Strengthening the Monitoring & Reporting System for Multilateral Environmental Agreements in Egypt
Previous assessments have revealed a number of priority cross-cutting capacity constraints concerned with public participation, technology transfer and cooperation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, financial mechanisms/economic valuation, legislation formulation/enforcement, and the development of scientific research capacities. In addition, the analysis indicated that monitoring, evaluation and reporting represents a cause for a number of these other constraints. Without effective monitoring, evaluation and reporting, the development of integrated national policies cannot take place adequately, even if the necessary capacity developments for policy and strategy formulation were addressed. Addressing the issue of environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting is a necessity not only for its own sake, but also for the other identified constraints which can be considered as directly dependent on it
Thus the main objective of this project is to strengthen monitoring, evaluation and reporting for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in Egypt, in order to promote the mainstreaming of Global Environment in national plans and policies. The project aims to accomplish this by 1) improving data management (including acquisition, processing, exchange and utilization); 2) delineating the monitoring and reporting roles and responsibilities of different concerned entities; 3) ensuring the financial sustainability for environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting. This project will focus on the three Rio conventions (UNCBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD) in coordination with the overall environmental monitoring and reporting mechanisms in Egypt.
Egypt ratified most of the international agreements, including the 3 Rio Conventions (UNCBD) in 1994, UNFCCC in 1994, and UNCCD in 1995). From 2005 to 2007, under the leadership of the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) and funded by GEF, a National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA) for Egypt was conducted to assess the thematic and cross-cutting capacity building issues hindering the synergistic implementation of the 3 Rio Conventions: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification.
The assessment revealed a number of priority cross-cutting capacity constraints concerned with public participation, technology transfer and cooperation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, financial mechanisms/economic valuation, legislation formulation/enforcement, and the development of scientific research capacities. In addition, the analysis indicated that monitoring, evaluation and reporting represents a cause for a number of these other constraints. Without effective monitoring, evaluation and reporting, the development of integrated national policies cannot take place adequately, even if the necessary capacity developments for policy and strategy formulation were addressed. Addressing the issue of environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting is a necessity not only for its own sake, but also for the other identified constraints which can be considered as directly dependent on it
Thus the main objective of this project is to strengthen monitoring, evaluation and reporting for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in Egypt, in order to promote the mainstreaming of Global Environment in national plans and policies. The project aims to accomplish this by 1) improving data management (including acquisition, processing, exchange and utilization); 2) delineating the monitoring and reporting roles and responsibilities of different concerned entities; 3) ensuring the financial sustainability for environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting. This project will focus on the three Rio conventions (UNCBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD) in coordination with the overall environmental monitoring and reporting mechanisms in Egypt. This Terms of Reference outlines the mid-term evaluation process of this project. The UNDP-GEF Project is implemented by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) as host entity for the National UNCBD and UNFCCC focal points in collaboration with the Desert Research Center (DRC) which is the host of UNCCD focal point.
The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) policy at the project level in UNDP/GEF has four objectives: i) to monitor and evaluate results and impacts; ii) to provide a basis for decision making on necessary amendments and improvements; iii) to promote accountability for resource use; and iii) to document, provide feedback on, and disseminate lessons learned. A mix of tools is used to ensure effective project M&E. These might be applied continuously throughout the lifetime of the project – e.g. periodic monitoring of indicators -, or as specific time-bound exercises such as mid-term reviews, audit reports and independent evaluations.
In accordance with UNDP/GEF M&E policies and procedures, all projects with long implementation periods (e.g. over 5 or 6 years) are strongly encouraged to conduct mid-term evaluations. In addition to providing an independent in-depth review of implementation progress, this type of evaluation is responsive to GEF Council decisions on transparency and better access of information during implementation.
Egypt’s large population makes the country extremely vulnerable to climate change. Moreover, its densely populated Nile delta is seriously threatened by sea level rise. Climate change will also have its impact on citizens’ health, and studies have been undertaken in an attempt to analyze possible adaptation measures. Vulnerability assessment studies in priority sectors have been undertaken as part of the process of developing the national action plan. The studies have indicated that the following areas are the most vulnerable in order of severity and certainty of results: agriculture, coastal zones, aqua-culture and fisheries, water resources, human habitat and settlements, and human health.
Egypt is a unique country with respect to its water resources. More than 95% of the water budget of Egypt is generated outside its territory. Although we can not yet predict the impact of climate change on the Nile Basin, there are indications that the impacts will be significant. Any decrease in the total supply of water, coupled with the expected increase in consumption due to the high population growth rates will have drastic impacts. Water management is thus one of the most important adaptation actions. Adaptation of supply includes measures to improve rain harvesting techniques, increase abstraction of ground water, recycle water, desalinate water, improve its transportation and rationalize its use. Meanwhile, adaptation of demand requires minimizing the need for water and optimizing the economic return of its unit volume.
Egypt is located in northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Gaza strip, with a coastal strip extending for about 3,500 kilometers, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the north, and the Red Sea in the east. The dominant feature of the northern coastal zone is the low lying delta of the River Nile, with its large cities, industry, flourishing agriculture and tourism. The delta and the narrow valley of the Nile comprises 5.5% of the area of Egypt, but has over 95% of its people and its agriculture. Egypt’s Mediterranean coast and the Nile Delta have been identified as vulnerable to seal level rise.
Egypt’s climate is semi-desert characterized by hot dry summers, moderate winters and very little rainfall. The country is characterized by particularly good wind regimes with excellent sites along the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts. Egypt has only one main source of water supply, the River Nile, which supplies over 95% of the water needs of the country. There is some winter rain in the delta and along the Mediterranean coast, west of the delta. Non-renewable underground fossil water supplies are accessible outside the river valley, especially in the oases. Consequently, agricultural development is closely linked to the River Nile and its management. The Nile waters originate outside Egypt, flowing through nine countries. Egypt’s use of the Nile water is controlled by international agreement. Massive projects to divert some of the Nile waters to Northern Sinai, and to Toshka depression, in the extreme south of the country, are underway. Consequently, the water needs of the country are growing rapidly.
Key Results and Outputs
- Outcome 1. An operational monitoring and information management system for MEAs is enhanced at the policy, institutional and individual level.
- Output 1.1. A database and its management system developed to include all data categories for global environmental management.
- Output 1.2. Necessary legislative and regulatory changes made to streamline the procedures for integrated monitoring for global environmental management.
- Output 1.3. The capacity of MSEA and other institutions responsible for monitoring are strengthened through provision of necessary technical assistance and targeted training.
- Outcome 2. Coordination mechanism established to comply with the reporting obligations under the global environmental conventions.
- Output 2.1. Necessary legislative and regulatory changes made to involve sectorial agencies in national reporting to the MEAs in a consistent manner.
- Output 2.2. Communication and feed back mechanism established for the reporting process to contribute to the national policy and decision-making.
- Outcome 3. The funding procedure installed to achieve monitoring and national reporting practice on a sustainable basis.
- Output 3.1. Funding scenarios developed for the monitoring and reporting;
- Output 3.2. Necessary legislative and procedural changes made to operationalise the funding mechanisms for sustainable monitoring and reporting. The project outputs and indicators will be further developed during the PDF-A implementation phase.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Project monitoring and evaluation will be conducted in accordance with established UNDP and GEF procedures and will be provided by the project team and the UNDP Country Office (UNDP-CO) with support from UNDP/GEF.
The PDF-A will particularly take account of the findings of the NCSA process in Egypt to develop the M&E plan of the project. Other baseline activities will also be considered during MSP development and will inform the M&E strategy of the project.
Audit of project expenditure will be done in accordance with agreed UNDP and GEF requirements.
- Project Inception Workshop: will be held within the first 2 months of project start with those with assigned roles in the project organization structure, UNDP country office and where appropriate/feasible regional technical policy and programme advisors as well as other stakeholders. The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan.
- Day to day monitoring of implementation progress: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager, based on the project's Annual Work Plan and its indicators, with overall guidance from the Project Director. The Project Team will inform the UNDP-CO of any delays or difficulties faced during implementation so that the appropriate support or corrective measures can be adopted in a timely and remedial fashion.
- Project Progress Reports (PPR): quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. Risk analysis will be logged and regularly updated in ATLAS.
- Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Reports (APR/PIR): This key report is prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period (30 June to 1 July). The APR/PIR combines both UNDP and GEF reporting requirements.
Periodic Monitoring through Site Visits:
- UNDP CO and the UNDP RCU will conduct visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress. Other members of the Project Board may also join these visits. A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared by the CO and UNDP RCU and will be circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.
Mid-Term of Project Cycle:
- Mid-Term Evaluation: will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed. It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management. Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project’s term.
End of Project:
- Final Evaluation: will take place three months prior to the final Project Board meeting and will be undertaken in accordance with UNDP and GEF guidance. The final evaluation will focus on the delivery of the project’s results as initially planned (and as corrected after the mid-term evaluation, if any such correction took place). The final evaluation will look at impact and sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development and the achievement of global environmental benefits/goals. The Terminal Evaluation should also provide recommendations for follow-up activities.
- Project Terminal Report: This comprehensive report will summarize the results achieved (objectives, outcomes, outputs), lessons learned, problems met and areas where results may not have been achieved. It will also lie out recommendations for any further steps that may need to be taken to ensure sustainability and replicability of the project’s results.
Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
- Results from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums.
- The project will identify and participate, as relevant and appropriate, in scientific, policy-based and/or any other networks, which may be of benefit to project implementation though lessons learned. The project will identify, analyze, and share lessons learned that might be beneficial in the design and implementation of similar future projects.
- Finally, there will be a two-way flow of information between this project and other projects of a similar focus.