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South African Public Sector Energy Efficiency Project Embedded in Sector-Wide M&E Framework

November 30, 2020
Workgroup Energy Efficiency in South Africa
Image: © GIZ South Africa

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a critical component in the implementation of any development project or programme by governments and local and international development organisations.  To strengthen local M&E capacity and processes, the Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings and Infrastructure Programme (EEPBIP) NAMA Support Project has assisted the South African government and partners in the development of a comprehensive M&E framework for public sector energy efficiency projects.  The implementation of this framework will result in a greater level of reporting from the various programmes and projects and enable a comprehensive comparative analysis of the intervention outputs, outcomes and impacts.

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in South Africa are nested within the Near-term Priority Flagship Programmes, as contained in the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP). The EEPBIP is located within the Energy Efficiency and Energy Demand Side Management Flagship. It aims to reduce GHG emissions in South Africa by catalysing an energy efficiency transformation within the public-sector environment, through the mitigation of investment risks to leverage private sector investment and the provision of technical support in project development and implementation. The EEPBIP, which is led by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), supports and strengthens collaboration and alignment between the three spheres of Government (municipal, provincial and national) and State-Owned Entities, in driving energy efficiency and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Within South African, there are many initiatives across all spheres of Government to develop and implement energy efficiency projects across public buildings and infrastructure, including lighting, HVAC, hot water provision, street lighting and waste-water treatment plants.  These are funded and implemented through a combination of national and local programmes, donor initiatives and ad hoc projects. However, as many of these projects and programmes are conceptualised, developed and implemented independently, there is limited co-ordination or standardisation on M&E.

To address these challenges and maximise the effectiveness, impact and replicability of public sector energy efficiency interventions, the EEPBIP, in collaboration with the global IKI funded project VICLIM (Vertically Integrated Climate Change Policies), supported the development of a standardized M&E Protocol and Guideline for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings and Infrastructure.

The M&E Protocol and Guidelinewill increase efficiency in data capture, prevent duplication of activities and associated impacts; and increase the harmonisation, standardisation and alignment of reporting. It will help in improving performance and the achievement of results by supporting the current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact.

National and international M&E reporting requirements cover a broad range of indicators, from climate change mitigation, sectoral reporting on energy, through to national development planning priorities including job creation, support for SMEs, gender equity and black economic empowerment.

The NAMA Facility’s M&E framework and the EEPBIP’S M&E Plan, was utilized as a foundation to guide and develop the broad M&E framework on Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings and Infrastructure. The development of the protocol and guideline was co-led by DMRE and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) with support from the DEFF to align with national climate change M&E requirements. Engagement with key stakeholders was a fundamental part of the process, through focus group sessions with individual institutions, to discuss and obtain input on their needs, priorities and requirements. A workshop was held in February 2020 to develop the broad M&E Framework and ensure alignment to international, national and sub-national reporting and evaluation requirements.

Building on the structure of the M&E framework and plan set out in the guideline, Terms of Reference have also been prepared to design and implement an M&E system for the effective monitoring, reporting and evaluation of activities in the sector, including the EEPBIP and other related programmes. The system will also allow for energy efficiency reporting for other economic sectors to be added at a later stage.

The M&E Protocol and Guideline have been adopted by the DMRE, with the aim to have the system in place before the end of 2020.  These will be invaluable to the South African energy sector and drive the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy and support the achievement of its national development goals.