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Terminal Evaluation of Fifth Operational Phase of the GEF Small Grants Programme
Commissioning Unit: Ecuador
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2018
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 02/2015
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Ecuador
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: A sixth operational phase of the Small Grants Programme -SGP in Ecuador should most certainly be pursued, adopting the same basic approach developed during 5th Operational Phase -OP5 with modifications as described below.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2015/12/02]

SGP Ecuador has produced an initial PIF draft that has been discussed with the National Steering Committee- NSC, UNDP and the Ministry of Environment -MAE. Unfortunately, MAE´s decision has been to endorse 2 US$ million STAR (System for Transparent Allocation of Resources) for SGP Ecuador, therefore the new proposal will be sent as a Medium Size Project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Develop a Medium Size Project proposal that considers the same basic approach developed during OP5. -Share the proposal with National Steering Committee -NSC, UNDP and Ministry of Environment -MAE and the Global Technical Advisor -GTA. -Send the proposal to GEF.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit -NCU - Global Technical Advisor -GTA - National Steering Committee -NSC 2015/12 Completed Two versions of the Medium Size Project had been presented to headquarters and we are finalizing the document including the lasts recommendations History
2. Recommendation: It is important that the SGP continue its work in all four territories in 6th Operational Phase -OP6. The program has already advanced significantly in the four regions and many communities count on continued support from the SGP. Some of the benefits to both communities and to ecosystems may be lost if the SGP does not continue to operate in these four territories, as many of the initiatives are not yet self-sustaining. It will not be possible to continue operating in the four territories with the current GEF budget allocated for OP6. It will be important to find additional funding to complement the GEF funds allocated for OP6.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

During the 5th Operational Phase -OP5 closing phase, SGP had 4 final workshops in each territory. Several stakeholders participated In these events, among them the local governments (GAD) who showed their interest in working and supporting SGP in the OP6. SGP and UNDP, with the support of the Global Technical Advisor -GTA are searching additional funding from other possible donors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- The OP5 experience is systematized. This will be important to show the main achievements. - SGP elaborated promotional videos to demonstrate the main achievements of OP5. - New territorial workshops to stablish new linkages with local stakeholders (GAD, Universities, private sector, NGOs, MAE, Ministry of Agriculture -MAGAP, etc.)
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - UNDP - Global Technical Advisor GTA - National Steering Committee NSC 2015/12 Completed UNDP Country Office: Even though conceptually and in reality this recommendation is accurate it must be contrasted with the above management response. Working in all 4 territories seems too ambitious considering that OP6 will operate with half the resources. I suggest there is a previous technical and strategic exercise to prioritize the geographical scope or perhaps consider other criteria given the reduction in funds before writing down the MSP ProDoc. History
3. Recommendation: Apply greater scientific rigor in pursuing the conservation objective / Ensure all production-oriented activities supported by projects are strategic in that they can truly be expected to result in decreased pressure on target ecosystems (not just in enhancing the well-being of people who live within the landscape), and that the production-oriented activities are aimed strategically at the stakeholders who present the greatest threat to the target ecosystem and/or who have the greatest potential for conserving it/ Seek collaboration with other relevant larger-scale conservation and diverse agriculture projects (some of which are GEF-supported projects) and programmes in country to enhance impact and sustainability of SGP-supported activities. Do not expand into new territories except when linkages to other larger-scale conservation or agroecology efforts strongly compel such an expansion. Do not pursue urban-based projects in OP6/ Establish ecological baselines based on actual data regarding the size and distribution (distance between) of patches of target ecosystem over the landscape of interest and the conservation status of those patches.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2015/12/02]

These recommendations will be considered through partnerships with other UNDP and UN projects, Universities, local and international NGOs and Ministry of Environment -MAE. OP5 final reports will provide important information for this.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Territorial workshops to stablish new linkages with local stakeholders (GAD ? local governments, Universities, private sector, NGOs, MAE, etc.) -Strengthen the in-house technical coordination Stablish partnerships with Universities, MAE, in order to elaborate this baseline for OP6, with the results from Op5. - Considering that SGP has an agreement with MAE, we will request cartographic information and georeferences for the communitarian interventions.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - Regional Technical Assistance Team (EQUIPATE) 2015/12 Completed OP6 considered strategic biocorridors from OP5; geographical areas where reduced and linked projetcs were indentified. OP6 considered an scaling-up for partnerships in each territoriry; territorial working tables were held in each biocorridor. History
4. Recommendation: Replicate the psiciculture project modality to include a variety of other technical assistance ?strategic projects? in areas such as community-based ecotourism, ecosystem restoration, shade coffee, etc., and contract experts from within existing successful projects to provide this technical assistance whenever possible.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The recommendation will be considered for OP6 implementation, through strategic projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- The territorial workshops and the technical support from the EQUIPATES (Regional Technical Assistance Team) will be important to determine the types of projects to be supported. - The projects could be conceived as strategic projects with NGOs who are specialized in a certain topic.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP-National Coordination Unit - EQUIPATE Amazonía - GAD Amazonía 2015/12 Completed OP6 included sustainable psiculture intervention in Coastal and Amazon Region. History
5. Recommendation: Strengthen the relationship between the SGP OP6 and Ministry of Environment -MAE to ensure a continued coordinated approach to the further development of biocorridors and to permit greater collaboration with Socio-Bosque/Páramo/Manglar (assuming this important programme continues).
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

SGP will continue to identify possible synergies with the Restoration Plan of the Ministry of Environment -MAE, which now is for the MAE´s previous mechanism to prepare communities for the Socio-Bosque/Páramo/Manglar. In some cases this articulation has been successful, for example, UNOCIGS project (North Highlands) is already implementing restoration activities with the Gonzalez Suárez GAD. UNDP has an agreement signed with the GAD Imbabura for a joint intervention in Intag.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Meetings with MAE. - A more coordinated and a demand based approach with UNDP Environment and Energy (E&E) area when dealing with MAE. - Meetings with local governments (GAD) and FONAG (National Water Fund).
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - UNDP through E&E 2015/12 Completed The partnership between the Ministry of Enviroment was consolidated during OP6. PASNAP/MAE funds were implemented directly by SGP/UNDP Ecuador. Other interventions from the MAE are reported by biocorridor projects during OP6. History
6. Recommendation: Pursue more agile mechanisms for collaborating with Ministry of Agriculture-MAGAP & more sharing of SGP experiences with that Ministry outside the "Redes Comerciales" Unit.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

During the project execution phase many organization stablished links with MAGAP staff at the local level. During the closing phase, several meetings have been maintained with Redes Comerciales - MAGAP in order to stablish a mechanism for the commercialization of organic farming products from SGP projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Meeting with FAO, to determine mechanisms of articulation in OP6, between FAO, SGP and MAGAP.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
SGP National Coordination Unit/FAO/ MAGAP 2016/03 Completed MAGAP though its "Redes Comerciales" Unit reported certain support in some biocorridors. History
7. Recommendation: Consider streamlining the National Coordination Unit -NCU as described in the text of this document.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The recommendation will be considered for OP6 design and implementation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The recommendation will be considered during the design of OP6 PRODOC.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - National Steering Committee 2015/12 Completed Co-financing funds were identified to cover personal expenses during the end of OP6. History
8. Recommendation: Consider whether or not the EQUIPATEN (National Technical Assistance Team) is really an appropriate, cost-effective, and strategic investment for the SGP in OP6. Ultimately the decision lies with the National Steering Committee -NSC. The opinion of the Terminal Evaluation Evaluator is that the SGP should not continue to fund the EQUIPATEN.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The EQUIPATEN, an NGO by the name of Oficina para la Investigación Social y del Desarrollo (OFIS), provided services including monitoring of the EQUIPATE (Regional Technical Assistance Team) , drafting of the PIF, systematization of the planning phase of the project, facilitation of workshops, design and validation of SIMONAA (Monitoring System), periodic validation of the application of the ART/SGP methodology, conflict management, fund raising, and assistance with ensuring that the territorial approach was consistently applied, amongst other services. During OP5, working with the EQUIPATEN has been very important in order to ensure the coherence and success of the new model, which was a very innovative one that required new methodologies, and included a diversity of stakeholders and mechanisms that had to be coordinated at the national level. This recommendation will be considered for OP6.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The recommendation will be considered during the design of OP6 PRODOC.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - National Steering Committee 2015/06 Completed The EQUIPATEN was not considered in OP6. History
9. Recommendation: To help ensure the National National Steering Committee-NSC assumes a more strategic oversight role, the National Coordination Unit- NCU should submit to the NSC for review and approval a written annual workplan and budget. The NSC should review and approve draft Project Identification Frameworks (PIFs) and draft project documents before these are submitted. Implementation of Terminal Evaluation (TE) recommendations related to strategic issues should be monitored by the NSC.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

Regarding the AWP (Annual Work Plan), this recommendation will be considered in Op6. The Project design was very participative, during the planning phase, with the technical support of EQUIPATES. National Steering Committee -NSC members are invited to join in all the activities such as workshops, field visits, Territorial Working Group -GTT, etc.). Considering that NSC members work as volunteers, their participation depends on their availability.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Annual Work Plan and budget to be reviewed by NSC. - Share the programming and budgetary documents with enough time to be commented by NSC members. - Determine priority actions for OP6, so that projects respond to them. - Share the TE document for the NSC to monitor the implementation of recommendations.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - National Steering Committee -NSC 2015/12 Completed NSC reviewed and approved OP6 proposal and AWP for each year. History
10. Recommendation: Further enhance the decision-making role of women in SGP-supported projects (not merely their participation), building on successful OP5 experiences, and attempt to quantify the benefits they derive from their involvement in the projects.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The recommendation will be considered for OP6 implementation. Projects include inclusive activities towards women, which will continue to be a priority for OP6.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Partnerships with UN Women and local NGOs working on this subject to implement activities to improve results in this matter
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit - Regional Technical Assistance Team -EQUIPATE 2015/12 Completed OP6 PRODOC included women approach as mainstreaming strategy. From the portfolio of 30 projects, 52% are led by women (target: 50%). Additionally, 280 women (54%) have benefited from income generating activities and have strengthened their participation in decision-making (target: 10% more women). History
11. Recommendation: Expand upon efforts to involve youth in projects in OP6, building on successful OP5 experiences.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The recommendation will be considered for OP6 implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Design a strategy to incentive the participation of young people during OP6. This strategy will consider the lessons learned during OP5.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- SGP National Coordination Unit- NCU - Community-Based Organization -CBO 2016/05 Completed SGP Ecuador’s strategy has a positive affirmation for women and youth that are considered in all the SGP portfolio projects throughout the entire project cycle. 420 women and 180 youth have been involved in reforestation, restoration and conservation campaigns. They have strengthened their leadership capacities on environmental management through campaigns, SGP scholarships participation, and specific training that are part of the biocorridor projects on: conservation practices, forest tree planting, planting for the creation of hedges, protection of water resources, propagation of native plants, sustainable cuisine, hotel services, technical assistance to production of seedlings from community nurseries. History
12. Recommendation: Expand upon university involvement in OP6, building on successful OP5 experiences.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The recommendation will be considered within OP6 proposal.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
- Evaluate the experience in OP5 in order to continue the work with the same Universities and to include new ones.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
- NCU - Universities with which we SGP has worked - UNDP 2016/05 Completed SIMONAA (Monitoring tool) was redesigned in OP6 to ensure the adecuate project implementation. Addittionaly, SGP implement internal audit processes. History
13. Recommendation: Conduct a more in-depth threat/risk analysis for each individual project. Develop a tool and format which projects can use to ensure a proper threats analysis is done.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

During Project selection, National Steering Committee -NSC makes in-depth threat analysis for each project, nevertheless, the recommendation will be considered for OP6 implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-SGP will design a new tool for threat analysis to be considered during project design and selection.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
SGP National Coordination Unit 2016/05 Completed SIMONAA (Monitoring tool) was redesigned in OP6 to ensure the adecuate project implementation. Addittionaly, SGP implement internal audit processes. History
14. Recommendation: Involve private sector groups, perhaps using the mechanism of a strategic project, in developing marketing strategies and strategies to achieve economies of scale regarding PITs.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/02]

The recommendation will be considered for OP6 implementation. SGP has a very positive experience with MAQUI, which is an enterprise that supported the AMWAE in improving their handicrafts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Analyze possible enterprises with which SGP could work.
[Added: 2015/12/02] [Last Updated: 2018/11/23]
SGP National Coordination Unit/United Nations Volunteering Programme /UNDP/Global Technical Advisor 2016/05 Completed During OP6, in alliance with PASNAP/MAE, SGP funded an project to scale-up PIT in each biocorridor. A methodology was designed and replicated. Moreover; private sector was link to SGP through GreenCrowds plataform; as strategic partners for crowdfunding strategies. History

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