Evaluation of People prtoecting Their Ecosystem in the Lower Mekong Delta (PEM)
The project aims to strengthen and inform vulnerable communities in the Lower Mekong, who are at risk of adverse impacts from extractive industries and hydropower development projects in two corridors; the Mekong mainstream and 3S tributaries directly and indirectly. PEM consists of two different but complementary components of works supported by two donors: Component 1: Community empowerment, integrity of ecosystem and biodiversity protection; Component 2: National and regional influencing. The project works with 11 partner organizations in Cambodia,Vietnam and Lao PDR. The five objectives for Component 1 are:
Objective 1: By 2015, at least 25 communities in target areas will have developed and implemented community natural resources management plans and at least 7 indigenous communities in Cambodia will have realized ""legal entity status"".
Objective 2: By 2015, regular inter-community exchanges will take place contributing to stronger networks of community based natural resource management initiatives in priority corridors, including the Lower Mekong, 3S, and Tonle Sap.
Objective 3: 4,000 (revised 3,300) families in target areas will identify and better adopt sustainable alternatives to traditional livelihoods that contribute to reduced pressure on scarce resources and endangered biodiversity.
Objective 4: By 2015, at least 3 tools will be implemented by civil society and communities to improve participatory documentation, monitoring, and assessment of ecosystems in target areas, including impacts of developments such as hydro and mining.
Objective 5: Young people have the capacity and opportunity to participate in community decision-making and management of natural resources.The single objective for Component 2 is: Objective 6: Governments, developers, and financiers increasingly consider environmental and social impacts and respect the rights and livelihoods of project-affected communities."
The Evaluation Team investigated whether the project had achieved its desired outcomes as stated in its project proposals while taking the project strategy evolution over time into consideration and identified the interventions and factors that led to the outcomes of the project.
Further, the Evaluation Team identified the strengths and lessons to inform the next phase’s implementation (2016-2018); and based on the context analysis and the project’s goals, recommended on strategic interventions in the next 6 years to ensure that the project achieves its long-term goals and yields the intended outcomes. The Team also examined to what extent the project had contributed to changes in policies and practices, including the roles that Oxfam and partners had played in achieving desired policy and practice change.
Finally, the project’s theory of change was assessed and recommendations for modifications made. The Evaluation included Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) in 18 villages out of the 25 targetted in Cambodia and Lao PDR. The FGDs and KIIs were structured around OECD/DAC principles for evaluation of development projects. Analysis of the data provided basis for the evaluation and the recommendations with regard to Component 1. Interviews were held with government institutions and other stakeholders in Cambodia. Together with document analysis these were the basis for the evaluation of Component 2.