programs. My assessments tend to clearly identify successes and areas of improvement that can be implemented and are also within the reach of the stakeholders. The hallmark of my assessments and evaluations are transparent and a participatory approach.

Highlights

  • The first global assessment of the needs of Romani population in Serbia, Montenegro and fYROM: Responsible for conceptualization; project proposal development; fundraising and project monitoring. (Sida, Sweden). Led to the set up of the Roma Experts Network.
  • Performed the first evaluation of the Civilian Peace Services (Ministry of Development, Germany) program in Macedonia. Led to a multi-year commitment by the Ministry.
  • Stakeholder Consultations and Capacity Assessment of the institutions of the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka in an effort to engage them in the peace process and in complex power sharing arrangements. Contributed to the set up of the Muslim Peace Secretariat. (Cambridge University/ Carnegie Foundation)

What ?

sector

Where ?

When ?

With whom ?

Mapping fundraising prospects and partnership support for UNICEF+
Mapping fundraising prospects and partnership support for UNICEF

Sector?

Child Rights, Humanitarian emergencies

What?

Fundraising;Assessments & Evaluations; Strategic Planning, Strategic Communication; Strategic Partnerships

Where?

Singapore

Why?

The global leadership of UNICEF wanted to explore the feasibility of setting up an operation in Singapore. Amendments to laws pertaining to the functioning of charities and foundations in Singapore were a trigger to these explorations.

When?

2007

What exactly?

In 2007 I conducted an in- depth mapping exercise for possible support to UNICEF in Singapore. To enhance the possibility of a quick and informed decision by the senior management, I produced a short video documentary capturing the essence of the mapping exercise. Directed by Sunanda Asthana, an Associate at ProCube, this documentary proved to be a valuable tool for decision-making.

With- whom?

UNICEF

Government of Singapore

What happened?

This report allowed the senior management of UNICEF to quickly reach a decision on how to engage with Singapore.

“ I have been together with Dr. Verma in negotiations with potential donors, senior government officers, ambassadors and partners. He thrives in creating genuine win-win arrangements without leaving any scope for ambiguity or misunderstanding. He prepares thoroughly for each negotiation and is able to step back and see things from the perspective of the counterpart. ”

Dr Slim Slama
Co-Founder
Geneva Health Forum

Setting up a think tank on health policy with the government+
Setting up a think tank on health policy with the government

Sector?

HIV AIDS; Harm reduction; Child rights; Women

What?

Strategic partnerships; Strategic communication; Assessments& Evaluation

Where?

Malaysia

Why?

To counter the tide of HIV AIDS in Malaysia it was important to scale up the methadone substitution therapy and needle syringe exchange program nationwide.However there was opposition to this from a variety of influential quarters.

When?

2006, 2007

What exactly?

Sunoor Verma launched the consultations with the Ministry of Health, Royal Malaysian Police and civil society partners on the drafting of a National Strategic Plan on Harm Reduction. He then provided all the necessary support for the drafting of this national strategy in terms of technical expertise.

With- whom?

UNICEF

Ministry of Health, Government of Malaysia

Royal Malaysian Police

Institute of Health Management

What happened?

Strategic plan for scale up of Harm Reduction was adopted and budgeted by the government and was implemented nationwide.

I attributemy success in Malaysia to some key factors that I feels are vital though very rare to find:

A visionary-
UNICEF in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei was headed by Gaye Phillips who not only had a vision but also the courage to recognize that strategic partnerships can take the agenda forward. She articulated her vision and asked me to go and make things happen while she would ensure that there is Prime Minister and Royalty level support and that internal UN bureaucracy does not come in the way. Her experience as a long serving CEO of UNICEF in Australia gave her insight into the UN system without stifling her thinking as her accountability lay with Australian citizens who contribute to UNICEF’s coffers. Each and every partner of UNICEF in Malaysia was convinced that Gaye Phillip’s one point agenda is the well being of Malaysian children. This is rare for any Representative of a UN agency. She enjoyed equal credibility with government, private sector, civil society, royalty and above all the team she led. Every day I learnt some thing new and positive from Gaye Phillips when working as her Senior Advisor in Malaysia.

A catalyst

Indra Nadchatram was former CEO of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and later UNICEF’s Communication Officer. Indra unhesitatingly shared with me her entire knowledge bank on the HIV AIDS landscape in Malaysia, encouraging me to take steps in unchartered territories yet warning me of potential land mines and also connecting me to the key players. Indra’s dedication to the well being of children and to halting the spread of HIV AIDS was a fountain of inspiration for me during my stay in Malaysia. It always helped having an office right next to Indra’s.

Committed local partners

The late Dr. Rohani, Dr. Christopher Lee, Dr. Norliza Noorodin, Dr. Hayati and Dr. Shaari of the Ministry of Health were committed to the fight against HIV AIDS at a time when it was the least sexy portfolio at their Ministry. Datuk Chua Soi Lek the Minister for Health took the bold step of introducing harm reduction well conscious of the political risk it carried. Shayne Nelson, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank who nurtured a culture of community service at all levels at his bank and launched the “Living with HIV” program in Malaysia in 2002, which educated 3000 of the bank’s employees on the basics of HIV AIDS.Fashion designer Sonny San who organized the first public fundraising for UNICEF… people who went way beyond the call of duty, everyday. They welcomed me warmly to their offices and were always willing to engage in discussions and search for solutions.

“ Through his extensive network of contacts, Sunoor Verma has built a keen understanding of the various concerns of potential donors and addresses them proactively in his project designs. Additionally, Sunoor Verma is quick to address new concerns as they arise. In this manner, Sunoor Verma maintains a high level of confidence on the part of potential donors, greatly facilitating budget negotiations in so doing.”

Dr. Eben Friedman
Regional Representative
European Centre for Minority Issues

Support for the Sri Lanka Peace Process+
Support for the Sri Lanka Peace Process

Sector?

Minority issues; Peace building; Inter-ethnic issues

What?

Dialogue management; Assessment & Evaluation

Where?

Sri Lanka

Why?

The Muslims in Sri Lanka are a minority spread out across the island state. They tended to be the balance of power in parliamentary equations. However the peace process in Sri Lanka did not include them as a party in negotiations. The inner divisions within the Muslim community further diminished the chances of their participation. It was felt that for the eventual peace agreement to be implemented the participation of a Muslim representation is a must.

When?

2005

What exactly?

Sunoor Verma was retained to conduct Needs assessment; Stakeholder Consultations; Situation analysis and Institutional capacity assessment of the divided Muslim communities in Sri Lanka in relation to the peace process in that country. This involved, consulting with political, religious, community leaders and other members of the Muslim communities, the government, international missions and further relevant actors in Sri Lanka. The project was carried out in a climate of growing security concerns and travel restrictions.

With- whom?

Cambridge University, Centre of International Studies

Carnegie Foundation, New York

What happened?

Visible and invisible opinion makers were consulted thus ensuring a report, which is highly reliable. This substantive report detailed the identity, interests and positions of Muslim political actors in Sri Lanka in relation to the peace process. This report was presented to the peace process facilitators.

“ While many give lip service to the importance of a participatory approach that involves the community in the design of projects, Sunoor puts this theory into practice through his natural curiosity and his interest in working with people. This enhances the sustainability of interventions. ”

Michael Szporluk
Expert, Civil Society Development
Mercy Corps

What?

Refugees; Humanitarian Relief;

Dialogue Management; Needs Assessment; Stakeholder Consultations; Project

development; Negotiations.

Where?

Macedonia

Why?

In 1999 during the Kosovo refugee crisis, following concerns of inter-ethnic instability, the Republic of Macedonia imposed a condition on the international community for admitting refugees from neighboring Kosovo. The number of refugees that are evacuated from Macedonia to NATO countries would be the number of newly admitted refugees into the country. In the race against time, while it was vital to evacuate as many refugees as possible, it was important to give priority to vulnerable cases. Prioritizing medical cases among an exhausted from difficult travels and traumatized population was one aspect of the challenge. The other- convincing reluctant host governments accept medical cases for evacuation and the associated costs to their health systems.

When?

1999

What exactly?

Sunoor Verma’s services were retained by the UNHCR to formulate priority criteria for the evacuation of refugee patients to NATO countries. Sunoor prioritized the cases from 7 geographically dispersed refugee camps, and negotiated with NATO country delegations transfer and treatment of emergency medical cases from among the refugees. He coordinated and monitored the facilities for evacuation of severely ill refugees. He played a key role in the initiation, planning and implementation of extending the medical evacuation program to approximately 200,000+ host family refugee cases. Sunoor monitored the standard of medical escorts during evacuation. He worked in partnership with local medical authorities, government authorities, donor community and NGOs to facilitate the patient evacuation process.

With- whom?

UNHCR

NATO

What happened?

  1. Medical evacuation program extended to approximately 200,000+ refugees residing with host families.
  2. Significant increase in evacuation of patient to NATO countries for treatment.

( on the value that Sunoor Verma brings to project design/ innovation..) Good sense of “common sense”, no fear of criticism and trying to look into issues from all kinds of angles: in short the ability to make the project as likely to succeed as possible.

Annika Palo
Adviser, Department for Europe
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Evaluation German government’s civil peace service program+
Evaluation German government’s civil peace service program

At interfaces, connecting.

Modesty should not allow me to state this, but I do perceive myself as a highly motivated international development expert with proven expertise in propelling programs through strategic planning, strategic communications, strategic partnerships and resource mobilization. My natural habitat seems to be at the interfaces between politics and policy & policy and program. I have successfully managed development portfolios in developing, transition and developed countries; emergency and non-emergency scenarios. My work experience with UNHCR, UNICEF, European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Cambridge University, Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Geneva Health Forum and other multilateral and bilateral agencies has allowed me to nurture networks that are inspiring  with other change makers.

My focus and commitment to quality content of whatever I undertake ensures that money and reliable partners are not in shortage. I have been applauded for my solid project management skills, excellent research, and analytical and drafting skills.

Scaling up Harm reduction nationwide+
Scaling up Harm reduction nationwide

Sector?

HIV AIDS; Harm reduction; Child rights; Women

What?

Strategic partnerships; Strategic communication; Assessments& Evaluation

Where?

Malaysia

Why?

To counter the tide of HIV AIDS in Malaysia it was important to scale up the methadone substitution therapy and needle syringe exchange program nationwide.However there was opposition to this from a variety of influential quarters.

When?

2006, 2007

What exactly?

Sunoor Verma launched the consultations with the Ministry of Health, Royal Malaysian Police and civil society partners on the drafting of a National Strategic Plan on Harm Reduction. He then provided all the necessary support for the drafting of this national strategy in terms of technical expertise.

With- whom?

UNICEF

Ministry of Health, Government of Malaysia

Royal Malaysian Police

Institute of Health Management

What happened?

Strategic plan for scale up of Harm Reduction was adopted and budgeted by the government and was implemented nationwide.

I attributemy success in Malaysia to some key factors that I feels are vital though very rare to find:

A visionary-
UNICEF in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei was headed by Gaye Phillips who not only had a vision but also the courage to recognize that strategic partnerships can take the agenda forward. She articulated her vision and asked me to go and make things happen while she would ensure that there is Prime Minister and Royalty level support and that internal UN bureaucracy does not come in the way. Her experience as a long serving CEO of UNICEF in Australia gave her insight into the UN system without stifling her thinking as her accountability lay with Australian citizens who contribute to UNICEF’s coffers. Each and every partner of UNICEF in Malaysia was convinced that Gaye Phillip’s one point agenda is the well being of Malaysian children. This is rare for any Representative of a UN agency. She enjoyed equal credibility with government, private sector, civil society, royalty and above all the team she led. Every day I learnt some thing new and positive from Gaye Phillips when working as her Senior Advisor in Malaysia.

A catalyst

Indra Nadchatram was former CEO of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and later UNICEF’s Communication Officer. Indra unhesitatingly shared with me her entire knowledge bank on the HIV AIDS landscape in Malaysia, encouraging me to take steps in unchartered territories yet warning me of potential land mines and also connecting me to the key players. Indra’s dedication to the well being of children and to halting the spread of HIV AIDS was a fountain of inspiration for me during my stay in Malaysia. It always helped having an office right next to Indra’s.

Committed local partners

The late Dr. Rohani, Dr. Christopher Lee, Dr. Norliza Noorodin, Dr. Hayati and Dr. Shaari of the Ministry of Health were committed to the fight against HIV AIDS at a time when it was the least sexy portfolio at their Ministry. Datuk Chua Soi Lek the Minister for Health took the bold step of introducing harm reduction well conscious of the political risk it carried. Shayne Nelson, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank who nurtured a culture of community service at all levels at his bank and launched the “Living with HIV” program in Malaysia in 2002, which educated 3000 of the bank’s employees on the basics of HIV AIDS.Fashion designer Sonny San who organized the first public fundraising for UNICEF… people who went way beyond the call of duty, everyday. They welcomed me warmly to their offices and were always willing to engage in discussions and search for solutions.

“ Through his extensive network of contacts, Sunoor Verma has built a keen understanding of the various concerns of potential donors and addresses them proactively in his project designs. Additionally, Sunoor Verma is quick to address new concerns as they arise. In this manner, Sunoor Verma maintains a high level of confidence on the part of potential donors, greatly facilitating budget negotiations in so doing.”

Dr. Eben Friedman
Regional Representative
European Centre for Minority Issues

Review of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program of the Government of Malaysia+
Review of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program of the Government of Malaysia

Sector?

HIV AIDS; Women; Child rights

What?

Assessment & Evaluation

Where?

Malaysia

Why?

To improve the delivery of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV programs in Malaysia it was important to establish a baseline of the ground situation. The second challenge was to find ways of engaging the growing private health care providers in this public health initiative.
Finding ways of engaging the growing private health care sector to implement the PMTCT program.

When?

2006, 2007

What exactly?

I was tasked with conceptualizing and negotiating with the government of Malaysia the conducting of the first qualitative and quantitative survey of Malaysia’s PMTCT program. I also worked closely with the teams at the Ministry of Health in the design of the study and the analysis of the results.

With- whom?

UNICEF

Ministry of Health, Malaysia

Ministry of Women and Community Development

What happened?

The first qualitative and quantitative survey of Malaysia’s PMTCT program was done. This helped Malaysia make evidence based decisions on the future direction of this program.

“ Dr Verma provides consultancy and organizational services in the development area that are second to none. His strong emphasis on stake-holder involvement in needs-assessments, project delivery and evaluation is impressive… ”

Marc Weller
Director
Eurpean Centre for Minority Issues, Germany