Clearing for Result III: Mine Action for Human Development (mid-term)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2018, Cambodia
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
02/2018
Completion Date:
02/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document MAfHD_MTR_TOR_International consultant.pdf tor English 2966.20 KB Posted 1176
Download document MAfHD_MTR_Final Report_20180205.pdf report English 1320.83 KB Posted 1615
Title Clearing for Result III: Mine Action for Human Development (mid-term)
Atlas Project Number: 00090541
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2018, Cambodia
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2018
Planned End Date: 02/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1. National and sub-national systems and institutions enabled to achieve structural transformation of productive capacities that are sustainable and employment - and livelihoods- intensive
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG Target
  • 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 21,814
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Denika Balcklock Evaluation Team Leader
Chey Tech National Evaluation Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: CAMBODIA
Lessons
1.

One of the challenges faced by the project was the shortfall in anticipated funds, as the project was designed and budgeted with the expectation that the RGC would commit to cost-sharing or co-financing some of the activities. However, the project document was signed before any commitments were agreed to, and it was difficult and finally impossible to get the Ministry of Economy and Finance to agree to cost-sharing in any form. The project has managed to undertake budget revisions to cover the short-falls to a large extent, but there will still be a gap in financing by the end of the project in 2019. Thus, one of the most important management lessons to take away from this project is that cost-sharing or co-financing arrangements with government should be agreed – in writing – prior to the signing of a project document. Moreover, it would be valuable to explore different modes of government cost-sharing, such as ‘in-kind’ contributions like the communications and basic office administration costs incurred through the implementation of project activities. An impact of the lack of formal cost-sharing, co-financing or ‘in-kind’ contributions is the fact that many CMAA staff view the products or mechanisms developed via CfRIII activities to be a ‘UNDP thing.’ The project team and CMAA senior management need to put concerted effort into ensuring CMAA takes full ownership of the project and its results, regardless of financing issues, for the long-term impact of the change effected by the project to eventuate.


2.

Another issue which was raised, particularly at the sub-national level, was the question of monetary compensation for implementing project activities. There would appear to be a fairly consistent misunderstanding – at the national level as well, but to a lesser degree – that the project is a UNDP project, rather than a government project. In fact, the project is implemented within the government workplan, consistent with UNDP’s National Implementation Modality (NIM), so any activities carried out by government employees (or contractors, as is the case in many instances within CMAA), are not stand-along project activities. The consultants routinely heard that staff implement this project ‘without compensation.’ It is therefore important for CMAA and UNDP to ensure that all staff (CMAA and MAPUs) understand that CfRIII is a government project, with technical and financial support from UNDP, to dispel misconceptions of ‘extra work’ or the need for ‘compensation.’


3.

From a technical perspective, there was one theme that was raised a number of times in terms of training. National and sub-national officials routinely noted the need for extra training due to the rotation of staff or the fact that training was not attended by the most appropriate individual (for example, MAPU staff would attend trainings in Phnom Penh, but because they were not the most appropriate staff member for such training, they did not have the capacity to transfer knowledge to other MAPU staff upon their return to their office). As a result, much of the knowledge that is imparted to training participants is lost – either due to a change in staff or an inability to apply the knowledge used. This is a classic example of capacity building activities focusing too heavily on the individual rather than on the institution or system, where enhanced capacities or tools are more sustainable in the longer term. The next phase of the project should be able to rectify this through the development of a Capacity Development Plan (through the CDNA process), but this is an important lesson to take away for CMAA as it anticipates working closely with ARMAC in the future for improved South-South Cooperation.


4.

Finally, this project is in its third phase, and with demining planned for completion by 2025, UNDP needs an exit strategy from the sector. In particular, UNDP (and its partners) need to assess how to transition away from a purely capacity development and demining approach to the sector, to focus more concretely on supporting the RGC to link the results of demining (land release) to more concerted poverty reduction and community development efforts, in particular supporting provincial and district governments to diversify local economies to support more robust community development and sustainable poverty reduction, in line with the SDG tag line ‘leave no one behind.’


Findings
1.

As the project proceeds through its third phase, the objectives and outputs continue to be highly relevant to the mine action sector - CfRIII’s approach to helping CMAA transition from a purely humanitarian objective to a more sustainable development-oriented focus is timely and valued.


Tag: Humanitarian Crisis Mine Action Relevance Agenda 2030

2.

In particular, CfRIII’s mandate to link mine action with human development is helping to broaden the lens of community needs beyond ‘simple’ (for lack of a better term) land release. Its activities to develop a socially and environmentally-sensitive Performance Monitoring System (PMS), in line with recommendations from the CfRII Final Evaluation and the 2016 Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), help to broaden the understanding of what communities need once mines are cleared and land is released. This also links directly with the new National Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025 (NMAS) which mainstreams the need of the government (both national and provincial) to address economic growth and poverty reduction (Goal 5), and to ensure mine action is more gender and environmentally-sensitive through improved information management (Goal 8).


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Relevance Gender transformation Humanitarian development nexus SDG monitoring and reporting

3.

From a project design perspective, the chain of results clearly demonstrates a link between activities, outputs and outcomes. Two issues were identified by the consultants that need to be corrected in order to strengthen the chain of results and ensure evidence-based contributions to the national development strategy and UNDP’s Country Programme. The first is the alignment of the project’s Results and Resources Framework (RRF) with globally accepted terminology, and how the project RRF links to the UNDP Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP). In the first instance, acceptable UNDP terminology is Outcome (which is represented as an Output in the CPAP), Output, Activity and Action. In the current Project Document and RRF, outputs are referred to as Key Deliverables, while the CPAP output (Output 1.5, see below under ‘Results’) has been erroneously used as the project output, when in fact it should be the project outcome. Moreover, this misalignment of the RRF means that results-oriented indicators to monitor progress against the outputs (formerly key deliverables) were missing. The consultants have revised the project RRF in line with global UNDP guidelines, including developing indicators for the revised outputs, and have included those revisions as Annex 2 in this report. The second issue is the placement of activities related to support for CMAA participation in global and regional fora under Output 2 (PMS development). The consultants feel that these activities would better support the achievement of Output 1 (policy and strategy) as CMAA’s international contributions and learning contribute much at the policy level and align with CMAA and CfRIII interest to support ARMAC, also placed under Output 1. This has been detailed in the revised RRF, for approval by the Project Board at its next meeting.


Tag: Relevance Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

4.

To date, CfRIII’s capacity building support to CMAA and Provincial Mine Action Units (MAPU) has been essential to the smooth implementation of CMAA’s mandate. However, as the mine action sector transitions from a humanitarian to development approach, a new capacity building strategy is also necessary, to address sustainability of systems and the transition of knowledge to other sectors to manage residual mine issues beyond 2025. More on this is detailed in the section on effectiveness below, with a specific recommendation for CfRIII to take action.


Tag: Mine Action Relevance Implementation Modality Humanitarian development nexus Capacity Building

5.

Linked to this is the urgent need to make the Technical Working Group – Mine Action (TWG-MA) itself ‘relevant’ again, so that CMAA can have a formal and robust mechanism at hand to coordinate and champion the mine action sector as the development environment changes. The TWG-MA has functioned previously but fell into disuse during times of fluctuating CMAA leadership in 2016 and 2017. Development partners are keen to see it revamped and become the key tool for sector coordination, lead by CMAA. Recommendations on how this can move forward are outlined below.


Tag: Mine Action Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs Coordination

6.

Significant progress has been made against the project outputs (formerly ‘key deliverables’), measured against proxy indicators developed by the consultants at the beginning of this mid-term review. Although specific progress against the outputs is detailed in the ‘Results’ section below, the consultants have concluded the project is very likely to achieved 90% of its targets by the end of 2019. This is in spite of the fact that the project experienced a number of implementation delays, particularly in relation to Output 3, in 2017. Moreover, the full project team was not in place until early 2017. Many stakeholders noted that the addition of the Mine Action Specialist and the M&E Specialist were significant in terms of achieving key milestones – specifically the approval of the NMAS and development of the PMS to a level where piloting of the new tool can now take place.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality UNDP Management UNDP management

7.

The challenges faced in delivering on Output 3 on land release are not a result of poor project management, but link directly to leadership within CMAA itself. This is beyond the control of the project to manage. Such issues are encountered from time to time in development projects and are a lesson in the need for good risk management. A number of stakeholders noted that the delivery of activities and progress against the annual target for Output 3 despite the need to undertake the bidding process for a clearance contract three times can be linked back to the robust procurement and management systems in place within CMAA, as supported by CfR/UNDP and other partners over the years, the integrity of the CMAA technical staff and essential support provided by the CfRIII project team. The government’s decision in early 2018 to change the leadership of CMAA is welcomed by the consultants (and others) as essential for the continued, and perhaps expedited, implementation of CfRIII activities over the next two years to meet the project targets and implement the recommendations of this review.


Tag: Challenges Anti-corruption Procurement Project and Programme management Risk Management Country Government

8.

This leads directly to an assessment of the factors which have had the most influence on implementation. While a strong project management team has been critical to progress through 2017, other factors which have played an important role seeing the project through a relatively tough first half of Phase 3 is the long-standing relationship between UNDP and CMAA through the first two phases of the project and the technical and financial support that has already been provided, as well as the excellent cooperation between UNDP, DFAT and SDC to leverage political and diplomatic pressure to resolve procurement issues which were outside of the capacity of the project management team to resolve on their own. This underscore the importance of the necessity of having true development partnerships, not simply donor-project relationships, to overcome major road blocks to implementation.


Tag: Effectiveness Partnership Procurement Project and Programme management Bilateral partners Country Government Donor UNDP Management UNDP management

9.

One area where CfRIII has the opportunity to improve effectiveness is in capacity development. During the interview process, stakeholders routinely noted the need for additional or refresher training, as often times the individuals who had been trained by the project (and other partners, for that matter) had either been reassigned to other departments or ministries, or had attended a particular training on behalf of another colleague who was unavailable on a specific date to attend training, and therefore was not in a position to transfer knowledge gained to other colleagues. In many cases, knowledge gained through the training of individuals is being drained out of CMAA and MAPUs alarmingly quick. It was also noted that in cases where particular individuals may be absent from the office due to business trips, illness or annual leave, the work flow would come to a stop as there would is no back up plan for processes like approval of documents or payments, etc. These are classic examples of a capacity building approach which targets the individual instead of taking a more wholistic view of the organization or institution. A more sustainable approach to capacity development, as implemented by UNDP globally, is to focus on the enabling environment and institution as well as the individual. With a focus on policies, regulations, systems and other mechanisms, capacity building does not need to begin at square one each time a new staff member comes on board, and work does not come to a standstill when decision makers are absent.


Tag: Challenges Knowledge management Sustainability Country Government Capacity Building

10.

CfRIII also needs to improve its effectiveness by developing and implementing a more targeted partnership strategy. At this point, despite intentions outlined in the project document, the project has no formal strategy for cooperation and communication with partners or potential partners in the sector, to leverage other organizations’ expertise and resources to ensure project activities are more efficient and results have a greater long-term impact. The development of such a strategy is detailed in the recommendations section below.


Tag: Effectiveness Communication Harmonization Partnership Strategic Positioning Sustainability

11.

With the approval of NMAS 2018-2025, and CfRIII’s significant contribution to this milestone with technical, financial and advocacy support, CMAA is well placed to formally transition from a humanitarian-approach to development approach in mine action. Of note is CfRIII’s contribution to ensuring that the NMAS aligned with the Maputo +15 Declaration, to ensure that Cambodia meets its global demining commitments. While the end of project target of having a new NMAS in place has been achieved, the target for NMAS Phase I implementation will rely heavily on CfRIII’s continued technical and advisory support and will benefit substantially from the implementation of a CDNA and development of a CDP in order for the objectives outlines in the NMAS to have sustainable impact.


Tag: Mine Action Relevance Humanitarian development nexus Advocacy Technical Support

12.

Significant progress has been made on the PMS in the past 12 months, and the draft indicators for the PMS outcomes and outputs have been reviewed by the consultants. In order to ensure that the PMS can be used as a tool to address a number of recommendations outlined in the CfRII Final Evaluation, the ESIA and the Independent Sector Review 2016, the consultants worked with the project team to mainstream gender and social aspects into the indicators to improve possibilities for data collection that demonstrates the real poverty reduction challenges in communities after land release, to better link the PMS data analysis to community development planning in the future. As neither of the consultants are environmental impact experts, it is recommended that CfRIII draw on UNDP’s in-house expertise to integrate environment indicators into the PMS outcomes as recommended by the ESIA.


Tag: Gender Equality Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Poverty Reduction Data and Statistics

13.

One of the biggest results of CfRIII activities so far has been the decision to employ the use of both technical and non-technical surveys in land release activities. Not only has this improved the efficiency in terms of over project costs $/m2 released, it has resulted in the project being able to nearly double its target of the area of land to be released. The original target of 27km2 was set based on the results of previous phases of the project employing a singular methodology. With the use of non-technical surveys, the project has increased its target area to 50km2, with approximately 30km2 to be released through clearance and 20km2 to be released through non-technical survey. Data on how the land already cleared is being used by communities was not available from the communes at the time of the review, however, interviews and village meetings suggest that the majority of land cleared so far (under this phase of the project) is used for agricultural purposes, with some community infrastructure as well. Most residential land was cleared under previous phases of the project.


Tag: Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Implementation Modality Agenda 2030

14.

The project should also be noted for its introduction of the ‘Safe Village’ strategy, the piloting of which will take place in all three provinces in 2018. As noted above, with the transition from a humanitarian to development phase in the MA sector, most of the areas of high humanitarian impact have been cleared. The ‘Safe Village’ strategy advocates for clearing an entire village of mines, which means that full-scale community development can take place once the area is declared impact-free. This approach has received many accolades at the provincial and district level, with officials (and villagers) noting that such a strategy would improve the efficiency in development planning and, more importantly, provide communities with peace of mind. It was also noted that this would lower the costs of development programmes as donors would no longer need to budget for clearance activities. It was suggested that alongside CMAA instituting a ‘Safe Village’ policy and implementing regulations, which would find champions in PMAC in each province, CMAA should also develop a ‘certification’ process so that once villages are declared ‘safe’ that data can be entered into a central database which various departments can refer to during their planning processes. See below for further details on a recommendation to move this forward.


Tag: Mine Action Efficiency Local Governance Implementation Modality Strategic Positioning Humanitarian development nexus

15.

The project has contributed substantially to putting in place processes and mechanisms that measure and facilitate the development impact of mine action. Specifically, by ensuring that NMAS 2018-2025 prioritized linking mine action to poverty reduction and facilitating progress towards more gender and environmentally-sensitive mine clearance, CfRIII has helped to lay the ground for more target community development in villages which are free of the impact of mines. More importantly, but working together with CMAA to develop the PMS, CMAA (and the wider government) will have a tool which looks not only at the immediate impact of mine clearance in villages (safety and land use) but also links future ‘safe villages’ to improved poverty reduction and community development programming.


Tag: Mine Action Gender transformation Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation Poverty Reduction

16.

Wider South-South Cooperation. A broader theme of this project is to facilitate CMAA’s participation in global and regional fora to ensure that the expertise and knowledge developed through 25 years of mine action in Cambodia benefits other conflict affected countries in the region and globally. More work needs to be undertaken to utilise the location of ARMAC in Phnom Penh to turn CMAA and its partners into a ‘centre of excellence’ for knowledge sharing, technical assistance and leadership in mine action. Recommendations on first steps towards a formal partnership are detailed below.


Tag: Mine Action Knowledge management Partnership Bilateral partners Country Government South-South Cooperation Technical Support

17.

It was noted by a number of stakeholders at the provincial level, including CMAC, that CfRIII is one of the most efficient projects in terms of demining, getting the best value for money in terms of $/m2. This is largely due to the fact that operators do not charge CfRIII for the cost of new equipment, keeping costs to, on average, less than $0.20/m2, despite larger project management overheads incurred by donors channelling funds through UNDP rather than directly through an operator. With the inclusion of non-technical surveys, this will increase the overall cost-efficiency of land release and will be complemented by decrease operational and transport costs if/when the ‘Safe Village’ strategy is rolled out to a larger number of communities.


Tag: Mine Action Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Donor

18.

The results of the project to date are very likely to be sustainable considering that they have focused on policy and strategy development (NMAS, ‘Safe Village’), and mainstreaming tools and new practices (PMS) into the day-to-day work of CMAA. However, strategies and tools only go so far, and must be both owned and implemented by CMAA to effect any change. The recommendations laid out below should be considered essential to ensuring that the project’s results are sustainable in the medium term and have the potential for longer-term impact on poverty reduction in mine-affected communities.


Tag: Mine Action Sustainability Ownership Country Government Policy Advisory

19.

As noted throughout this report, the change effected by the project has focused on laying the groundwork for a more cost-efficient mine action sector, and mainstreaming gender and poverty reduction themes into the sector through a more robust PMS and the piloting of the ‘Safe Village’ strategy. Until these tools and strategies have been tested and their results reviewed, the longer-term impact of the project’s move to focus on mine action for human development is difficult to assess. However, when assessing the short-term impact of the project, it’s contribution to setting the stage for more development-oriented policies and strategies in the sector has been essential and has helped to tip the balance of mine action in Cambodia away from a focus on short-term clearance results to longer-term sustainable development objectives.


Tag: Mine Action Efficiency Gender Mainstreaming Poverty Reduction

Recommendations
1
  1. The project should lead a Capacity Development Needs Assessment (CDNA) of CMAA and MAPUs (as well as related agencies anticipated to pick up residual MA work after 2025) using UNDP’s global Capacity Development Framework.  This would address a number of issues. First, it would solve the problem of current capacity building activities being too focused on the individual, creating gaps in capacity and workflow as government staff are routinely reassigned to new duties, departments or ministries. Secondly, it would address coordination of capacity building activities amongst partners in the sector, with a Capacity Development Plan serving as the main coordination tool for such activities. Finally, it would address capacity building issues for CMAA, MAPUs and other sectors as noted in the NMAS 2018-2025. Moreover, the last full assessment of CMAA was undertaken in 2014 and as such, the institution is well over-due for a follow-up.
2

2. CMAA, with CfRIII support, should develop a ‘Safe Village’ policy and necessary implementing regulations to scale-up the ‘Safe Village’ strategy being piloted by CfRIII in three provinces. As noted above in the findings section, the ‘Safe Village’ strategy has found much favour at the sub-national level and provincial leaders are keen to champion such an approach, as it will allow more comprehensive development planning to take place, and thereby reduce the costs for both government and donors in project implementation. It was noted that guidelines on what constitutes ‘safe’ would be needed (for example, shallow clearance, deep clearance and under water clearance), and a formal certification process to declare a village ‘safe’ be developed. The policy and implementing regulations should tangibly link land release with community development, encouraging donors to plan for activities in ‘Safe Villages’, most appropriately through the TWG-Mine Action (see below). The new PMS will be an excellent tool to support these links, as the data being collected will be more socially and environmentally-conscientious, and demonstrate a commitment to community needs and well-being, rather than simply a focus on the total area of land released.

3

3.  CMAA should prioritize the activities of the TWG-Mine Action to improve development effectiveness in the mine action sector. Using the NMAS 2018-2025, the proposed Capacity Development Plan and data collected through a more robust PMS, CMAA will have the tools it needs to effectively coordinate actors and activities in the sector, improve development effectiveness, and advocate for more, or at the least more strategic, resources for mine action and resulting community development needs. Engaging an advocacy and communications specialist to support the development of a workplan in this regard would be a worthwhile investment. CMAA should also explore options of setting up a Mine Action Trust Fund to pool financing for the sector to improve coordination, transparency and efficiency in land release, particularly as funding for the sector decreases. Such a fund would be administered through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the support of a Secretariat of seconded CMAA staff.

4

The project should develop a formal partnership strategy to improve efficiency in capacity development within the mine action sector and within CMAA specifically. The results of the CDNA and development of a Capacity Development Plan can serve as the basis for this, and should be guided by the coordination efforts of the TWG-Mine Action so as not to undermine their leadership in coordinating the sector.

5

5.  CfRIII, together with CMAA, needs to develop an action plan to support the work of ARMAC, which would leverage CMAA and other local stakeholders’ knowledge and experience to make ARMAC a centre of excellence, and facilitate Cambodia as a leading contributor to South-South Cooperation in the Mine Action Sector. Some initial ideas include surveying sector counterparts in the Southeast Asia region to identify particular needs or knowledge gaps, and designing training programmes or similar to which CMAA could lend its particular knowledge and expertise as trainers or facilitators.

6

6.  The issues related to the inconsistent information on the Planning and Prioritization (P&P) process in Battambang province.  It is recommended that CMAA undertake spot checks of the planning process to investigate what is actually happening on the ground, and who is participating in the process. The overall impression of the consultants was that irregularities in the P&P process were not related to capacity or knowledge gaps, but rather to attitudes within the MAPU office. While recommending staffing changes are not within the scope of this MTR, the consultants propose peer-to-peer learning, potentially seconding the Chief of MAPU from Banteay Meanchey for three to six months, to problem solve within the unit, and get the P&P process back on track.

7

7.  The consultants were privy to a number of comments suggesting an over-familiarity between operators and the Quality Monitoring teams which oversee their work. While there was no suggestion of wrong-doing, such as inaccurate reporting of non-compliance issues, it is important that Quality Monitoring teams retain a certain degree of impartiality towards operator activities. Moreover, ensuring that operators are abiding by mine action safety standards is of increasing importance as climate change impacts (such as flooding and landslides) can shift mines around and Quality Monitoring teams need to ensure that operators are taking these risks into account. This is particularly important in the case of CfRIII, in which the Quality Monitoring teams financially supported by the project oversee the operators undertaking land release activities funded by the project. It was recommended by another stakeholder that CMAA should institute a policy whereby Quality Monitoring teams are rotated between provinces (all teams, not just those financially supported by the project) on a regular basis to reinforce the integrity of their work. The MTR consultants fully agree with this recommendation.

8

8.  The MTR consultants, both results-based management specialists, noted that support for CMAA senior management to participant in international forums and meetings has been budgeted under output 2 of the project (support to monitoring and data collection). We were unclear as to the rationale for the placement of this activity under this output. However, with the implementation of the NMAS 2018-2025, and the recommendation for CfRIII to place some priority on developing a relationship with ARMAC to facilitate CMAA’s South-South Cooperation as part of NMAS, the consultants recommend that all activities related to CMAA participation in international fora be transitioned to output 1 of the project (policy and strategy), so that the results of such activities can make a strategic contribution to the achievement of this output and to the intended outcome of the project.

1. Recommendation:
  1. The project should lead a Capacity Development Needs Assessment (CDNA) of CMAA and MAPUs (as well as related agencies anticipated to pick up residual MA work after 2025) using UNDP’s global Capacity Development Framework.  This would address a number of issues. First, it would solve the problem of current capacity building activities being too focused on the individual, creating gaps in capacity and workflow as government staff are routinely reassigned to new duties, departments or ministries. Secondly, it would address coordination of capacity building activities amongst partners in the sector, with a Capacity Development Plan serving as the main coordination tool for such activities. Finally, it would address capacity building issues for CMAA, MAPUs and other sectors as noted in the NMAS 2018-2025. Moreover, the last full assessment of CMAA was undertaken in 2014 and as such, the institution is well over-due for a follow-up.
Management Response: [Added: 2018/03/01] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Engage external consultants to conduct the Capacity Development Needs Assessment and develop the capacity develop plan.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2020/08/09]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2020/02 No Longer Applicable [Justification: CfR III project is closed, the recommendation is taken up by the follow up phase of the project with the same national partner, CMAA. ]
History
2. Recommendation:

2. CMAA, with CfRIII support, should develop a ‘Safe Village’ policy and necessary implementing regulations to scale-up the ‘Safe Village’ strategy being piloted by CfRIII in three provinces. As noted above in the findings section, the ‘Safe Village’ strategy has found much favour at the sub-national level and provincial leaders are keen to champion such an approach, as it will allow more comprehensive development planning to take place, and thereby reduce the costs for both government and donors in project implementation. It was noted that guidelines on what constitutes ‘safe’ would be needed (for example, shallow clearance, deep clearance and under water clearance), and a formal certification process to declare a village ‘safe’ be developed. The policy and implementing regulations should tangibly link land release with community development, encouraging donors to plan for activities in ‘Safe Villages’, most appropriately through the TWG-Mine Action (see below). The new PMS will be an excellent tool to support these links, as the data being collected will be more socially and environmentally-conscientious, and demonstrate a commitment to community needs and well-being, rather than simply a focus on the total area of land released.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/03/01] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

The current CfRIII approach is to achieve impact-free, and not mine free, in target villages. In this case, the term “safe village” will refer to impact-free village.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Develop and implement the impact free village policy. - Modify planning and prioritisation (P&P) guidelines to implement the impact-fee village concept.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2020/08/09]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2020/02 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The recommendation is taken up by the follow up phase of the project, with the same national partner, CMAA. ]
History
3. Recommendation:

3.  CMAA should prioritize the activities of the TWG-Mine Action to improve development effectiveness in the mine action sector. Using the NMAS 2018-2025, the proposed Capacity Development Plan and data collected through a more robust PMS, CMAA will have the tools it needs to effectively coordinate actors and activities in the sector, improve development effectiveness, and advocate for more, or at the least more strategic, resources for mine action and resulting community development needs. Engaging an advocacy and communications specialist to support the development of a workplan in this regard would be a worthwhile investment. CMAA should also explore options of setting up a Mine Action Trust Fund to pool financing for the sector to improve coordination, transparency and efficiency in land release, particularly as funding for the sector decreases. Such a fund would be administered through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the support of a Secretariat of seconded CMAA staff.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/03/01] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

To ensure better coordination of the MA sector, CMAA will revise the Term of reference (ToR) and membership of the TWG-MA, and regularly hold the meetings of this group.

Establishment of MA Trust Fund is an interesting concept, CMAA will explore an interest from stakeholders on building this Fund.

A communications volunteer has already joined the project team.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review the TOR and membership of the TWG-MA.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2018/10 Completed TOR of TWG-MA was developed. History
Convene TWG-MA meetings twice per year as stated in the NMAS 2018-2025.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2019/03/07]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2019/01 Completed TOR of TWG-MA was developed. The TWG-MA met on 29 March 2018. The TWG-MA met only once in 2018. MoEF raised the idea of forming a Trust Fund for mine action at the TWG-MA. Yet, no interest from stakeholders observed. History
Explore interest of stakeholders on establishment of the Trust Fund.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2018/10 Completed MoEF raised the idea of forming a Trust Fund for mine action at the TWG-MA. Yet, no interest from stakeholders observed History
4. Recommendation:

The project should develop a formal partnership strategy to improve efficiency in capacity development within the mine action sector and within CMAA specifically. The results of the CDNA and development of a Capacity Development Plan can serve as the basis for this, and should be guided by the coordination efforts of the TWG-Mine Action so as not to undermine their leadership in coordinating the sector.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/03/01] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

 

The current mine action coordination mechanism at sub-national level, the MAPU, is where the MA uses to exchange information about contamination and released land and the development opportunity. This mechanism allows MA to leverage resources made available by others within and outside of the sector to maximize the benefit of the mine/ERW affected communities.

 

To systematically guide this effort, CMAA will develop a partnership strategy referring to the capacity development plan and the guidance from the TWG-MA (as it is also part of the partnership strategy).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop the partnership strategy
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2020/08/09]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team and communication volunteer. 2020/03 Completed Partnership strategy is integrated in the new follow up phase of the project with the same national partners, CMAA. History
5. Recommendation:

5.  CfRIII, together with CMAA, needs to develop an action plan to support the work of ARMAC, which would leverage CMAA and other local stakeholders’ knowledge and experience to make ARMAC a centre of excellence, and facilitate Cambodia as a leading contributor to South-South Cooperation in the Mine Action Sector. Some initial ideas include surveying sector counterparts in the Southeast Asia region to identify particular needs or knowledge gaps, and designing training programmes or similar to which CMAA could lend its particular knowledge and expertise as trainers or facilitators.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/03/01] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

Action plan to support and engage with ARMAC is included in the CfRIII 2018 work plan. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Upon approval by all ASEAN member states, the CMAA and CfRIII will provide technical advisory support to ARMAC in areas agreed upon with ARMAC.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2019/03/28]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2019/03 Completed A memorandum of understanding between CMAA and ARMAC was signed on 18 November 2018. The MOU outlines potential areas of cooperation and assistance for both organisations. CfRIII assisted CMAA in reviewing the MOU. History
Provide ARMAC with networking opportunities. This also includes support to south-south cooperation initiatives of the project.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2019/03/28]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2019/03 Completed CfR supported the ARMAC Regional Workshop in November 2018 that brought together various regional organisations, therefore allowing networks to be established. Also in November, CfR ensured that ARMAC was introduced to various mine action stakeholders at the Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. History
6. Recommendation:

6.  The issues related to the inconsistent information on the Planning and Prioritization (P&P) process in Battambang province.  It is recommended that CMAA undertake spot checks of the planning process to investigate what is actually happening on the ground, and who is participating in the process. The overall impression of the consultants was that irregularities in the P&P process were not related to capacity or knowledge gaps, but rather to attitudes within the MAPU office. While recommending staffing changes are not within the scope of this MTR, the consultants propose peer-to-peer learning, potentially seconding the Chief of MAPU from Banteay Meanchey for three to six months, to problem solve within the unit, and get the P&P process back on track.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/03/01] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

The revised P&P guideline specifies how villages are prioritized for annual mine clearance plan. CMAA will ensure a consistent application of the P&P guidelines.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CMAA to conduct a spot check to MAPU in Battambang province to monitor their performance on selection of prioritized villages for annual mine clearance plan.
[Added: 2018/04/05]
CMAA 2018/03 Completed Soon after the MTR report, a spot check to MAPU in BTB was conducted by CMAA. The chief of MAPU in BTB committed to improve their performance, and the chief of PMAC will review the MAPU chief’s performance over the next three months.
7. Recommendation:

7.  The consultants were privy to a number of comments suggesting an over-familiarity between operators and the Quality Monitoring teams which oversee their work. While there was no suggestion of wrong-doing, such as inaccurate reporting of non-compliance issues, it is important that Quality Monitoring teams retain a certain degree of impartiality towards operator activities. Moreover, ensuring that operators are abiding by mine action safety standards is of increasing importance as climate change impacts (such as flooding and landslides) can shift mines around and Quality Monitoring teams need to ensure that operators are taking these risks into account. This is particularly important in the case of CfRIII, in which the Quality Monitoring teams financially supported by the project oversee the operators undertaking land release activities funded by the project. It was recommended by another stakeholder that CMAA should institute a policy whereby Quality Monitoring teams are rotated between provinces (all teams, not just those financially supported by the project) on a regular basis to reinforce the integrity of their work. The MTR consultants fully agree with this recommendation.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR’s recommendation.

However, it is to acknowledge that because of the years-long working experience of the QM team and operator staff, it is very much likely that those people happened to know each other, though a QM team rotation is applied.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise internal CMAA/QM team regulation and include a requirement of team rotation.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2018/08/09]
CMAA 2018/06 Completed CMAA revised its QM team internal regulation and include the requirement of team rotation to strengthen the monitoring quality of the team. History
8. Recommendation:

8.  The MTR consultants, both results-based management specialists, noted that support for CMAA senior management to participant in international forums and meetings has been budgeted under output 2 of the project (support to monitoring and data collection). We were unclear as to the rationale for the placement of this activity under this output. However, with the implementation of the NMAS 2018-2025, and the recommendation for CfRIII to place some priority on developing a relationship with ARMAC to facilitate CMAA’s South-South Cooperation as part of NMAS, the consultants recommend that all activities related to CMAA participation in international fora be transitioned to output 1 of the project (policy and strategy), so that the results of such activities can make a strategic contribution to the achievement of this output and to the intended outcome of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2020/12/02]

The Project agrees with the MTR recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Move the budget line under KD2 to KD1 and seek approval from the Project Board for this revision.
[Added: 2018/04/05] [Last Updated: 2018/08/09]
CMAA with support from CfRIII team 2018/04 Completed Budget revised and approved by Project Board History

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org