Final Evaluation of the Strengthening the operational and financial sustainability of the National Protected Area System project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Jamaica
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title Final Evaluation of the Strengthening the operational and financial sustainability of the National Protected Area System project
Atlas Project Number: 00059298
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Jamaica
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2017
Planned End Date: 07/2017
Management Response: No
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 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
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
  • 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 34,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Elsie Laurence Chounoune Deputy Representative, UNDP JAMAICA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Strengthening the operational and financial sustainability of the National Protected Area System
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 3764
PIMS Number: 3832
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, GEF, National Environment and Planning Agency
Countries: JAMAICA

Without a proactive and open participation of relevant national stakeholders in the design process, especially from those agencies which would be implementers, design will not be relevant nor feasible.  Without all national counterparts being proactive and straightforward about their technical capacities, their expected involvement in implementation, the relevance of any part of proposed output/outcome within a country’s national context design fails and often needs to be adjusted if project is to be implemented at all.





The mere production of plans, studies, and processes as outputs does not automatically translate into results.  Studies, reports, documents and processes need to be accompanied by clear mechanisms that promotes knowledge assimilation, knowledge sharing, and clear-cut mechanisms to inform and promote policy processes for adoption of outputs.


The roles of different stakeholders cannot be underestimated and as early as possible they should be clearly defined and assimilated from the onset, especially the roles of those stakeholders and institutions that should provide strategic direction (such as project director, committees, board members, management unit).


For a complex intervention, the project management unit needs to be strong, well-funded and adequately staffed.  Staff needs to have individual capacity to manage such a project, and also have needed management and technical expertise for such a unit. 


As it relates to UNDP, a lesson learned is that its guidance and supportive role cannot be taken lightly.  When UNDP collaborates with the implementation process through whatever means (such as log frame reform, changes in decision – making structures, bilateral meetings with implementing agency, and so on) implementation improves.


As all projects of this sort, a key aspect of its design is the inception log frame/results framework which includes project strategy and the intervention’s logic as well as baseline and target indicators. The NPAS logic and strategy at the design and formulation level was fitting. The formulation documents effectively identify the key issues, threats, and other matters that hinder adequate, sustainable management of protected areas in Jamaica in a developmental framework. The results framework, therefore, bases its logic and strategy upon identified threats and barriers and the ways to act upon them to improve management of PAs.

Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management


The threats as well as underlying causes that hinder biodiversity conservation and sustainable use (within which protected areas are key components) were properly identified. These threats included accelerated loss of vulnerable habitats and associated species, increasing broken links between natural areas causing increased fragmentation of Jamaica ‘s marine and terrestrial protected areas. These issues are further compounded and hastened by institutional capacity that does not guarantee fitting protected area management (neither at site nor at the system level). Lack of adequate funding for managing protected areas is also an issue in Jamaica. More recently, climate change is also present as a threat to biodiversity in Jamaica, impacting negatively also on PA s. All-encompassing issues also arise out of the conflict between protected areas and other productive projects together with the lack of opportunities for communities to fully apprehend the potential social and economic benefits that biodiversity (including PA s) can bring.

Underlying and direct causes of biodiversity degradation and unsustainable of natural resources are chiefly results of macro-economic and policy factors. Jamaica’s impoverished economy is reliant on the exploitation of natural resources, often unsustainable exploitation. Policies and processes derive in unsustainable practices in mining, fishing, agriculture, forestry as well as in tourism. The latter is closely related to protected areas as well as other natural resources since most tourism is nature – oriented.

Barriers were also specifically identified at project design. Among these were inadequate policy instruments related to efficient and effective management (including financial management) of protected areas; limited capacity for management –institutional, individual, operational and policy related management--; an inadequate funding base and resources to finance management instruments, general limited political and public support of PA s as well as weak understanding of the socio – economic benefits of protected areas. Insufficient as well as inadequate coverage of protected areas throughout the country was also identified as a barrier.

The Project’s logic and strategy therefore was to confront these issues through specific outputs and expected outcomes that would, plausibly, deal with threats and barriers for adequate protected area management in a sustainable development context in Jamaica. Therefore, in terms of overall logic and strategy the design responded to an adequate rationale and it was designed as a strategic intervention.

Tag: Climate change governance Climate finance Biodiversity Site Conservation / Preservation Wildlife Conservation Challenges Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management


In general (as previously indicated also for baseline indicators), target indicators used standard tools to measure achievements and results, such as METT and financial sustainability scorecards. The expected results indicators were considered to be overly ambitious, and a reworked log frame with revised target indicators was drawn in 2015 and with minor revisions in 2016, although there were discussions about reforming the results framework early in the implementation process (2012).10 In general, most of the indicators were SMART, either having all five of these characteristics or a majority of them. They are specific and measurable (for instance, when the indicators are expressed through METT and financial scores). They are relevant given that they deal with pertinent issues related to Protected Areas in the country, such as financial aspects or land coverage protected. Furthermore, after the log frame indicator changes that took place in 2015, it was deemed that the expected results would be more achievable than the original ones which were, early on, deemed as overly ambitious.

Tag: Climate finance Challenges Effectiveness Impact Relevance


Overall, the indicators (and underlying these the overall logic of the intervention) link outputs, products, results with the expected outcomes and objectives to a degree. In retrospect, however, some sections there could have been better calibration of the outputs to the outcomes. For instance, in some cases it is not clear how the products will or would lead to effects, impacts or outcomes. As an example, it is not clear how the products such as management plans or business plans link to improved management since it is not explicit how they would be implemented to have effects or impacts. That is, there are weak linkages between products and expected outcomes, or how outputs/products would result as outcomes in some cases. The indicators are in most cases, therefore, output or product indicators and do not attempt to tally outcome or effect.

Tag: Effectiveness Impact


Throughout the results framework alterations, however, no changes were made at the objective and outcome levels. Nevertheless, some stakeholders considered that –even with this reform—the expectations were still deemed too high considering resources, capacity, and time scope of the NPAS Project. That is, although in general the revised indicators in the log frame were more attuned to what realistically could be achieved at the product level, still in general the project was deemed too ambitious in what it was expected to achieve at the outcome level and to the possibilities to lead change so deep as the Project aimed at given the Jamaican policy context.

Tag: Challenges Impact


Design formulation has been a laborious step for this project. Several stakeholders from different sorts of institutions were not fully satisfied with the design process and subsequent formulation. They have indicated that, as designed, the Project was not viable. This is corroborated by the changes in the log frame that were carried out in 2015. Although these reformulations were made in what can be considered the last tranches of the Project, discussion about needed changes to the log frame began shortly after project approval and when implementation began (in 2012). Furthermore, stakeholders indicate that the design process was not fully perceptive or cognizant of the capacities, needs and possibilities to implement a project such as this one in Jamaica.

Tag: Challenges Programme/Project Design


Although most consulted stakeholders who did participate in the design process indicated that they provided inputs to some degree, several made a few sorts of appreciations. First, that the national stakeholders (both government and non – government) needed to be more assertive and have more inputs as to what were the national capacities and eventual commitments that such a project would entail and second that the project should have linked better with national agencies’ timelines and work plans. Furthermore, it is considered that the design process was rushed since it was carried out in a shorter period of time than initially prearranged, which meant that consultations were hasty and not as thorough as needed.

Tag: Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management


The timing of the expected results was not specifically set up at design and at formulation. It is assumed by several stakeholders that if a specific timeline would have been set up, the project’s outputs could have had a greater effect and could have been more effective. For instance, several baseline studies, plans, and documents were drafted at the very end of the NPAS Project, while interventions at the field level that dealt with some of the aspects of these outputs were done before these documents were finalized. Therefore (in part due to a lack of a planned clear sequential pattern and timeline for the outputs, in part due to the delays in implementation) baseline studies/documents were made available to implementers after the specific onsite interventions took place dealing with the issues in these outputs.

Tag: Challenges Effectiveness


Lastly, budgeting as planned in design formulation was deemed inadequate. First, the planned budget for management (specifically for the Project Management Unit) was insufficient. Second, the costing of outputs (primarily consultancies) was also deemed inadequate to meet with the expected products and to attract the quality needed for these products. This was identified throughout the course of the Project, but there were no attempts to make changes. 

Tag: Challenges Project and Programme management


At the design stage there was a framework of planned stakeholder participation. First in participation in the Project’s decision-making processes13 (PSC) and ad hoc technical committees as the project progressed in implementation. The ProDoc states in a summarized manner what were the expected inputs and expected participation of several stakeholders. This participation framework was not comprehensive. This could have been the cause of having several stakeholders becoming aware of what their role and what it was expected of them as participants in the Project in the latter part of implementation. Also, stakeholders indicate that this could have been the result of the rushed short period of project development, which did not allow for extensive consultations as well as for dissemination and appropriation of information on the participation framework what this truly entailed for several national institutions.

Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management


At the design level, the replication approach was not detailed, even though the issue is considered to some extent in the project planning documents. Although some mentions are made of a replication strategy, a full-fledged approach for replicating results was not part of the design. Furthermore, there is no specific concrete approach (at design and planning) to upscale, replicate or expand outcomes and outputs, nor an explicit theory of change. 

Tag: Challenges


Design of the project contemplated UNDP’s comparative advantage, in particular as it relates to GEF – funded projects. The design of the NPAS Project acknowledged UNDP's comparative advantage in the areas of capacity building, human resource development, and institutional strengthening. UNDP’s Country Office in Jamaica is also recognized for its comparative advantage since it has facilitated the development of strong relationships with the diverse institutional stakeholders (from government and from civil society) that took part in the Project.

UNDP’s country office in Jamaica has had a key role in the country in developing and managing capacity building programmes and technical assistance projects for natural resource management, climate risk management and adaptation as well as for other more general environmental issues (at the larger project levels as well as with the Small Grants Programme). UNDP’s capital of information, access to expertise, knowledge management capabilities as well as its regional and global positioning and development of similar projects was also part of the agency’s comparative advantage. The experience in human resources development, integrated policy support, institutional strengthening, and participation is further enhanced by UNDP’s ability to draw on experts (regionally and inter – regionally) to propel capacity in protected area management when is not found in – country.

Tag: Climate change governance Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Impact Human and Financial resources UN Country Team Capacity Building


The management arrangements set out at design and formulation were fairly standard arrangements for GEF – funded UNDP – implemented National Execution (NEX) modality projects. The lead implementing agency was the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), not only overseeing matters of implementation but also housing the Project Management Unit. A Project Steering Committee (PSC) was set up with the aim of it being a strategic decision-making body for NPAS that would provide overall guidance and direction as well as be responsible for decision making.

Given that protected areas fall under the realm of several different national agencies, these institutions were also partners of the Project, not only at the decision – making process (such as in the Project Screening Committee and eventually in the ad hoc technical committees set up in the latter parts of the implementation process) but also in direct implementation of activities and products. The Project Steering Committee at start-up was quite large, which made the decision-making process slow and cumbersome. As part of its adaptive management strategies, a restructuring of the PSC took place at approximately mid-point of the implementation process where the number of members of the PSC was reduced.

Tag: Project and Programme management


The design also provides guidelines for the functioning of the Project Management Unit (PMU) as well as staffing guidelines. The original management arrangements indicated that the PMU would be responsible for directing, supervising and coordinating implementation and that it be located within NEPA. The PMU was to be composed of a project manager, an administrative assistant and a part-time accountant. By all analysis these arrangements have been deemed as inadequate in order to manage such a complex and substantial project as NPAS. This, together with the percentage of funds allocated and budgeted for staffing, has been one of the causes for implementation issues which will be seen further along this report.

Tag: Challenges Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management


Adaptive management is defined as the project’s ability to adapt to changes to the project design (project objective, outcomes, or outputs) during implementation resulting from: (a) original objectives that were not sufficiently articulated; (b) exogenous conditions that changed, due to which change was needed; (c) the project’s restructuring because the original expectations were overambitious; or (d) the project’s restructuring because of a lack of progress. If this definition is followed then it can be said that adaptive management thoroughly took place throughout the Project. In particular, after mid-point when the rate of delivery was deemed to be too slow. Adaptive management, the implementation of changes, and several other such components can be considered to be one of the successes of the NPAS project, that impelled execution (particularly in the latter stages of implementation) and the obtainment of outputs and results.

Tag: Challenges Programme/Project Design


As established in the Project Document and at inception, a broad framework for stakeholder analysis was carried out at Project design. The main partnership arrangements with relevant stakeholders involved in protected areas in Jamaica was between the implementing partner (NEPA) and the other national agencies that deal with protected areas in the country (i.e. the Forestry Department, the Fisheries Division, and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust). Although several stakeholders expressed that the participation of multiple agencies slowed down the decision-making processes, especially until the latter three agencies mentioned generated buy-in into the Project, if NPAS would have been implemented only by one agency it would not have been as relevant nor as sustainable. First, because the very nature of administration and management of protected areas in Jamaica involves all of the agencies mentioned and second because the partnerships worked at the national level once buy-in and expectations were clear. Lastly, in the implementation of specific interventions at the site levels, inter – agency coordination worked quite well between the partners, involving exchanges and valued added with each agency conveying their capacities and coordinating execution.

Tag: Challenges Impact Relevance Programme/Project Design Bilateral partners Country Government Coordination


Also, partnership arrangements were similarly maintained with other non – state actors involved in protected area management in the country. This was particularly the case with non – governmental organizations charged with the mandate of managing particular sites. Furthermore, the mentioned government agencies as well as other non – governmental organizations and other relevant government institutions partnered in the governance and guiding of the Project through the Project Steering Committee and the ad-hoc technical committees. PSC participation was positive, with some rotation in representation throughout the life span of the project. Attendance and involvement was proactive for the most part. At times, there was delegation and rotation without bringing new participants up to date.

Tag: Natural Resouce management Bilateral partners Country Government Coordination


Partnership and linkages were also maintained at the regional level. A key collaboration took place with the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) given that this organization will be the umbrella institution for the financing mechanism that would originate out of the NPAS Project. Several stakeholders have indicated that it would have been desirable to link bilaterally with other countries, particularly in the Caribbean, that have implemented or are implementing these sorts of project and also with those countries that are part of the CBF initiative. Although exchanges have taken place with these countries, it would have benefited the NPAS project to have had deeper linkages, in particular to learn how the issues of protected area management and financial sustainability was dealt with in each case. South-south cooperation would have benefitted the Project through sharing of knowledge, experiences and of best practices.

Tag: Challenges Sustainability Bilateral partners International Financial Institutions


The implementation of the monitoring/evaluation plan essentially followed the M & E plan set up at design. There were, therefore, frequent opportunities for feedback of M & E activities to be used for adaptive management. In general, fluid feedback from monitoring and evaluation activities were used for adaptive management. With this matter, as with several others as is seen throughout this report, several distinct stages of the implementation process should be taken into account. These would be from 2010 to 2013 (before the mid-term review) where implementation and monitoring underwent serious delays and setbacks, and the period after the mid-point of the Project (including the periods granted as a no-cost extension).

Tag: Challenges Change Management Project and Programme management


The earlier implementation stage was characterized by a stagnant delivery, and little or no adaptive management. Therefore, feedback from monitoring activities was not used for adjusting management issues. After the mid-point of the project a strong usage of adaptive management instruments took place (as indicated in other relevant section of this report). Much of this was based on monitoring and evaluation activities. The findings from monitoring and evaluation activities were used as a base to redirect whatever needed to be redirected in order to achieve results, albeit in the latter implementation period of NPAS. Other issues that hindered monitoring reside in the fact that UNDP did not have a specific Monitoring and Evaluation position at the Jamaican Country Office until 2014 and, therefore, did not have a specific area to aid the Project in monitoring.

Tag: Challenges Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management


The total planned project cost was of 7,820,585 USD, with planned financing by GEF of 2,770,585 USD and a 5,050,000 USD of planned co-financing from other sources. Of this expected co – financing, 200,000 USD was to be from UNDP and the rest was to be provided by other sources. Actual versus planned financial data for financing and co -financing is provided below in the narrative and in the following table. Further information on financing and co – financing is found in the chart below.

Tag: Global Environment Facility fund International Financial Institutions


Based on the ProDoc revision in 2015, the project’s budget was reduced to USD2,020,585 due to the reallocation of USD750,000 to the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. At the end of 2016, the total expenditure from GEF funds was USD1,898,391. The balance at the end of 2016 was USD122,193. Notwithstanding, the approved budget and the approved spending limit for 2017 was USD247,700, of which USD228,377was expended. This reflects an over expenditure of $106,184. This was an oversight from three sides: the project’s implementing partner, NEPA, UNDP Country Office and the UNDP GEF Unit in Panama. The various shifts in budget, including direct payment to CBF, may have led the team to lose track of the actual amount available and to overstate the available budget, given the initial slow rate of delivery. While there were reductions in the co-financing amounts by specific donors (e.g., government, TNC), the overall amount was increased to USD6,178,554 due to an increase in KFW’s contribution to the CBF. It is important to note that co-financing went directly to the CBF from the donors.
While some sources indicate co-financing by the Government of Jamaica was USD250,000, other sources indicate that the Government of Jamaica’s co – financing in cash was of USD 104,067. In the project document there are indications of planned USD2,000,000 of in-kind support to be made available by the Government of Jamaica. However, details of actual in kind support has not been provided by the implementing partner.

Tag: Challenges Global Environment Facility fund Multi Donor Trust Funds Donor


Planned monitoring and evaluation design at entry defines a fairly standard set of tools and methodologies in accordance with established UNDP and GEF procedures for this sort of project. These included Inception Workshop and Report; Measurement of Means of Verification of project results; Measurement of Means of Verification for Project Progress on output and implementation; Project Implementation Reports (PIRs); Periodic status/ progress reports; Mid-term Evaluation; Final Evaluation; Project Terminal Report; Audit as well as visits to field sites. 
Although some of these tools were not fully well-defined, they do follow a prototype applicable to the sort of project being implemented. Therefore, at entry, the ranking is Satisfactory (S) given that it had only minor shortcomings.

Tag: Impact Monitoring and Evaluation


The implementation of the Monitoring and Evaluation framework has followed, to a large degree, the M & E plan. The Inception Workshop and Report were set up early in the implementation process (two months after project signature). The mid-term review took place six months before it was assumed it would take place. Given the early signs of implementation and governance stand stills present at that time of the project mid-term review, this was positive since it gave the Project leeway in designing and implementing adaptive management. Other monitoring tools were also applied as planned, yet some had delays. Stakeholders indicate that application of the monitoring plan was difficult and intricate at times since, in addition to the reporting to be done according to the Project’s M & E plan, national agencies’ reporting was added. This generated extra effort for the PMU and duplication of efforts.
Risk management, and its linked monitoring and reporting, was weak (as stated elsewhere in this report) at design. In the latter stages of implementation, and with specific guidance from the Project Steering Committee, risk monitoring was improved.

Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Risk Management


The Project Document sets up coordination and operational issues as well as proposed management arrangements. Although not overtly specified at design, the coordination and management implementation system is set following standard processes for NEX (National Execution)/NIM (National Implementation Modality) projects. Although, NEPA is identified as the implementing agency, collaboration was attained from the other three government agencies that deal with protected areas in Jamaica throughout implementation and execution. By all accounts, this inter – governmental agencies’ collaboration worked well, even at the level of implementation and execution in field sites. Although some stakeholders indicated that the involvement of all the agencies might have slowed down the decision – making process (specially before buy – in of the institutions regarding the NPAS Project’s), an intervention without all four institutions working together would not have been pertinent since all of the institutions involved have dominion over protected areas in Jamaica.

Tag: Challenges Impact Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Country Government


The Project established a Project Management Unit hosted in the offices of NEPA while a representative from this institution acted as Project Director. The PMU had several personnel rotations throughout the implementation period, including three different project managers and a period without a project manager where NEPA staff assumed a proactive management role. These rotations hindered continuity of the implementation process. Therefore, this issue can, to some degree be associated with some aspects of the critical delays that the Project suffered throughout its operation. Staffing of the PMU was deficient in many respects. First, since this sort of GEF – funded UNDP-implemented projects management units are set up following guidelines which establish a rather small staffing arrangement, it was assessed that the arrangements were not effective. Considering the periods where this staffing arrangement was not in place (for instance due to leaves of absence), even the minimal arrangement established at design following UNDP/GEF guidelines was many times not met. Furthermore, the salary caps (i.e. percentage of a project’s budget that can be used for salaries) resulted in limitations to the salaries that could be paid. Considering Jamaican salary ranges it was deemed that the limited amount available for salaries did not attract personnel with the needed or desired technical capacities and management capabilities required for managing such a large and intricate project as NPAS. This coupled with limited national capacities and lack of responsiveness from government to meeting in due time with the required procurement and decision making for management greatly hindered implementation.

Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Procurement Project and Programme management


Given that the Project was implemented in a NEX/NIM modality, the role of NEPA was key as it regards to management and operative matters, not only as they relate to the PMU but also in all terms of operational issues (including contracting, procurement, and approvals needed to execute work plans). NEPA has a complexed and long procedure for processing procurement matters which –in turn—caused significant delays as well as set- backs in project implementation. Up to five different administrative processes had to be implemented for decision making and procurement, just from NEPA. It was estimated that hiring of consultants took about eight months on average.

Tag: Challenges Procurement Project and Programme management


Overall, the above-mentioned deficiencies and issues related to management were some of the causal effects of the very slow start-up, such as not meeting with timelines, substantial postponements in execution, very low delivery until the last stages of the project implementation process. These were also the reasons why two extensions had to be obtained to finalize the project, even while the project had a planned implementation span of six years, and this was also the rationale for the review to the results framework. The latter, although commendable in some respects since it overtook some design issues, the reforms to the log frame, also responded to the fact that –due to implementation issues—the target results were abridged to have a greater likelihood to meeting with them, at the product/output levels.

Tag: Challenges Project and Programme management


In summary, the project had several issues regarding implementation processes and severe delays in delivery at its start up. However, adaptive management and an intensified and purposefully accelerated delivery in the last year of implementation resulted in achievements, albeit mostly at the product level. Therefore, as a composite, these aspects are deemed Moderately Satisfactory (MS) since there were moderate shortcomings in the achievement of Project results due to management issues.

Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Impact Project and Programme management


Working in tandem with UNDP’s processes was also difficult since the two administrative procedures overlapped. Notwithstanding these issues, coordination between UNDP and the national implementing partner was positive throughout the operational process. UNDP’s role throughout implementation varied. There was a more proactive role after the mid-point. Especially when full realization was made by all parties that the project had a very low delivery rate and was in a serious risk of coming to a standstill, and that UNDP had to provide a more active role if the project would continue to be implemented. UNDP also had a strong role in procuring expertise when technical proficiency was not available in-country. Therefore, the overall quality of UNDP implementation was Satisfactory (S) given shortcomings identified in particular in the achievement of effectiveness and efficiency. The shortcomings identified, by many stakeholders, deal with the matter that UNDP could have played a more active role in implementation and execution (evidently without interfering with the country’s national implementation matters) early on the implementation process in order to avoid or moderate the serious delays that the Project had, particularly in its initial stages of implementation.
Therefore, as an amalgamated review, the overall quality of implementation and execution, of the executing agency as well as the quality execution of UNDP is Moderately Satisfactory (MS) since moderate shortcomings were identified throughout the implementation process as a whole.

Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Project and Programme management


In terms of expected results, the overall objective of the NPAS Project was to consolidate the operational and financial sustainability of Jamaica’s national system of protected areas. The expected results were articulated through anticipated outcomes and these, in turn, are operationalized through the generation of outputs (products, activities, processes, etc.). In the following section, an analysis is made of attainment of objectives vis – a – vis these various levels.20 The project’s final report of July 2017, as well as other sources, attests to the fact that products/outputs have been achieved to a large degree. However, and as the report rightly affirms, the achieved results have been attained mostly at the output/product level. Following are charts extracted from the Project’s final report with an evaluation analysis per expected output. At the end of this section there is a general analysis of results.

Tag: Impact


Although this output (1.1) is somewhat completed, the National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (NCTFJ) is still awaiting final formalization of this Trust Fund with the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. Formalization would be completed with the signing of the partnership agreement. It is expected that this would take place by December 2017. The establishment of the NCTFJ, if fully operational and capitalized, would be a major achievement of the NPAS Project leading to the consolidation of a financing mechanism for protected areas in Jamaica, a key expectation out of this project as well as key issue in protected area management within a developing country context. The establishment of the fund had a long series of debates within the Project and with key stakeholders at the national, regional, and international levels. After governance issues of such a Trust Fund were modified to fit national priorities, and when formal registration issues were at last carried out, the Trust Fund was formally recognized at the national level. The signing of the official partnership agreement with the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund would be the last formalization step that would need to be taken to formalize the Trust Fund. However, a considerable matter to be contemplated is the issue of co – funding. Although co – funding from the country’s Tourism Enhancement Fund was expected throughout the NCTF deliberations, the likelihood of drawing from those funds is deemed doubtful from several key stakeholders at the time of the evaluation. First due to budget limitations, second due to a lack of presentation of robust and solid proposals. Working on having the NCTFJ functioning could be a key aspect of immediate follow up for the NPAS Project.

Tag: Natural Resouce management Protected Areas Multi Donor Trust Funds Project and Programme management


At the output level, within Output 1.2, the preparation of model site level business plans was achieved. However, several problems were identified with these business plans. First their phasing. The business plans were completed at the very end of the Project. Yet, interventions at field sites that specifically dealt with issues related to the business plans (such as upgrading of facilities or merchandising for the generation of income for the protected areas) were implemented before the plans were available. Therefore, there was no possibility of implementing activities with the guidance of the respective business plans. Other issues with business plans was their quality and their approach. Several business plans were not of the expected quality, and they had to be redrawn. Furthermore, several attempts at drafting business plans were abandoned given that the consultants engaged did not have any knowledge of business planning for protected areas, which is a rather specific area of expertise where not any sort of business plan is applicable. Lastly, all stakeholders consulted regarding the quality of these products agreed that those who drafted several of the plans had no knowledge of the national or even regional context or –if they did—this was not reflected fully in the products. That is, that they had no knowledge of “what it takes” to draw and establish a business plan in a developing country context such as in Jamaica (with its particularities regarding protected area policies and its socio-economic context) and that the proposals in the plans were highly inapplicable in this framework. At the time of the terminal evaluation one business plan was being used for seeking further financing for PA management.

Tag: Challenges Business Model


Although the baseline for Output 1.3 is inaccurate given that there were documented revenue generation mechanisms in protected areas, the output was completed in several products given that there were activities implemented (such as upgrading of infrastructure) which could theoretically increase revenue generation. It is indicated that this is theoretical since at the time of the evaluation no increased revenue had been achieved yet. Furthermore, when local stakeholders who were not protected areas managers were engaged in order to generate mechanisms for income diversification, these have not been sustained and they have been abandoned. Again, many of these activities would have had a linkage with the business plans (see above), but as indicated above, the business plans were finalized after the revenue generation mechanisms were tested or piloted, precluding interchange between these highly linked outputs.

Tag: Challenges Business Model Project and Programme management Infrastructure


Output 1.4 completed only at the product level, as the report from which the above chart is extracted indicates, no effect or outcome can be determined. There is no evidence of beginning implementation of these financial plans at the time of the evaluation. 

One of the main outcomes expected out of the NPAS Project was to streamline protected area management policy in the country, in particular through this specific output/outcome (2.1). A new overarching policy was drafted, also Drafting Instructions for an Overarching Protected Area Legislation (Protected Areas Act for Jamaica), yet they had not been fully adopted by the time of the evaluation. Some stakeholders indicate that this was one of the design failures given that the expected output/outcome was not relevant for Jamaica, it was not feasible nor applicable. Nevertheless, in addition to the already myriad of policies dealing with different protected areas recommendations for drafting instructions for a new protected area Act were drafted. Although it has been placed in the legislative agenda, stakeholders are uncertain as to whether it would be adopted.

Tag: Protected Areas Challenges Programme/Project Design


The expansion of the PA network as such was not achieved within the Project (as expected for Output 2.2). The base documents for declaring the mentioned areas (Pedro Cays and Black River Protected Area Landscape) have been drafted however. Yet, the process of declaration itself is expected to commence after the Project ended. Although some stakeholders do indicate that this culmination of declaration of new PAs might take place in the near future, there is no indication of how this will be brought about as a result of the project. 

Tag: Challenges Project and Programme management


Management plans were completed for the targeted protected areas (Output 3.1). Some of these were innovative or pioneering since some areas had no management plans at all. Other areas updated already existing plans. Stakeholders from some protected areas indicate that they are using the new or updating plans for day to day management, which is indicative of effect and likelihood of sustainability of these products.

Tag: Efficiency Sustainability Business Model Project and Programme management


This output is linked to Output 1.3. As above, the baseline is inaccurate given that there were documented conservation-based economic development activities in protected areas. The output was completed in several areas given that there were activities implemented (such as upgrading of infrastructure) which could theoretically increase conservation-based economic development activities. It is indicated that this is theoretical since at the time of the evaluation no conservation – based economic activities based on the project are reported. Again, as in Output 1.3, many of these activities would have had a linkage with the business plans (see above), but as indicated above, the business plans were finalized after the conservation – based economic development activities would have been piloted, precluding meaningful interchange between these highly linked outputs.

Tag: Challenges Business Model Project and Programme management


Although increased stakeholder awareness regarding PAs in all protected areas amongst stakeholders and increased stakeholder feedback and involvement in PA activities is not measured as an outcome just as an output (as expected as of Output 3.4), there have been some activities carried out. However, the effectiveness of these activities is not being measured. The Project also had a series of issues with communications consultants, and partly based on those problems a full awareness campaign was never implemented as planned. Just some isolated posters and signage. Although the report states that “NPAS webpage has been linked to the NEPA website and now being maintained by NEPA” this is incorrect. The webpage presence is very weak, it only contains an outdated Project Description (Information Sheet) and the Project Document. The workshops and events with communities were very weak methodologically. For the most part, also, the Project and its products did not have thorough visibility.

Tag: Challenges Communication Strategic Positioning


Furthermore, very key issues were not taken up by the Project in the way it was expected by an intervention that was to be development oriented (perhaps due to this international consultancy modality or because the NPAS Project decided not to recognize these issues). For instance, the matter indicated in the planning documents that opportunities for communities to realize the potential social and economic benefits accruing from biodiversity are lost or that there are no formal state policies to facilitate mutual benefit opportunities between conservation and tourism (which is one of the main drivers and employment generation activity in Jamaica and which – in the country – is tourism based on natural areas). The opportunities to link protected areas with the country‘s socio-economic development priorities (also indicated in the project planning documents) were basically lost within the implementation process and when attempts were made to include livelihood aspects for communities that use protected areas, these were rather weak and imprecise.

Tag: Challenges


Furthermore, when results are analysed in comparison to targets or indicators that would supposedly be met at the end of the project, several issues arise. First of all, as indicated in the section on log frame and results indicators, many of these do not deal with outcomes or results but only with outputs. Therefore, whatever analysis that can be made of achievement or not of results, outputs, or outcomes struggles with this issue. At the output level, it can be said that NPAS has achieved several products. Studies, plans, improvement of infrastructure in protected areas, background information for declaring new areas and other such products have been drafted and overall –at the product level—the planned outputs have been achieved for the most part. Furthermore, the basis for what can be a sustained financing mechanism for protected areas have also been laid out. Unfortunately, due to excessive delays and management problems, most of these products were achieved at the very end of the project. Given this, and given the prevailing vision that the Project would generate those outputs with little or no foresight of achieving outcomes, effects and even impacts, the latter were not achieved. A few products are being used for management of protected areas in Jamaica (for instance, the management plans). That is, for the most part the products were achieved but their use, effect and potential impact has not been fully reached and there are some doubts whether these would after all be done in the near future if there is no sustained impulse to do so. This is the case with policy adoption and the trust fund, for example.

Tag: Challenges Impact


A project’s external communication not only attends to the visibility of the intervention, it also gives an account of a project’s progress and intended impact through communications, outreach and even in some cases through public awareness drives. NPAS has had a random haphazard communication strategy. For instance, although communication was embedded as some of the outputs that were to be achieved, and indeed there were communication drives implemented for some components and a billboard and signage were set up, the effect of those was never measured. Furthermore, visibility of the Project as a whole was very weak. At the time of the terminal evaluation the NPAS webpage was not operational. And, although the Project’s final report states that “NPAS webpage has been linked to the NEPA website and now be maintained by NEPA”, this is incorrect. The webpage presence is very weak, it only contains an outdated Project Description (Information Sheet) and the Project Document. The workshops with communities were very weak methodologically, which in turn did not generate visibility with the communities surrounding targeted protected areas. For the most part, also, the Project and its products did not have thorough visibility and there was no attribution to the Project in many products or outputs (no indication that this was an international project supported by the UN system, no logos, etc.)

Tag: Challenges Communication


When analysing relevance for the NPAS Project, the scrutiny can be done at two levels. First at the level of needs for Jamaica and second at the level of formal aligning of the Project with development plans and UNDP/GEF corporate mandates. The latter relates as to the extent to which a project and its interventions and activities are suited to local and national development priorities and needs as well as programmatic UN priorities.
Regarding the former, relevance vis – a – vis the country’s needs, it can be stated that the Project was relevant to a large degree. First of all, given that this project was positioned in a country with a vast vulnerability regarding management of protected areas, issues with natural resource management in general and the lack of opportunities for communities to fully apprehend the potential social and economic benefits that biodiversity (including PA s) can bring. Furthermore, the relation of protected areas and natural resource management with productive sectors is one of divergence in Jamaica with protected areas in conflict with mining and oil exploration/exploitation as well as having a multidimensional relation with tourism. Stakeholders, however, have indicated that some of the expected products or outcomes were not relevant within the policy and administrative protected areas situation in Jamaica, in particular those related to policy that –in theory—would change the protected areas administration patterns in the country.

Tag: Relevance Global Environment Facility fund Project and Programme management


Effectiveness and efficiency are two very inter – related concepts in project evaluations. The effectiveness of a project is defined as the degree to which the development intervention’s objectives were achieved. The valorisation of effectiveness is used as an aggregate for judgment of the merit or worth of an activity, (i.e. the extent to which an intervention has attained, or is expected to attain, its major relevant objectives proficiently in a sustainable fashion and with a positive institutional development impact). While efficiency is defined as the extent to which results have been delivered with the least costly resources possible. Efficiency is a measure of how economically resources/inputs (funds, expertise, time, etc.) are converted into results.

Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency


Regarding effectiveness, the Project has been fairly effective in achieving outputs/products and less effective in achieving outcomes. As some stakeholders indicate, and a valorisation with which this evaluation agrees, the project had issues in harnessing effects of most of the products achieved due to a fragile implementation and due to weak adoption of these outputs, and in resolving issues with the implementation of the products. Although some products are producing outcomes (for example, it can be inferred that the management plans by being applied increasing the effectiveness of protected areas management towards improved operational mechanisms), as a whole not much effect is being determined. Although some key stakeholders indicate that this is the case because the project design lacked guidance on the implementation of products, this evaluation disagrees with that statement since the premise of the project has always been in obtaining outcomes and meeting with its general objective. This project, as all of these kind, was results - oriented and it is implicit and explicit that it should have sought effects.

Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Results-Based Management


The efficiency analysis of NPAS Project requires that it be divided into two periods of analysis, keeping in mind that all of the analysis contained in the terminal evaluation is for the whole implementation process. That is the scope of the evaluation is the Project as a whole, from beginning to its conclusion. First an analysis is made from the Project’s initial implementation stages to its relative midpoint and then a second phase from midpoint to its conclusion, including the periods in the extension periods. The first stage of implementation was moderately unsatisfactory given the very significant shortcomings experienced indicating slow delivery (basically deficits in producing outputs, products and outcomes but also deficits in having the NPAS Project coalesce as a project). Essentially, this first stage was characterized by a very low level of delivery and even for total lack of mechanisms to implement several of the Project components. The second tranche of the Project was relatively more efficient and therefore more satisfactory, yet many activities, processes and products had to implement in a short period most of what was not delivered in the first years of operation. This undoubtedly has impacted on the efficiency of outputs and on the attaining or not of outcomes. Therefore, a composite ranking of efficiency for the full scope of implementation is MS (Moderately Satisfactory).

Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Implementation Modality


Assessing country ownership for NPAS after completion is somewhat complex. There are elements that indicate that there is ownership in certain aspects and there are also elements that indicate that ownership did not develop in other aspects. Government’s explicit involvement and support of the Project, and the involvement of different institutions that deal with protected areas, is indicative of high ownership factors in this scope. On the other hand, the low levels of capacity built or assimilated, the lack of enduring policies or incorporation of project outputs into broader plans and policies, are indicative that at some levels ownership of the project as a whole was weak.

Tag: Challenges Impact Country Government Capacity Building


Given that UNDP -- supported GEF -- financed projects are key elements in UNDP country programming, project objectives and outcomes should align with UNDP country programme strategies as well as to GEF-required global environmental benefits. When dealing with mainstreaming, evaluations also explore whether project outcomes are being mainstreamed into national policies. The NPAS Project has created products that, if implemented, could be attuned with UNDP priorities of improved governance and improving natural resource management. Other UNDP priorities, such as sustainable human development, and women’s empowerment were not part of the outcomes within the NPAS Project.

Tag: Challenges Impact Global Environment Facility fund UN Country Team Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS)


Sustainability of an intervention and its results are examined to determine the likelihood of whether benefits would continue to be accrued after the completion of the project. Sustainability is examined from various perspectives: financial, social, environmental and institutional.
Financial sustainability: Financial risks to sustainability relate to the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the assistance ends. Regarding financial sustainability prospects it must be pointed out that the Project had an embedded expected output that would conceivably deal with this issue, which is the trust fund, as well as other activities which --to a lesser degree-- would potentially provide external and internal sources of funding for monetarily supporting the financial sustainability, not only of the outputs but also of management of protected areas in Jamaica in general. The latter were the interventions for the upgrading of infrastructure (as well as marketing matters) in order to leverage more funds from users for PA management. Although upgrading of facilities did take place, since the implementation of these was very late in the implementation process, many of them have not been used as of yet and no increased revenue has been generated. However, it is expected that (although minor) some financial benefits would be achievable, in a sustained manner. Nevertheless, the greatest mechanism to assure financial sustainability of protected areas management would be the trust fund that is being set up as part of the results from this project. If such a fund would indeed be set up and become operational in the near future, there would be likelihood of financial sustainability for management of protect areas in Jamaica. Therefore, the ranking for financial sustainability is Moderately Likely (ML), given that, although there are moderate risks, there are also expectations that at least some outcomes will be sustained in time.

Tag: Sustainability Global Fund Vertical Trust Funds


Socio-economic risks to sustainability: When analysing socio economic risks to sustainability, an examination is made of the potential social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outcomes. The level of stakeholder ownership, as seen in the narrative of this report, is somewhat strong in some areas and weak in others, and this poses some socio-economic risks to sustainability. Although government does indicate that it is in their interest that the project’s benefits continue to accrue, other risks are still identified. For instance, the lack of buy-in from several sectors of Jamaica regarding the true need to sustain management of protected areas vis-à-vis sectors of the economy which are deemed more important (such as tourism and extractive industries). Therefore, the ranking for socio – economic sustainability is Moderately Likely (ML), given that, although there are moderate risks, there are also expectations that at least some outcomes at different levels would be sustained.

Tag: Challenges Sustainability Risk Management Sustainability


Institutional framework and governance risks to sustainability: At the time of the final evaluation there are no clear institutional and governance changes identified that would indicate the probability of governance sustainability. There are no clear-cut legal frameworks, policies, governance structures and processes in place attributable to the NPAS Project. Although some policies are expected to be in place (for instance, the declaration of new areas) in the medium term, the adoption of other policy which was impelled by the Project is still doubtful, there have been political changes in the latter part of the implementation process without a full progression of impelling and petitioning to the new political authorities regarding the reforms needed at the policy level to adopt the new acts, etc. Furthermore, the low general buy-in to these reforms, although understandable given Jamaica’s situation regarding protected area management processes, are indications that it is not perceived as if all of the generated and proposed policy would be adopted in the near future. Therefore, the ranking for this sort of sustainability is Moderately Likely (ML) given that there is substantial risk that outcomes will not materialize in a manner attributable to the Project or will not carry on after project closure, although some outputs and activities should carry on.

Tag: Challenges Sustainability Rule of law Project and Programme management Sustainability


Environmental risks to sustainability: Environmental risks to sustainability conflicts are identified regarding natural resource management and regarding climate change. Regarding the former, conflicts arise out of productive activities that do threaten management of protected areas. Some of these were identified at design and remain relevant to date (encroachment of tourism endeavours, conflicts with extractive industries, etc.). Furthermore, the weather patterns of the Caribbean due to climate change continue to affect protected areas, as well as –of course—the rest of the country. Issues such as increased forest fires, increase in severity of weather events such as hurricanes, coral bleaching and others have been identified as threats and increased environmental risks that can and do increase environmental risks and issues associated to climate change vulnerabilities and, in turn, associated to the management of protected areas. Therefore, given the moderate risks faced, the ranking for environmental sustainability is Moderately Likely (ML).

Tag: Climate change governance Natural Resouce management Sustainability Sustainability


Environmental risks to sustainability: Environmental risks to sustainability conflicts are identified regarding natural resource management and regarding climate change. Regarding the former, conflicts arise out of productive activities that do threaten management of protected areas. Some of these were identified at design and remain relevant to date (encroachment of tourism endeavours, conflicts with extractive industries, etc.). Furthermore, the weather patterns of the Caribbean due to climate change continue to affect protected areas, as well as –of course—the rest of the country. Issues such as increased forest fires, increase in severity of weather events such as hurricanes, coral bleaching and others have been identified as threats and increased environmental risks that can and do increase environmental risks and issues associated to climate change vulnerabilities and, in turn, associated to the management of protected areas. Therefore, given the moderate risks faced, the ranking for environmental sustainability is Moderately Likely (ML).

Tag: Climate change governance Natural Resouce management Sustainability Sustainability


17. Participation in design should be proactive and open from all relevant national stakeholders and in particular from those agencies which would be implementers. Design should begin as early as possible in order to have adequate time to outline a project. Participation of national counterparts needs to be proactive and straightforward about their technical capacities, their expected involvement in implementation, the relevance of any part of proposed output/outcome within a country’s national context design. Inputs from the national counterparts to the design process should be fully recognised and assimilated.


18. Beginning at the design stage, all national counterparts should thoroughly acknowledge what specific commitments they are making, as well as link any of these to a particular agency or institution’s work plans. There should be factual capacity assessment of national partners, not only their ability to manage financial aspects of a project but also assess their technical and managerial capacities. If weaknesses are identified, capacity should be built – in at institutional levels in order to generate enough competence to adequately implement complex projects.


19. Given that the mere production of plans, studies, and processes as outputs does not automatically translate into results, these should be sought as part of a results-based project. Studies, reports, plans, documents and processes need to be accompanied by clear mechanisms that promote knowledge assimilation, knowledge sharing, and clear-cut mechanisms to inform and promote policy processes for adoption of outputs. Design and inception should state (and implementation should follow) a ‘road map’ where not only the achievement of outputs and products are indicated but the timing of such achievements needs to be specified in order to avoid generating most outputs at the end of a project, and consequently not impelling the achievement of outcomes and effects. Furthermore, timing of products indicating which should be produced before others should reflect how they interrelate. A project needs to establish clear links between studies, products or outputs and the expected outcomes (such as policy generation and adoption, policy commitments, public – private partnerships, investments, etc.).


20. The budgeting sections of a project should be realistic at design and should budget sufficiently so that there is enough staff to manage a project and to draw the capacity(ies) needed for technical and administrative inputs. It should include a proper realistic financial plan with adequate costing of management (management personnel) and technical aspects (including needed technical staff as well as consultancies). Attention in budgeting should be paid to the true number of personnel needed to run such a project as well as the number and type of consultancies needed for developing products. National costs should be accurately acknowledged in the budget of a project in order to realistically budget all proposed personnel, products, processes, outputs and investments.


21. The roles of different stakeholders within a project should be clearly defined and assimilated from the onset, generating buy – in, especially the roles of those stakeholders and institutions that should provide strategic direction (such as boards and committees with the appropriate representation and decision-making capabilities of members). If this does not occur, then there should be adequate flexibility to impel buy-in or change mechanisms, including other stakeholders that can assume a proactive role.


22. Risks within a project should not be underestimated, and a risk management framework should be drawn at design and reviewed continuously. Once properly established, risks should be continuously monitored in order to promote whatever mitigation measures need to be implemented.


23. Design as well as project inception and planning stages need to be precise and defined in order to guide the implementation process as well as obtaining achievements, outcomes and overall results. Design needs to be realistic, and log frame tools need to be credibly developed in order to guide implementation and tally achievements, not only to determine accomplishments but to correct the course of implementation when needed. Indicators as well as output to outcome processes need to be determined and robust measures for seeking results needs to be imbedded from the design and inception stages.


25. In order for these sorts of projects to truly be developmentally – oriented they should be thorough in their work with communities, not only donating materials in the aim to improve their livelihoods but also to attend to these communities so that they can truly adopt whatever development aim the project is seeking. When working with local community groups and local communities a project needs to be aware of the skills, knowledge, and institutional capacity these organizations have. Interventions at the local level should also receive technical support in order for local communities to be able to implement demonstration piloting.


26. UNDP needs to work with and assist the countries where interventions take place in order to aid them in applying processes that support projects’ technical and implementation capabilities (specially support project implementation and efficient decision – making capacities) and in applying procurement systems to increase capacity to efficiently implement projects aiding in the fulfilment of a project’s objective. UNDP should provide information on project management, financial reporting and other such project requisites in order to avoid misunderstandings as well as to generate capacity for implementation.


28. When rotation as well as political and institutional turnovers take place, projects should have mechanisms in order to provide transfer of knowledge and information so that institutional knowledge and capacity transfer is assured. New political ministerial personnel need to be brought up to date regarding what a project has achieved and how to sustain results in a new political setting.


29. A project’s communication strategy should be an ongoing process that generates buy – in, generates knowledge about the issues a project deals with as well as acknowledge its visibility. A communication strategy needs to be accompanied by clear inputs where the different partners are identified (funders, implementing agency(ies), UN agencies involved). A communication strategy should document and communicate issues, achievements, and challenges.


30. When situations indicate that in – country knowledge base and expertise is not sufficient for generating outputs and there is a need for harnessing expertise from outside of the country, all efforts should be made to generate local capacity as well as introduce national issues in the resulting products. All key stakeholders should have clear inputs into the calls (terms of reference, etc.) for expertise in order to have products that, first of all, reflect national issues and, second, are useful for the country. International consultants should be partnered with national consultants in order for the outputs to reflect national issues and to transfer capacity to national experts. Also, mechanisms (training materials, workshops, etc.) should be promoted in order that effective generation of capacity takes place in relation to the production of studies or reports.

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