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Mid-term evaluation of Sustainable Land Management Programme to Combat Desertification in Pakistan
Commissioning Unit: Pakistan
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Pakistan
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Re-focus on provisions of provincial Integrated Land Use Policies and utilize unique opportunity to mainstream SLM into provincial sectoral policies

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

UNDP and NCU agree to this recommendation and will coordinate with Project Board and Provincial Planning and Developments to develop ISLM policies acceptable to the Provincial Governments.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
NCU to engage Policy, and Land Use and Implementation Experts to revise the provincial sectoral policies accordingly for approval by the Provincial Governments.
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NCU, Environment & Climate Change Unit 2019/09 Initiated The Terms of Reference for this activity have been formulated and shared with the provinces to conduct the review and revisions of provincial sectoral policies. Sindh and Punjab have already initiated the process, with the remaining provinces to follow. History
NCU to launch robust advocacy campaigns to get ISLM policies approved and implemented.
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator, Provincial Project Coordinators, Project Policy and Communication Officer 2019/09 Initiated The ISLM policies are in the custody of the Provincial Coordination Units (PCU). The National Coordination Unit (NCU) has formulated ISLM Policy briefs and shared with the provincial governments to advocate at appropriate forums. There are vigorous efforts by UNDP and NCU at different levels to move forward the ISLM policies' approval process. History
The Ministry of Climate Change to endorse revised policies and ensure alignment with the policies of Federal and Provincial Governments and facilitate approval process
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/21]
Ministry of Climate Change, National Project Coordinator, Environment & Climate Change Unit 2019/06 Completed The integrated sustainable land management policies (ISLMP) prepared for the provinces are already catering for the alignment of sectoral policies (of federal and provincial governments). The Ministry of Climate Change has endorsed these ISLM policies. History
2. Recommendation:

Institutionalize capacity building on SLM for professionals as foreseen in the Project Document: The Project Document calls for the creation of a formal certifiable SLM in-service training program consisting of at least 15 training courses and with clear competence standards and accreditations for government professionals.  However, the Project’s capacity building efforts do not follow an institutionalized approach as part of an overall capacity building curriculum and will not be sustainable beyond the project lifetime unless urgent midcourse corrections are taken.  The MoUs signed with academic and research organizations relate to an M.Sc. course, scientific inputs and the organization of awareness raising seminars, but do not institutionalize the Project’s in-service training components.  The training manual provides the learning contents of the training component but does not embed learning into an institutionalized framework. It is recommended that the developed courses are combined in a formal training program and mainstreamed into the agenda of in-service training institutions of relevant line departments.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Agree with the Recommendation to institutionalize capacity building on SLM for professionals as foreseen in the Project Document

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop short-courses for the Agricultural Extension Departments and Pakistan Forest Institute
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/21]
National Project Coordinator & Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/06 Completed The field-based training manual/course on "Dry Ecosystem in Pakistan" has been developed, shared with the Agriculture Extension departments and Forest Institute. The training manual/course is under implementation. History
Develop a course on SLM for inclusion in B.Sc. Agriculture Programme with universities
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/21]
National Project Coordinator & Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/06 Completed The course on SLM has been developed in collaboration with Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan for inclusion in the B.Sc. Agriculture program. History
Develop a course on SLM for the Civil Service Academy
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/21]
National Project Coordinator & Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/12 Initiated The relevant content/sections of courses already developed for Agriculture Extension departments, Forest Institute and B.Sc. Agriculture program will be chosen to develop a customised course for Civil Services Academy. It will then be shared with the Civil Services Academy. History
3. Recommendation:

District and Village Land Use Plans to include appropriate operationalization tools: At present, the land use plans developed by the Project have a very sound technical knowledge base, but lack operationalization and ownership by their implementers. The stakeholders of the planning process are not documented, clear action plans with timelines, responsibilities, required funding and its sources are missing. The by-laws of land use are not agreed upon and documented and the governance of the planning process remains unclear, including monitoring, validity and revision procedures. In order to convert the land use plans into documents effectively in the position to guide land use, the MTR Team recommends that land use plans are operationalized to comply with the above criteria

 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Management agrees to include appropriate operationalization tools while developing District and Village Land Use Plans

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
GIS Specialist to revise the existing land use plans and indicate various uses of land, for example, area for urban centers, agriculture, forests, etc. Further, the operationalization of strategy/tools for implementation should be clearly elaborated in the plans.
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
National Project Coordinator/GIS Specialist/Land Use & Implementation Expert 2019/06 Completed The Land Use Plans (LUP) developed at the district and village levels, clearly differentiate among various land uses (area for urban centres, agriculture, forests, etc.). The planned targets are already part of these LUPs. History
The District Land Use Plans be made in full consultation with the District Governments and arrangements be made for the use of Decision Support System by the District Governments
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator/GIS Specialist/Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/03 Completed The key stakeholders were represented by the involvement of district governments in developing the District Land Use Plans. Village Land Use Plans are community-based participatory plans and inputs of the concerned communities were taken through community representatives and local Community-Based Organisations. These plans are being operationalised by Provincial Coordination Units in line with the evaluation recommendations and National Coordination Unit is supporting the process. History
Land Use and Implementation Expert and PPCs to develop participatory Village Development Plans for all the villages in programme districts.
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/25]
Land Use & Implementation Expert/Provincial Project Coordinators 2020/03 Initiated The total number of villages to be covered in the programme is 200. The Village Land Use Plans (VLUPs) for 120 villages have been completed by June 2019 in different districts, and by the end of 2019, at least 150 VLUPs will be completed. History
4. Recommendation:

Follow up on establishment of Decision Support System

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Agreed, a pending activity yet to be completed under the AWP 2018/2019

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Speed up development of Decision Support System
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NCU 2019/09 Initiated National Coordination Unit has prepared the proposal for Decision Support System (DSS) as well as coordination meetings with line departments are planned, but the required data has not been available to complete the initial phase of DSS. Meeting with UNDP is also planned in June to discuss development of DSS. History
5. Recommendation:

Facilitate community engagement and enable effective coordination at the community level through community facilitators: The Project’s outreach at the community level remains limited, largely as a result of wide geographic spread, very limited human resources at the level of Provincial Coordination Units and no regular presence at the district and community levels.  Project activities are essentially sub-contracted to Implementing Partners and coordination between these activities is not always ensured (e.g. land use planning carried out after the implementation of SLM activities in the field in several instances).  Sub-contracting to NGOs is not a sustainable option of social mobilization.  In particular, the CBOs require backstopping in terms of capacity building and institutional strengthening in preparation for activities of the community SLM funds.  The MTR Team recommends that two community facilitators, one of whom should be female, should be hired in each District to carry out the above tasks.  Upon completion of the Project, these staff should become staff of the Desertification Control Cells

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Management agrees to facilitate community engagement and enable effective coordination at the community level through community facilitators

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The sub-contracting be done to the extent where the relevant expert is not available in the project team, otherwise it should be completely avoided
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator/Provincial Project Coordinators/Experts 2019/03 Completed The recommendation is well noted and is already being practiced. History
Hiring of Community Facilitators for placement in districts
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator/Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/09 Initiated History
6. Recommendation:

Validate and adjust project strategic results frameworks and remove inconsistencies: Consider the findings spelled out in the report and the relevant specific recommendations  to revise the Project’s strategic results framework. It is particularly recommended to verify baselines and in cases where this is not possible to use absolute indicators that do not rely on questionable baselines. Current indicators miss to monitor progress towards important components of an enabling environment that include institutional capacities for SLM. The use of an SLM capacity scorecard and of a CBO Maturity Index as additional indicators and the replacement of household income by the Poverty Scorecard are recommended. Subsequently, it is recommended that the Government of Pakistan PC-1 is revised to eliminate discrepancies between the strategic results frameworks in the UNDP-GEF Project Document and the PC-1. Additionally, the MTR recommends ensuring that the Provincial PC-1s follow the same logical hierarchy as the UNDP-GEF Project Document.  The process should also be used to revise the rates proposed for the field implementation of SLM technologies wherever necessary, particularly in Sindh and that the umbrella PC-1 and the provincial PC-1s are consistent over responsibilities of staff hire

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

The recommendation is valid and there are discrepancies among the PC-1 and Project Document, which should have been aligned before. However, at this stage, where the project is quite close towards its Terminal Evaluation, following the specific recommendation of MTR team will further slowdown the project implementation as the PC-1 revision itself is a time-taking process. The CO instead would recommend NCU to find a balance between the two documents in joint consultation with the relevant provincial entities and UNDP Pakistan

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Programme Team to review the baseline and end of project targets for various indicators and come up with realistic number for achievement by the close of the project. The targets should also be mentioned in absolute numbers, including the new indicators proposed by MTR
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator/Provincial Project Coordinators/Experts UNDP Environment and Climate Change Unit GEF Regional Technical Advisor 2019/09 Initiated The project/National Coordination Unit will have a meeting on this with UNDP, which is planned in June 2019 and accordingly the baseline and end of project targets for various indicators will be updated History
Programme Team to follow the same hierarchy of results framework as for the umbrella PC-1/ProDoc. Once the baseline are set and new indicators are included, the revised PRF has to be endorsed by the RTA and the submit to RTA to facilitate approval from UNDP-GEF Directorate. However, major downscaling of targets be avoided
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator/Provincial Project Coordinators/Experts 2019/09 Initiated The recommendation is well noted and upon finalization of baselines and end of project targets, the revised PRF will be endorsed by RTA and approved from UNDP-GEF Directorate. History
7. Recommendation:

Finalize and strengthen management arrangements:

 

The Provincial Steering Committees of Baluchistan and Sindh did not conduct meetings until midterm. This raises important questions about how the functions of these project supervisory instruments, such the approval of annual work plans, and budgets, etc. are filled in these provinces.  Furthermore, the lack of the Steering Committee as a coordination platform between Implementing Partners likely contributes to the weak project delivery observable in these provinces and the lack of ownership of policies and plans developed by the project.  Furthermore, it may partially explain the lack of government line department engagement in project implementation in Sindh. 

Weak project management structures and on-ground delivery in certain provinces call for a more proactive engagement of the National Coordination Unit to support project implementation both at the level of the Provincial Coordination Units as well as in the field.  A more proactive engagement of the NCU is also required in terms of providing technical guidance for the implementation of activities under the provincial components of the Project.

At midterm, the Project still has not filled all positions, partially due to administrative hurdles and partially due to ambiguity over responsibilities of staff hire by UNDP or provincial funds stemming from inconsistencies of the umbrella and the provincial PC-1s.  In terms of sustainability, particularly the positions of the Desertification Control Cells are of importance. 

It is recommended that the Provincial Steering Committees are constituted and take up their roles as stipulated in the Project Document without further delay.

The MTR recommends preparing a strategy to finalize staff recruitment, including an agreement over the financial sources of staff hire and prompt completion of the hiring process.  At the same time, the MTR Team additionally recommends to re-appropriate funds to the recruitment of 2 community facilitators per district one of whom should be female (see Recommendation C.1).  Responsibilities over staff hire need to be consistently revised in the PC-1 (refer to Recommendation D.1).

It is also recommended that the Project drafts a strategic plan to strengthen management arrangements in the provinces to provide stronger NCU support to the PCUs in the removal of bottlenecks affecting project implementation as well as through technical inputs in field implementation

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Management agrees with the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Constitute Provincial Steering Committees and organise its meetings as mentioned in the ProDoc to seek approval of work plans, expenditures, and for coordination to implement activities and to create ownership of the project
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
Ministry of Climate Change, National Project Coordinator, Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/03 Completed The SLMP II project's requisite committees/forums already exist in the provinces and meet as and when required. Public Development Working Party (PDWP) serves as the project board History
Re-appropriate funds to recruit two community facilitators per district [one of whom should be female] so that the communities are provided adequate support
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
National Project Coordinator, Provincial Project Coordinators, Economic Affairs Division, UNDP Environment & Climate Change Unit 2019/06 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Community facilitation is already done by the provincial entities like CBO directorate in KP and PRSP in Punjab. Similarly, Sindh and Balochistan are following the same model. At this stage, project document and available resources don’t allow to hire these new positions.]
History
Develop a mechanism to provide a proactive support by NCU to the PPCs to expedite implementation as well as provide technical support where deemed necessary
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
National Project Coordinator, Provincial Project Coordinators 2019/03 Completed Mechanism has been in place since program's Phase-II inception, NCU thereby providing technical support for all activities and documentation History
8. Recommendation:

Strengthen the monitoring and reporting system: 

For a decentralized project involving multiple implementation partners, it is imperative that monitoring & evaluation and reporting procedures are consistent and effectively coordinated.  The Project has considerable scope to improve its monitoring and to a lesser extent its reporting system:

  • The financial allocations to monitoring are half of the GEF rule of thumb and should be increased. 
  • Unfilled monitoring positions at the provincial level should be filled and the capacities of monitoring staff should be built.
  • The monitoring system requires a comprehensive database to track all project activities/achievements/impacts and this should be linked with a GIS database to allow spatially explicit monitoring and reporting
  • Monitoring of impact indicators through remote sensing should be followed up on where this is technically feasible (e.g. questionable visibility of young afforestation on high-resolution satellite images).
  • Monitor socio-economic, gender-specific and environmental (e.g. impacts of Eucalypt plantations and water lifting schemes on ground water tables) impact indicators
  • Introduce participatory monitoring engaging target communities
  • Monitor Output level (process) indicators as stated in the Project Document (Table 9)

Project data and documents are not readily available at the NCU (particularly those related to the provincial levels) and therefore it is recommended to establish a central online depository and file sharing platform to enable transparent sharing of information between project stakeholders

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Management agrees with the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruit M&E Officers in provinces and build their capacities to monitor activities as per the Results Framework
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC to coordinate with UNDP as well as relevant provincial and federal entities 2019/09 Initiated National Coordination Unit is rigorously following up with the Provincial Coordination Units to hire the required M&E Officers History
Develop a robust M&E system; defining of methodologies for the collection of ProDoc indicators and data collection as per frequency of data collection given in the ProDoc
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/M&E Officer/PPCs/Experts/UNDP Environment & Climate Change Unit 2019/03 Completed A comprehensive M & E system is in place, which included QPRs as per UNDP requirements. However, for more detailed data collection and reporting, further steps have been introduced and collected data is being reported through the recently introduced monitoring dashboard at the MoCC level History
Record data on indicators following RS/GIS and maintain a database for verification
[Added: 2018/12/27]
GIS/RS Specialist & M&E Officers 2019/12 Initiated
Record gender dis-aggregated data, especially on socio-economic indicators, CBO Maturity Index and beneficiaries
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
M&E Experts 2019/06 Completed The project has already institutionalised the collection and reporting of gender dis-aggregated data related to its partner CBOs, beneficiaries and the relevant socio-economic indicators. History
Regularly monitor the environmental effects, such as ground-water levels in mega- plantations and those close to eucalyptus or conocarpus plantations of tree tsunami project
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
M&E Experts 2019/06 Completed The project officials both at federal and provincial level are sensitive to the environmental effects of project activities or by the partner organisations in target districts. Regular monitoring is done by the project in this regard. History
Introduce participatory monitoring system engaging target communities
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
M&E Experts 2019/06 Completed The activities implemented in partnership with the communities are documented both by the Implementing Partners as well as the concerned community organisations; having an intrinsic monitoring system at the community level. History
Develop a central online platform to share all the project documents, such as data, reports, plans, policies, meeting minutes, etc
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/PPCs/IT/ Comm Officer 2019/03 Completed Central online platform is in place in form of programme website and is being revamped presently to make it more effective History
9. Recommendation:

Improve risk management: 

Adhere to the provisions of the Project Document, follow the results of the Environmental and Social Screening and consider the findings of the MTR by updating the risk log with the following UNDP risk categories:

  1. Social and environmental risks: particularly 1.2 Gender discrimination, 1.3 Loss of biodiversity and unsustainable use of natural resources, 1.4 Climate change, 1.5 Community health and safety,
  2. Operational risks: particularly 3.1 complex design, 3.6 poor monitoring and evaluation, and

Regulatory risks: particularly 6.2 critical policies or legislation fails to pass or progress in the legislative process

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Management agrees with the recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Update the risk log as per UNDP risk categories [social and environmental risks, operational risks, and regulatory risks]
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/22]
NCU and UNDP 2019/03 Completed The risk log is updated and NCU provides inputs to UNDP as and when required related to the risk log History
10. Recommendation:

Streamline financial procedures

Project delivery lags behind largely due to administrative hurdles of getting funds released on time, particularly for season-bound activities such as tree planting.

  • It is recommended that project stakeholder consider applying the UNDP cost sharing approach for the government co-financing, i.e. that PSDP and ADP funds are routed through UNDP channels to the concerned provinces.  Government ownership needs to be retained by maintaining the NPD/PPDs as signatories for funds routed through UNDP.
  • Additionally, alternate government signatories should be included for financial disbursement in all provinces and at federal level to ensure that the absence of signatories does not hamper project implementation.

At present the Federal and Provincial Governments charge income tax and GST on the co-financing contributed by them, effectively reducing the amount of co-financing by 50%.  This in-transparent reduction of the co-financing contribution should be discontinued

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

The CO agrees with the fact mentioned above. This will be brought into the notice of the project board for discussion

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Point to be included for discussion at Project Board/ PSC meeting
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NCU, UNDP CO 2019/09 Initiated The recommendation is well noted and will be added to the programme steering committee agenda, which is expected in quarter 3 (Jul - Sep 2019) History
11. Recommendation:

Strategize communication and follow up on key provision of knowledge management: 

Project communication does not follow a clearly operationalized communication plan.  In order to increase the visibility of the Project, to position the Project as a guidance to the Plant4Pakistan initiative (see Recommendation E.3) and to attract further funding, the communication strategy should be updated.  The strategy should focus on changes in the stakeholder landscape, identify target groups of communication, the communication mix appropriate for each target group, the periodicity of communication, clear time frames, responsibilities and resource requirements.  The communication plan should be clearly linked to monitoring milestones and monitored by the concerned project unit.  Besides, the visibility of the Project in the field should be increased by erecting signboards at all the locations, in which activities were funded by the Project.  This will also be instrumental in distinguishing the Project’s activities from those of the previous projects and Tree Tsunami Project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and of the up-coming Plant4Pakistan initiative.

Furthermore, it is recommended that the SLM Information System is put in place.  The Project Document stipulates the SLM Information System to consist of i) detailed information on the Project ii) an online depository of SLM related information on Pakistan, and iii) of a web-GIS interface that presents available spatial information on land degradation and SLM in Pakistan and related to the Project.  So far, the Project partially achieved the first and second elements and has not achieved the third element.  It is recommended that the project website should be updated to include a web-GIS interface on land degradation and SLM

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Partially agree with the MTR team’s recommendation that the project should proactively be engaged with stakeholders and increase its visibility. However SLMP has already developed its communication strategy during the course of its implementation. The CO instead would advise NCU to effectively implement the already devised strategy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Initiate effective implementation of the project’s communication strategy in light of ‘Plant4Pakistan’ initiative of the Govt. which should be included in AWP 2019 and be regularly monitored
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/Communication Officer 2019/03 Completed Appropriate collective interventions already being explored with ‘Plant4Pakistan’ initiative of the Govt. and other such projects in light of the SLMP Communications Strategy History
Installing signboards in the field to enhance programme visibility to make the programme activities distinct from the SLMP-I, Tree Tsunami and Plant4Pakistan projects
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/22]
PPCs/ Communication Officer 2019/09 Initiated This was highlighted in monitoring visits as well and signboards are now being installed at the activity locations History
12. Recommendation:

Update stakeholder engagement plan

The Project Document mandates the development of a stakeholder engagement plan, which was not followed up on. It is advisable to build upon the lessons learned during the first half of the project and develop an updated stakeholder engagement plan. The PMU should coordinate this, ensuring effective engagement and collaboration with key enabling stakeholders and with existing initiatives (e.g. Plant4Pakistan initiative).  Focus should be given on the engagement of government stakeholders in Sindh, and on NGO engagement in other provinces.  Stakeholder engagement should also focus on establishing linkages with public or private, domestic, bi- or multi-lateral donors that could potentially provide continued financing to the Project.  Thereby the Project should aim to mobilize funds, tap into Corporate Social Responsibility funds from the corporate sector, especially targeting the oil and gas companies in Sanghar and coal mining companies in Nagarparkar.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Agree with the first half of the recommendation: SLMP to develop stakeholders engagement plan whereas resource/funds mobilization from oil and gas companies is out of the scope of the projects—hence to be omitted from herein

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The programme will review the existing stakeholder engagement plan to identify where the linkages need improvement and its expansion to include new partners/donors (for funding) as recommended by the MTR, particularly in Pakistan, Plan4Pakistan project, NGOs, multi-bi-lateral donors and corporate sector
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/PPCs/Experts/UNDP CO 2019/09 Initiated These initiatives are in the pipeline through provincial and national SLM Networks – which have been expanding the member base since initiation. Further an independent stakeholder engagement plan is being formulated History
13. Recommendation:

Focus on institutionalization of governance mechanisms and on sustainability of institutions introduced by the Project

The Project introduced institutions including i) Desertification Control Cells at the national and provincial levels, ii) SLM Networks at the provincial level, and iii) CBOs at the village level.  At the same time, governance systems, incl. i) land use planning at the district and ii) the village level were introduced.  Of these, only the Desertification Control Cells are likely going to be sustainable, unless the Project initiates actions to institutionalize the others.

SLM Networks should be established as a permanent platform with clear mandate and regular government funding and placed under the coordination of the Desertification Control Cells with an objective to advocate solutions for land degradation and desertification.  CBOs at the village level have to be formally registered and their capacity built and strengthened.  The formation of CBO platforms at the district level is recommended to facilitate exchange among the CBOs and to provide for more effective representation of their interests.  Governance of land use planning needs to be legally institutionalized through the Integrated Land Use Policies approved by the concerned provincial cabinets (see Recommendation A.1)

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

This is subject to funding allocation by provincial governments in ADP however, the following actions are advised

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish SLM Network as permanent platform with clear mandate and regular government funding and build their capacity
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/PPCs 2019/09 Initiated Approval of ISLM policies is in process at the provincial level and NCU is providing all required technical support. Once these policies are endorsed the subsidiary forums i.e. SLM Networks by-default will become permanent and will be eligible to secure funding from regular government sources History
Efforts be made to strengthen CBOs and get these registered with the government to carry on activities after GEF financing
[Added: 2018/12/27]
Ministry of Climate Change, NPC/PPCs 2019/12 Initiated
Make consistent efforts to get the Land Use Planning Policies approved by the concerned provincial governments and follow up for their institutionalisation and implementation
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
NPC/PPCs//NPD, UNDP Environment & Climate Change Unit 2019/12 Initiated The approval of Integrated Sustainable Land Management policies from the competent fora i.e. respective provincial governments/cabinets is in process. The final approval is expected by December 2019. History
14. Recommendation:

Mainstream gender and social equity into project implementation

The Project efforts to mainstream gender are not fully satisfactory.  Additionally, the Project should focus more strongly on promoting disadvantaged groups and relatively less developed districts.

  • The Project should adhere to the provisions of the Project Document and the recommendations of several PIRs to develop a gender strategy.
  • Similarly, gender specific indicators should be collected in the course of monitoring.
  • The MTR Team recommends that the design of the SLM funds should contain special provisions to reserve certain proportion of the funds or to provide other advantages for females. 

Disadvantaged groups should be paid special attention to when deciding on the beneficiaries of project activities

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Agree with the fact that adherence to gender strategy is weak and was indicated in the PIR, which the project needs to take up immediately. Following key actions are suggested.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop gender mainstreaming strategy
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/PPCs 2019/03 Completed A comprehensive Gender analysis of the programme has been completed which includes a gender mainstreaming strategy with recommendations that are being incorporated in the program nomenclature History
Gender specific indicators data should be collected in the course of monitoring and the reports should be based on gender dis-aggregated data
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/07/22]
M&E Officers/NPC/PPCs 2019/06 Completed The project has already institutionalised the collection and reporting of gender dis-aggregated data related to its partner CBOs, beneficiaries and the relevant socio-economic indicators. History
The design of SLM funds should strongly consider giving advantages/opportunities to females and disadvantaged groups, therefore, criteria for selection of communities and beneficiaries be revised
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NPC/PPCs 2019/09 Initiated The program already follows a minimum of 20 percent female representation. Further, SLM Funds criteria / TORs are being revised to include the disadvantaged groups along with female and youth History
15. Recommendation:

Present SLMP II as guidance to the implementation of the government’s Plant4Pakistan initiative

The SLMP II, in particular i) its land use planning components at the district and village levels, ii) the institutions it established (CBOs, Desertification Control Cells, SLM Networks), and iii) best practices of on-the-ground forest landscape restoration should be positioned to provide guidance to the Plant4Pakistan initiative.  The Plant4Pakistan initiative follows a strong top-down approach and therefore the SLMP II can promote its sustainability by contributing holistic planning, bottom up governance and institutionalized expert advice to the large government initiative.  UNDP should present the SLMP II accordingly as part of its project portfolio to the Government, and the NPD as the main coordinator of the Plant4Pakistan Initiative may consider this recommendation.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/27]

Agreed. UNDP has already been putting SLMP-II while presenting its portfolio to the government and other stakeholders. It will continue doing so.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This will be brought into the notice of the National Project Director and discussed in the upcoming Project Board Meeting
[Added: 2018/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/05/21]
NCU 2019/03 Completed UNDP has already been presenting SLMP II in its portfolio to the government and other stakeholders and will continue doing so History

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