Terminal Evaluation of the Generating, Accessing and Using Information and Knowledge Related to the Three Rio Conventions Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2018, Cambodia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2019
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
24,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of the Generating, Accessing and Using Information and Knowledge Related to the Three Rio Conventions Project
Atlas Project Number: 00083830
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2018, Cambodia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 02/2019
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 $): 24,000
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,702
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Dr. Amal Aldababseh adababseh@estidama-jo.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Generating, Accessing and Using Information and Knowledge Related to the Three Rio Conventions
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 5295
PIMS Number: 5222
Key Stakeholders: Naitonal Council for Sustainable Development
Countries: CAMBODIA
Lessons
1.

Lesson learned 1: The Project was able to deliver significant achievements despite the challenging circumstances it faced at the inception phase including its small size in relation to the planned deliverables and being the first project to follow the national implementation modality. The Project was able to make good progress in establishing a strong foundation on which future and further work on accessing environmental data in Cambodia can be carried out. It can be noted that this was achieved by the dedication, flexibility, and determination with which the GSSD/MoE, PMU, UNDP Cambodia, UNDP/GEF, and other key stakeholders have implemented the project activities. Thus, this Project demonstrated that even in challenging project implementation contexts, with dedication and flexibility, important results can be achieved.


2.

Lesson learned 2: When technical capacity is considered as a challenging situation at the national level, it is very critical to define a clear project management structure that embeds the services of international technical advisors at various levels of project implementation. In Cambodia, this Project required the involvement of technical advisors to support the PMU in project implementation. However, that was not well-articulated in the Project Document, hence, it was not fully discussed during the Project Inception Phase. Furthermore, the Project has faced several problems in mobilizing the needed technical advisors on time. As a result, the involvement of external international specialists was late which has caused further delay in project implementation. The presence of a technical advisor from the early beginning of the project implementation is crucial to ensure the successful implementation of the project’s activities. The UNDP/GEF team may develop a list of qualified technical advisors, who can be easily mobilized by country officers to support CCCD projects implementation.


3.

Lesson learned 3: Based on the review of the technical deliverables produced by the Project, the effectiveness of relatively small amounts of assistance mobilized by the GEF initially was highly effective in supporting the national efforts and shows that even in a complex situation, the institutional capacity can be sustained with this initial stimulation. The successful implementation of the Project depends on the fund's availability, strong political support, and the mobilization of technical expertise needed. Hence, an exit strategy is very crucial to ensure the integration of the Project’s deliverables in governments work plan and strategies to ensure projects’ results sustainability.


4.

Lesson learned 4: Timely support to the PMU is needed from the UNDP/GEF and UNDP Country Offices to ensure the development of the needed adaptive management measures to be undertaken during the project inception phase. This could have helped the Project to avoid delay and support the project to utilize whatever opportunities arising that would lead to improved cost-efficiency, and/or offers solutions to a problem. Although this Project is very relevant to Cambodia and was entirely based on its NCSA Project, different operational issues resulted in slowing down the project implementation and have caused uncertainty with respect to the project’s sustainability. The UNDP/GEF technical support is very crucial during the inception phase to ensure that operational risks are clearly analyzed at the project inception stage as well as regularly during project implementation with concrete mitigation measures to be identified as part of the adaptive management.


5.

Lesson learned 5: A key to ensuring successful implementation of the project’s activities and the sustainability of its key deliverables is to ensure the country ownership. Hosting the PMU within the government premises is a very effective mean of fully engaging with government and local stakeholders. The project was hosted at the GSSD/MoE premises. The project was able to get the needed political, technical, financial, and logistical support. It has enhanced the ability of the PMU to coordinate and collaborate with other initiatives implemented in the fields of climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity conservation.


Findings
1.

The project has had a considerable effect on improving access to environmental information to the Rio Conventions through the harmonization of existing environmental management information systems and improving coordination of the implementation of these conventions in Cambodia. It achieved major milestones that are crucial to the realization of its objectives, it has achieved key targets including, developing inventory of existing information/ information management, conducting SWOT analysis on effectiveness and efficiency of existing environmental information management system in Cambodia; defining institutions and bodies that generate data and information concerning the Rio Conventions in Cambodia and conducting SWOT analysis and recommendations on the best action for the project to follow; reviewing of capacity building tools; analyzing capacity building for the implementation of the Rio Conventions in Cambodia and conducting SWOT analyses, and designing and launching of existing websites related to the Rio Conventions in Cambodia. The Project proved to be successful in leveraging co-financing from the government mainly through the Orchid Piloting site in Phnom Kulen National Park / Siem Reap Province.


2.

The project was able to complete many of the planned activities within four years (acknowledging that during the first year there was no work, so the one-year extension with no cost requested to finalize the remaining project’s activities is considered logic).


3.

Like other projects under the GEF CCCD multi-focal area, the Project is considered complex, multi-sectoral and involve multi-stakeholders. In addition, the delay the project faces during the inception phase is also like other CCCD projects due to the difficulties to mobilize the right team to manage and lead the project activities. Due to these reasons, the project overall rating is Moderately Satisfactory.


4.

The Project is very much acknowledged by the Government of Cambodia. It is considered relevant to the national context and to the UNDP programmatic direction. Many positive results have been already achieved, yet, there remains a need to continue consolidating results and promoting lessons learned from the Project experiences. There are some very positive indications for potential sustainability, but that would need confirmed funding for follow-up activities. Without a confirmed financial government commitment prospects for sustainability are uncertain, and overall sustainability is considered moderately likely.


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