De-Risking and Scaling-Up Investment in Energy Efficient Building Retrofits in Armenia Interim Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Armenia
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2021
Completion Date:
03/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title De-Risking and Scaling-Up Investment in Energy Efficient Building Retrofits in Armenia Interim Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00098348
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Armenia
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2021
Planned End Date: 03/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Energy
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.5.1 Solutions developed, financed and applied at scale for energy efficiency and transformation to clean energy and zero-carbon development, for poverty eradication and structural transformation
SDG Goal
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
SDG Target
  • 7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GCF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 24,750
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Jiri Zeman Independent Evaluator jirkazeman@seznam.cz CZECH REPUBLIC
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: GCF, Ministry of Environment
Countries: ARMENIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Facilitate adoption of amendment to the Law on Multi-Apartment building (MAB) Management without further delays: There is typically a rather lengthy period between approval of a legislation by the Government, subsequent approval by a Parliament, and effective date when new/amended legislation comes into force. The draft amendment of the Law prepared by the Project addresses the main problems housing associations face when financing MAB reconstruction. Without the amendment effectively in force, delivery of energy efficiency retrofit investment in MABs will be at risk. The project can take on a pro-active role and actively support the Committee of Urban Development.

2

Accelerate pending activities/outputs:

a. Publish Measurement, Reporting and Verification/Energy Management Information System (MRV/EMIS) data from retrofitted buildings at the new web platform MRV data from retrofitted buildings are available in the project fact sheets, however, they are not easily accessible at the dedicated project web site. Regularly upload available data to keep the web page updated.

b. Analyze critical path and accelerate all activities on the critical path.

3

Strengthen project-level monitoring:

a.Organize Project Board meetings regularly at least once a year. To avoid any delays due to changes of the Government representation in the Project Board, advocate for and facilitate nomination of their deputies

b. Update logframe targets and specify indicators and targets, where missing Specify project objective indicator and target, and targets for Outputs 1.2, 3.1, and 4.1 which were not specified for all relevant output indicators in the Project Document. Incorporate indicator of Total number of buildings retrofitted and square area in m2 as per GCF recommendations for each building type – public, MAB, SFH. Revise the logframe 1 Status of Implementation: Completed, Partially Completed, Pending. DocuSign Envelope ID: 5310CC39-43AB-4571-AAF7-4CC668A4A045 3 and have it approved by the Project Board. Consider necessity of using the SDG indicator of “Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP” and the indicator “M5.0 Strengthened institutional and regulatory systems”, or avoid them.

c. Align activity targets achievements in Annual Performance Reports and Quarterly Progress Reports In some cases, there is a difference in achievement rating in APRs (cumulative achievement of project activities) and Quarterly Progress Reports (achievement as per AWP activities) and achievement of relevant outcome and output target as per logframe. See for example APR 2019 rating for activities within Output 1.1 and 1.2 – cumulative rating 20-70%, and rating in quarterly report Q4 2019, where outputs 1.1 and 1.2 are rated as “completed” – but this refers to activities planned as per AWP 2019, rather than for logframe output level targets.

4

Use required criterion of women share as a priority for selection of investment level projects/buildings This GCF gender criterion is intended rather for the whole program or portfolio of individual investment-level projects (energy efficiency retrofits of individual buildings). If applied for each individual building, investment level projects/buildings where women do not dominate would be excluded from reconstruction. Instead, use this criterion as a preference for selection of an individual building for retrofit, and for evaluation of the whole portfolio of subprojects.

5

Evaluate the feasibility of meeting the planned end-of-project targets in three years: Evaluate capacity of construction companies to deliver all planned energy efficiency building retrofits, and estimate achievable time-bound targets. If necessary, consider request for appropriate extension. However, this should not hamper timely implementation of all other activities.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Facilitate adoption of amendment to the Law on Multi-Apartment building (MAB) Management without further delays: There is typically a rather lengthy period between approval of a legislation by the Government, subsequent approval by a Parliament, and effective date when new/amended legislation comes into force. The draft amendment of the Law prepared by the Project addresses the main problems housing associations face when financing MAB reconstruction. Without the amendment effectively in force, delivery of energy efficiency retrofit investment in MABs will be at risk. The project can take on a pro-active role and actively support the Committee of Urban Development.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/30]

Recommendation is accepted. The “velvet” revolution and significant changes in policy and governance in the public administration bodies affected the project initial action plans and approaches, agreed with the stakeholders and the focal point – the Urban Development Committee (former Ministry). In 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak the stakeholders’ engagement and discussions were limited. On 18 September 2020, the meeting was held with Ms. S. Ghazaryan, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Armenia, who was assigned to tackle the MAB management regulatory issues. It was agreed to accelerate the processes. The Adviser will coordinate the activities among the government institutions to increase efficiency and accelerate decision-making and approval processes. Consultations with Government of Armenia (GoA) are refreshed and mechanism of regular meetings was re-established and will be maintained.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Support provided to the inter-agency working group under coordination of the Urban Development Committee
[Added: 2021/03/30]
Project team 2021/11 Initiated Expert support provided to finalization of the Draft Law.
1.2 Regulatory amendments are drafted and consulted
[Added: 2021/03/30]
Project team, Government of Armenia 2021/11 Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

Accelerate pending activities/outputs:

a. Publish Measurement, Reporting and Verification/Energy Management Information System (MRV/EMIS) data from retrofitted buildings at the new web platform MRV data from retrofitted buildings are available in the project fact sheets, however, they are not easily accessible at the dedicated project web site. Regularly upload available data to keep the web page updated.

b. Analyze critical path and accelerate all activities on the critical path.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]

Recommendation is accepted. All the MRV/EMIS data for pilots is readily available in respective reports and on the old website. Transfer to the new platform is in progress. Required support will be provided also to the Environmental Project Implementation Unit (EPIU) of the Ministry of Environment (MoE) upon taking the responsibility (expected Q3- Q4 2021) of implementation of the Project Component 1 “Establishment of building sector MRV and knowledge management.”

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Web-based platform for MRV/ EMIS data is finalized. Data to be entered and updated by the Environment Project Implementation Unit
[Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/06/30]
Project team. Environmental Project Implementation Unit, Ministry of Environment 2021/12 Initiated History
2.2 Trainings are organized for specialists in urban communities
[Added: 2021/03/30]
Project team, Environmental Project Implementation Unit 2021/12 Initiated On-job training as well as involvement of municipal specialists in the energy consumption data collection and arching are done for public buildings.
3. Recommendation:

Strengthen project-level monitoring:

a.Organize Project Board meetings regularly at least once a year. To avoid any delays due to changes of the Government representation in the Project Board, advocate for and facilitate nomination of their deputies

b. Update logframe targets and specify indicators and targets, where missing Specify project objective indicator and target, and targets for Outputs 1.2, 3.1, and 4.1 which were not specified for all relevant output indicators in the Project Document. Incorporate indicator of Total number of buildings retrofitted and square area in m2 as per GCF recommendations for each building type – public, MAB, SFH. Revise the logframe 1 Status of Implementation: Completed, Partially Completed, Pending. DocuSign Envelope ID: 5310CC39-43AB-4571-AAF7-4CC668A4A045 3 and have it approved by the Project Board. Consider necessity of using the SDG indicator of “Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP” and the indicator “M5.0 Strengthened institutional and regulatory systems”, or avoid them.

c. Align activity targets achievements in Annual Performance Reports and Quarterly Progress Reports In some cases, there is a difference in achievement rating in APRs (cumulative achievement of project activities) and Quarterly Progress Reports (achievement as per AWP activities) and achievement of relevant outcome and output target as per logframe. See for example APR 2019 rating for activities within Output 1.1 and 1.2 – cumulative rating 20-70%, and rating in quarterly report Q4 2019, where outputs 1.1 and 1.2 are rated as “completed” – but this refers to activities planned as per AWP 2019, rather than for logframe output level targets.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]

Recommendation is accepted. The Ministry of Environment coordinated the nomination of new Project Board members (on Deputy Ministers’ level) from respective ministries and agencies. The Board co-chairs are the Minister of Environment and UNDP Resident Representative. The package for the Project Board meeting was prepared, however, the meeting was possible to convene in December 2020 only, due to the Martial Law declared. The next Project Board meeting is planned for the second semester of 2021. Logframe targets and indicators will be updated, discussed with the Project Director and UNDP, approved by the Project Board and proposed to the GCF Secretariat.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3 a Conduct the next Project Board meeting in 2021
[Added: 2021/03/30]
Ministry of Environment, Project Manager 2021/12 Initiated History
3 b, c Logframe targets and indicators are updated
[Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/06/30]
Ministry of Environment, UNDP, Project team 2021/12 Initiated History
3 b, c Updated logframe targets are approved by the Project Board and proposed to the GCF Secretariat
[Added: 2021/03/30]
Ministry of Environment, UNDP, Project team 2021/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Use required criterion of women share as a priority for selection of investment level projects/buildings This GCF gender criterion is intended rather for the whole program or portfolio of individual investment-level projects (energy efficiency retrofits of individual buildings). If applied for each individual building, investment level projects/buildings where women do not dominate would be excluded from reconstruction. Instead, use this criterion as a preference for selection of an individual building for retrofit, and for evaluation of the whole portfolio of subprojects.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/03/30]

Recommendation is accepted. The criterion of giving preference to reconstruction of buildings where women residents are dominated is followed by the Project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Gender sensitive data for retrofitted buildings and for the whole project is assessed and reported to UNDP and donor by the Project.
[Added: 2021/03/30]
Project Team 2021/12 Initiated History
5. Recommendation:

Evaluate the feasibility of meeting the planned end-of-project targets in three years: Evaluate capacity of construction companies to deliver all planned energy efficiency building retrofits, and estimate achievable time-bound targets. If necessary, consider request for appropriate extension. However, this should not hamper timely implementation of all other activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/03/30]

Recommendation is accepted. Such study will help to assess the potential for residential buildings energy efficiency retrofitting and work out measures for reducing cumbersome processes in service provision in post-COVID-19 and post-conflict reality. Provisional 12 months’ project no-cost extension is discussed with Regional Technical Advisor to eliminate the implications of gap financing issues, the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Martial Law.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 The obstacles slowing down procurement process of retrofit works of Project partners are analyzed and mitigation measures are proposed.
[Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/31]
Project team, Government of Armenia 2021/07 Completed Recommendations provided to communities in order to address the procurement issues, namely division of construction projects into smaller LOTs, so that the state guarantee financial obligations can be met by a larger number of bidders, as well as assistance was provided to stakeholders for larger dissemination of information related to tendering. History
5.2 Project extension request package is prepared
[Added: 2021/03/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/13]
Project team, UNDP, Regional Hub 2021/09 Completed The project extension package has been prepared and submitted through Regional Technical Advisor in September 2021. History

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