Midterm Evaluation of Integrated Territorial Development 2 Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Download document 2018-IC-049 Mid-Term Evaluation International Specialist TOR.PDF tor English 500.96 KB Posted 54
Download document 2018-IC-050 Mid-Term Eval Local Specialist TOR.PDF tor English 640.31 KB Posted 48
Download document INTERDEV2 Mid Term Evaluation Report.pdf report English 1986.44 KB Posted 91
Title Midterm Evaluation of Integrated Territorial Development 2 Project
Atlas Project Number: 104334,104340
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Kosovo
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: 11266 - ADA
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 15,555
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Thomas Vasseur International Evaluation Specialist thomas.vasseur@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Municipalities of Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce, Viti/Vitina, Local Development Fund from Suharekë/Suva Reka and project beneficiaries
Countries: KOSOVO
Lessons
1.

Small businesses are more vulnerable when isolated and when not transforming their production:


2.

The right actors at the right place at the right time:


3.

INTERDEV is delivering on results and produces an impact since INTERDEV 1.


4.

Agriculture and food production oriented toward rural tourism


Findings
1.

This is the case of raspberry producers who, when operating in isolation, are rarely able to afford their own storage capacity, have little control over their selling prices and have limited capacity to investing into their production tool so they can experience economic growth.


2.

Mountainous municipalities belong to the South and East region of Kosovo have a rare but highly relevant opportunity not to be missed: the region is the focus of at least five international actor that share the following features, matching closely the region’s needs:

  • A commitment over the long-term:
  • A vision (of sustainable rural development) for geographic areas with a rich natural resources potential
  • Field presence and trustful partnership with local governments
  • Technical expertise, capacity and experience (organic production development, value chain …)
  • Values (social inclusion, gender equality, protection of environment)
  • Interest and capacity of mobilizing resources
  • Interest and capacity to leverage more adequate commitment from Kosovo central government

After meeting with those stakeholders (ADA, Swiss Cooperation, UNDP, Caritas Switzerland, Swiss Helvetas, Swiss Contact), the evaluation believes that altogether combined, the above-listed characteristics represent great assets that can significantly increase the impact of future interventions.


3.

While the project is producing key figures about its achievements, it could promote its impact by developing indicators on its qualitative achievements. (number of rural business that are still existing, number of business that have expanded and created jobs, number of business that have taken concrete measures to reduce impact on environment)


4.

Agritourism emerges as a relevant model for sustainable and inclusive development for the municipalities offering strong natural resources and landscapes characteristics, such as Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce and Viti/Vitina.

 

A development model integrating agritourism as a pillar of its local economy is offering a wider perspective on the natural resources: More than just focusing on the transformation of natural resources into products bound to leave the territory, it aims at attracting visitors to enjoy locally more than just food products, but its natural environment. If properly organised (rural cooperatives, social enterprises) and managed (Local Action Group, other local actors), such a model can bring a number of benefits:

 

  • It contributes to the protection of the environment while preserving the natural resources used to create wealth locally. Agritourism creates a strong incentive to environmental protection by establishing a direct link between natural resources management and wealth creation.

 

  • It offers a much more opportunities than merely production through a diverse and almost unlimited number of services (tourism, sports, culture, craft….) and a strong potential for job creation and decent work conditions, provided the rural cooperative and social enterprises are implementing minimum decent work standards (subsistence export-oriented farming versus services and valuation of resources)

 

  • It helps revive traditional, endangered agricultural production, know-how and cultural tradition through income-generating activities.

 

  • It offers strong economic potential by favouring locally created value versus value created outside the territory.

 

  • It favours inclusive economic growth where value created locally also enable jobs to be created locally and accessible to resident vulnerable communities, provided those are supported with skill development.

 

  • It provides a well-adapted environment to rural cooperative models as the mutualisation of equipment and resources provides an answer to the vulnerability of small farmers who are exposed to larger market fluctuation.

 

  • It also provides a favourable context to the creation of social enterprises as, quite similarly to cooperatives, agritourism offers a wide range of activities that are fit to this form of entrepreneurship.

Recommendations
1

1. Enrich Monitoring and data collection with additional indicators

2

2. Formulate INTERDEV 2 capacity benchmarks and objectives for local institutions

3

3. Prepare the development of the next phase for INTERDEV during the remaining half of INTERDEV 2

4

Consult international actors engaged in supporting the inclusive, sustainable, ecological, rural development of the Municipalities from the Sharr/Šar region (or the South East region of Kosovo)

5

Strengthen the organisation of small rural economic actors through the promotion of a rural cooperative model and continue supporting the social enterprise model

6

Develop/update rural economic development action plan that integrates and promotes economic activities related to rural tourism

7

Review the possibility to empower LAG (or any other relevant local stakeholder) as a central stakeholder to inclusive rural (agritourism) economic development

8

 Continue to support inter-municipal cooperation based on the coherence of territorial identity (municipal territories sharing similar characteristics)

1. Recommendation:

1. Enrich Monitoring and data collection with additional indicators

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/17] [Last Updated: 2018/12/21]

UNDP considers that there is always scope to improve the data collection for this project, hence takes the recommendation of the evaluation very seriously. Data availability in Kosovo is still rather limited, especially disaggregated on the municipal level. The INTERDEV 2 has relied on a number of qualitative indicators and further efforts to capture the change at community level will continue to take place. Expanded wide-spread monitoring, in particular on outcome and impact-level changes, require tools and expertise (such as surveys, data analysis, software, etc.) that may require additional financial resources. The project in collaboration with the Programme team will work to find options to enrich monitoring and data collection with additional indicators for more accurate reporting on achievements. The team will define types of indicators/data to be collected with all elements captured (gender, environmental elements, etc.). A research, expertise and observations from the field with involvement of the municipal departments with their expertise, will be taking place, to define what is realistic and valid for the context. This will lead to development of a data collection tools, for internal (Department for Agricultural and Rural Development Services, Municipal Gender Officer to demonstrate progress on delivery of services, good environmental practices, progress on the gender equality dimension) and external purposes (for INTERDEV 2 to report more accurately on achievements).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop an enriched monitoring framework and data collection system with additional indicators.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/12/21]
Project Team 2019/09 Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

2. Formulate INTERDEV 2 capacity benchmarks and objectives for local institutions

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/17] [Last Updated: 2018/12/21]

As evidenced by the evaluation “The Expected Result 1, relating to enhanced municipal capacity in the provision of services in rural development is, by nature, challenging to measure as it recovers a complex reality, composed of tangible and less tangible results. While the evaluation finds the two results indicators from the project’s logical framework to be relevant (ER 1.1. and ER 1.2), it appears somehow limited to gauge progress on the capacity of an institution.” Linked to the recommendation 1, the project will work to develop additional indicators to reflect on the improved competence of the supported municipal agriculture and rural development departments with the view of facilitating inclusive local economic and rural development. The mentoring and coaching activities which started being implemented have shown some progress with relevant municipal officials, but it is obvious further support is required to improve the quality and establish a useful database with hands-on tools for the municipal officials, as well as for the project to measure its transformative impact. Similarly, as above, however, monitoring in particular on outcome and impact-level changes require tools and expertise (such as surveys, data analysis, etc.) that may require additional financial resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will work with municipal departments for Agricultural and Rural Development Services to establish and maintain a database for improving monitoring capacities provided by those units. Mentoring and coaching activities will be an approach to ensure the progress is made and database is being used from Municipalities. It must be noted that extensive monitoring systems require additional resources in expertise, data collection methods, as well as tools for analysis.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/12/21]
INTERDEV2 Project Team and Municipal Directorates of Agriculture 2020/03 Initiated History
3. Recommendation:

3. Prepare the development of the next phase for INTERDEV during the remaining half of INTERDEV 2

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/17] [Last Updated: 2018/12/21]

This is a very relevant and important point. The programme and project team will start developing the main objectives and activities in the third year of current project activities (2019), and will also consult with other international actors likely to continue their interventions in similar sectors and geographic areas, to ensure inter-project coherence and synergy for a stronger inclusive economic growth potential and maximizing a value-chain based agritourism model.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Programme and Project team will coordinate closely with relevant actors/other donor-funded projects in South of Kosovo, with purpose to define the key activities in support to sustainable rural and economic development.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2019/04/08]
Programme Team 2019/03 Completed The UNDP Programme Team is in process of collaborative discussions with relevant donors and implementers in the realm of rural development, with the aim of developing a follow up phase of INTERDEV, responding to upcoming potential funding windows. History
The Programme and Project team will consolidate lessons learned from INTERDEV 2 to design the new project activities for the next phase with incorporated feedback from relevant actors and from the project team.
[Added: 2018/12/19] [Last Updated: 2018/12/21]
Programme Team 2019/09 Initiated History
4. Recommendation:

Consult international actors engaged in supporting the inclusive, sustainable, ecological, rural development of the Municipalities from the Sharr/Šar region (or the South East region of Kosovo)

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21]

Switzerland and Helvetas Swiss are currently planning future interventions closely connected to INTERDEV’s sector of intervention; Swiss Contact is also engaged into organic food production. As explored in the evaluation, this presence of several actors does represent a great opportunity to review how potential future interventions can utilise all the expertise available, lessons learned from the various interventions, and take this into consideration when developing a potential further intervention not only by UNDP but other actors as applicable

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will take a lead and will continue to organize regular coordination meetings and strengthen further the cooperation with relevant actors active in organic food production, value chains development support, funding of fairs, coordination mechanisms.
[Added: 2018/12/21]
Programme 2019/09 Not Initiated
5. Recommendation:

Strengthen the organisation of small rural economic actors through the promotion of a rural cooperative model and continue supporting the social enterprise model

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21]

A solid recommendation, also linking to findings from a study trip conducted to Austria under INTERDEV 1 where this model is successful. It is evident that further organization of farmers is necessary in order to strengthen the local value chains, as well as market security. Together with external expertise where possible and applicable, the project team will explore a rural cooperative model, an embedded model to drive sustainable inclusive growth by combining the social enterprise approach and the rural cooperative model, where feasible.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Together with external expertise where applicable, the project will explore the Rural Cooperative model pre-conditioned with appropriate plan related to awareness raising of benefits, responsibilities and obligations, detailed business plan, functioning and defined managing/mentorship during the initial period until it is effectively functioning. In line with this, the project team will keep promoting the Social entrepreneurship approach by representing a model answering the challenges of socially excluded groups-highly vulnerable.
[Added: 2018/12/21]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Initiated History
Consequently, the project team will incorporate the grant scheme tailored to such enterprises and cooperatives, using criteria and conditions related to the functioning principles of these two economic models.
[Added: 2018/12/21]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Initiated History
6. Recommendation:

Develop/update rural economic development action plan that integrates and promotes economic activities related to rural tourism

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21]

This is important point, however, beyond the scope of activities planned under INTERDEV 2. Local economic development planning is a municipality-driven process. UNDP is ready to support the municipal structures in this process to the extent possible, potentially in a follow-up phase if applicable. Naturally, recommendations and lessons learned, along with knowledge products (value chains analyses) and the approach of TEPs will feed into the development of such plans. In year 3, the project envisages the development of an exit strategy, where these recommendations and considerations will be included.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme will start exploring in that direction, and design the proposal for a future intervention, in consultation with international actors who are committed to sustainable rural development. The value chain recommendations and the potential to create higher value locally will be considered as a strategic direction for a possible future phase of INTERDEV, which can also collaborate and/or feed into such action plan.
[Added: 2018/12/21]
Programme 2020/09 Initiated
7. Recommendation:

Review the possibility to empower LAG (or any other relevant local stakeholder) as a central stakeholder to inclusive rural (agritourism) economic development

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21]

The project will continue to empower LAG (Local Action Groups) to take a central role in the implementation of various INTERDEV actions. Since future economic development will need to have a local-level stakeholder – such as the LAG is, this structure needs to further be strengthened. As such, the project will work and coordinate closely with LAG to include a strong representation of key rural development economic actors (LDF grantees, cooperatives…)     for carrying the agritourism development to the more developed level as a long-term driver for this development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will continue to empower LAG (Local Action Groups) to take a central role in the implementation of various INTERDEV actions. Since future economic development will need to have a local-level stakeholder – such as the LAG is, this structure needs to further be strengthened. As such, the project will work and coordinate closely with LAG to include a strong representation of key rural development economic actors (LDF grantees, cooperatives…) for carrying the agritourism development to the more developed level as a long-term driver for this development.
[Added: 2018/12/21]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

 Continue to support inter-municipal cooperation based on the coherence of territorial identity (municipal territories sharing similar characteristics)

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/21]

Building on the implemented inter-municipal cooperation activities since 2014, the project will continue to work with all three municipalities to create a common synergy for the long-term economic development through inter-municipal initiatives. This can be further elaborated in the exit strategy in year 3 of INTERDEV 2, and in the development of the follow-up stage of INTERDEV if applicable.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will work to define the common synergy for the three municipalities, and since the municipalities share in common a strong, natural and legitimate branding such as the Sharr/Šar region is, the three municipalities will organise joint events such as a Sharr/Šar regional (e.g. Regional Gastronomic Fairs, Cultural events, DokuFest, NgomFest in Prizren and similar), or creation of digital tools such as websites or social media.
[Added: 2018/12/21]
Project and Programme 2020/09 Initiated

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