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Midterm Review : Sixth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme in Thailand
Commissioning Unit: Thailand
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 07/2021
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Thailand
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

Accelerate Delivery: Based on the discussion from the Progress Towards Results and Adaptive management sections above, the mid-term review recommends that UNOPS, UNDP, the CPMU (Country Programme Management Unit-SGP project team) and the NSC (National Steering Committee) continue to make efforts to accelerate delivery. To that end, the CPMU will take necessary actions as described in the following key actions plan

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/11/09]

Accept. To accelerate the delivery. The Country Project Management Unit (CPMU) has already provided first grant payments to 51 communities in June 2021. The implementations of 51 grant projects have started. The four landscape strategies have been conditionally approved by the NSC and the NSC authorized the CPMU to work with each NGO grantee in further modification. The development and approval of the strategic projects will be reviewed by NSC during October – November 2021 as a priority action in response to the recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 The CPMU will provide support to grantees on the implementation of grants in order to make as much progress as possible on achieving Outcome 2 targets. The effort has been resulted in the disbursement of the first grant payments to 51 grant projects.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2021/06 Completed
1.2 In the connection with the above, the second grant payments were planned to disburse in October 2021 by receiving the completion of grantee’s progress reports.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2021/10 Completed Budgeted and in the workplan
1.3 The CPMU will expedite the development and the NSC should expedite the approval of the four strategic projects. In this regard, the ToR of the four strategic projects will be submitted to the NSC for approval.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/08]
CPMU, NSC 2021/10 Completed The 4 ToRs was revised and finalized by the project manager. History
1.4 In following, the identification and selection of the four strategic projects will be completed as per the set ToR.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/20]
CPMU, NSC 2021/12 Completed ToR was completed. The call for proposals are opened generally to target audiences. History
2. Recommendation:

Monitor delivery: Based on the discussion from the Progress Towards Results and Adaptive management sections above, the mid-term review recommends that UNOPS, UNDP, the CPMU and the NSC continue to monitor delivery and assess in six months the need to request a project extension. As an extension will likely be needed, UNDP and CPMU should start identifying from now co-financing sources to support project implementation, even if some of this could be covered through outcome level funding. UNOPS and UNDP should explore the possibility of mobilizing a UN Volunteer, including how quick this could be.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/11/09]

Accept. The project duration is quite important to achieve the outcome of the intended activities. The CPMU will maintain the standard approach of project cycle of 18 months. Given the continues occurrence of new variants of COVID, limitation of mobility, COVID related curfew, project delays are anticipated. The project is going to end in September-2022. an extension most likely be requested in Q1-2022 CPMU will explore the possibility to reprogramme the project budget in view of recruiting UNVs at community level to support the monitoring of the field level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 CPMU will develop (a) detailed implementation progress of the ongoing and outstanding activities, (b) detailed M&E and reporting progress against project indicators, and (c) prepare a report presentation to the National Steering Committee (NSC) for an assessment of project extension and further action.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/03/06]
CPMU 2022/03 Completed The request of 10 months extension has been conditionally approved by the NSC in the official NSC meeting on 21 January 2022. The set of supporting document includes 1) 2022-2023 workplan, 2) budget revision, 3) a project extension request form, 4) Minutes of NSC meeting, 5) RR Letter. History
2.2 NSC Meetings will be arranged to discuss and assess whether a project extension is in need.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/03/06]
CPMU, NSC 2022/03 Completed The request of 10 months extension has been conditionally approved by the NSC in the official NSC meeting on 21 January 2022. The set of supporting document includes 1) 2022-2023 workplan, 2) budget revision, 3) a project extension request form, 4) Minutes of NSC meeting, 5) RR Letter. History
2.3 If needed, the CPMU will develop a request of project extension with detailed implementation plan.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/03/06]
CPMU, NSC, UNDP CO, SGP UCP 2022/03 Completed The request of 10 months extension has been conditionally approved by the NSC in the official NSC meeting on 21 January 2022. The set of supporting document includes 1) 2022-2023 workplan, 2) budget revision, 3) a project extension request form, 4) Minutes of NSC meeting, 5) RR Letter. The set of required documents has been sent to UNOPS and the RTA for approval and further needed steps. History
2.4. The CPMU will discuss with UNOPS and reprogram the budget to hire community UNVs to support the M&E at the four landscapes.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/20]
CPMU , UNDP, UCP 2021/12 Completed In discussion with UNOPS, the budget revision just has been made. Hiring UNV is next successive task to be completed early next year. History
3. Recommendation:

Ensure long term funding for landscape work:

Based on the discussion from the Project design and Progress Towards Results sections, the mid-term review recommends that UNDP, the CPMU and the NSC continue to strengthen the advocacy process to make sure that GEF OP8 resources are allocated to SGP/UPC in Thailand. They also should continue advocacy efforts to ensure the same landscapes are prioritized, to ensure at least two OPs. To that end, they should conduct meetings with key government officials, including the GEF focal point, and develop and disseminate knowledge products on the results of the project. Moreover, the CPMU should enhance communication with policy-making organizations where relevant at landscape level for policy advocacy and strong support at the pilot sites. Furthermore, UNDP should share knowledge on UCP’s results in countries where they have been supported for several OPs. When developing the PIF and then the prodoc, UNDP should ensure that at least four years are considered.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Partially Accept. The project has all potential to expand and continue implementation as per the OP6 – Project. It is recommended to expand the project target areas in more diverse landscape rather supplementing the same communities with grants. There is clear scope of expansion. The CPMU could advocate to allocate GEF OP8 resources to SGP/UCP in Thailand. However, this seems beyond the OP6 Project’s reach. The project approval process rests with the GEF Sec. However, the OP6 will seek support from SGP-UCP and UNDP CO to assist in pitching the project proposal to GEF Sec.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.3 Knowledge is shared on UCP’s results in other countries through variety of communication materials and tools produced for visibility enhancement such as SGP Thailand’s website.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2022/12 Initiated KM and communication consultant is working in line with the workplan. Website No due date development is on progress to be launched in October 2021.
3.1 The CPMU is to prepare concept note for GEF OP8 resource
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/07/31]
CPMU, UNDP CO, SGP UCP 2022/07 Completed CPMU has in cooperated with key partners to prepare as planned. History
3.2 CPMU will enhance communication with policy-making organizations where relevant at landscape level for policy advocacy and strong support at the pilot sites through policy advocacy platforms as planned under Outcome 3’s activity.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/07/31]
CPMU 2022/07 Completed Communication process with policy-making organizations has been enhanced and supported at pilot sites. History
4. Recommendation:

Strengthen M&E and reporting:

Based on the discussion from the Project design and Adaptive management sections, the mid-term review recommends that UNDP, the CPMU and the NSC revise the PRF urgently, adding SMART indicators, baselines, targets and means and sources of verification to monitor and evaluate the impacts of the project on the health of ecosystems2 , socio-economic conditions3 and resilience to climate change4 . In this sense, the project should go beyond the GEF core indicators and ensure the PRF is robust, monitoring and evaluating impacts along the whole impact chain. This should be based on the baseline assessments, which should be strengthened, and ideally developed before interventions start on the ground. The revision of the results framework should also consider outcome level indicators, addressing the comments provided in table 5 of the MTR. More specifically, the revision should strengthen the specificity and consistency of indicators 1.1 and 1.3. In addition, the revision should further include a gender perspective, disaggregating by gender in several indicators. A reference to gender could be easily added on indicator 3.2 on number of multi-stakeholder participants engaged in multi-sectoral policy dialogue platforms (e.g., “where 40% of participants or 400 participants are women"). References to gender could also be added quite easily to indicator 1.1 on multi-stakeholder landscape groups, adding for example “where women represent at least 40% of the group members”. The same approach could be used for indicator 3.1 on multi-stakeholder policy platforms, although in this case this seems to be already included in indicator 3.2 (the difference between group member and participant would need to be clarified). Potentially, references to gender could also be integrated on indicators A, 2.1, and 2.4, distinguishing between areas owned by women or where women lead the management of natural resources, although if management is collaborative this would not be robust (2.2. and 2.3 have a clear community-approach). Finally, references to gender could be added on indicators 3.3 and 4.1, requesting that a percentage of the practices included in the case studies and the strategic projects are led by women, respectively. In addition, the CPMU should follow the PRF more closely in reporting, responding to indicators more succinctly and directly.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Accept . CPMU, UNDP SGP UCP and NSC will revisit the reporting templates and monitoring tools to assess the feasibility to revise the existing tools vis a vis the smart indicators.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 The reporting system including report templates were developed in line with the PRF to monitor the implementation and collect data in line with the PRF
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU, strategic projects and grantees 2020/05 Completed The knowledge on logframe indicators, targets and required data collection were informed to grantees as mandatory and incorporated into the template of grantee’s progress report to submit with the CPMU and whenever needed.
4.2 The project cycle management guideline, data collection and reporting system have been provided to grant projects where are monitored closely by the CPMU. The strategic projects will assist in strengthening the M&E system too.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU, strategic projects and grantees 2021/07 Completed The project cycle management guideline including M&E system were provided to grantees.
4.3 The monitoring mechanism has been strengthened by developing the on-site and online tools to be applied by grantees and the CPMU under the COVID-19 context.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU, strategic projects and grantees 2021/06 Completed The knowledge on M&E mechanism and tools were provided to the grantees.
4.4 The revision of log frame will be performed.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/02]
CPMU, strategic projects and grantees 2021/12 Completed The log frame has been revised as per the MTR recommendation. The UNDP CO and RTA has cleared and the data in PIMS+ will be updated accordingly. History
5. Recommendation:

Strengthen the human capacity for project management related activities:

Based on the discussion from the Adaptive management section, the mid-term review recommends that UNOPS and UNDP hire additional human resources to support the CPMU, with specific qualifications in M&E and knowledge management, to support the project coordinator in addressing recommendation 4, and strengthening reporting, which should respond to indicators more succinctly and directly. Even if the management of SGP OP5 concludes, the CPMU staff is stretched to deal with SGP OP6 and UNDP CO-related workload. This is urgent, as the workload is expected to increase when delivery accelerates. To that end, UNOPS and UNDP should consider consultancies, UN Volunteer (UNV) and the use of strategic projects to be covered at the outcome level. Exploring the possibility of mobilizing a UNV should consider how long this could take and what the lifetime of the project is, acknowledging that a project extension is likely

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Partially Accept . KM consultant was recent hired by the CPMU. The strategic projects will be designed with a strong component on information management and coordination to back up by the M&E activities under the project. CPMU will explore the opportunity to hire UNVs for the project monitoring, please refer to recommendation 2. Action 2.4.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 The CPMU will hire a KM and communication consultant to support in the production of knowledge products and improvement of the project’s visibility.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2021/09 Completed KM and communication consultant is on board. The website will be launched soon.
5.2 The four-landscape strategic projects will be assisting the CPMU to strengthen the reporting system and M&E exercise. The M&E plan will be developed in consultation with the NSC.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/02]
CPMU, strategic projects 2021/11 Completed The M&E plan has been developed, and data reporting has been shared with grantees. The grantee progress reports of activity have been received. The project monitoring visits will be implemented following M&E Plan. History
5.3 The CPMU will discuss with UNOPS and reprogram the budget to hire community UNVs to support the M&E at the four landscapes.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/20]
CPMU, UNDP, UCP 2021/12 Completed In discussion with UNOPS, the budget revision just has been made. Hiring UNV is next successive task to be completed early next year. History
6. Recommendation:

Further engaging landscape facilitators

Based on the discussion from the Adaptive management section, the mid-term review recommends that UNOPS, UNDP, the CPMU and the NSC consider hiring landscape facilitators to follow up the implementation of the sub-projects, through strategic projects, as done for example in Ecuador. These facilitators would monitor and support field level activities (outcome 2), provide aggregated reporting at landscape level and contribute to strategic thinking and knowledge management (outcomes 3 and 4). Funds for landscape facilitators could potentially be mobilized from outcomes 2, 3 and/or 4.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Accept . The strategic project in each landscape will hire the Landscape Facilitator to follow up the implementation of the grant projects (sub-projects) . The M&E plan developed in connection with the Recommendation 5. Engaging the strategic projects (landscape facilitators) is on priority action as mentioned in the Recommendation 1., Action 1.3 and 1.4.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 The CPMU will expedite the development and the NSC should expedite the approval of the four strategic projects. In this regard, the ToR of the four strategic projects will be submitted to the NSC for approval.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2021/12/08]
CPMU, NSC 2021/10 Completed The 4 TORs was revised and finalized by the project manager. History
6.2 In following, the identification and selection of the four strategic projects will be completed as per the set ToR. Under strategic project in each landscape, there will be a Landscape Facilitator to support the CPMU on the implementation and M&E.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/01/26]
Under strategic project in each landscape, there will be a Landscape Facilitator to support the CPMU on the implementation and M&E. 2021/12 Completed The final selection process has been completed for the 4 strategic projects. History
7. Recommendation:

Enhance communication between parties

Based on the discussion from the Adaptive management section, the mid-term review recommends that UNOPS, UNDP and the CPMU continue communication efforts, continuing the organization of regular calls between UNDP, UNOPS and the CPMU, and establishing more regular, fluid and transparent communication between CPMU and UNDP CO, including clarifying the responsibilities of the CPMU vis-à-vis the CO, and the responsibilities of the CO vis-à-vis the project and the CPMU.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Partially Accept. Under new programmatic structure of the UNDP CO, the regular, fluid and transparent communication will be enhanced. The communication among all parties was established regularly.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Regular calls will be continued. The communication on specific issues will be called amongst all parties and the share of roles and responsibilities between CPMU, UNDP CO, SGP UCP, UNOPS will be enhanced responding to that issue.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
PMU, UNDP CO, SGP UCP, UNOPS 2022/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

Further address the risks posed by COVID-19

Based on the discussion from the Adaptive management and Sustainability sections, the mid-term review recommends that the CPMU, the NSC, UNDP and UNOPS assess in detail how COVID-19 could affect the sustainability of the project and identify actions that would likely address this risk. This can require thinking outside the box to identify innovative solutions, in plural, embracing uncertainty.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Partially Accept. The risks posed by COVID-19 was addressed in the update Risk Log of the project and detailed in the PIR recently as of August 2021. CPMU in the NSC meeting, will on a regular basis will dedicated an agenda items to update on COVID situation. The risk mitigation measures and the adaptive management will be discussed and developed in the NSC meetings.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.2 The risk will be monitored closely by the CPMU. The risk response will be taken in action by the CPMU and grantees.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU, UNDP , grantees 2022/12 Initiated
8.1 The actions that would likely address the COVID-risk was identified in the PIR (July 2021).
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2021/07 Completed
9. Recommendation:

Promote climate change adaptation, whenever relevant and feasible

Based on the discussion from the Project design, Adaptive management and Sustainability sections, the mid-term review recommends that the CPMU, the NSC, UNDP and UNOPS conduct a rapid climate change risks assessment, assess to what extent the practices to be promoted contribute to climate change adaptation, being no-regret measures and avoid maladaptation, and identify and make adjustments whenever relevant and feasible. As recommendation 8, this can require thinking outside the box to identify innovative solutions, in plural, embracing uncertainty.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Accept. CPMU will explore the possibility that Strategic project could support climate change adaption where possible in the four target landscape.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 The CPMU with the technical support of strategic projects will conduct a rapid climate change risks assessment, assessing to what extent the Community-based Adaptation (CBA) practices to be promoted and contribute to climate change adaptation, identifying and making adjustments whenever relevant and feasible
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU, strategic projects, grantees 2022/09 Initiated Promotion of CBA practices for climate change adaptation through grant project implementations.
10. Recommendation:

Strengthen knowledge management and communication

Based on the discussion from the Adaptive management and Sustainability sections, the mid-term review recommends that the CPMU convenes the NSC to approve the knowledge management and communication strategies and implement them. This should support the identification of best practices and individual and social champions that can advocate, fund and move them forward (outcome 4) and the identification of policy bottlenecks and policy changes (outcome 3). Regarding the latter, the CPMU, the NSC, UNDP and UNOPS should engage the Department of Community Development and the National Policy Committee. At this point, as mid-term has been reached, the CPMU, the NSC, UNDP and UNOPS should strategically assess the lessons of this project, building on section 5.2 (on lessons learned) of this report. UNDP and UNOPS should ensure that they are used in the design of upcoming UCC projects, for example in Malaysia, as well as for the development of OP8 projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/11/09]

Accept. Please refer to the key actions in response to the Recommendation 5, Action 5.1 on the recruitment of the KM and Communication consultant. In responding to the Outcome 3, the results of the knowledge management will support the identification of best practices and inclusively knowledge sharing at sub-national, national and international level. The community-based policy dialogues will be held with inclusion of multi-stakeholder for resulting to policy suggestion and advocacy in contribution of Outcome 4.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 Approval of the knowledge management and communication strategies.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2020/04 Completed
10.2 The KM and Communication consultant to support in the production of knowledge products and improvement of the project’s visibility.
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2021/06 Completed KM and communication consultant is on board and working in line with the workplan.
10.3 The knowledge management and communication workplan will be updated in consultation with the KM and Communication consultant
[Added: 2021/11/09]
CPMU 2021/10 Completed
10.4 The policy-making organizations will be invited to the community-based policy dialogues. The policy suggestion and advocacy derived from the community dialogues will be shared and discussed thru the onsite-online forums.
[Added: 2021/11/09] [Last Updated: 2022/07/31]
CPMU strategic projects, grantees 2022/07 Completed The policy-making organizations were invited to join the community-based policy dialogues as well as discussed through both on-site and online forums. History

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