Evaluación Final del proyecto Creación de capacidades de Acuerdos Multilaterales Ambientales (Capacity building for mainstreaming MEA objectives into inter-ministerial structures and mechanisms

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Costa Rica
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2018
Completion Date:
04/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Evaluación Final del proyecto Creación de capacidades de Acuerdos Multilaterales Ambientales (Capacity building for mainstreaming MEA objectives into inter-ministerial structures and mechanisms
Atlas Project Number: 00076472
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Costa Rica
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2018
Planned End Date: 03/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: GEF Trustfund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 7,300
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ana Laura Aguilar Consultant lau.aguilar@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Capacity Building for Mainstreaming MEA Objectives into Inter-Ministerial Structures and Mechanisms
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5028
PIMS Number: 5097
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: COSTA RICA
Lessons
1.

Best practices: 

  1. The facilitation of partnerships with academic public institutions allows capacity building within public instances, value added for the expansion of a particular action and also assures sustainability.
  2. The identification of possible experiences for escalation/replication.
  3. The use of a learn-by-doing approach to facilitate policy-making.
  4. The use of democratic dialogue and participatory approaches for policy-making.
  5. Having a direct access to the office of the Minister provides support and facilitates the advancement of difficult issues.

Worst practices:

  1. The generation of a lot of important information, that due to internal circumstances at the decision-making level, is not fully used as a tool for policy making.
  2. The lack of clarity in role establishment within de PMU and how it is projected to institutional counterparts can generate difficulties in implementation.
  3. Not enough involvement of technical institutional staff in the design/implementation of project activities can decrease institutional ownership.
  4. A perception of a “politicization” of the project, due to its director being a high level political officer, such as a minister can be a hindrance to project implementation.

Findings
1.

Summary of conclusions and recommendations 

Conclusions

  1. Clarity in the roles that the project management unit (including the project director) is very important for effective communication and articulation of activities.
  2. Several instruments of public policy, supported with technical assistance from the project, have achieved the mainstreaming of provisions from the three Rio Conventions.
  3. Structural elements within institutions can hinder institutionalization of coordination mechanisms.
  4. The project can try to involve national actors, but that it is the institution’s responsibility to assume that ownership.
  5. Participatory policy-making was a key part of the project’s strategy for capacity building, as was using the learning by doing approach. Both these tools help the promotion of institutional ownership and also foster sustainability.
  6. Public-private partnerships must generate greater awareness about compliance with MEAs, as a responsibility of the State in the broader definition: it goes beyond any particular administration and civil society, private sector, NGOs, academia, and private citizens must assume their share of responsibility.
  7. Partnerships with public research institutes and bodies from public universities generate an aggregate value and can foster sustainability.

Recommendations

  1. Communication processes within the key stakeholders and actors must be improved and prioritized.
  2. Focal points should identify common entry points to start developing a common working agenda, and support the institutionalization of the coordination mechanism, so that those more structural elements can be overcome.
  3. A project management unit should give the correct degree of involvement to institutional representatives at the design and implementation levels and support the completion of intra and interinstitutional agreements. 
  4. Since project implementation may not give the be able to prioritize baseline building processes, due to financial or time constraints, baselines must be constructed or identified during the project design.
  5. Projects must achievable targets, considering not only the ultimate objectives to be achieved, but elements of the current political, economic, social and institutional context.
  6. Projects need a tailored strategy not only for the production but for the management of the information generated through its activities.
  7. The direction of a project shouldn’t be assumed by high-ranking officers such as ministers, since the load of work they normally experience may prove detrimental to their performance as project directors.
  8. Validation and revision processes should comply with an established schedule, to give fluidity to the implementation of activities. 
  9. To sustain strategic interventions, financial and operational planning must be not only linked but part of programmatic priority planning.
  10. A process to make sure that MEA convention focal points have greater negotiation skills and are able to devote more time to the responsibility of being the key player of the government for that convention should be determined.
  11. MINAE, as the oversight body for the environmental sector, should build an institutional policy on open data, which articulates with the national policy on open data, and provides guidelines to other environmental institutions, or bodies that produce environmental information, on how to manage that information, and how to make it available

Recommendations
1

Communication processes within the key stakeholders and actors must be improved and prioritized.

2

Focal points should identify common entry points to start developing a common working agenda, and support the institutionalization of the coordination mechanism, so that those more structural elements can be overcome.

3

A project management unit should give the correct degree of involvement to institutional representatives at the design and implementation levels and support the completion of intra and interinstitutional agreements. 

4

Since project implementation may not allow to prioritize baseline building processes, due to financial or time constraints, baselines must be constructed or identified during the project design.

5

Projects must achievable targets, considering not only the ultimate objectives to be achieved, but elements of the current political, economic, social and institutional context.

6

Projects need a tailored strategy not only for the production but for the management of the information generated through its activities.

7

The direction of a project shouldn’t be assumed by high-ranking officers such as ministers, since the load of work they normally experience may prove detrimental to their performance as project directors.

8

Validation and revision processes should comply with an established schedule, to give fluidity to the implementation of activities. 

9

To sustain strategic interventions, financial and operational planning must be not only linked but part of programmatic priority planning.

10

A process to make sure that MEA convention focal points have greater negotiation skills and are able to devote more time to the responsibility of being the key player of the government for that convention should be determined.

1. Recommendation:

Communication processes within the key stakeholders and actors must be improved and prioritized.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

UNDP will ensure that all channels of communications between all stakeholders are improved.   

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) Reinforced the organization of coordination meetings between stakeholders with objective to know progress and challenges in project´s implementation. 2) The LPAC process in the Country offices updates so that as many stakeholders of a project participate since project start. 3) UNDP internal exercise about which of all stakeholders needs a special attention or prioritization in project´s implementation process.
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
UNDP Officer 2018/12 Completed History
2. Recommendation:

Focal points should identify common entry points to start developing a common working agenda, and support the institutionalization of the coordination mechanism, so that those more structural elements can be overcome.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

Joint meeting between UNDP and MEA focal points in order to identify ways to achieve institutionalization of the coordination mechanism.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) Meeting with key stakeholders to identify common entry points. 2) Identify structural elements which potentially could be affect the institutionalization of the coordination mechanism
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
UNDP Officer in coordination with MINAE 2020/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation:

A project management unit should give the correct degree of involvement to institutional representatives at the design and implementation levels and support the completion of intra and interinstitutional agreements. 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

MINAE will work in establishment of group to ensure the correct integration of institutional representatives to support different initiatives

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) Committee’s establishment. 2) Identify institutional representatives and strategic action what will implemented
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
MINAE focal point 2020/12 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Since project implementation may not allow to prioritize baseline building processes, due to financial or time constraints, baselines must be constructed or identified during the project design.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

Baseline included in project design according the availability of data. UNDP to improve data management for baseline development

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) UNDP will improve internal data collection and data management to improve baselines of projects
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
UNDP officer 2018/12 Completed History
5. Recommendation:

Projects must achievable targets, considering not only the ultimate objectives to be achieved, but elements of the current political, economic, social and institutional context.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

Projects respond to different implementation contexts, they include different development dimensions challenges in the country. In this regard adaptive capacity of project implementation of UNDP is key. In order to address the recommendation UNDP is to improve context analysis to support project outcomes beyond targets.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) UNDP to conform a context analysis team to identify ways in which project can contribute broadly to developmental challenges.
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
UNDP officers and Auxiliary Resident Representative 2018/12 Completed History
6. Recommendation:

Projects need a tailored strategy not only for the production but for the management of the information generated through its activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

UNDP Costa Rica developed a knowledge management strategy to ensure that all results achieved by the projects have a good communication and information actions to promote our efforts and contributions to country development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) Ensure that knowledge management strategy to be implemented by all projects according with their situation.
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
UNDP Communication focal point 2018/12 Completed History
7. Recommendation:

The direction of a project shouldn’t be assumed by high-ranking officers such as ministers, since the load of work they normally experience may prove detrimental to their performance as project directors.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

UNDP doesn’t have a policy to designate an institutional counterpart who will assume national director role. And in this case, the Minister designation who assumed the role of project director was an initiative by his self. By the contrast, sometimes this situation is very positive to the project and there are some advantages for example in terms of actions definition and decision-making process which thanks that there was a Minister in the head was very success and reflected grade of institutional commitment for the initiative.

Considering the recommendation will suggest on a case by case basis that Ministers assign only technical staff as Project directors to avoid delays. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) UNDP will suggest on a case by case basis that Ministers assign only technical staff as Project directors to avoid delays.
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
Program Officer and Auxiliary Resident Representative 2018/12 Completed History
8. Recommendation:

Validation and revision processes should comply with an established schedule, to give fluidity to the implementation of activities. 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

UNDP applies policy and actions to ensure a good M&E process which support the project implementation. In some cases projects face challenges that affect the schedule and fluidity in the implementation of activities. UNDP will strengthen M&E scheduling

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) M&E scheduling strengthened through more strict revision of project milestones and monthly to support project implementation and manage the different situations that affect project results and timely implementation
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
M&E Specialist within Program Officer 2018/12 Completed History
9. Recommendation:

To sustain strategic interventions, financial and operational planning must be not only linked but part of programmatic priority planning.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

MINAE will ensure coherence between financial and operational planning.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) Operational Annual Plans will reflect action contained in NBSAP, National Climate Change Strategy, NDCs
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/01/15]
MEA Focal Points 2020/12 Completed History
10. Recommendation:

A process to make sure that MEA convention focal points have greater negotiation skills and are able to devote more time to the responsibility of being the key player of the government for that convention should be determined.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/06/21]

UNDP and UN partners to include MEA Focal points in negotiation skills training

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1) Plan annual training by UNDP 2) Invite MEA Focal points to training
[Added: 2018/06/22] [Last Updated: 2019/06/06]
UNDP Officer 2018/12 Completed Key action completed History

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