Mid Term Review for the GEF funded Joint Management Area project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2017-2023, Mauritius
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2020
Completion Date:
03/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
16,625

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Title Mid Term Review for the GEF funded Joint Management Area project
Atlas Project Number: 00087614
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2023, Mauritius
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment
  • 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
SDG Target
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • 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.a Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Evaluation Budget(US $): 16,625
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,625
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Ivica Trumbic MTR Team
Ivica Trumbic Mr
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Department for Continental Shelf Maritime Zones Administration and Exploration (Mauritius)and the Blue Economy Department (Seychelles)
Countries: MAURITIUS
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Re-assess the indicator and targets in the Revised UNDP-JMA Project Results Framework, which was approved at the Inception Meeting. The linkages between indicators and targets have to be clear and not too detailed. They have to be measurable and achievable by the end of the project. In the same table, a very clear distinction has to be made between the outputs and activities, while both of these have to be clearly linked with the respective indicators and targets. In this respect, introduce a clear definition of major terms in the ProDoc (MSP, management strategy, MSP approach, MSP process, MSP framework) to avoid terminological ambiguity and strengthen the linkages among outcomes and outputs. Finally, the PRF should have a clear timeline for the realisation of the targets. A list of proposed changes should be circulated to the PSC and changes made in time for the next reporting period.

2

Speed up implementation of the remaining activities, in particular those whose completion has been delayed (establishment of Working Groups, development of the management strategy, training). Stricter control of implementation of activities should be introduced.

3

The allocation of the unspent funds should be reviewed and the budget revision to re-allocate the remaining funds of the project urgently prepared (46% of the project funds have not been distributed yet). This refers particularly to the travel budget where a large amount has been unspent due to the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

4

System of reporting on co-financing should be improved.  Prepare annual co-financing reports containing, as a minimum, the information on the amount of annual co-financing provided by each partner; distribution of co-financing per component/outcome; rate of co-financing provided and the amount left for the remaining period of the project’s implementation; perceived risks, if any, in provision of co-financing by partner; and proposal for actions to be taken to mitigate risks. The co-financing report should be presented to, discussed at and adopted by the PSC on a yearly basis.

5

Improve the visibility of the project by speeding up the implementation of the communications strategy of the project

6

Improve the quality of the project’s web site and update it regularly. It should contain all the project’s outputs as well as other information of interest for potential users, including videos, information bulletins, etc. Reports of the most important project meetings should be placed on the web site as soon as they will be prepared. A special page should be developed to monitor the progress of implementation of the project’s activities per outcome and output.

7

Develop indicators on gender mainstreaming and integrate them into the PRF and the monitoring system.

8

Increase the capacity building efforts, including training on GIS, MCS, MSP zoning etc.

9

Develop a proposal to extend the project by 6 months to allow sufficient time to achieve progress towards outcomes that have been delayed in starting implementation of project activities, because of the Covid-19 crisis and the lengthy consultation process between the two countries.

10

Speed up efforts to establish the designated authority for the JMA, which is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of the MSP roadmap and the future JMA Management Strategy.

11

Increase efforts to accept the Ecosystem based Management as the underlying approach to manage JMA as an integrated ecosystem that includes ECS and water column and sea surface above it. Need for EBM should be made explicit in the PRF but relevant awareness efforts should also be directed towards the members of the JMC, other administrative and decision-making levels in both countries and, ultimately, to the public at large in both countries.

12

Engage more actively towards integration of the private sector into the implementation of the Joint Management Strategy. This is an essential step towards implementation of MSP. PMU to consider employing or engaging as a consultant a Business Development specialist to develop and promote their products and services to private sector stakeholders in both countries and beyond.

13

Clearly define the scope of the JMA Management Strategy. The document, which will outline the vision, objectives, strategic directions and basic outcomes, should be accompanied by the Plan of Action. It should contain an extensive list of activities sorted by the strategy’s outcomes. For each activity the following should be defined: objective of the activity, short description of the contents of each activity, linkage with other activities/outcomes/objectives, benefits, outputs, timeline, cost and responsibilities.

14

Considering the complexity and novelty of the JMA Project as well as its demonstration character, the PMU should explore possibilities for networking with other similar initiatives elsewhere. This particularly refers to exploring experiences in integration of Marine Spatial Planning in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction in other regions of the world carried out by FAO, UNEP and UNDP.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Re-assess the indicator and targets in the Revised UNDP-JMA Project Results Framework, which was approved at the Inception Meeting. The linkages between indicators and targets have to be clear and not too detailed. They have to be measurable and achievable by the end of the project. In the same table, a very clear distinction has to be made between the outputs and activities, while both of these have to be clearly linked with the respective indicators and targets. In this respect, introduce a clear definition of major terms in the ProDoc (MSP, management strategy, MSP approach, MSP process, MSP framework) to avoid terminological ambiguity and strengthen the linkages among outcomes and outputs. Finally, the PRF should have a clear timeline for the realisation of the targets. A list of proposed changes should be circulated to the PSC and changes made in time for the next reporting period.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 TOR to be developed for an international consultancy to review the results framework of the project
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/08 Overdue-Not Initiated Draft TOR History
1.2 Hire an international consultant to review result framework
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated Hire an IC History
1.3 Organize a validation workshop to clarify the definition in respect of MSP and to approve the timeline for Project Result Framework.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated Draft concept note for workshop History
2. Recommendation:

Speed up implementation of the remaining activities, in particular those whose completion has been delayed (establishment of Working Groups, development of the management strategy, training). Stricter control of implementation of activities should be introduced.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation. COVID 19 pandemic and delay in the recruitment of Project Manager has exacerbated the implementation of activities. A no cost extension would allow us to complete all remaining activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.3 Develop implementation plan of project activities related to MSP
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated To be concluded History
2.1 Request for Project Extension for 12 months
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
UNDP CO and PMU 2022/02 Completed Completed History
2.2 Establish a technical working group, for the implementation of MSP.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/02 Completed Completed History
3. Recommendation:

The allocation of the unspent funds should be reviewed and the budget revision to re-allocate the remaining funds of the project urgently prepared (46% of the project funds have not been distributed yet). This refers particularly to the travel budget where a large amount has been unspent due to the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Conduct of a detailed budget revision as advised by Evaluator.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and UNDP CO 2022/02 Completed Completed History
3.2 Prepare the Annual Workplan with redistributed amounts from travel to other major activities.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/02 Completed Completed History
4. Recommendation:

System of reporting on co-financing should be improved.  Prepare annual co-financing reports containing, as a minimum, the information on the amount of annual co-financing provided by each partner; distribution of co-financing per component/outcome; rate of co-financing provided and the amount left for the remaining period of the project’s implementation; perceived risks, if any, in provision of co-financing by partner; and proposal for actions to be taken to mitigate risks. The co-financing report should be presented to, discussed at and adopted by the PSC on a yearly basis.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation and has already taken steps to act upon the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.2 Co-financing update to be presented at every PSC meeting
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/12 Initiated Ongoing History
4.3 Quarterly cumulative tracking of co-financing until end of project
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/12 Initiated Ongoing History
4.1 Drafting of tracking tool on co-financing and disbursement, including risk and mitigation measures and tabled at the PSC meeting for approval.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/02 Completed Completed History
5. Recommendation:

Improve the visibility of the project by speeding up the implementation of the communications strategy of the project

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/10]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation and has already hired a communication firm.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.3 Work with the Avarts ltd. firm to popularize the project.
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated Quite advanced History
5.1 Review the communication strategy of project September 2022
[Added: 2022/02/10] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated History
5.2 Work with the UNDP communications team to implement the provisions in the communications strategy.
[Added: 2022/02/11] [Last Updated: 2022/07/15]
PMU &PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated Not yet started History
6. Recommendation:

Improve the quality of the project’s web site and update it regularly. It should contain all the project’s outputs as well as other information of interest for potential users, including videos, information bulletins, etc. Reports of the most important project meetings should be placed on the web site as soon as they will be prepared. A special page should be developed to monitor the progress of implementation of the project’s activities per outcome and output.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation and has already hired a communication firm.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1: IT Consultant and Communication Firm to finalize content for the JMA website.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/08 Overdue-Initiated Design of website pages approved at the last PSC.
6.2: Website developed and maintained until end of project (an officer to be designated for regular update and feeding of contents).
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/09 Overdue-Initiated Started
6.3: Hold meeting with the UNDP Communication to discuss and agree on communications strategy for project
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Develop indicators on gender mainstreaming and integrate them into the PRF and the monitoring system.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 TOR to be developed for an international consultancy to review the results framework of the project
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
7.2 Hire an international consultant to review project document and integrate gender indicators into result framework
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Increase the capacity building efforts, including training on GIS, MCS, MSP zoning etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

 The CO is agreeable to this recommendation and training has already been conducted for GIS and MCS, to be followed by training in  MSP zoning.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Hire a firm/consultant to conduct training on GIS and MSP
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU and PSC 2022/02 Completed Contract awarded
8.2 Conduct training on GIS & MSP
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/03 Completed Contract awarded
8.3 Consultant to conduct MSP zoning training for Stakeholders
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/02 Completed Contract awarded
9. Recommendation:

Develop a proposal to extend the project by 6 months to allow sufficient time to achieve progress towards outcomes that have been delayed in starting implementation of project activities, because of the Covid-19 crisis and the lengthy consultation process between the two countries.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation and the necessary is being done.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 Clean up of project budget to be done in Atlas
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & UNDP CO 2022/06 Completed Completed
9.2 Request for Project Extension
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & UNDP CO 2022/06 Completed
10. Recommendation:

Speed up efforts to establish the designated authority for the JMA, which is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of the MSP roadmap and the future JMA Management Strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 Write letter to both Governments requesting them to establish the designated authority for the JMA in preparation for the implementation of the MSP roadmap.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & UNDP CO 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated Project Manager to draft the letters.
11. Recommendation:

Increase efforts to accept the Ecosystem based Management as the underlying approach to manage JMA as an integrated ecosystem that includes ECS and water column and sea surface above it. Need for EBM should be made explicit in the PRF but relevant awareness efforts should also be directed towards the members of the JMC, other administrative and decision-making levels in both countries and, ultimately, to the public at large in both countries.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 The PSC will keep advocating for Ecosystem based Management principles. That been said the PMU will fast track the implementation of the management strategy which captures the Ecosystem Base Management.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/12 Not Initiated
11.2 International consultant on M& E recruited to integrate EBM as an indicator in the Result framework.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
12. Recommendation:

Engage more actively towards integration of the private sector into the implementation of the Joint Management Strategy. This is an essential step towards implementation of MSP. PMU to consider employing or engaging as a consultant a Business Development specialist to develop and promote their products and services to private sector stakeholders in both countries and beyond.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.1: TOR to be developed for the hiring of a business development Specialist to develop and promote their products and services to private sector members in both Countries.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/12 Not Initiated
12.2: Engage with the JMA for recruitment of a BD specialist.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/12 Not Initiated
13. Recommendation:

Clearly define the scope of the JMA Management Strategy. The document, which will outline the vision, objectives, strategic directions and basic outcomes, should be accompanied by the Plan of Action. It should contain an extensive list of activities sorted by the strategy’s outcomes. For each activity the following should be defined: objective of the activity, short description of the contents of each activity, linkage with other activities/outcomes/objectives, benefits, outputs, timeline, cost and responsibilities.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation that will help in the strategic direction of the JMA after completion of the first phase of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1 Draft Terms of Reference for the recruitment of an International Consultant for the implementation of the JMA Strategic Plan.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
13.2 Recruitment of an International Consultant.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU & PSC 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
14. Recommendation:

Considering the complexity and novelty of the JMA Project as well as its demonstration character, the PMU should explore possibilities for networking with other similar initiatives elsewhere. This particularly refers to exploring experiences in integration of Marine Spatial Planning in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction in other regions of the world carried out by FAO, UNEP and UNDP.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/07/15]

The CO is agreeable to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
14.1 The project has already engaged with several partners such as IOC-UNESCO, WIOMSA, and the Nairobi Convention Secretariate.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
PMU 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated
14.2 UNDP to send an email to RBA for networking possibilities with similar initiatives to explore experience in Marine Spatial Planning in another Country.
[Added: 2022/07/15]
UNDP CO 2022/09 Overdue-Not Initiated

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