Terminal Evaluation: Addressing the Risks of Climate Induced Disasters through Enhanced National and Local Capacity for Effective Actions

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2014-2018, Bhutan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2019
Completion Date:
02/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation: Addressing the Risks of Climate Induced Disasters through Enhanced National and Local Capacity for Effective Actions
Atlas Project Number: 00076998
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2018, Bhutan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2019
Planned End Date: 02/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Resilience
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 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
SDG Target
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 27,379
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
John Vong International Consultant john@leadershipcorp.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Addressing the risk of climate-induced disasters through enhanced national and local capacity for effective actions
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4976
PIMS Number: 4760
Key Stakeholders: National Environment Commission
Countries: BHUTAN
Comments:

Planned End date has been moved to end of February 2019 as the final report completion and management response is likely to take longer than expected.

Lessons
1.

Lessons learnt from the good practice observed for the Project have been consolidated into 7 key lessons as follows:

Lesson 1: Sustainability and Replication of Good Practices - Replication of Successful DM Activities

 Going forward, there should be a singular focus on sharing and replicating successful DM activities across Bhutan so as to drive DM efforts as a whole to be more productive and effective. For example, the water filtration done by Tarayana is worthy of publication and replication.

Lesson 2: Activity Based Capacity Development for Sustained Knowledge

To ensure there is a consistent and effective capacity development, there is a need for Activity Based Capacity Development (ABCD) which is taken to mean:

The Project is designed with capacity development, and

The Project activities must be carried out with on-the-job training all through, not a generic and piece meal approach to training.

The project has many examples of successful ABCD over the course of its implementation, namely:

Outcome 1, Phuntsholing Thromde, Omchu River, Flood Protection: Almost 70% of municipal office have been strengthened through capacity building training in areas including flood protection and slope stabilization. Capacity building ex-trainings were attended in Philippines and Japan, and in-country trainings were provided through resource persons from Nepal and India.

Output 1.1, Activity 1.1.6, FEMD and Phuentsholing Municipality, Capacity Strengthening Support: Provided technical backstopping to the flood protection in the field in terms of review of technical reports and design of flood protection systems, with engineers trained on flood protection and mitigation. Also, field visits were arranged to Indonesia and Bangkok, with the skills gained from trainings replicated to other Dzongkhag engineers

Output 2.1, Mongar, Climate-resilient water harvesting, storage and distribution systems:

Staff were sent for capacity building training in Philippines and brought back new knowledge to be shared, including how to implement water pumps (submersible and centrifugal) in distribution system

Activity 2.3.3, DES, Windstorm Resilient Roofing System: Capacity building of 12 Engineers of Department of Engineering Services on “Methods of Research for Effective Disaster Risk Reduction” at ADPC, Bangkok

Output 3.3, PMU: Capacity of 57 male staff and 32 female staff have been enhanced on climate change- adaptation and vulnerability assessments, GIS, Project management etc

In these examples, capacity development activities were carried out through on-the-job training directly relevant to the targeted output and outcome results. This is a key positive benchmark that should be replicated and applied in future projects in Bhutan.

Lesson 3: Systematic Knowledge Application – Training Curriculum, Methodology and Assessments

The end result of every capacity development activity must be recorded. There would be documentary records of the training objective, training methodology, manuals and guidelines, and assessment of competency at differing levels.  These will contribute to the technical development of skills, knowledge, systems and process equipment necessary to implement DM at the local levels in Bhutan. If necessary, in most vocational training, there is a key pillar – to change the attitude, behaviour and commitment towards work – to ensure long term sustainability of knowledge acquired.

Lesson 4: Data and Information - Needs-Driven Monitoring, Sharing and Analytics

The Project has started continuous collection of weather data. The weather forecasting has improved markedly. There is a need now to use the data to forecast other climate-induced risks, such as landslides, forest fire, pest attacks, and human activity in the identified hot spots. This data will be very important especially for Bhutan which is quickening its development. Data needs to be shared with and analysed by agencies that have a responsibility to manage DM. Even though the data may be imperfect as with most data scientists will know the process of data “cleaning” and validation. So, the department that owns the data should allow other agencies and external data scientists to use the data for disaster prevention and management. Specifically, there is a need to validate the ArcSWAT model and to assess what has been done in Chukha from the available reports. In addition, there is a need for geotechnical studies to be carried out, particularly for the landslide areas around Phuentsholing and Pasakha Industrial Area.

Lesson 5: DM Equipment, Hardware Procurement, Funding for Maintenance, Replacement There is a need for funding plans to be put in place for both maintenance of existing hardware as well as replacement of damaged equipment, for example, weather stations and galvanized iron mesh used in gabion walls. With regards to existing equipment, there are concerns over the decision to use wrought iron casing versus stainless steel casing for submersible pumps in the storage tanks at municipal level. There is a need to evaluate the sturdiness and durability of these pumps going forward, as well as the expenses to be incurred in terms of maintenance and replacement. For procurement contracts, it is recommended that clauses be inserted to include maintenance based on TCO.

Lesson 6: Communication with Impact

This successful practice can be communicated via publication of Bhutan’s best DM practices in high impact international academic journals, such as those under the Springer Group, Inderscience and IEEE. The publication serves to communicate to a wider world, thereby attracting funding from non-traditional development partners of climatic finance.

Lesson 7: Inter-border and Regional Cooperation

It is worthy of consideration to collaborate with its immediate neighbouring countries as well as other ASEAN countries in the area of DM activities. This is a practice commonly used by UNDP, which has been found to be an excellent platform for DM best practices to be shared, learnt and replicated from successful cases in other countries. For instance, government officials from Timor-Leste visited Bangladesh and Lao in 2016 to share information adoption and adaptation of best practices.


Findings
1.

The Project has showed evidence of its ability to support activities of national and local community disaster management both effectively and efficiently. It has achieved the intended outputs and outcomes as evidenced by the results:

1: Project design was aligned with national and provincial priorities in disaster management and institutional development. The activities were effectively carried out.

2: Coordination by PMU is excellent drawing upon staff resources from several departments and divisions across ministries. There was a certain level of efficiency in the organisation of staff resources to complete some sizeable activity outputs. 

3: Community Engagement in the project has led to positive outcomes. The community was effectively organised.

4: The capacity level to implement the project activities was excellent at Central government levels. It effectively enhanced the capacity of the staff and updated the manuals and guidelines in the counterpart agencies.

5: A large volume of data has been effectively collected.

6: Foundation capacity development of officials, both in-country and study mission abroad, featured highly in the all project activities.

7: Work Manuals and Guidelines have been written and disseminated.

8: Many lessons were learnt on Procurement and contracting as there was limited experience at the start of the Project

9: Impact measurements of the project outcomes and outputs could be better articulated at start of project

10: Capacity at Dzongkhags was not evenly distributed, as such successes may not be easily replicable and sustainability can be difficult. Some areas (e.g. Phuentsholing) have competent staff who are able to absorb knowledge shared during trainings and apply them to their work. In more remote areas (e.g. Samtse, Monggar, Pemagatshel, Tsirang), there was limited capacity for learning, which means that new knowledge and skills are not easily developed.

11: A high level of sustainability could be made possible if successful project outputs could be replicated across different Dzongkhags, with publications of successful activities in international high impact journals. This will also strengthen capacities at the local levels. If such projects are replicated, then alternative funding from both climate and non-climate financial sources could be obtained with high impact achievement of outcomes and outputs.


Recommendations
1

Thematic Focused Training with Activity Based Capacity Development:  

The Project training sessions covered many DM activities without one large, single focus. Given the modest resources available, it could have been more efficient and effective to focus on a single theme with project and capacity development activities under one overarching umbrella, such as Activity Based Capacity Development.

2

Replication of successful activities for present as well as future projects ie NAPA III (for example, water filtration, weather forecasting technique transfer to flood forecasting and forest fire; lessons in hydrological mapping; capacity development at Central level replicated to local level)

3

Publication and Funding for Innovations to Enhance Resilience against Climate-Induced Risks Publication of success and unique innovative approaches in international high impact journals: Nature or similar journals, or publications under Springer Nature Group.

4

Advanced Capacity Development Advance capacity development changing three key pillars of success: attitudes, behaviour and commitment (ABC Principle) of officials and stakeholders; linking specific skills development specifically to a project, such as Water Transfer Pricing.

5

Big Data Analytics be deployed, starting with climate change data collected from weather stations, to help develop data models that can be used for analysis, forecasting and simulation.

1. Recommendation:

Thematic Focused Training with Activity Based Capacity Development:  

The Project training sessions covered many DM activities without one large, single focus. Given the modest resources available, it could have been more efficient and effective to focus on a single theme with project and capacity development activities under one overarching umbrella, such as Activity Based Capacity Development.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/08] [Last Updated: 2019/05/08]

UNDP CO takes notes of the suggestion to have a thematic focused training. This however was not factored during the design of the NAPA II Project, which had followed the Global Environment Facility’s Project Preparatory Grant guidelines. While the recommendation therefore cannot be taken up by the NAPA II project, it could be considered during design of future pipeline projects.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Replication of successful activities for present as well as future projects ie NAPA III (for example, water filtration, weather forecasting technique transfer to flood forecasting and forest fire; lessons in hydrological mapping; capacity development at Central level replicated to local level)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2019/05/08]

While UNDP CO takes note of the need to replicate successful activities of the NAPAII Project, these activities cannot be taken up by NAPA III project as it is not a continuation or scale-up of NAPAII Project, and because the funds of NAPA III Project are earmarked for specific outputs.

UNDP support to the Government of Bhutan in climate action started since the development of the National Adaptation Programme of Actions (NAPA) Document in 2006 and its subsequent revision in 2012. The Document had identified 12 climate change related hazards for which there were urgent needs to initiate adaptation works. Based on the Document, the first NAPA project was designed and implemented from 2008-2013. The NAPA I project also known as the GLOF project had focused on Glacial Lakes Outburst Flood (GLOF) and community-based disaster risks management. The Second NAPA Project (2014-2018) was designed to address other climate hazards such as landslides, floods, windstorm, disaster management, climate data. The third NAPA project was designed to address climate change vulnerabilities in the agriculture sector.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Publication and Funding for Innovations to Enhance Resilience against Climate-Induced Risks Publication of success and unique innovative approaches in international high impact journals: Nature or similar journals, or publications under Springer Nature Group.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/28] [Last Updated: 2019/05/08]

UNDP CO takes note of the need to communicate the impacts of the project. Following this recommendation, the Project Board reprogrammed USD 6,400 from the overall savings to produce communication materials for the NAPA II Project. 

On the specific recommendation to publish an article in international high impact journal, UNDP CO will study the recommendation to see how it fits within the work schedule.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP CO to produce communications materials to disseminate project results.
[Added: 2019/05/08]
UNDP 2018/12 Completed UNDP CO produced two videos, two climate exposure stories and two info graphs. These were promoted in March coinciding with the International Women’s Day and World Water Day.
4. Recommendation:

Advanced Capacity Development Advance capacity development changing three key pillars of success: attitudes, behaviour and commitment (ABC Principle) of officials and stakeholders; linking specific skills development specifically to a project, such as Water Transfer Pricing.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

The UNDP CO takes notes of these recommendations, which could be taken care of in the future design of the pipelines.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Big Data Analytics be deployed, starting with climate change data collected from weather stations, to help develop data models that can be used for analysis, forecasting and simulation.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

The UNDP CO takes notes of this recommendation. Some work related to the recommendation has been initiated by the National Centre for Hydrology and Metrology (NCHM). Another one will be initiated through the National Adaptation Plan Project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Climate projections using big data
[Added: 2019/05/08]
NCHM 2019/03 Completed In March 2019, the NCHM published an analysis of historical climate and its projection for the future in Bhutan, using the big data generated by the weather stations established by the project. The report which can be accessed through the link (http://www.nchm.gov.bt/attachment/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Analysis%20of%20Historical%20Climate%20and%20Climate%20Change%20Projection.pdf) has projected that for the period 2021-2100, Bhutan’s mean annual temperate would increase from 0.8 to 2.8 degrees Celsius, while the mean annual precipitation would increase by 10-30 %.
Climate Vulnerability assessments using climate data and projections.
[Added: 2019/05/08]
UNDP and NEC 2019/12 Initiated Through the GCF funded National Adaptation Plan Project, UNDP CO will use big climate data to conduct climate vulnerabilities assessment and appraise adaptation options.
Climate Vulnerability assessments using climate data and projections.
[Added: 2019/05/08]
UNDP and NEC 2019/12 Initiated Through the GCF funded National Adaptation Plan Project, UNDP CO will use big climate data to conduct climate vulnerabilities assessment and appraise adaptation options.

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