“Enhancing financial sustainability of the Protected Area system in Georgia”

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Evaluation Plan:
2021-2025, Georgia
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
02/2022
Completion Date:
10/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title “Enhancing financial sustainability of the Protected Area system in Georgia”
Atlas Project Number: 00089759
Evaluation Plan: 2021-2025, Georgia
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2021
Planned End Date: 02/2022
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Sustainable
  • 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 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 19,960
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Rusudan Kardava Local evaluator GEORGIA, REPUBLIC OF
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: “Enhancing financial sustainability of the Protected Area system in Georgia”
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 9879
PIMS Number: 6138
Key Stakeholders: Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia, Ministry of ENvironmental Protection and Agriculture
Countries: GEORGIA, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Midterm Review recommendation 1. 

Undertake a review to identify factors that contributed to the weak project development and review process which resulted in poor project design and monitoring issues, lack of clarity for justification of GEF incremental support, etc., and apply learn lessons learned

2

Midterm Review recommendation 2. 

Better recognition and application of the previous project TE findings and recommendations in subsequent projects (particularly a “follow-on” project such as the project under review in this MTR).

3

Midterm Review recommendation 3. 

Future projects should ensure better division / separation of roles in the project management arrangement order to ensure effective governance and strategic focus and facilitate timely decision making.

4

Midterm Review recommendation 4. 

Ensure the availability of broad based and experience technical advice to UNDP GEF projects at key points of development and implementation (in particular proposal development, inception phase, midterm)

5

Midterm Review recommendation 5. 

Clarify the realistic objective of the project and the broad expected impacts in its timeframe and post project (and on this basis revise and add to SRF indicators in order to provide a basis for meaningful impact monitoring).

6

Midterm Review recommendation 6. 

To systematically identify and pursue a diversified basis for ensuring the future availability of predictable, sufficient, and sustainable financing for the PA system.  

7

Midterm Review recommendation 7. 

Design and instigate a systematic awareness (not PR) campaign on the full values of BD and PA system to national sustainable economic development and global environmental crisis efforts, targeted at senior government decision makers, political groups, civil society.

8

Recommendation 8: Design and establish a long-term, systematic programme for training and skills enhancement of HQ and PA staff on core competencies necessary to implement basic management of PAs

9

Midterm Review recommendation 9. 

Undertake an assessment of the overall existing PA system, in the context of current circumstances and future needs, as a basis for identifying possible reforms and adjustments to improve “fitness for purpose”, and future managerial and financial effectiveness and sustainability

10

Midterm Review recommendation 10. 

Clarify the practical application of the Management Effectiveness Indicator system (MEAPs, etc) developed by the project, as a basis for meaningful monitoring of mid to long-term impacts of the PAs on Biodiversity, and effectiveness of management approaches being applied.

11

Midterm Review recommendation 11. 

Consideration of the potential need for “no cost” extension of project duration.

1. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 1. 

Undertake a review to identify factors that contributed to the weak project development and review process which resulted in poor project design and monitoring issues, lack of clarity for justification of GEF incremental support, etc., and apply learn lessons learned

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

This recommendation is beyond the competence/control of the project team and implementation frame and will be conveyed to the UNDP-GEF RTA for further consideration.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Submit the Recommendation to the UNDP-GEF RTA
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Coordinator 2021/10 Completed
2. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 2. 

Better recognition and application of the previous project TE findings and recommendations in subsequent projects (particularly a “follow-on” project such as the project under review in this MTR).

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

This recommendation is beyond the competence/control of the project implementation team. Will be submitted to the UNDP-GEF RTA and UNDP GE CO

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Submit the Recommendation to the UNDP-GEF RTA and UNDP GE CO
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Coordinator 2021/11 Completed
3. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 3. 

Future projects should ensure better division / separation of roles in the project management arrangement order to ensure effective governance and strategic focus and facilitate timely decision making.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

The project management arrangement was defined in the Prodoc and agreed by the parties, so this recommendation is for future consideration by the UNDP CO. Still, the recommendation was shared with the project board. Considering that all the key stakeholders are present in the Board, no changes were considered necessary during the remaining period of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Submit the Recommendation to the UNDP GE CO
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project coordinator 2021/11 Completed
3.2 Discuss the recommendation at the next project board
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Coordinator 2021/12 Completed
4. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 4. 

Ensure the availability of broad based and experience technical advice to UNDP GEF projects at key points of development and implementation (in particular proposal development, inception phase, midterm)

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

This recommendation is beyond the competence/control of the project implementation team. Will be submitted to the UNDP GE CO and UNDP-GEF RTA

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Submit the Recommendation to the UNDP GE CO and UNDP-GEF RTA
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Coordinator 2021/11 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 5. 

Clarify the realistic objective of the project and the broad expected impacts in its timeframe and post project (and on this basis revise and add to SRF indicators in order to provide a basis for meaningful impact monitoring).

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed. Clarification of the realistic objective of the project and the broad expected impacts and on this basis revision the SRF indicators will a) help the project implementors to clarify what ultimately they are aiming to achieve with the project and b) provide a basis for meaningful impact monitoring.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Prepare a clarification note on Project objective and the realistic expected impact both by project EoP and post project ).
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Team 2021/11 Completed
5.2 Present and agree the project objective clarification to the Project Executive Board for endorsement as basis for future implementation.
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Team 2021/12 Completed Discussed and agreed by PEB
6. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 6. 

To systematically identify and pursue a diversified basis for ensuring the future availability of predictable, sufficient, and sustainable financing for the PA system.  

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed. Identification and pilot implementation of alternative financing options will help establishing the basis for achieving diversified (reliable) and sufficient sustainable financing for PA system in future 10 years.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Discuss and agree with the project board on inclusion of this activity in the Y2022 project workplan.
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Team, PEB 2021/12 Completed Discussed and agreed
6. 2 Revisit the SF opportunities analysis to identify additional non-tourism options which have potential in the future to generate additional PA financing, as well as the key steps and actions needed in order to bring the selected non-tourism options to fruition in the long term
[Added: 2022/02/01] [Last Updated: 2022/05/31]
Project Team 2022/05 Completed Through consultation with the project beneficiary the Agency of Protected Areas (APA), it was agreed to provide support in development of Business Service Yard for timber processing, production, and selling from Nedzvi area of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. History
6.3 select the key initial steps the project can support and start their implementation. Plan further support of selected steps post project
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project team; NPD; MEPA 2023/12 Not Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 7. 

Design and instigate a systematic awareness (not PR) campaign on the full values of BD and PA system to national sustainable economic development and global environmental crisis efforts, targeted at senior government decision makers, political groups, civil society.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed. The awareness campaign will help greater recognition and commitment of decision makers and policy planners, private sector and society as a whole, to the adequate financing of the PA system, and political / society pressure towards these aims.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Prepare awareness campaign plan based on results and findings of on-going studies including ESV. PA’s local community socio-economic benefits, Climate change vulnerability assessment.
[Added: 2022/02/01] [Last Updated: 2022/10/31]
Project Team 2022/10 Completed Awareness campaign plan was finalized and campaign is underway. History
7.2 Implement the awareness campaign
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Team 2024/12 Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8: Design and establish a long-term, systematic programme for training and skills enhancement of HQ and PA staff on core competencies necessary to implement basic management of PAs

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed. The training and skills enhancement systematic program will create solid basis for long term systematic strengthening PA system capacity

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Develop a concept for establishment of the long-term systematic national training program for the PA system in Georgia
[Added: 2022/02/01] [Last Updated: 2022/10/31]
Project team, NPD 2022/12 Initiated History
8.2 Finalize agreed concept in consultation with stakeholders - MEPA/APA, relevant municipalities, PA system donors (CNF, KfW, WWF, etc) , and other key stakeholders
[Added: 2022/02/01] [Last Updated: 2022/10/31]
Project team, NPD 2022/12 Initiated History
8.3 Develop a detailed plan for establishment of the National PA system Training programme, including roles and contributions of key stakeholders to its technical and financial maintenance.
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Team 2022/12 Not Initiated
8.4 Develop the core curriculum for the National PA system Training Programme and mechanisms for delivery.
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project Team 2023/12 Not Initiated
9. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 9. 

Undertake an assessment of the overall existing PA system, in the context of current circumstances and future needs, as a basis for identifying possible reforms and adjustments to improve “fitness for purpose”, and future managerial and financial effectiveness and sustainability

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed. Such assessment would serve as a basis for post project strengthening of PA system effectiveness and sustainability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.3. Undertake a PA management system assessment (and recommendations) based on current / future management needs and the wider national context policy context
[Added: 2022/02/01] [Last Updated: 2022/10/31]
Project team, APA, MEPA, Project board 2023/07 Initiated History
9.1. Discuss and agree the recommendation with project partners and include in the Y2022 workplan of the project
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project team, PEB 2021/12 Completed Discussed and agreed with the PEB
9.2 Based on the existing PA Policy document, ongoing policy reform efforts by the BFD, etc. agree the scope of an overall review of Georgia PA management system
[Added: 2022/02/01] [Last Updated: 2022/06/29]
Project team, APA, MEPA, Project board 2022/06 Completed The scope has been agreed with stakeholders and review will be initiated in July History
9.4 Workshop and consultations on a) recommendations proposed for PA system adjustment/reform and b) mechanisms and approaches to support ongoing efforts to coordinate and follow up on recommendations
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project team, APA MEPA, Project board 2022/12 Not Initiated
10. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 10. 

Clarify the practical application of the Management Effectiveness Indicator system (MEAPs, etc) developed by the project, as a basis for meaningful monitoring of mid to long-term impacts of the PAs on Biodiversity, and effectiveness of management approaches being applied.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 Agree how the ME indicators developed (BD status, threats/pressures/ management effort) can be best integrated and applied in the PA system – as part of PA management Plan review and updating process
[Added: 2022/02/02] [Last Updated: 2022/04/29]
Project Team 2022/12 Initiated international expert identified to support with the process; finalization by the end of 2022. History
10.2 Integrate the selected ME indicators into the Management plans of the target PAs
[Added: 2022/02/02]
Project Team 2022/12 Not Initiated
11. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 11. 

Consideration of the potential need for “no cost” extension of project duration.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/02/01]

Agreed – to be considered in the beginning of 2023. The project extension by up to 6 months might be necessary to compensate for the project implementation starting about 4 months later (inception phase) and to allow operative work of 5 years to ensure that the objective and targets are met, since part of the targets depend on replication and scaling up processes based on the evidence of projects.

Recommendation will ensure completion of remaining activities and is subject to endorsement by UNDP and Project board

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 Prepare objective clarification and discuss the extension workplan with the Project board.
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project team, Project board, NPD 2022/12 Not Initiated
11.2 Formal request
[Added: 2022/02/01]
Project team, Project board, NPD 2023/06 Not Initiated

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