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Stephen Karekezi (lead consultant)

Jack Muthui and Waeni kithyoma (associate consultants)


Article 12.5 of the UNFCCC requires non-Annex 1 parties (except those least developed countries) to make their initial communication “within three (3) years of the entry into force of the convention for that party, or of the availability of financial resource” 

In pursuit of the above objective, the National Environment Secretariat (NES) under the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (at that time referred to as Ministry of Environmental Conservation) undertook the enabling activity project on “Enabling activities for the preparation of Initial National Communication related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)”.  The Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funded this project. The project was approved in March 1999 and the final national communication report was printed in June, 2002 marking the end of the project.  The main objective of the project was to prepare an initial national communication through updating of results from previous projects, fill in identified data and analytical gaps and further enhance and strengthen Kenya’s scientific and technical capacity in climate change as required by articles 4.1 and 12.1 of the UNFCCC. 

This evaluation aims at reviewing the aforementioned project, which is designed to help Kenya in meeting its commitments to the UNFCCC. It is part of a comprehensive review of climate change activities in Kenya, and complements UNEP / GEF’s related environmental activities in Kenya such as projects addressing issues of biological diversity, international waters, and ozone layer. 

The scope of this evaluation covers the activities undertaken in the preparation of Kenya’s first national communication. It compares the initial objectives of the project with the actual results and assesses the impact of the project. It also examines the technical and operational aspects of the project. Further, it assesses the appropriateness of the project in meeting the long-term objectives of UNEP / GEF and UNFCCC. Success of project implementation is based achievement of the objectives of the project, sustainability of the conducted activities and on the timeliness of meeting schedules. 

In line with UNFCCC guidelines for the preparation of national communications, the project undertook the following key activities:

  • Review of national circumstances

  • Evaluation of sustainable development

  • Preparation of national Green House Gases (GHGs) inventory

  • Assessment of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change

  • Investigation of mitigation options

  • Implementation of associated education, training and public awareness initiatives

The overall assessment is that the project was successful and met its main objective of preparing an initial national communication document. In addition, the results of the project have been integrated into national policy making for example through contributions to the National Economic Survey and National Development Plan. Papers on the various issues covered in the national communication document have been presented at various national, regional and international fora. 

The national communication report was launched during the World Bank Carbon Finance Workshop of April 2003 where five (5) ministers (from the ministry of energy, finance, planning, environment and transport) were in attendance. Copies of the document were distributed.  This was a commendable effort in trying to reach top-level policy makers and should be encouraged in future projects. Other fora, which could prove effective, include dedicated policy makers workshops involving policy makers from Government ministries and utilities and breakfast briefings for high-level policy makers, including ministers and permanent secretaries who may be available for early morning meetings. Outreach to parliamentarians can be achieved by availing documents to the parliament library and organizing workshops to enlighten members of parliament on climate change issues when important bills with climate change implications are under discussion. 

In terms of timeliness, the project implementation took longer than expected. The project proposal indicates duration of one (1) year but the project took three (3) years to complete. The delay can be attributed mainly to coordination problems experienced in the working groups and to a lesser extent by delays in accessing of funds by the Ministry due to complex internal procedures. Project extensions were approved by UNEP. However the project duration is still within the UNFCCC target of three (3) years as stated in article 12.5. 

It is commendable that coordination problems that caused a delay in the finalization of the national communication document were solved through organization of a writing workshop, which brought together various experts to compile the materials produced and compile the final document. Such workshops should be encouraged in future projects. 

One of the issues highlighted in this evaluation is that no funding was provided for the GHGs inventory as the country had received funding for the same through an earlier GEF funded regional project. The project relied largely on secondary data gathered from related projects, which were conducted some time back.  Some of the data was outdated and affected the overall quality of the project.  The evaluation team is of the opinion that a comprehensive inventory of GHGs should be undertaken in future projects. 

The project proposal document was too ambitious in some of its targets. One of the activities to be undertaken was a least cost mitigation analysis for various sectors. This was not possible given the limited expertise and resources available. 

It was noted that there was limited private sector and civil society participation in project implementation.  Their participation should be encouraged in future projects since their activities impact on climate change.  A starting point would be through involvement of associations such as the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) and the NGO Council of Kenya. 

With regard to gender considerations it was noted that very few women participated in the implementation of the project. However it was commendable that the Government appointed a woman to manage the project.  In future projects, efforts should be made to involve more women in project implementation. 

Though the project was meant only to document the planned programmes for public awareness, few activities for public awareness were also budgeted but not completed as planned. Radio transcripts prepared were not aired and posters and brochures produced were not distributed in key national events such as the ASK show.  It is recommended that future projects should enhance media involvement by inviting journalists for public awareness workshops and urging them to publish feature articles in national and regional newspapers. 

The evaluation team observed that the national communication document has not been distributed widely and this may limit the overall impact of the project. To enhance awareness and impact of the project at the national, regional and global level, the national communication document should at the minimum, be distributed in its electronic version through a dedicated web-site, electronic mailing lists and CD packs.  It should be distributed to the National Archive, National Libraries, and University Libraries in the region. 

In overall terms, the evaluators received very good co-operation from the project managers and individuals interviewed. Comments received proved valuable while compiling the final evaluation recommendations.

Below is a table providing an assessment of key performance indicators of the project.

Table showing Implementation Success of the Project





Project initially planned for 1 year as per the project proposal, completed after 3 years though still within UNFCCC target

3 – Good

Attainment of outputs

Key output – National Communication produced

2 – Very Good

Completion of Activities

Most of the key activities were completed. However resource constraints hindered public awareness and dissemination activities

3 – Good

Project executed within budget

The main outputs were achieved within the budget limit provided.

3 - Good

Impact created by the project

- Incorporation of results into national policy formulation.

- Enhanced capacity of participating individuals

2 - Very Good


- Government has shown strong commitment to environmental management issues and incorporated project results into key policy documents

- Need for wider dissemination to enhance public awareness and achieve sustainability.

3 – Good

Major problems faced and resolved successfully

- After long delays, writing workshop organized to produce national Communication.

- Ministry able to provide funding when disbursements from UNEP were delayed.

2 – Very Good

Overall Rating


3 – Good

[1] Rating scale used: 1-excellent; 2-very good; 3-good; 4-satisfactory; 5-unsatisfactory

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