Final Evaluation: Environmental Governance Reform Project (EGR)

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Evaluation Plan:
2019-2023, Cambodia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
04/2019
Completion Date:
10/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
17,222

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Title Final Evaluation: Environmental Governance Reform Project (EGR)
Atlas Project Number: 00088932
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2023, Cambodia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2019
Planned End Date: 04/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
  • 2. 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 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
  • 15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
Evaluation Budget(US $): 17,222
Source of Funding: USAID (cost-sharing)
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 17,222
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Steve Raaymakers EcoStrategic Consultants
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: CAMBODIA
Lessons
1.

The Cambodia EGR Project is assessed to be one of the most relevant projects that the Final Evaluation Consultant (FEC) has evaluated, in that it responds directly to a major national reform agenda as already formulated and initiated by the Minister for Environment.  The Project was driven by the needs and priorities of the beneficiary country, rather than imposed by the development partners (demand- not supply-driven).  In this regard it provides a best practice model for the design of other development projects.


2.

The technical components of the Project are assessed to be well conceived and designed based on best practices in the relevant areas of focus. However, the project design is found to be overly ambitious relative to limited timeframe and budget. A much larger and longer, phased design would have been more appropriate given the highly strategic, ambitious and complex nature of the EGR agenda.


3.

Despite major staff, time and budget constraints, the Project was still able to deliver a wide range of often high-quality activities and outputs across all four Project components, in support of the overall strategic objective of supporting the RGC’s EGR agenda.  This is a major credit to all parties involved.


4.

Despite the high rate of achievement, many of the most important outputs remain to be finalized and fully implemented by MoE and NCSD, including inter alia:

a)      finalization, adoption, enactment and implementation of the Environment Code,

b)      operationalization of the integrated ecosystem mapping decision support system; and

c)      operationalization of the new human resources and related management systems at MoE. 


5.

Given that those outputs of the Project that are designed to have the most significant impact have yet to be finalized and implemented – especially the Environment Code – it is too early to measure any significant impact.  This needs to be assessed in future years once all Project outputs are fully implemented and operationalized.


6.

If the Code is actually finalized and operationalized, it is likely to have an extremely significant, positive impact, and move Cambodia towards being a leader in best practice environment protection, natural resource management and sustainable development.


7.

If the Code is not finalized and operationalized, then the overall impact of the EGR Project is likely to be minimal, and much of the Project investment will have been wasted. This highlights the need for an EGR Project Phase 2, as outlined in section 4.5.5.


8.

An annual financial audit was conducted in January 2018 covering the period January to December 2017, and a “spot check” audit was carried out in December 2018, covering the period January to September 2018, following UNDP Financial Rules. Given a major surge in expenditure since September 2018 it is recommended that a detailed financial audit be undertaken for the whole Project after financial closure.


Findings

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