UN CC:Learn 2014-2017 Implementation Phase:
Recommendations and Lessons from the mid-term evaluation
What are the evaluation’s principal findings?
The mid-term evaluation found that the project has been an efficient and effective initiate, and highly relevant to its targeted users at both the global and national levels. The project is well on track to delivering its agreed outputs and outcomes, with good evidence to suggest that the work is already contributing to long-term impacts. The project is clearly building understanding of climate change amongst its target audiences and – more importantly – there are early signs that UN CC:Learn-supported resources and processes are triggering a degree of positive behaviour change and climate action amongst those target audiences. It is too early, however, to fully assess country-level effectiveness given that in many cases priority learning actions have yet to be initiated. The evaluation also found that a major challenge for the future cost effectiveness of the initiative will be attracting the necessary financial resources for the delivery of national learning strategies and the need to strengthen the level of engagement between partner countries and UN Country Teams.
What recommendation stem from the evaluation?
Improving support for resource mobilization
The UN CC:Learn Secretariat should establish a dedicated staff position to support partner country resource mobilization efforts. Core responsibilities should include the development of a more systematic approach to UN CC:Learn resource mobilization, including the provision of direct support and guidance for partner countries.
Increasing engagement with UNCTs
With support from the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, national coordinating partners should develop more systematic approaches to engaging with – and maintaining awareness of – UN resident agencies that are working in the climate change domain.
Rethinking the project’s results framework
In consultation with global partner agencies and partner countries, the UN CC:Learn Secretariat should develop a detailed theory of change for the project. At a minimum this should identify the project’s impact pathways, assumptions underlying the project logic, and external influences on the project, including other climate change programmes.
Following development of the theory of change, the UN CC:Learn Secretariat should revise the project’s logical framework, adjusting impacts, outcomes, outputs and indicators as necessary.
Increased networking for partner countries
The UN CC:Learn Secretariat should identify and deliver more regular opportunities for learning exchanges between partner country stakeholders. This should include the provision of – or support for – some form of continuously available web-based networking.
Confirming post-project online presence
In consultation with global partner agencies, the UN CC:Learn Secretariat should formally confirm arrangements for the ongoing, post-project hosting of the e-courses and learning resources developed through UN CC:Learn.
- High-level impacts and outcomes are measurable only on the long term. Expect measurable changes from higher level outcomes and impacts at national or global-level related to capacity development and behavioural changes within a typical three to four-year project lifetime.
- Projects supporting the development of national-level strategies are highly likely to be delayed (particularly where a high degree of consultation, participation and political ownership is sought). It is therefore crucial to allocate sufficient time and flexibility to national strategy development, supported by project plans and activities that are not overly dependent on formal strategies being in place.
- Broad-based partnerships are instrumental to the achievement of development results. The approaches that partnerships take, and the terminology used to describe them, can vary, and expectations amongst donors, implementing agencies, beneficiaries and other partnership stakeholders can understandably differ.
- Logframes are a useful day-to-day monitoring tool, and can also help to develop a shared understanding amongst project partners as to an intervention’s objectives and rationale. However, they are not always sufficient for expressing the full range of influences, contextual factors and assumptions that underpin a project, particularly where work is primarily focused on attaining qualitative (as opposed to quantitative) changes.