Joint Evaluation of the Small Grants Programme by GEF/UNDP

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Thematic
Planned End Date:
06/2015
Completion Date:
09/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
250,000

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Download document Joint GEF-UNDP SGP Evaluation - TOR.pdf tor English 194.04 KB Posted 1087
Download document SGP_Evaluation_Full_Report_2015.pdf report English 2882.23 KB Posted 1388
Download document SGP_Illustrated_Summary_2015.pdf related-document English 9218.91 KB Posted 911
Download document SGP_Illustrated_Summary_2015_sp.pdf related-document Spanish 9199.93 KB Posted 363
Download document SGP_Evaluation_Full_Report_2015_FR.pdf report French 5918.60 KB Posted 363
Title Joint Evaluation of the Small Grants Programme by GEF/UNDP
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2015
Planned End Date: 06/2015
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
Evaluation Budget(US $): 250,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with UN Agencies
  • Joint with GEF
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Heather Bryant UNDP Evaluation Specialist
Carlo Carugi GEF Senior Evaluation Officer
Dennis Fenton Lead Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Revitalize the SGP Steering Committee to support high-level strategic thinking in developing a long-term vision for the SGP, to foster dialogue between UNDP and the GEF, and to advise the Council as appropriate on strategic decision making.

2

Continue upgrading, building on strengths while addressing the weaknesses identified. The criteria for selecting countries for upgrading should be revisited.

3

Ensure that the SGP is implemented under a single, coherent global program framework.

4

Continue efforts to improve M&E, designing more streamlined and useful M&E tools and activities that balance the need to measure with the need to provide support to local communities in tackling environmental issues.

1. Recommendation:

Revitalize the SGP Steering Committee to support high-level strategic thinking in developing a long-term vision for the SGP, to foster dialogue between UNDP and the GEF, and to advise the Council as appropriate on strategic decision making.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/07/21] [Last Updated: 2018/01/08]

We support the recommendation of the evaluation report and have begun the process of revitalizing the SGP Steering Committee. New TORs have been discussed that clearly define the role of the Committee as a forum for clarification of the SGP’s long-term vision as well as other strategic issues.

We concur that the SGP Steering Committee will oversee an updating of the SGP’s corporate vision and long-term strategy. The SGP Steering Committee may organize, as needed, wider fora on key strategic issues to bring into the discussion other key stakeholders and partners. Inputs from these consultations will feed into the Committee’s strategic guidance on SGP as well as to the preparation of Council papers, as appropriate. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The SGP Steering Committee may organize, as needed, wider fora on key strategic issues to bring into the discussion other key stakeholders and partners. Inputs from these consultations will feed into the Committee’s strategic guidance on SGP as well as to the preparation of Council papers, as appropriate.
[Added: 2018/01/08] [Last Updated: 2018/04/23]
GEF-SGP 2018/12 Completed The SGP Steering Committee chaired by GEF Secretariat on behalf of the GEF partnership, and including UNDP, the GEF CSO Network and SGP's Central Programme Management Team (CPMT) meets twise annually.These meetings provided strategic guidance to the programme and are held in conjunction with GEF Council meetings. A review of programme progress was undertaken and guidance on strategic directions, including new opportunities and changes in development context was provided by the Steering Committee last year. With the organization of SGP sessions at Expanded Constituency Workshops (ECWs) organized by the GEF in 2017, opportunities were leveraged for further finetuning of SGP’s future directions with stakeholders for the upcoming GEF 7 phase. In addition, in January 2017, a Global Visioning Workshop was held in Costa Rica, holding high level strategic consultations with programme partners and stakeholders. The workshop included discussions on key strategic outcomes proposed for SGP in future, while reflecting on the feedback received from ECWs, and elaboration of proposed approaches with staff and partners.
2. Recommendation:

Continue upgrading, building on strengths while addressing the weaknesses identified. The criteria for selecting countries for upgrading should be revisited.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/07/21] [Last Updated: 2018/01/08]

We agree with the recommendation that upgrading remains voluntary for LDCs and SIDS and that changes to the process for accessing STAR funds by non-upgraded countries through the global project should be clear and agreed. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP and CPMT, in consultation with the GEF Secretariat, will continue to refine operationalization of the upgrading policy. We welcome the four suggestions listed under this recommendation and will work with the GEF Secretariat to design and execute these recommended changes in GEF-7, in particular to ensure all around compliance with the SGP Operational Guidelines.
[Added: 2018/01/08] [Last Updated: 2018/04/23]
GEF-SGP 2018/01 Completed Per SGP OP6 Guidelines, for Upgrading Country Programmes, a standard UNDP-GEF Project Document is produced that reflects the Country Program strategy that is broadly coherent with the SGP Global strategic initiatives announced at the commencement of each Operational Phase. The Project Document is formulated after approval of the corresponding PIF and is approved by UNDP and the GEF CEO as per standard GEF and UNDP procedures. In the development of the Project Document, the same multistakeholder, participatory approach is followed as that of Country Program Strategy development. All upgraded countries are building on the experience of UNDP’s COMDEKS community-based landscape planning approach implemented through the SGP in 20 pilot countries. Upgraded country programmes are implementing similar community-based landscape approaches as their core programming framework, building the capacities of community organizations to take collective action for adaptive landscape management for social and ecological resilience.
3. Recommendation:

Ensure that the SGP is implemented under a single, coherent global program framework.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/07/21] [Last Updated: 2018/01/08]

We concur with the recommendation that the SGP Steering Committee oversee how the SGP could be implemented under a single, coherent global Programme framework. This process has already commenced with both the SGP non-upgraded and Upgrading Country Programmes supervised under a single unit in UNDP/GEF as of January 2014.

The policy that Upgrading Country Programmes continue to follow the SGP Operational Guidelines has also been sustained. The SGP OP6 Regional Workshops for orienting Country Programmes on the strategic directions, priorities, expected outcomes and targets for GEF-6 include both non-upgraded and Upgrading Country Programmes. UNDP will send appropriate communications to UNDP Country Offices to strengthen synergies between SGP and UNDP programming at the country level while recognizing the specificities of SGP as a GEF ‘corporate programme’.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will send appropriate communications to UNDP Country Offices to strengthen synergies between SGP and UNDP programming at the country level while recognizing the specificities of SGP as a GEF ‘corporate programme’.
[Added: 2018/01/08] [Last Updated: 2018/04/23]
GEF-SGP 2018/01 Completed SGP is a global programme that is highly country driven. At the country level all activities involve national stakeholders and partners and grant selection processes are managed at the national level through multi-stakeholder National Steering Committees (NSCs) which have UNDP Country Office representation and civil society members. SGP National Coordinator works in close coordination with UNDP's country efforts, and NSC members are involved in monitoring and review of implementation. At the global level SGP Central Programme Management Team, in close communication with UNDP-GEF, provides oversight and guidance, helps to ensure programmatic coherence and achievement of outcomes and objectives across all country programmes. CPMT also plays key roles in securing resources, donor reporting and technical guidance and overall programme management. At the global level strategic direction is provided by the SGP Global Steering Committee chaired by the GEF Secretariat on behalf of the GEF partnership and including UNDP and the GEF CSO Network as members and the CPMT as the secretary to the Steering Committee.
4. Recommendation:

Continue efforts to improve M&E, designing more streamlined and useful M&E tools and activities that balance the need to measure with the need to provide support to local communities in tackling environmental issues.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/07/21] [Last Updated: 2018/01/08]

CPMT, together with the UNDP-GEF global coordinator of the Upgrading Country Programmes, has held a series of technical meetings aimed at designing and instituting a more effective M&E system. Much progress has been made towards developing a more practical monitoring function adapted to the needs, resources and community focus of the SGP. A process of simplifying the Programme’s M&E functions by creating a nested system with appropriate indicators identified at global, country and grant project level is currently underway and will be finalized, after suitable testing and adaptation, by early 2016. Within OP6, M&E will be more impact-oriented, as well as contributing to adaptive management at different levels.  More focused M&E resources and tools at community, country and global levels will be developed by CPMT and the UCP Global Coordination team.

SGP’s design for OP6, as articulated in the recently approved SGP OP6 PIF, builds on this framework with the aim of: (a) focusing SGP grant making around clear strategic initiatives based on country and global priorities and where strategic impact can be achieved, and (b) focusing SGP grant making within defined landscape and seascape areas, where baselines and indicators can be more appropriately selected and monitored to show impact over time, and (c) reducing the spread of SGP grant making from six focal areas spanning 10 immediate objectives to only four priority themes that promote multi-focal area strategies on the landscapes and seascapes selected in-country. CPMT management planning for OP6 includes adding an M&E specialist to the team to lead development and implementation of an improved M&E framework for the Programme.  This will be done in close collaboration with the UNDP – GEF Results Management and Evaluation Advisor and UNDP’s Development Impact Group.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Within OP6, M&E will be more impact-oriented, as well as contributing to adaptive management at different levels.  More focused M&E resources and tools at community, country and global levels will be developed by CPMT and the UCP Global Coordination team.
[Added: 2018/01/08] [Last Updated: 2018/04/23]
GEF-SGP 2018/01 Completed With SGP’s portfolio monitoring and management system at global, country and project levels, SGP undertakes monitoring at three levels: the grant project level where grantees are enabled to adaptively manage projects; the country level where the SGP national teams monitor projects results as they relate to the indicators and targets in the Country Programme Strategies, and at the Global level where the SGP CPMT gathers information from countries and reports annually to the GEF and other partners on the results achieved by projects through the Annual Monitoring Report and partnership results report. During the last year, 1,648 projects, representing 53% of the active portfolio, received monitoring visits from SGP country staff. Three global evaluations were conducted for partnership initiatives of Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS), EU-NGO Strengthening Project and Community-based Adaptation (CBA). Annual reports were also produced for these in line with partner requirements.

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