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By Laura Howard,2014-12-05 06:41
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UNDP

    Building on Cornerstones:

    Replication and scaling-up strategy for community based innovative

    projects of the UNDP GEF SGP India programme

    A Draft Note

    The SGP is a unique programme that contributes to solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems while ensuring sustainable

    livelihoods through a successful, country-driven, responsive grassroots approach.

    Small Grants Programme (SGP) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), seeks to support activities, which demonstrate community-based innovative, gender-sensitive approaches and lessons learned from other development projects that could reduce threats to the local and global environment and poverty pressures on the environment.

    SGP is a corporate programme of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented through UNDP, UNEP and World Bank that provides grants to NGOs, CBOs and civil society organizations in developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. SGP was launched in 1992 and is present in nearly 90 countries globally. The funding to date compromises US $ 175.2 million from the GEF and US $ 105.8 million from other partners in cash or in-kind equivalents. The maximum grant amount per project is US 50,000$, but averages around US $ 25,000. Grants are channeled directly to CBOs and NGOs. More than 6000 grants have been awarded worldwide to date, with many benefiting multiple communities. SGP features decentralized decision making about grant awards, based in strategic direction by a voluntary National Steering Committee in each participating country.

    SGP India is a unique partnership of government, civil society and a multi-lateral agency.

SGP initiatives supports action - based and community led initiatives

    Small Grants Programme strives to serve communities by providing grants to organizations for activities that address local problems which have global environmental benefits in the GEF focal areas through community-based initiatives and action.

Biodiversity Conservation

    Climate Change abatement

    Protection of International Waters

    Prevention of Land Degradation

    Reduction of the impact of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

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    Government of India’s perspective:

    While the SGP programme is one of the most successful GEF projects, one has to take the opportunity to go beyond grant giving, to seek ways of scaling up, replicate successful experiences, reach out through innovative communications, and promote advocacy strategies to influence policy on key environmental issues.

     th Plan document of the Planning Commission has placed emphasis on The 10

    the need for biodiversity conservation and environmental protection and also for these efforts to involve the participation of the local communities. Some of the th"thrust areas" outlined in the 10 Plan for sustainable development of natural

    resources include:

    a. Utilization of wastelands and un-utilized and under-utilized lands

    b. Reclamation of problem soils

    c. Rainwater harvesting and conservation for the development of rain-fed

    areas

    d. Conservation and utilization of biological resources

    e. Promotion of organic farming

    f. Development of coastal regions

    g. Development of renewable energy resources for productive uses

     thIn the context of natural resources, the 10 Plan emphasizes the need for

    rainwater harvesting, conservation of all life forms and sustainable utilization of resources while seeking to enhance sustainable livelihood systems in any given area. While referring to global concerns - deteriorating conditions of fragile ecosystems, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and pollution, it stresses that the national development agenda must recognize the necessity of protecting the long-term ecological security. It is also mentioned that conservation should be assigned a high priority both at the central and state levels and this should be the objective of all development programmers.

     thGiven the critical importance of agro-biodiversity, the 10 Plan emphasizes the

    need for agricultural research to focus on conservation and enhancement of the ecological foundations of farming and fisheries (land, water, biodiversity, forests, oceans and the atmosphere) through an integrated natural resources management strategy involving PRIs and NGOs

UNDP India Programme strategy

    Based on specific roles for UNDP, development co-operation identified through a comprehensive review and stakeholder consultation process, all projects build on the following qualities:

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; A perspective „from below‟, of low-income households and marginalized

    communities - rural or urban, in order to strength their self-help and self-

    reliance capacities through innovative and catalytic, „action-research‟ type of

    interventions.

    ; A common platform to bring a diverse set of development partners

    (Government agencies at the Central, State and District levels; Private Sector,

    Non-Governmental Organizations {NGOs} and Community Based

    Organisations {CBOs}, and other UN system and bilateral donor partners)

    together to devise innovative solutions to development challenges. ; Emphasis on addressing the multi-sectoral dimensions of development

    programming and when possible, integrating programming at selected

    geographical locations/districts.

    ; Comprehensive monitoring and documentation of development innovations

    from proven success stories and effective pilot initiatives. Dissemination of

    lessons learnt for policy-makers with regard to the design and implementation

    of much larger public sector schemes.

    UNDP’s current work with communities on ecological and livelihood security

    The UNDP country office in India has been supporting community-based initiatives across all programmes for the last 10 years. These community-based initiatives have been designed to raise policy issues related to the rights of marginalized communities to land and resources, particularly forest and water resources. UNDP, in partnership with various government departments and NGOs and CBOs, routinely raises issues for discussion with government. The most recent discussions have been around community management and control of water in Rajasthan and the rights of tribals to forests and other resources in Jharkhand. Given the fact that the SGP programme in India is supporting a number of good initiatives of smaller NGOs and CBOs it is clear that a number of mutual benefits could be realized through cooperation and synergies between the SGP and relevant UNDP CCF programmes, which share a thematic focus and community based vision and strategy.

    UNDP, through GEF has supported the preparation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). India‟s NBSAP has from the very beginning taken the integration of biodiversity concerns into various sectors as one of its main process goals. Raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity has been part of the process of preparing the NBSAP and is a major component of draft National Action Plan.

    Cross-cutting issues such as equity and people's empowerment, gender sensitivity, integration of biodiversity into all sectors of planning, integration of indigenous knowledge systems, and international issues, were stressed in the planning phase and continuously reiterated throughout the process; many of these were incorporated at a number of sites and in various thematic working

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    groups, and aspects such as globalisation, the integration of conservation and livelihoods, biopiracy, received serious attention. However, at many sites such integration remained weak, in particular, integration of equity, empowerment, and gender.

    Strong linkages with past and ongoing processes were built into the NBSAP process, including a review of several national plans and policies relating to natural resources. The MoEF‟s own Macro-Action Plan on Biodiversity was a

    base document; other documents added on were the National Wildlife Action Plan, the National Forestry Action Plan, National Environment Action Programme, National Conservation Strategy, Agenda 21 reports, and reports of the Biodiversity Conservation Prioritization Project. At the level of each site, linkages were built to many earlier or ongoing sub-states, state or eco-regional level plans.

    Opportunities for mainstreaming SGP India with UNDP Country programme There are a large number of NGO led networks on thematic issues like water, renewable energy for enhancing livelihoods, wetlands, and protection of wildlife.

    ; The SGP programme has to utilize the available opportunities to link the

    community based organizations to these networks, so that these

    organizations become part of the larger movement on these issues and

    are able to upscale their programmes in a pragmatic manner.

    ; As a part of the strategy for creating synergy and dissemination of

    technologies there is a need to set up replication funds, which focus on

    institutional methods of learning. The purpose of such a fund would be an

    encouragement of successful innovations spearheaded by successful

    NGOs and CBOs who are already partners of the SGP India programme,

    by supporting the adaptation of their proven solutions to different contexts.

    ; This replication could provide the transferability and scalability of

    innovative approaches spawned by organizations working at the

    grassroots. This would not only help in the process of compilation and

    documentation of „ best practices‟ from the SGP India programme, but

    also support the actual replication of proven interventions by those who

    have already had pragmatic results through implementation of these social

    innovations.

    ; In order for replication to be successful it is necessary to establish a new

    model for replication and innovation Establish a self-sustaining,

    evergreen financial resource.

    ; Shift from a completely grant based approach to a community based

    locally owned model, where the local community pays a part of the

    replication scheme. It is also important to include the NGOs/CBOs and the

    villages in the particular region to plan and manage the replication

    schemes.

    ; SGP India is creating opportunities and ways of working with community

    based organizations, particularly women‟s groups and people‟s

    organizations.

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    ; This kind of a pilot effort would naturally have to entail a careful monitoring

    and assessment of the replication process even involving the local

    governance bodies and communities.

    ; It is necessary to consolidate the already existing community of

    practioners in a comprehensive and systematic manner.

    ; As a part of the process to upscale the SGP India programme work has

    already begun on the development of a common regional website, project

    database, and an e-network for dialogue on various operating programs.

    This common regional website could then disseminate the replication

    process. Thus a system would be in place whereby lessons learnt and

    shared would become a living knowledge base that can be shared widely

    and form the building blocks for further replication.

    ; The SGP India programme was made an integral partner at national and

    state government level for future partnerships at GEF National Dialogue

    Initiative in Mussourie 15-17 February 2006.

    SGP’s strengths include:

; Having a concrete impact in improving people‟s lives while addressing

    global environmental concerns in the areas of biodiversity, climate change,

    international waters, land degradation and persistent organic pollutants

    (POPs)

    ; Using its resources efficiently to achieve positive global impact ; Using decentralized, demand-driven, participatory mechanisms to improve

    project effectiveness, ensuring local relevance

    ; The SGP has been recognized as model globally, not only for its

    decentralized approach but also for it due diligence structure. SGP‟s

    monitoring and evaluation system provides its stakeholders and partners

    with information about the status and results of individual projects, the

    progress of country programmes and the achievement of overall

    programme objectives

    ; The SGP views monitoring and evaluation above all as a participatory and

    forward-looking process that enables capacity building and learning,

    maintains accountability, promotes sustainability and provides

    opportunities to identify and communicate lessons learnt from project and

    programme experiences at three levels project, country and global.

    ; Building a global action-oriented environmental centre of excellence by

    facilitating exchanges, learning and networking among its constituencies

    ; Being an effective and efficient partner in the global environmental

    movement, seeking to build the capacity of local partners and cooperate

    fully with other organizations that have similar missions and goals

    ; Helping local communities build on their traditional knowledge and

    practices, access new information and technologies to improve livelihoods

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    while conserving biodiversity, using renewable energy sources and

    mitigating pollution of international waters

    ; Bringing together diverse groups and varied approaches adapted to

    specific local circumstances towards achieving environment related goals

UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme India

Progress and Initiatives

    SGP India became operational in September 1995. The overall responsibility of SGP in India rests with the National Steering Committee (NSC), which comprises representatives of Government of India, UNDP, NGOs, academicians and Director of the National Host Institution and the National Coordinator UNDP GEF SGP.

The UNDP and the Ministry of Environment (MoEF) jointly administer GEF Small

    Grants Programme (SGP) in India. The Centre is implementing the program for Environment Education (CEE), which is the National Host Institution (NHI) since September 2000.

    SGP India has facilitated 185 demand led community based action projects countrywide. With the growth of SGP programs countrywide, there is a need to consolidate outcomes to further upscale and build up the sustainability. SGP‟s resource mobilization strategy at the global and national levels has been revised to better identify opportunities for partnership, co- financing, mainstreaming of the SGP projects into larger projects of other donors, strengthen links with local governments and increase the participation of the private sector.

    Since September 2000, steps towards a decentralization of processes have taken place in the SGP India program towards effective linkages. Strategic linkages with donors and line departments have happened, encouraging the NGOs and CBOs to work with district collectors and local governance.

The UNDP GEF SGP India purpose and vision

    The UNDP GEF SGP India programme has been there for nearly a decade. As a part of the mainstreaming into the larger UNDP CO programme SGP India has begun the process of scaling up of some of its successful innovations spearheaded by community based innovative models and projects.

    The vision for the SGP India programme for the next five years is to strive towards “establishing systems for allocating scarce GEF resources towards maximizing the impacts of these resources on global environment improvement. The promotion of national level policies through action based pilot projects, which have local and global livelihood benefits. The systems within the NHI will establish broadbased, flexible, sound and transparent assessments, which

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    promote and enhance local capacities, build private-public partnerships, policies and practices (e.g. local resource mobilization, links to governments & replication and scaling up of environmentally sound and benefiting community livelihoods projects). This vision would enable the successful

    implementation of UNDP GEF SGP projects through Non governmental organizations (NGOs) and Community based organisations (CBOs)”.

    In the last four years, SGP India has raised USD 4.8 million as local co-financing against the 4.2 USD million GEF grants, and the same is showing an increasing trend.

At the SGP India:

    ; SGP India has linked up with GTZ and the Ministry of Environment and

    Forests (MoEF) for an eco-city project on Solid Waste Management in the

    four pilgrim cities of India. This program has brought in co financing of

    USD 200,000 from GTZ and co financing of USD 100,000 from the

    communities, Municipal Corporations and the Pollution Control Board.

    ; A platform has already been created with the UNDP country office to

    propagate strategic interventions and diffusion of Knowledge through the

    solution exchange programme via e-exchange.

    ; An additional amount of USD 100,000 has been added to the USD

    750,000 portfolio of UNDP GEF, SGP India. The Planning Commission in

    India via the MoEF to the National Host Institution, CEE, to scale up the

    already existing SGP projects, which are innovative, scalable and

    replicable, has given this.

    ; A common agreement has been reached between the five South Asian

    nations i.e. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and India to network,

    exchange ideas, practices and knowledge through a common web site,

    partners‟ exchange of technologies and awareness on the policy issues.

    Exchange between stakeholders in Sri Lanka and India have taken place.

    ; UNDP GEF SGP-India responded to the Tsunami catastrophe and

    supported CREED, SEVA, Progress and Social Welfare Trust with a grant

    support of USD $ 83,575 and leveraged co-financing of USD 760,067 from

    other sources. Approximately 2,374 families have benefited from the

    project with poverty focused disaster rehabilitation plan.

    ; Representatives from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),

    the Indian Chemical Industry, UNDP GEF SGP and CEE collectively

    drafted a paper on Interventions in Phasing out of POPs in India through

    an action-based program. This was supported by a follow up workshop

    organized by the SGP India in partnership with POPs Elimination Network

    (IPEN) and Toxic Links in New Delhi. Toxic Links (NG0) is formulating

    proposal.

    ; An agreement was reached between the Indian Institute of Forest

    Management and the National Host Institution of SGP India to develop a

    joint partnership to support sustainable development initiatives in India

    from 2005 to 2008.

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    ; SGP India is working with Indigenous Groups/vulnerable or marginalized

    communities in approximately 85% of the grants provided to various

    projects.

    ; Recently in the Regional Conference held between the five South Asian

    partners (16 20 January 2005), there was an exchange of “real

    practioner‟s” for e.g. between India and Sri Lanka i.e. NGOs and CBOs

    partners. This is fast catching up in the learning by doing approaches

    through exposure visits, email exchanges.

UNDP GEF SGP scaling up strategy

    Not only is the UNDP GEF SGP recognized globally as a model because of its community-based approach but also for its monitoring and evaluation systems that are transparent, and which are firmly in place. The NGOs and CBOs play a key role as a resource and constituency for environment and development concerns. With the pro-active experience of the NHI and the strong support of the MoEF and implementing agency UNDP CO, the GEF SGP India portfolio has been able to expand its efforts to different regions in India with positive results.

    The SGP India programme has a well-documented and monitored community of CBOs and NGOs implementing solutions at the grassroots level in the environmental focal areas of:

    1. Biodiversity

    2. Climate Change

    3. International Waters

    4. Persistent Organic Pollutants

    5. Land Degradation

    6. Multi-focal areas

    7. Poverty Alleviation/Empowerment

Why should the project be up scaled?

    ; The SGP supports projects that are innovative and demand driven.

    ; In such cases, good projects often remain isolated pockets of excellence.

    Implementing them on a bigger scale gives them the requisite visibility and

    synergy to be adopted as proven

    solutions/technologies/methods/processes by the government, other

    organizations and donor agencies.

    ; Scaling up would also help better to disseminate better how livelihoods

    can be better sustained and draw synergies from other programs, projects,

    processes and communities.

Which are the projects that should be up scaled?

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    ; Projects that have achieved measurable, quantifiable and qualitative

    results while adhering to high-quality and fair practices/processes.

    ; Pro-active demand from the communities, institutions for scaling-up and it

    should not be a top-down initiative.

    ; Projects that have linkages with community-managed institutions, benefits

    and ownerships

    ; Projects encouraging participation, decision-making, local and indigenous

    expertise, partnerships, networking, sharing of costs, equity and enhanced

    gender relations.

    ; Meets local demands, links markets, and sustains actions on scale and

    areas.

    ; Reflect in the share of community contribution out of the total co-financing

    that is achieved/proposed for the project. In addition it is important to

    assess that the organization has the adequate capacity to handle the

    project at the proposed scale. The co-financing from community as well as

    government and other sources should show an increasing trend.

    ; Projects that show access of funds, resources from the local, district, state

    and national level Government sources.

    ; Project/program should have locally managed sustainable institutional

    arrangements, i.e. SHGs, Federations etc.

    ; Flexible, informal and responsive arrangements should be made and

    systems created, especially for income generation activities, marketing

    arrangements etc.

    ; Links to institutions/banks for access of resources, loans, repayments etc.

    ; Technology learnt, adopted, disseminated by the partners with other

    partners and institutions.

Focus on Geographical & Thematic focus?

While there is no clear criteria for maintaining any specific geographic or thematic 1 it is expected that while recommending proposals, a balance should be focus,

    maintained between the Scaling Up quality projects and on the geographical/thematic areas.

What can be up scaled?

Scaling up can be done in terms of the following:

     Increase in the number of beneficiaries/households covered under the project

     Increase in the area brought under coverage of the project

     Introducing new and/or up-graded technology in the project area 2 Adopting better processes in project implementation Cluster Approach

     1 At this point the SGP has given grants to projects in 21states in India.

    2 The Cluster approach ensures an integrated thematic response, drawing upon the comparative advantages of each agency, fund and programme and leveraging resources through inter-agency partnerships. The Clusters can address key priorities, developing projects in partnership. This ensures coordination among diverse stakeholders, joint programming, information sharing, knowledge sharing on

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    While the first two can be stand alone criteria for up scaling, it is expected that the last two will be accompanied by either an increase in the number of beneficiaries/households or an increase in the area of coverage.

    How will the UNDP GEF SGP build capacities of partners for scaling-up?

    To take a pro-active stand and build capacities of SGP partners for scaling up of projects, the SGP will encourage cross sharing and visits between partners and their communities, sharing skills, ideas, technologies and knowledge. Regional workshops/ focused meetings will be organized to provide the partners with a common platform for cross learning and networking. This should in fact start at the year one of the ongoing projects time period

What “essential criterias” should be fulfilled by proposed scaling-up

    proposals?

    ; The ongoing SGP project should have clear monitoring and evaluation

    reports and audited accounts.

    ; Ongoing projects should indicate clear, quantifiable and qualitative results. ; The justification given for the up-scaling should be based on the lessons

    learnt from the ongoing project.

    ; Address livelihood, equality and gender concerns and sensitivities. ; Generate people‟s participation in planning, implementation and monitoring

    of programmes within project.

    ; Up-scaling efforts should not only focus on increasing the number of

    beneficiaries or geographical area, but should also address additional

    barriers, forge more partnerships & linkages and generate more co-

    financing.

    ; Scaling-up projects should be more financially sound than the ongoing

    project.

    ; Sources of co-financing and other partnerships should be clearly identified. ; Community mobilization should be strong and the community and the

    organization should have a clear idea of the additional risks, roles,

    contributions etc. associated with scaling up.

    ; Cross sharing with other SGP partners and exposure visits should be

    integrated into the project plan.

technical and policy issues, joint formulation of sectoral/thematic strategies, promote implementation synergies by combining support and common services.

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