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Mid Term Evaluation of Expansion and Strengthening of the Protected Area Subsystem of the Outer Islands of Seychelles and its Integration into the broader land and seascape Project
Commissioning Unit: Seychelles
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 03/2017
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Seychelles
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

It is recommended that, with the support of the PSC, the PCU leads an assessment of the impacts of the lessons that were not taken into consideration as well as the impacts of the assumptions that have upstaged implementation of some activities on the overall project – especially the indicators, targets and implementation arrangements. Based on the results of the assessments, the PCU should refine the project strategy and the results framework/logframe, to allow partners to consolidate outputs/activities for which the project can realistically implement in the remaining project time, without departing from the original project goal and objective, but proposing adjustments to project indicators as necessary.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/19] [Last Updated: 2017/04/25]

PCU initiated and led a thorough review and reformulation of the project.  Results were presented to stakeholders on a workshop held on 23rd February and the review was completed by mid-March.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Road map for review of the project, focusing on indicators, targets and implementation arrangements
[Added: 2017/04/19]
PCU 2017/03 Completed
1.2. High level discussion on the management response
[Added: 2017/04/19]
MEECC (NPD, Minister), UNDP, IDC, ICS 2017/02 Completed Meetings were held on the 10th and 15th of Feb 2017.
1.3. Refine project strategy and results framework to consolidate outputs
[Added: 2017/04/19]
MEECC, PCU, ICS, IDC, UNDP 2017/02 Completed
1.4. Stakeholder consultation on revised framework etc.
[Added: 2017/04/19]
PSC, any other stakeholders 2017/02 Completed
1.5 Revision of project framework submitted to UNDP RSC
[Added: 2017/04/19]
PCU, UNDP 2017/03 Completed The Project framework has been revised and sent to UNDP RSC for further guidance.
2. Recommendation:

The PCU should take over recruitment and management of all consultant to accelerate project implementation in the remaining and recommended extension period.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/19]

As part of the project reformulation as per recommendation 1 above, the PCU reviewed the status of all contracts issued by ICS.  These are all in process of being amended whereby PCU takes over responsibility for management of the contracts, although the technical activities are still conducted in close association with ICS and final products are largely for the use of ICS.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Issue of all new contracts for Q1 2017 assumed by PCU to avoid delay/loss of momentum during review process
[Added: 2017/04/19]
PCU 2017/02 Completed
2.2 Logging of all consultancies in progress and their status, review of all consultancies projected for remainder of project
[Added: 2017/04/19]
PCU (PM), ICS 2017/02 Completed
2.3 Review of effectiveness of PCU taking over all contracts currently running (excepting ICS/project island staff). Amendment of contracts as decided.
[Added: 2017/04/19]
PCU, ICS, IDC 2017/02 Completed
3. Recommendation:

Project is likely to require more time than planned to deliver on all target, unless project implementation is accelerated in the second half of project life. The MTR therefore recommends a one year project extension.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/19]

Based on the results of the project reformulation, the project Steering Committee approved a request to UNDP-GEF for an extension of six months (one year was not considered necessary).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Justification for 1 year extension prepared and submitted to PSC
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU, UNDP (inputs from stakeholders) 2017/03 Completed A 6 months extension was put to the PSC on 8th March 2017. This has been recorded in minutes. History
3.2 Submission of request for Project extension along with justification to GEF
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2017/09/04]
UNDP RTA 2017/05 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

The PSC, and the NPD in particular should continue to work with IDC to facilitate increased access to the Islands to enable ICS and PCU to accelerate implementation for the remaining project time.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

The issue was raised with IDC in a meeting called by the Minister MEECC.  IDC committed to providing flights required for project technical work and monitoring, estimated at around six return flights per year.  This is no longer considered a major issue: accessibility to transport has improved since PCU took up direct communication with IDC rather than relying on ICS to make logistical arrangements

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. PSC to review schedule of consultancies planned for 2017 as part of AWP (see 2.2 above)
[Added: 2017/04/20]
IDC, PCU 2017/03 Completed The calendar of events and schedules has been finalized and submitted to IDC.
4.2. PCU responsible for liaison with IDC in respect to project consultant and M&E visits
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU, IDC, NPD (in consultation with ICS as regards island staff engagement with the consultants) 2019/12 Initiated It is expected the the liaison between IDC and PCU will continue through til end of project. History
4.3 ICS retains responsibility for movement of ICS/project island staff recruited by ICS, including their attendance of training etc.
[Added: 2017/04/20]
ICS, IDC (in consultation with PCU) 2019/12 Initiated Will be ongoing till end of project cycle.
5. Recommendation:

UNDP Regional Service Centre should ensure continuity of Technical Advisors especially for complex projects such as the Outer Islands

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

This recommendation is to be taken up by RSC.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

The NPD should advocate for the faster approval of the new PA Law.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

NPD is closely involved in the process of approving the new PA Act, in his capacity as responsible Principal Secretary at MEECC.  By end March this had reached the stage whereby a final version with AGs comments had been received by MEECC to proceed with public consultation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 NPD continues to work with Minister MEECC, AGs office and other involved stakeholders in finalizing the bill
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
NPD 2020/06 Initiated This is still ongoing and expected to be completed by Project closure History
6.2 MEECC/NPF organize final round of consultations on the draft Bill (stakeholder and public consultations)
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2017/09/04]
MEECC 2017/05 Completed Consultations on the Draft Bill completed in May 2017 History
6.3 Revisions incorporated and Bill finalized, Cabinet Memo prepared, Bill sent for final endorsement by Cabinet.
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
MEECC 2020/06 Initiated Engagement is ongoing with GoS to push for the Bill but can only be approved by Cabinet History
6.4 Bill sent to National Assembly for approval
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
MEECC 2020/06 Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

ICS Capacity Assessment undertaken during project formulation should be repeated by an independent entity and used to determine activities ICS can realistically implement within the project outlines. Based on the findings, the implementation strategy should be refined and responsibility transferred from ICS to other parties as deemed necessary to fast track project implementation.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

An independent assessment was carried out, as well as a HACT review.  The results were used in reformulating project management arrangements which were completed and approved by stakeholders in March.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Independent individual contracted to undertake the capacity assessment review
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU 2017/01 Completed
7.2 Independent capacity review
[Added: 2017/04/20]
Independent Consultant, ICS, PCU 2017/03 Completed
7.3 HACT assessment (financial capacity review)
[Added: 2017/04/20]
ICS, UNDP, PCU 2017/02 Completed
7.4 Internal review of capacity assessment and HACT
[Added: 2017/04/20]
ICS, UNDP, PCU 2017/03 Completed
8. Recommendation:

The MEECC and GEF OFP should discuss the challenge with the Ministry of Finance to find lasting solutions for all GEF projects in the country; including exploring the use of project accounts with Commercial Banks and training project staff regularly on UNDP financial procedures, especially when the implementing partner institutions experience high staff turn-over.

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

This issue is regularly reported by project MTRs and TEs, and has been discussed on numerous occasions with Minister MEECC and with Ministry of Finance.  While MOF does on occasion give assurances that financial processing will be speeded up, and sometimes this happens, it does not endure.  There is no real solution while IMF-imposed regulations require Forex accounts to be managed through Ministry of Finance rather than directly with commercial banks.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Issue to be raised at high-level discussion on project review.
[Added: 2017/04/20]
MEECC (NPD, Minister), UNDP, IDC, ICS 2017/02 Completed
8.2 MEECC, supported by PCU and UNDP to follow-up with Ministry of Finance as determined above.
[Added: 2017/04/20]
MEECC, UNDP, PCU (Programme Coordinator) 2017/03 Completed
9. Recommendation:

The PSC should facilitate a decision in regard to rehabilitation work on Alphonse and Desroches (and in general), in line with the species selected during the vegetation management planning and determining whether there are valid reasons for not undertaking rehabilitation on both Islands in parallel.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

This issue was raised with IDC at a meeting with Minister MEECC.  IDC has explained their process for rehabilitation which is to be carried out independently of the project and with their own funds.  The project will finance the Vegetation Rehabilitation and Management Plans for the target islands, but project engagement will stop there and IDC will conduct the rehabilitation work in their own time.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 Issue to be raised at high-level discussion on project
[Added: 2017/04/20]
MEECC (NPD, Minister), UNDP, IDC, ICS 2017/02 Completed
9.2 PCU and ICS to follow-up according to any requests made by IDC
[Added: 2017/04/20]
IDC, PCU, ICS 2017/03 Completed Done: main request of IDC was for the Farquhar VMP, scheduled for Mar-April 2017
9.3 Or–if so agreed–IDC to develop schedule for implementation of vegetation management plans pending the availability of staff and equipment (as per IDC commitment in their co-financing letter)
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
IDC 2020/06 Completed All vegetation management plans were completed and endorsed by GoS and IDC to implement the same on Farquahar, Alphonse and Desroches pending availability of staff and equipment. Currently implementation of Vegetation plans is ongoing on Farquahar but pending for the two other islands History
10. Recommendation:

Given the importance of IDC in accessing the Islands and the fact that this project is likely to enter the category of ‘Projects at high risk’ if the speed of implementation is not accelerated, IDC should: i) participate fully in PSC Meetings to ensure full agreement with decisions made and activities planned, ii) continue a schedule of regular briefings with the project manager in which visits to the islands can be approved and access scheduled - ICS (Ag.) CEO also to attend these briefings.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

The issue was raised with IDC at a high-level meeting called by Minister MEECC.  The CEO IDC committed to make every effort to attend all project meetings, and has since done so (together with other IDC staff).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 IDC to continue to endeavor to attend SCs and other important project meetings
[Added: 2017/04/20]
IDC 2019/12 Initiated This is on-going. IDC to be represented at all SC meetings where possible until end of project.
10.2 PCU PM to initiate regular liaison and briefings with IDC CEO and staff in regard to project actions; ICS to attend these briefings
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU, IDC 2019/12 Initiated
10.3 PCU PM (supported by ICS) to prepare concise quarterly briefing documents to MEECC and IDC on progress in accelerating project activities and issues remaining (separate to quarterly reports)
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU, ICS, IDC 2019/12 Initiated Will be ongoing until end of project with a follow up to Progress Reports
11. Recommendation:

Unless facilities can be established on Poivre to allow project staff in residence by June 2017, then the site should be dropped and funds should be reallocated to another activity as determined by the PSC.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

The Steering Committee did not agree with this recommendation and an alternative solution was proposed and accepted whereby work on Poivre would be continued but through expedition-style arrangements that did not rely on accommodation facilities being in place. This would still enable revised targets for Poivre to be met.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 An alternative has been agreed at high-level discussions on project review whereby an expedition-type work will be organized with a liveaboard to take teams to conduct the baseline surveys, do the LUP, etc.
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
PSC, ICS, IDC 2020/06 Initiated History
12. Recommendation:

The project should revisit indicators and targets and develop an M&E action plan, ensuring adequate arrangements and/or finance to implement it.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

This was done as part of the project reformulation process.  The changes were approved by the Steering Committee and are sent to the RTA for action as part of this management response

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.1 Indicators and targets revised as part of reformulation exercise (see recommendation 1)
[Added: 2017/04/20]
ICS, PCU (to be approved by PSC) 2017/02 Completed
12.2 M&E action plan developed based on reformulation
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU, ICS, IDC (to be approved by PSC) 2017/03 Completed
12.3 Monitoring in progress with quarterly reporting on acceleration/achievement of revised targets (see 10.3)
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU, ICS, IDC (+ UNDP spot checks) 2019/12 Initiated Ongoing until End of project cycle
13. Recommendation:

All partners should re-engage with the PSC and channel all decisions related to project implementation through the PSC. The PSC should consider quarterly Meetings until the project implementation improves. In addition, the PSC should facilitate establishment of technical sub-committees to assist PSC move the implementation of those activities lagging behind.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

The Steering Committee agreed to conduct quarterly meetings at least in 2017 more closely to monitor project adjustment following the reformulation.  The Chairman of the Steering Committee also proposed to IDC that monitoring visits should include additional SC members, to as to obtain wider inputs into the on-going activities. The Steering Committee did not see an immediate need for technical sub-committees, but this would be reviewed at Steering Committee meetings.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1 Schedule for PSC meetings to be developed according to further recommendations emerging from the review process.
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
PSC Secretariat, PSC 2017/10 Completed The schedule for PSC meetings has been agreed for biannual meetings until end of Project Closure History
14. Recommendation:

There are likely benefits for DRC in integrating D’Arros into the overall push for improved representation of outer island habitats into PAs, rather than going it alone. The PSC and PCU should engage DRC into more regular communication and information transfer between DRC, Government and other project partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

This was discussed between PCU and DRC, and CEO DRC responded particularly on this point at the project reformulation workshop.  DRC proposed a number of ways in which more regular communication could take place, and these have since been implemented.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
14.1 Recommendation to be communicated to DRC
[Added: 2017/04/20]
PCU 2017/03 Completed
14.2 DRC to respond in stakeholder validation workshop, or before
[Added: 2017/04/20]
DRC 2017/02 Completed
14.3 Mechanism for improved communication and knowledge sharing to be defined, if so agreed by DRC
[Added: 2017/04/20]
DRC, PCU, ICS 2017/03 Completed Meeting held with DRC staff on 2nd March and agreement on way forward re. information sharing
15. Recommendation:

IDC should re-engage with the project and align its stated commitment to conservation on the Outer Islands with its every day operations and decisions on development of the Islands.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

The CEO IDC committed to make every effort to attend all project meetings, and has since done so (together with other IDC staff).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
15.1 IDC continues to engage with the project
[Added: 2017/04/20]
IDC, PCU 2019/12 Initiated
15.2 IDC re-examines scope for project activities in the light of any feedback from the National Assembly Select Committee concerning development (and possibly conservation) agendas for the outer islands (see 16)
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
IDC, MEECC 2020/06 Initiated Feedback from the committee is awaited History
16. Recommendation:

The PSC should monitor the political development around Outer Islands and assist the project to apply adaptive management to adjust to the uncertainty created by these political developments, and eventually to the outcome of the political process; the Project could even make a presentation to the NA at committee stage if required.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/04/20]

CEO IDC has commenced taking Select Committee members to outer island sites and has taken the opportunity to introduce the activities of the project.  He has reported back that the Select Committee members have appreciated the work done by IDC and the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
16.1 MEECC, IDC and other stakeholders to engage with the Select Committee as requested by that Committee; MEECC and IDC to put the case for conservation actions if so requested
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/04]
MEECC, IDC, other stakeholders 2020/06 Initiated Depends on the requests from Select Committee History
16.2 NPD and IDC representative to brief PSC on matters arising from the Select Committee as they affect the project
[Added: 2017/04/20] [Last Updated: 2017/09/04]
NPD, IDC 2017/06 Completed History

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