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Terminal Evaluation of Caspian Project
Commissioning Unit: Iran
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2023
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 04/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Iran
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 1: Scaling up CHFP

  • there is a need for UNDP and FRWO to urgently work together to plan a five year scale-up phase to ensure that the momentum created by CHFP is not lost
  • FRWO to consider allocating the unspent national co-financing to support scaling-up over the five-year period, thereby allowing a proportion of the existing project staff and their associated capacity to be retained

UNDP and FRWO work together to seek additional sources of international funding to continue to bring international best practices and support to help FRWO achieve the paradigm shift to multi-purpose, community based forestry

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/14] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]

Management response: Project management team fully accepts this recommendation, five year period is too little for planning and implementation of CF-FMP and for completion of this process and use of achieved lessons learned, it should be extended and scaled up for another five years.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Financial support of FRWO (from the remained co-financing part) for scaling-up over the five-year period
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Government has allocated financial resources to continue the work in forest ecosystems but there has been no agreement with UNDP over the matter.]
History
1.2 Preparing of new project document for the scale-up phase
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
project Team 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: An initial proposal for a new phase of the project was prepared. The Government has allocated financial resources to continue the work in forest ecosystems but there has been no agreement with UNDP over the matter.]
History
1.3 signing of a new project document for the scale -up phase
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD and UNDP 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Government has allocated financial resources to continue the work in forest ecosystems but there has been no agreement with UNDP over the matter.]
History
1.4 Seeking of new international funding
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
Project team and UNDP 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Since no joint project started, no international funding is required. ]
History
2. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 2.: FRWO support of pilot landscape communities, particularly those communities which have not received direct allocation of CF-FMP

  • the CHFP should provide guidance to FRWO in regard to the importance of supporting pilot landscape communities that have participated in the project, particularly those which are awaiting approval of CF-FMP, to mitigate potential negative social, economic or ecological impacts on communities and the pilot landscapes
  • the FRWO should acknowledge the fact that those communities awaiting approval and allocation of CF-FMPs have made a significant investment in the CHFP
  • there is a need to maintain the trust and participation of these communities to allow them the opportunity to engage in better management, protection and restoration of the CHF
  • continued visits to these communities should be made to communicate the status of their CF-FMP
  • FRWO should encourage quick resolution of the issue of direct allocation to community groups
  • when allocation is approved, ongoing support of these communities will be needed to assist them in their efforts to implement their CF-FMP (e.g. forest park and/or nursery establishment and operation), including:
    • ongoing support may include liaison with appropriate government experts or hiring consultants to provide technical advice
    • ongoing support may also include assistance in securing the required financing and capacity development to manage financial aspects of the CF-FMP

ongoing support may include addressing issues of marketing, including market chain analysis to ensure sustainability of expanding alternative livelihood activities. Where possible, marketing should avoid “middle men”, to maximize the benefits which go to local communities.  There are some CHFP examples which show the success of local packaging, branding and direct selling products to enhance the marketing community based enterprises.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/14] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]

Management response: Project management team fully accepts this recommendation that along with FRWO's new approach for forest management with participation of key stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Finalization of Youj CF-FMP
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
Project team 2019/06 Completed The CF-FMP was completed but the implementation will happen trough government mechanisms. History
2.2 Obtaining of FRWO and General governors acceptance for allocation of CF plans (Youj, Baliran and Zilakirud) with canceling of open bidding process.
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD and NPM 2019/06 Completed A few CF plans received approval. The remaining cases handed over to the Government for further follow up and implementation. History
2.3 Training and capacity development of local communities, FRWO staff and other key stakeholders
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
LCC secretariat with support of FRWO (especially BEPP) 2019/07 Completed Project training courses and modules were completed. Further training and capacity building activities handed over to the Government related office in FRWO. History
2.4 Holding of Forestry Advisory Council meeting to support and supervision of implementation of community forestry
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
GDS secretariat & FRWO 2019/12 Completed A meeting was held. Further follow up on community forestry was handed over to FRWO. History
2.5 Financial support of FRWO (from the remained co-financing part) for capacity building and helping local communities in implementation of CF
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Government is handling the issue standalone as no new phase of the project started jointly with UNDP. ]
History
3. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 3: Support of GDS sign off and implementation initiation

  • sign off of the GDS by the Head of FRWO with a formal letter to the Governor Generals is an essential step towards implementation
  • with sign off of the GDS has identified several tasks to be completed by the FRWO and the provinces to initiate implementation
  • financing will be required to assist the GDS secretariat’s support of GDS initiation
  • while the GDS provides broad goals and strategies there is need to develop a detailed action plan for GDS initiation, such as has been recommended for each CHF province
  • GDS initiation will include project launches that advocate the GDS, and high level meetings to provide capacity building of key GDS stakeholders and to establish roles, responsibilities, tasks, timelines and funding mechanisms
  • it is recommended to develop a strong supervision and oversight mechanism to ensure quality assurance, transparency and auditing of the activities of the GDS. 
  • a strategy is needed to encourage the many government staff who may be involved in the implementation of the GDS to participate in capacity development using training materials developed by the CHFP to achieve the paradigm needed to support the GDS
  • There is a need to move forward with the agreement between the former Head of FRWO and the three Provincial Governors committing to better protection of the CHF
  • While sign off of the GDS document by the current head of FRWO is important there is also a need to establish a coordination structure which has the authority to advocate for it.  Including engagement of the High Council of Environment (HCE), Chaired by President or Vice President, with members representing Ministers and deputy president, to agree on the establishment of a National Forest Committee or a Special Working Group for Hyrcanian Forest. Two possible options are:
  1. FRWO sign off of the GDS and using the existing agreement, request the Provincial Governors to establish Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC).  Under guidance of the RCC, the PPDC will review and follow up on plans and required budgets thereby providing support for the LCC operating at the county level to implement the GDS IMP.  This strategy is in line with the existing GDS structure.
  2. FRWO sign off of the GDS and it is sent to the MoJA Minister to request Ministry of Jihad Agriculture (MoJA) send the GDS document to the HCE for approval and endorsement. With HCE approval of the GDS then it would be possible to establish a National Forest Committee and Hyrcanian Forest Working Group to coordinate implementation of GDS IMP.
  • Allocate national funding to form a permanent "National Expert Group on Community Forestry" that will engage all key CHFP staff and consultants, as well as selected FRWO experts who among them share the expertise available on community forestry in Iran.  Under the purview of FRWO, this expert group shall be continuously engaged to provide support to finalizing the approvals for the pending CF-FMPs, provide on-going capacity building on-the-job or through BEPP, and support the implementation of CF-FMPs.

FRWO may be required to take charge of the finalization and approval of the guideline for sustainable tourism currently being developed in direct consultation with Bureau of Education and Public Participation (BEPP) and Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Management High Council (FHC) by CHFP.  CHFP should ensure this matter is stressed in Project Steering Committee (PSC), with Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and Department of Environment (DOE) representatives present.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/14] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]

Management response: The project team accepts this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Establishment of GDS secretariat in FRWO
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project ended. GDS related matters are being handled by FRWO.]
History
3.2 Signing off GDS and sending formal letter to General Governors
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD, UNDP, NPM 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project ended. GDS related matters are being handled by FRWO.]
History
3.3 Holding meeting with Provincial authorities
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD, GDS secretariat 2019/08 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project ended. GDS related matters are being handled by FRWO.]
History
3.4 Establishment of coordination structure for GDS
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD, GDS secretariat 2019/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project ended. GDS related matters are being handled by FRWO.]
History
3.5 FRWO takes charge of the finalization and approval of the guideline for sustainable ecotourism
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD, GDS secretariat and FHC 2019/08 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project ended. GDS related matters are being handled by FRWO.]
History
4. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 4.: Support of Local Coordination Committees (LCCs) in Pilot Landscapes

  • the CHFP established LCCs to implement IMP within the entire area of each pilot landscape
  • to date LCCs have successfully worked with a limited number of pilot landscape communities that represent only a part of the total pilot landscape area
  • it is recommended the GDS secretariat continue to provide targeted support to LCCs, particularly to LCC Secretariats, in the pilot landscapes to build on the capacity development and positive results seen so far
  • the GDS secretariat can assist LCCs in prioritizing the extensive lists of detailed activities provided in the IMPs, including assistance making proposals to the provincial government to support IMPsco-mentoring approaches should be used to work towards the development of local capacity in government who are capable of implementing all IMP tasks with limited support from the GDS secretariat
Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/14] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]

Management response: Project team fully accepts this recommendation, all LCC's members at the last meeting announced their acceptance for holding LCC meeting for coordination and collaboration for implementing of IMPs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Holding LCC meetings 3 times per year
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
LCC secretariats 2019/12 Completed LCC meetings were held during the course of the project. Holding LCC meetings is a recurring issue to be handled by FRWO after the project lifetime. History
4.2 LCCs discuss and identify priority actions from the extensive list of detailed activities provided in the IMPs
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
LCC secretariats with support of FRWO 2019/12 Completed LCC meetings were held during the course of the project. Holding LCC meetings is a recurring issue to be handled by FRWO after the project lifetime. History
4.3 LCCs will request PPDC for allocating the required budget for implementation of the activities
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
LCC secretariats with support of FRWO 2019/12 Completed LCC meetings were held during the course of the project. Holding LCC meetings is a recurring issue to be handled by FRWO after the project lifetime. History
5. Recommendation:

Terminal Evaluation recommendation 5: Addressing the issue of national co-financing

  • national co-financing was to contribute approximately 42% of the CHFP budget
  • the CHFP terminal report should provide a comprehensive assessment of the implications of the lack of co-financing, including the adaptive management strategy used by the project and the impact of a reduced budget on project outcomes
  • the CHFP terminal report should also provide recommendations in regard to actions required following project closure needed to address the impact of CHFP operating with a reduced budget
Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]

Management response: Project team accepts this recommendation, but due to some restrictions for allocation of government cost sharing during at last two years- payment has been changed from cash to treasury documents for any contracts- the payment modality should be changed from co-finance to parallel.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Preparing a report for Head of FRWO in regards to impact of lack of co-finance on project activities
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
Project Team 2019/06 Completed The report was prepared and submitted to Head of FRWO. History
5.2 Obtaining acceptance of Head of FRWO for payment of co-finance
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD, NPM 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Project ended and FRWO decided to follow up scale up on its own]
History
5.3 Considering remaining co-finance for scale up phase plan
[Added: 2019/12/15] [Last Updated: 2020/01/14]
NPD, NPM 2019/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Project ended and FRWO decided to follow up scale up on its own]
History

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