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TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.TABLE OF CONTENTSAbbreviations . iiiI.Introduction to the LORTA programme . 1II. LORTA Design Workshop in Mannheim, Germany . 2A. General remarks . 2B.Outcomes of the group work . 3Group 1 . 3Group 2 . 4Group 3 . 4Group 4 . 5Group 5 . 5Group 6 . 6Group 7 . 6Group 8 . 7C.Project selection . 7III. Way forward . 9A. Engagement with stakeholders and formative work . 9B.Reports . 9C.Timeline . 10Appendix I: LORTA design workshop agenda . 11Appendix II: Outcomes from group work . 15i

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.FIGURESFigure 1: Timeline for inception phase (Phase I) . 10ii

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.ABBREVIATIONSAEaccredited entityAFMadaptive forest managementAFSagroforestry systemBAGRIBanque Agricole du NigerBRCRNBuilding a Resilient Churia Region in NepalC4EDCenter for Evaluation and DevelopmentCBFSclimate business field schoolsCBOcommunity based organizationCBPPcommunity based participatory planningCCclimate changeCCAGclimate change adaptation groupsCFMCcommunity forest management committeesCRLUPclimate resilient land use practicesCRVCclimate resilient value chainsCRAclimate resilient agricultureCSAclimate smart agricultureCS-FORCarbon Sequestration through Climate Investment in Forests and RangelandsDiDdifference in differencesEAPearly action ProtocolsEbAecosystem-based adaptationECCCPExtended Community Climate Change ProjectEOextension officersEWSearly warning systemFAOfood and agriculture organizationFbAforecast-based early actionsFbFforecast-based financingFCSfood consumption scoreFESfood expenditure shareiii

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.FFAfood assistance for assetsFGDfocus group discussionFMforest managementFOfarmer organizationsFPICfree, prior and informed consentFSCforest stewardship councilGCFGreen Climate FundGFWGlobal Forest WatchGHGgreenhouse gasGISgeographic information systemsGRNGovernment of Republic of NamibiaICCintra-cluster correlationIDBInter-American Development BankINRMCRPintegrated natural resource management and climate resilience plansINRMintegrated natural resource managementIEUIndependent evaluation UnitIFADInternational Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentIGAincome generating activitiesKDSSknowledge and decision support systemKIIkey informant interviewLORTALearning-oriented Real-time Impact AssessmentLSMS-ISAliving standards measurement study - integrated surveys on agricultureM&Emonitoring & evaluationMDESminimum detectable effect sizeMFImicrofinance institutionMH-IBFmulti-hazard impact-based forecastingMoUmemorandum of understandingMSMEmedium, small, and micro enterprisesMTAMinistry of Land and Environmentiv

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.NACSONamibia Association for Community Based NaturalResource Management Support OrganizationNDAnationally designated authorityNGOnon-governmental organizationNRMnatural resources managementOFWMon-farm water managementPOproducers’ organizationsPSMpropensity score matchingRBPresults-based paymentRCTrandomized controlled trialRDDregression discontinuity designRKDFRussian-Kyrgyz-Development-FundREDD reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradationSDstandard deviationSFMsustainable forest managementSLMsustainable land managementSNRMsustainable natural resources managementSOPstandard operating proceduresSWATsoil & water assessment toolToCtheory of changeUNFCCCUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate ChangeVSLvillage saving and loansWFPWorld Food Programmev

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.I. INTRODUCTION TO THELORTA PROGRAMMEEvaluating the impact of development projectsand programme has gained importance inrecent years. Impact evaluation allows for notonly increased transparency by measuringoutcomes but also the opportunity to design andimplement development projects moreeffectively. To contribute to this development,the Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU) of theGreen Climate Fund (GCF) started theLearning-Oriented Real-Time ImpactAssessment (LORTA) programme in 2018.provide rapid lessons on the early progress ofthe projects.LORTA is organised in three phases: Phase I – formative engagement anddesign: Once a year, the LORTA DesignWorkshop is held to select GCF-fundedprojects suitable for impact evaluationout of the GCF portfolio of projects to bepart of LORTA. IEU supports theseprojects to build high-quality, theorybased impact evaluation designs atinception. Formative work includeengagement with project teams,accredited entities (AEs), and GCF staffand designs for theory-based impactevaluations. So far, twelve projects(seven in 2018 and five in 2019) havegone through Phase I and six newprojects are entering Phase I in 2020. Phase II – impact assessment: Thesecond phase of LORTA will involve themain impact assessment stage (3–5 years)and include implementing measurementand tracking systems, collecting baselineand endline data (both qualitative andquantitative), and continuous monitoringfor real-time learning. The twelve GCFfunded projects have already transitionedfrom Phase I to Phase II, of which oneproject has already completed Phase II. Phase III – data analysis and feedback:The final stage will involve analysingbaseline and endline data (bothqualitative and quantitative), discussingresults and engaging with diversestakeholders to share results andincorporate feedback as required.Currently, one project is in Phase III.The LORTA programme has the followingaims: To embed real-time impact evaluationsinto funded projects/programmes so GCFprogramme managers can quickly accessaccurate data on the programme’s qualityof implementation and likelihood ofimpactTo build capacity within projects todesign high-quality data sets for overallimpact measurementThe LORTA programme incorporates state-ofthe-art approaches for impact evaluations tomeasure results and inform about theeffectiveness and efficiency of GCF projects.The purpose of these impact evaluations is tomeasure the change in key result areas of theGCF that can be attributed to project activities.Therefore, LORTA uses theory-basedcounterfactual impact assessment (experimentalor quasi-experimental) designs. Furthermore,LORTA employs mixed-methods approachesthat involve both quantitative and qualitativemethods. The real-time measurement systemsand qualitative data systems established forimpact evaluation will help project teamsmeasure progress in implementation and1

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.II. VIRTUAL LORTA DESIGNWORKSHOPA. General remarksThe third LORTA Design Workshop was againorganised by the IEU and the Center forEvaluation and Development (C4ED). Due tothe COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 LORTAworkshop was postponed several times andfinally it was decided that it will not be held inperson. Instead, a digital form of the workshop,consisting of different parts stretched over aperiod of eight weeks, was discussed and aformat was agreed on. It took place from 21September to 16 November 2020 over a videoconferencing platform. Participants wererepresentatives from different divisions withinthe GCF, including the IEU, impact evaluationspecialists from C4ED and other entities, aswell as representatives of AEs, implementingpartners and project staff from 16 GCF-fundedprojects.The aims of the workshop were manifold:1. Increase of understanding among projectrepresentatives of the importance ofimpact assessment and rigorousmeasurement systems.2. Opportunity for participants to gainbasic knowledge or further increase theirknowledge about impact evaluations,learn from case studies and beingintroduced to different impact evaluationmethods (especially randomized andquasi-experimental designs).3. Opportunity for project representativesto critically discuss viable impactevaluation designs for their respectiveprojects, under the guidance ofexperienced and qualified impactevaluation specialists.4. Application of lessons learned andinformation received in online sessionsabout impact assessment by projectrepresentatives to their own project.5. Identification of promising GCF-fundedprojects for which impact evaluationdesigns shall then be worked out in theremaining inception and engagementphase 2020 of the LORTA programme.The workshop consisted of different elementsand capacity-building measures using variousdigital formats, such as a live webinar everyweek, a learning video for each topic of thewebinar, additional reading material as well asonline breakout group sessions (for the fullworkshop agenda, please refer to Appendix I).During the eight webinars, the following topicswere discussed:1. Webinar 1: What is LORTA? Why is itimportant?2. Webinar 2 – Theories of change (ToC)3. Webinar 3 - Evaluation questions andindicators4. Webinar 4 -Experimental impactevaluation5. Webinar 5 - Non-experimental impactevaluation6. Webinar 6 - Sample size and powercalculations7. Webinar 7 - Timeline and budget8. Webinar 8 - Rapid-fire presentations andclosing remarksFor all webinars except webinar 8, a learningvideo as well as the reading material wasshared with participants in advance to increasethe understanding of the topics of the webinar.All learning videos were recorded by IEU andC4ED jointly and lasted between 20 and 40minutes. The reading material consisted of2

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.papers, book chapters and guidelines, and wereintended to deepen and add to the knowledgeconveyed through the videos.The breakout group sessions were organized inparallel to the webinars, such that each week inthe breakout session the topic of the followingwebinar was discussed. Breakout groups wereformed by project team members from twodifferent projects, led by one or two impactevaluation specialists from C4ED, IEU or otherentities and in some cases supported bybehavioral science specialists. During the groupwork sessions, the corresponding topic of theweek was discussed in general as well as forthe particular case of the project (summaries ofthe groupwork can be found in chapter B aswell as in Appendix II).During the webinars, the learning videos werebriefly revisited and summarized. After that,the readings were critically discussed includingengagement of the participants by suggestingdifferent discussion points and opening thefloor for questions. This was followed by apresentation of the group work each project hadto do in the preceding week. For each webinar,two projects were randomly selected to present.Following the project’s presentations, questionswere encouraged. At the end of all webinars(except webinar 8), a short quiz was conductedto engage participants more actively and to testtheir knowledge and attention during thebreakout sessions and webinar.In the last webinar, participants were asked topresent the outcome of their group work andthe discussed plans for impact evaluation in a3-minute presentations to the whole audience.B. Outcomes of the group workThe 8 groups worked on their tasks with thesupport from one or two impact evaluationspecialists from C4ED, IEU or otherinstitutions. The groups were also supported byIEU behavioral science colleagues as well ascolleagues from the Busara Center forBehavioral Economics. The outcomes of thegroup work on the above-mentioned six tasksfor all 16 participating projects are summarizedbelow and described in more detail inAppendix II.Group 1A) FP048: Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)Risk Sharing Facility for MSMEs (Guatemalaand Mexico)This project started in 2018 and will last until2033. The goal is to deliver tailored financialinstruments and services to individual farmersand micro, small, and medium sized enterprises(MSMEs) working in the climate smart agroforestry (CSA) space in Mexico andGuatemala. A quasi-experimental matchingdesign was developed for the impactevaluation. The goal is to match thecharacteristics of participants to nonparticipants. Since financial assistance isoffered to some MSMEs in addition totechnical assistance, it allows a potential multitreatment arm design. This design allows forunderstanding the differential impacts of thedifferent interventions and assistance offered aswell as the total effect of loans and technicalassistance.B) FP101: Resilient Rural Belize (Be-Resilient)The project started in 2019 and will end in2024. The goal is to develop value chains ofsmallholder farmers that are resilient andadapted to the effects of climate change. Thematching grant and backyard gardeninterventions were deemed to be suitable forevaluation. The impact evaluation design willbe different for the two interventions due to3

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.their differences in implementation. For thematching grant fund, the most appropriatedesign was determined to be a cluster matchingquasi-experimental design. For the backyardgarden it was determined that an experimentallottery design is feasible.Group 2A) FP108: Transforming the Indus Basin withClimate Resilient Agriculture and WaterManagement (Pakistan)This project started in 2019 and continues until2025. The objective is to transform agriculture inthe Basin by increasing resilience among themost vulnerable farmers and strengthening thegovernment’s capacity to support theircommunities to adapt. The interventionsconsidered most appropriate for evaluation arethose that strengthen farmers' resilience toclimate change through skills, knowledge andtechnology. As resources are limited, a lotteryand cluster design could be applied.Alternatively, matching approaches or aregression discontinuity design (RDD) would befeasible. The early start of the intervention andconcerns about the availability of budgetconstitute a big challenge.B) FP116: Carbon Sequestration throughClimate Investment in Forests and Rangelandsin Kyrgyz Republic (CS-FOR)This project started in January 2020 and lastsuntil 2027. The aim is to shift from a localeconomy that is currently negatively impactingon carbon storage potential of ecosystems to alow-carbon emission economy wheremitigation investments will trigger and enhanceresilience of ecosystems as well as ofcommunities. The intervention most suitablefor evaluation is the climate-sensitive valuechains development which aims to support thedevelopment of the selected value chains’participants towards higher efficiency andcompetitiveness of the marketed product.Random selection of treatment village clustersbased on a phase-in design was proposed andconsidered feasible by the project team.However, this needs to be verified in theongoing process of project set-up andimplementation. Alternatively, matchingapproaches potentially combined withdifference in differences design (DiD) or RDDcould be applied.Group 3A) FP110: Ecuador REDD-plus results-basedpayments (RBP) for Results Period 2014The project started in 2019 and will continueuntil 2026. The aim of the project is to provideEcuador with an integrated, coherent packageof policies and measures to reduce emissionsfrom land-use degradation and land-usechange. The project component most suitablefor impact evaluation is the transition tosustainable agricultural production systems.Since associations were already selected by aprevious project and beneficiaries are alreadyreceiving an initial treatment, randomizationwas not possible. Therefore, a DiD withmatching design was suggested for the impactevaluation.B) FP111: Promoting climate-resilient forestrestoration and silviculture for thesustainability of water-related ecosystemservices (Honduras)The programme will start in the beginning of2021 with a lifespan of five years. Its generalobjective is to help improve the climateresilience of forests in areas critical to the watersupply. Its specific objectives are to: (i) restoreforest cover; and (ii) strengthen governance andfinancial sustainability for adaptive forestmanagement (AFM), of which the formercomponent was considered most suitable for4

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.evaluation. The suggested impact evaluationdesign is a phased-in design with clusters,which will allow to measure the effect on thebeneficiary households. For other evaluationquestions (e.g. on CO2 emissions andgroundwater availability) it will be necessary touse satellite data on forest coverage and a soil& water assessment tool (SWAT) using fieldhydrometeorological data from six microwatersheds. However, for these components norigorous impact evaluation design could beidentified.social and ecological systems to sustainlivelihoods at local level and facilitate valuechains of natural resources. The interventionmost suitable for evaluation is EbA throughknowledge building within the targetedcommunities. A DiD Design (with matching)was recommended. The design is dependent onfinding a suitable control group based ondetailed geographic information from similarlandscapes. However, it is unclear if similarpriority landscapes that do not receivetreatment do exist.Group 5Group 4A) FP113 Towards Ending DroughtEmergencies: Ecosystem Based Adaptation inKenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid RangelandsThe project started in 2019 and will continueuntil 2024. Its goal is to reduce the cost ofclimate change induced drought on Kenya’snational economy by increasing resilience oflivestock and other land use sectors in restoredand effectively governed rangeland ecosystemsand strengthen climate change adaptation inKenya’s arid and semi-arid lands. Theintervention most suitable for evaluation is therestoration of rangeland landscapes forecosystem-based (EbA) adaptation. The use ofquasi-experimental methods (DiD withmatching) was recommended. Due to spillovereffects, a geographic RDD through matchingwill not be feasible and finding a suitablecontrol group will only be possible with somedetailed geographic cluster information.B) SAP006: Building resilience of communitiesliving in landscapes threatened under climatechange through an ecosystems-basedadaptation approach (Namibia)The project started in 2018 and lasts until 2024.It aims to increase climate change resilience ofproductive landscapes in Namibia throughimplementation of EbA actions that strengthenA) FP118: Building a Resilient Churia Region inNepal (BRCRN)The project started in the beginning of 2020and will last until 2026. It aims to enhance theresilience of ecosystems and vulnerablecommunities in Nepal’s Churia region throughpromotion of climate resilient land usepractices (CRLUPs) and sustainable forestmanagement (SFM). The most suitableinterventions are on-farm interventions andnatural forest management (FM) throughcommunity based organization (CBOs), as theytarget the farmers and CBOs directly. As forthe impact evaluation design, a two-stage DiDwith matching design was suggested. Howeverthe evaluation design will only provide impactestimates for two out of seven projectsubcomponents. The mitigation impacts of theplantations as well as the institutionstrengthening effort can not be evaluated.B) SAP007: Integrated Climate RiskManagement for Food Security and Livelihoodsin Zimbabwe focusing on Masvingo andRushinga DistrictsThis project started in 2020 and will last until2023. It aims to support the long-termadaptation of vulnerable, food insecurehouseholds to the effects of climate change and5

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.variability. The interventions most suitable forimpact evaluation are community assetcreation, training of food assistance for assets(FFA) farmers and a weather index insurance.As impact evaluation design for the fullprogramme a DiD design with matching wassuggested and a phased-in randomencouragement design for the weatherinsurance using subsidies. The impact of theweather information component of the projectcannot be evaluated as it is likely to spreadnationwide.Group 6A) FP120: Recognising Chile’s REDD resultsfor the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 (Chile)The project started in 2019 and lasts until 2026.From 2014 to 2016, Chile reduced a totalvolume of 18.4 million tonnes of carbondioxide in emissions from reducingdeforestation, forest degradation, enhancementof forest stocks and conservation (REDD ).The United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC) has assessed theseresults as being fully compliant with itsREDD stipulations. The goal of this project isto deepen the implementation of the country’sNational Strategy on Climate Change andVegetation Resources. The project is still in itsdesign phase and the identification of theinterventions most suitable for impactevaluation as well as the elaboration of animpact evaluation design was not possibleduring the workshop.B) SAP005: Enhanced climate resilience ofrural communities in central and north Beninthrough the implementation of eco-systembased adaptation (EbA) in forest andagricultural landscapesThis project started in 2019 and lasts until2024. It aims to build resilience of localcommunities by halting the negative cycle ofclimate change, agricultural yield depletion andnatural resource degradation. Forest restorationactivities and farmer field schools on ecosystem based agriculture are considered as themost suitable intervention for evaluation. Theevaluation strategy most suitable for thisproject is a DiD design combined withmatching. An impact evaluation at thehousehold level could be complemented by animpact evaluation at the forest level using GISdata. Nevertheless the current budget forimpact evaluation does not account for acomparison group and additional resourceswould be required to finance the impactevaluation.Group 7A) SAP008: Extended Community ClimateChange Project-Flood (ECCCP-Flood)(Bangladesh)This programme started in 2019 and continuesuntil 2023. The goal is to increase the resilienceof the poor, marginalized and climatevulnerable communities to adverse effects ofclimate change in flood-prone areas ofBangladesh, through capacity building and tobuild resilient household structures, water andsanitation infrastructure, and the promotion ofclimate-adaptive livelihoods. The evaluationwill focus on the overall impact of the project.For the main evaluation strategy a clusteredphase-in design with two phases was suggested.A phase-in fits the budgetary constraints of theproject. This might be combined with afactorial design. However it remains unclearwhether the project can cover the proposedbudget for impact evaluation.B) SAP010: Multi-Hazard Impact-BasedForecasting and Early Warning System for thePhilippines6

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT.The project will start in 2021 and last until2025. It aims to strengthen the country’s abilityto adapt to climate shocks, through theestablishment of multi-hazard impact-basedforecasting (MH-IBF) and early warningsystem (EWS), supported by a knowledge anddecision support system (KDSS) andempowering of national and local capacities forearly action and forecast-based financing. Theinterventions most suitable for evaluation areawareness campaigns, trainings on forecastbased early action (FbA) and financing. Since aphased-in randomized controlled trial (RCT)design was not possible due to simultaneousrollout of interventions, the design suggested isDiD combined with matching.Group 8A) SAP011: Climate-resilient food security forwomen and men smallholders in Mozambiquethrough integrated risk managementThis project will start 2021 and continue until2026. It aims to (i) reduce vulnerability toclimate risks through promotion of climateresilient agriculture, as well as watershedrestoration and enhancement, for food insecuresmallholders; (ii) enhance and sustain adaptivecapacity of smallholders through a combinationof context-specific, integrated risk managementtools and market-based opportunities, as well asvillage savings groups and microcredit (VSL)including insurance; (iii) inform adaptationplanning and decision-making acrosssmallholders, communities and national/localauthorities through the use of climateinformation. The project team has a preferencefor evaluating the impact of subsidies on microinsurance products and a randomized clusterfactorial design was considered feasible for thiscomponent. However, the impact of insuranceon resilience is unclear, since insurance onlyallows a payout after a climate shock, whichmight take years to happen. Also, the impactmay only be ascertained after 3 years whichcould conflict with gradual reduction ofsubsidies.B) SAP012: Inclusive Green Financing forClimate Resilient and Low EmissionSmallholder Agriculture (Niger)This project started in 2020 and lasts until2024. Its goal is to increase resilience toclimate change of farmers’ organizations byremoving barriers to access financial and nonfinancial services for adopting andimplementing best climate change adaptation.Since all interventions have the goal to increaseuptake of loans, the treatment should beconsidered as the availability of the wholepackage to members of farmer’s organizations.As impact evaluation design two alternativeswere considered: a geographical discontinuitydesign and a DiD design with matching.However, the take-up level for loans whereoffered is unclear, which must be considered inthe sampling strategy for any impactevaluation.C. Project selectionThe 16 projects were assessed with the help ofa scorecard to determine their eligibility forLORTA by taking into account the followingstrategic criteria and guiding principles: Feasibility of impact evaluation design:The project, or at least a sub-componentof the project has to have the potential tobe rigorously evaluated. Buy-in from AE: Project selection takesthe commitment of AE to conducting atheory-based, rigorous impact evaluationinto account. Support from the AE andthe project team is essential during allphases of LORTA.7

TRUSTED EVIDENCE.INFORMED POLICIES.HIGH IMPACT. Budget: The project needs to be aware ofthe budget implications of an impactevaluation and be willing to makesufficient budget available to conduct adata collection of a representative scope.Level of innovation for LORTA: TheLORTA Phase I 2020 seeks to addinnovative projects to the overall LORTAportfolio, which complement the projectselection already part of LORTA.Level of innovation for GCF and theclimate change space: The evidencegained from the impact evaluations of theselected projects should be innovative toenlarge the learning within GCF and theglobal research on climate change.Directly after the LORTA design workshop,staff members of the IEU and C4ED held avirtual meeting to discuss the evaluability andemerging impact evaluation designs of the 16projects. Following the workshop, the IEUconsulted with relevant divisions of the GCFSecretariat to build consensus regarding themost appropriate and eligible projects for theLORTA programme against the criteria above.Each division brought invaluable insight intothe projects’ details and the broader dynamicswithin the GCF. Staff members of the GCFechoed the keen interest expressed byworkshop participants and conveyed theircontinued support for the LORTA programmemoving forward. Discussions from theseconsultations were synthesized to inform thefinal deliberation of shortlisted projects.The following six projects were considered tobe eligible for LORTA and to enter the nextlevel – that is to be subject to formative work inpreparation o

3. Webinar 3 - Evaluation questions and indicators 4. Webinar 4 -Experimental impact evaluation 5. Webinar 5 -Non experimental impact evaluation 6. Webinar 6 - Sample size and power calculations 7. Webinar 7 - Timeline and budget 8. Webinar 8 - Rapid-fire presentations and closing remarks For all webinars except webinar 8, a learning

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