Terminal Evaluation : PIMS No. 3694: Enhancing Global Environmental Management in Bhutan?s Local Governance System

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Evaluation Plan:
2008-2013, Bhutan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2012
Completion Date:
06/2012
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation : PIMS No. 3694: Enhancing Global Environmental Management in Bhutan?s Local Governance System
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2013, Bhutan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2012
Planned End Date: 06/2012
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
Dil Maya Rai
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-3
PIMS Number: 3694
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: BHUTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Certain activities in the districts, such as the practice of building EFRC roads, compliance of EA Act, 2000 and NEPA 2007 are recommended to be followed up and reinforced for better achievement of the targets set to ensure environmental safeguards. Capacity building activities both at the national level as well as ex-country level also need to be monitored for relevance and applicability.
2 The project design met the requirements of the funding agency. However, it was felt that the project could have made a much far reaching affect had it supplemented further on the decentralization process of environmental management not just from the capacity development point but through better coordination with other Multi-lateral agreement focal points.
3 A project manager was appointed for the implementation of the project. In addition, the project manager was assisted by the project steering committee (PSC) within the NECS apart from the thematic working group members and the Project Board. Managing the project with stakeholders was found to be challenging. Although the various committees and PB was in place, project activities were delayed by almost 9 -10 months in the 1st year due to change of several project managers. It was also difficult to organize meeting for stakeholders covering the 20 districts. It has been recommended that in future the project should appoint an alternate project manager to ensure smooth flow of activities without any delay during the project manager?s absence. The appointment of an alternate or a full time project manager will also reduce the burden on the project manager since the RGOB appointed project manager also has other responsibilities that he is required to deliver beside project management.
4 The evaluation noted concerns that some of the officials were not very familiar with the project and its support. During the consultation meetings it was reported that some trainings were Thimphu-based without efforts in trying to bring it to the local levels and the TOTs were not very comprehensive.
1. Recommendation: Certain activities in the districts, such as the practice of building EFRC roads, compliance of EA Act, 2000 and NEPA 2007 are recommended to be followed up and reinforced for better achievement of the targets set to ensure environmental safeguards. Capacity building activities both at the national level as well as ex-country level also need to be monitored for relevance and applicability.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/07/23]

During implementation of the project, NEC with other relevant divisions in the Secretariat has conducted training program on environmental management focusing on impacts of developmental activities such as mining & quarrying, road construction, power transmission lines, industries, urban infrastructures and tourism activities. The training program also covered social impact assessment, defining terms of reference for EIA and environmental management plan. The training program was attended by all the relevant sectoral agencies such as the local government officials, district engineers, planning officers, forestry officials, mining engineers, hydropower officials, DEOs, corporate officials and NGOs The Competent Authorities including the District Environment Officers and District Environment Committees have streamlined the procedural aspects of the environment assessment (EA) process making it more conducive to both the implementers and the regulators. The training manuals, guidelines and the environmental education and awareness materials have also been useful in assisting them in discharging their functions more effectively and efficiently. For follow up actions on capacity building needs , the NEC as the secretariat for all 20 DEO?s should explore funding through other donors or programme in the 11th FYP.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Since the NEC receives support from several other donors, UNDP should ensure that support under the One UN Programme is coherent and NEC should ensure that capacity building activities are coordinated well.
[Added: 2013/07/23] [Last Updated: 2013/12/15]
UNDP CO NEC Secretariat 2013/12 Completed The One UN programme ensures theres no duplication in support to partners. This process is streamlined through the initiation of joint awp with UN agencies and close consultation and collaboration with other development partners, government agencies and the Gross National Happiness Commission which acts as the planning and coordination body in the government
2. Recommendation: The project design met the requirements of the funding agency. However, it was felt that the project could have made a much far reaching affect had it supplemented further on the decentralization process of environmental management not just from the capacity development point but through better coordination with other Multi-lateral agreement focal points.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/07/23]

The project strategy is to enhance the already planned capacity development efforts by filling identified gaps in capacity needs, both at the central and district levels. Several in country and ex-country capacity building trainings have been organized benefitting relevant stakeholders, line ministries and District Environment officers and environment committees in environment management and environmental impacts from developmental activities on biodiversity, climate change and land degradation and subsequent mitigation & prevention measures. In addition to capacity development, the project has contributed to establishment of district environment offices in the 20 districts through supply of basic equipment, extension kits, GPS sets, etc. Training manuals on environment management, information booklets on the 3 Rio conventions and reference guidelines were also developed and disseminated. The project has also supported updating the EIMS and established formal linkages with one 2 partner institution in India and Switzerland on capacity development, research and technology transfer.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The weak coordination among the Rio convention focal points has been noted. It is recommended that coordination be enhanced through the use of the synthesized guidelines on the Rio conventions published and distributed through the project, as well as through streamlining of reporting procedures for the three Rio Conventions as per the provisions of the National Environment Protection Act
[Added: 2013/07/23] [Last Updated: 2014/08/25]
NEC and RGoB Rio Focal Points 2014/06 Completed 2 of the 3 focal point for the RIO convention is housed in the NEC. For CC a multi-stakeholder taskforce committee for cc (mstccc) was formed for coordinating with all relevant stakeholders, similarly for biological diversity, NEC works closely with the National Biodiversity Center and the Ministry of Agriculture in ensuring timely reporting to the conventions . It is in the mandate of the NEC and its Secretariat to ensure reporting by all agencies
3. Recommendation: A project manager was appointed for the implementation of the project. In addition, the project manager was assisted by the project steering committee (PSC) within the NECS apart from the thematic working group members and the Project Board. Managing the project with stakeholders was found to be challenging. Although the various committees and PB was in place, project activities were delayed by almost 9 -10 months in the 1st year due to change of several project managers. It was also difficult to organize meeting for stakeholders covering the 20 districts. It has been recommended that in future the project should appoint an alternate project manager to ensure smooth flow of activities without any delay during the project manager?s absence. The appointment of an alternate or a full time project manager will also reduce the burden on the project manager since the RGOB appointed project manager also has other responsibilities that he is required to deliver beside project management.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/07/23]

In future UNDP has to ensure that the appointed PM has the capacity to implement projects. Projects which allow support staff recruitment. UNDP to initiate dialogues with the RGOB during project formulation and budget project manager or project support staff recruitment for smooth implementation and accountability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure that future projects have capable project managers or project support where applicable and approved by donors depending on the size and duration of the project. Project managers/ support manager to be trained in UNDP reporting requirements.
[Added: 2013/07/23] [Last Updated: 2014/05/11]
UNDP, NEC 2014/07 Completed This issue has been addressed. All projects depending on its size, budget and duration have the opportunity to plan and budget for a project support officer to support the project manager in smooth implementation of the project. HACT training is organized each year to help project implementing partners to familiarize on UNDP reporting requirements. The environment unit has also taken initiative to train all project managers new and old on the use of face form, SPRs and itemized list on 14th March 2014. Presentation on the HACT framework has also been made during the inception meeting of new projects.
4. Recommendation: The evaluation noted concerns that some of the officials were not very familiar with the project and its support. During the consultation meetings it was reported that some trainings were Thimphu-based without efforts in trying to bring it to the local levels and the TOTs were not very comprehensive.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/07/23]

While information regarding the project has always been shared with stakeholders from the start, it seems stakeholders at district levels may have been confused due to several donor projects supporting similar activities. Some trainings were in fact conducted jointly. Since the projects stakeholders are spread across the 20 districts it has been a challenge to get full participation from all districts. This evaluation was not a mandatory one and therefore enough time was not available to do a full reflection of the project benefits and results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Future project evaluation to allow enough time for post-project reflection, as well as endure that right people are interviewed for gauging projects results and benefits.
[Added: 2013/07/23] [Last Updated: 2014/05/11]
UNDP 2014/01 Completed In the case of the NCSA project evaluation this was a one time case since the project manager was on emergency leave and most of the stakeholders were stationed across the 20 districts which made the TE difficult to coordinate. However we would like highlight that all evaluations are planned well ahead in consultation with project team. A minimum duration of one month is planned for evaluation to ensure completion of all requirements

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