TE: Using SLM to Improve the Integrity of the Makgadikgadi Ecosystem and to Secure the Livelihoods of Rangeland Dependent Communities

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Botswana
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2018
Completion Date:
09/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title TE: Using SLM to Improve the Integrity of the Makgadikgadi Ecosystem and to Secure the Livelihoods of Rangeland Dependent Communities
Atlas Project Number: 00081415
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Botswana
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2018
Planned End Date: 06/2018
Management Response: No
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
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
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • 15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 19,458
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Sophie van der Meeren Evaluator sophie_vandermeeren@yahoo.co.uk
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Using SLM to Improve the Integrity of the Makgadikgadi Ecosystem and to Secure the Livelihoods of Rangeland Dependent Communities
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5789
PIMS Number: 5359
Key Stakeholders: Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Forestry and Range Resources, Department of Animal Production, CBOs
Countries: BOTSWANA
Lessons
Findings
1.

PART 3.2 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION 

The following section of the report assesses project implementation mechanisms to see whether these meet GEF / UNDP standards and whether project planning, monitoring and evaluation have supported adaptive, results-based management, towards the achievement of intended development results. It examines project implementation modalities, including the quality of day to day management, reporting and strategic oversight, cost effectiveness and financial planning and the quality of monitoring and evaluation to support results-based, adaptive management. Ratings are required by GEF on the quality of ‘Implementing’ and ‘Executing’ Agency performance. A specific rating is also required on the quality of monitoring and evaluation.

Within the Makgadikgadi SLM Project Document there is some confusion over GEF definitions of ‘implementing and executing agencies’. To ensure use of terms in this TE report is clear, the GEF definition is used: -  The ‘Executing Agency’ is the partner directly responsible for managing the project: ‘executing’ project activities, monitoring project progress, managing project staff and funds, and carrying out other project management functions. The Executing Agency for this project is BirdLife Botswana. - The ‘Implementing Agency’ is the organisation ultimately accountable to GEF for effective use of funds to achieve the Outcomes agreed in the Project Document: responsibilities include ensuring fiduciary standards are applied and providing strategic oversight of project implementation, including the quality of monitoring and evaluation. The Implementing Agency acts on behalf of the GEF to ensure the project works to deliver global environmental benefits. The Implementing Agency for this project is UNDP Botswana Country Office. 

Project Execution and Implementation Modalities

The project was implemented between 2014 and 2017 by BirdLife Botswana under the NGO modality, on behalf of the Government of Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism (MENT). It was a medium sized project with core funds of US$ 792,832.00 provided by the GEF through UNDP Botswana, and with national co-financing of US$ 6,570,000.00 (cash and in-kind) and from UNDP of US$225,000. The lead national partner agency was the Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) as the statutory agency responsible for rangelands in Botswana, with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) as the GEF focal point and lead agency for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As the Executing Agency, BirdLife Botswana were accountable to UNDP and the PSC for the effective delivery of project Outputs and ultimately Outcomes.

UNDP were the overall Implementing Agency for the project and throughout project implementation provided valuable strategic guidance and support. As Implementing Agency UNDP are accountable to GEF for ensuring that funds are used as agreed in the Project Document, to achieve the development Outcomes and Objective specified. UNDP CO participated in all PSC meetings, facilitating discussions and providing strategic guidance across a wide range of areas, including on GEF Land Degradation focal area strategic objectives. UNDP remained closely engaged in the project throughout its three-year lifespan and provided valuable support to the Project Manager whenever requested, including guidance on GEF / UNDP reporting requirements and formats, and specific training by the RTA on results-based reporting. UNDP CO also provided relevant training to the project team and partner agencies on gender mainstreaming, environmental compliance, and financial management. In addition to specific training, the feedback and recommendations provided by the CO and RTA in annual PIR reports provides valuable guidance and was used by the Project Manager to strengthen project execution.

The project office was opened in 2014 in Letlhakane. PMU staff were members of BirdLife Botswana (BLB) and comprised a Project Manager, Assistant and Accountant. The Director of BirdLife Botswana was the overall Project Coordinator, based in BLB headquarters in Gabarone. Dedicated office equipment was purchased along with a project vehicle.


Tag: Climate change governance Ecosystem based adaption Ecosystem services Global Environment Facility fund Implementation Modality Oversight Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Private Sector Technical Support

2.

Project Inception

The project inception workshop was held in Letlhakane on 5th March 2015, attended by over 50 participants. Facilitated by BirdLife Botswana and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), with UNDP engagement and support, the workshop brought together all key project stakeholders including public sector agencies, NGOs, community leaders, farmers and community-based associations, parastatals, representatives of the business community and the University of Botswana Okavango Research Institute. The purpose of the inception workshop was cited as being threefold to: (i) mark the commencement of the project; (ii) confirm the project scope, partners and their support; (iii) validate the intended project results, partnerships, strategy and implementation arrangements. It provided the opportunity to ensure all key stakeholder groups fully understood the rationale, approach and intended results to be achieved through the project. Three national partner agencies gave presentations including representatives from: The Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) who outlined ‘Key rangeland issues and challenges in Makgadikgadi’; the Department of Animal Production who gave a presentation on ‘Key livestock management issues and challenges in Makgadikgadi’ and the Department of Crop Production (DCP) on ‘Key crop management issues and challenges in Makgadikgadi’. The presentations were then followed by facilitated discussion amongst participants on the issues raised and opportunities offered by the project to address them. The workshop supported discussion on stakeholder roles, responsibilities and anticipated benefits from the project. There was no specific discussion on how the project would ensure that the different needs and issues faced by men and women would be considered and addressed within project implementation, nor on how to monitor and measure different gender impacts of project support. The lack of any formal consideration of gender mainstreaming at project inception reflects the lack of a clearly defined strategy, and the lack of sex disaggregated indicators and targets, within the Project Document. A brief presentation on the standard UNDP/GEF monitoring and evaluation procedures and plan as it was laid out in the Project Document was presented by the Project Manager, however the inception workshop did not review the baseline data, OVIs, Targets and risks within the project Results Framework or develop a detailed monitoring strategy/plan to guide stakeholder involvement in data collection, to support monitoring and evaluation.

The project inception report was circulated to partners following the workshop and provides a summary of the workshop objectives, activities, conclusions and next steps. It outlines the agreed workplan, budget and the ‘monitoring and evaluation plan’ as it was laid out in the Project Document. Key next steps that were agreed at the meeting included producing outreach material and visiting Southern Sua Pan villages to inform them of the project and opportunities for engagement, alongside briefing of local authorities including DLUPU, TAC, DDC, MP, Councillors, Dikgosi, and Tribal Administration. The workshop also agreed that the PMU and partners should start work on all activities that do not need PSC endorsement ‘with immediate effect’ recognising the limited three year project implementation timeframe.

Quality of Project Management and Reporting

The Project Management Unit (PMU) operated from Letlhakane coordinating implementation of the project on a day-to-day basis. The PMU consisted of the Project Coordinator, also Director of BirdLife Botswana, a Project Manager, Administration Officer and an accountant, all of whom were employed by BirdLife Botswana.

The Project Manager was responsible for overall management of the project including supervision of the PMU, consultants and sub-contractors, reporting and ongoing monitoring. He also played a key role in facilitating partnerships with lead agencies and stakeholders and in raising awareness on the project and issues that it sought to address. The Project Manager reported to the Project Coordinator, Technical Reference Group and ultimately the Project Steering Committee. He worked closely with the TRG in the planning and monitoring of project activities. The focus and clarity of reporting by the Project Manager strengthened throughout project implementation and provided a sound basis to support results-based management.


Tag: Global Environment Facility fund Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

3.

Stakeholder Engagement: Consultation, Communication and Partnership

The project fostered strong partnership with all key stakeholder groups; consultation and stakeholder engagement lay at the heart of the project’s modus operandi and its effectiveness in achieving results can be seen to be closely tied to the good working relationships and commitment fostered with all partners. The local level Technical Reference Group (TRG) involved all key stakeholder groups with representatives from communities, farmers associations, government departments, planning agencies and the private sector. It provided an important forum for stakeholders to work together to plan, monitor and co-ordinate project activities and review progress towards results results. The TRG were a committed group, providing sound advice and support across all areas of project engagement. The project manager and lead government agencies provided good leadership, ensuring the TRG maintained its focus on project outputs and facilitating stakeholder involvement. The project worked hard to facilitate integrated engagement by all departments and to overcome challenges. Challenges included trying to integrate the support of agencies in the project, when many had different strategic priorities and work plans which did not specifically incorporate support for project related activities. Frequent change-over of staff within government departments at the local level was another challenge as this disrupted the momentum of project support. Each time staff changed this required re-briefing by the Project Manager and re-engagement of new officers with other partners and stakeholder groups. The Project Manager worked extremely hard to maintain the momentum of project support and facilitate the engagement of, and partnership between, all key groups, with remarkable success.

The project established an effective system of regular briefing and updates on project progress by key partners and the Project Manager at all district decision making and advisory structures, including the sub-District Land Use Planning Unit (Sub-DLUPU); Physical Planning Committee (PPC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Presentations by leading government partners within these meetings helped to entrench their ownership of core results and reflected their lead responsibility for the delivery of actions and results. This will help to facilitate the integration of approaches developed through the project into departmental work plans and strategies, internalise experience and lessons learnt, and therefore increase the likelihood of on-going support and engagement in SLM approaches following project end. Key partners within government agencies led relevant components of the project, and the project helped to facilitate a good inter-sectoral and inter-stakeholder collaborative approach. - The Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) took the lead in project support for improved fire management, sustainable harvesting of veld products, rangeland monitoring and mapping and provided valuable inputs to land use planning and overall guidance on sustainable rangeland management and governance. - The Department of Crop Production (DCP) led project support for Conservation Agriculture, through training and awareness raising, with their extension services providing direct on-farm support for piloting of CA approaches. They directly supported baseline data collection on production levels and types of farming and the socio-economic status of farming households, and provided valuable support for monitoring of production and yields. DCP also provided guidance, data and support for development of the land use plans.


Tag: Agriculture Ecosystem based adaption Effectiveness Efficiency Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Local Governance Human and Financial resources Oversight Partnership Project and Programme management Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Private Sector Coordination

4.

Financial Management and Cost Effectiveness 

Executed through the NGO modality, BirdLife Botswana were responsible for financial reporting to UNDP and the PSC. The project followed the financial management structure laid out in the Project Document which prioritised the Direct Cash Transfer process. The PSC approved all annual expenditure, based on the annual work programme and budget prepared by the PMU at the end of each year, and on review of results achieved and budget expenditure over the previous year.

Annual Financial Audits were undertaken at the beginning of each financial year and the Project Manager provided financial updates to the PSC each quarter, within Progress Reports enabling them to track expenditure over the year. Reporting each quarter on past and planned expenditure was clear and accurate and the information contained in these reports and associated discussion at PSC meetings provided the basis for strategic oversight of project disbursements. It is clear from PSC meeting reports that on numerous occasions they provided valuable advice to increase the cost effectiveness of project support. The Project Manager provided the following graphical breakdown of expenditure over the life of the project and this has been validated by the TE.

The Project Document allowed for the following budget: - Outcome 1 total budget US$457,000 (comprising: Output 1.1 US$143,00; Output 1.2 US$225,125; Output 1.3 US$60,500; Output 1.4 US$28,375.) - Outcome 2 total budget US$298,078 (comprising Output 2.1: US$79,970; Output 2.2: US$75,000; Output 2.3: US$143,108) - Project Management total budget: US$37,754 (categorised under ‘contractual services; travel; office and furniture’.)

The following table outlines actual expenditure against that allocated in the Project Document per Outcome and for Project Management. 

There is no evidence of tracking by the PSC of expenditure levels per Outcome / for Project Management, relative to the budgets allocated in the Project Document or that they considered and assessed the deviation between allocated and actual expenditure as part of annual decision making and approval of the budget. This is a weakness in PSC and in particular UNDP CO financial oversight of the project and as can be seen above there has been significant over expenditure on Project Management and significant under expenditure on Outcome 1. Under GEF regulations a 10% flexibility between intended and actual Outcome expenditure is acceptable. The SLM Makgadikgadi project is 19.7% over-spent on Project Management, 14% under-spent on Outcome 1 and 5.5% under-spent on Outcome 2. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in future projects by UNDP CO. Each year, when approving the annual work and financial plan, the PMU and PSC should assess the level of actual/proposed expenditure per Outcome and Project Management, relative to that allocated in the Project Document. Where there is significant over or under expenditure, the PSC should assess why this is the case and provide clear guidance to the Executing Agency and partners on how to keep expenditure within the 10% flexibility that is acceptable to the GEF. If it is necessary to allocate more than a 10% increase or decrease in expenditure per Outcome / for Project Management, then there needs to be a clear explanation within project reporting, including PSC meeting reports, as to why this is the case and how the decision was made to allow it. UNDP CO, as the agency that is ultimately accountable to the GEF Council for ensuring that the project works to deliver the global environmental benefits outlined in the Project Document, should be able to clearly explain any major difference between ‘planned’ (in the Project Document) and actual expenditure per Outcome / for Project Management; major differences may need approval by the GEF. 

The deviation from budget allocations given in the Project Document appears to have been largely due to the impact of a number of unforeseen events and processes which required extra investment by the PMU to maintain project momentum and achieve intended results. As will be seen in the assessment of results achieved through the project, the PMU had to adapt to a wide range of ‘externalities’ such as the establishment of an additional village, frequent turn-over of staff in Government departments, changes in national policies and the need for incorporation of strategic environmental assessment within the land-use planning process. This required extra time and resource inputs by the PMU, which were not envisaged in the original budget. The under-expenditure across both of the project Outcomes largely reflects the leveraging of additional resources by the project and effective cost saving measures including development of the land-use plans due to ‘in-house’ through support from DTCP. It may also reflect less investment than was originally planned in undertaking rangeland assessments and monitoring activities under Output 2.3. The over expenditure on Project Management also reflects some core costs being higher than anticipated in design including the rental cost for the Letlhakane office which was significantly more than was allocated in the ProDoc and the salaries paid to the Project Manager and accountant being higher than the US$8k/year allocated in the ProDoc. The benefits of a local office, easily accessible to project stakeholders, and a skilled and committed project management team are evident in the analysis of results achieved and the TE would comment that the additional Project Management expense was justifiable. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Donor relations Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Country Government Private Sector

5.

Co-Financing

Co-financing is core to effective implementation of a project and to the achievement of anticipated results. It comprises project resources that are committed by the Executing Agency, national partner agencies and by other non-GEF sources. Meeting co-financing obligations and reporting on them is part of the legal agreement with GEF.9.Co-financing pledged for the Makgadikgadi project in the Project Document comprised of: (see table in the report). 

Tracking of co-financing including both ‘cash’ and ‘in-kind’ co-financing should be established from project start and reported on annually. The project inception workshop should provide the forum at which co-financing partners re-affirm their commitments and at which a system for sourcing and recording co-financing contributions throughout project implementation is agreed. This system should involve recording by both national partner agencies and the PMU and should enable both the PMU and PSC to monitor the extent to which the contributions pledged by key partners in the Project Document have actually been committed to the project. It is a key part of monitoring the cost effectiveness of project implementation.  The need to establish co-financing at the start of the project was in fact noted in the project’s first meeting of the technical reference group (TRG), the report of which notes that: ‘cofinances have to be captured right from the onset. There is also a need to discuss how this will be reported.’ The issue was referred to the PSC for discussion and finalisation. However, no system for recording and reporting on co-financing was established under the project. 

The MTR raised the concern that no co-financing data was recorded and no system for recording co-financing had been established; following the MTR, the PSC requested DEA, as the GEF Focal Point, to collate co-financing data for the project. However, this was not undertaken and the Special PSC meeting called on the 14th February 2018 notes that ‘To track core financing from different departments by DEA was not accomplished due to time consumption when gathering information from different departments. They apologized for the delay since the due date was not met.’ During consultations by the TE, DEA and UNDP CO confirmed that there has been no assessment of co-financing contributions over the life of the project and no data is available. UNDP CO clarified that the UNDP co-financing contribution was through oversight, strategic monitoring and training rather than through any cash injection in to the project, but that this contribution has not been quantified. BLB indicated that it was likely that JICA have met their co-financing obligations because they attached a JICA volunteer to BLB from 2014 to 2016, covering his salary, living costs and travel; the JICA cofinancing specified in the ProDoc was based on the estimated cost of assignment of a JICA volunteer to BLB.

It should be noted here that the failure to record co-financing is not a specific weakness of this project but appears to be a problem generic across UNDP/GEF projects in Botswana; both DEA and UNDP CO stated to the TE that there is as yet no national system or framework for recording co-financing, but that DEA are working to develop such a framework. There is an urgent need for UNDP CO and DEA, as the national GEF focal point, to work together to establish a system for recording co-financing. BirdLife Botswana have provided the feedback on the draft TE report that: ‘JICA met their obligations because they attached a JICA volunteer (Mr Shougo Moroishi, working on Ecotourism) with BirdLife Botswana from 2014 to 2016. JICA directly covered all his salaries + living costs (+ travel costs from Japan to Botswana), and so we can assume that they met the US$150,000 target --- this figure was based on an estimate given to us by someone managing the JICA scheme as an estimate of how much it costs them to assign a JICA specialist of the calibre attached to BirdLife (i.e. a degree holder).’ 


Tag: Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Resource mobilization Human and Financial resources Partnership Project and Programme management Bilateral partners Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government

6.

Monitoring & Evaluation to support Results-Based Management

Monitoring of progress has been undertaken regularly by the project team through quarterly progress reporting and annual performance implementation review (PIR). A mid-term review (MTR) was also undertaken. The project followed the standard UNDP/GEF project monitoring and evaluation procedures as they were laid out in the Project Document including: inception workshop/report, annual work planning, project implementation reviews, quarterly progress reports, an independent mid-term review and terminal evaluation. The project did not undertake a review of the OVIs, Targets and Baseline data within the Results Framework at project start, and no amendments were made to the Results Framework over the course of the project. The PMU did develop a simple tabular ‘monitoring and evaluation plan’ which outlines key M&E related actions, the agencies/groups responsible for undertaking those actions, activity due date and completion date. The main actions included in the table are the inception workshop, TRG and PSC meetings; MTR and TE. It also includes core actions such as the establishment of the project office, purchase of equipment and completion of key products. It is a basic but useful tool enabling the Project Manager to keep track of key activities and ensure they were undertaken on time, however is more of an activity monitoring tool than a ‘monitoring and evaluation plan’ per se. 

The project did not develop a comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy/Plan at the start of the project, to outline how partners would work together to collect and review the data and information required to establish baselines, measure OVIs and Targets, and to monitor risks over the life of the project. This was a weakness in the project’s overall monitoring strategy. However, the strong partnerships established under the project and inclusion of data collection within project activities meant that data was collected by the project as integral to project support and this was used to support monitoring. The Project Manager also worked with partners to identify data that was already available through government systems and other initiatives, which again supported monitoring. The absence of a sound Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy/Plan did not have the negative impact that it might have done had the project not established such strong partnerships and not had such a good focus on progress reporting and results-based management.

Reporting and analysis under the project was consistent and informative and ensured that a good record was kept of activities, issues and decisions made. The core monitoring reports produced under the project were the quarterly Progress Reports and annual Project Implementation Reviews, as is standard practice for all UNDP/GEF projects. Each report was discussed at TRG and PSC meetings and the PIR provided the basis for decision making on annual work-plans and budgets. They were also the mechanism through which formal guidance and input from UNDP and lead national agencies was recorded each year. 


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Civil Societies and NGOs Data and Statistics

7.

Monitoring & Evaluation to support Results-Based Management (continuation)

Following the mid-term review BirdLife Botswana prepared a management response form to identify the actions that the project would take to address the MTR recommendations, this was subsequently approved by UNDP. The PMU distilled the recommendations down to eleven, clustered for the above five actors, reporting back on progress to the PSC each quarter. The core recommendations distilled from the MTR report were as follows: 1. Review the SMARTness of project outcomes and outputs, and how the outputs under each outcomes measure up to the aspiration of the outcomes; 2. Develop evidence-based work plan and milestones. The milestones should be linked to project Outcomes and Outputs and assessed on quarterly basis; 3. Delete Output 1.4 from project document and notify relevant organisations, including GEF 4. Prioritise development of the LUP and get the process started by August 2016 at the latest 5. Recruit a Senior Project Officer position to coordinate the development of the LUP in close collaboration with the project management team and representatives of the local communities 6. Develop a communications strategy that takes into account internal and external reporting 7. Prepare a project update report, highlighting key achievements, challenges and lesson learned 8. Assist in the development of a robust Monitoring and Evaluation framework to track project implementation. The framework should be integrated in the proposed work plan and result chain framework 9. The successful start of the LUP is contingent upon a SEA. Noting DEA’s strategic positioning in project implementation, particularly the interlink with the actualisation of the MFMP, it is of upmost importance that DEA and relevant Government Departments provide guidance, finance and leadership in the development of the SEA. This will enhance DEA’s legitimacy in project implementation and demonstrate good leadership to project stakeholders. 10. The LUP is the single most significant project deliverable. The PSC should provide guidance on the development of the plan and effective monitoring of progress. It is important to ensure the LUP development starts no later than August 2016 and is completed by September 2017. 11. Review project performance against proposed work plan and milestone on quarterly basis

As can be seen from the above, a considerable number of the recommendations relate to project implementation mechanisms, only 4 of the 11 recommendations relate directly to project Outputs, three of these relate to the Land Use Plans under Output 1.1, the other recommends official ‘removal’ of Output 1.4 from the Project Document, through agreement with GEF, due to the fact that this Output is not being implemented. Recommendations 1,2 7,8 and 11 focus on strengthening aspects of project management and implementation which will support more effective monitoring and evaluation of project progress and results.

The project took direct action to address each of the recommendations and in quarterly progress reporting, the Project Manager reported back against each, highlighting the ‘status’ of progress; most recommendations were addressed satisfactorily during the last year and a half of project implementation. The only areas of shortfall were recommendations 1 and 8 above, which have significant implications for monitoring and evaluation of results. The project did not conduct a satisfactory assessment of the SMARTness of project Outcome level indicators and did not develop a ‘robust’ Monitoring and Evaluation framework that enables measurement of Outcomes. What it did do is develop a robust framework for monitoring and measuring achievement of Outputs.6.Perhaps the most important recommendation in relation to strengthening monitoring and evaluation was the recommendation in the MTR report that ‘The project management team should revamp project design (if possible, re-jig weak outcome and outputs) and develop a work plan with milestones to measure progress.’ The MTR report recommended that the project should develop ‘a revised results framework and work plan’ immediately following the MTR’. The PMU subsequently captured this advice as recommendations 1, 2 and 8 in the condensed list following the MTR.

The extent to which the project could ‘re-jig’ design is limited: it is not possible to revise project Outcomes or Objective or to change the scope of a project without re-submitting the Project Document to GEF for re-approval. However, what the project could have done was clarify what the intended Outcomes and ultimately end of project Objective results were by developing a clear description under each Outcome and Objective statement, to fill the gaps in the Project Document. It could also have revised and strengthened the Results Framework by developing Objective and Outcome level OVIs and Targets to reflect the Outcome and Objective definitions. It would have been valuable for either UNDP or BirdLife Botswana to source the support of a monitoring and evaluation expert to support this process.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Theory of Change Data and Statistics

8.

Overall Summary of the Quality of Project Execution and Implementation

The partnership-based approach to project implementation was exemplary, it effectively engaged all key stakeholder groups, generating strong ownership of project results and improved understanding and collaboration. The Executing Agency was pro-active and committed and was highly praised by all stakeholders during terminal evaluation consultations. Local level stakeholders highlighted in particular the dedication of the Project Manager and the extent to which he went ‘out of his way to provide support’ when-ever needed. 

The TRG and PSC were key fora for co-ordination, planning and monitoring; both groups provided valuable strategic advice and inputs over the life of the project and helped to guide results-based management. Reporting by the PMU was clear and consistent and formed the basis for well-informed decision-making. Lead public sector agencies, including DFRR, DCP, DAP, DVS, DEA and DTCP provided good leadership and support across relevant areas of project intervention; the Letlhakane Sub-Land Board and the Sub-Council Physical Planning Unit (PPU) also provided core input and support. Communities were directly engaged across most areas of project intervention, including through representation on the TRG. The project worked hard to ensure that there was effective consultation and community engagement, so that project support was well-targeted, addressing community needs and aspirations, whilst supporting SLM.

The ability of the project to adapt effectively to a range of challenges, and to leverage additional resources, was also linked to the nature of the project Executing Agency as an independent, experienced NGO, with good international and local partnerships. BirdLife Botswana already had good working relationships with most partners in the project area, including community groups, is well respected at all levels, and through Birdlife International has an extensive international network on which it can draw to access external expert support and advice. It was therefore able to manoeuvre quickly and effectively to mobilise support, in order to support partners to address numerous challenges and externalities. 


Tag: Effectiveness Global Environment Facility fund Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation Ownership Partnership Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Coordination

9.

PART 3.3 PROJECT RESULTS

A project’s Terminal Evaluation (TE) is required to assess the extent to which the project has achieved its intended development results at the Outcome and Objective level. End of project results should demonstrate a clear development change which addresses the core ‘barriers’ identified in the Project Document and achieves global biodiversity benefits. In assessing the overall results and impact at project end, the TE will examine project achievements against both the Results Framework and the description of intended project impact outlined in the project strategy description. In this way the Results Framework is placed in context of the project’s strategic approach, the issues and barriers the project is trying to address, and intended development impacts at all levels. The TE also considers any changes over the life of the project, including ‘externalities’ which affect the project context, and any formal amendments made to the Results Framework or areas of project intervention.

A project should be designed to have a clear cause-and-effect flow of results from Outputs, through Outcomes, up to Objective, whereby the combined results of Outputs work to achieve Outcomes, which in turn support achievement of the overall Objective. The project’s Results Framework should provide the means to measure progress towards achieving results at various levels, against the baseline. As discussed in Section 3.1, the Makgadikgadi SLM Project Document has a number of weaknesses and inconsistencies, in particular within the Results Framework. The majority of OVIs and Targets are not well focussed at the Outcome level, limiting the extent to which they can be used to measure achievement of Outcome level results; Outcome numbering is the inverse of that used in the project strategy; and one Outcome is worded differently to that in the project strategy, with significant implications for the intended scale of results. The Objective level OVI and Target do not enable measurement or assessment of the extent to which the project has achieved its intended overall ‘development result’. Within the project strategy description, there is unclear definition of intended Outcome and Objective level results, and the Outcome statements themselves are vague. Outcome 2 in particular is poorly defined: there is no clear definition of the intended end of project Outcome, the sum of the Outputs does not add up to achievement of the Outcome statement and does not directly address the corresponding barrier identified in the situational analysis. Under Outcome 1, the results to be achieved under each of the component Outputs are clear, however the wording for Outcome 1 varies between the project strategy description and the Results Framework, therefore the scale of intended impact is unclear, and the Outcome level result is poorly defined. 

The weaknesses and inconsistencies in the Results Framework and project strategy have significant implications for the evaluation and measurement of results achieved; when the Outcomes and Objective are poorly defined and the means to measure achievement of results is not clear or appropriate, and if the bar is set too high in terms of the anticipated end of project results, then project implementing partners will have difficulty attaining and demonstrating Outcome and Objective level results by project end. The TE will take this in to consideration in the following assessment of the results achieved through the project and of the ‘effectiveness and efficiency’ of project partners in working to achieve those results.

As outlined in Section 1 of this report the terminal evaluation of results is based on consultation with key stakeholders, the data and information provided in all project reports, a review of key products and of relevant national and international literature and strategic documents. The evaluation involved a process of document review, followed by consultationwith stakeholder groups in Makgadikgadi, collation of additional ‘in-country’ information and visits to project sites. 


Tag: Biodiversity Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Theory of Change

10.

EVALUATION OF RESULTS ACHIEVED UNDER OUTCOME 1: Effective Range Management to Improve Range Condition and Flow of Ecosystem Services to support Livelihoods of Local Communities and Biodiversity in Southern Sua Pan Region

The Southern Sua Pan (SSP) was selected as the Pilot Area for Outcome 1 through ‘a systematic approach combining geophysical, hydrological and ecological characteristics and features with those of the social, administrative and infrastructural boundaries of the area.’ The SSP covers an area of 5,450 km2 and is an extensive area of rangeland, with seasonal lakes and wetlands. It is semi-arid, with most rain occurring in summer months. Vegetation in the southern half of the area is primarily tree and shrub savannah of various types. Vegetation around Sua Pan itself is restricted to salt tolerant species around the pan fringes. There are few permanent streams or rivers in the area, with nearly all of the water required by the local population coming from groundwater, which, in some areas, is saline. Part of Sua Pan is designated as a Flamingo Sanctuary and the whole of Makgadikgadi Pan has been designated as an Important Bird Area because of its international importance for birdlife.

Four communities live within the area and most households practice subsistence crop and livestock production. The main land use and livelihood in the SSP area is livestock grazing. However, a number of factors are causing rangeland ecosystems to deteriorate and this is putting pressure on the livelihoods of local communities. High stocking densities are contributing to land degradation, especially around cattle post boreholes, where the livestock tends to congregate during the dry season; this results in palatable grasses near water points are becoming over grazed, less palatable species further from water points over rested, both resulting in lower grass vigour. Subsistence arable farming is mostly for subsistence use and takes place around villages mainly on poor quality soils with low productivity. Unsustainable harvest of veldt products is another problematic issue in the SSP area as is unsustainable collection of wood for fuel and uncontrolled rangeland fires. 

Under Outcome 1, the Makgadikgadi SLM project aimed to pilot a range of measures to address these issues to support more sustainable and integrated rangeland management and patterns of resource use. It has three Outputs: Output 1.1 Local level participatory land use plans developed for the pilot area to support sustainable utilisation of range resources. Output 1.2: Improved range management and mixed livelihood systems are piloted in line with the land use plans. Output 1.3: Fire Management Strategy is developed and implemented in southern Sua Pan in line with the provisions of the land use plans. 

OUTPUT 1.1 Local Level Participatory Land Use Plans developed for the pilot area to support Sustainable Utilisation of Range Resources. The Results Framework cites the following indicator, target and baseline for this Output: OVI: Number of Integrated Community Participatory Land Use and Management Plans Baseline: Zero. Target: Four produced for southern Sua Pan villages, one for each of the villages of Mosu, Mmatshumo, Mokubilo and Mmea; and an overarching summary document covering all of southern Sua Pan. Plans would be approved and with ongoing implementation by End of Project.

Under Output 1.1 the project aimed to develop a detailed land use plan (LUP) for the Southern Sua Pan (SSP) area, to support more sustainable patterns of land-use and address land-use conflicts. The LUP was to be focussed on land use zoning for the key settlements in the area but also provide the basis for broader decision making on sustainable land use management across the SSP. The Project Document describes the end of project situation as one in which: ‘The land use plan will guide decisions on livestock management and the sustainable utilization of other range resources.’ The target was for the plans to be approved with ongoing implementation by EOP, and a number of the other project Outputs were designed to support plan implementation. 


Tag: Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Local Governance Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Technology

11.

EVALUATION OF RESULTS ACHIEVED UNDER OUTCOME 1: Effective Range Management to Improve Range Condition and Flow of Ecosystem Services to support Livelihoods of Local Communities and Biodiversity in Southern Sua Pan Region (continuation)

The ILUP highlights the importance of integrated planning and provides an overview of the institutional framework for plan implementation, it assesses the functions and co-ordination mechanisms amongst development planning institutions relevant to the Plan Area, highlighting that the purpose of this analysis ‘is to appreciate the existing operational frameworks and identify the various roles, as well as unnecessary duplication of efforts in an effort to enhance efficiency in the delivery of services. Institutional frameworks are critical in determining the effectiveness within which development proposals/activities can be translated into programmes and projects for implementation.’

The plan is a substantial and professionally written document which presents itself as a ‘land utilization guide and framework’. Its core focus is on providing detailed planning guidance for the zoning and phasing of development for the five villages; this includes the zoning of civic, community, commercial, residential, industrial and open space areas, as well as facilitating the provision of infrastructure for power, water supply, sewerage, drainage and waste management. The plan places these village land use plans (LUP) within the broader context of the Southern Sua Pan area thus establishing an integrated structure, however it does not provide detailed land-use planning guidance for decision making on land use management across the SSP area to the extent envisaged in design. 

The ILUP provides a good overview of the SSP area describing the physical environment (climatic conditions, hydrology, topography, geography, vegetation, fauna, soils and archaeology); and socio-economic data (including information on the population size and composition, economy, employment, housing; infrastructure); and key land-use including agricultural (arable and pastoral), veld products and tourism. The plan describes the built environment, land tenure and land use in each of the 5 villages and subsequently assesses emerging planning issues and planning considerations for each. It puts forward a series of ‘development proposals’ based on assessment of the issues, challenges and opportunities identified during plan development. It outlines strategies to address planning issues for the five villages and proposes land use zones. It specifies that ‘development of all the settlements should be guided by detailed layout plans’ and ‘settlement growth should be directed away from fertile land, rivers and fragile environment’. The ILUP seeks to discourage haphazard growth /establishment of settlements in the area and puts forward a number of settlement growth options and recommendations. For the overall SSP area a brief summary description is provided of each land use type alongside maps, these mostly draw on data from the existing Management Plan for Southern Sua Pan and the Makgadikgadi Framework Management Plan. The broader SSP zones are: Agricultural, sub divided in to arable and pastoral; tourism reflecting the areas identified in the SSP Management Plan the and a protected area zone, the purpose of which is highlighted as to ‘preserve and manage areas which are unsuitable for other uses, due to topographic constraints including areas of scenic beauty and historic significance; this area includes mostly the pans and water springs.’ 

The ILUP also highlights environmental issues relevant to the plan area briefly outlining a series of ‘environmental considerations’ for development planning including: Air Quality, Biodiversity, Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Natural Resources, Groundwater Resources, Soils and patterns of Land-Use. An outline environmental mitigation table is included within the plan which incorporates a brief list of mechanisms to mitigate against the impacts of the issues raised. The table identifies the agency responsible for implementing and monitoring these actions. This section of the ILUP also stresses the importance of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for effective implementation of the plan highlighting that this is required under the Environmental Assessment Act, Cap 65:07 and recommending ‘that SEA be prepared before this plan can be implemented’.


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Local Governance Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

12.

EVALUATION OF RESULTS ACHIEVED UNDER OUTCOME 1: Effective Range Management to Improve Range Condition and Flow of Ecosystem Services to support Livelihoods of Local Communities and Biodiversity in Southern Sua Pan Region (continuation)

Plan Development Process

Work started on development of the land-use plans immediately following project inception. The Project Manager presented proposed project support for integrated land-use planning at the Sub-District Land Use Planning Unit (DLUPU) meeting in March 2015. Sub-DLUPU comprises all relevant sub-District level public sector agencies and the meeting provided a valuable forum for agreeing the overall approach. The meeting concluded that the project should focus initially on village-level land-use planning for the four villages, and could start work immediately with the Physical Planning Unit to revise base maps for the villages.

The project facilitated consultation with all communities for development of the base maps and this process raised a number of issues, including conflicts over historical boundaries of communal grazing areas, and the implications of this for land use management. Negotiation on land-use boundaries between the two villages of Mosu and Mmatshumo in particular took considerable time, with project reports recording a four-month delay during which the Local Council, District and Sub-District authorities had to be called in to try to resolve boundary issues. The project worked with relevant land-use management authorities to try to expediate resolution of the issues and to request additional support from central government. Due to the project time restrictions, and the need to move ahead with plan development, the project decided to focus on detailed land-use planning for the more clearly defined village settlement areas, and to leave the conflictual issue of land-use planning in communal rangelands. PIR reporting by the Project Manager notes that ‘It took a while for communities to understand a rational behind land use plans and village boundary descriptions’ and that ‘In the end an agreement was reached to continue with the plans without any reference to boundaries.’ 

There were also delays in the first year of project implementation linked to movement of staff within key public sector agencies, in particular within the Letlhakane Sub-Land Board and Sub-Council Physical Planning Unit. These are two key players in land-use planning and their input was required throughout the LUP development process. The staff change over and requirement for new staff to come up to speed with the project approach and LUP process led to delays, however the project was proactive in briefing new staff and pushing for prioritisation of LUP within agency work plans. Further delays were encountered due to the need for clear alignment of the local land use plans with national processes and procedures and there were suggestions in the first year of project implementation that development of the LUPs might have to be put on hold while the government revised regional planning processes. Letlhakane Sub-Land Board advised that it was important to seek clarity from the Ministry of Land and Housing through the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) to ensure that project funds were invested in a process that would be recognised nationally and would align with revised regional policies and systems. DTCP were pro-active in pursing this and provided ongoing strategic support throughout project implementation, to ensure that the LUPs were aligned with broader regional/national planning process. In the second year of implementation, project reports highlight that ‘DTCP gave Letlhakane Sub-land board the green light to continue to develop the local level LIMPs’. 

Development of the Terms of Reference (TOR) for development of the LUPs also took time, requiring consultation with all key stakeholders including sub-DLUPU, communities, the TRG and PSC; both of the latter approved the final draft in 2016. Once the TORs had been agreed, the project subsequently put out an advert for consultancy services to support development of the LUP, however the lowest bidder quoted three times the amount allocated in the Project Document. The project therefore had to look at alternative options. Another significant challenge faced by the project was that Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required in Botswana as a core part of any land use planning process, under the Environmental Assessment Act and under the Development Control Code. It is also good SLM practice, providing core environmental assessment and guidance on which to ensure that land-use planning addresses key environmental issues and works to achieve sustainable land use management. SEA had not been included in project design as part of the land use planning support under Output 1.1 and there was no budget for it. The project therefore had to identify a way forward, including how to access funds to support SEA.

At the time of the SLM project mid-term review, the core work to develop the Land Use Plans had not yet started and the MTR report made some key recommendations on the need to expedite the process if results were to be achieved by project end, including: ! Prioritise development of the LUP and get the process started by August 2016 at the latest ! The successful start of the LUP is contingent upon a SEA. Noting DEA’s strategic positioning in project implementation, particularly the interlink with the actualisation of the MFMP, it is of upmost importance that DEA and relevant Government Departments provide guidance, finance and leadership in the development of the SEA. This will enhance DEA’s legitimacy in project implementation and demonstrate good leadership to project stakeholders. ! The LUP is the single most significant project deliverable. The PSC should provide guidance on the development of the plan and effective monitoring of progress. 


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Natural Resouce management Local Governance Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Technology

13.

EVALUATION OF RESULTS ACHIEVED UNDER OUTCOME 1: Effective Range Management to Improve Range Condition and Flow of Ecosystem Services to support Livelihoods of Local Communities and Biodiversity in Southern Sua Pan Region (continuation)

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

A major priority for the project in its final year of implementation was to identify a way forward for undertaking a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the ILUP. As outlined above this was an additional activity and product that had not been included in project design. A strategic environmental assessment would normally be undertaken as part of the design of a land use plan, and would provide the key environmental information and assessment on which the plan(s) would then be based. However, due to the fact that SEA had not been included in design, there were no provisions for it and the project was faced with the challenge of facilitating and funding this key piece of work in time for it to support the ILUP process, before project end. The fact that there was less than one year to go until project end meant that the project could not put drafting of the ILUP on hold until a SEA had been undertaken, to do so would have meant that the ILUP would not be drafted by EOP. However, without a SEA theILUP would not meet national regulatory requirements and is not viable as a document that could support sustainable land management. 

The project demonstrated remarkable adaptive management in identifying a way forward and the fact that this was possible was greatly facilitated by BirdLife Botswana’s flexibility as an independent NGO, through their international connections within the Birdlife International network. The estimated cost for commissioning a SEA was approximately US$23,000 (BWP250,000). In mid-2016 the decision was made at the PSC meeting that DEA should find money to part fund this with BirdLife Botswana. However unfortunately DEA were not able to do so and in June 2017, six months prior to project end, the PSC report notes that BirdLife Botswana (BLB) as the Executing Agency were instructed to find a way forward. BLB contacted their partners in Birdlife International to see if support could be provided through the international network and they were able to access an international SEA expert within the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who subsequently undertook the work in 2017. The consultant worked in consultation with local stakeholders and undertook a full review of existing data, studies, relevant strategies and plans. In October 2017 a draft ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment of the draft Mokbubilo, Mmea, Mosu and Mmatshumo Integrated Land Use Plan’ was provided to BirdLife Botswana for review with the TRG and PSC.

The SEA is a comprehensive document focussed on the whole of the Southern Sua Pan (SSP) area. The document outlines the environmental characteristics and land use pressures in the SSP and the role of SEA within the context of the land-use plan, providing a description of the SEA process and objectives. Ten SEA objectives are established to ‘address the priority environmental issues for the LUP / SSP area’: 1: Provide a universal water supply without exceeding the sustainable yield of the groundwater resource. 2. Maintain and enhance groundwater quality, primarily through the provision of safely managed sanitation services. 3. Reduce the risk of flooding to properties through appropriate land use zoning and the provision of sustainable drainage systems 4. Provide clean, low carbon energy, reduce dependency on woodfuel and improve energy efficiency. 5. Secure the environmentally sound management of waste, including waste reduction, reuse and recycling. 6. Protect soils and improve the condition, productivity and resilience of soils on arable land. 7. Secure the sustainable harvesting of veld products. 8. Halt and reverse land degradation. 9. Halt and reverse declines in biodiversity. 10. Protect and safeguard cultural heritage.

Development of the SEA objectives was framed by: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the environmental objectives, issues and / or recommendations highlighted in the ILUP, SLM Project Document Southern Sua Pan Management Plan (SSPMP) and Makgadikgadi Framework Management Plan (MFMP); and on consultation with key stakeholders including BirdLife Botswana, Government partners and communities. 


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management

14.

EVALUATION OF RESULTS ACHIEVED UNDER OUTCOME 1: Effective Range Management to Improve Range Condition and Flow of Ecosystem Services to support Livelihoods of Local Communities and Biodiversity in Southern Sua Pan Region (continuation)

Summary analysis of Results Achieved under Output 1.1 compared with those Intended in the Project Document

In assessing the results achieved it is important to compare what was intended within the Project Document, with the process and impact achieved through project implementation, whilst taking into consideration the range of issues which the project faced. The TE has provided a fairly detailed analysis of the plan development process; this is important as it demonstrates the wide range of issues that can affect land use planning processes and provides valuable lessons and learning to guide future SLM initiatives. The EOP Target in the project Results Framework is ‘Four produced for southern Sua Pan villages, one for each of the villages of Mosu, Mmatshumo, Mokubilo and Mmea; and an overarching summary document covering all of Southern Sua Pan. Plans approved and with ongoing implementation by End of Project.’The description in the Project Document outlines that under Output 1.1 the project was to develop a land use plan for the whole of the Southern Sua Pan (SSP) area, to support more sustainable patterns of land-use and address land-use conflicts. It was to be focussed on land use zoning for the key settlements in the area but also provide the basis for broader decision making on sustainable land use management across the SSP. The Project Document describes the end of project situation as one in which: ‘The land use plan will guide decisions on livestock management (including sales) and the sustainable utilization of other range resources. They will be informed by up-to-date knowledge on range conditions, carrying capacities and effects of the changing climate on soil erosion and invasive species. Through the range assessment….sustainable stocking rates for cattle will be determined for the area and mechanisms for adhering to this will be pursued through a participatory, multi-stakeholder approach which takes into account the indigenous knowledge of the local communities.’ 

Both the EOP Target and the project strategy description state that the project aimed to support implementation of the lLUP68. The Project Document outlines that the LUP would be the basis on which the land authority would base its land allocations in the SSP area and that ‘implementation and management of stocking rates will be pursued in the communal area by employing innovative range management strategies which are based on a combination of technical solutions, movement of livestock, and other appropriate indigenous pastoral management systems as well as improvements in marketing to reduce overstocking.’ At project end 5 LUPs have been produced for each of the villages, and these have been combined within an Integrated Land Use Plan (ILUP) covering the broader SSP area. The ILUP is a substantial and professionally written document. The LUPs for each village area provided the basis for well-informed settlement planning, they also provide the means to address one of the issues identified in project design: that subsistence arable farming takes place around villages mainly on poor quality soils with low productivity. The LUP has identified the more fertile areas and provided for zoning based on the land quality, prioritising agricultural development in the most fertile areas and residential development in the least suitable areas for agriculture. The ILUP highlights the importance of sustainable rangeland use across the entire SSP area, however, it does not include guidance on the mechanisms necessary to support sustainable rangeland management across the SSP to the level intended in project design. The ILUP will not ‘guide decisions on livestock management (including sales) and the sustainable utilization of other range resources.’ Establishment of a planning and management system for livestock grazing remains a priority issue at project end. The ILUP also does not incorporate a monitoring framework that would be necessary to achieve SLM within the SSP. The reason why this was not achieved is clear: there simply wasn’t the time or resources to do so, particularly given the number of challenges and externalities encountered during project implementation.

The fixed timeframe that projects entail can present real challenges for the facilitation of complex multi-stakeholder land-use planning processes. There can be an inherent conflict between a fixed project timeframe and the optimal process for development of the plan, particularly with a medium sized project such as this SLM project with only a 3-year lifespan, and particularly where unforeseen ‘externalities’ impact on the land use planning process. Projects offer both opportunities in terms of resources and technical support and challenges in terms of the fixed timeframe. If the timeframe is inadequate then the project is faced with the difficult decision to either address key issues through an effective participatory, integrated land-use planning process, but risk failing to produce the agreed ‘product’ i.e. the ILUP by project end; or it has to adopt a sub-optimal process to ‘fast-track’ the approach in order to produce the required product by project end, but this then risks developing a sub-optimal product and the ILUP is unlikely to have strong stakeholder buy-in and support..The SLM project has achieved a remarkable amount within the three-year project timeframe and demonstrated strong adaptive management to address a range of challenges. It adopted an exemplary process of consultative, participatory and partnership-based planning which in itself has resulted in strong ownership of the plans at the local level, partnership between stakeholder groups at all levels, alignment of the ILUP with national strategies and has greatly increased understanding of, and support for, sustainable land use management at all levels. The TE found evidence of broad support for the land use zoning proposed in the ILUP, both among farmers in the communities, Kgosi as leaders of those communities and within public sector agencies. During consultations with farmers at project sites they highlighted to the TE how land has in the past been allocated by the land-board for farming in the least fertile areas, and residential areas have been built in the more fertile areas. They applauded the work done through the project which has identified the most suitable lands for different uses and they looked forward to the fact that future land-use planning would be based on this knowledge, as agreed with them in the land use plans. In addition to the intended results under Output 1.1, the project facilitated development of an additional product: the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The SEA is a key document for sustainable land management in the SSP area; it identifies core sustainability issues and opportunities to address them and has developed a monitoring framework that will be critical for effective implementation of the ILUP if it is to support SLM. However at the time of the terminal evaluation the SEA has still to be approved by DEA, the findings have not been incorporated in to the ILUP and there is a lack of clarity as to how it will be used to influence land use planning. It is important that this is addressed so that either the SEA is endorsed as a core planning document alongside the ILUP, or the ILUP is amended to incorporate the key recommendations of the SEA and the monitoring plan. The latter is the recommended course of action.


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management

15.

EVALUATION OF RESULTS ACHIEVED UNDER OUTCOME 1: Effective Range Management to Improve Range Condition and Flow of Ecosystem Services to support Livelihoods of Local Communities and Biodiversity in Southern Sua Pan Region (continuation)

Recommendations for effective implementation of the ILUP to support SLM within the SSP 

For the ILUP to become a core planning document guiding land allocation within the five villages, it needs to be officially adopted as a statutory planning tool, approved by the Ministry of Land and Housing who subsequently submit it to the Attorney General for endorsement. There are strong indications at EOP that the Land Board intend to use the ILUP as the key planning document for land allocation within five settlement areas and that the Ministry intend to approve the ILUP. .There is a need for DEA to review / approve the SEA. To achieve a broader SLM outcome across the SSP, the ILUP should be used in close conjunction with the SEA. The ILUP would be greatly strengthened if it is revised to address the core issues and recommendations outlined in the SEA. SEA Chapter 9 ‘Conclusions and Recommendations’ provides clear recommendations as to how the ILUP could be updated to more effectively support SLM and Table 14 ‘Assessment of SEA objectives against alternative options’ provides a useful tabular summary (SEA Option 4: Revised LUP + SEA + SLM). The ILUP proposes that coordination and monitoring of the plan is solely ‘the responsibility of the sub-Land Board and Boteti sub-District Council’ and that the tools to be used for monitoring should be the ‘Urban Developments Standards (1992) and Development Control Code (2013)’. These standards are appropriate to development within the village settlement area, but not as monitoring tools for sustainable land-use management across the SSP rangelands. If the ILUP is to support sustainable land-use management across a broader area than the boundaries of the five village settlements then a comprehensive, multi-agency, integrated monitoring framework needs to be developed which engages all key partners (including planning agencies, DFRR, DWNP, DCP, DAP, DEA and community groups). The SEA Chapter 8 provide useful guidance, including a table suggesting core sustainability objectives and relevant indicators.

OUTPUT 1.2: Improved range management and mixed livelihood systems are piloted in line with the land use plans

Under Output 1.2 the project aimed to support farmers to establish more sustainable livelihood systems, building on the assessments and priorities identified in the land-use plans. The Project Document specifies that ‘although the fine details will be guided by the land use plan, it is expected that this will involve a participatory process of bringing together traditional rangeland management systems and contemporary ones based on technical knowledge.’ Under Output 1.2 the project aimed to support the four communities in the Southern Sua Pan pilot area to ‘develop a multiple livelihood production system, involving improved cattle-post pastoral systems, sustainable veld products harvesting, and conservation agriculture.’ The Department of Agricultural Production (DAP) was identified as the lead partner to providesupport for ‘improvements to the cattle post pastoral system’. The Department of Crop Production (DCP) would lead on support for trialling of Conservation Agriculture (CA). The Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) would provide the lead in supporting sustainable harvesting of veld products, working with community trusts. 

The initial concept in project design was for the livelihood support under Output 1.2 to implement key elements of the land-use plans developed under Output 1.1. As outlined in the analysis of results achieved under Output 1.1. the land-use planning process took far longer than had been anticipated in design, due to a number of complex issues affecting the land-use planning process. The land use plans were not finalised until the final year of project implementation. 


Tag: Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Results-Based Management

16.

Conservation Agriculture

Within the project’s Results Framework, there are two targets relating to anticipated results from project support for Conservation Agriculture (CA). Arable crop production is core to the livelihoods of communities in the Southern Sua Pan (SSP), mostly for subsistence use, although surplus is sold at local markets within the villages. The most common crops cultivated in area include millet, sorghum, beans, groundnuts, watermelons, and maize. Planting seasons are short and dependent on annual rainfall and soils in the SSP area have low fertility, being mostly sandy and saline.

Conservation Agriculture (CA) techniques help to conserve soil moisture and increase soil fertility. The improved yields possible from CA mean that farmers can meet their subsistence needs from smaller areas of land, which in turn makes the fields easier to protect from damage by wildlife and reduces time and costs required for ploughing and sowing. The Department of Crop Production (DCP) in Botswana are trialling CA farming methods across the country and was the lead project partner supporting piloting of CA with SSP communities. At project start a database was established of all active arable farmers in the SSP area. From this database, and through consultation with farmers across the area, forty individuals were identified from each village (Mosu, Mmatshumo, Mokubilo and Mmea) to participate in trialling of CA, through pilot initiatives on one hectare of their land. Remaining land was to be farmed by farmers through conventional methods, to enable comparison of the effectiveness of conventional vs conservation agriculture. Training and awareness-raising on CA was initiated in the first year of project implementation. The project purchased basic equipment necessary to support CA pilots including four animal-drawn rippers, two tractor-drawn rippers, one boom sprayer and forty hand planters. It also provided desktop computers for use by extension officers in compiling data on agricultural production; the computers were installed in each village at the kgotlas.

Requests were made to the PMU by DCP for additional agricultural equipment. There was no allowance for this expenditure in the original project budget and use of the budget for equipment would have drawn resources away from other areas of support. The PSC correctly advised that high cost equipment such as tractors should not be purchased through the project due to the fact that the budget was not available; these were not expenses allowed for in design and other opportunities were available to local partners to access such machinery through the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security (MOA) Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD). The PSC provided useful strategic guidance throughout project implementation to support cost effectiveness. In the second quarter of 2016 the project provided training to farmers to initiate the ripping process in pilot fields with subsequent support for planting and harvesting. DCP provided cofinancing support, covering the cost of use by farmers of commercial tractor operators for ripping and ploughing. DCP extension officers provided support to farmers throughout the ploughing and harvesting seasons and farmers were monitored on a weekly basis. As part of learning and awareness raising within the SSP, field days were organised in Mokubilo, and Mmatshumo villages, bringing arable farmers together from across the SSP area to learn from each other and discuss challenges and opportunities.


Tag: Agriculture Biodiversity Ecosystem based adaption Environmental impact assessment Results-Based Management Capacity Building Data and Statistics

17.

Conservation Agriculture (continuation)

Pastoral / Livestock and Farmers Associations 

The Project aimed to increase the sustainability of pastoral farming systems in the SSP through a number of measures: strengthening farmers associations; direct support and training to livestock farmers to enable them to practice more sustainable and effective herd management and correspondingly increasing the cattle off-take rate for the SSP area. Pastoral agriculture is the main livelihood and economic activity amongst communities in the SSP area, comprising both cattle farming and small-stock. The cattle farming system revolves around the cattle post system, whereby a group of farmers share a central borehole or watering point for their livestock and during the dry season / periods of drought, water for livestock is restricted to boreholes. This results in high cattle densities at these locations, and subsequently greater levels of overgrazing and land degradation around boreholes. The Southern Sua Pan Management Plan (SSPMP) and Makgadikgadi Framework Management Plan (MFMP) highlight overgrazing as one of the priority issues that need to be addressed to support sustainable rangeland management. The SSPMP identified that, overall, the carrying capacity of the rangelands in the SSP area is approximately 16-16.5ha/LSU. This equates to a maximum carrying capacity for the grassland and woodland areas of the SSP of approximately 15,000 Livestock Units (LSU).

Farmers Associations The project aimed to support the establishment of two ‘functional’ farmers associations within Boteti sub-district, covering all of the SSP area. At project start, discussions with the Department of Agricultural Production (DAP) indicated that there were already two livestock associations legally registered in the sub-District, one for small stock and one for cattle, but neither were operating effectively. Following meetings with DAP, the chairmen of both associations, and consultation with livestock farmers in the SSP area, the decision was made by the TRG to focus project support on strengthening the two existing associations.The need was identified to define what was implied by the descriptive term ‘functional’, so as to clarify the nature of project support. Following discussions amongst the TRG, ‘functional’ was taken to mean an association which held ‘successful regular meetings; execution of their work plan; as well as the ability to adhere to their constitution.’ This definition was later refined to more clearly reflect the SLM focus of the project, functional was taken to imply: ‘the extent to which the associations can engage with farmers in the pilot area in order to serve the needs of the famers, sustain rangelands working within the framework or regulations of the Botswana Agricultural Union (being the mother body of all Agricultural Associations in Botswana).’ Support for the Farmers Associations was initiated early on in the first year of project implementation, through discussions between the PMU, DAP and the small group chairing both associations.Tikologo Small Stock Farmer’s Association represents farmers from the areas of Letlhakane, Mmatshumo, Mosu, Mokubilo Mmea and Khwee. The overall objective of the Association is to promote a profitable small stock industry in Boteti East; it was started in 2011 but over recent years had been largely been dysfunctional with weak membership and few meetings.

The Boteti Beef Farmers Association covers 16 villages extending beyond the SSP across Boteti District (Mmatshumo, Mosu, Letlhakane, Khwee, Mokoboxane, Mopipi, Xhumo, Kedia, Rakops, Mmadikola, Xere, Toromoja, Khumaga, Moreomaoto, Motopi and Makalamabedi). It was legally registered as a farmers’ Association in 2012 ‘to represent, promote, and protect the interest of all beef farmers in both cattle posts and ranches in Boteti Sub District.’ The Association aims to connect beef farmers with the Botswana National Beef Farmers Union, relevant public sector agencies and other organisations with similar interests, to promote and encourage animal husbandry through effective livestock breeding practices and to advocate for regulation and use of safe agro-chemicals. Although legally registered, the association had never actually become operational; it did not have active members, had not held meetings and did not have an agreed constitution.

The project was effective in providing support to the Small Stock Association which had clear membership, amongst whom there was overall agreement on the association’s objectives and priorities. The project supported the association to develop a five-year strategic plan (2015 - 2019) and a detailed annual plan for 2016 and 2017. In developing the annual and five year plans, existing members were directly involved and the executive committee was trained so that they will be able to lead plan development in the future. Training was also provided to increase the awareness of members of the issues of overgrazing and rangeland degradation, and of ways to achieve more sustainable livestock management. A Small Stock Management Manual was developed through a partnership between the DAP and the project, in consultation with small stock farmers across the SSP. Membership of the Association increased over the life of the project and at EOP the Association has 80 active members and representation on the National Small Stock Federation. This has contributed to its bargaining power in negotiating with government and the Association has successfully negotiated to increase the minimum goat purchase price from P700.00 to P1000.00 per female goat, demonstrating to its members the benefits association membership can bring. The project also supported the Association to hold a Small Stock Meat festival in September 2016, helping to facilitate the involvement of high-level government officials and the private sector. Project reporting highlights that the event ‘drew key people from the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security and cooperates from the area, where Debswana later donated P10,000.00 to the Association. As a gesture of support, the area Member of Parliament provided his farm to host the event for free.’ Again, this has helped to increase the visibility of the Association as a body that can support farmers and effect positive change. 


Tag: Agriculture Livestock Biodiversity

18.

Conservation Agriculture (continuation)

Pastoral / Livestock and Farmers Associations (continuation)

The project aimed to deliver support for improved herd management at two levels, both through the farmers associations and to farmers individually within SSP communities. The indicators in the Results Framework are the number of farmers practicing improved and effective herd management, with a target of 100 farmers within the Associations and 120 from the SSP villages (10 from each village initially and 10 more added per each of the four villages by project end). The Project Document does not clearly define the anticipated end of project result in terms of the changes in herd management practices which would demonstrate that they are ‘improved and effective.’ Given the SLM focus of the project, however, ‘effective’ should imply some measure of increased sustainability of rangeland use, whereby herding practices reduce problems of overgrazing. The Project Document does highlight the type of training to be delivered through the project as follows: ‘training for commercial ranchers (through the Farmer’s Association) will revolve around effective use of enclosures, paddocking, rotational grazing, supplementary feeding and controlled off-take and marketing. Training of farmers on communal lands (again through the Farmer’s Association, and for many others through the village trusts, kgotla meetings and farmers committees) will revolve around the improvement of pastoral system based on a combination of herding, kraaling and livestock movement and marketing.’The Project Document also underlines the importance of gender equality, to ensure that implementation of livelihood support involves both men and women and considers the specific needs of women farmers. Although the project did not develop a gender strategy or any criteria, the project did actively support participation of women. Of the 104 farmers 30% are female while 70% are male. 

At project start it was important for partners to define the descriptive terms used in the indicator: ‘improved’ and ‘effective’, so as to clarify what the project aimed to achieve. The decision was made to use DAP District Office in Letlhakane’s criteria for ‘improvements’: Improved herd management was defined as farmers who have 1) a livestock management calendar/schedule (including managing stock rate, selling/culling, preferred grazing habits,  water provision and related), 2) vaccination calendar, 3) effective sheltering or kraaling system 4) reliable skilled livestock herder/manager and 5) alternative livestock feed. The project did not however establish a clear definition of what ‘effective’ herd management implies. 

Project support involved training and awareness raising both directly within communities and through the two Associations. At the village level, due to the limited time and funds available the TRG decided that the project should focus training and support in the village of Mosu, where there is large concentration of livestock especially small stock. Farmers from other communities attended central training workshops in Mosu. This was both effective and more efficient than trying to deliver separate training to each village, and also enabled farmers from the different communities to come together to share ideas and experience. Training was provided by DAP focused on the five ‘improvement’ criteria, and the project also engaged the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to provide training to livestock farmers on herd management practices that can reduce spread of disease and infection. At least 40 farmers were trained (10 from each of the villages). The project also produced vaccination and management calendars for both cattle and small-stock. 

Mosu also has a small stock farm. This was initiated under a previous project, but at project start was found to not be operating effectively. The project facilitated support through the Department of Animal Production (DAP) for development of a business plan for the farm and training for farm members in livestock production. 


Tag: Agriculture Livestock Biodiversity Environmental impact assessment Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Capacity Building

19.

Conservation Agriculture (continuation)

Pastoral / Livestock and Farmers Associations (continuation)

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) undertaken through this project under Output 1.1 provides some useful recommendations. It stresses that ‘the main environmental issue relating to land degradation is overgrazing by livestock’ and recommends that there is a need to ‘put in place appropriate land management measures to help halt and reverse land degradation and to ensure that livestock numbers are kept within the carrying capacity of the rangelands.’ The SEA recommends that ‘the Department of Forestry and Range Resources will need to work closely with the Department of Animal Production to put measures in place to ensure that stocking densities of livestock are reduced to – and kept below – the carrying capacity of the rangelands on which the livestock (and the local communities) depend.’ The SEA puts forward a series of examples of actions that can be taken including: ! reducing the number of livestock or excluding livestock in areas affected by land degradation, particularly around water points and the pans; ! bush removal / de-bushing in areas suffering from bush encroachment especially around features of interest, such as Mokubilo and Mmea Pans ! increasing the distance between boreholes / water points and, where existing boreholes / water points are too closely spaced, considering closing these. 

The TE recommends that partners consider the recommendations and analysis put forward in the SEA when identifying priority areas of support for achieving more effective and sustainable herd management practices within the SSP, that can help to decrease, and ideally reverse, land degradation.

Cattle Off Take Rate This indicator is highly relevant to achievement of the intended Output and Outcome level results. ‘Off-take rate’ refers to the number of cattle being taken ‘off’ the rangelands, normally for marketing on either the formal or informal markets. Within the SSP area, cattle off-take involves selling cattle to various market places such as BMC, feedlots, butcheries, etc. Cattle off-take rate is of direct relevance to sustainable rangeland management due to the fact that increased cattle off-take can help to reduce the number of cattle on the rangeland and therefore reduce overgrazing.In the project Results Framework however, the Target given against the cattle off-take indicator is a measure of the ‘calving rate’ (the proportion of cows bearing a live calf as a % per yr). The baseline figure is an estimated calving rate of 92%, the target is to increase this by 3%. The target and baseline established in the Results Framework are not an appropriate means to measure the cattle off-take rate, and this has, understandably, caused some level of confusion in project reporting. 

The project reports that the 3 % target in increased calving rate over the life of the project has been met. However, in the final project report, the Project Manager picks up on the problem with the use of calving rate as a measure of increased sustainability of livestock production when he writes ‘Over the past two years, the region has been recording good rains resulting in good pastures and hence increase in calves with a recorded cattle increase of 17% from 2015 to 2017. Although cattle increase may be good for an individual farmer, there could be a cause for concern for the effects of overstocking in rangelands, more so that the available land (505,000 ha) is not increasing and most communal farmers do not supplement feed.’ n order to give a measure of cattle off-take over the life of the project, DAP monitoring data was used to provide an assessment at EOP. DAP undertakes quarterly monitoring against a series of different parameters. DAP figures indicate that in the SSP area the cattle off-take rate for 2014/15 was 7.8%, for 2015/16 it was 9.69% and for 2016/17 it was 14.40%. There has therefore been a steady increase in cattle off-take over the three-year life of the project. However, due to increased calving rates and an influx of farmers from other areas there has been an overall increase in stock on the SSP rangelands, despite the increase in cattle offtake rate. The project reports that there has been an ‘overstocking rate of animals in the SSP area from 40% and 51% over the project period’ with records for 65,639 cattle in 2014/15 and 79,430 in 2016/17.’ Currently the numbers of livestock on the SSP rangelands are at an unsustainable level. The carrying capacity of the SSP rangelands estimated in the SSP Management Plan is approximately 15,000 Livestock Units (LSU). 2016 data provided by the Department of Animal Production indicates that there were 45,305 livestock (including 30,936 cattle) in the SSP area. This equates to approximately 35,000 Livestock Units (LSU). The 2016 DAP figures indicate that the number of livestock on the SSP rangelands is therefore more than double the estimated carrying capacity of the SSP rangeland area. Project reporting indicates that over 2016/2017 this number has increased to 79,430.


Tag: Agriculture Livestock Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management

20.

Conservation Agriculture (continuation)

Overall income-based calculation of livelihoods results achieved through project support, including both Conservation Agriculture and improved herd management

Within the project’s Results Framework, there is one target /OVI which measures income earned through farming over the life of the project. The target is for an increase of 50% in farm generated income from livestock and conservation agriculture. Although the indicator refers to ‘improved livelihoods’, the only measure of this improvement cited in the baseline and target is income earned; there is no broader measure of the sustainability of livelihoods. The project therefore amended the indicator following mid-term to more clearly reflect the target. Income levels were calculated at project end by a senior agronomist at DCP using data collected over the final year of project implementation (the 2016/2017) ploughing season. It should be noted here that the ploughing and harvesting season in the SSP area is over a few months, during and following the rainy season (between December and April). Most crops are used for subsistence use rather than sale and the agronomist therefore used a formula of P 150.00 per bag of field produce for cereals (e.g Sorghum and maize). P 150.00 is used as a standard charge per bag of cereal from BAMB (2017). Yield from CA was computed and compared to that from non-CA and both of them averaged to a hectare for comparison. In the final project report, the project manager notes however that measurement of harvest levels by farmers and the DCP extension officers did not capture the full harvest, but solely the ‘tail end of the harvest season’. The project manager notes that ‘This poses a major shortfall for those unrecorded but important harvest. Lack of a proper recording sheet of course was a significant oversight which should have been rectified from the start of the project. However, this is being corrected to capture correct data even though results will be available beyond the project period.’ A lesson for future initiatives is then the need to ensure that data is collected and monitored throughout project implementation; at project start initiatives should agree on the data collection framework and reporting system. The project Results Framework specified that measurement of income levels should be ‘disaggregated according to gender, age group and small stock keeping’, although this was only noted in a footnote and no gender or age-related baseline data was provided. Unfortunately, the project has not disaggregated data by age or gender and this is a weakness in project monitoring. This is again an important lesson for future project and the data collection framework/sheet should enable disaggregation by gender, age and vulnerable groups (for example single parent households, or disabled). 

Based on the assessment undertaken by the agronomist, the project reports that 62% of the intended target of USD 1,275.00 was achieved. The figures provided are: USD 312.00 from CA and USD 41300 from herd management, totalling USD 785.00. However as highlighted by the Project Manager the figure for CA does not effectively capture the value of the total CA crop.The results are reported in the final project report are as follows:- Conservation Agriculture: ‘Of the total of 430 active arable farmers in Southern Sua Pan (over the period of 2015 to 2017), 157 were trained on CA, 61 practised CA but only 20 managed to follow all steps and principles of CA to completion. Of the 20, they ploughed 35.18 ha, harvested 19.07 tons of cereal and got P 71, 780.00 from sales of the harvest. On average farmers recorded 1.23 tonnes/ha as yield from CA as opposed to 0.51tonnes/ha for all those who didn’t practice CA.’ -Income assessment for ploughing season (2016/2017) shows that 80% of famers who practised CA are from Mokubilo and Mmatshumo and CA has so far generated P 3,120.87/ha (US$ 312/ha) for each farmer on average from sale of green mealies and threshed maize over the harvest season. - Small Stock: Records from DAP over the project period showed: ‘the sale of small stock is P213,000.00 (USD 21,300.00) for 15 farmers who on average each one of them got P4,733.00 (USD 413.30) per year.’ 


Tag: Agriculture Biodiversity Results-Based Management Data and Statistics

21.

OUTPUT 1.3: Fire Management Strategy is Developed and Implemented in Southern Sua Pan in line with the provisions of the Land Use Plans 

Under this Output the project aimed to ‘pilot the effective use of fire as a savannah vegetation management tool, to reduce uncontrolled fires, improve quality of grazing and increase rangeland carrying capacity by reducing the frequency of fires from yearly to once every 3 years.’ This was to be piloted in the Southern Sua Pan and the project aimed to work with DFRR to establish a community-based Fire Management Committee and develop a Fire Management Strategy for the SSP. The relevant Targets and OVIs in the SFR are: The project worked in direct partnership with DFRR and with the four SSP communities to build awareness of fire prevention and control, and capacity for improved fire-fighting and management. In the first year of project implementation fire management teams were established and training was delivered by DFRR on fire prevention and control. This included training in fighting rangeland fires. Basic fire-fighting equipment was purchased through the project for these teams and DFRR trained the teams in its use. Under the lead of DFRR the project also helped to facilitate the establishment of the SSP Fire Management Committee comprising eight people, two from each village. In the second year of project implementation DFRR worked with the fire management committee and fire-fighting teams to develop the SSP Fire Management Strategy, on which there was subsequently broader consultation with community members and the TRG. At EOP the Fire Management Strategy has been approved.

The objective of the SSP Fire Management Strategy is ‘to provide guidance to communities in the Southern Sua Pan on how to prevent and manage veldt fires.’ The Strategy is focused on three key issues: Restore and Maintain Rangelands; establish Fire Adapted Communities; and Improved Response to Fire. It is a substantial document, the production of which was led by DFRR and BirdLife Botswana, with valuable inputs from the SSP Fire Management Committee. The document outlines the legislative and policy context for fire management. It establishes links to the Southern Sua Pan Management Plan, which cites development of a fire management strategy as a priority for the area, and the Makgadikgadi Framework Management Plan (MFMP) more broadly. The SSP Fire Management Strategy describes the geography, climate and demographics of the area and their relevance to fire management, and outlines the main causes of veldt fires in the Southern Sua Pan. The key components of strategy itself are: analysis, prevention, preparedness, response and restoration. The Strategy outlines key areas of intervention for fire prevention including law enforcement, information campaigns, control of high- risk activities such as camp-fires and burning, fire danger mapping, patrolling and pre-suppression measures. It subsequently establishes the fire response strategy outlining the roles and responsibilities of the key partners, including procedures and techniques for reporting and handling fire outbreaks, responsibilities and resourcing of fire fighters, capacity building and monitoring of veldt fires. The Strategy includes a workplan for the Fire Management Committee as well as appendices outlining emergency fire response procedures, veldt fire monitoring tool and information on fire-fighting equipment and its use. Overall it is a useful strategic document to guide DFRR and the SSP Fire Management Committee in their work.

The project equipped the community fire-fighting teams with basic equipment. Resources were limited under this MSP and the project helped to maximise efficient use of project resources available and to leverage additional support. The project liaised with the mining companies BotAsh and Debswana and the former donated 100 additional fire beaters while Debswana donated materials for making fire beaters. The project supported the construction of additional fire beaters provided to DFRR Letlhakane for distribution to the Fire Management Committee. The project also linked in to a national scheme which provides skills training to prisoners. The project used this scheme to procure additional fire beaters for the SSP Fire Management Committee at a low cost. The provision of locally made fire beaters also has the added benefit of being made out of materials that could be easily repaired or replaced locally. 


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Natural Disaster Biodiversity Effectiveness Donor relations Oversight Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Capacity Building

22.

Output 1.4: ‘Water conservation, water harvesting and water re-cycling by BotAsh and farmers in southern Sua’. 

No activities were implemented under Output 1.4 and this Output was removed from the project following the mid-term review, following approval from the PSC, UNDP and GEF. As discussed in the analysis of project design, no indicators or targets relating to Output 1.4 wereincluded in the Project Results Framework, it was only included within the project strategy description and within the budget. At the time of the project’s mid-term evaluation no activities had been implemented under Output 1.4. BotAsh clarified that they did not have the funding available to support the intended areas of support due to the fact that their charitable budget was allocated on other community initiatives. The mid-term review recommended that UNDP CO should write to GEF to ask for Output 1.4 to be officially removed from the project. UNDP CO have confirmed to the TE that they did so in 2017 and approval was received from GEF. The TE can confirm that the removal of Output 1.4 has not had any major impact on the achievement of intended results under Outcome 1.

OUTCOME 2: Effective Resource Governance Frameworks for SLM and Equitable Resource Access

Under Outcome 2 the Project Document states that the project aimed to ‘facilitate the conditions necessary for development and successful implementation of the local integrated land use plans, and replication of the pilot activities developed under Outcome 1.’ The Project Document outlines that Outcome 2 would support SLM at a larger spatial scale over the whole Makgadikgadi Framework Planning area and Boteti sub-district. It was to build on and support the results to be achieved within the SSP pilot area under Outcome 1 and aimed to ‘empower local institutions to improve resource governance and stakeholder participation in regional dialogues on the importance of mainstreaming SLM into rangeland management for local development. As outlined in the analysis of project design, the Outcome 2 statement itself is vague and the overall strategy description does not clarify how ‘effective’ resource governance frameworks for SLM and ‘equitable resource access’ is defined as an end of project result, nor how the key issues that were identified in the situational analysis will be addressed through Outcome 2. The second barrier identified in project design is that: ‘Policy and market distortions have provided disincentives for adopting SLM and sustainable range management principles in the livestock production sector.’ Under Outcome 2, there is not however a clear focus within any of the Outputs on actions to directly address ‘policy and market distortions’ in the livestock production sector, and there is no clear strategy to remove market related disincentives. The following section will assess the results achieved under each of the project outputs under Outcome 2, against the relevant OVIs and Targets established in the project’s Results Framework and based on the strategy description within the core of the Project Document. The conclusions section of the TE report will look in more detail at the extent to which support provided through each of the Outputs, and the results achieved, has worked to achieve Outcome and Objective level impact, to address the key barriers identified in design.

OUTPUT 2.1: A Regional Multi-Stakeholder Forum for Facilitating Dialogue on SLM and Mainstreaming SLM into Regional and National Policy Programs and Processes is Created and Empowered. 

The relevant Baseline, Target and OVI provided in the project’s Results Framework are: -Baseline: Existing multi-sectoral institution is limited to multiple government sectors only - Indicator: Multi-stakeholder forum for mainstreaming SLM issues in national and regional policies, plans and strategies - Target: Active participation from government, NGOs, water and land user groups, community trusts, community leaders, private sector by project endUnder Output 2.1 the project aimed to ‘support the formation of a regional multi-stakeholder SLM forum, at the Makgadikgadi sub-region level, to lead dialogue on mainstreaming SLM considerations in planning and implementation of critical national and regional policies, plans and strategies’ The Project Document outlines that this forum would enable stakeholders to influence relevant policies on livestock production and marketing, and agricultural land use, it lists as examples the Tribal Grazing Land Policy and National Policy on Agricultural Development.’ The project strategy description however gives very little indication as to how this forum will actually influence policy reform, or what concrete results are anticipated to address ‘policy and market distortions’. At project start, the TRG identified the already existing Makgadikgadi Wetlands Management Committee (MWMC) as the most appropriate regional multi-stakeholder forum for facilitating dialogue on SLM. The MWC was established in 2010 as one of the committees for implementation of the Makgadikgadi Framework Management Plan. It includes relevant public-sector agencies, private-sector organisations, NGOs and community representatives from all of the 32 communities within the Makgadikgadi region, with DEA as the secretary, responsible for calling and coordinating the meetings. The project aimed to strengthen the MWMC and increase representation from organisations such as farmers associations (FA), CBOs and village development committees (VDC). The MWMC provides a forum for communities to discuss issues and problems they are facing and to share experiences and ideas for finding solutions. Relevant government departments and NGOs, including BirdLife Botswana, provide advice and guidance at the meetings, and also learn from the community dialogue, so that these agencies get a clearer understanding of issues ‘on the ground’ and can take guidance from communities on potential solutions.


Tag: Biodiversity Water resources Global Environment Facility fund Knowledge management Partnership Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Inclusive economic growth Inequalities

23.

OUTPUT 2.2: Decision-Making Support Tool for Lethlakane sub-Land Board and Physical Planning Unit (Boteti sub-District Council)

Under Output 2.2 the project aimed to improve the sustainable land-use planning capacity of the Letlhakane Sub-Land Board and the Physical Planning Unit. Project support was to include both the production of a rangeland management and monitoring manual for planners and a GIS-based decision-support tool. Under this Output the project strategy also included training and support to strengthen the capacity of ‘key land use decision making and extension support institutions’; the Project Document mentions the Department of Forestry and Range Resources and the sub-District Land Use Planning Unit (DLUPU). Capacity was to be measured using a capacity score card and the target was to increase the score from the 50% baseline figure, established in the project’s Results Framework, to 75%.The relevant Targets, Baselines, and OVIs provided in the project’s Results Framework are: Target 1 -Target: Raise to 75% and improving by the end of the project - Baseline: 50% ! Indicator: Capacity of key land management institutions for SLM Target 2 - Target: An integrated plan covering all of the Boteti sub-district planning area developed and approved with involvement of all stakeholdersb- Baseline: Zero - Indicator: No of integrated district-wide plans with spatially-explicit (GIS-based) maps of where particular sectors (tourism, settlements, agriculture) could best be allocated land parcels in a manner that minimizes conflicts amongst these sectors 

The execution of support under Output 2.2 was influenced by changes in national planning processes between the time of design and project start. In 2015 the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) suspended development of all sub and district-wide plans until completion of the National Spatial Plan (NSP). Therefore, although the relevant Target for this Output was for development and approval of ‘an integrated plan covering all of the Boteti subdistrict planning area’, the TRG and PSC decided that the project should instead focus its support on development of a decision-making support tool for land-use planning. This was an appropriate decision and the support provided aligns well with the approach described in the project strategy which focuses on development of tools to support land-use planning.

In the first year of implementation, the project provided training on GIS to technical officers from Physical Planning Unit and the Tutume, Boteti and Palapye Land Boards, this included a learning visit to see a Land Use Conflict Information System (LUCIS) in operation in Seronga district. However little further support appears to have been provided under this Output in the second year of project implementation. The MTR undertaken in mid-2016 merely reports ‘notdone’ against Output 2.2 and recommends that the project should ‘work with sub-DLUPU to clarify the needs that the decision support tool will meet.’ Development of a LUCIS system for the sub-Boteti District was initiated in the final year of project implementation. A consultant was engaged in mid-2017 to develop a Land-Use Conflict Information System (LUCIS) for Boteti sub-District. The system was developed through a process of consultation with all key stakeholders, data collection and analysis and visits to relevant sites. At project end the LUCIS has been installed within the sub-Boteti Land Board and an analytical report has been produced based on the analysis undertaken. Relevant officers in the Land-Board and PPU have been trained in use of the system. 

The consultative process used for development of the system enabled the consultant to get an understanding of land-use issues and potential conflicts and to work with affected groups in defining the LUCIS criteria and land use preferences. Criteria for land allocation drew strongly on community defined preferences. The project’s TRG was an important forum for interstakeholder discussion, to support development of the LUCIS tool. The project also directly involved the Land Board Chairman and Secretary in development of the system so that these higher-level decision makers fully understood, supported and provided input to system design. This has helped to ensure that the LUCIS tool will be internalized in land use planning within the Land Board and PPU following EOP.

Development of the LUCIS relied on the collection and analysis of data, so that GIS mapping within the system represents current and spatially accurate information on key land-use characteristics in Boteti sub-District. Data collected included on soil fertility, topography, slope, elevation, roads networks, waterbodies, bore hole distribution, biodiversity, archaeological site and existing land uses. Data was spatially analysed through ArcGIS to support development of land suitability maps. These were then overlaid to define existing or potential land use conflicts in the area. The maps highlight where particular sectors (tourism, settlements, agriculture) could best be allocated land to minimize the potential for land use conflict. The consultant produced a substantial report which outlines the process used for development of the LUCIS, analysis of land use across the area and, using the GIS maps, highlights suitability for different types of land use within the sub-Boteti area, with conclusions and recommendations to support land use planning. The LUCIS assessment for the sub-Boteti District shows that the areas most suitable for biodiversity conservation and tourism are the pans themselves, with agricultural use best suited to the southern, eastern and northern boundaries. Land-use conflict analysis highlights that the areas of highest conflict occur around the edge of the pans with conflicts between biodiversity conservation objectives and agriculture, in particular use for livestock grazing. These areas represent about 14% of the total surface area in the SSP. The project also undertook a capacity assessment with the sub-Boteti Land Board, PPU and DFRR at project start and end. The assessment used a capacity score card which measured five key strategic areas of support; (1) Capacity to conceptualize and formulate policies, legislations, strategies and programs (2) Capacity to implement policies, legislation, strategies and programs (3) Capacity to engage and build consensus among all stakeholders (4) Capacity to mobilize information and knowledge (5) Capacity to monitor, evaluate, report and learn. Training was provided to relevant planning and land-management agencies in project implementation. Engagement of agencies in the land-use planning process under the project was in itself a learning process. Project reports show an overall capacity percentage figure of 49.79% at project start compared to 78.5% in the final year of project implementation. The project has therefore demonstrated that it has met the target specified in the Results Framework of raising the capacity score to 75% by EOP


Tag: Natural Resouce management Local Governance Oversight Policies & Procedures Country Government Capacity Building Technology Data and Statistics

24.

OUTPUT 2.3: System for Monitoring of Range Condition and Productivity is in Place

Under Output 2.3 the project strategy describes two core areas of support: i) the establishment of community level, management orientated monitoring system (MOMS) to include both status reports on population trends of ‘common birds’ and a range of attributes relevant to community livelihoods (livestock productivity, local rainfall, levels of crop damage) (ii) strengthened capacity of public-sector agencies for conventional rangeland assessments. At the community level, the project aimed to establish a ‘decision-support tool for farmers, to help them in planning and implementing SLM strategies.’ The system was to be developed through a participatory process, to ensure that monitoring would provide information of direct relevance to communities, to support them in ‘planning and implementing SLM strategies, as well as re-evaluating these strategies based on results and impacts.’ In outlining the approach, the Project Document states that DFRR and MOMs experts would work with communities to develop the system and that: ‘monitoring plots and attributes are to be selected and finalized during the inception phase but are likely to include aspects of direct relevance and interest to local communities (for example, livestock productivity; animal sightings for wildlife endowment for ecotourism; local rainfall for arable production planning; problem animal issues to understand crop damage and livestock predation; veldt products to monitor and manage their harvesting; early warning of disease and drought so that farmers can modify their decisions on livestock off-take, breeding, and sale, as well as population trends of ‘common birds’ and their habitats, which index, analysed per species and per communities … will serve as proxy for a biodiversity intactness tracking score).’ 


Tag: Natural Resouce management Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Results-Based Management Country Government

25.

OUTPUT 2.3: System for Monitoring of Range Condition and Productivity is in Place (continuation)

In the first year of implementation project progress reports confirm that 40 community members (ten from each village of Mosu, Mmatshumo, Mmea and Mokubilo) were trained in MOMs. By project mid-term however no monitoring reports had been produced and the project’s mid-term review (MTR) records that the project had not made sufficient progress towards achieving intended results under Output 2.3. It observed that ‘roll out of Management Oriented Monitoring System (MOMS) and bird monitoring is long overdue’ and recommended that the project should ‘review Output 2.3 and the entire M&E elements of the project and come up with SMART monitoring protocols that meets expectations of Outcome 2 and the entire project.’ The first project progress report in 2017 clarifies that out of the 6 steps required for establishment of MOMs (training of monitoring teams, setting up of teams, purchase of monitoring equipment, identification of monitoring plots, collection of data and compilation of the report) only the first three steps had been completed. At the start of the final year of implementation identification of the monitoring plots, collection of data and compilation of monitoring reports had not yet been undertaken. 

In September 2017, the project supported further work to identify monitoring plots and initiate data collection. The technique involved monitoring of common birds along 2-km transects to record all birds seen or heard, using 10 Point Counts spaced by 100m. Through partnership between DFRR, DWNP and BLB, the project worked with communities to develop protocols and analytical systems so that the monitoring data collected through MOMS, could be used as indicators of rangeland condition in the SSP pilot area. Further training was conducted for the monitoring teams and at project end BLB and DFRR have confirmed that they will continue to work with the monitoring teams to support them in collecting the monitoring data and analysing it to produce monitoring reports.


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Local Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Technology Data and Statistics

26.

OUTPUT 2.3: System for Monitoring of Range Condition and Productivity is in Place (continuation)

Summary of results achieved under Output 2.3 and TE Recommendations

The intended result under Output 2.3 was to establish a ‘system for monitoring of range condition and productivity’; this is key for the achievement of the project’s sustainable rangeland management objective. In the description of the ‘alternative situation to be put in place by the project’ the Project Document states that the project would ‘carryout integrated rangeland studies to improve planning capacity of regional institutions and support the development of the local participatory integrated land use plans as well as development of multi-scale rangeland monitoring tools. These should cover economic, environmental, and social aspects of rangeland and result in both technical range monitoring tools as well as a community tool based on MOMS which is implemented in neighbouring communities.

The project has achieved fairly weak results under Output 2.3 and at EOP it is certainly not possible to say that a ‘system for monitoring of range condition and productivity is in place’. The project provided very little support for the development or strengthening of technical range monitoring tools; there was no support provided across the areas mentioned in the project strategy description for Output 2.3: ‘measurement of total system carbon, rangeland biodiversity, grass composition and cover as well as tree composition and density, invasive plants and land cover measured by Normalised Difference Vegetation Index’. Although the project provided support for MOMS training, this data was not actually used during the lifetime of the project to support improved rangeland monitoring and management at any level. At EOP community MOMs teams have been established in the 4 SSP villages, they have been trained, equipment has been purchased and data collected, the project has also helped to establish a working partnership between DFRR, DWNP, BLB and these community-based MOMs teams. However, it is not possible to confirm how or if MOMS will be used in the future to support more sustainable rangeland management. 

The Targets within the project’s Results Framework required the production of three annual reports. The project produced one remote sensing report covering the three years of project implementation and annual reports for the national Bird Population Monitoring Programme (BPMP), although the latter is not specifically a project output. However, neither of these reports can be seen to represent the establishment of a system for monitoring of range condition and productivity. 

The weak results achieved under Output 2.3 can in part be attributed to weaknesses in project design. Also due to the fact that the project faced a number of challenges and externalities which took time and resources to resolve; the project had to prioritise its efforts and priority was given to development of the land-use plans under Output 1.1, which drew time and resources away from other areas of project support. The TE also suggests that establishment of a comprehensive multi-scale system for monitoring of range condition and productivity is perhaps unrealistic within a three-year medium sized project such as this. It is a key area of work and one which the TE strongly recommends should be prioritised in future initiatives in this area, and within national workplans for all relevant agencies. 


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Effectiveness Technology Data and Statistics

Recommendations
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RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations build on the analysis in the TE report to suggest some potential avenues through which project partners can increase the likelihood of achieving sustainable SLM impacts in the SSP and broader Makgadikgadi region, and to guide the implementation of future initiatives. 

1: SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT (SLM) IN THE MAKGADIKGADI REGION

Recommendation 1a: To achieve SLM results in the Southern Sua Pan, support needs to be maintained by Government Partners across all core areas of work initiated under the project

The Makgadikgadi SLM project was a 3-year MSP with high ambitions; it achieved a lot within the time and resources available to it. The Project has supported learning and capacity building, it has strengthened organisations, piloted new approaches and developed land-use planning and management tools. Through consultation and partnership, it has established real momentum and enthusiasm for change. However, there is a danger that if support is not maintained at the community level, the progress made through the project could slip backwards. That in itself would be likely to lead to frustration, and the risk that key stakeholders could lose interest in SLM practices if they consider that these approaches are not working.

It will be essential for national government agencies, in particular DAP, DCP, DFRR, DWNP and DEA, to continue the work initiated under the project. The TE strongly recommends that all relevant Government departments ensure that resources are allocated in annual budgets and workplans to provide ongoing support across all areas of project intervention. The includes the following:

Department of Crop Production (DCP): Ensure priority is given in departmental budgets, workplans and strategies to: Establish a system for monitoring conservation agriculture results including measurement of the land area under CA and geographic location of fields; number of farmers practicing CA; yield achieved in tonnes/ ha and production costs. All data should be disaggregated according to gender and age. The project has developed a recording sheet which DCP and farmers can continue to use to support their work. DCP are also recommended to make more use of the telephone data collection techniques trialled under the project. -Review the results and lessons learnt through the project, in partnership with pilot farmers and community trusts, in order to identify priority areas of future support. ! Assess opportunities to train and equip village development committees, community trusts / farmers associations to enable them to become more self-sufficient in use of conservation agriculture (CA) techniques, and to enable them to train others within communities (training of trainers). ! Establish an induction process for new Extension Officers, to ensure that staff coming in to the SSP area have a good understanding of conservation agriculture techniques, ongoing work and local context (specific challenges of farming in the SSP). Encourage extension officers to continually assess and capture lessons learnt in piloting CA and ensure that this learning is institutionalised. Reduce the rate of turn-over of extension officers to enable officers and farmers to establish partnerships in trialling effective CA practices over several seasons. ! Identify opportunities to scale up CA pilots to other areas, including the sharing of lessons learnt and support for farmer exchanges.

Department of Animal Production (DAP): Ensure priority is given in departmental budgets, workplans and strategies to: - Provide support that will continue to build the capacity of both the Small Stock and Beef Farmers Associations, to a level where they can sustain themselves. ! Prioritise training in practices that will support more sustainable levels and types of production, including supplementary feeding, kraaling, management of livestock movements and increasing rate of cattle offtake. ! Strengthen market incentives for more sustainable levels and types of production ! Strengthen monitoring of livestock numbers and movements in rangelands and work with DFRR to determine sustainable stocking levels / rangeland carrying capacity. ! Identify opportunities to strengthen management of livestock numbers around boreholes, so as to establish more sustainable levels of grazing in these areas.

Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR): Ensure priority is given in departmental budgets, workplans and strategies to: - continue to provide support for fire management including prevention and control: train fire fighters, identify and address priority issues; establish fire breaks, maintain equipment etc ! actively support MOMS, including training of community teams, printing of monitoring sheets, support for active use of data by communities, digitisation of MOMS, and strengthened partnership with community groups. ! support the establishment of a community-based management system for sustainable harvesting of veldt products in the SSP ! work with DAP to determine rangeland carrying capacity for livestock ! strengthen monitoring of the condition and productivity of rangeland ecosystems. (parameters such as grass and tree species composition and cover, rangeland biodiversity, overall land cover (NDVI), invasive species)

Department of Environmental Affairs - Advise on amendments to the ILUP, based on review of the recommendations in the SEA - Maintain support to the Makgadikgadi Wetlands Management Committee ! Provide ongoing support and advice to all stakeholders to strengthen SLM in the SSP and broader Makgadikgadi region and for implementation of the SSPMP and MFMP. ! Assess opportunities to access further external technical and financial support for a ‘second phase’ of this Makgadikgadi SLM project, to sustain initiatives started through the project, address the priority areas of work highlighted in the TE recommendations, and scale up impact over the broader Makgadikgadi region.

Sub DLUPU - ensure effective interagency co-ordination of SLM initiatives at the sub-District level to support implementation of the ILUP and SSPMP for SLM outcomes.

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1: SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT (SLM) IN THE MAKGADIKGADI REGION

Recommendation 1b: Implement the Land Use Plan in conjunction with the SEA

To achieve a positive SLM outcome, implementation of the ILUP should be undertaken in close conjunction with the SEA. The ILUP document itself would be greatly strengthened if it is revised to address the core issues and recommendations outlined in the SEA. SEA Chapter 9. ‘Conclusions and Recommendations’ provides a clear summary as to how the ILUP could be updated to more effectively support SLM.

If the ILUP, SEA and the existing Southern Sua Pan Management Plan (SSPMP), are to work effectively as tools to support sustainable rangeland management, beyond the boundaries of village/community land areas, it will be important to develop a clear, integrated framework which specifies the roles and responsibilities of all relevant agencies, groups and departments in plan implementation, including for monitoring the effectiveness of plan implementation towards achievement of SLM objectives. The SEA provides key advice and guidance on monitoring to support SLM. The ILUP currently specifies that coordination and monitoring of the plan should be ‘the responsibility of the sub-Land Board and Boteti sub-District Council’ and that the main tools to be used for monitoring of the ILUP are the ‘Urban Developments Standards (1992) and Development Control Code (2013)’. These standards are appropriate to development within the settlement areas, but not as monitoring tools for sustainable land-use management across the SSP rangelands. As the SEA underlines, the village areas cover only ‘a small proportion of the total LUP / SSP area (0.05% at present and 0.27% by 2036). Many of the key environmental issues being faced in the SSP area, such as land degradation resulting from overgrazing, relate primarily to the 99.7% of the SSP area that lies outside of the village footprint,’ and to support SLM it will be important to monitor and manage land-use across this broader area. 

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1: SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT (SLM) IN THE MAKGADIKGADI REGION

Recommendation 1c: Establish a multi-scale, integrated rangeland monitoring system for the Southern Sua Pan.

To achieve sustainable land management in the Southern Sua Pan, and more broadly across the Makgadikgadi region, there is an urgent need for government partners to establish an integrated system for monitoring range condition and productivity. This is essential to enable all partners to get a clear understanding of the condition of habitats / ecosystems, the impact of land-use pressures on those ecosystems over time, and consequently to determine the management measures needed to achieve SLM.

An effective monitoring system should combine technical data/analysis from relevant government agencies (including DFRR, DCP, DAP, DVC, DWNP, DEA, DTCP, DoT/BTO), NGOs such as BirdLife Botswana and communities, through MOMS assessments. The system should reflect and build on the participatory, partnership design process used for development of both the ILUP under this project, and previously for the SSPMP and MFMP. It should also build on the existing tools and systems used by agencies, including those developed under previous projects.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) developed under this project provides some key recommendations to support the establishment of ‘a comprehensive programme of data collation and monitoring, by all implementing agencies’ (refer SEA chapter 8). The TE strongly recommends that partners review the recommendations provided in the SEA:

The most urgent priority is to establish baseline and threshold data, including:

- Sustainable yield of the groundwater resource (i.e. the maximum amount that can be abstracted without depleting the groundwater resource). - Rangeland condition and extent and severity of land degradation, including: - land cover as measured by Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI) and its derivative, the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI); - location, area (ha) and % of land affected by bush encroachment;! severity of bush encroachment (i.e. the extent to which the land is impenetrable for livestock as a result of bush encroachment); - location, area (ha) and % of land with native, palatable, perennial grass species (v. invasive, unpalatable, annual grass species). - Carrying capacity of the rangelands. - Location and sustainable yield of veldt products (i.e. the maximum amount of veldt product that can be harvested without depleting the veldt product resource or causing land degradation). - Amount of wood collected for fuel / lighting and the area affected. - Population and distribution of key species, including: - rare / endangered bird species on Sua Pan; - common bird species in the rangelands; - herbivore / ungulate species; - IUCN Red Data List species; and - rare / endangered species of flora.

The SEA emphasises that ‘monitoring needs to be carried out on an ongoing basis in order to identify trends in the environmental status of the Southern Sua Pan (SSP) area and progress against the targets proposed in the SEA report. The frequency of this monitoring will depend on what is being monitored and the extent to which this data is already collected.’ ‘Where appropriate, the local communities should be actively engaged in this monitoring to help them develop a stronger understanding of their local environment and the impacts, both positive and negative, of the land uses in which they are engaged. This engagement should also help to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility in helping to tackle issues and in making the management of land and other resources in the area more sustainable.

The Land Use Conflict Information System (LUCIS) is a powerful tool for planning and management, so long as the data in it is accurate; planning based on old or inaccurate data can be counterproductive. The SEA raises the concern that some of the data used in the LUCIS is historic, including use of data from the 2012 Southern Sua Pan Management Plan (SSPMP). It will be important for partners to establish a multi-agency system to ensure that the data in LUCIS is regularly updated through monitoring. New data and maps may also need to be added if priority issues emerge, for example to map the spread of invasive species or disease. It will also be important for all relevant agencies (including DFRR, DAP, DCP, DWNP, DoT/BTA) to have direct access to the LUCIS tool / the information in the system. LUCIS is a tool that can support a range of agencies in their work, as part of land-use management and monitoring. 

There is also the need for ongoing support by DFRR, DWNP and BLB to build the capacity of community groups for use of Management Oriented Monitoring Systems (MOMS). It is important to ensure that MOMS data is actively used to support decision making. For communities this means ensuring that the information collected is directly relevant to them and that they have a means of recording it, and referring to it over time. For government departments and BLB, the development of a system for digitising data from MOMS will make this information more accessible so that changes can be compared and measured over time.

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1: SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT (SLM) IN THE MAKGADIKGADI REGION

Recommendation 1d: Urgent need to address Land Degradation caused by Overgrazing

The Project Document assessed that ‘the long-term solution to reverse the degradation of rangelands in the Makgadikgadi is to mainstream SLM principles into the livestock production sector, specifically in areas where rangeland degradation is most intense.’ The findings of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) underline the fact that at project end this issue remains a priority, it stresses that ‘land degradation resulting from overgrazing is probably the single most important environmental issue in the area.’ It recommends that there is an urgent need to put in place appropriate land management measures to help halt and reverse land degradation and to ensure that livestock numbers are kept within the carrying capacity of the rangelands.

The SEA raises the concern that the carrying capacity of the rangelands is not clearly understood and recommends that ‘the Department of Forestry and Range Resources will need to work closely with the Department of Animal Production to put measures in place to ensure that stocking densities of livestock are reduced to, and kept below, the carrying capacity of the rangelands on which the livestock (and the local communities) depend.’ It puts forward recommendations on actions that can be taken including:  

! reducing the number of livestock or excluding livestock in areas affected by land degradation, particularly around water points and the pans; ! bush removal / de-bushing in areas suffering from bush encroachment especially around features of interest, such as Mokubilo and Mmea Pans ! increasing the distance between boreholes / water points and, where existing boreholes / water points are too closely spaced, considering closing these.

The TE strongly recommends that all partners (including DAP, DFRR, DEA, DWNP) consider the recommendations and analysis put forward in the SEA and work together to identify the measures needed to achieve more effective and sustainable herd management practices within the SSP, that can help to decrease, and ideally reverse, land degradation. Alongside the practical measures outlined in the SEA, this is also likely to involve the development of strategies to strengthen market incentives for more sustainable livestock production and policies and regulations that support strengthened livestock control and management.

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2: CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF FUTURE UNDP / GEF PROJECTS

Recommendation 2a: Establish mechanisms for monitoring and recording co-financing from project inception.

Co-financing is part of the contractual agreement between a country and UNDP / GEF. It is important that co-financing is both realised and recorded. A project’s inception process should consolidate co-financing commitments and clarify how cash and in-kind co-financing will be used to support the achievement of results. A system for monitoring and recording cofinancing contributions should be established with co-financing partners at project start and a Project Manager subsequently liaise with co-financing partners to ensure co-financing is recorded and monitored throughout implementation.

It is important that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), as the GEF Focal Point, work with UNDP, as a core GEF Implementing Partner, to establish a standard mechanism which project co-financing partners can use to record and measure co-financing in future GEF projects. DEA confirmed that they are currently working on such a system. 

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2: CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF FUTURE UNDP / GEF PROJECTS

Recommendation 2b: Establish a strategy for gender mainstreaming and monitoring at project inception.

It is recommended that UNDP provide guidance and support to project Executing Agencies and their partners for the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy at project inception. This should include the establishment of sex-disaggregated indicators and datacollection systems for monitoring the gender impacts of project actions. The strategy should ensure that the aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally throughout project implementation. Monitoring of results and impact should examine the extent to which this has been achieved. It may be useful for UNDP to develop brief guidelines and a framework to support all future projects in achieving gender mainstreaming and monitoring. The Makgadikgadi SLM project considered gender implications of the support provided, both through engagement and provision of support to men and women in project activities, and gender sensitive approaches to consultation. However, the gender mainstreaming results could have been more clearly demonstrated if the project had established a strategy at project start and could demonstrate how it followed that strategy.

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