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Final Project Evaluation: UNDP-GEF Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants
Commissioning Unit: Armenia
Evaluation Plan: 2021-2025
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2021
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Armenia
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

Handover of Responsibilities and Knowledge

The first task and priority the project team should focus on is to organize a proper and smooth handover of responsibilities, materials and knowledge to respective government entities. This will require a few steps and actions to be undertaken by the Project Team with the support of project stakeholders:
- First, the project team should document the whole process and assemble all the knowledge products that have been generated in the course of the project (this includes studies, assessments, project notes, briefs and materials, presentations, tender documents, terms of reference, project correspondence, board meeting notes, etc.). All activities that were undertaken by the project should be carefully documented in order to preserve the institutional memory.
- As a second step, the project should identify the respective government entities to which it will hand over the process and documentation – including MoE, as the leading institution in this area, but also MES, MoA, DPMO, etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/06]

Accepted. The decision made by the preceding Project Management Board (PMB) meeting on 11 May 2021, assigned the Project to transfer all the intellectual products to stakeholders to follow-up on project initiatives. The respective documents to address Nubarashen site POP/OPs waste elimination will be amended in compliance with the format of nationally used state budget planning proposal. The MoE as a responsible authority for the waste management, has pledged to promote this agenda.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Systematize the project produced documentation and handover to the stakeholders.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/28]
Project team 2021/12 Completed Documents produced by the project were shared with the stakeholders History
1.2 Amend respective documents on Nubarashen POP/OPs waste elimination in compliance with the structure/requirements of state funding proposal (including costing) and submit to the Ministry of Environment. The latter will submit this package to the Government of Armenia for the state budget planning to address the subject waste.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/09]
Project team 2021/12 Completed The amended documents were provided to the Ministry of Environment History
2. Recommendation:

Charting the Path Ahead

Before the project ceases to exist, it will be crucial for the stakeholders to get together and take stock of the status quo and try to chart the way forward in this area. This evaluation recommends the organization of a closing workshop which should engage all relevant partners both within the government and in the civil society (including affected communities). This event should be used as an opportunity to maintain the momentum created by the project and as a way of creating a roadmap for the way ahead.
The project team and the PMB will have to do some preparatory work and based on consultations with all relevant government departments develop a clear vision for the process going forward based on the experience of the project. The project team is already preparing an exit strategy to this end. At the end of the closing event (workshop), the parties could ideally be able to adopt a unified vision on the way forward and a roadmap for how to achieve that vision. To be workable, this roadmap should be specific, concrete and with well-defined milestones. More importantly, such a roadmap should also identify the key decisions that will need to be made to push this process forward. If such a roadmap will be developed with the endorsement of all parties, it will also be important for the project team to work out a financial plan that specifies the financial envelope that will be needed and with potential sources of funding.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/06]

Accepted. The Project will hold a closing workshop with participation of all relevant stakeholders in a format of an extended PMB meeting, inviting all members of the project advisory committee (PAC) and other important stakeholders. The financial plan/costing of expected works for Nubarashen POP/OPs waste elimination is an integral part of the project developed documents undergoing project supported amendment in accordance with the format of state funding proposal. The amended documents will be submitted to the MoE for further processing (as indicated under the 1.2 Action above). A roadmap on processing the state funding proposal within the MoE and line ministries for comments, then on necessary steps for submission to the Government for approval and inclusion into the 2022–2024 Medium-term Expenditures Framework will be developed and shared with PMB for endorsement.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Conduct a project closing workshop in the format of an extended Project Management Board meeting.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/09]
Project Team, Project Management Board 2021/12 Completed The extended joint Project Management Board and Project Advisory Committee meeting was held on 30 November 2021 History
2.2 Develop a roadmap on processing of the state funding proposal for expected Nubarashen waste elimination works and share with PMB for endorsement.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/09]
Project team, Project Management Board 2021/12 Completed The roadmap was discussed at the Project Management Board meeting and approved. History
3. Recommendation:

Strengthening Institutional Arrangements and Inter-Agency Coordination

Although the scope of the project was primarily environmental in nature, there were major components that were focused on foreign affairs, agriculture, justice, health, emergency responses, infrastructure, finance, and municipal affairs. Indeed, the components of the project determining success or failure where in the spheres of foreign affairs and finance. In this context, for projects that require significant coordination across several Ministries, as well as require large financial commitments from the government – it would be beneficial for central institutions such as the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office or Prime Minister’s Office to play a greater role.
This complexity of institutional mandates underlines the importance of having a functioning Inter-Agency Committee on implementation of Stockholm Convention (SC) which would facilitate stakeholder engagement and coordination, achieving collective decision making on key issues, as well as resolving key issues related to regulatory jurisdiction and authority. This Committee is a key government body responsible for overseeing the management of chemicals under the SC obligations. This body represents a great platform for facilitating institutional stakeholder engagement and coordination at a high government level but also to increase the visibility of the project.
Going forward, this area will benefit from stronger leadership and more effective coordination.
- First, Inter-Agency Committee needs to be strengthened and given the necessary resources and authority to exercise its mandate. The Committee should be given strong secretarial support and its work should be underpinned by a clear work plan – this function could be played by the roadmap mentioned above.
- Second, the government could designate a high-level official who has the authority to convene all relevant parties and make crucial decisions in cooperation with colleagues in all relevant areas (environment, safety, health, finance, etc.). This official could chair the Inter-Agency Committee and could be held accountable for progress in this area.
- Third, if a clear vision is developed on this process – as mentioned in the recommendation above – and if the necessary decisions to be issued by the government are identified clearly, the high-level official (champion of this matter) could exercise his/her authority to ensure that all the required decisions are taken in a timely manner.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/06]

Accepted. UNDP will request the Government to nominate a high-level official to the Inter-Agency Committee on implementation of Stockholm Convention (SC) iACISC (assuming the Government accepts this recommendation). The roadmap will be also shared with the iACISC for enhanced intersectoral coordination for future actions to address the Nubarashen POP/OPs waste.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Send a letter to the Government requesting to designate a high-level official to sit in the Inter-Agency Committee on Implementation of Stockholm Convention (iACISC)
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/28]
Project team, Project Management Board 2021/12 Completed The letter was sent to the Prime Minister’s office. History
3.2 Transfer the project accumulated knowledge on Nubarashen POP/OPs waste and the roadmap on further actions for the waste disposal to the iACISC to be appropriately facilitated.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/28]
Project team, Ministry of Environment 2021/12 Completed The link to access the project-produced documents was shared with the Chairperson of the iACISC. History
4. Recommendation:

Continued Role for UNDP

UNDP has become a key stakeholder in this area in Armenia and it is recommended that, given its positioning, it should continue its support on this important matter. Going forward, UNDP should focus on two key matters.
- UNDP should start exploring funding opportunities for further support in this area. Communications with GEF should be maintained on this matter, as GEF now has a vested interest in this area given its long-standing engagement. Also, UNDP could find interest in IFIs, the EU or emerging donors for engagement in this area.
- UNDP should continue its engagement in this area by trying to keep the momentum alive through engagement and advocacy work with the main stakeholders within the Government. UNDP should lobby for strong leadership in this area, for continued action based on the foundations that have been created thus far and for financial commitments by the Government for this important area.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/06]

Accepted. UNDP supports the amendment of respective project produced documents into the proposal for planning the necessary funding for Nubarashen POP/OPs waste disposal in the state budget. Upon availability of funds, the MoE will address the waste cleaning/disposal at full scope. UNDP jointly with the government counterparts will seek for both GEF and non-GEF funding opportunities as co-financing to the state funding as available.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 UNDP will support the MoE in assurance of state funding, as well as GEF or non-GEF co-financing to address Nubarashen POP/OPs waste elimination works.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/28]
Project team 2022/12 Completed Advice was provided to the MoE on components of POPs waste elimination works that could be organized with donor co-financing. History
5. Recommendation:

Continued Stakeholder Consultations

This project supported stakeholder consultations, which were important given the nature of the project – with potentially negative impacts on human health and the environment. Given that the disposal has not been addressed definitely yet, it will be important to maintain stakeholder engagement. This work should be grounded on a clear plan and strategy, whose development can be supported by the Project Team before the closure of the project. Furthermore, UNDP has a lot of experience with information and awareness-raising campaigns, so it can provide substantive support in this area.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/12/06]

Accepted. As indicated under the Management Response to the TE recommendation #1, the package of documents will be made available for state funding proposal to address the Nubarashen POP/OPs waste. The roadmap will also be transferred to the iACISC. This will sustain the stakeholder engagement beyond the project completion.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 UNDP will support promoting the inclusion of Nubarashen POP/OPs waste disposal state budget application in the Government’s 2022–2024 Medium-term Expenditures Framework (a preceding phase for consideration of state funding allocation). Respective roles and engagement of stakeholder institutions will be assigned in this Framework.
[Added: 2021/12/06] [Last Updated: 2021/12/28]
Project team, Ministry of Environment 2022/12 Completed A brief on Nubarashen POP/OPs waste elimination was sent by the MoE to the Government of Armenia. History

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