Final Evaluation: Biodiversity Conservation in coffee: transforming producitve practices in the coffee sector by incresing market demand for certified sustainable coffee

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Evaluation Plan:
2010-2014, Guatemala
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
09/2013
Completion Date:
03/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
60,101

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Title Final Evaluation: Biodiversity Conservation in coffee: transforming producitve practices in the coffee sector by incresing market demand for certified sustainable coffee
Atlas Project Number: 00051603
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2014, Guatemala
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2014
Planned End Date: 09/2013
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 $): 60,101
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Maryline Guiramand Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-3
PIMS Number: 3083
Key Stakeholders: Rainforest Alliance
Countries: GUATEMALAGUATEMALA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 A wider adoption of lessons learned for future project design will require dissemination of information in many directions. For this purpose the TE recommends UNDP to formally share major achievements and lessons learned from the BCC Project with the GEF, and internally through the global network of UNDPs Community of Practice.
2 UNDP and RA should prepare a joint policy note including the summary of project achievements and lessons learned (can start from MTE and TE and build if more are thought to be missing) which should be shared with National Governments - at least to each participating BCC Country- GEF Focal Points, through UNDP Country Offices. The policy note should be accompanied with a knowledge information pack of the BCC project (digital) including communication and training material produced during its lifetime.
3 For current and future GEF projects, RA should develop a check-list of items to consider for design and execution of projects. Monitoring Indicators to monitor projects should be designed following SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) rule, they should also be linked to the current Results Based Framework and Global Indicators developed by the Evaluation and Research Team. Amongst these indicators, it is important to include some particularly relevant to the farmers, for example, to help them obtain a better access to finance, or savings, and measure their productivity gain from the Best Management Practices . Biodiversity indicators such as conservation, restoration area on certified farms should be followed and verified. Verify the availability of data needed for the proposed indicators at the design stage. If there are potential access limitations to data (e.g audit report, company?s data), a compromise for data access should be negotiated already at the design stage of project, if data is not available an alternate indicator must be used. RA should ask specific permission to the farmer as part of the agreement with auditing firms to use such data at aggregated level to demonstrate impact. Resources from projects, and other sources of funding, should be set aside to strengthen (with human resources and information technology) on the ground monitoring teams, for example by hiring monitoring specialists. Assign M&E focal point in each Country, either within RA or SAN partner. This person should liaise with E&R Team to help operationalize the current Results Based Framework and Global Indicators Strategy under revision and pilot studies. Leverage funding and alliances for biodiversity impact monitoring. Research for impact of certification and biodiversity monitoring is costly but also widely spread in Latin America. Instead of hiring Third Parties, partnering up with the existing regional institutions such as CATIE, SIMS, or national academical institutions such as IARNA (Universidad Rafael Landivar-Guatemala) may be a way to leverage additional funding for monitoring and research. This may be useful to address pending research issues such as watershed impact of certification and find support for longer term monitoring efforts. RA should pursue the potential to set-up a pilot farm network or sample farms to monitor within new projects (such as what was originally planned for BCC 5 farms in each of the 6 countries). This is currently being set-up as part of Nestlé projects. In each country, and each key coffee producing regions, a network of demonstration farms would help visualize the benefits of the RA certification, at the same time, if negotiated with the producers; it can be a way to set-up a more detailed monitoring system. Funding for this should be explicitly set-aside in project budgets. Project Financing Co-financing. When negotiating the co financing with project partners during the project design, clearly define their role and commitment to the project as well as the means of verification for their contribution (e.g. annual letter reporting the total amount of co-financing) in order to monitor and report co-financing throughout the project`s life cycle. Project Budget. Design project budget according to the volume of activities. The project funding should increase gradually during first year of disbursement, as activity starts project teams are set up and the normal learning curve takes place. Plan individual distributions for demand and supply components so project funding is not phased out too early for supply related activities. Mainstreaming Gender and Poverty. RA should review thoroughly within project designs that gender, and poverty issues are addressed since project design phase including indicators. The characterization of the target population with gender and poverty variables will be useful for this requirement and may orient more targeted and realistic approach for capacity development (e.g. Socio-economic characteristic of farmers, etc.). Exploring the use of specific gender mainstreaming tools in value chain would enable a better recognition of these excluded people and, highlighting their role, who can be vital to the efficiency of a project. Training. SAN implementation guides should consider and highlight the contribution of both men and women to the farm. Within train the trainers strategy, RA and SAN partners should discuss with trainers (country by country) how more women can attend and participate in the training (e.g. schedule were most women are available, hire a person during training to take care of children, make alliance with local ?pro Women associations). Country strategies. The country strategies have been an important contribution of the project. In order to maximize the potential of biodiversity impact in countries, linkage of demand and supply, various synergies across RA`s work programs the country strategies should be kept as an orienting instrument and also include: Areas for growth of certification according to each crop ? as potential certification pipeline High value biodiversity areas, where the crops are grown which may be favored by BMP adoption Potential synergies with RA tourism and forestry programs and external stakeholders initiatives Build on the SAN structure to develop geographical focus. Integrate a model where the SAN partners and local partnership is the basis for scaling up in new countries. Strengthen the role of SAN partners to capitalize on their local knowledge and identify the partners to partner with. Strategic Alliances. In order to conserve biodiversity, the market approach is an important element but not sufficient (see lesson 1), actions need to be taken at different levels. Partnership with local NGO?s, Government support relayed locally, and market involvement is the best combination to reach farmers; such approach can be taken especially in those areas where highest threat to biodiversity to ensure that it is well protected. RA and SAN should explore the value to partner with a wide range of stakeholders to actually reduce pressures and threats to biodiversity, such as: Government (national policy level), long term engagement and knowledge sharing with national governments may provide an enabling environment to push issues that may favor certification growth (through co-financing, extension services) but also to push policy issues that may scale up BMP?s adoption for example: conservation set-aside incentives such as tax deduction, tax exemption of water treatment technologies, removal of perverse incentives such as distribution and subvention of specific agrochemicals, as well as reinforcing issues such as land title, women empowerment, etc. Sectorial institutions include Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, and Planning; besides National Coffee Associations another relevant stakeholder may include National Forestry Institutes (for PSA schemes which are useful for conservation, restoration, and diversification of farms). Local Governments, that support the implementation of the national policies or develop local frameworks (plans, norms, regulations, incentives, protected areas, biological corridors, regional-municipal coffee, forest strategies) that support sustainable development Academic sector (Regional, national and local), for monitoring and research as stated above. NGOs that work on social and environmental issues within priority areas and national levels. They may enhance participatory approaches for gender, and delivering other skills needed as well as with the local organizations well placed to reach on the ground with remote or excluded groups. Other seals such as Fairtrade, to explore complementarities in their approaches to enhance benefit for farmers, while potentially decreasing the cost of audits.
4 UNDP should develop a practical check-list (of things to consider for GEF project design and implementation. This check-list may be used as additional guidance for LPAC reviews. Things to consider including within this checklist are: For NGO execution with advanced disbursements, make sure there is a clear understanding of what budget categories mean for UNDP (according to its system) and have NGO define which categories are used within their own system for more precise expenditure report tracking and referencing between systems. M&E. Monitoring requirements of co-financing commitments and the periodicity of its reporting should be explicitly required within Project Document. Mainstreaming gender and poverty. UNDP should review thoroughly within project designs that gender, and poverty issues are addressed since project design phase including indicators. The characterization of the target population with gender and poverty variables will be useful for this requirement and may orient more targeted and realistic approach for capacity development. Communication plan. Knowledge management and communication of project finding and results should be clear within project design so that national parties may benefit along with the projects learning process. For regional projects. The establishment of National Committees with participation of GEF focal points, executor (NGO, or Governmental), and UNDP may also benefit a closer engagement, project follow-up, support on policy issues, and knowledge exchange. Project Budget. Make sure project funding increases gradually during first year of disbursement so that teams are set up and learning curve surpassed. For market approach initiatives, plan individual distributions for demand and supply components so project funding is not phased out too early.
1. Recommendation: A wider adoption of lessons learned for future project design will require dissemination of information in many directions. For this purpose the TE recommends UNDP to formally share major achievements and lessons learned from the BCC Project with the GEF, and internally through the global network of UNDPs Community of Practice.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/15]

UNDP formally share major achievements and lessons learned internally with the GEF

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Use the global network of UNDP?s Community of Practice, website, team works.
[Added: 2014/12/15]
UNDP, CO No due date No deadline established
2. Recommendation: UNDP and RA should prepare a joint policy note including the summary of project achievements and lessons learned (can start from MTE and TE and build if more are thought to be missing) which should be shared with National Governments - at least to each participating BCC Country- GEF Focal Points, through UNDP Country Offices. The policy note should be accompanied with a knowledge information pack of the BCC project (digital) including communication and training material produced during its lifetime.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/15]

Dissemination of a joint policy note

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
. Draft a summary document of project achievements and lessons learned
[Added: 2014/12/15] [Last Updated: 2016/08/19]
Rainforest Alliance and UNDP 2014/06 Completed The document of project achievement and lessons learned is completed. History
Develop a project information pack (digital) including BCC?s specific produced documents, communication and training material
[Added: 2014/12/15]
Rainforest Alliance 2014/06 Completed
3. Recommendation: For current and future GEF projects, RA should develop a check-list of items to consider for design and execution of projects. Monitoring Indicators to monitor projects should be designed following SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) rule, they should also be linked to the current Results Based Framework and Global Indicators developed by the Evaluation and Research Team. Amongst these indicators, it is important to include some particularly relevant to the farmers, for example, to help them obtain a better access to finance, or savings, and measure their productivity gain from the Best Management Practices . Biodiversity indicators such as conservation, restoration area on certified farms should be followed and verified. Verify the availability of data needed for the proposed indicators at the design stage. If there are potential access limitations to data (e.g audit report, company?s data), a compromise for data access should be negotiated already at the design stage of project, if data is not available an alternate indicator must be used. RA should ask specific permission to the farmer as part of the agreement with auditing firms to use such data at aggregated level to demonstrate impact. Resources from projects, and other sources of funding, should be set aside to strengthen (with human resources and information technology) on the ground monitoring teams, for example by hiring monitoring specialists. Assign M&E focal point in each Country, either within RA or SAN partner. This person should liaise with E&R Team to help operationalize the current Results Based Framework and Global Indicators Strategy under revision and pilot studies. Leverage funding and alliances for biodiversity impact monitoring. Research for impact of certification and biodiversity monitoring is costly but also widely spread in Latin America. Instead of hiring Third Parties, partnering up with the existing regional institutions such as CATIE, SIMS, or national academical institutions such as IARNA (Universidad Rafael Landivar-Guatemala) may be a way to leverage additional funding for monitoring and research. This may be useful to address pending research issues such as watershed impact of certification and find support for longer term monitoring efforts. RA should pursue the potential to set-up a pilot farm network or sample farms to monitor within new projects (such as what was originally planned for BCC 5 farms in each of the 6 countries). This is currently being set-up as part of Nestlé projects. In each country, and each key coffee producing regions, a network of demonstration farms would help visualize the benefits of the RA certification, at the same time, if negotiated with the producers; it can be a way to set-up a more detailed monitoring system. Funding for this should be explicitly set-aside in project budgets. Project Financing Co-financing. When negotiating the co financing with project partners during the project design, clearly define their role and commitment to the project as well as the means of verification for their contribution (e.g. annual letter reporting the total amount of co-financing) in order to monitor and report co-financing throughout the project`s life cycle. Project Budget. Design project budget according to the volume of activities. The project funding should increase gradually during first year of disbursement, as activity starts project teams are set up and the normal learning curve takes place. Plan individual distributions for demand and supply components so project funding is not phased out too early for supply related activities. Mainstreaming Gender and Poverty. RA should review thoroughly within project designs that gender, and poverty issues are addressed since project design phase including indicators. The characterization of the target population with gender and poverty variables will be useful for this requirement and may orient more targeted and realistic approach for capacity development (e.g. Socio-economic characteristic of farmers, etc.). Exploring the use of specific gender mainstreaming tools in value chain would enable a better recognition of these excluded people and, highlighting their role, who can be vital to the efficiency of a project. Training. SAN implementation guides should consider and highlight the contribution of both men and women to the farm. Within train the trainers strategy, RA and SAN partners should discuss with trainers (country by country) how more women can attend and participate in the training (e.g. schedule were most women are available, hire a person during training to take care of children, make alliance with local ?pro Women associations). Country strategies. The country strategies have been an important contribution of the project. In order to maximize the potential of biodiversity impact in countries, linkage of demand and supply, various synergies across RA`s work programs the country strategies should be kept as an orienting instrument and also include: Areas for growth of certification according to each crop ? as potential certification pipeline High value biodiversity areas, where the crops are grown which may be favored by BMP adoption Potential synergies with RA tourism and forestry programs and external stakeholders initiatives Build on the SAN structure to develop geographical focus. Integrate a model where the SAN partners and local partnership is the basis for scaling up in new countries. Strengthen the role of SAN partners to capitalize on their local knowledge and identify the partners to partner with. Strategic Alliances. In order to conserve biodiversity, the market approach is an important element but not sufficient (see lesson 1), actions need to be taken at different levels. Partnership with local NGO?s, Government support relayed locally, and market involvement is the best combination to reach farmers; such approach can be taken especially in those areas where highest threat to biodiversity to ensure that it is well protected. RA and SAN should explore the value to partner with a wide range of stakeholders to actually reduce pressures and threats to biodiversity, such as: Government (national policy level), long term engagement and knowledge sharing with national governments may provide an enabling environment to push issues that may favor certification growth (through co-financing, extension services) but also to push policy issues that may scale up BMP?s adoption for example: conservation set-aside incentives such as tax deduction, tax exemption of water treatment technologies, removal of perverse incentives such as distribution and subvention of specific agrochemicals, as well as reinforcing issues such as land title, women empowerment, etc. Sectorial institutions include Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, and Planning; besides National Coffee Associations another relevant stakeholder may include National Forestry Institutes (for PSA schemes which are useful for conservation, restoration, and diversification of farms). Local Governments, that support the implementation of the national policies or develop local frameworks (plans, norms, regulations, incentives, protected areas, biological corridors, regional-municipal coffee, forest strategies) that support sustainable development Academic sector (Regional, national and local), for monitoring and research as stated above. NGOs that work on social and environmental issues within priority areas and national levels. They may enhance participatory approaches for gender, and delivering other skills needed as well as with the local organizations well placed to reach on the ground with remote or excluded groups. Other seals such as Fairtrade, to explore complementarities in their approaches to enhance benefit for farmers, while potentially decreasing the cost of audits.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/15] [Last Updated: 2014/12/15]

For new projects/programs/initiatives, Rainforest alliance will developed and use a check list regarding the following issues: monitoring, project financing, mainstreaming gender and poverty, training, country strategy approach, strategic alliances.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Monitoring check-list a. Indicators are designed as SMART and linked to the Results Based Framework and Global Indicators Strategy. b. Track biodiversity conservation indicators on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. c. Verify audit data availability at the design stage. d. Include resources for M&E at budget design. e. Assign one M&E focal point in each country. f. Conduct biodiversity impact monitoring in partnership with research institutions. g. Set up demonstration farms to help visualize the benefits of RA certification.
[Added: 2014/12/15] [Last Updated: 2016/08/19]
RA-Sustainable Ag. Division 2015/04 Completed The Rainforest Alliance E&R Division, with support from BCC has developed a Results Based Management and Global Indicator Plan that takes these factors into consideration. Moreover, RA will continue to hire specific M&E specialists for specific projects to increase monitoring capacities on the ground. History
Project Financing check-list a. Define the partner's role, commitment and means of verification for their co-finance contribution. b. Ensure project budget increases gradually through the life of the project.
[Added: 2014/12/15]
RA-Sustainable Ag. Division 2014/07 Completed
Mainstreaming Gender and Poverty a. Use specific gender mainstreaming tools at project design.
[Added: 2014/12/15]
RA-Sustainable Ag. Division 2014/10 Completed The Rainforest Alliance has created a Gender Task Force to support internal consultation processes and feed into the on-going institutional Strategic Planning process. A working draft Gender Strategy is in place and currently disseminated within RA.
Training a. Ensure the train the trainers strategy includes equal opportunity for men and women
[Added: 2014/12/15]
RA-Sustainable Ag. Division 2014/10 Completed The Rainforest Alliance has created a Gender Task Force to support internal consultation processes and feed into the on-going institutional Strategic Planning process. A working draft Gender Strategy is in place and currently disseminated within RA.
Country Strategies a. Develop country strategies including geographical focus, including growth areas per crop, high value biodiversity areas, and potential synergies with RA tourism and forestry
[Added: 2014/12/15] [Last Updated: 2016/08/19]
RA-Sustainable Ag. Division 2015/04 Completed The Rainforest Alliance strategic planning process contemplates the use of a landscape planning approach History
Strategic Alliances a. Explore the value to partner with a wide range of stakeholders, including national and local governments, academic sector, NGOs and other seals.
[Added: 2014/12/15]
RA-Sustainable Ag. Division 2015/04 Completed The Rainforest Alliance strategic planning process contemplates the use of a landscape planning approach
4. Recommendation: UNDP should develop a practical check-list (of things to consider for GEF project design and implementation. This check-list may be used as additional guidance for LPAC reviews. Things to consider including within this checklist are: For NGO execution with advanced disbursements, make sure there is a clear understanding of what budget categories mean for UNDP (according to its system) and have NGO define which categories are used within their own system for more precise expenditure report tracking and referencing between systems. M&E. Monitoring requirements of co-financing commitments and the periodicity of its reporting should be explicitly required within Project Document. Mainstreaming gender and poverty. UNDP should review thoroughly within project designs that gender, and poverty issues are addressed since project design phase including indicators. The characterization of the target population with gender and poverty variables will be useful for this requirement and may orient more targeted and realistic approach for capacity development. Communication plan. Knowledge management and communication of project finding and results should be clear within project design so that national parties may benefit along with the projects learning process. For regional projects. The establishment of National Committees with participation of GEF focal points, executor (NGO, or Governmental), and UNDP may also benefit a closer engagement, project follow-up, support on policy issues, and knowledge exchange. Project Budget. Make sure project funding increases gradually during first year of disbursement so that teams are set up and learning curve surpassed. For market approach initiatives, plan individual distributions for demand and supply components so project funding is not phased out too early.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/16]

For new projects/programs/initiatives, UNDP will developed and use a check list regarding the following issues: project budget development according with UNDP budget categories; monitoring requirements of co-financing; mainstreaming gender and poverty; communication plan; participation of GEF technical focal points in regional projects; budget execution.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
GEF project design and implementation check-list will include the following: a. Ensure there is clear understanding of budget categories between UNDP and NGO systems. b. Co-financing monitoring and reporting explicitly described in ProDoc. c. Gender and poverty issues, including indicator design are addressed at the design stage. d. Knowledge management and communication plan in place. e. Establishment of National Committees with participation of GEF focal points, executor (NGO, or Governmental), and UNDP (For regional projects). f. Ensure project funding increases gradually through the life of the project.
[Added: 2014/12/16]
UNDP No due date No deadline established

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