Terminal Evaluation of the UNDP-AF Ecosystem Based Adaptation in Seychelles

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2023, Seychelles
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2022
Completion Date:
03/2022
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of the UNDP-AF Ecosystem Based Adaptation in Seychelles
Atlas Project Number: 00080054
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2023, Seychelles
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2022
Planned End Date: 03/2022
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 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • 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
  • 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 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 $): 40,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 23,117
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Jan Rijpma Mr
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment, PUC, Farming Communities, other
Countries: SEYCHELLES
Lessons
1.

A well thought through Theory of Change and Logical Framework are required in Project Documents, in order to set up the Project Implementation Teams on the right track to achieve the intended results and impact.

Theory of Change, Logical Framework and especially the indicators, baselines and targets willneed to be discussed again in detail during the Inception Workshop, also given the fact that there is normally a significant time lag between project development, approval and “real” project start.


2.

Include reference in project document and start early enough with conceptualizing the exit strategy of a project. This should lead to a transparent and well informed exit strategy at the end of project, with clear and agreed responsibilities for action and follow up in order to sustain development achievements and resultts


3.

A robust, well informed and constructive Mid term Review can be instrumental to put a project back on track, if the recommendations were well developed, practical and followed. The use of “shadow indicators” can be helpful to put a project back on track, but these should be carefully developed and be as close as possible to the original indicators, in order not to divert from the original project course and reduce project ambition.

If significant indicator changes are needed during the MTR, like in this project, it would be better to discuss this in detail with the Implementing Entity and the Donor and allow for some flexibility in accepting such changesin order to get a derailed or not well performing project back on track.


4.

Demonstrate good practices through visible “on the ground” activities supported by detailed and effective awareness and communication efforts are important to make climate change adaptation, resilienceand ecosystems based projects successful.

Community involvement and support for community-led activities are crucial in local adaptation and ecosystem projects.

Start “marketing the project” and develop key “Lessons learned” and “case studies” around the main project results in order as early as possible in order create awareness and assist with advocacy.


5.

Consideration must be given to organizing more meaningful periodic project planning and review meetings (e.g. “retreats”), in addition to the normal periodic limited steering committee meetings, for more and better coordinated strategic oversight and guidance.

Investing in capacities and providing clarity on M&E in existing and future projects, e.g. through better and clearer formulated M&E requirements in project documents, explanations at Inception Workshop and communication around M&E during implementation, including through trainings. Better M&E at PCU level, e.g. with a full-time M&E officer, will also help ensure that project progress can be tracked effectively.


Findings
1.

The Project Document was well researched and very relevant however, no Theory of Change was produced and the LogFrame had unrealistic indicators and targets, which were not looked at during project inception.


2.

There are good possibilities for further replication and upscaling of project results, especially the wetland clearing and water storage works. It is imperative that the Watershed Committees are supported to sustain the watershed management results. Further International and national funding options should be explored that could sustain some of the EbA activities.

A robust research agenda around climate change, ecosystem sustainability and resilience is needed and actions with agreements and financing needs are to be spelled out in a project's Exit Strategy.


3.

The MTR proposed additional “shadow indicators” which were instrumental in getting the project back on track.

The “shadow indicators and targets” have been achieved at above 90%; original indicators were underachieved. The project created some key, successful and recognized outcomes, especially the work in upland and coastal wetlands, and involvement of communities.


4.

Overall Good knowledge products were produced under the scope of the project.

It was found that the work of Consultants and contractors varied in quality.

Almost all stakeholders rated the project as “successful” to “excellent”, mainly based on the highly visible and well-appreciated work on water management.


5.

Overall The Project Implementation Team functioned well and it was found that the Project Steering Committee operated adequately, although strategic guidance and follow through of actions were at times lacking.

The Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) provided oversight and coordination, although the quality of guidance declined over time and that the UNDP oversight and execution was found Moderately Satisfactory to Satisfactory.

Project Risks were well detailed during project development and monitored effectively and Project financial delivery was exemplary.However, the GOS leadership and guidance was found wanting at times.

Despite challenges that existed because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and problems with office space, it was found that Partners were enthusiastic and active, though commitments of some key government agencies were not always followed through.


6.

Some insititutional reforms with the new change in Government is currently ongoing and that the reforms in the Public Utilities Corporation and the the restructuring of the Programme Coordination Unit is imperative for the sustainability of key project actions such as the implementation of relevant policies and plans, e.g. the Water Policy, Climate Change Policy, NDCs, and a NAP needs to be developed can be undertaken

A new Infrastructure Agency would be well placed to undertake some of the clearing and maintenance works post the project closure.


Recommendations
1

Develop project Exit Strategy that includes relevant and clearly spelled out actions, agreements, responsibilities and financing needed for follow up

2

Organize a final project review meeting that will summarize the project’s achievements and discusses the way forward and sustainability of project results, also based on the project exit strategy

3

Review and restructure the PCU, with a view to widen its role, portfolio and funding under a new leadership / management with a new Programme Coordinator) and staff (accountant + administration + communications) on Government’s contracts and payroll. This could also entail a fixed pool of Project PCU project managers, as to increase job security and linkage / succession of project activities. This could be informed by a PCU evaluation.

4

The Watershed Committees established by the EbA project should be supported to sustain the watershed management results, as well as to inform possible setting up of new watershed committees or other community groups. This could be through different projects (e.g., Ridge to Reef), Funds (SGP, SeyCCAT), government agencies (CAMS, Wetland Unit, Biodiversity Conservation Management Division, new Infrastructure agency, LWMA), private sector involvement, etc.

5

Discuss with North East Point watershed committee the completion of the wetland clearing and options for monitoring and maintenance.

6

Finalize and publish the EIA for Glacis Noire for the proposed wetland reprofiling and clearing to serve as water resource for firefighting on Praslin. After approval of EIA a decision should be taken and budget granted to go ahead or not.

7

Ensure that the newly envisaged Infrastructure Agency will have sufficient resources and capacities, and that climate change and environmental concerns are adequately mainstreamed in its operations, to ensure climate proofed and environmentally friendly work and maintenance can be undertaken.

8

Ensure that the reform of water resources management between the SEC and PUC is followed up as intended, with resource management being overseen by the SEC as resource regulator and with PUC as supplier of water to consumers

9

Finalize the Water Bill, as this will provide the legal foundation for improved integrated and community engaged water resources management, with attention to nature-based solutions, as well as increased financing through sustainable financing mechanisms.

10

Develop a National Adaptation Plan (NAP), possibly with available readiness support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). In such a NAP, EbA as part of Nature based Solutions (NBS) should feature prominently, based on experience of the EbA project and others

11

Explore national and international climate finance opportunities in order to secure sustainable finance for climate change adaptation and Nature Based Solutions

12

Seek accreditation for Adaptation Fund (AF) National Implementing Entity (NIE)

13

Develop a national PPP framework, so that funding for local environment activities through this mechanism will be possible

14

Investigate and possibly reverse the abolishment of tax breaks for companies for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, in order to provide funding and interest from companies in local community work around climate change and environment.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Develop project Exit Strategy that includes relevant and clearly spelled out actions, agreements, responsibilities and financing needed for follow up

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28] [Last Updated: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with the recommendation. An exit strategy was drafted and shared with all relevant stakeholders.

On-site meetings were held with various Ministries, departments and agencies to address the specificities of ownership, maintenance and sustainability beyond the project's end date. While some aspects have been agreed on principle, the exit strategy has to be endorsed and implemented by the various agencies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop an Exit Strategy for EBA project to be submitted to MACCE
[Added: 2022/04/28]
Project Team, PC, MACCE 2022/03 Completed An exit strategy has been drafted and shared with relevant stakeholders for comments and implementation. There implementation of the exit strategy will require commitment from various Ministries, departments and agencies and some of the project's direct beneficiaries such as the watershed.
2. Recommendation:

Organize a final project review meeting that will summarize the project’s achievements and discusses the way forward and sustainability of project results, also based on the project exit strategy

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with this recommendation and a final project steering committee meeting is to be scheduled ahead of project closure.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Final PSC Meeting organized and minuted.
[Added: 2022/04/28]
Project Manager and Team 2022/03 Completed The final project steering committee meeting was held on Monday the 28th of March 2022. Project partners and beneficiaries generally lauded the project's interventions and achievements noting in particular the rehabilitation of the watersheds.
Exit Strategy shared and implemented
[Added: 2022/04/28] [Last Updated: 2022/07/12]
MACCE, Other stakeholders 2022/12 Completed Exit strategy completed and handed over to GoS and key partners History
3. Recommendation:

Review and restructure the PCU, with a view to widen its role, portfolio and funding under a new leadership / management with a new Programme Coordinator) and staff (accountant + administration + communications) on Government’s contracts and payroll. This could also entail a fixed pool of Project PCU project managers, as to increase job security and linkage / succession of project activities. This could be informed by a PCU evaluation.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with the recommendation. The Ministry has commenced on a thorough review of the Programme Coordination Unit and is in discussions with various other agencies for finalization of the structure and operational requirements for it to serve as an important unit to delive on donor funded projects and programmes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review of the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) structure and implement recommendations for restructuring
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE 2022/12 Initiated Restructuring is being coordinated by the Minister and Principal Secretaries of MACCE with support of an external consultant with vast experience in donor funded arrangements. The PCU is expected to be at full staffing by end 2022/early 2023
Ensure adequate Budget for staffing requirements and organizational structure
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, MFTNP, DPA 2022/12 Initiated Staffing requirements and budgets are currently under discussion with the newly reformed Dept. of Public Administration
4. Recommendation:

The Watershed Committees established by the EbA project should be supported to sustain the watershed management results, as well as to inform possible setting up of new watershed committees or other community groups. This could be through different projects (e.g., Ridge to Reef), Funds (SGP, SeyCCAT), government agencies (CAMS, Wetland Unit, Biodiversity Conservation Management Division, new Infrastructure agency, LWMA), private sector involvement, etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with the recommendation. In the immediate short term, the watershed committees established will be sustained through the Ridge to Reef and SGP projects with longer discussions on long term financing. The management recommends investing in continuous capacity building such as training the watershed committees to conduct business feasibility assessment and exploring potential for securing long term grants through private sector or other agencies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure capacity building and training for watershed committees to sustain watersheds
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, District Administration Office, MNA’s Office, Local Government, GOS-GEF-UNDP Ridge to Reef Project, SGP, SeyCCAT, Government Agencies, Private Sector 2024/12 Initiated MACCE, Local Government, should work in collaboration with the Watershed committees. The GOS-GEF-UNDP Ridge to Reef project, SGP and SeyCAAT to provide certain support to build their capacity within the scope of the projects' activities and duration
Ensure political buy in and support for the Watershed Committees set up by the EBA project by the Government and as approved by the Ministry
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MNA’s Office in the various watersheds, districts, MACCE 2024/12 Initiated Educating and involving Members of National Assembly to support the watershed committees work will be critical to ensuring political buy in at all levels.
5. Recommendation:

Discuss with North East Point watershed committee the completion of the wetland clearing and options for monitoring and maintenance.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Although Management agrees with the recommendation, the project team may not be in a position to influence the outcome of the discussions as there are various factors to be considered.

The MACCE unit will discuss the way forward post the final Project Steering Committee meeting and identify the relevant Departments and Agencies to be involved in the long-term monitoring and maintenance.

The exit strategy will propose the key actors involved for the same.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct meetings for ongoing discussions between the North East Point watershed committee and Climate Change Department, CAMS, MACCE.
[Added: 2022/04/28]
CAMS of CCD, MACCE, North East Point Watershed Committee, BCM Division 2022/03 Completed The EBA project has organised a first meeting among all stakeholders. Given that the project is ending, the further actions will be led by the Department of Climate Change and take responsibility to ensure the wetland is maintained through ongoing and new contracts
Identify relevant agency for maintenance and monitoring N.E. point
[Added: 2022/04/28] [Last Updated: 2022/07/12]
CAMS, CCD, MACCE 2022/12 Completed CAMS unit will undertake the relevant maintenance and monitoring of the NE wetlands History
6. Recommendation:

Finalize and publish the EIA for Glacis Noire for the proposed wetland reprofiling and clearing to serve as water resource for firefighting on Praslin. After approval of EIA a decision should be taken and budget granted to go ahead or not.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

The management agrees with this recommendation. However, the EIA is expected to be completed only after 31st March 2022.

Furthermore, budgetary allocations should be identified in the 2023 budget should there be political willingness to do so notwithstanding other emerging priorities in other sectors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
MACCE to conduct public consultations and endorse the EIA report
[Added: 2022/04/28] [Last Updated: 2022/07/12]
EAPS, MACCE, EIA consultants 2022/12 Initiated Public Consultations are expected to be held in the last quarter of 2022. The EIA report in itself has been completed History
EIA report and all studies to be completed and submitted to MACCE
[Added: 2022/04/28]
EBA project, MACCE, EAPS, EIA consultants 2022/04 Completed The ESIA study report will be submitted to the EAPS department of MACCE on 31 March 2022. MACCE to follow up after EBA with EIA process.
Identify sources of future funding/ budgetary allocations as necessary
[Added: 2022/04/28] [Last Updated: 2022/07/12]
MACCE, Adaptation Fund, GCF, SeyCAAT 2022/06 Completed Although this key action is on-going, current streams are being explored with SEYCCAT under the Global Fund for Coral Reef Restoration which will look at EBA concepts as well. The current SEYCCAT concept note makes provision for USD 7mn/- in financing. MACCE is also exploring additional funding through the GCF Readiness grants and where possible continue to look for additional revenue streams. UNDP is also exploring additional revenue streams through other networks to build on lessons learned and synergies with ongoing initiatives. History
7. Recommendation:

Ensure that the newly envisaged Infrastructure Agency will have sufficient resources and capacities, and that climate change and environmental concerns are adequately mainstreamed in its operations, to ensure climate proofed and environmentally friendly work and maintenance can be undertaken.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

The Management partially agrees with this recommendation. While this recommendation will be carried forward through the Minister’s office (MACCE), it would depend on the government budget and allocations to ensure such actions can be mainstreamed. CAMS and other relevant agencies must be consulted during the transition to ensure environmental concerns are taken on board within the Agency’s mandate. However, it is neither within the scope of the EBA project, project team or UNDP to support the transition for the Infrastructural Agency.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CAMS will liaise with the Infrastructure Agency to identify relevant resources and capacities to address environmental concerns such as clearing of drains by the wetlands.
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE 2022/12 Initiated The restructuring of the Infrastructure Agency will enable resource mobilisation and management between parties for maintenance and upkeep of wetlands.
8. Recommendation:

Ensure that the reform of water resources management between the SEC and PUC is followed up as intended, with resource management being overseen by the SEC as resource regulator and with PUC as supplier of water to consumers

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

The management partially agrees with this recommendation.

The relevant reforms proposed are not within the scope of project, however with the SEC and the PUC being key departments falling within the purview of the MACCE, the MACCE can facilitate the process.

However, the intended actions may take longer given the legal implication and creating the necessary legal instruments for the management of water resources

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Finalisation of the Integrated Water Resources Management Bill, for review and update of the regulatory structures for SEC and PUC.
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, PUC, SEC 2022/12 Initiated The Integrated Water Resources Management Bill will be submitted to MACCE by EBA project, for follow up management.
Identify the roles and responsibilities for each department and create the necessary legal instruments for effective management and segregation of duties. SEC as resource regulator and with PUC as supplier of water to consumers
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, PUC, SEC 2022/12 Initiated The reform of the water resource management will be led by the MACCE, with main stakeholders, such as SEC as the identified water regulator, PUC, Agriculture Department and Health authority, to ensure clarity in the roles and responsibilities of these stakeholders in the appropriate management of water resources in Seychelles.
9. Recommendation:

Finalize the Water Bill, as this will provide the legal foundation for improved integrated and community engaged water resources management, with attention to nature-based solutions, as well as increased financing through sustainable financing mechanisms.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with this recommendation. The Water Bill will be critical to address the long-term sustainability of the project’s results and effective management of water resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Water Bill is endorsed by Cabinet of Ministers
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, legal consultants, SEC, 2022/12 Initiated Principal Secretaries and legal consultants to submit the final Bill to Cabinet for approval
Finalize the Water Bill, and submit to MACCE, SEC, PUC
[Added: 2022/04/28]
EBA project, MACCE, Consultants, AG office, SEC, PUC 2022/03 Completed Integrated Water Resources Management Bill is being submitted to the MACCE on 31st march 2022 for follow up management.
10. Recommendation:

Develop a National Adaptation Plan (NAP), possibly with available readiness support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). In such a NAP, EbA as part of Nature based Solutions (NBS) should feature prominently, based on experience of the EbA project and others

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with this recommendation. A National Adaptation plan is expected to be submitted by April 2022

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a National Adaptation Plan (NAP), possibly with available readiness support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
[Added: 2022/04/28] [Last Updated: 2022/07/12]
MACCE, CCD, GCF, UNDP, UNEP 2022/12 Initiated The NAP is currently under development and the first GCF readiness workshop is to be held in July 2022 History
11. Recommendation:

Explore national and international climate finance opportunities in order to secure sustainable finance for climate change adaptation and Nature Based Solutions

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with this recommendation and through the support of national and international partners explore sustainable financing mechanisms to support climate change adaptation and implementation of nature-based solutions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Explore national and international climate finance opportunities in order to secure sustainable finance for climate change adaptation and Nature Based Solutions
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, UN, PCU, Consultants / Technical Adviser 2023/12 Initiated The MACCE is working in collaboration with GCF, AF to explore vertical funding sources to support Nature based solutions
Seek innovative financing solutions through BFU and other national and international partners
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, UN, PCU, Consultants / Technical Adviser 2023/12 Initiated
12. Recommendation:

Seek accreditation for Adaptation Fund (AF) National Implementing Entity (NIE)

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management agrees with this recommendation and MACCE is currently discussing the accreditation process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Commence with the accreditation process for Adaptation Fund (AF) National Implementing Entity (NIE)
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE 2023/12 Initiated MACCE is leading this process to be an AF accredited NIE. However, the process may take a while and further discussions may need to be had with national counterparts
Submission of relevant documents and updates for receipt of accreditation.
[Added: 2022/04/28]
GOS, Min. Finance, DBS, MACCE 2023/12 Initiated The process is being led by MACCE.
13. Recommendation:

Develop a national PPP framework, so that funding for local environment activities through this mechanism will be possible

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management partially agrees with this recommendation as this mechanism cannot be developed within the scope of the project. However, the MACCE will need to explore the framework and mechanisms to enable the feasibility of these activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a national PPP framework to support environmental management and conservation efforts
[Added: 2022/04/28]
MACCE, Min. Trade, Min. Finance 2022/12 Initiated While some PPPs exist, further deliberation and consideration needs to be given to the overall structure and would involve MOUs between Government and the Public and Private partners.
14. Recommendation:

Investigate and possibly reverse the abolishment of tax breaks for companies for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, in order to provide funding and interest from companies in local community work around climate change and environment.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/28]

Management does not wholly agree with this recommendation as this is led by the Ministry of Finance. While the PSC may be able to take this recommendation forward it is unrealistic to expect that the project may be able to influence the outcome of such financial instruments. However, within the MACCE’s Biodiversity Financing Unit, there may be scope to explore innovative, sustainable financing mechanisms to support funding and interest from local companies working around climate change and environment.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct assessment of financial instruments that can assist in alternative financing mechanisms for climate change, nature based solutions and environment
[Added: 2022/04/28]
Ministry of Finance, MACCE, SEYCCAT and others 2022/12 Initiated Discussions to be led by MACCE, Ministry of Finance, SEYCCAT and other relevant parties to review existing financial instruments and explore other mechanisms of innovative financing that may be beneficial in supporting CC, NBS and Environmental conservation and management
Investigate the feasibility/impact of tax breaks for companies for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
[Added: 2022/04/28]
Ministry of Finance 2024/12 Not Initiated The Ministry of Finance will be the lead agency to provide relevant guidance and commence any feasibility assessment for companies to benefit under tax breaks or CSR schemes. It is unlikely that the current Minister will backtrack on the decision to reinstate CSR tax within the year of it being abolished.

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