Mid Term Evaluation Improving the Financial Sustainability of the Carpathian System of Protected Areas

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Evaluation Plan:
2010-2015, Romania
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
09/2012
Completion Date:
09/2012
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Mid Term Evaluation Improving the Financial Sustainability of the Carpathian System of Protected Areas
Atlas Project Number: 72323
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2015, Romania
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2012
Planned End Date: 09/2012
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Sean Burke Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number: PIMS 3458
Key Stakeholders: Line ministries, national agencies, NGOs
Countries: ROMANIA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 a. Payment for Eco-System Services work (PES) work component: The project should see to conclude the Payment for Eco-System Services work (PAES) as soon as possible, avoiding any further delays. In parallel, it is also recommended that draft outline marketing and communications material is drafted in the meantime so that the relevant PES information can be included quickly as soon as the PAES findings are available.
2 Communications work plan: It is important that the project?s communications plan integrates fully with other aspects of the project, in particular in terms of maximising synergies with the business development unit?s work.
3 PA Financing from the National Budget: Given the overall rationale and goal of this project, it must be noted that the continued uncertainty regarding the prospects for national budget financing and the lack of Government commitment is regrettable, and can hardly be considered as a demonstration of the requisite leadership that will be needed from government actors on the path to sustainable financing for the PAs. It is recommended that the relevant Government stakeholders in this project redouble efforts to ensure that national budget financing can become a reality by the time the project ends. In the light of the challenges and complexities revealed to-date in efforts to secure annual funding from the national budget, the evaluation makes two additional recommendations:
4 The creation of a business development unit (BDU) is one of the actions foreseen in the work plan, and one which has been discussed among project stakeholders. A second discussion has been how would this be set-up and work, for example would the BDU be a distributed process involving a wider number of projects staff or concentrated in 1-2 persons, and a third point of recent discussion has been the costs and benefits of proceeding to hire BDU staff right now
1. Recommendation: a. Payment for Eco-System Services work (PES) work component: The project should see to conclude the Payment for Eco-System Services work (PAES) as soon as possible, avoiding any further delays. In parallel, it is also recommended that draft outline marketing and communications material is drafted in the meantime so that the relevant PES information can be included quickly as soon as the PAES findings are available.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/11/13]

The Payment for Ecosystem report has been finalized; subsequent PES mechanisms and information material for media are in the course of development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1Development of PES schemes
[Added: 2012/11/13]
UNDP 2012/11 Completed
1.2 Development of Business engagement strategy
[Added: 2012/11/13]
UNDP 2012/11 Completed
1.3Development of the Communication and Media objectives
[Added: 2012/11/13] [Last Updated: 2013/12/10]
UNDP 2013/12 Completed on track; the communication and media objectives will be sinergized with the business engagement strategy
1.4.Development of the Sustainable Financing Strategy
[Added: 2012/11/13] [Last Updated: 2013/12/10]
UNDP and project team 2013/12 Completed
2. Recommendation: Communications work plan: It is important that the project?s communications plan integrates fully with other aspects of the project, in particular in terms of maximising synergies with the business development unit?s work.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/11/13]

Business Engagement Strategy and Communication and Media Objectives will synergize; the second part of the media campaign will start in Jan 2013 and will target the business sector and political decision makers.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Create synergies between communication/media objectives and Business engagement strategy
[Added: 2012/11/13]
UNDP 2012/12 Overdue-Initiated
3. Recommendation: PA Financing from the National Budget: Given the overall rationale and goal of this project, it must be noted that the continued uncertainty regarding the prospects for national budget financing and the lack of Government commitment is regrettable, and can hardly be considered as a demonstration of the requisite leadership that will be needed from government actors on the path to sustainable financing for the PAs. It is recommended that the relevant Government stakeholders in this project redouble efforts to ensure that national budget financing can become a reality by the time the project ends. In the light of the challenges and complexities revealed to-date in efforts to secure annual funding from the national budget, the evaluation makes two additional recommendations:
Management Response: [Added: 2012/11/13]

UNDP will launch a second phase of the media campaign as of January 2013 targeting exclusively the political factor. The campaign is expected to increase the visibility of the Financing of the Protected Areas as a priority item on the political agenda. The enforcement of the legislative amendments which will enable the direct cash transfer from the National Budget to the protected areas is expected to be effective by end 2013.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will launch PR/media activities targeting in particularly the political and business sectors.
[Added: 2012/12/12]
UNDP 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated
4. Recommendation: The creation of a business development unit (BDU) is one of the actions foreseen in the work plan, and one which has been discussed among project stakeholders. A second discussion has been how would this be set-up and work, for example would the BDU be a distributed process involving a wider number of projects staff or concentrated in 1-2 persons, and a third point of recent discussion has been the costs and benefits of proceeding to hire BDU staff right now
Management Response: [Added: 2012/11/13]

Business Development UNIT (BDU) has been set up and it is functional.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will set up a Business Development Unit, hiring one specialist for the beginning in order to test the willingness of the private sector to engage with the protected areas. The BDU hosting will be further discussed with the Association of the PAs Administrations and with the National Forestry Administration.
[Added: 2012/12/12]
UNDP 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated This activity is on track; BDU specialist was hired.

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