Promoting Access to Clean Energy Services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (PACES )

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Barbados
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
04/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Promoting Access to Clean Energy Services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (PACES )
Atlas Project Number: 00080915
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Barbados
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.4. Scaled up action on climate change adaptation and mitigation across sectors which is funded and implemented
SDG Target
  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • 7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 14,126
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Oscar Huertas Díaz Evaluator oscarhuertas77@gmail.com COLOMBIA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Promoting Access to Clean Energy Services
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5297
PIMS Number: 5146
Key Stakeholders: GEF
Countries: BARBADOS
Lessons
1.

Every design must include from the beginning a clear theory of change that allows identifying the chain of results from the inputs, through the activities, products and expected results.


2.

Projects should have a holistic approach combining short-term solutions with long term impacts. Nevertheless, when aiming for institutional changes and policy making, the projects need to clearly define outputs and results that fall under its control.


3.

Regarding the gender and human rights approach and SDG contributions, the evaluation highlights that the project aimed at male-dominated sectors, and focused on changes at the institutional level, making it difficult to have a robust gender strategy. However, PACES made efforts to strengthen the integration of the gender perspective in its implementation, as it strived for the equal participation of men and women in project activities, training was also carried out for all people, documents and project reports were also prepared to respond to the role of women in the project and disaggregating data by gender. It is important to note that women are particularly affected by the lack of access to energy, especially in rural areas.


4.

For future NIM projects that require an implementing agency, it is important to analyze the administrative challenges and procurement delays, as well as mitigation measures and alternatives for an agile execution. Given the novelty of the RE topic in SVG it is recommended to set realistic timelines taking into account the scarcity of local suppliers. Together with other UNDP Cos in the  Caribbean, it would be beneficial to build a list of international suppliers, consultants, experts, etc.


Findings
1.

The evaluation concludes that the project was relevant from the onset and continues to be so because it focuses on an environmental and development priority that is aligned with the interests of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, UNDP, GEF, the environment in general, the energy sector, and the community


2.

The project relates to the GEF Climate Change focal area as it is aimed at several GEF focal strategies, PACES project is also aligned with national priorities stated in the National Development Plan, and it is also in line with CARICOM objectives, specifically objectives c and d


3.

PACES project acknowledged prior developments on Renewable energies and built its intervention based on the progress from past experiences in the region. The PACES project design is also relevant because it defined the results, effects, and outputs, as well as measurement indicators, baselines, and targets. The project developed a logical framework in the project document, with specific links between the inputs, activities, outputs and expected results.


4.

The initial design is a holistic one since the project involves a mix of short-term solutions with long-term strategies; the components include institutional outcomes, capacity building, and demonstrative projects in the field.   This is a very ambitious and robust approach because it aims at providing short-term results with longer-term strategies. The idea is not only to provide tangible solutions, but to link those replicable RE projects with public policy making, and institutional arrangements.


5.

The component number one, regarding the establishment of a public policy was needed because the institutional change is pivotal for RE implementation in SVG, nevertheless, it is ambitious given the human and financial resources, the time available and all the external factors that are needed in order to do policy making. The evaluation highlights the fact that the project created an exit strategy with dedicated activities, roles And follow-up schemes in order to progress towards policy change after the project ends.


6.

Regarding the financial and economic sustainability of the project, the entities consulted during the field visit have expressed their interest in continuing with the advanced processes, but there needs to be clear data on RE performance, costs, etc., as well as some institutional changes: SVG has a high duty structure with lengthy processes for RE solutions acquisition.  If RE is not competitive with other alternatives, then the project benefits won't be sustained in time.


7.

The levels of stakeholder participation were favorable due to the call but also to the relevance of the initiative and its potential impact; one of the relevance indicators is the government ownership of the project


8.

It is important to note that there was no specific gender strategy within the project, but, the project did make some efforts to involve gender perspectives.


9.

The most prominent results of the project were: to launch a national dialogue on renewable energies amongst key stakeholders from government agencies, and the private sector. The project has led to a critical mass of actors discussing institutional arrangements, draft policies, based on demonstrative projects. Lastly, the project has built capacities in key partners to raise the knowledge and understanding of these topics. The evaluation found that one of the vital non-expected results was raising the awareness towards renewable energies in SVG.

The project delivered a series of high-quality products that can be used by stakeholders, the government or third parties to generate positive changes and more favorable conditions for the use of renewable energies, and reducing fuel-based solutions.

The evaluation rates the efficiency of the PACES project as highly satisfactory given the number of outputs delivered, the scope of the project and the resources available (both human and financial).


10.

The project faced some efficiency issues that hindered the progress; there were some administrative issues around procurement requirements, for example, lack of local suppliers demanded international bids to purchase some solutions,  getting payments were slow through Government procedures as a NIM project, so the decision was to use UNDP procedures.

Nonetheless, one of the success factors for this project has been that it was well staffed with dedicated project team members. This is very relevant taking into account that many foreign aid projects in the Caribbean fail, due to government understaffing, high turnover rates, and high workloads, so when a new project is assigned to national institutions, it struggles a lot during implementation. Also, the partnership with VINLEC meant good support to the project in technical aspect


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