Capacity Development for Improved Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2021-2025, Serbia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2021
Completion Date:
10/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
14,250

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Title Capacity Development for Improved Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements
Atlas Project Number: 87663
Evaluation Plan: 2021-2025, Serbia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Others
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
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 $): 14,250
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 23,288
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Gonçalo Cavalheiro Expert
Mirjana Strugar Expert SERBIA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Capacity Development for Improved Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 9114
PIMS Number: 5227
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environmental Protection
Countries: SERBIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

A follow up project should be designed as soon as possible, with interim support being provided so as to ensure capacity is not lost.

2

A sustainable solution for the employment of young legal experts by MoEP should be found as soon as possible, with interim solutions adopted, if needed until such a moment

3

Make all knowledge produced by the project easily available to relevant stakeholders and promote networking of key stakeholders

4

Enhance support to most promising and successful approaches: the Green Parliamentarian Group and the Legal Clinic

5

Create new approaches to engage Youth and Research as well as the private sector, including the financial sector

6

Support LSG in using the LAP handbook in their policy planning and implementation. 

7

Support (environmental) CSOs so as to increase diversity and their respective capacity to provide inputs during policy planning and implementation (Support integration into international networks).

 

8

Enhanced quality control procedures for accepting outputs to ensure usefulness and responsiveness to original need/request and redesign project if outputs are found to have smaller than expected contribution to outcomes

9

Define more ambitious outcomes that represent an actual change in the stakeholders' behavior that can be attributed to project outputs

10

Identify more clearly drivers, assumptions and risks associated with achieving project objective that better capture national and international context.

11

Focus outputs on more typical core MEA topics, while ensuring country drivenness and ownership

12

Design and implement more gender and vulnerable communities’ sensitive projects and project activities, in order to promote mainstreaming of these topics into the environmental agenda

13

Use the Results Framework to capture broader development impacts of the projects and broader development constraints to project achievements, including women’s empowerment and improved governance

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

A follow up project should be designed as soon as possible, with interim support being provided so as to ensure capacity is not lost.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed. UNDP Environment and Climate Change Portfolio continues assistance to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and remains flexible and responsive to the needs and priorities of the Government. Within the portfolio, there are several environmental and climate change ongoing projects and several projects in pipeline. UNDP strives to provide continuous support to the Ministry  in order to ensure sustainability of results

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP is currently in process of finalization of “Green Agenda for Serbia” project proposal, which main aim will be to is to contribute to efficient, inclusive and sustainable implementation of Green Agenda for Serbia. The project shall provide policy implementation support and capacity building activities, and among all, it will focus on biodiversity and ecosystem protection, climate change, afforestation and circular economy. Budget: 7.2MEUR (UNDP) and 800K EUR (EIB)
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/30]
UNDP and MEP 2022/03 Completed EU funded "Green Agenda for Serbia" project officially started on January 10, 2022 and it focuses on following 5 pillars: decarbonization, circular economy, depollution of the environment (air quality), biodiversity and ecosystems, and sustainable food systems. The duration of the project is from 2022 to the end of 2024. History
“Reducing Community Carbon Footprint by a Circular Economy Approach in the Republic of Serbia” project is in its final process of preparation and expected to officially start by February 2022. The project will aim at reducing community carbon footprint by advancing circular economy in Serbia through establishment of an enabling policy and institutional framework aligned with the EU CE policies, establishing Low Carbon Communities Innovation Platform (LCCIP) and invest in selected pilot projects, and scale up the project results by related knowledge gathering, dissemination and public outreach activities. Budget: 1.77MEUR
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/05/04]
UNDP and MEP 2022/04 Completed “Reducing Community Carbon Footprint by a Circular Economy Approach in the Republic of Serbia” project officially started in February 2022 History
Project “Climate Action in line with the Green Agenda” is envisaged to start by March 2022 and will aim to tackle air quality improvement, increase capacities and provide financial support for local actions, and also build strong partnerships between the public sector, private companies and civil society, to accelerate green transformation. Budget: 2MEUR
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/09/02]
UNDP and MEP 2022/09 Completed "Green Agenda” project initiated History
2. Recommendation:

A sustainable solution for the employment of young legal experts by MoEP should be found as soon as possible, with interim solutions adopted, if needed until such a moment

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

MEP confirmed their willingness to continue engagement of young legal experts from Environmental Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, and is looking into modalities that would allow this engagement. UNDP will closely monitor the process, and will provide alternative solutions if it’s needed to bypass certain period until the engagement is possible.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore options of continued engagement of young legal experts through other environment-related projects (e.g. “Green Agenda for Serbia”).
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/06/24]
UNDP and MEP 2022/06 Completed One of four young legal experts that were engaged under the MEAs project was employed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Climate Change Unit; while second young legal expert was employed by the Secretariat for Public Policies. Two young legal experts from the legal Clinic are currently engaged by UNDP as interns and they are providing support to the implementation of Green Agenda project. History
3. Recommendation:

Make all knowledge produced by the project easily available to relevant stakeholders and promote networking of key stakeholders

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The project team is ensuring that projects products are published and promoted through communication channels and other projects, and that produced knowledge is available for further activities and processes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Knowledge products available on UNDP website
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/01/14]
UNDP and MEP 2021/12 Completed Knowledge products available on UNDP website (Annual Rio Reports, Guidelines on establishment and maintenance of shelterbelts, Assessment of the efficiency of support to environmental research) History
4. Recommendation:

Enhance support to most promising and successful approaches: the Green Parliamentarian Group and the Legal Clinic

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed. Established fruitful cooperation with Green Parliamentary Group (GPG) and Legal Clinic should be maintained. UNDP CO Serbia will continue to work on implementation of environment and climate change legislation framework and provide assistance to MEP.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continued cooperation with Legal Clinic through other environmental and climate change projects that include work on policy improvements.
[Added: 2021/12/02]
UNDP and MEP 2022/12 Initiated
UNDP continues to support GPG through Good Governance cluster and their projects related to Parliament.
[Added: 2021/12/02]
UNDP and MEP 2021/12 Completed
Appropriate modality for further engagement of young legal experts within MEP
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/06/24]
UNDP and MEP 2022/06 Completed One young legal expert has been employed by MEP. Further engagement shall be discussed with the Ministry once the Government is formed (after the elections in April 2022) History
5. Recommendation:

Create new approaches to engage Youth and Research as well as the private sector, including the financial sector

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

UNDP acknowledges importance of research and innovation in environmental and climate sector. Moreover, UNDP has established Innovation Challenge Calls in order to enable Innovative products and services to receive necessary funding. Private sector is eligible to apply to these innovation challenge calls.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Several Innovation Challenge calls shall be published under upcoming projects: “Green Agenda for Serbia” and “Reducing Community Carbon Footprint by a Circular Economy Approach in the Republic of Serbia”. Withing “Green Agenda for Serbia” project, companies will have an opportunity to develop “green” projects and apply to local banks for financing. European Investment Bank will provide advisory services to create effective conditions for supporting financial intermediaries to understand and finance green projects.
[Added: 2021/12/02]
UNDP and MEP 2023/09 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Support LSG in using the LAP handbook in their policy planning and implementation. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed.  Local Adaptation Planning Handbook was created with the aim of responding to climate challenges. The handbook seeks to contribute to the creation of local communities that can respond effectively to climate change. On the other hand, the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM) has as one of its strategic determinants the provision of support to local self-government units (LGUs) in Serbia, in planning prevention and adaptation to climate change.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Electronic version of LAP handbooks will be re-circulated to all local self-governments through SCTM network
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/01/14]
UNDP, MEP, SCTM 2021/12 Completed SCTM re-circulated LAP handbook to all local self-governments through its network. History
LAP handbooks shall be promoted and distributed on National Adaptation Planning capacity building activities within NAP project.
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/01/14]
UNDP, MEP, SCTM 2021/12 Completed LAP handbooks have been promoted and distributed on National Adaptation Planning capacity building activities within NAP project (oct-dec. 2021). History
7. Recommendation:

Support (environmental) CSOs so as to increase diversity and their respective capacity to provide inputs during policy planning and implementation (Support integration into international networks).

 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed. Integration of CSO into decision making process and policy planning is planned in all policy-related work that’s ahead. In addition, CSOs will be directly supported through projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will conduct a Mini-grant Programme for CSOs for small scale improvements in protected areas in cooperation with protected area management authorities, under “Green Agenda for Serbia” project. The project shall provide grants financing for at least 5 CSO proposals. Civil society active in the field of air quality, climate change sustainable energy, will be consulted during the development of the recommendations for policy improvements in these areas, as well as in the development of Green Agenda Strategy.
[Added: 2021/12/02]
UNDP and MEP 2023/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Enhanced quality control procedures for accepting outputs to ensure usefulness and responsiveness to original need/request and redesign project if outputs are found to have smaller than expected contribution to outcomes

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed. The outputs are checked by the UNDP’s internal quality control before being shared with the relevant institutions for their validation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Remaining outputs checked by the UNDP’s internal quality control before being shared with the relevant institutions for their validation.
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/02]
UNDP and MEP 2022/03 Completed All outputs went through internal quality control and presented at the final Project Board meeting on 31 December 2021. Project Board was satisfied with the project results, acknowledged terminal evaluation recommendations and had no additional comments to the terminal evaluation of the project. History
9. Recommendation:

Define more ambitious outcomes that represent an actual change in the stakeholders' behavior that can be attributed to project outputs

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed, and will be applied in the proposals under development

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
More ambitious outcomes incorporated in the proposals that are under development.
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/30]
UNDP and MEP 2022/03 Completed "EU for Green Agenda in Serbia: Get Started, Take Action, Scale-up" project was developed with the ambition to create a concrete and sustainable development impact for a green and inclusive transition in Serbia. The project will implement concreate actions in particular through 7 Innovation Challenge Calls for decarbonization, circular economy, air quality, biodiversity and afforestation, and sustainable food systems), including opportunities for future scale-up financing. History
10. Recommendation:

Identify more clearly drivers, assumptions and risks associated with achieving project objective that better capture national and international context.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed, and will be applied in the proposals under development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Drivers, assumptions and risks associated with achieving project objective will be clearly defined in the proposals that are under development.
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/30]
UNDP and MEP 2022/03 Completed Risks and assumptions were clearly defined in the recently initiated projects. Risk Management response is clearly defined in detail (for the Green Agenda project and Stockholm+50 initiative, that recently started, for the Circular Economy project that is finalized and in the signing process, and for two additional projects that are in pipeline). Additionally, UNDP internal quality assurance required clearly defined risks and issues, with adequate response measures. History
11. Recommendation:

Focus outputs on more typical core MEA topics, while ensuring country drivenness and ownership

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed, and will be applied in the proposals under development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Outputs in the proposals under development focus on specific MEA topics (biodiversity protection, forestation, air quality, circular economy, climate change, sustainable energy), in line with national priorities under Green Agenda.
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/30]
UNDP and MEP 2022/03 Completed EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia project focuses on decarbonization, circular economy, depollution of the environment (air quality), biodiversity and ecosystems. In addition, two more projects in pipeline are focusing on the same pillars of the Green Agenda for Western Balkans. History
12. Recommendation:

Design and implement more gender and vulnerable communities’ sensitive projects and project activities, in order to promote mainstreaming of these topics into the environmental agenda

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed, and will be applied in the proposals under development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Preparation of five Green Agenda pillar specific Roadmaps will include gender perspective and National Environmental Strategy will be prepared in an inclusive and gender sensitive manner, under “Green Agenda for Serbia” project.
[Added: 2021/12/02]
UNDP and MEP 2023/12 Initiated
Circular economy project will specifically encourage female innovators, entrepreneurs and experts to participate in project implementation.
[Added: 2021/12/02]
UNDP and MEP 2023/12 Initiated
13. Recommendation:

Use the Results Framework to capture broader development impacts of the projects and broader development constraints to project achievements, including women’s empowerment and improved governance

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/01]

The recommendation is well noted and agreed. Development impact and constrains will be reflected in the proposals under development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Results Framework of projects in pipeline will reflect expected development impact as well as constrains.
[Added: 2021/12/02] [Last Updated: 2022/03/30]
UNDP and MEP 2022/03 Completed Projects that recently started and that are in pipeline are rooted in the Country programme Document's (2021-2025) national priority: Enhanced climate actions, building resilience to climate change impacts, natural and man-made disasters and improved capacity for disaster risk reduction and management; Serbia provides safe, affordable and clean energy to its citizens (National Priorities for International Assistance), and its first two uoutputs (3.1 climate change adaptation and mitigation,and 3.2 Energy eficiency and renewables). Results frameworks reflect the constrains as well. History

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