Success message
error message
warn message
Institutional Strengthening to Implement CBPF Midterm evaluation
Commissioning Unit: China
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2015
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 09/2013
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: China
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: Strengthen CBPF though the National Committee of Biodiversity Conservation of China under Outcome 1, 3, 4 and 5: The National Committee of Biodiversity Conservation was first established in 2010 for the UN Biodiversity Year 2010, and it was renewed as the leading government platform for UN Decade of Biodiversity Conservation in June 2012. It is chaired by Vice Premiere of the State Council with members from 25 line ministries and government agencies and with the Secretariat in MEP. In June 2012, the National Committee approved the China Action Plan for UN Decade of Biodiversity Conservation, which is closely link to UN Aichi Targets for biodiversity conservation. The National Committee provides considerable legitimacy to the CBPF-IS project  as the technical services providers for coordination and partnership at national level, which will significantly contribute to CBPF-IS outcomes and outputs in particular Outcome 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

3rd PSC Meeting on Oct. 11, 2013 decided that it is essential for the IS project to connect to the National Committee and becomes a service provider. Therefore, a new activity proposed by the IS project was approved by the PSC: “Assessment of mechanisms and efficiency of the National Committee of Biodiversity Conservation of China”, results of which will be properly used to strengthen the connection and lay a foundation for IS project to be more involved with the manages, agenda and arrangements of the National Committee in the future.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: Revise and reduce the outputs under Outcome 3, 4 and 5: The responsibility for the development of the PES legislation, climate change adaptation and DPZ planning are being undertaken by the NDRC. However, because they involve biodiversity they are very firmly within the mandate of both the MEP and the IS project. In particular the issue of the PES legislation, DPZ planning and climate change for which the responsibilities now largely rest with the NDRC. However, biodiversity per se is the responsibility of the MEP and the IS project.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

The process of employing a CTA was substantially expedited after the MTR and finally, CTA, Dr. Zhang Fengchun started to work on the IS Project since Aug. 1st, as CTA and prepared for the SRF planning workshop which took place on Aug. 28. Over a dozens of experts from across sectors were invited to the workshop and discussed the “packing schemes” prepared specifically for all Outcomes, incl. 3, 4 and 5 and related to the difficult subjects such as PES legislation and DPZ resting with NDRC. 

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: Actions to strengthen the Outcome 1 and Out 2: These two outcomes have been well designed and implemented, they are in line with the MEP mandates in biodiversity conservation, the strength has been built in the CBPF-IS project, and the provincial and sectoral BSAPs are drafted and of high quality in their format and content. A critical comment might be that they all make a distinction between conservation and sustainable and the CBD would argue that sustainable use can and does improve the status of the resource being used. Most of them are nearly ready to be approved by related provincial governments and line ministries.  The project argues that it is urgently needed to work with the provincial and sectoral authorities to work on at least one priority action in each BSAP after it is approved as a demonstration of its implementation (and as a means to uncover any inefficiencies in the plan) and to avoid stasis in its implementation. However, the MTR recommends that the project works with the National Committee of Biodiversity Conservation (established in 2011) to review the enabling environment for the implementation of the PBSAPs to identify inefficiencies and inequalities in the enabling conditions. Not only would this put at the NCBC and provinces disposal the technical expertise of the project but it would also be a clearly incremental over what the government is spending and in line with the GEF’s policies of incremental funding.   

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

PMO has adjusted the TYWP several times to make activities design practical and implementation effective- the latest version was approved jointly by FECO and UNDP in May, 2013. However, the MTR does open up a window for PMO to newly add necessary activities to further strengthen outcome 1 and 2.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: Review and streamline budget and contract approval procedures: FECO’s due diligence regarding project expenditures is admirable and reflects the importance and responsibility of the project partners. The CBPF-IS now has a demonstrably responsible and professional PMO and it should be possible to review and streamline the budget and contract approval process given that there is considerable trust between the project partners and PMO. Furthermore, the often necessary delays in approving budget expenditure can be reduced by more forward planning in submitting requests. However, there is still a strong case to streamline approval procedures.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

It is difficult or next to impossible for PMO to have FECO budget approval procedures make allowance for the complicity of the project, because FECO’s internal control system adopted last year has been very stern and strict.

PMO sees little room for FECO’s financial and approval procedures to be streamlined, not from the PMO level; Nevertheless, the packing schemes planned by the PMO and approved by the PSC will greatly simplify the approval procedures.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: Capacity building to the PMO and extending to the provincial PMOs: There is frequently an assumption in projects that project personnel (the PMO) should not benefit from any training and capacity building provided by the project. However, investment in human resources is almost always cost-effective and it is unreasonable to assume that the PMO will necessarily have the requisite set of skills to prosecute a project. Providing good quality TA staff with training and mentoring mandate during the early stages of the project, possibly defined during the inception phase when an assessment of the skill needs can be made is important, but given that the inception phase has passed it would be wise to provide training opportunities to the PMO now. Using the opportunity presented above, the project extends this training to build the capacity of the project management officers at the provincial level (such as Guangxi and Jilin) and other sectors (e.g. the Water and Quality Bureau) can also be included, as well as other PMO staff of other CBPF projects. The training should be targeted at developing facilitation skills. The objective of the training would be to build the capacity of the individuals in collective problem solving, facilitating workshops and building coalitions (e.g. to implement recommendation 2 by starting with a question rather than an answer).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

This has already gone into the TOR of the CTA that is already in place since Aug. 1.

This issue has also been raised to the PSC on the 3rd meeting on Oct. 10, 2013, however, given the fact that it is very challenging and complicated project and the PMO has been very overworked and understaffed, lack of time financial resources will still make it hard to materialize in the future.

The following actions will be taken in this regard (see below).

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: Communications programme:  The project’s strategy did not provide for a communications programme. However, the project is producing experience and lessons that are important in influencing the approach towards biodiversity conservation which is an integral part of the CBPF. Outcome 3, 4 or 5 could reasonably provide a basis for broadcasting these lessons across a wide spectrum of stakeholders.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

Actually, PMO has been performing in this aspect:

The M&E Officer has developed and included an initial Communication Strategy and tested it to the Outcome 5. It emphasizes “use of output” beyond the project framework and brings it up to stakeholders at the levels of macro, meso and micro, which refer to ministry and enterprise regulators, local government and industry association, as well as pilot enterprise.

Below are some examples of reaching out to stakeholders:

  • Two annual training workshops have been held (in June, 2012 and May, 2013) having successfully reached out to target audience of media circle and environmental NGOs and raised their awareness in BD.
  • There have been three training workshops in first and second half of 2012 and in July, 2013 that were aimed to capacitate those from relevant departments and units responsible for compiling and formulating PBSAPs.
  • On the workshop “Partnership: enterprise and biodiversity”, on June 28, 2013, representatives from extractive industries and companies were invited.

The exchange meetings for GEF projects under CBPF have been successful to spread lessens and draw on experience, the latest event was held in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, in Sept. 2013.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7: Increase the participation of non-governmental project partners: WWF and TNC, particularly the latter are able to provide high quality technical inputs to conservation planning, in particular data. Consideration should be given to increasing linkages between the BCPF-IS project and the activities of these two organisations.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

The NGOs’ participation in the project as partners has been emphasized in the CBPF document. It was agreed during the Planning Workshop that more NGOs should be involved in the CBPF projects as partners.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8: Project extension: The project design was ambitious (albeit justified). However, like so many GEF projects it did not take into account the risk of ordinary events effecting the establishment of the project framework. This project has lost time in the first year, however, it now has considerable intellectual and political capital and is gathering momentum but it still needs time. Therefore the MTR recommends that the project applies for a “budget neutral” extension of one year. The MTR realises that while this will be budget neutral in terms of the GEF financing there will be cost implications on the part of UNDP and FECO. However, this project is “special” and there are significant risks in trying to rush the process. It is “special” because it is an “influential project” and importantly it is one which has built considerable trust between, and is trusted by, the project partners; trust is a key component of any governance system. Trust increases efficiency and significantly reduces transaction costs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

PMO agreed to what was propositioned in the MTR: “the project should apply for a 'budget neutral' extension of one year. ” and raised this issue to the 3rd PSC meeting on Oct. 10, based on the following arguments:

The CBPF-IS project was signed in May 2010 and officially commenced in April 2011. However, the project staff actually took their place in 2012. As a result, the real kick off of the project was postponed almost two years, which means the project has to implement all of the activities, originally designed for five years, within three years. Therefore PMO applies for one year extention with netual costs, from February 2015 to February 2016. It is expected that the extension will ensure the designed outcomes and the quality of the project.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: Develop the role of the PMO as the Secretariat. This has to be different from its role as a project management unit, possibly including this role in the training in recommendation 4.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

The issue had been raised to the 3rd PSC meeting on Oct. 10th. PMO proposed to make CBPF projects contribute to the budget of CBPF Secretariat and makes sure that it is financially sustainable beyond the IS project framework. PMO asks the following questions to the PSC:

1) Who will give powers of authority to the proposed Secretariat (or the current PMO)?

2) Where the budgets come from? Who will have the right to ask various partners do donate/pay if the money comes from all of the CBPF partners?

3) For whom the proposed Secretariat will be responsible?

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: Develop an exit strategy at an early stage during the final half of the project. The CBPF will continue to run beyond the life of the IS project and many of the structures put in place during the project will continue to function afterwards. This should also provide a clear pathway for the “migration” of the CBPF Secretariat from the PMO to its final destination. It is important that prior to the closing months all of these different components have a clear pathway. The exit strategy can be developed and regularly updated as the project draws to a close. Developing an exit strategy in the closing months of a project does not provide a seamless handover.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/06/28]

The Exit Strategy“ is associated with “sustainability of CBPF Secretariat” as viewed by the PMO and thinks it makes sense.

Key Actions:

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org