Sustainable management of arid and semi-arid ecosystems to control desertification in Patagonia, Argentina- ARG/07/G35

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2010-2015, Argentina
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
07/2016
Completion Date:
03/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document TDR Eval Final 07G35.docx tor Spanish 59.29 KB Posted 452
Download document trad informe version resumida 07g35_.docx report English 414.00 KB Posted 567
Title Sustainable management of arid and semi-arid ecosystems to control desertification in Patagonia, Argentina- ARG/07/G35
Atlas Project Number: 00043829
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2015, Argentina
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2015
Planned End Date: 07/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 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:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Tania Ammour
Horacio Levit
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-1
PIMS Number: 2891
Key Stakeholders: Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable (SAyDS)
Countries: ARGENTINA
Lessons
1.
  • 1. In order to foster demonstration processes at local level in short periods of time (even in five years) capitalizing the existing structures and knowledge (TME, MST intervention strategies with a territorial approach) it is necessary to:
    • Give priority to such areas/groups of actors where it has been clearly identified: the installed/ organizational capacities (of the permanent institutions at local and provincial level and of the producers’ organizations), political decision, resources degradation level and potential recovery, diversification potential with more possibilities and technical and financial support options.
    • Design explicitly an intervention plan for each area (USPA, pilot sites) based on solid baseline, a productive, environmental and institutional follow-up system. Especially the intervention plan sets out negotiations regarding the contributions of the parties, the definition of an image, objective which allows the measuring of the intensity and the intervention strategies and the application of investigation/actions/follow-up devices.
    • Be alert in order not to fall into “activism”, sacrificing reflexive and systematic analysis allowing evaluation (quantitative and qualitative), readjust and promote the use of methodologies and achievements at the “absorption” pace of players.
    • Design and implement a communication strategy to selected players at different levels with the purpose of guaranteeing the dissemination of information as a constant process.
    •  
    • 2. To promote the involvement of provincial players from the beginning of the Project, it is necessary to clearly bear in mind that the Implementation Plan abovementioned should include the financial commitment of the Project and the counterpart for the service life of the Project and annually. Otherwise the failure to reflect such financial commitment may give rise to instability and insecurity which may affect the involvement of other partners.
    • 3. To guarantee the proper implementation of a project of this kind, it is necessary to obey all the time the documents of the Project (including organizational, financial and co-financing commitments), the indicators of the logical framework, the recommendations made by the MTE in order to be able to identify and adjust the diversions/adjustments of the Project. This is particularly necessary when it is acknowledged that the Project should be operated on an adaptive management basis. Such tasks will fall within the scope of the responsibility of the Coordinator, the National Agency, the Executive Committee as well
    •  
    • 4.  To guarantee that the Project is orientated towards effects and impacts, the reports prepared by the partners and personnel cannot be only deemed as instruments to report activities and prove the respective payments. It is necessary that they show progresses in terms of effects and impacts.  Only in this way the reports will become instruments necessary for the decision making processes and for the review of the Project progresses. This quality control and reflection promotion task is critical and will fall within the scope of the National Coordination. Otherwise the Project becomes a source of financing of products and activities which is not necessarily orientated to effects and impacts or which does not create the necessary supports.
    •  
    • 5. For a Project of this kind to have sustainability and replication capacity, the monitoring system should not only be deemed as a data “recording” and “storage” system but it should generate the necessary information to orientate, auto-evaluate and take decisions regarding the performance and impacts of the Project. Again the quality control of products and indicators reports should be highlighted. Likewise, the comments at UNDP level (national and provincial offices) should be taken into account and followed as well as the recommendations of the MTE until the end of the Project. It should be noted that systematization, analysis, quantification and projection are as important as on-the-ground activities.

Findings
1.

From its beginning the Project had to face several external adverse circumstances related to natural disasters (drought and volcano ashes) and changes in national and provincial authorities entailing adjustments in the implementation pace and adaptation for insertion within the institutional and political framework. These external factors have been deemed as an opportunity to demonstrate even more the need to promote MST practices and to strength the impact at local and provincial levels (politics, producer assistance models, transport of technical capacities).

As a result of the Final Evaluation of the Project it is clear that the Project formulated an objective consisting in the application of extensive management technologies (TME) to 6 million of Ha. which turned to be extremely ambitious but it lacked an strategic approach orientated to outcomes evincing a shortfall of reports and registries proving the progresses under indicators well-defined. The planning, monitoring and evaluation of different kinds (operative, effects and impacts) and at different levels (local, provincial, national) has been one of the Achilles’ heels of the Project. So is the case that even when it is possible that foreseen and unforeseen effects and impacts have taken place, the Project could hardly evidence them through the information generated (lack of systematization, managerial and technical reviews, LcD progress reviews, social and economic outcomes and capabilities strengthening and impact). This is evidenced by the efforts that the personnel still engaged in the Project (Alejandro González and provincial technicians) had to make to gather the information necessary to carry out this Final Evaluation.


Recommendations
1
  1. Upon the preparation of the Project it is important to identify possible and real objectives which out of the experience gained would facilitate the achievement of the objectives as laid down.
2

2. Identify indicators in such contexts/provinces where it is more viable to achieve effects and impacts at different levels and in their interactions.

3

3. The baseline formulation should be one of the main objectives of the new Project. In this sense it is important to identify, among other elements, the conditions of each of the MARAS, pilot sites and USPAS executed. This will facilitate the use of the baseline as a follow-up and management tool in order to intensify, complete and/or enhance the actions timely initiated by the GEF. It is recommended that in such formulation the professionals of the new Project take part together with external consultants in order to achieve a baseline facilitating the monitoring of the Project and the partial Evaluations of the progresses of the Project in terms of results.

4

4. Strengthen USPAS as management unities addressing them from a water basin viewpoint.

5

5. Introduce Project monitoring by the UNDP through the position of a Project Supervisor entailing regular on-the-ground visits. Such supervision may be part time or eventually shared with other UNDP Project.

6

6. Carry out a workshop for the evaluation of outcomes in furtherance of a better implementation of the new GEF Desertification Project.

1. Recommendation:
  1. Upon the preparation of the Project it is important to identify possible and real objectives which out of the experience gained would facilitate the achievement of the objectives as laid down.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/11] [Last Updated: 2016/10/13]

Since the project is already closed, the recommendation will be taken into account for new projects and proposals, during the preparation phase.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

2. Identify indicators in such contexts/provinces where it is more viable to achieve effects and impacts at different levels and in their interactions.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/11] [Last Updated: 2016/10/13]

The project is already closed. However, the recommendation is being taken into account in new projects and proposals with similar objectives.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

3. The baseline formulation should be one of the main objectives of the new Project. In this sense it is important to identify, among other elements, the conditions of each of the MARAS, pilot sites and USPAS executed. This will facilitate the use of the baseline as a follow-up and management tool in order to intensify, complete and/or enhance the actions timely initiated by the GEF. It is recommended that in such formulation the professionals of the new Project take part together with external consultants in order to achieve a baseline facilitating the monitoring of the Project and the partial Evaluations of the progresses of the Project in terms of results.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/11] [Last Updated: 2016/10/13]

The recommendation will be useful for new projects during its formulation phase, when baselines are defined.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

4. Strengthen USPAS as management unities addressing them from a water basin viewpoint.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/11] [Last Updated: 2016/10/13]

The recommendation will be taken into account in projects addressing similar isses.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

5. Introduce Project monitoring by the UNDP through the position of a Project Supervisor entailing regular on-the-ground visits. Such supervision may be part time or eventually shared with other UNDP Project.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/11] [Last Updated: 2016/10/13]

The recommendation will be helpful for organising monitoring activities of new Projects.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

6. Carry out a workshop for the evaluation of outcomes in furtherance of a better implementation of the new GEF Desertification Project.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/11] [Last Updated: 2016/10/13]

The recommendation is taken into account by the new GEF project.

Key Actions:

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org