UNDP and EU support to the Implementation of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement (MLAWCRR) 2014 to 2016 Action Plan. End of Project Evaluation Report

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2021, Zimbabwe
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title UNDP and EU support to the Implementation of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement (MLAWCRR) 2014 to 2016 Action Plan. End of Project Evaluation Report
Atlas Project Number: 00078176
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2021, Zimbabwe
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2019
Planned End Date: 01/2019
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.1.1 Core government functions and inclusive basic services4 restored post-crisis for stabilisation, durable solutions to displacement and return to sustainable development pathways within the framework of national policies and priorities
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
SDG Target
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
  • 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding: EC and UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Medicine Masiiwa medicmas@yahoo.co.uk
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, EC and Government of Zimbabwe
Countries: ZIMBABWE

What could have been done differently/ better?

  • The theory of change for the programme was not used at the design of the Project in 2012 as this had not yet been operational in UNDP. Successor Project will need to use the theory of change and tightly link it with the LogFrame.
  • The mid-term evaluation should have been conducted as a matter of both process and also to gauge progress and course-correct if necessary.
  • What would you recommend to improve future programming or for other similar projects elsewhere?
  • There is need to improve on the design of the Project/programme and set realistic targets. The LogFrame is critical and must be precise based on good baselines and realistic targets.
  • Where external staff/consultants are required the recruitment process must be speeded up.
  • The IP should be allocated resources to complement those of the Project.

What mistakes should be avoided if the initiative were to be replicated?

-     Delays in appointing key personnel and consultants.

-     No effective involvement of the private surveyors who could have assisted the surveyor general.

-     Delays in approving results, e.g. the tenure systems recommendations have not yet been approved by Cabinet.

How easy would it be to replicate the successes in a different context/ country?

-     Although this is complex Project, however if it is inclusive right from the planning stage it easy to make it successful. 

-     The ability to bring former commercial farmers together with government can be replicated as all sides recognise the need to resolve the outstanding issues on land for the country to move forward. Trust and respect is key.

Capacity gaps will need to be properly analysed right at the commencement of the project. 


3.1         Relevance

The evaluation sought to assess the relevance of the project in terms of whether the project responded to the needs of the beneficiaries and those of the country; whether the project funding was designed and structured in line with the needs; whether the project design and intervention logic were appropriate; whether the activities and outputs were consistent with the overall goal and objectives of the project; whether the project delivery mechanism and strategies were appropriate; whether the project was flexible enough to adapt to the changing socio-economic context and  whether the theory of change was effective.

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Agriculture policy Effectiveness Relevance Rule of law Country Government Conflict resolution


3.2         Effectiveness

The evaluation sought to assess whether the Project was effective in achieving the planned results (objectives, outputs and outcomes) according to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)[1] given in the logical framework; if not fully achieved, progress made towards the achievement of the results; whether the achieved outputs contributed to the stated outcomes; activities done to attain the results; challenges faced and how they were resolved (could have been resolved); contributions made by the UNDP towards the results and future intervention issues to be addressed, including the relevant strategies.

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Agriculture policy Effectiveness Capacity Building


3.2.2      Output 1: Updated database on inventories of acquired farms

Baseline situation

At the start of the project in 2015, a total of 6400 commercial farms had been acquired for resettlement. The MLAWCRR had carried out inventory on 1410 farms using its own resources during the period of 2000 - 2014. A total of 4990 farm inventories thus were outstanding but of those, 1800 farmers were excluded because they either belonged to indigenous Zimbabweans, BIPPAs, church organizations and schools or their cases were being handled under courts. There were no acceptable inventories with values and the land database was outdated. done and 1800 farms were excluded.

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Agriculture policy Challenges Effectiveness Gender Equality Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Building


3.2.3      Output 2: Consensus based compensation mechanism in place

Compensation of improvements on the former commercial farms is guided by the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) and the Land Acquisition Act 20:10. At the start of the project, government had managed to compensate 250 former commercial farmers since 2000.Baseline: Government had compensated 250 former commercial farmers since the start of the fast track land reform programme in 2000.No compensation mechanism existed.

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Effectiveness Impact Bilateral partners Country Government


3.2.4      Output 3: Adequate national survey control network established

Good land administration practices require that there be a robust and homogenous database of all land parcels in the country, which should capture relevant cadaster information.Baseline situation: When the project started in 2015, Zimbabwe’s geodetic database was outdated. The country system had no GNSS base stations which incorporate the use of GIS and GPS. The DSG faced capacity constraints in terms of the number of qualifies/skilled staff.

Tag: Challenges Impact Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Procurement Capacity Building


3.2.5      Output 4: Surveyed A2 farm units and updated information database

The cadaster survey of A2 farms is necessary for the issuance of 99-year leases.

Baseline situation: At the start of the project in 2015, 4700 A2 farm units had been surveyed by Government using its own resources.

Key Performance Indicators

The KPIs given in the logical framework to measure progress (and result thereof) were to carry out surveys on 600 farms;[1] (Satisfactory); At least 80% of surveyed farms have received 99 leases (unsatisfactory);Target: LIMS database with farms information (Satisfactory); and Sustainable strategy on the survey of A2 farms (partially Satisfactory).

Tag: Agriculture Challenges Impact Monitoring and Evaluation


3.2.6      Output 5: Land Information Systems at the MLAWCRR strengthened, effectively managed and coordinated

The LIMS will be the core of the land administration and should therefore be carefully designed and managed. It will impact on any future work on land administration in Zimbabwe.

Baseline situation: When the project started, in 2015, there was no LAN/WAN at MLAWCRR and DSG to support sever-based database on LIMS.

Key Performance Indicators

The KPIs given in the logical framework to measure progress (and results thereof) was to establish LAN/WAN for the MLAWCRR and DSG (Partly satisfactory).

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Effectiveness Impact Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Building


3.2.7      Output 6: A dispute resolution framework developed

The MLAWCRR had been attending to various disputes on land before the establishment of the ZLC, which has now assumed the dispute settlement functions (Study on Zimbabwe Lands Commission Needs Assessment Report, 2017). Most cases include disputes with former commercial farmers, farm boundaries between the new farmers, use of communal infrastructure, unclear tenureand the implementation of the audit results.Baseline situation:

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Effectiveness Impact


3.2.8      Output 7: Land tenure policy developed and implemented

There are several land tenure systems in Zimbabwe, including freehold, leasehold, permits and customary.

Baseline situation: When the Project started in 2015, there was no updated land tenure system since the inception of the land reform programme.

Key Performance Indicators: The KPIs given in the logical framework to measure progress (and result thereof) were to have the tenure systems and policy reviewed (Satisfactory) as well as have the tenure policy review endorsed by cabinet (Partly satisfactory).

Results achieved

The evaluation’s assessment is that 90 % of the planned results in under this Output have been achieved (Satisfactory).Study on land tenure policy and systems: The main achievement is the completion of the assessment study on land tenure policy and systems and submission of the report to the Permanent Secretary and Minister. The study came up with several recommendations on reforming the tenure systems. The recommendations will contribute to the development of the national land policy framework (NLPF), which the MLAWCRR is currently developing with the support of the FAO. The land tenure systems will have a bearing on the business models by the farmers. This will also have an impact on the implementation of the land audit results and and the dispute resolution framework.

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Agriculture policy Country Government


3.2.9      Output 8: The Zimbabwe Land Commission (ZLC) is capacitated and functional

Baseline situation: The ZLC was not in existence when the project started in 2015.


Key Performance Indicators: The KPIs used to measure progress (and result thereof) was ZLC strategy developed; (Satisfactory). Land audits mechanism is established and launched based on international good practices (Satisfactory); and Regulations and guidelines for ZLC to perform its mandate are developed.  

Tag: Agriculture land resouces Agriculture policy Challenges Effectiveness Country Government Capacity Building


3.4         Impact

A review of the project progress reports and discussions with MLAWCRR, DSG and ZLC showed that it is too early to see evidence of the project impact. The expected impacts are increased agricultural productivity and production, increased supply of food, job creation, increased exports and overall economic growth. The project has realized some positive outcomes which point-out to positive impacts in the areas of:Land dialogue: The dialogue that has been started is expected to lead towards compensation of the former commercial farmers, reduction of disputes between the two entities, issuance of secure land tenure documents to the resettled farmers as well as increase in farm investments that will lead to increased agricultural productivity and production.

Tag: Impact Country Government Capacity Building


3.5         Sustainability

The evaluation has looked at a number of sustainability considerations with an aim of establishing the extent to which the outcomes and impact from the project would be sustained.  This included whether there was an exit strategy in place  to phase out the UNDP/EU assistance; whether the project has generated the buy- in and credibility needed for sustained impact (if not, why); the Project outcomes, results and benefits that need to be sustained; the capacities in place to sustain the results and impact: and the key factors that require attention in order to improve the prospects of sustainability of the Project outcomes and impact as well as lessons  learnt.

Tag: Sustainability Bilateral partners Country Government Capacity Building


4.           Project management

4.1         Management and coordination

The evaluation has established that the management, coordination and administrative activities of the project were carried out with satisfaction. Project management provided day-to-day management of the project, including developing work plans, facilitating the procurement of project resources, compiling technical and financial progress reports, drafting the consultants’ ToRs and supervising them; organizing meetings of the project Board and technical committee as well as providing secretariat to the two entities. Doing this has provided a good platform for relatively smooth implementation of the project activities. The management team further organized coordination and capacity building events, including training of the MLAWCRR/DSG/ZLC staff and facilitated local and international travels. This contributed to skills and knowledge development in the MLAWCRR, the ZLC and DSG. Such skills and knowledge will be useful for the MLAWCRR/DSG/ZLC to deliver their mandates, after the project has ended.

Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Project and Programme management Coordination


4.2         Policy review and project guidance.

In addition to the administrative and coordination work, project management had the responsibility of carrying out policy reviews and advisory services.  Consultants have played important advisory role, in that area with 6 studies having been carried out. Recommendations from these studies will  be key in reviewing  policies  in the land and agricultural sectors  by government. Apart from managing the project, the project coordinator also contributed as strategy and policy advisor but however faced time constraints to fully engage with this. A review of his time distribution shows that only 5 % his time is available for policy review and advisory work. Most of the time is devoted to management and administrative work i.e. development of annual and quarterly work plans (10 %); coordination of activities (40 %); coordination of Technical and Project Board meetings (5 %) compilation quarterly and annual reports (10 %), meetings with the donor (EU), UNDP officers (10%); review of consultants reports for Outputs and meetings with the consultants (10%) and M&E of the project (10%).

Tag: Human and Financial resources Policies & Procedures Country Government Policy Advisory


4.3         Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Project monitoring was carried out through quarterly and annual reports, project Board meetings, technical committee meetings, spot checks, audit, SESP as well as through the standard UNDP M&E framework e.g. UNDP ATLAS. Discussions with the stakeholders revealed that bilateral meetings between UNDP and the project implementing agents were also held but they were not formally included in the M&E framework. The multiparty stakeholder participation in M&E was effective. Stakeholders particularly appreciated the participation of the UNDP, World Bank and FAO and the active role played by the former project Board Chairperson.

Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management


4.4         Communication and visibility

Project visibility is necessary to keep the stakeholders appraised about the project, including the objectives of the project, activities, stakeholders and beneficiaries. However, the evaluation has noted that no formal communication and visibility strategy was developed for the project. As a result, visibility actions on the ground were not substantive, except the display of UNDP, EU and government logos in the project documents and a reference to the project on the UNDP website http://www.zw.undp.org. However, discussions with MLAWCRR and Project management revealed that the intention of implementing a robust visibility strategy was there but was put on hold after considering the sensitivity nature of the Project. It is nevertheless recommended that the project visibility be enhanced e.g. through development/regular update of a dedicated project website, wider stakeholder project review meetings; publication of the Project’s success stories and media briefings.

Tag: Communication


3.3         Efficiency

The evaluation sought to understand whether the process of achieving the results was efficient; whether the resources were allocated strategically to achieve outcomes; whether the project resources and activities were delivered in a timely manner; whether the results achieved justify the costs incurred; whether the project activities overlapped and duplicated other similar interventions (funded nationally or by other donors); level of collaboration with the UNDP, the EU, FAO, World Bank, farmers, Zimbabwe Government and the Project Board;

Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Procurement Project and Programme management Country Government


Appropriateness of the intervention logic After reviewing the logical framework (LF), work plans and discussing with the stakeholders (UNDP, PMU, MLAWCRR, FAO), the evaluation concluded that the Project intervention logic was well-thought and appropriate. It was developed with issues of Project ownership, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability in mind. The interventions did not come up with  anything new but focused on supporting what the MLAWCRR and DSG had already been doing in line with their mandates e.g. farm valuations, compensation of former commercial farmers, A2 farm surveys, LIMS etc.

Tag: Agriculture Relevance Human and Financial resources Project and Programme management


Appropriateness of the strategy and delivery mechanismThe Project strategy mainly focused on supporting/strengthening the implementing partners (MLAWCRR, DSG and ZLC) to carry out their activities in line with their mandates; the Project did not come with anything new. The UNDP and EU provided the support in the form of project vehicles, fuel, staff DSAs, training, ICT, study tours, policy review, survey equipment etc. The support enabled the implementing partners to carry their activities in a more efficient, effective and sustainable way.

Tag: Relevance Project and Programme management Country Government Capacity Building


Partnerships: The evaluation noted that Government identified the right partners to implement the project, namely UNDP, ValCon, EU, FAO and the World Bank[1]. The UNDP acted as the custodian of the Project and took a leading role in co-financing the Project, coordinating/facilitating Project support, providing technical/managerial backstopping to the PMU, facilitating procurement of resources, facilitating the STE recruitment process as well as developing/implementing the M&E and Project visibility plans.

Tag: Relevance Procurement Country Government Donor International Financial Institutions Coordination


Appropriateness of the Theory of Change

The Theory of Change (ToC) conceptualizes how change can be made to happen and outlines the main elements for that change (UNDG LAC Secretariat/PSG, 2016).  It seeks to identify how people (planners) think and assesses how different factors could interact to make some desired change, considering some underlying assumptions and risks.  The ToC was not stated as the preferred theoretical approach in the project design. However, it was applied during the actual project implementation as evidenced by the clear link shown between project inputs, project activities carried out using the inputs, outputs created by the activities and how the outputs led to the desired outcomes and impact (change). The links and results pathways are illustrated under each Output in section 3.2. (Effectiveness) below.


[1] Besides their key competencies, the partners expressed zeal and determination to have the project succeed.

Tag: Relevance Theory of Change UN Agencies


Going forward, tit is necessary that a sustainable strategy with realistic costs and timeframes be developed to assist the DSG in undertaking the surveys after the end of the project. A few more considerations need to be put in place including the potential role of the beneficiaries in supporting the farm surveys, access to technologies to facilitate the work of farm surveys.


Agreement of the final compensation figures. The relevant entities i.e. MLAWCRR compensation committee, ValCon CSC and the Ad hoc WG can have several meetings within a month and agree on the final figure.


Design a successor project based on a coherent logical framework that is anchored on three pillars namely  strengthening the legal, policy and institutional frameworks for definition; harmonization, promotion and protection of land rights; accountable, participatory and sustainably financed land administration system including compensation; ensuring the land governance system promotes enhanced agricultural production and productivity and other sustainable development goals.


A major breakthrough was made when the MLRR and the former commercial farmers’ representative are able to consult and hold meetings on the development of the compensation mechanism.  The success of this should have positive impacts on the Zimbabwe’s re-engagement processes with the developed countries. The continuous engagement with the former farmers and the private sector should be accelerated and maintained for the achievement of desired results.


The survey of 18,000 units stated in year one was obviously overambitious. The survey of the farms requires resources and is tedious such that it cannot be accomplished in the lifespan of the project. Going forward, tit is necessary that a sustainable strategy with realistic costs and timeframes be developed to assist the DSG in undertaking the surveys after the end of the project. A few more considerations need to be put in place including the potential role of the beneficiaries in supporting the farm surveys, access to technologies to facilitate the work of farm surveys. This is important work that will support the issuance of 99 year lease and the update of the land information system. Although the design of the project with discrete eight outputs then was necessary,  lessons learnt from the implementation of the project in the last few years point to the need for a shift to a systems approach to the support to land governance and land administration in Zimbabwe. However, there is . The successor Project should be based on a coherent logical framework that is anchored on three pillars which are:

Strengthening the legal, policy and institutional frameworks for definition, harmonisation, promotion and protection of land rights;

Accountable, participatory and sustainably financed land administration system including compensation

Ensuring the land governance system promotes enhanced agricultural production and productivity and other sustainable development goals.

The following describes the areas outstanding from the current Project as well as the new ones to be included in the successor Project.


7.1         Agreement on the final compensation figures and modalities of the payments

About 14 % (i.e. 761 farms) of the evaluations had not been done when the evaluation was carried out. MLAWCRR officials expressed confidence that the remaining work will be completed by the project end in December 2018. However, basing on the current evaluation pace (57 farms/month), there is risk that the remaining inventories will not be completed in the remaining 5 months.

Even if, the valuations are completed under this project, determination, negotiation and agreement on the final compensation figure requires some time (about two months) and this is likely to spill-over into 2019.  The following actions are therefore recommended under this output:

  1. Agreement of the final compensation figures. The relevant entities i.e. MLAWCRR compensation committee, ValCon CSC and the Ad hoc WG can have several meetings within a month and agree on the final figure.
  2. Determination of the compensation modalities: After the final compensation figures of each farm are known, Government needs time to communicate with the former commercial farmers. Dialogue forums can be organized to further analyze compensations modalities given in the consultancy report. They include: 
  • Making cash payments to former commercial farmers who are no longer interested in farming, especially the old;
  • Finding alternative land to farmers who are still interested,
  • Providing the farmers peri-urban residential plots and
  • Proving fiscal incentives to farmers interested in in agri-business.  
  1. After about six months, it will be expected that each former commercial farmer would have decided what compensation modality would suit him/her. The will enable government to know the compensation burden according to the various modalities. Within the two months, government would be expected to know what it can fund on its own; the funding gap will also be established.
  2. Government is expected to engage donors and development partners with the view of getting support for the compensation (fundraising).
  3. Actual payment of the farmers will begin

Strengthening and protection of land rights and government structures

  1. The land tenure and systems study has come up with several recommendations on strengthening the land tenure. These should be further analysed, subjected to policy dialogue with the view of coming up with secure tenure systems for the various category of farmer i.e. A2, A1, Old resettlement, communal and irrigation farmers.
  2. Further issues to analyse together with the land tenure are harmonization and alignment of land regulations to the legal and institutional system; definition of land rights and roles of the institutions involved in land administration.
  3. Stakeholders to be included in the dialogue are the government, academia, farmers unions/associations, private sector, bankers, land parliamentary committees, the judiciary, RDS, traditional leaders, the farmers, donors and development partners (FAO, World Bank, IMF etc.).
  4. A key output of the policy dialogue should be draft tenure documents that should be handed to Cabinet for approval.
  5. Another output will be a draft land administrative structure and system.
  6. If agreed by all the stakeholders (including financial institutions) and approved by Government, then a competitive land market is expected to boom.
  7. National awareness campaigns will be held to familiarize the citizenry with the new tenure and administrative systems. Government and farmers unions will lead the awareness campaigns.

Land audit, A2 farm surveys and strengthening of LIMS

  1. The successor project needs to consider combining the processes of land audit and A2 farm surveys; it will be more efficient that way.
  2. A needs-driven approach should be encouraged, where a farmer who needs a secure land tenure document will approach the ZLC for his/her farm unit to be surveyed.
  3. The farmer will need to contribute towards the costs of the survey (level of contribution to be determined). Data of the surveyed farms will be immediately entered into LIMS at the district level.
  4. The data will thus serve the purpose of the land audit.
  5. The farmer will be able to apply for 99-year lease and be registered with the deeds office.
  6. There is need to strengthen the ZLC and MLAWCRR district offices (computers, vehicles, fuel) so that they can be able to do the surveys and enter data into LIMS. If the district systems are strengthened, then the provincial and national systems will build on that.

Strengthening of agricultural support structures

  1. This initiative should be spearheaded by Government agents (e.g. Agritex and marketing bodies) in collaboration with farmers unions and the private sector.
  2. The project needs to help develop the institutional infrastructure that makes the LIMS data accessible to interested actors e.g. farmers unions, financial institutions, agro-processors, market players.
  3. Basing on the LIMS data (land rights, production profile, farming history etc) for example, a financial institution can make its own assessment on whether to support a farmer
  4. Going forward, deliberate considerations need to be made on gender issues in the land sector e.g. access to information, secure land rights particularly for women and youth, addressing land disputes, and support towards access to resources and services for improved production.


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