Midterm Evaluation Sulu Celebes Seas Sustainable Fisheries Management

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2018, Philippines
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
05/2013
Completion Date:
05/2013
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Midterm Evaluation Sulu Celebes Seas Sustainable Fisheries Management
Atlas Project Number: 00058166
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2018, Philippines
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2013
Planned End Date: 05/2013
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: Project Funds
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
David A. LaRoche
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: International Waters
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number:
Key Stakeholders: DA-BFRA, LGUs, NGOs
Countries: PHILIPPINES
Lessons
1.

The PMU has not to date developed any lessons learned. However, the evaluator, based on review of documents and interviews, concludes the following can at this point be seen as lessons learned.


2.

The Implementing Agency should make every effort to secure high-level membership (Deputy Minister level) on the Project Steering Committee. High-level PSC membership is especially important in GEF IW foundational projects, as is the SCM, as high-level political commitment is seen as necessary for approval and eventual successful implementation of the SAP. The current membership of the SCM PSC is heavily oriented to operational rather than policy level officials. It is recognized by the evaluator that a Deputy Minister may sometimes, or even often delegate attendance at Project Steering Committee meetings. Nonetheless, the formal membership of higher level PSC members from the participating would likely assist in leveraging political support for the work of the project, a crucial ingredient when it comes time to leverage country financial resources to achieve sustainability of project result.


3.

The Implementing Agency should structure projects consistent with available financial resources. In the case of this project, while components, outcomes, and outputs are similar to those found in GEF IW projects in GEF 1-3, this project, under GEF-4, had a much smaller GEF grant that has proved insufficient to deliver all projected outputs, as demonstrated in the revised 43 logical framework analysis and failure to execute many of the targets in the logical framework analysis.


4.

The focus on broad stakeholder involvement during project preparation, the TDA development process, and consequent level of acceptance of the TDA result underlines the importance of locally driven processes as opposed to an academically oriented and driven exercise conducted by “experts” at the cost regional, national and local buy-in.


5.

The selection of regional and participating country individuals and organizations will yield greater levels of trust in the process of implementation, credibility of the result, and sustainability of the effort. The reliance on national and regional level expertise can also serve as “insulation” against shortcomings in IA and EA performance


6.

The failure to involve the countries in any meaningful way in selection of project personnel and budgetary decisions can result in the IA and the EA being held in generally low esteem by a number of key persons within the participating countries.


7.

Notwithstanding the fact that UNDP relies on other entities for project execution, it still must assume part of the responsibility for failures in execution. It should therefore take a more proactive and directive role in development of guidelines for efficient and effective execution and for intervening constructively to address inefficiencies as they occur.


Findings
1.

The project as designed was too extensive and too ambitious for the amount of funding sought in the GEF grant. Consequences included, among others, budgets and workplans being re-aligned twice during implementation; elements of Component 4 having to be reduced in scope in recognition of their overly ambitious nature; the original budgeted amount for the Regional Project manager having been insufficient; and several originally budgeted positions or consultancies not funded. The latter includes funding for an M&E specialist, knowledge management specialist, and editor. Several key personnel from the participating countries have expressed a lack confidence and even trust in the Executing and Implementing Agencies. This stems from, among other things, lack of participating country involvement in the selection processes for the three Regional Project Managers the project has had to date; slowness on the part of the Executing Agency in issuance of contracts, payments to vendors and reimbursements; and misunderstandings on the part of some officials from the participating countries as to the roles of the Implementing and Executing Agencies. It should be noted that many of the problems related to project the UNDP Regional Technical Advisor and the UNDP Country Office have raised administration and management but were not addressed at higher levels.


Recommendations
1 All Project Partners must act quickly to take advantage of the window of opportunity that now exists with country personnel, who are eager to maximize progress over the remaining time. This level of close and constant communication and coordination among the partners of this project, underlain by trust, has not to date been a hallmark of the project
2 The PMU should make its principal focus in the time remaining to develop, receive country endorsement of, and publish a high quality Strategic Action Program (Component/Outcome 2, Output 2.1).
3 The Implementing Agency, the Executing Agency, and the participating countries should work closely with, and fully support the efforts of the PMU to meet this target (SAP endorsement), through increased collaboration and provision the necessary and remaining project financial resources and through making available the necessary human resources
4 The PMU and the participating countries should prioritize successful completion of the country specific demonstration sites (Component/Outcome 4, Output 4.1). It is recognized that the Indonesia ? and perhaps Malaysia - pilot demonstration activities will not be completed by close of project and that no-cost extensions may be necessary
5 The PMU should, further to and in addition to the analysis contained in this Review, immediately undertake, in consultation with the participating countries and the Implementing Agency, an in-depth analysis of all targets contained in the most recent PSC endorsed logical framework analysis with the objective of determining targets that can realistically be met, and, as importantly those that cannot be met, given remaining project resources (financial, personnel, and time).
6 The Regional Project Manager should, consistent with achievement of the above recommendations and as a priority matter, visit each of the participating countries, including field visits to each of the country demonstration sites, as a means of demonstrating a commitment to close collaboration and cooperation between the re-structured PMU and key personnel and activities within each of the participating countries, and, more specifically, seek out views and encourage the cooperation of each of the National Coordinators.
7 The Executing Agency should, with the strong encouragement, support, and, as necessary and appropriate, direction of the Implementing Agency to, among other things, ensure timely issuance of contracts, payments to participating countries, payment of vendors, processing of travel authorizations for the PMU and country personnel, and reimbursements of those personnel
8 A representative of the Implementing Agency should, if possible, accompany the Regional Project Manager on early missions to the participating countries as a means of re-establishing a belief on the part of the countries that the UNDP remains committed to the success of the project, that it remains strongly committed to cementing a strong working relationship with the countries in relation to this project, and welcomes and encourages hearing first-hand the views and concerns of country representatives of the project.
9 At a minimum, the Regional Project Manager should ensure that the GEF IW tracking tool is satisfactorily updated and completed by the end of project implementation, not withstanding the absence of any earmarked financial resources for the task. It appears that responsibility for updating will have to be assumed by the RPM, due to lack of remaining budget. A version of the tracking tool as contained in the 2011 PIR, and a draft PIR received technically after submission of this evaluation, were taken into account in this evaluation. What is now needed is a 2012 update that could serve the needs of the Terminal Evaluation.
1. Recommendation: All Project Partners must act quickly to take advantage of the window of opportunity that now exists with country personnel, who are eager to maximize progress over the remaining time. This level of close and constant communication and coordination among the partners of this project, underlain by trust, has not to date been a hallmark of the project
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 The IA, EA and PMU will improve coordination and communication among themselves
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
UNDP, UNOPS, PMU 2014/09 Completed A Project Associate (PA) has been hired which has significantly improved communications among partners. Response time from some NCs need to be hastened to avoid delays in decision making and execution of actions. Communication protocols need to be followed to avoid delays in reviewing and approving reports and invoices fro NCs History
2. Recommendation: The PMU should make its principal focus in the time remaining to develop, receive country endorsement of, and publish a high quality Strategic Action Program (Component/Outcome 2, Output 2.1).
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

PMU agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. PMU to continually engage with countries in order to complete the SAP endorsement and publishing
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
PMU 2013/01 Completed SAP signed and endorsed by 3 countries and published. History
3. Recommendation: The Implementing Agency, the Executing Agency, and the participating countries should work closely with, and fully support the efforts of the PMU to meet this target (SAP endorsement), through increased collaboration and provision the necessary and remaining project financial resources and through making available the necessary human resources
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 IA and EA fully support PMU in the achievement of the target of signed SAP
[Added: 2014/06/18]
UNDP, UNOPS, PMU 2013/12 Completed SAP signed and endorsed by 3 countries and published
3.2 The participating countries, through their designated Project Steering Committee members, will assist the PMU and the UNDP in identifying, and then securing the support of key, high-level country officials whose support for the SAP will be necessary to its endorsement prior to project closure.
[Added: 2014/06/18]
Indonesia Philippines Malaysia 2013/09 Completed SAP signed and endorsed by 3 countries and published
3.3 CI as the contractual entity responsible for delivering a high quality TDA and SAP, to work as expeditiously as possible to undertake the final edit of the TDA and work closely with the RPM to refine and deliver a high quality SAP
[Added: 2014/06/18]
Conservation International/PMO 2013/12 Completed SAP signed and endorsed by 3 countries and published Conservation International is awaiting for the final endorsements the national SAPs to complete the engagement.
4. Recommendation: The PMU and the participating countries should prioritize successful completion of the country specific demonstration sites (Component/Outcome 4, Output 4.1). It is recognized that the Indonesia ? and perhaps Malaysia - pilot demonstration activities will not be completed by close of project and that no-cost extensions may be necessary
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. PSC approved to extend the project until September 2014 and provided an additional funding of USD 40K-50K per country to ensure successful completion of demo site work (Additional $10K-20K was allocated for the National Coordinating activities.
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
PMU 2014/09 Completed PMU is currently working with the three countries for the TOR for the additional $40,000-50,000 for the demonstration sites. PMU and UNDP also visited the Indonesian Demo Site with the NC and staff and developed a strategy and work plan to ensure delivery of outputs. PMU and Philippine NC organized and hosted a study tour of the Philippine demo site by 2 staff from the Indonesian NC which improved understanding and built capacity of the Indonesian NC to move forward with their demo site work History
4.2. Malaysia noted the recommendations and will implement key actions.4.3 The Philippine demonstration site is on its finalization stage of the ICFRM plan which has been consulted to various stakeholders of the City and will be subject for final presentation on May 29, 2014; 4.4. Indonesia noted and planned the actions to enhance performance of the demonstration site. activity
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia 2014/09 Completed During stakeholders? meetings and FGD, the community agreed to conserve the spawning area of the ?Nomei? following the presentation of results of the research. Indonesia NCU will work closely with the new new Major of Tarakan and relevant stakeholders for the legalization of the conservation area. Indonesia NCU with support from the PMO shall also engage consultants to develop IFM plan for Tarakan. History
5. Recommendation: The PMU should, further to and in addition to the analysis contained in this Review, immediately undertake, in consultation with the participating countries and the Implementing Agency, an in-depth analysis of all targets contained in the most recent PSC endorsed logical framework analysis with the objective of determining targets that can realistically be met, and, as importantly those that cannot be met, given remaining project resources (financial, personnel, and time).
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 RPM immediately conducted official missions to Indonesia and Malaysia after being hired to review the status of delivery of outputs stipulated in the logframe
[Added: 2014/06/18]
PMU 2013/06 Completed Reported by Indonesia during the last PSC held in Manila
6. Recommendation: The Regional Project Manager should, consistent with achievement of the above recommendations and as a priority matter, visit each of the participating countries, including field visits to each of the country demonstration sites, as a means of demonstrating a commitment to close collaboration and cooperation between the re-structured PMU and key personnel and activities within each of the participating countries, and, more specifically, seek out views and encourage the cooperation of each of the National Coordinators.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 PMU to visit each participating countries, particularly the demonstration sites to establish close coordination on the development of the IFMP.
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
PMU 2014/04 Completed Visited demo sites in Indonesia and Philippines. Planning site visit to Malaysian demo site in March History
7. Recommendation: The Executing Agency should, with the strong encouragement, support, and, as necessary and appropriate, direction of the Implementing Agency to, among other things, ensure timely issuance of contracts, payments to participating countries, payment of vendors, processing of travel authorizations for the PMU and country personnel, and reimbursements of those personnel
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Philippine National Coordinating Unit provided administrative and technical staff to the RPM to provide administrative and logistical support to the project.
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
PMU 2014/09 Completed Philippine NCU and RPM jointly agreed on tasks and outputs of each support staff. History
8. Recommendation: A representative of the Implementing Agency should, if possible, accompany the Regional Project Manager on early missions to the participating countries as a means of re-establishing a belief on the part of the countries that the UNDP remains committed to the success of the project, that it remains strongly committed to cementing a strong working relationship with the countries in relation to this project, and welcomes and encourages hearing first-hand the views and concerns of country representatives of the project.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 UNDP to actively be engaged in project site-level activities
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
UNDP 2014/06 Completed UNDP has engaged in project activities and remains committed to the success of the project. History
9. Recommendation: At a minimum, the Regional Project Manager should ensure that the GEF IW tracking tool is satisfactorily updated and completed by the end of project implementation, not withstanding the absence of any earmarked financial resources for the task. It appears that responsibility for updating will have to be assumed by the RPM, due to lack of remaining budget. A version of the tracking tool as contained in the 2011 PIR, and a draft PIR received technically after submission of this evaluation, were taken into account in this evaluation. What is now needed is a 2012 update that could serve the needs of the Terminal Evaluation.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/06/18]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 GEF Tracking tool accomplished by RPM for CY 2013
[Added: 2014/06/18] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]
PMU 2013/12 Completed History

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