Mid term review of the fifth operational phase of the GEF Small Grants program in Costa Rica

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Costa Rica
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
08/2014
Completion Date:
08/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
12,000

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Title Mid term review of the fifth operational phase of the GEF Small Grants program in Costa Rica
Atlas Project Number: 00079305
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Costa Rica
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2014
Planned End Date: 08/2014
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
  • 2. 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 $): 12,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Alejandro Imbach ARGENTINA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: EA
GEF Phase: GEF-5
PIMS Number: 4560
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: COSTA RICA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 To complete the current fifth operational phase of the SGP in Costa Rica it should maintain the current existing operational procedures and systems that have proven effective and efficient in achieving the proposed results. Overall, the SGP Costa Rica project is implemented very appropriately; therefore, the first recommendation is to keep up the good work.
2 To complete the development of the SGP Country Program M&E System using the same conceptual and operational approach already in place for the Biodiversity component of the project to develop the monitoring and evaluation aspects of the Climate change component. This task needs to be fulfilled during the current OP5.
3 A similar recommendation is related with the reporting on the GEF Tracking Tools. Despite the mentioned issues detailed at section 4.1 (under Results framework / logframe) it is recommended to the Country Program to make all possible efforts to fulfill its task of reporting on the GEF Tracking Tools.
4 To collect better information on gender issues. At the time of the MTR there are no indicators focused on these issues and the presentation of disaggregated information by gender mentioned in the PRODOC has not happened. Despite that, there is evidence emerging from the field visits about a significant level of gender integration, therefore what is missing are the tools to collect this information formally in order to provide the necessary evidence about these issues.
5 To identify a feasible way to strengthen the National Coordination team. The monitoring of ield activities of the SGP Costa Rica is very good. Each project is visited at least three times during execution and also the groups are in regular contact by phone or email with the National Coordination resulting in a close relationship between the SGP Country Program and the beneficiaries. In addition, the monitoring and evaluation system is excellent but running it demands a lot of work. Maintaining this level of operations with 120 funded projects is simply too much for a small two-person Coordination team with a secretary. Currently the large workload for the staff implies the loss of many opportunities to impact on local, regional and national processes to which the SGP is invited to contribute and which cannot be addressed simply for lack of time. The identification of the most appropriate way to strengthen the National Coordination is a task to be undertaken jointly with the National Steering Committee; the MTR suggest to look into the experience of other Upgrading Country Programs in the system to find ideas about how to fulfill this need.
6 To expand the Terms of Reference of the National Steering Committee (NSC) to include dealing with key strategic management aspects that are currently in a situation of uncertainty due to the upgrading of SGP Costa Rica. The following proposed aspects, among other, to be included in the new TOR are: ? Annual assessment of the National Coordination ? Full Assessment of the National Coordination team at the end of each operating phase and decision on its continuation or renewal. ? Periodic renewal of the members of the NSC following the existing modality at the beginning of each operational phase. ? Monitoring the thematic and geographical scope of the SGP Country Program in Costa Rica ? Monitoring and evaluation system and reporting ? Monitoring SGP knowledge management processes (evaluations, systematization,guidelines, papers, website and others) ? Other topics to be presented to the National Steering Committee and considers as ? strategic by the NSC ? In defining the tasks of strategic management mentioned above it is very important tokeep them distinct and non-overlapping with UNOPS, UNDP Country Office and the SGP National Coordination functions. The MTR also recommends that the task of extending the terms of reference of the National Steering Committee should be coordinated by the UNDP-GEF Global Technical Advisor for SGP grading Country Programs in order to ensure consistency across the group of SGP upgrading country programs.
7 To keep the concentration of activities in the area of land degradation in the Jesus Maria river basin at least until convincing evidence is generated about the achievement of significant impacts (or lack of them) in that territory. This process may provide valuable information about the usefulness of concentrating efforts in specific territories to achieve visible impacts.
8 To make all necessary efforts to develop a new project proposal for the next operational phase of the GEF that maximizes the chances of being incorporated into the national GEF portfolio preserving the ?upgrading? nature of the Costa Rica SGP.
1. Recommendation: To complete the current fifth operational phase of the SGP in Costa Rica it should maintain the current existing operational procedures and systems that have proven effective and efficient in achieving the proposed results. Overall, the SGP Costa Rica project is implemented very appropriately; therefore, the first recommendation is to keep up the good work.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

La Coordinación Nacional del Proyecto tiene el compromiso de continuar con el trabajo de calidad demostrado hasta el momento, y mantener el buen funcionamiento del programa en el país.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Mantener el buen trabajo de la coordinación nacional del programa
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/09 Completed History
2. Recommendation: To complete the development of the SGP Country Program M&E System using the same conceptual and operational approach already in place for the Biodiversity component of the project to develop the monitoring and evaluation aspects of the Climate change component. This task needs to be fulfilled during the current OP5.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

En marcha procesos de sensibilización y capacitación en temas de cambio climático con todas las contrapartes del PPD

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5 Talleres de capacitación en Cambio Climático
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/12 Completed History
Elaboración de una plantilla para cada uno de los proyectos donde se mide su contribución a la mitigación del Cambio Climático.
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation: A similar recommendation is related with the reporting on the GEF Tracking Tools. Despite the mentioned issues detailed at section 4.1 (under Results framework / logframe) it is recommended to the Country Program to make all possible efforts to fulfill its task of reporting on the GEF Tracking Tools.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

Al ser el PPD un Proyecto multifocal, que incorpora elementos de todas las áreas de prioridad del GEF, se vuelve muy complejo plantear reportar en todo el Tracking Tool del GEF, pues absorbería gran parte del tiempo, y los resultados del programa serían los mismos.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Mantener actualizado, conforme se pueda manejar, las diferentes herramientas de seguimiento diseñadas específicamente para el Proyecto, que permita seguimiento en los GEF Tracking Tools.
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/09 Completed History
4. Recommendation: To collect better information on gender issues. At the time of the MTR there are no indicators focused on these issues and the presentation of disaggregated information by gender mentioned in the PRODOC has not happened. Despite that, there is evidence emerging from the field visits about a significant level of gender integration, therefore what is missing are the tools to collect this information formally in order to provide the necessary evidence about these issues.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

Mejorar los indicadores de avance, desagregando por género dentro de las posibilidades.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Se solicitó apoyo al INAMU para tener un taller de sensibilización en temas de género con el Comité Directivo
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/12 Completed History
Trabajar con el INAMU para buscar maneras de desagregar la información por género
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/10 Completed History
Desarrollar herramientas específicas
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2015/01 Completed History
5. Recommendation: To identify a feasible way to strengthen the National Coordination team. The monitoring of ield activities of the SGP Costa Rica is very good. Each project is visited at least three times during execution and also the groups are in regular contact by phone or email with the National Coordination resulting in a close relationship between the SGP Country Program and the beneficiaries. In addition, the monitoring and evaluation system is excellent but running it demands a lot of work. Maintaining this level of operations with 120 funded projects is simply too much for a small two-person Coordination team with a secretary. Currently the large workload for the staff implies the loss of many opportunities to impact on local, regional and national processes to which the SGP is invited to contribute and which cannot be addressed simply for lack of time. The identification of the most appropriate way to strengthen the National Coordination is a task to be undertaken jointly with the National Steering Committee; the MTR suggest to look into the experience of other Upgrading Country Programs in the system to find ideas about how to fulfill this need.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

Esto se analizó en la pasada reunión de comité directivo, del 12-13 agosto. Se acuerda negociar para el GEF-6 el fortalecimiento de la coordinación nacional con una persona que se pueda dedicar al fortalecimiento de los grupos socios, al establecimiento de alianzas, acuerdos y capacitaciones.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Negociar una persona más en el equipo de PPD con fondos del Star 6
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/12 Completed History
Desarrollar TdRs, que perfilen el rol de esta nueva persona
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2015/12 Completed History
6. Recommendation: To expand the Terms of Reference of the National Steering Committee (NSC) to include dealing with key strategic management aspects that are currently in a situation of uncertainty due to the upgrading of SGP Costa Rica. The following proposed aspects, among other, to be included in the new TOR are: ? Annual assessment of the National Coordination ? Full Assessment of the National Coordination team at the end of each operating phase and decision on its continuation or renewal. ? Periodic renewal of the members of the NSC following the existing modality at the beginning of each operational phase. ? Monitoring the thematic and geographical scope of the SGP Country Program in Costa Rica ? Monitoring and evaluation system and reporting ? Monitoring SGP knowledge management processes (evaluations, systematization,guidelines, papers, website and others) ? Other topics to be presented to the National Steering Committee and considers as ? strategic by the NSC ? In defining the tasks of strategic management mentioned above it is very important tokeep them distinct and non-overlapping with UNOPS, UNDP Country Office and the SGP National Coordination functions. The MTR also recommends that the task of extending the terms of reference of the National Steering Committee should be coordinated by the UNDP-GEF Global Technical Advisor for SGP grading Country Programs in order to ensure consistency across the group of SGP upgrading country programs.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

Es importante analizar con el buró la pertinencia de clarificar la gobernanza del programa, así como una clara definición de funciones, que permita especificar cuál será el ámbito de acción del Comité Directivo.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Mantener reunión de planificación estratégica con el Comité Directivo Nacional y consultas con el Buró
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/12 Completed History
7. Recommendation: To keep the concentration of activities in the area of land degradation in the Jesus Maria river basin at least until convincing evidence is generated about the achievement of significant impacts (or lack of them) in that territory. This process may provide valuable information about the usefulness of concentrating efforts in specific territories to achieve visible impacts.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

Se ha hablado con el Ministro de Ambiente, en particular en el contexto de las negociaciones de fondos para la nueva asignación Star. A petición suya, se continuará trabajando en la cuenca del río Jesús María, mientras se abre trabajo en otra cuenca.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continuar con el trabajo en la Cuenca del río Jesús María.
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2014/09 Completed History
Iniciar trabajo en otra cuenca
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2015/06 Completed History
8. Recommendation: To make all necessary efforts to develop a new project proposal for the next operational phase of the GEF that maximizes the chances of being incorporated into the national GEF portfolio preserving the ?upgrading? nature of the Costa Rica SGP.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/09/04]

Se está en negociaciones para definir los montos del programa para la próxima fase operativa.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Elaborar un Nuevo documento de Proyecto, con el visto Bueno del MINAE
[Added: 2014/09/04] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Coordinación Nacional PPD 2015/06 Completed History

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