Scaling up community resilience to climate variability and climate change in Northern Namibia

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2019-2023, Namibia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Download document Final PIMS 5343 UNDP-GEF SCORE Terminal Evaluation ToR.pdf tor English 584.62 KB Posted 33
Download document SCORE Terminal Evaluation_Final Report (20.02.2020)_Namibia.pdf report English 1154.44 KB Posted 8
Title Scaling up community resilience to climate variability and climate change in Northern Namibia
Atlas Project Number: 00083204
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2023, Namibia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2020
Planned End Date: 10/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.4.1 Innovative nature-based and gender-responsive solutions developed, financed and applied for sustainable recovery
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
SDG Target
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: SCCF -Special Climate Change Fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 40,340
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Godwin Hlatshwayo Consultant
Hashali Hamukuaya Consultant NAMIBIA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title:
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5343
PIMS Number: 4711
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (DAPEES & DARD), Ministry of Environment and Tourism, NNFU,
Countries: NAMIBIA

Although this evaluation is planned to be carried out in the first year (2019) of the current CPD; it is not part of the current CPD Evaluation Plan (approved with the CPD). 


Summary of Lessons

Lesson 1: It is important to match the ambition of the project with the available budget and capacity.

Lesson 2: The project design was formulated with a specific stakeholder participation plan as the context. This stakeholder participation plan had indeed been negotiated during the project formulation; changing the particpation plan without adjusting the project strategy has reduced the resources available for project implementation (technical skills and co-finance) and resulted in a very limited portion of the project being implemented. It was important to quickly either stick with the project strategy, or adjust the strategy early on to match the ambition of the project to the resources available.

Lesson 3: Project level, participatory M&E was critical for assessing projects impacts and supporting knowledge management, learning and adaptive management

Lesson 4: For the popular uptake of climate-smart technologies by the wider population (not included as project beneficiaries), there was need to provide policy based incentives to encourage local manufacturing and/or affordability of the inputs for the technologies demonstrated; in this case drip irrigation pipes and related gadets, encouraged use of solar pumps rather than petrol pumps, plastic tanks, rippers,  direct seeders and water affordable, etc.

Lesson 5: While mainstreaming the project into the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, extension service was important for sustainability, it was also critical to balance the need to pilot conservation agriculture in a manner that generated knowledge about what or who needed to change what practices in which ways in order for the concept to become a reality. This might have required that the project be managed by senior staff with a more sophisticated understanding of the dynamics of using projects to engineer change and to link practice with policy.

Lesson 6.  It is important to formally handover the project officially to the government.  This can be achieved through a high-level meeting composed of, among others, the representatives of the government stakeholders’ Ministries.


Summary of findings

1. Project design undertook a thorough analysis of the challenges to building adaptive capacity and resilient production systems and livelihoods in Northern Namibia, identified four key barriers and designed an adequate project strategy to tackle the barriers effectively;

a.. The terminal evaluation concluded that the Project addressed four key barriers that hindered stakeholders (in government, civil society, private sector and communities) from adopting practices that address climate risks in baseline programs, thereby weakening adaptive capacity and resilience of the local production systems and livelihoods. These were: i) Insufficient information and know-how on new agricultural techniques (for extension, support services and local communities); ii) Limited affordability to purchase inputs for climate-resilient agricultural methods; iii) Inadequate capacity to deal systematically and in the long-term with threats posed by extreme climatic events such as drought and floods; iv) Resistance to prioritize mainstream measures to increase adaptive capacity and resilience by productive sectors.

b. The terminal evaluation concluded that the SCORE Project tackled these barriers to building adaptive capacity amongst smallholder farmers and upscaling such efforts. Both farmers and SCORE implementing institutions and staff concurred that at the end of the Project there is growing information and know-how to make use of new agricultural techniques at both the support services and local community levels. The Project also developed and demonstrated climate-smart innovations, for example, improved practices and new implements.

c. The SCORE Project identified an ambitious program of work to address these barriers, that included the three outcomes. The terminal evaluation concluded that although the strategies identified to address the barriers were adequate to address the barriers to creating adaptive capacity and resilient production systems and livelihoods in the North, the actual project as described in the Project Document sought to address too many issues in too many areas with a very small budget. Implementing the strategy outlined in the project for the six original and one additional region (added during inception phase) would require a much larger budget than the US$ 3.5 million allocated. 

d. The inadequate budget was exacerbated by the fact that the stakeholders’ participation plan has not been adhered to during the implementation period. The Project Document outlined an implementation strategy that would involve active participation of the private sector (AMTA), civil society and the two universities, a strategy which increases resources (skills and co-finance) for project implementation. However, there was no meaningful participation of civil society and universities in actual project implementation on the ground, although they remain a part of the PSC. Changing the participation plan without adjusting the project strategy reduced the resources available for project implementation and resulted in a very limited portion (12.3%) of the project being implemented with 70% of the budget spent. Project implementation focused on 5 out of 17 outputs – with most of the work done to date focusing on only two outputs - 1.4 and 1.5 - with a little bit on outputs 1.6, 2.1 and 3.3. This changed the character of the project from one focused on building adaptive capacity and resilience of the production system and livelihoods, to one demonstrating the role of conservation agriculture in tackling climate variability and climate change.

e. As assessed, barriers to success remain as continuous financial resources, technical and institutional know-how and support which communities require to tackle harsh climatic conditions in Northern Namibia (Outcomes 1 and 2); aiming to make a systemic shift in the way smallholder farming is supported through promotion of evidence-based policy development and programme/budget planning (Outcome 3). 


2. However, the project strategy adopted in the Prodoc was far too ambitious for the budget provided. The terminal evaluation concluded that the project addressed far too many issues in too wide a geographic area; which it expanded by adding another region, without a corresponding increase in budget. SCORE Project with a limited budget of USD3,050,000 had 3 outcomes, 17 outputs and 53 groups of activities, implemented over 14 constituencies (2 constituencies per region);

3. The lesson from the terminal evaluation was that rather than expand the beneficiary regions and stretch the resources even thinner, the project should have focused its work more narrowly, either by prioritized (and hence dropping) some regions or some outputs. In the future the terminal evaluation recommends more depth and less width;

4. The terminal evaluation found out that the situation above was exacerbated by the fact that the project departed from the implementation arrangement and stakeholder participation negotiated during project formulation, and which was supposed to add to technical resources and co-finance. The project changed its scope (and character) from aiming to advance adaptive capacity and resilient productive systems and livelihoods, to one that piloted climate-smart agriculture technologies for tackling climate variability and climate change while simultaneously increasing land productivity and food security. That new scope proved successful and helpful to farmers and local communities.

5. However, the project has delivered impressive results for the outputs that it prioritized. An assessment of the Logframe shows that the project has exceeded the end of project target for the objective

6. The project also contributed to the Comprehensive Agriculture Programme for Namibia (2015 - 2019) and it's National Conservation Agriculture Forum. It regularly participated in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Annual Planning Meetings at which the national climate change policy agenda and domestic budgets are decided. It held awareness-raising campaigns on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The project contributed to the formulation of CRAVE project, which mobilized USD 10m for supporting Conservation Agriculture in Kavango region.

  •  The M&E for the project was weak and vague. It was based on the GEF indicators for Adaptation Projects, which are quantitative and cannot measure impacts holistically. The project had provisions for establishing a participatory M&E plan, supported by action research, to guide learning, knowledge management, impact assessment and adaptive management. For the greater part of the Project implementation cycle that did not happen and that reduced the quality of the project, especially the opportunities for linking practice and policies.
  •  Despite the sharp focus on conservation agriculture, the project still needed to do more work to get conservation agriculture farmers to prepare their fields early enough to catch the first rains each cropping seasons. As the project closes in December 2019, it will only have one season to try and get the farmers under conservation agriculture ready to plant early enough to catch the first rains – 2018-2019. This is because if it closes in December 2019 (in the middle of the 2019-2020 cropping season), project staff were busy with project winding down procedures to effectively facilitate farmers to effectively engage with conservation agriculture.
  • Sustainability of the micro drip irrigation, especially under the group farmers mode is unlikely. Some of the plots have stopped production because some farmers don’t honour payments for water (especially where NAMWATER is used) and fuel for the pumps. The cost-benefit analysis of the vegetable growing under micro drip irrigation on such small plots (20 x30 meters) was not  undertaken, especially for groups which get the same small plot as an individual (and in some cases groups of over 20 households are sharing one 20x30 meter plot).
  • Although there was very high support for the Project and demand for the technologies piloted was very high, overall uptake of the piloted initiatives under both micro drip irrigation and conservation agriculture (ripping, seeds distribution) was further threatened by the high cost of these technologies relative to low levels of disposable incomes, and the absence of policy-based incentives to reduce the cost of these technologies while increasing affordability and easy access (availability).

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