MID-TERM REVIEW SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF FOREST ECOSYSTEMS IN AMAZONIA BY INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO GENERATE MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Bolivia
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
04/2021
Completion Date:
03/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
16,000

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Title MID-TERM REVIEW SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF FOREST ECOSYSTEMS IN AMAZONIA BY INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO GENERATE MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS
Atlas Project Number: 00095725
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Bolivia
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2021
Planned End Date: 04/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Resilience
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.3.1 Data and risk-informed development policies, plans, systems and financing incorporate integrated and gender-responsive solutions to reduce disaster risks, enable climate change adaptation and mitigation, and prevent risk of conflict
SDG Goal
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
SDG Target
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
Evaluation Budget(US $): 16,000
Source of Funding: Proyecto
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,500
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Maria Onestini Consultant ARGENTINA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Amazonia by indigenous and local communities to generate multiple environmental and social benefits
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5755
PIMS Number: 4743
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment and Water (MMyA), Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth (APMT), Authority for Inspection and Social Control of Forests and Lands (ABT), Community representatives and leaders, Municipal and departmental governments,
Countries: BOLIVIA
Lessons
Findings
1.

Lack of execution associated with multiple and repeated rotations of the management and staff of the Project, as well as the counterparts of the Bolivian State.


2.

Weakness in design.


3.

Structural implementation weakness by key partners.


4.

Lack of understanding between the parties as to what the roles and responsibilities of each of the partners/actors are and this is generating a series of internal conflicts within the Project.


5.

Implementation and generation of non-innovative or non-transformative products of and processes.


6.

Little use of management, monitoring and follow – up tools consistent with the magnitude of the Project.


Recommendations
1

Make a full and complete transmission of information of the GEF Amazonia Project to all relevant new national authorities (such as APMT, ABT, the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Planning, GEF Focal Point within the national administration, etc.). This transmission of information should include not only planned activities, but also outline what changes must be implemented in the short term in order to be able to channel the Project to generate results and at the same time engender appropriation by key government actors. Delineate clearly through manuals/procedures what are the roles and responsibilities of each institution within the Project and they should comply with them (UNDP – Country Office and Regional Office, GEF, CIRABO, ABT, Ministries of Environment and Planning, etc. ) 25, as executor, guarantor, and others without mutual appropriation of the roles of other Project partners. Seeking—also--, to insert the Project into the country’s institutionality.

2

Generate basic design elements for proper management. It is recommended that these changes be formed immediately (before the 2021 PIR is generated – maximum mid-May 2021) so that implementing processes can begin as soon as possible and to generate products with basic management elements and similarly (as of PIR 2021) monitor implementation, adhering to donor policies. For this, it is recommended to:
a. Conduct a critical analysis of the project logical framework in order to generate design components that are either missing or inappropriate26, such as those listed below.
b. Generating the baseline with SMART and gender-disaggregated indicators, it is also recommended mainstream this topic through the new results framework to be generated after this evaluation.
c. Reformulation should make the theory of change underlying the Project explicit, building on how products and interventions would lead to changes sought and making explicit the intervention logic.
d. Generate a clear schedule for the time-bound action (roadmap) regarding the activities that the Project intends to implement in relation to objectives and results-based management (in the remaining period of implementation).
e. Targeted strategic prioritization dispensing of activities that do not lead to reliable results given the late delivery to date context. For example, those activities or expected products that realistically do not have expectations of adequate achievement or quality in their execution could be dispensed with (such as - for example - some theoretical studies, of good practices, as well as work and analysis related to forest fire management, or work for replicability).
f. Include issues of gender equality and respect for human rights (such as ensuring that child labour does not take place within the project). Also, assuring that these issues are included in the management tools reforms and in the changes to the products that are generated from now on and monitor their compliance.

3

Project must envisage a review of the key products it needs to generate for obtaining results. For this the following revisions are suggested for Component 1. Enabling environment at national level in support of integrated and sustainable management of forests and life systems in TIOCs: 27
a. Activate a review of the expected result first following recent analyses where it is noticed that PGIBT management plans – as proposed in Project design and inception documents – are not entirely applicable in TIOCs territories. For this it is recommended that urgently development of management models that engender comprehensive and sustainable forest management is suitable for TIOCs should begin to be address (evidently taking into account all relevant variables, such as land area, ownership, community management, external and internal threats, governance, as well as the sustainable use of resources in order to improve systems and quality of life of the inhabitants). The development of these plans should be based on existing instruments applied in different areas of the country (not only PGIBTs but also PGTIs or others considered as the basis for learning regarding community-based management  systems) or other instruments already outlined – such as the one developed by the Project Implementation Unit at the beginning of the implementation stage for learning by adjusting them to TIOCs’ requirements.28
b. The development of these instruments requires high technical capacity. Therefore, the Project must convene local, national, regional technicians, etc., in order to collaborate in the generation of suitable and applicable instruments within the context of the Bolivian Amazon TIOCs, with clear guidelines on sustainable management and improvement of quality of life. These technical capacities must be achieved in constant dialogue with communities.
c. The instruments should incorporate cross-wise basic human rights issues (e.g. women's rights concerning natural resources and decisions taken regarding productivity associated to these; children's rights relating to the eradication of child labour).
d. The participation of the ABT in all relevant processes should be ensured, as this institution is one of the key pieces of the country's governmental framework in order to address this issue.
e. In order to develop these integrated and appropriate plans, political articulation between the different areas of state and government and TIOCs is required. Therefore, the Project should encourage dialogue between the parties for the development, appropriation and eventual implementation of these instruments.
f. For the sustainability of any plan generated, the Project should also work with incidence upon public policies on what are or should be the appropriate regulations that affirm this type of planning instrument within the country’s institutionality

4

Project must envisage a review of the key products it needs to generate for obtaining results. For this the following revisions are suggested for Component 2 - Integrated management of natural resources in TIOCs29:
a. Exhaustibly define, based on up-to-date information and studies of the area, what products and processes to generate to obtain the expected results.
b. Generate institutional instruments and provide concrete technical support in this thematic area in order to improve the competitiveness of the forestry sector. Seek partnerships with sectors related to productivity, marketing, and productive development at the State level in order to promote this issue.
c. Products and processes should be comprehensive and integrated, not primarily based on specific issues (such as nurseries, road improvement, etc.) that do not in themselves lead to sustainable integrated management if they do not have an adequate framework. These products and processes must attend to comprehensive management, with a level of technical inputs suitable for products. These products must be comprehensive and deal with the multiple inherent facets of sustainable and equitable productivity, including technical, commercial, organizational capabilities, as contained in the design of this project.
General activities (management plans, business plans, etc.) should be underpinned upon quality technical supports for this to be obtained.

5

Create, promote, generate synergies between the two expected results. Currently they work fractionally. The two expected outcomes are part of an objective that must be implemented and promoted jointly not as separate interventions.

6

Develop a gender analysis and its action plan. This analysis and the relevant action plan should address key factors that have differentiated impacts between men and women leading to unequal access to property and of control of natural resources (as is the case with regard to forest resources and associated resources – land, water, etc.) and how these impact upon women’s production. In this way, the analysis and plan must account for the gender gap in natural resource governance (understood as governing ownership, appropriation modes and the distribution of costs and benefits vis-a-vis renewable and non-renewable natural resources, so that society as a whole can benefit from their exploitation and/or conservation). Other points to be collected involve the involvement and inclusion of women in decision-making processes related to the sustainable management of forest resources and other natural resources. The gender action plan should include formal partnerships with other institutional actors in territory dealing with gender issues related to forestry activity and productivity. This action plan should be linked to changes in planning, management and product elements as well as monitored to ensure their implementation.

7

Avoid a paternalistic and simplistic vision of local actors, and generate initiatives that demonstratively foster communities' ability to manage forest resources in an integrated sustainable and equitable manner. For this:
a. Seek concrete technical support in the search for generating incentives for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, promoting quality of life improvements for the population in territory.
b. When working with communities s work modalities similar to those with other actors and partners involved should be implemented (such a work plans with specific expected products/results).
c. Implement conditions so that work with communities is based on specific considerations based on outputs, considerations, also implementing results-based management here. For example, it should be implemented that communities that are being remunerated must submit a concrete work plan with expected results so that they can be given the resources associated with planned activities. Likewise, it is considered that these considerations based on outputs should be monitored with transparency with the same rules as the rest of the Project (analysing products, inputs, results, etc.).

8

The development of all materials must account for the ethnic and linguistic variety of the communities with which the Project works. It is recommended that the materials and products to be generated and generated already should reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the actors with which the Project works (including the generation of materials in the various local languages, as necessary).

9

The governance system and decision-making processes should be consolidated and underpinned within the Project. To this end, the decision-making roles of the Project Board and their responsibilities in the governance of the Project must be made clear. It is therefore suggested that

a. To re-address and use the Steering Committee's Manual of Procedures, revised and updated as appropriate and sent to the Committee when meetings are called, as this document makes explicit the roles of each of the actors as well as which decision-making processes should be carried out by this committee (such as the approval of operational plans and management reports – annual or quarterly reports as appropriate--, executive decision-making of different kinds including those concerning the management team, etc.). In addition, this procedural manual may be cited/consulted by the parties when or if a lack of clarity arises in the roles and commitments of the partners/actors involved.
b. Where this procedural manual does not contain any relevant guidelines on the project governance system, these should be explicitly agreed upon within the steering committee for their inclusion. If there are no clear guidelines on the basic agreements regarding the instruments that provide written evidence of the sequence of decisions and follow-up of this committee, they should be generated (not only minutes such as those already generated, but also proceedings that account for those of decisions made and their implementation in between meetings).
c. Consideration could be given (if there is sufficient time) to setting up a technical committee that reaches technical implementation decisions as a complement to the project board's more global decisions and that this technical committee should inform the board of the decisions to be made.
d. Track the actions taken by the governance system in order to verify their correct implementation.

10

The Project should envision a comprehensive review of its architecture to strengthen its administrative arrangements and components, as well as its technical scopes.
For this purpose, the following review and strengthening mechanisms are suggested to promote strengthening of project management by the Project Implementation Unit and the National Implementation Agency (APMT):
a. Seek project management strengthening, in particular in relation to the Project Implementation Unit and the National Implementation Agency. For this the incorporation of suitable personnel in La Paz is recommend (in the APMT) so that it can channel a better administration and be an alliance between the Project’s national and local management, support and streamline project-related processes. In addition to positioning/internalizing the Project actions Proyecto within the APMT.
b. It is also recommended that project and APMT staff who need management knowledge be trained.
c. Seek to strengthen project management by convening advisors (national, regional, etc.) and expert teams in project management and administration (such as in the generation of monitoring and follow up tools proposed in other items of these recommendations). 

d. Seek technical strengthening by convening advisors (national, regional, etc.), experts or teams in the Project themes and / or with quality experience in the technical
studies to be developed.

11

The Project should develop and/or implement the necessary monitoring systems in order to channel an agile and strategic project implementation. For this, it should not only develop the aforementioned baseline and roadmap, but it must track its implementation through the appropriate instruments for this case. Capacity building in monitoring and follow up should be directed to guide the necessary changes that need to take place in view of the risks and barriers that the Project faces. For example through:
a. Preparation of a monitoring system taking up the new results framework, gender plan, critical roadmap, etc. to follow up correspondingly and appropriately.
b. Appropriate development by Project management of follow-up, planning and monitoring instruments (work plans, PIRs, etc.).
c. Involvement of APMT in monitoring, follow up, and planning tools.
d. Reports should also be prepared (quarterly or annual as appropriate), reporting differently for each of the four TIOCs, these reports being part of the monitoring system as deliverables provided to the APMT and the UNDP Country Office.
e. Implement adaptive management plans based on these monitoring tools, such as follow up instruments and financial monitoring tools.
f. The timely update of the SESP, updating project risks, and updating tracking tools required by the donor should also be carried out.
g. Start managing a lesson learned document to show what was the learning process that developed within the context of the intervention. Link this document to the output strategy to be generated (see recommendation 13).

12

Project must be comprehensively entrenched within the relevant State spheres, spaces and architecture. For this it must follow the involved institutions’ appropriate mechanisms and include all relevant areas of State in Project processes (APMT, ABT, etc.). This is linked to placing part of the Project team in the APMT.31 a. Generate an alliance strategy. Generate partnerships and associations with entities (technical institutions, development organizations, other areas of UNDP and UN, universities, bilateral cooperation, etc.) and with other institutions acting in territory and/or acting upon issues related to those of the Project, creating synergies in order to promote the goals, underpin the positive effects, and eventually help the sustainability of the results reached.

13

It is recommended that the Project generate from now on a clear exit strategy in order to contribute to the sustainability of efforts to achieve. The strategy should include aspects such as:
a. Risks analysis (financial, institutional, socioeconomic or environmental) that may affect the sustainability of project results in the medium and in the long term.

b. Based on this information, this strategy should contain guidelines for underpinning achievements and outcomes to generate sustainability at all these levels.
c. Promote the institutionalization of results that warrant it, for example through the adoption of government regulations and customary processes, that anchor the results (such as management plans, etc.) for their sustainability.
d. Link this strategy to the lessons learned left by the Project.

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