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Final Evaluation of Integrating community-based adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation Project
Commissioning Unit: Bangladesh
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 05/2021
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bangladesh
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Need for a Continuation Strategic Plan (linked to CMCs) to help support the route map for next phases of work to help make coastal communities’ climate resilient.

This is an important task for UNDP/MoEFCC to help capture the good practice generated by the project and to help set an Action Plan to take forward urgent interventions for sustaining the impact of the project.  This is founded from consultation from the Bangladeshi stakeholders who have stated during the TE interviews that they would like to see ICBAAR principles to continue and be replicated as a specific continuation phase into 2021 and beyond. This would provide an opportunity to follow-up and expand the conducted demonstration activities and thereby increase the likelihood for sustainability. Replication of the ICBAAR intervention projects into other Districts/Upazila/Unions would certainly require the role and input of local CMCs and stakeholders early on in any future design process.

UNDP may consider an impact assessment of both phases of the project to document and share deeper learnings from the interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. ICBAAR project has already developed guidelines to continue the Co-management Committee (CMC) activities as most of the project interventions like killa, Community Resource Center (CRC), Forest Resource Protection Group (FRPG), etc., rely on sustainable supervision of CMC. The project believes that a strategic action plan based on the guidelines formulated by ICBAAR will enable the smooth functioning of CMC.

Within its capacity, UNDP will support MoEFCC to document, preserve and share best practices generated by the project. There is a broad agreement among the stakeholders and government that ICBAAR as an approach must continue and be replicated through other GOB investments. UNDP will continue discussing with MOEFCC to establish a mechanism for the CMCs to continue their activities. Further, UNDP will also explore opportunities for a third phase of the project through intensified resource mobilization.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support the local administration to establish an action plan for sustaining the CMCs as a guideline for CMC is prepared and approved by the MoEFCC. This guideline will be incorporated in the local government system through our upcoming projects (e.g. Small Island, etc.).
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC, Local Government Institution (LGI), and Forest Department 2021/05 Completed A guideline for CMC, CRC, FRPG, and Killa is prepared and shared with the CMC and UNO. Besides, this annual action plan is also prepared and approved by the UNO. UNDP will follow up on the implementation of the annual action plan and guidelines with engaging local government bodies.
2. Recommendation:

Update existing ICBAAR Guides and Manuals to help mainstream climate resilience into National and Sector Specific Policies and Plans.

The development of integrated management plans remains a priority for each coastal relevant “sector” including forestry, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and tourism sector. In fact, being able to upscale the greenbelt “model” adopted by ICBAAR will need additional support from a range of sectors and not just the forestry sector to make this work in an integrated manner (i.e.: aquaculture, horticulture and agriculture) to make it functional.

Importantly, the good work undertaken to date, including the Guidelines for ICBAAR which have already been produced (see Section 3.3.5 – “Sustainability”) have certainly helped to frame how to formulate “government ready” coastal planning strategies for Districts. Despite this, any District/Upazila specific “Plan” still requires to be better mainstreamed into existing GoB practice and needs to be used to help formulate risk resilient ICZM policy in the future (see Section 3.3.5 “Sustainability”). It is also clear that these ICBAAR produced guidelines need to be updated to provide clarity on how sector strategies should be updated to help support climate-resilient mainstreaming in the future, embracing any new information attained from the ICBAAR outputs and outcomes. This, therefore, links directly to the financial sustainability/replication issue raised in Recommendation 1.

Detailed engineering design and maintenance manuals may also need to be prepared to help introduce more precise engineering design details (e.g.: how to physically construct the 3FV models to engineering design standards and how these may be adapted in design based on new monitored information etc.). Such a manual update may help with advisories on planning zonation issues as well as how to pursue and access climate financing for any subsequent investment program which may be of relevance to coastal afforestation sites that require detail “how to” advisories relating to extensive grazing and livestock encroachment problems etc. This improved guidance would benefit decision makers by being clearer on how local communities can maintain and improve greenbelt rehabilitation areas to aid future replication programmes elsewhere around Bangladesh. Through the introduction of new (or updated) guide manuals (see above) that are formally embraced by GoB, adaptation planning in Bangladesh, using new climate-resilient infrastructure building codes, could be realised and mainstreamed quicker. Future donor support is therefore likely to be required to help deliver this need.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. ICBAAR has produced multiple guidelines and manuals based on project learning for the sustainability of the interventions. Updating the acquired knowledge and guidelines is vital for the continuation of the concerted efforts of the project partners. Adaptation Learning Center (ALC) can play a leading role in knowledge management of adaptation efforts of not only the ICBAAR project but all UNDP adaptation-related projects. The ALC will need to be linked with relevant projects, research institutes, and universities to update and manage the knowledge generated.

Moreover, engagement of relevant national institutes, e.g., Public Works Department, House Building Research Institute, Directorate of Public Health Engineering, Local Government Engineering Department, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Bangladesh Standard, and Resting Institutes, Department of Agricultural Extension, etc. is required to set nationwide and country-specific standards and technical criteria for climate-resilient infrastructure, livelihood options, and other good practices. Moreover, guidelines and manuals prepared under the projects are living documents. They need to be updated regularly based on future climate change scenarios, socio-economic and environmental conditions, development and transfer of technology, etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Future UNDP Bangladesh adaptation projects will allocate fund and contribute to updating knowledge management of adaptation-related guidelines and manuals
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP and MoEFCC 2021/12 Initiated There are some active pipeline projects on adaptation that include projects under Adaptation Fund and GEF6 cycle. These projects are waiting for government approval and are expected to start by this year. There is scope in these projects to prepare and update various guidelines and knowledge products on adaptation aspects.
ALC will establish effective collaborative mechanisms with relevant government departments, research institutes, and universities to develop knowledge management systems of adaptation measures.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, LGIs, and MoEFCC 2021/12 Not Initiated A partnership mechanism will be established among UNDP, LGIs, MoEFCC, NGOs, and universities to launch a knowledge management system which will be linked to the “Climate Change Information and Knowledge Management (CCIKM)” portal to be established under the National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
UNDP and MoEFCC will conduct a stakeholder’s consultation to engage relevant stakeholders to discuss and set up national standards and technical criteria for climate-resilient infrastructure, livelihood, and other options
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP and MoEFCC 2021/10 Not Initiated UNDP and MoEFCC will conduct a stakeholder’s consultation under the active adaptation projects (e.g., a small island project supported by Adaptation Fund) and take the initiative in setting national standards and technical criteria for climate-resilient infrastructure, livelihood, and other options.
3. Recommendation:

Undertake a forward-looking review of staffing and capacity needs.

The PMU should undertake a forward-looking review of staffing and capacity needs for key ICBAAR stakeholders (government and non-governmental) that focuses on “life after the ICBAAR project” period. Capacity improvements may need to include setting up and delivering more online training courses to help add value and demonstrate long-term sustainability of GEF funds. Likewise, Upazila Nirbhaya officers, for example, may benefit from having training to enhance their expertise on EbA and Nature-based Solutions to be able to help convey to project beneficiaries how households and businesses may introduce nature-based solutions into their work plans to address flood management, etc. 

This recommendation for GoB staffs and local community may wish to consider what staffing support is needed to help provide solutions to address (for example) land ownership issues to enable the replication of killa constructions, in addition to the long-term risk of killa “sinking” issues meaning that regular maintenance and upgrading (crest height) may be needed on yearly/five yearly basis to counter any structure effectiveness dilution in the coming years. This may be needed to realise the benefit of “Climate Resilient Villages” (or “Cluster Villages), there is a possible need to sustain the crest level of the killas each year (with extra inland quarried materials etc).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. A capacity needs assessment with an action of the local government institutes and implementing partners which are working at the local level, will be a useful entry point to enhance capacity of the key local government agencies. Moreover, some policy reform and changes in mindset of the local government staff are also required to enhance resilience of the life and livelihood of the vulnerable local communities. The training modules on climate-resilient and ecosystem-based livelihoods, management guidelines for CMC, ALC, FRPG, etc. will also be useful for the local government institutes. However, regular capacity building of the local government on these issues could be incorporated into the existing capacity-building efforts of the local government staff. The training materials developed by the ICBAAR project will be shared with all concerned agencies through a dissemination workshop. In addition, important training modules and other knowledge products will be sent to the concerned agencies.
Moreover, government training institutes like Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC), National Academy for Educational Management (NAEM), BCS admin academy, National Agricultural Training Academy (NATA), etc. can include climate-resilient livelihood, nature-based solutions, nursery and mangrove plantation management, management of community infrastructure, etc. in their regular training curriculum. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will take stock of all training materials developed by project and other projects, and will develop a common approach to be utilized in ongoing and pipeline project i.e. small island project, mainstreaming CCA into sustainable development pathways, Small Grants Programme, LOGIC.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC and key stakeholders 2021/12 Initiated UNDP and MoEFCC will jointly organize several local-level dissemination workshops to share the knowledge products and various training modules. Moreover, UNDP will request FD/MoEFCC to upload important training modules, knowledge products and awareness materials in their websites and NAP website that is under development.
The MoEFCC and UNDP will jointly organize a dissemination workshop. Important training modules and knowledge products produced under the project will be sent to the relevant local government agencies, training institutions and other key stakeholders including CMC and FRPG.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC and key stakeholders 2021/03 Completed UNDP and MoEFCC jointly organized a dissemination workshop on 28 March 2021. Besides these, training modules prepared under the project will be disseminated to the local government institutes in the vulnerable coastal districts.
4. Recommendation:

Provide strong justification on how to sustain and continue the Adaptation Learning Centre (ALC)

The Adaptation Learning Centre (ALC) represents an important project outcome that has contributed towards promoting and demonstrating locally-led adaptation technologies. It has also helped to promote dialogue through south-south and triangular cooperation initiatives by involving the Global Centre on Adaptation’s regional center based in Dhaka.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. Adaptation Learning Centre (ALC) implemented by the project has got special attention from all relevant authorities, departments and stakeholders. To sustain the Centre beyond the project lifecycle, a formal management committee has been formed with the involvement of Government and non-government relevant stakeholders by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). UNDP and MoEFCC are trying to establish linkages with Global Centre on Adaptation through the Regional Centre established in Dhaka. MoEFCC has also developed guideline on ‘Management of Adaptation Learning Centre’ scoping financial income-generating mechanism and it’s formal approval by the MoEFCC is under process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish linkages with Global Centre on Adaptation through the Regional Centre established in Dhaka
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC 2021/12 Initiated Regional Adaptation Centre established in Dhaka has keen interest to promote it’s function for the wider dissemination of adaption technologies for the mass people.
Approval of guideline on ‘Management of Adaptation Learning Centre’
[Added: 2021/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/07/27]
MoEFCC, UNDP 2021/07 Completed MoEFCC has completed all the formalities especially stakeholder’s consultation. A formal meeting has been arranged on 23.05.2021 in presence of the Minister, MoEFCC for it’s final approval. History
5. Recommendation:

An agreement needs to be reached between the GoB and UNDP on streamlining of GEF financed projects and TAPP approval processes.

The delays in project start-up were mainly attributed to slow and protracted government TAPP approval processes. Any recommendation to improve and streamline existing administrative procedures to expedite project start-ups would be advantageous for future GEF supported projects. This is important as it is acknowledged that TAPP approval processes are required for all development projects in Bangladesh and hence all future GEF projects need to be compliant with this. However, without a review of administrative improvements, future projects are likely to suffer from similar delays unless the issue is resolved. More cooperation between the Planning Commission and the Economic Relations Division is therefore needed to expedite and streamline the project approval process currently followed.  It is acknowledged that reaching agreement on this matter will take time and requires the input, willingness, and consensus from all parties including GEF.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. The lengthy and cumbersome TAPP approval procedure is one of the key obstacles that UNDP and other development partners will have to continue to advocate for change. This has a serious negative impact on GEF funded projects. MoEFCC is considering to send a letter requesting the GEF Secretariat to consider the TAPP approval date as the project start date.  If this request is approved, it will avoid an automatic request for extension by the government.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Bangladesh’s GEF OFP (Secretary, MoEFCC) will write a letter requesting the GEF Secretariat to consider the date of approval of the TAPP as the project start date.
[Added: 2021/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
MoEFCC 2021/12 Initiated Secretary, MoEFCC has already conveyed the message to UNDP that they will contact GEF Secretariat about the issue and will write a letter to resolve the issue. MoEFCC is in the process of discussing the issue with the GEF Secretariat and they will raise the issue in the next GEF Board meeting. History
6. Recommendation:

Instil Project Monitoring Planning

This is proposed as the ICBAAR could have benefitted from a more adequate “month by month” monitoring planning processes, as opposed to only an annual report that was used to measure progress. A Mid-term review (which was delayed) could have been helpful for assessing performance to assist in the final TE. In addition, an effective and well-structured documentation process or platform could have been more useful for measuring project progress. Similar future projects should consider how to improve mechanisms to support the process of ensuring that beneficiary institutions develop a reporting requirement that informs ICZM related policy-making, assesses progress on capacity development, and helps enable mainstreaming climate data into national development activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. The project would have further benefitted from a more rigorous monthly monitoring system. The huge amount of data collected which also includes risks, challenges and opportunities by the project if regularly documented and reported, would have played a crucial role in management decision making. Project monitoring data in that way can make substantial contribution to evidence-based policy advocacy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish detailed monitoring system corresponding future projects with monthly results-based data collection and reporting
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC and key stakeholders 2021/12 Not Initiated UNDP CO and programme cluster will closely work with MoEFCC and FD and build capacity of these ministries and agencies
Establish mechanisms to report the monitoring findings for policy advocacy with the line ministry and relevant stakeholders
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC and key stakeholders 2021/12 Not Initiated UNDP CO and programme cluster will closely work with MoEFCC and FD and build capacity of these ministries and agencies
7. Recommendation:

Improve Frequency of Risk Register reviews

This is proposed as operational risks need to be more clearly and carefully analysed at the programme design phase, and appropriate risk mitigation measures identified from the beginning. In addition, continuous assessment of risks is an absolute necessity to ensure effective management of risks and the identification of proper mitigation measures.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed, ICBAAR was implemented within a very limited time period, where flexible decision making with partners were practiced through regular communications with the partners. The project undertook risk reduction strategies very promptly by presenting and discussing with PSC, CMC and other relevant partners. However, many of the risks once solved were not properly documented, creating a considerable gap in project learning and knowledge management. All future projects must establish and maintain strengthened risk registers periodically.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Regular collection of risk and corresponding mitigation strategy included in all future project monitoring system.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC and key stakeholders 2021/12 Not Initiated UNDP CO and programme cluster will closely work with MoEFCC and FD and build capacity of these institutions.
8. Recommendation:

In order to promote enrichment plantations within monoculture mangrove afforestation stands, that all ICBAAR beneficiaries are made better aware of both ecological/ socio-economic benefits and the cost-effectiveness of any intervention from an ecosystem service perspective. This may involve new targeted training events (workshops, seminars etc) for the beneficiaries especially at the upazila level to help grow adequate expertise in country. Such modules may include topics such as how to increase the crop resistance to disease impacts (such as stem borer, etc).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. ICBAAR enrichment plantation with diverse climate-resilient mangrove species in degraded monoculture mangroves is a very effective initiative. This programme is very essential to create more protective and sustainable green belt along the coasts. The protective greenbelts will be very helpful to protect the vulnerable coastal communities from the cyclone, flood and storm surges. To make it more successful, ICBAAR has developed manuals on ‘Nursery Raising, Plantation Techniques and Management of Climate Resilient Mangrove Species in Bangladesh’.  Therefore, a series of trainings are essential to raising mass awareness and proper implementation of plantation techniques among the coastal communities and the local level forest officials.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP and Bangladesh Forest Department will organize a series of trainings on ‘Nursery Raising, Plantation Techniques and Management of Climate Resilient Mangrove Species in Bangladesh’.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP and FD 2021/12 Initiated As the module is ready, the trainings may be completed in due time. Moreover, the ongoing WB supported “SUFAL” project will undertake the training.
9. Recommendation:

Improved “exposure visits” of the participants to new areas could be useful as an additional exercise which can be used to build awareness about Climate Resilient related innovative livelihoods for communities. This may consider visits to (or from) participants engaged on similar climate-resilient innovative activities implementing from abroad such as Vietnam, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia or Gambia.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09] [Last Updated: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. Gaining practical experience through exposure visits is very important for all especially for the beneficiaries. Although ICBAAR has planned to arrange a series of exposure visits for the participants and other relevant stakeholders in the country and abroad, due to the worsening COVID situation and country-wide lockdown, the project could not arrange the visits within the project time period. UNDP and MoEFCC may arrange such visits through similar projects planned to be implemented in the coastal region.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Arrange exposure visits in country and abroad for the beneficiaries and other stakeholders to gain practical experience on adaptation technologies.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
MoEFCC, UNDP 2021/12 Not Initiated MoEFCC has 3-4 similar projects (e.g., SUROKSHA) to be implemented very soon in similar regions. Therefore, arrangement of such exposure visits will not be difficult.
10. Recommendation:

A Rewards system (or similar) should be introduced for those successful participants of the ICBAAR project to help encourage replication of interventions. This should build upon the approach adopted by the Project which did provide crests & certificates to the local climate champions who show-cased innovative adaptation and other NbS.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. A reward system is very helpful to encourage the successful implementers for wider dissemination and replication of successful interventions in other areas. ICBAAR has awarded 12 successful beneficiaries as “Local Climate Champion” of the project in a workshop held in Kuakata, Patuakhali on 20-21 March 2021. Honorable Secretary, MoEFCC, and distinguished guests/officials from the relevant department and organizations were also present in the meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Introduce reward system for the successful participants on adaptation.
[Added: 2021/06/09]
MoEFCC 2021/03 Completed MoEFCC has taken decision to continue such award system in all the projects.
11. Recommendation:

As the project supported the new construction of the PSF (Pond Sand Filter) system for drinking water, and it repaired the older PSF, this approach could in theory be adopted as part of any future replication strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/09]

Agreed. Integrated and adaptive approach is very important to reduce climate-induced vulnerabilities. ICBAAR is a very good example to reduce the vulnerabilities of coastal people involving relevant departments and other stakeholders. Considering the local situation and necessity, the project repaired 48 PSF with the help of the Department of Health and Engineering (DHPE) which has ensured safe drinking water for around 9,600 people in the Patharghata Upazila of Barguna.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Emphasize integrated approach emphasizing adaptive management and implementation strategy in future replication project
[Added: 2021/06/09]
UNDP, MoEFCC 2021/12 Initiated MoEFCC and UNDP have realized that adaptive approach considering the local context is very important to resolve the local problems. Therefore, in almost all present and future projects, this approach is being applied.

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