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Final programme evaluation on Joint UNDP-UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative (2013-2018)
Commissioning Unit: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 04/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

6.3 Recommendations 

The recommendations set out in this section are intended to inform PEA (the follow on project to PEI) as well as other projects focussed on the integration of poverty, environment, climate and gender across Government policy processes. The recommendations are broadly categorised under – management, leveraging of PEI and developing sustainable pathways, and implementation of the SDGs. It should be noted that concerns over the management challenges that faced PEI dominated this evaluation as many felt that PEA delivery would be compromised if they were not adressed. Recommendations around management are therefore the priority. It should also be noted that there is a view that many of the management issues are on-going and have not yet been satisfactorily resolved.

6.3.1 Management recommendations

Strengthened strategic leadership at senior management level.

Leadership and a clear strategic vision is critical going forward given the management difficulties PEI faced and the need to start PEA on a secure footing. The success of PEA depends on the high level political commitment from both organisations. The spirit of joint working was eroded through the past phase but can be rebuilt to be even stronger based on the lessons learnt through the project. This requires:
• Greater participation of senior management, especially in the start up phase of PEA, to ensure that they fully understand the remaining management issues and action
changes to best position PEA at the outset to flourish, build morale and set the strategic direction.
• Senior management and PEA management / Co-Managers to identify and nurture champions in UNDP and UN Environment to broaden UN uptake of PEI tools and
approaches and involvement in PEA. This is important for the integration of PEI / PEA into the organization and sustainability of the PEI/PEA approach.
• Time needs to be allocated and budgeted for operational and technical oversight from senior management.
• Early action needs to be taken by senior managers to address issues (e.g. to understand and act swiftly on issues of staff underperformance, and cases where the
level of discord is affecting delivery / moral). This requires being better appraised of the management aspects and swift follow up on concerns raised.
• PEA management need to speak in one voice and clearly communicate on all aspect  of the project (financial, administrative, strategic, technical).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize minimum four formal JMB meetings throughout the year in addition to holding informal meetings when necessary
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
PEA JMB 2019/12 Completed Strategic senior management engagement in early PEA implementation was ensured through holding of global PEA retreat (18-19 March 2019), regular JMB (15 May and 10 Sept 2019) and Project Board meetings (11 June and 19 Sept 2019). (Minutes of above 5 meetings shared separately as attachments). In addition, monthly PEA staff meetings were held throughout 2019. History
Identify and nurture champions in UNDP and UN Environment to broaden UN uptake of PEI tools and approaches and involvement in PEA
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment/JMB 2020/03 Completed With a new structure in place in UNEP´s Ecosystem Division, the UNEP PEA team now forms part of the Division’s Ecosystems Integration branch, headed by Kerstin Stendahl since 1 March 2020. History
Strengthen senior management oversight function
[Added: 2019/07/15]
JMB 2019/03 Completed UNDP and UN Environment senior management have already started and will continue to allocate additional time to oversight and engagement in critical PEA decision-making including through the organization of more frequent JMB meetings, as well as other less formal technical and operational discussions, reviews, and internal workshops.
2. Recommendation:

Ensure that the management structure of PEA, and staff hired for each post under PEA, are compatible with its efficient and effective delivery.
• Senior management to urgently review and address management challenges at the global level and ensure that the PEA structure and associated team members are best
suited to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver PEA. The views of consultees indicate that this requires a substantively more comprehensive review than is reflected in the revised organigram. This should take into account the evaluation findings and options presented in Section 5.2.6 and bear in mind that cohesion among global team
members, especially between the Co-Directors (Co-Managers) which was problematic during the project and counter productive to the smooth running of the programme, is
critical for efficient and effective delivery of PEA. A number of consultees are of the view that new leadership is required. Leadership needs to have the capability to inspire and move the programme forward and champion joint-working, and the working culture should be open and foster fairness. The cost-effectiveness of the PEA structure should
also be considered and whether there is the right balance and combination of junior and senor members and country level support.
• It is critical that PEA staff have the right skills / expertise to deliver. A careful review of TORs and skills required to deliver PEA is recommended. Clear roles and
responsibilities for all PEA members should be set out. In particular, the structure and capabilities of the global team should be reviewed to ensure it can provide strategic
leadership, technical advice, and engage globally to enhance the project’s reach and impact through wide uptake within the UN systems, partnerships, mobilization of
funding and knowledge management.
• Under PEA there is to be a clear delineation of responsibilities with UNDP staff leading on all operational management issues and UN Environment staff leading on technical
/ programmatic issues. This arrangement however should be implemented in the spirit of joint working, with an appreciation that technical focal points need to be well appraised of operational issues to best support the work on the ground and build relations with country level staff. This requires a move to a more integrated and  harmonious working relationship between programmatic and operational teams.
• The work at the country level is the foundation of PEI. It is thanks to the country level achievements that the regional and global teams have the information needed to
upscale the work through knowledge dissemination and other means. The country level work therefore needs to be properly resourced and supported. It is therefore
recommended that the allocation of resources between the global and country level activities ensures country level delivery. This allocation should bear in mind the
lessons of the project in terms of the complexity of mainstreaming and the data and capacity challenges.
• At the country level staff should be embedded in the lead government ministry – which should be the ministry of planning/finance.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review of PEA management structure
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/03 Completed The PEA review was completed in Q1/2020. The information note on PEA Strategic Management was developed by the Co-Managers and lays out additional management measures taken. This note was presented to the PEA Board in May 2020. History
Development of clear TORs for each position of the PEA global team and competitive recruitment of remaining staff positions not yet filled.
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/03 Completed All positions duly filled. History
Ensure clear delineation of responsibilities within the PEA global team between UN Environment and UNDP
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2019/07/16]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/01 Completed UNDP and UN Environment jointly decided that UNDP would continue to perform the Managing Agent (MA) function under PEA due to its comparative advantage at country level. The standard UNDG MA MoU in this regard was signed between UNDP and UN Environment on 19th September 2018. UNDP as the MA of PEA is responsible for overall project financial management, performance monitoring and reporting, evaluation and ensuring achievement of project results with inputs from UN Environment technical staff. As MA, UNDP is ultimately responsible to all donors for project implementation and PEA will be implemented according to UNDP Standard Corporate Rules and Regulations. (see PEA prodoc management section for further details). UN Environment will field the project Co-Manager who is also UN Environment’s Chief Technical Adviser on poverty-environment issues as well as thematic experts based in the respective Regional Offices who will provide technical guidance to PEA. UNDP and UN Environment Poverty-Environment Action Co-Managers Joint Responsibilities as stipulated in the joint prodoc In addition to the agency specific roles in PEA, the Co-Managers are jointly responsible for the following substantive guidance to the project: • Provide strategic guidance (UN Environment primarily on environmental governance and UNDP primarily on poverty and inclusive growth) and advocacy for the employment of innovative approaches and tools by regional and global institutions (including the UN) in support of the poverty-environment nexus for the SDGs • Oversee knowledge and lessons learning products and dissemination • Jointly implement PEA resource mobilization strategy and partnerships. Manage donor agreements (by agency) related to the receipt of contributions. Ensure that poverty-environment mainstreaming and related tools (including gender and human rights mainstreaming) are applied in PEA. UNDP fields the Co-Manager/UNDP Project Manager as well as the Project Management Specialist, KM/M-E Specialist and Finance Analyst. UN Environment will field the project Co-Manager who is also UN Environment’s Chief Technical Adviser on poverty-environment issues as well as thematic experts based in the respective Regional Offices who will provide technical guidance to PEA. UNDP and UN Environment Poverty-Environment Action Co-Managers Joint Responsibilities as stipulated in the joint prodoc In addition to the agency specific roles in PEA, the Co-Managers are jointly responsible for the following substantive guidance to the project: • Provide strategic guidance (UN Environment primarily on environmental governance and UNDP primarily on poverty and inclusive growth) and advocacy for the employment of innovative approaches and tools by regional and global institutions (including the UN) in support of the poverty-environment nexus for the SDGs • Oversee knowledge and lessons learning products and dissemination • Jointly implement PEA resource mobilization strategy and partnerships. Manage donor agreements (by agency) related to the receipt of contributions. Ensure that poverty-environment mainstreaming and related tools (including gender and human rights mainstreaming) are applied in PEA. History
Ensure that each full-fledged PEA country receives a minimum of USD 100,000 per year to make the engagement worthwhile
[Added: 2019/07/15]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/02 Completed A total of eight full-fledged county projects are included under PEA, split equally between two regions - Africa and Asia. As per the signed project document, the full-fledged countries are expected to receive an increased budget of US$300,000 PEA funds a year. (The final evaluation recommended that a minimum level of financial engagement of US$100,000 per year per country should beenvisaged, to make the engagement worthwhile, given the administrative costs associated with PEI /PEA.) Each country project committed to allocate an additional 40% of local co-financing per year, which brings the average full-fledged country budget to about US$500,000 per year. In addition, Technical Assistance support will be provided both at the country and regional level to broaden PEA’s reach, with 10 TAs in total of around US$100,000 envisaged. As TAs are part of larger UNDP and UN Environment projects and budgets, they bring additional resources for PE mainstreaming to the country level.
Embedding staff in the lead government ministries in participating PEA countries
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP 2019/09 Completed Completed. The following countries have PEA staff embedded in the lead ministries; Mauritania, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique. History
3. Recommendation:

Strengthened technical support is recommended going forward especially as PEA moves into new challenging areas, where PEI has had limited engagement to date.
Suggestions to enhance technical capabilities include:
• Establish a long-term agreement at the global/regional level with consultants in the areas of expertise where the project needs support. A PEA roster could be established
to allow quick access to qualified international/national consultants as needed. This would need to be established in the first year of the programme to be of core technical
advice / peer review going forward.
• Build strong relationships with technical advisors in regional hubs and look at ways of drawing on their technical expertise (this may need to be funded).
• Link PEA technical advisory to larger UN Environment, UNDP or other partner support to countries to ensure impact and ability to deliver.

To ensure PEA gets off to a strong start hire temporary outside technical support if required.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establish PEA roster
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/10 Completed Roster established History
Conduct assessment of the role of the TAG
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/09 Completed At its session of 24 Aug 2020, the PEA Board Executive recommended to include technical experts into the PEA Board discussions as and when needed instead of re-constituting the previous PEI TAG. History
Build strong relationship with technical advisors in regional hubs
[Added: 2019/07/15]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/05 Completed UNDP and UN Environment continue to take steps to ensure that PEA collaborates closely with both agencies’ regional hubs and technical advisors. For example, in the Asia-Pacific region, PEA is part of a sustainable investment team including technical advisors from UN Environment FI and UNDP advisors on sustainable finance. In Africa, PEA is fully embedded in the UN Environment regional offices and strong links have been established with the UNDP African regional Hub in Addis.
Link PEA technical advisory to other UNDP and UN Environment programs.
[Added: 2019/07/15] [Last Updated: 2019/07/16]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/05 Completed The selection criteria for TA proposals demand that the TA be linked to larger UNDP and/or UN Environment projects. In UN Environment, PEA is part of the environmental governance subprogram and the outcome on integrating the environmental dimension into SDGs. PEA is also linked to MAPs, larger SDG projects and country level and inclusive green economy projects supported by both agencies. Potential TAs in Indonesia and South Africa are being linked to larger UN Environment/UNDP and other partners’ support on green economy. History
Hire temporary technical support if required
[Added: 2019/07/15]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/12 Completed PEA is currently in the process of hiring a Sustainable Finance expert who will provide technical support to the full-fledged countries as well as the Technical Assistance initiatives until the end of 2019.The business review will include assessment of options for strengthening technical support especially for PEA Africa countries. This can be done through the roster or by hiring additional staff. In the interim, additional temporary technical support will be hired if needed from the PEA expert roster.
4. Recommendation:

Financial Management
• PEA needs to ensure that it does not suffer with the same disbursement issues as the project.
• Countries should be empowered with Delegated Authority (DA) that is consistent with the Delegated Authority that applied to Tanzania and Mozambique under PEI.
(Tanzania has indicated that the current approach is more restrictive than the previous version of DA).
• The rules and restrictions on the use of funds need to be better communicated and understood by all parties, given the high level of frustration the existing PEI system,
introduced under the project and proposed for PEA, has caused. Regional focal points and Country Offices and Governments need to be clear on the restrictions on donor
funds and on UNDP/PEA restrictions.
• PEA should ensure that it adopts the most streamlined and cost-effective financial management structure as possible. If in any case the restrictions and requirements are
not donor or UNDP requirements, they should not be applied unless there are compelling reasons to do so and the UNDP Country Offices are consulted and agree
to them in advance of their adoption. Maintaining strong relationships with the Country Offices is key given the core role country activities play in the programme and the
significance of CO TRAC funding. In any event the project should consider whether the administrative burden is proportionate given the level of funding and the
significance of this funding within the context of UNDP country programs, and if anything can be done to reduce this burden to alleviate frustration at the country level
and operate more smoothly and cost-effectively.
• It is recommended to carry out training on UNDP and donor rules at the regional and country level (especially for financial staff) setting out what can and cannot be done,
so people are clear. This will be important under the current proposed structure for PEA, as Country Offices may not have a full grasp of donor rules and PEI/PEA
procedures.
• In Africa PEI funding was reasonable – US$ 250,000 – US$ 400,000 per country a year from PEF plus additional TRAC resources contributed by the COs. However, in
Asia it was below US$50,000 a year for a number of countries and from a country’s perspective was hardly worth the effort, especially in light of the high administrative
burden experienced with the change in project procedures. A minimum level of financial engagement of US$100,000 per year per country is recommended, to make the engagement worthwhile, given the administrative costs associated with PEI /PEA.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed. Delegation of Authorities have been issued to all full-fledged countries. Concrete guidance on the implementation of PEA funds have been communicated to the countries and are in line with budgets agreed with donors and eligible categories funded as part of said agreements, as well as UNDP Rules and Regulations. PEA ensured that from the start, clear implementation guidelines were communicated to the countries as well as the PEA global team.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Timely Cash disbursement of pooled funds
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UN Environment 2019/12 Completed Completed. Necessary funds for PEA implementation were received and disbursed to PEA countries as planned. However, challenges remain regarding timely pooling of funds to UNDP. PEA Co-Managers continue to monitor the situation and are in regular touch with the JMB on this matter. In addition, a low delivery was experienced during the start-up phase of the project (2018) and 2019. History
Issue Delegation of Authority for PEA full-fledged countries
[Added: 2019/07/16]
UNDP 2019/02 Completed Under PEA, all full-fledged countries approved to be part of PEA have been issued a Delegation of Authority, where PEA and the Country Office agree to the specifically outlined delegation of authorities and corresponding responsibilities for representational and operational tasks, and activities as detailed in the agreement. On an annual basis, upon approval of the annual work plan, each full-fledged country is being transferred the annual allocation (based on cash availability) and can disburse them at country level according to the work plan and UNDP rules and regulations. Any guidance on the implementation of PEA funds communicated with the countries are in line with budgets agreed with donors and eligible categories funded as part of said agreements. Technical Assistance initiatives, which have a budget of about 100,000 per year, will be issued a UNDP Chart of Accounts (COA) to charge. As UNDP PEA in this case remains the budget owner, all payments have to be approved by PEA in ATLAS and supporting documents have to be sent. Given the relatively small amount of 100,000 per year, the countries were advised to draft the project proposals/annual work plan concentrating on a few bigger ticket items, to reduce the administrative burden associated with having to process a lot of smaller transactions.
Ensure PEA financial management set-up is aligned with the EU multi donor action and provide guidance/training on implementation of PEA funds to all staff based on UNDP rules and regulations as well as signed donor agreements.
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP 2019/12 Completed Completed. Delegation of Authority letters were duly issued to all full-fledged countries operational in 2019. Related necessary operational guidance is being provided by the global PEA team to all country teams as needed and requested. A dedicated virtual training session for PEA countries was held on 12 July 2019. In addition, another face-to-face training session on operational priorities is scheduled to be held during the PEA global retreat in March 2020. History
5. Recommendation:

Results based management/M&E needs to be strengthened to provide a clearer picture of how the project contributes to the impact it is designed to reach, and what aspects
need particular attention to ensure the project is on track. By and large PEI did not engage in impact evaluation and this needs to be given more emphasis under PEA.

TOC should be more developed at the global and country level for project management purposes; the high level TOC can be used for communication purposes. The TOCs
should include information on the drivers and assumptions associated with each Output and Outcome and any intermediate states envisaged linking Outcomes and the project’s desired Impact. The TOC should provide a clear picture of the obstacles that need to be overcome to progress. Country TOC should provide information on the
specific country processes the project is trying to influence and be accompanied by explanatory narrative. These TOCs at the country, (regional) and global level should
also be standardized and connected.

Results Framework Ensure clear linkages between country and global Results Frameworks at design phase / outset.
- The indicators should facilitate an assessment of P-E mainstreaming progress and align with the project impact. The RRF for the project tried to capture this through Outcome/Output indicator 1, where a numerical number or level change was associated with a characterization of progress,

Independent Mid-term Reviews, led by the Evaluation Offices, are recommended to ensure a candid and comprehensive review of the project at the important mid-term
stage. They are important to signal any changes that may be needed at mid-term to ensure the smooth running of the project and to maximize the project’s ability to
achieve its goal and objectives.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Commission Independent Mid-Term review and final evaluation
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment 2022/05 Initiated PEA MTR is ongoing with final evaluation report to be completed by end Feb 2021 History
Theory of Change (TOC) developed
[Added: 2019/07/16]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/01 Completed As part of a rigorous country level prodoc approval process, TOCs were developed for each full-fledged country project documents as well as the TA initiative proposals. The TOC describes an evolving and non-linear pathway centred on mainstreaming the poverty-environmental nexus in national and subnational development processes (planning, legal frameworks, investments and monitoring). The intention is to contribute to the impact level of 2030 Agenda by implementing the poverty-environment nexus as part of SDG localisation at the country level. PEA Co-Managers are committed to participating in monitoring and evaluation missions to assess the progress countries are making towards achieving the results as set out in the TOC. The TOCs will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they are still applicable and relevant. History
Ensure linkages of PEA Results Framework to country-level results framework
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/09 Completed The PEA global M-E framework has been updated in Dec 2019 to link country level to global project outputs and was shared with the Project Board. Approval of the final full-fledged country project, Bangladesh, awaited. Global framework to be updated again then. History
6. Recommendation:

6.3.2 Levering PEI/PEA and developing sustainable pathways 

More emphasis on resource mobilisation to increase financial allocations to implement Poverty Environment Action.
• The Resource Mobilization strategy needs to be completed and to include both regional and in-country mobilization efforts to assist with up-scaling of pilot activities
and co-financing. It should also consider options for diversifying funding beyond the current PEI/PEA DSG members at the global level and potential in-country donors.
Increasing the proportion of non-EU funds through a more diversified funding base could allow PEA to revisit some of the restrictions on non-EU donor funds, which would
be welcomed by the UNDP Country Offices and Governments.
• Ensure PEA team have the skill set to mobilize funding
• Explore opportunities with regional development banks. A donor expressed the view that PEA’s role is not to mobilize funding from development banks, but rather to help
countries put in place the policies and systems to attract investments that integrate PE and ensure appropriate impact assessment and control on these investments. However, PEA can play a role in raising awareness of PEA work with the development banks and helping draw out possible investment opportunities that will help countries
accelerate their PE mainstreaming objectives.

• Strengthen Engagement with donor country offices / embassies

- Better synergies at country level with bi-lateral donor programmes
- Donors can also help integrate PEI / PEA into their country office work

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed. Under PEA, key donors including EU, ADA, Sweden, Norway will be routinely briefed and consulted on project implementation and their support will be visibly acknowledged in any products and events supported through this project. During the inception phase, PEA has received country level contacts from Sweden, ADA as well as the EU and has been in communication with PEA partners on the development of project documents and planned activities. The project will continue to keep in close contact with the donor country offices and embassies on the project’s progress and development.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Build capacity of PEA team in resource mobilization
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/12/17]
UNDP/UN Environment 2022/08 Initiated Resource mobilization strategy developed and approved by the PEA Board. History
Resource Mobilization strategy to be completed and resource mobilization efforts regularly reviewed by the JMB and project board
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/12 Completed Completed. RM strategy was developed and discussed with the PEA Project Board in Sept 2019. RM efforts and contribution payment schedules are regularly reviewed by the JMB and Project Board. (Resource Mobilization Strategy provided as an attachment separately). History
Explore opportunities with regional development bank
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/01 Completed MOU with Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank was signed in November 2019. History
7. Recommendation:

Involvement of private sector is crucial going forward.

Work with the private sector is a core focus for PEA and important for generating new and additional finance. To date PEI has largely been working with Governments to strengthen the quality of investments and to institute safeguards (albeit in a small number of countries), and this will remain the focus of PEA. Strategic investments need to be identified that benefit Government, communities and private sector. It is important to ensure that the PEA team has the skills to undertake this work and create synergies with other projects undertaking similar work across the regions. Here linkages with blended finance initiatives by PEA donors such as the European External investment plan will be vital.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

While PEA is working with the governments on private sector regulations and guidance, PEA is not working with the private sector per se. However, PEA is working on the development of a Technical Assistance initiative, where PEA will explore blended finance initiatives, including links to the European External Investment Plan and close collaboration with UN Environment FI.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Increase work with government on private sector regulations and guidance
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
UNDP/UN Environment 2022/12 Initiated Core focus from PEI to PEA is to work with Government to generate new and additional finance which includes from private sector. For example, in Bangladesh, the project is assisting in updating the SDG Financing Strategy with an emphasis on three critical areas of financing – climate action, renewable energy, and water and sanitation. This intervention will guide the government in identifying bankable projects to encourage SDG-focused investments from the private sector in those three critical areas. In Lao, the project supported the development of a draft financing model to enhance the investment approval process for tourism and agriculture; an investment procedure and compliance handbook to effectively regulate investment concessions was developed. History
8. Recommendation:

Links to other programmes and partnerships to be actively promoted and strengthened.

PEI/PEA should play more of a role in connecting the dots between other projects, programmes and potential partners in order to catalyze investments.
• PEA needs to actively promote its agenda through increased efforts to engage with other UN agencies, non-UN projects / programmes and partners with compatible objectives and donors. This needs to happen at the country level through in-country teams, and regionally across both PEA and non-PEA countries through regional based staff involved in PEA. It is recommended that a more systematic approach be adopted to achieve which could include – a review of on-going/planned projects at the country /regional, level, the identification of opportunities for joint working, efforts to influence proposals upfront, regular meetings to brainstorm on opportunities, and training at country level on how P-E-C-G mainstreaming may be integrated into programmes /projects.
• PEI / PEA needs to be better integrated with other UN programmes and projects so that PEI / PEA thinking can be replicated into other areas of work and attract new funding. Anchoring the new programme in the UN agencies’ agendas at the highest level requires the commitment of PEA management and Board to champion and push the work and identify new  opportunities. Specific actions include: linking with directors in other units of UN Environment / UNDP; involving Regional Bureaus in determining the entry points and priority areas to be addressed in each region in addition to consultation with global and regional centers; and, consulting with Resident Representatives on how PEI can help achieve crosscutting and multidisciplinary work to address national development priorities consistent with UNDP’s new approach to work.
• It is recommended to deepen the engagement with other on-going initiatives with similar mandates as PEA (e.g. PAGE, BIOFIN, UNFI, UN-REDD) with the objective of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of services offered to countries, and avoiding duplication. PEI should take a pro-active role in identifying synergies with these programmes along with opportunities for developing joint packages of services and cost-sharing, joint programming and missions. A more systematic visibility of PEI/PEA in the countries in which PEA donors are active is recommended along with a collaboration and exploration of how the tools and approaches developed could be used to better influence bi-lateral programmes in country. The joint project and the donors can both play a more active role in facilitating this.
• Strengthen stakeholder engagement. It is recommended that PEA continue to expand the participation of civil society given their key role in advocacy and the importance of
promoting transparent environmental governance.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed. All country projects and TA proposals have been reviewed by the co-managers to ensure alignment with the prodoc and systematic stakeholder engagement. The co-managers will further promote the use of a rights based and gender approach to ensure better targeting of the poor, their meaningful participation and empowerment. PEA has continued to work with Swedbio on staff training on the link between human rights and environment/biodiversity as well as on side events during UNEA4 both with Swedbio and UN OHCHR to showcase success stories at country level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Actively promote PEA’s agenda through participation in events, workshops and partner meetings
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/01 Completed Examples of promoting PEA's agenda provided in the previous comments. Promotion and collaboration continue via the PEA project (through 2022). History
Ensure better integration with other UN programmes and projects
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/09 Completed Completed. PEA Malawi is jointly implemented by FAO and UN Women building upon previous partnerships that leveraged comparative advantages i.e. gender from UN Women and Climate Smart Agriculture from FAO. In addition, most PEA projects have been embedded in broader programmes at country level to ensure better integration i.e. in Nepal it is under the Accelerating Implementation for SDGs programme; in Bangladesh PEA is embedded in the Strengthening Capacity for SDGs Achievement in Bangladesh (SC4SAB); in Myanmar PEA is embedded in the Governance for Resilience and Sustainability Programme (GRSP). In Mozambique, it is embedded in the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources for Resilient and Equitable Development – Phase II (SUNRED II) programme; and in Tanzania it is embedded in the Mainstreaming Poverty-Environment-Gender-Climate Change Objectives in Local Economic Development and SDGs Localization for sustainable development and poverty eradication programme. History
Deepen the engagement with other on-going initiatives with similar mandates as PEA
[Added: 2019/07/16]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/03 Completed Under Output 3, PEA will continue to participate in the Poverty-Environment Partnership and contribute its country-level experience to the global dialogue. Several organizations in the partnership are engaged in conceptual and practical work on poverty-environment and climate mainstreaming.6 Potential areas for collaboration include capacity building on mainstreaming budgets with IIED; Green economy work with Germany’s GIZ; and linking the System of Environmental Economic Accounts (UNDP–UN Environment PEI 2016) with poverty reduction and integrating environment into multi-dimensional poverty measurements. PEA also will explore building on its partnerships with Swedbio, UN OHCHR and UN Women to strengthen the integration of a rights based and gender perspective into its work. PEA will build on earlier PEI collaboration with organizations engaged in promoting the transition to an inclusive green economy, including current efforts to jointly construct a best practice framework and in-country delivery model for avoiding duplication and enhancing programming collaboration and synergies. Going forward, key engagements include the following. • Partnership for Action on Green Economy: assessment and strategies with respect to green economy (UN Environment); green jobs (International Labour Organization); green industry (United Nations Industrial Development Organization); training, networking and learning (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) • European Union green economy programmes such as the SWITCH regional programmes in Asia and Africa: to promote sustainable products, processes, services and consumption patterns which generate growth, create decent jobs and reduce poverty • Green Economy Coalition: for convening, especially with civil society, catalysing societal demand and keeping commitments • International Institute for Environment and Development: multi-stakeholder dialogue processes, and the inclusion of marginalized groups and other equity issues • GIZ: policy advice for green fiscal policy reforms, and capacity development (specialized trainings) • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: analytical framework, tracking progress mechanism, peer review mechanism • Green Growth Knowledge Platform: knowledge hub, link to global experts, data and analysis UN Environment Finance Initiative: connecting financial system with sustainable development, and entry points to financial sector (banks, insurers and investors) • Global Green Growth Institute: prioritize green investment opportunities based on plans, and national financing vehicle development • UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative: which identifies country-level financing gaps for ensuring sustainable use of natural resources and the solutions needed to fill them. Coordination among relevant programmes will take place through regular coordination meetings. PEA will actively participate in the Green Economy institutional collaboration meeting convened by the Green Economy Coalition (bi-annual), which coordinates all of the actors mentioned above and also in the Poverty-Environment Partnership.
Systematic visibility of PEI/PEA in the countries
[Added: 2019/07/16]
UNDP/UN Environment 2019/05 Completed As part of the agreement with the European Commission, a visibility and communication plan was developed tailored to the objectives and activities of PEA. The communications and visibility objectives of this plan showcases the UNDP–UN Environment PEA, European Commission and other donors’ cooperation as one that strategically enables sustainable development and poverty alleviation; and promote and inform on successful results achieved and tools developed in the frame of the UNDP–UN PEA/European Commission and other contributors’ cooperation. The visibility and communication plan was shared with all PEA participating country offices.
9. Recommendation:

Knowledge management will be very important under PEA and more emphasis needs to be place on it than in the project to both increase the visibility of PEA and package
knowledge products in a way that can be easily accessed and inform specific areas of interest.
• Ensure knowledge management is properly resourced and strategically planned. PEA should set out a knowledge management strategy, which accounts for resource constraints and specifies the number and nature of priority knowledge products to be developed over the course of the project, and an efficient approach to their generation and dissemination. The knowledge management strategy should also specify how the knowledge and tools generated under the previous PEI, will be disseminated through a well designed knowledge platform, south south cooperation and other means.
• Ensure knowledge management has high level strategic leadership.
• Consider whether it would be better to have others take over the dissemination role if resources are limited. For example: (i) UN Environment and UNDP Communications have a wider reach and resources and could be paid to the disseminate work; and / or, (ii) Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) potentially through a dedicated window on PE mainstreaming.
• Tools and methodologies need to be disseminated in a more targeted way. For example, portfolios for analysis, learning and experience exchange could be developed around key areas of interest to countries. For example, a portfolio could be focussed on Expenditure and Budget reviews, which would be useful to Finance Ministries and financial reform processes.

Develop South South cooperation. It is recommended that such exchanges are structured and strategic. They could be based on a topic of interest to a region and engage regional consultants to deliver training or seminars in addition to the sharing of printed materials. Opportunities for civil servants from PEI/PEA countries to share their knowledge and experiences on PE mainstreaming with administrations in similar countries interested in applying the approaches and tools should also be identified and supported with technical assistance as necessary.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop Knowledge management action plan
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
UNDP/UN Environment 2021/09 Completed PEA’s KM, SSC and Visibility Action plan endorsed during project board meeting on 26 May 2021 and is being implemented. History
10. Recommendation:

6.3.3 SDG and other
PEI has extensive experience in integrated policies and their implementation, but this needs to be highlighted much more at the UN corporate level if PEI is to establish itself as a
delivery platform / approach for the SDG. This requires much stronger and strategic engagement with senior SDG actors within the UN system, which is contingent on UNDP and
UN Environment senior management / PEA Board members members lobbying for PEI / PEA. The PEI poverty-environment mainstreaming model should be better promoted as a model for
SDG implementation support to countries, and better integrated into SDG support structures at the country level. While there has been some progress in integrating P-E into the UNDAFs,
in general there is still much to do to ensure that the environment does not get left behind (for example in general there is not much mention of P-E in Voluntary National reviews for the
SDGs). There is a need for a stronger focus on poverty at the strategic and implementation level. This needs to be resourced. More poverty assessments and distributional impact analysis of actions are needed to address P-E challenges.
 

Capacity building needs to be a component of PEA. Addressing the capacity gaps for vertical (national, regional, local) and horizontal (sectoral) planning and implementation of
sustainable development plans/programmes is a fundamental issue, especially in the light of the SDGs localization and implementation. Targeted capacity building programmes for
governmental staff at all levels remains critical in many countries.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/22] [Last Updated: 2020/12/22]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthen the use of poverty-assessments and distributional impact analysis
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
UNDP/UN Environment 2022/12 Initiated As part of the effort to strengthen the use of poverty-assessments and distributional impact analysis, countries like Tanzania undertook a poverty diagnosis using the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index tool and established baselines in respective target areas while Rwanda conducted a study in two districts to assess key environmental and natural resource multidimensional aspects that could be a basis to alleviate poverty and support replication of similar characteristics across the country. The findings of these assessments will be included in two Green Climate Fund pipeline projects on (i) detailed design of flood control measures in the volcanic region of Northern Rwanda, and (ii) landscape restoration in the Eastern Province. Related interventions proposed in the study report will be integrated in other project idea notes (drafts) under consultation and discussion with either both districts and/or other key partners. History
Conduct Capacity Building of relevant ministries on poverty-environment mainstreaming
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2021/08/27]
UNDP/UN Environment 2022/12 Initiated Capacity building initiatives for relevant ministries on poverty-environment mainstreaming have been undertaken in most of the countries e.g. Training-of-Trainer sessions on implementation of environmental and climate change elements in the reformed planning and budgeting sub-system in Mozambique. In Rwanda, an integrated approach was used to build required capacity through training of key government personnel on how to incorporate Poverty-Environment issues into sector plans, including establishment of Poverty-Environment indicators, and how to monitor their integration. History
Promote PEI/PEA as a model for SDG implementation support to countries
[Added: 2019/07/16] [Last Updated: 2020/02/03]
UNDP/UN Environment 2020/01 Completed Examples of promotion of PEI/PEA were provided in the previous comments. History

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