Mid-term evaluation of GEF Marine Protected Areas Project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2020-2023, Angola
Evaluation Type:
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Download document PIMS 6051 Final MTR ToR for International Consultant - Marine PA.pdf tor English 540.42 KB Posted 30
Download document Draft Report Mid-Term Review of the MPA project 01.docx report English 17822.89 KB Posted 11
Title Mid-term evaluation of GEF Marine Protected Areas Project
Atlas Project Number: 00111123
Evaluation Plan: 2020-2023, Angola
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2022
Planned End Date: 03/2022
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Sustainable
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
SDG Goal
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • 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
  • 14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
  • 14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to small island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
  • 14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
  • 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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF project funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Vincent LEFEBVRE International Consultant
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Creation of Angola’s first Marine Protected Area.
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: EA
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID:  9748
PIMS Number:  6051
Countries: ANGOLA

The project is, by default, innovative as there is no other precedent in Angola for MPAs.

Still, this GEF-6 project is a culmination of GEF support over the years that started back in 2003 with the support to National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and Preparation of the First National Report to the Conference of the Parties (GEF-3), the National Biodiversity Project in 2012 (GEF-4) and later in 2013 with the Expansion and Strengthening of Angola’s Protected Area System (GEF-5).

Surprisingly, the PRODOC did not mention lessons learned from other countries that initiated similar new approaches (e.g., at the very least new MPAs in neighbouring countries like Namibia or South Africa).

One key issue that was well taken into account is the need to coordinate any initiative with the fisheries’ sector and in particular the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.


The project is highly relevant since it is responding to a long-established Government priority. It is a smart project in the sense that it focusses on creating an enabling (institutional, legal, social and economic) environment whether at local or national levels instead of focussing primarily on national park hardware that could be procured at a later stage when the MPA has been established.

The project is innovative, testing a range of approaches and methods both at institutional and local levels, using a step-by-step approach, emphasizing frameworks and legislation, capacity building of stakeholders and empowering them in establishing long-term interinstitutional relationships and creating local ownership.

On the other hand, the project design is very conventional with a top-down implementation approach, a very centralised control in INBC-Luanda. It gives very little space if any for local decision-taking, that is not facilitating local ownership and empowerment.

The actual finalised set-up of the MPA remains unclear while it was anticipated at PRODOC formulation that the Iona NP administration would take over the MPA as well; so far, there has been no integration at all of the project within INBC Iona NP administration.

Since project start-up, PMU has experienced many difficulties linked to institutional instability, the COVID pandemic and a change in financial management that resulted in extensive payment delays. PMU is also having difficulties to operationalise project activities and the fact that it is immersed into a very bureaucratic institutional environment, not prone for adaptive management innovation.

PMU capability remains insufficient – although improving over time - with difficulties to think on adaptive management measures to accelerate delivery, to actually plan and deliver (ambitious AWP in relation to actual delivery capability and a lack of expertise in several subsectors gender, M&E, communication and lobbying).

Last but not least, a key implementation issue remains the insufficient stakeholders’ engagement at local level, the result of a centralised top-down implementation approach.

As a conclusion, PMU is still in a learning curve on project management, limited in operational autonomy with the requirement to abide by time-consuming bureaucratic procedures and using a flawed financial management system that is counterproductive in ensuring project delivery.


A. Category 1 – ensuring impactful results.

Recommendation A.1: Hand over/share transport and communication equipment with relevant stakeholders so as to make full use of project hardware.


A. Category 1 – ensuring impactful results.

Recommendation A.2: Local project implementation to be aligned with municipal / provincial priorities and plans to ensure local institutional ownership and empowerment combined with stronger project presence in project area.


A. Category 1 – ensuring impactful results.

Recommendation A.3: Logical Framework and indicator changes: Indicator 7 - “Level of improvement of management effectiveness of MPA as measured by METT tracking Tool” - under component 2 is to be reviewed or deleted all together.


A. Category 1 – ensuring impactful results.

Recommendation A.4: Take advantage of local expertise with (i) TORs drafting emphasizing pre-existing experience in the Namibe region, (ii) INBC/Namibe university MoU agreement to work on common topics (monitoring, research), (iii) using and training ADECOS when reaching out to communities, (iv) include capacity building sessions targeting provincial Government and municipal staff on MPAs.


B. Category 2 – accelerating implementation.

Recommendation B.1: Accelerate project delivery through (i) priorizing activities and possibly streamlining the results framework abandoning peripherical activities and concentrating on most impactful ones, (ii) cluster activities for subcontracting into packages using Requests for Proposals using locally already-established NGOs, (iii) review the project financial management either with the reopening of the project bank account or seek a Performance Based Agreement or Request for Proposals with a service provider (e.g., an NGO) that can handle project budget requests.


B. Category 2 – accelerating implementation.

Recommendation B.2:  Request a 6-months no-cost extension to cover the extended Namibe province lockdown that halted all on-site activities.


B. Category 2 – accelerating implementation.

Recommendation B.3: Increase project (PMU) effectiveness with additional expertise in (i) gender to develop a long-term vision on how to associate women into decision-making processes on marine resource management, (ii) M&E to redesign the project M&E system establishing a clearer procurement plan with milestones, (iii) capacity building to design a capacity building program encompassing both INBC staff and local stakeholders (in particular at municipal and provincial levels) on MPA concept, management and (iv) communication to draft a communication strategy for marine BD conservation.


C. Category 3 – Improve the project governance system.

Recommendation C.1:  Lobby at INBC and/or MCTA level to facilitate bilateral dialogue on MPA to facilitate bilateral technical dialogue between ministries to cooperate and collaborate on common MPA objectives.


C. Category 3 – Improve the project governance system.

Recommendation C.2: Seek stronger local stakeholders’ engagement through (i) reassessing the roles and responsibilities of existing stakeholders, (ii) lobby at higher level to bring in the project, key ministries into the Interinstitutional Committee, (iii) rediscuss with local committee and interinstitutional committee members on their potential contribution to the project - in particular sign an MoU with the provincial Government on rules of engagement on this project – and (iv) increase the frequency of informing Local Committee members on the project status (meetings, Facebook page, WhatsApp group) and (v) seek more engagement with resulting MoUs on complementary/collaborative activities with national institutions.

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