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General Overview of NCSA Key Findings in Other Regions UNDP-GEF National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA) Regional Workshop 17-19 June, 2005, Tunis, Tunisia *** Tom Twining-Ward UNDP-GEF, New York Structure of Presentation • Countries covered and methodology • Compliance with key NCSA principles • Key capacity constraints • Systemic issues • Synergies • Mainstreaming • Action Plans • Lessons learned • Recommendations for follow-up projects NCSA Evaluation • UNDP-GEF recently conducted a global evaluation of NCSAs in 11 countries: Namibia, Seychelles, Ghana, Philippines, Armenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Tajikistan, Uruguay, Ecuador and Jamaica. • Four countries (ARM, BUL, URU and NAM) have completed their NCSA activities, four countries (PHI, LAT, TAJ and SEY) are currently finalizing them and finally three countries (GHA, ECU and JAM) will finish in the near future. • The evaluation used a two-pronged approach: – Analysis of questionnaires sent to the countries asking questions regarding the processes, outputs and outcomes of the NCSA process; and – An in-depth analysis of the NCSA reports from target countries. Compliance with NCSA Principles • The evaluation concluded that overall the 11 assessments complied well with the 7 key NCSA principles: 1. All assessments are owned by the relevant government organisations and mostly endorsed by the NGO communities. 2. To a lesser degree the assessments used the existing structures and coordinating mechanisms. 3. All 11 assessments integrated well the provisions and decisions of the 3 Rio Conventions 4. All countries used a multi-stakeholder participation approach with the strong involvement of the NFPs, the NGO community and to some extent the private sector. 5. The process also covered most of the relevant past and on-going activities 6. The approach used in all countries was holistic and covered the assessment of capacity constraints at the individual, institutional and systemic levels. 7. Finally, the NCSA process was seen as a useful step in assessing capacities within the broader context of sustainable development. Key Capacity Constraints • Most of the countries have key capacity constraints in the groups proposed in the UNDP’s Capacity Development Indicators framework. 1. Nine countries have inadequate policy and legislation frameworks to respond to the Rio Convention obligations and a weak capacity to enforce the legislation and regulations currently in place. 2. The capacity to engage and build consensus among stakeholders was a constraint; eight countries were found to have a constraint in this area. 3. The capacity to mobilize information and knowledge is a constraint for 10 countries. The constraint is two-fold: a weak public awareness of the Conventions and their implementations, and the difficulty to access and share information and knowledge. 4. The capacity to monitor, evaluate, report and learn is a constraint for eight countries. In most cases the monitoring systems in place are inadequate and cannot respond to the reporting obligations under the Conventions. 5. Finally, the respondents identified several other constraints such as governance, individual capacity/retain qualified human resources, financial resources, and R&D Systemic Issues • All 11 assessments look into systemic issues focusing on the policy, legislation and regulations frameworks. • Respondents stated that the NCSA helped to establish a culture of self-evaluation and problem-solving in each country; but due to the limitation in time and resources, sustainability of that newly developed culture remains a challenge. • Moreover, only a few countries emphasised the assessment of their overall national environmental management frameworks, their accountability frameworks, their economic frameworks and their system level resources. Synergies • The implementation of the NCSA created synergies between the 3 Rio Conventions. • All countries used a multi-stakeholder approach which resulted in better coordination among NFPs, better inter-ministerial coordination, more exchange of information, facilitated the process to identify cross-cutting issues among the 3 Rio Conventions and developed a better consensus on the way forward among stakeholders. • The analysis of the NCSA Action Plans indicates that these plans are promoting synergies between the 3 Rio Conventions. • In the case of Armenia, the actions included in their action plan were selected and prioritized according to their cross-cutting reach. • In Uruguay, activities in their action plan support the integration of environmental aspects in national policies, plans and projects and apply a spatial approach where the 3 Rio Conventions are applicable. • Other activities promote inter-institutional coordination, emphasizing an integrated approach to environmental issues. Mainstreaming • The evaluation also found that the NCSA process and its related global environmental issues are being mainstreamed within the national development priorities. All finalised action plans (8) include actions to mainstream environmental issues into national development priorities. • In Ecuador, the NCSA process was conducted in close collaboration with the PRSP process. • In Tajikistan, the NCSA outputs are being integrated within the national PRSP and the NCSA project helped the creation of the Council on Environmental Conventions. Action Plans • The review of the Action Plans indicates that most of them include some measures to ensure compliance with the key NCSA principles envisaged in the NCSA Operational Guidelines. • Most action plans (8) have a responsible person/office listed. However only 4 action plans include a timetable for actions and only 5 action plans include a monitoring and evaluation plan. • 8 countries received technical support from a regional organisation. Namibia received sensitive and targeted inputs when needed • In the Philippines, some of the materials initially were not user-friendly but the UNDP/GEF regional office responded to the needs of the country and reviewed the NCSA Manual to make it more "implementable". • In Armenia, the backstopping of the project by UNDP was very useful for the project team to build on outside experience and lessons learned from other countries. Lessons • Lessons were learned from each country experience and grouped into 5 main categories: 1. The importance of mainstreaming the NCSA results into the broader national sustainable development context as well as PRSP, MDG, Agenda 21, etc.; 2. Wide and active stakeholder participation is key for producing high quality Action Plans; 3. The need to tailor the NCSA approach to local realities and expand the methodology; 4. Confirmation of the importance of utilizing existing structures and coordinating mechanisms, and develop national ownership; and 5. The need for a high level support and a strong involvement of the Project Steering Committees. Recommendations for Follow-up • Based on the analysis of the questionnaires and the 11 NCSA Reports/Action Plans, recommendations emerged for future capacity building activities post NCSAs. – Financing Instruments / Environmental Fiscal Reform / Economic Valuation; – Educational / Informational Instruments and Environmental Education; – Monitoring, Evaluating, Reporting, and Learning; – Institutional Set up/Structure(s) to address Cross Cutting Issues / Synergies and Common Requirements Under the Conventions; – Development of Capacity Building Initiatives for Individuals, and; – Improvement in Policy, Legislative and Regulatory Frameworks and their Enforcement/Mainstreaming of global environment management into national development plans and programs.
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