Final Evaluation Project on Sustainable Management of Forests and Multiple Global Environmental Benefits

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2019, Guatemala
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
08/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title Final Evaluation Project on Sustainable Management of Forests and Multiple Global Environmental Benefits
Atlas Project Number: 00086515
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019, Guatemala
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 08/2018
Management Response: No
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 $): 25,000
Source of Funding: UNDP/GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Javier Jahnsen
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sustainable Forest Management and Multiple Global Environmental Benefits.
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4479
PIMS Number: 4637
Key Stakeholders: National Council on Protected Areas Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources
Countries: GUATEMALA
Lessons
1.
  • The commitment and political will are key to the success of an intervention, particularly with regard to international agreements in the field of reforestation and forest management.
  • Technical advisory committees can become important instances of coordination and technical support if the role assigned to them goes beyond the informative aspect and focuses on the proposal of technical solutions to identified bottlenecks.
  • Through the planning instruments available thanks to the project, municipal stakeholders can have a significant impact on sustainability, by targeting local resources in strategic management of forests and soils (e.g. development of forestry nurseries, dissemination of information on resources of the forestry incentives and preventive activities that reduce the stress placed on the ecosystems.
  • The socialization of consulting products linked to manuals and guides and dissemination of the project results framework, allows, respectively, the knowledge of the technical tools available to beneficiaries and project expectations at all levels.
  • The active involvement of partners from the academic sector, such as technical advisers, provides technical and scientific recommendations on aspects of implementation and rigorous measurement of indicators, respectively.
  • The involvement of the private sector and stakeholders such as AGEXPORT in this project is also necessary to generate processes of sustainability through productive chains.
  • Every project, regardless of its mode of implementation, should have an M&E plan and a person responsible for that area from the beginning.
  • The TORs of the RMT should include identifying if there is an exit strategy. Otherwise, they should specifically recommend the steps to develop and implement one (according to the project specificity).
  • Similar projects should consider in its design the duration of the various parallel processes of institutional approval of documents, policies and manuals (REDD+ strategy).
  • All project initiations have a learning curve, which can be better exploited if the management is oriented to results.
  • At the beginning, the PRODOC needs to be spread to all stakeholders of the project. Otherwise, the intervention is sprayed and not allowed to have a project overview from top to bottom and vice versa.
  • The mid-term review must be carried out in a timely manner, even if there is no progress to show, because this allows you to identify potential bottlenecks and gives sufficient time to make adjustments and improve performance.
  • Any training activity should be part of a plan and must have quantitative and qualitative indicators, which will help assessing the effects of this series of activities.
  • All agreements should have a formal assessment to measure their benefit before and in the middle of its completion.
  • The definition of a clear exit strategy promotes ownership and sustainability of activities.
  • The counterpart of each beneficiary institution is key to strengthening the commitment and ownership of each project. 
  • Awareness materials and promotion must be tailored to the audience (students of different levels, languages, etc.).
  • Temporary bodies such as the CTA should be more proactive and strategic to add value to the activities/processes in the project.
  • Create thematic networks among all those responsible from technical entities can improve the sustainability of interventions and can facilitate their replication/scaling (e.g.  Network of environmental offices in each region)
  • It cannot be assumed that the agreements work alone and will generate a substantial change.
  • The design must contemplate the operational tools that allow for an agile implementation, which are the conditions necessary for advancing or and which are barriers, for example, the partnership strategy of micro-capital could have included; that was something not expected to be included and it generated a good result. This was also a good adaptive management.
  • Take the integrality of all stakeholders involved, social organizations, private sector, the diversity of institutions, in order to have a good coordination that can be maintained over time, once a project is completed. This requires analytical reading and a deeper policy on the theme and to invest resources in a more strategic way.  
  • Influence in municipalities with the planning instruments, such as this project did through SEGEPLAN, although there is always the need to give continuity and invest in follow-up mechanisms. It is positive that mayors should commit to these documents and tools and invest and capture resources. For example, there were municipalities that were helped with this planning and they were requested to have their own forest nursery and now they have their own plants for the reforestation of the areas they define and are already capturing resources from the forestry incentives. Also, they already have forest firefighters for the dry seasons, and brigades have been formed.
  • It is necessary to collect information on the fire brigades’ activities and results in order to show the results, they should be systematized.

Findings
Recommendations
1

Just like there is a workshop to launch the project, a closing work workshop should be planned, perhaps applying a SWOT methodology, whose result would serve as a planning tool for the participating entities.

2

The review and assessment of inter-institutional agreements at the middle of its implementation period is recommended as a good practice. 

3

The project coordinator should officially send all training materials to the authorities of the municipalities of intervention, in order to be kept as working and induction tools for new staff members.

4

For both DIM and NIM modalities, management should be results-oriented and be supported by a robust strategic planning (critical path, CTA, M&E).

5

Toward the end of the management, the UGP should make an assessment of the execution of each agreement signed and its implications for the project. This assessment should include an analysis of the benefits obtained or the existence of bottlenecks.

6

During the execution of the project other key stakeholders (who were not necessarily mentioned in the PRODOC) should be identified and become involved.  In the particular case of this project, we included other stakeholders through the micro-capital agreements, as was the case with CATIE, Fundación Solar, AGEXPORT, UVG, ADA2 and FCG; as well as local organizations, at the community level, bringing benefits to the project. However, it should be noted that could more advantage could have been taken from the private sector participation in the activities of the project.

7

The UGP should be prepared to socialize the Project results through project closure activities, and mainly, it should prepare and plan the content and information to be disseminated. Such activities may include events/workshops of the closure for the authorities, presenting the project’s achievements, the barriers and challenges ahead (with responsible bodies at the political/technical level).

8

The preparation of the Operations Manual for the project from the beginning, is always advisable in order to define and describe the relevant processes for the project management; moreover, it can be used as a reference for future projects.

9

Include, from the initial approach to risk management, which the resolution actions will be in the face of the electoral processes that constitute a political risk for the sustainability of interventions.

10

Provide continuity to the incentives program and to the implementation of management plans developed by the communities are concrete actions that could impact the sustainability of efforts achieved with the project.

11

It is advisable to promote organizational processes in the institutions that allow the continuity of the results and management of projects of the same line or thematic axis.

12

Planning a better water harvesting as an adaptation measure to improve the resilience and reduce environmental risks to the sustainability of interventions.

13

The extension activities of the MAGA can be a key element for the sustainability of interventions, at least from the point of view of the supervision of the continuity of activities in the intervened municipalities.

14

In conjunction with the Project Unit of the MARN, the UGP should develop an exit strategy for the project. Said strategy should take into account the following guidelines:

  1. Consider and select national stakeholders that will intervene in the joint monitoring of the activities and results proposed by the project, institutions that participate in the multi-sectoral approach to the sustainable management aspects of forests and soils, development NGOs that work in municipalities, representatives of municipal mayors and municipal delegations of state institutions.
  2. The Project Board, supported by the Management Unit, shall act as coordinator of the project’s exit strategy and after its closing shall pass on the responsibility of continuity to the group of stakeholders selected.
  3. Systematization of answers to the question: What activities of the project are to stay beyond the closure?
  4. Joint development of a schedule that allows closing the project and detail the nature, term and cost of activities that should be given continuity.  
  5. Inclusion of indicators that will allow for a rapid monitoring of activities that integrate the exit strategy. These indicators correspond to the percentage of planned activities that were executed and the percentage of commitments that needed to be maintained and that were met by the various institutions.
  6. The exit strategy should incorporate the following information:

     

Strategy/Exit Activity/Continuity

Who will be responsible?

Date on which the strategy will be executed

How will it be monitored?

What is the cost of this activity?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Management response not available

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