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Action for the Development of Marshall Islands Renewable Energies (ADMIRE) Project
Commissioning Unit: Fiji
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 11/2018
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Fiji
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Issue (Sub-chapter 3.5 - Weaknesses of project design)

 Issue (Sub-chapter 3.2, paragraph 42):  Project Design. The project design appears to have focused too narrowly on its goals without considering the specific issues of RMI that would be most relevant to the project implementation. Its small size, the distribution of its land and people in many islands and atolls and its own acknowledged lack of “capacity”.

Paragraph 48: Exclusion of donors as stakeholders and partners.   The project document did not mention any donors as stakeholders and partners, though it had mentioned that an “EU funded solar home system project in the outer islands provided for the co-financed component”. And besides the EU, the RMI has another half dozen important and large donors involved in multiple activities in the RMI on CC related work, many with RE elements, that link with ADMIRE.

 

Paragraph 49: Exclusion of known challenges in RMI to PV systems.  The PRODOC also missed some of the known challenges in RMI to PV systems, noted in the 2004 PIREP project report and later again in the PIGGAREP report (referred to in the PRODOC), page 74, of poor electricity tariff collection; lack of understanding among users and of commercial orientation; poor enforcement of project rules, political pressure to subsidize O&M, both leading to lack of collections, which had been noted in RMI. It noted also that the RMI Energy office had 2 staff (page 126), which was double that noted in PIREP in 2004, but clearly insufficient for the ambitious goals.

 

Paragraph 52: Reporting nature, mélange of activities, absence of key data.  The design weaknesses stemmed from several factors. One is the patchwork nature of the reporting in the MSP PDF/PPG report, this has been mentioned at several places. It was unduly ambitious in its expected impacts. It mixed risks of country capacity issues, with RE barriers, and generic versus project specific risks. The mistaken notions of risk did not then allow for suitable risk mitigation strategy. The second stems from the mélange of activities and outcomes as listed in Table 3. The MTR for the project in 2012, also critiqued the project design, stating it had a “typical GEF format by having a capacity building, policy component, institutional component, financial and awareness component with various activities that relate to the two technologies (PV and oil from copra processing) scattered over various components”. Third, it was seen in during the evaluation, the absence of key data on energy use and more often, the lack of pulling together data that is available to create a coherent map of energy in RMI was noted in the design.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/19] [Last Updated: 2021/02/04]

Regarding the design of the project, lessons learned from the TE findings and recommendations can be taken into account for future CCM project development in the RMI. The TE pointed out the shortcomings in the Project Document, even though the evaluator has been advised that he should be evaluating the Project Brief not the Project Document. Since the Project Document, as it was the format at that time, is indeed some sort of an executive summary. The details are in the Project Brief. The evaluator instead focused on the Project Document that it does not provide detailed descriptions of what should be done, when in fact the details are in the Project Brief. The TE Report just mentioned the Project Brief 4 times (2 in the main report and 2 as footnotes).

 

In GEF-4 the GEF did not allow the use of GEF funds for hardware, just for soft interventions. Hence, the design covered mostly soft interventions such as capacity building (training courses, studies, researches), policy work, institutional capacity building, and technical assistance. The interventions involving the deployment of hardware are mainly funded through co-financing. Most of these are from the EU-funded RE-based energy generation (e.g., solar home systems). ADMIRE supplemented the EU-funded REP-5 project in RMI with soft measures and interventions.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Noted. This recommendation will inform newly designed project for RMI in future.
[Added: 2021/04/29]
UNDP and RMI goverment 2018/12 Completed completed
This will inform future projects
[Added: 2021/04/29]
UNDP/RMI government 2018/12 Completed completed
2. Recommendation:

Issue (Sub-chapter 3.7– Implementation after the Mid-Term Review: 2012-2015):

 

Paragraph 64: Unrevised outcome indicators.  The MTR suggested revised outcome indicators but the evaluation did not find any revisions to the LFA and to the outcome indicators for ADMIRE as recommended by the MTR. In fact, the subsequent Annual Work Plans reviewed continued to list the same six outcomes, with 18 activities (not counting learning and M&E).

 

Paragraph 65: Lack of additional support by UNDP experts.   The MTR also recommended focusing the training programs for the design, operation and maintenance of stand-alone and grid-connected PV systems in the country; the use of copra as form of payment for electricity tariff for the outer islands households SHS; and user training and awareness campaigns in rural schools and health centers; to explore and conclude opportunity of cooperation (e.g., North REP MoU) with Tobolar and ADB on copra oil processing. Any evidence that the recommendation for additional support to be provided by UNDP experts, together with close monitoring and technical support by UNDP office, was fulfilled was not seen in the evaluation.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/19]

Because of the delays in the project implementation (mainly due to the absence of project manager, which also led to the replacement of the original implementing partner by the MRD – Ministry of Resources & Development), the project implementation spilled over to the phase 5 of GEF. In GEF-5, it was acceptable with GEF to use the GEF funds for hardware. Because of that the ADMIRE project could include some hardware-based interventions, as also suggested in the project MTR. However, many of the hardware-based activities where not completed at the time of the TE. The TE should have considered the circumstances that constrained the design of the ADMIRE project design. It is easy to point out defects and shortcomings during the TE but most of the comments are retrospective, without giving due consideration of the circumstances that limited the project design to what it was. Another fault of course was the delayed retrofitting of the project activities after the MTR. Poor project management was the main factor as can be gleaned from the PIR reports.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Lessons learned will informed future project management in RMI
[Added: 2021/04/29]
RMI government and UNDP 2018/12 Completed COMPLETED
3. Recommendation:

The Current Project

Clear recommendations which are included in Table 8: ADMIRE Activities and Outputs could be used to complete the ADMIRE project within the rules of UNDP and GEF. It is most important to have the wind data currently available fully analysed and used to resolve a mystery on wind speeds that has been stated for over a decade; the MRD should be able to reinstall the working wind tower and allow additional data to be collected and also must complete the demonstration and testing of the solar pump acquired as planned.  

Specifically for the ADMIRE project beyond completing the items listed above, the project should complete the activities as approved by MRD and shared with UNDP and listed in the AWP for 2016. The evaluation emphasizes the following from the outstanding activities listed in the AWP – improve the draft 2014 National Energy Policy document by updating all energy statistics in RMI up to 2015, using a much simplified energy balance tool provided by UNDP (the guide can be pared down by over 90% given the specific conditions for RMI with its highly limited uses of energy); coordinate with other agencies and review policies and practices for the maintenance of SPV in the outer islands; for the energy options related to the copra value chain – including  VCO and other waste products as renewable energy resource for RMI; and convene a project wrap-up meeting, where this report and all other results of ADMIRE are presented to the stakeholders both government and non-government at a final project wrap up meeting together with recommendations for the future.  

The above required MRD to provide support for the remainder of the project management, including the completion of the above, the dissemination of Terminal Evaluation and the final Project Completion reports.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
noted.
[Added: 2021/04/29]
RMI Government 2018/12 Completed completed
4. Recommendation:

Future Project Design

UNDP should take note of the individual and special circumstances of RMI in its future programming, facts which are highly specific to RMI, which require adjustments of standardized GEF project templates for the SRF/LFA that may work well in other countries to take these into account.

UNDP should examine the budgetary feasibility of more regular and in person follow up and support from the UNDP regional offices (Bangkok, Fiji and Samoa) to its portfolio of work in RMI and ways to work more closely with the local UN coordinating office established RMI.  

Ensure during its future involvement the actual and active participation in the work required beyond the formal signing of MOUs, of the broad range of stakeholders as listed (from government, the community leaders, private sector, financial institutions and NGOs and take note of the small populations of outer islands together with the difficulties of the participation of stakeholders living there) with the requirement for a strong and effective project/programme Steering Committee/Advisory Committee.

Determine mechanisms which can assist more effective collaborations between groups of relevant stakeholders who are needed to work together and facilitate linkages, collaboration and divisions of work with other energy/development/climate change projects/programs that are implemented in RMI by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union and the principal bilateral donors, as well as integration with the energy-related work of other regional and PIC organizations to avoid duplication of efforts, increasing effectiveness through sharing of information and expertise, through sharing participation in steering/advisory committees, sharing staff, enabling efficient and effective consultations between various project managers and with stakeholders. In many countries, the national government and/or one of the development partners convenes periodic reviews of sectoral activities to share knowledge and work cooperatively, this should be explored by the UNDP given its global experiences with such mechanisms.  

Specifically in the area of Energy, follow up with an effort to prepare a consolidated report on the energy situation in RMI, (potentially updating and adding to the RMI reports discussed in para  111- 112 above) including better information on biomass energy use and availability without the long term focus hitherto on copra for biodiesel; the data collected needs to be reviewed by a wind energy expert to ascertain the results from the data available and the intact wind monitoring tower should be re- established and a new data collection plan started; a more ambitious and focused programme in the future should explore small scale smart grid PV with supplemental storage/generation for the one or more islands with population between 500 and 2000 in cooperation with other donors.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04]

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

RMI Government

The human resources allocated to the climate change responses is low relative to the national priority accorded to climate change. EPD and MRD need strengthening with additional staff to enable it to more effectively coordinate energy activities and meet its international commitments and domestic obligations.

A number of mitigation options for RMI are win-win on multiple criteria, not only for GHG mitigation. Integration of planning of RE with water needs, use of additional RE resources such as biomass waste, and larger scale and ambitious integration in smart grid is way for RMI to lead.

GRMI has largely accessed the majority of its funding from bilateral sources and its portfolio of multilateral funding is low and poorly performing. It should consider the two sources to have important complementarities in achieving its national goals and take steps to make more effective use of both sources.  

The government of RMI should explore the possible use of a small portion of the considerable amount of grant funds available to examine the possible role of solar powered vessels of different sizes and using solar, with supplemental wind and diesel (several are now operating globally) that can increase the flexibility of inter-island transport and also reduce costs, thereby resolving a number of development problems including isolation, moving goods to market, education and health, that stem from the difficulties and high costs of such transportation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04]

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

RMI Government

The human resources allocated to the climate change responses is low relative to the national priority accorded to climate change. EPD and MRD need strengthening with additional staff to enable it to more effectively coordinate energy activities and meet its international commitments and domestic obligations.

A number of mitigation options for RMI are win-win on multiple criteria, not only for GHG mitigation. Integration of planning of RE with water needs, use of additional RE resources such as biomass waste, and larger scale and ambitious integration in smart grid is way for RMI to lead.

GRMI has largely accessed the majority of its funding from bilateral sources and its portfolio of multilateral funding is low and poorly performing. It should consider the two sources to have important complementarities in achieving its national goals and take steps to make more effective use of both sources.  

The government of RMI should explore the possible use of a small portion of the considerable amount of grant funds available to examine the possible role of solar powered vessels of different sizes and using solar, with supplemental wind and diesel (several are now operating globally) that can increase the flexibility of inter-island transport and also reduce costs, thereby resolving a number of development problems including isolation, moving goods to market, education and health, that stem from the difficulties and high costs of such transportation.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04]

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

For all development partners working with the RMI government

Development partners supporting the country should consider formal arrangements to strengthen the sharing of information and lessons learnt across whole of the development portfolio and in energy to gain from more effective coordination and harmonisation among them and the GRMI.  

The development partners and GRMI should examine options to go beyond such coordination to examine the options for budget support mechanisms that have been used currently in RMI and its expansion in the energy sector and related to climate change.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/04]

Key Actions:

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