Danube-TEST Terminal Evaluation Report

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Publication Title

Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (TEST) to Reduce Transboundary Pollution in the Danube River Basin - Final Evaluation Report

Publication Type

Terminal Evaluation Report


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The GEF Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies project was implemented by UNDP and Executed by UNIDO. In the three-year period of the MSP, the project successfully completed training and knowledge transfer related to capacity building and institutional strengthening at both the level of the selected demonstration enterprises and at the level of the national counterpart institutions (Cleaner Production Centres, Pollution Control Centres, etc). The actual demonstrations of the TEST approach in 17 enterprises was equally as successfully with considerable investment made by the selected companies into the adoption of cleaner production processes and environmentally sound technology.

There are some concerns related to Project Design, which should be noted for future consideration. Activities for replication and transfer of lessons from the Project’s achievements to other beneficiaries and stakeholders within the countries and the Danube Basin as a whole were weak. These can be related to the absence of any specific transfer and replication mechanism or linkages, and the fact that the Project was constrained by its MSP modality and funding limitations (and, to some extent, 3-year time limitation). Furthermore, the total funding identified in the Project Document was not fully realised. The Project Document also has no reference to sustainability of the Project’s objectives or of the GEF investment.

In this respect, it must be stated that the Project Management and the Execution Process achieved a very high level of success from the point-of-view of completion of the Project activities and delivery of intended outputs. Any criticism has to rest with the Project Design and not its Execution or Management.

The Terminal Evaluation finds this project to have been most notably successful and a very worthwhile example of a GEF MSP investment from which many valuable lessons and practices can be captured. The Evaluation provides a number of recommendations, including the proposal that serious consideration be given to further investment to transfer these lessons and best practices and to build on the substantial achievements of the TEST project. The Evaluator applauds the Executing Agency, the Project Coordinator and the in-country Coordinators and Project Teams for a praiseworthy achievement.

Findings & Recommendations

1. Recommendations Specific to the TEST project and similar Projects

A. It is now very important that the lessons and best practices evolved through the TEST project are properly captured and transferred to other relevant projects, initiatives and agencies. There would be considerable value in the production of a single, consolidated technical report on the TEST Project that includes the results and achievements from every demonstration enterprise along with documented lessons and best practices. A valuable output from the TEST Project as a whole would be a set of Knowledge Products carefully crafted and aimed at such audiences as the Danube Regional Project, ICPDR, the EU, the GEF Dnieper River Basin project, and other future GEF projects. Such Knowledge Products are now a growing requirement of UNDP as part of the evaluation of its projects and it may be that UNDP could assist in the development of such a package. These could focus on capacity building and institutional strengthening experiences at the project level, as well as on BAT and TEST-related lessons at the technical level.

B. The existing national CPC network needs to be sustained and expanded, both geographically and in substance. The two countries that participated in the TEST project without a formal CPC need assistance to develop such a centre, and other countries in the Danube region also need similar assistance. The CPCs should receive all the necessary and appropriate training to raise them beyond just CP centres to EST centres including training and experience in the TEST modules. This would help to provide the necessary framework for more effective transfer and replication of the TEST project results (lessons and Best Practices). Furthermore, some consideration should be given to marketing of the CPC expertise within the private sector, not only in the context of their ability to undertake appropriate TEST modules but also as impartial, independent and non-commercially orientated advisors to industry on BATs.

C. An effective single CPC networking facility should be maintained at UNIDO based on the advances made through the TEST project in this area. This should include development of the Information Management System linked into ICPDR, the Danube Regional Project and other relevant bodies.

D. Existing demonstration enterprises need some further assistance if possible with identifying soft-loans and investment opportunities to support their approved type C (and, in some cases, type B) EST improvements. Such soft-loans could also be made available to new enterprises wishing to pursue the TEST approach, once they have demonstrated commitment through the implementation of type A and type B improvements. Furthermore, companies have identified the need for some financing to help them to develop the technical aspects of the actual loan applications.

E. There is a need to involve government more closely in the TEST concept and to inform them of the successes and potential advantages at the national level. This requires a concerted effort of targeted awareness. Government agencies need to be engaged in the TEST process as there may well be further concessions and incentives that they can offer to companies to bring them on board in the first instance (bearing in mind that once companies have been trained and sensitised in the TEST approach they usually see the advantages for themselves).

F. Some level of post-project assessment would be valuable to see how sustainable the TEST process has remained within the companies and at the national level. There is a potentially valuable role for the CPCs to play in this assessment process which could actually go beyond just assessment and review and involve active encouragement to the demonstration enterprises to continue their TEST-related activities.

G. In consideration of A-F above, there is a strong case for the development of a follow-up phase to the TEST MSP. Such a phase could concentrate on capturing the lessons and best practices, replicating them throughout the Danube region, using the lessons learned to strengthen the network of CPCs, developing an expanded programme of TEST throughout further enterprises with more support (both financial and policy-wise) from governments which includes investment options and soft-loans for the larger EST needs, etc. The requirement for such a follow-up phase was a consistent priority identified by nearly all stakeholders during this evaluation and would seem to be a logical consolidation and expansion of the relatively small but successful investment made so far through the MSP.

2. Recommendations Specific to the GEF Project Design and Implementation Process

A. In future, careful consideration should be given to the appropriateness of the MSP modality for regional projects of this nature. This modality has constraints related to the lack of a substantial preparatory phase (such as a PDF B) during which project partnerships are developed, institutional weakness and strengths can be assessed, and financial commitments vis-à-vis co-financing can be formally confirmed and endorsed. Furthermore, the MSP modality, by virtue of its fixed funding ceiling, inevitably has constraints related to the project timescale and to the level of funding available for project management and administrative support.

B. Implementing Agencies should develop a policy of response to all project quarterly reports and APRs. Ideally, the APR/PIR format should require a signed response from the IA to ensure that the Agency is aware of concerns raised in the report and has identified actions that are be taken to rectify these concerns.

C. Any changes in the Project Document and its Outputs and deliveries should be reflected (where appropriate) in corresponding changes to the Project’s indicators. These should be documented within the APR/PIR and approved by the EA and IA.

D. GEF projects should strive to develop appropriate measurable indicators with the Mid-Term and Terminal Evaluation processes in mind. Evaluators depend on these verifiable indicators to measure the success of a Project and their absence can cause an overly subjective review. In this context, GEF and IAs should consider modifying MSP formats to include the Logical Framework approach (or similar logical progression leading to identification of measurable indicators) as a requirement.


See also

External Resources


 Final Evaluation Report Danube-TEST 050425 - full.doc  Final Eval Exec-Summary Danube-TEST 050425.doc

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