Mid-Term Review for the Promoting Renewable Energy in Mae Hong Son Province Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2016, Thailand
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
08/2013
Completion Date:
08/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
27,300

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Title Mid-Term Review for the Promoting Renewable Energy in Mae Hong Son Province Project
Atlas Project Number: 00059287
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2016, Thailand
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2013
Planned End Date: 08/2013
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Cross-cutting Development Issue
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 27,300
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Robert Aitken
Walaitat Worakul THAILAND
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number: 3908
Key Stakeholders: Mae Hong Son Province
Countries: THAILAND
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Adopt a more technology-led approach to overcoming barriers to renewable energy. This would include all feasible RETs for both grid and off-grid. Barrier analysis at the specific technology level will provide a better understanding of the costs and benefits of each technology and how these might be vertically integrated into local and provincial government planning.
2 A DIM management framework is adopted in order to facilitate greater and more effective intervention by the IA. The IA has made a number of recommendations over the past 2.5 years which the MTR notes and agrees that, if implemented, would have made a substantive difference to project performance. The MTR advises that the current NGO management approach convert to the DIM approach, which will provide a more effective platform for IA intervention.
3 The IP should be retained to implement specific activities which are in line with its strengths, but certain technical capacities must be recruited into the project, specifically technology and finance. The IP does not have the capacity and appears reluctant to recruit this capacity on a sub-contracting basis. The original project document required specialist capacities and these requirements have, if anything, been further accentuated by the technology-led approach advised.
4 Monitoring and evaluation: the MTR recommends that an independent M&E process4 is implemented through the contracting of an M&E consultant responsible for all M&E activities. The reporting from the IP is inadequate at this point to support an effective M&E process. Based on the review, it would appear that the IA has inadequate engagement at project level to provide a sufficient platform for the M&E process.
5 Strategic review: the MTR recommends that an official ?strategic review? is held to discuss and hopefully implement the findings of the MTR. The review should be held as soon as possible; UNDP should lead and facilitate this process. The outcome of this review should be a new, revised project design document which incorporates the MTR recommendations. The findings and recommendations of the MTR are quite fundamental and far-reaching, and therefore cannot be implemented ?as is?; there are serious consequences related to how the project is implemented with the time and resources remaining, that have to be addressed. Issues to be addressed as part of the strategic review include the revision of the project design, work plan, outputs and activities; the creation of a new, more effective M&E strategy; the change in the management modality; the creation of an appropriate HR profile to inform the recruitment process going forward; changes in project targets and performance indicators, etc.
1. Recommendation: Adopt a more technology-led approach to overcoming barriers to renewable energy. This would include all feasible RETs for both grid and off-grid. Barrier analysis at the specific technology level will provide a better understanding of the costs and benefits of each technology and how these might be vertically integrated into local and provincial government planning.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/12/17] [Last Updated: 2013/12/30]

The technology-led approach is adopted to inform the strategic review of the project undertaken during November 2013 ? February 2014. It will also give more emphasis to the off-grid potential rather than on-gird, as further consultation with stakeholders both at the central and provincial level confirms that it would be more viable and more demand-driven.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The identified technology focused approach are: (1) off-grid micro-hydropower, (2) on-grid solar farm, (3) solar home system rehabilitation and solar lanterns (4) Improved cookstoves, (5) provincial integrated RE planning, (6) solar rooftop and Energy Efficiency measures in gov?t buildings, (7) biodigesters
[Added: 2015/10/23] [Last Updated: 2017/11/28]
Project Manager 2017/12 Completed For (1) off-grid micro-hydropower, (2) on-grid solar farm,, they are no longer applicable since the project doesn't get the permission from the Thai government to install and operate. 29/11/2017 Since the activities (1) off-grid micro-hydropower, (2) on-grid solar farm, are no longer applicable are no longer applicable; the Project Board advised the project to work on the remaining RETs. As of November 2017, the project completed activities on: (3) solar home system rehabilitation and solar lanterns (4) Improved cookstoves, (5) provincial integrated RE planning, (6) solar rooftop and Energy Efficiency measures in gov’t buildings, (7) biodigesters with exceed target. History
2. Recommendation: A DIM management framework is adopted in order to facilitate greater and more effective intervention by the IA. The IA has made a number of recommendations over the past 2.5 years which the MTR notes and agrees that, if implemented, would have made a substantive difference to project performance. The MTR advises that the current NGO management approach convert to the DIM approach, which will provide a more effective platform for IA intervention.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/12/17] [Last Updated: 2013/12/30]

Once the MTR recommendations are agreed upon with the implementing partner (IP), UNDP CO had consulted the project board on the MTR results and recommendations, including the recommendation on the change of implementation. The project board endorsed the recommendation. The GEF was also informed about the change of implementation and indicated that there was no objection. The DIM request was hence submitted to UNDP?s Head of the Regional Bureau of Asia Pacific (RBAP); and was approved in October 2013.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Mae Hong Son Governor endorsed the second phase in Q1/2014, resulting in the designation of the new project board, and the designation of the Governor Office and the Office and the Provincial Energy Office to be the focal points to work with UNDP in this project. The UNDP project manager has taken position in May 2014 and established the project management unit (PMU) in Mae Hong Son in June 2014. The PMU has since been working closely with the provincial focal points and the project board to select the pilot areas and in planning project activities
[Added: 2015/10/23]
Programme Specialist 2014/06 Completed
3. Recommendation: The IP should be retained to implement specific activities which are in line with its strengths, but certain technical capacities must be recruited into the project, specifically technology and finance. The IP does not have the capacity and appears reluctant to recruit this capacity on a sub-contracting basis. The original project document required specialist capacities and these requirements have, if anything, been further accentuated by the technology-led approach advised.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/12/17] [Last Updated: 2013/12/30]

The strategic review process has identified the key technical expertise required in the next phase of the project, including the RE business facilitator, RE technical expert ? especially on Solar and Biogas, community engagement facilitator.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
IP (UNDP CO) got CTA to provide implementation strategy from 2014- Q1/15; Energy for Environment as key technical advisor from Q3/15 onwards; project manager has expertise in capacity development/training, community development and micro-finance
[Added: 2015/10/23] [Last Updated: 2017/11/28]
Project Manager 2017/12 Completed E for E is still continue their role as a key technical advisor until the end of the project. History
4. Recommendation: Monitoring and evaluation: the MTR recommends that an independent M&E process4 is implemented through the contracting of an M&E consultant responsible for all M&E activities. The reporting from the IP is inadequate at this point to support an effective M&E process. Based on the review, it would appear that the IA has inadequate engagement at project level to provide a sufficient platform for the M&E process.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/12/17] [Last Updated: 2013/12/30]

Following the change of modality to DIM (see management response to recommendation # 2), UNDP will be more in direct control of the M&E process. A Chief Technical Advisor will also be put in place to ensure the continuous technical backstopping and M&E.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Programme Specialist, IGSD Unit took M&E role, with technical support from a part-time international mitigation advisor provides technical backstopping and M&E reporting support.
[Added: 2015/10/23] [Last Updated: 2017/11/28]
Programme Specialist 2017/12 Completed Programme Specialist, not part-time international mitigation advisor, continues to conduct M&E role. 29/11/17 GEF Project Implementation Review Consultant carried out project monitoring during May to August 2017. History
5. Recommendation: Strategic review: the MTR recommends that an official ?strategic review? is held to discuss and hopefully implement the findings of the MTR. The review should be held as soon as possible; UNDP should lead and facilitate this process. The outcome of this review should be a new, revised project design document which incorporates the MTR recommendations. The findings and recommendations of the MTR are quite fundamental and far-reaching, and therefore cannot be implemented ?as is?; there are serious consequences related to how the project is implemented with the time and resources remaining, that have to be addressed. Issues to be addressed as part of the strategic review include the revision of the project design, work plan, outputs and activities; the creation of a new, more effective M&E strategy; the change in the management modality; the creation of an appropriate HR profile to inform the recruitment process going forward; changes in project targets and performance indicators, etc.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/12/17] [Last Updated: 2013/12/30]

The strategic review has been undertaken from November 2013 and will wrap up by the end of February 2014. Under the lead of UNDP?s Environment Programme Officer, a team of two consultants: a national expert on community engagement and an international expert on RE models are carrying out the review based on consultations with national and provincial stakeholders. The strategic review will provide an addendum to the existing project document, detailing out (1) the shift to a more technological-led off-grid RE options (2) the revisited logical framework with more realistic targets and indicators (3) the budget plan of the new phase (4) the management arrangement under DIM (4) TORs of key consultancies required.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Addendum with technology-led approach, more realistic targets, revised logical framework, budget and DIM modality, was completed in February 2015.
[Added: 2015/10/23]
Programme Specialist 2016/12 Completed

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