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Mid-term review of the project on Land Degradation Offset and Mitigation
Commissioning Unit: Mongolia
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 02/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Mongolia
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

It is specified in the project document that a project exit plan shall be formulated at the end of the second year the project is implemented in order ensure project sustainability in the future. Accordingly, this project exit plan should be developed. The developed exit plan should be updated throughout the remainder of the project implementation. The exit plan will provide opportunity to identify mechanism to own and continue the end results of the project and to ensure the sustainability in the future. Taking into consideration the shorter implementation period of the project, in the event there remain uncompleted activities a project follow-up plan could be considered under the framework of the exit plan in order to determine possibilities to complete the implementation, to identify solutions and to transfer ownership. By considering activities such as law amendments drafted under the project face difficulty in getting approved to be enforced for implementation within the remaining project implementation, if deemed feasible possibilities to develop project follow-up phase for next phase implementation should be sought.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/16] [Last Updated: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Develop a project exit plan within main stakeholders.
[Added: 2018/07/16] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/05 Completed History
1.2. Introduce project exit plan in the Project board meeting
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/06 Completed History
1.3. Improve consultation of the legal amendments with relevant stakeholders and public.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU 2019/03 Completed completed the consultations with the stakeholders (see the TE) History
2. Recommendation:

GEF Focal Area Tracking Tool is a tool that is used to measure and monitor how the projects and programmes implemented in the focal areas as defined by the fund are contributing to international environmental sustainability goals and the vision of the fund. Therefore, the project should develop and prepare the GEF Land Degradation Tracking Tool before the final review. As a result, it will be possible to assess the real project impact at the closing phase of the project by comparing it with the Tracking Tool prepared during the endorsement phase. However, LD Tracking Tool of GEF is currently not ready for midterm phase. This is partly related to the lack or absence of baseline information of GEF LD Tracking tool, base and progress statistical database. On the other hand, there is a limited knowledge and capacity at PIU on how to develop and furnish the tracking tool. It is therefore advised that UNDP and project development team need to provide the related trainings and technical assistance to PIU members.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation partly accepted

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Finalize Land Degradation Tracking Tool for monitoring project implementation
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
PIU 2018/08 Completed Project technical committee convened in August (which is an Advisory Board to the project consisting from Academy of Science, Mongolian National University, Mongolian University of Life Science and the experts in the subject area). LD Tracking Tool is developed and discussed at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism6 History
2.2. Validate the TT with stakeholders, and introduce the finalized version of LD Tracking Tool for Board members. Technical assistance provided to the PIU
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU/UNDP 2019/01 Completed completed the validation (see TE report) History
2.3. Update data for the LD Tracking Tool
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU 2019/03 Completed Tracking tool updated History
3. Recommendation:

The most appropriate training formats and awareness raising measures should be selected and implemented based on training needs assessment.

  • Carry out more capacity building and information dissemination activities such as training directed at public through means of television such as Malchin, Mongolian National Broadcasting channels, brochures, hand-outs and internet which were indicated as the most widely used information sources in the countryside in the capacity needs assessment.
  • More suitable assessment method and system should be used to measure the effectiveness of the training, teaching methodology and reach. Besides having the evaluation forms filled anonymously, collecting information on age and gender, enriching the evaluation questionnaire with multiple choice closed questions to assess teaching methodology, training content and teaching aids, and clarity of the content etc. will enable opportunities to learn from previous experience and will improve future training activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Implement at least 2 information dissemination activities targeting soum herders and authorities through local TV channels.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU 2019/01 Completed Documentary and advocacy completed (see TE report) History
3.2. Develop simple brochures for offsetting trials and results.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/05 Completed History
3.3. Deliver a short documentary movie for offsetting guidelines and principles online.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU 2019/01 Completed completed the documentary after the Zavkhan trip History
3.4. Introduce evaluation forms in all trainings to assess participants’ knowledge.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
PIU 2018/07 Completed Evaluation forms developed and applied to all the trainings. Upcoming trainings will also employ the forms. History
4. Recommendation:

The PIU consists of members with experience in the field. However, taking into consideration that mitigation hierarchy and offsetting are new concept, the capacity of the PIU should be further enhanced through opportunities to learn from best practices on these topics and opportunities to consult and share experience with foreign experts. Enabling the PIU to obtain ideas and recommendations from international and national experts and other consultants who worked on the baseline research mentioned in the project document can result in improvement of project results and will contribute to formulating of the exit plan. For instance, baseline researches such as International Best Practice on Reducing Impact of Mining and Offsetting suitable for Mongolia (P.Howard), Mining Closure and Offsetting, Model Offsetting Introduction being implemented in Mongolia (P.Howard) were mentioned in the project document. It is recommended that UNDP to support PIU with enabling opportunities to participate related regional conferences, seminars as well as providing accesses to other inexpensive capacity building means such as online trainings, other information sources and international good practice learning workshops.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Stregthen the PIU capacity in the field of project management and land degredation offset (Participate in project management training to be held in Bangkok)
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
UNDP,CO PIU 2018/03 Completed - NPC participated in the Project Management training in BKK. - "A comparative analysis of ecological compensation prpograms: The effect of program design on the social and ecological outcomes" is being translated into Mongolian for dessimination to the experts which will be a good capacity and knowledge sharing. History
4.2 National consultative meeting on offset implementation in South Gobi with relevant stakeholders.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
TNC 2018/09 Completed Consultative meeting was organized in Sep 6-8 in South Gobi aimag. History
5. Recommendation:

Some of the criteria in the logframe should be reviewed and clearer. As a result, it will be easier to assess the progress during different phases, to report and to carry out the final stage review.

  • To document  recommendations on the log-frame, generated from the project inception workshop, and validate the changes
  • The project aimags were reduced from five to three during the GEF CEO endorsement. To reflect this change and operationalize where necessary.
  • The pilot landscape area sizes were not confirmed during the inception phase as stated so in the project document. Pilot landscape areas should be confirmed.
Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Introduce the updated project log frame to Project board members and obtain their approval for proposed changes, followed by the approval of the UNDP-GEF RTA. Incorporate revised log frame into UNDP-GEF PIR system for 2018.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/04 Completed After finalization of MTR by UNDP Apr, 2018 History
5.2. Introduce the updated project log frame to other stakeholder agencies and organizations that are not represented in the Board (MOM, MRAM)
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/05 Completed History
5.3. Finalized and approved MTR and attached into the PIR.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
PIU and CO 2018/07 Completed PIR completed in July which included the MTR report. History
6. Recommendation:

PIU has completed drafting and development of the law amendments and regulations and guidelines and sent them to legal department of the MET. The approval of these legal documents is of significant importance to sustainability of the project outcomes in the future, following measures should be taken.

  • NPIP, Project Board, Head of the Project Board should provide all possible supports to the approval of the law amendments and regulations.
  • UNDP should support the approval of the law amendments and regulations as much as possible
Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

It is a mandate for the Project Board and the UNDP to provide support for the project implementation. This particular recommendation is too general. Therefore, we have formulated below more practical actions in support of the legal amendments approval processes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. Organize several meetings with other project teams of the relevant stakeholders to exchange experiences on approval of guidelines, regulations and law amendments and to gain from their lessons learned.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
PIU 2018/09 Completed The planned meetings are organized and the developed drafts, legal amendments, guidelines were officially handed over to the MET. History
6.2. Should identify influential parties for the approval and to determine the project strategies how to partner with the identified parties. Need to improve communication for the legislation
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU with support from UNDP Communications Officer 2019/01 Completed Lobby meeting conducted based on the recommendations. History
7. Recommendation:

To restore and to hold regular PTC meetings: Holding regular sessions at twice a year prior to the PB meetings will result in important benefits such as ensuring coordination between similar organizations, resolving disputes and discrepancies, enabling stakeholders to reach mutual understanding, ensuring cooperation, validating the activities are in compliance with relevant norms and standards, identifying new opportunities, and supplying this information to the PB and therefore this process should be made more active in the remaining period. The PTC meetings can be organized with the use of various methods and means of the modern information technology and online tools for the convenience of the members. Moreover, opinions and suggestions on the timely issues could be collected in written form.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Deliver a list of project outputs and legislation related documents to the Board members.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/05 Completed History
7.2. Organize technical committee meetings for improvement of legislation documents. Consultation with MOM and MET and communication actions for decision makers
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/09/26]
PIU 2018/06 Completed Technical committee meeting was organized in May and agreed on submitting the legal documents to the Minister's Council meeting which was conducted in 19 May, 2018. History
8. Recommendation:

Although the project was rated to be of low risk at the project development stage, we recommend it is important to make it a habit to implement risk management in order to achieve the expected outcomes of the project in the future. It is necessary for the PIU to identify and adopt a specific management tools and mechanisms to manage risk (mechanism to identify, record, assess, eliminate, measures to reduce, to document and to update records) during the implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted. The project risks are monitored through the UNDP’s central Quality Assurance system. 2017 QA Annual review is done.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1. The risks are monitored frequently in the system and reviewed once a year through QA assessment. Effective measures to reduce risk should be developed and reflected in the project exit plan strategy.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2019/04/27]
PIU/UNDP 2019/01 Completed QA (including the risks update) conducted and presented to the Board History
9. Recommendation:

On working to develop cooperation with national policy organizations and to improving capacity. Developing cooperation with ministries and organizations such as the MMHI, MCUD, NDA, MFALI, and MRPA will increase the opportunities to reflect offsetting into national level policy documents and to coordinate the project activities with the activities of other ministries. The aim of including representatives of many organizations in the PB is to ensure coordination of the project activities and implementation. Taking into consideration that some members of the committee may not have real power or influence to bring the voice and decision of the project into their own organization’s policy and activities, it is recommended that additional opportunities be sought to cooperate with those ministries. Developing cooperation with NDA could be the best way to convey and incorporate the offsetting concept to the national level policy document of different sectors.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1. Nominate a representative from the senior officer from MOF, National Development Agency to the Project Board.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/04 Completed Sent an official letter to NDA History
10. Recommendation:

It has been specified in the provision 7.3.2 of the procedure on ?Receiving Foreign Assistance, Spending, Managing, Recording and Reporting? approved by the Cabinet decree no.176 of 2016 that ?project assets must not be used for financing expenses that do not fall in the activities to be implemented under the projects?. According to the autonomous financial audit conducted in 2016, the financing spent by the project was used in accordance with the approved budget and for the purposes of the project. Nevertheless, the interviews conducted with the PIU members and relevant officials in the MET and the meeting minutes of the Project Board indicated that there were more than one occasion where requests were made to the project to fund activities that are not related to the project. These incidents where funding and spending were requested for activities unrelated to the project indicate that there is a risk of misuse of project funds on other activities. UNDP, Project Board and National Project Director should take this into consideration and convey the requirements to the NPIP or the MET.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted. We understand that there is no issue as per the regular audit. However, this is an action for preventing potential risks in the future.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1. Highlight this particular MTR recommendation to Board members The issue is to be raised and recommended at the next Board meeting and that the financial expenses and assets shall only be approved when these are in line with the project purpose and intervention. Organize an audit from the Ministerial side
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/07 Completed History
11. Recommendation:

The GEF Co-Financing Guideline requires the project implementing partners to report their co-financing by their sources. Going forward, the PIU should keep regular contact with the organizations promised to make co-financing and other organizations with similar activities and keep a record of the relevant co-financing. It is advised that PIU should organize a meeting with MET and UNDP on the deemed forms and scope of co-financing and reach common understanding.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/07/17]

Recommendation accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1. Conduct meeting with MET, Ministry of Finance and UNDP, CO team for clarification of co-financing.
[Added: 2018/07/17] [Last Updated: 2018/07/18]
PIU 2018/05 Completed Ministerial official letter says that in kind co-financing has already reached 4 Mln USD. History

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