Terminal Evaluation of LDC and SIDS Targeted Portfolio Approach for Capacity Development and Mainstreaming of Sustainable Land Management Project (PIMS 3130)

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Title Terminal Evaluation of LDC and SIDS Targeted Portfolio Approach for Capacity Development and Mainstreaming of Sustainable Land Management Project (PIMS 3130)
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2014
Planned End Date: 02/2014
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Development plans and programmes integrate environmentally sustainable solutions in a manner that promotes poverty reduction, MDG achievement and low-emission climate-resilient development
  • 2. Local and national authorities have the capacities to access and integrate multiple sources of public and private environmental financing in support of sustainable human development, including gender equality and poverty reduction
  • 3. National and local governments and communities have the capacities to adapt to climate change and make inclusive and sustainable environment & energy decisions benefitting in particular under-served populations
Evaluation Budget(US $): 33,750
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Oliver Chapeyama ochapeyama@enviroplan.co.bw
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-3
PIMS Number: 3130
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Evaluation Recommendation 1 UNDP-GEF should ensure that the momentum that has been generated by the SLM-TPA project is not lost by introducing a mechanism that will ensure that there is continued engagement among stakeholders to share experiences in promoting capacity building and the mainstreaming of SLM principles into national development planning processes. The recommended mechanism could take the form of a community of practice to popularise SLM related capacity building and mainstreaming at national level.
2 Evaluation Recommendation 2 UNDP-GEF should commission a study to synthesise the lessons learnt from the implementation of the SLM-TPA project for use in future programming. The terminal evaluation reports conducted on each MSP are a useful starting point for such an exercise.
3 Evaluation Recommendation 3 Future design of programmes such as the portfolio approach should provide for implementation timeframes that are long enough to allow for consolidation of lessons and experiences.
4 Evaluation Recommendation 4 UNDP-GEF should continue refining the portfolio approach to addressing development issues that affect more than one country.
5 Evaluation Recommendation 5 Future projects of a similar nature should identify, strengthen and empower regional ?champions? to be tasked with advancing global project objectives. These champions should be supported to operate as vehicles or communities of practice for advancing the goals of these global projects.
6 Evaluation Recommendation 6 Future projects targeting SLM should demonstrate the economic value and contribution of SLM and other environmental management projects to national development in order to capture the attention of policy makers at the highest levels in government.
7 [overall]
1. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 1 UNDP-GEF should ensure that the momentum that has been generated by the SLM-TPA project is not lost by introducing a mechanism that will ensure that there is continued engagement among stakeholders to share experiences in promoting capacity building and the mainstreaming of SLM principles into national development planning processes. The recommended mechanism could take the form of a community of practice to popularise SLM related capacity building and mainstreaming at national level.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30]

Management Response 1 A COP-type meeting of SLM/LD project managers in Africa was held in July 2013, during the period of the evaluation; this event likely inspired this recommendation. Similar meetings will be explored in the future, though the evolving GEF programming in Land Degradation will have direct implications on future plans.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 2 UNDP-GEF should commission a study to synthesise the lessons learnt from the implementation of the SLM-TPA project for use in future programming. The terminal evaluation reports conducted on each MSP are a useful starting point for such an exercise.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30] [Last Updated: 2015/03/30]

Management Response 2 The EBD team had contracted the evaluator to also produce a knowledge piece based on the MSPs under this umbrella project, though he failed to deliver that report and ultimately the contract was cancelled. No budget remains, as the project has been operationally and financially closed. However, two consultants contracted to analyse results in a selection of relevant MSPs, one in Africa and another in Latin America and the Caribbean -- which were intended to be fed into the global knowledge piece -- successfully delivered technical reports on best practices in the countries that they had visited. These reports can and will be used to inform future programming.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 3 Future design of programmes such as the portfolio approach should provide for implementation timeframes that are long enough to allow for consolidation of lessons and experiences.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30] [Last Updated: 2015/03/30]

Management Response 3 It is questionable whether similar programmes will be designed in the future. That said, this project was closed 7 years after its original planned closing date and despite that effective "extension" (and the associated costs incurred by the EBD team) lessons and experiences were not consolidated; in fact, much knowledge was lost due to the prolonged implementation period (staff turnover, changes in management arrangements, etc). Many issues were linked to systemic and institutional aspects. In other words, there were more factors at play than the length of the project's timeframe that affected the project's ability to consolidate lessons and experiences.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 4 UNDP-GEF should continue refining the portfolio approach to addressing development issues that affect more than one country.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30] [Last Updated: 2015/03/30]

Management Response 4 This larger point -- about the ultimate value of the portfolio approach -- should have been fundamental to the TE report, and yet the report does not in any substantial way support this recommendation. On the contrary, the difficulties in implementation of the global project and the slow closures of the MSPs suggest that the portfolio approach might produce more complications and difficulties than stand-alone single-country interventions. Other evidence, beyond the weak conclusions in this TE report, will be sought before another portfolio approach is developed.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 5 Future projects of a similar nature should identify, strengthen and empower regional ?champions? to be tasked with advancing global project objectives. These champions should be supported to operate as vehicles or communities of practice for advancing the goals of these global projects.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30]

Management Response 5 As suggested in the previous response, similar portfolio approach projects are not currently being planned.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 6 Future projects targeting SLM should demonstrate the economic value and contribution of SLM and other environmental management projects to national development in order to capture the attention of policy makers at the highest levels in government.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30]

Management Response 6 This recommendation will be considered in the design of future SLM projects, as appropriate. It is notable that some MSPs under this global umbrella project did managed to demonstrate both economic and non-economic values of SLM. But since those case studies were not effectively or not at all utilized in this Terminal Evaluation (and the cancelled publication mentioned previously), those lessons still remain to be up-streamed.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: [overall]
Management Response: [Added: 2015/03/30] [Last Updated: 2015/03/30]

Overall Response to the Terminal Evaluation of PIMS 3130 Overall, the EBD team would like to register its dissatisfaction with the quality of the Terminal Evaluation report of PIMS 3130, "LDC and SIDS Targeted Portfolio Approach for Capacity Development and Mainstreaming of Sustainable Land Management Project". Though initially contracted in May 2013, the evaluator did not deliver a complete draft report until the end of 2013, and finalized the report in February 2014. Despite the abundance of time, resources and patience afforded to the evaluator, the ultimate quality of the TE report did not reflect that abundance. The project was highly complex, as it was global in scope, linked to 46 medium-sized projects, and more than 7 years delayed from its original intended closure; the overly simplistic TE report failed to properly analyse the projects' many complexities. Instead the report provided an often confused and confusing description of the project, alongside timid conclusions. The team overseeing the TE evaluator -- which had relatively limited roles in the project's implementation -- tried in earnest to improve the quality of the report by asking probing questions about the simplistic conclusions and offering substantial feedback; in most cases, this feedback was ignored. Despite repeated requests, the evaluator did not provide a response matrix, so no reason for this failure is known. The circumstances under which this evaluation took place meant that the EBD team had no choice but see the consultant's contract through to its end; under other circumstances, his contract would have been cancelled after the fourth month of non-delivery, and a new more capable evaluator would have been contracted. For these reasons, the "recommendations" from the evaluation are, for the most part, not relevant or useful to the EBD team or UNDP-GEF as a whole.

Key Actions:

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