Terminal Evaluation Small Grants Programme (SGP/GEF/UNDP) in Ecuador: Sixth Operational Phase (OP6). Promoting Biocorridors for Living Well

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Evaluation Plan:
2019-2022, Ecuador
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2019
Completion Date:
06/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation Small Grants Programme (SGP/GEF/UNDP) in Ecuador: Sixth Operational Phase (OP6). Promoting Biocorridors for Living Well
Atlas Project Number: 00085032
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2022, Ecuador
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2019
Planned End Date: 06/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
SDG Goal
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 12,075
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF SGP in Ecuador
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 9460
PIMS Number: 5746
Key Stakeholders: Ministerio del Ambiente. organizaciones comunitarias, sociedad civil.
Countries: ECUADOR
Lessons
Findings
1.

5.1.Project design and formulation

a.Project design

Pertinence was assessed in the SGP design: actions’ substantial definition and the pertinence and coherence between norms, objectives, measures and means that rule and guide them were considered. Moreover, the extent to which SGP OP6’s objectives were coherent with the people’s needs and interests, Ecuador’s needs and GEF’s objectives were assessed. Furthermore, OP6’s relevance regarding national priorities and context was analyzed, along with the contributions from the implemented actions to the SGP’s objectives. In respect of design, it was found to be adequately founded in OP5’s evaluation results and has followed a RBM approach present in SIMONAA. SGP OP6 is aligned to the national political framework which promotes a “Good Living” based sustainable development planning.


Tag: Relevance Small Grants Programme Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Infrastructure Trade and Development

2.

b.Logical Framework Analysis/ Results Framework (project’s logic/strategy; indicators)

The project’s logical framework and its indicators were analyzed in order to grade the results achievement regarding coherence, pertinence and effectiveness.

Based on PIR 2018, 17 indicators were assessed: 3 for Objective, 3 for Outcome 1, 3 for Outcome 2, 3 for Outcome 3 and 5 for Outcome 4; as well as the established base line and targets for 2019.

OP6’s operational strategy is based on: a) articulation enhancement between Bio corridors and land planning, b) strengthening of multi-stakeholder and multi-level intervention, and c) design and implementation of and innovative and adequate management model. The evaluation reviewed the information produced by SGP and NGOs, undertook a field mission that confirmed that the problematic was correctly identified and described as well as the proposed intervention strategy which is framed within OP6 managing model, which consistently led to the expected outcomes achievement. The mechanisms use for information gathering in order to supervise and verify targets have been correct, as well as the access to verification sources. OP6 adjusted the Monitoring, Technical Assistance System (SIMONAA), incorporating financial information and synthesizing the tool with an innovative monitoring and evaluation model that involved communities in the report production, leaving installed capacities for future actions and providing the means for CBOs to make a social control over the programmes resources. This innovation enabled EQUIPATEs to assist all the community organizations and to accomplish with data gathering at all levels and account for territorial articulation.


Tag: Small Grants Programme Innovation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Technical Support

3.

 

 

OP6 has faced the challenge of ecosystem fragmentation due to an extractive logic both at corporate level (minerals, shrimp breeding pools, timber) and from land-intensive use (monoculture, agro chemical use), and to the expansion of the agricultural border on behalf of rural communities as an unsustainable livelihood.

SGP’s contribution is to promote the development of BCLW that restore ecosystems fostering ecologic connectivity through the conservation and/or restoration of fragile forests and native vegetation areas and the promotion of productive landscapes. It has been critical to rely on local communities’ organizations that manage environmental protection and local economic development processes, putting an end to the conservation vs. productive development dichotomy. National and local government participation in planning and consolidating dialogue spaces on political incidence, management and governance has been also fundamental. Universities, NGOs and the private sector, come together for the construction of socio-ecological resilience towards territories sustainability that are subject to various threats.


Tag: Agriculture Forestry Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Environment Policy Site Conservation / Preservation Challenges Country Government Reconstruction Civil Societies and NGOs Private Sector

4.

The Programme’s portfolio comprehensively included capacity enhancement proposals for all territories: georeferencing, PTIs and ICCA.

As examples of these, the following projects stood out: geo-referenced maps on land coverage and use, vegetation coverage of biocorridors for the identification of the ecosystems’ ecological connectivity, which has been considered as an appropriate strategy for indicators and expected outcomes verification and to improve the organizations knowledge on their territories. The PTI Project designed and implemented an ad hoc methodology in order to develop PTIs as entrepreneurship based on inclusive and fair marketing chains, access to new markets such as organic top-quality chocolates that reach foreign markets and comply with European strict quality regulations. Finally, selected TICCAs within de BCLW framework, developed a strong strategy to protect these Life Territories and reinforce indigenous peoples and nations rights as part of GGSI/UNDP’s ICCA10 international initiative that is also supported by German cooperation agencies.


Tag: Natural Resouce management Results-Based Management Value Chain Capacity Building

5.

 

Risks and assumptions

The Project Document (2016) identifies five main risks at the Programme’s start-up:

1-Development of socio-environmental conflicts in the Biocorridors as a result of extractive practices;

2-Vulnerability of Biocorridor projects facing extreme meteorological phenomena and other climate related risk, like the El Niño Phenomenon

3-Weak development of local products and structural obstacles in access to markets from state control and adverse public regulations

4-Electoral political processes prevent agreement in Regional Working Groups or multi-stakeholder platforms.

5-Associations and partnerships lose motivation in anticipation of an eventual economic crisis in the country.
 


Tag: Natural Disaster Election Risk Management Value Chain

6.

e.Lessons learned from other relevant projects

Based on SGP’s 25-year experience in Ecuador, that has specifically focused on working with NGOs and rural and indigenous communities, OP5’s lessons learned on outcomes achievement have been considered for OP6’s intervention strategy, presenting challenges for the initiatives’ scaling.

Ecuador’s GEF SGP OP5 was centered in biocorridors creation in four regions with priority ecosystems, and OP6 aimed at working with CBO groups in strategic alliances (social alliances), in opposition to individual CBOs, involving universities and GADs. These components have been crucial for the OP6’s strategy formulation and enabled to include nature and nature’s conservation into the public agendas, along with sustainable production and income generating criteria for the most vulnerable groups in each corridor; issues that have been prioritized in the debate spaces.


Tag: Ecosystem services Small Grants Programme Knowledge management Civil Societies and NGOs Indigenous people

7.

f.Stakeholder’s expected participation

The Project adopted a participative planning strategy that is renowned by the communities. OP6 has been successful in including a participative strategy as an innovation regarding OP5. In this phase, community participation was enhanced in landscape planning and management through multi stakeholders’ platforms (MTB). These platforms included community organizations, national and local public institutions representatives. Thus, communities’ strategic participation and representation within the 10 biocorridors governance structure, was strengthened.

Most interviewees made emphasis on the communities and their member’s commitment since the project’s start and they remarked that the managing articulation has been correct and pertinent. At the same time, the relationship between communities and EQUIPATEs is to stand out.

Furthermore, MTBs stand out as crucial moments for key stakeholders’ involvement, being the Inception, Experience Exchange and Closure Workshops, the most important spaces.


Tag: Biodiversity Regional Institutions Civil Societies and NGOs National Institutions Private Sector Country Support Platform

8.

Additionally, the creation of Scholarship Funds resulted in a recognized and appreciated tool within the communities to incentive youth participation and to achieve a technical approach on behalf of the communities. Both scholarship beneficiaries and other community stakeholders, perceive this support as a central issue for technical, managing, communication and participation improvement.

Ecuador’s SGP has established a collaboration and action cooperation alliance with PASNAP, which has been very successful in terms of actions coordination, methodology exchange and implementation, considering lessons from both programs, leveraging funds from international cooperation (GEF/UNDP/UNOPS and German cooperation), and adapting management models to make compatible those form the various partners, compatible.


Tag: Youth Knowledge management Education

9.

Likewise, Green Crowds platform (available on: https://greencrowds.org/) has demonstrated to be an innovative initiative on OP6, which has acquired great recognition and a successful position and has enabled to identify funding alternative sources that involve new stakeholders in face of Budget restrictions. This strategy stands out for promoting the enhancement of liaisons among communities, civil society and the private sector, generating a funding expansion opportunity for initiatives with added value and innovation, and directly impact on the sustainability of those projects that have received SGP’s seed funding.


Tag: Country Support Platform Innovation

10.

Regarding women’s involvement, the recollected data reveal it has been a key aspect in the design’s and implementation’s success, both regarding the number of involved women and the different types of activities undertaken. Discussing equal opportunities and gender equality in training spaces meant,for a lot of women, their first opportunity for autonomous development.


Tag: Gender Equality Capacity Building

11.

The Scholarship Fund strategy, which acted as a mechanism to involve young people in the biocorridors management and sustainability, increased the possibility of accessing specialized technicians for the communities’ profit (for example, specific research on a lagoon that implied that new water intakes were possible and were postgraduate thesis 2 scholars that developed one year long on site investigation). ICCAs initiative, as a project, engaged indigenous communities as stakeholders and made their actual conservation strategies for their territories visible.


Tag: Education Indigenous people

12.

g.Replication approach

Ecuador’s SGP OP6 has a successful replication and knowledge management strategy. Example of this is the role played by a group of young people that disseminated their skills among their communities so as other young people can be integrated into de process.

Its replication capacity has been consolidated, as well as knowledge management of successful and non-successful experiences. Experiences and lessons learned seminars have been positively valued activities and have contributed to this scheme.

Bio corridors projects have worked on a replication scheme and training from these organizations towards the rest of the biocorridors organizations, seeking to implement and enhance sustainable practices. PASNAP’s role as a key ally, has been identified as crucial for replication at OP6 and as alearned lesson for future MAE landscape-based interventions.


Tag: Communication Country Support Platform Knowledge management Sustainability Youth

13.

A variety of stakeholders involved in SGP, pointed out that Ecuador’s SGP has been most innovative in implementing the landscape approach through Biocorridors for Living Well and its management model constitutes an example to be considered.


Tag: Tourism Small Grants Programme Innovation Sustainability South-South Cooperation Youth

14.

h.UNDP/UNOPS comparative advantages

UNDP plays an outstanding leading role and is recognized for providing valuable contributions on policies and knowledge transference to the country; and its image is favorable within the national government.

Its accountability and transparency on management are well known by the public opinion and it is recognized by its incidence capacity in various levels: the civil society and its organizations, the public and private sectors.


Tag: Anti-corruption Rule of law Knowledge management UN Agencies

15.

i.Links between GEF SGP OP6 and other interventions within the sector

Ecuador is a party of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which origin is in the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Río de Janeiro in 1992. Ecuador ratified Kyoto’s Protocol in 1999 as a country included in Annex 1 (SNAP), and the Ministry of Environment is the National authority for environmental management.

Ecuador’s National Constitution (2008), recognizes nature’s rights in its article 71, on the base of full respect for the existence, preservation and regeneration of the vital cycles, the structures, functions and evolutionary processes of nature. Ecuador also commits to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Objectives and 169 goals which, within the context of natural resources conservation, aim to protect the planet from degradation, through sustainable consumption and production, sustainable management of the natural resources and the adoption of urgent measures on climate change, to be able to satisfy the actual and future generation’s needs.


Tag: Biodiversity Protected Areas Local Governance Knowledge management Oversight Programme Synergy Civil Societies and NGOs Indigenous people Private Sector

16.

j.Management arrangements

Ecuador’s SGP OP6 was implemented in ten Bio corridors and in four territories (coast, Northern and Central Highlands and Amazon). As a support strategy, Technical Assistance, Evaluation and Monitoring Teams (EQUIPATEs) and Biocorridors management committees were formed.

As a management strategy, joint work among the communities was promoted, expanding their perspectives and capacities to achieve projects for Bio corridors, which required to establish as center axis a management strategy on different levels. In this sense, the Programme promoted the creation and implementation of multi stakeholder platforms (MTB in Spanish), as coordination spaces and accountable for convoking the organizations to present their projects’ proposals. These proposals had to include the articulation with government institutions, GADs, private sector and universities, in order to demonstrate their capacities of generating alliances that will cover the whole Bio corridor to design and implement their Bio corridor projects. These requirements were aimed at ensuring associativity, the biocorridor approach and the process’ sustainability.


Tag: Regional Local Governance Human and Financial resources Oversight Project and Programme management Private Sector

17.

GADs acknowledge the MTB’s meetings importance for disseminating information on the project’s implementation, alternative stakeholders co-financing (local governments, NGO, others) and to promote an effective articulation.

MAE has contributed with technical assistance, and the communities acknowledge this role as a crucial input. MAG’s role was not as visible, but communities recognize the importance of its presence and of reinforcing it in the future. OP6 management model has surpassed challenges identified in OP5, for example, through the inclusion of political spheres of articulation for the Biocorridor’s governance and the contributions of public policies such as agro ecological fairs. Notwithstanding, not all the communities perceive the national ministries as key stakeholders within the MTBs and consider that their involvement should be strengthened.


Tag: Local Governance Project and Programme management Country Government National Institutions

18.

5.2.SGP OP6 implementation

This section includes the assessment of Ecuador’s SGP OP6 aspects that have been crucial for its successful implementation and its objectives and outcomes achievement in the country’s framework.

SGP’s National Coordination developed the Project Document (PRODOC) and updated the Country Strategy considering the National Plan for Good Living (PNBV) 2013-2017 and other MAE documents regarding connectivity with a view to conservation and from the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) regarding marketing networks. It also considered Satomaya Initiative’s (COMDEKS) progress (connectivity indicators) and AICHI targets from the Biodiversity Plan. This framework was considered for developing the Bio corridors project’s design guidelines.


Tag: Programme/Project Design

19.

a. Adaptive management (changes in the Programme’s design and outcomes during its execution)

SGP OP6 was implemented by UNOPS and UNDP as the accountable partner. In the programmes execution context, the NSC plays an important role as multi stakeholder manager and it is composed by civil society organizations and government representatives. PASNAP’s fundamental role was previously described in the above sections.

To select the EQUIPATE (monitoring and evaluation team) a contest was held among NGOs with broad experience in the landscapes. The EQUIPATEwere responsible for technical assistance and monitoring and they substantially contributed to the CBO’s empowerment in a management and evaluation tools learning process.


Tag: Oversight Partnership Project and Programme management Country Government Civil Societies and NGOs

20.

b.Association arrangements (with relevant stakeholders in the country/region)

This dimension evaluates the Programme’s outputs adaptation and transformation. To this end, the stakeholder’s involvement in implementation, and the outcomes sustainability and effectiveness were assessed, especially those from the local communities that design and implement projects with grants resources.

Ecuador’s strategy sought for community organizations, that have had individual projects during previous operational phases in the target territories, associate in order to enhance the outcomes on the territory. This strategy was effective on surpassing the lack of cooperation resources, which could have led to competition among the communities and organizations.


Tag: Local Governance Operational Efficiency

21.

c.M&E feedback on activities for adaptive management.

SGPs technical team adapted SIMONAA supervision and monitoring tool and trained EQUIPATEs and Bio corridor’s project to implement it. Each EQUIPATE was responsible for SIMONAA implementation through field visits to different associations and intervention areas. These visits were rotational and included meetings with all the project’s members. This role is greatly acknowledged by the communities, which perceive the activities’ accompaniment and monitoring as appropriate.

EQUIPATEs were co-responsible for the MTB’s hosting and coordination, as part of the working strategy designed for the Bio corridor’s consolidation and the Management Committee’s capacity enhancement.

Semi-annual reports that consider SGP’s different levels have proposed a progressive knowledge management scheme that has been effective for the Programme’s M&E feedback. SIMONAA is presented as an important tool for SGP’s knowledge management (reports to the headquarters, national counterparts, strategic allies and biocorridor project managers) and for accountability, final standardization, communication products design, among others. Nevertheless, a few problems aroused regarding this tool’s implementation and simplification requirements should be reviewed.


Tag: Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation

22.

d.GEF SGP OP6 Financial Analysis

The key financial aspects have been assessed, including the planned and executed co-financing scope, counterpart contributions, the Programme’s costs, including yearly expenses, as well as variations between planned and executed expenses. Ecuador’s GEF/UNDP SGP and UNOPS worked coordinately, providing a quality and timely service, supporting CBOs and EQUIPATES to ensure an appropriate accountability. The innovative role of other grantees, such as PASNAP and GreenCrowds, was also assessed.


Tag: Global Environment Facility fund Resource mobilization Human and Financial resources Innovation

23.

The table above shows that the Government co-financing was under the expected amount, reaching only 62,63% of the planned amount. This government proposal (which finally did not reach the expected) constitutes a learned lesson on the flexibility designs must include in order to contemplate contingencies such as this and that, despite the government assumed commitments for the Programme’s co-financing, it is important to keep Ecuador’s SGP resource mobilization strategy in order to cope with contingencies and achieve the expected outcomes.

Civil society’s financial sources commitment, on the contrary, exceeded the plans in the PRODOC, revealing a highly satisfactory resources mobilization.

It is to note that, in all the communities visited on the field mission, the investments made with SGPs grants are tangible (construction, materials, equipment, family food gardens, etc.).


Tag: Resource mobilization Small Grants Programme Civil Societies and NGOs

24.

e.Monitoring and evaluation: design and implementation

This section assesses the M&E system’s quality and utility, analyzing the established mechanisms and tools to weigh the project’s implementation outcomes. In Ecuador’s case, as mentioned on Section C, SIMONAA system was applied and used to worked on the implementations adjustments in order to allow the project’s improvement.


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Capacity Building

25.

f.UNDP/UNOPS and partner’s execution during implementation (concerning coordination and operational aspects)

UNDP plays a distinguished role assisting and supporting civil society and has a 25-year experience inUNDP GEF SGP implementation. UNOPS’ contribution is concerning administration, procurement and recruitment norms and has fiduciary responsibility in contract signing. UNDP and UNOPS have highly qualified staff and with skills to articulate with government, donors, civil society networks, promoting incidence in the addressed issues. This has been crucial to ensure the funded project’s quality both concerning their design and formulation, as supervision and monitoring.

UNDP/UNOPS and GEF’s capacity and provided technical assistance in procurement, recruitment, monitoring and evaluation, resource and knowledge management, promoting applicable international best practices identification, stand out as an added value.


Tag: Operational Efficiency Partnership Project and Programme management UN Agencies

26.

5.3. Project’s Outcomes

The expected outcomes and indicators were accomplished in most cases, and even exceeded in others. The following list mentions the main project’s achievements: Ecologic connectivity:

  • 276 communities involved in connectivity activities
  • 101.914,9 conserves hectares
  • 10 georreferenced OP6’s achievement maps
  • 16 georreferenced OP5’s achievement maps
  • 10 updated Action Plans
  • 10 implemented Biocorridors
  • 25 community agreements on ecosystem conservation, regeneration and protection signed and ratified
  • 925 women and 429 young people involved in reforestation, restoration and conservation campaigns
  • 150 workshops on conservation, reforestation and environment

Tag: Ecosystem based adaption Natural Resouce management Protected Areas Effectiveness Gender Equality Value Chain

27.

Regarding, Outcome 3 (Improved sustainability and productivity of agro ecosystems in the targeted Biocorridors), the achieved outcomes exceed the expected ones. Particularly, community encouragement projects contributed to enhance sustainability of the production systems through the agro ecological and agro forestry, native fish’s aquaculture practices and PTIs development, which also increased income generation. Twenty-one sustainable soil management practices have been consolidated and 3 new practices have been developed: soil recovery, bio digesters implantation in farms to promote sustainable energy sources and preserve crop genetic heritage.


Tag: Agriculture Crop production Fishery Forestry Environment Policy Effectiveness Inclusive economic growth

28.

 Outcome 3

Likewise, the “Enhancement of Rio Chone-La Segua-cordillera del Bálsamo Bio corridor” project in the coast region involved community eco-tourism, cuisine and local crafts and achieved: i) a bird watching PTI that increased the beneficiaries income generation and reduced pressure on natural resources through the creation of the “bird watching road” in the Bio corridor and the improvement of touristic infrastructure and equipment; and ii) make progress in the conservation of a target species, the mangrove crab (Cardisoma crassum) and the incorporation of two emblematic bird species to the conservation efforts: the Frigate bird (Fregatamagnificens), of importance for the local biodiversity and its relation to the PTI; and the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), a migratory bird with conservation significance and a referent in the Bio corridor’s PTI. The executing CBO was “Cooperativa San Francisco”, where 1800 people (810 women and 990 men) were involved. The PTI’s massive dissemination was made through social and communication media.


Tag: Biodiversity Natural Resouce management River basin management Tourism Wildlife Conservation Effectiveness

29.

In the Center Highlands, the “Enhancement of the bio Corridor Cóndor Chuquiragia Cañari” project included community actions for conservation, restoration and protection of the páramo ecosystem through community and individual conservation negotiations and agreements, agro forestry practices and protection of water sources. To this end, focus was made on a production activity such as alpaca breeding and the improvement of crafts for commercialization in order to improve the families’ income generation in the Cebadaloma, Colepao, Cubilán and Comuna Caguanapamba communities. A complete line of clothes and accessories was developed by capacity building activities and the identification of strategic selling points so families could sell their products in a continuous way.


Tag: Forestry Natural Resouce management Tourism Water resources Effectiveness Value Chain

30.

Concerning the families’ improved alternative livelihoods from PTIs, 24 new products quality and productive process improvement with the participation of 511 families. These new products were: Quinoa and amaranth pasta (without gluten); coffee; chocolate; bakery (achira -Andean native root-bread, non-gluten oca –native Andean tuber-biscuit); mashua yoghurt; chame- a wetland native species; crafts and clothes made up from alpaca fiber, gadua cane (furniture and houses); touristic products: touristic services, restaurant services, touristic routs, community tourism, agro tourism, bird watching and eco-tourism.


Tag: Biodiversity Tourism Effectiveness Communication Jobs and Livelihoods Value Chain

31.

b.Relevance:

The Programme is relevant concerning the country’s objectives, the 2030 Agenda, community’s objectives, interests and needs in a local level and GEF’s intervention areas.

It contributes with the new concept of Bio corridors for Living Well, with its three approaches: ecological connectivity (conservation, restoration and remediation); sustainable productive landscapes (agro ecology and agro forestry); associativity (community organizations’ capacity strengthening and PTI development), based on the UNDP ART initiative (Territorial Articulation for Human Sustainable Development). This has been an important strategic step for the Country Programme, which is institutionally endorsed by Ecuador’s Organic Code for Land Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization (COOTAD), which in 2010 restored to the local governments (provincial, municipal and parishes) land use planning and decision making on natural resources management. In this way, SGP’s alignment with the Ecuadorian government’s decentralized approach is evidenced.


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Site Conservation / Preservation Relevance Reconstruction Agenda 2030 Civil Societies and NGOs National Institutions Regional Institutions

32.

c.Effectiveness and efficiency:

The resources administration has been Highly Satisfactory (HS).

The Governments original compromise on co-financing through MAE was modified during the design phase, reducing it by more than a half11. In spite of this obstacle, the remaining counterpart funds were correctly and duly executed, complementing GEF’s funds and transforming the crisis into an opportunity, going from associative projects to Bio corridor’s projects that were successfully executed. EQUIPATE’s involvement in the project’s implementations and supervision in considered appropriate by the parties, including its technical capacities and flexibility for problem solving.

The Programme’s outcomes and outputs are visible in the Bio corridors and the effective execution of the community projects. The expected outcomes were achieved and, in some cases, exceeded. In this sense, the Programme’s effectiveness is considered Highly Satisfactory (HS).


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation

33.

d.Country’s ownership:

The Programme is consistent with national policies, agreements and plans, such as 2008 Constitution and other official documents, and is considered highly integrated to the government actions. Also, it is coherent and contributes to the UN Framework in Ecuador.

It is also consistent with the National Plan for “Good Living” 2013-2017 and with MAE’s documents on connectivity for conservation and MAGAP’s reports on Commercial Networks. In the same way, (connectivity indicators), and AICHI targets form the Biodiversity Plan and TICCA global initiative.


Tag: Ownership Policies & Procedures Country Government

34.

e.Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming ability of the Programme’s outcomes and its ownership, which is a key aspect for sustainability and impacts on the long term, has been also considered in this evaluation.

PTIs are recognized as articulating and crosscutting elements within the Bio corridors, with a positive impact and enabling to mainstream the project’s approach.

Additionally, georreferenced information with emphasis on spatial patterns of ecological connectivity, and the Sustainable Productive Landscapes and Associativity, stand out as a mainstreaming contribution for SGP OP6’s successful performance.


Tag: Communication Sustainability Jobs and Livelihoods

35.

f. Sustainability:

The Programme’s sustainability was assessed as probable (P) given the moderate financial risks and the low socio economic, institutional and environmental risks to maintain the Programme’s outcomes on a long term. Sustainability of each of the granted projects has not been thoroughly assessed on this ET.

Organizational sustainability is highly likely, since capacities have been built among community organizations and organizations networks on the different corridors, as well as MTB, Management Committees and an NSC.

Productive projects’ economic sustainability is highly likely based on the included technology improvements: natural compost, natural wind barriers, and other measures that had positive impacts on production.

Also concerning economic sustainability, the communities’ initiatives to complement SGP’s external grants through a community bank. This strategy was proposed by the farmers and indigenous organizations and aims to create a platform that allow its members to access bank credits to purchase inputs that ensure agricultural production and the families’ economic sustainability.


Tag: Environment Policy Sustainability Country Support Platform Micro-credit Indigenous people

36.

Youth participation and the capacity building among this group is a sustainability aspect that should be deeply analyzed, considering the rural population ageing and the challenge that demographic sustainability represents. Scholarship grants project and emphasis on youth leadership (as in education and training activities) is a relevant element to achieve such sustainability. Communication activities have also contributed to the outcome’s dissemination and the community’s participation, along with local and regional ownership and sustainability.


Tag: Sustainability Education Capacity Building Youth

37.

The Programme’s financial sustainability is nearly achieved through the different cofunding sources that continue to support the undertaken activities. GEF’s OP7 has been formally requested and is expected to continue with the current institutional partners.

UNDP’s support translates in sustainability for the involved organizations by making their problems visible on an environmental and socioeconomic threats context such as the extension of certain agricultural and touristic initiatives that may undermine the Bio corridors’ creation and continuance. Also, communities point out that public officers’ rotation has been a great challenge for the project technical team on reestablishing commitments, which has struck in processes that may affect sustainability.


Tag: Challenges Sustainability

38.

g.Impact:

Project’s terminal evaluations rarely give account of the achieved impacts due to the lack of information, the processes complexity and the time framework required for impacts to be visible. These may be appreciable years after the project’s completion.

Despite this, the TE has valued progress towards future impacts achievement. Particularly, the following aspects were considered: a) Adaptive Landscapes Management Plans implementation in 10 Bio corridors in key ecosystems, b) biodiversity conservation for ecological connectivity in the key ecosystems, c) sustainability and agro ecosystem’s productivity improvement in the selected Bio corridors and, d) associations’ and communities’ empowerment within the corridors.


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Site Conservation / Preservation Jobs and Livelihoods

39.

Gender and opportunity equity have been thoroughly addressed in various spaces and communities affirm receiving training on such topics. There is a common understanding that women have more participation in the projects. Nevertheless, there are no signs of impacts that reveal democratization within the communities and families concerning decision making and gender impact in family responsibilities.

On the other hand, some territories have several associative projects that are executed by women organizations. Notwithstanding, all territories require greater efforts on awareness on this matter, especially among men, and to make women’s work visible.


Tag: Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Jobs and Livelihoods

Recommendations
1

Se recomienda tomar en consideración en su diseño acciones que permitan mitigar el impacto de un proceso marcado por cambios políticos y austeridad fiscal que pueden cambiar las prioridades nacionales

2

Se recomienda realizar un diagnóstico actualizado sobre los factores económicos, productivos y políticos que de acuerdo con la información recopilada han sufrido algunos cambios que podrían impactar en los proyectos que se planteen.

3

Se recomienda que los planes de capacitación puedan ser enriquecidos con nuevos aportes (tanto de las comunidades como de otros actores claves), de tal modo que se pueda priorizar, especialmente para las mujeres indígenas, sus necesidades y la accesibilidad de los contenidos.

4

Se recomienda no asumir compromisos en términos de expansión geográfica para asegurar la misma calidad en la ejecución y avanzar en otros aspectos y desafíos que se evidenciaron durante la FO6.

5

Se recomienda prever acciones encaminadas a fortalecer la participación ya existente de los Ministerios de Ambiente y de Agricultura y Ganadería en los espacios de gestión directo con las comunidades.

6

Se recomienda fortalecer vínculos con nuevos actores del sector académico y empresarial para la FO7, especialmente vinculados con los PITs.

7

Se recomienda mantener la estrategia de género, y fortalecer la visibilidad del rol de las mujeres en el liderazgo de iniciativas comunitarias.

8

Se recomienda que el valor de la conservación sea puesto especialmente de relevancia durante la FO7 y que esta experiencia exitosa pueda ser especialmente compartida en los intercambios de buenas prácticas del PPD a nivel internacional, tal como se realizó en la FO6 con en el marco de la cooperación Sur-Sur.

9

Se recomienda continuar fortaleciendo el rescate de la agro-biodiversidad en cada uno de los territorios y explicitar su aporte a la soberanía y seguridad alimentaria dentro de las comunidades.

10

Es recomendable fortalecer la colaboración con otros proyectos de conservación relevantes y de agricultura alternativa.

11

Se recomienda involucrar al sector privado mediante un mecanismo estratégico del Proyecto, desarrollando estrategias de mercadeo y estrategias para alcanzar economías de escala. Analizar la pertinencia en la difusión de resultados y evaluar junto con las cámaras de negocios.

12

Se recomienda continuar fortaleciendo las iniciativas de turismo comunitario sostenible, diversificando la oferta gastronómica, promocionando los sitios de importancia cultural

13

Se recomienda mantener y fortalecer las alianzas estratégicas con las universidades. Se considera apropiado incluir a aquellas instituciones con programas y experiencia en procesos de calidad, marketing y comercialización.

14

Se recomienda mantener la estrategia de género y fortalecer la visibilidad del rol de las mujeres en el liderazgo de iniciativas comunitarias, reforzando la asociatividad de las entidades comunitarias que integran.

15

Es recomendable que se pueda realizar un trabajo de evaluación individualizado con cada comunidad a fin de identificar los desafíos particulares de participación y asociatividad de cara a la FO7, debido a los cambios políticos e institucionales que se pueden haber producido durante la FO6.

16

Se sugiere continuar promoviendo alianzas estratégicas con universidades e instituciones de formación, para que jóvenes campesinos puedan especializarse y la academia incorpore en sus currícula e investigaciones temas que hacen al patrimonio alimentario de los biocorredores. 

17

Se recomienda diseñar y desarrollar estrategias que permitan extender a futuro los logros obtenidos en el marco de la FO6 en Ecuador a otras regiones, incluyendo el intercambio de buenas prácticas (BP).

18

Se recomienda fortalecer el intercambio de experiencias de aquellos productos que ya cuentan con registros sanitarios a fin de compartir las buenas prácticas identificadas, tal como se evidencia en al caso de CAFÉ EL ENCANTO, el cual cuenta con marca registrada, el registro sanitario y el diseño de empaque.

19

Se recomienda reforzar el programa de becas para fortalecer los conocimientos académicos para lograr objetivos de conservación, y mantener la adecuada participación de los jóvenes que además ha demostrado un importante impacto en la cohesión social de las comunidades.

20

Es recomendable fortalecer el proceso de comunicación y difusión social, que contemple una estrategia de comunicación interna dentro del PNUD; y mejoras respecto al acceso a las plataformas virtuales por parte de las comunidades, ya que no todas cuentan con acceso a internet.

21

Sería oportuno fortalecer la plataforma GreenCrowds a nivel mundial con el soporte de la sede del PPD a fin de que la misma pueda ampliar sus objetivos.

22

Se recomienda mantener la metodología de la sistematización de las experiencias y proyectos en la FO7, la misma que ha resultado ser exitosa. Las organizaciones comunitarias reconocen la importancia de generar documentos de la experiencia.

23

Se destaca que, para algunas comunidades y EQUIPATE, el sistema de monitoreo presenta algunas dificultades en el uso del SIMONAA. Se recomienda que estas dificultades puedan ser revisadas y resueltas para la FO7, en el marco de las buenas prácticas implementadas en la FO6 como el rol de los EQUIPATE, los talleres de arranque, que incluyen capacitaciones sobre esta herramienta y, la asistencia técnica que se brinda desde la oficina de la coordinación del Programa.

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