Terminal Evaluation of the FNR Rio Project - GEF Medium-sized Project

01 October 2015

The medium-sized project 'Piloting Integrated Processes and Approaches to Facilitate National Reporting to Rio Conventions (FNR-Rio)' was implemented through the United Nations Environment Programme's World Conservation and Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), in coordination and partnership with six countries and the Rio Conventions' Secretariat. The participating countries included Liberia, Eritrea, Mauritius, Afghanistan, LAO PDR, and Palau.

The project objective was to pilot nationally-driven integrated processes and approaches to reporting to the three Rio Conventions. It aimed to develop integrated approaches to data collection and information management and contribute to planning and decision-making processes at the country level.

Dr Braby conducted the Terminal Evaluation for this project, the objective of which is to assess project performance, determine its outcomes and impacts as well as their sustainability, and identify valuable lessons learnt through the process of implementing the FNR_Rio.

The FNR_Rio Terminal Evaluation had two main objectives:

(i)To provide evidence of results to meet accountability requirements, and

(ii)To promote learning, feedback, and knowledge sharing through results and lessons learned among UNEP and its main project partners, namely the GEF, UNEP-WCMC, the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment of Eritrea, the Ministry of Environment and National Development Unit of Mauritius, the Water Resources and Environment Administration of Lao PDR, and the Office of Environmental Response and Coordination of Palau. In this regard, this evaluation will identify lessons of operational relevance for future project development and implementation.

The Terminal Evaluation focused on a set of key questions, based on the project's intended outcomes:

(i)How successful was the project in providing guidance and support to parties for national reporting, including the development of an integrated approach to data collection, analysis, and information management between the six pilot countries?

(ii)To what extent was the FNR_Rio successful in creating an enabling environment for preparation of national reports to the three Rio Conventions, in terms of: technical, systemic, institutional and individual capacity; data collection, analysis and monitoring procedures; knowledge management for environmental database systems; best practices, communication and outreach?

(iii)To what extent did the pilot countries contribute to: (a) improved overall planning and decision-making processes at the country level related to the implementation of these three conventions, and (b) improved national mechanisms for collecting, managing and using data?

(iv)How successful was the project in enhancing national ownership of the Rio Conventions and were institutional frameworks for integrated reporting to Conventions established and/or strengthened as a result?

(v)To what extent did the project succeed in engaging stakeholders outside the government system (i.e. NGOs, universities and research bodies, indigenous, business, and local community groups) throughout the process of national reporting to the Rio Conventions?

(vi)To what extent was the FNR_Rio successful in supporting collaboration between pilot countries, and in improving communication between national Focal Points of different conventions in order to reduce duplication and identify synergies?

The FNR_Rio was assessed with respect to a minimum set of evaluation criteria on six-point scale, into five categories:

(i) Strategic Relevance: focuses on whether the project objectives are consistent with global, regional and national priorities.

(ii)Achievement of outputs: assesses, for each component, the project success in producing the programmes outputs and milestones as per the logical framework.

(iii)Effectiveness: Attainment of objectives and planned results: assessment of effectiveness of outputs achieved and the review of outcomes to impacts.

(iv)Sustainability and replication: looks at the financial, socio-political, institutional and environmental sustainability of project outcomes, and also assesses efforts and achievements in terms of replication and upscaling of project lessons and best practices.

(v)Factors and processes affecting project performance: covers project preparation and readiness, implementation approach and management, stakeholder participation, cooperation and partnerships, communication and public awareness, country ownership and driven-ness, financial planning and management, supervision and backstopping, and monitoring and evaluation.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to evaluate the project achievements against the expected outputs, outcomes and impacts, and consisted of:

Desk Review: A desk review of all the key project documentation supplied by UNEP and project staff, country partners and UNEP-WCMC, as well as the website.

Country Visits and Face to Face Meetings: Of the six participating countries, two were visited, namely Mauritius and Liberia. Face to face meetings were conducted with the National Coordinators and their Assistants in both countries; the National Consultant in Liberia; and a number of key stakeholders in Mauritius. Video and photographic documentation was taken where possible.

Skype Interviews: Skype interviews took place with key project staff, including the UNEP Project Manager, the Global Project Coordinator, UNEP-WCMC key staff, and the International Consultant, among others.

Questionnaire Distribution and Email Interaction: A questionnaire was distributed among the country coordinators (including those visited in-country) and key stakeholders.

Feedback mechanisms: Through face to face discussions, the Reconstructed Theory of Change was presented and discussed in-country with key stakeholders (in Mauritius, during a stakeholder meeting, breakout groups were conducted for this process) in order to get feedback. More about casino craps tips on mapleleafonlinecasino.com! Debriefing sessions were held via Skype with UNEP-WCMC in which the Evaluator presented in-country experiences and evaluation results. In-country, short feedback sessions were held face-to-face with the national coordinators (for Mauritius and Liberia) in which evaluation results from country visits were discussed (last day of country visit).

A detailed Terminal Evaluation Report was written up with concrete conclusions, lessons learnt and detailed recommendations. The two-page info brief on the Terminal Evaluation can be found here.

Clients: United Nations Environment Programme 09/15-03/16