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Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC)
Commissioning Unit: Samoa
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2012
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 10/2012
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Samoa
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: R1. PACC Country Project Plan and Design. It is recommended that the future emphasis of management should be placed on the individual PACC country projects, and a reduced focus should given to the ?regional project? and support program. For each PACC country project, the basic project framework of Outcomes, Outputs and Activities and the logic of their inter-connections should be re-defined. PACC requires country-level log-frames nested within an overall framework. This will require the PACC team in each country, with RPMU support, to re-think and confirm the essential strategy, logic and substantive objectives behind the local project. This process could usefully start with defining the country?s key planned results, Outputs or mid-level objectives, plus the financing plan for each one, i.e. results-based budget and expenditure monitoring, and the timetable. Some general suggestions for improving the project logical frameworks are listed. Refer also to individual PACC Country Project Recommendations. In reviewing, refining, and re-designing project plans, the multi-sectoral nature of the majority of the current demonstration activities needs to be fully addressed, and it is important for all PACC participants to develop and promote a more in-depth understanding of what resilience-building means; and to identify effective adaptation strategies and prepare rigorous designs for demonstration adaptation measures. Country teams should ensure that they are effectively building resilience to climate change; and recognise that they are contributing to developing their country?s systems for climate adaptation. The three components of each country project should be refocused and realigned as follow s: The core Component 2. is to pilot and demonstrate one or a series of effective measures to build resilience in the target location and development sector(s). The adaptation measures should be planned as integral parts of the co-financed, coastal/ agriculture/ water development ?project?. A lighter and more dynamic approach should be taken in the development of suites of demonstration measures . These should be re-evaluated in terms of their representation of different adaptation/ resilience building options and potential for transfer and/or up-scaling. Component 1. should focus on applying the lessons and results from component 2 to strengthen the local-national institutional and policy framework and promote replication and scaling-up. This should start with formulating a climate adaptation strategy for the target development sector, and then systematically incorporate climate adaptation into the policies, regulations, management plans, standards and codes that govern the sector. Component 3. should be focused clearly on sharing knowledge about the demonstration measures and the institutional and policy developments in order to promote their replication. This work should draw on the lessons from each country?s component 2 and 1, both of which will require improved monitoring of their effectiveness in practice.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

1. We agree that within the overall regional objective of the programme, the focus has to be much more country focused and country driven, with country based log-frames, clearly linked with the larger CC portfolios of the countries supported by results based financing and effective M&E systems. There will need to be clearly delineated results at the community and national levels, contributing toward enhanced resilience to CC, in agreed areas of focus (food security/water and coastal management). We agree with the report on the need for a shift in management and operational focus, from the regional, to the national levels. 2. This recommendation further validates a process that has already started in the project as confirmed in the MPR and Board Meetings of Vanuatu in 2011 and Nauru in 2012. 3. We would like to draw the attention to the fact that this process has already started in a detailed exercise with country coordinators in Nauru and they are: - Countries are defining individual log frames within the regional one - Countries are also defining AWPs based on these individual log frames, identifying clear targets, indicators, activities and tasks that can be easily monitored, to determine results, beyond the output level to measure meaningful change at the community levels and enhanced resilience. - These log frames will also incorporate linkages to the broader program on CC in the country to ensure better coordination at the national level. Countries are also indicating where and how the PACC programme fits in/leverages/informs the larger CC portfolio of the countries. - The realignment of components under these log frames will ensure fluidity and connectivity between and among the 3 components leading to measurable evidence of enhanced resilience at the community and national levels. - M&E and knowledge management will form a significant component of the future work plans at the country and regional levels, with targets and indicators that are gender disaggregated and informed by a clear understanding of enhanced resilience at the community and national levels. 4. We also agree with the recommendation to link these log-frames and AWPs to financial performance at the output level. Performance/results based criteria are being developed as a basis for supporting this. 5. We understand that it is going to be the sum total of the results achieved among and by the 14 countries that will contribute to increased regional resilience to CC, and increased learning and up-scaling of CC adaptation measures. In this context we see an important role for the RPMU, together with the countries, in systematic monitoring and documentation of results at community and national level for up-scaling and regional learning and knowledge management. This will be a shift from producing training and technical materials to focusing on M&E, documentation of results and knowledge management. 6. The report mentions the lack of understanding of the term resilience and its applicability. It would have been helpful to receive indications on this aspect. We would have expected some guidance from the Evaluation on the meaning on resilience and how to measure it.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: R2. PACC Oversight and Governance The MPR should be reformed as the PACC Steering Committee (PSC) to serve efficiently and effectively as the single governing body of PACC overall, and the Project Board should not be continued. PSC membership should be UNDP, AusAID (and other donors), SPREP and Directors of the National Executing Agencies or Chairs of National Steering Committees. It should be chaired by SPREP, which should be confirmed as the Lead Implementing Agency for PACC, with the RPMU as executive secretariat; the PACC PSC should also liaise closely with the national Steering Committees. The PSC should focus on overall program strategy and policy; and efficient annual review and endorsement of annual reports (technical and financial), annual project plans and budgets. Decisions should be by consensus or majority vote if necessary. The PSC should also work in conjunction with a strengthened PI CC Round Table and within other regional frameworks convened under the CROP mechanism.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

UNDP notes the recommendation of combining the Multipartite Review and the Project Board in one single Project Steering Committee. We do recognize that the added value of these two committees was eroded because it was the same participants (country programme coordinators +) that participated in both bodies. However, it has been agreed at Nauru in August 2012 that the membership of the Project Board will be different to that of the MPR reflecting the desire by the PACC membership for the programme to be part of a wider country level strategic framework of action on climate change. This requires the involvement of strategic ministries such as Ministries of Finance, Offices of Prime Ministers/Presidents, and members of the CC Units that have been established in various governments. It was agreed that membership of the Board should involve decision makers that could ensure the strategic positioning of PACC within the national climate change strategies: this would determine the approach of the project to support the Pacific countries in their transition to a more resilient economy. To this end, the Project Board agreed on the following actions: ? The Board agreed to raise the level of the national Project Board representatives to engage central agencies responsible for national decision making on climate change planning. ? It was noted that the cost of attending the Board meetings will be borne by the project country budget allocations. ? It was also agreed that the rotational term for board membership (i.e., country and CROP agencies) would be every two (2) years as opposed to the initial agreement that was a one (1) year term. ? This new arrangement is already operational effective December 2012. We believe that there is value in holding annual meetings to bring together the coordinators from the 14 countries. These meetings provide a valuable opportunity for them to discuss the progress of the project and share challenges and strategies on the way forward. Agreements reached at the MPR, with policy and strategic level implications are then forwarded to the Board for formal decision. The MPR is essentially an operational level meeting which has the participation of all participating countries and partners and is co-chaired by UNDP and SPREP. The membership of the Board is presently comprised of Government colleagues from central units, funders and SPREP and UNDP in Chair. Under the existing accountability frameworks and agreements with GEF; within the context of UNDP?s own rules and regulations and with SPREP through signature of the PACC project document, UNDP will be abrogating on its responsibilities if it were to not chair the Board meetings. UNDP does not accept the proposed change by the MTR. The specific paragraph 153 from the PACC project document states: ?In line with UNDP?s results management guide (RMG), a Project Executive Group will be established at the regional level. A PB is set up with responsibilities over management decisions including approving implementation work plans and budget revisions, identifying problems, and suggesting actions to improve project performance. The PB will be chaired by UNDP Samoa and composition will be as follows: Executive: UNDP Samoa Resident Representative, Senior Beneficiaries: 3 reps to represent each sub-region on an annual rotational basis. If needed, a subgroup of all the beneficiaries can be formed to discuss their input to the PB conveyed by their 3 reps. Senior Supplier: SPREP Executive Director and UNDP-GEF. The PB is scheduled to meet once a year, allowing for the stakeholders to review the progress with the project implementation and to agree on a coordinated annual project implementation strategy and plan?.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: R3. PACC Project Management It is recommended that UNDP should delegate management authority for the PACC Project to SPREP, and focus on enabling SPREP to carry out the function effectively and efficiently. SPREP should develop the capacity of the RPMU within SPREP to properly manage and coordinate all aspects of the project?s implementation regionally and in countries. The RPMU?s responsibilities should be extended so that it is leading and guiding SPREP?s climate adaptation program, which may comprise several PACC projects, including those with SCCF, AusAID and USAID funding. The RPMU within SPREP should be strengthened with three additional technical adaptation program staff, mid-level professionals capable of guiding and servicing the needs of PACC project executants across the technical fields of adaptation planning and building resilience in the countries? mainstream development sectors. SPREP should give immediate consideration to organising the expanded RPMU program to work as a virtual SPREP team with devolved placement to serve the three sub-regions: via a) the CROP agencies? hub in Micronesia; b) the MSG Secretariat in Vanuatu as a hub for climate and environment work in Melanesia; as well as c) a hub for Polynesia centred on SPREP. Their focus should be firmly on facilitating knowledge exchange for climate adaptation, employing the SPREP/ linked-CROP agencies? Library facility
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

The day to day management and implementation of PACC already rests with the SPREP. Under the agreement and as indicated in the PACC project document signed by SPREP and UNDP, the following are the roles and responsibilities of SPREP and UNDP. These have been clearly articulated in paragraphs 157-159 of the PACC project Document Please refer to paragraphs 24, 25 and 26 above. We agree that there is need for the capacity of RPMU to be augmented. There is already agreement by the Board (since 2011) for the RPMU capacity to be enhanced. Additionally a further recommendation is being made to the PACC Board meeting in Nadi, December 2012. The challenge is to ensure that the capacities are brought on board at the earliest. Where and how this additional capacity will be deployed is for SPREP to determine in the context of optimization of these resources. It is important to note that SPREP has augmented the existing capacity by drawing down on SPREP technical staff capacity as well as by establishing a roster of specialists that can be used as appropriate RPMU is being reinforced through: - Realigning PACC Project Officer to Adaptation Project Officer - Finance and Operations Officer under recruitment - Knowledge Management to be approved by PB - Retainer pool of experts to be more systematically engaged - Integration of PACC in SPREP (ecosystems, environmental monitoring and governance) As a way to augment technical capacity and provided for in the PACC project document, consideration should be given to sub-contracting the SPC/SOPAC which has the sector specializations on food/water security and coastal management. The option of enlarging the virtual network of expert support is already being explored by SPREP (more details to be provided by Taito) as part of the decentralization plan of SPREP. Given the increased forces at the country level, it would be useful to also consider needed support at this level.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: R4. PACC Project Administration It is recommended that the administration and financial management mechanism for project operations must be reformed as a pre-requisite to the PACC project proceeding. The MTR makes the following suggestions: a) Change to a 6-month cycle of planning, funds disbursement and reporting. This would entail a) improving the standards of annual and 6-month plans and budgets against the improved overall logical framework, work plan and results-based budget plan; b) disbursement of 6-months advance of funds in month 1; and c) return of an expenditure report in month 6; allowing one month for processing. If UNDP?s system cannot accommodate 6-monthly advances of funds, it would be relatively simple to advance funds each quarter, and acquit and report back on that advance the following quarter. This would obviate the critical hurdle of attempting to advance, spend and acquit the funds within a single quarter. b) Remove the multiplication of effort required for UNDP Samoa, SPREP RPMU and 14 Executing Agencies and project offices to co-manage project administration and financing: either UNDP Samoa should delegate the task of managing the PACC budget account fully to SPREP, and enable the RPMU to perform this function with due diligence; or UNDP Samoa should administer the project funds directly itself; and disperse funds and receive expenditure reports directly from each PMU and other cost centres. In the latter arrangement, administration of the accounts should be separated from the technical management of the PACC project, which should remain the responsibility of SPREP and the RPMU. c) Introduce results-based financial management. This will entail a) setting up an Excel file as a parallel record of budget and expenditure in each cost centre (PMU, RPMU); or more simply, adding an account code to each re-defined Output; b) confirming the budget for each PMU and RPMU against the improved project plan/ log framework (with a strong focus on the specific key results ? Outputs ? that are planned, each with a budget, at each centre; and c) monitoring, recording and reporting expenditure against each Output
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

The recommendations do not take account of the enormous efforts that have been put in place to simplify and fast track financial reporting and disbursement systems and the trainings undertaken over the last several years on results based management, on report writing, financial management etc. It also does not take account of the numerous tables and tracking and timeline sheets prepared to assist all concerned on timely submissions, processing etc ? for actions by the Governments, SPREP and UNDP. These include among others, agreement and operations of the following arrangements over the last two years: (i) Development of multi-year work plans that allow for longer term planning; (ii) Dispense with the arrangements whereby SPREP was providing UNDP with a collated and cumulative expenditures and reports from all countries. The delay in receipt from one country held up the entire process. The cumulative funds disbursed had to be in excess of the minimum threshold of 80% of advance made. We are now working on an arrangement whereby as soon as SPREP is able to clear financial statements and reports from one country that has disbursed a minimum of 80%, funds are released by UNDP for individual countries. (iii) UNDP is working on Direct Payments to Vendors as a means to support the individual rate of delivery of each country. (iv) Series of training on reporting on results - as the poor quality of reports are often delaying the process; (vi) training on use of the financial forms and instruments so that we receive complete reports and do not have to go back and (viii) timelines and schedules prepared to assist all concerned to work with a common timetable. Setting up of ?new? systems of 6 months is not necessarily going to fast track or simplify the process unless there is a clear understanding among all partners concerned of their role in the process and commitment to abide by the systems and timelines put in place. The process starts with agreement on the annual work-plans; and the quarterly plans. For the most part these are received not much before the end of the first quarter, 3 months late - when they are due early January at the start of the first quarter of the year. This has knock on effect with all of the subsequent actions. On this issue it is important to note that the process for the transfer of funds has faced two different challenges that are the root cause of the disbursement delays: (a) the process starts with the submission of work plans, financial and progress reports. Unfortunately the established deadlines have rarely been met. (b) the financial reports and the substantive reports are often not able to provide the needed information to enable process and are often incomplete requiring a lot of back and forth ? further adding to the delay (c) where countries have not met the minimum delivery threshold of 80%, funds cannot be released. (iv) The programme slippages also result in accumulation of unutilized funds advanced at the country level, and if this exceeds more than 6 months, then once again funds cannot be advanced till the full amount is disbursed and accounted for. We could use the 6 month planning process if that was deemed more effective. AWP will be developed at the beginning of the year for six months, however funds under UNDP rules can only be made available on a quarterly basis against financial and substantive reports. The 80% rule is a standard UNDP rule to encourage countries to shoot for a higher level of disbursement. Finally, UNDP will not do the financial management of the programme. This is the responsibility of SPREP under its overall management role for the PACC. We will however continue to support it in all fashion deemed necessary. It is good to see that the evaluation is reconfirming some of the agreements that have been reached in Nauru and Vanuatu. This emphasizes the urgent need to keep implementing and working on those agreements

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: R5. PACC Management in country PACC should be managed primarily as a set of country projects with connections between them and with the region. It would be valuable for the national EAs and Steering Committees to provide more leadership and direction to the PACC initiative, and to themselves engage upwards into regional adaptation programming in conjunction with the regional PACC PSC. In the remainder of the project and beyond, these national bodies should increase their ownership and use of the PACC project. This proactive re-engagement should form part of the process of re-defining the PACC project plan and substantive objectives in each country, including consideration of how to apply the NC and PMU, and the SCCF and PACC+ funding most effectively. At country level, PACC should be considerably more active in engaging, collaborating and exchanging ideas, experiences and lessons with other agencies and programs about climate adaptation needs and actions. Rather than remaining inside the prescribed box, the PACC PMU, EA and Steering Committee should deliberately promote and create ways to achieve synergy with other relevant projects; and should contribute to and participate in the development of a common strategic framework or action program for climate adaptation in the country.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

We generally agree with this recommendation. The National Steering Committees at the country level should take more ownership of the project and ensure its integration with the bigger Climate Change programme in country and at the regional level. See our detailed comments on the text above (para15) and Recommendation 1 above. It would also be useful to increase the communication between the PACC Project Board and the Steering Committees at the national level and this involvement has already started, with the Chair of the Board sending off letters annually to the governments informing them of the progress on the programme.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: R6. Regional collaboration It will be valuable for SPREP and the RPMU to strengthen efforts to establish an inclusive forum for climate adaptation programming in the region, based on or under the auspices of the Pacific Islands Round Table for Climate Change as appropriate. PACC, PACC+ and the USAID-SPREP ?projects? should become integral parts of an overall program, and make use of the regional forum to develop and establish a common strategic framework, and common tools for monitoring and knowledge management.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

PACC is already part of the existing coordination mechanisms at the regional level and it should be more effectively engaged in the process. Joint programming and implementation is already being programmed between SPREP, SPC, UNDP and other CROP agencies

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: R7. M&E, Information Management, Knowledge Sharing A cultural change should be instigated, across the project and in the participating agencies, to foster and establish PACC as primarily a Learning and Knowledge-sharing mechanism. Whereas to date PACC managers and executants have tended to be pre-occupied with organisation and administration of delivering the PACC project, it is recommended that for the remainder and any extensions of the project, all executants should become creatively pre-occupied instead with the technical knowledge that is being generated and used by the project, and systematically develop PACC to function primarily as an information management system, integrated thoroughly with a broader network of information systems, across Executing Agencies, sectors and programs. At the least, each PACC project executants should record and organise the information materials s/he prepares so that they are readily stored and retrievable from the national-regional system. Following the MTR , the RPMU and SPREP Library should convene a small virtual task force (involving PACC EAs, PMUs, PSC, SPREP and UNDP) to review the existing technical libraries and databases available to them and plan for them to incorporate the technical information materials that are generated and used by the PACC project. Centred on the well-established SPREP library, these data-banks should form the core of a networked information system serving the Pacific island countries and region.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

The ultimate objective of PACC is to demonstrate adaptation options on the ground that can be applied in the Pacific region and that increase the resilience of communities to Climate Change. Knowledge Management is a very important tool in transferring this knowledge and experiences across the region and we recognize that PACC needs to improve in this aspect. However, effective knowledge management is only possible if there is a solid basis of work that can be reviewed, the results both positive and negative to be captured and then systematically disseminated. We believe that the PACC project has only reached that point now and the expectation was that the MTR evaluation would help us start the process of doing so in a systematic fashion. The enhancement of the M&E systems for the project will form a very important part of the work plan. RPMU will have a lead role in setting up and supporting M&E systems at country and regional levels. SPREP is currently developing a KM strategy with their communications team. This strategy will include key products, actions and an overall framework and tools for knowledge sharing.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: R8. Project Extension MTR Recommendation 1. is for each PACC country project to re-define its basic project plan, budget and timetable. This should be based on re-consideration of the actions, time and funds that will be required to achieve each country project?s re-defined and agreed objectives. It is further recommended that the overall plan, remaining budget and timetable for PACC should be reviewed and revised, based firmly on the revised plans proposed and agreed with each participating country. The revised overall plan should provide for continuation, completion or extension of PACC work for a suggested period of up to 5 years (2013 ? 2017), subject to a) the time required to achieve the objectives and b) the funding available. The revised plan should be in the form of a collaborative program between SPREP, UNDP, AusAID, USAID and other contributing agencies; and to the extent possible should incorporate or have links to all of the agencies? climate adaptation related program activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

The project has been extended to December 2014 this year based on the agreements by the Project Board. Total expenditure by the end of the year 2012 will be around $9m after 4 years of implementation; this means an average annual expenditure of $2.25m. The remaining funds are $12m. The project is currently reaching the peak of the implementation phase and expenditure is expected to increase in the coming two years. The expectation for 2013 and 2014 is to focus on the up-scaling of adaptation options, documentation of results ad knowledge management. An extension of project will have to be determined by the progress of the programme on the ground and a decision now is therefore considered premature. Also, an extension has consequences on increased admin to programme ratio.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: R9. PACC Technical Support and Guidance In the next phase of PACC and in cooperation with other adaptation programs, projects and CROP agencies, the RPMU with SPREP and the country PMUs with their national EAs should focus strongly on facilitating knowledge management concerning all aspects of climate adaptation. The RPMU and PMUs should form a network of advice points able to provide individual tailored support focused on the country project and country system needs. The emphasis on generic tools and guidelines delivered regionally should be discontinued, and replaced with individual support exercises requested by the NC or EA and organized by the RPMU. As a priority, the RPMU and PMUs should confirm meaningful V&A assessment and adaptation planning and monitoring tools, based on their collective experiences and strengthened local monitoring, recording, evaluation and learning activities. PACC and its partners should give increased priority to facilitating wide access, understanding and application of Climate Change and SLR monitoring and projection data from the Pacific Climate Change Science Programme. The current project communications strategy should be discontinued and replaced with knowledge sharing and capacity building targeted at supporting country and local actions. The primary emphasis should be on sharing of expertise and knowledge between country teams and country projects, as well as across the several adaptation programs that are underway. Each PACC partner, PMU and pilot site should be organised to function as a knowledge bank, resource centre and demonstration, as a source of ideas, guidance and technical support for CC adaptation actions. PACC should contribute to innovative mechanisms for the three Pacific island sub-regions to share knowledge and support among their communities. A 5-year plan (2013-2017) should be prepared for low-cost, low-key knowledge exchange, with country and island nodes across Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. Refer also to MTR Recommendation 3.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/04/24]

A network of experts under retainer contracts has already been created for the project. RPMU will assign these experts to the countries to provide technical support to determine and improve the quality of the adaptation approaches and the policy and strategic documents prepared and also support development of log-frames and monitoring frameworks. There is a clear need to seek more systematic support from CROP agencies. One possibility would be to link PACC to the PCCSP trainings that are carried out at the national level. The other would be to consider sub-contracting SPC/SOPAC to provide sector specific technical support, focusing especially on the quality and efficacy of the adaptation approaches. Generic tools like the (mainstreaming guides, CBA, etc) have already been developed and that will be beneficial for the whole region as they are ready to be used and applied by future initiatives of CC. RPMU will support the countries to develop specific action plans to apply these regional products to incorporate national characteristics. We see a strong role of the RPMU in setting up effective M&E system at the regional and country levels as a basis for systematic documentation of results on the ground and for knowledge management. It is very clear from the report that the area of M&E needs intensive work and this has also been recognized in the MPRs in Vanuatu and Nauru. M&E systems need to be built at the country level to ensure the appropriate sequencing of implementation phases and the achievement of the project outputs and outcomes, with a focus on measuring real changes and benefits to communities, disaggregated by gender, that also demonstrate increased resilience to CC at the community level and a more resilient nation.

Key Actions:

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