Mid-term evaluation for the Strengthening the National Protected Areas System of Swaziland

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Swaziland
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
09/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
52,000

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Download document PIMS 4932 UNDP-GEF-MTR-TOR-SNPAS WORD DOC.pdf tor English 424.12 KB Posted 55
Download document PIMS 4932 _ FINAL MIDTERM REVIEW REPORT SNPAS Project December 2018.pdf report English 3633.24 KB Posted 61
Title Mid-term evaluation for the Strengthening the National Protected Areas System of Swaziland
Atlas Project Number: 81957
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Swaziland
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 09/2018
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 $): 52,000
Source of Funding: Project Funded
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 52,000
Joint Programme: Yes
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with Donors
  • Joint with GEF and UNDP
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Strengthening the National Protected Areas System of Swaziland Project (2014-2020) Mid-term Evaluation
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5065
PIMS Number: 4932
Key Stakeholders: Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC).
Countries: SWAZILAND
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Midterm Review recommendation 1.1: Strengthen the indicator/target framework and the refine the articulation of some outcomes and outputs.  

2

Midterm Review recommendation 1.2: Develop an overarching, plan for delivery for the whole project, and for each landscape cluster.

3

Midterm Review recommendation 1.3: Re-direct areas of work that currently do not deliver substantively on the GEF-approved objective or outcomes:

4

Midterm Review recommendation 1.4: Consolidate, replicate and scale up successful pilots (e.g. building the biodiversity knowledge base, development of PA management plans, IAS clearing, wetland protection)

5

Key Recommendation 1.5: Adopt a fresh approach to areas of work in which delivery has been slow (bringing new land under conservation management; strengthening conservation and ecotourism infrastructure, capacity development and CBNRM projects).

6

Midterm Review recommendation 2.1: As a matter of urgency, strengthen strategic and technical leadership function within the project’s organisational structure through appointment of a suitably qualified and experienced, senior Strategic/Technical Co-ordinator or Director

7

Midterm Review Recommendation 2.2: As a matter of priority, strengthen project management capacity and management systems (with special attention to financial management and administration, work planning and M&E).  

8

Midterm Review recommendation 2.3: SNPAS must develop strong, working partnerships for implementation with key agents of change in the conservation community, and provide a more dynamic platform for active collaboration and networking between all stakeholders in ESwatini’s biodiversity and ecotourism sectors.   

9

Midterm Review Key Recommendation 3.2: The project should use participatory methods to develop an ‘absorption’ strategy/sustainability plan, which identifies measures to mitigate risks to sustainability, and ensures that SNPAS is fully integrated into the vision and operational plans of the ENTC and all relevant partner institutions. Communications / Knowledge sharing.

1. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 1.1: Strengthen the indicator/target framework and the refine the articulation of some outcomes and outputs.  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

ENTC agrees with this recommendation and new indicators and targets will be developed and approved in the revised project Log frame, which will reflect a shift in approach from expanding the protected areas network through gazettement, which to date has been fraught with challenges, to activities and targets that will place land under active conservation management and protection in compliance with international criteria. The review indicators and log frame will be submitted to RTA for guidance and approval.  

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 1.2: Develop an overarching, plan for delivery for the whole project, and for each landscape cluster.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

The process to deliver the overarching plan will be facilitated through a process that would be led by ENTC with support from the TA and the UNDP RTA and other project partners. This plan will take into account work already done by the project and nationwide initiatives already in motion including, but not limited to, TFCA and Biosphere Reserves.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 1.3: Re-direct areas of work that currently do not deliver substantively on the GEF-approved objective or outcomes:

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

This recommendation is acknowledged:

 

While the CDPs has provided a framework of engagement with communities, especially in the Ngwempisi cluster, to initiate active conservation of select sites and to enable planning and commitment from chiefdoms for land use planning in the absence of a land policy. The process will now focus on development and management of PAs/sites of high BD value within select communities are areas where CDPs were developed, all these will be done taking into account stakeholder sensitivity and ensure smooth handover of activities to relevant institutions, we propose that this launch be facilitated by the project as the last one in CDP development.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 1.4: Consolidate, replicate and scale up successful pilots (e.g. building the biodiversity knowledge base, development of PA management plans, IAS clearing, wetland protection)

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

Management Responses: The recommendations are acknowledged, and the following actions will be undertaken to respond to these.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Key Recommendation 1.5: Adopt a fresh approach to areas of work in which delivery has been slow (bringing new land under conservation management; strengthening conservation and ecotourism infrastructure, capacity development and CBNRM projects).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

This recommendation is acknowledged. The MTR has provided several forward-looking suggestions for improving the slow delivery and focusing the efforts to effectively achieve the outcomes of the project. Notably, the shift from focusing on the gazettement as per the project focus due to the legal environment barriers as identified in the report is welcome and will allow the project to fast track activities as well as focus on new activities that will ensure biodiversity stewardship.

 

The SNAPS project is catalytic in nature and therefore provides resources and services that can facilitate the convergence and improvements in landscape management in the Country. In this regard, the project will work on convergence with two programmes currently ongoing in the country (TFCA, and the Man and Biosphere), which are all being facilitated under ENTC.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 2.1: As a matter of urgency, strengthen strategic and technical leadership function within the project’s organisational structure through appointment of a suitably qualified and experienced, senior Strategic/Technical Co-ordinator or Director

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

Acknowledged. Proposals to reinforce capacity and bring in new skills sets in line with the needs of Project Recovery, Partnership Strategy and Sustainability Plan (Ref recommendation 1) will be initiated as soon as possible, subject to Board clearance, to facilitate the early engagement of the Senior Technical Advisor with the repositioning of the programme. Senior Technical Advisor will be positioned within ENTC with a direct reporting line to the CEO of ENTC and close working relations to the Director of Parks to reinforce ENTC capacity to guide, manage and provide oversight to the programme.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Midterm Review Recommendation 2.2: As a matter of priority, strengthen project management capacity and management systems (with special attention to financial management and administration, work planning and M&E).  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

Management response:  Recommendations are noted. As a matter of urgency and as recommended by the MTR, support will be sought from the regional service centre for a joint supervision mission to work with the ENTC, PMU and UNDP to resolve identified planning and budgeting issues.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Midterm Review recommendation 2.3: SNPAS must develop strong, working partnerships for implementation with key agents of change in the conservation community, and provide a more dynamic platform for active collaboration and networking between all stakeholders in ESwatini’s biodiversity and ecotourism sectors.   

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

SNPAS had started working on expanding its partner base and in 2017, a number of MOUs were signed with potential partners, however, the recommendations of the MTR to strengthen these, engage on new networks and provide a more dynamic platform for engagement are noted.  ENTC will build on that experience and further expand partnerships guided by the needs of the revised project focus and of new initiatives currently going on in the country in the area of biodiversity and eco-tourism.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Midterm Review Key Recommendation 3.2: The project should use participatory methods to develop an ‘absorption’ strategy/sustainability plan, which identifies measures to mitigate risks to sustainability, and ensures that SNPAS is fully integrated into the vision and operational plans of the ENTC and all relevant partner institutions. Communications / Knowledge sharing.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/07]

ENTC explicitly included the SNPAS related activities and team in their new ENTC Organisational Structure following their Strategic Planning exercise 2017. The PMU has been integrated in the ENTC standing meetings and activities. Additional focus will be given to the full integration of the activities of SNPAS into the ENTC activities this includes financial sustainability of the project activities beyond the SNPAS project cycle and how these activities can be included into the ongoing ENTC work. Branding of the PMU will receive additional attention, to ensure positioning of the PMU as a ENTC unit, not as a UNDP unit. 

Key Actions:

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