Mid term Review: Reducing vulnerabilities from climate change induced GLOFs

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Evaluation Plan:
2008-2013, Bhutan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2010
Completion Date:
12/2010
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Mid term Review: Reducing vulnerabilities from climate change induced GLOFs
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2013, Bhutan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2010
Planned End Date: 12/2010
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. National and local governments and communities have the capacities to adapt to climate change and make inclusive and sustainable environment & energy decisions benefitting in particular under-served populations
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Bhutan LDCF: Reduce climate change-induced risks and vulnerabilities from glacial lake outbursts Flood in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar valleys
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 3219
PIMS Number: 3722
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: BHUTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Project Design
2 Project monitoring and reporting
3 Establishing baseline information
4 Project Implementation
5 Financial planning
6 Lessons learnt and workshop
7 Project linkages
8 Formal partnership
9 Health and Safety
10 Project replication
11 CBDRM training curriculum
12 Environmental Impact Assessment
13 Project replication
1. Recommendation: Project Design
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The Strategic Results Framework (SRF) in general was found to be well-formulated. The project effectively captures the GLOF-relevant components identified in the Bhutan NAPA document and integrates them in the SRF. However, since project conception, a few developments have taken place influencing project circumstances. Furthermore, there is better inference of indicators and targets now than during project formulation. In order to reflect new project circumstances and needs and to improve the quality of project monitoring and reporting, the MTR recommended a review of the project SRF.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The changes recommended in section 2.4.1 of the MTR (page 26-28) will be reviewed and presented for endorsement at the 9th Project Board meeting scheduled for 11 January 2011.
[Added: 2011/02/02]
Project Director, UNDP CO and Project Board (PB) 2011/01 Completed Endorsement of the PB will be captured in the minutes of 9th PB meeting.
2. Recommendation: Project monitoring and reporting
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR recommends strengthening of monitoring and reporting especially in relation to the SRF. It is recommended that the AWPs and quarterly progress reports are linked to the expected outputs and targets and not just the broad outcomes. This will ensure that the AWPs and progress reports are consistent with the SRF. Furthermore, progress reports will need to be more perceptive to capture progressive results, lessons and issues that emanate from project implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The AWP 2011 is linked to the outputs of the revised SRF. Furthermore, quarterly progress reports should be linked to the expected outputs and targets as per the revised SRF to ensure consistency, and should be more perceptive to capture progressive results, lessons and issues that emanate from project implementation. Documentation of activities should also be addressed during the quarterly coordination meetings.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/01/25]
Project Director, Project managers DGM, DoE, DDM 2011/12 Completed AWP 2011-12 and 2012-13 finalized and linked to SRF. Quarterly progress reports to some extend linked to the SRF.
3. Recommendation: Establishing baseline information
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR observed that some of the project results, especially those related to capacity development under outcome 3, require to be assessed through QBS. Since no baseline was established at the beginning of the project, a baseline QBS need to be carried out as well as an assessment towards the end of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Baseline QBS should be conducted in the 1st quarter of 2011 to establish the baseline for comparison with the QBS to be conducted by the end of the project.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2011/08/18]
Project manager DDM 2011/04 Completed QBS conducted between April - July, with some delays due to local elections.
4. Recommendation: Project Implementation
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR found that project implementation is affected by the considerable amount of time that goes into procedural work pertaining to reporting and fund releases. To increase the expeditiousness of procedural work and prevent delays in fund disbursements, the UNDP CO and the IPs need to coordinate and jointly examine the causes of delay, and implement corrective measures to address these causes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Based on discussions between UNDP and the project managers following the MTR, timely fund releases and reporting have already improved. A UNDP HACT training on reporting was conducted in October 2010 and attended by the project managers/accountants to improve reporting. The UNDP CO will ensure efficient use of staff twinning arrangement to ensure swift approval of fund releases. Quarterly coordination meetings (refer issue 7) will also help to improve financial reporting, financial planning and fund releases.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/01/25]
UNDP CO, Project managers DGM, DoE and DDM 2011/12 Completed Quarterly coordination meetings held in January, April July and December 2011.
5. Recommendation: Financial planning
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR found that the vast gaps that exist between annual planned budgets and actual disbursements need to be jointly examined by the UNDP CO and the IPs. It is therefore recommended that a joint review of the financial aspects of the project be carried out as soon as the financial reporting for the 2010 AWP is completed and projections of anticipated expenditures under various outcomes/outputs be made for the rest of the project period. This is expected to aid early detection of any adjustments required in the budget programming and enhance financial planning. While financial disbursements and expenditures are way below planned budgets, some activities such as the GLOF-EWS may require additional fund. A joint review and projection of future expenditures for the rest of the project period would help rationalize budget allocation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Joint review of the financial aspects of the project should be carried out following the completion of financial reporting for the 2010 AWP, and again following the completion of the EWS and the 4th phase of the mitigation works in the beginning of 2012.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/04/15]
Project Director; Project managers DGM, DoE and DDM, UNDP CO 2012/02 Completed Financial review 2011 approved at the 10th Project Board meeting (June 2011)
6. Recommendation: Lessons learnt and workshop
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR recommends to carry out activities to progressively build up and analyze knowledge and lessons that can be fed into the Adaptive Learning Mechanism (ALM). It is recommended that a workshop be conducted within 2011 to take stock of and discuss the knowledge and experience accrued through the project. Particularly important will be to capture knowledge and lessons pertaining to capacity development for CBDRM as this component is less discernible than the artificial lowering of Thorthormi lake and GLOF-EWS components.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct workshop within the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2011.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/04/15]
Project Director, Project managers DGM, DDM, DoE 2012/01 Completed Workshop held in February 2012. Project Board decision (10th PB meeting) to postpone workshop.
The ALM profile from 2008 should be updated capturing lessons learned, issues and best practice.
[Added: 2011/02/02]
UNDP CO 2010/12 Completed
7. Recommendation: Project linkages
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR recommends that linkages between the various project components/ outcomes need to be enhanced so that the project is implemented in a more integrated manner. Particularly important is the linkage between the capacity development component and the EWS component as the capability of the local authorities and communities to effectively respond to the EWS will be of utmost importance.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project linkages and coordination should be improved through quarterly coordination meetings taking place at the beginning of each quarter, also addressing linkages, challenges and overlaps, planned field work, etc.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/01/25]
Project Director; Project managers DGM, DoE and DDM, UNDP CO 2011/12 Completed Quarterly coordination meetings held in January, April, July, December 2011
Project managers should share their quarterly progress reports with each other for mutual information.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/01/25]
Project managers DGM, DDM and DoE 2011/12 Completed
8. Recommendation: Formal partnership
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR recommends establishment of a formal partnership with the JICA/JST supported project ?Study on GLOFs in Bhutan Himalayas? to develop inter-project synergy and address GLOF issues in Bhutan in a more integrated and comprehensive manner.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The JICA/JST project is based within the Department of Geology and Mines, and the two projects have the same Project Director ensuring coordination. Moreover, Department of Energy is in dialogue with JICA regarding the EWS and a possible expansion (refer issue 10). UNDP is also in regular contact with JICA regarding GLOF-related activities. The Project Director will ensure the ongoing coordination with JICA/JST ? also including other project staff during the technical workshop conducted by JICA/JST in March 2011, and the project workshop where JICA/JST will be invited. While a formal partnership is not deemed necessary, the project should ensure that the JICA/JST inventory is part of the database and information management system developed under the project.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/04/15]
Project Director DGM, project manager DGM 2012/06 Completed Partnership and coordination ensured through joint Project Director, and coordination between RGoB, JICA and UNDP. The JICA/JSP project ended in March 2012.
9. Recommendation: Health and Safety
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

In view of the deaths that occurred due to altitude sickness and other ailments in the 2010 working season, the MTR strongly recommended that a detailed strategy be developed and implemented to improve health and safety measures for the workers and field staff during the trek to Thorthormi lake and at the excavation site. This strategy must be developed soon after the return of the workers and field staff from the current phase of the excavation work.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
An independent Health and Safety Assessment to assess the safety measures deployed in the response to the incidents in 2010 has been conducted, including recommendations to improve health and safety for the mitigation team.
[Added: 2011/02/02]
UNDP CO, Project Director, Project manager DGM 2010/12 Completed
Review recommendations of the Health and Safety Assessment and endorse decisions. Actions and yearly budget to carry out the decisions will be incorporated in the Annual Work plan for 2011.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2011/08/18]
Project Board 2011/01 Completed Endorsement of the PB is captured in the minutes of 9th PB meeting.
10. Recommendation: Project replication
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

Early consultations with potential donors are recommended by the MTR in order to prepare and plan for replication of the project interventions in other areas that face similar GLOF challenges and risks. A logical future proposal would be to build upon the GLOF-EWS established through the project to cover the Mo Chhu sub-basin by installing sensors in the headwaters and linking them to the siren network established by the project. Other potential areas for replication of the mitigation works are the Mangde Chhu and Chamkhar Chhu sub-basins.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The replication/follow-up to the project is also part of the targets set in the project logframe, and all project stakeholders are exploring possible avenues in dialogue with potential donors. Department of Energy submitted a proposal to JICA in July 2010 for set-up of a GLOF-EWS in the Mangchhu and Chamkarchuu. If approved the project will be implemented before the end of 2013. DDM is also discussing with ADRC regarding a GLOF EWS for Mochhu basin.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2013/06/25]
Project Director, project managers DGM, DoE, DDM, UNDP CO 2013/06 Completed The DHMS has completed the procurement of goods and services for this component from Sutron Corporation and the entire installation of the EWS system is expected to be completed by 2013. Simultaneously, DHMS together with DDM will also replicate the demonstration of the EWS and create awareness to the communities on GLOF risk.
11. Recommendation: CBDRM training curriculum
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

An overhaul of the existing CBDRM training curriculum, especially taking into account the need to use more visual training methods to overcome literacy constraints of the local communities and focus on the practical aspects of CBDRM, is deemed necessary by the MTR to improve the trainings. The training curriculum will also need to be complemented with appropriate training tools and materials (e.g. flip chart, poster, illustrated handbook).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
DDM has reviewed the CBRDM curriculum with technical assistance from a national consultant in 2010. The CMDRM ToTs and training are completed in the 3 target districts under the project, but will be continued in other districts as part of other projects/programmes. To ensure sustainability and national coverage of the CBDRM trainings, the reviewed curriculum and further improvement of training methods and materials should be used and pursued under other projects/programmes, in particular the WB and planned GFRDD-funded project. By the end of the project, documentation capturing the lessons learnt of the CBDRM training and planning processes should be prepared and disseminated.
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2013/06/25]
Project manager DDM 2013/06 Completed Based on lessons from the past, DDM is now using improvised methods of training through use of more visual-aid materials, in addition to posters, flip charts and illustrated handbooks.
12. Recommendation: Environmental Impact Assessment
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR highlighted that one of the good practices associated with the project is the implementation of an EIA study to identify potential adverse environmental impacts and implement necessary mitigation measures. An ?ecological footprint? study towards the end of the project is recommended to assess the scale of environmental impacts created by the project, identify environmental management trade-offs, and draw lessons for future environmental management of similar projects. Environmental management trade-offs may be necessary as it may so happen that some of the ecological footprints may actually be too small to warrant logistically-difficult and cumbersome mitigation measures. On the other hand, it may also be the case that certain environment impacts are substantial enough to require special mitigation measures despite logistical difficulties and associated costs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
An EIA assessment should be conducted by the end of the project, if resources are available (based on financial review in January 2012).
[Added: 2011/02/02] [Last Updated: 2012/12/27]
Project Director, project manager DGM 2012/11 Completed This project team feels that this activity is not necessary as the Technical Review and Social Impact Assessment conducted in October 2012 has done a comprehensive assessment and has covered issues such as environmental impacts and mitigation actions taken up by the project team during implementation.
13. Recommendation: Project replication
Management Response: [Added: 2011/02/02]

The MTR recommends monitoring of the glacial lakes as a key area in future GLOF work in Bhutan, given that potential GLOF risks will change, and probably increase, over time. Since physical monitoring of GLOFs is basically impossible due to the rugged mountain terrain, harsh weather and lack of physical communication infrastructure, virtual monitoring tools and techniques such as use of time-series satellite/ radar maps need to be considered for GLOF projects in the future.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This point is already being addressed by the JICA/JST project as well as other activities conducted by the Department of Geology and Mines.
[Added: 2011/02/02]
2010/12 Completed

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