Review of ‘Integration of environmental concerns and civil society engagement in petroleum-related Norwegian development cooperation and the development of petroleum resources in developing countries’

About the publication

  • Published: September 2012
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Nordic Consulting Group (NCG)
  • Commissioned by: WWF-Norway
  • Country: Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique
  • Theme:
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: WWF-Norway
  • Local partner: WWF-Uganda; WWF Coastal East Africa Initiative; WWF-Madagascar (Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Programme Office – MWIOPO)
  • Project number: GLO-0630, QZA-09/277
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

WWF has been involved with the Oil for Development Initiative in the five African countries listed above, since 2007. The evaluation covers the project period 2010-12 (Norad agreement GLO-0630, QZA-09/277). During this time WWF and partners have built up networks and platforms of civil society organizations (CSOs), and have developed the capacity of our partners and stakeholders to 1) engage in the public debate on petroleum development, with policy makers and with the private sector, and 2) to influence oil and gas development such that negative environmental and social impacts are limited.   

Project Purpose / Objective:
‘An active and informed civil society increasingly holds government and the petroleum sector accountable for natural resource management and equitable governance contributing to sustainable development.’

Evaluation Methodology:
The evaluation largely followed OECD evaluation criteria and structure. It included:
- Interviews conducted in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and Norway.
- Questionnaires answered by project stakeholders, including public officials, CSOs, project partners, private enterprises, Norwegian embassies, and local WWF staff.
- Desk study of background documentation, incl. project proposals and budgets, Logical Framework Analysis (LFA), work plans, publications, Technical Progress-  and Financial Reports
- Report writing and presentations.

Selected key findings:
The evaluation concluded that the project is relevant and important, given the challenges facing local communities and the environment in areas of petroleum development in target countries. For example:

The project’s contribution has been important for transparency, information dissemination, advocacy and campaigning on environmental issues within the petroleum sector”.
 “There is definitely need for civil society engagement in the petroleum sector”.
“The Project initiatives with strengthening platforms, alliances and networks have … been of significant value.”
 “With the exception of politically backward countries, the demand for CSO participation could… soon be on the rise.”

WWF’s role was found to be valuable.  For example:
WWF can also mobilize international expertise and thus aspires to conduct meaningful dialogue with high-level stakeholders in the petroleum sector”.

Certain challenges were identified regarding budgets and documentation of results, and on project duration in relation to project ambition. For example:
“There have been difficulties with budget absorption: Under this funding period in 2010 a total of 16% of the budget was thus returned to Norad, and in 2011 10,4%.”
“The overall output achievement rate for the Project period 2010-11 is found to be about 60%.  
“There are few prospects that this kind of capacity can be transferred to the local civil society organizations in the short or medium term.” 

Selected recommendations, and proposed and implemented follow-up by WWF:
“There is a need for concentration to a limited number of countries. Madagascar and Kenya are no longer OfD countries within the wider program. … Both these countries are thus candidates for removal from the Project.”
WWF disagrees with pulling out of Madagascar completely, but as a consequence of central OfD priorities have presented Norad with a 2-year phase-out plan. As a key part of the East African Community we propose to maintain low-level CSO support and engagement in Kenya.

“The Project should distinguish more clearly between Project Partners and wider Associates, and Cooperating Institutions. … Partners should primarily comprise of CSOs and NGOs.”
WWF disagrees, but are however willing to differentiate clearer between core partners and others.

Very few <activities> have any distinctive gender dimension, and improvement is needed here.”
The gender dimension has been strengthened in WWF’s 2013-15 project proposal to Norad.

“The OfD Embassy project in Mozambique, and Civil Society Uganda should be joined with the OfD Project, to facilitate reporting and avoid confusion.”
WWF proposes to merge Civil Society Uganda (EMIS) with OfD Uganda in its application to Norad for funding from 2013. OfD Mozambique has been separated from the Project in terms of funding, management and reporting, while joint planning and cooperation will continue.

“The project should be continued with concentration on core objectives and efforts, strengthen the basis of what has been achieved, and entertain realistic prospects for what can possibly be achieved in a coming 3 years period.”
WWF has submitted a project proposal and funding application to Norad for 2013-15 addressing this point.

Comments from the organization:
WWF-Norway finds the evaluation to be thorough, accurate, and useful in developing the project further. The consultants (NCG) were professional,  appropriately flexible, and delivered on time and within budget.

WWF had some questions and concerns about the methodology and approach taken, mainly regarding the “achievement ratings”, and the basing of conclusions to a large extent on the brief in-country visits and limited interviews.  This was particularly relevant to the Madagascar discussions.

Other questions and comments, primarily regarding the presentation of findings and recommendations in the draft report, were submitted to the consultants.  The consultants dealt thoroughly with WWF’s feedback, and addressed the issues raised. Most of the issues have largely been resolved.  Based on these processes, and the final report, WWF accept the general findings, conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation.

The evaluation was used in a September 2012 project review and planning workshop, involving representatives from all implementing countries and WWF International, which was the basis for preparing a project proposal and application for funding for the period 2013-15, submitted to Norad in October 2012.  The evaluation will continue to be used to inform future work in this area.

Published 14.12.2012
Last updated 16.02.2015