Terminal Evaluation of Rio Conventions Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2021-2025, Uganda
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
01/2022
Completion Date:
12/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
70,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of Rio Conventions Project
Atlas Project Number: 00101752
Evaluation Plan: 2021-2025, Uganda
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2021
Planned End Date: 01/2022
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Sustainable
  • 3. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
  • 2. Output 3.4.1 Innovative nature-based and gender-responsive solutions developed, financed and applied for sustainable recovery
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Evaluation Budget(US $): 70,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 70,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Cliff Bernard NUWAKORA National Consultant UGANDA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Capacity for RIO convention Implementation
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: EA
GEF Phase: GEF-1
GEF Project ID:
PIMS Number: 9335
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Water and Environment, ministries, departments and agencies
Countries: UGANDA
Lessons
1.

    Lessons Learnt

Several lessons have been picked from the design, management, and implementation of the project, including:

  1. Multi stakeholder engagement promotes synergies and enhances coordination as opposed to working in silos.
  2. Working through partnerships with other government entities and harnessing local capacity is critical for project success as it stimulates ownership and promotes increased efficiency in resource use.
  3. The building of technical capacity for the implementation of the provisions of the three Rio Conventions at national, district and local levels enhances the potential for sustainability of development planning efforts.
  4. The provisions of the Rio Conventions transcend national boundaries, and the management of environmental resources should be implemented from a regional (multi-national) perspective so as to achieve impact on the resources to be conserved.
  5. Joint implementation of project activities and Integration of project activities by the stakeholders through developed centralized information sharing facilitates effective coordination and the realization of substantive project results and achievements
  6. Joint M&E of project progress on the ground enables gaps to be easily and timely identified and attended to.
  7. Synergistic implementation of projects across the three conventions speaks to the need for a holistic approach to social, economic, and environmental (sustainable) development planning. Climate Change, Biodiversity Conservation, sustainable land management and Environmental Sustainability are an indivisible complex which has implications for human development and survival.
  8. Gender mainstreaming is no longer a choice. It should be treated as an integral part of development planning as it promotes the participation of more than half of most nations’ populations who have hitherto been marginalized in the processes that determine their development.

 


Findings
1.

Main Findings


Despite the global COVD19 pandemic the project achieved all its 9 outputs and 3 outcomes. Effective project management and commitment from all key stakeholders has successfully aided achievement of project objectives. The project has successfully and effectively mobilized all key stakeholders whose participation in, ownership of contribution and commitment towards the project has resulted in building a strong foundation for the sustainability of project results beyond the project lifespan.

 

Institutional capacity for the implementation of the Rio Conventions has also been built through targeted information sharing activities where twelve (12) dialogue meetings were convened over the project implementation period. Training was also used as a specific capacity building approach with more training workshops involving stakeholders from most relevant sectors in Uganda from national to district level. In addition to enhancing the understanding of the relevance of the Rio Conventions to the different sectors of the economy, these training sessions also promoted the mainstreaming of environmental concerns into all levels of development planning. The National Planning Agency, which is the apex planning institution in the country, has adopted mainstreaming of environmental considerations into national planning processes. Mainstreaming has also been made to permeate the National and District Development Planning processes thereby laying strong foundations for sustainability in the development process in Uganda. The capacity at baseline was 57% and later after project implementation it has increased to 86 %.

 

 

The placing of the Project Management Unit within the structures of NEMA facilitated the coordination of the operations of key governmental and non-governmental institutions and organizations. Notable government agencies which are now collaborating as a matter of course include the MWE, NEMA and the MAAIF. The creation of partnerships involving these agencies has resulted in increased and more effective coordination among all relevant institutions in the implementation of the three Rio Conventions. The barrier of institutional isolation of lack of coordination in the implementation of environmental programmes was thus effectively dealt with through this approach.

 

NEMA also established the Rio Conventions Information Systems Uganda, an online environmental information database which serves as a one stop clearing house for information sharing. Environmental data is now readily accessible from this portal for use in various aspects of local and national development planning.

 

The clear M&E plan that was developed with support from the project has been adopted by participating institutions as an effective way of tracking project and programme implementation which facilitates early detection of variations from set procedures and the adoption of corrective measures.

 

The project framework matrix was sound with appropriate linkages among all the project elements (problem being addressed, project objectives and outcomes, as well as outputs and specific activities). This was facilitated by the very comprehensive situational analysis that was conducted as part of project design.

 

The project was gender sensitive (GRES), with its focus on the number of women participants that attended various project related activities throughout the project implementation period. Gender focussed training strengthened women decision making and participation in programmes supported under the areas of focus of the three conventions.  The inclusion of women in most programmes promoted joint ownership and control over resources allocated for implementation of Rio conventions.

 

A standout feature which has contributed to the successful implementation of the project was its alignment with government strategies and those of the institutions that provided resources that were used in project execution. It is therefore likely that project results will be sustainable beyond the project’s lifespan. This has positive implications for the successful implementation of environmental projects and programmes as well as for sustainability of the development effort in Uganda.

 

With specific reference to Uganda’s obligations in terms of the Rio Conventions, the project has invested in capacity enhancement for implementation of the provisions of these international instruments from the national level to the local level. Most developing countries struggle with interpreting the provisions and utility of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements which they have signed. The mainstreaming of environmental considerations into the different sectoral development activities and programmes has assisted in “demystifying” these high-sounding agreements among most Ugandans as they now understand the linkages between their development aspirations and sustainable management of natural resources. Although no specific activities were implemented on the ground in the pilot districts of Uganda, most stakeholders that were consulted during the TE now understand the inextricable linkages between environmental conservation and the enhancement and sustainable development of livelihoods of those sections of the population that survives on the exploitation of environmental goods and services. The call was made that the results of the project should be scaled up to cover the rest of the country and provide for the achievement of national development goals and aspiration within the global framework of sustainable development.       

 

Based on the project strengths and gaps presented in various sections of this report, the TE team concluded that the project under review was successfully implemented and has yielded several lessons which will be useful in future national and UNDP programming. A set of evidence-based recommendations are also presented in this section.


Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation 1:  Development of a Policy Paper highlighting the need to develop an approach to development that recognizes the intricate linkages across the three Conventions and how development planning should be guided by the synergistic implementation of these and related Conventions.

2

Evaluation Recommendation 2: The Government of Uganda should develop a successor program with wider national outlook and representation which should go beyond the software project approach and start implementing more widespread programmes that are developed based on the successes scored under this project. The development of this successor project should include a comprehensive Resource Mobilization and Communication Strategy for use in disseminating results and lessons from the new project/ programme.

3

Evaluation Recommendation 3:  UNDP-Uganda-CO to work with the UNDP Regional Service Centre to develop Regional multi-country, ecosystem-based programmes that test the application of the provisions of the Rio Conventions for broader trans boundary and regional environmental benefits.

4

Evaluation Recommendation 4:   Development of a continuing Rio Conventions capacity building initiative covering all relevant sectors of the economy which were not included in the pilot project. Industry, Health and Education are specific sectors that should be targeted as additional sectors in under the new project /Programme. The Clearing House Mechanism and web portal developed under the current project should continue to be used for data gathering and management under the new initiative.  

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 1:  Development of a Policy Paper highlighting the need to develop an approach to development that recognizes the intricate linkages across the three Conventions and how development planning should be guided by the synergistic implementation of these and related Conventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]

Agree: The training and dialogue sessions funded under the project have resulted in enhanced understanding of the importance of sustainable management of natural resources impacts on the livelihoods of rural communities in Uganda. This understanding needs to be supported by practical demonstrations at local community level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support by practical demonstrations at local community level the training and dialogue sessions to enhance understanding of the importance of sustainable management of natural resources impacts on the livelihoods of rural communities in Uganda.
[Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]
NEMA and partners 2023/12 Initiated On-going activity History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 2: The Government of Uganda should develop a successor program with wider national outlook and representation which should go beyond the software project approach and start implementing more widespread programmes that are developed based on the successes scored under this project. The development of this successor project should include a comprehensive Resource Mobilization and Communication Strategy for use in disseminating results and lessons from the new project/ programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]

Agree: NEMA together with its partner MDAs should initiate the process of internal consultations as well as preparation of the requisite background documentation and bankable program document with a Resource Mobilization strategy

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Initiate the process of internal consultations as well as preparation of the requisite background documentation and bankable program document with a Resource Mobilization strategy
[Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]
UNDP Programme team with partners/NEMA together with its partner MDAs 2021/12 Completed Completed History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 3:  UNDP-Uganda-CO to work with the UNDP Regional Service Centre to develop Regional multi-country, ecosystem-based programmes that test the application of the provisions of the Rio Conventions for broader trans boundary and regional environmental benefits.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]

Agree: The Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Effective Implementation of Rio Conventions in Uganda Project, like so many other UNDP supported GEF funded projects before it, was implemented at national level. Even though, Project Management acknowledged the need to learn from experiences from other countries in the region as they implemented the project, the project yielded Uganda specific results which do not recognize the integrity of ecosystems.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Work with the UNDP Regional Service Centre to develop Regional multi-country, ecosystem-based programmes that test the application of the provisions of the Rio Conventions for broader trans boundary and regional environmental benefits
[Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]
UNDP-Uganda-CO to work with the UNDP Regional Service Centre 2023/12 Initiated On-going activity History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation 4:   Development of a continuing Rio Conventions capacity building initiative covering all relevant sectors of the economy which were not included in the pilot project. Industry, Health and Education are specific sectors that should be targeted as additional sectors in under the new project /Programme. The Clearing House Mechanism and web portal developed under the current project should continue to be used for data gathering and management under the new initiative.  

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/05/11]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure Capacity building as a “continuous process” which should be integrated into other sectors of the economy beyond agriculture, energy, environment among others. Other sectors to be addressed include industry, education, Oil and Gas and health etc
[Added: 2021/12/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/15]
NEMA 2023/12 Completed On-going activity History

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