Terminal Evaluation: Joint UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative 2013-2017

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2018, Bhutan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2019
Completion Date:
01/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation: Joint UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative 2013-2017
Atlas Project Number: 00075132
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2018, Bhutan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2020
Planned End Date: 02/2019
Management Response: Yes
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
  • 2. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
  • 3. Output 1.3.1 National capacities and evidence-based assessment and planning tools enable gender-responsive and risk-informed development investments, including for response to and recovery from crisis
  • 4. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Target
  • 17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • 17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding: UNDP-UNEP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 5,604
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
TSHERING CHOPHEL
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Department of Local Governance/MOHCA and local governments
Countries: BHUTAN
Comments:

The budget for evaluation has been reduced from USD 25,000 to USD 10,000 based on the need assessment.

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

PEI to take a programmatic approach and strengthen focus on a result-oriented activities. For example, integrating P-E linkages into the 12 Five-Year Plans of LGs by reviewing the draft 12 Five-Year plans of 20 Dzongkhags from GECDP lens would be a good support area. While 12th FYP guideline requires GECDP mainstreaming of the Plan, there is no specific framework or processes to implement this guideline.

2

Make use of PEI tools consistent and sustainable by developing practical tools along with reference materials or manuals. Periodic sensitization and orientation on these tools would be critical to help sustain capacity building of different sectors.

3

Reinstitute policy guidelines and practice of carrying out periodic PEER/CPEIR and GRBP with clear description of GECDP components from the planning stages and tagging green budget codes in the budget and accounting system. PEI or GECDP mainstreaming processes should be clearly linked and integrated within the National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NMES) to make it a real-time information for effective planning and budgeting.

4

Revival of central MRG is deemed critical, to maintain consistency in providing coordination, guidance and technical support to local MRGs’ activities. Central MRG can be revived by either restoring existing members with improved coordination mechanism, identifying new members from relevant agencies and supporting with their capacity-building, or mandating PPD’s as mainstreaming agencies with PPD Heads as MRG members. Outsourcing or partnering with a training institute is also an option.

5

Stakeholders’ consultation at the local level pointed out that effective monitoring and reporting system would help maintain consistency and momentum of GECDP mainstreaming. Local MRG works are not governed by any requirement to make periodic reporting of the progress or share their experiences, lessons learned and challenges. A rapid assessment of the activities implemented and results produced would have help in replicating the best practices or improving the future activities. Stakeholders submitted that a clear guideline on periodic reporting system with rapid assessment of the progress and results of local MRG activities would help maintain consistency and momentum of GECDP mainstreaming at the local level

6

Implement recommendations from the fiscal decentralisation study and build support around the ecotourism project to complement the project activities on pro-poor growth and environment conservation. Likewise, support to implement recommended action-plans from SEA should be pursued.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

PEI to take a programmatic approach and strengthen focus on a result-oriented activities. For example, integrating P-E linkages into the 12 Five-Year Plans of LGs by reviewing the draft 12 Five-Year plans of 20 Dzongkhags from GECDP lens would be a good support area. While 12th FYP guideline requires GECDP mainstreaming of the Plan, there is no specific framework or processes to implement this guideline.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/08]

The central MRG facilitated a series of sensitization workshops and consultative exercises, which led to the formulation of ECP Mainstreaming Frameworks to aid sectors and local governments in the 11th FYP formulation.  A Local Development Planning Manual(LDPM) was also published and serves as the principal reference tool for local development planning by districts and gewog(block) officials. Similarly sensitization efforts have been led by the GNHC and DLG for the 12th Five year plan preparations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The central MRG has also influenced the preparation of the 12th FYP guidelines. GECDP issues are reflected as development priorities in the 12th Five Year Plan. For instance, there are specific National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) and key performance indicators on poverty reduction, climate change, waste management, disaster reduction and gender equality, that will be prioritised for implementation in the 12 Plan (2018-23).
[Added: 2019/01/08] [Last Updated: 2020/01/16]
GNHC, DLG and UNDP 2023/12 Completed Key performance indicators on poverty reduction, climate change, waste management, disaster reduction and gender equality are prioritize of the 12 Plan (2018-23) under imlementation. History
2. Recommendation:

Make use of PEI tools consistent and sustainable by developing practical tools along with reference materials or manuals. Periodic sensitization and orientation on these tools would be critical to help sustain capacity building of different sectors.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/08]

Several tools have been developed since the inception of the PEI project in 2008 until its closure in 2018. The GNHC, NEC and the Dept of Local Governments have also made numerous efforts to build the capacity and sensitize all stakeholders and officials both at the national and local level in its familiarization and application.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
While the above recommendations have been noted opportunities for more practical, hands on knowledge, skills and tools on effective and efficient mainstreaming in the local level will be explored through the NAPA3 GEF-LDCF project. Sufficient budget has been programmed to support the PEI mainstreaming work.
[Added: 2019/01/08] [Last Updated: 2020/01/16]
NAPA3 GEF-LDCF project and NAP project have largely complemented the PEI mainstreaming work and MRG has been running active and successful. 2020/12 Completed Sufficient budget has been programmed to support the PEI mainstreaming work. History
3. Recommendation:

Reinstitute policy guidelines and practice of carrying out periodic PEER/CPEIR and GRBP with clear description of GECDP components from the planning stages and tagging green budget codes in the budget and accounting system. PEI or GECDP mainstreaming processes should be clearly linked and integrated within the National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NMES) to make it a real-time information for effective planning and budgeting.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/08]

The integrated financing approach for the Climate and Biodiversity is supported through multiple partners is an ongoing effort. Based on the comprehensive Policy and Institutional Review for Biodiversity and Climate Change in 2016, an excel-based framework adapting from BIOFIN Workbook, Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Reviews (CPEIR) methodology and local context was developed to be able to now carry our Expenditure Reviews on an annual basis, if required. A thorough review of climate change and biodiversity for all relevant agencies was conducted, providing clear expenditure trends for the last few years including private sector expenditure.. Based on these series of comprehensive BIOFIN and CPEIR steps for an Integrated approach to green financing, the draft Green Investment Plan will be ready for discussions with the government and other stakeholders with a list of potential financing solutions

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Next steps of Finance Needs Assessment for biodiversity targets and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) will be priorities of the 12th Five-Year Plan for the biodiversity and environment sector. The investment plan for biodiversity will be developed through the BIOFIN phase 2 project(2018-2020) and the NDC investment framework will be supported through the Gender NDC project (2019-2021)
[Added: 2019/01/08] [Last Updated: 2020/01/16]
Environment and livelihoods program and GNHC 2020/12 Completed Finance Needs Assessment for biodiversity targets have been completed under the BIOFIN project. Gender NDC project secured and under implementation. History
4. Recommendation:

Revival of central MRG is deemed critical, to maintain consistency in providing coordination, guidance and technical support to local MRGs’ activities. Central MRG can be revived by either restoring existing members with improved coordination mechanism, identifying new members from relevant agencies and supporting with their capacity-building, or mandating PPD’s as mainstreaming agencies with PPD Heads as MRG members. Outsourcing or partnering with a training institute is also an option.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/08]

The central Mainstreaming Reference Group (MRG) was formed in 2012 with the National Environment Commission and GNHC taking the lead role. The group is multi-sectoral in nature with representation from all key agencies to provide expertise on policy making, advocate cross cutting issues at all levels of planning and implementation. The central MRG has been set up to support: 1) Advocacy and promotion of ECP mainstreaming; 2) Capacity development and mainstreaming in all agencies; 3) Advisory role with ECP mainstreaming process in Bhutan; and 4) serve as reference group. The group has been instrumental in reviewing public policies to provide cross-sectoral perspective, and influencing the Five-Year Planning and budgeting process which to an extent has resulted in guiding the overall objective of the 11th and 12th FYP.

Drawing lessons from the central level mainstreaming work and given the increasing mandate of Local Governments with delegation of administrative and fiscal allocations a similar structure has been set up in all 20 districts. The local MRG chaired by the District Governor (Dzongdag) serves as an advisory group within the local governments to strengthen and facilitate mainstreaming of cross cutting issues in the LG development plans and programs. As of 2016, 20 local MRGs have been established in all 20 districts.

While the MRG has played an instrumental role in mainstreaming Gender, Environment, Climate change, Disaster and poverty into plans, programs and policies it continues to face challenges. The proactiveness of the central MRG has been on the decline . This has been attributed to various reasons such as the exit of key members who were the driving force of the MRG work, lack of ownership amongst existing members  and also due to limited budget with the program ending in 2018.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The central MRG was established with the anticipation to remain only until adequate capacity with agencies and local government have been built to mainstream cross cutting issues into plans and polices. In general, local MRGS shared that mainstreaming is highly relevant to their work however some capacity issues remain a challenge. While most agencies feel that enough capacity of central MRG has been build the constant change in member representation of the central MRG is not sustainable and not cos effective. The suggestion to revive the central MRG has been deliberated several times and MRG sustainability assessment has also been conducted. It was drawn that moving forward the role of the MRG may have to be assessed particularly in terms of its needs, composition, relevance, sustainability and the option of exploring long term intervention to institutionalize mainstreaming efforts need to be identified and built through academia and other institutions
[Added: 2019/01/08] [Last Updated: 2020/01/16]
GNHC, NEC 2019/12 Completed Central and local MRGs are active and functioning successfully under the NAPA III project. History
5. Recommendation:

Stakeholders’ consultation at the local level pointed out that effective monitoring and reporting system would help maintain consistency and momentum of GECDP mainstreaming. Local MRG works are not governed by any requirement to make periodic reporting of the progress or share their experiences, lessons learned and challenges. A rapid assessment of the activities implemented and results produced would have help in replicating the best practices or improving the future activities. Stakeholders submitted that a clear guideline on periodic reporting system with rapid assessment of the progress and results of local MRG activities would help maintain consistency and momentum of GECDP mainstreaming at the local level

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/08]

There is no linkage between MRG mechanism and the Annual Performance Assessment system. The APAs currently have no direct linkage to GECDP outcomes, and it can be inferred that there is currently no direct funding identified for mainstreaming such issues. It becomes difficult for local MRGs to justify their engagement in GECDP mainstreaming in the absence of any funding or strategic linkage with the APA of their respective dzongkhags. The relevance and value of dzongkhag MRGs will grow in the 12th FYP with the Government  gearing towards increased decentralization, including fiscal decentralization.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
As part of the LGSDP program the EU is supporting the development and funding of MRG action plans for all 20 districts . This action plan is geared toward mainstreaming efforts in their plans and programs at the local level. However once the LGSDP program ends in 2020, a more sustainable approach will have to be explored to make mainstreaming efforts relevant to their nature of work and also establish reporting links to the APA .
[Added: 2019/01/08] [Last Updated: 2020/01/16]
GNHC, DLG 2020/12 Completed MRG is part of the line ministries responsibility and link to their performance reporting. History
6. Recommendation:

Implement recommendations from the fiscal decentralisation study and build support around the ecotourism project to complement the project activities on pro-poor growth and environment conservation. Likewise, support to implement recommended action-plans from SEA should be pursued.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/08]

The government has encouraged the Department of Local Governance to reflect the findings of the Fiscal Decentralization assessment in the new Decentralization Policy of Bhutan. This report will also serve as a basis for revising the allocation formula, linkage with the government performance management system, own source revenues at the local government level, a revenue sharing mechanism, and the capacity to plan and implement an enhanced fiscal decentralization, besides also reviewing the potential impacts of the capital grants on the pro-poor environment and climate service delivery at the local level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In 2018 the PEI project supported the value chain study of the ecotourism project and proposal to link the new PEAS program with the ecotourism project with focus on social and environmental safeguard and its impact on the communities and the environment has been proposed to the UNEP office in Bangkok.
[Added: 2019/01/08] [Last Updated: 2020/01/16]
UNDP 2020/12 Completed The new PEAS program has been linked to the ecotourism project History

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