Mid-Term Review of Supporting Green Urban Development in Small and Medium-Sized Cities in Belarus

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Belarus
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
04/2019
Completion Date:
05/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document Tor_MTR-International_Consultant_Green_Cities_Consultant.docx tor English 106.08 KB Posted 196
Download document TOR Mid Term Evaluation National_Concultant_Green_Cities_Project.docx tor English 98.38 KB Posted 60
Download document Belarus Green Cities MTR Report - April 26 2019.pdf report English 1584.54 KB Posted 121
Title Mid-Term Review of Supporting Green Urban Development in Small and Medium-Sized Cities in Belarus
Atlas Project Number: 00081828
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Belarus
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2019
Planned End Date: 04/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.5.1 Solutions developed, financed and applied at scale for energy efficiency and transformation to clean energy and zero-carbon development, for poverty eradication and structural transformation
SDG Goal
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
SDG Target
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,290
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Viktoryia Kalosha Partner at Imacon vika@gotin.org
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Green Cities
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 5372
PIMS Number: 4981
Key Stakeholders: Line Ministries; Implementing Partners; CSOs, private sector.
Countries: BELARUS, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Shift from output-oriented approach (e.g. reports, plans, conferences) of the project's first phase to full focus on long-lasting, sustainable, and impactful results.

2

Apply for the extension of up to 18 months, contingent on plan/ reallocation of budget so it is available over extended period to focus on the achievement of aforementioned long-lasting and impactful results.

3

Pursue a set of meaningful national-level policy achievements (namely, the adoption or revision of national strategies, standards, acts, resolutions, policies, action plans, and/ or regulations to promote GUD, city EE, and SUT). Adopt a new and targeted approach to do so, with face-to-face one-on-one “briefings” of officials as centerpiece.

4

Adopt new and targeted approach to influence the city planning process. Engage BelNIIP, and potentially other state and private sector urban planners (e.g. MinskGrado, Level80, etc.), in one-on-one meetings with project experts and in planning process/ policy related assignment, if possible. Bring the “clients” (MoAC and city executive committees) into the process once progress is made with the planners.

5

Building on recently launched financing support work, put substantial focus on assisting cities to prepare and secure financing for specific priority projects in the plans that have been prepared.

6

Revise approach for Polotsk/Novopolotsk demos building on recent, post-MTR mission progress in Polotsk: (i) reconsider selection of key measures, with emphasis on achieving long-term GHG ERs and making sure that the project targets, including direct ERs of 91,100 tonnes of CO2e, are met; (ii) engage city executives and coordinating committees frequently with project experts so they understand demo goals, budget, and efficacy of various options; (iii) convince cities to adopt low-cost, high efficacy measures as part of demo “package.” (See 9iii.)

7

Before moving forward with smart meter demo, clearly identify and confirm specific means and amount of energy savings and GHG ERs (current preliminary estimate is just 252 tons CO2 direct ERs). Adjust demo plans accordingly to maximize savings and GHG ERs. Clarify to all involved.

8

Develop clear means of communicating main aim of the project (e.g. “to incorporate environmental sustainability and people-centeredness in city planning and ensure priority projects are implemented”) and ensure all stakeholders understand from the start. Eliminate confusion that “green planning” is just about “green areas” or that project is just very generally addressing the SDGs.

9

Increase focus of city official mindset change work, ensuring they understand: (i) why they need a plan rather than just measures; (ii) goals of measures; (iii) how low cost measures, such as those in transport can save money and be more effective than new infrastructure; (iv) how GUD and SUMPs should be promoted as TORs for Master Plan and its Transport Annex. Further leverage President’s Academy of Public Administration and leverage official government site visits for heads of regions, districts, and cities.

10

Engage city residents (and, possibly, other non-governmental and commercial stakeholders) in the planning process. Educate them as in item above. Work to achieve simple language in visions/plans that residents can understand. Ensure plans reflect their priorities.

11

Consider expanding engagement to other key groups: (i) involving private sector designers and students via competition for design of urban blocks/pilot projects; (ii) working with education sector to incorporate GUD in official university urban design curriculum; (iii) leveraging relationship with select influential think tanks and NGOs to promote policy and process change.

12

Exchange with GEF/WB Global Platform for Sustainable Cities to harmonize indicators and get information on/connections for channels for financing sustainable city initiatives.

13

Building on plans for preparation in 2019 of a video on the street lighting demo, prepare comprehensive video on all demos and other initiatives for which financing is secured. Video should be quite attractive, such as through use of drones. Also, prepare a lessons learned study and short electronic brochures on the demo projects.

1. Recommendation:

Shift from output-oriented approach (e.g. reports, plans, conferences) of the project's first phase to full focus on long-lasting, sustainable, and impactful results.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

During the first half of the project implementation period the project team focused mainly on studies related to identification of the current situation in Belarus, capacity building and preparation of feasibility studies and design documentations required for the respective pilots. During the second half, the project will focus on practical implementation of the pilots to reduce green-house gas emissions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Prepare the respective ADWP focusing mainly on pilots and other actions with concrete results and long-lasting impact
[Added: 2019/09/03]
UNDP and MoEnv 2020/12 Initiated This to be done in consultations with the MoEnv and other national stakeholders
2. Recommendation:

Apply for the extension of up to 18 months, contingent on plan/ reallocation of budget so it is available over extended period to focus on the achievement of aforementioned long-lasting and impactful results.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

A discussion on the project extension and the period of this extension will take place in late 2019.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct consultations with the key stakeholders to justify the need of project extension and the period of this extension.
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2019/12/23]
UNDP MoEnv PIU 2019/11 Completed The issue of the prolongation of the Project has been raised at the Project Board Meeting in September and October 2019. The Project Management Team has been asked to prepare calculations of the project costs for the possible periods of prolongation of the Project: 3, 6 months and 1 year. History
Project Board decision on extension
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2020/02/06]
UNDP MoEnv PIU 2019/12 Completed A decision was made on the Project Board on 12 December 2019 to extend the Project for up to 12 months History
Submit request for extension to UNDP HQ
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2020/02/06]
UNDP MoEnv PIU 2020/04 Initiated The request for extension for the Project will be prepared in the late-March - beginning of April 2020. History
3. Recommendation:

Pursue a set of meaningful national-level policy achievements (namely, the adoption or revision of national strategies, standards, acts, resolutions, policies, action plans, and/ or regulations to promote GUD, city EE, and SUT). Adopt a new and targeted approach to do so, with face-to-face one-on-one “briefings” of officials as centerpiece.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. The project has been doing policy related work from its commissioning. A number of legal and regulatory acts and policies have been updated based on project recommendations. For instance, the project developed green urban development plans for 3 Belarusian cities and a number of urban transportation plans. This work will continue.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue work related to setting the national policies and legislation related to green urban development
[Added: 2019/09/03]
MoEnv PIU UNDP 2020/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Adopt new and targeted approach to influence the city planning process. Engage BelNIIP, and potentially other state and private sector urban planners (e.g. MinskGrado, Level80, etc.), in one-on-one meetings with project experts and in planning process/ policy related assignment, if possible. Bring the “clients” (MoAC and city executive committees) into the process once progress is made with the planners.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. The project has been working on city planning with the relevant central authorities and municipalities. Focused actions should be taken to engage actively in this work the Ministry of Architecture and Construction (MoAC) and its Urban Development Institute (BelNIIP) using different tools and levers.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Arrange one-to-one meetings with the MoAC and BelNIIP
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU UNDP MoEnv 2020/12 Initiated
Discuss with the MoEnv the ways of dealing with MoAC and BelNIIP to involve them in urban development actions
[Added: 2019/09/03]
MoEnv PIU UNDP 2019/09 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Building on recently launched financing support work, put substantial focus on assisting cities to prepare and secure financing for specific priority projects in the plans that have been prepared.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. The project team should intensify its work on helping the target municipalities to find sources of funding for their energy efficiency and transport related projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a short and clear manual on potential funding sources that Belarusian municipalities can tap into to finance their energy efficiency and sustainable transport projects and initiatives.
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU MoEnv municipalities. 2020/12 Initiated Information gathering on available national and foreign funding sources. Working meetings with representatives of banks and companies.
Conduct a row or workshops with municipalities to present the manual and discuss the funding issues
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU MoEnv municipalities 2020/12 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Revise approach for Polotsk/Novopolotsk demos building on recent, post-MTR mission progress in Polotsk: (i) reconsider selection of key measures, with emphasis on achieving long-term GHG ERs and making sure that the project targets, including direct ERs of 91,100 tonnes of CO2e, are met; (ii) engage city executives and coordinating committees frequently with project experts so they understand demo goals, budget, and efficacy of various options; (iii) convince cities to adopt low-cost, high efficacy measures as part of demo “package.” (See 9iii.)

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

The project team should identify the measures brining the most significant GHG reduction results and discuss these measures with the MoEnv and the pilot municipalities. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a list of most effective GHG reduction measures in the transportation sector and discuss those with Polack/Navapolack municipalities.
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2020/02/06]
PIU MoEnv 2019/12 Completed The list of effective GHG reduction measures in the transportation sector was developed and discussed with Polotsk and Novopolotsk municipalities. Based on the table with measures, a list of activities for transport component has been approved at the Project Board on 12 December 2019. History
7. Recommendation:

Before moving forward with smart meter demo, clearly identify and confirm specific means and amount of energy savings and GHG ERs (current preliminary estimate is just 252 tons CO2 direct ERs). Adjust demo plans accordingly to maximize savings and GHG ERs. Clarify to all involved.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. To double check the planned GHG ER figures expected from the smart metering demo. Conduct consultations with specialists and Navahrudak authorities to maximize the HGH ER benefits. Based on the discussion, adjust the demo design, if needed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Check the figures of GHG ER from the smart demo in Navahrudak
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU, Navahrudak minicipality 2019/08 Completed
In case, the GHG ER is not ambitious enough, conduct consultations with the EE specialists, MoEnv and Navahrudak municipality on how to increase the ER
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2019/12/23]
PIU, Navahrudak minicipality 2019/10 Completed According to the estimations of feasibility studies cumulative CO2 emissions reduction for a smart-metering project in Novogrudok – 25,5 tons per year and 255 tons per 10 years (calculations have been made based on the analog European and Russian pilot projects). As the construction work will be completed in 2020, the cumulative CO2 emissions will be estimated based on the results of monitoring. History
Adjust the demo design to maximize the GHG ER from the smart metering demo or propose a substitution.
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2019/12/23]
PIU, Navahrudak municipality 2019/11 Completed Calculations have been made based on similar pilot projects in Europe and Russia. The interest in a smart-metering project is growing from national and regional counterparts. The project has a great capacity for dissemination in other regions of the Republic of Belarus. History
8. Recommendation:

Develop clear means of communicating main aim of the project (e.g. “to incorporate environmental sustainability and people-centeredness in city planning and ensure priority projects are implemented”) and ensure all stakeholders understand from the start. Eliminate confusion that “green planning” is just about “green areas” or that project is just very generally addressing the SDGs.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. The project team to intensify its work with the national stakeholders with respect to raising their awareness on green urban development using plain understandable and clear language. Carefully plan the projects PR  and other informational activities and ensure allocation of sufficient resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Intensify the information campaign and PR work with the national stakeholders to raise their awareness with respect to green urban development.
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2020/02/06]
PIU MoEnv UNDP 2019/12 Completed Stakeholder analysis is made. Communication strategy for 2020 was developed to work widely with international and national stakeholders. History
9. Recommendation:

Increase focus of city official mindset change work, ensuring they understand: (i) why they need a plan rather than just measures; (ii) goals of measures; (iii) how low cost measures, such as those in transport can save money and be more effective than new infrastructure; (iv) how GUD and SUMPs should be promoted as TORs for Master Plan and its Transport Annex. Further leverage President’s Academy of Public Administration and leverage official government site visits for heads of regions, districts, and cities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

gree. The project team to intensify its work with the national stakeholders with respect to raising their awareness on green urban development using plain, understandable and clear language. Carefully plan the projects PR and other informational activities and ensure allocation of sufficient resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Intensify the information campaign and PR work with the national stakeholders to raise their awareness with respect to green urban development. Intensify work with the Belarusian Parliament.
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU MoEnv UNDP 2020/12 Initiated One awareness meeting with Belarusian Parliament was already held in June 2019. The project should consider making it regular.
10. Recommendation:

Engage city residents (and, possibly, other non-governmental and commercial stakeholders) in the planning process. Educate them as in item above. Work to achieve simple language in visions/plans that residents can understand. Ensure plans reflect their priorities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

The project has limited power to engage city residents (and, possibly, other non-governmental and commercial stakeholders) in the national planning process. What can be done is to show the clear benefits of this engagement for the local authorities and the Government. The project will also continue arranging public consultations on strategies and programmatic documents (e.g. green urban development plans or sustainable urban transport plans) developed with project support and to inform about the progress with implementation of demo projects

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue involving public in national urban planning process through consultations on the respective plans and strategies developed with project support.
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU MoEnv UNDP 2020/12 Initiated Public hearings on green urban development plans and SUMP are arranged. Information about the progress with implementation of transport demo is published regularly in local mass-media.
11. Recommendation:

Consider expanding engagement to other key groups: (i) involving private sector designers and students via competition for design of urban blocks/pilot projects; (ii) working with education sector to incorporate GUD in official university urban design curriculum; (iii) leveraging relationship with select influential think tanks and NGOs to promote policy and process change.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Procurement of services is done in accordance with the respective UNDP rules and procedures through an open competitive process. Private companies and entrepreneurs can participate. The project has been working on incorporating green urban development aspects into the curricular of the relevel Belarusian universities, particularly, the Belarusian National Technical University. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue the on-going work to incorporate green urban development aspects into university curricular in Belarus.
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2020/02/06]
PIU MoEnv UNDP 2019/12 Completed Materials of the Project are used in the university curricular at the Belarusian National Technical University (Faculty of Architecture) History
12. Recommendation:

Exchange with GEF/WB Global Platform for Sustainable Cities to harmonize indicators and get information on/connections for channels for financing sustainable city initiatives.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. Work closely with the GEF/WB Global Platform for Sustainable Cities on indicators and potential funded sources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Gather information on Global Platform’s indicators, work to harmonize Belarus GUDP indicators with these, prepare table showing relationship between Global Platform indicators and indicators adopted by Green Cities for GUDP in Belarus.
[Added: 2019/09/03] [Last Updated: 2020/02/06]
PIU 2019/12 Completed The comparison table on Global Platform’s indicators and indicators adopted by Green Cities for GUDP is developed and harmonized. History
Liaise with Global Platform to determine best funding sources for Belarus GUDP projects and compile list of funding sources and contacts. Obtain personal introductions if possible.
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU 2019/08 Completed
Follow up with each of the funding sources recommended by Global Platform contacts, with special attention to those with personal introductions. Introduce to these funding sources the portfolio of initiatives in pilot and other partner cities that the project aims to support in the securing of financing
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Pending the completion of 12.1. Development of the portfolio of initiatives from GUDP, SUMP and SECAPs for pilot cities.
13. Recommendation:

Building on plans for preparation in 2019 of a video on the street lighting demo, prepare comprehensive video on all demos and other initiatives for which financing is secured. Video should be quite attractive, such as through use of drones. Also, prepare a lessons learned study and short electronic brochures on the demo projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/03]

Agree. The project team led by the project communication officer should create high quality video and other materials on the project pilots. These materials should be clear and understandable for the general public.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Create a video on the street lighting demo
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU MoEnv 2019/06 Completed Placed on the UNDP Facebook page
Create a video on the sustainable transport pilot
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU MoEnv 2019/06 Completed The transport demo is completed.
Prepare short electronic brochures on each demo and each of the other financed projects installed during the project’s lifetime.
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU 2020/12 Initiated Information gathering
Lessons learned study on each demo
[Added: 2019/09/03]
PIU 2020/12 Initiated Information gathering on the street lighting demo. Pending completing of the transport demo

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