Mid-term Review of Removing Barriers Hindering Protected Area (PA) Management Effectiveness Project in Viet Nam

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2016, Viet Nam
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2015
Completion Date:
03/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000
00074659 Protected Area (PA) financing Mid-Term Summary and Lesson Learned

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Title Mid-term Review of Removing Barriers Hindering Protected Area (PA) Management Effectiveness Project in Viet Nam
Atlas Project Number: 00074659
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2016, Viet Nam
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2015
Planned End Date: 03/2015
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 $): 25,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Babul Azad M&E Officer babul.azad@undp.org
Tran My Hanh Programme Analyst tran.my.hanh@undp.org
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number: 3965
Key Stakeholders: MONRE/MARD
Countries: VIET NAM
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 1. Secure Formal Project Extension from the Government of Viet Nam
2 2. Continue Implementation at Protected Area Demonstration Sites until the end of 2015.
3 3. Agree on responsibilities for finalizing project activities under MARD Component.
4 4. Strengthen the role of the Project Executive Board (PEB)
5 5. Streamline and focus project work planning.
6 6. Streamline procurement.
7 7. Make maximum use of project monitoring tools.
8 8. Increase project staffing.
9 9. Enhance institutional responsibility for policy and regulatory changes.
10 10. Approve a revised project results framework.
11 11. Carry out a detailed analysis of accomplishments to date and priority next steps with regard to coordination on PA management and financing.
12 12. Revise and finalize an Agreement between MARD and MONRE on coordination for PA management.
13 13. Support up-scaling and replication of site-based PA financing mechanisms.
14 14. Communicate technical results of project.
15 15. Strengthen biodiversity management at the PA system level.
1. Recommendation: 1. Secure Formal Project Extension from the Government of Viet Nam
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Agree. A formal extension was secured by BCA from the Prime Minister of Viet Nam in 2014 and the Project will now conclude at the end of 2015.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Secure formal project extension
[Added: 2015/05/27]
MONRE 2015/03 Completed
2. Recommendation: 2. Continue Implementation at Protected Area Demonstration Sites until the end of 2015.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Agree. BCA has discussed the extension with the PA sites, and the sites have agreed to continue demonstration activities though out 2015. Formal confirmation will be secured shortly. The continuation of activities at the PA sites has been reflected in the Annual Work Plan 2015.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Submission of a formal letter from each demonstration PA confirming their participation until the end of 2015
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/03 Completed Letter of agreement received from all three sites History
2.2 All ongoing demonstration activities to continue at the PA sites as per the Annual Work Plan 2015
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation: 3. Agree on responsibilities for finalizing project activities under MARD Component.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Partially agree. This recommendation primarily concerns Output 2.3: revised and consistent system-wide incentive measures that promote improved performance for PA staff. In late 2013, MARD commissioned a review of the incentive mechanisms in PAs. The review found that the professional grades of staff conducting conservation activities was very low compared to that those of forest rangers and that under this grading conservation staff are unable to access the same allowances as rangers. In light of these findings, MARD has developed a draft circular on professional and job titling standards for conservation civil servants and employees. It is expected that improvement to these standards will attract and maintain more qualified and dedicated conservation staff. However, this circular can only be considered for approval after revision of the Forest Protection and Development Law, which is currently scheduled for 2016. i In regards to the staff performance incentive programs at individual PAs, each PA has incentive system, but criteria on biodiversity conservation is not included every system. To further the report produced by MARD, another a technical report will be developed to review and propose additional criteria on biodiversity-conservation where required. This activity will be included in the Annual Work Plan 2015.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Produce recommendations to PAs on including biodiversity conservation criteria to existing incentive structures
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/10 Completed Planned for 2015 as per AWP History
4. Recommendation: 4. Strengthen the role of the Project Executive Board (PEB)
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Management response: Agree. As the PEB comprises of high level representatives from relevant government ministries and the provinces, finding meeting times when enough representatives can attend can be challenging. In order to strengthen the PEB?s role, the UNDP and MONRE will ensure the Board meets three times this year. These meetings will include 1) at the beginning of the year to approve AWP and revised framework, 2) a field meeting at one of the PA sites to a receive report on demonstration activities and results, and (3) at the closing workshop.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 UNDP to support the PEB to meet three times within the year. These meetings will include: approval the Annual Work Plan and Procurement Plan; field visit to demonstration sites; and the concluding workshop
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
UNDP and MONRE 2015/12 Completed First meeting conducted (Feb 6th 2015), Annual Work Plan approved History
4.2 PEB to agree to disseminate findings from reports on institutional coordination
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/UNDP/PEB 2015/12 Completed History
4.3 VEA leader to sign an official letter to endorse and encourage the application of the lessons learned/guidelines and circulate to all PAs
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
Q4/2015 2015/12 Completed History
5. Recommendation: 5. Streamline and focus project work planning.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Agree. Previous delays in plan approval have hampered implementation progress. The UNDP, MONRE and the PEB will work together to ensure the 2015 Annual Work Plan and Procurement Plan are approved in a timely fashion.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Annual Work Plan to be approved by PEB
[Added: 2015/05/27]
MONRE/UNDP 2015/03 Completed
5.2 Procurement Plan to be approved by PEB
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/UNDP 2015/07 Completed History
6. Recommendation: 6. Streamline procurement.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Agree. The streamlining of procurement processes is key part of a review of the UNDP?s Harmonized Program and Project Management Guidelines (HPPMG). The UNDP, along with the GoV and other UN agencies, will continue to work on the implementation of the guidelines. Whilst this review process far broader than this Project, any amendments resulting from the review will be incorporated in the Project Procurement Plan.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 MONRE to participate and contribute ideas/comments during HPPMG revision process when requested by UNDP and GoV
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/07 Completed History
7. Recommendation: 7. Make maximum use of project monitoring tools.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agreed. The PMU will continue to utilize the relevant monitoring tools and seek to improve application and consistency.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 2015 Capacity scorecard will be completed, attached with recommendations for government to improve scores
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/03 Completed History
7.2 Review and compare the original Management Effectiveness Tracking (METT) scores and the updated 2015 scores for each PA site individually.
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
7.3 Complete final Financial Scorecard in same manner as 2014 Scorecard to allow for comparison.
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
8. Recommendation: 8. Increase project staffing.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agree. MONRE has recruited a volunteer Technical Specialist from Germany that will support its work on PA finance and management with technical inputs and has allocated an additional full time staff member to monitor activities at project sites and three part-time staff to assist the Project Manager.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Recruit Technical Specialist
[Added: 2015/05/27]
MONRE 2015/03 Completed
8.2 One full time staff to assist project manager to work with project site coordinators and follow up project activities at pilot sites
[Added: 2015/05/27]
MONRE 2015/03 Completed
8.3 3 BCA staff working part time to assist project manager on working with consultants on technical activities of the project and 1 BCA staff supports in logistic activities
[Added: 2015/05/27]
MONRE 2012/03 Completed
9. Recommendation: 9. Enhance institutional responsibility for policy and regulatory changes.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agree. MONRE, with the support of UNDP, will continue to support and drive efforts to gain approval of policy and regulatory changes and decisions. The PEB will be instrumental to supporting these efforts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 See key actions related to the operation of the PEB under Recommendation 4.
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/UNDP 2015/12 Completed History
10. Recommendation: 10. Approve a revised project results framework.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agree. The Results Framework prepared in the initial stages of the Project was perhaps too aspirational and not viable in the context of the on-the-ground realities. Indicators and targets have been revised and were approved by the Project Steering Committee (PSC) on 6 Feb 2015.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 Revise and submit Project Results Framework to PSC
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/UNDP 2015/03 Completed History
11. Recommendation: 11. Carry out a detailed analysis of accomplishments to date and priority next steps with regard to coordination on PA management and financing.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2015/05/27]

Partially agree. A report will be developed to analyze the accomplishments of the Project and remaining weaknesses in the coordination of PA management and financing. However, we propose that the report not seek to produce recommendations on key activities and results for achievement in 2015. The reasoning behind this is twofold: by the time the report has been completed, the Annual Work Plan will already have been approved and implementation started; and this guidance is already adequately covered by the MTR, the Annual Work Plan and this Management Response.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 Develop a report covering 1) weaknesses in PA management and financing coordination and 2) Project accomplishments.
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/UNDP 2015/12 Completed An international consultant will be recruited to undertake this task and will build on existing documentation History
12. Recommendation: 12. Revise and finalize an Agreement between MARD and MONRE on coordination for PA management.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Partially agree. As noted by the MTR, Decrees clarifying the responsibilities of both ministries (MONRE 21/2013/NĐ-CP and MARD 199//2013/NĐ-CP) were issued in 2013. This represents a significant step forward in improving coordination of PA management. In regards to an agreement between the two ministries, we propose best solution to this issue is to negotiate a MoU between BCA (MONRE) and VNFOREST (MARD). Both of these agencies are involved in PA management at the administration and implementation level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.1 Negotiate MoU on coordination for PA management between BCA and VNFOREST
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/MARD/UNDP 2015/07 Completed History
13. Recommendation: 13. Support up-scaling and replication of site-based PA financing mechanisms.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agree. The Annual Work Plan 2015 includes activities (outlined below) to disseminate the findings and results of the Project and to provide technical and policy guidance to other PAs. In addition, the PEB will formally endorse the lessons learned and guidelines resulting from the Project (see Recommendation 4).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1 develop a report on lessons learnt on development and implementation of financing mechanisms in 3 sites and disseminate report to all PAs
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
13.2 Develop a video clip introducing biodiversity in Vietnam and communicating project results and upload to BCA/VEA website
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
13.3 Develop proposal for new financing mechanisms
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
13.4 Disseminate to all PAs guidelines on developing PA management and business plans
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History
14. Recommendation: 14. Communicate technical results of project.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agree. The Annual Work Plan 2015 contains a number of activities (outlined below) to communicate the technical results of the Project to relevant stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
14.1 Upload reports, guidelines and information on policy/legal changes onto VEA website
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/03 Completed History
14.2 Identify and engage with relevant stakeholders to access information uploaded on website
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/07 Completed History
14.3 Present information at the annual meeting of all PA Management Boards
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE/MARD 2015/12 Completed History
15. Recommendation: 15. Strengthen biodiversity management at the PA system level.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/05/27]

Agreed. MONRE will work with VEA Data Management Office and JICA to ensure that the clearinghouse mechanism is used to guide PA system management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
15.1 BCA to introduce the database system developed by JICA to PAs
[Added: 2015/05/27] [Last Updated: 2016/10/19]
MONRE 2015/12 Completed History

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