Terminal Evaluation for the GEF project “Strengthening institutional and technical Macedonian capacities to enhance transparency in the framework of Paris Agreement”

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Evaluation Plan:
2021-2025, North Macedonia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2022
Completion Date:
03/2022
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation for the GEF project “Strengthening institutional and technical Macedonian capacities to enhance transparency in the framework of Paris Agreement”
Atlas Project Number: 00102125
Evaluation Plan: 2021-2025, North Macedonia
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 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 $): 20,000
Source of Funding: Project funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,281
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Lilit Melikyan International evaluator ARMENIA
Natasa Markovska National evaluator
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: “Strengthening institutional and technical Macedonian capacities to enhance transparency in the framework of Paris Agreement”
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 10042
PIMS Number: 6223
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning
Countries: MACEDONIA, THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
1.

CBiT Projects could contain many novel concepts and ideas for the countries and it is important to (a) ensure high calibre staff and advisors; and (b) budget allowing to engage international consultants, as it is possible that there would be shortage of local consultants familiar with the requirements

CBIT projects globally and NM was not an exception are highly dependent on the responsiveness, commitment and goodwill of the Governments. The project enjoyed the support of the MoEPP, but in the case of the MRV unit, there were strong external factors, namely the new structure of the MoEPP not yet approved- that hindered its timely incorporation at the MoEPP. Having the support of higher level of the governments (PM) might be advised.

Early-on conceptualization of the Knowledge Management – evolving into KM plan -was a good strategy. While the MoEPP was the implementing agency for this project and UNDP was only in a supporting role, it was understandable that the project took the MoEPP’s communication strategy as its guide. However, the project might have benefitted from having a Communication plan ~, which would at least identify the recommended approaches for targeted distribution of the products delivered (reports, presentations, manuals, etc).

In the project designs there is a need to pay special attention to sustainability, i.e., think about it in advance, for example in the case of the training- how this will be delivered when the project is over if it is likely that there will be a need for continued training.


Findings
1.

The project was overall well designed. The project has met or was on track to meet almost all of its targets. The two targets that were not met at the time of writing this report, are related to the non- incorporation of the MRV Unit into the structure of the MoEPP, due to the protracted process of the approval of its restructuring. Based on the TE interviews, this seemed to be a matter of time however, as the draft Law on Climate Action, widely expected to pass in 2022 envisions that.

The project was relevant for the country in meeting its reporting requirements to UNFCC, EU Energy Community and SDGs and in terms of the needs (low capacity and awareness of climate change and obligations and project-based reporting).

The project was effective in terms of enhancing the capacity of the country in meeting its reporting requirements in a transparent and effective manner. While the central government was the focus of this project, it also expanded into training of municipality and communal enterprise staff, as a necessary element for an effective and transparent system of CC management and reporting: the needs are much larger however and the level of awareness is still low. The project has enhanced the capacity of several central government bodies in relation to CC, CC/gender nexus and the new reporting framework to be effectuated. Two informal networks were formed: of CC practitioners and CC/gender (the second is rather fluid and more like a conduit for training.

The project has made initial steps in mainstreaming of CC in spatial planning (with the improved methodology for the Agency for Spatial Planning, training of the municipalities and the GIS platform (not in use as yet) at the MoEPP. It has also contributed to improved reported from the waste sectors (with a contribution to new Strategy)

The project contributed to the linking CC and DRR working closely with CMC, which now has its own platform enhanced along with reporting requirements on MRV, e.g., on Damage and Loss. Thus, the project has contributed to enhanced reporting on Sendai framework. The project has advanced CC/gender nexus agenda in various ways: mainstreaming in the laws and strategies, training (local and central government), research (micronarratives), supporting the formation of informal network, etc.

The project has enhanced the national climate change website, which featured all the project deliveries (reports, manuals, laws, training presentations) and also many of those of the development partners at the time of this evaluation. The site gained a new Section on KM, with the project support, to promote exchange of experience. The usage of the website has increased. It was likely to be maintained but it was highly doubtful if the MoEPP could keep up with the pace of new interesting content updated continuously.

The project enhanced the CC/gender nexus and transparency concepts in several pieces of legislation and national strategies, complemented with training and mentorship.

The project was overall efficient and the management displayed strong adaptive management skills working in the environment of frequent government changes, COVID and responding to additional requests from the government, and all of this, with quite tight staffing.

The project had strong sustainability prospects, but there were risks present until the draft Law on Climate Action would get passed, and hence the MRV unit was institutionalized and all the working procedures between the government entities vis-a -vis the MRV platform were operationalized. There were risks in terms of the maintaining the same level of interesting content on the government climate change website continuously. Given the need for continued training the project would benefit from finding ways of supporting the embedding the use of the produced manuals at the existing institutions.


Recommendations
1

Evaluation recommendation 1. Clarify the vision for the sustainability/post-project management of the Networks. In particular, call for meeting for the members of the CC professionals’ network to discuss the options. Support in feeding the national climate change website with relevant materials needs to be on the agenda, along with the regularly updated roster of those having access to MRV.

2

Evaluation recommendation 2. Organize a presentation for the Ministry of the Local Government, and the Association of the units of local self-government of the Republic of North Macedonia (ZELS), inviting also municipalities to present manuals that could be used in continued training of the municipalities and communal enterprises using the manuals produced by the Project, and discuss potential modalities.

3

Evaluation recommendation 3. Meeting with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration, to discuss the potential for engagement in continued training of the civil servants using the manuals produced by the project.

4

Evaluation recommendation 4. Review all the products by the project and identify the ways of the best targeted dissemination if there are gaps- to handover to the Communications department for action.

5

Evaluation recommendation 5. If there is more funding, use it to:

a. operationalize the use of the MRV and enhance CC Mitigation/CC Adaptation/DRR/biodiversity links

b. Potentially turning some of the manuals into interactive self-learning tools (starting from the Guidebook on CBT)

c. Targeted dissemination of KM products (as part of the dissemination of UNDP EE portfolio products)

d. Expansion of the Climate investment portal with a link to existing investment projects

e. Expanding of the mentorship program for the municipalities and public communal enterprises putting it on a sustainable basis 

f. Expanding of the training program on climate change for civil servants putting it on a sustainable basis

g. Provide training to MoEPP and other relevant ministries on the use of the improved data that will be available through MRV in policy making

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 1. Clarify the vision for the sustainability/post-project management of the Networks. In particular, call for meeting for the members of the CC professionals’ network to discuss the options. Support in feeding the national climate change website with relevant materials needs to be on the agenda, along with the regularly updated roster of those having access to MRV.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/21]

The recommendation is partially accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Names and professional affiliation of the members of the informal Neatwork of CC professionals shall be uploaded at the climate change web site, upon consultations and agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.
[Added: 2022/04/21]
UNDP Environment Portfolio; MoEPP 2022/05 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The CC professionals’ network was not foreseen to be a formal roster of CC experts/professionals but rather an informal network of individuals that can exchange information and ideas among themselves even after the project is completed. Establishment of a roster will require different process of selection of individuals to be included (the same as for the roster of vetted consultants/experts) of UNDP in IRH). ]
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 2. Organize a presentation for the Ministry of the Local Government, and the Association of the units of local self-government of the Republic of North Macedonia (ZELS), inviting also municipalities to present manuals that could be used in continued training of the municipalities and communal enterprises using the manuals produced by the Project, and discuss potential modalities.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/21]

The recommendation is partially accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Once again share the information about the available training materials with all municipalities, ZELS and the Ministry of Local Self-Government
[Added: 2022/04/21]
UNDP Environment Portfolio; MoEPP 2022/04 Completed All relevant training materials are uploaded at the climate change web site www.klimatskipromeni.mk
2.2 Organize a new round of trainings on gender and climate change for interested local governments
[Added: 2022/04/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/27]
UNDP Environment Portfolio; MoEPP 2022/05 Completed There was a company engaged for the trainings and it has successfully delivered the trainings. Report attached. History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 3. Meeting with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration, to discuss the potential for engagement in continued training of the civil servants using the manuals produced by the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/21]

The recommendation is accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Organize a meeting with the Ministry of Information Society
[Added: 2022/04/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/27]
UNDP Environment Portfolio; MoEPP 2022/05 Completed Initial discussions were held with the Ministry of Information Society. However, this couldn’t be realized within the lifetime of the project due to other competing priorities of the ministry. Nevertheless discussions will be initiated as part of the Action Plan for Gender Seal of the Country Office. History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 4. Review all the products by the project and identify the ways of the best targeted dissemination if there are gaps- to handover to the Communications department for action.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/21]

The recommendation is partially accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Share the key documents as appropriate, and as part of the other public awareness and knowledge sharing activities of the Environmental Portfolio
[Added: 2022/04/21]
UNDP Environment Portfolio; MoEPP 2022/04 Completed All project products are uploaded to the climate change web site www.klimatskipromeni.mk which is the key source of information for climate change related information in the country. Relevant documents were also presented at number of workshops and shared with the key stakeholders
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 5. If there is more funding, use it to:

a. operationalize the use of the MRV and enhance CC Mitigation/CC Adaptation/DRR/biodiversity links

b. Potentially turning some of the manuals into interactive self-learning tools (starting from the Guidebook on CBT)

c. Targeted dissemination of KM products (as part of the dissemination of UNDP EE portfolio products)

d. Expansion of the Climate investment portal with a link to existing investment projects

e. Expanding of the mentorship program for the municipalities and public communal enterprises putting it on a sustainable basis 

f. Expanding of the training program on climate change for civil servants putting it on a sustainable basis

g. Provide training to MoEPP and other relevant ministries on the use of the improved data that will be available through MRV in policy making

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/21]

The recommendation is partially accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 c) Disseminate the key documents as appropriate, and as part of the other public awareness and knowledge sharing activities of the Environmental Portfolio
[Added: 2022/04/21] [Last Updated: 2022/06/27]
UNDP Environment Portfolio; MoEPP 2022/05 Completed a) The new law is not adopted yet. b) The key documents were disseminated through Climate Change website www.klimatskipromeni.mk which is very much visited by all interested on CC in the country. c) The situation has not changed however there are attempts for such a platform to be established within the DPM Cabinet for economic affairs d) The project has been completed and this will be taken into consideration with a future follow-up projects; History

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