SOI Integrating global environment commitments in investment and development decision-making in Solomon Islands

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2018
Completion Date:
10/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
21,478

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Title SOI Integrating global environment commitments in investment and development decision-making in Solomon Islands
Atlas Project Number: 00091738
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2018
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 $): 21,478
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 21,478
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Amal Aldababseh Dr adababseh@estidama-jo.com JORDAN
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: SOI Integrating global environment commitments in investment and development decision-making
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 5045
PIMS Number: 4928
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and disaster management, UNDP
Countries: FIJI
Lessons
1.

When there is a clearly challenging situation at the national level, like lack of technical capacities, defining a set of practical concrete steps during the project design to help the project’s team implementing the project and overcoming the challenging situation, is very crucial. For example, CCCD projects are complex in nature and require technical support in many countries. For the Solomon Islands CCCD project, the involvement of an external international specialist was crucial to ensure the successful implementation of the project’s activities. It has proven to be highly beneficial in terms of supporting the project team in managing the project, providing technical back-stopping, and identifying issues and risks in addition to mitigation measures to be implemented. Such an arrangement was very necessary for the Solomon Islands CCCD project; however, it was not proposed in the project design or during the inception phase, which caused a major delay in project implementation up until the hiring of the international specialist.


2.

Timely and well-developed adaptive management measures undertaken during project inception phase would help 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. For example, the CCCD project is very relevant and was based on the NCSA. However, different operational issues resulted in slowing down the project implementation and have caused uncertainty with respect to project’s sustainability. Hence, such operational issues/risks need to be clearly analyzed at the project design stage as well as regularly during project implementation with concrete mitigation measures to be identified as part of the adaptive management


3.

The CCCD project in the Solomon Islands has faced many challenging circumstances since the start of its implementation. Many of these challenges were beyond the project’s control. However, with the project’s team, UNDP, and the Government’s team’s enthusiasm, commitment, flexibility, and perseverance, the Solomon Islands was able to achieve the project’s objective. Hence it has been clear that even in difficult project implementation contexts, with determination and commitments from all stakeholders intended outcomes and results can be achieved.


4.

Hosting the PMU within the government premises is a very effective mean of fully engaging with government and local stakeholders. The CCCD project was hosted at the MECDM premises. The project team was very close to decision makers and were able to communicate directly with the Permanent Secretary concerning any risks/issues hindering the project implementation. The project was also able to get the needed political and technical support. Furthermore, locating the PMU within the MECDM office may have been more effective for strengthening communication with other projects in the fields of climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity conservation. It also enhanced the country’s ownership of the project and facilitated discussions to ensure sustainability of key project’s deliverables


5.

Proper and effective stakeholders’ engagement –mainly the receipt government- is a key to achieving project’s deliverables and intended outcomes. GEF projects are intrinsically connected to governments agencies and are considered as financial mechanisms to support governments to comply with their international environmental obligations. The experience from the Solomon Islands CCCD project confirms this and provides evidence that fully and timely engagement of government stakeholders is a key to achieve projects’ results.


6.

CCCD projects are complex and need technical, political, and financial support to ensure its successful implementation. The successful implementation of the CCCD projects depends on the fund's availability, strong political support, and the mobilization of technical expertise needed. However, in many cases, once these projects are operationally closed, there is no clear exit strategy developed, only sustainability aspects and replicability issues are discussed in the terminal report. A stand-alone exit strategy is very crucial to ensure the integration of these projects in governments work plan and strategies to ensure projects’ results sustainability.


7.

Based on the review of the technical deliverables and the produced reports, the TE sees progress in the visible outputs of the project, whose are with more ‘technical orientation’ outputs like (preparing an analytical framework for mainstreaming Rio Conventions in development plan, developing an education module and teacher resource material, prepare REDD+ Roadmap, prepare resources mobilization strategy, etc.), while outputs related to capacity development, information management, public awareness, and coordination are less visible in terms of achievements. During design, CCCD projects need to take this issue into consideration as some outputs may need much more time than the planned, mainly when it comes to government endorsement of laws, legislation, and acts.


Findings
1.

3.1 Project Design/ Formulation
The project design is considered very relevant to the GEF objectives and to the Solomon Islands’ global environmental obligations and development objectives. The project document was designed with defined objectives, outputs, activities, and targets. Many of the intended outputs were designed to be goal-oriented, however, a few targets are difficult to achieve within the three-year implementation timeframe.

The Project Document reasonably included the required level of details concerning the project log-frame (LFA), components and outputs, but it failed -in some cases- to make a proper link to the local context as some proposed activities are difficult to achieve based on the local context. It addresses adequately five main barriers and opportunities to deliver sustainable impact in the way that knowledge and capacity for integrated Rio conventions and REDD+ in the development processes will be achieved or at least improved, implementation plan for their integration is developed with technical assistance of national and international experts, while on-going public awareness on linkages of the global environment to national socio- economic development priorities designed and partially implemented in the Solomon Islands. These activities will allow the Government to utilize knowledge benefits as they build upon a longer-term sustainability strategy.


Tag: Natural Resouce management Relevance Programme/Project Design Capacity Building Technical Support

2.

3.1.1 Analysis of LFA/Results Framework (Project logic/ Strategy, Indicators)

The project objective, the components, and most of the outputs as mentioned in the Project Document are clear and practical. However, the project’s outcomes are mentioned once, then, components were listed as outcomes in the log-frame. According to the project’s inception report, the LFA has been reviewed but no changes have been made and therefore, has not been updated. Outcomes are not well identified in the Project Document, with targets are specified at the output levels. No update/fine-tuning of the outputs, activities, targets, and sources of verification at the inception phase. The targets achievement per the end of the project as formulated during project development-are generally realistic, with a few exceptions.


Essentially the LM followed the GEF format but it did not include targets at the outcome level. This resulted in some weaknesses in the LF in defining targets and indicators at the components/outcomes level and at the mid-term level. Therefore, the LF has led to a greater confusion concerning the project’s strategy. Table 2 provides an overview of the TE assessment of the project’s LFA and how “SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound” the achievements are compared to the defined end-of-project targets.


Tag: Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management

3.

3.1.2 Assumptions and Risks

According to the project document, the project was designed to remove several capacity barriers hindering the implementation and mainstreaming of Rio Conventions in development sectors. Those include the following five barriers; lack of coordination in environmental mainstreaming; weak compliance and enforcement of environmental acts and regulation; inadequate capacities of relevant environmental agencies and departments such as departments within MECDM and MoFR to tackle existing and emerging environmental problems; lack of proper scientific environmental data and information; and poor technology development and transfer (including loss of traditional knowledge).

The project has effectively managed to address each of these barriers towards the effective integration and implementation of the Rio Conventions by improving the decision-making process in the Solomon Islands.


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Relevance Knowledge management Technology Coordination

4.

3.1.3 Lessons from other relevant projects incorporated into project design.

The CCCD project was designed to complement what other projects are intended to achieve in order to eliminate any overlap and enhance the coordination and collaboration with existed projects. It was noticed that lessons learned from the CCCD project were used and incorporated into other projects’ designs. The government officials indicated that they have learned so many lessons from the implementation of the CCCD, which they have already used and benefited from in the design of other GEF and UN projects. For example, the Government indicated that they have learned three main lessons from the CCCD project: (i) a chief technical advisor should be hired from the early beginning of the project and should stay in the country to provide the needed technical support, (ii) an MOU should be signed between the executing and implementing partners with the needed details concerning the project implementation, and (iii) projects should be nationally implemented even if the capacity is limited in order to enhance the capacity and ensure government ownership.

So far, no clear signs for lessons learned from other relevant projects incorporated into the CCCD project design.


Tag: Knowledge management Coordination Technical Support

5.

3.1.4 Planned stakeholder participation

The project has managed to develop some of the critical partnerships with stakeholders at the national and at the provincial level with communities in piloting sites (Kia village in Santa Isabel province, and Gizo and Kolombangara in the Western provinces) where relationships appear to be pleasant and there is considerable support. However, considering the strategic aim to develop some national coordination mechanisms between central and provincial governments, the TE would have expected to see more evidence of partnerships with organizations involved in different provinces.

The Project Document required the project to set up Technical Working Groups in order to“discuss and deliberate on the various technical analyses as well as recommendations to establish the EMIS and supporting institutional reforms (Project Document, Section E.3, Paragraph 147, Page 45)”. At least three main types of organizations were listed as members of the Technical Working Groups in the project document (independent experts, technical government agency representatives, representatives from stakeholders’ groups), however, only technical government agency representatives from the three main ministries were involved in the project implementation. Although, it should be noted that the strategic decision of having one technical working group made it very much effective and organized, the absence of other stakeholders’ representatives has limited the work of the technical group due to the high workload.

 


Tag: Local Governance Integration Partnership Project and Programme management

6.

3.1.5 Replication approach

Institutional and individual capacity building, public awareness, and the development of needed guidelines, tools and frameworks would ensure the sustainability of global environmental benefits and outcomes replicability of the key principles.

The implemented approach for replicability included the following main elements:

  • The project has been designed to develop the needed tools, frameworks, textbooks and guidelines needed to ensure the mainstreaming of the Rio Conventions in decision-making processes in the Solomon Islands.
  • The capacity development components focused on the learn-by-doing approach in order to institutionalize the project’s work at national levels and the application of the developed tools and guidelines through a pilot project. Thus, the replication value is very high.
  • Furthermore, the produced tools, framework and EIA guidelines can be used in other provinces. Updating the needed legislation concerning forestry, logging, and socio-economic safeguards, as well as the amendment to EIA guidelines, would provide the legal coverage and support to replicate the developed methodologies and guidelines in other places.
  • The piloting of the developed tools in two different sites, in cooperation with national and international non-governmental organizations and funded projects, provided learn-by-doing opportunities and helped in building the capacity at national and provincial levels.
  • Research and Development including the development of a textbook and piloting the teaching guides in many secondary schools.

Tag: Sustainability Communication Knowledge management Sustainability Capacity Building

7.

3.1.6 UNDP comparative advantage

UNDP comparative advantage lies in its experience in integrated policy in different national processes, policies, and frameworks. CCCD projects are complex due to their multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholders nature, hence, UNDP’s assistance in designing and implementing activities is consistent with both the GEF mandate and national sustainable development plans. UNDP at the global level has been involved in designing and implementing around 60 projects under this focal area. UNDP Solomon Islands office has the adequate capacity for implementation of the CCCD project with the needed support from the region as well as global UNDP/GEF offices.


Tag: Strategic Positioning

8.

3.1.7 Linkages between the project and other interventions within the sector

This CCCD project successfully collaborated with several national and regional projects and activities funded by international donors and development partners. Those include UNDP/GEF, FAO, TNC, GIZ, and the Government of The Solomon Islands (GSI). In addition, the project was implemented under the UNDP Resilience and Sustainable Development (RSD) Unit which is also directly responsible for implementing other ongoing UNDP-supported projects.

The project cooperated well with the following projects:

REDD+ Programme: The IGECIDDM Project supports the initiation of the REDD+ Programme at the country level. The Project was able to help the Ministry in finalizing the REDD+ Programme roadmap and then endorsing it by the Cabinet end of 2015. The project was able to support the set-up of the REDD+ Unit and to raise awareness at the national and provincial levels concerning the REDD+ programme. Also, the project facilitated the creation of a full- time position for the REDD+ officer at the MoFR. The Government considered this support as a very important contribution of the CCCD project to the REDD+ implementation and the sustainability of the project’s outcomes after the project’s timeline.

FAO Integrated Forest Management project (IFM). The IGECIDDM project started the needed practical steps to cooperate with the IFM project in order to hand over the piloting projects to the IFM project team.

The Secretariat to the Pacific Community (SPC) and GIZ: the IGECIDDM project manages to seek the technical advice and collaborates with the SPC/GIZ project. Cooperation included; refining the TOR for the National REDD+ Committee, and in developing a work plan for the committee.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC): The project collaborated with TNC by raising awareness in piloting sites about key conservation concepts concerning the natural environment gave their focus is on protected areas.


Tag: Project and Programme management Shared Services UN Agencies Coordination

9.

3.1.8 Management arrangement

The project was implemented under the DIM (Direct Implementation Modality), and UNDP was the GEF Implementing Agency for the project, with the UNDP Country Office responsible for transparent practices and appropriate conduct. The MECDM acts as the main beneficiary and executing partner. All project’s activities are developed in close cooperation with the MAL and MoFR.

UNDP hired a National Project Manager (PM) and a project-assistant and provided technical support through its staff to support the project management unit. The direct implementation modality is based on the 2009 HACT Macro assessment and agreed with the Government of The Solomon Islands.

A Project Board (PB) was to provide strategic decisions and management guidance to implement the project. The PB was to be made up of representatives of relevant ministries and government departments, and UNDP, and to be chaired by the NPD. The project was monitored by the PB. The Project Document stated that the project board should meet at least (2) times per year (Pro.Doc. Page 33, Paragraph 110).


Tag: Oversight Project and Programme management Coordination Technical Support

10.

3.2 Project Implementation

  • Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation)
  • Partnership arrangements (with relevant stakeholders involved in the country)
  • Feedback from M&E activities used for adaptive management
  • Project finance
  • Monitoring and evaluation; design at entry and implementation*
  • UNDP and Implementation Partner Implementation/ execution coordination, and operational issues*.

Achievements of project implementation and adaptive management have been rated in terms of the criteria above at a six-level scale as follows (TE’s TOR): Highly satisfactory (HS) - the project has no shortcomings; Satisfactory (S) - minor shortcomings; Moderately satisfactory (MS) - moderate shortcomings; Moderately unsatisfactory (MU) - significant shortcomings; Unsatisfactory (U)- major shortcomings; and Highly unsatisfactory (HU) - severe shortcomings.

The results of the review and justification for the rating provided is described in the following paragraphs. The selected rating and a description/explanation of that rating are included in the FE Ratings & Achievements Summary table 1, Page 5.

 


Tag: Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Partnership Coordination

11.

3.2.1 Adaptive Management

The project was CEO endorsed in July 2014, whereas the inception workshop took place in June 2015 (one year later). As stated in the MTR, the project faced two major difficulties in the first period; (1) political unrest in the country, and (2) major delay in the inception phase due to the inability to assign a qualified project team. The PMU has prepared annual work plans (AWP), based on which the activities and outputs are related to proposed project components and outcomes. The progress on the work plan is not in line with the initial plan.

Adaptive management means that the PMU must constantly keep referring to the goal and objectives and critically assessing how the activities are contributing to the outputs and how those outputs are leading to the objective. Although the project started one year later than the planned date and had witnessed major delays due to the difficulties in hiring the project manager, the international consultants, and the national team, the TE did not witness any major adaptive management measures.

Only three adaptatively management measures were taken by CCCD Project, these measures were discussed and agreed upon during different Project Board meetings:

  • Host the project management at the Government premises, although the project followed a direct implementation modality.
  • Mobilize more than the planned expertise (national and international) to support the project implementation. A team of national and international experts has been established to ensure proper implementation of the project activities and delivery of the expected outputs. The expert team was mobilized to implement project activities in line with the Project LF.
  • Establish one technical working group instead of 3 groups.

The MTR report recommended a set of recommendation concerning adaptative management, those are discussed in detail under section 3.2.3 of this report.


Tag: Challenges Project and Programme management

12.

3.2.2 Partnership arrangements

The Project has been successful in arranging partnerships with the three main stakeholders (MECDM, MAL, MoFR) for the implementation of the project. The project was hosted at the MECDM despite the fact that the project was DIM, this has helped the project to be very close to other projects and initiatives led by the MECDM. Hence, the Project was able to coordinate the involvement of international donors (including the FAO, and GIZ and JICA), the government counterparts and some of the international non-governmental organizations working in the field. However, as stated in the MTR, “the Project Document made it very clear that the project should cooperate with a wide range of stakeholders at the national and provinces levels to ensure achieving the project outcome”. Yet, the project did not manage to build the needed partnership with one of the key partners, which was identified in the project document: The Ministry Provincial Government. The TE echoed the MTR’s conclusion in considering “the relationship with this Ministry, the largest player at the local and provinces level, to be lost”.

The public awareness efforts concerning the REDD+ and the Rio Conventions that were done by the project were very much appreciated by the Government officials interviewed during the FE mission. It was also noted that the Project has managed to create a good partnership with the Parliament through the MECDM. The project manager had the chance to prepare the needed notes, letters and background materials to present the project’s findings. This has helped in securing the needed approval of the project’s legislative components.


Tag: Relevance Parliament Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Donor

13.

3.2.3 Feedback from M&E activities used for adaptive management

The TE has reviewed the M&E activities and noticed that the PMU did not have any sufficiently developed adaptive management framework and did not fully understand the project’s strategy. However, the PMU had a true and genuine desire to get on with the job and get some of the project’s activities in place. Monitoring of the project by the Implementing Agency has been satisfactory with assisting in the preparation of the APR/PIR Review and subsequent Board Review, coordination of the Combined Delivery Report and reviewing and following up the project’s quarterly progress reports, financial reports, and work plans. However, as indicated in the MTR report “there have been a number of critical weaknesses in the monitoring of the project cycle. These have resulted in missed opportunities to either refit the project LF to the project or vice versa. While it has been demonstrated that there were a number of extenuating circumstances caused by events external to the project 1 , it is not unreasonable for the UNDP, to have taken the initiative in addressing these issues at some point in the project. Instead, the Project has implemented some components of the project very well, but not all the necessary strategic components to achieve the Objective.”

The project inception workshop (IW) helped on the 23 rd June 2015, after the recruitment of the PM in April 2015. The inception report was submitted immediately after the IW however, it was not well written and did not capture the necessary adaptive management measurements including the formulation of the project’s technical working groups. No justification was included in the Inception Report and as indicated by the MTR “the Inception Phase and corresponding Report represent a considerable weakness in the project cycle”. Furthermore, this shortcoming in the inception phase, IW, and IR should have been detected by the UNDP CO and the UNDP/GEF Unit as these monitoring tools are part of all UNDP supported projects.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Coordination

14.

3.2.4 Project Finance

The TE has assessed the differences between the actual expenditure and the leveraged financing and co-financing during the TE mission presented in Table 4, which provides an overview of the budgeted expenditures of the GEF Project of US$ 0.85 million. As of August 2018, US$ 727,969.56 about (85.64%) of the project total budget, has been dispersed. However, around US$ 122 thousands (14.36%) remain in the Project budget, as encumbrance, for producing publications under public awareness components.

The third project component has the largest share of the budget that has been spent. The least share is for component 2. Reallocations between the project components (reaches 19%) have been foreseen at the TE stage. Accordingly, the spending of the budget is not much in plan and is not in line with the period of implementation, as are also the results of the project delivered so far.


Tag: Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources UNDP Management

15.

3.2.5 Monitoring and evaluation: design at entry and implementation (*)

M&E Design at Entry
The project document included a description of the budgeted Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan with identified responsible parties for M&E activities, allocated indicative budget, and specified time frame for each M&E activity. According to the M&E plan, M&E should be conducted in accordance with established UNDP and GEF procedures. Monitoring Framework and Evaluation was further substantiated in the ProDoc. The indicative M&E budget was USD 29,000 or 3.4% of the total GEF grant, that was enough to conduct the planned M&E activities except for the MTR which was not planned as it is not a requirement for a medium-size project.

The UNDP/GEF standard M&E tools were included in the project document, including the logframe with the needed indicators, the inception report, the terminal evaluation, and the quarterly and annual progress report and board meetings.

 


Tag: Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures

16.

3.2.5 Monitoring and evaluation: design at entry and implementation (*)

Implementation of M&E

The FE considers that the UNDP project assurance role has been correctly applied to this
project, due to the following evidence:

  • There have been a good number of monitoring and review exercises conducted by the UNDP Country Office including participation in the project board meetings, preparation of the project annual reports, and production of the Combined Delivery Reports (CDRs).
  • The UNDP CO has been active in reviewing and following up on the project’s quarterly progress reports, financial reports, and project work plans.
  • The UNDP/GEF Regional Unit and UNDP SI’s provisions of financial resources have also been in accordance with project norms and in a timeframe, that is supportive of covering the costs of project activities.
  • The Project’s staff and consultants were contracted according to the established Rules and Regulations of the United Nations and the financial transactions and procurement activities similarly followed due process and the same Rules and Regulations.
  • The project’s M&E activities were conducted in accordance with established UNDP and GEF procedures.

Tag: Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Quality Assurance Results-Based Management

17.

Continuing

3.2.5 Monitoring and evaluation: design at entry and implementation (*)

Implementation of M&E

The following elements are identified in the project document as the principal components of monitoring and evaluation:


A project inception workshop to introduce an understanding and ownership of the project’s goals and objectives among the project stakeholder groups. The Project Manager was recruited in April 2015, and the Inception Workshop was organized on the 23rd June 2015 (two months later), the final draft of the Inception Report was submitted with the same date. During the inception workshop, the management structure was neither discussed nor modified, no changes were made to the project LF, the limited discussion was done on the project’s annual work plan. Hence, the TE considers that the Inception Phase and corresponding Report represent a considerable weakness in the project cycle.

While these matters should have been detected through the UNDP/GEF Unit, it is also expected that UNDP CO to update the log frame and the role of monitoring and evaluation, particularly as it relates to adaptive management. After all, log frame planning, is part of all UNDP supported projects.

Annual Progress Reports APR. So far, 3 annual progress reports (2015, 2016 and 2017), have been delivered. A Mid-term analytical progress report (MAPR) has also been prepared. The MAPR provides critical analysis of the project’s status.

 


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Quality Assurance

18.

3.2.6 UNDP and Implementing Partner implementation/execution coordination, and operational issues (*)

UNDP (Implementing Agency) implementation

The key aspects of the UNDP implementation are as follows:
- UNDP followed up on the CCCD Project and continuously examined if it is being implemented based on the Results-Based Management with an appropriate focus on established targets.
- The UNDP support to the PMU is regarded as satisfactory and, in many cases, timely:
 Facilitate the recruitment and engagement of several international consultants in the implementation including a chief technical specialist for around a year.
UNDP Country Office Solomon Islands is offering full support to project implementation, including administrative support as well as high-level support by the participation of the UNDP Country Director in the Project Board.
Providing necessary guidance for and approval of AWPs and their revisions.


Tag: Procurement Results-Based Management Country Government UNDP Regional Bureaux Coordination

19.

3.2.6 UNDP and Implementing Partner implementation/execution coordination, and operational issues (*)

MECDM (Executing Agency) execution
The project followed the DIM modality; jointly implemented by the MECDM, in cooperation with MoRL, MAR who are supported by international consultants. The MECDM is appointed to serve as Executing Agency. The Project Manager and the project assistant are responsible for daily management and actual implementation and monitoring of the project and are accountable to the UNDP Portfolio Team Leader.

The MECDM is effectively implementing the project’s activities, providing management oversight, and mobilizing the needed high-level support. The MECDM has also provided the project with the needed co-financing and has contributed significantly to support the project’s activities in the Parliament. This demonstrated significant commitment by MECDM and the MAL and the Government to integrate the Rio Conventions in national decision-making processes.


Tag: Parliament Oversight Project and Programme management

20.

Finding 20:

3.3 Project Results

3.3.1 Overall Results (attainment of objectives) (*)

According to the UNDP/GEF evaluation guidelines, the achievements of expected results were evaluated in terms of attainment of the overall objective as well as identified outcomes and outputs. For this the performance by components is analyzed by looking at (i) general progress towards the established baseline level of the indicators; (ii) actual values of indicators by the end of the CCCD Project vs. designed ones; (iii) evidences of relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the results as well as how these evidences were documented.

The summary of an evaluation of attainment of objective and components of the Project are presented in Table 6 . The assessment of progress is based on data provided in the annual reports, technical reports reviewed, the findings and observations of the TE mission, and interviews with the project stakeholders. The progress at the outputs level is provided in Annex 7.

3.3.2 Relevance (*)

During the TE mission, all evidence showed that the project is very relevant to the government and addressed highly regarded topic. The stakeholders interviewed during the mission expressed the added value of the project and emphasized that a new phase to pilot the developed EIA guidelines, tools, and frameworks in other provinces is crucial. To the TE’s opinion, one of the major achievements attributed to the Project was the introduction of the REDD+ roadmap and the development of a set of guidelines, tools, textbooks, and frameworks that suits the local context in the Solomon Islands. The project managed to provide, not only specific technical advice and support in preparing main tools but also it improved national capacity and awareness pertaining to biodiversity, land degradation and climate change and the relevant international conventions.

The project has also been highly relevant to UNDP activities in the Solomon Islands. It represents a contribution to the fulfilment of the Solomon Islands’ 2010-2015 UN
Development Assistance Framework, mainly Outcome 1.1 which calls for “Improved resilience of PICTs, with particular focus on communities, through integrated implementation of sustainable environmental management, climate change adaptation/mitigation, and disaster risk management” (UNDAF, 2013-17). The UNDP strategic plan on the environment and sustainable development priority outcome 1, which focuses on “Growth and development are inclusive and sustainable, incorporating productive capacities that create employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded “. It also corresponds to UNDAF outputs 1.1.1 and 1.1.3 on “ Strengthened capacity to integrate and implement policies/strategies for environmental sustainability, disaster risk reduction/management and climate change adaptation and mitigation at national level”, and “Strengthened national capacity for effective management of natural and water resources, renewable energy, waste, land and land rehabilitation that promote good agricultural practices for conservation of the environment and biodiversity”, respectively.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Relevance Communication

21.

3.3.3 Effectiveness and efficiency (*)

Effectiveness
The Project has achieved its overall objective to “enhance the capacity of relevant policy and institutional stakeholders to enable compliance with the three Rio Conventions and other MEAs. It specifically aimed at strengthening and instituting a tiered network of key decision-makers, planners, and other stakeholders to catalyze and sustain reductions of deforestation and forest degradation in a way that meets objectives under the three Rio Conventions. The Project objective and main outputs have been achieved; the most of established targets have been met.

The effectiveness of the project strategy is evidenced by:

  • The government approved strategic documents, frameworks, tools, and guidelines.
  • Those include: The Analytical framework for Rio Convention obligations into sector planning report, the EIA checklists, safeguards gap analysis report, the Logging and Palm Oil EIA Checklists, etc.
  • Endorsement and launching of a textbook and teacher resource guide entitled: ‘Global Environment Awareness in Solomon Islands-Making the Connections’
  • The REDD+ Roadmap and Unit have been established and nationally endorsed.
  • National ownership and high policy level engagement: Parliament’s review and approval of the amendment proposed to the EIA guidelines, the REDD+ roadmap, and the proposed tools and frameworks.
  • All proposed co-financing resources were mobilized, and the project management unit was hosted at the Government’s premises.

Considering the above-mentioned facts, Effectiveness was rated Satisfactory


Tag: Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Communication Human and Financial resources Ownership Promotion of dialogue

22.

Efficiency
The rating for project Efficiency is Moderately Satisfactory for the following reasons:

• Good quality project results achieved in 4 years since project commencement, even though some of the project’s activities are beyond the project’s control when it comes to Government’s approval of the proposed changes to the guidelines, frameworks, and codes.
• The hosting of the project within the MECDM premises with other UNDP and internally funded projects enhanced the projects’ efficiency and facilitated its work and cooperation with different projects and their stakeholders like FAO, GIZ, and TNC.
• The international consultants and the project technical specialist were able to provide the needed technical backstopping and develop some critical outputs during the project implementation.

However, the Project managed to leverage around 83% of in-kind financial resources (from the Government), and more than the planned UNDP cash contribution (105%).


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Technical Support

23.

3.3.4 Country Ownership

As per the project document, “the Solomon Islands are eligible to receive technical assistance from UNDP and is thus eligible for support under the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Solomon Islands ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) on 28 December 1994, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 3 October 1995 and acceded to the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought on 16 April 1999.” 3 The Solomon Islands has committed itself to a number of multilateral environmental agreement such as Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its accompanying Montreal Protocol; Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; Convention on Fishing and Conservation of Living Resources of the High Seas; Waigani Convention 4 , Marine Pollution Convention; Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES); and SPREP
Convention on Natural Resources and Environment of South Pacific. As well as to: “The Cartagena Protocol on Biological Safety to protect biodiversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms that are the product of biotechnology (Acceded on 26 October 2004), and “The Kyoto Protocol committing to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2008-2012 at the 1990 level (Ratified on 13 March 2003).”


Tag: Ownership Results-Based Management Country Government

24.

3.3.5 Mainstreaming

The project addresses the UNDP priorities of developing the Government’s capacity to mainstream Rio Conventions implementation and obligations in national plans. The Project
was able to successfully mainstream several UNDP priorities. In particular:

  • Some policy frameworks, guidelines, tools, and frameworks have been improved or developed and endorsed. A few of them were also tested in the two pilot sites. The Project catalyzed integration of Rio Conventions into national strategies and planning.
  • The Project developed the capacity of local teams and consultants, as well as decision makers, about the Rio Conventions.
  • The Project objectives conform to agreed priorities in the UNDAF and NDS.
  • The Project targeted both women and men in its capacity building and public awareness components. International and national consultants included both women and men. Community members involved in the project piloting sites were mainly women.
  • Around 25% of the project leadership position such as the National REDD+ committee were women.
  • However, the project was unable to develop a nationally appropriate social and environmental safeguards as proposed in the project document.

Tag: Gender Parity Policies & Procedures Quality Assurance Results-Based Management

25.

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

The project’s main approach to sustainability is to create legal, institutional and human national capacities for continued mainstreaming of Rio Conventions in decision-making processes. The project’s exit strategy should be dependent on the continuation of commitments and activities without the need for long-term international financing. These include, as stated in the MTR report: “high-level political commitment to sustainable development; on-going commitment and accountability for inter-ministerial and inter-agency collaboration in decision-making and planning processes; cost-effective and well-functioning coordination structure for implementing the REDD+ Roadmap; regular trainings for civil servants at the national and local level using curricula on public administration for global environmental management and sustainable development; full engagement of all key stakeholders, in particular non-state actors; long-term implementation of REDD+ Roadmap; on-going raising of public awareness on linkages of the global environment to national socio-economic development priorities; and increasing the ownership of project benefits.”

The sustainability of the project can be measured against the following criteria 5 :

? High-level political commitment to sustainable development;

The project has effectively lobbied to raise high-level political commitment to implement the project. The TE was pleased by the high-level interest and commitment
of the MECDM and MFR and it is evident that the Government is thinking very positively about the project and its outcomes. It is also evident that the MECDM is interested to utilize the developed tools and guidelines in other locations, with different partners, and in other communities/provinces. This will contribute to the
sustainability of the project’s outcomes after the project comes to an end.

CCCD Project and the REDD+ programme are already receiving high governmental priority and are backed by technical, institutional, and legislative frameworks in place including specific targets to achieve. Development of the REDD+ roadmap, the endorsement of many tools and frameworks as well as conducting many capacity
developments and piloting exercises provided to the team are addressed by the CCCD project.

 

 


Tag: Sustainability Human and Financial resources Partnership Policies & Procedures Civil Societies and NGOs Capacity Building

26.

Continuing

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

The sustainability of the project can be measured against the following criteria:

On-going commitment and accountability for inter-ministerial and inter- agency collaboration in decision-making and planning processes;

There is a consensus amongst all stakeholders that the Project should continue as it contributed positively towards the advancement of the work on Rio conventions mainstreaming at the country level. Stakeholders stated that the project was able to contribute enormously to the development of the needed legal, institutional, and human capacities to effectively integrate and incorporate Rio conventions and REDD+ programme in SI’s national plans. In more than one occasion, high-level decision makers highlighted the need to have another project to test the newly developed tools and guidelines and the necessity to expand the public awareness of secondary schools to include other provinces and communities.

Although there is no developed inter-ministerial and inter-agency collaboration, however, as discussed and stated by the members of the technical group, the creation of only one group from the three concerned ministries has contributed significantly to create this kind of inter-ministerial and inter-agency collaboration. Technical staff from the three-line ministries are meeting on regular basis and have the chance to discuss several issues pertaining to Rio Conventions and REDD+ programme. As stated in the MRT, “members of the TWG stated that without the project, it would have been impossible for them to get the chance to know other colleagues from another ministry and to work with them closely.”


Tag: Sustainability Anti-corruption Operational Efficiency Capacity Building

27.

Continuing

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

The sustainability of the project can be measured against the following criteria:

Regular training for civil servants at the national and local level using curricula on public administration for global environmental management and sustainable development;

As stated in the Project Document (Page 28-29), one of the main key challenges facing the country is “is the dearth of expertise and information to inform decision makers. This issue is further compounded by the fact that the level of political will and accountability of decision-makers to implement Rio Conventions' obligations must be strengthened”, and there is “an insufficiency of understanding the importance and value of global environmental benefits to national socio-economic development priorities. Additionally, there is a need for an integrated approach for planning national socio-economic development within the framework of the Rio Conventions”. To the TE’s opinion, after 4 years of project implementation, there is currently good capacity among the stakeholders on the use of these guidelines and tools.

At the TE time, the contribution of the project to national capacity development is reflected in the updated capacity scorecard, Annex 8.

As stated in the UNDP-GEF guideline for TE, sustainability is generally considered to be the likelihood of continued benefits after the project ends. Consequently, the assessment of sustainability considers the risks that are likely to affect the continuation of project outcomes.


Tag: Challenges Sustainability Capacity Building

28.

Continuing

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

Below is the detailed assessment of the four main risks categories:

Financial risks
There is only one financial risk related to mobilizing needed resources to ensure the implementation and use of the developed guidelines, textbooks, frameworks and tools. However, the project established two cooperation with the IFM project and the GIZ project in order to continue the work in the piloting sites and make sure that the tools developed are going to be utilized and tested in other piloting sites.
Based on the above discussion, the financial risks are limited, and the sustainability is rated as Likely (ML).


Tag: Sustainability Communication Human and Financial resources

29.

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

Below is the detailed assessment of the four main risks categories:

Socio-economic risks
Social risks were not identified by the project, or in the project document. However, introducing different tools, guidelines, and frameworks to integrate Rio Conventions into the decisions making processes might have some direct socioeconomic impacts on the local community if their livelihoods and socio-economic situations are not taken into consideration.

Certainly, stakeholders are interested in integrating Rio Conventions into the decision making and planning processes as this will facilitate the integration of economic assessments into the conservation and protection efforts, yet, a detailed assessment of the socio-economic impacts should be taken into consideration.

Based on the above-mentioned Socio-economic Risk, risks are negligible and thus the sustainability is rated as Likely (L)


Tag: Sustainability

30.

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

Below is the detailed assessment of the four main risks categories:

Institutional framework and governance risks
The project has taken the necessary mitigation measures to avoid institutional and governance risks as outlined in the project’s risks log. The project’s outcomes have already established the needed institution and legal frameworks that would ensure the project’s outcomes on sustainability. The MECDM is interested to continue the work of the project and has established the needed mechanisms to ensure its sustainability.
The Institutional framework and governance risks are low, and the sustainability is Likely (L):


Tag: Sustainability Risk Management

31.

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

Below is the detailed assessment of the four main risks categories:

Environmental risks to sustainability

There are no activities that may pose any environmental threats to the sustainability of the project’s outcomes
The Environmental risks are negligible, and the sustainability is Likely (L):

Overall rating: All the associated risks are negligible and thus, the overall rating for Sustainability is Likely (L):

 


Tag: Environmental impact assessment Sustainability

32.

3.3.7 Impact

The Project has made major and unprecedented advances in integrating Rio Conventions into decision-making processes as well as advance the work on REDD+ at the national level. Many outputs of the Project were first time achieved in the Solomon Islands. The successful impact of the project is evident through;

• Component 1: strengthening institutional capacities for improved implementation of Rio Convention obligations.

? Cabinet Endorsed the REDD+ Readiness Roadmap which provides the REDD+
Implementation Unit (RIU) mandate
? National REDD+ Committee already established. Its first meeting was held in 2nd May
2018
? National Land Use (NLU) Working Group established under previous UNDP Project-
SWoCK was re-convened to finalize the National Rural Land Use Policy (NRLUP).
The NRLUP is already submitted to Cabinet for Endorsement
? REDD+ Training Manual: Geospatial Data Management for REDD+ developed
? Training on the Training Manual for Geospatial Data Management for REDD+
conducted for MoFR RIU officers
? REDD+ Policy developed
? Training Manual for Community Based Ecosystem Assessment for REDD+ Projects in
the Solomon Islands
? Training on the Manual for Community Based Ecosystem Assessment for REDD+
Projects conducted for Kia Community rangers and Government officials.
? Analytical Framework for mainstreaming Rio Conventions developed and endorsed
by the Conventions national focal points
? TORs of the Forest and Agriculture sector developed.
? Training on Good mainstreaming practices to mainstream Rio Conventions for
Government officers.
? Draft Pilot proposal on approaches to Sustainable Forest Management developed.
? Resource Mobilization Strategy (RMS) and Plan highlighting possible funding sources
for the Roadmap and how to access them developed.
? Report on Best Practice Financial and Economic instruments to implement the
Roadmap developed.


Tag: Impact Human and Financial resources Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Capacity Building

33.

3.3.7 Impact

The Project has made major and unprecedented advances in integrating Rio Conventions into decision-making processes as well as advance the work on REDD+ at the national level. Many outputs of the Project were first time achieved in the Solomon Islands. The successful impact of the project is evident through;

• Component 2: strengthening the Development Consent Process to more effectively mainstream Rio Convention obligations.

? Social and Environmental Safeguards Gap Analysis Reports developed.

? Gap Analysis on the Code of Logging Practice (COLP) under the Ministry of Forestry & Research (MoFR) and the National Rural Land Use Policy (NRLUP) under the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL) developed.
? Environment Impact Statement (EIS) Checklist for forestry sector (logging) and agriculture sector (mainly for palm oil development) developed.
? Training on the EIS Checklists conducted for Government officers.
? Study Report on the Valuation of Environmental Services from Forest Eco-systems assessing the values of forest ecosystem and conservation based on the concept of
TEV to determine the economic viability of developing ‘Standards’ for valuation of Environmental Services’ from Forest Eco-systems developed.
? In the effort to establish a central system to collect and disseminate information on carbon, forest inventory, land use change, safeguards, ecosystems and so forth, a
report has been developed. The report identifies existing data (SOLGEO) within Government ICT unit which can be utilized to fulfill the EMIS. It also outlines ways to
set an EMIS. This includes conducting an inventory of existing data from key Government ministries and conducting a workshop to agree on rights of ownership of data shared. A sample MOU is also provided on how to share data.
? Action/Workplan for establishing Solomon Islands Forest Reference Level (FRL) developed.
? Draft Sections of Action Plan for Solomon Islands National Forest Monitoring System
(NFMS).
? Proposed recommendations to strengthen the institutional linkages between the National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) and Environment Monitoring Information
System (EMIS).
? Proposed Amendments for Integration of Redd+ in key environmental laws of Solomon Islands.


Tag: Agriculture Forestry Environment Policy Impact Capacity Building Data and Statistics

34.

3.3.7 Impact

The Project has made major and unprecedented advances in integrating Rio Conventions into decision-making processes as well as advance the work on REDD+ at the national level. Many outputs of the Project were first time achieved in the Solomon Islands. The successful impact of the project is evident through;

•Component 3: strengthening awareness and understanding of REDD+ as a strategy to meet Rio Convention obligations.

? The project launch workshop conducted to introduce the project.
? Project Results workshop completed.
? Public Awareness Strategy and plan focusing on REDD+ and the Rio Conventions developed.
? Awareness materials (brochures, news articles, on the Rio conventions, REDD+ and ecosystem services and the project developed and published in various media outlets.
? A Text Book and Teacher Resource Guide on the Rio Conventions and REDD+ developed and endorsed by MEHRD to be distributed to all high schools throughout
the country.
? Provincial Awareness conducted in Lata Temotu Province, Buala, and Kia, Isabel Province, Gizo and Kolombangara, Western Province, Ulawa, Makira Province, SINU,
Honiara Province.
? National REDD+ Website developed and launched. www.reddplusolomonislands.gov.sb


Tag: Impact

Recommendations
1

Produce more hard copies of the guidelines, EIA checklists, the framework, and other project’s deliverables and make them available for national stakeholders.

2

The valuable public awareness products, mainly the secondary schools textbook and teachers’ guide, produced by the project on the Rio Conventions should be distributed to all stakeholders mainly to the Ministry of Education and a large number of high schools.

3

While this TE was not able to analyze the training-manuals developed and implemented by the projects, it is recommended that the remaining project training and piloting activities be completed as soon as possible, including texting the training manuals that incorporating standardized local friendly methods for community-based ecosystem assessments for REDD+ projects, the proposed amendments to the Environment Act and Environment Regulations, and piloting the testing of an innovative forest management approach framed by REDD+ that aimed to demonstrating measurable indicators of delivering global environment benefits. (UNDP, and MECDM).

4

Mainstreaming Rio Convention in decision-making process capacity presently has limitations to meet the actual needs at the Country level.

1. Recommendation:

Produce more hard copies of the guidelines, EIA checklists, the framework, and other project’s deliverables and make them available for national stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Printing of the EIA checklists and project deliverables to distribute within key ministries and communities
[Added: 2018/10/30] [Last Updated: 2018/11/14]
UNDP/MOFR 2018/11 Completed Printing has been completed and distribution has been done within key ministries and communities History
1.2 Collaborate with MoFR RIU to up load all documents on the website
[Added: 2018/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/12/07]
UNDP/MOFR 2020/10 Completed completed History
2. Recommendation:

The valuable public awareness products, mainly the secondary schools textbook and teachers’ guide, produced by the project on the Rio Conventions should be distributed to all stakeholders mainly to the Ministry of Education and a large number of high schools.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Distribution of secondary school text book and teachers guide to Solomon Islands National University and Secondary schools in Solomon Islands
[Added: 2018/10/30] [Last Updated: 2019/07/08]
UNDP and Ministry of Education 2019/06 Completed Distribution of these books to the Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education has been completed. History
2.2. Collaborate with FAO IFM project and TNC through MOFR to build on the project’s awareness and pilot program
[Added: 2018/10/30] [Last Updated: 2019/07/08]
UNDP and MOFR 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Ministry of Forestry and Research has organized an awareness joint team with MECDM,MAL, NRDF, TNC on Barorafa Isand in Isabel Province on September 2018. Through this awareness activity we realize that Barorafa is not a suitable site for REDD+ since they have ongoing land disputes. For this reason, this will not allow the Ministry to carry out further activities on REDD+ on that site.]
History
3. Recommendation:

While this TE was not able to analyze the training-manuals developed and implemented by the projects, it is recommended that the remaining project training and piloting activities be completed as soon as possible, including texting the training manuals that incorporating standardized local friendly methods for community-based ecosystem assessments for REDD+ projects, the proposed amendments to the Environment Act and Environment Regulations, and piloting the testing of an innovative forest management approach framed by REDD+ that aimed to demonstrating measurable indicators of delivering global environment benefits. (UNDP, and MECDM).

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

Agreed in Principle

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Complete the pilot activity with support from FAO IFM project
[Added: 2018/10/30] [Last Updated: 2019/07/08]
UNDP, MECDM,MOFR 2019/06 Completed Ministry of Forestry and Research through the REDD+ Implementation Unit has a development budget this year to identify REDD+ Pilot site since some of the areas identified previous year was not suitable for REDD+ activities. The Ministry responsible unit has developed a ToR for the consultant to carry out the feasibility study on 3 sites and through his/her findings select a site for REDD+. Also one of the 3 sites will be on IFMP project sites thus they will have ongoing discussions with IFMP team regarding REDD+ pilot site. Currently it is pending PS approval of the EoI then this can be published on newspaper for the recruitment of the consultant. History
4. Recommendation:

Mainstreaming Rio Convention in decision-making process capacity presently has limitations to meet the actual needs at the Country level.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/11] [Last Updated: 2020/12/09]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Under the REDD+ task force and the donor forestry task force will continue to build on the work on the project through the assessment report to mainstream into new and current programmes by development partners and donors
[Added: 2018/10/30] [Last Updated: 2018/11/14]
MECDM, MOFR, FAO,GIZ,UNDP, 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: As mentioned in the comments below there is no time-frame for this recommendation as it is ongoing. Thus, it is no longer applicable. ]
There would be no end time-frame for this recommendation as it is ongoing and that is something key partners want to see happening as an outcome of the project. History

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