Mid-Term Evaluation of the Green Climate Fund Project "Supporting vulnerable communities in Maldives to manage CC induced water shortages"

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Maldives
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
01/2020
Completion Date:
11/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Title Mid-Term Evaluation of the Green Climate Fund Project "Supporting vulnerable communities in Maldives to manage CC induced water shortages"
Atlas Project Number: 00094293
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Maldives
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2019
Planned End Date: 01/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Resilience
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
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
SDG Target
  • 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 35,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Hans Van Noord International consultant
Athifa Ibrahim national consultant MALDIVES
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Government Stakeholder, Civil Society, SOEs
Countries: MALDIVES
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

1. Revise some of the project indicators: reflecting change in # of target islands and population (Output 1 and 2) and realism and feasibility of groundwater indicators (Output 3). Inclusion of indicator/or at least documentation of achievement (see Annex G of IE Report) reflecting the impact of regulatory/policy development support.

2

Strengthen the PMU with a CTA able to infuse integrated approaches of water management and facilitate the knowledge management capacity (need to have bridging and catalytic role) and provide guidance on financial sustainability and scalability of the project strategy.

3

Focus on the development of a stronger communication /awareness outreach (including social media and human interest stories), to enhance the visibility of the project in its later phases, through documenting emerging best practices and key lessons, including detailed documentation of baseline conditions to monitor later community level impact. This will be facilitated through formulation of a detailed communication plan with related timelines and responsibilities.

4

Develop an exit strategy, phasing out plan, to identify and promote critical elements for sustainability/lasting impact PP including retaining PMU and project staff and limit brain drain/turnover. The PSC is recommended to take the lead in guiding the development and facilitating the political support for a realistic exit strategy to enhance sustainability post-project.

5

Recognize and emphasize the critical role of Utilities to ensure strong capacity building support to staff will enhance their ability to deliver quality of service in O+M and recover costs. The involvement of Utilities in decision-making and regulatory setting (engagement in PSC and technical committee) is vital and their role in M&E and documentation of lessons learned and project interventions impact is to be underlined. Utilities will also be critical partners in the use and application of seasonal forecast to optimize their operations and be timely prepared for drought and rainy periods.

6

Seek for stronger and more frequent collaboration with other relevant stakeholders on a broader spatial context of water management: land use zonation/plans, conservation zones, linkage to agricultural sector and climate-smart agricultural approaches to optimize/minimize groundwater extraction for commercial purposes (e.g. MNPI, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture).

7

Develop linkage to broader climate change context and climatic drivers: build on the collaboration with MMS to develop improved climate information availability (seasonal forecasting) and information availability. Early warning information dissemination reaching island councils and to be used by utilities to plan for droughts or rain periods.

8

Document and record co-benefits as essential learning after the RWH and IWRM systems are operational, including possibly a cost-benefit analysis covering the first years of operation.

9

Allocate appropriate budget for Gender Action Plan implementation and reflect this in the AWP

1. Recommendation:

1. Revise some of the project indicators: reflecting change in # of target islands and population (Output 1 and 2) and realism and feasibility of groundwater indicators (Output 3). Inclusion of indicator/or at least documentation of achievement (see Annex G of IE Report) reflecting the impact of regulatory/policy development support.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

Given the change in project scope from the initial project formalization period, it is understandable that there would be a change in the targets which can be achieved by the end of the project, however it would not be advisable to change the original indicators to ones that would fit based on changing conditions, as it could set a bad precedent to adjust targets to fit our needs. The changes in scope and its implications to the project targets have been documented and reported to GCF.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Implement the Island Climate Resilient – Groundwater Management Plan (ICR-GMP) in selected island[s] with particular emphasis on the following: 1.1.1 Conduct island level training for household groundwater recharge systems as proposed in the (ICR-GMP) 1.1.2 Implement groundwater recharge systems such as infiltration galleries and recharge trenches at island level as recommended in the (ICR-GMP) 1.1.3 Establish long-term monitoring system for collecting information on recharge rates and ground water quality using appropriate methodologies as proposed in the monitoring framework of (ICR-GMP )
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, MoFA, Island Council, NGOs 2021/03 Initiated
Incorporate GCF groundwater program activities in national strategic action plan
[Added: 2020/01/31]
MNPI, WSD 2019/12 Completed Incorporated into the National Strategic Action Plan History
Integrating groundwater recharging emphasis in the design phase of water projects.
[Added: 2020/01/31]
WSD, MNPI, EPA 2020/12 Initiated Incorporating recharge structure in the EIA process to ensure replication
2. Recommendation:

Strengthen the PMU with a CTA able to infuse integrated approaches of water management and facilitate the knowledge management capacity (need to have bridging and catalytic role) and provide guidance on financial sustainability and scalability of the project strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

A CTA was on board on home-based basis with missions to Maldives as necessary, from February 2018 to April 2019. After the CTA consultant ended his contract, it was agreed that a home-based CTA staff position would be a more effective arrangement. The recruitment of the CTA was ongoing during the interim evaluation period and has now been selected.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruit and establish CTA within PMU, ME
[Added: 2020/01/31]
UNDP 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Recruitment has been completed, candidate’s arrival for assignment due Mar 2020
3. Recommendation:

Focus on the development of a stronger communication /awareness outreach (including social media and human interest stories), to enhance the visibility of the project in its later phases, through documenting emerging best practices and key lessons, including detailed documentation of baseline conditions to monitor later community level impact. This will be facilitated through formulation of a detailed communication plan with related timelines and responsibilities.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

PMU and UNDP had identified the need for strengthening of project communications, and the interim evaluation has highlighted that the current communication focuses on internal needs and is limited in terms of its contribution to external visibility of the project. The team now has to consolidate all baseline information and ensure the quality of all key baseline values. E.g. groundwater recharge rates, water related health issues, water shortage data, water delivery data (emergency water distribution cost and time, reduction in GHG emission).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Finalize detailed communication plan with timelines and responsibilities
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, UNDP Support 2020/03 Overdue-Not Initiated
Establish an E library (for general public) for the water sector under the ICT consultancy which would host reports and documents formulated under the project (Refer to ToR)
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, ME IT, UNDP Support 2022/03 Initiated
Monitoring of project impacts / results 3.3.1Consolidate all baseline data on project islands which can provide an analysis of the project impacts 3.3.2 Monitor, Analyze, Evaluate and Report the progress on the baseline data with regard to the project implementation in the project quarterly reports and APR. 3.3.3 Undertake additional assessment as and when required with regard to the project impacts / results
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, UNDP Support 2022/12 Initiated
Documentation of lessons learned and recommended best practices. Disseminate information to relevant stakeholders. 3.4.1 Consolidate information of lessons learned from project activities 3.4.2 Reporting of lessons learned and recommended best practices in project quarterly reports and APR 3.4.3 Disseminate and discuss information from the findings with relevant stakeholders in the form of a workshop
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, UNDP Support 2022/12 Initiated
4. Recommendation:

Develop an exit strategy, phasing out plan, to identify and promote critical elements for sustainability/lasting impact PP including retaining PMU and project staff and limit brain drain/turnover. The PSC is recommended to take the lead in guiding the development and facilitating the political support for a realistic exit strategy to enhance sustainability post-project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

The PMU, with UNDP support, can utilize the PTC for development of an exit strategy as the PTC has key stakeholders and government counterparts of the project who would partner with Ministry of Environment on various aspects of the project interventions for continuity. The exit strategy once developed, can be approved by the PSC at a strategic level, to enable a smooth transition and after end of project. UNDP will support this transition as needed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Raise issue at PSC, including but not limited to these areas; a. Advocacy and awareness for uptake of produced water and build confidence on quality of produced water b. Training and functional capacity development at utilities (Act. 1.5 and 1.6). c. Capacities for rainfall forecasting and timely water shortage alerts linked with utility planning and decentralized water distribution d. Formulate cost recovery strategy for O&M
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, UNDP Support 2020/05 Initiated
Draft exit strategy finalized and approved by PSC
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, UNDP Support 2020/08 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Recognize and emphasize the critical role of Utilities to ensure strong capacity building support to staff will enhance their ability to deliver quality of service in O+M and recover costs. The involvement of Utilities in decision-making and regulatory setting (engagement in PSC and technical committee) is vital and their role in M&E and documentation of lessons learned and project interventions impact is to be underlined. Utilities will also be critical partners in the use and application of seasonal forecast to optimize their operations and be timely prepared for drought and rainy periods.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

Emphasis has been made to include the utilities from the civil works stage and in island-level implementation and management, and their capacity development needs identified in the capacity assessment exercise undertaken. The role of utilities in O&M and M&E needs to be formalized as this is closely related to the operational continuity of systems built for the project. Furthermore, utilities need to be provided with adequate capacity development and data regarding water shortages and rainfall patterns.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Draft and review O&M agreement with the operator
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, PTC, UNDP support 2020/08 Initiated
6. Recommendation:

Seek for stronger and more frequent collaboration with other relevant stakeholders on a broader spatial context of water management: land use zonation/plans, conservation zones, linkage to agricultural sector and climate-smart agricultural approaches to optimize/minimize groundwater extraction for commercial purposes (e.g. MNPI, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

The project needs to actively foster engagement with related line ministries to incorporate the learnings from the project and align strategies and goals with efforts by other ministries, to create a lasting impact. For this a technical cross-sectoral group needs to be established, current land use policies need to be reviewed and project data needs to be used to inform land use policies on target islands.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Set up technical cross-sectoral working group to engage with other water user sectors to determine groundwater to determine rates of unsustainable withdrawals, risks of pollution and key mitigation measures
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, CCD, MNPI, MoFA 2020/07 Initiated
Map groundwater recharge areas to inform land use policies on target islands;
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, CCD, MNPI 2020/12 Initiated
Undertake review of current land use policies and plans to identify needs and opportunities for setting green zones to enable natural replenishment and protection of groundwater.
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, WSD, CCD, MNPI, MoFA 2020/12 Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Develop linkage to broader climate change context and climatic drivers: build on the collaboration with MMS to develop improved climate information availability (seasonal forecasting) and information availability. Early warning information dissemination reaching island councils and to be used by utilities to plan for droughts or rain periods.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

Collaboration with MMS is ongoing, with project supporting existing network of weather stations of MMS and formalizing a MoU to establish data sharing collaboration with ME Water Dept. (e.g. rainfall alerts, rainfall vs. groundwater recharge, water shortage prediction).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Finalize and sign handover directive with MMS for O&M arrangement post-installationafter completion of AWS systems
[Added: 2020/01/31]
Finalize and sign handover directive with MMS for O&M arrangement post-installationafter completion of AWS systems 2020/12 Initiated
Procure and establish 6 additional auto weather stations
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, MMS, CCD, Water Dept 2020/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Document and record co-benefits as essential learning after the RWH and IWRM systems are operational, including possibly a cost-benefit analysis covering the first years of operation.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

Emphasis to be given to capturing of co-benefits as part of M&E and communications work. PMU to record the co-benefits based on the baselines established by the project. Main co-benefits of project are; rise of social and environmental wellbeing and economic productivity due to reduction in water insecurity; lowered burden of ill health; reduced GHG emission due to reduced transportation requirement of emergency water supply; reduced flood damage due to increased rainfall capture and diversion; increased capacity of water resource management; lowered social and economic cost of water provision.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Identification of baseline data for co-benefits and capturing missing data and report in QPRs and APR
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU, Utilities, Island Councils 2020/12 Initiated
9. Recommendation:

Allocate appropriate budget for Gender Action Plan implementation and reflect this in the AWP

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/31]

GAP and its components are a crucial and non-negotiable requirement of any project and has to be implemented and integrated into the project activities. PMU and UNDP could together explore possibilities for additional funding, budget repurposing or task integration into other activities for the GAP implementation and monitoring when work planning for 2020

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Identify points of integration with GAP and other activities and include in work plan
[Added: 2020/01/31]
PMU 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated History

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