Terminal Evaluation: Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Kenya
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2022
Completion Date:
03/2022
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
28,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation: Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme
Atlas Project Number: 00097408
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Kenya
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2022
Planned End Date: 03/2022
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Sustainable
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Goal
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
SDG Target
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 28,000
Source of Funding: Project Funds - GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 33,586
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Elena Ferretti International Consultant
Rabecca Karanja National Consultant KENYA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 9241
PIMS Number: 5730
Key Stakeholders: UNOPS; GEF OFP Kenya; GEF SGP Kenya Country Prog Team; NSC; select national and county agencies and ministries; local communities.
Countries: KENYA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Make clear and balance the roles of Strategic Partners (SPs), Capacity Development Partners (CDPs) and consultants. Small grants project development require support. This may be the responsibility of CDPs if hired early in Project implementation or be an outsourced function. Roles and responsibilities in the field should however be clear as well as the accountability of grantees towards both UNOPS with which contracts are signed and towards SPs/CDPs. Ways to cover part of the SPs staff time should be found.  

2

Develop capacity building training material at central level and share them across land/seascapes and Operational Phases. Developing training materials at each landscape and for each OP is a waste of resources. Hence training materials can be prepared centrally and then adapted to suit the site specificities and indigenous idioms/languages. Planning grants should be available to support grantees to write proposals (eventually limiting it  to those new to SGP and/or the most vulnerable). Ways to fund very small grants for CBOs demonstrating a good project idea without the complex requirement of a full project could also be explored. Ways to simplify technical and financial reporting would greatly help grantees

3

Undertake an initial capacity assessment at small grant level. Some grantees can fast track implementation of activities while others are slower and require assistance. An initial capacity assessment and early hiring of Capacity Development Partners (CDPs) would indicate where to provide more initial assistance to ensure everybody works toward a common objective, within limited time and resources.

4

Make Gender Mainstreaming systematic. Gender mainstreaming requires that not only indicators are disaggregated by gender but that a Project Gender Analysis is made and then articulated at land/seascape level, identifying indicators to be systematically monitored within a strategic framework directly feeding the PRF indicators. Assessment of how COVID 19 is differently impacting on women and men could provide indications for strategic actions to ensure the sustainability of benefits received by women, once SGP retires.

5

Resilience Strategies are living documents. An update of the adaptive management strategies in the land/seascapes which will continue to be supported in OP7 is required, to account for changes and to define indicators directly feeding the PRF and Core Indicators.

6

Strengthen the M&E System and integrate a dedicated staff on the Country Prog Team. SGP requires both micro and macro management to ensure follow up at grants level and aggregation of data and information at central level. A dedicated M&E staff is needed as well as an effective M&E system to collect and store data in a systematized way. The clear definition of the roles of SPs and CDPs is crucial in this sense. As in other SGP, the sophistication of the system should be appropriate to the objective: i) feeding Core and PRF’s Indicators; and ii) informing adaptive management to optimize resources and identifying the most vulnerable groups; iii) identifying projects which may require further assistance and those which may represent a model for scaling up.

7

PRF indicators should be aligned with GEF Core Indicators and be realistic. Targets should be realistic and clear guidelines should be established to report on indicators, especially the greenhouse gases emissions avoided as projects usually have a longer lifetime than that of the single grant and that estimating avoidance or reduction of greenhouse gases is challenging; consultants should be hired since project start to establish the correct mechanism

8

Design an exit strategy at land/seascape level, together with the Strategic Partners. Small grants potentialities for scaling up and replication should be identified at each land/seascape, including in Kaya Forests even if not part of OP7; similarly, small grants experiencing difficulties but replying to felt conservation and/or livelihoods needs should be targeted for additional support. Lesson learnt identified should be incorporated into the strategy for supporting grantees into OP7 or to replicate, upscale projects. The upcoming end of project (EoP) OP6 reflection could stimulate a debate on how to make incidence in public policies to strengthen sustainable management and territorial connectivity and coordination; similarly, an analysis of how the RE and EE projects are contributing to the national debate on renewable energy should be done, creating a baseline for discussion and stimulating a dialogue among UNDP and counties governments for further integration of the private sector while respectful of the interest of the rural population.

9

Identify champions at each land/seascape to dynamize other actors/grantees to upscale and/or replicate successful activities and provide alternative livelihoods. Actions to provide alternative livelihoods go into the right direction but everywhere there is the request for additional efforts (i.e., in Kaya Forests additional targeting of the youth; in Shimoni Vanga, additional awareness and resources to patrol marine sites to reach a larger community spread over vast areas). An enabling environment is being created but more is needed to strengthen capacities, upscale and raise awareness of other members of the communities. Production needs to be sustained; integration of activities in counties’ development plans secured.

10

Invest in Knowledge Management since project start, both at central and small grants level. Awareness raising on the importance of Knowledge Management for grantees require to be implemented since inception. The KM expert should join the team early in project implementation; a communication and KM strategy should be soon prepared and adapted during implementation. An Induction KM Manual is being developed but will only be useful for OP7. Cross-learning exchanges are useful and unfortunately the Project experienced challenges which resulted in many of these activities being cut. Lessons learned and capacity development approaches at the land/seascape level should be consolidated into a capacity development strategy for OP7.

11

Monitoring co-financing commitment is a key management responsibility. Data provided show that the key co-financier – WWF – is falling short in its co-financing commitment. Management should carefully monitor that co-financing pledged at approval is effectively honored; this is an ongoing activity, not to be done only at the time of evaluations.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Make clear and balance the roles of Strategic Partners (SPs), Capacity Development Partners (CDPs) and consultants. Small grants project development require support. This may be the responsibility of CDPs if hired early in Project implementation or be an outsourced function. Roles and responsibilities in the field should however be clear as well as the accountability of grantees towards both UNOPS with which contracts are signed and towards SPs/CDPs. Ways to cover part of the SPs staff time should be found.  

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. The GEF SGP will discuss the roles of strategic partners (SPs), Capacity Development Partners (CDPs) and consultants at an NSC meeting and thereafter develop their TORs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop clear and comprehensive TORs for SPs, CDPs and consultants before Calls for Proposals of SPs and CDPs are issued.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), National Steering Committee (NSC) 2022/10 Not Initiated
Circulate the TORs to the National Steering Committee for adoption
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Circulate the TORs to the National Steering Committee for adoption 2022/10 Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Develop capacity building training material at central level and share them across land/seascapes and Operational Phases. Developing training materials at each landscape and for each OP is a waste of resources. Hence training materials can be prepared centrally and then adapted to suit the site specificities and indigenous idioms/languages. Planning grants should be available to support grantees to write proposals (eventually limiting it  to those new to SGP and/or the most vulnerable). Ways to fund very small grants for CBOs demonstrating a good project idea without the complex requirement of a full project could also be explored. Ways to simplify technical and financial reporting would greatly help grantees

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. Country Prog Team (CPT) will hire a consultant to centrally develop capacity building training material. The training material will be adapted and shared across the target land/seascapes. The National Steering Committee will discuss ways to support local communities develop proposals including the use of planning grants, as well as options of simplifying the templates, including proposal template, and reporting tools.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Procure consultant to develop a capacity development strategy followed by training materials at central level for use and adaptation at the different land/seascapes
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Programme Team 2022/10 Not Initiated
NSC to hold discussions on (i) the options of using planning grants to facilitate proposal development, (ii) simplifying the reporting tools and (iii) funding small project ideas without normal complex project requirements.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Programme Team 2022/10 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

Undertake an initial capacity assessment at small grant level. Some grantees can fast track implementation of activities while others are slower and require assistance. An initial capacity assessment and early hiring of Capacity Development Partners (CDPs) would indicate where to provide more initial assistance to ensure everybody works toward a common objective, within limited time and resources.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. Conduct a training needs assessment of the CBO’s, to determine the specific technical assistance they require to facilitate project implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Award grants to capacity development partners (CDPs) in the early stages of GEF 7
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), National Steering Committee (NSC) 2022/12 Not Initiated
Conduct a capacity assessment of grantees before implementation of projects by grantees commences.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Programme Team 2023/04 Not Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Make Gender Mainstreaming systematic. Gender mainstreaming requires that not only indicators are disaggregated by gender but that a Project Gender Analysis is made and then articulated at land/seascape level, identifying indicators to be systematically monitored within a strategic framework directly feeding the PRF indicators. Assessment of how COVID 19 is differently impacting on women and men could provide indications for strategic actions to ensure the sustainability of benefits received by women, once SGP retires.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. A gender analysis has been done for SGP at the national/programme level. A gender consultant will tailor the existing gender analysis for each landscape/seascape. The consultant will also assess the impact of COVID 19 on men and women and recommend strategic actions that will enhance sustainability of benefits, particularly for women.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Procure a consultant that will tailor the existing national level gender analysis to each of the target landscapes and seascapes. Indicators will be disaggregated by gender.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), National Steering Committee (NSC) 2022/09 Not Initiated
Consultant in 4.1 will assess how COVID 19 has impacted men and women and provide indications for strategic actions to enhance sustainability.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), National Steering Committee (NSC), 2022/09 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Resilience Strategies are living documents. An update of the adaptive management strategies in the land/seascapes which will continue to be supported in OP7 is required, to account for changes and to define indicators directly feeding the PRF and Core Indicators.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. Adaptive management strategies for Lake Bogoria landscape and for Shimoni-Vanga seascape were developed previously but will be updated and enriched to factor in the changes that took place during the GEF 6 implementation period.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strategic Partners will be tasked to update and enrich adaptive management strategies that were developed in GEF 6, once they are awarded grants in the early stages of GEF 7
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), National Steering Committee (NSC), 2023/03 Not Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Strengthen the M&E System and integrate a dedicated staff on the Country Prog Team. SGP requires both micro and macro management to ensure follow up at grants level and aggregation of data and information at central level. A dedicated M&E staff is needed as well as an effective M&E system to collect and store data in a systematized way. The clear definition of the roles of SPs and CDPs is crucial in this sense. As in other SGP, the sophistication of the system should be appropriate to the objective: i) feeding Core and PRF’s Indicators; and ii) informing adaptive management to optimize resources and identifying the most vulnerable groups; iii) identifying projects which may require further assistance and those which may represent a model for scaling up.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. Country Prog Team (CPT) will develop TORs for a M&E staff member to be hired to join the team. The M&E staff will develop tools for collection and aggregation of data and information at central level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruit a project M&E Officer to strengthen the M&E and reporting components of the project
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), National Steering Committee (NSC) 2022/09 Not Initiated
7. Recommendation:

PRF indicators should be aligned with GEF Core Indicators and be realistic. Targets should be realistic and clear guidelines should be established to report on indicators, especially the greenhouse gases emissions avoided as projects usually have a longer lifetime than that of the single grant and that estimating avoidance or reduction of greenhouse gases is challenging; consultants should be hired since project start to establish the correct mechanism

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17] [Last Updated: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. PRF indicators for GEF 7 have already been developed. However, a consultant will be hired at the start of the project to better define the approach to monitor and report on targets and indicators and ensure alignment with GEF Core Indicators.  SGP will not support projects under the Climate Change Mitigation focal area in GEF 7 because CCM funds are not available, only biodiversity and land degradation.  However, the Project will contribute to 283,797 tcO2-e Expected CO2e (direct) based on restoration activities. Duration of accounting is 20 years.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hire a consultant at start of project to better define the approach and methodology to monitor and report on PRF targets and indicators and ensure alignment with GEF Core indicators.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
National Steering Committee (NSC), Country Prog team (CPT). 2022/10 Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Design an exit strategy at land/seascape level, together with the Strategic Partners. Small grants potentialities for scaling up and replication should be identified at each land/seascape, including in Kaya Forests even if not part of OP7; similarly, small grants experiencing difficulties but replying to felt conservation and/or livelihoods needs should be targeted for additional support. Lesson learnt identified should be incorporated into the strategy for supporting grantees into OP7 or to replicate, upscale projects. The upcoming end of project (EoP) OP6 reflection could stimulate a debate on how to make incidence in public policies to strengthen sustainable management and territorial connectivity and coordination; similarly, an analysis of how the RE and EE projects are contributing to the national debate on renewable energy should be done, creating a baseline for discussion and stimulating a dialogue among UNDP and counties governments for further integration of the private sector while respectful of the interest of the rural population.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. An exit strategy for the land/seascape level is important. It shall be developed in conjunction with the Strategic Partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue discussions on how to strengthen sustainable management and territorial connectivity as well as ways to enhance private sector engagement in the first year of OP 7.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
National Steering Committee (NSC), Country Prog Team (CPT), UNDP CO, 2023/03 Initiated
County Prog Team (CPT) in conjunction with the Strategic Partners (SPs) will design an exit strategy at land/seascape level and incorporate it in the adaptive management strategies.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
National Steering Committee (NSC), Country Prog Team (CPT), UNDP CO 2023/03 Not Initiated
9. Recommendation:

Identify champions at each land/seascape to dynamize other actors/grantees to upscale and/or replicate successful activities and provide alternative livelihoods. Actions to provide alternative livelihoods go into the right direction but everywhere there is the request for additional efforts (i.e., in Kaya Forests additional targeting of the youth; in Shimoni Vanga, additional awareness and resources to patrol marine sites to reach a larger community spread over vast areas). An enabling environment is being created but more is needed to strengthen capacities, upscale and raise awareness of other members of the communities. Production needs to be sustained; integration of activities in counties’ development plans secured.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. The Country Prog Team will have a discussion with NSC to propose modalities of identifying local champions as well as facilitating them to support project implementation including in the new landscape/seascape.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Propose the champions idea to the NSC for guidance and follow up
[Added: 2022/04/17]
National Steering Committee (NSC); Country Prog Team (CPT) 2022/12 Not Initiated
10. Recommendation:

Invest in Knowledge Management since project start, both at central and small grants level. Awareness raising on the importance of Knowledge Management for grantees require to be implemented since inception. The KM expert should join the team early in project implementation; a communication and KM strategy should be soon prepared and adapted during implementation. An Induction KM Manual is being developed but will only be useful for OP7. Cross-learning exchanges are useful and unfortunately the Project experienced challenges which resulted in many of these activities being cut. Lessons learned and capacity development approaches at the land/seascape level should be consolidated into a capacity development strategy for OP7.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept. Country Prog Team (CPT) will invest in KM through hiring a KM officer. The officer will develop a Comms and KM strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.3 Finalize preparation of the Induction KM Manual to be utilized in the OP7
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Programme Team 2022/09 Initiated
Develop TORs for KM and Comms officer. Advertise and identify suitable candidates for KM officer who will develop a Comms and KM strategy.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Programme Team 2022/12 Not Initiated
Ensure cross-learning exchanges are included in the capacity development strategy and implemented.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Programme Team 2024/12 Not Initiated
11. Recommendation:

Monitoring co-financing commitment is a key management responsibility. Data provided show that the key co-financier – WWF – is falling short in its co-financing commitment. Management should carefully monitor that co-financing pledged at approval is effectively honored; this is an ongoing activity, not to be done only at the time of evaluations.

Management Response: [Added: 2022/04/17]

Fully Accept.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthen existing tools for continuous capturing co-financing raised by grantees, county governments and other partners. The Country Programme Team with support from the UNDP CO will monitor, conduct regular follow up and report on the co-financing.
[Added: 2022/04/17]
Country Prog Team (CPT), UNDP CO 2024/12 Not Initiated

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