Report for the Terminal Evaluation of the Project Strengthening Protected Areas Network in Southern Tanzania

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2021, Tanzania
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2017
Completion Date:
12/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
35,000

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Title Report for the Terminal Evaluation of the Project Strengthening Protected Areas Network in Southern Tanzania
Atlas Project Number: 60996
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2021, Tanzania
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2017
Planned End Date: 11/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding: UNDP, GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 32,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Maria Onestini ARGENTINA
Mihael Muganda
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Strengthening Protected Areas Network in Southern Tanzania project terminal evaluation
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 3965
PIMS Number: 3253
Key Stakeholders: Tanzania National Parks, Vice President's Office, Local Government Authorities
Countries: TANZANIA (UNITED REPUBLIC OF )
Lessons
1.

The findings from SPANEST Terminal Evaluation highlight key lessons learnt and establish important implications to future GEF and UNDP interventions and best practices pertinent to project beneficiaries, UNDP and GEF. There are a series of learned lessons that can be assimilated in the future for enhanced project planning and implementation.  These lessons are listed below as follows.

  1. To avoid misunderstandings between stakeholders, and to minimize the generation of false expectations, a project’s outlook needs to be made known clearly from its very beginning (from design and inception).  A project needs to be made known starting by providing transparency to what it is expected to achieve, what its outputs are to be, what modality of implementation will be rooted, and what direct and indirect beneficiaries can expect out of a project. If necessary, due to changes in stakeholders associated with a project, expected achievements, outputs, and modalities sought should be revisited as new actors come in contact with a project.
  2. Evidence from SPANEST Terminal Evaluation demonstrates that stakeholders had lots of expectations from the project. This created some negative perceptions over project management team, especially when they realized that their expectations could not meant. Antipoaching unit (KDU), MBOMIPA, and Mpanga Kipengele Game Reserve, for example, each expected to have one vehicle among the three that were purchased by the project. Similarly, they expected to have representatives in the project management team (that was composed of TANAPA staff only), and that much of the project activities concentrated in TANAPA protected areas (RUNAPA and KNP). However, this had a bearing from the way the project was designed - identifying RUNAPA and KNP as direct beneficiaries. The rest (KDU, MBOMIPA, MKGR and MRGR) were intended for indirect support only, according to the ProDoc, though they are critical components of the GRL and GKKL landscapes. This goes without saying that TANAPA was the co-financing of SPANEST project.
  3. Design processes cannot be underestimated, and design should be robust at all levels.  A lack of robustness in design will have impacts throughout the whole implementation process of a project.  Without a clear, outcome and results-based oriented design it cannot be expected that a project would be outcome and results – based.  Proper strong instruments can properly guide implementation, and for these they should include outcome indicators and accurate means of verification to determine results and be able to attribute outcomes to the project.
  • The design of the elephant population monitoring was somehow problematic. The three-year monitoring timeframe was not sufficient and worth the efforts and resources invested in the exercise. The elephant collaring monitoring is supposed to end in 2018 (three years since 2015 when the-project started). However, the GPS collars full capacity can continue to generate information for 5 years. Thus, it would be worthwhile to leave those collars until the 5 year elapses to enable collection of more information from elephants.
  • A forward-looking project should promote, pilot and implement innovation (such as new technologies, novel approaches) in order to encourage adaptation to changing circumstances and conditions.
  • Promotion of sustainable livelihoods, especially as it regards to communities, should be an integral part of a conservation project. Although it was not a comparison kind of evaluation, it became evident throughout the evaluation process that projects with a focus on poverty alleviation or improving livelihoods of local communities are more preferred. There were concerns that SPANEST had little interest on livelihoods of local communities, though in reality this was more on the focus of the project and, therefore, funding available.
  • Buy in, ownership and sustainability can be aided by suitable and wide spread visibility of a project and its accomplishments.

Findings
Recommendations
1

Accelerate the adoption of the exit plan sustainability plan to fulfil achieving results from the SPANEST Project

2

Impel the finalization of the Project outstanding and pending activities soonest

3

Promote the upscaling and replication of good practices throughout the protected areas environment in Tanzania

4

Assure that there is continuity (dove tailing, and up taking) of achievements and processes in future projects, processes, and donor driven interventions in the area and nation-wide

5

Design of future programmes needs to be robust if effects and outcomes are to be properly achieved

6

An exit strategy or sustainability plan should be drafted earlier on during the programming process, beginning at design, and its adoption should be promoted throughout implementation

7

A project’s aims, objectives, outlook and scope should be made known from inception in a transparent manner

8

Development projects should clearly establish mechanisms and concrete processes to ensure that livelihoods are enhanced

9

Future programming should formalize and attempt to sustain all processes related to communities and their relation to protected areas, formalizing community outreach modalities and –most importantly-- providing alternatives to issues that engender many poaching activities and the reduction of human wildlife conflicts

10

Given that the mere production of plans, studies, and processes as outputs does not necessarily nor automatically translate into results or outcomes, the latter should be sought as part of a results-based Project

11

Project reformulations, changes, reforms and other such alterations need to be precise, and implemented (not only analysed) as soon as early signs of failings manifest themselves

12

Future programming should base its capacity building activities based on a needs assessment and in conjunction with other interventions from other actors and donors in the areas where a project is being implemented

13

Future programming should promote the upscaling and replication of lessons learned and good practices throughout the protected areas environment in Tanzania.  Attempt should be made to sustain processes related to communities and their relation to protected areas, formalizing community outreach modalities and providing alternatives to issues that engender many poaching activities and the reduction of human wildlife conflicts

14

Future programming should cautiously be based on sustaining achievements, within UNDP programming but also with other donors, actors, and stakeholders intervening in the Project area while avoiding duplication and repetition of efforts

15

UNDP needs to work with and assist the countries where interventions take place to aid them in applying processes that support projects’ technical and implementation capabilities (specially support project implementation and efficient decision – making capacities).  UNDP should guide the uptake process of the products that a project generates, ascertaining that products are translated into outcomes and results. UNDP should provide information on project management, monitoring and reporting and other such project requisites to adequately account for achievements and generate adaptive management as needed

1. Recommendation:

Accelerate the adoption of the exit plan sustainability plan to fulfil achieving results from the SPANEST Project

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agree.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
• Prioritized AWP 2018 prepared and implemented • Initiate the handing over activities to institutions as per exit strategy (to cater for the defects liability period on the system and equipment supported by the project) • Finalization of project completion reports
[Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/08/22]
UNDP, Project Coordination Unit 2018/07 Completed History
2. Recommendation:

Impel the finalization of the Project outstanding and pending activities soonest

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agreed. This is covered under the first recommendation

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
As per recommendation 1: the project team and TANAPA have agreed to finalize pending activities and funds provided
[Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/08/22]
UNDP, PCU 2018/08 Completed History
3. Recommendation:

Promote the upscaling and replication of good practices throughout the protected areas environment in Tanzania

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agree.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
• Initiate plan to promote upscaling and replication. • Consolidate project success stories (best practices) into one document and share it amongst stakeholders.
[Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/08/22]
UNDP, Government 2018/08 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Assure that there is continuity (dove tailing, and up taking) of achievements and processes in future projects, processes, and donor driven interventions in the area and nation-wide

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agree/Disagree.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
• Advocate for continuity of the achievements and processes in future projects. • Consolidate challenges encountered during project implementation into one document and share it to relevant Ministries, wildlife authorities, government institutions and NGOs.
[Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/08/22]
UNDP, Government 2018/08 Completed History
5. Recommendation:

Design of future programmes needs to be robust if effects and outcomes are to be properly achieved

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agreed as a lesson for future programming

 

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

An exit strategy or sustainability plan should be drafted earlier on during the programming process, beginning at design, and its adoption should be promoted throughout implementation

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
• Draft exit strategy and sustainability plan will be finalized and implemented – note is taken for future projects
[Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/08/22]
Government and Project Coordination Unit 2018/08 Completed History
7. Recommendation:

A project’s aims, objectives, outlook and scope should be made known from inception in a transparent manner

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agree

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Development projects should clearly establish mechanisms and concrete processes to ensure that livelihoods are enhanced

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agree

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Future programming should formalize and attempt to sustain all processes related to communities and their relation to protected areas, formalizing community outreach modalities and –most importantly-- providing alternatives to issues that engender many poaching activities and the reduction of human wildlife conflicts

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agreed. Lessons learned from this project have been integrated in the GEF6 Global Wildlife Project for Tanzania (PIMS 5467).

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Given that the mere production of plans, studies, and processes as outputs does not necessarily nor automatically translate into results or outcomes, the latter should be sought as part of a results-based Project

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agreed. The UNDP CO will invest more efforts in ensuring that projects are implemented in a results (outcome)-oriented manner, and actively promote adaptive management based on thorough M&E processes

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Project reformulations, changes, reforms and other such alterations need to be precise, and implemented (not only analysed) as soon as early signs of failings manifest themselves

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17] [Last Updated: 2018/01/17]

Agreed for future interventions

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Future programming should base its capacity building activities based on a needs assessment and in conjunction with other interventions from other actors and donors in the areas where a project is being implemented

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agree for future interventions

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

Future programming should promote the upscaling and replication of lessons learned and good practices throughout the protected areas environment in Tanzania.  Attempt should be made to sustain processes related to communities and their relation to protected areas, formalizing community outreach modalities and providing alternatives to issues that engender many poaching activities and the reduction of human wildlife conflicts

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agree for future interventions

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

Future programming should cautiously be based on sustaining achievements, within UNDP programming but also with other donors, actors, and stakeholders intervening in the Project area while avoiding duplication and repetition of efforts

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agreed for future programming

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

UNDP needs to work with and assist the countries where interventions take place to aid them in applying processes that support projects’ technical and implementation capabilities (specially support project implementation and efficient decision – making capacities).  UNDP should guide the uptake process of the products that a project generates, ascertaining that products are translated into outcomes and results. UNDP should provide information on project management, monitoring and reporting and other such project requisites to adequately account for achievements and generate adaptive management as needed

Management Response: [Added: 2018/01/17]

Agreed for future programming

Key Actions:

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