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IABIN-GEF PROJECT Lessons Learned in Four Years of Implementation Boris Ram

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Lessons Learned in Four Years of Implementation Boris Ram rez and Rita Besana IABIN Secretariat IABIN Vision Meeting Washington, DC, 28 29 October, 2008 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: IABIN-GEF PROJECT Lessons Learned in Four Years of Implementation Boris Ram


1
IABIN-GEF PROJECT Lessons Learned in Four Years
of Implementation Boris Ramírez and Rita
Besana IABIN Secretariat
  • IABIN Vision Meeting
  • Washington, DC, 28 29 October, 2008

2
Background and Objectives
  • The activities implemented have been based on the
    Project Implementation Plan (PIP)
  • How the PIP has been interpreted has greatly
    influenced how well the activities have addressed
    the needs
  • With this in mind we will highlight what went
    well and what could have been better

3
IABIN
  • Is IABIN Necessary?
  • Fills gaps Standards, tools, training, grants
  • Bridges DP FP
  • Bridges Regions
  • Integration of different type of data
  • Is IABIN feasible?
  • Concept is proven
  • Needs a lot of coordination (general national)
  • Needs Funds

4
Project Planning
  • What Went Well
  • Letters of support/co-financing to obtain GEF
    funding from 78 organizations

5
Project Planning
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Organizations who gave co-financing letters
    should have been informed of the responsibility
    they were acquiring to report on a semester basis
    on the co-financing they offered -- very few sent
    co-financing reports during implementation
    because it required work and they gained nothing
    from project
  • Too much time was allowed to pass between the
    obtaining of these letters and any communication
    with the organizations (2003 to 2005) many of
    the people who signed them were no longer there

6
Project Planning
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Consultants who carried out the Regional
    Analysis in 2003 promised to send reports to the
    organizations but none were sent this caused
    initial distrust in IABIN during project
    implementation. Final reports should have been
    sent to all participants.
  • Same thing happened with initial Consultant for
    Mid Term Review

7
Physical Host of the Secretariat In City of
Knowledge, Panama
  • What Went Well
  • Support in facilities, utilities, equipment,
    administration of donations, introduction to
    potential donors, secretarial assistance
  • Panama is centric and convenient in terms of
    travel, not too expensive
  • CoK Hemispheric Hub for other organizations (UN,
    Red Cross, etc.) and offers many opportunities
    for networking
  • Panama offers good quality of life for the
    Secretariat staff vis-à-vis the salaries paid

8
Physical Host of the Secretariat In City of
Knowledge, Panama
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Better choice of building/internet access
    provider other than CATHALAC

9
Project Implementation Plan (PIP)
  • What Went Well
  • Requesting a 21 co-financing from CIs to
    implement the TNs a first for a GEF Project

10
Project Implementation Plan (PIP)
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Implementation of pilot projects in selected
    countries would have achieved a greater
    involvement from at least some countries --
    better results with the funds available instead
    of spreading thin among 34 countries

11
Project Implementation Plan (PIP)
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • The contractual relationship with the
    Coordinating Institutions should have been better
    thought out in the signing of the agreements
    given requirement that each CI contribute 21
    funding
  • Implementation of Components was planned to
    happen at the same time while the results from
    Component 1 were needed to implement Component 2
    and Component 3

12
Implementation Strategy
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • The Hemisphere has Regions with different
    interests, degree of development, integration and
    capacity it would have been better to be able
    to target regions depending on their needs and
    the ability/resources of IABIN to respond to
    those (e.g. In the Caribbean there is a great
    technological obstacle which IABIN could have
    addressed)
  • It would have given better results in some
    countries to have identified the few/key data
    providers and target them directly

13
Implementation Strategy
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • No funds earmarked in the PIP for outreach to
    potential donors nor potential data providers
  • Naïve concept of how to achieve sustainability
  • Requiring the Director to fundraise for his/her
    own salary when there were no products yet ready
    to sell nor resources to cultivate donors
  • Expecting that requiring co-financing from CIs
    would cause these to become owners of the TN
    and to carry out their own fundraising to
    maintain it

14
Selection of a Technical Secretariat
  • What Went Well
  • Good division of knowledge, skills and experience
    to complement each other
  • Multidisciplinary team
  • Team work
  • In-depth knowledge of IABIN, its stakeholders,
    the implementation of the GEF Project
  • Contacts in the global conservation and
    bioinformatics community
  • Main face of IABIN
  • Oversight of the Thematic Networks
  • Outreach to potential data providers
  • Organizational memory
  • Insights for IABINs future

15
Technical Secretariat
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Closer follow up with Coordinating Institutions

16
Project Implementation
  • What Went Well
  • OAS as a Convener
  • IABIN Member Countries respect the OAS and
    respond to its summons
  • Opened opportunities at Summits and other Fora
  • Good management of administrative processes

17
Project Implementation
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Decision-making Process
  • OAS made almost all the decisions conceptual,
    operational and administrative
  • Unclear Roles and Responsibilities between OAS
    and Secretariat
  • Stronger Involvement from the IEC would have
    made a difference

18
Project Implementation
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Decision-making process
  • More communication between OAS Project Manager
    and Secretariat staff for purposes of
    coordination, planning
  • Face-to-face meetings for planning and/or
    supervision (none were carried out)

19
Project Implementation
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Decision-making Process how it should be
  • IEC conceptual and overarching decisions
  • Secretariat Operational decisions, day by day
  • OAS Establishment of administrative systems,
    management of contracts and agreements,
    enforcement of procurement rules and payment of
    bills

20
Outreach
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Many people/organizations see IABIN as only the
    GEF Project.
  • Initiatives that are not part of the GEF Project
    are not considered as important for the
    Secretariat to cultivate (FAO Panama, CIDES, DGF)
  • Participation of Secretariat in international
    initiatives would give IABIN a wider range (GBIF,
    GEOSS, etc.)

21
Procurement Process
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Contracting of some of the key players would
    have been easier without having to open up bids
    the strong players in the Hemisphere were known
    and could have been approached directly
  • Data content grantees could have been approached
    directly for a more uniform distribution of data
    providers from all countries

22
Selecting a Consortium Led by a Coordinating
Institution for Each Thematic Network
  • What Went Well
  • Powerful idea of synergy of a Consortium
  • Experts/Leaders in their area
  • Leveraging for IABIN technically and
    financially
  • Diversifying the risks requesting a 21
    co-financing from each CI

23
Establishment of Thematic Working Groups
  • What Went Well
  • Information Technology TWG made possible the
    interoperability of the TNs
  • Added synergy and great knowledge to each TN
  • Created and cultivated camaraderie among members
    of TNs and others (e.g. GBIF, UT, etc.)

24
Development of Long-lasting Bioinformatics
infrastructure
  • What Went Well
  • Standards and protocols for each TN
  • Software Data interoperability and exchange,
    data digitizing, portals, web templates
  • Unique contribution Ecosystems

25
Capacity Building
  • What Went Well
  • Grants to make data accessible
  • Training in the use of data digitizing and other
    tools
  • Unique contribution awareness of alien
    invasive species even among scientist
  • One-to-one proposal development (only with PATN
    data providers)

26
Focal Points
  • What Went Well
  • IABIN's main face in the country
  • Link to country's individual bioinformatics needs
  • Main point for dissemination of information at
    the national level

27
Focal Points
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Only a few Focal Points respond and get involved
  • Many Focal Points attend meetings but rarely
    participate of discussions. Other times they send
    a substitute who has no background on IABIN
  • Great amount of time spent in sending messages
    with no response from FPs
  • No notification to OAS/Secretariat when a Focal
    Point changes or when an email address, phone
    number or other contact information changes
    Secretariat and OAS have difficulty in reaching
    Focal Points without current information

28
Focal Point
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • IABIN is a low priority for some FPs other
    initiatives take their time and attention
  • If FP is not interested and does not carry out
    follow up, trainings and other capacity building
    are wasted
  • Opportunities missed for countries

29
Project Administration
  • What Could Have Been Better
  • Contract process too slow (e.g. donations that
    were approved in December 2007 have not yet been
    signed)
  • Legal processes caused several contracts to fall
    off (e.g. Catalog, ETN) flexibility should
    prevail
  • Extremely complex processes OAS-Secretariat-CIs-
    WB. OAS has to convince WB, WB takes its time to
    respond (sometimes months).

30
In Spite of Everything
All of Us Together have come far! A recent
review of Project Objectives Shows they will be
achieved by end of Project
Thank you for your attention
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