|The Mt Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) was jointly funded by the Governments of Norway and Sweden. MERECP supported a trans-boundary ecosystem initiative under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC). MERECP started in 2006 with a total funding of NOK 34.2 million (approximately USD 6 million), initially for a period of 4 years.
LTS evaluated the overall achievements of the MERECP programme with an emphasis on the achievements in the redesign phase. The team assessed the regional relevance of the MERECP towards the agreed areas of co-operation in the Protocol for the Sustainable Development of the Lake Victoria Basin; evaluating the outcome, impact, sustainability and indicative cost-effectiveness (by relating the activities and costs compared to the outputs obtained) of the programme; and assessing the institutional arrangements for the management, implementation and the M&E functions of the programme.
LTS reviewed the strengths and weaknesses and found lessons to be learned from the organisation and management of MERECP; compared the current institutional arrangement vis-a-vis the previous; and assessed the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and reporting systems of the MERECP, including whether targets, indicators and monitoring were necessary to judge performance.
The LTS evaluation provided factual (quantitative and qualitative) information on the efficiency (the relationship of input to output) and effectiveness (the relationship of output to outcome/impact) of the Programme; assessing partners’ planning processes; assessing the sustainability of the achievements of the program; and assessing partners’ risk management during planning and implementation. LTS assessed communication and co-ordination processes between implementing partners; assessed financial planning and reporting as well as follow-up, including anti-corruption mitigation measures; the relevance of the projects in relation to Kenyan and Ugandan policies and strategies, including ongoing processes of developing national REDD+ plans and strategies; and the level of funds that had reached the target groups/target institutions compared to the direct and indirect administrative costs of the LVBC. LTS also assessed how gender was dealt with in the programme, including how the LVBC gender policy was reflected in the implementation of the MERECP and the arrangement for joint financing (Norwegian Embassy in Kampala as the lead, Sida (Kampala, later Nairobi) as the silent partner). LTS provided recommendations regarding the design of a possible second phase of MERECP based on the lessons learned during the first phase.
Update 18 January 2012: the MERECP End-Review Report has now been published and is available to view online here