Watershed services mid-term evaluation

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2021, Tanzania
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document Final TOR MTR Watershed project - National Consultant-signed.pdf tor English 380.97 KB Posted 99
Download document Final TOR Watershaed Intl Consultant.pdf tor English 379.21 KB Posted 93
Download document PIMS 5077 Securing Watershed Services via SLM MTR_Final Report 4th October.pdf report English 2103.70 KB Posted 339
Title Watershed services mid-term evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00086631
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2021, Tanzania
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2018
Planned End Date: 10/2018
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
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 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
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding: GEF, UNDP
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,840
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Securing watershed services through SLM in the Ruvu and Zigi catchments (Eastern Arc Region).
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 5463
PIMS Number: 5077
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Water , Vice President's Office, Local Government Authorities
  1. Working through government structures and systems creates a good platform for the political commitment in SLM interventions as demonstrated in the restoration of the Amani plateau in the Zigi catchment through consolidated engagement from national to community levels, with demonstrable wider incentives and disincentives and the observation of the rule of law.
  2. Commitment without finance is not enough: Implementation of SLM through government structures and systems imply the respective institutions owning and meeting the necessary costs. Although the institutions – MDAs, LGAs and Basin level institutions have demonstrated commitment including inclusion of SLM interventions in their plans, funding has remained limited. The risk is that gradual loss of results after the project if these institutions remain resource handicapped.

  3. Timing of disbursements of funds for SLM is critical because many of the activities are time sensitive – missing one rainy season may mean a whole year lost for project implementation; 

  4. Involving communities via awareness raising is a cost effective way of protecting watersheds, but is highly dependent on clear incentives;  

  5. Many people are aware of the local level laws governing watershed management but they will not comply unless there is a clear disincentive;  

  6. Multidisciplinary collaboration is a powerful tool, but it can be difficult and expensive. It requires patience and negotiation skills, backed by commitment by senior management; as well as broad understanding of costs and benefits of sector specific interventions/activities on overall watershed services; it needs champions. 

  7. IGAs can be a clear incentive for watershed management but they have to be adequate and delivered early in the process.

  1. The stakeholders have demonstrated a very high degree of collaboration and coordination; credited to the strong PCU and senior management of partner institutions who have demonstrated high commitment and drive. The project has made significant progress towards the objective of integrating the use of sustainable land management to alleviate land degradation, maintain ecosystem services and improve livelihoods in the Ruvu and Zigi Catchments. Implementation of the project is in substantial compliance with the expected results, and it can be taken as an example of ‘good’. The project is well integrated systemically in the partner institutions, particularly the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Tanga and Morogoro Water Basins Authorities as well as the Local Government Authorities within the project area. The project has been well-managed and has demonstrated commitment to gender mainstreaming. The implementation and governance arrangement, stakeholders’ participation and M&E have been rated as ‘Satisfactory’. The project is highly relevant, meeting a felt need at the local, national and international level.
  2. Despite challenges with disbursements, project implementation has progressed fairly well with about 57 percent progress towards indicators with about 54 percent budget spent; this is evidence of an appropriate implementation arrangement. Early impacts are significant: sediments loads measured at 11 stations in Ruvu catchment and 6 stations in Zigi catchment registered an average of 27 percent reduction in soil erosion (exceeding the end of project target of ten percent). This is impressive as it happened concurrently with increase in mean annual river flow rate, which rose by 20 percent for Ruvu River (from 60 m3/sec at project inception to 72 m3/sec; measured between January and December 2017). This is double the end of project target. There is a three percent improvement in household welfare for households adopting income generating activities; yields of maize have increased from 2.5 tons/ha at project inception to 3.8 ton/ha for farmers adopting SLM measures, with concurrent increase in income from TZS 480,000/- to TZS 550,000/- per year. The project has therefore effectively demonstrated that SLM is a powerful tool to address complex IWRM challenges, and that communities are ready and willing to play their part in IWRM when the incentives and disincentives are clear.

  3. However, there are a few challenges. With four outcomes, 13 outputs and 69 groups of activities covering a large area (over the two basins), the project was ambitious. Thus the scale of the implementation/piloting is very small given the huge magnitude of the challenge in each basin. In addition, at MTR the returns from income generating activities are too low to adequately compensate the lost opportunities for those vacating the sixty meter radius of the river channels. This is against a background of heightened expectations from participating communities and WUAs. It is therefore not advisable to scale down the project to one basin to consolidate impacts. This is because the project has demonstrated best practices in community participation in IWRM via WUAs, including engaging WUAs in M&E processes; engaging previous practitioners of illegal activities in the WUAs and therefore guardians of the watershed. However, this could be reversed if the project is withdrawn from one basin or benefits from IGAs continue to be limited, with serious reversals to the impacts already demonstrated.  

  4. The proposed SLM Fund is unlikely to materialize because it lacks a legal basis. Both UNDP and Government have been slow in providing committed co-finance, compounding financial access as a barrier, and limiting the potential for upscaling. The project sustainability is still threatened by inadequate socio-economics benefits and the still weak Water User Associations.

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