Terminal Evaluation: Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas (NAMPLACE) Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2018, Namibia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2015
Completion Date:
03/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
60,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation: Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas (NAMPLACE) Project
Atlas Project Number: 00059705 or 00074796
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2018, Namibia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2014
Planned End Date: 12/2015
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
Evaluation Budget(US $): 60,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,226
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Stuart Williams Team Member NAMIBIA
John Kazgeba Mfune Team Member UGANDA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title:
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID:
PIMS Number: 4173
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment & Tourism; Five Landscape Conservation Areas: 1) Mudumu landscape Conservation Area, 2) Greater Waterberg Landscape Conservation Area, 3) Windhoek Green Belt Landscape Conservation Area, 4) Greater Sossusvlei-Namib Landscape Conservation Area and 5) Greater Fish River Canyon Landscape Conservation Area; UNDP and GEF.
Countries: NAMIBIA
Comments:

This evaluation falls under Programme component 3: energy and environment for sustainable development, including building resilience, that is spearheading the UNDP support towards attainment of UNPAF Outcome 12 (CO Outcome 21): By 2018, institutional frameworks and policies needed to implement the Environmental Management Act (of 2007), National Climate Change Policy (of 2011); Draft Tourism and Strategy Bill; Draft protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bill; and international conventions are in place and are being effectively implemented.

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Reconcile the budgetary ? expenditure issues, with particular reference to the project management budgets and expenditure in YR2 and YR3.
2 In line with the approval by the UNDP-CO, there should be a no cost six-month extension to the project to compensate for the slow start-up of activities following the signature. This no-cost extension needs to be approved by the PSC. The project would then terminate on 30 June 2016.
3 The project should retain a focus on the underlying concepts of landscape level conservation to ensure that all activities remain relevant to this. The project should hire a landscape level conservation expert to provide technical backstopping; s/he can assist with ensuring that decisions and activities are carried out in line with the underlying concepts
4 The MTR makes some specific recommendations with reference to adjusting the logframe; the adjustments respond specifically to the capacity differences among the LCAs and the effect that this will have on time frames; even with these recommendations, the project should be implemented adaptively ? which demands that the level of monitoring is sufficient and sensitive enough to allow for adaptive management that takes into account those differences.
5 When making inputs, care should be taken i) to remain transparent so as not to create distrust; and ii) not to create expectations that may be unfulfilled which would then further exacerbate distrust.
6 On the basis that the project was originally developed, endorsed and is owned by the MET, the MET should demonstrate leadership in and enthusiasm for the project (including, for example, signing Constitutions) so as not to erode trust among partners and stakeholders.
7 All relevant stakeholders should be engaged in the project, including line ministries; there needs to be coordination such that activities that the line ministries are planning and implementing do not undermine the objectives of the project. In addition, the hunting and game farming operations have been excluded from the LCAs despite their importance in some of the landscapes.
8 Contribute, where possible, to the continued process of finalisation and approval of the PAWMB.
9 Having now been established, consolidate the LCAs taking into account the profound differences among them. As examples, i) the Constitutions could be developed further into regulations and guidelines, and ii) the process with the community conservancies in the GW LCA may need to be re-started using both conflict resolution expertise as well as community conservancy governance expertise.
10 Build an effective framework and process for replication of the LCAs elsewhere in the country and, ideally, this should target the areas of highest global biodiversity significance.
11 Ensure the sustainability of the processes and impacts that the project has achieved to date. This should start by developing ? and then implementing ? a Sustainability Plan. The MTR makes specific recommendations about some of the steps that should be taken to ensure both financial and institutional sustainability
12 The project should plan activities such that they are not simply implemented but also that their impacts should be monitored to the extent that activities that lead to inadvertent, negative impacts can be stopped or altered. On project termination, an Impact Study should be conducted to determine the impact of the project in relation to its objectives.
13 The project should aim to not only develop the plans, agreements, assessments, policies and legislation described in the Project Document and logframe but make efforts to ensure that they are implemented.
14 It is essential that the project staff are retained until the end of the project and the MET should find mechanisms to do this. Recommendations for this have been made.
1. Recommendation: Reconcile the budgetary ? expenditure issues, with particular reference to the project management budgets and expenditure in YR2 and YR3.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The PCU and MET takes note of the recommendation. The over expenditure arose as the projected salaries during the project formulation were lower than the actual salaries that are based on the revised scales. The Project will rectify the error with the UNDP CO to ensure that the costs do not exceed 10% at the end of the project.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: In line with the approval by the UNDP-CO, there should be a no cost six-month extension to the project to compensate for the slow start-up of activities following the signature. This no-cost extension needs to be approved by the PSC. The project would then terminate on 30 June 2016.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The PCU and MET takes note of this. Indeed, the slow start has affected the progress of the project to date. An additional six months will be required to ensure the implementation of most plans developed during the first half of the project and to further support the Landscape Management Committees for enhanced sustainability. The request will be presented to the PSC and subsequent official request will be forwarded to UNDP.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: The project should retain a focus on the underlying concepts of landscape level conservation to ensure that all activities remain relevant to this. The project should hire a landscape level conservation expert to provide technical backstopping; s/he can assist with ensuring that decisions and activities are carried out in line with the underlying concepts
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The PCU takes cognisance of this recommendation. However, it has to be spelt out that a Landscape Conservation area within the project framework is not based on ecological/ecosystem units alone. It is rather defined as a cluster of different land units potentially under different tenure, which will have land-uses compatible with biodiversity conservation. The Main emphasis is therefore on land-uses adjacent to protected areas being compatible with biodiversity conservation. The relevance of some of the infrastructure has been queried by the consultants at MTR. However, it should be noted that this is just a single output out of the 15 outputs and therefore not significant on the overall implementation of the project. The irrelevance of mitigating waste management within landscapes to biodiversity in a tourism setup like Mudumu Landscape as per the recommendation is seen by the project subject. As per the project design, the project has a component on incentives to stakeholders. Based on this, the Project Steering Committee resolved that landscapes needs are unique and should be taken into account when formulating workplans and that activities implemented as serve as incentives for stakeholders to be part of landscapes. This is particularly true for landscapes, where some key members were and are still hesitant to join. Furthermore, tourism is one of the key sectors under National Development Plan 4 hence the support to activities that strengthen tourism in the country. Technical experts have been used when needed (technical expert was hired to develop terms of reference for SEAs). Equally, the Project Steering Committee is comprised of technical experts in the field. The recommendation of the hiring of a Technical Expert will be presented to the Project Steering Committee for approval. If supported by the committee, recruitment will be done accordingly.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: The MTR makes some specific recommendations with reference to adjusting the logframe; the adjustments respond specifically to the capacity differences among the LCAs and the effect that this will have on time frames; even with these recommendations, the project should be implemented adaptively ? which demands that the level of monitoring is sufficient and sensitive enough to allow for adaptive management that takes into account those differences.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The logframe will be adjusted accordingly as per the MTR recommendations and revised logframe will be presented to the PSC for approval. All changes to the log frame will be communicated to UNDP for endorsement to ensure that they do not change the outcomes of the project. As per the recommendations, targets for GWL will be adjusted accordingly. Due to challenges in the implementation of NAMPLACE in GWL, the project is finalising the implementation strategy in this landscape for presentation to PSC. The strategy comprises of the two options; 1) To discontinue the project activities in this landscape and 2) Continue the project activities in the GWL through the following strategy; a) support MET to enhance capacity building and ensure compliance among the four conservancies; b) seek strategic, technical support through other partners.; c) Formulate a road map for conservancies? community-based income generating projects.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: When making inputs, care should be taken i) to remain transparent so as not to create distrust; and ii) not to create expectations that may be unfulfilled which would then further exacerbate distrust.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

Recommendation is noted. However, the project has always been transparent when decisions have been taken, particularly work plans, where activities are initiated at the LMC and endorsed at the PSC level. Equally, project progress reports are shared with the stakeholder through the respective committees. Further, the project has received unqualified audit ratings by independent auditor?s through the office of the Auditor-General for the past two years. To avoid complaints from other stakeholders, the project will take caution on how to deal with various stakeholders.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: On the basis that the project was originally developed, endorsed and is owned by the MET, the MET should demonstrate leadership in and enthusiasm for the project (including, for example, signing Constitutions) so as not to erode trust among partners and stakeholders.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The leadership of MET on the project is unquestionable. From the initiation of the project to the actual implementation, the MET has taken a lead. Project activities have been mainstreamed into the five-year strategic plan of the ministry and have cascaded to different directorates annual work plans. The MET management took a decision not to sign the constitutions pending the finalization of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bill. The decision will be communicated to the landscape conservation areas. Regardless of this, the MET is still actively supporting the landscape conservation areas through the implementation of the Strategic Management Plans.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: All relevant stakeholders should be engaged in the project, including line ministries; there needs to be coordination such that activities that the line ministries are planning and implementing do not undermine the objectives of the project. In addition, the hunting and game farming operations have been excluded from the LCAs despite their importance in some of the landscapes.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

At inception, all stakeholders were consulted. Important line ministries were approached where applicable through the Office of the Permanent Secretary to nominate representatives. Nominations were made by respective ministries. However, most landscapes are mainly between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Private Land owners making most line ministries therefore not active stakeholders. As per the terms of references for Landscape Management committees various lines ministries have been co-opted to specific LMC meetings. The project fully recognises the involvement of all stakeholders in the success of the initiative. Therefore, the recommendation will be discussed at Landscape Management committees for inclusion of key stakeholders as members during the respective annual general meetings.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: Contribute, where possible, to the continued process of finalisation and approval of the PAWMB.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The Project recognizes the importance of the completion of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bill to Landscape Conservation Concept in the country. For this reason, the project supported the Directorate of Regional Services and Park Management in finalizing policies forming the foundation of the bill. The project will still support the finalization of the bill keeping in mind that its completion falls outside the project influence.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: Having now been established, consolidate the LCAs taking into account the profound differences among them. As examples, i) the Constitutions could be developed further into regulations and guidelines, and ii) the process with the community conservancies in the GW LCA may need to be re-started using both conflict resolution expertise as well as community conservancy governance expertise.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The recommendation is noted. However, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has indicated that the landscape constitutions will only be considered after the PAWMB is finalized. The development of the regulations before the bill is finalized is therefore not feasible hence the project will support the finalization of the bill as per the recommendations above. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism through the project has initiated the development of the Implementation Guidelines for the National Policy on Protected Areas, Neighbours and Resident Communities. In the absence of endorsed constitutions by MET pending the finalization of the bill, the implementations of activities within landscapes are guided by Strategic Management Plans.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: Build an effective framework and process for replication of the LCAs elsewhere in the country and, ideally, this should target the areas of highest global biodiversity significance.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism through the project has initiated the development of the Implementation Guidelines for the National Policy on Protected Areas, Neighbours and Resident Communities. The development of the implementation guidelines will guide the replication of landscape to other areas. Equally, potential landscapes conservation areas within the country will be identified during the development of the implementation guidelines

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: Ensure the sustainability of the processes and impacts that the project has achieved to date. This should start by developing ? and then implementing ? a Sustainability Plan. The MTR makes specific recommendations about some of the steps that should be taken to ensure both financial and institutional sustainability
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The development of the sustainability plan is on current work plan. The activity is also due for discussion during the Project Steering Committee meeting planned for 29 April 2014

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation: The project should plan activities such that they are not simply implemented but also that their impacts should be monitored to the extent that activities that lead to inadvertent, negative impacts can be stopped or altered. On project termination, an Impact Study should be conducted to determine the impact of the project in relation to its objectives.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The PCU has noted the recommendation and its importance. It is important to highlight for the past two years, project PIRs received independent rating of Highly Satisfactory. However, the PCU will build improved monitoring for activities already implemented and planned. The monitoring of impact will ensure that the project and Landscape Management committees will be in position to adaptively manage any unintended impact. For any future activity implementation, caution will be taken to avoid unintended impacts.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation: The project should aim to not only develop the plans, agreements, assessments, policies and legislation described in the Project Document and logframe but make efforts to ensure that they are implemented.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

The PCU has noted the recommendation. The first half of project implementation was mainly on developing plans. The second phase of the project will focus on supporting these plans and mainstreaming them into the operational plans of line ministries.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation: It is essential that the project staff are retained until the end of the project and the MET should find mechanisms to do this. Recommendations for this have been made.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/05]

Although the PCU agrees that all project staff should be retained till the end of the project, it is influenced by financial availability. All activities are planned to be completed by 31 December 2015. The last six months is mainly the closure of the project and only critical position can be retained. Lessons from other projects in the ministry have shown that staff usually leave project towards the end as they are not guaranteed employment at the end of projects. Project staff departing at critical moments for other jobs usually affect project conclusion negatively as it is usually too late to replace them with staff who can contribute meaningful to the project. The project will make budgetary provisions for the retention of all staff till the end of the project.

Key Actions:

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