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Terminal Evaluation - Project for Strengthening the Subsystem of Marine Protected Areas in Honduras
Commissioning Unit: Honduras
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 07/2020
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Honduras
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Future projects by UNDP-GEF, MiAmbiente and ICF should incorporate real-time monitoring and evaluation platforms that are based on a measurable pathway toward development impacts (Theory of Change) approach, using SMART outcomes and robust assumptions in all new projects. The TE underscores that development implies change, and that any action, be it a project, political reform, research, capacity development and evaluations MUST measure those changes. Therefore, they must ensure that any new project has an embedded M&E and Decision Support Platform that can help guide planning and apply adaptive management principles to the implementation process.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Agree

A project monitoring and evaluation system is a valuable tool for the effective management of projects; in these terms MiAmbiente created the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Project Coordination Office (PCO) for the GEF-UNDP projects. This office began with good success accompanying the implementation of the projects establishing milestones to contrast what was planned with what was executed, developing a mechanism to assess the progress and limitations that would allow the identification and adoption of the necessary adjustments to the planning framework in the perspective of achieving the objectives, products and results of the project.  For reasons of staff rotation and readjustment of the Monitoring Unit, there were delays that affected the course of the Project's monitoring actions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Evaluate and strengthen the monitoring and evaluation structure of GEF projects with an adequate registration system that allows a better control of ongoing activities and measures progress towards the expected result
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente, UNDP CO 2020/12 Completed The Monitoring Unit of the Project Coordination Office (PCO) , has been strenghtened with two monitoring technicians who provide follow-up to the projects and monitor the progress. History
Adopt an M&E model based on the effective assessment of results, linking it to other instruments for measuring effects and impacts, such as the METT
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente 2020/12 Completed The Monitoring Unit has developed an instrument that allows adequate monitoring of the project portfolio executed by MiAmbiente / PCO, ensuring that the annual planning cycles correspond to the results framework provided in the project document, thereby favoring effectiveness in project management. Despite the creation of the Monitoring Unit, the PCO has undergone a restructuring of personnel and its operating guidelines by MiAmbiente, so there is currently no staff to continue monitoring tasks. It is expected to be reactivated during the 2nd quarter of 2021. History
2. Recommendation:

Government institutions and management partners should build on the Healthy Reef’s ICRH Index for measuring coral reef conditions and the Protocol developed by UNAH for measuring changes in artisanal fisheries, as they are just two important indicators that incorporate outcomes in biodiversity management.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Agree

The ICRH measurement was established by the International Organization Healthy Reef (HR), both the methodology and implementation have been applied in Honduras by HR and have also been adopted by the ICF as the mechanism for assessing the State of Reef Health in Honduras, as well as in the countries that are part of the Mesoamerican Reef System in the Caribbean. The ICRH has been created by international specialists considering elements of technical and financial effectiveness and efficiency under scientific criteria based on the coverage of live coral, macroalgae and key fish for the survival of the reefs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop a space for review and analysis of the methodology developed by Healthy Reefs to evaluate its adoption at the national level as a monitoring and reporting system of reef health indicators for Honduras
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente- ICF, in coordination with UNAH, DIGEPESCA, Merchant Marine 2021/07 Completed Based on consultations with technical staff from ICF and Healthy Reef, HR, it has been determined to continue using the methodology until used, which is based on the AGRRA monitoring protocol - http://www.agrra.org/, a standardized protocol for the reefs of the Caribbean, which considers the registry of three variables that have been used in Honduras for more than 10 years: coral status, fish and macroalgae, a protocol that has been widely used in the Mesoamerican Caribbean region and that has made it possible to identify and compare the reef health status in the countries that make up the Mesoamerican Reef System. In consideration of the above, it has been determined by the authorities to respect and maintain the application of this methodology in view of its relative low cost compared to other methodologies. This determination does not rule out the option of integrating in future projects that involve reef evaluations, the use of other additional methodologies depending on the financial possibilities at the time. History
3. Recommendation:

Future projects undertaken by ICF and MiAmbiente in coastal-marine areas should seriously consider using the Ridge to Reef (R2R) conceptual framework that is increasingly used in other GEF projects around the world. It is essential to reflect the integrated land-sea management and planning framework and the interconnectivity of ecosystems on the land and in the sea. Also, a Social-Ecological Systems (SES) approach should be integrated into the R2R framework (See Gurney et al 2019; Ryan et al 2020).

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Partially agree

The project considered a barrier analysis to identify the theory of change and its scope considered the interactions of the basin and the coastal zone. However, it will encourage the use of more

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project considered a barrier analysis to identify the theory of change and its scope considered the interactions of the basin and the coastal zone. However, it will encourage the use of more comprehensive and strategic methodological models to ensure proper assessment and positive impacts in the state of reef health
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente- ICF, in coordination with UNAH, DIGEPESCA, Merchant Marine 2021/07 Completed The ICF in coordination with the Regional Center for Environmental Documentation and Interpretation CREDIA, have developed a reef assessment methodology that integrates measurement parameters of social, economic, and environmental aspects. The ICF plans to propose the integration of this methodology in the design of new projects related to marine ecosystems. The recommendation will be considered in the design of future GEF projects in coastal areas. History
4. Recommendation:

New projects working with SINAPH’s coastal and marine protected areas should prioritize efforts to understand social and economic needs of local stakeholders and develop incentives that go beyond narrowly focusing on awareness campaigns. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Partially agree

The integration of socioeconomic variables in the management and administration of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is of special relevance and they are part of the new management system to be developed in Honduras; The Coastal Marine Project promoted the adoption of socioeconomic variables as part of MPA management through the National Biological Monitoring Board, an entity attached to MiAmbiente and supported by the ICF, which developed a participatory formulation process for the design of comprehensive monitoring tools that include social and economic elements.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Promote the revision of the Biological Monitoring System developed by the National Biological Monitoring Board for MPA Management.
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente- ICF, in coordination with UNAH, DIGEPESCA, Merchant Marine 2021/07 Completed Consultations were made on the status of the National Biological Monitoring System, finding that important social, economic and environmental elements have already been integrated. This review was carried out by CREDIA with the participation of personnel from ICF, DIGEPESCA, MiAmbiente, CREDIA, Healthy Reef, Coral Reef and Proyecto Marino Costero. History
5. Recommendation:

The Policy for Wetlands, Coastal-marine spaces and Biodiversity still requires considerable work, as it lacks an integrated, geospatial (e.g., R2R) management framework and support from the highest level of government. Rather than positioning the policy mandate within MiAmbiente, it should be carried out by an inter-institutional committee consisting of that Ministry, together with ICF, the Navy, Merchant Marines, SAG and other pertinent institutions. To have the greatest impact, responsibility for intersectoral coordination and follow up of the Policy’s implementation should be placed close to the Office of the President and with an institution that can coordinate with these other institutions with authority. The Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation is one example of a strong institution that could lead and oversee the policy implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Agree

The formulation of the Policy for wetlands, coastal-marine spaces and biodiversity was carried out with the support of the Coastal Marine Project, having developed different consultation workshops in which all sectors linked to the management of wetlands, biodiversity and coastal marine spaces participated, including local organizations, government institutions: MiAmbiente, ICF, DIGEPESCA, Merchant Marine, academia, municipal authorities, indigenous peoples, private enterprise, NGOs.

The structure and contents of the policy have been elaborated in correspondence with the guidelines established by the Secretariat of General Coordination of Government, a body that by mandate supervises and reviews the development of national policies, which have been involved in the revision of this policy.  

In general, the policy contains relevant elements that give it the connotation of a comprehensive policy that also integrates a framework of indicators, responsible parties and budget; the final review by the Secretariat of Government Coordination and formal approval remains to be determined.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish a follow-up mechanism for the approval of the policy, leading to review by the Government Coordination Secretariat, referral and review by the Council of Ministers and publication in the official journal "La Gacetaā€¯.
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente Co-managers of protected areas 2021/08 Completed In consultations with the Directorate of Biodiversity / MiAmbiente, it was learned that the latest version of the Policy on Wetlands and Marine Costing Space was sent by DIBIO to the General Government Coordination Secretariat, SCGG, for formal approval; It is important to note that the new version submitted includes the SCGG recommendations related to the integration of indicators and budget, among others. History
6. Recommendation:

In a concerted manner, the GEF and UNDP, and to the extent possible, ICF and the new KfW-Life project should be involved, in urgently reviewing the mechanisms that have contributed to the design of projects that are a main reason for some of the relatively low ratings, particularly the paucity of SMART outcome indicators and limited attention paid to the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by UN and the GEF. It also prevents a project from being able to measure development impacts.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Agree

Approaches have already been made at the management level with ICF and the KfW project to review the results, lessons learned, areas of complementarity and challenges identified in the framework of the Coastal Marine Project; a short review process at the technical level remains to be done to establish mechanisms to integrate lessons learned and address challenges in the framework of the new KFW project and other related projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Arrange meetings and technical agreements between ICF-Environment-KFW and UNAH, for the adoption of mechanisms, goals linked to Knowledge sharing, lessons learned, and challenges derived from the Coastal Marine Project
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente-ICF 2021/03 Completed Based on consultations with the ICF, it has been reported that in the design of the KFW Project, it has integrated important elements gathered from the experiences acquired from other projects developed in the past, among others, the Coastal Marine Project. It has also been reported that technical personnel from the Department of Protected Areas and the Department of Wildlife of the ICF have participated in the design of the project. History
7. Recommendation:

Future projects must address species conservation through adopting approaches that encompass ecosystem and adaptive management approaches, as stipulated in the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, they require an integrated approach and use of real-time Monitoring and evaluation (M & E) platforms  that measures outcome indicators – not outputs measured by the METT and SINAPH’s management monitoring tools - that can inform decision making is a key instrument to implement adaptive management of ecosystem services (ES)

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Partially agree

Adaptive management was one of the purposes of developing a model for monitoring MPAs based on the integration of ecological, social and economic variables through the National Biological Monitoring Board; this mechanism was formulated, however it was not formalized or fully implemented.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Promote the review and analysis of the MPA Monitoring System and increase local capacity for data gathering through innovation and technology, with the participation of UNAH, DIGEPESCA, Merchant Marine, local organizations, NGOs
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente-ICF 2020/12 Completed The revisions to the Biological Monitoring System, developed by the ICF in coordination with the CREDIA and other key stakeholders, have allowed organizations such as Coral Reef and GOAL to adopt monitoring mechanisms that allow an adequate application of the METT. These monitoring mechanisms are being developed with the integration of the UNAH through students in the Final Professional Practice stage. History
8. Recommendation:

Future projects should focus their awareness and capacity-building investments on actions that involve in situ applications of the learning. For example, the fishery restoration areas offer a good example.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Agree

The project developed local capacities for good practices within the framework of the code of responsible fishing, improvement of fishing yields, local fisheries management, ecology of coastal ecosystems, administration and marketing of fishery products, marine engine mechanics, all in accordance with the needs identified on the basis of community diagnoses.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish technical spaces to identifying gaps and needs for complementarity of planned projects to be implemented in the region, as is the case of the KFW project.
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente-ICF 2020/12 Completed During the implementation stage of the Coastal Marine project, especially in its final stage, spaces were developed to share the results in terms of strengthening local capacities for the management and sustainable use of coastal resources, this in order to publicize the methodologies and results through virtual spaces in which national authorities, NGOs and academia. History
9. Recommendation:

The administration and management of future project should ensure that 80% of the time and staff operate at the local implementation level and only 20% with the central level. That experience has been successful with the ICF in San Pedro and La Ceiba, and with GOAL on the north coast, including Moskitia, Bosque del Mundo and PROCORREDOR (although it was administratively a failure)

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Partially agree

The Coastal Marine Project permanently maintained a field office located in La Ceiba, headquarters of the technical and administrative team, as well as an office in Puerto Lempira in La Moskitia, Honduras, in this case only for technical personnel. For the purposes of management at central government institution level, the Project Coordinator alternated his time between Tegucigalpa and La Ceiba, moving periodically between Roatan, Puerto Lempira, Omoa and Tela.

Based on the experience and lessons learned from the project, it is considered appropriate to improve the availability of administrative staff in the local offices, particularly in Moskitia.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Adopt provisions and mechanisms to ensure more effective management on the ground, particularly at the administrative level.
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente 2020/12 Completed Considering the lessons learned and the recommendations in this matter, the OCP has been notified of the need to establish operational and especially administrative units in the areas of project implementation. This recommendation has been taken into account by the OCP, having substantially improved operations in the field, through the offices of project implementing partners. History
10. Recommendation:

It is pertinent / necessary that where possible, and the National Government is willing that any new project executed by these government institutions be accompanied by technical support by the UNDP (the GEF focal point). Ultimately, it is the national implementing partner to adopt or not the recommendations issued according to GEF rules, but in some cases, the government staff working on the project did not have the expertise in coastal-marine management issues. This will also help ensure that future projects are executed in accordance with what is stipulated in the PRODOC.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Agree

The project was supported by a UNDP technical officer who participated in the quarterly meetings held to evaluate progress and develop and/or adjust the quarterly planning framework, as well as to develop strategic project milestones, such as the process of management and governance of fisheries in La Moskitia, The formulation of the Fishing Law, integrating an indigenous chapter in the processes of fishing evaluation, the MPA Monitoring Platform, management and advocacy with key partners such as DIGEPESCA, DiBio-MiAmbiente, ICF, UNAH, Merchant Marine, IDB, Goal, international NGOs and MPA managers.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthen joint MiAmbiente-UNDP monitoring plans and programs
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente UNDP- Sustainable Development Unit 2020/12 Completed The execution of the current projects is developed under the guidelines of a structured and periodic monitoring that involves the review of the Annual Budget and Annual Operating Plan, the joint review of quarterly reports and annual reports; in addition, closer support in the formulation of quality assurance reports. In this case, it is ensured that the recommendations of the UNDP staff in CO and the RTA in Panama will be integrated into the Plans and in their effective implementation. History
11. Recommendation:

It is crucial that in the signing of future government- donor agreements, all those who are actively involved with responsibilities to execute the project should attest that they assume responsibility for executing their duties indicated in the agreement. Not only should the lead partner sign, but so should all other partners who are involved.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Partially agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Regular joint meetings between implementing partners and responsible project partners will be encouraged for coordination activities and reporting on progress and achievement of results.
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente UNDP- Sustainable Development Unit 2020/12 Completed Currently the Projects under the National Implementation modality are executed through different institutions under Letters of Agreement signed with each of them. These institutions have been identified during the elaboration of the PRODOC of Projects, being defined in these, the subjects, geographic area and financial amounts. History
Establish technical and administrative procedures, which guarantee the recruitment of key personnel with appropriate experience in correspondence with the thematic aspects of the projects.
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente UNDP- Sustainable Development Unit 2020/12 Completed It has been established repeatedly before MiAmbiente, the need to prepare ToR in correspondence with the profile of the personnel to be hired; Likewise, the OCP has been notified about the imperative of selecting and hiring personnel in strict adherence to compliance with the ToR, highlighting the need to be based on adequate training and experience. In each process of selection and hiring of MiAmbiente development personnel, UNDP will be part of the evaluating triad as an observer. History
12. Recommendation:

Future GEF projects of this nature should pay more attention to the functionality of communication tools, as it not only directly impacts on the overall visibility of the GEF, but also the sustainability of interventions beyond the scope and duration of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/20]

Partially agree                                     

Communication and mechanisms to make it efficient are of vital importance and constitute an effective means to achieve awareness, information and knowledge, positioning and visibility of the purposes, goals, achievements and challenges; in general, the project had communication resources developed with good success, however it is important to develop an assessment of the limitations, achievements and challenges in terms of communication based on the experience of the Coastal Marine Project

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop an assessment of communication constraints, achievements and challenges, based on the experience of the Coastal Marine Project;
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/15]
MiAmbiente 2020/12 Completed The visibility mechanisms used during the development of the project include, among others, the production of videos, website and leaflets, tools that managed to transcend due to their outstanding level of quality; As a result of a review of the dissemination materials, it has been considered opportune to improve the visibility of the GEF and UNDP emblems; Likewise, it is considered an opportunity for improvement for future projects, highlighting and positioning local and national products through other means such as launching through forums. History
To adopt the technical-administrative recommendations on communication in the development of new related projects
[Added: 2020/07/20] [Last Updated: 2021/03/16]
MiAmbiente 2020/12 Completed As a result of a review of the dissemination materials, it has been considered opportune to improve the visibility of the GEF and UNDP emblems; Likewise, it is considered an opportunity for improvement for future projects, highlighting and positioning local and national products through other means such as launching through forums. History

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