Mid Term Review of Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Program in Peru

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Peru
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
07/2019
Completion Date:
04/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title Mid Term Review of Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Program in Peru
Atlas Project Number: 00096493
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Peru
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2019
Planned End Date: 07/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
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
  • 2. Output 1.5.1 Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,782
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme in Peru
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 9044
PIMS Number: 5497
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: PERU
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Outcome N.2 Reporting on targets should always clarify the interpretation taken.  A few indicators are subject to interpretation (see chapter 4.2.1.1): as this may change what is within reach, given resources, time and geographical characteristics of the area, it is necessary to explain which is the interpretation taken when reporting on achievements. 

2

Outcome N.3 Ensure more drive and stricter monitoring of Strategic Projects. Three of them only recently started. The ecotourism strategic activity is split between two NGOs which have quite different approaches and require careful alignment of objectives and methodologies; this represents a unique opportunity but also a risk. To recuperate delays, ensure drive, monitoring and consider an additional strategic project in water management, depending on funds availability.

3

Outcome N.3 Ensure a focus on the marketing side of the production chain. All community agrobiodiversity projects should include a component to strategically link production to the market, within a landscape approach and ensuring an equitable price (added value for recuperated ancestral products/services). The agrobiodiversity project is instrumental in this way but only for native products, which are the SGP focus; beneficiaries seek marketing linkages also for other non-native products. SGP will not support non-native products but could consider them at policy level: this could influence district, province and regional strategic policies changes.

4

All outcomes. Ensure the sound gender approach taken by the project is extended to involve the youth. This is a key activity to impact on the lessening of migration from the area and extend benefits across generations; a policy to systematically involve the youth is recommended.

5

Consider a no-cost extension of the Project. Aside from delays, the Project effectively has only three and not four years of implementation, from February 2017 to end of January 2020. Considering the nature of the small-grants and the fact that this is the first SGP FSP of the country, an extension is advisable up to 17 months, according to funds availability.

6

Reform the Peru NSC to ensure: i) respect for the rotation rule, ii) replacement of members that have been sitting on the Committee for a long-time, especially when sick, old or are leaving (i.e. probably the gender focal point); iii) willingness and capacity to participate in pre-selection and M&E project site visits; iv) reporting on meetings is standardized and more informative of the decision-making process

7

Document lessons learnt from previous and current OPs and prepare decision-making tools. Lessons learnt from previous SGP OPs are available but they are neither structured nor systematized. SGP Peru is only now being evaluated as a stand-alone Country Program, though in the past it was part of the UNDP/GEF Joint Evaluation of the SGP.. The preparation of decision-making tools/documents/reports are recommended, in addition to nicely prepared knowledge management material, which are tailored for other, although important, processes and actors. The CPMT, SGP Global may be involved to provide inputs while documenting lessons learnt from previous OPs

8

Ensure Ministry of Environment (MINAM) visibility in communication material and during meetings with stakeholders. MINAM’s requests for visibility have not been answered in the modalities required by the claimant.

9

Replace the Tracking Tools with the new GEF “Updated Results Architecture for GEF-7”. This new policy, approved in June 2018 by the GEF Council meeting, includes a set of 11 “core indicators” and 29 sub-indicators and requires projects to replace the TT with these core indicators. It is suggested to proceed to this adjustment as soon as feasible, possibly during the preparation of the next PIR or ultimately before the Terminal Evaluation.

10

Assess results achieved at small-grant project level and design an exit-strategy. Identify promising, yet not mature, initiatives to ensure they are not abandoned, even if the decision is taken to move the geographical focus of SGP for OP-7. It takes time and practice to ensure projects are not “islands” but instead fully coordinated and integrated activities which may translate into possible local development policies. In addition, working in the sierra is a key activity to decrease migration towards the selva

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Outcome N.2 Reporting on targets should always clarify the interpretation taken.  A few indicators are subject to interpretation (see chapter 4.2.1.1): as this may change what is within reach, given resources, time and geographical characteristics of the area, it is necessary to explain which is the interpretation taken when reporting on achievements. 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

A monitoring matrix will detail the definition, variables and main attributes of each indicator of the SGP results framework, considering the SMART approach. This methodology has already been implemented at the grant project level. This will certainly clarify the interpretation of progress and gaps for achieving key targets. Reporting on PIR will follow the interpretation taken.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop monitoring matrix
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Unit 2019/08 Completed
Permanent reporting of the projects progress using the monitoring matrix
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Unit 2021/02 Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Outcome N.3 Ensure more drive and stricter monitoring of Strategic Projects. Three of them only recently started. The ecotourism strategic activity is split between two NGOs which have quite different approaches and require careful alignment of objectives and methodologies; this represents a unique opportunity but also a risk. To recuperate delays, ensure drive, monitoring and consider an additional strategic project in water management, depending on funds availability.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Partially agreed. Based on the progress results that each of the strategic have shared in the recent exchange of experiences and in their formal progress reports, SGP team will conduct meetings and visits to strategic projects. There are not enough resources for an additional strategic project in water management at the same scale of the others, but a smaller project that promotes scaling up of water management initiatives can be funded.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Outcome N.3 Ensure a focus on the marketing side of the production chain. All community agrobiodiversity projects should include a component to strategically link production to the market, within a landscape approach and ensuring an equitable price (added value for recuperated ancestral products/services). The agrobiodiversity project is instrumental in this way but only for native products, which are the SGP focus; beneficiaries seek marketing linkages also for other non-native products. SGP will not support non-native products but could consider them at policy level: this could influence district, province and regional strategic policies changes.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Partially agreed. Most of the projects related to agrobiodiversity already include a component to strategically link production to the market and are also being part of the technical assistance covered by the strategic project on added value and marketing. As part of the final months of the monitoring of these community projects, more attention will be paid on ensuring the marketing side of the production chain. Also, in the case of new projects on this topic, the team will include a component to strategically link production to the market, if relevant. It is important to consider that there are some community agrobiodiversity initiatives are implemented with very poor and vulnerable families that are more focused in food security and in recuperating biodiversity in crops, or in adapting to climate change, or including agroecological practices, and their goals at an initial moment are not related to the market.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

All outcomes. Ensure the sound gender approach taken by the project is extended to involve the youth. This is a key activity to impact on the lessening of migration from the area and extend benefits across generations; a policy to systematically involve the youth is recommended.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Capacity building, exchange experience events and communication products will consider this recommendation to be also oriented to the youngers. In future call for proposals, more attention will be given to involve young people, for example from school students, universities, research thesis.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include disaggregation of beneficiaries including youth criteria
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Team 2019/09 Overdue-Initiated
Involve more youth in capacity building events and scaling up / replication processes promoted by SGP
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Team 2021/02 Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Consider a no-cost extension of the Project. Aside from delays, the Project effectively has only three and not four years of implementation, from February 2017 to end of January 2020. Considering the nature of the small-grants and the fact that this is the first SGP FSP of the country, an extension is advisable up to 17 months, according to funds availability.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Agreed. An extension to allow operative work of 4 years will certainly ensure that the objective and targets are met, since part of the targets depend on replication and scaling up processes based on the evidence of projects

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hold National Steering Committee meeting for discussion and aproval of the extension request to the GEF
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project team and National Steering Committee 2019/08 Completed
Formally request the request for extension of the project to the GEF
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Team and UNDP Country Office 2019/08 Completed
6. Recommendation:

Reform the Peru NSC to ensure: i) respect for the rotation rule, ii) replacement of members that have been sitting on the Committee for a long-time, especially when sick, old or are leaving (i.e. probably the gender focal point); iii) willingness and capacity to participate in pre-selection and M&E project site visits; iv) reporting on meetings is standardized and more informative of the decision-making process

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

A proposal of Peru NSC reform will be prepared, considering the criteria outlined in this recommendation, based on exchange of ideas with MINAM, UNDP Peru, and other current NSC members. The proposal will also consider the gaps in knowledge necessary for the present and next phase, as well as the institutional memory that some of the current members have. This proposal will be shared and discussed with NSC input and decision will be made. Based on this, UNDP Peru will issue official letters to the new NSC members. From now on, the SGP team will include in the minutes of the NSC meetings more detailed information about discussions and decision-making process. In the previous minutes, the focus was more on the decisions and the detailed supporting material was compiled separately

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Document lessons learnt from previous and current OPs and prepare decision-making tools. Lessons learnt from previous SGP OPs are available but they are neither structured nor systematized. SGP Peru is only now being evaluated as a stand-alone Country Program, though in the past it was part of the UNDP/GEF Joint Evaluation of the SGP.. The preparation of decision-making tools/documents/reports are recommended, in addition to nicely prepared knowledge management material, which are tailored for other, although important, processes and actors. The CPMT, SGP Global may be involved to provide inputs while documenting lessons learnt from previous OPs

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Agreed. Lessons learned that include current and previous phases in the Southern Andes are planned through the following publications: three study cases, one for each thematic strategic project: value addition and marketing of Andean crops and products; sustainable production and value addition from camelids; community-based ecotourism. One SGP publication about traditional knowledge of native crop/livestock genetic resources. SGP thematic policy briefs based on evidence from projects, with recommendations to policy makers. One SGP study case summarizing impact, lessons learned and recommendations for policy makers in the six main topics the SGP is working on.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Publications detailed planning
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Team 2019/12 Overdue-Initiated
Systematization, writing and edition
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Team 2020/06 Initiated
Publications printed /produced and shared
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project team 2020/12 Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Ensure Ministry of Environment (MINAM) visibility in communication material and during meetings with stakeholders. MINAM’s requests for visibility have not been answered in the modalities required by the claimant.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

All communication material that is being produced by SGP Peru since December 2018 involves MINAM´s logo and acknowledges MINAM support. Following this guideline, a new visual identity manual for SGP Peru has been produced in 2019 and distributed to grantees in order to comply with this requirement. 

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Replace the Tracking Tools with the new GEF “Updated Results Architecture for GEF-7”. This new policy, approved in June 2018 by the GEF Council meeting, includes a set of 11 “core indicators” and 29 sub-indicators and requires projects to replace the TT with these core indicators. It is suggested to proceed to this adjustment as soon as feasible, possibly during the preparation of the next PIR or ultimately before the Terminal Evaluation.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Migration will be done from Tracking Tools, to the new set of core indicators.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Assess results achieved at small-grant project level and design an exit-strategy. Identify promising, yet not mature, initiatives to ensure they are not abandoned, even if the decision is taken to move the geographical focus of SGP for OP-7. It takes time and practice to ensure projects are not “islands” but instead fully coordinated and integrated activities which may translate into possible local development policies. In addition, working in the sierra is a key activity to decrease migration towards the selva

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/26]

Partially agreed. We will design an exit strategy at the project level but will also consider the “innovation level” as sometimes is not the “project” what is needed to be supported but the “innovative idea”, the “model” or the diversity of best practices led by an organization within a topic. And sometimes is the combination of innovations among several projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Assess results achieved at small-grant project level (as projects go through their final stage)
[Added: 2019/12/26]
Project Team 2020/01 Initiated
Design an exit-strategy, related to the project extension.
[Added: 2019/12/26]
National Steering Committee 2019/11 Overdue-Initiated

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