Fifth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme in Mexico

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2019, Mexico
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
07/2014
Completion Date:
06/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Fifth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme in Mexico
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2019, Mexico
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2014
Planned End Date: 07/2014
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (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 $): 20,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Alejandro C. Imbach
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-1
PIMS Number: 4519
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: MEXICO
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The National Steering Committee has been highly beneficial for the SGP (ensures reasonable autonomy and transparency leading to more credibility and commitment by the different stakeholders). This is an achievement considered essential for the success and future of SGP and it should be preserved.
2 The administrative structure left a grey area in high-management decision making that was not properly filled yet. It is not clear the authority and the responsibility to take care of key management issues such as National Steering Committee renovation, evaluation of National Coordination, decisions about broadening SGP reach to other parts of the country, etc. The option suggested is to incorporate strategic management functions into the SGP National Steering Committee duties.
3 In defining the strategic management tasks it is important to keep them clearly differentiated and not overlapping with those of UNOPS and SGP National Coordination, in order to maintain separate and coordinated areas of work among them. The evaluation also recommends that this task should be initiated and coordinated by the UNDP Global Technical Advisor for SGP Upgraded Programs in CPMT in order to ensure consistency across the group of upgraded SGP Country Programs.
4 The National Coordination team reaching retirement. It is necessary to define how to address the situation properly, how long should this process be, when to do it, etc. All these steps are requirements to organize a well-planned transition process ensuring that the experience gathered in 20 years is adequately transferred.
5 There are some difficulties for monitoring and reporting on 70 planned targets included in the PRODOC. The conversion of results from more than 90 projects to categories fitting the Project targets proved to be very laborious and difficult to achieve by the small National Coordination two-person team
6 It is recommended to define and adopt a more flexible approach for the identification of SGP Project Outcome Indicators and Targets allowing for the use of indicators and targets that are more generic without losing their alignment with the GEF Focal Areas and their indicators and targets that orient the entire GEF operation in each OP
7 It is recommended to maintain the existing administrative and operational structure for the SGP Country Program of OP5, with UNOPS as the project executing agency, UNDP as the GEF Implementing Agency, and the SGP National Steering Committee as the decision making body of the Project with the SGP National Coordination reporting to the NSC. The structure has shown itself to be adequate for SGP operations, and there is no obvious reason to change it.
8 The most important action for maintaining, reinforcing and continuing the development of the lines of work that are not yet sustainable is to maintain the SGP in Mexico as a full-size project for OP6. Key areas to be considered include: sustainable forest management, alternative tourism, home-gardens, environmental education and others. These priorities should not preclude the assignment of resources to organizations willing to join the highly successful lines on organic apiculture and freshwater aquaculture.
9 It is necessary to strengthen local stakeholder capacities to deal with the increasing changes in land tenure and ownership of communal lands (ejidos) which are the source of conflicts in making decisions about resources and has other implications in different initiatives (access to land, tourism attractions, rights of transit, etc.).
10 The perspective of the evaluation is that the SGP should remain focused in the States of Yucatan Peninsula. Nevertheless, what can be done is to replicate the program in other parts of the country using the experience, methods and procedures used by the SGP in Yucatan. The ?replicated programs? needs to be carefully constructed in order to not confuse SGP operational procedures with SGP?s ethos or nature. The SGP is not just a system to deliver funds to CBOs and local NGOs; therefore, just taking these aspects into consideration does not guarantee the success of ?replicated programs?
1. Recommendation: The National Steering Committee has been highly beneficial for the SGP (ensures reasonable autonomy and transparency leading to more credibility and commitment by the different stakeholders). This is an achievement considered essential for the success and future of SGP and it should be preserved.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The NSC will be an essential element in the design and implementation towards the OP6 proposal. Considering the recommendation of the evaluation, its allocations and operations will be strengthen.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a proposal for Terms of Reference and operating procedures of the NSC under a new proposal OP6. Review and give feedback of this proposal with the current NSC to capture lessons learned, expectations and risks in order to raise the best possible design.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
SGP / UNDP UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
2. Recommendation: The administrative structure left a grey area in high-management decision making that was not properly filled yet. It is not clear the authority and the responsibility to take care of key management issues such as National Steering Committee renovation, evaluation of National Coordination, decisions about broadening SGP reach to other parts of the country, etc. The option suggested is to incorporate strategic management functions into the SGP National Steering Committee duties.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

This ambiguity has been overcome from a better communication between partners. However, the recommendation towards a greater clarity of roles and functions of the actors will be a design key of a proposal to OP6. The key role of the NSC will be as a decision-making and strategic monitoring body.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of an OP6 proposal that specifies roles, responsibilities, as well as clear decision-making mechanisms. Establishing more effective mechanisms of communication between partners.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
SGP / UNDP UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
3. Recommendation: In defining the strategic management tasks it is important to keep them clearly differentiated and not overlapping with those of UNOPS and SGP National Coordination, in order to maintain separate and coordinated areas of work among them. The evaluation also recommends that this task should be initiated and coordinated by the UNDP Global Technical Advisor for SGP Upgraded Programs in CPMT in order to ensure consistency across the group of upgraded SGP Country Programs.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The recommendation is appreciated and will be considered for the design of the new OP6. During OP6 the National Steering Committee must be reinforced with experts coming from Tabasco and Chiapas. Strategic management duties will be added to the tasks of the NSC to have a clearly defined instance able to receive, analyze and decide on strategic managerial aspects at country level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of the OP6 proposal and institutional arrangements, considering the recommendation to clarify the roles.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
4. Recommendation: The National Coordination team reaching retirement. It is necessary to define how to address the situation properly, how long should this process be, when to do it, etc. All these steps are requirements to organize a well-planned transition process ensuring that the experience gathered in 20 years is adequately transferred.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The SGP has initiated a procedure to systematize many of its processes, lessons learned and the development of knowledge products. Similarly, a consultant was hired to support project assessments, in order to detect and systematize the focus areas, which are needed to consolidate the efforts towards an OP6. In a possible OP6, it will be necessary to establish clear guidelines for the systematization and documentation of processes and lessons. Likewise in the OP6 design, the assessment procedures and the renewal of the hired people under the programme and the NSC will be established.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conclude knowledge documents under the OP5 framework. In order to build on what has already been advanced and to support the identified work areas, an analysis of the consultancy for the design of measures to prioritize in OP6 will be used. Design an OP6 proposal, which highlights the systematization of lessons during the project lifetime within their work programmes, as well as the replication and scaling of the actions. This will be part of the exit strategy defined from the beginning of the project. The evaluation process, the NSC renewal and the project coordination to reduce the risk of a similar situation occurred in OP5 will be delimited, as part of the definition of institutional arrangements, the roles and responsibilities of the participants.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
5. Recommendation: There are some difficulties for monitoring and reporting on 70 planned targets included in the PRODOC. The conversion of results from more than 90 projects to categories fitting the Project targets proved to be very laborious and difficult to achieve by the small National Coordination two-person team
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The recommendation is appreciated and will be considered for the design of new OP6

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of the OP6 proposal and considering the recommendation to clarify indicators and the monitoring system.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
6. Recommendation: It is recommended to define and adopt a more flexible approach for the identification of SGP Project Outcome Indicators and Targets allowing for the use of indicators and targets that are more generic without losing their alignment with the GEF Focal Areas and their indicators and targets that orient the entire GEF operation in each OP
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The recommendation is appreciated and will be considered for the design of the new OP6.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of the OP6 proposal and considering the recommendation to clarify indicators and monitoring system.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
7. Recommendation: It is recommended to maintain the existing administrative and operational structure for the SGP Country Program of OP5, with UNOPS as the project executing agency, UNDP as the GEF Implementing Agency, and the SGP National Steering Committee as the decision making body of the Project with the SGP National Coordination reporting to the NSC. The structure has shown itself to be adequate for SGP operations, and there is no obvious reason to change it.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

It will be necessary to review the different implementation types, to choose the one that suits the context of a new OP6. It will be necessary to use the experiences of other countries and the guidelines defined jointly by the partners. The possible territorial expansion of the activities under OP6, also implies the definition of the program coordination structure to ensure the proper monitoring. This should be established in the design of a proposal for OP6.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of an OP6 proposal to specify the most effective execution modality according to the context. Establish a coordination structure that caters the OP6 scope with wider territorial approach. Review and give feedback of this proposal with the current NSC to capture lessons learned, expectations and risks in order to raise the best possible design.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
8. Recommendation: The most important action for maintaining, reinforcing and continuing the development of the lines of work that are not yet sustainable is to maintain the SGP in Mexico as a full-size project for OP6. Key areas to be considered include: sustainable forest management, alternative tourism, home-gardens, environmental education and others. These priorities should not preclude the assignment of resources to organizations willing to join the highly successful lines on organic apiculture and freshwater aquaculture.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The OP6 proposal must be based in the Mexican SGP history, taking advantage of the capacities developed to strengthen the local organizations, identifying and using the best alternatives to foster conservation while improving the wellbeing of rural communities. The SGP OP6 proposal must be coherent with national GEF portfolio requirements Specifically, the Mexican SGP has to sustain and consolidate its Financing Lines: Organic Apiculture, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Sustainable Forest Management (for timer and not timber activities), Alternative Tourism, Agro-Ecology and Agro-Forestry, Conservation and Applied Research and Environmental Education

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of an OP6 proposal to specify the most effective execution modality according to the context and based in the vacuum analysis. Review and give feedback of this proposal with the current NSC to capture lessons learned, expectations and risks in order to raise the best possible design.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
9. Recommendation: It is necessary to strengthen local stakeholder capacities to deal with the increasing changes in land tenure and ownership of communal lands (ejidos) which are the source of conflicts in making decisions about resources and has other implications in different initiatives (access to land, tourism attractions, rights of transit, etc.).
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The Mexican SGP OP6 must have cross-cutting themes to create better opportunities to retain the youth in the rural areas, avoiding emigration to urban areas and/or other countries. The OP6 will require identification of market opportunities, alliances between governmental, academic, civil and private organizations to build networks of interacting and complementing organizations and processes that reasonably ensure the long-term sustainability of these processes. The development of local capacities should be demonstrated through the encouragement of the replicability and scalability of the measures taken.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of an OP6 proposal to specify the most effective execution modality according to the context. Review and give feedback of this proposal with the current NSC to capture lessons learned, expectations and risks in order to raise the best possible design.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed
10. Recommendation: The perspective of the evaluation is that the SGP should remain focused in the States of Yucatan Peninsula. Nevertheless, what can be done is to replicate the program in other parts of the country using the experience, methods and procedures used by the SGP in Yucatan. The ?replicated programs? needs to be carefully constructed in order to not confuse SGP operational procedures with SGP?s ethos or nature. The SGP is not just a system to deliver funds to CBOs and local NGOs; therefore, just taking these aspects into consideration does not guarantee the success of ?replicated programs?
Management Response: [Added: 2015/10/30]

The recommendation is appreciated and will be considered for the design of the new OP6. UNDP Office Mexico considers that the context of many other communities and regions could have a benefit from the GSP. That is why, in the OP6 design could include elements of replication / scalability elsewhere. The consolidation work regarding the actions on the peninsula would also be depicted in the design of the proposal OP6

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design of an OP6 proposal to specify the most effective execution modality according to the context. Review and give feedback of this proposal with the current NSC to capture lessons learned, expectations and risks in order to raise the best possible design.
[Added: 2015/10/30]
UNDP Global Technical Advisor UNDP CO National Steering Commitee 2014/11 Completed

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