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Final evaluation of the Kuwait Environmental Governance Initiative
Commissioning Unit: Kuwait
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2019
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 11/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Kuwait
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations

Lesson 1: Ensure needs-informed capacity development

Proper capacity gap analysis is critical to inform any efforts directed to building capacity. Therefore, it is of high importance to ensure that capacity needs assessment is carried out at the early stage of the project implementation, especially if the focus of the project is building capacities of the national counterpart. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office operates in NCC context. Due to COVID-19, declining oil prices the starting year of the new programme cycle under UN cooperation framework has shifted from 2020 to 2021. As of today, we do not have a confirmation of resources nor funding for environmental projects. In the event of a future project, we will be sure to: 

  1. Capacity gap analysis carried out all managerial levels.
  2. Mapping of various technical support from different entities, such as, bilateral development agencies.
  3. Survey before and after project to ensure capacity development is met.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In consultation with General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning & Development, once the UN cooperation framework is signed. UNDP will further consult with General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning & Development and Kuwait Environmental Public Authority for the implementation of capacity needs assessment.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Discussions took place History
2. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 2: Support data governance

Success of environmental governance depends largely on the availability and accessibility of environment-related data as well as the capacities of the decision-makers to interpret data adequately. Therefore, it is of high importance to explore and recommend a mechanism of environmental data governance that will engage stakeholders from the KEPA and beyond. This would require a strong and high-level leadership of such a mechanism and its direct link with the achievement of the SDGs in Kuwait. UNSD has strong expertise in this and it’s worth exploring in other project(s). 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

For the anticipated national observatory for sustainable development support under Institutional Capacity Development Initiative project, we will have a dedicated discussion drawing both NOSD, Kuwait Environmental Public Authority and their partners who are collecting environmental data on how better to manage and update environmental data benefitting all entities, such as synchronization of data management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the first consultation with NOSD for the Institutional Capacity Development Initiative project, we will co-design workplans which will include dedicated plans and actions with Kuwait Environmental Public Authority and Central Statistics Bureau.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Discussions done History
3. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 3: Ensure sharp logic of the intervention

When project outputs are very diverse and loosely connected, they resemble a wish-list rather than achievements demonstrating strong logic of intervention. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure peer-review of the project document and ensure more active engagement of UNDP regional hub to provide technical support at the design and later on, at the implementation phase.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office will ensure quality assurance of project document formulation and synergy of outputs by the regional hub.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The country office will facilitate meetings between regional hub, General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning & Development, Kuwait Environmental Public Authority and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Discussions with GSSCPD done History
4. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 4: Maintain coherence of information management system

Each new software solution comes with new complexity – how to link this new software to the existing information system. Hence, when MapX was introduced, however useful, the question was raised about compatibility of the tools applied within KEPA – MapX operates on open platform and therefore only on Android (not iPhone for instance). Therefore, to maintain high-level of coherence of the information management system, while introducing a new software it is critical to offer integration solutions in the package. In this case, explore MAPEX integration or data input to eMISK.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

In the event that the country office succeeds in resource mobilization to start a new environmental project, we will be sure to

include software compatibility technical information in future Terms Of Reference to ensure information system coherence.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Regardless of whether a second phase of the project is agreed on, UNDP will communicate to senior Kuwait Environmental Public Authority management on options to integrate MapX to the EMisk system.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Discussions done History
5. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 5: Minimize language barrier

Successful environmental governance in Kuwait can be guaranteed if benefiting from the vast international expertise accumulated in this field of knowledge. Not always the experts and the resource materials are available in Arabic, while in the meantime, English (usually widely spoken within expert communities) might be a challenge to the KEPA staff. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure high quality of translation and interpretation and factor this consideration in the project design and implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office will get a list of vetted Arabic/English translators that are experienced in handling environmental issues, in the event that a new project starts. If resource mobilization is successful, we will budget for translation costs to ensure all reports are bilingual.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The country office will get a list of vetted Arabic/English translators that are experienced in handling environmental issues, in the event that a new project starts.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Operations Team 2021/12 Completed Processed History
6. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 6: Support the KEPA to fully institutionalize compliance and enforcement functions

Compliance and enforcement functions required different modalities and different approach for implementation. While the KEPA is granted the authority for both functions, clear demarcation of the portfolios for both remains critical and requires additional efforts. Therefore, it is recommended to continue supporting the KEPA in institutionalizing compliance and enforcement functions as defined by the Enforcement and Compliance Policy Systems and Indicators report for the KEPA (August 2018).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

Discuss with Kuwait Environmental Public Authority and General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning & Development on stronger and more preventive roles Kuwait Environmental Public Authority can play in ensuring environmental standards of projects, implemented by other entities, such as waste management with the Kuwait Municipality.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discuss with General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning & Development for the integration of environmental governance recommendations in a holistic manner, as well as, strengthening Kuwait Environmental Public Authority’s role as a regulatory entity.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Done History
7. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 7: Maintain the KEGI’s momentum

The KEGI project has produced a number of valuable recommendations for the KEPA and for the environmental governance in Kuwait, in general. In the meantime, some of the project activities were carried out in a rush-mode with limited consultations. Additional consultations would be highly beneficial for the KEPA. In the meantime, the project has delivered multiple valuable analytical papers that have a potential to significantly inform the effectiveness of the KEPA’s work. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain the momentum created by the KEGI project and in consultations with the KEPA staff shape a new roadmap to elevate the KEPA’s work to a next quality level. Special attention should be paid to the recommendations produced to sharpen the links with SGDs and national development priorities.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

In consultation with Kuwait Environmental Public Authority, we will look into opportunities to link with recommendations and Kuwait Environmental Public Authority’s organizational internal strategy with a bill to ensuring buy-in of environmental governance recommendations from the top management of Kuwait Environmental Public Authority.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discuss with General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning & Development for the integration of environmental governance recommendations in a holistic manner, as well as, strengthening Kuwait Environmental Public Authority’s role as a regulatory entity.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Discussions took place History
8. Recommendation:

(a) Content specific lessons learned and recommendations 

Lesson 8: Raise awareness of policy-makers on Green SDGs

While building the KEPA’s capacities for environmental governance remains of high priority, the success of this endeavor would also depend on the traction for evidence-based policymaking and environmental data governance in Kuwait. This requires additional efforts towards raising awareness of the value of Green SDGs and their linkages with the national development priorities. Therefore, it is recommended to combine efforts for strengthening environmental governance in Kuwait with raising awareness on Green SDGs among highlevel policy makers to create necessary synergies.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the importance of environmental sustainability, including accelerating non-oil economy and green recovery.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The country office will raise awareness of the green Sustainable Development Goals through the Sustainable Development Goals accelerator to support SMEs, linking new business products and services to SDGs, in post-pandemic environment. UNDP is working on a UN Socioeconomic analysis to look into opportunities to advance green recovery and environmental sustainability issues as part of the new normal linking to the implementation of Kuwait National Development Plan.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed worked on it History
9. Recommendation:

(b) Process specific lessons learned and recommendations

Lessons 9: Include no-cost inception phase in the project implementation

When intervention modality is project-based, it implies that the project staff will be hired only when there is a formal agreement for funds allocation. The recruitment of the project staff takes from several weeks to several months usually and if not accounted as no-cost inception phase, this time will be taken from the implementation phase of the project creating unnecessary rush in the project implementation. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to negotiate with donors on no-cost inception phase to organize necessary preconditions for the project implementation including hiring project personnel.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office has established a roster of vetted project managers to streamline the recruitment process since regular recruitment is more time consuming, as pointed out by the audit report.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the event the pipeline matures to hard, UNDP will negotiate with donors on a no-cost inception phase to organize the pre-conditions for the project implementation.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Initiated the SC roster and in the process of creating the NPSA Roster as well. History
10. Recommendation:

(b) Process specific lessons learned and recommendations

Lessons 10: Ensure feedback loops to beneficiary while supporting with analytical papers

Quite often and for various reasons (not least, time limit) the analytical work is outsourced to external international expert. While it is required and ensured by the project quality control to produce analytical products in a highly consultative manner, it is of high importance to ensure feedback loops with the receiving organization. This implies, not simply to deliver report but ALWAYS organize a workshop and present the findings and explain the process, discuss the limitations and implications. Therefore, it is highly recommended to introduce new quality control mechanism to ensure the analytical work within any project (a) is carried out in highly consultative fashion, and (b) is concluded with a final workshop to present the findings and have a chance for the final reflection on the main recommendations. Also, ensure each analytical report has a 3-5-page summary that must be disseminated within the broader range of beneficiaries. In the case of this project, while one department of the KEPA might be interested in the details of an analytical report, another department might still benefit from the summary of the findings.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

In the event that the project is funded, we will ensure that a multi-stakeholder validation workshop in the terms of reference of all consultants, both internal and external.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the event that the project is funded, we will ensure that a multi-stakeholder validation workshop in the terms of reference of all consultants, both internal and external.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed We are using our internal experts within UNDP and mainly the HUB in Amman History
11. Recommendation:

(b) Process specific lessons learned and recommendations

Lessons 11: Ensure readiness assessment before engaging into One UN delivery modality

This project has demonstrated that UN administrative system needs closer attention to ensure two (or more) UN agencies can work effectively and efficiently with each other. Therefore, before entering into partnership with another UN agency, it is critical to analyze and compare administrative requirements to identify conflicts and gaps and to address them in advance.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

In view of ensuring national ownership, government counterparts will decide on participating united nations entities based on merit and comparative advantage.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions will take place prior to and during the steering committee for the UN Cooperation Framework.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management 2021/12 Completed done History
12. Recommendation:

(b) Process specific lessons learned and recommendations

Lessons 12: Check for conflict of interest with 3rd parties

This project has demonstrated once again the criticality of checking the possible conflict of interests when awarding a contract to the 3rd party. This is also important for the possible liability issues to recover costs made in case of hidden conflict of interest has been discovered. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to ensure ‘conflict of interest’ check prior to signing any contract with the 3rd party. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office will exert all efforts and will ensure checking any potential of conflict of interest through obtaining written confirmation and signature, from all involved in the awarding of the contract including a statement from the company or consultant and when possible from the beneficiary prior to awarding the contract to consultants and or companies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The country office will ensure no conflict of interest between consultants, companies, UNDP staff and beneficiaries through obtaining necessary written confirmation and signature, from all involved prior to awarding the contract to consultants and or companies.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Procurement Team 2021/12 Completed done History
13. Recommendation:

(c) Governance related lessons learned and recommendations

Lessons 13: Escalate if project governance mechanism is not functioning

The project governance mechanism was not functioning as it was deemed to function. This required timely intervention of the higher-level management. Therefore, it is recommended to detect early in the process if governance mechanism is not functioning and address it at the necessary level of seniority. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office and the project management have a real-time multi-dimensional risk management matrix around which a weekly meeting will be conducted for early detection and mitigation of risks.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
In the event that a new project is in place with government funding, the country office and the project management have a real-time multi-dimensional risk management matrix around which a weekly meeting will be conducted for early detection and mitigation of risks.
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Weekly/Daily follow up with GSSCPD is being implememted History
14. Recommendation:

(c) Governance related lessons learned and recommendations 

Lessons 14: Ensure multiple focal points in complex NIM projects

This project has demonstrated that when the communication and coordination within the national implementing partner dependents largely to one person, this is high risk implementation arrangement. While in some cases such arrangement might leverage more benefits, in the project where there are multiple thematic and implementation dimensions, it is highly recommended to consider appointing focal point for each thematic area. Therefore, in a complex NIM project, it is strongly recommend to ensure National Coordinator and a council of focal points with clear division of responsibilities and clear line of communication.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/30]

The country office and hub will technically and strategically engage with both technical staff and senior management on a regular basis, in addition to the project board meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The country office and hub will technically and strategically engage with both technical staff and senior management on a regular basis, in addition to the project board meeting.M
[Added: 2020/11/30] [Last Updated: 2021/09/02]
Management & Programme Team 2021/12 Completed Implemented History

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