Terminal Evaluation of Sustainable Land Management Programme to Combat Desertification in Pakistan II

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Pakistan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2021
Completion Date:
04/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document TOR_TE__SLMPII_PIMS4593_27Jul2020_Final.docx tor English 100.52 KB Posted 264
Download document SLMP II TE Report - Final-March 4 2021.pdf report English 4815.14 KB Posted 228
Download document TE_SLMP-_QA_Checklist-_Final.pdf related-document English 682.19 KB Posted 123
Title Terminal Evaluation of Sustainable Land Management Programme to Combat Desertification in Pakistan II
Atlas Project Number: 00075848
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Pakistan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2021
Planned End Date: 03/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
  • 2. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
SDG Goal
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 36,152
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Eugenia Katsigris Dr mailto:ekatsigris@parnongroup.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sustainable Land Management Programme to Combat Desertification in Pakistan II
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4754
PIMS Number: 4593
Key Stakeholders: GEF, Ministry of Climate Change, Provincial Planning and Development Departments
Countries: PAKISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

BOTTOM-UP MONITORING AND RANDOM CHECKING: For projects that target large land area or other dispersed achievements, institute bottom-up reporting requirements that facilitate true quality assurance by random checking: (i) Require project designers to include explanation of “how the math works” so that targets can be met.  (ii) Require project team, at inception, to develop bottom-up template that allows reporting by dispersed unit, such as village-by-village, and that shows “the math” of how each unit contributes to overall target. Reporting should be done through this template and contact information of all units (e.g. villages) provided. (iii) UNDP in its QA role should check “the math” and make calls and site visits to randomly selected village or other units to ensure validity of what is being reported and quality of implementation.

2

STAFFING APPROACH REVAMP: Urgently revamp project staffing strategies to ensure cost-effective staffing structure and proactive, qualified personnel: (i) For projects with mainly provincial targets, minimize or eliminate federal level staffing. (ii) Reduce share of staffing in total project costs or ensure that projects with high staffing budgets have project team carrying out activities that contractors would normally do. Ensure project management is not “layered” and technical personnel are doing the required technical work. (iii) Set up a CO task force on or, at minimum, hold discussions with CO leadership on options to ensure quality project staffing in a NIM environment. As part of the discussions consider the following options and select/ implement those that make sense: (iii-a) Improve recruitment by pre-bid outreach to qualified individuals to encourage them to apply for positions. Make calls to contacts to determine who in the market is qualified. This work may even be incorporated into PPG (design phase) and thus be able to use PPG funds. (iii-b) Specify the required aspects of a transparent project staff recruiting process in the “Management Arrangements” section of the ProDoc and ensure that these procedures, as agreed in advance with the IP, are adhered to. Further, qualifications for positions could also be more carefully described in the TORs included in the ProDoc, which could then be required to be used in actual recruiting. (iii-c) Ensure that UNDP has power needed to ensure quality in hiring decisions. If this is not possible in NIM projects, consider renegotiating NIM terms based on the interest of all in the success of projects. In its oversight role, UNDP should have say  to ensure that only technically qualified persons with a track record of delivery are hired. UNDP should also have the power to ensure that hiring process is highly transparent and that references are called. (iii-d) For provincial hires, ensure provincial IP is on board with decision.

3

ELIMINATE PASSIVITY WITH REGARD TO “DIFFICULT” TA TARGETS: Adopt new measures at the project design, inception, and implementation stages to maximize probability that “the really hard stuff” is achieved: (i) Require project designers to design activities not only for the “easy stuff” (e.g. draft policy, design institutional structure), but also for the “hard stuff” the project targets (e.g. promote policy adoption, prepare and deliver briefings on proposed institutional structure, bring together decision-makers to discuss, etc.). (ii) Brief the staff at inception that they should “begin with the end in mind” and not implement the project to check off a list of activities, but implement to achieve the strategic indicator targets. Ensure at inception these targets are clear and easily understandable to everyone and agreed by all to be a good reflection of what should be achieved in order to make an impact. Revise if necessary. Make sure the project team understands that, while targets and project outcomes are not fully under their control, they will be judged by how hard they work to maximize probability “the really hard stuff” is achieved. (iii) When project repeatedly fails to work towards one or more key project targets, require a detailed written explanation of why the team believes the target is not viable or not worthwhile and hold a meeting to discuss. Take issues to PSC as needed.

4

MORE SLM? Given that SLM is highly relevant to Pakistan and has potential to become a major national program, consider ways that UNDP can continue to support SLM enabling environment through its other work or future, direct support. Have internal meetings to discuss whether UNDP believes (vis-à-vis TE findings) the SLM concept merits such continued support and, if so, consider recommended actions: While SLMP II failed to deliver the enabling environment targeted, on-the-ground scale-up had positive successes in raising incomes and improving land quality. Given that 80% of Pakistan’s land area is arid or semi-arid and given the link between land degradation and poverty, SLM may have strong potential to become a national program if the concept can be correctly framed and the enabling environment established. (i) Relevant parties should have a meeting to discuss whether they believe (vis-à-vis TE findings) the SLM concept merits further support. (ii) If result of foregoing is affirmative, in the short-term, UNDP may consider ways to continue being engaged by linking some of the still-to-be-completed SLM enabling environment work to its upcoming portfolio, particularly the UNDP-GEF Food Security Project and the UNDP-GEF 10 BTTP Project. This might include further work on SLM policies and institutional structure, improving SLM on the ground initiatives, and developing mechanisms to stimulate replication per recommendations in Part 2 of this subsection. (iii) If UNDP (vis-à-vis i) determines SLM concept very high potential, UNDP may also engage by having its CO leadership engage with MoCC or the PP&DDs to adopt the policies, regularize the DCCs, continue SLM measures in the field, and generally promote the SLM concept. (iv) If and after the foregoing two sub-recommendations are done and only if the stage is set for highly likely success in facilitating the establishment of a major program or contributing highly to the improved quality of a major program already launched, UNDP may consider full engagement via SLMP III.

5

REVOLUTIONIZE GENDER APPROACH: Revisit approach to gender mainstreaming in projects with aim to ensure 50-50 benefits from projects for women; consider out-of-the box solutions as needed: Recognizing that women in SLMP II tended to lead only on the low budget, often non-SLM or peripheral-SLM items, work to develop out-of-the-box ideas to bring village women to a higher level of leadership and beneficiary roles in projects. There are two or three possible paths in projects like SLMP II: (1) Require-women-leaders path: Since involvement in projects like SLMP II is highly beneficial to villagers, UNDP may require in similar village-based initiatives that women are equal leaders on all of the higher-budget items – not at 1% to 3%, but 50%, or even 100% of the time. This may include the requirement that the “women leader” from the relevant HH participate in all meetings on the investments, liaising with and updating the IP on monitoring visits (IP should provide female monitoring officers as needed), etc. The requirements for true participation by women should ensure that they are not just project owners in name only, but actively participating. (2) Ensure-high-benefits-for-women-by-nature-of-measure path: In this approach, projects target activities that by nature benefit women, but ensure these are not the minor spend items of the project (as was the case in SLMP II), but the major ones. Thus, with SLMP II as an example, instead of low-cost kitchen gardens and poultry distribution, higher cost SLM measures, such as kana planation and processing (shown to have high level of participation of women in KP) and grassland reseeding (understood to highly benefit women, since women control the revenue from sale of milk), that are known to benefit women should be the focus. (3) Training-women-only-on-high-benefit-measures path: Providing training on the high budget measures to women only may be another way to ensure their involvement, empowerment, and benefit. Note: If these gender recommendations seem to radical and high-risk, consider piloting in select villages to test at first.

6

STABLE, TECHNICAL, CONNECTED NPD & PPDs: Set up a CO task force on or, at minimum, hold discussions with CO leadership on options to finally achieve what has been an ongoing CO aim to get IPs to appoint long-term technical persons as NPDs and PPDs, or, minimally, as Additional NPDs and PPDs. Appointment of long-term technical persons rather than civil service persons, who often change positions and agencies, will address the problem of high NPD and PPD turnover. It will also contribute to the success of the project, both through the technical inputs of the NPD and PPDs and through these peoples’ long-term understanding of and connections within their organization. As part of the discussions consider the following options and select/ implement those that make sense: (i) Specifying requirement that NPD and PPDs hold long-term technical position at IP in “Management Arrangements” of ProDoc and in detailed TOR for these roles in ProDoc annexes. (ii) Renegotiation of NIM agreements, if needed, to require technical persons in NPD and PPD roles, or, at minimum in Additional NPD and PPD roles. This may be taken up with Economic Affairs Division (EAD) of Ministry of Economic Affairs, if needed.

7

HIGH-LEVEL TRACKING OF WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING: Require projects to develop and fill in templates that allow QA personnel to check and conduct high level expenditure analysis: This will address the challenge that CDRs, AWPs, and even FACE forms do not make it easy to see “where the money is going.” These templates should provide one table per outcome to show how spending breaks down among major activity. Team salary expenditures should be shown separately rather than embedded opaquely across various activities. QA personnel can use triangulation, such as contracts, to spot check items in the filled in tables. Most importantly, they can use the tables to identify when spending does not fit with major project targets, such as when a large amount of funds is being spent on a less important item and almost no funds are spent on a critical target.

8

REFINING OF SLM CONCEPT: Clarify the definition and vision of SLM, in particular emphasizing the dual land improvement -poverty alleviation potential proven by income achievements of SLMP II: The dryland SLM concept should be sharpened to include the following four prongs: (a) a cross-sectoral, multi-initiative approach to improving land quality in and around villages in arid areas, with multiple initiatives of different types (e.g. water conserving irrigation, water table replenishment through rainwater ponds, and appropriate tree planting and grassland reseeding) taking place in each SLM village; (b) an emphasis on appropriate land uses and avoidance of ecologically inappropriate land conversion; (c) central focus on both conserving water and replenishing the water table; and (d) integration of all of the foregoing with substantially increasing rural incomes/ poverty alleviation.

9

A MAJOR, NATIONAL, SLM PROGRAM? Consider SLM’s potential to become a major national combined land improvement – poverty alleviation program and determine what is needed to get there: Given that 80% of Pakistan, by area, is arid and semi-arid regions, where both land degradation and poverty are serious issues, dryland SLM has critical importance for the nation. As a next step, stakeholders should both (a) consider how to improve the program technically (see Recommendations 10, 11, and 12) and enabling environment-wise (Recommendation 13) and (b) (this recommendation) determine what steps are needed to eventually launch SLM as a major national combined land improvement – poverty alleviation program.

10

: GETTING THE SLM TECHINCAL DETAILS RIGHT: Address technical issues identified in this report to improve SLM for maximum benefits and sustainability in the field: (i) Ensure multiple measures, across sectors, are implemented in each selected SLM village. (ii) Develop metrics to assess “surrounding land area improved” by each type of SLM measure and use this to ensure that enough measures with large land area benefits are being implemented. (iii) Ensure that not only water conservation, but also water table recharging, is taking place in areas that need it, such as project districts with deep and falling water tables in Balochistan. (iv) Ensure high water consuming trees and plants, such as eucalyptus, are not part of SLM program, but that indigenous species, such as lower water consuming trees that enable grass growth, are planted instead.  (v) Ensure that non-ecological land conversion (such as conversion of rangelands to trees without grass) is not allowed to happen. (vi) Ensure that all measures that need management plans are supplied with these (such as cutting schedules for woodlots and plans for repair of WCSs should they break). (vii) Develop marketing/ sales support for fruit and forest nurseries and for crops and orchard products when needed. (viii) Institute system whereby not only initial achievement is monitored, but follow up monitoring and technical support for sustainability is carried out. (ix) Give good attention to grassland reseeding and rangeland management interventions, which are highly needed and haven’t been carried out for years in some places. (x) If measures are already being carried out by 10 BTTP in the same area as intended for SLM, ensure that these measures are ecologically sound and integrate with SLM as the “tree portion,” so SLM funds can be spent on other areas, like irrigation and rainwater harvesting ponds. 

11

RECONSIDERING SITE SELECTION: Consider alternatives for site selection to ensure that the combination of land improvement results and income benefits to those who need it are rationally maximized: (i) Consider a cluster approach to SLM village selection, so that land improvements can be achieved and synergized across a large contiguous area instead of small dispersed areas. (ii) Consider and discuss whether efforts should focus on dryland areas formerly productive and now degraded or on areas that have been barren/ desert for over 100 years.

12

GETTING THE BENEFICIARIES RIGHT: Go beyond-interest-group-based CBOs and spread the benefits equitably out to those who need it: (i) Ensure that CBO membership has wide representation of a cross-section of the village. (ii) Ensure in beneficiary selection that targets are allocated among as many HHs as makes sense rather than having multiple measures concentrated in the hands of 1 or 2 HHs.

13

: REALIZATION OF THE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT STARTED BY SLMP II – POLICY, DESERTIFICATION CONTROL CELLS, AND LAND USE PLANS: Take the next steps necessary, including high-level actions, to realize policy adoption, DCC regularization, and implementation of quality LUPs: (i) During the remaining time of the provincial projects or when and if the DCCs are set up, leverage the PCUs or DCCs to revise the ISLMPPs and promote them to all relevant parties for adoption. This may involve the Secretary of MoCC writing letters to the Secretaries of the PP&DDs recommending they move forward with the policies and seeing if they need technical support. Or it may involve MoCC developing collaboration with the Planning Commission to do so. Consider also the development of provincial land use policies focused on rural arid and semi-arid areas. (ii) Promote regularization of the DCCs by carrying out next steps of the relevant province. Lobby for DCC regularization and for hiring of a senior level technical specialist, so that the DCC becomes an independent section of the PP&DD. Determine whether technical specialists from the provincial agriculture and forestry departments can sit on a multi-agency provincial SLM committee to discuss and determine technical SLM priorities for the province. MoCC Secretary may write the PP&DD Secretaries to encourage DCC regularization or may collaborate with the Planning Commission to do so. (iii) Prepare quality DLUPs and VLUPs and get the DLUPs officially incorporated into sector and other plans. As for the already-prepared DLUPs and VLUPs, the specificity of the recommendations in both needs to be improved, and there should be a budget included. Further, for the existing VLUPs, the background information should be more tailored to the specific situation of the village. The finalized DLUPs should be sent officially by the PP&DDs to the relevant line departments for incorporation into their plans, or, in the case of Punjab, first to those preparing Punjab’s special plans, for incorporation into those. It should be ensured when the VLUPs are finalized that all villages have a full copy of their VLUPs and understand them. Finally, efforts should be made to ensure the improved plans get connected with funding sources and are implemented. Additional, new DLUPs and VLUPs, as prepared, should meet the foregoing higher standards and be promoted as described. Efforts should only be continued if it can be confirmed that the LUPs are being used to prevent land conversion and achieve rational recommended implementation of SLM measures.

14

REPLICATION AND FINANCING: Stimulate replication such as by promotion and SLM financing mechanisms: SLM implementers should determine measures that will stimulate replication of government-financed SLM measures. This may involve determining how to develop financing mechanisms for those villagers interested in proactively implementing/ replicating SLM measures. Revolving loan funds or grant mechanisms whereby villagers can apply to carry out SLM measures should be considered and set up if viable. Further, promotion of case studies of implemented SLM measures showing income benefits and return on investment should be carried out in villages.

15

MONITORING SLM AND FUND USE: Carry out well-documented and scientific monitoring of SLM land area improved and maximize return on investment: (i) As in Recommendation 1 for UNDP, Government should develop a village-by-village bottom up approach to monitor SLM interventions so that random quality checking can be effective. Further, the methodology should allow for both “additional land area improved” and “replication directly attributable to SLM Program” to be included in the monitoring data. Monitoring should further include income benefits and number of HHs benefiting directly and indirectly. (ii) SLM implementation should maintain data on percentage of total funds going to SLM measures in the field and make efforts to maximize this percentage.

16

GETTING THE PERSONNEL RIGHT SO AS TO MAXIMIZE UNDP PROJECT RESULTS: Improve selection process for project staff and for NPDs/PPDs of UNDP projects: (i) Ensure the hiring process for project staff is highly transparent and focuses on hiring persons that have both the right expertise and a track record of working hard and delivering. Consider efforts of pre-bid outreach to qualified individuals to encourage them to apply to positions. Avoid rush recruitments that do not allow time to get the best candidates informed of the opportunity. Ensure TORs (perhaps even at project design stage) fully reflect the qualities sought both in terms of expertise and track record of working hard and delivering. Check references. (ii) For hiring provincial project staff, ensure that provincial IP plays a strong role in decision-making. This will ensure that the provincial IP is on board with the provincial staffing decisions and thus has a better probability of working well with those selected. (iii) For appointment of NPDs and PPDs consider prioritizing the appointment of technical personnel that are with the IP for the long-term instead of civil service officials who often change positions and agencies. These long-term technical persons will both ensure continuity with the often relatively long UNDP projects (e.g. 4 to 6 years) and provice the benefit of technical expertise and long-term knowledge of the IP organization. An alternate approach may be to appoint a civil service official as NPD/PPD, but a technical person

1. Recommendation:

BOTTOM-UP MONITORING AND RANDOM CHECKING: For projects that target large land area or other dispersed achievements, institute bottom-up reporting requirements that facilitate true quality assurance by random checking: (i) Require project designers to include explanation of “how the math works” so that targets can be met.  (ii) Require project team, at inception, to develop bottom-up template that allows reporting by dispersed unit, such as village-by-village, and that shows “the math” of how each unit contributes to overall target. Reporting should be done through this template and contact information of all units (e.g. villages) provided. (iii) UNDP in its QA role should check “the math” and make calls and site visits to randomly selected village or other units to ensure validity of what is being reported and quality of implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP fully accepts this recommendation and will sensitive the project designer/team in future to consider steps i & ii (recommended above) for harmonised monitoring of VF projects at inception phase

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.UNDP will sensitive the designers at inception phase of the upcoming GEF-7 projects to consider bottom-up approach for monitoring of disperse units contributing to the overall target.
[Added: 2021/04/11]
UNDP PO, PA 2021/11 Not Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

STAFFING APPROACH REVAMP: Urgently revamp project staffing strategies to ensure cost-effective staffing structure and proactive, qualified personnel: (i) For projects with mainly provincial targets, minimize or eliminate federal level staffing. (ii) Reduce share of staffing in total project costs or ensure that projects with high staffing budgets have project team carrying out activities that contractors would normally do. Ensure project management is not “layered” and technical personnel are doing the required technical work. (iii) Set up a CO task force on or, at minimum, hold discussions with CO leadership on options to ensure quality project staffing in a NIM environment. As part of the discussions consider the following options and select/ implement those that make sense: (iii-a) Improve recruitment by pre-bid outreach to qualified individuals to encourage them to apply for positions. Make calls to contacts to determine who in the market is qualified. This work may even be incorporated into PPG (design phase) and thus be able to use PPG funds. (iii-b) Specify the required aspects of a transparent project staff recruiting process in the “Management Arrangements” section of the ProDoc and ensure that these procedures, as agreed in advance with the IP, are adhered to. Further, qualifications for positions could also be more carefully described in the TORs included in the ProDoc, which could then be required to be used in actual recruiting. (iii-c) Ensure that UNDP has power needed to ensure quality in hiring decisions. If this is not possible in NIM projects, consider renegotiating NIM terms based on the interest of all in the success of projects. In its oversight role, UNDP should have say  to ensure that only technically qualified persons with a track record of delivery are hired. UNDP should also have the power to ensure that hiring process is highly transparent and that references are called. (iii-d) For provincial hires, ensure provincial IP is on board with decision.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP partially accepts this recommendation and will proactively pursue with IPs to keep minimum staff at federal level for future projects with mainly provincial targets thus minimizing ‘layering’ of project management. UNDP will also strive for and advise IPs to keep technical staff in provincial offices for smooth implementation of project activities. As regards staff recruitment, UNDP does not agree with this recommendation as per NIM guidance contract management of NIM project staff falls under the government’s umbrella, and UNDP cannot be involved in HR contract management until specifically requested by IP. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. In the upcoming projects’ PPG stage, UNDP will consider keeping minimum staff at PMU to reduce layering in the project management and that provincial offices are equipped with technical staff thus reducing the total staff costing in the project budget.
[Added: 2021/04/11]
DRR, ARR, PO, PA 2021/11 Not Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

ELIMINATE PASSIVITY WITH REGARD TO “DIFFICULT” TA TARGETS: Adopt new measures at the project design, inception, and implementation stages to maximize probability that “the really hard stuff” is achieved: (i) Require project designers to design activities not only for the “easy stuff” (e.g. draft policy, design institutional structure), but also for the “hard stuff” the project targets (e.g. promote policy adoption, prepare and deliver briefings on proposed institutional structure, bring together decision-makers to discuss, etc.). (ii) Brief the staff at inception that they should “begin with the end in mind” and not implement the project to check off a list of activities, but implement to achieve the strategic indicator targets. Ensure at inception these targets are clear and easily understandable to everyone and agreed by all to be a good reflection of what should be achieved in order to make an impact. Revise if necessary. Make sure the project team understands that, while targets and project outcomes are not fully under their control, they will be judged by how hard they work to maximize probability “the really hard stuff” is achieved. (iii) When project repeatedly fails to work towards one or more key project targets, require a detailed written explanation of why the team believes the target is not viable or not worthwhile and hold a meeting to discuss. Take issues to PSC as needed.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP partially accepts this recommendation, given the fact that the context and theme of projects vary, and that not all projects require alike (e.g. policy) measures, hence such conditions cannot be forced. The guidance, nevertheless, is noted. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. UNDP would actively pursue with IP and project designers in future to consider the mentioned recommended actions. UNDP will also sensitize designers at inception to craft the project’s logical framework carefully and realistically.
[Added: 2021/04/11]
UNDP: ARR, PO, PA 2021/11 Not Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

MORE SLM? Given that SLM is highly relevant to Pakistan and has potential to become a major national program, consider ways that UNDP can continue to support SLM enabling environment through its other work or future, direct support. Have internal meetings to discuss whether UNDP believes (vis-à-vis TE findings) the SLM concept merits such continued support and, if so, consider recommended actions: While SLMP II failed to deliver the enabling environment targeted, on-the-ground scale-up had positive successes in raising incomes and improving land quality. Given that 80% of Pakistan’s land area is arid or semi-arid and given the link between land degradation and poverty, SLM may have strong potential to become a national program if the concept can be correctly framed and the enabling environment established. (i) Relevant parties should have a meeting to discuss whether they believe (vis-à-vis TE findings) the SLM concept merits further support. (ii) If result of foregoing is affirmative, in the short-term, UNDP may consider ways to continue being engaged by linking some of the still-to-be-completed SLM enabling environment work to its upcoming portfolio, particularly the UNDP-GEF Food Security Project and the UNDP-GEF 10 BTTP Project. This might include further work on SLM policies and institutional structure, improving SLM on the ground initiatives, and developing mechanisms to stimulate replication per recommendations in Part 2 of this subsection. (iii) If UNDP (vis-à-vis i) determines SLM concept very high potential, UNDP may also engage by having its CO leadership engage with MoCC or the PP&DDs to adopt the policies, regularize the DCCs, continue SLM measures in the field, and generally promote the SLM concept. (iv) If and after the foregoing two sub-recommendations are done and only if the stage is set for highly likely success in facilitating the establishment of a major program or contributing highly to the improved quality of a major program already launched, UNDP may consider full engagement via SLMP III.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP partially accepts this recommendation only to the extent that it will follow up with IP to adopt policies, regularize Desertification Control Cells (DCCs) in provinces and continue SLM measures in the field that were initiated during the life of SLMP-II. However, it disagrees with part of the recommendation requiring UNDP to continue and engage with SLM work particularly the UNDP-GEF Food Security Project and the UNDP-GEF 10 BTTP Project—as these projects never existed nor are in the pipeline. UNDP also does not agree with notion of considering another phase, SLMP-III, as it has already supported two phases of the same project for 10 years, and by now the relevant government institutions must have sufficient capacity to initiate such work through its public sector developmental programme and annual development programme funds.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. UNDP will follow up with IP to adopt policies, regularize Desertification Control Cells (DCCs) in provinces and continue SLM measures in the field that were initiated during the life of SLMP-II
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/09/25]
UNDP: ARR, PO, PA, RTA 2021/10 Not Initiated History
5. Recommendation:

REVOLUTIONIZE GENDER APPROACH: Revisit approach to gender mainstreaming in projects with aim to ensure 50-50 benefits from projects for women; consider out-of-the box solutions as needed: Recognizing that women in SLMP II tended to lead only on the low budget, often non-SLM or peripheral-SLM items, work to develop out-of-the-box ideas to bring village women to a higher level of leadership and beneficiary roles in projects. There are two or three possible paths in projects like SLMP II: (1) Require-women-leaders path: Since involvement in projects like SLMP II is highly beneficial to villagers, UNDP may require in similar village-based initiatives that women are equal leaders on all of the higher-budget items – not at 1% to 3%, but 50%, or even 100% of the time. This may include the requirement that the “women leader” from the relevant HH participate in all meetings on the investments, liaising with and updating the IP on monitoring visits (IP should provide female monitoring officers as needed), etc. The requirements for true participation by women should ensure that they are not just project owners in name only, but actively participating. (2) Ensure-high-benefits-for-women-by-nature-of-measure path: In this approach, projects target activities that by nature benefit women, but ensure these are not the minor spend items of the project (as was the case in SLMP II), but the major ones. Thus, with SLMP II as an example, instead of low-cost kitchen gardens and poultry distribution, higher cost SLM measures, such as kana planation and processing (shown to have high level of participation of women in KP) and grassland reseeding (understood to highly benefit women, since women control the revenue from sale of milk), that are known to benefit women should be the focus. (3) Training-women-only-on-high-benefit-measures path: Providing training on the high budget measures to women only may be another way to ensure their involvement, empowerment, and benefit. Note: If these gender recommendations seem to radical and high-risk, consider piloting in select villages to test at first.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP is already very much inclined towards gender equality and has substantial arrangements in place— and has achieved the Gender Seal Bronze certification for last year. UNDP fully accepts the recommendation. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Keeping in view the importance of ‘gender’ in UNDP’s context, it agrees consider the proposed measures in SLM related or similar projects in future.
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/09/25]
PO, Gender Focal Point in CO 2021/09 Completed UNDP is very seriously considering the 'gender' perspective in all its development projects. UNDP has hired specific gender specialists to focus on the gender dimension of its upcoming GEF-7 projects which are being desgined and are at PPG stage. History
6. Recommendation:

STABLE, TECHNICAL, CONNECTED NPD & PPDs: Set up a CO task force on or, at minimum, hold discussions with CO leadership on options to finally achieve what has been an ongoing CO aim to get IPs to appoint long-term technical persons as NPDs and PPDs, or, minimally, as Additional NPDs and PPDs. Appointment of long-term technical persons rather than civil service persons, who often change positions and agencies, will address the problem of high NPD and PPD turnover. It will also contribute to the success of the project, both through the technical inputs of the NPD and PPDs and through these peoples’ long-term understanding of and connections within their organization. As part of the discussions consider the following options and select/ implement those that make sense: (i) Specifying requirement that NPD and PPDs hold long-term technical position at IP in “Management Arrangements” of ProDoc and in detailed TOR for these roles in ProDoc annexes. (ii) Renegotiation of NIM agreements, if needed, to require technical persons in NPD and PPD roles, or, at minimum in Additional NPD and PPD roles. This may be taken up with Economic Affairs Division (EAD) of Ministry of Economic Affairs, if needed.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will discuss this with IPs/ EAD as and when new projects are developed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. UNDP will discuss this with IPs/ EAD as and when new projects are developed
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/09/25]
RR, DRR, ARR, PO 2021/09 Completed This was already discussed with EAD in the development of the new project , So its well taken care of History
7. Recommendation:

HIGH-LEVEL TRACKING OF WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING: Require projects to develop and fill in templates that allow QA personnel to check and conduct high level expenditure analysis: This will address the challenge that CDRs, AWPs, and even FACE forms do not make it easy to see “where the money is going.” These templates should provide one table per outcome to show how spending breaks down among major activity. Team salary expenditures should be shown separately rather than embedded opaquely across various activities. QA personnel can use triangulation, such as contracts, to spot check items in the filled in tables. Most importantly, they can use the tables to identify when spending does not fit with major project targets, such as when a large amount of funds is being spent on a less important item and almost no funds are spent on a critical target.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

Management response: UNDP rejects this recommendation as it already has very strict and transparent measures in place whereas adding further layers will only imply delaying project implementation hence the pace of achieving targets/milestones. The CO thoroughly scrutinizes all payments (e.g. FACE forms/ advances) at various levels to ensure funds are allocated for activities outlined in approved annual work plans. Furthermore, the CO regularly deputes spot checks and audits for all NIM projects in addition to field monitoring visits.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

REFINING OF SLM CONCEPT: Clarify the definition and vision of SLM, in particular emphasizing the dual land improvement -poverty alleviation potential proven by income achievements of SLMP II: The dryland SLM concept should be sharpened to include the following four prongs: (a) a cross-sectoral, multi-initiative approach to improving land quality in and around villages in arid areas, with multiple initiatives of different types (e.g. water conserving irrigation, water table replenishment through rainwater ponds, and appropriate tree planting and grassland reseeding) taking place in each SLM village; (b) an emphasis on appropriate land uses and avoidance of ecologically inappropriate land conversion; (c) central focus on both conserving water and replenishing the water table; and (d) integration of all of the foregoing with substantially increasing rural incomes/ poverty alleviation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
MoCC, PP&DDs, NCU, PCUs, DCCs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
9. Recommendation:

A MAJOR, NATIONAL, SLM PROGRAM? Consider SLM’s potential to become a major national combined land improvement – poverty alleviation program and determine what is needed to get there: Given that 80% of Pakistan, by area, is arid and semi-arid regions, where both land degradation and poverty are serious issues, dryland SLM has critical importance for the nation. As a next step, stakeholders should both (a) consider how to improve the program technically (see Recommendations 10, 11, and 12) and enabling environment-wise (Recommendation 13) and (b) (this recommendation) determine what steps are needed to eventually launch SLM as a major national combined land improvement – poverty alleviation program.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
MoCC, PP&DDs, NCU, PCUs, DCCs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
10. Recommendation:

: GETTING THE SLM TECHINCAL DETAILS RIGHT: Address technical issues identified in this report to improve SLM for maximum benefits and sustainability in the field: (i) Ensure multiple measures, across sectors, are implemented in each selected SLM village. (ii) Develop metrics to assess “surrounding land area improved” by each type of SLM measure and use this to ensure that enough measures with large land area benefits are being implemented. (iii) Ensure that not only water conservation, but also water table recharging, is taking place in areas that need it, such as project districts with deep and falling water tables in Balochistan. (iv) Ensure high water consuming trees and plants, such as eucalyptus, are not part of SLM program, but that indigenous species, such as lower water consuming trees that enable grass growth, are planted instead.  (v) Ensure that non-ecological land conversion (such as conversion of rangelands to trees without grass) is not allowed to happen. (vi) Ensure that all measures that need management plans are supplied with these (such as cutting schedules for woodlots and plans for repair of WCSs should they break). (vii) Develop marketing/ sales support for fruit and forest nurseries and for crops and orchard products when needed. (viii) Institute system whereby not only initial achievement is monitored, but follow up monitoring and technical support for sustainability is carried out. (ix) Give good attention to grassland reseeding and rangeland management interventions, which are highly needed and haven’t been carried out for years in some places. (x) If measures are already being carried out by 10 BTTP in the same area as intended for SLM, ensure that these measures are ecologically sound and integrate with SLM as the “tree portion,” so SLM funds can be spent on other areas, like irrigation and rainwater harvesting ponds. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
PP&DDs, PCUs, DCCs, SLM IPs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
11. Recommendation:

RECONSIDERING SITE SELECTION: Consider alternatives for site selection to ensure that the combination of land improvement results and income benefits to those who need it are rationally maximized: (i) Consider a cluster approach to SLM village selection, so that land improvements can be achieved and synergized across a large contiguous area instead of small dispersed areas. (ii) Consider and discuss whether efforts should focus on dryland areas formerly productive and now degraded or on areas that have been barren/ desert for over 100 years.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1.UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
MoCC, PP&DDs, PCUs, DCCs, SLM IPs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
12. Recommendation:

GETTING THE BENEFICIARIES RIGHT: Go beyond-interest-group-based CBOs and spread the benefits equitably out to those who need it: (i) Ensure that CBO membership has wide representation of a cross-section of the village. (ii) Ensure in beneficiary selection that targets are allocated among as many HHs as makes sense rather than having multiple measures concentrated in the hands of 1 or 2 HHs.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Accepted.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
PP&DDs, PCUs, DCCs, SLM IPs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
13. Recommendation:

: REALIZATION OF THE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT STARTED BY SLMP II – POLICY, DESERTIFICATION CONTROL CELLS, AND LAND USE PLANS: Take the next steps necessary, including high-level actions, to realize policy adoption, DCC regularization, and implementation of quality LUPs: (i) During the remaining time of the provincial projects or when and if the DCCs are set up, leverage the PCUs or DCCs to revise the ISLMPPs and promote them to all relevant parties for adoption. This may involve the Secretary of MoCC writing letters to the Secretaries of the PP&DDs recommending they move forward with the policies and seeing if they need technical support. Or it may involve MoCC developing collaboration with the Planning Commission to do so. Consider also the development of provincial land use policies focused on rural arid and semi-arid areas. (ii) Promote regularization of the DCCs by carrying out next steps of the relevant province. Lobby for DCC regularization and for hiring of a senior level technical specialist, so that the DCC becomes an independent section of the PP&DD. Determine whether technical specialists from the provincial agriculture and forestry departments can sit on a multi-agency provincial SLM committee to discuss and determine technical SLM priorities for the province. MoCC Secretary may write the PP&DD Secretaries to encourage DCC regularization or may collaborate with the Planning Commission to do so. (iii) Prepare quality DLUPs and VLUPs and get the DLUPs officially incorporated into sector and other plans. As for the already-prepared DLUPs and VLUPs, the specificity of the recommendations in both needs to be improved, and there should be a budget included. Further, for the existing VLUPs, the background information should be more tailored to the specific situation of the village. The finalized DLUPs should be sent officially by the PP&DDs to the relevant line departments for incorporation into their plans, or, in the case of Punjab, first to those preparing Punjab’s special plans, for incorporation into those. It should be ensured when the VLUPs are finalized that all villages have a full copy of their VLUPs and understand them. Finally, efforts should be made to ensure the improved plans get connected with funding sources and are implemented. Additional, new DLUPs and VLUPs, as prepared, should meet the foregoing higher standards and be promoted as described. Efforts should only be continued if it can be confirmed that the LUPs are being used to prevent land conversion and achieve rational recommended implementation of SLM measures.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

: UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
MoCC, PP&DDs, PCUs, DCCs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
14. Recommendation:

REPLICATION AND FINANCING: Stimulate replication such as by promotion and SLM financing mechanisms: SLM implementers should determine measures that will stimulate replication of government-financed SLM measures. This may involve determining how to develop financing mechanisms for those villagers interested in proactively implementing/ replicating SLM measures. Revolving loan funds or grant mechanisms whereby villagers can apply to carry out SLM measures should be considered and set up if viable. Further, promotion of case studies of implemented SLM measures showing income benefits and return on investment should be carried out in villages.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
14.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
MoCC, PP&DDs, PCUs, DCCs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
15. Recommendation:

MONITORING SLM AND FUND USE: Carry out well-documented and scientific monitoring of SLM land area improved and maximize return on investment: (i) As in Recommendation 1 for UNDP, Government should develop a village-by-village bottom up approach to monitor SLM interventions so that random quality checking can be effective. Further, the methodology should allow for both “additional land area improved” and “replication directly attributable to SLM Program” to be included in the monitoring data. Monitoring should further include income benefits and number of HHs benefiting directly and indirectly. (ii) SLM implementation should maintain data on percentage of total funds going to SLM measures in the field and make efforts to maximize this percentage.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments. Fully Accepts the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
15.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
PCUs, DCCs 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History
16. Recommendation:

GETTING THE PERSONNEL RIGHT SO AS TO MAXIMIZE UNDP PROJECT RESULTS: Improve selection process for project staff and for NPDs/PPDs of UNDP projects: (i) Ensure the hiring process for project staff is highly transparent and focuses on hiring persons that have both the right expertise and a track record of working hard and delivering. Consider efforts of pre-bid outreach to qualified individuals to encourage them to apply to positions. Avoid rush recruitments that do not allow time to get the best candidates informed of the opportunity. Ensure TORs (perhaps even at project design stage) fully reflect the qualities sought both in terms of expertise and track record of working hard and delivering. Check references. (ii) For hiring provincial project staff, ensure that provincial IP plays a strong role in decision-making. This will ensure that the provincial IP is on board with the provincial staffing decisions and thus has a better probability of working well with those selected. (iii) For appointment of NPDs and PPDs consider prioritizing the appointment of technical personnel that are with the IP for the long-term instead of civil service officials who often change positions and agencies. These long-term technical persons will both ensure continuity with the often relatively long UNDP projects (e.g. 4 to 6 years) and provice the benefit of technical expertise and long-term knowledge of the IP organization. An alternate approach may be to appoint a civil service official as NPD/PPD, but a technical person

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/11]

UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
16.1. UNDP will convey the Terminal Evaluation (TE) report along with recommendations and management response to IP/MOCC for consideration and onward sharing with relevant provincial departments
[Added: 2021/04/11] [Last Updated: 2021/05/31]
MoCC and other national level IPs of UNDP projects. PP&DDs and other provincial level IPs of UNDP Projects. 2021/07 Completed SLMPII TE Report/Management responses with cover letter signed by RR dispatched on 17 May 20201 and same was also shared via email. History

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org