Environmental support programme for Botswana

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Evaluation Plan:
2009-2014, Botswana
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2010
Completion Date:
10/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Environmental support programme for Botswana
Atlas Project Number: 34738
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2014, Botswana
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2011
Planned End Date: 12/2010
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Cross-cutting Development Issue
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Development plans and programmes integrate environmentally sustainable solutions in a manner that promotes poverty reduction, MDG achievement and low-emission climate-resilient development
  • 2. 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
  • 3. UNDP programmes/projects integrate capacity development
  • 4. UNDP programmes/projects integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in line with the UNDP gender equality strategy, 2008-2011
  • 5. UNDP country programmes are clearly and explicitly linked with and in support of national development plans and priorities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: TRAC and Government Cost Sharing
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Elizabeth Kiff Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment, Wildlife & Tourism, Ministry of Finance & Development Plannig, Ministry of Minerals, Energy & Water Resources, Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations
Countries: BOTSWANA
Lessons
1.

Involvement of all stakeholders in the design of a programme is essential to ensure that components are relevant and that activities are designed to enable the meaningful engagement of stakeholders in the areas where they have greatest interest and potential contribution. This was not the case in the ESP, where specific representation by private sector and civil society was absent from the design team, despite their significant role in CBNRM, eco-tourism and environmental awareness raising.


2.

The citing of a programme such ESP which is designed to support a National Environment Programme is crucial in terms of having the authority and capacity to co-ordinate activities at supra-departmental levels. While the original design of the ESP was to be cited within the MEWT (as captured in the PSD document prepared for signature, though not captured in the signed project document, nor inception report), it was housed within DEA and authority for management delegated to the Director of the Department.


3.

Greater clarity is required on the mechanics of the collaboration planned for an institutional reform/ capacity building programme such as ESP at the inception stage. Without such clarity, the programme has had to spend a lot of time and resources on negotiating collaborative relationships both at Departmental and Divisional/ unit level on an activity by activity basis. Collaboration would have been facilitated if required partnerships had been identified at inception stage and activities integrated into the MEWT/ Departments Strategic Plans and individual performance development plans to enhance commitment by the institutions. (Recommendation 3 refers)


4.

The desire to include stakeholders in programme design and management needs to be supported with adequate resources for those actors not effectively supported by salaries and office support from collaborating partners. In the case of ESP this was the case for civil society and private sector representatives in terms of their time spent at meetings and the co-ordination activities expected of them in communicating project activities to members. Indeed some actors identified this lack of support as reasons for non-involvement in the PSC. Provision need not be lavish, but sufficient to cover costs of time and resources used in communication. Members should be made aware of such provision and it should not be onerous to access (there is some mention of provision for communication purposes within ESP, but this was never accessed). (Recommendation 1 refers).


5.

The flexibility required in programmes of this nature, which involve institutional reform and capacity building, should be encouraged, but more carefully monitored. New approaches to taking forward activities already identified should be reported under these activities, with a brief description of how they contribute. New activities introduced should be clearly assigned to a component, or components and reported on fully. Indicators should be developed for their monitoring, and means of verification clearly identified. This is not just for monitoring purposes, but for clarity as to how and what the new activity will contribute to the project as a whole and to assess the success of the approach.


6.

The programme design was ambitious in both the wide range of activities proposed and the magnitude of the outputs identified. A more focused approach, on strategically important outputs that would facilitate other actors (such as the National Environmental Fund and the Environmental Information System) would perhaps have produced more tangible outputs and be seen to have progressed environmental activities more visibly. As it is, the National Environment Fund is still in formulation (with limited uptake of guidance advice produced by the programme) and the Environmental Information System still not up and running. Many initiatives have been helped in formulation, but implementation has lagged behind proposals, which one hears have been on the cards for some time. This lack of implementation of policies, strategies and proposals makes it difficult to assess the cost-effectiveness of the ESP. (recommendation 7 refers).


7.

This evaluation agrees with the finding in the final technical report by the CTA, that future delivery targets are less output and more outcome based. In the case of the ESP producing outputs (such as a new environmental policy) did not in fact lead to achievement of the objective, or outcome (improved environmental management) as the later (benefit realization) also depended on a series of implementation related activities that appeared to be outside the scope of the programme. This recommendation links with the previous one in giving a programme clearer focus and practical/ tangible deliverables which it has the capacity to deliver on. (recommendation 7 refers).


8.

The commitment and hard work of ESP programme staff and the government staff, NGOs and UNDP staff who collaborated with them managed to overcome many of the difficulties faced and enabled the programme to make significant progress in several areas. This goes to show that as well as good design, enabling environment and adequate resources, people‘s commitment is crucial in achieving desired outcomes.


Findings
Recommendations
1

All stakeholders (in the case of ESP non-state actors) should be involved in programme design. Balanced representation of stakeholders should be ensured within the PSC (in the case of ESP a minimum of two representatives were needed from private sector and civil society sectors and CBOs should also have been represented). Non-state actors should not be out of pocket for their services to the PSC, with their time and resources in networking with members, recompensed.

2

Crucial design features such as citing of the programme implementation unit and the seniority and designation of the Project Director should be clearly agreed and articulated at design stage and recorded in project documents. This will assist in sorting out problems (including lack of office space) prior to programme implementation and facilitate discussions with partners if the original design is not followed.

3

At Programme inception stage collaboration should be further articulated down to department division and unit level. Programme activities would then be built into departmental division and individual work and training plans.

4

That the project duration agreed at design stage be honored so that important programme outcomes are not compromised.

5

In programmes where indicative activities are identified, the logframe should be revised prior to the mid-term review to identify clear outputs expected by completion of the programme and at the mid-point. The use of Outcome Mapping be considered for monitoring programmes where attitudinal, structural re-organisation and working practices activities are included. The re-organisation of MEWT, communications strategy for MEWT and environmental education activities of NGOs are examples of activities within ESP where impact could be best captured by Outcome Mapping techniques.

6

In the interests of transparency and communication of project outputs that web-based repositories be established for project outputs and key documents as part of project closure. These should be accessible to all stakeholders and to monitoring and evaluation missions.

7

Establishment of an autonomous and accessible Environmental Common Fund be a priority outcome in future programming.

8

A programme focusing specifically on this outcome is required that would provide support to on-going initiatives, help co-ordinate lesson-learning between groups and liaison and negotiation with government over necessary supportive policies and legislation. The programme would possibly support new pilot projects (linking civil society with the private sector) to develop working systems with communities and their support organizations, with adequate timeframes and resources. Future programming should plan for this and support such initiatives so as to practically inform policy makers for development of truly supportive policy and legal frameworks.

9

Underlying reasons for systemic failures in UNDP management of the programme be addressed. This is important for the current UNDAF programme, which is also experiencing delays and creating increasing frustration among collaborators.

1. Recommendation:

All stakeholders (in the case of ESP non-state actors) should be involved in programme design. Balanced representation of stakeholders should be ensured within the PSC (in the case of ESP a minimum of two representatives were needed from private sector and civil society sectors and CBOs should also have been represented). Non-state actors should not be out of pocket for their services to the PSC, with their time and resources in networking with members, recompensed.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendation is noted and has been incorporated in the planning processes. Non-state actors are now represented in Project Steering Committees of all the projects implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Government. However, the non-state actors cannot be compensated for their time as most of the funded projects under the ESP do not make budgetary provisions for such.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Crucial design features such as citing of the programme implementation unit and the seniority and designation of the Project Director should be clearly agreed and articulated at design stage and recorded in project documents. This will assist in sorting out problems (including lack of office space) prior to programme implementation and facilitate discussions with partners if the original design is not followed.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

he recommendation has been acceded to. All the project documents under the ESP include management structures and key personnel as well as the work-plans and protocols. These instruments are used to provide guidance to implementation of the project.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

At Programme inception stage collaboration should be further articulated down to department division and unit level. Programme activities would then be built into departmental division and individual work and training plans.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendation is noted and being implemented. The Thematic working group chaired by government coordinate all the activities of the ESP through implementing partners which are mainly government institutions. In some instances, the work os ESP is incorporated on work plans of focal persons appointed by IPs.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

That the project duration agreed at design stage be honored so that important programme outcomes are not compromised.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendation are noted and projects are implemented within the set duration of the project. The resources are also tied to the project duration. Project are only extended after terminal evaluations.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

In programmes where indicative activities are identified, the logframe should be revised prior to the mid-term review to identify clear outputs expected by completion of the programme and at the mid-point. The use of Outcome Mapping be considered for monitoring programmes where attitudinal, structural re-organisation and working practices activities are included. The re-organisation of MEWT, communications strategy for MEWT and environmental education activities of NGOs are examples of activities within ESP where impact could be best captured by Outcome Mapping techniques.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendations are noted. However their implementation should follow government institutional review process which has not been initiated yet.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

In the interests of transparency and communication of project outputs that web-based repositories be established for project outputs and key documents as part of project closure. These should be accessible to all stakeholders and to monitoring and evaluation missions.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendation is noted and forms part of the Environment Reporting and Tracking Document Management System which will publish all the reviews and other related environmental information.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Establishment of an autonomous and accessible Environmental Common Fund be a priority outcome in future programming.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendation has been implemented. National Environment Fund has been established. However the fund is being administer by the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

A programme focusing specifically on this outcome is required that would provide support to on-going initiatives, help co-ordinate lesson-learning between groups and liaison and negotiation with government over necessary supportive policies and legislation. The programme would possibly support new pilot projects (linking civil society with the private sector) to develop working systems with communities and their support organizations, with adequate timeframes and resources. Future programming should plan for this and support such initiatives so as to practically inform policy makers for development of truly supportive policy and legal frameworks.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

The recommendation is vague and mainly a comment

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Underlying reasons for systemic failures in UNDP management of the programme be addressed. This is important for the current UNDAF programme, which is also experiencing delays and creating increasing frustration among collaborators.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/05] [Last Updated: 2017/04/05]

This is noted with the view to improve. However the systemic failures are not clearly defined.

Key Actions:

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