INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANCY FOR THE FINAL EVUALUATION OF THE PROJECT “STRENGTHENING THE MARINE AND COASTAL PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEM IN VENEZUELA.”

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Venezuela
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2016
Completion Date:
03/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANCY FOR THE FINAL EVUALUATION OF THE PROJECT “STRENGTHENING THE MARINE AND COASTAL PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEM IN VENEZUELA.”
Atlas Project Number: 00060168
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Venezuela
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2016
Planned End Date: 11/2016
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: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 8,787
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Jose Galindo ECUADOR
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number: 4191
Key Stakeholders: Ministerio del Poder Popular para Ecosocialismo, Habitat y Vivienda
Countries: VENEZUELA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The sustainability of the investments made could be significantly affected, if the possibility of an extension of an administrative nature or better still, an extension of at least 6 months in the closure of the project is not considered. Ideally, from the evaluator's perspective, the 12-month extension that was originally requested is needed to have sufficient space to close the products and develop an exit strategy.

2

The project needs an exit strategy, agreed between AI and AE, and landed at a fine detail level. A roadmap is required to guide the two possible scenarios, one of completion by the 31st of December, 2016, and another scenario of completion on a later date. In either case, it is recommended to maintain a shared planning exercise, which defines the scope and guides the closure of the project.

3

Within this process, there is the need for the project to disseminate the products, learning and results achieved. It is recommended that the possibility to publish certain key products be published, posted on the participating institutions website, and generate material to reach a wider audience.

4

If there is an extension to the project, it is recommended to prioritize a strategic approach that fills the gap identified in Outcome 3. Financial sustainability is a central and neuralgic process to manage protected area. The project can still generate short-term and high-impact initiatives to set a frame of reference, and allow discussion to take place among the relevant actors. Since this would be the second attempt, after the INPARQUES Project, it would seem risky for this financial issue to drain, or be positioned as an area impossible to improve, precisely now when it is most lacking in the country. Generate an interinstitutional working platform. Support the processes initiated by INPARQUES to update the values charged within protected areas.

5

The project could provide very important support in the formulation of the new GEF portfolio

6

It is fundamental to rethink the products related to the environmental base line.

7

This project, like others within the recent portfolio of international cooperation in Venezuela, has found practically the same barriers and limitations to ensure a rapid and successful start. It seems like each new project recreates the same difficulties in the recruitment of personnel, procurement, administrative and financial arrangements, communication systems, monitoring and evaluation. This is where a niche for the project is verified, in terms of facilitating a national manual or strategy to implement projects with the GEF. This document could capture the lessons learned and guide AI and AE towards arrangements and agreements that favor smooth implementation and faster project startup.

8

It is not appropriate to tie a project to the approval of laws or regulatory frameworks that it is not able to modify, however attractive it may seem on paper at the time of the project. Projects linked to the approval of mechanisms beyond their control can lead to delays in their implementation. This is a high commitment, which is necessary within the construction of a country's environmental institutionality, but at the same time is risky and should have more conservative expectations.

9

In the course of time it is fundamental that the different tools developed are updated and revised periodically. They should not be allowed to lose their validity, since the objective outlined considers that they are available for when the authorities require it for their decision-making processes.

10

The project design should consider change management sufficiently, and not underestimate the complexity inherent in the resistance of individuals and institutions to change. The technical conformation of the teams and their time of dedication should be consistent with this complexity.

11

Projects that propose profound changes in the environmental institutionality should consider that they are long term processes, of high uncertainty and much complexity. Therefore, a project itself should not be the beginning and end of the process, but should be focused as key components that play a catalytic role, but must be strategically constructed and articulated with new projects and initiatives over time.

12

It is recommended to revise the time frame for the design of this type of projects, possibly to be between 6 and 7 years are needed to concretize them in an appropriate way, without forcing national processes. The recent experience of the GEF projects in Venezuela, and generally in the region, suggests identifying at least one full year for start-up and one for closure, which would leave 4 to 5 years for implementation.

13

However, some interviewees also argue in favor of more accurate and realistic projects, with the capacity to generate impacts in the short and medium term. Projects with a manageable number of results that consider fewer products, and shorter periods of design and implementation.

14

Much more can still be done by the AI and AE to equip methodologists and technicians for a fast start-up and for the use of appropriate monitoring and tracking tools.

15

It is essential that the new projects have a minimum staff assigned with exclusive dedication to the project. Projects of the complexity discussed in this document, require adequate and sufficient profiles in the technical and administrative field.

16

Both in this and other projects of the GEF portfolio, it has been noticed that the participating institutions have a certain distrust of international support, the contracting of external support. More could be done from the portfolio projects, to promote the official exchange of experiences, best practices and capacities with other countries of the region.

1. Recommendation:

The sustainability of the investments made could be significantly affected, if the possibility of an extension of an administrative nature or better still, an extension of at least 6 months in the closure of the project is not considered. Ideally, from the evaluator's perspective, the 12-month extension that was originally requested is needed to have sufficient space to close the products and develop an exit strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

A new extension was requested for a period of 12 months or at least 6 months

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Se solicitó la extensión
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2016/12 Completed
2. Recommendation:

The project needs an exit strategy, agreed between AI and AE, and landed at a fine detail level. A roadmap is required to guide the two possible scenarios, one of completion by the 31st of December, 2016, and another scenario of completion on a later date. In either case, it is recommended to maintain a shared planning exercise, which defines the scope and guides the closure of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Once the extension of 12 months has been approved, the coordinating team of this Project prepared the roadmaps for each of the objectives to be achieved in this period of time

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Se llevaron a cabo ejercicios constantes de seguimiento a la planificacion estrategica acordada entre el PNUD y el Ministerio
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation:

Within this process, there is the need for the project to disseminate the products, learning and results achieved. It is recommended that the possibility to publish certain key products be published, posted on the participating institutions website, and generate material to reach a wider audience.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Within the objectives reached in 2016, there´s the web page of the project (during a trial period), in which it is estimated to show everything related to the project and the territorial management of the country.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Se prepraron términos de referencia entre el PNUD y el Ministerio para la realización de documentos divulgativos y comunicaciones, los cuales no llegaron a concretarse por decisión del Ministerio
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Permanantes cambios de las autoridades del Ministerio limitaron la toma de decisiones para concretar las contrataciones . Estos cambios relentizaron las acciones vinculadas a la definicion de la estrategia comunicacional a adoptarse.]
History
4. Recommendation:

If there is an extension to the project, it is recommended to prioritize a strategic approach that fills the gap identified in Outcome 3. Financial sustainability is a central and neuralgic process to manage protected area. The project can still generate short-term and high-impact initiatives to set a frame of reference, and allow discussion to take place among the relevant actors. Since this would be the second attempt, after the INPARQUES Project, it would seem risky for this financial issue to drain, or be positioned as an area impossible to improve, precisely now when it is most lacking in the country. Generate an interinstitutional working platform. Support the processes initiated by INPARQUES to update the values charged within protected areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Working Committees with an emphasis on managers of AP´s, managers and authorities of the institutions involved, in 2 pilot areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Se definió la estrategia de trabajo para dos áreas piloto: Parques Nacional Archipielago los Roques y Parque Nacional Mochima
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Minsterio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
5. Recommendation:

The project could provide very important support in the formulation of the new GEF portfolio

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

At the moment there is an idea of Project to strengthen the impacts of this one once it is concluded, it will be formulated from the Technical Unit of Coastal Zones.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Las consideraciones de esta y otras evaluaciones han sido incorporadas en las notas conceptuales de futuros proyectos GEF
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
6. Recommendation:

It is fundamental to rethink the products related to the environmental base line.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21] [Last Updated: 2017/06/21]

For the new extension period, the Project proposes a strategy to approach the development of the Baseline.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
El PNUD ha trabajado junto con el Ministerio (tomadores de decisión) el replanteamiento de este producto. Constantes cambios de las autoridades de este proyecto relentizan la acción. Por estas limitaciones el PNUD no vislumbra el desarrollo de este producto.
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed History
7. Recommendation:

This project, like others within the recent portfolio of international cooperation in Venezuela, has found practically the same barriers and limitations to ensure a rapid and successful start. It seems like each new project recreates the same difficulties in the recruitment of personnel, procurement, administrative and financial arrangements, communication systems, monitoring and evaluation. This is where a niche for the project is verified, in terms of facilitating a national manual or strategy to implement projects with the GEF. This document could capture the lessons learned and guide AI and AE towards arrangements and agreements that favor smooth implementation and faster project startup.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21] [Last Updated: 2017/06/21]

A document of lessons learned will be developed within the framework of the implementation of this project, which will serve as a guide for the execution of GEF Projects, it will be socialized with the different Implementing Agencies in order to serve as a starting point for the elaboration of a national manual or strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Se preveé levantar un informe de lecciónes aprendidas de fácill uso para actores clave. Sin embargo, la dinámica del Ministerio ( alta rotación de autoridades, lentitud en la toma de todo tipo de decisiones), limita la aplicación efectiva de estas lecciones aprendidas
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed History
8. Recommendation:

It is not appropriate to tie a project to the approval of laws or regulatory frameworks that it is not able to modify, however attractive it may seem on paper at the time of the project. Projects linked to the approval of mechanisms beyond their control can lead to delays in their implementation. This is a high commitment, which is necessary within the construction of a country's environmental institutionality, but at the same time is risky and should have more conservative expectations.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21] [Last Updated: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach, during the execution of the Project the project has been discussed several times, however, significant changes in the scope of the Project implied major changes and approval times.

 

Therefore, it is recognized for future projects to consider these aspects for a better formulation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Esta accipon ha sido tomada para el desarrollo de notas conceptuales y formulacipon de nuevas iniciativas GEF
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Podeer Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
9. Recommendation:

In the course of time it is fundamental that the different tools developed are updated and revised periodically. They should not be allowed to lose their validity, since the objective outlined considers that they are available for when the authorities require it for their decision-making processes.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
MInisterio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
10. Recommendation:

The project design should consider change management sufficiently, and not underestimate the complexity inherent in the resistance of individuals and institutions to change. The technical conformation of the teams and their time of dedication should be consistent with this complexity.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
11. Recommendation:

Projects that propose profound changes in the environmental institutionality should consider that they are long term processes, of high uncertainty and much complexity. Therefore, a project itself should not be the beginning and end of the process, but should be focused as key components that play a catalytic role, but must be strategically constructed and articulated with new projects and initiatives over time.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach, these aspects are taken into account for the formulation of new initiatives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto para la elaboración de notas conceptuales y formulación de nuevas iniciativas GEF. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
12. Recommendation:

It is recommended to revise the time frame for the design of this type of projects, possibly to be between 6 and 7 years are needed to concretize them in an appropriate way, without forcing national processes. The recent experience of the GEF projects in Venezuela, and generally in the region, suggests identifying at least one full year for start-up and one for closure, which would leave 4 to 5 years for implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach, it will be discussed with the GEF and the Implementing Agencies so that the execution time is the one recommended in the next Projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto para la elaboración de notas conceptuales y formulación de nuevas iniciativas GEF. El punto focal nacional reconoce que las nuevas iniciativas no deben superar los 4 años. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
13. Recommendation:

However, some interviewees also argue in favor of more accurate and realistic projects, with the capacity to generate impacts in the short and medium term. Projects with a manageable number of results that consider fewer products, and shorter periods of design and implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach, new initiatives are being proposed in these terms. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto para la elaboración de notas conceptuales y formulación de nuevas iniciativas GEF. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación.
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
14. Recommendation:

Much more can still be done by the AI and AE to equip methodologists and technicians for a fast start-up and for the use of appropriate monitoring and tracking tools.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

Agreed with this approach.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
15. Recommendation:

It is essential that the new projects have a minimum staff assigned with exclusive dedication to the project. Projects of the complexity discussed in this document, require adequate and sufficient profiles in the technical and administrative field.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

The Minister of People's Power for Ecosocialism and Water submitted directly to the GEF the request for extension of the Project, and in the Official Communication he commits to maintain and reinforce the coordinating technical team, in order to guarantee the smooth execution of the same.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto. El punto focal GEF en Venezuela, reconoce y asume la necesidad de contratar personal de dedicación exclusiva para la implementación de los Proyectos. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed
16. Recommendation:

Both in this and other projects of the GEF portfolio, it has been noticed that the participating institutions have a certain distrust of international support, the contracting of external support. More could be done from the portfolio projects, to promote the official exchange of experiences, best practices and capacities with other countries of the region.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/21]

This recommendation will be taken into account and for future projects will be evaluated the hiring of international experts, without ruling out national contracting as a strategy that allows strengthening institutions and the country.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Acción tomada por el equipo de proyecto para la elaboración de notas conceptuales y formulación de nuevas iniciativas GEF. El PNUD propicia la concreción de cooperaciones nacionales para implementación de proyectos GEF. Sin embargo, la alta rotación de personal limita esta implementación
[Added: 2018/11/19]
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Ecosocialismo y Aguas 2017/12 Completed History

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