Final Evaluation - Support to cultural heritage monuments of great importance for Cyprus, Phase 6

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Evaluation Plan:
2019-2024, Cyprus
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2020
Completion Date:
12/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Final Evaluation - Support to cultural heritage monuments of great importance for Cyprus, Phase 6
Atlas Project Number: 00112976
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2024, Cyprus
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2020
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.2.1 National capacities strengthened for reintegration, reconciliation, peaceful management of conflict and prevention of violent extremism in response to national policies and priorities
SDG Goal
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: EU
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 10,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Christian Bugnion de Moreta Evaluation Expert cbugnion@suburconsulting.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, European Union
Countries: CYPRUS
Lessons
1.

As a lesson learnt, during phase 6 of the project the issue of accessibility to the sites was raised for those intervention sites which are near military areas. Two such interventions faced access restrictions in the buffer zone given the proximity to military areas and in one case it took two years to have the restrictions lifted. Good practice is to try to avoid as much as possible working on sites/monuments near military areas to avoid unforeseen complications and implementation delays.


Findings
1.

The main findings are that the project was and remains highly relevant to the needs of the primary stakeholders and of both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Future phases and/or interventions are strongly encouraged as the work is not complete in terms of the number of CH sites and in terms of its contribution to the overall objective. The project has been efficiently managed despite a constraining environment amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging conditions related to the number and level of complexity of the project’s interventions. The project was highly effective in reaching the expected specific objective. It surpassed the targets in quantifiable terms and was appraised to be good or very good by respondents. A key strength was the very positive and trusting relationship between project partners, UNDP, EU and the TCCH. The commitment, dedication, attitude and problem-solving approach was critical in obtaining the results. At the higher level, there is evidence that the project is contributing to confidence building, but it lacks the tools to report properly on it. The main challenge is to define a use-and-maintenance mechanism for the future, as preserved/restored CH monuments and sites require proper maintenance. The principle is shared amongst TCCH members, but a workable solution is yet to be defined, which will also influence the way in which future phases will unfold. Sustainability is directly linked to the solution of the use-and-maintenance issue, which is a particularly sensitive one. Gender needs to be more strongly embedded in the project, and UNDP is aware of this and has taken steps to address this issue. Overall, the project is highly successful and is achieving its objectives. New initiatives such as the Heritage Youth Ambassadors require further consolidation as it has been a challenging endeavour under the current C-19 limitations, but the initiative is widely considered to yield great potential. The replacement of the UNDP Head of Office is a concern given her specific skill set and role in creating a workable mechanism to implement CH projects with the TCCH/AB and the donor. In conclusion the project was well managed and implemented and has largely succeeded to meet the targets specified under the results framework for phase 6 contained in the Description of the Action (DoA).


Recommendations
1

UNDP’s replacement as Head of Office should have similar skills and diplomatic capacity as the incumbent. A presential hand-over should be preferred.

2

Review with the European Union (EU) the necessary level of resources required for UNDP in light of higher volume of projects and increased complexity of the interventions.

3

Consider discussing with the TCCH priority interventions for the next phase based on communities that accept use-and-maintenance solutions approach (which remains to be defined) with a 3-year maintenance fund built into the project intervention.

4

Commission targeted and specifically tailored perception surveys at the end of each phase to obtain evidence of the results on confidence building and thus gain a long-term vision of the impact of the project through its different phases

5

Take a more strategic approach to communications to contribute to higher level results

6

Discuss with the TCCH the type of strategic support and guidance, as well as training, required for the Heritage Youth Ambassadors, as well as providing a clearer definition of their expected roles and responsibilities

7

Consider suggesting to TCCH a change from “Advisory Board” to “Task Force” for the AB members which may better represent their contributions

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

UNDP’s replacement as Head of Office should have similar skills and diplomatic capacity as the incumbent. A presential hand-over should be preferred.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/06/08]

UNDP notes the recommendation, and would like to inform that the recommendation had been already implemented upon departure of the previous incumbent from the post of the Head of Office in December 2020. The selection of the temporary replacement for this post, as well as of the next incumbent was carried out according to UNDP’s rules and regulations and as per required qualifications for the post. A comprehensive handover to and induction on the Cyprus Project Office management for the incoming incumbent was arranged under the direct supervision of the senior management of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS. UNDP considers the response to this recommendation implemented.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 A comprehensive handover to and induction on the Cyprus Project Office management for the incoming incumbent under the direct supervision of the senior management of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS.
[Added: 2021/06/08]
RBEC 2021/02 Completed
1.2 Completion of recruitment of the incoming Head of Office in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations
[Added: 2021/06/08]
RBEC 2021/05 Completed
2. Recommendation:

Review with the European Union (EU) the necessary level of resources required for UNDP in light of higher volume of projects and increased complexity of the interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/06/08]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation that a higher volume of projects and increase complexity of interventions will require more resources especially in terms of administrative and management costs. UNDP will assess the budgetary implications of the strategic changes by TCCH to guide discussions with EU and TCCH.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Review and re- calibrate the Budget for the EU funded CH7 amendment request to better reflect the actual project needs.
[Added: 2021/06/08]
Cyprus PMO 2021/02 Completed Budget re-calibrated
2.2 In consultation with the EU and TCCH, ensure that discussions for funding for future phases include a review of resource requirements in light of number of projects and complexity of interventions at the project design stage.
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PMO 2021/09 Completed Discussions between UNDP, EU and TCCH regarding CH8 include review of resource requirements. History
3. Recommendation:

Consider discussing with the TCCH priority interventions for the next phase based on communities that accept use-and-maintenance solutions approach (which remains to be defined) with a 3-year maintenance fund built into the project intervention.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/06/08]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation and notes that one of the key lesson learnt from project implementation is the importance of ensuring that the cultural heritage projects incorporate a use and maintenance strategy at the design phase. This will aim to ensure that UNDP and partner investments are protected through longer term sustainability planning in future phases of the project. UNDP also notes that the subsequent phase 7 of the project includes a maintenance component that has been designed as part of a preventative conservation and community engagement strategy. In addition, through the EU funded support facility to the Technical Committees, TCCH have 5 selected pilot projects for the inclusion of a capacity building component to increase local skills and knowledge in the maintenance of cultural heritage sites.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Together with TCCH, closely monitor the implementation of the 5 selected pilot projects and ensure that lessons learned are drawn and incorporated into both increasing knowledge amongst the UNDP team and TCCH and are also fed into the design of future phases of the project
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PMO 2022/03 Initiated History
3.2 In full consultations with the EU and TCCH, ensure that discussions for funding for future phases includes a maintenance study in which costs and maintenance arrangements will be developed. for the inclusion of a maintenance fund at the project design stage.
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/03]
Cyprus PMO 2021/12 Initiated History
3.3 In consultation with TCCH review the current selection criteria and discuss the option of introducing a community use and maintenance criteria as part of the selection of cultural heritage sites benefiting from TCCH interventions.
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PMO 2021/12 Initiated As part of CH7 , a dedicated maintenance service will be established in order to provide a rapid response to any issues maintenance issues that arise. Lessons drawn will be utilised to inform the selection process. History
4. Recommendation:

Commission targeted and specifically tailored perception surveys at the end of each phase to obtain evidence of the results on confidence building and thus gain a long-term vision of the impact of the project through its different phases

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/06/08]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation and notes that the 2 perception surveys undertaken in previous phases of the project provided valuable insights into programme design. UNDP also notes that it would important to ensure that this recommendation is actioned in the short to medium term in order to ensure that the impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on confidence building measures between the two communities, is captured and analysed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.2 Design the perception survey in full consultation with TCCH to ensure local ownership of both the process and results
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/10/05]
Cyprus PMO 2021/10 Initiated Discussions with TCCH are ongoing. TCCH have provided inputs into the development of the ToRs for the hiring of the research company History
4.3 Commission the perception survey, complete analysis and share results with TCCH, EU and other stakeholders
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PMO 2021/12 Initiated History
4.1 Discuss with both TCCH and the EU in order to garner support for the perception surveys and secure the required level of funding
[Added: 2021/06/08]
Cyprus PMO 2021/02 Completed Both TCCH and EU agreed with this recommendation
5. Recommendation:

Take a more strategic approach to communications to contribute to higher level results

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/06/08]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation and notes that there is a sound basis for building on the high visibility of work of TCCH, support of UNDP and funding from the EU.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Review the communications strategy and identify areas for going beyond increasing visibility to contributing to higher level results.
[Added: 2021/06/08]
Cyprus PMO 2021/03 Completed Areas identified include: highlighting the benefits of TCCH support at the community level in addition to the technical/heritage level; Identifying social media influencers who can support the dissemination of key results
5.2 Together with TCCH formulate key advocacy messages that can be incorporated into communications activities to contribute to confidence building between the two communities
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/10/05]
Cyprus PMO 2021/09 Completed The TCCH website has been updated to reflect the sensitivities of both communities and social media posts are formulated and pre approved by TCCH in order to further contribute to building confidence. More specially this is further evidenced by the fact that TCCH were the winners of the 2021 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s top honour in the field of cultural heritage. They also received the audience award, as a results of the advocacy messages shared on social media. The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH) was chosen by the Board of Europa Nostra on recommendation by an independent jury of experts to receive one of the Grand Prix Awards in the category for “Dedicated Service to Heritage by Organisations & Individuals.” The Grand Prix Award follows the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage’s recognition earlier in the year by the European Commission and Europa Nostra as one of the winners of 2021 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards for using cultural heritage as a powerful tool for reconciliation and peaceful cooperation. History
6. Recommendation:

Discuss with the TCCH the type of strategic support and guidance, as well as training, required for the Heritage Youth Ambassadors, as well as providing a clearer definition of their expected roles and responsibilities

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/06/08]

UNDP agrees with recommendation and notes that the role of HYA is an important one in order to engage young people in the work of TCCH.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Together with TCCH review the HYA youth engagement strategy and support the formulation of a clearer definition of their strategic role and responsibilities.
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PMO 2021/10 Initiated Together with key action 6.2 the ongoing discussion aims to be concluded by the end of October as part of assigning the specific role of supporting the HYA to an existing member of the UNDP technical team History
6.2 Provide additional support to TCCH with the management of the HYA initiative through the hiring of a consultant who has expertise in this field
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PM0 2021/10 Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

Consider suggesting to TCCH a change from “Advisory Board” to “Task Force” for the AB members which may better represent their contributions

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/08]

UNDP notes this recommendation as an important consideration for TCCH

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Raise this issue with TCCH and support the implementation of any changes that may be required to the structure of the Advisory Board
[Added: 2021/06/08] [Last Updated: 2021/08/30]
Cyprus PMO 2021/12 Initiated With the support of UNDP, TCCH is currently reviewing the role and functions of the Advisory Board as part of the development of the new TCCH strategy History

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