Final-term Evaluation of the Support to the Development and Implementation of a Green Growth and Economy Approach to Rwanda?s Economic Transformation

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2018, Rwanda
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
10/2018
Completion Date:
11/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
40,000

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Title Final-term Evaluation of the Support to the Development and Implementation of a Green Growth and Economy Approach to Rwanda?s Economic Transformation
Atlas Project Number: 00078102
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2018, Rwanda
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 10/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
SDG Goal
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Evaluation Budget(US $): 40,000
Source of Funding: UNDP (project)
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 4,000
Joint Programme: Yes
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UNDP, UNEP, UNHABITAT, UNIDO, ILO, ECA
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Amitav Rath
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government, Development Partners, UN agencies, Civil Society
Countries: RWANDA
Lessons
Findings
1.

JOINT PROGRAMME RESOURCES
28. The evaluation used all available M&E documents, quarterly and annual plans, annual project reports, steering committee meeting reports and the Mid Term Evaluation (MTE) together with feedback from interviews and the survey, to ascertain the activities undertaken, their list of outputs and purpose. It also examined the use and relevance of outputs, including materials produced, and, for relevance it consulted a wider set of documents on UNDAP, other Joint Programmes, national plans and documents on green growth and economy, to assess relevance. The documents were supplemented by consultations with stakeholders. All information sources used are provided in Annex 2.


Tag: Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Resource mobilization Communication Joint UN Programme Monitoring and Evaluation

2.

FINDINGS – BY ACTIVITY AND OUTPUT

Table 9: Output 1-Innovation Centres of Excellence established and linked.
31. The evaluation noted the achievement that the Centre of Excellence on Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management (CoEB) has been established and is operational. It is useful to note here the long period of work required for its establishment, which predated the JP. Planning and conceptual work defining the CoEB actually began in 2007. UNESCO had prepared several proposals for significant resources for CoEB from international donors, but it failed to get resources as planned. The government of Rwanda, the University and UNESCO continued to work and develop the ideas while working on multiple initiatives, with different partners, and made the CoEB a functioning unit with many streams of funding. Some of the funds came from UR, UNESCO, and from REMA for research scholarships for Masters and PhD students at UR to study impacts of the LAFREC Gishwati-Mukura landscape restoration project.


 


Tag: Natural Resouce management Communication Innovation Joint UN Programme UN Agencies

3.

Table 10: Output 2 - Public and private investment in Green Urbanisation approaches


33. The MTE stated (Page 24) that a “Toolkit for Green City Development was developed by UN-HABITAT in conjunction with RHA”, and it was “finalized and validated in June 2017”. It also stated that UN-HABITAT was doing a feasibility study for the application of the grey water treatment technology in Nyarugenge/ Agatare Kigali. On this, a workshop was conducted to discuss the draft findings. The workshop recommended conducting further research to improve the quality of the treated grey water. The MTE stated that UN HABITAT undertook a feasibility study for the application of the grey water treatment technology in Nyarugenge and a pilot system at household level was installed for testing. The MTE also stated that “One UN Funds were not allocated” for 2.2 and this was confirmed by UNCTAD (see also 3.3 related to UNCTAD).


34. This specific output is rated as Highly Unsatisfactory (HU) by the evaluation. The MTE did not have any supporting evidence on the activities supported UNHABITAT. UNHABITAT did not provide any inputs to the evaluation in spite of many efforts to seek their cooperation during the evaluation.


Tag: Green Climate Communication Partnership UN Agencies

4.

Table 11: Output 3 - Planning and implementation of “Smart Green Villages” and investment in Green
Urbanization increased

35. In Output Three, the MTE had concluded that there had been no activity. As reported earlier, there was no additional information provided by UNHABITAT and by MININFRA.


36. In activity 3.2, UNDP24 and MININFRA (RHA) provided support for investments for integrating Climate-Smart practices in the construction of two green villages as demonstrations. Both “Vision 2020” and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies (EDPRS-2 from 2013 – 2018) incorporate the concept of green village. The concept was designed to serve as a model of clustered rural settlements (umudugudu) where productivity and improved livelihoods can be enhanced through integrated environmental management; this is in the second pillar of EDPRS-2 on “Rural Development”. A number of different projects have been used in the past to support such demonstrations, where the goal is for at least 70% of households living in rural areas to settle in integrated settlements, where the rural settlement model provides for access to clean water, electricity, health facilities, common marketplace, smart classrooms, improved road networks, common cowshed, better agricultural practices and other features. The concept can be traced to one of the resolutions passed during the Government of Rwanda’s Akagera retreat in 2007. It has been reported that the programme implementation has been slower due to shortage of financial resources, and, the current target is to have two model villages in each of the 30 Districts in Rwanda.


Tag: Rural development Green Climate Jobs and Livelihoods Urbanization

5.

41. The third activity for Output Three was for UNCTAD to work with MININFRA (RHA) to support private sector-led resource mobilization for upscaling green villages. UNCTAD reported that funds were used to develop a concept paper. The UNCTAD Concept Note identified best practices to support Rwanda authorities with effective and transparent procedures to help the private sector to mobilize resources for upscaling green villages in Rwanda. The Concept Note presented an assessment of the needs/demand for green services and identification of providers of green services, including public and private sources of financing for green services with the aim to build a system matching the demand for, and the supply of, green services and green financing, and objective to promote an online Green Investment exchange to boost investment in the development of green cities and villages in Rwanda. But UNCTAD determined
 There was no interest and engagement from local implementing partners on further follow up on this.


42. This specific JP output and outcome under group three is rated as Marginally Unsatisfactory (MU), because only one out of the three activities – demo green villages - was fully supported by the JP; one activity by UNCTAD produced a concept paper but did not move further; and, the third, had no inputs. Another shortcoming noted is that the successfully implemented green village demonstrations, while valuable to the beneficiaries, the beneficiaries were small in number (less than two hundred families benefited directly31) and there was no evidence of any synergy with other JP activities or of ongoing monitoring of the results from these demonstrations and their inputs into the national programmes for green villages.


Tag: Partnership Urbanization Private Sector Financing Resource mobilization Implementation Modality

6.

Table 12: Output 4 - Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Goals advanced

43. The evaluation determined that while many or all the activities under Output 4 have taken place, there were substantial changes between the plans made in the PRODOC and what has been undertaken. MININFRA commented that it has developed an action agenda that highlights the actions that will be undertaken to meet the SE4ALL targets and this plan for Rwanda is available at - https://www.se4all-africa.org/seforall-in-africa/country-actions/actionagenda/


Tag: Energy Sustainability International Financial Institutions UN Agencies

7.

Table 13: Output 5 - Initiatives in policy, advocacy, capacity development and coordination

48. In the first activity39, a toolbox was stated to have been established by UNEP and REMA and training was carried out for its use in 3 pilot districts.


49. In the second, UNDP supported the Environment Protection Unit under Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) (formerly Rwanda National Police (RNP)) for better inspection and investigation of environmental crimes. A countrywide environmental crime mapping and capacity needs assessment was carried out. RNP conducted monitoring and operations for prosecution and inspection of environmental crimes on illegal mining in Kamonyi, Ngororero, Muhanga, Kayonza and Gatsibo Districts. RIB also conducted training on awareness creation and response on environmental crimes on three sites (Muhanga, Karongi & Rwamagana) and 12 Districts officials. The total number of trainees was 119 people.


50. For activity three, it has been reported that this was done at the beginning of the project but this evidence has not been seen. For activity four, it has been reported that UN Habitat developed a Green City Toolkit for the Development of Secondary Cities and this was used to support Green city toolkit in Rubavu District Master Plan and Spatial Development Framework. It has been noted already that there have been no responses from UNHABITAT and the evaluation was unable to confirm any evidence. Activity five was used for coordination of the JP work by UNDP and MoE.


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Green Climate Country Government UN Agencies Capacity Building

8.

Relevance
53. The evaluation confirms that the JP activities and the effort to focus on “Green Growth and Economy” were and remain highly relevant for the country and for the UN agencies participating in the design of this JP. The PRODOC and subsequent reports and documentation confirm that JP activities selected are priorities for strategic results in several national plans and goals.

 


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Energy Natural Resouce management Relevance Joint UN Programme MDGs

9.

Effectiveness
57. Effectiveness is considered here for the JP as a whole and also for each of the five outputs and 20 activities that constituted the elements of the JP. As a group, the JP cannot be considered to have achieved its goal. The objectives of the JP were to mobilise resources and utilize the JP to focus around eleven million dollars of resources, and the expertise and capacities of ten agencies. It has been reported that this JP could only mobilize between 16 and 29% of the planned resources; there were no annual narrative and financial reports provided by 9 of the partner UN agencies that have been seen in the evaluation. There was no adherence to the guidelines for coordination and reporting and the JPSC, which did meet regularly, was unable to secure compliance. The challenges are found to be somewhat ameliorated by the fact of the JPSC meetings which were seen to have value for information sharing (even with the gaps mentioned) and many participants learned about the parallel activities that were discussed at the JPSC, specifically activities 1.2, 2.1 and 5.2, where the partners and stakeholders were often present at the JPSC and shared information. In addition, no synergies were noted with other projects and any joint programmes. Thus at the level of the JP, the evaluation considers the achievement of objectives to have major shortcomings in the achievement of raising resources and focus and coordination of the programme, and is rated as Unsatisfactory.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Resource mobilization Joint UN Programme UN Agencies Capacity Building

10.

Efficiency
61. As mentioned earlier, the original budget for the JP was over ten million US dollars. The actual amount made available to the JP activities ranges between a confirmed value at the lower end at around 17% (US$ 1.8 million) to a maximum upper estimate of almost US$3 million. Of this amount, the UNEP allocation of US$720,000 was spent by UNEP with their local implementing partner - Rwandan Environmental Management Authority (REMA)43, in a regional five country project, Operationalising Green Economy Transition in Africa. This activity is appropriate for the JP as activity 5.1 to “Support development and operationalization of a toolbox for GE in Rwanda”. But as UNEP had not spelt out how it would utilise its planned contribution of US$1.25 million, and it did not provide any information to the JP and nor did the national partner, it is not possible to answer if the funds have been spent as originally budgeted.

 


Tag: Green Economy Efficiency Resource mobilization Coordination

11.

Sustainability

65. The evaluation considers the benefits of the JP activities that have successfully been carried out are likely to continue even after JP funding has been completed and the project closed at the end of 2018. The JP was in fact focused on issues of environment sustainability and it also aimed to promote environmental sustainability mainstreaming. The evaluation concludes that the benefits of each of the successful JP to continue after 2018 as they all belong to UN and GoR national development priorities and so will attract national and additional donor funding. The JP had no clear exit strategy defined in the ProDoc nor is any strategy beyond closure at the end of the extended project period in December 2018 planned.


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Sustainability

12.

Outcomes and Impacts
66. The JP activities consisted of two types of intervention – some that increased capacity and built institutions to assist in the future planning and implementation of GE measures in Rwanda and others that provided direct benefits to a small numbers of poor women and men. They are considered successful for the current time. The true measures of their future positive impacts will only be known going forward with continued monitoring of results. In the activities completed, the JP certainly contributed to the achievement of UNDAP outcomes and outputs. Given the recent time when many outputs have been concluded it is too early to assess the impacts of the JP and second, the smaller size of the JP inputs would imply a smaller set of measurable direct benefits.
67. No negative changes were seen to have been produced by the JP, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended.


Tag: Impact Capacity Building

13.

Cross Cutting Issues
68. GENDER and HRBA: All government and UN documents seen have emphasized the cross-cutting themes of gender and human rights, including the HRBA, and given their overwhelming emphasis in reports that the evidence supports knowledge and adherence to the principles. It has been reported that around half of the people that attended the awareness training workshop conducted by the CoEB were women. As environmental issues have been the main focus in the JP, they are not addressed here under cross cutting issues. The evidence seen confirms that the design and implementation of the JP have incorporated a gender equality perspective and human rights based approach. The activities seen do not raise any recommendations to improve gender and human rights mainstreaming, as they appear appropriate to the activities.


 


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Human rights Joint UN Programme

14.

69. SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION: The activity supported by UNEP involved five countries in the region and had South-South knowledge and experience exchange built in to the design and its execution. In activity 5.2, involving Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) in mapping environmental crimes and building capacity to reduce them, it was stated in interviews that the project partners availed of opportunities to discuss rules, regulations and operating procedures with neighbouring countries as the ecosystem issues often have cross boundary implications.


Tag: Policies & Procedures South-South Cooperation

Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation:  Both MoE and UNDP should improve their reporting and monitoring format and framework. UNDP in Rwanda has been working on a template for annual reporting of all activities it is involved in. The template was discussed with the evaluator and it is recommended that such a template be reviewed within the agency and applied to all multi-year projects undertaken.

2

Evaluation Recommendation: The UN, UNDP and the GoR, should undertake a review across all the JPs supported during the same 2014-2018 period to examine whether similar or different experiences and lessons emerge from them.

3

Evaluation Recommendation: Rwanda has ambitious plans for environmental protection and climate change action. This includes the Green Growth and Climate Change Strategy. Successful implementation of such cross-cutting plans will require a stronger SPIU than is currently in place, with more resources and ability to work across government departments and external agencies. MoE and UNDP must ensure, going forward, that the SPIU is provided with adequate resources to efficiently perform its tasks.

4

Evaluation Recommendation: UNDP and MoE should plan their future cooperation for the joint priorities of promoting the green economy approach to economic transformations, which support pro-poor growth, with inclusive economic development and poverty reduction with activities that are within their core competencies and where adequate resources are available. In these plans some of the work done under the JP should be consolidated, scaled up and made more effective towards longer term goals.

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation:  Both MoE and UNDP should improve their reporting and monitoring format and framework. UNDP in Rwanda has been working on a template for annual reporting of all activities it is involved in. The template was discussed with the evaluator and it is recommended that such a template be reviewed within the agency and applied to all multi-year projects undertaken.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/05] [Last Updated: 2021/03/20]

Management Response: Accepted. It is a priority within UNDP to strengthen the reporting process for our IPs and ensure that what is being submitted is timely and quality reporting, which has been discussed at senior management level on several occasions. The reporting templates for quarterly progress reports have already been updated to enable a stronger and more results-oriented reporting system, including financial performance analysis of project implementation. Discussions are also ongoing regarding possibilities to digitize quarterly reports from IPs to increase ease of tracking, documentation, filing and monitoring implementation activities.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation: The UN, UNDP and the GoR, should undertake a review across all the JPs supported during the same 2014-2018 period to examine whether similar or different experiences and lessons emerge from them.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/05] [Last Updated: 2021/03/20]

Management Response: Partly accepted. UNDP has evaluated all its ongoing projects which will end in December 2018, as well as projects which ended in June 2018, including joint programmes. The recommendations and lesson learnt, shared in these reports, have informed the planning and formulation of the next programmes starting July 30th 2018 to June 30th, 2023. Challenges identified within several joint programmes, have been taken into account and e.g. going forward no new JP activities will be approved unless funds are committed at programme inception. UNDP can forward recommendations to GoR and RCO but any revisions will be outside of UNDP’s control.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation: Rwanda has ambitious plans for environmental protection and climate change action. This includes the Green Growth and Climate Change Strategy. Successful implementation of such cross-cutting plans will require a stronger SPIU than is currently in place, with more resources and ability to work across government departments and external agencies. MoE and UNDP must ensure, going forward, that the SPIU is provided with adequate resources to efficiently perform its tasks.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/05] [Last Updated: 2021/03/20]

Management Response: Accepted. UNDP will continue working with MoE and SPIU, particularly, to strengthen capacity, improve coordination internally as well as in the ENR sector and reinforce a robust results-based monitoring and reporting system in MoE.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation: UNDP and MoE should plan their future cooperation for the joint priorities of promoting the green economy approach to economic transformations, which support pro-poor growth, with inclusive economic development and poverty reduction with activities that are within their core competencies and where adequate resources are available. In these plans some of the work done under the JP should be consolidated, scaled up and made more effective towards longer term goals.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/05] [Last Updated: 2021/03/20]

Management Response: Accepted. See response for recommendation 2, which stated that lessons learnt from this JP will inform planning for future joint interventions. Going forward one concrete decision taken is that joint programme work plans will only approve activities were resources can be committed and made available to avoid struggles with implementation. More broadly, the new UNDP ENR programmes will build on the foundations laid over the past 5 years and will continue to support strategic initiatives aimed at helping Rwanda transition to a greener economy.

Key Actions:

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