Terminal Evaluation of the Project - Expansion and strengthening of the protected area subsystem of the outer islands of Seychelles and its integration into the broader land and seascape – (Outer Island Project)

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2023, Seychelles
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2019
Completion Date:
03/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of the Project - Expansion and strengthening of the protected area subsystem of the outer islands of Seychelles and its integration into the broader land and seascape – (Outer Island Project)
Atlas Project Number: 00075876
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2023, Seychelles
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2020
Planned End Date: 12/2019
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
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 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,264
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Camille Bann Dr camille.bann@envecconsulting.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Terminal Evaluation of the Project - Expansion and strengthening of the protected area subsystem of the outer islands of Seychelles and its integration into the broader land and seascape – (Outer Island Project)
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4717
PIMS Number: 4529
Key Stakeholders: Island Development Company, Island Conservation Society, UNDP, MEECC, PCU, Seychelles Island Foundation
Countries: SEYCHELLES
Comments:

The project has been extended to JUne 2020. As stated in the last PIR, the terminal Evaluation has now shifted to DEcember 2019. The CO is requesting that the Planned date is amended to Dec 2019. below is extract from the MTR report.  :

TERMINAL EVALUATION: As recommended by the MTR, a request was made to extend the project by 10 months until the end of June 2020.  The request was approved. The Terminal Evaluation was therefore rescheduled and will take place in late 2019 or early 2020. PROJECT CLOSURE: Closure is expected to be at end of June 2020.

Lessons
1.

Project Design

  • Project design needs to be realistic about the realities of working in the Outer Islands considering the logistical challenges and the remoteness of working in these islands.
  • Risks need to be properly identified especially recognition of a perceived increased risk of cyclones for the country’s southern islands.
  • Indicators and targets should be within the control of the project and realistically set taking into consideration the challenges of working on the OI.
  • A theory of change should be explicit part of the project design, summarized in diagrammatic form to facilitate understanding of the project’s contribution to the specified impacts and factors that have contributed to or hindered project progress towards impact.
  • Future designing of projects need to have a practical and technical understanding of the OI as well of the Seychelles’ political context. Extensive planning and consultations with stakeholders is needed to ensure that the project is well grounded from the start.

Tag: Sustainability

2.

Project Implementation

  • Coordination and cooperation across stakeholders with diverse interests is essential to successful working in OI.
  • Close communication and working with IDC as the main partner is critical to ensuring delivery of projects in OI as is IDC’s commitment to initiatives.
  • Processes operating at different scales have to find a connection point, so that they don’t operate as parallel processes, but rather become mutually beneficial and aligned. 
  • Inter-disciplinary teams bring benefits. Interaction with others increase the understanding of issues and hence the quality of outputs as witnessed with, for example, the LUPs. 

Tag: Sustainability

Findings
1.

Project Design

  • The project covered four island groups, which was very challenging.Every Island is a challenge and a focus on 1-2 OI sites would be more manageable for future projects.
  • The GEF project document format is inflexible and unable to accommodate the requirements of SIDS/ OI.
  • The one size fits all framework does not adequately take into account national circumstances such the size of countries, and issues related to SIDs.
  • GEF Project design issues are a recurring problem in the Seychelles.There is a tendency to over design projects and make them too ambitious in an effort to meet GEF strategic priorities and design criteria.However, this leads to problems at implementation with project Results Frameworks having to be significantly revised through the MTR.This is not efficient.
  • A comprehensive capacity assessment of the responsible partners should be done at project design to avoid implementation issues.  For example, it was not known at project design that ICS officers did not have the capacity to prepare the marine habitat maps. ?

2.

Project Implementation

  • Coordination and cooperation makes for effective implementation as all partners need  to understand what others are doing, what is working, and how work can be harmonized and synergies capitalized on. Bringing people together is a lot of work, it takes time, energy and commitment but is critical to reach a common understanding and agreement across stakeholders.
  • Having the same people sitting on the committees of related projects helps with understanding the issues and with integration.
  • The MSP was one initiative that helped bring stakeholders together. The OI projects strong relationship with the MSP, with the MSP focusing at the macro level and OIP focusing at the micro level and the two initiatives benefitting from each other was a critical success.
  • Inter-disciplinary expeditions to the OI can  be cost effective and gain from wide range of expertise.
  • Capacity constraints of a small island nation needs to be factored into planning and allow realistic timeframes for completing assignment
  • Seychelles has a strong ecosystem based approach to the development of its Blue Economy. This can inform other SIDS as Blue Economy approaches in other countries typically take industry as their basis.

Recommendations
1

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 1.  Collating of lessons and their dissemination nationally and internationally. 

Ahead of project closure, the project should ensure that all lessons are fully captured and shared both within the Seychelles and internationally. The recent IPCE of UNDP Seychelles found significant weaknesses in communicating lessons learnt.  The IOP can help address this through the collation of lessons learnt relating to technical and operational aspects (beyond the information reported in the Quarterly Review Reports), as best practice example.

Recommendation to: PM

2

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 2. Set out replicability of plans and tools that have been developed. 

Given that the replicability of the project’s initiatives at its demonstration sites is a key design feature of the project, it is recommended that the project makes explicit how each of the tools and plans developed can be applied within the Outer and Inner Islands conditions under which they are applicable or not, challenges/barriers, lessons in applications (both technical and operational).

Recommendation to: PM

3

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 3. Dissemination of project outputs and lessons learnt on international stage in 2020.

This can include a photo essay to showcase the project’s achievements, dissemination of key documents and talks at international conferences.

Recommendation to: PM

4

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 4. Incorporate OIP lessons in project design into GEF7 proposals. 

UNDP Seychelles should also consider working with the RTA to determine how a case for SIDS / Seychelles tailored GEF design features can be made to the GEF Council.

Recommendation to: UNDP Seychelles / RTA

5

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 5. Focus on consolidation, implementation and learning, rather than on further expansion of protected area network in the near term.

There is a need to test the Management Plans and protocols developed to better understand what works and what elements require further strengthening.

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS, UNDP

6

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 6. Focus on cross sectoral / institutional / stakeholder dialogue going forward.

The OIP along with the MSP has set a strong precedent for integrated dialogue across all concerned stakeholders. This will be even more important going forward when restrictions on use come into force with varied distributional impacts

Recommendation to: MEECC UNDP

7

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 7.  Develop data management capacity and processes.

A continued focus on building capacity in GIS and data management in future projects is needed to build on the work done by the OIP. More support is needed to complete the ICS geo-database and to move to centralized data storage at MEECC as well as to further build  capacity.

Recommendation to: MEECC

8

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 8.  Support the development of PA regulations.

Once the PA Bill is approved, work will start on the detailed regulations, which would benefit from the project’s expertise in cross sectoral dialogue and ecosystems knowledge

Recommendation to: GoS, UNDP

9

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 9.  Enforcement capacity needs to be enhanced.

Enforcement of the areas once gazetted will be critical going forward, this is when tensions are likely to emerge over use and access.

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS, IDC, Tourism operators

10

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 10.  Cost saving mechanisms need to be identified and tested.

Given the high costs of operating in the OI identifying cost saving approaches are central to providing the level and scale of protection that will be needed.

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS, IDC, Tourism operators

11

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 11.  Support for the development of a systems approach to PA financing.

While much progress has been made in terms of sustainable financing through the PAF project, SeyCATT and other initiatives, more support is needed to accelerate towards a systems

approach to PA financing, which is of particular importance for the OI.

Recommendation to: MEECC

12

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 12. Capacity / Institutional Capacity needs further developing.

It is recommended to explore and develop options for attracting and  retaining expert staff on the OI and for increasing staff numbers on OI

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 1.  Collating of lessons and their dissemination nationally and internationally. 

Ahead of project closure, the project should ensure that all lessons are fully captured and shared both within the Seychelles and internationally. The recent IPCE of UNDP Seychelles found significant weaknesses in communicating lessons learnt.  The IOP can help address this through the collation of lessons learnt relating to technical and operational aspects (beyond the information reported in the Quarterly Review Reports), as best practice example.

Recommendation to: PM

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]

Management response:

Management is in agreement with the above recommendation and is accepted as is.  In consultation with the PSC, PM has identified opportunities to share lessons learnt before project end. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Lessons learnt shared to the PSC at the SC meeting on 25th February 2020
[Added: 2020/04/30]
PM 2020/03 Completed
1.2 Lessons learnt will be included as a section of the OIP brochure.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2020/10/14]
PM 2020/06 Completed Completed as per schedule History
1.3 OIP Brochure to be made available at national theme days (e.g. International Day of Biodiversity, Environment day) and other events organized locally
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
PM 2020/12 Completed Brochure attached History
1.4 OIP Brochure to be made available at relevant international event attended by the PM and MEECC colleagues (e.g. UN Ocean Conference in June 2020)
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2020/10/14]
PM 2020/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The OIP Brochure is complete and being made available at National events. Due to Covid19 restrictions on travel and attendance in International events is currently on hold. A photo essay was done and shared online]
History
2. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 2. Set out replicability of plans and tools that have been developed. 

Given that the replicability of the project’s initiatives at its demonstration sites is a key design feature of the project, it is recommended that the project makes explicit how each of the tools and plans developed can be applied within the Outer and Inner Islands conditions under which they are applicable or not, challenges/barriers, lessons in applications (both technical and operational).

Recommendation to: PM

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response: The recommendation is accepted. Project's outputs being used at ICS inner islands Conservation Centers. PM to undertake discussions with ICS for replication on other Outer Islands and other inner islands. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 All protocols developed by OIP being used on inner island sites namely Aride and Silhouette
[Added: 2020/04/30]
Island Conservation Society (ICS) 2020/03 Completed
2.2 Protocols and tools developed: a) under the “Turtle component” will be further disseminated at the national level through the Turtle Action Group of Seychelles (TAGS); and b) under the “Seagrass component” will be utilized and elaborated at the national level through the SeyCCAT “Seychelles’ Coastal Wetlands and Climate Change Project”.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
ICS 2020/12 Completed This action was completed by Island Conservation Society (ICS) and being implemented by the NGO History
2.4 Discussions on replication of Protocols and plans by SNPA through the Ridge to Reef Project
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
PM, Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) 2020/12 Completed This action has been completed and some protocols are being followed by SNPA within the R2R project History
2.3 ICS to identify other sites in outer islands, such as Cosmoledo, Marie Louise where other plans can be replicable.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2020/10/14]
ICS, PM 2020/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Due to Covid19 and restrictions this key action is not being implemented. ICS has indicated that the possibility to explore additional sites may be taken up once the country's back on recovery or through other initiatives.]
History
3. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 3. Dissemination of project outputs and lessons learnt on international stage in 2020.

This can include a photo essay to showcase the project’s achievements, dissemination of key documents and talks at international conferences.

Recommendation to: PM

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response: The recommendation is  accepted. Consultancy currently underway to publish a UNDP photo Exposure Essay and PSC has approved budget allocation for PM and TNC/MSP representative to participate at the UN Oceans Conference

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Consultancy to draft, publish and promote the OIP UNDP Photo exposure essay ongoing. Photo essay to be published by March 2020 and promoted in June 2020
[Added: 2020/04/30]
PM 2020/03 Completed Photo Essay completed and published online in April 2020. WIll be disseminated further at international events.
3.2 OIP to organise sharing of project key documents directly to island staff and PCU Website
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2020/10/14]
PM, ICS, PCU 2020/06 Completed All key documents developed by the project have been shared with island staff and available on the website History
3.3 OIP and MSP to attend the Second UN Oceans Conference to showcase the projects achievements and lessons learnt
[Added: 2020/04/30]
PM, The Nature Conservancy , Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change 2020/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The UN Oceans Conference will no longer be taking place in June 2020due to Covid-19; but will be deferred to another date by which the project would have ended. However results will still be showcased by MEECC and TNC through the Marine Spatial Plan Initiative.]
As above
3.4 MEECC to disseminate projects outputs and lessons learnt at other international events
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
MEECC 2020/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: All national and international events have been cancelled due to Covid-19. It is expected that the results of the OI project will be sustained through other ongoing projects and will feed into lessons learned at the national forums. Project has produced some good brochures and protocols that can be adapted and followed.]
History
4. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 4. Incorporate OIP lessons in project design into GEF7 proposals. 

UNDP Seychelles should also consider working with the RTA to determine how a case for SIDS / Seychelles tailored GEF design features can be made to the GEF Council.

Recommendation to: UNDP Seychelles / RTA

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response:  Management is in agreement with the recommendations and has accepted. Recommendation to be taken up by UNDP RTA and lessons from OIP will be incorporated at the PPG phase..

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Recommendation will be addressed during the PPG phase for GEF7 and through on-going discussions between UNDP RTA and GEF
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
UNDP-GEF RTA 2020/12 Completed Many of the lessons of OI are feeding into the PPG for GEF7 which is currently ongoing. History
5. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 5. Focus on consolidation, implementation and learning, rather than on further expansion of protected area network in the near term.

There is a need to test the Management Plans and protocols developed to better understand what works and what elements require further strengthening.

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS, UNDP

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response:  The recommendation is accepted.  Discussions underway within MEECC have already identified no further expansion in Protected Areas network within GEF 7 and focus is on strengthening existing protected areas. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 ICS is currently testing the implementation of management plans and protocols, to identify weaknesses where relevant, adjustments will be made as per M&E procedures.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
ICS, MEECC, PM 2021/12 Completed ICS is currently using the protocols but the limitations in testing continue to remain due to Covid-19. Any future lessons learned will be adapted and recorded by ICS. History
6. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 6. Focus on cross sectoral / institutional / stakeholder dialogue going forward.

The OIP along with the MSP has set a strong precedent for integrated dialogue across all concerned stakeholders. This will be even more important going forward when restrictions on use come into force with varied distributional impacts

Recommendation to: MEECC UNDP

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response:  Management completely agrees with the recommendation and it is accepted.  Government is committed to continue the precedent set by MSP process with regards to cross sectoral/institutional and stakeholder dialogue to build national consenus and awareness.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 OIP/ICS to engage stakeholder in the consultation process during drafting of the regulations and identification of the gap analysis.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
PCU, ICS 2020/11 Completed Completed by ICS but regulations are pending History
6.2 Government to continue its works to maintain integrated dialogue across all stakeholders in the broader context of the Blue Economy.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
GoS, MEECC, PCU, PM 2020/12 Completed This is completed and ongoing with the Blue Economy and other sectors History
7. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 7.  Develop data management capacity and processes.

A continued focus on building capacity in GIS and data management in future projects is needed to build on the work done by the OIP. More support is needed to complete the ICS geo-database and to move to centralized data storage at MEECC as well as to further build  capacity.

Recommendation to: MEECC

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response:  The recommendation is noted and accepted. The PSC has approved allocation of OIP budget to support completion of the database.  Government is committed to ensuring support is given for GIS and Data management in future projects

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Project will support ICS with programmer to complete the database.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
PM, PCU, ICS 2020/12 Completed Support was extended to ICS for database updates History
7.2 MEECC to allocate additional funds to enhance the capacity of their GIS and data management department and ICS too will seek funding for long term dedicated staff to strengthen its internal capacity.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
ICS, MEECC 2020/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: There has been a change in government and although the priority remains- the allocation of funds to enhance the GIS ad data management capacity may take longer as government restructuring is ongoing at all levels. ]
History
8. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 8.  Support the development of PA regulations.

Once the PA Bill is approved, work will start on the detailed regulations, which would benefit from the project’s expertise in cross sectoral dialogue and ecosystems knowledge

Recommendation to: GoS, UNDP

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response: While management accepts the support of developing PA regulations, the approvals are dependent on Governmen.  The PSC has approved allocated of funds to support the regulations and a gap analysis for the Outer Islands Protected Areas. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 MEECC to continue to work with AGs office and other stakeholders in finalise the bill
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
MEECC, PCU, AG 2020/12 Completed The project's interventions have been completed. History
8.2 Project to seek consultant to draft regulations and gap analysis for the OI PA.s
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
PM, PCU, MEECC 2020/11 Completed This action was completed History
9. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 9.  Enforcement capacity needs to be enhanced.

Enforcement of the areas once gazetted will be critical going forward, this is when tensions are likely to emerge over use and access.

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS, IDC, Tourism operators

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response:  While management accepts this recommendation; enforcement will continue to be a challenge due to the small population size of Seychelles and the vastness of the EEZ.  All national  stakeholders will need  to identify responsible agencies and partners to formulate enforcement strategy for the Outer Islands once areas are gazetted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 MEECC to identify stakeholders to formulate a National Enforcement Strategy for the Outer Islands once areas are gazetted.
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
MEECC, IDC, PCU,Tourism partners, others 2020/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The National Enforcement Strategy may need to be relooked at within the broader frameworks. Given the change in Government recently, engagement with key partners needs to be undertaken before this can be realized.]
History
10. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 10.  Cost saving mechanisms need to be identified and tested.

Given the high costs of operating in the OI identifying cost saving approaches are central to providing the level and scale of protection that will be needed.

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS, IDC, Tourism operators

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response:  Management accepts this recommendation.  ICS is currently implementing the Protected Area Business Plans developed under the project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 Protected Area Business plans have been developed under the project.
[Added: 2020/04/30]
PM, PCU 2019/12 Completed
10.2 Lessons learnt from formulation and implementation of business plans to be shared to other PA units
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
ICS 2020/12 Completed Business plans completed and most PAs have operationalized their business plans History
11. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 11.  Support for the development of a systems approach to PA financing.

While much progress has been made in terms of sustainable financing through the PAF project, SeyCATT and other initiatives, more support is needed to accelerate towards a systems

approach to PA financing, which is of particular importance for the OI.

Recommendation to: MEECC

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response: Management accepts this recommendation and would like to reiterate that Government is committed towards Protected Area Financing. However moving towards a systems approach may require time well beyond the life cycle of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 MEECC, with support from PAF project and SeyCATT to discuss systems approach to PA financing with Protected Area partners
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
GoS and national stakeholders 2020/12 Completed This action within the scope of project has been completed but the conversation to move towards a systems approach is still ongoing. History
12. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 12. Capacity / Institutional Capacity needs further developing.

It is recommended to explore and develop options for attracting and  retaining expert staff on the OI and for increasing staff numbers on OI

Recommendation to: MEECC, ICS

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/30]

Management response: This recommendation is noted and accepted. While ICS is in committed to exploring opportunities to ensure long term staff in the Outer Islands there may be difficulties in staff retention for the long -term.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.1 ICS to review the scheme of Service/ emoluments etc... to recruit and retain staff on the outer islands
[Added: 2020/04/30] [Last Updated: 2021/07/07]
ICS 2021/12 Completed ICS accepted the recommendation- but due to COVID-19 may not have been able to recruit additional staff owing to slowdown in the economy. History

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