During May 7-13, 2019, ANSAB Team carried out a Project Monitoring and Implementation Support Mission of the sub-project – Building Capacity for Fiji’s CSOs and LCs to Actively Participate in the Fiji National REDD+ Readiness Programme, being implemented by the Grace Trifam Ministry (GTM), based in Lautoka, Fiji, which is the recipient organization of the FCPF Capacity Building on REDD+ for Southern Civil Society Organizations and Local Communities in East Asia and the Pacific Region Project. The members of the mission consisted of Puspa L. Ghimire, and Mr. Sudarshan C. Khanal.
The mission was organized with two objectives: 1) review of the general operation of GTM and provide hands-on training to strengthen their system; 2) monitoring of the project activities and outputs based on the indicators mentioned in the project proposal. During the mission, Mr. Puspa Ghimire focused on the objective 1 and Mr. Sudarshan Khanal, as an M&E focal person of the project focused on the objective 2.
The mission consisted of discussion with the GTM staff, field visits to three sub-project sites, meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry, Fiji based Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) member, REDD+ Technical Advisor of the World Bank in Fiji and the chairperson of the Fiji Indigenous Women’s Society. On the last day of the mission, the ANSAB team carried out onsite observation of GTM’s administration, financial management and record keeping arrangements, and conducted a supervision support mission with GTM for fiduciary compliance.
KEY POINTS DISCUSSED AND AGREED ACTIONS
National-level activities. GTM consulted with the relevant government agencies regarding the sub-project. Capacity building needs assessment of the local communities was carried out regarding their understanding of REDD+ through a “talanoa session”, that involved participation of the traditional leaders of the communities. It has helped the project team to gain knowledge on the context and level of understanding of the local communities and design the training workshop session accordingly. Capacity building training workshops has been carried out in fourteen communities: Dawasamu, Lekutu, Wailevu, Naqaliyalatina, Tokaimalo, Naboubuco and Naqarawai in the Mainland communities, and Bureta in Ovalau, Moce and Nasau in Koro, Waiqori in Oneata, and Tubou, Yadrana and Solotavui in Lakeba in the Maritime islands. The participants received trainings on the preliminary knowledge on REDD+, current ongoing REDD+ activities and policy at national level, and participation of communities in REDD+ activities. Compilation of the beneficiaries’ detail is ongoing.
For the remaining activities, ANSAB closely worked with the GTM and developed a summary of the agreed actions with an agreed timeline to complete the activities. It was agreed during the meeting that GTM will develop the organizational website during the project period.
Progress toward achieving the PDO. The beneficiary feedback indicator (Indicator 1) is yet to be processed, but it is above the targeted 80% for the ones whose initial analysis is done. For an example the feedbacks from the participants of the training workshop in GTM is above the targeted and in the range of 90-95%. GTM is developing a video clip on REDD+ and it has yet to be completed. Furthermore, it will also develop the organizational website. The target of one knowledge product (Indicator 2) is expected to compete during the sub-project end period. Out of the ten end-of-project target regarding the number of meetings between civil society and LC representatives and national REDD+ decision makers (Indicator 3), eight has been achieved (3 with National REDD+ Steering Committee, 3 with LC representatives, 1 with REDD+ CSO platform and 1 with divisional REDD+ forum). The remaining two (1 National level forum and 1 with Divisional REDD forum) are planned during this month. The target of the number of direct project beneficiaries (Indicator 4), 700 in total 40% female participants, has already been achieved. GTM will update the total number of beneficiaries as they benefit from the project activities.
Financial Management, Administration and Procurement Performance. ANSAB carried out a session with the GTM staff to orient them on financial management, administration and procurement. The session included discussion, onsite observation of the records and orientation regarding overall organizational management and governance structure, and administration and financial management incl. policies, book keeping, accounting, financial management and procurement. Discussion and onsite observation of the records was carried out at GTM office based on a checklist. It was observed during the mission that GTM has followed good practice for financial and procurement management however they are not properly documented. It was agreed that GTM will develop an admin and finance manual incorporating the feedbacks during the mission.
Disbursements Status. An amount of US $60,000 has been disbursed in two tranches.
Environmental and Social Safeguards: The project does not trigger any of the World Bank safeguards policies. The project is an Environmental Assessment (EA) Category C (no EA needed) since there are no expected adverse environmental impacts of the project. The eligibility criteria for the selection of sub-project incorporated appropriate environmental and social actions that promote transparency, stakeholder participation and public information disclosure.
The mission also discussed on the grievance redress mechanism managed within the project. The mission reiterated GTM’s responsibilities for ensuring that the sub-project do not cause negative environmental and social impacts.