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Terminal Evaluation Report of the UNDP GEF Niue R2R Project PIM#5258
Commissioning Unit: Samoa
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 07/2022
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Samoa
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 1. Finalise the community conservation area management plans for each village, ensuring that they include village-specific information on habitats, species, natural resources and priority activities and that they are clear about their relationship with the coastal and marine resources plan and Resource Management Advisory Committee for each village 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 1: Acknowledge recommendation. The Government of Niue through its public private partnership with the Tofia Niue under the Niue Ocean Wide Project will continue to work with the Resources Management Advisory Committees established under the project on finalising the Community Conservation Areas Management Plans for the remaining 12 villages (Liku and Hakupu villages are linked to the already completed Huvalu CCA management plan). All MPs will be gazetted once completed. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Follow up with Social Solutions and MNR to complete specific village information required for the CCA management plans and village billboards
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
UNDP, MNR 2023/03 Initiated History
1.2 MNR to gazette Community Conservation Areas Management Plans (CCA MPs)
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
MNR 2023/03 Initiated History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 2. Provide ongoing support to villages to implement their conservation area management plans and coastal and marine plans and to update them when circumstances change (such as new information, new village priorities, or new governance arrangements) 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 2: Recommendation is acknowledged. Government of Niue via the public-private partnership with Tofia Niue under the Niue Ocean Wide project will continue work with and support Resource Management Advisory Committees with implementation and review of the CCA management plans and coastal and marine plans and mentioned in management response 1. The establishment of the SFS Trust fund targets NZD35M from which NZD20K will be allocated annually to each village RMAC for implementation of management plans.

As this is a continuing/long-term activity without a clear completion date, there will be no specific key action for this recommendation for the purpose of this as UNDP would not be able to close it.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 3. Ensure that all project products (including management plans, Environment Information Management System (EIMS) and Sustainability Strategy meet the expectations of relevant stakeholders, include all key information and are endorsed by appropriate parties 

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 3: Project products and outputs such as EIMS have been streamlined into the government system, and sustainability strategy and management plans will be shared with communities through the Resource Management Advisory Committee in the 14 villages. All relevant sectors have been consulted and EIMS built/developed accordingly.  Other non-biodiversity related sectors have expressed interest in knowing more as the EIMS provides solutions for many gaps in current government sectors regarding repository for reports and better linkages to current and previous works through various sectors.

There is no key action

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 4. Continue to work with the NOW project to strengthen delivery of management plans by embedding the sustainable financing mechanism

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 4: This work is ongoing in Niue through the public-private partnership between the Government of Niue and the Tofia Niue with the Resource Management Advisory Committees. As mentioned earlier above, the SFS is already Imbedded into the functionality of the RMACs where resources from SFS will be provided to RMACs annually based on appropriate proposals submitted for projects, and final reports provided on achievements, expenditures, prior to progressing further.  So, the funds are linked directly to actions and not cash grants handed out automatically. This ensures appropriate usage of grants provided.

As this is a continuing/long-term activity without a clear completion date, there will be no specific key action for this recommendation for the purpose of this as UNDP would not be able to close it.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 5. Work with Taoga Niue to agree on the best way to codify the cultural knowledge and make it available to the community and decision-makers in a culturally sensitive way

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 5: The Communications Officer and the Community Liaison Officer for the project have transitioned over to Taoga Niue to collate information captured during project implementation on cultural knowledge. This work is also linked to the collation of information in the Environment Information Management System (EIMS), and any follow up actions will be embedded in the EIMS.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 6. A Repeat the awareness questionnaire from 2018 and analyse to provide some insight into the results of the awareness raising

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 6: As the project has ended, no resources are available to undertake a follow-up survey.  To be considered, should funding become available.

UNDP will include a follow-up awareness survey in the design of a future project, where appropriate.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 7. At the commencement of a project, clearly identify how achievement of each indicator and target will be measured, including agreeing on repeatable quantitative measurement techniques if required, and identify indicators and/or targets that are ambiguous and/or difficult to measure and that should be changed

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 7:  Recommendation is acknowledged, and UNDP is already incorporating this recommendation into current programming of the GEF7 for the Cook Islands and Samoa based on the same recommendation being made in recently terminal evaluations of the GEF5 projects in Samoa and the Cook Islands.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Ensure the indicators and targets in the RRFs of future UNDP MCO projects are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time)
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
UNDP 2023/06 Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 8. Ensure that changes to indicators and/or targets are adopted (if required and appropriate) when project deliverables are changed and that these revised indicators and/or targets are clear in subsequent PIR reporting

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 8: The recommendation is noted. The current practice is that if the MTR recommends changes to the indicators and targets, these are discussed and approved by the project board . The PIR template reflects the Project Document results framework and cannot be changed, however the changes can be reflected in the reporting section of the PIR and quarterly progress reports. This is related to Management response to Recommendation 7.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Ensure that such changes are clearly recorded in meeting minutes and in PIRs in ongoing projects such as the AREAN and future programming the countries covered by the MCO.
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
UNDP 2023/06 Initiated Immediate for ongoing projects (AREAN MTR underway in September 2022); No due date for future projects History
9.2 Explore options to improve internet connectivity with project personnel in Niue
[Added: 2022/06/29]
UNDP 2023/12 Not Initiated
9. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 9. Provide enhanced project oversight to countries with less experience in delivering GEF projects to ensure that project progress is being appropriately measured and reported

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 9: Recommendation is acknowledged and taken onboard for the current AREAN and SIDS resilience joint programme, as well as future programming in Niue. This recommendation will require longer and more frequent visits to Niue to work with PMUs to ensure efficient project delivery, acknowledgement of challenges in implementation processes from finances to reporting within tight schedules, and a clear assessment where future projects may be able to offer support to current government frameworks to strengthen and improve efficiency and delivery, thus improving project implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1 Development of a discussion paper on lessons learned and recommendations on providing enhanced oversight to countries with less experience in delivering GEF projects
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
UNDP 2023/12 Not Initiated History
10. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 10. Finalise public project reports and other outputs and make them available on an easily accessible public knowledge products portal

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 10: Reports will be made available via the EIMS with the Department of Environment

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 Follow up with MNR on the final project documents and making documents available on the EIMS
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
UNDP 2022/12 Initiated History
11. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 11. Prepare in advance for independent evaluations to ensure that all reporting and deliverables are available and to ensure that all stakeholders have equal opportunity to contribute

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 11: The recommendation is acknowledged. Shortcomings were mainly due to force majeure reasons outside of the control of the project (related to COVID-19 border closures and restrictions, and limitations on Niue’s ability to hold virtual meetings because of connectivity challenges). Lessons learned from this evaluation will be incorporated in the planning for future project evaluations. There is no specific key action for this recommendation.   

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 12. Include consideration of climate change impacts in future updates of land use planning, species management planning, and conservation area planning

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 12: Recommendation is noted by the Government of Niue. Inclusion of climate change impacts of land use planning, species management planning and conservation area planning will be considered where appropriate. The Government of Niue will assess new CC projects for areas of similarity where experiences and resources can be shared to enhance ongoing delivery of outcomes for all.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1 Explore opportunities to programme GEF8 with Niue
[Added: 2022/06/29]
UNDP 2023/12 Not Initiated
13. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation 13. Maintain the momentum of the R2R project by developing a follow-up project that builds other vital issues into the village planning and financing mechanism: sustainable utilisation of food species, sustainable alternative livelihoods, other species and ecosystem management approaches, and climate change

Management Response: [Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]

Management response 13: Climate Change (CC) adaptation and resilience is at foremost of communities’ minds, especially following the category- 5 Cyclone Heta that devastated the island early 2000s, to which many have vivid memory and ongoing fear of storm surge and heavy seas impacting coastal environment, homes, and high winds and sea-salt burn devastating crops and all forestry and biodiversity food sources inland.  This is deeply acknowledged and featured high in consultations by the R2R to date. There is increased recognition of these CC risks to which people adapt via planting of various crops following traditional and scientific approach to adapt and find solutions that can assist in long term approach to CC adaptation.

The Government of Niue and the NOW project are continuing the momentum of the R2R project with the sustainable financing mechanism. Under GEF7 programming the government of Niue with UNEP is developing a project focusing on sustainable agriculture and tourism which will maintain the momentum of the R2R project. There is an opportunity to have a follow up R2R phase project under GEF8 if this is the priority of Niue. UNDP in a joint programme with other UN agencies proposes to draw on the optimum use of digitalization, nutrition education and the ocean economy to improve income, nutrition, and the overall wellbeing of the population of Niue with emphases on women and children. Actionable strategies for digitalization and the blue economy will be developed and implemented to positively catalyse the agri-food systems, income, and nutrition.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.1 Explore opportunities to programme GEF8 with Niue
[Added: 2022/06/29] [Last Updated: 2022/09/27]
UNDP 2022/12 Initiated History
13.2 Ensure experience from R2R that are built upon and strengthening by following projects are incorporated into any follow up R2R projects designed for GEF8.
[Added: 2022/09/27]
MNR 2023/06 Initiated This is ongoing action by the government of Niue

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