Mid-Term Evaluation of the Climate -Induced Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CDRRP)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2021
Completion Date:
03/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Title Mid-Term Evaluation of the Climate -Induced Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CDRRP)
Atlas Project Number: 00098027
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2021
Planned End Date: 03/2021
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 $): 35,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 35,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Stephen Richard Goss Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Future projects should consider carefully the relevance of agricultural interventions to their overall objective and the needs of the target population; for the remainder of this project, priority should be given to activities and training that directly address disaster resilience

2

This &/or future projects should look at large-scale adaption of agriculture to climate change, including cereals. Options include increased irrigation, reduced tillage, drought- & heat-resistant varieties, and water storage to continue irrigating high-value crops during dry summers.

3

The project should review its approach to Early Warning Systems, together with ANDMA, AMD, MoEW and other institutions, and seek a more sustainable, comprehensive and effective model.

4

The project objective should be reformulated as “to reduce the damage to lives and livelihoods caused by climate-induced disasters.

5

Mechanisms should be established to measure the impact of disasters on project and comparator communities, so as to assess the overall effectiveness of the project.

6

The financial impact of livelihoods interventions should be systematically monitored, and priority given to the most cost-effective interventions

7

UNDP should continue to monitor the impact of long-term interventions beyond the life of the original project and use the findings to inform design of future projects; a cooperative multi-donor approach to monitoring and cost-benefit analysis of common interventions might be effective.

8

The quantitative target for Community Development Plans should be amended from 60 to 30 and the regional workshop should be replaced with a virtual workshop convened by the project

9

The project should use international experience and training resources for preparation of the Provincial Climate Action Plans and invite feedback from relevant national and international organizations.

10

Future projects should ensure that they have sufficient technical resources to design and implement each technical component well. Where the technical staff budget is a binding constraint, the project should limit the number of different components and interventions to avoid spreading its resources too thinly.

11

Projects should avoid working in multiple provinces if they do not have sufficient resources to serve all accessible target beneficiaries in even one province.

12

The project should carefully assess the resources needed to complete the Early Warning Systems component, after the review proposed by Recommendation 2 and re-allocate any remaining funds to Component 3, where priority should be given to infrastructure before livelihoods interventions.

13

UNDP should build a common system for management and monitoring of such projects, with robust and user-friendly data-entry forms and a comprehensive set of analytical tools.

14

CDRRP staff should train MAIL extension officers from all districts of Nangahar and Jawzjan, and ideally other provinces as well, to increase the impact and sustainability of its extension work. Training courses should be properly documented, and the materials shared with permanent local institutions.

1. Recommendation:

Future projects should consider carefully the relevance of agricultural interventions to their overall objective and the needs of the target population; for the remainder of this project, priority should be given to activities and training that directly address disaster resilience

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

UNDP does not agree with this recommendation: first, this project is understood by all stakeholders as a climate change adaptation project, which aims to increase the resilience of communities against both climate-induced disasters and non-disaster impacts such as reduced water availability and increased soil erosion. Agriculture-based livelihoods interventions are an important means in achieving this goal.

More specifically, the MTR states "the exclusive focus on agriculture is contrary to the recommendations of the baseline study and its finding that the large majority of rural household income derives from non-agricultural sources". This position is not borne out by literature - FAO finds that 60% of the population is dependent on agriculture and 68% own livestock while the World Bank states that 70 percent of Afghans live and work in rural areas, mostly on farms, and 61 percent of all households derive income from agriculture (https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/29312). Climate change adaptation and resilience building must be focused on the livelihoods on which the bunk of the population depend, i.e. agriculture. While increasing the resilience of agriculture is the focus of the project, CDRRP also implements activities that are directly related to disaster risk reduction, such as building flood walls and conducting trainings on weather monitoring and disaster early warning. These activities will continue to be implemented during the remaining project period.

http://www.fao.org/in-action/agricultural-assessment-scenario-afghanistan/overview/background/en/

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

This &/or future projects should look at large-scale adaption of agriculture to climate change, including cereals. Options include increased irrigation, reduced tillage, drought- & heat-resistant varieties, and water storage to continue irrigating high-value crops during dry summers.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

 It is noted that future climate change adaptation projects should tackle food security, with a focus on cereal production, which will more directly increase the resilience of communities against climate-induced disasters. CDRRP will also prioritize interventions that benefit cereal farmers during the remaining project period.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A new GEF project being developed by UNDP, the Community-based Climate-responsive Livelihoods and Forestry (CCLF), will work towards resilience building for livelihoods and food security, with a focus on climate smart agriculture (including livestock raising).
[Added: 2021/04/18]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit, Programme Analyst and Consultants) 2021/10 Initiated CCLF project development team leader has noted this action. Progress will be checked again when the project document is developed.
During the remaining 1.5 years, CDRRP technical team will prioritize its investments on water management infrastructure interventions and agricultural interventions that can increase the resilience of cereal production.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/09 Initiated The project team is considering this action in planning future interventions. Progress will be checked again at the end of 2021
3. Recommendation:

The project should review its approach to Early Warning Systems, together with ANDMA, AMD, MoEW and other institutions, and seek a more sustainable, comprehensive and effective model.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

 As the current EWS model the project adopts is aligned with the national early warning framework, it will be handed over to and maintained by the line ministry after the project’s termination, ensuring a level of sustainability. While the project does not think it need to make major changes to the model, it will reach out to the relevant stakeholders mentioned above to identify areas that could benefit from improved sustainability. One of the potential areas, as suggested by the MTR (page 74), is the establishment and equipping of the Emergency Operation Centres for District and Province Disaster Management Committees

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
As suggested by the MTR as a potential measure to increase the sustainability of the EWS model, CDRRP will set up, equip and provide trainings for Emergency Operation Centres in all six target districts.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/09 Initiated Work has begun to establish and equip the emergency operation centers at the district level. Progress will be checked again at the end of 2021.
Together with stakeholders, the project will review the EWS model and identify aspects of the model that could be made more sustainable.
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/07/03]
CDRRP Project Manager 2021/06 Completed Project team has conducted discussion with provincial ANDMA regarding the handover and maintenance of the EWS and this activity has been completed. History
4. Recommendation:

The project objective should be reformulated as “to reduce the damage to lives and livelihoods caused by climate-induced disasters.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

UNDP and the project team disagrees with this recommendation as the current objective, “to improve the ?preparedness and resilience of selected Afghan communities to climate-induced disaster risks”, already captures the full scope of project activities and reflects the reduction of damages to lives and livelihoods caused by climate-induced disasters, as suggested by the proposal. As discussed under recommendation 1, the current phrasing of the objective does not prevent stakeholders from correctly understanding the project as a climate change adaptation project, which aims to address climate-induced disaster risks through local governance and resilient livelihoods. The measurement of preparedness and resilience has also been appropriately operationalized through LogFrame indicators. There is therefore no need to revise the objective. Finally, the project has also consulted the project board regarding this recommendation and the board suggested that the current objective is ok and the project do not revise the current objective

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Requesting the change of objective
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/07/03]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit & Programme Analyst. 2021/06 Completed This activity has been completed History
5. Recommendation:

Mechanisms should be established to measure the impact of disasters on project and comparator communities, so as to assess the overall effectiveness of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

The project team will set up a monitoring and reporting system to measure the impact of disasters on project and comparator communities after major disasters strike the area to compare the damages and assess the effectiveness of the project interventions. However, in most cases, disasters do not affect neighboring communities evenly and not all differences among neighboring communities could be attributed to the effectiveness of CDRRP’s interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project team will set up a monitoring and reporting system for the assessment of disaster damages in project and comparator communities.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/09 Initiated Monitoring forms finalized and surveys will be completed once a major climate-induced disaster strikes. Progress will be checked again at the end of 2021.
6. Recommendation:

The financial impact of livelihoods interventions should be systematically monitored, and priority given to the most cost-effective interventions

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

The project team will start monitoring the cost and income of the major livelihoods interventions to enable gross margin calculation. Considerations about cost-effectiveness will be taken when selecting future projects, although other factors such as sustainability and suitability for poor households will also affect the final decisions on the types of interventions to be implemented.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CDRRP will start monitoring cost and income for major livelihoods interventions and use gross margin calculation to identify the cost-effectiveness of interventions and inform the selection of future interventions.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/09 Initiated Forms measuring income have been developed for major livelihoods interventions. Cost surveys will be developed and carried out. Progress will be checked again at the end of 2021.
To increase the cost-effectiveness of projects and address the issue of elite capture, the new GEF project under development, CCLF, will focus on strengthening CBOs and creating community owned rural infrastructure rather than private investments. It will also make use of the cost-effectiveness information collected through CDRRP, which shows higher returns on investment for interventions such as dairy toolkits, kitchen gardens and veg. trellising as opposed to micro or macro greenhouses.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
UNDP (sustainable unit programme analyst and consultants) 2021/10 Initiated CCLF project development team leader has noted this action. Progress will be checked again when the project document is developed.
7. Recommendation:

UNDP should continue to monitor the impact of long-term interventions beyond the life of the original project and use the findings to inform design of future projects; a cooperative multi-donor approach to monitoring and cost-benefit analysis of common interventions might be effective.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

There is no existing structure for funding such monitoring activities and considering the small scale of the interventions, it’s difficult to justify the cost of such monitoring. However, UNDP will consider this recommendation and conduct the impact evaluation in long-term.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This recommendation will be considered and conducted in the long-term
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]
UNDP (chief of Sustainability Unit and Programme Analyst) 2022/09 Completed The sustainable unit will share it with the office. Updates will be provided later. History
8. Recommendation:

The quantitative target for Community Development Plans should be amended from 60 to 30 and the regional workshop should be replaced with a virtual workshop convened by the project

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

As explained by the MTR, the project is working in 30 communities, in each of which it has conducted “Hazard and Risk Mapping and Vulnerability Assessments”, appointed and trained Lead Farmers and launched interventions. Given that the project has neither the information base nor the local contacts to work effectively on Community Development Plans outside its 30 selected communities, this target should be amended from 60 to 30. The project team has requested the changes of indicators and targets in accordance with this recommendation and the request has been approved by the project board. The UNDP/NCE will be notified of this change. The changes will also be presented in the upcoming GEF PIR report

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP/NCE will be notified of this change, which will also be presented in the upcoming GEF PIR report.
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/09/21]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit, Programme Analyst) and CDRRP Project Manager. 2021/08 Completed This activity is completed. History
9. Recommendation:

The project should use international experience and training resources for preparation of the Provincial Climate Action Plans and invite feedback from relevant national and international organizations.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

The project will recruit international experts to work on these activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project team will recruit international experts or a consultancy who recruit an international consultant to work on the provincial climate action plan and providing trainings for policy makers on climate change adaptation.
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/10/10]
CDRRP Project Manager 2021/12 Initiated All vertical-funded projects are on hold by donor now to hire a consultancy for the job. History
10. Recommendation:

Future projects should ensure that they have sufficient technical resources to design and implement each technical component well. Where the technical staff budget is a binding constraint, the project should limit the number of different components and interventions to avoid spreading its resources too thinly.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18]

Agreed. For future projects, technical staff will be brought on board as soon as the project starts to ensure they participate in the feasibility survey, design and planning of project interventions and for as long as it is necessary for effective project implementation and monitoring. Moreover, efforts will be made to limit the number of technical topics and geographic locations future projects work at to reduce the number of technical staff needed for successful implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
For CCLF, technical staff will be on board from the beginning and technical assessments will take place in the first year as part of project inception. This will ensure that designs are comprehensive and include necessary safeguard requirements such as ESIAs.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit, Programme Analyst and Consultants) 2022/09 Not Initiated CCLF project development team leader has noted this action. Progress will be checked again when the project document is developed.
11. Recommendation:

Projects should avoid working in multiple provinces if they do not have sufficient resources to serve all accessible target beneficiaries in even one province.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18]

Agreed. Having projects spreading across multiple provinces adds very high administrative overheads. This is even relevant to projects that work on agriculture and natural resources where an integrated landscape approach is most effective. Such interventions, however, need to be at watershed scales (~5,000 ha) to have a sustainable impact.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The new GEF project under development, CCLF, will limit on-ground project interventions to one or at most two sites (provinces) in a single or at most two provinces.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit, Programme Analyst and Consultant) 2021/10 Initiated CCLF project development team leader has noted this action. Progress will be checked again when the project document is developed.
In addition to limiting the number of project sites, CCLF will also build capacity at the grassroots that will contribute to the operation and maintenance of rural infrastructure and to the management of community forests and natural resources.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit, Programme Analyst and Consultant) 2021/10 Initiated CCLF project development team leader has noted this action. Progress will be checked again when the project document is developed.
12. Recommendation:

The project should carefully assess the resources needed to complete the Early Warning Systems component, after the review proposed by Recommendation 2 and re-allocate any remaining funds to Component 3, where priority should be given to infrastructure before livelihoods interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18]

Agreed: The project has conducted the analysis on the resources needed to complete the early warning system component and requested the reallocation of funds from this component to component 3, where priorities will be given to infrastructure interventions. The request had been approved by the project board and a new budget plan is being drawn up.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Analyzing the resources for reallocation and requesting the approval for reallocation from the project board and RTA.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2021/03 Completed This action is completed
Preparing revised budget plan and revising AWP.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2021/03 Completed This action is completed
Getting approval of the revised AWP from project board.
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/06/02]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit, Programme Analyst) and CDRRP Project Manager. 2021/05 Completed This action has been taken (project board conducted and AWP revised) History
Carrying out the implementation in the field.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/09 Not Initiated no comment
13. Recommendation:

UNDP should build a common system for management and monitoring of such projects, with robust and user-friendly data-entry forms and a comprehensive set of analytical tools.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/26]

Having a multi-platform, cloud-based, robust and user-friendly database will be beneficial for consistent data collection and monitoring. As indicated by the recommendation, it is difficult to build such a system for one project alone and more suitable as an initiative for multiple projects. As the sustainable unit has a small portfolio at the moment, it will share this recommendation with other units who have projects of similar data structure to explore the possibility of jointly funding this initiative.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The sustainable unit will share this recommendation with other units to check if a joint initiative of building cloud-based database is feasible.
[Added: 2021/04/18]
UNDP (Sustainable Unit and Programme Analyst) 2022/09 Not Initiated The unit will share this recommendation with other UNDP units.
14. Recommendation:

CDRRP staff should train MAIL extension officers from all districts of Nangahar and Jawzjan, and ideally other provinces as well, to increase the impact and sustainability of its extension work. Training courses should be properly documented, and the materials shared with permanent local institutions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/04/18]

Agreed: This is an important recommendation that will increase the project’s sustainability and impact in its target provinces.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Preparation of training plan, outlining training methods and targets.
[Added: 2021/04/18] [Last Updated: 2021/10/10]
CDRRP Project Manager 2021/12 Initiated All vertical-funded projects are on hold by the donor for now to hire a consultancy to do the job. History
Development of training manuals
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/06 Not Initiated No comment
Delivering training and generating reports on the training
[Added: 2021/04/18]
CDRRP Project Manager 2022/06 Not Initiated No comment

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