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Terminal Evaluation –UNDP Global Support to NBSAPs (PIMS 5283)
Commissioning Unit: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

The GEF, UNDP, UN Environment and CBD Secretariat should be planning immediately for what type of enabling activity support will be extended to countries immediately following the CBD COP in 2020, with the objective of being prepared to disburse resources as quickly as possible after the 2020 COP to support planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting for the post-2020 strategic plan. [GEF Secretariat, UNDP, UN Environment, CBD Secretariat]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation The GEF, UNDP, UNE and CBD Secretariat are in the process of implementing enabling activities related to the Sixth National Report (6NR). They are also in the early stages of developing a GEF medium-sized project proposal for work in 2019 and 2020, as well as a full-sized project proposal to support planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting for the post-2020 CBD Strategic Plan. Their objective is to be  prepared to quickly disburse resources, although each project must ideally also allow adequate time to prepare those resources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.2. Work with GEF Secretariat, UNDP, UNE, CBD Secretariat to prepare GEF 7 MSP for 2019-2020
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP, GEF 2021/07 Overdue-Initiated The CBD COP is delayed until the fall of 2021 and the consultations proceeding the COP are also delayed. Conversations among the partners are in progress with the GEF Secretariat and partners. UNDP plans to submit the proposal during the first quarter of 2021. History
1.1. Implement 6NR Global Support Project
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub 2020/06 Completed Implementation of the 6NR project was completed in June 2020 and the project is closed. (Note it is not overdue – action was completed on time). Terminal evaluation can be accessed here - https://undpgefpims.org/attachment-revision-file?attachmentRevisionId=1765676 History
1.3. Work with GEF Secretariat, UNDP, UNE, CBD Secretariat to prepare a Full-sized project proposal to support planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting for the post-2020 Strategic Plan.
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP, GEF 2021/12 Not Initiated The CBD COP is delayed until the fall of 2021 and the consultations proceeding the COP are also delayed. Conversations among the partners are in progress with the GEF Secretariat and partners regarding the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting for the post-2020 Strategic Plan. The timeline of this submission is pending the rescheduling the of CBD COP. This will likely be a series of MSPs rather than a full-sized proposal. History
2. Recommendation:

The GEF, UNDP, UN Environment, and CBD Secretariat should not embark on a new round of enabling activity funding for another NBSAP updating and revision process in response to the CBD 2021-2030 strategic planning period. Support will be required over the 2020-2025 timeframe for implementation of the current NBSAPs, many of which go to 2025 or 2030. Funding under the GEF enabling activities may be allocated to support NBSAP implementation in GEF-eligible countries. [GEF Secretariat, UNDP, UN Environment, CBD Secretariat]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP feels this recommendation is outside the scope of this evaluation. This recommendation focuses on high-level strategic policy decisions that Parties to the CBD will be making regarding the 2021-2030 strategic planning period. Projects like these respond to decisions that Parties make, but do not create the decisions. For example, based on the new strategic plan, the COP will make recommendations related to the frequency with which NBSAPs are revised, and if a focus on implementing the current NBSAPs is also needed.  Global enabling activities projects provide technical support related to these decisions. Additionally, 50% of NBSAPs only go through 2020, and will therefore need to be updated. New targets will also be updated.

UNDP supports the second half of the statement that enabling activities funding from the GEF should be used to support Parties with NBSAP implementation. This is within the scope of what the implementing agencies (UNDP, UNENV) can do. There is also an advantage to keeping the GEF, UNDP, UNE, CBD Secretariat partnership in place to support Parties to better implement the CBD, as intuitional synergies, knowledge, relationships would all be lost if the partnership did not continue.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Work with GEF Secretariat, UNDP, UNE, CBD Secretariat to prepare GEF 7 MSP for 2019-2020
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP, GEF 2021/12 Initiated The CBD COP is delayed until the fall of 2021 and the consultations proceeding the COP are also delayed. Conversations among the partners are in progress with the GEF Secretariat and partners regarding the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting for the post-2020 Strategic Plan. The timeline of this submission is pending the rescheduling the of CBD COP. This will likely be a series of MSPs rather than a full-sized proposal. History
3. Recommendation:

The CBD strategic planning process for the 2021-2030 period should reflect current levels of national progress toward the ABTs. The revised strategic plan  should focus on incentivizing further incremental progress by countries, recognizing that parties are really only beginning implementation of their NBSAPs that were revised to reflect the ABTs. [CBD Secretariat, CBD Conference of Parties]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP feels this recommendation is outside the scope of this evaluation. This recommendation focuses on high-level strategic policy decisions that Parties to the CBD will be making regarding the 2021-2030 strategic planning period. Projects like these respond to decisions that Parties make, but do not create the decisions. However, UNDP, UNE and the CBD Secretariat are working together during the 6NR project to support Parties to more accurately assess their current levels of national progress towards achieving the ABTs and implementing their NBSAPs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Continue implementing 6R project.
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP IRH 2020/06 Completed Implementation of the 6NR project was completed in June 2020 and the project is closed. (Note it is not overdue – action was completed on time). History
4. Recommendation:

Considering the previous three recommendations, GEF Enabling Activity support to countries should focus on institutional and systemic capacity development at the national level, rather than individual capacity development. There should be an analysis of what makes national institutions responsible for biodiversity conservation effective, and then efforts to replicate those good practices to other countries. There are some indications that countries producing well-developed NBSAPs are the ones who do not require GEF assistance, and the systemic and institutional good practices from these countries should be replicated. Similar analytical work should be done in relation to types of national consultation processes and types of stakeholder engagement that have proven effective – for example, the extent to which civil society or the private sector have been involved in the NBSAP development process. [GEF, UNDP, UN Environment]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP feels it is important to continue to focus on institutional and systemic capacity development at the national level, as well as individual capacity development. An institution is made of individuals, and these types of projects continue to prove that building the capacity of the individuals within an organization improves the capacity of the organization. The locus of change is typically at the individual level. It is extremely challenging to change a government institution that you have no control over, and that is signed on to a voluntary agreement. However, as this project proves, reducing the barriers that individuals have to capacity building can change elements of an institutional culture over time.

 

The recommended institutional analyses of the components of an effective institution and stakeholder consultations could prove informative, and some best practices could be distilled. However, the best practices achieved by countries like Mexico and Costa Rica are likely not achieved in other countries due to insurmountable constraints. Because of these overriding factors, what works in one country, might not work in another. UNDP is working with the countries it is supporting in the 6NR project to conduct capacity needs assessment at the NBSAP target level. However, in most cases rudimentary data is being returned.

 

UNDP disagrees that that GEF-eligible countries should no longer receive GEF assistance. These countries typically use their funding according to the project documents and timelines, and submit the documents on time, but spend all of the allotted funding. These countries produce best practices that can be documented for other GEF-eligible countries, and replicated where capacity exists to  do so.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Best practices developed for NBSAP project and posted on NBSAP Forum
[Added: 2019/03/19]
UNDP, GEF 2018/12 Completed
4.2 Best practices developed for 6NR project and posted on NBSAP Forum
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP IRH 2019/11 Completed Completed June 2019 History
4.3 Capacity needs assessment developed with Parties based on the results of their 6NR (which includes an assessment of their NBSAP)
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP IRH 2020/12 Completed We completed a capacity needs assessment based on the results of the 6NR and NBSAPS and made policy recommendations accordingly. Documents provided. History
5. Recommendation:

It would be useful to provide intensive targeted additional support to the 20 GEF-eligible countries that still do not have updated NBSAPs (the majority of which are LDCs and SIDS). However, it would be prudent to structure any such support so that countries that do not have revised NBSAPs by 2020 can incorporate the post-2020 CBD strategic plan. [GEF, UNDP, UN Environment]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP supports this recommendation. Through the 6NR project, it is providing targeted technical support to 8 countries that are in this situation:  1. Bahamas 2. Barbados 3. Bolivia 4. Haiti 5. Kazakhstan 6. PNG 7. Saint Lucia 8. Uzbekistan. Haiti does not have an NBSAP. The remaining 7 countries do not have a post-2010 NBSAP.  The project team also worked in the second half of 2018 to help countries such as Micronesia and the Cook Islands complete their post-2010 NBSAP and submit it to the CBD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Support the 8 countries without a post-2020 NBSAP to complete their 6NR, while considering how that process can be a basis to build on for the preparation and implementation of the next strategic plan and future NBSAP development. During this process, the team is supporting these countries to understand what national activities are linked to what ABTs, and how they contributed still, even if not included in an NBSAP. The 6NR project is also helping these countries to highlight the gaps where data are missing and provide recommendations on how to ensure data is available when designing and implementing the future NBSAP. These countries are also being guided to focus on capacity needs that come up during the design and implementation of NBSAP now, and to consider how to retain a similar team to design and implement the NBSAP.
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP IRH 2019/11 Completed Completed November 2019 History
6. Recommendation:

For the long-term, the NBSAP Forum should be rebranded to emphasize its broader relevance to “NBSAP implementation” and execution of the post-2020 agenda. It is also recommended that the NBSAP Forum be more coordinated and integrated with the CBD NBSAP webpage. [UNDP, UN Environment, CBD Secretariat]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP supports this assessment.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. UNDP continues conversations with CBD about rebranding the NBSAP and using it for execution of the post-2020 agenda.
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP, GEF 2020/12 Completed Complete. The NBSAP will be rebranded for execution of the post-2002 agenda. History
7. Recommendation:

Future GEF Enabling Activity support to parties should explore the potential benefits of leveraging regional organizations (e.g. SPREP, CARICOM, etc.) to help provide Enabling Activity support for countries, in order to potentially further enhance efficiency and sustainability. It is more effective, efficient and impactful when the implementing agencies work with each other, and in coordination with regional agencies to deliver technical support and guidance. [GEF, UNDP, UN Environment, CBD Secretariat ]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP supports this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 The 6NR project is working with regional organizations such as SPREP and BIOPAMA networks to influence efficiency and impact
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP IRH 2019/11 Completed Completed January 2019 History
7.2. Future EA projects will seek to incorporate the support of regional organizations during the project design phase.
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP, GEF 2019/12 Completed UNDP has developed and implemented a process that incorporates regional organizations during the project design phase. History
8. Recommendation:

UNDP and UN Environment should conduct a willingness(/ability)-to-pay survey of previous users of eLearning products (webinars, MOOCs, etc.) to assess the potential and appropriateness of instituting a payment-based system as part of a longer-term solution to financially sustaining this type of capacity support program. [UNDP, UN Environment]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP supports this recommendation and is actively surveying it user base; however, UNDP also feels that it is important for its users to have access to free and widely available capacity building opportunities that they could not otherwise access. UNDP is currently includes a willingness(/ability)-to-pay survey question in its post-course surveys to assess the potential and appropriateness of instituting a payment-based system as part of a longer-term solution to financially sustaining this type of capacity support program.  This survey question should have reached a number of our previous participants and all new enrollees in our new courses.  We have not yet checked to see how many people have filled it out or analyzed the results. The survey base could be further expanded to reach the NBSAP membership base.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1. Analyze survey responses related to the willingness(/ability)-to-pay for learning opportunities.
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNOPS 2019/06 Completed Completed in February 2019 History
9. Recommendation:

Through the engagement of the community of practice in the capacity development program, this project has generated a wealth of data on the status and trends of the current global state of biodiversity conservation planning. UNDP and UN Environment should produce a summary analysis of their user databases, trends in topic interest, and other key data to submit to the CBD as an input to the post-2020 CBD strategic planning process. [UNDP, UN Environment]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP supports this recommendation and is currently working on a related capacity needs assessment on the global state of biodiversity conservation planning. This key data will be submitted to the CBD.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1. Develop capacity needs assessment
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP IRH 2019/09 Completed Completed in September 2019 History
10. Recommendation:

If it is not possible to sustain such a capacity development program in its current form, UNDP and UN Environment should conduct a systematic analysis of their other relevant ongoing initiatives and opportunities to continue leveraging and disseminating and promoting the large library of eLearning modules, guidelines, etc. This could include, for example, requiring that all GEF project managers (and project team members) working on PA projects have successfully completed the eLearning modules related to PAs, PA financing, etc. It could also include, for example, ensuring that UNDP and UN Environment efforts in global forums such as the CBD COP and World Conservation Congress continue to promote and advertise the use of these eLearning modules. [UNDP, UN Environment]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

UNDP supports this recommendation. UNDP has leveraged the resource that were created during this project to work with FAO and WWF to create private course rooms, and to share modules with UNITAR, INFORMEA and the CBD Secretariat. UNDP has started leading quarterly instructional design calls which bring awareness of our products to a wide range of UN agencies, World Bank, and NGOs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1. Continue ongoing collaborations
[Added: 2019/03/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/18]
UNDP, GEF 2019/12 Completed Collaborations from the NBSAP project have been placed within existing projects and they remain ongoing. History
11. Recommendation:

It is considered good practice for GEF projects to have at least one project-specific audit during their lifetime (particularly when it is indicated in the project M&E plan), as audits usually result in a strengthening of financial management procedures, and reduce risks related to financial management. This evaluation recommends that UNDP-GEF and UN Environment-GEF projects have at least one audit during their lifetime. [UNDP, UN Environment]

Management Response: [Added: 2019/03/19]

:  As per the UNDP audit policy cited below, audits for low risk DIM projects are not conducted per project but per unit and UNDP-GEF unit is annually audited.  These projects are rated as low risk, therefore individual project audit was not required.

 

Here is the supporting excerpt from the UNDP audit policy:

Audit Policies Applicable to Directly Implemented Projects (DIM)

The projects that are directly implemented by UNDP are covered during the periodic audits that are carried out by UNDP Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI) as well as the financial audits carried out by the UN Board of Auditors (UN BoA), UNDP external auditors. 

Notwithstanding, a separate audit of a directly implemented project may be required. Some DIM projects have a limited duration and/or could be large, complex or high risk, that they may not be adequately covered by only relying on the periodic audits performed by OAI of the audits performed by the UN BoA

In these instances, OAI commissions the audit of a DIM project to supplement its periodic audits of UNDP business units and improve the level of assurance that it provides to stakeholders.  The audit of DIM projects could be performed by either by an audit firm hired by OAI to carry out a financial audit on its behalf (a majority of cases) or by OAI where an audit of systems and controls is performed.

As in the earlier scenarios, the audit of DIM projects is risk-based where the risk assessment is performed by OAI using eight risk indicators that are assigned to each DIM project (four quantitative such as the volume of expenditure and four qualitative such as exceptional circumstances or political situations).  Each DIM project is given risk rank and the following thresholds are applied to select those DIM project that require an audit:

  • if the DIM project is rated high risk and its annual spend is ≥ $2,000,000;
  • if the DIM project is rated medium risk and its annual spend is ≥ $4,000,000; and
  • if the DIM project is rated low risk and its annual spend is ≥ $6,000,000

The follow-up on the audit issues and audit recommendations arising from the audit of DIM projects is performed by OAI as an integral part of its follow-up on all OAI-issued audit recommendations.”

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1. No action needed
[Added: 2019/03/19]
N/A 2018/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: N/A Audit was not required]

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