Addressing Climate Change Risks to Farming System Project Mid-term Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2010-2015, Turkmenistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2014
Completion Date:
12/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
16,812

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Title Addressing Climate Change Risks to Farming System Project Mid-term Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00059797,00074953
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2015, Turkmenistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2014
Planned End Date: 12/2014
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.4. Scaled up action on climate change adaptation and mitigation across sectors which is funded and implemented
Evaluation Budget(US $): 16,812
Source of Funding: Adaptation Fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,812
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, national partners, Adaptation Fund
Countries: TURKMENISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The critical element for the Turkmenistan AF project to achieve transformational changes in Turkmenistan is the extent to which the demonstration activities advocated by the project are taken up and incorporated in broader government investment plans for the water sector. The experiences and lessons from the project pilot sites need to be shared broadly with the communities in the regions of the pilot areas, and integrated with government planning for those regions. To support this long-term goal the project needs to continue to emphasize and focus on documenting and disseminating information and experiences from the project pilot regions. Activities such as widespread adoption of drip-irrigation, and community-based management of water resources could represent transformational change in Turkmenistan, but a pathway must be built from the activities of this project to the targeted long-term results. There must continue to be a focus on replication and catalyzing up-scaling of the climate resilient water management approaches supported by the project. More specifically, the project must undertake direct measures to document and disseminate the experiences of the pilot regions, with dissemination of information at the sub-national and national levels.
2 The Turkmenistan AF project had a slow initial start, but implementation progress has been impressive over the past 18 months. To avoid a significantly extended project completion timeframe, the project must continue to ensure that financial delivery continues apace. On a month-to-month basis the project team must closely track annual financial delivery, and take any measures necessary to ensure that a high level of annual financial delivery is achieved. The project team and UNDP should work to ensure that the project is completed as close to the original timeframe as expected, to ensure overall cost-efficiency and maintain the relative level of management costs. A six-month no-cost extension may be necessary, but should only be considered if additional time is required to complete key project results, such as revision of the water code and associated regulatory changes. It is anticipated that the field-level project activities can be completed within the anticipated remaining time
3 The project must ensure there is consistent and adequate technical and human resource capacity to ensure successful implementation. The project implementation approach has been successful, but there may be some changes in the second half of the project ? notably, the project CTA?s contract will be expiring. This specific change may not be a critical risk, but the project partners must continue to monitor to ensure that the project has adequate implementation arrangements and human resources to continue the strong progress seen in the past 18 months. This may require contracting additional international expertise, or expanding the terms of reference of individuals currently engaged with the project.
4 This evaluation recommends that an audit be conducted for 2014, to confirm that the issues identified in the 2012 audit have been adequately addressed
5 To strengthen the value of the field-level demonstration activities, the project should work to clearly document the cost-benefit analysis of the various water management activities and infrastructure investments undertaken. Financial data is often a critical element of advocacy at both the local and national level. Clearly demonstrating the financial value of the approaches the project is demonstrating (e.g. drip irrigation, etc.), would be highly useful for catalyzing replication and up-scaling.
6 The project has made valuable progress in demonstrating specific water management technologies in the pilot regions, but there may be opportunities to further strengthen the climate resilience of the agriculture-based rural livelihoods of the communities in the pilot regions, to allow communities to receive greater economic benefit with less water use. The project should consider the overall economic picture related to water-dependent livelihoods in the pilot communities, and assess the feasibility of additional value-added processing for key commodities related to the specific agricultural products the project is already supporting. However, it is critical to keep the linkage to climate resilience, ensuring that any activities supported represent long-term sustainable adaptations to climate change.
7 To support the previous recommendation on information dissemination, the project should strengthen the awareness and outreach activities, at the national and local level. The project has been highly dynamic in producing news releases and information available to the international community, but a similar level of effort needs to be concentrated on the communities neighboring the specific pilot regions, to disseminate the project experiences to other climate-risk communities, as well as to policy makers. One specific approach could be to organize a national end-of-project conference to share and widely disseminate the final project lessons and experiences.
8 The Turkmenistan AF project has significance at various national levels in terms of Turkmenistan?s efforts to respond to climate change. One further important way that the project could provide highly useful outputs would be to specifically contribute to the development of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), currently in the initial stages of development.
9 The project should further extend its stakeholder engagement at the national level. At the field level the Turkmenistan AF project appears to have been highly successful in engaging the local communities, and building stakeholder ownership. Key national-level institutions have been involved as well, but there remain opportunities to engage additional relevant national stakeholders. These include, for example, the Animal Husbandry State Association (particularly in the context of the Karakum and Nohur pilot regions). Also, for example, one of the agricultural universities has a pilot site for testing irrigation techniques that is located very near to Ashgabat, which could be leveraged as a valuable partnership for the project in multiple ways. Another important stakeholder that has not been highly engaged thus far is the state committee on emergency situations.
1. Recommendation: The critical element for the Turkmenistan AF project to achieve transformational changes in Turkmenistan is the extent to which the demonstration activities advocated by the project are taken up and incorporated in broader government investment plans for the water sector. The experiences and lessons from the project pilot sites need to be shared broadly with the communities in the regions of the pilot areas, and integrated with government planning for those regions. To support this long-term goal the project needs to continue to emphasize and focus on documenting and disseminating information and experiences from the project pilot regions. Activities such as widespread adoption of drip-irrigation, and community-based management of water resources could represent transformational change in Turkmenistan, but a pathway must be built from the activities of this project to the targeted long-term results. There must continue to be a focus on replication and catalyzing up-scaling of the climate resilient water management approaches supported by the project. More specifically, the project must undertake direct measures to document and disseminate the experiences of the pilot regions, with dissemination of information at the sub-national and national levels.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. The gained experience and results will be documented, printed and disseminated as part of the project advocacy. Furthermore, best practices from the project driven adaptation measures will be embedded into the work of the water user associations expected to be established within Component 3 of the project. Moreover, the project results will be taken further and scaled up, as appropriate, in the coming land and water related projects supporting climate resilient livelihoods of local communities. Constant dialogues will be maintained with the key ministries to ensure that their plans and work do take into account the project inputs and that transformational changes are happening at broader scales.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Prepare the drafts of 3 brochures by AF project team according to all three components of AF project, monographs and booklets;
[Added: 2015/10/22]
UNDP Turkmenistan, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2015/10 Completed 1.1. 10 booklets and methodical handbook according to all three components of AF project were prepared. A brochure on Laser levelling was developed and prepared for further dissemination for Sakarchaga pilot region.
1.2 Create a formal record of project adaptation measures, its results, achievements, benefits, lessons learned
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/05/03]
UNDP Turkmenistan, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/03 Completed 1.2. A formal record of works of project adaptation measures are carried out by our leading experts on economy of water and agricultural sectors and on sustainable management of land resources. Records are being translated, designed and published, partially to be done in December 2016 and continued till March 2017. Report was prepared on economic impact of adaptation measures in the context of climate change. History
1.3. Ensure wide replication/circulation of issued printed materials between all stakeholders: ministries, departments, universities, local authorities and the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Turkmenistan, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2016/12 Completed 1.3. Issued/printed book on "Natural pastures and development of distant pastures in Turkmenistan" in the framework of the Project is widely used by scientists and specialists and higher education institutions. History
1.4 Ensure that the proposed mandate and functions of WUA enable application of best practices 1.5 Integrate the project results and lesson learned in further land and water related projects.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/05/03]
UNDP Turkmenistan, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/03 Completed 1.4. With assistance from the project team, investment projects were developed by local communities and WUGs with the active participation of Archins and heads of Farmers Associations in the pilot regions during the general meeting, where local water users have discussed and voted to approve the final project proposals. On this basis, an action plan was developed to reduce the impact of climate risks on the life of local communities in three pilot regions. 8 investment projects with the application of best practices have been developed. The best investment projects will be implemented. Grant funding will be initiated in December 2016 to be completed releasing the funds to all 8 WUGs till August 2017. History
1.5 Integrate the project results and lesson learned in further land and water related projects.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Turkmenistan, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2016/12 Completed Integration of the project results and lesson learned in land and water related projects, for example CRL started. History
2. Recommendation: The Turkmenistan AF project had a slow initial start, but implementation progress has been impressive over the past 18 months. To avoid a significantly extended project completion timeframe, the project must continue to ensure that financial delivery continues apace. On a month-to-month basis the project team must closely track annual financial delivery, and take any measures necessary to ensure that a high level of annual financial delivery is achieved. The project team and UNDP should work to ensure that the project is completed as close to the original timeframe as expected, to ensure overall cost-efficiency and maintain the relative level of management costs. A six-month no-cost extension may be necessary, but should only be considered if additional time is required to complete key project results, such as revision of the water code and associated regulatory changes. It is anticipated that the field-level project activities can be completed within the anticipated remaining time
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. UNDP CO is committed to delivering the project within the agreed timeframe. AWP implementation will be rigidly followed to ensure timely project progress and closure. Continuous dialogue and advocacy will be maintained with the government to ensure that relevant regulatory changes take place to allow further scale-up of project results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. 2015 AWP to deliver key project milestones on adaptation measures and WUA setup;
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Country Office, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2016/12 Completed Key Project milestones on adaptation measures and WUG - Water Users Groups setup were met. Eight WUGs were established, instead of planned 6 WUGs. All of the planned adaptation measures were completed successfully and they are all operational, including construction of of traditional wells, water collection points (kaks, sardobs, earthen dams, reinforced concrete reservoirs). History
2.2. 2016 AWP to ensure delivery of all project components and smooth closure and exit strategy;
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/09/18]
UNDP Country Office, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/09 Completed Delivery of all project components are being handled in an organized manner, as social-economical evaluation was developed of completed adaptation activities, Water Code with amendments was adopted by Parliament of Turkmenistan, construction and installation measures were done as planned, establishment of WUGs 8 of them was done with specialized training series given to them, trip to Kazakhstan of the Project Beneficiaries, Government Officials, Project Experts was organized successfully in the framework of the Programme 'South-South Cooperation', Project Results Documentary Film was recorded by the Turkmenistan National TV and by international experts of UNDP/AF Project. History
2.3. To ensure rigorous follow-up on delivery of planned regulatory changes
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Country Office, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2016/09 Completed Water Code amendments adoption process was rigorously followed-up by the Project Team and the revised Water Code was adopted on 24 October 2016, including AF Project recommendations. History
3. Recommendation: The project must ensure there is consistent and adequate technical and human resource capacity to ensure successful implementation. The project implementation approach has been successful, but there may be some changes in the second half of the project ? notably, the project CTA?s contract will be expiring. This specific change may not be a critical risk, but the project partners must continue to monitor to ensure that the project has adequate implementation arrangements and human resources to continue the strong progress seen in the past 18 months. This may require contracting additional international expertise, or expanding the terms of reference of individuals currently engaged with the project.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. Appropriate changes to the project management structure will be introduced top make sure that CTA functions are adequately captured in the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Review the HR situation in the project and adjust the ToR accordingly to reflect a CTA function
[Added: 2015/10/22]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2015/04 Completed
4. Recommendation: This evaluation recommends that an audit be conducted for 2014, to confirm that the issues identified in the 2012 audit have been adequately addressed
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is already implemented. General conclusions and recommendations were fully implemented in 2014. However, another audit is scheduled in 2015.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. Conduct an audit of the project
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/09/18]
UNDP Country Office. AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/09 Completed Audit will be done in 2017, as the Project was extended till the end of September 2017. History
5. Recommendation: To strengthen the value of the field-level demonstration activities, the project should work to clearly document the cost-benefit analysis of the various water management activities and infrastructure investments undertaken. Financial data is often a critical element of advocacy at both the local and national level. Clearly demonstrating the financial value of the approaches the project is demonstrating (e.g. drip irrigation, etc.), would be highly useful for catalyzing replication and up-scaling.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. The project is conducting a cost-benefit analysis for all adaptation measures. The analysis show the economic feasibility in the implementation of adaptation measures at the project level with the possibility of scaling up this experience at the national level. Along with the socio-economic report, the analysis will demonstrate financial aspects of the project driven adaptation measures to be further used in catalyzing scale-up and replication.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Complete the report on socio-economic assessment and provide a comprehensive analysis for each adaptation activity for each pilot region.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Country Office mgmt. AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2016/09 Completed Done. Currently the finalized Report is being translated into three languages and being designed for printing and distribution to the stakeholders and other interested parties. History
5.2. Disseminate the socio-economic report between all interested parties.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/05/03]
UNDP Country Office mgmt. AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/03 Completed Dissemination of the Socio-Economic Impact Report done in March 2017. Documents were translated into three languages and disseminated among stakeholders. History
6. Recommendation: The project has made valuable progress in demonstrating specific water management technologies in the pilot regions, but there may be opportunities to further strengthen the climate resilience of the agriculture-based rural livelihoods of the communities in the pilot regions, to allow communities to receive greater economic benefit with less water use. The project should consider the overall economic picture related to water-dependent livelihoods in the pilot communities, and assess the feasibility of additional value-added processing for key commodities related to the specific agricultural products the project is already supporting. However, it is critical to keep the linkage to climate resilience, ensuring that any activities supported represent long-term sustainable adaptations to climate change.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. The 2015 AWP will include and reflect additional activities that will enable communities to learn and benefit from new and innovative agricultural processes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. Prepare a list of additional activities for implementation in the 2015 AWP
[Added: 2015/10/22]
UNDP Country Office, Project Board, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2015/10 Completed
7. Recommendation: To support the previous recommendation on information dissemination, the project should strengthen the awareness and outreach activities, at the national and local level. The project has been highly dynamic in producing news releases and information available to the international community, but a similar level of effort needs to be concentrated on the communities neighboring the specific pilot regions, to disseminate the project experiences to other climate-risk communities, as well as to policy makers. One specific approach could be to organize a national end-of-project conference to share and widely disseminate the final project lessons and experiences.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. The project will continue its active information, communication and advocacy strategy using all possible means of media both inside and outside the country. The project will also organize a national end-of-project conference to share and widely disseminate the final project lessons and experiences.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Develop and implement a 2015 communication plan covering news-releases, brochures, articles and other information products
[Added: 2015/10/22]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2015/08 Completed
7.2. Conduct a project-end conference to advocate on project results
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/09/18]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/09 Completed As the Project was extended till September 2017, the Project-end conference was conducted in September 2017. History
8. Recommendation: The Turkmenistan AF project has significance at various national levels in terms of Turkmenistan?s efforts to respond to climate change. One further important way that the project could provide highly useful outputs would be to specifically contribute to the development of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), currently in the initial stages of development.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. The results, best practices, lessons learned and other findings will be used in the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) on climate change, with identification of measures that have potential for national scale-up and replication

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1. ensure regular interaction between the AF project and NAP development process on exchange of information and findings
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU), SCP Project Staff 2016/12 Completed AF leading experts had regular interaction between the AF project and NAP development process on exchange of information and findings. The NAP is completed. History
9. Recommendation: The project should further extend its stakeholder engagement at the national level. At the field level the Turkmenistan AF project appears to have been highly successful in engaging the local communities, and building stakeholder ownership. Key national-level institutions have been involved as well, but there remain opportunities to engage additional relevant national stakeholders. These include, for example, the Animal Husbandry State Association (particularly in the context of the Karakum and Nohur pilot regions). Also, for example, one of the agricultural universities has a pilot site for testing irrigation techniques that is located very near to Ashgabat, which could be leveraged as a valuable partnership for the project in multiple ways. Another important stakeholder that has not been highly engaged thus far is the state committee on emergency situations.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/22]

The recommendation is accepted. The project will invite the recommended stakeholders to relevant project activities and events and explore ways for collaboration in addressing and researching project related issues. Implemented of adaptation measures in three pilot regions will be used as demonstration pilot sites for all relevant ministries, departments, universities and local schools.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 Engage Animal Husbandry State Association and other relevant entities in project planning and implementation on the sites and update the stakeholder strategy accordingly
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2016/12/21]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2015/11 Completed Project engage Animal Husbandry State Association (Representative in the Karakum Project Pilot Region) and other relevant entities (Chairman of Kakakum Pilot Region) in project planning and implementation on the sites. Activities of the Project was incorporated into their plan on livestock and pasture management. Adaptation measures, including construction of objects were all completed successfully and currently being used by pastoralists. History
9.2 Organize periodic/regular visits of scientists? specialists and teachers of universities, schools for demonstration and use of adaptation measures implemented as best practices.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/09/18]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/09 Completed Specialists of Government and Schools visited the demonstration sites and used the adaptation measures as best practiced. Teachers of the Agricultural University were invited into several activities of the Project, where further cooperation was discussed. Ag. University assigned a Graduate Student to work more closely with the Project and learn the best practices for further scaling up. History
9.3. Consider the possibility of including in the curriculum of universities and local schools the practical hours to get acquainted with results of the implementation of all adaptation measures and local nurseries in the framework of AF project.
[Added: 2015/10/22] [Last Updated: 2017/09/18]
UNDP Country Office, AF Project Management Unit (PMU) 2017/09 Completed During 2016, the Project was actively involved in innovation and research, which was introduced to the Ag. University Teachers and Scientists and agreed on further closer cooperation and including software on water saving AQUACROP and SURFACE in to curriculum and train local experts for scaling up the benefits of the Project best practices. Cooperation with the Ag. University will be continued and completed till September 2017, as the Project was extended till then. History

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