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

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Evaluation Plan:
2019-2023, Namibia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
10/2019
Completion Date:
03/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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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 redroof2009@gmail.com
Hashali Hamukuaya Consultant hashali.hamukuaya@gmail.com 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
Comments:

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). 

Lessons
1.

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.


Findings
1.

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).

Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation 1: In future similar Projects should design a participatory M&E plan in order to assess project impacts, support knowledge management, learning and adaptive management. UNDP as GEF Implementing Agency should have sufficient capacity to exercise oversight responsibilities for the M&E throughout the implementation of the project.  Similarly, MET should play its oversight roles to the fullest in the execution of the project.

2

Evaluation Recommendation 2: The Project should consider adopting tried and tested model successfully implemented in the same region, where the project work plans were generated with the teams at the regional level offices. This provides a higher level of ownership and integration.

3

Evaluation Recommendation 3: The AMAT is a critical component of project management and should be maintained. However, in future project, the AMAT should be refined well before mid term evaluation to avoid double reporting across indicators using the same targets.

4

Evaluation Recommendation 4: Future projects should learn from experiences of SCORE. To ensure that project implementation provides an opportunity for practice to inform policy processes, future project coordination structures should organise  workshops (or a discussion fora) to assess the implications of project implementation, achievements and challenges on policies and policy formulation process. It should use the lessons generated to craft advocacy messages for policy and decision-makers.

5

Evaluation Recommendation 5: In future projects, the Project Coordination Mechanism should mobilize at the very least MSc or PhD researchers to use the project for research, which will contribute to technical publications. To guide the researchers to provide information that is relevant to the project management and learning, the Project Coordination Mechanism, with guidance from the PSC should develop a series of questions/topics for which further research is required. These can be developed in the process of generating a participatory M&E systems.

6

Evaluation Recommendation 6: Future projects should engage its staff and partners to shift focus from simply implementing a disparate set of project activities, to understanding that they are primarily piloting climate-smart agriculture as a tool for adapting agriculture to climate variability and climate change. They should therefore adhere more closely to implementing the project in line with the principles of conservation agriculture and the underlying practices. Furthermore, they should implement the project in a “learning mode”, so as to contribute to the understanding of what needs to be changed within the agriculture set up, and in which ways this change should be made, if climate-smart agriculture (or just conservation agriculture) were to become the common practices.

7

Evaluation Recommendation 7: MAWF should mobilise sufficient resources to urgently mainstream the activities.  It should also empower the Lead Farmers through, for example, incentives to faciliatate and support the replication of conservation agriculture. 

8

Evaluation Recommendation 8: The Government of Namibia should deepen the current work on mainstreaming climate change into national agricultural strategy/sector policy, including adjustments to agriculture-based budgets for replication and up-scaling in the agriculture sector. SCORE Project implementation proved that the Project was as cost effective as originally proposed but its total budget was not adequate to meet the increasing needs of North Namibia.

9

Evaluation Recommendation 9: To promote adaptive learning, PMU and UNDP should ensure that project work plan development is done with full participation and consultation of various stakeholders at regional and national levels. A multi-stakeholder participation is central to successful adaptive learning. This will promote high level of ownership and integration of project outputs into regional development plans.

10

Evaluation Recommendation 10: Future projects should promote partnerships with stakeholders (civil society, universities, farmers union, etc

11

Evaluation Recommendation 11: UNDP should conduct more planned and consistent oversight missions and provide on-going guidance on PMU arrangements. 1. Hold PSC meetings at the initiation of the project to provide direction on how to endorse resolutions of the oversight mission by UNDP in collaboration with the PMU. 2. Review the PMU staff complement, provide justification for service contracts, and monitor quality of deliverables. 3. Revise the TORs of the PMU staff to render their engagement on specific deliverables and timelines. 4. Approve the desired performance targets for the PMU staff, and consistently monitor PMU performance on a monthly basis and systematically.

12

Evaluation Recommendation 12: Future projects should ensure that project beneficiaries are linked to policy education advocacy, business advisory and strengthening capacities of farmers. 

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 1: In future similar Projects should design a participatory M&E plan in order to assess project impacts, support knowledge management, learning and adaptive management. UNDP as GEF Implementing Agency should have sufficient capacity to exercise oversight responsibilities for the M&E throughout the implementation of the project.  Similarly, MET should play its oversight roles to the fullest in the execution of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]

Fully accepted, However, this project has closed, and the participatory M&E plan will be implemented in future similar GEF projects.

An M&E officer was recruited in January 2020 by UNDP for future projects M&E responsibilities. 

MET will play its oversight roles to the fullest in future projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implement participatory M&E plan in the two ongoing GEF funded projects (NILALEG and BCLME III).
[Added: 2020/03/16] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]
UNDP 2020/01 Completed UNDP will continue to Implement participatory M&E plan in the two ongoing GEF funded projects (NILALEG and BCLME III). History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 2: The Project should consider adopting tried and tested model successfully implemented in the same region, where the project work plans were generated with the teams at the regional level offices. This provides a higher level of ownership and integration.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Rejected, as per the MTR recommendations this was already addressed. In addition, future projects will make use of tried and tested models implemented in the regions with similar sets of socioenvironmental conditions based on the lessons learnt.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No Actions required
[Added: 2020/03/16]
MET, MAWF and responsible line ministries 2019/12 Completed This has been part of the regular workplans for the regional implementation officers which is done in consultation with MAWF, development partners and Regional Councilors in regional meetings. This was done to avoid repetition and oversaturation of activities.
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 3: The AMAT is a critical component of project management and should be maintained. However, in future project, the AMAT should be refined well before mid term evaluation to avoid double reporting across indicators using the same targets.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Partially accepted. This project has closed. However, in future, formulation of climate change adaptation (similar projects), a learning-by-doing approach will be adopted at the project level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Tracking tools such as PMAT for the NILALEG project to be refined before the mid-term review
[Added: 2020/03/16] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]
PMU, UNDP 2019/12 Completed This applies to future climate change adaptation related projects. History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 4: Future projects should learn from experiences of SCORE. To ensure that project implementation provides an opportunity for practice to inform policy processes, future project coordination structures should organise  workshops (or a discussion fora) to assess the implications of project implementation, achievements and challenges on policies and policy formulation process. It should use the lessons generated to craft advocacy messages for policy and decision-makers.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Rejected. As per the MTR recommendations this was already addressed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No Actions required.
[Added: 2020/03/16]
PMU facilitated by PSC 2019/12 Completed This will apply in future projects.
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 5: In future projects, the Project Coordination Mechanism should mobilize at the very least MSc or PhD researchers to use the project for research, which will contribute to technical publications. To guide the researchers to provide information that is relevant to the project management and learning, the Project Coordination Mechanism, with guidance from the PSC should develop a series of questions/topics for which further research is required. These can be developed in the process of generating a participatory M&E systems.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Rejected. As per the MTR recommendations this was already addressed and will continue to be implemented.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No Actions required.
[Added: 2020/03/16]
PMU facilitated by PSC 2019/12 Completed This applies in future projects.
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 6: Future projects should engage its staff and partners to shift focus from simply implementing a disparate set of project activities, to understanding that they are primarily piloting climate-smart agriculture as a tool for adapting agriculture to climate variability and climate change. They should therefore adhere more closely to implementing the project in line with the principles of conservation agriculture and the underlying practices. Furthermore, they should implement the project in a “learning mode”, so as to contribute to the understanding of what needs to be changed within the agriculture set up, and in which ways this change should be made, if climate-smart agriculture (or just conservation agriculture) were to become the common practices.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Rejected. As per the MTR recommendations this was already addressed and will continue to be implemented in future projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No Action required.
[Added: 2020/03/16]
PMU facilitated by PSC 2019/12 Completed This is applicable to future projects.
7. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 7: MAWF should mobilise sufficient resources to urgently mainstream the activities.  It should also empower the Lead Farmers through, for example, incentives to faciliatate and support the replication of conservation agriculture. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Rejected. This project has closed, and this will not be possible. However, the project interventions will be incorporated in the MAWF work plans using the Namibia Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Plan as a guiding tool. In future projects, the need to include a clause in the execution agreement clearly stating that the activities will be mainstreamed to ensuring sustainability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No action required as project ended.
[Added: 2020/03/16]
MAWF 2019/12 Completed For future projects, there is need to include a clause in the execution agreement clearly stating that the activities will be mainstreamed to ensuring sustainability.
8. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 8: The Government of Namibia should deepen the current work on mainstreaming climate change into national agricultural strategy/sector policy, including adjustments to agriculture-based budgets for replication and up-scaling in the agriculture sector. SCORE Project implementation proved that the Project was as cost effective as originally proposed but its total budget was not adequate to meet the increasing needs of North Namibia.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]

Fully accepted.  This project closed. However, mainstreaming climate change into National Development planning will continue be carried out in future projects and ensure that climate change is included as a priority that needs to be addressed in development plans. This will facilitate due attention to climate change by various sectors and enable annual budgeting for climate change activities relevant to respective Government Ministries and Departments. This will also help mobilise funds both in country and from other sources to implement climate change activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue to mainstream climate change into National Development planning in future projects (e.g NILALEG) and ensure that climate change is included as a priority that needs to be addressed in development plans.
[Added: 2020/03/16] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]
MET, MAWF and responsible line ministries 2019/12 Completed The Government of Namibia is taking steps to ensure that all its policies and activities are ‘climate proofed’. The Office of the Prime Minister with technical and financial support from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed the national strategy for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into Development Planning. The strategy comes in the backdrop of evolving climate change impacts that are manifesting in increased frequency and severity of such disasters as droughts, floods, veld and forest fires, extremes of temperature. The National Climate Change Policy promotes mainstreaming of public awareness, participation and access to information as a key issue of concern and importance to climate change. History
9. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 9: To promote adaptive learning, PMU and UNDP should ensure that project work plan development is done with full participation and consultation of various stakeholders at regional and national levels. A multi-stakeholder participation is central to successful adaptive learning. This will promote high level of ownership and integration of project outputs into regional development plans.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]

Rejected. All UNDP supported projects develop work plans at project levels and present them at inception and PSC meetings for stakeholder’s inputs and approval.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No action required
[Added: 2020/03/16]
PMU, UNDP 2019/12 Completed
10. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 10: Future projects should promote partnerships with stakeholders (civil society, universities, farmers union, etc

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]

Rejected. This is already happening. UNDP has standing MoU with Academia, NGO and works closely with other development partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No Action required.
[Added: 2020/03/16] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]
PMU 2019/12 Completed This applies to future climate change adaptation related projects. History
11. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 11: UNDP should conduct more planned and consistent oversight missions and provide on-going guidance on PMU arrangements. 1. Hold PSC meetings at the initiation of the project to provide direction on how to endorse resolutions of the oversight mission by UNDP in collaboration with the PMU. 2. Review the PMU staff complement, provide justification for service contracts, and monitor quality of deliverables. 3. Revise the TORs of the PMU staff to render their engagement on specific deliverables and timelines. 4. Approve the desired performance targets for the PMU staff, and consistently monitor PMU performance on a monthly basis and systematically.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Partially accepted. This project has closed. However, in future similar GEF projects, UNDP will provide its oversight roles in line with the firewall between oversight and project execution support services. Further, UNDP will comply with the M&E contained in the Project M&E plan.

In accordance with the  assisted NIM procedures, UNDP (if asked to manage the contracts) will apply the appropriate modality, i.e. SC or ICs. It must be noted that UNDP cannot manage contracts nor performances of PMU staff who hold other partner’s contracts, as it is not in line with the UNDP policies. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In future projects, UNDP will carry out oversight functions according to the oversight guidelines.
[Added: 2020/03/16] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]
UNDP 2019/12 Completed This applies to future climate change adaptation related projects. History
12. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 12: Future projects should ensure that project beneficiaries are linked to policy education advocacy, business advisory and strengthening capacities of farmers. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/03/11] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]

Partially accepted. This project closed. However in future similar projects, projects will ensure linkages to advocacy, awareness and education as a way to enhance the capacities of farmers.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In future, similar projects will ensure linkages to advocacy, awareness and education advocacy.
[Added: 2020/03/16] [Last Updated: 2020/05/27]
PMU 2019/12 Completed This will apply in future similar projects. History

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