Mainstreaming Rio Convention Provisions into National Sectoral Policies

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
04/2019
Completion Date:
05/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
10,000

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Title Mainstreaming Rio Convention Provisions into National Sectoral Policies
Atlas Project Number: 00085728
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2019
Planned End Date: 04/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Output 2.5.1 Solutions developed, financed and applied at scale for energy efficiency and transformation to clean energy and zero-carbon development, for poverty eradication and structural transformation
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
SDG Target
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
Evaluation Budget(US $): 10,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 13,880
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Francis Hurst
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Mainstreaming Rio Convention Provisions into National Sectoral Policies
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5570
PIMS Number: 5275
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: JORDAN
Comments:

The uploaded  evaluation plan differs slightly in terms of titles but still targets the same areas mentioned in the CPD evaluation plan.

Changes to the evaluation plan has been discussed and approved by the regional bureau.

In addition to that kindly note that the evaluation has comments in red; these comments are a reflection of some modifications on the log frame of the project. These modifications are based on the consultations with the key stakeholders which  was approved by our IP and RTA back then.

Lessons
Findings
1.

There were a number of weaknesses in the Project Document which can be characterised as being too technocratic in its approach. However, this has to be seen against the GEF-5 Focal Area Strategies advice on CCCD which, arguably, is itself focused on the policy and technocratic development. Under the circumstances in Jordan around the start-up of this project such an approach would have gained little traction with decision-makers who reasonably saw it as meeting international obligations rather than addressing urgent national issues; even though those obligations were essentially about addressing many of the root causes of the national challenges. It just didn’t seem that way from the Project Document.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Challenges Relevance Global Environment Facility fund Country Government Capacity Building

2.

The decision to not purse the National Energy Efficiency Plan was, in the eyes of the TE, a wise one, not least because it allowed the project to focus on the remaining two vehicles, agriculture / rangelands and water / drought in order to produce strong and sustainable outcomes but also because the energy efficiency plan itself had too narrow a focus and was anyway due for revision shortly after the project had started.


Tag: Agriculture Agriculture water resources Energy Relevance Programme/Project Design

3.

The project has carried out extensive training and facilitated the partner organisations capacity building by provided a safe space for the experts and non-experts to think about the problems they face and develop solutions broadly framed within the Rio Conventions. In particular, it has changed the way that the Rio Conventions are perceived from being international obligations to be met; to a set of guiding principles and mutual outcomes that need to be achieved to underpin sustainable social and economic development.

 


Tag: Climate change governance Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Country Government Capacity Building

4.

It has developed a national policy on drought management (unforeseen in the Project Document) and a tool with which to implement it (the DEWS). Within the MA it has enabled the implementation of the rangeland policy by partnering with other capable organisations such as the RBG and CBOs in successfully mainstreaming community-based approaches to resource management. In both instances (water and agriculture) this has involved a mix of highly technical interventions and adaptive interventions.


Tag: Agriculture water resources Ecosystem based adaption Natural Resouce management Civic Engagement Civil Societies and NGOs Policy Advisory Technical Support

5.

The institutional governance has been streamlined to better fit the workings of government and Parliament empowering the three National Rio Committees by placing them under the Higher Committee chaired by the Minister of Planning and co-chaired by the Minister for Environment. This is supported by two national By-laws on biodiversity and climate.


Tag: Climate change governance Biodiversity Effectiveness Parliament Public administration reform Country Government

6.

The project and its partners (state and none-state) have successfully taken the policy and regulatory environment down to the level of the resource users themselves by implementing a number of very good pilot projects, all framed within the Rio Conventions. Within this mix of pilot interventions, the project has introduced progressive approaches to resource management which are broadly in line with all three Rio Conventions, the most interesting of these being the introduction of community-based rangeland management which has implications for rangelands throughout the Kingdom.


Tag: Climate change governance Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Civic Engagement Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

7.

The PCU has been highly adaptive and ably supported by its partners and the UNDP CO. This is demonstrated in the way that it has adapted the Project Document during the inception phase and made the appropriate changes to strengthen the project’s strategy and its way of doing business. The UNDP CO has encouraged the national ownership of the project and its outcomes and this has been reciprocated by the project partners and the MoEnv which was the lead agency and within which the PCU was embedded.


Tag: Ownership Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

8.

The PCU has shown excellent communication skills, in particular by aligning the project outcomes with those of government, and an ability to work well with other organisations including other donor-funded projects working in similar areas, and, by paying close attention to gender mainstreaming in all aspects of its work. Work planning and implementation have been carried out intelligently and in a timely fashion and there has been good financial controls on the project. Reporting, monitoring and evaluation has been carried out however, the PCU has struggled with the SRF due to the poor nature of the indicators. The project requested and was granted a one-year no-cost extension in 2018.


Tag: Efficiency Communication Harmonization Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Partnership Project and Programme management

Recommendations
1

Greater attention should be paid to the strategic results framework during project design:

It is hard to understand how the project’s SRF was approved. Log frames or SRFs are many and varied and invariably there are different opinions and often heated discussion on what constitutes an outcome, an objective, an indicator and a target. However, in this instance the SRF had structural weaknesses (e.g. output indicators) as well as the inappropriate choice and / or phrasing and the number of indicators, baselines and targets. This raises important questions about who in the process of project cycle management has control over the SRF. As the principle monitoring and evaluation tool for a GEF project it is surprising how little attention is paid to the SRF during the design. In the event, the decision by the project to continue with the SRF was a correct one, in the opinion of the TE. To have tried to revise the SRF into anything more useful would have required significant changes to it and caused long delays. Therefore, all parties were correct to keep working with the SRF despite its shortcomings, but this was not without risk had something gone wrong.

2

Attention should be paid to assessing risks in the project design:

There were a number of un-assessed risks not mentioned in the Project Document risk assessment. The most important were related to the NEEAP and the National Drought Action Plan. It was already clear at the time of design that the NEEAP would expire and the NDAP was expected to be produced in time for the project’s start up. This is not to say that the project did not respond correctly when these risks materialised. In fact, the project responded very thoughtfully and effectively making hard decisions and taking effective and adaptive action to address them.

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

Greater attention should be paid to the strategic results framework during project design:

It is hard to understand how the project’s SRF was approved. Log frames or SRFs are many and varied and invariably there are different opinions and often heated discussion on what constitutes an outcome, an objective, an indicator and a target. However, in this instance the SRF had structural weaknesses (e.g. output indicators) as well as the inappropriate choice and / or phrasing and the number of indicators, baselines and targets. This raises important questions about who in the process of project cycle management has control over the SRF. As the principle monitoring and evaluation tool for a GEF project it is surprising how little attention is paid to the SRF during the design. In the event, the decision by the project to continue with the SRF was a correct one, in the opinion of the TE. To have tried to revise the SRF into anything more useful would have required significant changes to it and caused long delays. Therefore, all parties were correct to keep working with the SRF despite its shortcomings, but this was not without risk had something gone wrong.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/10] [Last Updated: 2020/11/26]

Environment, Climate Change and DRR Portfolio at UNDP Jordan Office to ensure that all project’s partners recognize the dynamics drive the project’s design, accordingly, the project document preparation (expert) /team to apply SMART indicators. The Environment, Climate Change & DRR team leader to ensure that expert group representing all related project partners are fully involved in the preparation of the coming SRF designs. Furthermore, the Environment, Climate Change and DRR team leader to ensure that the SRF is fully addresses and revised during the inception phase

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Future project designs should be subject to a stricter and more systematic approach to developing the SRF. Whether this is through an expert panel or similar mechanism but the main point being that the SRF is developed during the design phase. Large stakeholder workshops are probably not the forum to do this because they are large, unwieldy and include too many participants with little interest in the monitoring and evaluation process. Neither is a narrow focus of the consultant tasked with developing the Project Document. An expert consultation process followed by a facilitated expert workshop would be expensive but unless there is greater investment in developing the SRF they will continue to be of poor quality.
[Added: 2019/09/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/06]
Environment, Climate Change & DRR Portfolio 2020/12 Completed .more systematic stricter and approaches for SRF have been implemented during project designs; History
2. Recommendation:

Attention should be paid to assessing risks in the project design:

There were a number of un-assessed risks not mentioned in the Project Document risk assessment. The most important were related to the NEEAP and the National Drought Action Plan. It was already clear at the time of design that the NEEAP would expire and the NDAP was expected to be produced in time for the project’s start up. This is not to say that the project did not respond correctly when these risks materialised. In fact, the project responded very thoughtfully and effectively making hard decisions and taking effective and adaptive action to address them.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/09/10] [Last Updated: 2020/11/26]

The project preparation team at the Environment, Climate Change & DRR Portfolio to ensure that the risks’ narrative section of the project document is summarized in a clear matrix, where risks are in-depth discussed with project’s related partners and weighted collectively based on agreed criteria. Further, the Portfolio will ensure that the project implementation team consulted the risks part of APR & PIR reports with concerned project partners.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
RTAs appear to have different formats for many of the tools especially the risk log and the SRF. This needs to be standardized, removed from the narrative part of the document and included as annexes and a checklist. Risk logs should be color-coded with a “traffic lights” system (High – red, Medium – orange, Low – green). Overall, Project Documents need to be more accessible and “user-friendly” in the future.
[Added: 2019/09/10] [Last Updated: 2021/04/06]
Environment, Climate Change & DRR Portfolio in close coordination with RTAs 2020/12 Completed this has been taken in to consideration while developing risk logs History

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