PROP Summary Progress Report 2019: January-June

Building on the spending momentum of the previous reporting period, disbursements in the first half of calendar year 2019 reporting period continued at a steady rate of disbursement with approximately $261,000, up slightly from approximately $257,000 in expenditures from prior period. As a result, RMI PROP has fully outfitted the new MIMRA building with fully operational Information Communications and Technology (ICT) equipment and a MCS Operations Center (MCSOC), complete with Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). In addition, World Bank (WB) authorized RMI PROP to hire the necessary staff to carry out the additional workload as a result of PROP project activities.

Factors such as restructure, completion of new MIMRA building, hiring additional staff, and timely implementation support from current WB PROP project team were key in improved RMI PROP project disbursement rate. Going forward, MIMRA anticipates the hire of new and dedicated RMI PROP procurement specialist will further improve the current disbursement rate. Most immediate priority is to use the Mid Term Review (MTR) process to further streamline the project processes to ensure a more efficient and effective project outcome. This will be achieved through: 1) submission of detailed workplan and budgets to WB team at MTR for approval; 2) Procurement plans are reviewed with NO received before WB team departure at MTR; and 3) TORs and technical specifications are approved prior to departure.

Component 1: Sustainable Management of Oceanic Fisheries

MIMRA progressed several key activities in Component 1.  Activities included: 1) MIMRA Functional and Strengthening Review; 2) Professional Development; and 3) Whole of information technology package.

MIMRA Functional and Strengthening Review

RMI PROP jointly funded a Tuna Management Workshop with New Zealand.  The updated Tuna Management Plan will also feed into MIMRA Strategic Plan currently funded through other funding sources available to MIMRA.

Professional Development

Capacity strengthening continued through staff attendance in various policy meetings/ workshops as well as trainings.  In addition to the regular SIDS funded staff, RMI PROP funded extra staff to attend these meetings/workshops/training as follows: 1) RMI PROP funded six (6) staff to attend FFA officials as well as ministerial meeting, PNA38 meeting, and a bilateral meeting; 2) Two MIMRA Oceanic staff attended the SPC hosted Tuna Data Workshop and Pre-assessment workshop; and 3) Four MCS workshops were held where four MIMRA staff also participated. 

For the Observer Program, RMI PROP funded the trainer for a debriefer’s workshop in which eight (8) observers attended and successfully completed the course. Another observer was sent to Tarawa to debrief observers as part of train trainer certificate requirement.

Whole of Information Technology Package

Shortly before and upon completion MIMRA building in February of this year, MIMRA continued with procurement and installation of ICT goods and services.  Highlights include: 1) ICT Gap Assessment report and ICT Manual; 2) equipping the new MIMRA building with ICT equipment and supplies; and 3) equipping the MCS Operations Center (MCSOC) with fully functioning VMS (vessel monitoring system) and office equipment.

The focus of forthcoming activities will be to implement the recommendations identified in ICT gap assessment and risk assessment report by the ICT consultant.  Examples of some of the recommendations outlined were: 1) hire additional staff to IT one-man division 2) perform an IT audit or vulnerability testing one year after installing the ICT equipment and systems.

Component 2: Sustainable Management of Coastal Fisheries

MIMRA Coastal team continued to progressed several key activities in accordance with their workplans: 1) Reimaanlok activities; 2) Hired additional staff to support increase coastal activities; 3) Capacity building; 4) Developed marine pollution concept; and 5) Commenced routine repairs and maintenance of PROP funded equipment.

Reimaanlok

Reimaanlok activities included: 1) trips to Ebon and Lae for final consultation phase; 2) MIMRA and Kyushu University of Japan conducted geomorphological assessment of Dremeo and Arno; 3) the Coastal Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) continued their monthly meetings which included a coral identification workshop; 4) a Protected Area Network (PAN) strategic planning workshop was held in anticipation of establishing the PAN Office; and 5) Dive team ensured dive equipment, particularly the regulators,  were serviced before anticipated dive trips scheduled for August to October.

Capacity Building

Several positions were advertised and staff were hired to assist with expanded RMI PROP activities.  These positions included: 1) Coastal Legal officer 2) Education & Awareness Officer 3) Biosecurity Officer and  4) Aquaculture Officer.

The Coastal team commenced initial SPC-lead Coastal MCS training, which included participants from Quarantine Department, Customs, Majuro Atoll Local Government, and Kwajalein Atoll Local Government.  Also, the Coastal management team in collaboration with SPC and USP commenced conceptual design of Coastal MCS curriculum, which upon successful completion, participants will receive Coastal MCS Officer qualifications.

Aquaculture

The Aquaculture program primarily focused on repair and maintenance of the Likiep Hatchery and Woja Hatchery, in addition to working on the intake pipes for the raceway tanks.

Marine Pollution

Collaborating with EPA and DIDA ESMF specialist, the Coastal management team produced a marine pollution concept.  The DIDA ESMF specialist drafted the concept note for review and final approval by all the partners. 

Fish Market

In line with Coastal fisheries objectives to provide sustainable livelihood and food security for the people of the Marshall Islands, Fish Market compiled list of spare parts needed for vessel repair.  This will ensure continued support and transport of marine products from outer islands to urban centers of both Ebeye and Majuro.

Component 4: Project Management Unit

The PMU continued with providing management, financial and procurement implementation support.  In addition, the PMU devoted time preparing for upcoming Mid Term Review. 

The Project Coordinator activities included: 
1) Participation in concept, workplan, and budget development and implementation; 
2) write and review reports as well as TORs; 
3) oversight and managing PMU staff as well as consultants (Vessel technical specification consultant, MTR consultant, Deputy Project Coordinator recruited); 
4) Shared procurement activities with Project Accountant.

Financial Monitoring

 The Financial Report show progress in terms of Outputs, for some activities and from journalizing the financial transactions entries:

  • Activity 1.1: Professional Development Training – trainings are proceeding as planned and are expected to stay within budget.
  • Activity 1.2:  IT Equipment – the costs in the financial report reflect the purchase of IT equipment including software and installation for MIMRA.  All IT equipment were inspected, installed and are already in use.   IT consultancy is completed.
  • Component 2: Reimaanlok and Aquaculture – Activities for Reimaanlok and Aquaculture are proceeding as planned.   Woja Raceway tanks are near completion.
  • Component 4: Project Management:
    • Monthly financial reports up to date
    • Submitted required two quarterly Interim Financial Reports (IFR), for periods  ending March 2019 and June 2019
    • Replenishment of the Designated Account:
      • GEF ---- 1 Withdrawal Application (WA)
      • IDA ---- 2 Withdrawal Application (WA)
    • The Costs for Midterm Review consultant is reflected in financial report
    • MIMRA FY2018 Audit report (which includes RMI PROP) completed and submitted to World Bank in June 2019

Monitoring Project Key Indicators (as measured against results framework that is to be finalized after Mid Term Review)

Work Program for the Next 6 months

The workplan for the next 6 months dependent on results from MTR to be held in August.  In the meantime, activities will be focused on: 
1) continue preparation for MTR by working with MTR consultant and WB staff to prepare necessary MTR documents; 
2) ensuring planned activities are fully developed with accompanying budgets; 
3) hand over procurement activities to the incoming procurement specialist; and 
4) continue with existing planned activities such as preparing and conducting Reimaanlok marine/socioeconomic surveys and progressing work through the final phases of Reimaanlok process.

The PMU continued with providing management, financial and procurement implementation support.  In addition, the PMU devoted time preparing for upcoming Mid Term Review. 

The Project Coordinator activities included: 
1) Participation in concept, workplan, and budget development and implementation; 
2) write and review reports as well as TORs; 
3) oversight and managing PMU staff as well as consultants (Vessel technical specification consultant, MTR consultant, Deputy Project Coordinator recruited)
4) Shared procurement activities with Project Accountant.

 

Annex A: Expenditure Report (unaudited)
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