Strengthening of institutional and legal capacities to enable improvement of the national monitoring system and management of environment information

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Kyrgyzstan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2018
Completion Date:
01/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Strengthening of institutional and legal capacities to enable improvement of the national monitoring system and management of environment information
Atlas Project Number: 00095830
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Kyrgyzstan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2019
Planned End Date: 12/2018
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 18,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Lamia Mansour International Consultant
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Strengthening of institutional and legal capacities to enable improvement of the national monitoring system and management of environment information
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5715
PIMS Number: 5302
Key Stakeholders: State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz Republic
Countries: KYRGYZSTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

Findings of TE

Project design / Formulation

Analysis of LFA/Results Framework (Project logic /strategy)

The project document has provided a solid basis for establishing the project’s logic/strategy building upon Kyrgyzstan’s demonstrated commitment the three Rio Conventions as well as several other international treaties and protocols th­at call for the protection and sustainable use of natural resources. 

At project design, a clear fit with the GEF-6 Strategy is made covering the GEF strategy for Cross-Cutting Capacity Development projects, which serves to provide resources for reducing, if not eliminating, the institutional bottlenecks and barriers to the synergistic implementation of the Rio Conventions.  A clear alignment with the CCCD Programme Framework 5, which calls for countries to enhance capacities to monitor and evaluate environmental impacts and trends, and other requirements of the Rio conventions is made.

 


Tag: Biodiversity Environment Policy Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Global Environment Facility fund Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Capacity Building

2.

Country drivenness is anchored in Kyrgyzstan’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) for the period of 2013 to 2017 which was approved by Presidential Decree No 11 on 21 January 2013, declaring, among others, the establishment of a sustainable system of environmental protection, control and monitoring and natural resources management for informed decision-making as well as other national policies, including being party to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention, Law No 5, 12 January 2001), confirming Kyrgyzstan’s commitment to meet international standards to improving policies and procedures to improve transparency and stakeholder engagement in decision-making. 

The project’s strategy has also taken stock of the Sustainable Development context of the country including the  policy, legal as well as institutional context, with an extensive analysis of the background and national context in this regard.

The barriers to achieving Global Environmental Objectives are also clearly spelled out in the project design including conformity with GEF capacity development operational principles and guidance from the Rio Conventions. All of this has allowed to build a highly detailed and clear Project Rationale, Project Goal, Objective, Expected Outcomes, Components, Outputs, and Activities.


Tag: Biodiversity Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Anti-corruption Rule of law Programme/Project Design

3.

Assumptions and Risks

The project’s risks and association assumptions were analyzed through an in-depth assessment of these risks based on an extensive set of consultations and review of the background documentation and the following risks and assumptions were identified at project design:

  • The most important risk to the project is internal resistance to change, however, the basis for this project is that these policies and procedures could be improved and the project’s activities were strategically selected and designed to take into account these existing “business-as-usual” approaches, and to facilitate a process by they could be improved incrementally.
  • Political commitment to apply institutional reforms is another important risk identified at project’s design, most notably to the sustainability of project’s results.  Given that the expected results are partly driven through external financing and support, key project results are expected to be sufficiently institutionalized if the larger outcomes are to be sustainable.
  • Another risk associated with the project, but minimal, is that political elections could result in a change in leadership among the key government bodies, with implications for the loss of institutional memory.  However, given that the SAEPF is a body that falls under the Government Apparatus of the President (who was elected in 2014 for a five-year term), the head of the SAEPF is not subject to the high risks that come about through more frequent parliamentary changes. 
  • A final risk of the project is the lack of a policy or legislation to support certain aspects of the project, in particular procedures to facilitate national consensus of key data and information.  For this purpose, the project emphasizes the importance of engaging all stakeholders to agree on policies and measures to mitigate the de-legitimization of government data, information, policies, and plans.

Tag: Election Public administration reform Rule of law Change Management Ownership Risk Management

4.

Lessons from other relevant projects (e.g., same focal area) incorporated into project design

The project’s strategy builds upon the various Kyrgyzstan’s first cross-cutting capacity development project including the National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA) project implemented with UNDP/GEF support between 2003 and 2005.

The project’s design also builds upon the follow-up to the NCSA which was the focused on environmental fiscal reform, which was one of the NCSA’s priority recommendations.  This project, known as Capacity Building for Improved National Financing of Global Environmental Management project, was implemented by UNDP and the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry (SAEPF) and completed in 2012. 


Tag: Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Programme/Project Design Capacity Building

5.

Planned stakeholder participation

Coordination and consultative mechanisms with Sate and Non-State stakeholders were strongly captured as part of project’s design. The project formulation included extensive discussions with stakeholders and served to highlight the strategic value of the project to build upon a number of very relevant work that the Government is undertaking with the support of the development partners in Kyrgyzstan. These consultations reaffirmed the validity of the project strategy to work with on-going initiatives and help strengthen the global environmental character, in particular to strengthen the synergies and institutional sustainability of capacities (systemic, institutional, and individual) for more informed and holistic planning and decision-making.

Taking into account the strategic complementarities of the project with other development partners and partner agencies, consultations during the project preparation phase was successful in leveraging significant the possibility of additional co-financing to be leveraged during project implementation.


Tag: Government Cost-sharing Harmonization Partnership Programme Synergy Coordination

6.

Replication approach

The replication and extension of project activities at project design is strengthened by the large number of stakeholders that the project envisages engaging.  This includes working with NGOs and civil society associations that have a strong presence and extensive reach in local communities and/or are actively supporting related capacity development work.  Research and academic institutions also play an important role in identifying new and innovative interpretations and policy responses to improve environmental management and monitoring, further strengthening the value of the EIMMS, and thus strengthening its subsequent application more broadly.

Replication is also supported by raising awareness of the project throughout Kyrgyzstan.  This project facilitates this through awareness-raising workshops with key stakeholders from the local and regional government, the private sector, academia, civil society and the media with the purpose of helping them to write articles about the environment.  The public service announcements on radio and television also serve the purpose of popularizing the project with the public in order to generate greater support and demand for replication activities. 

Finally, the resource mobilization strategy is a key feature of the project’s replicability since activities under the project will need continued financing. 


Tag: Natural Resouce management Sustainability Resource mobilization Communication Sustainability Awareness raising Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs National Institutions Private Sector

7.

UNDP comparative advantage

At project’s design, it is confirmed that UNDP’s mandate, relationship with government and long-standing engagement in the area of intervention of the project gives it a comparative advantage in facilitating government partnerships, especially with regards to GEF grant financed projects. 

As such, the UNDP Environment Protection for Sustainable Development Programme (EPSD) played a critical role in sustainability of interventions of the UNDP/GEF CCCD project on Capacity Building for Improved National Financing of Global Environmental Management in Kyrgyzstan, the UNDP/UNV Rehabilitation of Riparian Forests in Kyrgyzstan, and the UNDP/GEF project on Demonstrating Sustainable Mountain Pasture Management in the Suusamyr Valley. 

In addition to these projects, the EPSD also supported the government to secure endorsement of the Concept on Environmental Security of the country enacted through Presidential Decree in the second half of 2007.  The EPSD Programme also actively supported the development process of the Third and the Fourth National Reports on Biodiversity Conservation, the Initial National Report on the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Decision-Making and Justice in Environmental Matters and the First and Second National Communications under the UNFCCC.


Tag: Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Wildlife Conservation National Communication Capacity Building

8.

Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector

Several initiatives were identified at project design with which the project should coordinate, including several GEF-financed projects related to the Rio conventions and others such as the Project on “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the Chu and Talas River Basins” and the Project on “Protect human health and the environment from unintentional releases of persistent organic pollutants and mercury from unsound disposal of healthcare waste”.

A number of other non-GEF funded projects are identified at project design with which this project should coordinate such as the UNDP “Poverty and Environment Initiative”.

Finally, several regional environmental programmes in Central Asia in which Kyrgyzstan is participating are identified at project design, and in view of strengthening linkages such as Finland’s Water Management Programme (FinWaterWEI II), the project for “Building a Knowledge Sharing Tool for Natural Resource Management” (K-link), the GIZ/FAO/GEF project on “Sustainable Management of Mountainous Forest and Land Resources under Climate Change Conditions, and the regional project on “Forest and Biodiversity Governance Including Environmental Monitoring” (FLERMONECA).


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Water resources Global Environment Facility fund Transborder

9.

Project implementation

Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation)

At project design and in project implementation, an adaptive and collaborative management approach has been adopted in the execution of the project, ensuring that key stakeholders are involved early and throughout project implementation as partners for development.  This included the participation of key partners in the Project Board, in order to review of project outputs such as recommendations for amendments to policies, plans, programmes and legislation, as well as participation in monitoring activities.

The Project was implemented through the Direct Implementation Modality by the UNDP Country Office (as the GEF Implementing Agency) within the framework of Environment Protection for Sustainable Development Programme and UNDP’s Area-Based Development Offices that are instrumental for local interventions in the field.  The Country Office carried out procurement and human resources services.

The implementing partner is the SAEPF (and is Focal Point for the UNCBD, UNFCCC and GEF), and has assigned a Director to chair the Project Board and made available its staff and network of experts to participate in the project’s activities. The Focal Point for UNCCD which is the MoA acted as the senior project’s beneficiary. At project design, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) was also proposed as the senior project’s beneficiary given its role in promoting economic and social development. Figure 2 provides an organigramme of the project’s management arrangements.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Oversight Partnership Procurement Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Country Government

10.

The composition of the Project Board was agreed during the Project’s Inception workshop at the outset of the Project and ensured close involvement of all concerned partners in the decision-making of Project. During Project’s implementation, the membership of the Project Board included the following institutions:

  • Chairman: Director of the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry (SAEPF),
  • Co-Chairman: UNDP Deputy Resident Representative; and Deputy Minister of MoA;
  • Representative of the Agriculture Policy Department of the MoA;
  • Head of the International Cooperation Unite of the SAEPF;
  • Head of the Environmental Strategy and Policy Department of the SAEPF;
  • Representative of the Sustainable Development Policy Department of the Ministry of Economy;
  • Head of the Sustainable Development Statistics Department of the NCS;
  • Environmental Advisor to the OSCE Center in Bishkek;
  • Director of the Aarhus Center in Bishkek;
  • Chairman of the SAEPF’s Public Consul.

Tag: Oversight Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

11.

Project Boards meetings were held regularly, with 2 meeting/months and allowed consensus on important directions of the Project, such as in the case of the following Project Board meetings:

  • The first Project Board meeting was held back-to-back with the Inception Workshop held on 26 February 2016 and approved the Project’s Annual Work Plan.
  • In December 2016, the Project Board approved the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan as a high value pilot sector development plan
  • In July 2018, the Project Board members supported the proposed arrangements for tendering of the development of the software part of the EIMMS.

Tag: Biodiversity Oversight

12.

Partnership arrangements (with relevant stakeholders involved in the country/region)

The project was able to establish strong partnerships with a large spectrum of national and international stakeholders which allowed efficient and productive implementation of the project’s activities.

In addition to its strong partnership with the SAEPF, the project closely cooperated with the NSC, the MoA and the Ministry on Education and Science, as well with other governmental institutions.

Partnerships with non-governmental stakeholders including NGOs and the private sector were also actively developed and pursued by the project from the outset and throughout the implementation of activities.

Moreover, the project has coordinated actively with various projects ensuring coordination and synergies in the delivery of results and creating opportunities for extension of project’s results.


Tag: Partnership Country Government Coordination Civil Societies and NGOs

13.

Partnerships have been promoted through various consultative and operational approaches as shown in Figure 3 below including the following:

  • Inter-agency Working Groups
  • Technical working group
  • Memorandum of Agreement among partner agencies and other stakeholder organizations
  • Public stakeholder dialogue workshops
  • High Level Conference
  • Public awareness campaign
  • Training on technical, educational and awareness tools

Tag: Partnership Education Awareness raising

14.

In addition to the above, the project was able to develop strong partnerships with international partners and made a significant contribution into the development of a modern methodological framework for monitoring Rio Conventions which can be replicated in other regions/countries; the following examples can be indicated:

  • Metrological Guideline on Climate Change Statistics and Road-map to improve climate change-related statistics were developed in collaboration with UNECE;
  • National Methodology to measure Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and the SDG15.3 indicators were developed and a voluntary target was formulated in collaboration with UNCCD Secretariat;
  • In cooperation with the UNDP BioFin Initiative, the updated National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) included a monitoring framework based on EIMMS “Kerege” indicators;
  • The Inter-Agency Working Group on the UNCBD was established with the Project’s support and played a key role in coordination of all relevant stakeholders during the process of elaborating the updated of the NBSAP;
  • As a part of extension of the EIMMS approach to the local level, UNDP-GEF “Western Tian-Shan” project launched the development of electronic managements system on protected areas in two pilot protected areas which will serve as source of reliable data from grassroot level for national EIMMS “Kerege” as well as for NBSAP implementation.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Transborder Partnership Data and Statistics

15.

Project Finance including co-finance

Trends related to the Project’s GEF resources

By the time of the TE (18/12/2018), as shown in Table 4 below, 92% of the project budget has been disbursed and the trends of disbursements across the different outcomes are in line with the planned budget. This confirms that the project design was realistic and that the project implementation has followed the initial project design. Only the expenditures allocated to Outcome 1 (Strengthened policy and legal instruments) are slightly below the planned budget, and it is estimated that this is due to the savings made by Project at the level of this Outcome by joint implementation of activities partnerships and resource mobilization (as will be confirmed in the analysis of Section 3.3. Project Results).

With regards to the yearly project expenditures, Table 5 below have reflected the constraints faced by the project in Year 1 of its implementation for the delivery of an EIMMS system in light of the political constraints which prevented the project from proceeding with smooth implementation of Output 2.

On the other hand, the disbursements at the level of Outcome 1 (Strengthened policy and legal instruments) in Year 1 shows an unusually high expenditure rate of 100% of planned resources, especially in light of standard trends in project management, where low expenditure rates are expected in the first year of a project’s life and in light of the complex nature of the Outcome itself. This proves a good understanding of the project itself as well as strong partnerships for the implementation of a policy process.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Operational Efficiency

16.

Expenditure trends of the project also reflect that the project was able to initiate successfully the implementation of the activities planned under Outcome 3 (Improving awareness of global environmental value) with high levels of expenditures in Year 1 (57%) and Year 2 (163%), confirming again a good overall performance of the project’s implementation, especially with regards to the implementation of communication and outreach activities which require an important level of coordination and collaboration with various stakeholders.

The expenditure trends show that the delivery of Outcome 2 (Strengthened institutional capacities to implement an integrated EIMMS) was mainly conducted in Year 3 of the project, which is justified by both political constraints to proceed with the implementation of activities as well as lengthy procurement procedures which significantly delayed the implementation of activities at the level of this Outcome.

While the above trends will be further confirmed in the analysis of the project’s results, the overall expenditure trends of the project confirm that the project was able to proceed swiftly with the implementation of the planned project’s activities, except for those related to Outcome 2, and which were delayed due to external factors to the project.


Tag: Communication Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Procurement Coordination

17.

Trends related to the Project’s Co-financing

The total co-financing allocations at project planning phase was equivalent to $1.21 million; these were allocated from different sources including Government, UNDP and other source as presented in Table 6 below. At the TE, the total co-financing was fully disbursed, with additional $229,800 (equivalent to 19% of the total co-financing).

As per Table 7 below, it is confirmed that the project has not only disbursed fully all the commitments for the co-financing, but has also succeeded to mobilize additional resources from UNDP and from other sources. More specifically, the project has increased by almost 3 times the foreseen resources for the project from other sources, and has accordingly achieved important additional results as it will be noted in the analysis of the project’s results, the additional resources which mobilized include the following:

  • Coca Cola “New World” Programme: $101,000
  • UNCCD Secretariat- UNDP/LDN: $30 000
  • Finland Government (FinWater WEI): $39 000
  • UNEP: $15,000

 


Tag: Government Cost-sharing Bilateral partners Country Government Donor UN Agencies

18.

Moreover, a significant part of the co-financing for this project came from an in-kind contribution from the SAEPF and MoA, which allowed the active engagement and time of their staffs in all project activities and participation to various capacity development activities. This was concretely demonstrated through the installation of the technological parts of EIMMS Training Center on environmental data which was created and equipped in SAEPF with co-financing from the Government’s budget. The Project has organized over 10 capacity building and coordination activities at the SAEPF in the Training Center every year, supported by different development partners which demonstrates its long-term sustainability.


Tag: Sustainability Government Cost-sharing Country Government Capacity Building Coordination

19.

UNDP co-financing

UNDP Kyrgyzstan made a significant allocation of $150,000 cash co-financing to this project, which are reflected in the funds used to top up the GEF contribution.  The UNDP co-financing covered the cost of key UNDP staff to the learning-by-doing workshops, internal UNDP monitoring and reporting, and alignment of UNDP’s management information systems, among others. 

In-kindco-financing from UNDP of $50,000 was also made available at project design through the UNDP/UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative, which is undertaking a number of activities that are complementary to the capacity development activities under this CCCD project, in particular as they relate to the use of indicators as a set of tools to achieving environmentally friendly and sustainable development. 

Moreover, the project also succeeded to mobilize additional UNDP resources during project implementation which supported the implementation of project activities and were provided from the following projects: 

  • UNDP BioFin: $28,000
  • UNDP Russian TF: $16,800

Tag: Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources UN Country Team

20.

Monitoring and evaluation: design at entry and implementation*

As indicated in “Section 2.4. Baseline indicators established”, the M&E system of the project at the project’s design did not provide a solid basis for Results-Based Management and impact monitoring. The indicators were mainly process indicators which did not offer the project a tool for analyzing and tracking its results.

While it is beyond any doubt that the project has undertaken extensive efforts in implementing its planned activities, the initial M&E system did not provide a solid basis to track and measure its results and should have been strengthened by adopting a Results-Based M&E system as early as the Inception Phase.

While M&E roles and responsibilities were well articulated in project design as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation Section of the project document, the M&E plan did not provide a sufficient budget at Inception Phase to call upon external resources to support the project in establishing a Results-based monitoring system and re-align the project’s indicators to ensure that a smaller number of SMART indicators are in place.

The M&E plan at project design has indicated that “A project initiation workshop” should be held at project’s outset, and will allow the project, among others, to review the log frame (indicators, means of verification, assumptions), in order to “provide a detailed overview of UNDP/GEF reporting and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) requirements”.

 


Tag: Challenges Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

21.

However, the M&E plan had only allocated an indicative cost of $5,000 which is limited to call upon an M&E expert to respond to these requirements, and did not allow the project to address this constraint in the project’s design.

Despite the fact that the project has used an extensive number of indicators which don’t reflect the needed M&E requirements, the reporting process was rigorously applied to be aligned with the project design and the PIR ratings are consistent with TE findings.

However, as part of the TE, it was important to formulate a set of impact indicators at Objective level, and Results-based indicators at Outcome level in order to adopt as a basis of the project’s evaluation. The proposed indicators are presented in Table 8 below and will be further used as part of the evaluation process.

It should be noted that during this retrofitting exercise, some of the existing project’s indicators have been used in order to ensure consistency and coherence with the initial project design, although the baseline and target of these indicators were not defined in a quantitative manner at project design.

Based on all the above, it can be concluded that the M&E system both at design and at implementation is Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU) and showed significant shortcomings in establishing a clear M&E system for the project and providing a solid basis for reporting on the project’s results and impact.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

22.

UNDP and Implementing Partner implementation/execution*

Main implementing agencies and their responsibilities

In its capacity as Implementing Agency, the UNDP Country Office has adopted the Direct Implementation Modality through its “Environment and Disaster Risk Management” Unit as well other relevant programmes and units within the UNDP Country Office including technical programmes, procurement and administration.  In the context of its responsibilities, the UNDP Country Office supported the planning, implementation including procurement and human resources services.

The Project Inception was conducted at the outset of the project and allowed the revision of the Annual Work Plans as well as the establishment of the Project Board. However, the Inception meeting did not conduct a review of the project’s components as it was agreed do not initiate changes which would reduce ambitions of the project.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Procurement Project and Programme management

23.

In general, it is clear that the implementing agency has fulfilled its responsibilities, given the efficient delivery of project activities which confirm adequate provision of technical and administrative support. As an example, joint tendering with other projects were conducted in order to reduce procurement costs as in the case of the Request for Proposal on “Printing of publications within projects of Sustainable Development Dimension” and which the Project covered on 1 out of 3 deliverables, and which concerned “Printing of materials on Environment Protection (Printing of Laws and Regulations on environment protection)”.

The only case where the support of UNDP was not aligned with the project’s needs is in the procurement of the services for the development of the EIMMS software and which is further discussed in the Lesson Learned (Section 4.3.2).


Tag: Implementation Modality Procurement UNDP Management UNDP management Technology

24.

UNDP co-financing

UNDP Kyrgyzstan made a significant allocation of $150,000 cash co-financing to this project, which are reflected in the funds used to top up the GEF contribution.  The UNDP co-financing covered the cost of key UNDP staff to the learning-by-doing workshops, internal UNDP monitoring and reporting, and alignment of UNDP’s management information systems, among others. 

In-kindco-financing from UNDP of $50,000 was also made available at project design through the UNDP/UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative, which is undertaking a number of activities that are complementary to the capacity development activities under this CCCD project, in particular as they relate to the use of indicators as a set of tools to achieving environmentally friendly and sustainable development. 

Moreover, the project also succeeded to mobilize additional UNDP resources during project implementation which supported the implementation of project activities and were provided from the following projects: 

  • UNDP BioFin: $28,000
  • UNDP Russian TF: $16,800

Moreover, a significant part of the co-financing for this project came from an in-kind contribution from the SAEPF and MoA, which allowed the active engagement and time of their staffs in all project activities and participation to various capacity development activities. This was concretely demonstrated through the installation of the technological parts of EIMMS Training Center on environmental data which was created and equipped in SAEPF with co-financing from the Government’s budget. The Project has organized over 10 capacity building and coordination activities at the SAEPF in the Training Center every year, supported by different development partners which demonstrates its long-term sustainability.


Tag: Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources Country Government UN Country Team UNDP Management UNDP management

25.

Main aspects related to the implementation arrangements

Building upon the successful role of the implementing agency and its partners, it can be concluded that the project’s implementation arrangement was successfully applied to the project’s needs and allowed swift and adaptive approach in project implementation. This has allowed the Project’s Risks to be addressed in an appropriate way, taking into account national context. As such, the main risk which included the change of Government and could have cause delays and institutional disruption of the project outcomes, was mitigated through needed measures including the adoption of a project’s strategy which intervenes on long-term strategic documents and working with middle-level decision-makers to avoid delays in implementation. Moreover, capacity building activities have been scheduled in a way as to cover participants from the newly appointed staff members if necessary.

Based on the above assessment, the overall quality of Implementation/Execution, including the Quality of UNDP Implementation and the Quality of Execution by Executing Agency are rated as “Highly Satisfactory”.


Tag: Election Implementation Modality Risk Management Advocacy Capacity Building

26.

Project Results

Overall results (attainment of objectives)*

This section presents the activities and results of the project based on the project’s Results and Resources Framework as provided in the initial project document.

Outcome 1. Strengthened policy and legal instruments

Under this component, the project has exceeded its set targets as presented in Table 9 below. Overall, the project has actively established a needed consultative platform with all national stakeholders and delivered solid policy and guidance documents.

The only risk arising at the level of this outcome is the lack of the signature of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SAEPF and the following institutions: MoA, Kyrgyz Hydromet, NSC, which are expected to take place by end 2018, however, this cannot be confirmed by the TE.


Tag: Rule of law Partnership Policy Advisory

27.

In addition to the achieved targets at the level of the set indicators, the overall achievements at the level of each output under this outcome can be summarized as follows:

Under “Output 1.1. Targeted policies, legal and regulatory instruments are amended”, the following was achieved:

  • Conducted three in-depth thematic assessment of the Rio Conventions (CBD, CCD, and FCCC) of Kyrgyzstan in October 2016. The assessment report was endorsed by the IWGs in December 2016
  • Compiled a compendium of environmental legislation in collaboration with OSCE and which was endorsed by SAEPF in December 2016. Up-to-date texts of the environmental legislation were collected by Project in joint collaboration with Aarhus Center (OSCE), published in January 2017 and distributed in March 2017. In December 2018 collection of legislation developed by the project was updated and re-published by Aarhus Center (OSCE)
  • Supported the development of two special sections as part of the comprehensive legislation document “Environmental Code”, as indicated in Table 9 above
  • Operational guidelines development of including as indicated in Table 9 above.
  • Policy and strategic recommendations. Supported the development of special sections on environment, improvement decision making process based on reliable environmental data, management of environmental data for 5 strategic documents as indicated in Table 12 below.

Tag: Environment Policy Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

28.

Under “Output 1.2: Strengthened consultative and decision-making processes”, the following was achieved:

  • Assessment of information and knowledge needs of social actors and other stakeholders that can play a role in catalyzing Rio Convention implementation developed in by July 2016 and endorsed by the IWG meeting in August 2016
  • Assessment report on gender issues describing the extent to which gender issues are relevant to information and knowledge for meeting and sustaining global environmental objectives developed, reviewed by UNDP Gender Specialist and presented at IWG meeting in September 2018
  • Working groups negotiate best consultative and decision-making processes to help local self-government authorities to integrate Rio Convention criteria and indicators into the operationalization of local sustainable development strategies.
  1. First meeting of IWG held in August 2016. On the meeting initial introduction on institutional assessment was presented and discussed.
  2. Second meeting of IWG held in September 2016. On the meeting the preliminary findings of the institutional assessments were reviewed, discussed and provided input to finalize the assessment
  3. Third meeting of IWG held in December 2016. On the meeting overall findings were discussed and pilot of high value sector development plan was agreed and recommended for approval by the Project Board
  4. Fourth meeting of IWG held in June 2017. On the meeting overall findings were discussed and ToR for activities in pilot of high value sector development plan was agreed
  • MoUs to share data and information among institutions agreed upon in the IWGs process as indicated in Table 7 above. Although the MoUs were updated during official process of the IWG on EIMMS “Kerege” creation and signed by all state and non-state stakeholders in April 2018, they are still awaiting signature between SAEPF and the following institutions: MoA, Kyrgyz Hydromet, NSC by end 2018.

 


Tag: Gender Equality Coordination Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

29.

Outcome 2. Strengthened institutional capacities to implement an integrated EIMMS

Under this component, the project has exceeded its the set targets as presented in Table 10 below. Overall, the project has actively implemented needed institutional development activities with all national stakeholders and delivered needed institutional strengthening and infrastructure.

The only risk arising at the level of this outcome is the fact that the database developed with the project’s support is currently linked as part of the proposed EIMMS on the SAEPF’s web site and the Software part of EIMMS was started in September 2018 and is expected to be launched in February 2019, however, this cannot be confirmed by the TE.


Tag: Institutional Strengthening Operational Services

30.

In addition to the achieved targets at the level of the set indicators, the overall achievements at the level of each output under this outcome can be summarized as follows:

Under “Output 2.1: Institutional mapping and analysis of an optimal information and monitoring system”, the following was achieved:

  • Analysis of the institutional requirements to use best available and innovation data to implement the Rio Conventions and through mainstreamed sectoral development plans drafted and presented at the inception workshop in February 2016.
  • Technical working group on localization of environmental SDGs was created by SAEPF in March 2017 as part of future EIMMS development process. Than Interdepartmental working group on environmental information management and monitoring system “Kerege” was officially created by SAEPF in April 2018.

            - Technical working group on SDGs localization met three times in 2017 and one in 2018.

            - IWG on EIMMS “Kerege” met three times by the September 2018

  • Review of national standards on environmental data and information was conducted by June 2018 and set of appropriate standards described and approved by IWG in August 2018. A Set of National Most Representative Environmental Indicators “Kerege” was introduced, it consisted from 54 indicators divided into 11 groups and took into account Rio Conventions monitoring framework, SDGs targets, Green Growth and State of the Environment Report’s Indicators with developed relevant metadata/descriptions.
  • Construction of an institutional architecture for storage and transformation of data and information started in August 2017, the project supported the Government in promoting a nation-wide Concept of digital transformation “Taza-Koom” (Smart Nation), which contained a special section related to environment protection and implementation of the EIMMS “Kerege”.  This was followed up in December 2017, as part of development national electronic interaction of state bodies system “Tunduc” which will be completed by the end of the project.
  • A tracking mechanism to monitor the use of EIMMS was integrated into a high-value pilot sector development plan which is the NBSAP and will be extended though the development of the software.

Tag: Environment Policy Coordination Agenda 2030 Data and Statistics SDG monitoring and reporting

31.

Under “Output 2.2: Targeted institutional reforms for improved access to data and information”, the following was achieved:

  • Three technical working groups (CBD, CCD, and FCCC) created:
  1. IWG on UN FCCC created by SAEPF chaired by UN FCCC Focal Point in 2012.Creation of UN CBD and UN CCD Interagency Working Groups (IWG) were initiated in June 2016 and officially created in August 2016. IWG on UN CCD met three times in 2016, two times in 2017 and two times in 2018.
  2. IWG on UN CCD by Ministry of Agriculture chaired by UN CCD Focal Point (Order #219); IWG on UN FCCC met two times in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  3. IWG on UN CBD by State Agency on Environment chaired by UN CBD Focal Point (Order #01-9/238). IWG on UN CBD met three times in 2016, two times in 2017 and three times in 2018.
  • Sustainability of technical working groups functioning secured and at least one meeting each of group supported from other than project sources. Two meetings of the IWG on UN CCD in 2017 were supported by GIZ, one meeting in 2018 was supported by UN CCD Secretariat and one initiated and covered by the Ministry of Agriculture from own funds. Two meetings of the IWG on UN CBD in 2018 were supported jointly with UNDP BioFin and one initiated and covered by State Agency on Environment from own funds
  • The technical working groups submit technical and policy recommendations to the relevant ministries and agencies. On each meeting of the IWGs technical and policy recommendations for relevant ministries were presented and discussed. On the second (December 2016) meeting of the IWG on UN CCD recommendation on development of methodology on SDG 15.3 monitoring (LDN) was issued to the Government and implemented in 2017. On the third meeting in December 2016 – monitoring framework for Strategic Programme Agriculture Development was agreed and submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture for approval to the Government of KR in January 2017.

 


Tag: Country Government Coordination Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

32.
  • Convene expert working group and stakeholder meetings to agree on recommendations of institutional reforms. Special workshop on collaboration of Government bodies with the National Academy of Science was organized in October 2016. Two meetings of the IWG on environmental SDGs were supported in 2017 and recommendation on improvements of data flow was agreed by the Government with NSC leadership. Creation of special IWG on environmental information management and monitoring system “Kerege” was endorsed by SAEPF in April 2018 as part of improvement institutional reform process (Order #01-9/98 as of 17.04.18).
  • Memorandum of Agreement among partner agencies and other stakeholder organizations. MoUs among partner agencies drafted within the Government process on creation of the EIMMS “Kerege” in September 2018 and expected to be signed by the end of the project as indicated in Table 10 above
  • Installation of hardware and software. Hardware component of the EIMMS was installed in December 2017 and operationalized for data and information exchange by May 2018 considering capacity of each partners as indicated in Table 10 above

Tag: Public administration reform Partnership Technology Coordination Operational Services Data and Statistics

33.

Under “Output 2.3: Selected updating of technologies for information monitoring and management”, the following was achieved:

  • In-depth baseline assessment of current management information system was completed in September 2017 and updated in February 2018
  • Feasibility study on the design and operation of the EIMMS based on Targeted study of best practice web-based tools for environmental data and metadata sharing and storage management was completed in March 2018
  • Convened public stakeholder dialogue workshops on improving EIMMS. In total - six public stakeholder dialogue workshops on improving EIMMS were held, including two in 2017 and four in 2018

Tag: Environmental impact assessment Monitoring and Evaluation Technology Data and Statistics

34.

Under “Output 2.4: Training on improved methodologies and analytical skills”, the following was achieved:

  • Training needs assessment report to manage data and information drafted in September 2016 and updated in February 2018. Training programme and curriculum that includes best practices for the sharing, collection and use of environmental data and information drafted and agreed on the IWGs meeting in September 2016 and updated in April 2018
  • Training workshops and related exercises. In total five training workshops were organized in environmental data management and analytical skills with support of international trainers and participation of 137 representatives from state and non-state bodies:
  1. one organized with SAEPF and NSC on visualization of environmental statistics in October 2016. Based on received knowledge’s first user-friendly environmental statistic’s compilation was developed by NSC and published in December 2016 in Russian, Kyrgyz and English. Updated version of user-friendly environmental statistic’s compilation was developed by NSC in November 2018
  2. one in collaboration with UNCCD Secretariat in June 2017 on LDN calculation;
  3. three in collaboration with UNECE, ESCAP and UNEP in June 2018, including one on SEEA Forest Accounts, one on SEEA Energy Accounts, and one on Developing a Protected Areas Information System and products
  • Impact assessment of training and awareness activities, which covered 137 participants (around 95% of trainees provided a response), showed an increase of the capacity to handle data and information relevant to the Rio Convention and environmental SDGs (as indicated in Table 10 below).
  • According to independent impact assessment, women constituted 57,4% of participants trained within the project’s capacity building programme on improvement of usage/analyses of environmental data and information

Tag: Country Government Capacity Building Agenda 2030 Data and Statistics Civil Societies and NGOs

35.

Under “Output 2.5: Improved EIMMS tested”, the following was achieved:

  • Pilot a high value pilot sector development plan. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan was approved as high value pilot sector development plan in December 2016 by the Project Board. Updated the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan was agreed with SAEPF and sent for approval by state bodies in October 2018
  • Stakeholder workshops to reconcile mandates among local and regional authorities for streamlined environmental information management in the context of Rio Convention implementation in the selected pilot sector development. Five workshops and public discussion were organized during the process of development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan with participation of more than 17 experts on each event by September 2018
  • Report with recommended revisions to institutional mandates completed in May 2018, endorsed by IWG and findings integrated into draft of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan by September 2018
  • Operational manual with technical interpretation of EIMMS “Kerege” indicators with metadata was developed in May 2018, piloted by July 2018 and approved by IWG in August 2018
  • Regular dialogues targeted to senior policy-makers convened as needed. Two events for senior policy-makers organized in September 2016 (with target on promotion of Paris Agreement to UNFCCC), and in July 2018 (with target on promotion Updated the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan)
  • Lessons learned report prepared on targeted Rio Convention mainstreaming activities. Lessons learned report on targeted Rio Convention mainstreaming activities prepared and completed in August 2018

Tag: Biodiversity Strategic Positioning Coordination Policy Advisory

36.

Under “Output 2.6: Resource mobilization strategy”, the following was achieved:

  • Feasibility study of monitoring and enforcement of environmental legislation was drafted, and peer reviewed by July 2018 as part of the development of the updated National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
  • Resource mobilization strategy drafted in collaboration with UNDP BioFin taking into account good practices for raising and allocating funds to achieve global environmental targets. As part of implementation resource mobilization strategy activities on extension of EIMMS was integrated into Funding Proposal on support National Adaptation Planning process submitted by the Government to the Green Climate Fund in June 2018
  • Main stakeholder constituencies actively consulted on the draft Resource mobilization strategy, which covered 56 representatives from the main stakeholder (state and non-state) participated in the consultation meeting and consulted on the draft of updated National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.
  • Stakeholder consultations conclude with a validation workshop. Validation workshop held in September 2018 and draft of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan was agreed with stakeholders and SAEPF. The final draft was sent for approval by state bodies in October 2018.

Tag: Biodiversity Environment Policy Resource mobilization Strategic Positioning

37.

Outcome 3. Awareness of global environmental values is improved

Under this component, the project has exceeded its set targets as presented in Table 11 below. Overall, the project has actively implemented awareness raising campaigns in close coordination with all national stakeholders and delivered solid results.

The only additional benefit remaining to be achieved at the level of this outcome is the printing of the educational modules/training kits developed by the project for secondary education related to “Introduction into biodiversity on UNCBD”, and “Desertification and land management on UNCCD”, which could not be funded under the project due to lack of resources. The TE estimates that the project can support in resource mobilization needed for the printing.


Tag: Challenges Human and Financial resources Education Awareness raising Coordination

38.

In addition to the achieved targets at the level of the set indicators, the overall achievements at the level of each output under this outcome can be summarized as follows:

Under “Output 3.1: Stakeholder dialogues on the value of Rio Conventions”, the following was achieved:

  • One-day High Level Conference on improvement adequate understanding of global environmental issues. High Level Conference “From Paris to Bishkek: on the way of climate-resilient sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan” was organized in September 2016 in collaboration with Finland Government and participation of 127 participants, of which 47% are women
  • Public awareness campaign was developed in cooperation with other UNDP projects and other partner development agencies in February 2016, launched in June 2016 and summed-up in June 2017 during the WED celebration and included the following:

Tag: Communication Awareness raising Data and Statistics

39.

Under “Output 3.2: Brochures and articles on the Rio Conventions”, the following was achieved:

  • Brochures and articles on the Rio Conventions that highlight the importance of the Rio Conventions were developed as follows:
  1. Project initiated in September 2016 special media contest “Coverage of Environment Issues and Ecological Problems”. Categories of the competition included components of three Rio Conventions. Journalists throughout the country covered these issues and over 100 works (articles and TV) were submitted to take part in the competition. The competition jury consisted of representatives of the government, international organizations and Media selected 18 winners from them.
  2. All materials were copied and distributed during celebration of WED 2017 (June 2017) among at least 200 participants and IWG meetings

Tag: Communication Awareness raising

40.

Under “Output 3.3: Public service announcement on environmentally friendly behaviour”, the following was achieved:

  • Public Service Announcement airings on television and radio that promote Rio Conventions. The following was achieved:
  1. Project supported UNFCCC product placement into film “Plan B” which was broadcasted on cinema (with auditorium up to 1 mln) and in YouTube with coverage up 700 views by the September 2016.
  2. In collaboration with State National Broadcasting Company 6 TV and 3 radio PSA were developed by December 2016. These were broadcasted on national TV channel within January-March 2017 with 7 airings for each.
  3. 5 animations on Rio Convention were developed in Russian, Kyrgyz and English (in total 15) by May 2017 and broadcasted on the national TV channel during the period of June -September 2017 with at last 25 airings per each.
  4. 21 PSA on radio was supported and broadcasted 2 times each.

 


Tag: Communication Awareness raising

41.

Under “Output 3.4: Improved educational curricula”, the following was achieved:

  • Education module prepared and implemented for civil servants. Three educational modules/ training kits for secondary education developed and approved by the Ministry of Education as indicated in Table 11 above and widely adopted as follows:
  1. 127 civil servants and local teachers officially completed educational module by April 2017. Additionally, 310 teachers from 120 secondary schools were trained on integration of “Climate Box” toolkit into educational process by the September 2018
  2. Three education kits integrated into 20 secondary schools by November 2017. Localized version of the “Climate Box” with support from UNDP- Coca Cola “New World” Programme and UNDP RTFD   was integrated into educational process in 1502 secondary schools among the country by January 2018
  • Public institutes and regional branches mainstream concepts and principles of Rio Conventions. Arabaev’s Kyrgyz State University at the national level and its four branches in the regions mainstreamed concepts and principles of Rio Conventions for better environmental information management by February 2017 and implemented educational module by April 2017.

Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Education Capacity Building

42.

Overall assessment of project’s results

At the overall objective level, which is “To strengthen targeted national capacities to meet Rio Convention objectives through improved procedures and tools to monitor and manage environmental information”, the project has also exceeded its targets as summarized in Table 12 below.

Based on the above assessment of the project’s outcomes and the overall assessment of the project’s results, the project’s results are rated as “Highly Satisfactory”, there are no shortcomings in the project’s outcomes and the project has constantly exceeded its planned results and impact.

 


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Data and Statistics

43.

Relevance*

It is clear that the consultative approach and in-depth assessment of the national needs at project design has enabled the project to proceed with the implementation of relevant activities which confirmed the design assumption.

It should also be noted that the in-depth understanding of the project team, including the project manager, the UNDP CO and the Government counterparts have allowed the implementation of a set of activities which proved relevant to all partners, and not only to the implementing partner (SAEPF), some examples are presented in this section and in Figure 4 below.

At the legal level, compendium of environmental legislation in collaboration with OSCE and which was endorsed by SAEPF and published in January 2017, was updated and re-published by Aarhus Center (OSCE) in December 2018, which proves the relevance of this collection of legislation.

At the technical level, the NSC published the “Environment in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2011-2015” in 2016, which layed the ground for the establishment of the set of national Environmental Indicators under the EIMMS “Kerege” consisting of 54 indicators and taking into account the Rio Conventions monitoring framework, SDGs targets, Green Growth and State of the Environment Report’s Indicators with developed relevant metadata/descriptions.


Tag: Environment Policy Environmental impact assessment Relevance Policy Advisory Technical Support Agenda 2030 Data and Statistics

44.

At awareness raising level, three educational modules/training kits for secondary education were developed and approved by the Ministry of Education covering the following:

-           Localized version of the “Climate Box” toolkit on UN FCCC,

-           “Introduction into biodiversity” on UN CBD,

-           “Desertification and land management” on UN CCD).

Moreover, a localized version of the “Climate Box” was prepared with particular emphasis on the relevance of the developed materials to the country. While earlier school textbooks from Soviet times contained minimum information on Kyrgyzstan, the modified tools and materials proved relevant to the country. In this respect, it was possible to ensure that the project is providing relevant knowledge of the national context, thus making it possible to address local environmental issues in the long-term through a good understanding and conservation of the ecosystem and environmental heritage.  


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Education Awareness raising

45.

Finally, the project is also relevant to UNDP country programming and GEF programming. As indicated in “Section 3.1. Project design/Formulation”, the project’s design has taken into account UNDP’s mandate, relationship with government and long-standing engagement in the area of intervention of the project gives it a comparative advantage in facilitating government partnerships, especially with regards to GEF grant financed projects. Specific details regarding past and on-going initiatives are provided in the report.

Moreover, the project also succeeded to establish new partnerships and coordination with recent UNDP and GEF funded projects under implementation and have even succeeded in mobilizing additional co-financing through these projects such as the UNDP/BioFin and the UNDP/Russian TF, thus confirming the relevance of the project to UNDP and GEF on-going activities.   

Based on the above assessment, the project is rated as “Relevant”.


Tag: Relevance Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Partnership Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management Coordination

46.

Effectiveness and Efficiency*

Based on the finding of the TE in “Section 3.3.1. Overall results (attainment of objectives)”, it has been demonstrated based on the detailed description of the achievement of the project’s activities as well as on the measurement of the Results-based indicators, that the project has achieved all expected outcomes and objectives and, in several cases, it exceeded its set targets.

At the level of all outcomes, the project has been able to establish an operation basis for the implementation of project activities and has succeeded in implementing joint activities with several partner projects and institutions, allowing it meet the set project outcomes and objective, despite the complex nature of the project in adopting a policy reform and engaging partners in capacity building activities.

The effectiveness of the project is also confirmed through the financial disbursement of the project’s budget as confirmed in “Section 3.2.2 Project Finance”, and which indicated 92% of the project budget has been disbursed by the time of the TE and the trends of disbursements across the different outcomes are in line with the planned budget.


Tag: Implementation Modality Programme Synergy Effectiveness Efficiency Harmonization Human and Financial resources Results-Based Management Capacity Building Policy Advisory

47.

In terms of efficiency, it is also clear that the project was implemented efficiently by the implementing agency (UNDP) and its implementing partner (SAEPF) in-line with international and national norms and standards.

This is confirmed by 2 key examples constraints, which were efficiently addressed by the project:

  • The delay in the tendering of an EIMMS system is due to rigorous procurement system which was requested by the UNDP office, in line with international standards, despite the lack of national service providers qualified to deliver needed services at the required conditions;
  • The reluctance of the national implementing agency to call upon international experts in view of optimizing project’s resources has been addressed through the mobilization of international expertise through co-funding resources (such as FinWater WEI Programme, among others).

As such, the expenditure trends of the project presented in “Section 3.2.2 Project Finance” reflect that the project was able to initiate successfully the implementation of the activities planned under Outcomes 1 and 3 starting Year 1 of the project, with high levels of expenditures rates in Year 1 for Outcome 1 (Strengthened policy and legal instruments) equivalent to 100% of the planned budget, and high levels of expenditures rates for Outcome 3 (Awareness of global environmental values is improved) in Year 1 equivalent to 57% for and Year 2 equivalent to 163%.

This confirms efficient performance of the project’s implementation, especially with regards to the implementation of a policy process as well as communication and outreach activities, all of which require an important level of coordination and collaboration with various stakeholders.


Tag: Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Procurement Service delivery

48.

It should also be noted that the efficient delivery of the project in its Year 1 reflects an unusual trend in project management, where low expenditure rates are expected in the first year of a project’s life, and which proves a good understanding of the project itself and implementation modalities.

Only the expenditure trends in the delivery of Outcome 2 (Strengthened institutional capacities to implement an integrated EIMMS) has reflected a delay in the first 2 years of the project and this due to both political constraints to proceed with the implementation of activities as well as lengthy procurement procedures which significantly delayed the implementation of activities at the level of this Outcome.

Based on the above assessment, the TE rating for the project’s Effectiveness and Efficiency is considered as “Highly Satisfactory”.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Efficiency Implementation Modality Operational Efficiency Procurement Project and Programme management Country Government

49.

Country ownership

The country ownership of the Project is an integral part of the project’s implementation modalities and its results. Several examples can be given to confirm this dimension, including the fact that the Project has supported the development of two special sections on “Improvement of implementation of International Conventions” and “National environment information management and monitoring system” as part of the “Environmental Code” submitted to the Government for approval in December 2017.

Moreover, the adoption of the following regulatory guidelines which were development with the support of the Project is also a clear indication of the country’s ownership:

  • National Methodology to measure Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN, SDG15.3) indicators and formulate voluntary target in collaboration with UN CCD Secretariat (approved by the MoA in December 2017).
  • 7 Operational guidelines on MEA drafted and submitted to SAEPF for approval in September 2018.
  • Pilot Metrological Guideline on CC Statistics and Road Map on improvement of CC Statistics in collaboration with UNECE and approved by IWG in August 2017

Tag: Natural Resouce management Implementation Modality Ownership Country Government Agenda 2030 Data and Statistics

50.

Mainstreaming

The Project’s activities have been designed and implemented in a way to ensure mainstreaming of the project’s activities within the national policy and planning process.

In this context, the development of MoUs between SAEPF and the different institutions including MoA, Kyrgyz Hydromet and NSC in view of sharing data and information were supported during the project implementation and agreed upon during the official process of Inter-Agency Working Groups; they were also confirmed in their minutes of meeting in June 2016 and were updated to reflect the EIMMS of “Kerege” in April 2018.

Although the MoUs are still awaiting signature between SAEPF and the concerned institutions, national willingness to proceed with the EIMMS were confirmed during the last Inter-Agency Working Groups held in December 2018.


Tag: Sustainability Partnership Sustainability Data and Statistics

51.

Mainstreaming of UNDP priorities

It is also noted that the project has ensured mainstreaming of UNDP priorities (including poverty alleviation, disaster risk prevention and gender equality) which were taken into account during project design and implementation.

The project document has aligned its strategy with UNDP’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan which calls for projects implemented by UNDP to meet high standards to meeting gender equality criteria as well as with UNDP’s guidance on the policy on Gender Equality, notably the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 and Powerful Synergies: Gender Equality, Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability.

The project has accordingly cooperated continuously with the UNDP office “Gender Specialist” to construct needed action plan to address potential barriers that could marginalize women.  As such, with the support of the UNDP-Office Gender Specialist, implementation of all project’s activities were regularly screened to ensure a solid basis for including joint development and implementation of the Annual Project’s Gender mainstreaming plan.


Tag: Disaster risk management Environment Policy Gender Equality Programme/Project Design UNDP Management UNDP management Poverty Alleviation Poverty Reduction

52.

As an example, the composition of Project Board in December 2018 Project Board consisted of more than 50% of women (6 members out of 11 in total were women).

Moreover, gender representation of participants within the framework of information and capacity building campaigns reflected a high proportion of women as follows:

  • Secondary and Higher education – 95% were women;
  • Private sector – 40% were women;
  • Strengthening capacity of government officials to analyze and work with environmental data, information and information systems – 51,4% were women.

In addition to gender issues, the project also aligned its strategy at design with main UNDP priorities, this included aligning the project with Kyrgyzstan’s United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) covering the period 2012-2016, setting out a strategic plan for the United Nations Country Team to support the country’s effort to meet national development objectives, in particular poverty alleviation, as well as global development objectives as outlined in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals. 

During project implementation, the project was implemented by the UNDP “Environment and Disaster Risk Management” which allowed clear linkages with on-going initiatives related to disaster risks management, and linkages to poverty alleviation were specifically possible through the co-financing provided from the Poverty and Environment Initiative.


Tag: Disaster risk management Environmental impact assessment Government Cost-sharing Gender Equality Gender Parity Women's Empowerment MDGs Poverty Alleviation Capacity Building Data and Statistics

53.

Sustainability*

Financial sustainability

As for all aspects of project’s sustainability, the financial sustainability of the is clearly planned as part of project design and project implementation through close collaboration with all concerned Governmental institutions.

Moreover, several additional efforts were made to identify financial resources to follow up on the project’s activities and the project team engaged in in several exercises during project implementation to identify new funding opportunities in the development context. Among others, the project included an extension of the EIMMS into a Funding Proposal for supporting the National Adaptation Planning process submitted by the Government to the Green Climate Fund. 


Tag: Sustainability Green Climate Fund Resource mobilization Human and Financial resources Sustainability

54.

Institutional sustainability

Institutional sustainability of the project is also planned as part of project design and project implementation through close collaboration with all concerned Governmental institutions.

In this respect, several steps can be noted to strengthen project’s institutional sustainability including the following:

  • Convening experts’ working groups and stakeholder meetings to agree on recommendations of institutional reforms. A special workshop with the collaboration of Government bodies together with the National Academy of Science was organized in October 2016. Two meetings of the Inter-Agency Working Groups on environmental SDGs were supported in 2017 and recommendation on improvements of data flow was agreed by the Government with NSC leadership. Creation of special Inter-Agency Working Groups on environmental information management and monitoring system “Kerege” was endorsed by SAEPF in April 2018 as part of improvement institutional reform process (Order #01-9/98 as of 17.04.18).
  • MoUs among partner agencies and other concerned stakeholders were drafted as part of the Government process on creation of the EIMMS “Kerege” in September 2018 and are expected to be signed by the end of the project as indicated in Table 8 above

Tag: Sustainability Public administration reform Partnership Sustainability Country Government Agenda 2030 National Institutions

55.

Socio-political sustainability

Socio-political sustainability is confirmed through the integration of the EIMMS within 5 national policies and plans, which include the following:

  • The Programme of the Kyrgyz Government "Jany Doorgo - Kyrk Kadam" ("Forty Steps to a New Era") for 2018-2023 approved by in August 2017
  • New strategy: Unity, Trust & Creation approved in April 2018
  • National Concept on digital transformation of the Kyrgyz Republic "Taza Koom" (Smart Nation) submitted for approval in September 2018
  • Annual Government Plans for 2017 and 2018
  • National Sustainable Development Strategy till 2040 endorsed by the National Sustainable Development Consul in August 2018 and approved by the President of KR in October 2018

Tag: Environment Policy Green Economy Sustainability Country Government Data and Statistics National Institutions

56.

Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is also clearly planned as part of project design and project implementation through close collaboration with all concerned Governmental institutions. Examples of environmental sustainability of the project include the following:

  • The review of national standards on environmental data and information conducted throughout the duration of the project leading to the adoption of a set of appropriate standards and procedures described and approved by Inter-Agency Working Group in August 2018.
  • A Set of National Environmental Indicators constituting the EIMMS “Kerege” and consisting of 54 indicators divided into 11 groups, taking into account Rio Conventions monitoring framework, SDGs targets, Green Growth and State of the Environment Report’s Indicators with developed relevant metadata/descriptions.

Based on the above assessment, the TE rating for the project’s sustainability is considered as “Likely” with negligible risks to sustainability.


Tag: Environment Policy Environmental impact assessment Green Economy Sustainability Agenda 2030 Data and Statistics

57.

Impact

The TE has confirmed the project’s impact based on the impact indicators adopted as part of the TE exercise (refer to Table 12 above).

As such, project’s impact can be confirmed at 3 levels:

  • Increase in the rating of the Capacity Development Scorecard
  • Integration of the EIMMS in key national policies and plans as a monitoring framework
  • Impact assessment of training and awareness necessary to integrate data, information and knowledge into national planning frameworks in a way that Rio Conventions obligations

With regards to the increase in the rating of the Capacity Development Scorecard, the TE has completed the rating for the Capacity Development Scorecard as summarized in Table 13 below and provided in Annex 7, and which is based on the Scorecard established at project’s formulation. The results confirm an increase of around 30% in the rating across all functions and indicators set as part of the exercise. This important increase in capacity functions related to the project is noted across all functions, for the exception of the “Capacities to monitor and evaluate” which is limited to 20% due to the lack of installation and testing of the EIMMS.

 


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Impact Awareness raising Capacity Building Policy Advisory

58.

With regards to Integration of the EIMMS in key national policies and plans as a monitoring framework, it can be confirmed that the EIMMS integrated in 5 national policies and plans:

  1. The Programme of the Kyrgyz Government "Jany Doorgo - Kyrk Kadam" ("Forty Steps to a New Era") for 2018-2023 approved by in August 2017
  2. New strategy: Unity, Trust & Creation approved in April 2018
  3. National Concept on digital transformation of the Kyrgyz Republic "Taza Koom" (Smart Nation) submitted for approval in September 2018
  4. Annual Government Plans for 2017 and 2018
  5. National Sustainable Development Strategy till 2040 as presented in Figure 5 below.

Tag: Environmental impact assessment Public administration reform Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

59.

With regards to the impact assessment of training and awareness needs necessary to integrate data, information and knowledge into national planning frameworks in a way that Rio Conventions obligations are being satisfied, the impact assessment of training and awareness activities, which covered 137 participants (around 95% of trainees provided a response), showed an increase of the capacity to handle data and information relevant to the Rio Convention and environmental SDGs. These results are based on the independent impact assessment implemented through three broad-based surveys carried out in September 2016, and November 2017 and August 2018.

Moreover, according to the Media Training Center under State National Broadcasting Company, the usage of analytical and reliable environmental data among mass media representatives increased by 40% in the period from June 2017-June 2018 compared to the period from June 2014-June 2015, which coincides with the capacity development activities implemented for the media by the project.

Finally, it should be noted that a considerable impact of the project was made at the national level with regards to environmental education in schools. More specifically, the localized version of the “Climate Box” was integrated into the educational process at the level of 1,502 secondary schools by January 2018, thus covering fully 4 Oblasts out of the 7 Oblasts in the country. Figures 6 and 7 below showcase the scale of the awareness activities of media and schools.

 

Based on the above assessment, the TE rating for the project’s Impact is considered as “Significant”.


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Impact Policy Advisory National Institutions

60.

Main executing partners and their responsibilities

The main implementing partner (SAEPF) together with the other main project partners have been closely engaged in the planning and implementation of the project’s activities and have ensured an effective and sustainable approach of the project’s implementation.

Through the Project Board, which was chaired by the SAEPF’s Director, the Project was provided with management oversight, continuous review of progress and decisions on programmatic modifications as well as policy recommendations. The nature of the Project Board which comprised all project’s partners including MoA, Ministry of Economy, NCS, OSCE, Aarhus Center in addition to UNDP facilitated project’s implementation. Moreover, the regular meetings of the Project Board allowed a reliable decision-making process.

It should also be noted that all project’s partners have taken an active role and responsibility in the implementation of the project’s activities and their follow up as needed and as further detailed in the Project’s Results (Section 3.3).

In general, it is clear that the implementing agency has fulfilled its responsibilities, given the efficient delivery of project activities which confirm adequate provision of technical and administrative support. As an example, joint tendering with other projects were conducted in order to reduce procurement costs as in the case of the Request for Proposal on “Printing of publications within projects of Sustainable Development Dimension” and which the Project covered on 1 out of 3 deliverables, and which concerned “Printing of materials on Environment Protection (Printing of Laws and Regulations on environment protection)”.

The only case where the support of UNDP was not aligned with the project’s needs is in the procurement of the services for the development of the EIMMS software and which is further discussed in the Lesson Learned (Section 4.3.2).


Tag: Implementation Modality Oversight Partnership Procurement Country Government

61.

UNDP and Implementing Partner implementation/execution*

Main implementing agencies and their responsibilities

In its capacity as Implementing Agency, the UNDP Country Office has adopted the Direct Implementation Modality through its “Environment and Disaster Risk Management” Unit as well other relevant programmes and units within the UNDP Country Office including technical programmes, procurement and administration.  In the context of its responsibilities, the UNDP Country Office supported the planning, implementation including procurement and human resources services.

The Project Inception was conducted at the outset of the project and allowed the revision of the Annual Work Plans as well as the establishment of the Project Board. However, the Inception meeting did not conduct a review of the project’s components as it was agreed do not initiate changes which would reduce ambitions of the project.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Procurement Project and Programme management UNDP Management UNDP management

62.

However, the M&E plan had only allocated an indicative cost of $5,000 which is limited to call upon an M&E expert to respond to these requirements, and did not allow the project to address this constraint in the project’s design.

Despite the fact that the project has used an extensive number of indicators which don’t reflect the needed M&E requirements, the reporting process was rigorously applied to be aligned with the project design and the PIR ratings are consistent with TE findings.

However, as part of the TE, it was important to formulate a set of impact indicators at Objective level, and Results-based indicators at Outcome level in order to adopt as a basis of the project’s evaluation. The proposed indicators are presented in Table 8 below and will be further used as part of the evaluation process.

It should be noted that during this retrofitting exercise, some of the existing project’s indicators have been used in order to ensure consistency and coherence with the initial project design, although the baseline and target of these indicators were not defined in a quantitative manner at project design.

Based on all the above, it can be concluded that the M&E system both at design and at implementation is Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU) and showed significant shortcomings in establishing a clear M&E system for the project and providing a solid basis for reporting on the project’s results and impact.


Tag: Challenges Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

63.

Monitoring and evaluation: design at entry and implementation*

As indicated in “Section 2.4. Baseline indicators established”, the M&E system of the project at the project’s design did not provide a solid basis for Results-Based Management and impact monitoring. The indicators were mainly process indicators which did not offer the project a tool for analyzing and tracking its results.

While it is beyond any doubt that the project has undertaken extensive efforts in implementing its planned activities, the initial M&E system did not provide a solid basis to track and measure its results and should have been strengthened by adopting a Results-Based M&E system as early as the Inception Phase.

While M&E roles and responsibilities were well articulated in project design as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation Section of the project document, the M&E plan did not provide a sufficient budget at Inception Phase to call upon external resources to support the project in establishing a Results-based monitoring system and re-align the project’s indicators to ensure that a smaller number of SMART indicators are in place.

The M&E plan at project design has indicated that “A project initiation workshop” should be held at project’s outset, and will allow the project, among others, to review the log frame (indicators, means of verification, assumptions), in order to “provide a detailed overview of UNDP/GEF reporting and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) requirements”


Tag: Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

Recommendations
1

The lack of the signature of the MoUs between SAEPF and the following institutions: MoA, Kyrgyz Hydromet, NSC, which are expected to take place by end 2018, however, this cannot be confirmed by the TE

2

The database developed with the project’s support was linked as part of the proposed EIMMS on the SAEPF’s web site in September 2018. The EIMMS E is expected to be launched in February 2019, however, this cannot be confirmed by the TE.

1. Recommendation:

The lack of the signature of the MoUs between SAEPF and the following institutions: MoA, Kyrgyz Hydromet, NSC, which are expected to take place by end 2018, however, this cannot be confirmed by the TE

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

The Recommendation is accepted and to be followedup by the end of March 2019.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP and the Hydromet were able to sign the agreement (MOU) in December 2018, while other MoUs with Ministry of Agriculture and National Statistics Committee will be signed by the end of March 2019.
[Added: 2019/01/05] [Last Updated: 2020/01/02]
UNDP, NSC, MoA 2019/12 Completed The action has now been completed accordingly. History
2. Recommendation:

The database developed with the project’s support was linked as part of the proposed EIMMS on the SAEPF’s web site in September 2018. The EIMMS E is expected to be launched in February 2019, however, this cannot be confirmed by the TE.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/14]

The recomendation is accepted and will be followed up by the end of March 2019.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The launch of the database will be done by the end of December 2019.
[Added: 2019/01/05] [Last Updated: 2020/01/02]
SAEPF, UNDP 2019/12 Completed The completion and launch of the “Kerege”database has been done by late November 2019. Additional works have been completed by UNDP; The ‘Ulut soft” company, which has been tasked to complete works on the “Kerege” state information system, for the state agency on environment; The partner was not able to fulfill its part of the commitments and requested support for these from UNDP which was granted, in order to enable full and proper functioning of the “Kerege” information system History

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