The Strengthening Capacities in the Use of Geospatial Information for Improved Resilience in Asia-Pacific and Africa project aims to develop GIT capacities of beneficiary organizations in eight countries in Africa (Nigeria and Uganda), Asia (Bhutan, Bangladesh and Lao PDR) and the Pacific (Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) to improve the national response to climate risk. It targets relevant government organizations responsible for disaster risk, natural resource management and/or climate finance. The project spans from August 2021 to July 2024 and is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and implemented by UNOSAT.

The project aims to enhanced GIT capacities through training delivered in various modalities, solutions tailored to beneficiaries' needs and resources, and establishing a community of practice and a knowledge platform that includes UNOSAT technical backstopping and support from peers.

It was agreed that the midline evaluation should take the format of an interactive in-person review workshop instead of an in-depth midline evaluation. The purpose of the midline review workshop was to reflect upon opportunities and challenges during the first one and a half to two years of the project, both during the scoping phase and the early implementation phase. Progress was discussed and compared to the situation reflected in the baseline evaluation and revised Theory of Change (ToC). The review focused on the effectiveness, efficiency and early indication on impact of the OECD DAC evaluation criteria.

The in-person workshop was complemented by two online pre-workshops (one for Pacific countries and another for Asian and African countries) and the deployment of a survey of technical training participants, backstopping support requesters and awareness-raising event participants. The midline workshop adopted a mixed methods approach and comprised various data collection tools, namely: i) a document review; ii) participants and backstopping services requesters online survey; iii) informal consultations with the project management; iv) a focus group discussion; v) an outcome harvesting exercise; and vi) scorecard completion.

The midline workshop encountered limitations related to unequal implementation progress across countries mostly derived from the implementation of a preceding project in the Pacific countries and a late start of the implementation phase in Nigeria. The scorecard for Uganda was not filled in during the in-person workshop due to logistical constraints and was received by the evaluation team only after the review was concluded.

Key review findings and conclusions

Effectiveness: The project’s theory of change was found robust with clear links between project activities, outputs, and intermediate and institutional outcomes. However, links between outputs, and intermediate and institutional outcomes need reformulation.

Moreover, the project has made significant progress in delivering its outputs, which have contributed to attaining some intermediate outcomes such as trained technical stakeholders confirming application of knowledge and skills. However, progress across target countries has been uneven, influenced by variations in the initial capacities and prior experience in implementing projects with UNOSAT. While the project’s beneficiary organizations have increased and sustained their GIT capacities, trained personnel do not possess the power to increase budget allocations, limiting the reach of acquired capacities.

As an unintended consequence, the project has catalysed the development of synergies with other government organizations contributing to expanding the reach of GIT applications.

Regarding progress towards attaining gender equality, the project has no discernible gender strategy beyond aiming for parity in trainings and has not influenced gender parity in the GIT sector within participating countries. Nevertheless, focal organizations are aware of the importance of the issue.

Efficiency: Project stakeholders followed project implementation procedures, communications and reporting. However, project stakeholders agree that delays in disbursements of project funds have affected project implementation. Moreover, project stakeholders need better transparency and communication of the project’s budget and expenditure.

Progress towards impact: There is evidence of the project starting to cause a transformational change towards improving resilience by making disaster preparedness and response more efficient, as well as by setting the basis for a systematic climate change adaptation response by governments and private individuals.


The evaluation issued a set of seven recommendations:

  1. On project sustainability: The project should prioritize the development of the knowledge platform and CoP to ensure that project participants have sufficient confidence to apply the project's GIT solutions, in addition to continuing backstopping services. At the same time, the focal point organizations should ensure sufficient budget to maintain the position of the project's national GIS experts. Training of trainers may need to be advanced to take place before the project’s final month to allow for trainers’ practice.
  2. On project implementation: The project should make the web application solution finalization a priority in order to allow for accompanied use of the app by August 2024.
  3. On mobilizing funding: UNOSAT and the focal point organization should, in consultation with the donor, design a strategy to mobilise funding for a subsequent phase and consolidate results, especially in those countries where the project implementation is delayed, or extend support to further countries. A better definition and orientation of "awareness-raising events" could be the conduit to communicate project results better to advocate for further funding.
  4. On administration and finance: The project should clearly communicate administrative procedures to national focal agencies and share project resource estimates by country to improve transparency and allow focal points to use the information for ministerial reporting.
  5. On communication and reporting: The project should put additional emphasis on regular communication products that can be shared with national focal points and should include impact stories, and monitoring and evaluation results so that focal points can better report and present to their national authorities and other ministries.
  6. On gender equality and needs: Project management should brainstorm jointly with national focal points and in-country experts regarding additional avenues to address women’s needs in GIS, aligning with national gender equality strategies and following up on the current engagement of female university students, to enable a more inclusive future professional pool.
  7. On reporting unplanned outcomes resulting from backstopping requests: Project management should align backstopping requests to project outcomes, including unplanned outcomes, and develop a monitoring survey that is sent to requesters to better understand the potential results obtained following the request completion.

Lessons learned

Following a participatory approach during the midline review workshop, nine lessons learned from the first half of the project implementation were identified:

Project nomenclature
The significance of project nomenclature is demonstrated in awareness-raising campaigns and communicating results effectively. Excessively lengthy and dull project titles may have limitations, making it beneficial to opt for a more engaging and catchier title to enhance the impact of the project.

There remains significant work to be done regarding gender mainstreaming and dissemination of the project’s gender efforts. The project’s current engagement of female students is indeed a good strategy to enable a more inclusive future professional pool. 

Open-source software and other tools
Utilizing open-source software, such as QGIS, is effective. It is likewise essential to customize the tools to suit specific country requirements. Prioritising enhancement of data availability and accessibility is paramount.

Coordination and communication
Consistent communication with partners and sharing project outcomes with higher officials and authorities is fundamental to magnifying project results and expanding project outreach.

Monitoring Results
Employing scorecards and other monitoring instruments is essential in visualising project progress, offering valuable insights for effective decision-making and planning.

Synergies and cooperation with other initiatives expands the project's reach and avoids overlaps.

Fostering knowledge exchanges among focal point organizations in participating countries can effectively address challenges and should be further promoted through yearly stakeholder meetings.

Country ownership
Country ownership is fundamental for successful implementation and sustainability.

More technical capacity building is needed, including reaching subnational authorities and organizations at the provincial, district and community levels.


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