Cook Islands Ridge to Reef (R2R TE)

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Samoa
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
07/2021
Completion Date:
07/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
27,000

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Title Cook Islands Ridge to Reef (R2R TE)
Atlas Project Number: 00084399
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Samoa
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2021
Planned End Date: 07/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.3.1 Data and risk-informed development policies, plans, systems and financing incorporate integrated and gender-responsive solutions to reduce disaster risks, enable climate change adaptation and mitigation, and prevent risk of conflict
SDG Target
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Evaluation Budget(US $): 27,000
Source of Funding: GEF Trust Fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,450
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Alberta Virginia Lead Consultant vravndal@mindspring.com
Maureen Moari Hilyard Lead Consultant vravndal@mindspring.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Conserving biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem functions through a 'Ridge to Reef' approach in the Cook Islands
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 00092426
PIMS Number: 5168
Key Stakeholders: Government of Cook Islands,
Countries: SAMOA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Draft key marine spatial plans and management plans that were supposed to be produced (and implementation of these begun) during the project period but which have not yet been completed (CIMP, Aitutaki Lagoon Management Plan, Te Manga Te Kou Cloud Forest, Manuae Wildlife Sanctuary).  Management plans do not all need to be finalized in this period, but at a minimum, drafts for discussion by stakeholders should be produced.  In the case of some of these plans (e.g. Te Manga Te Kou Cloud Forest), consideration should be given to adopting a less formal, more innovative, and simplified approach to developing a type of agreement with landowners as to priority actions to be undertaken rather than the more formal PA management plan.

2

Ensure the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meets to discuss the various project-produced reports that have not yet been reviewed/discussed by the TAG (see Table 9).

3

NES and MFEM to meet to discuss the Sustainable Financing Mechanisms (SFM) report and the Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation (MESV) report (within 3 months) and decide on what follow-on actions to take on each. NES to organize an event to launch the reports (within 6 months) – preferably co-hosted by MFEM.

4

Future GEF-supported projects should place much greater emphasis on working with Cook Islands youth on R2R issues, both in and out of school.  Do this through seeking partnerships with local NGOs involved in R2R issues and provide the necessary resources to enable those NGOs to not only continue with their ongoing programs, but to strengthen them substantially

5

UNDP and IP to ensure lessons from this project are incorporated in the re-design of the Project Implementation Framework (PIF) for the next GEF project.  Some key lessons are:  Don’t over-complicate things.  Simplify.  Fewer plans, more direct action.  Templates that may work elsewhere can effectively be used as guidance, but one size does not fit all, and a home-grown approach complemented by-- but not led by -- external expertise may work best.   

6

UNDP MCO Samoa Senior Management to meet with UNDP RTA to discuss this TE and how to improve awareness by senior management regarding performance of GEF projects they are responsible for overseeing.  

7

Institute measures to enhance the functioning of the TAG (consider options such as payment for non-Government TAG members who actively contribute, as well as other measures).

8

Discuss whether maintaining the technical resource positions in MMR, HoA, and NES -- established and paid for with GEF support-- is important to sustaining project outcomes, and if so, how these positions will be maintained (or, in the case of HoA, re-established).  Note:  This recommendation does not refer to individuals but rather to positions

9

Involve independent evaluators who are familiar with ongoing or recently completed relevant projects in the country in the review of planned projects at an early stage of their development (i.e., during the development of the PIF).  This may help ensure lessons from prior projects are incorporated into the design of future ones.

10

Future GEF-supported projects should collaborate much more with local NGOs as part of a long-term strategy to build CI capacity related to biodiversity conservation.

11

Strengthen the exit/sustainability strategy produced by the PM and CTA by making it more practical and more detailed.  Ensure this is reviewed and discussed by the PSC prior to project closure.

12

Compile (online) all technical documents produced with project support and keep these together in one place which is easily accessible to all (Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, Individuals).  Decide on a system for referencing documents that makes them easy to locate (the current system of referencing by the names of the CTA and PM may aid in publishing credits but may not be the best for locating project documents).

13

Strengthen financial capacity related to project management so that future projects do not encounter the same financial management issues this one did (consider options for more intensive mentoring and oversight by MFEM, establishing internships with MFEM, etc.).

14

Ensure whenever projects have planned for a Technical Advisor (in this case a Chief Technical Advisor - CTA) that the CTA is brought on board early on during the project rather than towards the later stages of the project.

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