Concept for Conservation Biodiversity and Enhancement Ecosystem Functions through a (R2R) MTR Ridge to Reef (R2R) Approach in Cook Islands

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Samoa
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
11/2018
Completion Date:
11/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Download document Final Report of MTR for Cook Islands R2R Project 5168 with 24 annexes.pdf report English 4840.85 KB Posted 15
Title Concept for Conservation Biodiversity and Enhancement Ecosystem Functions through a (R2R) MTR Ridge to Reef (R2R) Approach in Cook Islands
Atlas Project Number: 00092426
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Samoa
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 11/2018
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF Trust Fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 24,160
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
William Laurie andrew.laurie@cantab.net
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Conserving biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem function through a "Ridge to Reef" approach in the Cook Islands
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5348
PIMS Number: 5168
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SAMOA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

MTR recommendation 1

Announce and launch a 10 week Consolidation Phase (CP) during which project scope and strategic results framework will be reviewed and objectives clarified, and changes will be made to project management, specifically through recruitment of long term technical staff for the PMU and improvements in how the PMU works with partners and other stakeholders. This will require a team of two Consolidation Phase consultants, one international and one national, who will work together with PMU on all aspects of the CP.

2

Begin recruitment of two senior technical advisers to guide, advise and work together with PMU staff, partners and other stakeholders after the Consolidation Phase 

(a)A long term, highly experienced and qualified Chief Technical Adviser (CTA)

(b) A long term, highly experienced and qualified Protected Area Management Expert

3

MTR Recommendation 3

PMU and the two CP Consultants hold a series of individual and small group meetings with partners and other stakeholders to establish a shared vision of project scope and implementation and institutional sustainability of project outcomes post project.

4

MTR recommendation 4

Revert to a single source (the PMU) for disbursement of project funds.

5

MTR Recommendation 5

Review project progress, refine the SRF and its indicators, define revised targets and institutional responsibilities, and draw up a Project Workplan to achieve revised targets by end of October 2020 (ie 15 months beyond current expected end of project).

6

MTR Recommendation 6

Hold a two day multi-stakeholder Consolidation Workshop[1](CW) to build on the stakeholder/partner consultations and reach agreement on targets, revised indicators, key activities, project work plan to December 2020, roles of consultants, and new arrangements for routine work planning by project partners. The CP consultants will play a leading role in the CW, possibly with the support of a suitably qualified external facilitator[2]. Much of the groundwork will be done previous the CW so that progress can be made during the workshop itself.  

 


[1]similar in scope to an Inception Workshop

[2]Preferably with experience on theory of change processes

7

MTR Recommendation 7

Establish the strengthened PMU, in an office dedicated to the project, with workspace for the long term CTA and Protected Area Consultant, short term consultants, out-posted PMU staff and liaison officers. 

8

MTR Recommendation 8

Introduce and operate a more pro-active, R2R project-centred, inclusive approach to quarterly work-planning led by PMU and increasing the involvement of NHT, TIS, MMCO and possibly others, as full partners.

9

MTR Recommendation 9

Increase international technical exchange

10

MTR Recommendation 10

Select a small number of activities that are almost ready for implementation as pilots to a high standard and "fast-tracking" to demonstrate good practice in application of the R2R approach and to produce lasting tangible products.  

(a) Preparation of the Aitutaki Lagoon Management Plan 

(b) Work to complete the Cook Islands Biodiversity and Ethnological Database (CIBED)

(c) Drafting of biodiversity criteria for tourism accreditation

11

MTR Recommendation 11

Carry out needs assessments and prepare comprehensive capacity development and communication plans for the project while ensuring that the project's activities take place as part of overall training and communications for biodiversity conservation and the environment in the country and for the long term. 

(a) Training needs assessment based on analysis of requirements in each relevant agency and what training has been done so far. 

(b) Comprehensive communication plan for the project aimed at informing and involving all stakeholders, including the general public and government staff.

12

MTR Recommendation 12

Plan for and support government in providing technical counterpart staff to sustain the work of the project in biodiversity conservation, including protected area management

13

MTR Recommendation 13

Apply for a no-cost extension of the project for 15 months until Dec 2020.

1. Recommendation:

MTR recommendation 1

Announce and launch a 10 week Consolidation Phase (CP) during which project scope and strategic results framework will be reviewed and objectives clarified, and changes will be made to project management, specifically through recruitment of long term technical staff for the PMU and improvements in how the PMU works with partners and other stakeholders. This will require a team of two Consolidation Phase consultants, one international and one national, who will work together with PMU on all aspects of the CP.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/10] [Last Updated: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 1 

A shortened consolidation phase of 4-5 weeks to proceed as soon as Chief Technical Adviser is recruited

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop TORs and recruit consolidation phase consultants
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO and R2R PMU 2019/04 Initiated
Review of Project Strategic Results Framework and Project institutional Arrangements
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R Project Team and Chief Technical Advisor 2019/06 Not Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Begin recruitment of two senior technical advisers to guide, advise and work together with PMU staff, partners and other stakeholders after the Consolidation Phase 

(a)A long term, highly experienced and qualified Chief Technical Adviser (CTA)

(b) A long term, highly experienced and qualified Protected Area Management Expert

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Agreed with management recommendation 2. Project to recruit Chief technical advisor, Protected Areas Systems and Managment Specilist/Advisor as well as the addition of a Sustainable Tourism Specilaist to support the work of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop TORs for Chief Technical Advisor (CTA), Protected Area Systems & Management Specialist/Advisor, and Sustainable Tourism Specialist
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO with R2R PMU 2019/03 Initiated
Recruit Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) – 120 days on an intermittent basis for up to a further 120 days ( or as budget permits) spread over a remaining duration of the projecgt. NB: Crucial to ensure this assignment starts with an intensive 3 months of continuous input for the consolidation phase.
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO with R2R Project team 2019/03 Not Initiated
Recruit Protected Area Systems & Management Specialist/Advisor – 100 days spread over 12 months (i.e. intermittent), with option to extend this for a further 100 days spread over 12-18 months. Two key tasks: (i) to support (policy formulation) the development of CI’s PAs system, with the establishment of a comprehensive spatial database of all PAs (including ra’ui), and apply the IUCN PAs categories to the system or an alternate agreed national classification system; and (ii) to provide technical support in the development of all management plans developed by the project, including the Aitutaki Lagoon Master Plan.
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO and R2R Project team 2019/04 Not Initiated
Recruit Sustainable Tourism Specialist 80 days spread over 8 months (i.e. intermittent) with extension option for a further 80 days spread over 12-18 months. ToR to include: strengthening accreditation schemes and environmental safeguards within the sector; support the implementatin of the accreditation scheme, and to develop policies/mechanisms that will underpin sustainable financing for nature conservation from tourism sector.
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO and R2R Project team 2019/04 Not Initiated
3. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 3

PMU and the two CP Consultants hold a series of individual and small group meetings with partners and other stakeholders to establish a shared vision of project scope and implementation and institutional sustainability of project outcomes post project.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 3

Agreed with MTR recommendation 3. This with undertaken in conjunction with manafgment response #1

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Undertake in conjunction with #1; building on the Dec. 2017 R2R Retreat and its shared R2R vision
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R project team, CTA and UNDP MCO 2019/03 Not Initiated
4. Recommendation:

MTR recommendation 4

Revert to a single source (the PMU) for disbursement of project funds.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management response 4

All finances have been consolidated into one account.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
MMR account consolidated into one R2R account based at NES and all funds disbursed from there.
[Added: 2019/02/14]
MFEM and R2R Project team 2018/09 Completed
5. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 5

Review project progress, refine the SRF and its indicators, define revised targets and institutional responsibilities, and draw up a Project Workplan to achieve revised targets by end of October 2020 (ie 15 months beyond current expected end of project).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 5

Agree with recommendation 5 to be undertaken in conjunction with Recommendation #1 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revised Project progress, refine SRF and indicators, define SRF target and institutional responsibilities
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R project team, Chief Technical advisor and UNDP MCO 2019/03 Not Initiated
Revise workplan for 2019 and planned extension period
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R project team and UNDP 2019/02 Overdue-Initiated
6. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 6

Hold a two day multi-stakeholder Consolidation Workshop[1](CW) to build on the stakeholder/partner consultations and reach agreement on targets, revised indicators, key activities, project work plan to December 2020, roles of consultants, and new arrangements for routine work planning by project partners. The CP consultants will play a leading role in the CW, possibly with the support of a suitably qualified external facilitator[2]. Much of the groundwork will be done previous the CW so that progress can be made during the workshop itself.  

 


[1]similar in scope to an Inception Workshop

[2]Preferably with experience on theory of change processes

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 6

Agree with recommendation 6; undertake in conjuction with recommendation with #1 and #5

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organise and conduct 2-3 day workshop to reach agreement on targets, revised indicators, key activities, project work plan to December 2020, roles of consultants, and new arrangements for routine work planning by project partners
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R Project team and UNDP MCO 2019/03 Not Initiated
7. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 7

Establish the strengthened PMU, in an office dedicated to the project, with workspace for the long term CTA and Protected Area Consultant, short term consultants, out-posted PMU staff and liaison officers. 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 7

PMU will investigate options for  office space for the Project CTA and PAM expert and look for suitable options.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Options for Project office space determined
[Added: 2019/02/14]
National Environment Service 2019/03 Not Initiated
8. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 8

Introduce and operate a more pro-active, R2R project-centred, inclusive approach to quarterly work-planning led by PMU and increasing the involvement of NHT, TIS, MMCO and possibly others, as full partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 8

MMCO is already a part of the implementation technical team that reviews each others workplans during planning phases.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project technical implementation team have joint work planning sessions, at least once every quarter, to develop QWPs/AWPs and align activities wherever possible.
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R Project team 2020/12 Not Initiated
9. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 9

Increase international technical exchange

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 9

Agree with MTR recommendation 9 and will addressed through reccommendation 9

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To be addressed through recommendation 11
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R Project team 2019/06 Not Initiated
10. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 10

Select a small number of activities that are almost ready for implementation as pilots to a high standard and "fast-tracking" to demonstrate good practice in application of the R2R approach and to produce lasting tangible products.  

(a) Preparation of the Aitutaki Lagoon Management Plan 

(b) Work to complete the Cook Islands Biodiversity and Ethnological Database (CIBED)

(c) Drafting of biodiversity criteria for tourism accreditation

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 10

R2R support to the update of  the Cook Islands Biodiversity and Ethnological Database (CIBED) and to the Biodiversity Eco-certification for tourism accreditation has already commenced in 2018 and will continue into 2019

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
a) Develop TORs and fast track procurement for; • Development of the Aitutaki Lagoon Management Plan • Terrestrial assessments of Takutea and Manuae • Development of Management Plans for Takitumu Conservation Area, Mokoero, Takutea and Manuae • R2R Capacity and capabilities needs assessment • Natural Heritage Trust Technical Assistance to support CIBED succession planning and support to the R2R project
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO and R2R project team 2019/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
11. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 11

Carry out needs assessments and prepare comprehensive capacity development and communication plans for the project while ensuring that the project's activities take place as part of overall training and communications for biodiversity conservation and the environment in the country and for the long term. 

(a) Training needs assessment based on analysis of requirements in each relevant agency and what training has been done so far. 

(b) Comprehensive communication plan for the project aimed at informing and involving all stakeholders, including the general public and government staff.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 11

Agree with recommendation 11. A and B to be carried out in 2019

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Training needs • Develop TOR for capacity needs assessment • Prepare a comprehensive capacity development plan • Implement priority training needs where possible
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2r project team and UNDP MCO 2019/06 Not Initiated
Comprehensive communication plan • Develop annual communications plan • Implement Communications plan
[Added: 2019/02/14]
UNDP MCO and R2R Project team 2019/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
12. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 12

Plan for and support government in providing technical counterpart staff to sustain the work of the project in biodiversity conservation, including protected area management

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 12

Capacity needs assessment and training throughout the project will target Government staff to upskill/train in R2R related areas as well as in planning and implemeting 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Include training of local counterparts in CTA and PAM areas of expertise
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R project team 2019/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
Identify key staff to undertake training, skills and professional development based on Capacity Needs Assessment, including local counterparts to learn from CTA, PAM and ST TAs
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R project team 2019/06 Not Initiated
13. Recommendation:

MTR Recommendation 13

Apply for a no-cost extension of the project for 15 months until Dec 2020.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/02/14] [Last Updated: 2019/02/14]

Management Response 13

Apply as soon as possible. Given slow/delayed follow up to MTR, 18 month extension is preferred and will be requested.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Apply for 18 month extension of the project; • Complete Extension request form • Letter of request from GEF Operational Focal Point/Implementing partner • Revised budget/worksplan for extension period
[Added: 2019/02/14]
R2R project team supported by UNDP MCO 2019/02 Overdue-Initiated

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