Project Mid-Term Review - “Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the National System of Protected Areas”

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Papua New Guinea
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
11/2019
Completion Date:
11/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Project Mid-Term Review - “Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the National System of Protected Areas”
Atlas Project Number: 00087986
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Papua New Guinea
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2019
Planned End Date: 11/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Resilience
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
  • 2. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
  • 3. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
SDG Target
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: Global Environment Facility
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
James Lenoci Team leader james@lenociltd.com
Katherine Yuave National consultant kathyuave@gmail.com PAPUA NEW GUINEA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: “Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the National System of Protected Areas
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5510
PIMS Number: 5261
Key Stakeholders: Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, Tenkile Conservation Alliance, Woodland Park Zoo/Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, Provinces - East and West Sepik, Madang and Morobe,
Countries: PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Comments:

Mid-Term Review of Project Implementation

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Improve project coherence through strengthening project governance arrangements, internal coordination

and communication. Improvements should include, but not be limited to:

(a) include TCA and WPZ/TKCP on project steering committee (PSC);

(b) prepare a project-specific terms of reference (TOR) for the PSC;

(c) consider inviting DNPM to co-chair the PSC;

(d) officially identify and prepare a TOR for the National Project Director;

(e) update the TOR for the project manager;

(f) invite JICA and Kokoda Initiative representatives to PSC meetings (as observers);

(g) rotate PSC meetings among project sites; and

(h) organize cross-learning exchanges among the project sites.

2

Increase involvement of CEPA staff and advocate and facilitate institutionalization of project outputs.

Recommended actions included, but not limited to: 

(a) identify the roles of CEPA staff members on the project; 

(b) assign a CEPA staff member with each technical assistance team; 

(c) issue and brand project outputs as CEPA deliverables; 

(d) link this issue to risk management process and regularly report progress/issues.

3

Prioritize mobilization of on-the-ground support to the Varirata National Park. In coordination with CEPA and JICA teams, prepare an adaptive management implementation plan for the final 1-1/2 years of the project regarding the Varirata NP, including coordination of recruitment of NP staff to the organization proposed in draft management plan for the NP. 

 

The annual work plan for 2019 should be reviewed to according to the agreed support to the Varirata NP, which might affect the new funding considerations for the Managalas CA & Review of Fauna (Control & Protection) Act.

4

Improve financial controls and oversight. Recommended improvements for strengthening financial management include, but are not limited to: (a) responsible parties should retain support from professional financial professionals or service providers; 

(b) allocation of project management costs should be reconciled;

(c) cofinancing contributions should be regularly tracked, also including cofinancing materialized after start of implementation.

5

Improve project monitoring & evaluation. Recommended improvements include, but are not limited to:

 (a)finalize the midterm tracking tool assessments and clear with the UNDP-GEF RTA, including reconciling midterm METT scores; 

(b) adapt the capacity development scorecard according to the mandates of the NGO responsible parties and provincial government administrations; 

(c) update the project results framework;

 (d) integrate gender mainstreaming objectives into the results framework; 

(e) reflect the envisaged project outcomes in the results framework; 

(f) orient project M&E according to progress towards long-term impact considerations and maintain a record; 

6

Strengthen project oversight, through :

 

(a) recruiting a part-time chief technical advisor to support review of technical outputs and liaise with CEPA officials, ensuring value-for-money of the services rendered and

increasing the likelihood that project outputs are sustained after GEF funding ceases, and

 (b) increasing engagement with the UNDP-GEF regional technical advisor based in Bangkok, e.g., supporting approval of high value contracts, delivering strategic guidance and facilitating South-South cooperation among other UNDP-GEF

projects in the region.

7

Design and implement a project communication and knowledge management strategy and action plan. It would be advisable to prepare a joint communication and knowledge management strategy and action plan.

8

Develop and implement a sustainability strategy and action plan. Link the strategy and action plan to the project theory of change (draft theory of change provided in the MTR report). Implementation of the action plan should start during the second half of the project and extend over the timelines outlined in the theory of

change. One part of the sustainability strategy should address increasing involvement and strengthening capacities of landowners and community-based organizations (CBOs) in leading community conservation modalities.

9

Increase participation of the PNG professional community. Create a roster of PNG specialists and institute a policy of assigning a national counterpart with each international consultancy.

10

Commission an analysis of lessons learned and best practices regarding implementation of commodity conservation. Commodity conservation is an important modality for PNG and is widely promoted globally. Such an analysis would provide valuable insight for PA management administrations, PA institutions, local governments and the broader conservation community

1. Recommendation:

Improve project coherence through strengthening project governance arrangements, internal coordination

and communication. Improvements should include, but not be limited to:

(a) include TCA and WPZ/TKCP on project steering committee (PSC);

(b) prepare a project-specific terms of reference (TOR) for the PSC;

(c) consider inviting DNPM to co-chair the PSC;

(d) officially identify and prepare a TOR for the National Project Director;

(e) update the TOR for the project manager;

(f) invite JICA and Kokoda Initiative representatives to PSC meetings (as observers);

(g) rotate PSC meetings among project sites; and

(h) organize cross-learning exchanges among the project sites.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/16] [Last Updated: 2019/12/22]

UNDP will stregthen the governance arrangment for the project 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CEPA confirmed that they will remain the co-chair of the SC. And DNPM can participate in the SC.
[Added: 2019/12/16] [Last Updated: 2020/10/05]
Project Manager and Team Leader 2020/09 Completed No change as CEPA is the current Co-chair and provides great oversight for the Project activities. DNPM has not attended any meetings all last year, despite a formal invitation (see formal invitation letter attached) send from CEPA MD. History
2. Recommendation:

Increase involvement of CEPA staff and advocate and facilitate institutionalization of project outputs.

Recommended actions included, but not limited to: 

(a) identify the roles of CEPA staff members on the project; 

(b) assign a CEPA staff member with each technical assistance team; 

(c) issue and brand project outputs as CEPA deliverables; 

(d) link this issue to risk management process and regularly report progress/issues.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2019/12/22]

Management agree with the recommendation, the project is full CO support to NIM, hence, TOR will be prepared to identify CEPA’s staff role in the project management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
By March 2020: 1- Project will finalize the TOR for CEPA staff and identify the technical assistance to provide by CEPA staff. 2- UNDP will ensure that project branding will include CEPA as part project visibility plan. 3- Lessons Learned and Risk Management will be updated every 3 months
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/04/06]
Project PMU 2020/03 Completed To date, ToRs for missions compiled post MTR have reflected CEPA staff roles for the mission. For example, the Drone missions conducted in 2019 were led by a CEPA staff. There were 9 drone missions [16-20 April in Kokopo; 15-18 August in PoM; 19-20 August in Wewak; 21-23 August in Lumi; 24-27 August in Lae & 28-31 August in Kokopo; 27-30 September in Vanimo; 1-5 November in Ambunti; 6-7 November in Wewak]. In addition, the CEPA staff finalized the Protected Areas (PA) management standards/guidelines in October 2019 and this included CEPA branding. CEPA will have to formalize these guidelines via their internal processes now. Documentation on lessons learnt from the CEPA capacity building was also completed (see attached pdf – CEPA 3_lessons learned capacity building – CEPA report). The Terminal Evaluation process will also feature a consultancy documenting lessons learnt from the Project that includes interviews with CEPA staff – PMU finalizing ToRs now together with the TE Team. History
3. Recommendation:

Prioritize mobilization of on-the-ground support to the Varirata National Park. In coordination with CEPA and JICA teams, prepare an adaptive management implementation plan for the final 1-1/2 years of the project regarding the Varirata NP, including coordination of recruitment of NP staff to the organization proposed in draft management plan for the NP. 

 

The annual work plan for 2019 should be reviewed to according to the agreed support to the Varirata NP, which might affect the new funding considerations for the Managalas CA & Review of Fauna (Control & Protection) Act.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management accepted the recommendation and more coordination will be applied with the revision of the work-plan

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Project started initiating the Varirata Business Plan with Queensland Park and Wild Life Services As the activity will be also implemented in 2020, the project has updated the AWP including the activity “1.4 Activity in the work-plan” CEPA will take the responsibility of Managalas CA & Review of Fauna
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/03/12]
PROJECT PMU 2020/02 Completed QPWS has been working with CEPA and the VNP UNV Community Rangers since January 2020. The latest mission resulted in progress of the VNP management workplan specifically for the Rangers. The QPWS Ranger has visa exemption status and works most of his time with the VNP Rangers and CEPA. Uploaded is the email dialogue and the draft documents. History
4. Recommendation:

Improve financial controls and oversight. Recommended improvements for strengthening financial management include, but are not limited to: (a) responsible parties should retain support from professional financial professionals or service providers; 

(b) allocation of project management costs should be reconciled;

(c) cofinancing contributions should be regularly tracked, also including cofinancing materialized after start of implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management agreed 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1- RPs have hired dedicated finance person to management the RP resources and provide more control on the resource utilization. 2- UNDP Project Management team will work with GEF team on identify the amount and take the appropriate action in Jan 2020 3- UNDP project management team continuously following up with CEPA on the co-financing. However, it seems it is quite challenging to fully get the exact co-financing contribution from other donors.
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/04]
project PMU 2020/10 Completed The third action was the only pending action. So CEPA co-financing information has been updated in the table attached. History
5. Recommendation:

Improve project monitoring & evaluation. Recommended improvements include, but are not limited to:

 (a)finalize the midterm tracking tool assessments and clear with the UNDP-GEF RTA, including reconciling midterm METT scores; 

(b) adapt the capacity development scorecard according to the mandates of the NGO responsible parties and provincial government administrations; 

(c) update the project results framework;

 (d) integrate gender mainstreaming objectives into the results framework; 

(e) reflect the envisaged project outcomes in the results framework; 

(f) orient project M&E according to progress towards long-term impact considerations and maintain a record; 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management agree, especially this note was captured in the CO audit for FY2018.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Mid-term tracking tool, RRF, integrating gender mainstream, risk log management all were reviwewed and the final updated version will be ready in Feb 2020
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/03/12]
PROJECT PMU 2020/02 Completed The consultant was engaged to workshop this particular recommendation from the 9-10 Dec 2019. See attached IC Offerors Letter (John Carter) and the Workshop ToRs and related docs (Community Perspectives, Workshop Agenda, GEF 5 Project Strengths and Weaknesses todate, The GEF 5 Project Analysis) & the Final M & E Workshop Report addressing this recommendation was submitted on the 20 January 2020. History
6. Recommendation:

Strengthen project oversight, through :

 

(a) recruiting a part-time chief technical advisor to support review of technical outputs and liaise with CEPA officials, ensuring value-for-money of the services rendered and

increasing the likelihood that project outputs are sustained after GEF funding ceases, and

 (b) increasing engagement with the UNDP-GEF regional technical advisor based in Bangkok, e.g., supporting approval of high value contracts, delivering strategic guidance and facilitating South-South cooperation among other UNDP-GEF

projects in the region.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management Partially agreed – PMU cost has fixed percentage and the project cannot exceed it, project team will follow up with the RTA on this recommendation to test the ability of increasing the capacity of project and hire TA.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Procurement unit in the CO was not centralized. This issue has caused incompliances, hence since 2019, CO has centralized the procurement unit to ensure all the process compliance with UNDP procurement rules and regulation and value for money is fully adhered to Project Management Team will inform CO procurement Unit to engage with GEF team for high value contract.
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/04/06]
PROJECT PMU 2020/03 Completed The GEF 5 PMU has worked closely with the procurement team on tenders, evaluation, contract signoffs as well as the PSU for Grant modalities such as LoA for QPWS and the Low Value Grant for Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (BMWHI), all in keeping with the procurement requirements of UNDP. The PMU reports directly to the Environment Portfolio Head and meets with the GEF 6 CTA and Team on a weekly basis to share progress and also problem solving. The PSU, Procurement and Finance support to the PMU provides good guidance. There has been increasing interaction with the RTA for example to support the GEF 4 TE process, facilitating specific requests eg photo story from PNG; closure process for GEF 5 and possible covid 19 no cost extension for the NIM projects under GEF 5. History
7. Recommendation:

Design and implement a project communication and knowledge management strategy and action plan. It would be advisable to prepare a joint communication and knowledge management strategy and action plan.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will initiate the process in January, and finalize the communication plan by March
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/08/04]
PROJECT PMU 2020/07 Completed The communication and knowledge management strategy as per pages 48 - 51 of the GEF 5 M&E Workshop Report History
8. Recommendation:

Develop and implement a sustainability strategy and action plan. Link the strategy and action plan to the project theory of change (draft theory of change provided in the MTR report). Implementation of the action plan should start during the second half of the project and extend over the timelines outlined in the theory of

change. One part of the sustainability strategy should address increasing involvement and strengthening capacities of landowners and community-based organizations (CBOs) in leading community conservation modalities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

MANAGEMENT AGREE

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This work is part of work done on recommendation 5 and the report will be ready by Feb
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/03/12]
PROJECT PMU 2020/02 Completed The recommendation was workshopped from the 9-10 December 2019, with the M&E consultant and an analysis of the new theory of change proposed in the MTR is reflected in the Final M & E Workshop Report. The 2 NGOs were asked to participate in the Workshop and only TCA were able to attend. The Final Workshop Report was forwarded (see attached emails) to the 2 NGOs to reflect the findings especially for highlighting activities in the 2020 AWP that showed firstly, completion by the operational closure of the Project and secondly, the sustainability component to some extent. Evidence is the Final M & E Workshop Report. Both NGOs submitted their 2020 AWPs reflecting the findings of the M & E Final Report (attached). History
9. Recommendation:

Increase participation of the PNG professional community. Create a roster of PNG specialists and institute a policy of assigning a national counterpart with each international consultancy.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CEPA has established already a roster of professionals that they can call upon.
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2019/12/22]
PROJECT PMU 2019/12 Completed CEPA has established already a roster of professionals that they can call upon. History
10. Recommendation:

Commission an analysis of lessons learned and best practices regarding implementation of commodity conservation. Commodity conservation is an important modality for PNG and is widely promoted globally. Such an analysis would provide valuable insight for PA management administrations, PA institutions, local governments and the broader conservation community

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17]

Management agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This is part of 2020 AWP for GEF5 and looking at lessons learned from GEF4 to ensure synergies and sustainability
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/04/06]
PROJECT PMU 2020/03 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Activity was dropped due to the reduction of funds in 2020. ]
Funds for 2020 AWP focused on priorities for the GEF 5 targets, namely the MTR recommendation on attention to the Varirata National Park refurbishments as not much efforts had been directed to the Park in previous years of the Project. As such this activity was dropped, given the reduction in funds for 2020. History

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