Terminal Evaluation _STRENGTHENING LIBERIA’S CAPABILITY TO PROVIDE CLIMATE INFORMATION AND SERVICES TO ENHANCE CLIMATE RESILIENT DEVELOPMENT AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2019, Liberia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2019
Completion Date:
03/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation _STRENGTHENING LIBERIA’S CAPABILITY TO PROVIDE CLIMATE INFORMATION AND SERVICES TO ENHANCE CLIMATE RESILIENT DEVELOPMENT AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Atlas Project Number: 00074351
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2019, Liberia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2019
Planned End Date: 03/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Goal
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
SDG Target
  • 11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,672
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Angelance Brown National Consultant angelance_browne@yahoo.com
ALEXANDRE BORDE International Consultant
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: STRENGTHENING LIBERIA’S CAPABILITY TO PROVIDE CLIMATE INFORMATION AND SERVICES TO ENHANCE CLIMATE RESILIENT DEVELOPMENT AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4950
PIMS Number: 4858
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Transport; Ministry of Mines and Energy; Ministry of Internal Affairs; National Disaster Relief Commission; Ministry of Agriculture
Countries: LIBERIA
Lessons
Findings
1.

3. Project Evaluation

3.1.Project strategy

Project Design

In this part, the design of the project as outlined in the Project Document is analyzed in order to identify whether the strategy is proving to be effective in reaching the desired results. Several projects in Liberia and similar initiatives were considered during the designing of the project and its components. Furthermore, the design is based on country ownership, country eligibility and is country driven with relevant national initiatives and frameworks taken into account. During the project formulation, extensive multilateral stakeholder consultations in the project zones took place. These consultations have ensured that the proposed project is grounded in local realities whilst being aligned to national policy and a stakeholder involvement plan provided a framework to guide interaction between implementing partners and the key stakeholders during the process. The topic of gender was also regarded through stakeholders concerned with promoting the involvement of women during project development and implementation.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Ownership Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Theory of Change

2.

3.1.1. Indicators Indicators put in place to achieve the project goals  

Within the logical framework, Objectively Verifiable Indicators (OVI) were proposed. Their relevance is analyzed. The logical framework proposes a cross-cutting indicator in order to assess the attainment of the project’s objective as follows:- 

• Assess the relevance of the project; • Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the project in achieving its intended results; • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the project execution; • Assess the impacts of the project regarding the initial objectives • Evaluate the results achieved by the project and their visibility; • Assess the sustainability of outputs as contributions to medium and long-term outcomes; • Assess if the project is successfully mainstreaming other UNDP priorities such as (gender equality & Human rights, etc.) • Identify Challenges, lessons learnt and best practices that could be applied to future and on-going projects and; • Provide recommendations. 

A necessary prudence when interpreting indicators, and some may not be achievable Globally speaking and based on a SMART analysis, the indicators are relevant. They clearly show all aspects to consider in order to measure the progress made. They describe a specific future condition with the project, when compared to a business as usual scenario, they are measurable and not open-ended. However, some formulations in the indicator title could still be rephrased or seem too ambitious, as explained on the previous page. However, since a MTR of this project was not conducted, an adjustment of some indicators could not be done. 


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Disaster Risk Reduction Vulnerable Natural Resouce management Local Governance Policies & Procedures Procurement Results-Based Management Risk Management Country Government Technology Coordination Data and Statistics

3.

3.3.Progress towards results

This section presents the level of implementation of the project for each objective from the project document, and progress on each indicator chosen to monitor the project. Therefore, the first step represents progress towards results in the Result Matrix outlining the implementation rate of the activities and analysing thereinafter the indicators for each project component. Difficulties encountered are detailed for each objective, accompanied by recommendations to overcome them. The Project progress is analyzed in detail relative to the indicators, and a list of the difficulties and recommendations identified for each project outcome can be found in the Project Result Matrix–Annex 7

3.3.1. Outcome 1: Increased capacity of hydro-meteorological services and associated networks to monitor and predict extreme weather, climate-related hazards, and climate trends.

Achievements After four years of implementation with acceptable gains, the project has satisfactorily delivered on the majority of the outputs within the planned budget and time frame. Achievement against project outputs under all the four components are as follows:

Output 1.1 Procurement and installation of 11 AWSs and 6 automatic hydrometric stations, including all associated infrastructure, in critical areas across the country, and rehabilitation of 1 automatic and 1 manual meteorological monitoring station, including communications and centralized archiving technologies.

Under Outcome 1, A modern and fully functional EWS was only partly put in place; the functional elements are already delivering weather information. The system comprises of 11 automatic weather stations procured and installed on Cellcom telephone company towers across the country. This equipment has been generating weather information for the past year and a half. This exercise climaxed with the launch of the newly developed weather site of the Ministry of Transport. Broadcast of the weather information will enable local farmers as well as other users, to make informed decisions with regard to their weather- and climaterelated livelihood activities. A website was supposed to be established to provide weather data for thirty (30) major cities around Liberia making use of the information generated from the eleven automatic weather stations installed on Cellcom towers. This website was supposed to provide an hourly and ten-day forecast of temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, and dew point. This website is not functional yet. All sites for the installation of this equipment were identified and mapped out by the MoT. The Project Team, in cooperation with technical staff of the Ministries of Transport and Lands, Mines and Energy, completed an equipment listing and a specification for the international tender bid (ITB) which was issued by UNDP. An initial meeting was held with the NVE (Norwegian Project), and the Liberia Hydrological Service (LHS), which planned a field mission that identified possible sites for the hydrological observation stations of the EWS Project. An integrated Water Resource Management system was developed. The development stages were thus completed and a dummy of the software was produced for training purposes. Final works are being carried out for the finalization of the system, which will be formally launched in March 2019. 


Tag: Climate change governance Knowledge management Procurement Results-Based Management Country Government Capacity Building Technical Support Data and Statistics

4.

3.3.1. Outcome 1: Increased capacity of hydro-meteorological services and associated networks to monitor and predict extreme weather, climate-related hazards, and climate trends. (continuation)

Output 1.3: Weather and climate forecasting systems enabled through procuring and installing the required equipment and through integrating of satellite observations for monitoring and assessing the changing state of the environment and the impact of current and future climate on key environmental variables. 

This required the identification of specific sites for national meteorological centres in four (4) counties, namely: Grand Bassa, Bomi, Bong, and Montserrado. Currently, the building housing the Roberts International Airport Meteorological Department is being renovated as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between RIA Management and the Ministry of Transport. It aimed to provide a more efficient strategy or work plan for the identification of the sites for the national meteorological centres. The National Disaster Management Agency, in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Liberia Institute for Geo-Information Service (LIGIS), prepared and completed a national vulnerability map for ten counties in Liberia. This map is intended to help inform both the NDMA and the EWS about hot zones in Liberia in order to provide warnings with regard to climate vulnerability. The NDMA also conducted an awareness workshop with county superintendents and district commissioners on the activities of the Early Warning System in Maryland County. 

Indicators The most representative indicators of improved capacities are those related to Output 1. Indicators show the national coverage of the climate monitoring network (fully operational). Table 4: State of indicators corresponding to outcome 1

Difficulties There have been slight delays in answering queries from the PSU since they need to be sent to the CIRDA Technical Team and responses, fed back from UNDP/PSU for procurement. In addition, responses from colleagues in Nigeria were not as prompt as anticipated; they needed to await response prior to undertaking the trip, including the finalization of arrangement modalities for the hydrological training. Installation was particularly difficult due to the heavy rainy season. As a result, renovation delays may result in delays for the installation of further equipment necessary for the publication of HydroMet information.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Environmental impact assessment Challenges Effectiveness Communication Human and Financial resources Procurement Country Government Capacity Building Technology

5.

3.3.2. Outcome 2: Efficient and effective use of tailored climate, environmental and socio-economic data to produce appropriate information which can be communicated to government entities and communities to enable informed decision-making

Achievements

Output 2.2: Communication channels, SOPs and legal mandates developed for disseminating climate information and issuing warnings through government institutions and NGOs.

In 2018, a Media Training Workshop was held for eleven community radio stations from seven counties in Liberia, namely: Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Rivercess, Grand Kru, Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Gedeh Counties. These stations received training for the purpose of enhancing their ability to surf the newly developed websites and to be able to professionally give daily weather forecasts based on information generated by the automatic weather stations installed around the country. The idea of carrying out this activity at this stage of the project was to ensure that the public is adequately and/or fully aware of the type of information being generated on a daily basis. Immediately after the training, the Ministry of Transport launched the new weather website where media institutions will be able to log on for weather forecasting. The training was conducted at Harper City Hall, Harper City, Maryland. At the end of the training, local journalists were given training on reporting weather data as well as being made aware of the various means through which information can be gathered.

During another training in Nimba Country, MoT & NDMA trained offcers fron the local facilities on the traditional method for the dissemination of weather and climate hazards. Participants came from 7 counties: Grand Kru, Maryland, Rivergee, Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bong, and Lofa Counties. The other training workshop was held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa county, and included chiefs from Sinoe, Grand Bassa, Monserrado, Margibi, Bomi, and Grand Capemount counties. The local stakeholders were trained in traditional methods of information dissemination, how is climate information obtained and distributed. 

Indicators These indicators indicate the ways in which the project has impacted the population through several dissemination channels. Table 5: State of indicators corresponding to outcome 2


Tag: Climate change governance Disaster Risk Reduction Environmental impact assessment Effectiveness Efficiency Communication Policies & Procedures Programme Synergy Country Government Data and Statistics

6.

3.3.3. Outcome 3. Increased awareness in government, private sector and local communities of the major risks associated with climate change, and use of available information when formulating development policies and strategies.

Achievements

Output 3.3: A system is established for inter-ministerial dialogue on incorporating climate change considerations into government policies and strategies.

MoT, EPA, and MIA held training workshops for local governance structures driving the need for climate information in development planning emanating from the local government level. In addition, an inter-ministerial dialogue was spearheaded by the National Climate Change Secretariat about how to get the government involved in using climate information for decision-making processes in Liberia. Recruitment was completed for a National Coordinator, NCCS based at the EPA and supported by the EWS Project for the four year project lifespan. The recruitment process was done jointly with the EPA, UNDP, MoT, MIA, and MLME. A National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) based at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was fully supported by the EWS Project for a period of another year covering the period under review. The EWS contribution was made to the EPA (GEF/LDCF Project is required to contribute funding to the Energy and Environment Project Coordination/Support Office at the EPA). 

Indicators These indicators indicate how the project will impact the government, private sector, and local communities through various dissemination channels. Table 6: State of indicators corresponding to outcome 3


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Local Governance Communication Integration Knowledge management Country Government Private Sector Capacity Building Advocacy Coordination Data and Statistics

7.

3.4. Project implementation

3.4.1. Implementation Arrangement

It was originally planned to have a NIM procedure, but it practices, with the PSU in Denmark managing the project (in terms of procurement), the implementation arrangement were close to a DIM procedure. 

3.4.2. Finance/co-finance

The evaluation team has established that the project was initially designed to cover a fouryear period ranging from 2013–2017, but currently has an extended operational period of five (5) years up to and including 2018. Accordingly, in 2018, a no-cost extension was requested as a result of the Ebola crises that affected its operations, plus outstanding procurement activities which necessitated the request for the no-cost extension. The summary of funds reflects an initial total project cost of US$17,929,700 as per Table 8-C (below) representing total committed donor funding. However, of this total amount, only total GEF funding of US$6,070,000 and UNDP funding of US$200,000 (highlighted) was allocated and received for the EWS project implementation, leaving a funding gap of US$11,659,700 due to non-commitment on the part of the other donors. The project has 3 outcomes and outputs areas respectively with each reflecting at least 4 major activity levels. According to the resource table below, resources mobilized by GEF/LCDF for the project to date reflects a total approved project budget of US$6,070,000.00 (Table 8-A). Currently, the resources utilized stands at US$3,899,292.1, representing 64% of the total approved budget. The unspent amount of US$2,170,707.29 represents 36% of the approved budget. Average accumulative delivery is 89% as a result of 100% plus delivery in excess of budgetary allotment as reflected in expenditure delivery summary (Table 8-B). It is worth noting that, with absorption of the huge unspent amount via the procurement of the hydrological equipment (already in process), a major component needed for smooth implementation of the project along with the completion of all activities in the AWP that have commenced and are in advanced stages of completion at the end of this evaluation period, delivery rate will definitely increase and the project should experience the much needed and expected satisfactory performance.Resource Table 8 (C): Summary of funds


Tag: Efficiency Implementation Modality Oversight Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

8.

3.4. Project implementation (continuation)

3.4.4. Monitoring and evaluation

The project was monitored through the M&E activities set out in the Project Results Framework in Part III of this project document. The M&E budget table is provided in the annexe. The M&E framework is aligned with the AMAT and UNDP M&E frameworks. Overall, the M&E processes have been effective as they were supervised by the M&E Officer in the UNDP Country Office. Additionally, quarterly work plans were developed and regular progress reports were made. The progress reports for the period under review were prepared on a quarterly basis according to schedule and made available to the consultants. Work plans were completed annually according to UNDP standard procedures. (See EWS zip folders provided by UNDP). This TE is in line with the project expectations, which mandates that at the end of the project, an independent TE will be conducted three months prior to the final Project board meeting and will be undertaken in accordance with UNDP-GEF guidance. 


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Country Government Coordination

9.

3.5.Projects results 

3.5.1. Relevance

Relevance examines the adequacy of the project's objectives with the specifics of the situation on which it proposes to act. In this case, it is evident that the project relevance is justified by the baseline situation of critical gaps and a dearth in the hydrological and meteorological services resulting from 14 years of war in Liberia, necessitating urgent attention for these services. The TE asserts that issues related to climate change must be addressed due to adaptation needs and communities’ rapidly rising expectations. The project is further highly relevant in order to respond to Liberia’s need for climate information, especially in the context of climate change adaptation, water scarcity, and food security concerns in remote areas; this point cannot be stressed enough.

(a) Are the project’s objectives consistent with the policies and national strategies plus the evolving needs and priorities of the beneficiaries, partners, and stakeholders? 

Liberia has very low capacity to manage climate change-related threats. Particularly, its capacity to synthesise different data on environment, climate, and socio-economic vulnerabilities is extremely limited. In this regard, the projects is consistent with the National Environmental Policy, which calls for the sustainable management of Liberia’s environment and natural resources. Its objectives are consistent with national priorities, policies and national strategies according to Liberia’s NAPA priority intervention number 2: “Improved monitoring of climate change: enhance adaptive capacity through the rebuilding of the national hydro-meteorological and meteorological monitoring system and improved networking for the measurement of climatic parameters”. (Priorities 1 and 3 are already being implemented through LDCF projects.) This LDCF project is consistent with the urgent needs identified in the NAPA, all of which are relevant for supporting the national development goals as they related to achieving MDGs 1, 3, 6 and 7 and SDG 13.

The project document revealed that the project was consistent with some policy documents and national strategies at the time of its preparation. It was especially consistent with the country’s INDC in 201510, the ratification of the Paris Agreement by Liberia on July 10, 2018, the SDGs, and the GCF country programme under way, but also key to national perspectives and aligns with the existing PAPD (Pillar II), and Agenda 203011 .The UNDP recognizes the importance of preserving the environment and adapting to climate change in its sixth strategic focus. Overall consistency has been checked and found to be satisfactory during the TE review, knowing that globally, the national policies and strategies that address the issue of climate change remain rare. Concerning national policies to come, the project is already in alignment with the new PAPD (Pillar II), which establishes climate change adaptation as a major challenge. Interviews revealed that the project’s objectives are consistent with the evolving needs and priorities of the beneficiaries (communities), partners, and stakeholders in that climate risks, such as flash floods or droughts, are still major concerns and the population urban, rural, and coastal areas are suffering from the impacts of climate change. It is imperative to provide them with the means to adapt and to gain resilience to face these increasingly recurringphenomena. Hence, the TE concludes that the project is relevant to the local and national concerns.


Tag: Agriculture Climate change governance Water resources Relevance Policies & Procedures Country Government

10.

3.5.1. Relevance (continuation)

(c) What is the project’s contribution to regional initiatives, e.g. financing CC at the local level?

The project contributes to regional initiatives by strengthening ties and collaboration between regional stakeholders, thereby benefitting individual projects by sharing relevant data and information packages (for example, in the case of shared watersheds and river systems). Stakeholders in Liberia who have and can benefit from participating in regionally-aligned training and workshops include MoT, MLME, MoA, NDRC, EPA, MoH, LMA, NPA, and MoPEA. Relevant national sector policies, strategies, and plans which have and will still continue to be strengthened through regionally-aligned workshops and training activities including the former Agenda for Transformation and new PAPD. The development of standardized processes for disseminating flood, drought, health and other climate-related warnings through NDRC in Output 2.2 (and the priority districts in Grand Gedeh, Bong County, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado, or Grand Bassa counties in Output 2.3) have and will be enhanced by sharing knowledge, experiences, and best-practices between all project countries participating in regionally-aligned activities. In the case of Liberia, protocols and agreements for strengthening interactions and coordination between MoT, MLME, MoA, NDRCA, and EPA—including those related to the sharing of hydro-meteorological information/data—will be enhanced by including experiences from the other LDCF-funded projects, particularly those in West Africa (i.e. in Benin, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, etc.).

Financing climate change at the local and national levels was also part of the project’s contribution specified in the ProDoc as follows: “All of the climate information mentioned and provided by the Early Warning System projects will include outputs that will develop a sustainable financing strategy for on-going operation and maintenance of the newly enhanced hydro-meteorological networks. These may include leveraging financing and logistic support from private sector companies and relevant socio-economic sectors, notably agriculture and telecommunications” (Output 3.4). Wherever possible, activities (which include establishing public-private partnerships in various project countries, such as between MoT/NDMA and private sector agricultural companies, mobile phone companies, and agro-forestry companies in Liberia) will be coordinated to assist participating private sector companies to engage efficiently and cost-effectively with the LDCF projects in the different countries. The almost 11 weather stations installed in the counties have contributed and are impacting positively beneficiaries’ lives to some extent due to such public-private partnerships. (For example, the involvement of multi-national companies can improve the negotiating position of the government).

The consistency of the project with the policies and strategy of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is clear since the targeted concerns are the main reason this global funding mechanism was created. In particular, the project is aligned with the strategy developed by the GEF concerning the Focal Area of Climate Change Adaptation, the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

The framework document signed with the Government of Liberia provided for the establishment of national adaptation strategies to climate change. The project is consistent with UNDP’s Strategic Plan, which puts special emphasis on climate change issues and adaptation actions. The TE establishes that the project is consistent with the policies and strategy of the financial partners. As such, the UNDP should continue to play a central role in ensuring the provision of technical assistance to the project on issues related to climate change.


Tag: Climate change governance Vulnerable Relevance Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Resource mobilization Local Governance Strategic Positioning Coordination

11.

3.5.2 Efficiency 

Efficiency focuses on how economically resources / inputs (funds, expertise, time, etc.) were converted to results or the optimization of resources mobilized by the project as it relates to the cost effectiveness of the achievements (infrastructure or services). Efficiency compares the results obtained with the means employed (average financial, human, and material means). The general presidential elections and Ebola crisis affected the implementation of the project in 2014 and 2015 resulting in a slow and difficult pace in the project’s implementation as well as missing deliverables.

3.5.3 Cost effectiveness

Cost effectiveness refers to the degree to which the project funds were utilized in an optimal manner in order to achieve project results. The TE Team concludes that overall, the project was cost effective. A number of measures to promote cost-effectiveness were identified in the project document and adopted during implementation: 

(1) GoL & project established an effective and locally applicable meteorological monitoring system. This will allow institutional capacity to be built cost-effectively, ultimately assisting in planning and implementing the EWS. Furthermore, this is a more cost-effective approach then attempting to build solely on what is available incounty; (2) EWS project aligned with existing, related projects in the meteorological and hydrometeorological sectors. This approach of complementing existing, related projects is more cost-effective than the implementation of a separate initiative, as it will allow the LDCF project to be managed within the existing institutional and management frameworks; (3) Lessons learned from climate monitoring and early warning interventions were captured and disseminated through inter alia: i) in-house training for technicians; ii) an online platform for the dissemination of tailored information/forecasts and warnings; and iii) a toolbox that will include courses, handbooks and manuals. This integrated approach provides a cost-effective manner of informing and increasing the capacity of an extensive range of stakeholders, which include government technical staff, policy-makers, restoration practitioners, scientists, university students, school children and the general public; (4) The proposed project outputs and procurements were reviewed and revised to reflect considerations of sustainability and cost-effectiveness; (5) Working with local partners and within existing systems was a cost-effective approach for ensuring that the climate information generated by the project will be included in policy updates, and that the private sector is engaged by contributing to sustaining the equipment and keeping the communication channels in place and; (6) The project should create an enabling environment for the engagement of the private sector to develop paid-for services through climate information and EWS commercial products. This will include a future development of a mechanism for discussing public and private financing streams and facilitating the development of business plans to support revenue generation. There is huge potential for improved early warning services and tailored forecasts to generate revenue from the aviation and commercial agriculture sectors.


Tag: Climate change governance Efficiency Private Sector Financing Integration Knowledge management Operational Efficiency Partnership Procurement Country Government Capacity Building

12.

3.5.2. Effectiveness

Effectiveness measures reflect to what extent the expected outcomes and objectives of the project have been achieved or are expected/likely to be achieved.  

(a) What has been the progress made towards achievement of the expected outcomes and expected results? What are the results achieved?

The project attained several of its objectives but a few could not be reached, with little chances that progress will be made in the future unless an additional international investment is made. 

Specifically, achievements and results towards the 3 expected outcomes are as follows. The EWS is delivering early warnings and other climate information to end users through the installation of 11 automatic weather stations via provision of data through Cellcom towers and GPRS communication systems across the country. The EWS is functional and has been generating weather information for the past year and a half. The weather and other information are disseminated on the GSM platform using cell phones, country agricultural officers, districts clans, etc. Weather forecasting is done regularly—at least 3 times daily, along with early warning messages to approximately half a million persons by mobile phones SMS. To date, findings revealed that about 60% of the population interviewed including stakeholders and community dwellers have rated the projects satisfactory for providing alert early warnings about weather and climate. To date, the installation of 11 weather stations (accounting for at least 85% of the project achievements) has resulted in rainfall monitoring and fostering drought preparedness in the pilot counties, thus directly benefitting farmers, who are utilizing rain gauges to record and monitor rainfall in their communities. Reports from farmers indicated that they use the collected data for their agricultural activities, especially monitoring soil moisture content and making decisions based on these collected data. The National Meteorological Station at the RIA collects data that is beneficial to the overall Liberian early warning system.

All of the projects’ achievements described above are the result of requisite training provided for 27 staff members who are now meteorologists, hydrologists, observers, instrument technicians, and officers in various institutions. These staff members, who were trained in Nigeria in 2017, are assigned to National Meteorological Stations and have the capacity to analyse and forecast all hydro-meteorological data generated from the automatic weather stations and to publish weather information for the public. They are also equipped to utilize maps in order to know hot zones in Liberia with regard to climate vulnerability and to be able to advise accordingly. Additional training was provided in Financial Management for Donor Funded Projects for 2 Finance and Administrative Officers of the MoT in 2016 and 2017 at Manzini, Swaziland and Lusaka, Zambia, respectively. This training has also equipped the officers in the use of the instrument and how to extract data and analyse it. A training workshop was held in Maryland County by NDMA and MIA for county superintendents and district commissioners, which created awareness on the activities of the Early Warning System. In August 2018, an additional awareness workshop on EWS was conducted for national & Regional Stakeholders in Bomi County by the National Climate Change Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport. This training enhanced media practitioner ability to surf the EWS websites and to be able to give daily weather forecasts based on the data generated by the automatic weather stations installed around the country. Finally, the project has achieved its objective and it is successful. It has strengthened and improved Liberia’s climate information and early warnings capacity. The projects intervention, which is a successful pilot, has the potential to be replicated to cover the entire country.


Tag: Climate change governance Effectiveness Monitoring and Evaluation Partnership Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Technology Data and Statistics

13.

3.5.3. Sustainability

Sustainability focuses on long-term effects of the project and the durability of results and impacts. It assesses the extent to which benefits are likely to continue, after the project has come to an end or in terms of the extent to which there is persistence of benefits resulting from the implementation of the project activities; including replication, up scaling and catalytic effects, which may involve assessing whether a strategy and a system exists to sustain results set out in project design. 

(a) Are requirements of national ownership satisfied? Is the project supported by national/local institutions? Do these institutions, including Government and Civil Society, demonstrate leadership commitment and technical capacity to continue to work with the project or replicate it?

Requirements of national ownership are satisfied due to the placement of government structures such as the (EPA, MoT, NDMA, and MLME) which are essential for the project interventions beyond the project implementation. Initially, country ownership was not easily satisfied. For instance, after the micro-assessment for the MoT was completed, the ministry did not have the required rating to enable a proper National Implementation Modality (NIM) execution as such, so Direct Implementation Modality execution by UNDP continued. Presently, there is some flexibility because the project has initiated the participatory approach through collaboration with national government departments in designing the EWS project approach and interventions in order to satisfy national needs. During the period under review, implementation of some of the project activities included technical capacity building with focus on appropriate government departments that coordinated and/or supported its implementation. National ownership was further intensified through consultation with local communities during the development of early warning systems in the target districts thereby addressing needs identified by local communities and instilling community ownership of the project’s activities. 

In order to facilitate the effective replication of project, the EWS project will generate improved climate information at a national level, and activate communication channels and procedures for issuing early warnings at a national and local level. This will include the development of a range of alert platforms in the target districts. There is thus considerable scope for replication of activities in the other areas of Liberia where related projects are not operational, using the improved climate information generated at a national level. It is worth nothing that sustainability of the EWS project will depend largely on the willingness of stakeholders to adopt interventions and continue to pursue them beyond the duration of the project. Suitable technical, legal and institutional capacity is necessary at both local and national level for sustainability to be achieved. This capacity will be further strengthened by: improving institutional coordination within government; building awareness about climate change risks and the benefits of improved climate informationand early warnings from the local to national level; enhancing stakeholder capacity to use the climate information generated through the project; and developing an evidence base to stimulate greater levels of investments in climate information and EWS projects, finally, developing understanding of sector-specific needs and climate information priorities, as well as which policies and strategies are expected to provide economic growth benefits.


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Ownership Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Private Sector Capacity Building Coordination Technical Support

14.

3.5.3. Sustainability (continuation)

Sustainability - Project institutional anchorage

Anchor of the project in state structures is necessary to ensure the sustainability of the adopted measures and the pursuit of strategies implemented in the project framework even after it ends. It is clear that this anchorage is lacking for the moment, although policy-related interventions are expected to be delivered later. The implementation of the project should be carried out by state bodies in charge of the sectors concerned by the risks associated with climate change, but the main structure, the National Meteorological Institute within MoT, remains fragile and with limited resources. The reinforcement of capacities of these structures by the Government for the sustainability of adaptation measures accompanying the populations is needed. Partnerships between national authorities are not sufficient and should be promoted for the long-term maintenance of the project’s effects. The commitments of various ministries and national agencies (NDMA, MoA, MoT, EPA, etc.) give hope that these issues will be embedded in various public policies, but an umbrella committee would be necessary to facilitate the synergies between these institutions. It is crucial to build capacity and to develop financial mechanisms within the country in order to enable this commitment to trigger concrete actions. In this regard, the main risk is the lack of coordination and organization between the various actors in the fight against the risks associated with climate change.

Capacity to secure the project achievements Sustainability is uncertain because the capacity of project stakeholders in the field of Common Country Assessment is still not sufficient. The uncertainty on available human resources after GEF-funded project closure, and the lack of continuity in the acquisition of skills in the field of CCA does not make it easy. Even if the arrangements made by the project to ensure the anchoring of project achievements at the local and national level are weak, it is necessary to also ensure that people remain in place in the long term. In short, sustainability lies in potential additional funding and the continuation of the project with a second phase, rather than the existence of institutions that can meet the needs of CCA. 


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Vulnerable Environmental impact assessment Sustainability Communication Human and Financial resources Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Country Government Technology Data and Statistics

15.

3.5.4. Catalytic effect

By focusing on the issue of information access, the project has contributed to the production of a public good for Liberia. Activities related to EWS can and should be replicated in other areas/counties. Training of local and national stakeholders on CCA and EWS issues should also be a priority, since it will enable the replication of project outcomes and lessons learned in other regions. It will also ensure more sustainable impacts of the project. 

3.5.5. Impacts

Impacts are indications that the project has contributed to, or enabled progress toward, reduced environmental stress and/or improved ecological status. Impacts can be positive or negative, intended or unintended, primary or secondary long-term effects produced by the project directly or indirectly. Measuring the impacts of the project during the TE (e.g. objectively responding to questions such as: “Is the rural population benefiting from the project better off? If so, by how much?”; “Is the country better prepared to provide in the future, accessible climate change/weather forecasting system because of the project?”; “Did the project implementation turn out to be difficult, given the lack of quantitative data on this issue?”. The most project-specific way to assess the impacts is to interview beneficiaries, which was done by the evaluator during the field visits.

Testimonies of beneficiaries on the effects of the assistance and/or immediate benefit provided by the project specifically targeted the population’s current access to the EWS. A general impression is that, in the short-run, there were no significant visible impacts because major activities leading to tangible outcomes in order to realize the impacts were not achieved. (For instance, the automatic weather stations are installed, prepared to provide information to the beneficiaries in rural areas, but only few of the beneficiaries of the project (farmers, fishermen, the general public, and the forestry sector) can receive information and access to the data due to the absence of the hydrological equipment, an important component that is being purchased but is not yet available for use and is necessary to speed up the process. However, in the long run, projects impacts will be visible. In this regard, both the UNDP and the Government of Liberia have expressed their commitment to have this equipment set up at the National Meteorological Center at RIA with no more delays. Consequently, all of this will only be realized at the end of project closing given sufficient reasons for project extension beyond the closing.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Disaster Risk Reduction Vulnerable Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Impact Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Data and Statistics

16.

3.5.5. Impacts (continuation)

(c) How do the project activities contribute to food security? The project activities are in line with the National Adaptation Action Plan (NAPA), which includeds targeted support specifically for the highly vulnerable agriculture sector. Liberia’s agricultural sector is critical, comprising 66% of the country’s GDP. Over 90% of subsistence farmers depend on rain-fed agriculture and are therefore vulnerable to anticipated changes in rainfall. Recent changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change have made it increasingly difficult to identify the optimal time to plant crops, which hampers crop planning. This problem will worsen over time as a result of further climatic changes; in addition, unpredictable onset and duration of seasonal rainfall will increasingly aggravate pest and disease problems, thereby limiting the productivity of traditional crops. Many strategies to cope with crop failures, which rely on traditional knowledge of local weather, are increasingly ineffective as a result of climate change. The northwest and central regions have experienced lower cereal crop yields because of plant diseases, agricultural pests, soil degradation and lack of water for irrigation. Therefore, the project has contributed to improving food security via its production of data that can be used to improve climate resilience in Liberia’s agricultural sector.


Tag: Agriculture Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Impact Sustainability Knowledge management Results-Based Management Food Security Inclusive economic growth Technology Data and Statistics

17.

Social economy

Other crosscutting issues are indirectly addressed by the project, including the strengthening of the social economy: for example, farmers should benefit from weather information provided by the project, and this should allow them to be better off. The TE mission found that the crosscutting themes are treated appropriately by the project.

3.5.6.Cross-Cutting Themes

i. Partnership

Partnership is the extent to which coordination, collaboration, and synergy are developed and achieved among stakeholders, beneficiaries to produced desired results of the project. 

(a) Has the partnership strategy of the UNDP in project delivery been inclusive, appropriate, and effective? The TE establishes that the UNDP’s engagement with partners has been appropriate, effective, purposeful, and well thought-out. The support for the successful implementation of the EWS project has taken on a unified program-based approach, drawing on the technical expertise, activities, and experience of the GoL, the UN, development partners, and other non-state actors in Liberia to implement the EWS. The Agency is a key partner of the GoL in the area of energy and environment, climate change, development planning, sustainable economic transformation, national implementation of the SDGs, and capacity building. This leadership is recognized, and encouraged moving forward, by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and other stakeholders, including IFIs and bilateral donors. 


Tag: Climate change governance Natural Resouce management Partnership Country Government Capacity Building Coordination

18.

3.5.6.Cross-Cutting Themes (continuation)

ii. Gender Equality

(a) To what extent has gender considerations been integrated into the programmed design and implementation?

From an evaluation perspective, it is worth mentioning that the EWS project has considered gender issues but the content of the project is very technological, and only a limited number of female students choose to specialize in information technology (IT) and data management. However, the consultants found that UNDP has demonstrated commitment in ensuring inclusion and participation of women in the design, implementation, and monitoring of the all interventions in Liberia. This is reflected in UNDP’s Strategic Plan (2018-2021), the CPD (2013-2017), and UNDAF (2013-2017) outcomes 1 and 4, all of which have strong elements of gender equality and empowerment in their designs. The EWS capacity-building initiatives have targeted women, but data available revealed that only a small percentagefive (5%) have benefited from higher awareness and training. Other gender-related activities of the project focused on trainings of vulnerable groups targeting women, children, and the youth. Additionally, the GoL, one of the main project partners, is committed to ensuring that women effectively participate in all aspects and spheres of society as reflected in its laws and policies, including the National Gender Policy of Liberia, the Liberia’s Action plan for implementation on UNSCR, 1325, the AFT, and others, and its participation in related international and regional treaties.

(b) How has attention to integration of gender equality concerns advanced the area of work?

Integrating gender equality concerns has advanced the EWS by increasing the technical capacities of female staff through training initiatives. Of the twenty-five (25) staff members , five women and twenty men from the Liberia Hydrological Service, the Ministry of Transport, the Disaster Management Agency and the Liberia Maritime Authority participated. In addition, seven (7) women out of 27 staff members were trained as meteorologists, hydrologists, observers, instrument technicians, and officers from various institutions in Nigeria for a period of 3–12 months. Four (4) females also benefitted from the ADCON training in Lusaka, Zambia in 2017. Overall, the TE assessment revealed that a strategic and systematic effort to mainstream gender concerns into energy and environment has been insignificant due to the technical nature of the project. This was a result of the generally low engagement of women in the sciences. However, in order to improve this situation, the UNDP has provided support for student at three (3) universities, namely: the University of Liberia (MS level), Cuttington University (BS level), and Stella Maris University (BS level). These universities have incorporated courses into their curriculum to accommodate students in the areas of climate change, energy, and environment at the masters and bachelors levels. Rating: MU


Tag: Climate change governance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human rights Integration Policies & Procedures Capacity Building Technology Youth Data and Statistics

Recommendations
1

4.7.Recommendations

4.7.1. Provisional recommendations to ensure the sustainability

The following is a summary of the main recommendations and lesson learned that have been generated from the evaluation findings:

Recommendation (1) Finding: the maintenance of the equipment made is important to consider, and efforts should be given to ensure that the GoL will be able to maintain the equipment

  • Ensure that the MoT has a budgetary allocation to run the meteorological system and the automated stations after 2019
  • GoL should demonstrate serious commitment to ensure that the MoT has a budgetary allocation in order to fill the funding gap for the project and to run the meteorological system and the automated stations after 2019.
  • GoL in coordination with UNDP should start the transition of the contract with Earth Networks for the maintenance of the existing database, and a further development of the EWS with a higher level of technical support.
2

Recommendation (2) Finding: the capacities of the national institutions are still weak

  • GoL should provide additional capacity building trainings to foster the national expertise in meteorological data analysis and to strengthen the capacity for the transmission of weather forecasts.
  • GoL should strengthen institutions and interactions (e.g. between the Emergency Operation Centre and the National Meteorological Centre), not only financially but also institutionally.
  • GoL should encourage access of the meteorological data to the national and local media for daily broadcasted weather forecasts.
3

Recommendation (3)

Finding: Technical assistance needs are essential in Liberia as climate change has increasing impacts on agriculture and water resources

  • GoL should continue to ensure that the country engages in resource mobilization both for assistance that responds to identified situations, and for long-term support.
  • UNDP’s recent but already significant experience should be used in the formulation of projects to scale up similar projects in Liberia (e.g. Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa-CIRDA).
  • GOL & UNDP should ensure capacity building through scientific and technical exchange programmes is done in order to foster smooth future project implementation.
4

Recommendation (4)

Finding: More and more technical and financial partners are interested in climate change.

  • GoL with the assistance of UNDP should develop further on the Climate Change adaptation strategies considering its high vulnerability to climate change, especially for the public health and agriculture sector.
5

Recommendation (5)

Finding: Lack of means observed: 

  • GoL should install the missing equipment as soon as possible in order to maintain gains already achieved.
6

Recommendation (6)

Finding: The country, in particular through activities initiated by the project, is well informed of the new sources of climate finance, first and foremost being the Green Climate Fund (GCF) 

  • Formulate a concept note, in order to generalize the project nationally (in process. On what topics-coastal Zone Adapt. 
  • Adopt a coherent strategy in terms of raising climate finance.
  • NAP Process.
  • Scaling up : GEF PIF 10 million USD 
  • GoL with the technical assistance from UNDP should formulate a concept note in order to generalize the project nationally (currently in process, specifically regarding coastal zone adaptation)

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