Mid Term Review: Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands Project (NAFOLA)

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2018, Namibia
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
07/2017
Completion Date:
08/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
24,500

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Title Mid Term Review: Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands Project (NAFOLA)
Atlas Project Number: 82143
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2018, Namibia
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2017
Planned End Date: 07/2017
Management Response: Yes
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
Evaluation Budget(US $): 24,500
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 21,780
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands Project (NAFOLA)
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4832
PIMS Number: 4626
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: NAMIBIA
Lessons
1.

Conclusions

 

Key conclusions from the MRT are as follows:

 

  • The project has made good progress in assisting 13 CFs in implementing the necessary steps for official gazettement, and 2 additional ones with supporting implementation plans. The official gazettement and legalisation have been very slow and have partially been standing in the way of starting practical support to CF Management Committees – yet to be recognised. There are innovative suggestions on how this can be overcome through interim arrangements possibly under the Forestry Act. Moving towards supporting the CFs in actually starting the implementation of their management plans is critical now.
  • Some interesting SFM technologies in line with the project document have bene piloted. The results from the pilots need to be now analysed and the  most promising pilots should be furthered. This may also entail “moving” certain investments from one CF to another, where project success may be better.
  • Due to the limited time and financial resources remaining in the project, certain adjustments will have to be made to ensure the project can successfully be continued and completed. It is concluded that so far the project has undertaken many individual activities, which should now be focused on a few, practical and manageable activities. It is noted that the successful development of specific value chains takes a lot of time and effort – and to be successful a certain amount of dedication will be required. This will probably mean that not all aspects of the SRF will be achieved as initially planned.
  • Overall, at midterm, the project is between Moderately Unsatisfactory to Moderately Satisfactory and performance must be improved. Certain decisions on funds allocation i.e. to the Tallismanis Auction Kraal, but also other costly decisions and expenditures, have led to an upfront expenditure of 60% of the project funds, with around 40% remaining. While the overall amount of USD 1,808,134 is still a decent amount of resources available for project activities, these will have to be carefully designed and executed to ensure project success.
  • The Tallismanus Auction Kraal investment may unlock significant and positive dynamics relating to livestock-off take, rangeland condition and incomes to  local farmers in the medium-term. However, at this point the costs have far exceeded the initial budget, overall such a large infrastructure investment was not foreseen in the project document and such an investment is not in line with the GEF and UNDP guidance. Furthermore, for successful completion of the construction and equipping the kraal for functionality, a significant extra amount of funding will be required. This cannot be sourced from the NAFOLA project and alternatives have to be sought.    
  • The PMU must invest more intensely in knowledge management, reporting and communication. It is concluded that project findings, results and impacts could be much more effectively utilised and represented. The project team must set high standards for work professionalism and innovation and bee an inspiration for their peers, both within the DoF/MAWF, but importantly amongst the community members in the CFs.
  • It is critical that tangible impacts be generated on the CF level during the “2nd half” of the project. Investments should be focused on the site level, with limited allocations to Windhoek based work and “high level” engagement. Although some serious policy questions remain, and work on that level will be of long-term importance, the NAFOLA project must concentrate on making CFs work on the ground, especially providing incentives and results for local community members to stay engaged.         

Findings
1.

1.Findings

 

1.1. Project strategy

 

Project Design

 

  • The initial project design as set out in the agreed to project document is of excellent quality. The design is based on a sound problem and barrier analysis, which still is valid at time of MTR. The intervention design is responsive to needs identified by key stakeholders and notably the project executing agency and implementing partners. 
  • The design can possibly be seen to be prescriptive; a detailed planning matrix of outputs and associated activities is included in the project design, as well as activity level budget proposals. While this can be very helpful for project implementation, it can also be limiting for effective adaptive management.
  • Overall, it is concluded that the design clearly recommends useful and logic interventions.  A clear project intervention logic is presented, linking specific outputs and activities to achievable outcomes. These underpin a logic Theory of Change (TOC), even though no TOC was explicitly included in the design of the GEF 5 intervention (no programming requirement at that point). The during the MTR retrofitted TOC closely follows the initial design presented in the project document. 
  • It is noted that while a comprehensive risk analysis is included, certain risks have been underplayed or have not been identified, i.e. with regards to time required for legalisation of CFs.Certain Gender provisions were made, although they remained peripheral. Gender is being addressed separately in the MTR under Section 4.       

 

 

Results Framework/Logframe

 

  • The Strategic Results Framework (SRF) is logical and still fits the problematic addressed by the project at time of MTR. The split into two components is clear, and the formulated outputs strategically can deliver to the intended outcomes. The selected indicators are suitable, albeit not entirely easy to measure.
  • There is no clear fit between the cited sources of information and the project interventions in the SRF (it suggests, for example, to use Meatco and MAWF reports), thus it is hard to identify the specific project impacts. Further, the sources of information foreseen are out of the influence of the project, and reporting is not congruent to project needs.
  • At time of MTR the relevant Annexes to the project document including various baseline assessment results and methodological guidance on data collection/ sources of information were not accessible. 
  • The PMATT prepared at project approval is very basic and contains limited useful information for tracking. This will be discussed below again but an improvement of the M&E framework for the project is highly recommended.   
  • No specific gender components are being monitored, although a Gender assessment was undertaken as part of the project. The results and recommendations form the assessment should be more specifically addressed and be included in the project M&E framework, i.e. through gender disaggregated reporting.

 

Notably, there were some adjustments made to the SRF and logframe after the inception meeting in April 2015, and agreed at the 1st Steering Committee meeting in June 2015 and following meetings:

 

  • The mostly revolved round the number of CFs to be gazetted, as two already had received legal status prior to project inception. Later, the planned Otjimbinde CF was splitting into three CFs, in line with existing conservancy boundaries and management arrangements of the very large area.   
  • Additionally, the CF hotspots considered to be bush encroached were discussed and changes were made in focal CFs for bush encroachment interventions. 
  • LUPs for CFs were interpreted in different manners, and the PSC decided that no further LUPs be needed at the CF level Management Plans are an integral part of the CF gazettement and should suffice for improved management. Further an integration with ongoing regional LUP processes would provide additional LUP context for project and CF purposes. It is noted, however, that the project document explicitly identified that further detailed CF level planning is needed for effective natural resources management on CF level.[1]
  • The interpretation of investments under Component 2 varied. Most outputs have been generated on a pilot basis in different CFs and more generally “areas” surrounding CFs. For example, with regards to outputs 2.1, 2.2  and 2.3 – interventions in the greater constituency and region are being piloted. It is asserted that such “higher level support” would trickle down to the CFs. However, especially CF committee members consulted during the MTR noted that several such interventions had no specific linkage to the respective CF and its specific management plans. This specifically was noted with regards to Conservation Agriculture investments made with MAWF, and with regards to establishing an auction kraal in one constituency.     

 

 

1.2.Progress towards results

 

Delivery of outputs and activities

As this specific project included a detailed output and activity level design in the project document, progress towards achievement of outputs (and to a certain extent activities) is included.  The project reporting (Quarterly reports) is framed as per output achievement, and the project team worked with the MTR consultant to update the output based reporting (in addition to the outcomes analysis). A detailed progress table is included in Annex 2.

 

It is observed that the project has been clearly managed on an output and activity basis, rather than outcome level, which has led to certain investments being pursued outside the broader project objective. Too capture all relevant observations at MTR, a review as per output is included here. It neds to be reiterated, that the MTR consultant only visited project sites in Omaheke and Otjonzondjupa. A possibly unbalanced representation of matters relevant to CFs in other regions may be inevitable. 

 

Overall the following progress is observed on the output and activity level:

 

Component 1: Knowledge based land use planning and policy change hasten gazettement of eleven community forests (CFs) and mainstreaming of forest resources in productive policies

Output 1.1.:  Nine[2] Community Forests legalised

  • Progress on outputs under component 1 quite good, especially the preparation of gazettement documentation  (output 1.1);
  • It is observed that the gazettement process seems very cumbersome and expensive. Without dedicated funding, it seems almost impossible for interested communities to actually successful develop the necessary gazettement documentation, esp. in absence of a dedicated government funding support. This raises policy level concerns which should be further investigated.
  • Some wok has been carried out under the NAFOLA project and in conjunction with previous such attempts to harmonize Conservancy and CF gazettement processes. While it is understood that there are some institutional barriers that make the registration under the different existing laws (Forest Act versus Conservation Act) hard to compare, it is still advocated that the final  purpose need to be kept in mind for establishing such CBNRM entities. This should be considered under Output 1.4 as well.    
  • A very slow approval process of applications has been observed, which is extremely frustrating for the local communities and the project team. For example, DOF senior management has insisted that NAFOLA can only give limited support to CF’s in the gazettement process, as they have not been approved as legal entities. As such for example, use rights for timber and non-timer forest products do not (yet) apply. As CF Management Committees have not been formalized, and management plans are not approved, these cannot be financed and supported by the project.  
  • While the Director of DOF suggested that there are several human resource related delays, it is clear that the overall gazettement process is complicated. A facilitation of improved approvals must be implemented as a matter of urgency, possibly led at a higher management level than the Director level. 
  • Technical staff in DOF made some useful recommendations how the approval process can be expedited and how interim CF MCs could be approved for the purpose of smoother project implementation. They suggest that the Forest Act makes such provisions, which could be applied in the context of NAFOLA.

 

Output 1.2.:  Integrated Forest Resources Management plans formulated and implemented in 13 Community Forests (hotspots)

  • Uncertainty about definition of “Integrated Forest Resources Management plans” output 1.2; mostly the project decided that such plans are not needed as Management Plans are part of the gazettement process; this clearly is not following the guidance explained in the project document, which found that the Management Plans were often not in line with LUP best practice and needed further refinement to be sound. 
  • Funds have largely been reallocated elsewhere, and LUP activities been linked to the regional ILUPs in those regions where such processes were ongoing.
  • However, notably, it is understood that the guidance provided by the ILUPS has not yet been fully internalised by the NAFOLA team.  Where relevant the ILUP guidance should be absorbed into the NAFOLA project, while the project provides guidance to the ILUP including on CFs.
  • It is suggested that on a one on one basis it will be assessed if finally selected target CFs for further focus interventions would benefit from refined LUPs especially linked to the specific SFM and income generating value chains to be furthered.
  • Additionally, project investment compliance with the regional ILUPs and associated SEAs should be assessed and followed, as appropriate. No non-compatible land uses shall be promoted.   

 

Output 1.3.:  Organisational Capacity for effective Community Forest Management strengthened

  • CF MCs trained; however it is clear that this needs to  be an ongoing activity; Capacity Scorecards still to be assessed, but the original ones were not accessible and had to be redone by a consultant in 2016 (output 1.3).
  • Undertaken NAFOLA training materials were not easily accessible if at all during the MTR. Better knowledge management and documentation of trainings is important to ensure that trainings can be repeated at all CFs and for relevant target groups.
  • The organisational capacity does not only include trainings, but also capital investments into low cost office facilities, storage etc. for CF Management Committees and associated structures e.g. for law enforcement.
  • This output is seen to be of highest importance to ensure that CFs will actually become functional. A decent amount of the remaining financial project resources should be dedicated to this output.
  • While it is possibly just fair to ensure that a certain amount of funding be dedicated to each of the project target CFs, it may only be possible to effectively support a smaller number of them. Innovative solutions such as sourcing additional funding possibilities from other small grants facilities should be explored.     
  • It is recommended that NAFOAL and the IP work together with the CFs, based on their specific management plans, and review and re-plan what support would be needed as per CF vis-à-vis the remaining budget. This should be part of the management response and ongoing evidence-based adaptive planning.   

 

Output 1.4.:  Policies harmonised, support local governance and reflect value of forests in national development programs

  • Slow progress on output 1.4 “Policies harmonised, support local governance and reflect value of forests in national development programs”- DoF should take much stronger inspirational leadership on  this output.  
  • A focus on conservancy – CF harmonization should be further followed, concretized and pursued. The end goal of effective CBNRM mechanism must be kept in sight, and practical and innovative improvements must be achieved to ensure Namibia is keeping the end goal in sight – create better livelihoods for Namibians’, while sustainably managing the natural resource base. 
  • Generally, it is proposed to discontinue NAFOLA financial investments in high level interventions. For example, the updating of the forest accounts may not be considered a priority, realising the limited financial resources remaining for project implementation.   

 

Component 2:  Some interesting progress on outputs under Component 2 needs good strategy for Phase 2 of project. 

 

Output 2.1.:  Conservation agriculture piloted

  • Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a powerful approach to promoting more sustainable agriculture practices, especially under climate change scenarios.
  • Namibia has developed a National CA Strategy and Action Plan, led by MAWF.
  • MAWF, through DAPESS takes the leading role in implementation of conservation agriculture (CA) in Namibia, including in Epukiro and Otjombinde constituencies. The MAWF collaborates with development partners to further its national strategies, including the CA strategy. At present, MAWF has partnerships with the FAO, UNDP GEF through NAFOLA and SCORE and GiZ on CA. All these projects/donors are supporting elements of CA in northern Namibia. NAFOLA is the only project supporting CA in Omaheke Region because it has an element of CA in its project document and is the only one out of all the projects supporting CA that is operating in Omaheke.
  • Important to note is that Omaheke region has over 450 farmers practicing crop farming. The government, through the Dryland Crop Production Programme (DCPP) of DAPEES supports these farmers through provision of subsidized fertilizers, improved seeds as well as weeding and ploughing services. CA was introduced in Omaheke in 2016/17 cropping season, after the official launch of the national Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme in 2015. To this effect, MAWF with some financial support from NAFOLA established the Omaheke CA forum, trained 29 current crop producing farmers on CA and purchased two tractors to support CA activities in Epukiro and Otjombinde. MAWF was directly responsible for training its entire extension staff on CA, mobilized farmers and conducted the farmers training on CA, took the leading role in the establishment of the CA Forum, established 20 demonstration projects through provision of input requirements and hands-on-training. The aim of promoting CA in Omaheke is in line with NAFOLA project output 2.1. i.e. to improve soils and enhance food productivityTwo tractors were purchased for DAPEES in Omaheke, and Ohangwena, providing the necessary draught power to pull equipment previously procured by MAWF.  These tractors could potentially be used to support the target CFs in helping with transport of forest products, cutting of fire lines etc.   
  • Eight demonstration plots were established in Otjimbinde area, on existing but not necessarily cultivated maize fields used for food production (MAWF priority) and supplement fodder for livestock production during drought (reported primary use by interviewees). During the 2017 growing season, two of these eight plots produced some maize, but mostly all demonstrations did not provide convincing results. This may be due to a number of reasons, including that land preparation and seeding took place quite late into the season.
  • No formal assessment of the demonstrations was accessible, however, interviews with farmers from the demonstration sites indicated that they were not convinced the methodology would work. Traditional production approaches generated better results, perhaps as plants were set further apart.
  • It is clear that demonstrations need to  be carefully planned and conducted to ensure a high level of success. The negative demonstration clearly made farmers more critical, instead of convincing them of suitability.   
  • The recently prepared ILUP for Omaheke and the associated SEA indicate that Omaheke is of low agriculture potential and rainfed agriculture is marginal. No ground water is available for sustainable irrigation.
  • While it is understood that farmers need to diversify their livelihoods and for food security, it may not be appropriate to invest into larger scale fields for fodder production, as seen during the field consultations. Other alternatives, such as the “bush to fodder” pilot from the African Wild Dog Conservancy may be more appropriate, as well as improved range and livestock management. Amongst other, it is asserted that by setting the example of cultivating large maize field for fodder production, the risk of setting an example and incentive for land clearing may be generated – opposing the main objectives of the project and CFs. The fact that the intension formally communicated by MAWF during the review of the MTR draft report differs substantially from accounts given during the field visit, indicate that very clear communications are needed to ensure that well intended interventions have the desired effects.
  • The support for CA practices on a “home garden level” for improved food security could be a more suitable model. Most CA practices on such a small-scale level would be promoted using hand tools rather than tractors.  
  • Based on the above reasoning and evidence, it is strongly recommended that CA support in Omaheke by NAFOLA be realigned.  

 

Output 2.2.:  Improved livestock practices piloted in Omaheke, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa hotspots

  • The assessment of rangeland management practices, range conditions and livestock condition was under taken in in 4 CFs (Otjombinde, African Wilddog, Oshaampula and Ehirovipuka). The assessment also provides information for rangeland condition (see Output 2.7), below, setting up a monitoring framework for annual data collection.
  • Strategies for integrated and holistic animal husbandry and livestock management were developed and discussed at various CFs. However, follow-on action seem minimal at MTR stage.
  • While DAPEES staff members have been trained on methods to assess and monitor livestock health and productivity, the application of the newly acquired knowhow and skills are unclear.
  • An interesting pilot project has been implemented at Okandjatu (African Wild Dog Conservancy and CF). The project is piloting the production of animal feed from invader bush. In the pilot, different feed rations are being tested on livestock in a communal setting. The aim is to recommend locally produced feed for rural communities and for the larger Namibian market – utilising locally available material. In addition, selected livestock in 4 hotspots are supplemented with multi-vitamins to assess the impact of supplementation on livestock conditions (Oshaampula, Ehirovipuka, African Wilddog, Otjombinde).
  • The  pilot is very popular amongst the beneficiaries and other CFs have indicated interest to also implement such a pilot. 

 

Output 2.3.:  Improved marketing of sustainably harvested forest and livestock products piloted

  • Output 2.3 Improved marketing of sustainably harvested forest and livestock products – some interesting pilots, however would need to be carried through in a much more focused manner.
  • The “Bush to fodder” pilot in the African Wild Dog CF (Conservancy) (see also report under output 2.2)  has been extremely interesting and has good potential for replication. Inn Collaboration with the GIZ Debushing project a technology was tested that would generate dry season/ drought fodder for cattle from encroacher species (Acacia mellifera). All community members involved in the demonstration project were extremely positive, including farmers who’s cattle took place in the feeding trials and who all observed improvements in livestock condition (the pregnant cow of one lady farmers subsequently even gave birth to twins – certainly a sign of good luck and success!).     
  • Despite promising looking and sounding pilots, no factual analysis of the success or remaining barriers was available at MTR. Several project partners pointed out that the business model for the “Bush to fodder” innovation was not working and that new implementation arrangement would  need to be sought. A much more dedicated support from NAFOLA would be required to actually bring this pilot to success. Arguably, all resources could just be used to make this approach and value chain work – in one or more CFs.     

 

The Tallismanus Auction  Kraal  (this relates both to output 2.2 and 2.3)

The initial output level budgets were reduced almost throughout, with the exception for output 2.3. – for which the budget was increased. The PSC (or other, see below) apparently decided to invest into building a livestock auction kraal at Otjimbinde CF in Tallismanus, the constituency main settlement. Allegedly this is considered a strategic and necessary investment to reduce livestock numbers in Otjimbinde CF lastingly. It is foreseen that the building of a high quality auction kraal in line with EU standards will attract a diverse set of buyers. For the first time this would move the area from depending  on a so-called “permit” system, in which one buyer guarantees a set price – often short changing the livestock sellers.   This investment was not foreseen in the project document and no specific budget allocations for this investment had been made at planning stage. A summary of findings about the investment at MTR is summarized in be below.

  • Quoted initially in the region of 6.3 Mio USD
  • NAFOLA paid to date  7,609,604.11 NAD to Atitati Trading for the construction and 442,175 NAD to AGRA for design (TOTAL 8,051,779.11). Atitati Trading apparently had built several kraals for MAWF in the past.
  • According to the constructor, costs up to date are amounting to 9,079,349.48 NAD – a shortfall of over 1 Mio NAD. Apparently the Bills of Quantity was falsely prepared, as well as the initial location of the kraal of changed,  which incurred extra costs. According to Atitati Trading, this happens often, and they had previous experience with an increase in costs while building kraals under the MCA funding. Apparently this never posed a problem  before and extra payments were made easily.   
  • According to the constructor, buildings have been halted (site visit took place on 30 June 2017) until the full amount it paid. THEN another approximately 1,5 Mio NAD are required to finalize the construction. This apparently does not include electricity and equipment. 
  • At today’s exchange rate (3 July 2017), the already paid 8,051,779.11 NAD are 633,000 USD. Out of a GEF grant of 4,446 Mio USD the cost of the kraal alone is 15% of the overall project budget – if the kraal is to be completed with GEF funds this would likely exceed 20% of the entire project funds. 
  • It is noted, that the Minutes of the 1st PSC meeting clearly state that UNDP (RR and RTA) stated that such an infrastructure project cannot go ahead with GEF funding. It is unclear what the PSC approved, and which details of information were available to the PSC to execute oversight functions,  as the PSC meeting minutes do not give any detailed background information about the process. No PSC meeting discussed the details plans, financials or any problems with the infrastructure investment – including the doubling of costs. It appears that the kraal did not raise any alarms in management, and the consultant was not informed of this “issue” prior to the field visit.       
  • Notably, no EIA was conducted, according to PSC minutes as MET said no EIA would be required. It is ambivalent if the GEF and UNDP policy under the circumstances should have required at least a formal environmental screening, as land clearing took place at the new site, and certain environmental impacts are evident form the buildings, as well as the sites long-term use as auction kraal. 
  • While the investment into am auction facility may be useful, the MTR finds that the investment is excessive, has been poorly managed and that GEF funds were inappropriately used. This has repercussions for the further implementation of the project, as project funds have been utilised for one major investment, and withdrawn from a more balanced investment at each CF. Furthermore, funds remaining for the second half of the project duration are relatively less (about 1,8 Mio USD versus 2,6 Mio USD already spent) – see financial analysis below.     

 

Output 2.4.:  Fire management strategy is piloted in Omaheke, Oshikoto, Kunene and Otjozondjupa hotspots

  • DoF has made several attempts to develop and strengthen its national Fire Management Strategy, and other GEF projects have straddled such work i.e. in the context of Protected Areas. While NAFOLA has interfaced and supported some of the national  level work, it is found that investments on the ground have been peripheral. While CF representatives clearly identify fire management as a key priority, they remain ill equipped to address fire threats.
  • It is noted that the financial resources allocated to this output in the project document were reallocated to the building of the auction kraal, with the explanation that DOF would avail all necessary firefighting equipment and outfits to the CFs. There has been no evidence that this has been the case.
  • The project reported that at some point they worked with the “Working for Fire” team in Nelspruit in investigating options for a community work programme related to fire management. However, no specific follow-up has been made.      
  • Notably, the GIZ through a tripartite grant between the Governments of Germany, South Africa and Tanzania have implemented such a programme in Tanzania a few years back. Relevant training materials for DOF technical staff, firefighters, police and community members, are available and could potentially be sourced for NAFOLA at limited cost.  At least by sharing international best practices and materials some CFs may be capacitated to improve their fire management approaches – NAFOLA would capitalise on a “knowledge broker” role the project can play.
  • It is recommended that no further funds be used for national level strategy work, but emphasis remain on the CF level.

 

Output 2.5.:  Bush control program is piloted in Omundaungilo, Okongo, Ongandjera, Otjituuo and Otjku-Tjithilonde and provides financial incentives for controlled bush clearance

  • Output 2.5 Bush control program is piloted provides financial incentives for controlled bush clearance – some interesting approaches – have good potential for upscaling.
  • During the inception meeting, the selection of sites that should have a debushing focus was updated and adjusted slightly from proposals in the project document. 
  • A debushing pilot is being implemented in the African Wilddog Conservancy/CF. This initiative is linked to eh “’  bush to fodder” innovation. While the project is very popular, the extent of area debushed is not captured, but seems relatively small. An approach problem that has emerged is that (i) wood that could l be used as fire wood cannot currently be marketed officially, and (2) as the bush is simply cut, with the roots remaining, the regrowth is very fast. If this is the most effective debushing approach needs to be technically reviewed. 
  • Overall the pilot is very popular and upscaling can be considered. However, it I asserted that a much more dedicated approach is needed by NAFOLA to make this work a lasting  success. As it stands the pilot is not sustainable and does not deliver t potential. While the business model is largely cited as the underlying problem, it seems that a much more focused approach is needed on all aspects – harvesting, processing, marketing, removal of barriers.   

 

Output 2.6.:  Energy saving and alternative energy program implemented

  • An assessment of wood consumption was carried out, however, the results were not readily accessible at time of MTR. The information was also not further integrated into a project M&E system.
  • A pilot project on brick making was started in three CFs, to incentivise against using wood for buildings. Overall brickmaking equipment and material were procured (to an estimated value of NAD200,000 each including start up material, thus adding to an investment of NAD 600,000). While it is reported that operations of the brickmaking project in Uukolonkadhi started in early 2017, the other 2 brickmaking projects have not started operations. These interventions would potentially provide good tracking data for the project in the future.  
  • The investment into a carpentry project also started out innovatively. However, reports at MTR were mixed, as the operations apparently came to a hold. At time of MTR there seemed a lot of confusion on how to proceed with the started pilots for which the investments costs were very high.  Decisive strategy is needed to move ahead with the successful implementation of such projects. In cases were the slow gazettement process is holding back implementation, these bottlenecks need to be overcome, applying interim provisions under the Forestry Act,  pointed out under Component 1.     

 

Output 2.7.:  System for monitoring of forest and range condition and land productivity is in place

  • While a system for monitoring range conditions developed (A. Rotauge, 2016), no evidence of functional tracking of range conditions was found at MTR.
  • Similar for a functional system for monitoring forest condition. No relevant data is updated in the project TT and reporting on the SRF. No active data and knowledge management system was found. The existing Inventory database at DoF was updated with the information from the gazettement, however, such information has not been used in project reporting and thus is not available at MTR.
  • It is critical that a functional reporting system will be established by the project.  The foundations are in place.
  • Data sharing and linkages to UNCCD PRAIS have not been found.

 

 

Progress towards outcomes analysis

 

  • At time of MTR is it not possible to effectively measure project progress towards outcomes, with the exception of the gazettement of the indicated CF registration targets.
  • While this can be seen to be a problem due to a quite ambitious set of indicators, it is asserted that this is mostly due to a lack of a function project M&E framework. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency by the project.
  • It is noted that the baseline chapter that should be part of the project document are not accessible to the MTR team – nor to the project team. This is needs to be rectified either by soliciting the relevant baselines (some are cross referenced in the narrative of the project document and  can be derived from there) or establishing new baselines to measure form at MTR stage.
  • The retrofitted ToC can be helpful  in updating the SRF, as it provides an impact oriented context.
  • The various pilot interventions and assessments undertaken during the first half of the project can be sued too identify good indicators and start monitoring progress. A more analytical mindset needs to be applied to the project implementation and progress tracking by the project team.
  • At this point, the assessment of  progress of the SRF targets is rather sobering – but with good potential  for improvement by project end – if certain mediating actions are taken speedily.
  • It is recommended that UNDP’s M&E expert or an outside technical expert support the project team in this effort. A “coaching” approach, rather than an independent consultancy may be more effective.  

     

 

Remaining barriers to achieving the project objective

 

  • The barriers set out in the project document still hold. Additionally, various management related barriers have emerged during project implementation. The recommendations made at the end of the MTR are geared towards addressing these.   

 

 

1.3.Project implementation and adaptive management

 

Management Arrangements

  • The project is executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF). The project document identifies the Directorate of Forestry and the representatives of the 13 partner CFs as Responsible Partners.
  • The Director of Forestry (DoF) was appointed as project director (PD).
  • The project steering committee (PSC) is chaired by the PD and includes a range of technical members from various line ministries and especially from within MAWF, a CBO support organisation network and UNDP. Notably, none of the CFs are represented on the SC.
  • The project management unit (PMU) with the project manager (PM), a regional outreach officer and financial manager are based in Windhoek. Thirteen (13) project liaison officers  (PCOs) work with the respective CFs on site.
  • The project and project staff are largely integrated into the regional structures of MAWF, especially DoF, and oversighted by DOF Regional Liaison Staff. However, as the Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension and Engineering Services (DAPEES) has the stronger decentralised structures, with offices and staff on a constituency level, linkages on that level have been established to some extent, but currently are largely informal and sometimes unclear.    

 

In terms of assessment, a few issues arose during the MTR:

  • The PSC met only four times. It is observed that especially UNDP was very irregularly represented, and mostly by another person at each meeting. The minutes of the meetings suggest that few project governance and steering decisions were made and the overall oversight role was so far only executed to a limited level. PSC members and especially the PD mentioned that they had little orientation about what their role in the project would be, including their authority and responsibilities.  
  • The PSC does NOT include representatives from the CFs although the project document identifies them as Responsible Parties. It is recommended that this be rectified.
  • In terms of project management the roles of PM versus PD are unclear to senior members of the team and need to be clarified.              
  • Overall the PD, acting on behalf of MAWF, took decisions, partially as chair of the PSC that are not in line with GEF and UNDP guidance. IN the absence of strong UNDP leadership during the early project implementation period, project changes were made e.g. to the budget and focus of the project that should not have been under their authority. This has led to some major problems, such as sever overspending on MAWF responsibilities which are not part of the NAFOLA main business and design. Suing NAFOLA as Government’s main financial supporter to the implementation of the national Comprehensive Conservation  Agriculture (CCA) programme in Omaheke and the commissioning of the Auction Kraal in Tallismanus are examples thereof.       
  • The high cost of having the PMU based in Windhoek was raised during project clearance and inception. The project was designed to facilitate hands-on action on the ground, with little upstream policy type of work. Thus no specific need for the PMU to be based out of Windhoek was seen. However, in the end the PMU stayed in  Windhoek, which mostly had budget implications in terms of travel and well as in terms of management – which often seems “far away from where the action should be”.
  • The thirteen recruited Project Liaison Officer (PLOs) are early career young professionals. All PLOs met during the review were competent, helpful and committed. They play an essential role supporting the CFs and their representatives and are well-liked and acknowledged on the community level. In terms of management these professionals could be used more, and they should be better positioned to take on more senior functions for the project. They can also take on more technical responsibilities, such as contributing to systematic impact analyses and knowledge management. It is noted that after the gazettement phase at the CFs, many of the PLOs have been “withdrawn from their sites”, as all follow-up actions have been halted until approval of the CFs. This seems to be a very disruptive move, and the motivation for this remains questionable.
  • At this point, the PLOs are awaiting if their contracts will be renewed or not. Due to the project financial situation, the impeding MTR and the pending finalisation of CF gazettements the project management currently thinks that they will possibly only continue working with a sub-set of the team in future. 

 

 

Work Planning

  • Project start-up and implementation are so far on the agreed timeline. Some delays in implementation are observed due to the slow official gazettement of CFs, as already discussed.   
  • Recruitment of staff, procurement of equipment, setting up of office and operations all seem to have been competently done.
  • Overall the project document, its SRF and more detailed output and activity level planning are followed. What seems to be lacking is an impact and results focus – the big picture – which should guide the adaptive management.
  • The PM has implemented staff planning and reporting procedures, which are working satisfactory, but could be improved to instil a more innovative and joint project management approach, including staff working in the target areas.
  • Reporting could be more detailed, and professional, thinking through the intended project results and impacts and pushing the big picture issues.
  • It seems that the “absorption” of the project within the existing government structures and procedures has led to a loss of flexibility and innovation – which, however, remain critical to be demonstrated by a project such as NAFOLA.
  • More lateral planning, management and reporting with all relevant staff including the PLOs would enrich the team effort and help share the work load. A nimble, productive and innovative human resource culture should be nurtured to get most from the team.          

 

Finance and co-finance

  • Audits have bene undertaken annually and no digressions are reported. 
  • Budget revisions have taken place, however, it is not clear to the MTR consultant how certain costs have been covered from the agreed to budget at this point. While certain budget revisions have been reported on and have been signed of by Project Board members, it is not quite clear what the rational behind these revisions are and if they are justified. For example, all investments into fire fighting equipment for CFs was removed and rescheduled, as it was mentioned DoF would purchase and avail those. However, no single CF consulted had received such equipment and in contrary, highlighted how important such equipment would be.   
  • Government ownership has been excellent. However, it is noted that the GEF/ UNDP support seems to have been geared towards “budget support” investments, which is not fully in line with GEF and UNDP guidelines.  
  • Up to mid-term project spending amount to approx. USD 2,637,866, with USD 1,808,134 remaining.
  • Financially the project has not allocated funds as agreed to in the project document. This is a major area of concern. Aside concerns about the investment of the Tallismanus Auction kraal,  other capital investments are questionable (carpentry, brick making equipment, suggested cost for CF MC buildings, tractors and vehicle, other).  While the intension are understood, the pilot investments largely are productive at MTR.   
  • Amount of capital investments e.g. CF MC offices initially very high – up to 2.5 Mio NAD – which are in the region of  180,000 USD. In Namibia such an amount  could build a police station or a quite  luxurious house.  Revised proposals are now in the region of 500,000 NAD – which still seem to be excessive for the  purpose.  
  • No  clear tracking of co-financing is taking place. At time of MTR no consolidated co-financing table could be  produced, with the exception of DoF co-financing realized.

 

Project-level Monitoring and Evaluation Systems

  • The M&E aspect of the project are relatively weak. While quarterly reporting and PIR submissions are timely, the content and quality remain superficial. This also applies to agenda and matters covered at PSC meetings. In many ways the tracking of project progress seems a little hands-off and therefore guidance to project implementation seem limited. Adaptive management decisions are being made – but it is not always clear and well documented why and how such decision were taken. As such it seems that several decisions have been taken by “nobody in particular”- which signifies a disempowerment of the PM, who needs to assert herself.
  • The TTs prepared at PPG (PMAT, Capacity Development Card) are not very detailed and partially not accessible at time of MTR. It is unclear where they got lost. Also, several baseline assessments requested at project onset are not yet available. Others, such as the baseline for range condition management, have been developed at least at a pilot level (at four CFs), but are not rigorously monitored. At time of the MTR most indicators could not be really assessed for progress towards end of project target.
  • It is highly recommended to start setting up the necessary systems to track progress towards the end target now. Several sources of information cited (e.g from Meatco) are not under the influence of the project – so where such information cannot be obtained it is now the time to solicit other,  improved data.
  • The project document has set out a couple of baseline values, and also cites the initial basis for the figures derived. But as the relevant annexures are not accessible (at least to the MTR consultant at time of MTR) a special effort should be made to either find them or develop an alternative.        
  • M&E would  move along significantly as well, if actual reports,  analysis and knowledge products were to be developed by the project documenting project investments, results of pilots and impacts. This will be discussed under “reporting” and “communication” as well, however does refer significantly to M&E as  well.
  •  It is noted that the output report from the project team, with the associated indicated budget, does indicate that no M&E allocations have been made so far. This is a short coming that should be rectified. The project planning for the remainder of the project implementation time must set aside funds for effective M&E  - and not only for the evaluations.   

 

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Stakeholder engagement and partnership building is generally good. The project has not only partners and successfully supported the 13 (15) CFs targeted, but all the relevant governmental and on-governmental partners.
  • It is noted that in certain CFs the local government and line Ministry staff are side lining
  •   Innovative partnerships e.g. with the GIZ’s De-Bushing project have been build and acted upon. The feedback during the MTR was generally positive on this point.
  • Government ownership has been excellent, and the project has been strongly internalised within Dof and MAWF.  

 

Reporting

  • Reporting, analysis and knowledge management are the Achilles heel of the project so far. While project reporting such as quarterly reports and PIRs are timely, their quality is mediocre (e.g. points made above under“ Project level M&E). Generally, while some excellent experiences have been gained by the project, the information is not processed and adequately used for adaptive management. Even consultants reports are mostly just “shelved” without proper sharing or incorporation into project management.     
  • At time of MTR key project reports were not readily accessible, however the team used the MTR process to start setting up a quite well organised Dropbox folder.  
  • Overall, the weakness is a good sense of knowledge-management - what is needed, how it is useful and how knowledge should be transferred to team member, project partners and the public.
  • Examples have been given above in the output review of trainings that have been conducted, but have not been documented and processed as repeatable materials that can be shared with a variety of CFs. This also applies to  learning  from demonstration project implemented at different CFs.
  • It appears that no one in the project team feels responsible for such work. Some brochures have been produced, but they are few and there is no clear plan on who  should get what type of information. This is a clear shortcoming, which may stem from the Project document, which not specifically requested the development of a communication / reporting plan.
  • It is strongly recommended the PMU team allocates dedicated time to thinking through reporting, knowledge management and communication. Already existing information should be processed and shared (see also next point).     

 

Communications

  • There is no communication plan in the project, and generally internal and external communications seem to be conducted in a rather ad hoc manner.  
  • Notably, there were important PSC member who felt they know next to nothing about the project. It is not clear if one specific PSC member had “dropped off” a distribution list or why no information had reached the member. 
  • With the limited knowledge management conducted by the project, stakeholders within the project and outside are not kept abreast with project developments. Even team members posted at the CFs were often poorly informed about project activities, results and decisions – and were frustrated by it.
  • While the project has ben participating in a number of meetings, conferences and fairs, limited investments have been made into producing project materials and knowledge products.   
  • As mentioned in the previous section, reporting, knowledge management and communication have to be significantly improved to put the NAFOLA project “onto the map”.    
  • It is noted that the MAWF website and previous Community Forestry portals related to DoF are all not very functional. While it has been observed that even previously supported GEF project websites and portal have all faltered over time, it may be time to rethink how such long-term knowledge management could be facilitated by the implementing agency or other partners.  

 

1.4.Sustainability

 

  • The project document identified nine risks, all medium to low risks. All risks set out in the project document seem to still apply, and the tracking in the PIRs generally seems justified.
  • However, it is recommended to include a specific organisational or operational risk that would prominently report on and track decision making, reporting, and accountability of the project management. With certain difficulties in this regard during the first part of the project it might be helpful to have regular reporting updates at PIR stage.    
  • Additionally, it is noted that the risk of slow gazettement and legalisation has had major repercussions for project implementation with dedicated support to planned, but not yet achieved, CFs not having moved ahead. While it is believed that this can be overcome soon, it should still be added to the risk log.   

 

Financial risks to sustainability

  • Some outputs and pilots are very promising and could become fully self-sufficient after project completion.
  • As there is good integration of the project with Government priorities and procedures, much of the started work may be internalized in ongoing work. 
  • However, the direct support to CFs may not be feasible by Government in the future. It remains overall the question, in how far critical support to such community-based NRM structures can be successfully organized to be sustainable and effective.  
  • This reiterates the question raised under output 1.4. on policy – what is Namibia’s best option to move ahead constructively on CBNRM? 
  •     
  • NAFOLA supported the Directorate of Forestry to ensure that forest issues are mainstreamed in NDP 5. NAFOLA ‘s support in the NDP 5 process was on chapter 4, which focuses on environmental sustainability. NAFOLA recognises the role that conservation agriculture and bush thinning may add to the conservation of forested lands. These agriculture-related outputs are in chapter 2 of the national development plan. NAFOLA also reiterates that its support is to enhance household food security and in no way support intensification of agriculture in Omaheke region. The Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme is a government programme, supported by NAFOLA.

 

Socio-economic risks to sustainability

  • Ownership is good and socio-economic risks seem low – with the exception that CF and their management representatives and members have high expectations that NAFOLA can support them after gazettement.

Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability

  • The slow gazettement and legalisation is a major risk to project performance. But also to long-term sustainability, as huge burdens are placed on  the CF management entities and members, and high expectations are being created. Meanwhile little systematic and reliable support is factually accessible to CFs in the long-term at this point.
  • The sustainability of CF management structures may not be strong, if no committed government and partner support is in place.
  • Linked also to the review of output 1.4. above, it is noted that a loss in faith in Namibia’s CBNRM programmes and approaches could be a real risk and should possibly addressed by the project’s policy and advocacy outputs. In collaboration with relevant partners, practical recommendations on how to ensure that conservancies and community forests, in particular, can have significant conservation and livelihood improvements could be worked out, and be integrated into relevant policy and decision-making processes.         

 

 

Environmental risks to sustainability

  • Sustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber forest resources, and use and management of NRMs per se can bear environmental risks. Although the project of course tries to minimise such or aims to improve on the situation, this cannot always be guaranteed. However, relevant safeguards are mostly considered.
  • The promotion of larger scale CA in a water constrained ecosystem which is marginal for agricultural production at may pose environmental risk.
  • Appropriate guidance for land clearings and EIAs required for infrastructure investments should always follow a precautionary approach, national policy but also international standards in line  with GEF and UNDP’s policies.     

 

 

1.5.Gender

  • While this is not a standard section foreseen in MTR report outline, it is nevertheless integrated here for focused reporting.  Specifics are also mainstreamed in responses as per section.  
  • The project had commissioned a dedicated Gender Assessment. To follow-up on that effort, more specific gender focused management and monitoring & evaluation should be implemented.
  • At this point the project does not undertake any gender specific and disaggregated reporting. Especially for investments on a site level such a focus will be enriching.

 


[1] Comments from MAWF on the draft MTR report provided further justification, however, in order to find a balanced way ahead, the MTR includes a specific recommendation to assess if perhaps the initially proposed local level integrated land use plans would still be needed and warranted in selected CFs. It is expected that the Management Response to the MTR will make relevant recommendations.    

[2] This figure was revised from eleven in the project document, as certain CFs were already legalized prior to project inception. However, notably one large CF area, Otjimbinde, was divided into three CFs, which increased the number again.   


Recommendations
1

Evaluation Recommendation A.1: Expedite gazettement process

2

Evaluation Recommendation A.2.: Apply interim provisions to NAFOLA targeted CFs. As suggested by DOF technical staff, recognize the interim Management Committees and allow them to receive further project support while their applications have been submitted for official gazettement.

3

Evaluation Recommendation A.3.: Continue to explore sensible long-term policy matters including harmonization of CBNRM related laws and procedures (e.g. conservancy and CF gazettement and management, including GRN support)

4

Evaluation Recommendation A.4.: NAFOLA focuses dedicated amount of remaining funds to support implementation of management plans in all targeted CFs (suggested amount: +/- USD 25,000 per CF)

5

Evaluation Recommendation A.5.: NAFOLA produce replicable training materials based on previous projects (e.g. KfW) and NAFOLA trainings and make available to future CF trainings (e.g. incl. on internet http://www.mawf.gov.na/community-forestry and http://www.cfnen.org.na/ - not currently operational)    

6

Evaluation Recommendation B.1.: Take stock of the various demonstration projects implemented so far; undertake analysis of cost benefit, sustainability, success factors; use such analysis for follow-up planning of remaining resources and investments into innovative and financially interesting income generating opportunities for CFs. Based on the analyses identify few (potentially 2 to 4 value chains for implementation).

7

Evaluation Recommendation B.2.: Pick projects that are in line with local level ideas and interests. There are a number of proposals that CF MCs prepared – get these pipelined e.g. with the EIF and SGP small grant facilities or NDC for independent financing. NAFOLA could provide technical support to ensure proposals are in line with CF constitutions and ideals.

8

Evaluation Recommendation B.3.: Rethink CA investments in Omaheke; do not support medium scale fodder production, but focus on home garden food security measures and rangeland management instead, and as applicable. Use tractors for CFs – making firebreaks, transporting timber and non-timber forestry products, etc.

9

Evaluation Recommendation B.4.: No further payments by NAFOLA for the Auction Kraal. Government must find a solution to making the kraal operational.

10

Evaluation Recommendation C.1.: Replace current PSC as the members have not taken on their oversight responsibilities; include CF representatives in PSC as they are indicated in the project document as Responsible Parties; provide a clear orientation to the PSC of their roles, mandates and responsibilities.

11

Evaluation Recommendation C.2.: Increase UNDP oversight function especially over financial resources and reporting.

12

Evaluation Recommendation C.3.: Undertake focused re-planning for “phase 2”- remaining 2 to 3 project intervention years, in line with remaining budget; focus work on target CFs; focus interventions to actually generate meaningful impacts in the CFs, including direct support to the CF committees.

13

Evaluation Recommendation C.4.: Adjust or rearrange the PMU with re-planning and budget; and arrange for a no-cost extension

14

Evaluation Recommendation C.5.: Plan for a non-cost extension, despite the fact that limited resources are remaining – the sort of support needed now requires longer-term engagement rather than capital investments

15

Evaluation Recommendation C.6: Invest strongly into knowledge management and communication

16

Evaluation Recommendation C.6.-C.7.: Develop functional and practical monitoring framework and actually invest into data collection (M&E)

17

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue C.8.: Add two risks to the risk log (namely; 1) decision making, reporting and accountability of project management and 2) slow gazetting process of CFs)

1. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation A.1: Expedite gazettement process

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: The gazetting of CFs is an elaborated process. MAWF with support from NAFOLA will put in place measures to expedite gazetting, inter alia,  submitting eight of the eleven dossiers to the Attorney General’s Office for legal clearance, after which the MAWF will sign and submit the dossiers for listing on government gazette.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Write a letter to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) towards the accelerated support for the gazetting of the CFs
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU, MoJ and DoF 2017/09 Completed Letter on file at UNDP. Notice of Gazette attached. History
2. Appoint a technical staff member in MAWF to liaise between the MoJ and MAWF.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/07/26]
PMU, DoF and MET 2018/03 Completed MAWF appointed a technical person to liaise between MAWF and Attorney General. Regular follow up is being undertaken. Notes for meetings held with MoJ. History
3. Submit the remaining (2) dossiers for gazetting. These are for Onkumbula and Epukiro CFs.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/07/26]
PMU, DoF and MoJ 2018/11 Overdue-Initiated Dossier for one (1) CF (Epukiro) finalized and submitted for legal review at Attorney General’s Office. Dossier for one CF (Onkumbula) to be finalized and submitted end of November 2018. History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation A.2.: Apply interim provisions to NAFOLA targeted CFs. As suggested by DOF technical staff, recognize the interim Management Committees and allow them to receive further project support while their applications have been submitted for official gazettement.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: In order to comply with the Forest Act, NAFOLA will support implementation of IFMPs in gazetted CFs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Support implementation of IFMPs for the four gazetted CFs (Okongo, Uukolonkadhi, Oshaampula and Otjiu-West). Build capacity (through targeted training) of the other eight CFs to execute their constitutional mandates after they are gazetted.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2018/12 Completed Quarterly reports available as evidence History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation A.3.: Continue to explore sensible long-term policy matters including harmonization of CBNRM related laws and procedures (e.g. conservancy and CF gazettement and management, including GRN support)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: NAFOLA and DoF will explore and publish long-term policy matters related to CBNRM.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Produce a detailed analysis on the gazetting of the CFs as a useful knowledge product. Set-up consultation mechanisms between MAWF and MET for the joint-management of the CFs and conservancies to ensure participatory and consultative endorsement of the developed dossiers by stakeholder ministries.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2017/12 Completed Booklet on harmonization of CFs and Conservancies available. Best Practices and lessons learned booklet on harmonization finalized by NAFOLA Project History
2. Draft post review lessons-learnt report for the harmonization of policies, procedures and management planning of conservancies and CFs through joint management committees.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2018/03 Completed Report available as evidence History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation A.4.: NAFOLA focuses dedicated amount of remaining funds to support implementation of management plans in all targeted CFs (suggested amount: +/- USD 25,000 per CF)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Ensure equitable allotment of funding to the target CFs in accordance with the needs and the gaps and the respective progress of implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Undertake needs and gaps analysis and sustainable financing mechanisms of the respective CFs. NAFOLA support would be predominantly on sustainable capacity development efforts to increase the capacities of the CFs so that they are able to function on their own – rather than making communities dependent on projects/government funding in perpetuity. The needs and gap assessment will also contain a section on the results of the NAFOLA investigations on sustainable financing mechanisms for CFs operations
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/31]
PMU and DoF 2018/07 Completed TORs for consultancy to develop long term financing for the forest sector finalized. History
2. Allocate financial resources in accordance with the needs assessment results
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2017/12 Completed Reprioritization processes completed through the development of M&E framework for NAFOLA in Feb-March 2018 History
3. Systematically monitor the implementation of the activities prioritized for each CF in line with the M&E framework and project results framework
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/07]
PMU and DoF 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated Quarterly reports available History
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation A.5.: NAFOLA produce replicable training materials based on previous projects (e.g. KfW) and NAFOLA trainings and make available to future CF trainings (e.g. incl. on internet http://www.mawf.gov.na/community-forestry and http://www.cfnen.org.na/ - not currently operational)    

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Package the training materials in knowledge management products. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1 a). Utilize available training materials including those developed during PPG phase to avoid duplication of efforts and increase resource efficiency, NAFOLA will also package and broadly share materials produced to enhance replication of practices outside the 13 CFs hot spots. b) Update CF Toolbox with new material and also upload the material on the DoF website developed by CFN. c) Coordinate and facilitate training interventions as per updated Training Action Plan with e.g. forest management bodies.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/03]
PMU and DoF 2017/12 Completed Available at this link http://www.mawf.gov.na/community-forestry All trainings pertaining to CF management has been codified. History
2. Publish knowledge management products as community forestry toolbox and on appropriate platforms (e.g. incl. on internet http://www.mawf.gov.na/community-forestry and http://www.cfnen.org.na/)
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/07]
PMU and DoF 2018/10 Overdue-Initiated History
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation B.1.: Take stock of the various demonstration projects implemented so far; undertake analysis of cost benefit, sustainability, success factors; use such analysis for follow-up planning of remaining resources and investments into innovative and financially interesting income generating opportunities for CFs. Based on the analyses identify few (potentially 2 to 4 value chains for implementation).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response:  As recommended, NAFOLA will take stock of the various demonstration projects implemented and  use such analysis for follow-up planning of remaining resources and investments into innovative and financially interesting income generating opportunities for CFs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Cost-benefit, feasibility and lessons-learnt assessments of investments and analysis of income generating value chains (to be read with actions under A4.)
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/07]
PSC, PMU, DAPEES and DoF 2018/12 Overdue-Initiated TORs developed History
7. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation B.2.: Pick projects that are in line with local level ideas and interests. There are a number of proposals that CF MCs prepared – get these pipelined e.g. with the EIF and SGP small grant facilities or NDC for independent financing. NAFOLA could provide technical support to ensure proposals are in line with CF constitutions and ideals.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response:  Support management bodies of CFs to develop pipeline projects (responding to IFMP)  to be considered by small grants facilities e.g. EIF and SGP.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Provide technical support - develop proposal for CFs to selected projects (identified by the respective CFs) to ensure funding through Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) and UNDP Small-Grants Project (SGP) or Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) for independent financing through CFs management committees.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU 2018/03 Completed Grant proposal for Okongo CF approved by EIF; Project approved by SGP for Otshikushithilonde CF; Draft proposals for 3 CFs available. History
2. Collaborate with GIZ on debushing project and build on sustainable previous experiences with DEED/KfW/NNF
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU 2018/03 Completed Report available History
8. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation B.3.: Rethink CA investments in Omaheke; do not support medium scale fodder production, but focus on home garden food security measures and rangeland management instead, and as applicable. Use tractors for CFs – making firebreaks, transporting timber and non-timber forestry products, etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: The overall objective of NAFOLA Project is to reduce pressure on forest resources. Conservation Agriculture (CA) was considered as one mechanism to increase crop yields in a sustainable manner, which minimizes clearing of forest areas. Since the formulation of the project, the government of Namibia has received numerous supports on CA. At MTR, NAFOLA is prioritizing its interventions and the PSC has taken a resolution to focus project resources on sustainable forestry interventions.  As a result NAFOLA will not be engaged in active CA activities. The project will collaborate with DAPEES on monitoring uptake of CA and its impact on the forest.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Resolution to be communicated to PSC and subsequently to MAWF (as the Implementing Entity)
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU, DoF and UNDP 2017/12 Completed 6th PSC minutes reflecting the deliberations History
9. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation B.4.: No further payments by NAFOLA for the Auction Kraal. Government must find a solution to making the kraal operational.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Government agreed on funding the gaps. No further payments by NAFOLA for the construction of Auction Kraals and additional amenities. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. MAWF to provide commitment letter to UNDP for the funding and finalization of auction kraal which is part of the Marketing Facility
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2017/09 Completed Letter on file at UNDP History
2. NAFOLA to collaborate with DAPEES, DVS and farmers associations to ensure that marketing plans are in place and implemented.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/07]
PMU and DoF 2018/11 Overdue-Initiated TORs finalized for consultancy service History
3. Finalize construction of the kraal
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/07]
DoF 2018/10 Overdue-Initiated Delay in the disbursement of funds from MAWF. History
10. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.1.: Replace current PSC as the members have not taken on their oversight responsibilities; include CF representatives in PSC as they are indicated in the project document as Responsible Parties; provide a clear orientation to the PSC of their roles, mandates and responsibilities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Strengthen the capacity of the PSC and establish a technical advisory committee.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1 a. Provide a clear orientation to the PSC of their roles, mandates and responsibilities to increase oversight and guidance b. Share the terms of reference (ToR) train the current PSC to ToR c. Facilitate the setting-up of the technical advisory committee for interim decision-making and setting-up an annual calendar.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU UNDP, PSC 2017/12 Completed History
2. Improve participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as NACSO at the PSC.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and PSC 2017/12 Completed 6th PSC minutes reflecting this issue. History
3. UNDP representation at PSC is up to the Head of Energy and Environment as the lowest suitable designate of the Resident Representative and/or Deputy Resident Representative.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and PSC 2017/12 Completed 6th PSC minutes reflecting this issue. History
11. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.2.: Increase UNDP oversight function especially over financial resources and reporting.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Increase UNDP oversight function especially on PQA and Reporting. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Undertake Project Quality Assurance (PQA), Micro-assessment, SPOT Checks. UNDP to fulfill its fiduciary role to monitor/track project spending congruent to ProDoc and revised project budget.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and UNDP 2019/02 Overdue-Initiated PQA done; Spot check not done History
2. Analytical M&E oversight function by UNDP in respect of quarterly reporting.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and UNDP 2017/12 Completed History
3. Disbursement from quarterly to direct payments based on an approved procurement plan.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and UNDP 2017/11 Completed History
12. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.3.: Undertake focused re-planning for “phase 2”- remaining 2 to 3 project intervention years, in line with remaining budget; focus work on target CFs; focus interventions to actually generate meaningful impacts in the CFs, including direct support to the CF committees.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: MAWF, PMU and UNDP will undertake a focused re-planning for the remaining project phase.  (Also refer to management responses and activities under A4 and B1)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Obtain approval from the PSC on the adjusted annual plans
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU, UNDP and PSC 2017/12 Completed 6th PSC minutes reflecting this issue. History
2. Implement activities in strict adherence to approved annual work plan and procurement plan.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PSC, PMU, DAPEES and DoF 2018/03 Completed Payments done against planned activities History
3. Capital investments in prioritized low cost facilities.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF, MET (CBNRM) 2019/02 Overdue-Initiated Proposal for low cost capital approved by PSC as part of 2018 AWP History
13. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.4.: Adjust or rearrange the PMU with re-planning and budget; and arrange for a no-cost extension

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Reduce staff complement; and no-cost extension not permissible by a UNDP HQ directive

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Realign staff complement and undertake activities through PLOs and CF management committees with strict adherence to timelines and outputs or cost-benefit analysis.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU, UNDP, DoF and PSC 2018/03 Completed Staff reduced from 13 PLOs to 6 PLOs; Regional Project Implementation Officer position ceased; History
2. Develop deliverable based-contracts with templates and team building exercises for re-organization
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU, UNDP, DoF and PSC 2017/12 Completed Finalised in July 2018 History
14. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.5.: Plan for a non-cost extension, despite the fact that limited resources are remaining – the sort of support needed now requires longer-term engagement rather than capital investments

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: The project will be implemented within the planned timeframe

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Implement activities in strict adherence to work plans to avoid delays.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and PSC 2019/02 Overdue-Initiated Work plans and procurement plans circulated to PSC by email for endorsement. History
15. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.6: Invest strongly into knowledge management and communication

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: As recommended, the project will invest into knowledge management and communication

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Realign project staff to make provision for a Knowledge Management Officer
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/09/27]
PMU and MAWF 2017/10 Completed Knowledge Management Officer position filled History
2. a) Capture lessons learnt as knowledge management products. b) Identify strategic partnership with academia and agree on production of knowledge management products for current and future programming
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/03]
a) PMU, MAWF b) UNDP and DoF-PMU 2017/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Initiative was linked to funding of students researching in NAFOLA hotspot on topic related to the objectives of the Project and has been ceased;]
History
16. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation C.6.-C.7.: Develop functional and practical monitoring framework and actually invest into data collection (M&E)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: PMU and DoF to develop the outcome-based M&E/RBM framework together with the TOC

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Develop the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the M&E framework including TOC with suggested outcomes and corresponding indicators
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2017/09 Completed TOC available for NAFOLA and M&E framework finalised History
2. a. Procure consultant and develop an RBM and M&E framework in line with the new TOC recommendations and SDGs reporting guidelines b. Develop and update the project knowledge management plan/strategy including communication activities and stakeholder engagement c. Train the trainers on the new M&E and RBM framework to train the remaining staff complement after reorganization and CF management committees.
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU, DoF and UNDP 2018/03 Completed Reports available History
3. Outcome and results based monitoring, data (disaggregated by Gender) collection on new indicators (including SDGs) and reporting in accordance with the tracking tool (TT)
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/03]
PMU and DoF 2019/02 Overdue-Initiated Training of trainer to be conducted in August 2018 History
4. Restructure PMU to include a monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management officer
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/03]
PSC, PMU and DoF 2017/12 Completed PMU and DoF reviewed the structure, resulting in only seven & PLO being in place. The specific seven TORs with deliverables are available. History
5. Implement the changes to the developed M&E framework
[Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/08/28]
PMU and DoF 2018/03 Completed History
17. Recommendation:

Evaluation Recommendation or Issue C.8.: Add two risks to the risk log (namely; 1) decision making, reporting and accountability of project management and 2) slow gazetting process of CFs)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/12/19] [Last Updated: 2017/12/19]

Management Response: Amend Risk Log

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Add a specific organisational or operational risk to the UNDP’s risk register on decision-making, reporting, and accountability of project management.
[Added: 2017/12/19]
PMU and UNDP 2017/11 Completed
2. The Risk log should be updated to include the impact of slow gazetting of CFs to attainment of project targets
[Added: 2017/12/19]
PMU and UNDP 2017/11 Completed

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