• ‘Women in Leadership’ workshop makes an impact for African Union staff

    11 April 2018
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    'Women in Leadership' workshop

    CIDT has delivered a first ‘Women in Leadership’ training workshop for the African Union (AU), comprising 22 senior female staff from across the African Union Commission and including two from the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the AU Advisory Board on Anti-Corruption (AUABC). The training took place from March 19-23 in Arusha, Tanzania.

    The AU is concerned about the representation of women in the African Union Commission (AUC). It is well recognized that the Commission must reflect the continent’s diversity, in terms of gender and, of course, geography. Despite Article 6(3) of the commission’s statutes stating that “[a]t least one Commissioner from each region shall be a woman,” women currently make up only a very small proportion of all those contesting positions as commissioners. Moreover there are other internal structural and cultural barriers to women’s leadership that are still pervasive. Overall the staffing in the AU is 65% men and 35% women.

    The ‘Women in Leadership’ workshop was designed to address the unique challenges women face in leadership positions and to create enabling conditions to address them. It recognises the role of the social construct of gender roles in influencing perceptions, creating stereotypes and limiting opportunities for learning and growth into leadership. By catalysing and harnessing the power of women leaders, the AUC can realise the true potential of some of its best people. The ultimate goals of this workshop were, therefore, to:

    • lay the foundation to grow a cadre of strong leaders within the organisation; and
    • identify and start nurturing those with highest potential.

    Over the five day programme participants were exposed to new knowledge as well as having the chance to practice some leadership skills. In particular participants had the opportunity to reflect on their own leadership styles, needs and opportunities. To achieve the unique blend of enquiry and practice the facilitators used participatory approaches to foster meaningful reflection and adult learning, drawing on and valuing participants’ experiences. In working through the programme, real-life examples were used as well as a wide variety of methodologies such as group work, role plays, participant presentations, informal coaching, reflection and personal journal writing and more.

    Participants considered different leadership and management styles and qualities, shared their personal views and experiences on a range of topics and reappraised their own skills in the light of their learning. The range of skills discussed and practiced were:

    • Communication: Listening
    • Communication: Public Speaking
    • Communication: Body language for power and influence
    • Negotiation
    • Assertiveness

    The workshop was co-facilitated by CIDT’s Deputy Head of Centre, Rachel Roland, and Senior Lecturer, Kimberly Kane. The sessions were highly interactive, practical and tailored to the context of the AU.

    During the week an excellent bond built up between participants, many of whom exercised for up to an hour before breakfast each day. Towards the end, a number of hashtags were proposed to help take forward the ambitious programme of work on women’s leadership that is planned in the AU.

    Some feedback from participants included:

    • “Very practical to the context of women in general and at AU.”
    • “There were many group exercises and simulations that made content easy to understand.”
    • “Allowed me to reflect on my current situation.”
    • “The workshop was really informative, educative, practical. The facilitators are really current.”
    • “More time [should] be allocated as the content of the workshop is important.”
    • “The workshop was a very practical one and I am eager to go back and put them in practice.”
    • “I have previously attended a number of trainings on leadership, but none has ever spoken so directly to me as CIDT Women in Leadership. Now I can lead.”

    Photos from the workshop

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  • Project newsletter shows the great work and impact taking place in forest governance in the Congo Basin

    29 March 2018
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    CV4C newsletter

    The Citizen Voices for Change project is now entering its second year. This newsletter shows some of the activities delivered during the last quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 – from a full innovative, regional conference on illegal logging organised by the project in collaboration with INTERPOL, development of a radar based alert system for monitoring illegal logging in West and Central Africa (FLEGT WATCH), to important organisational development training for project partners and civil society organisations.

    We thank all the partners and national stakeholders for continuous support and engagement and especially the European Union for funding support. We look forward to an even more successful project year in 2018.

    Click here to read the full newsletter. 

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  • CIDT delivers a Proposal Development and Resource Mobilisation workshop for the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in South Korea

    28 March 2018
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    Proposal Development and Resource Mobilisation workshop for the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in South Korea

    The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is an international organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies. GGGI sought a service provider to help design and deliver a training program to build staff capacity in results-based management (RBM).

    The training was intended to strengthen staff capacity to produce higher quality proposals as part of the Institute’s efforts to increase earmarked and core funding. CIDT was successful in the competitive tendering process and in late February Ella Haruna conducted a short visit to Seoul to assess GGGI training needs, representing the first phase of work.

    In March 2018, Ella Haruna and Philip Dearden led an intensive four-day Proposal Development and Resource Mobilisation workshop programme based on a bespoke programme developed for GGGI. The 33 participants, (representing 21 GGGI Country Programmes – Cambodia, China, Colombia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines Peru, Rwanda, Senegal Thailand, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam) were joined by selected senior staff based in GGGI headquarters in South Korea.

    Many of the participants successfully completed CIDT’s Results Based Management online course before joining the programme.

    During the workshop sessions five teams of staff developed a range of strategic GGGI projects and programmes for future funding and implementation. Ideas were shared, developed, critiqued and then the final proposed programmes pitched and presented.

    In the feedback on the programme a range of very positive comments were made:

    • “Great materials and well presented”
    • “The module was quite exciting”
    • “Excellent”
    • “Dynamic training – well-structured course”

    Photos from the training

    Below: The workshop being open by the GGGI Director General Frank Rijsberman and James Sheppard

    Below: Inter active workshop sessions underway

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  • New FLEGT Watch application to provide a satellite-based forest warning system in Central/West Africa

    26 March 2018
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    CIDT, through its CV4C project, is joining forces with Visioterra and Tropenbos to develop an innovative tool to be used in several countries of Central and West Africa to monitor illegal logging and other forms of forest cover change. However, cloud cover is a major obstacle for optical instruments limiting real-time monitoring of tropical forested regions, including many parts in Central and West Africa. Consequently, there are information blind spots for users, including decision makers, which creates opportunities for illegal logging hotspots to arise and persist.

    The system named “FLEGT Watch” will overcome the problem of cloud cover through the use of radar based satellite images enabling users to detect changes using the latest satellite maps and information on land use, forest cover, fires, and hydrology. FLEGT Watch, using synthetic-aperture radar will disseminate visual and geo-referenced alerts that can be received on tablets and smartphones, enabling forest watch communities to enhance their performance.

    FLEGT watch

    FLEGT Watch in a nutshell:

    • Systematically analyze data from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites
    • calculate bio-geophysical indices related to the forest (biomass, leaves, vegetation, humidity …),
    • automatically detect the changes of values ​​of these parameters in the satellite image just acquired,
    • send notifications of change (s) or alarms to observers in their areas of interest,
    • embed satellite data, maps and images in a field application and / or on smartphones,
    • allow to find evidence (photos, measurements, comments …) in-situ and to share them in the network of observers and beyond,
    • provide dashboards of observed changes and their monitoring by observers,
    • publish reports on all observations or a particular observation,

    Next Steps…

    A first version of FLEGT Watch will be delivered in May 2018. The final version will be delivered in October 2018. Training will be provided to independent observers from the 8 Central and West African countries.


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  • CIDT delivers Improving Forest Governance course in Papua New Guinea

    26 March 2018
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    IFG course in Papa New Guinea

    CIDT staff Sarah Thomas and Richard Nyirenda have recently returned from Papua New Guinea where they were delivering a two week training course on ‘Improving Forest Governance’ as part of the EU/Birdlife International project Strengthening Non State Actor Involvement in Forest Governance in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

    The Papua New Guinea course was designed for staff and key local stakeholders of the national partner organisation ‘Tenkile Conservation Alliance’ (TCA) and was held at their remote base in Lumi, in the Torricelli Mountain range. TCA is doing groundbreaking work, combining conservation with community development, to protect the region’s rainforest and biodiversity, including critically endangered species such as the Tenkile and Weimang tree kangaroos.

    The first week of the course, attended by 40 TCA staff and local and provincial government representatives, explored key governance concepts and challenges including strategies for ensuring greater involvement of civil society and communities in forest sector policy decisions. Topics covered included forest governance assessment, corruption, climate change and REDD+. Course participants also discussed the importance of effective multi-stakeholder processes at all decision-making levels, and reflected on ways to improve the representation of forest dependent communities, including through enhanced advocacy, influencing and networking.

    The second week of the course was a Training of Trainers delivered to 25 TCA staff, including community outreach and research officers, supporting them in the design and delivery of tailored training inputs for other groups. Staff worked on the design of courses on climate change, water, sanitation and health, and good governance, adapting materials and methodology to target community audiences.

    Photos from the course

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  • Project partners meet to share lessons from 2017 and plan the coming year

    13 March 2018
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    CV4C project planning meeting in Bangui

    CIDT facilitated a four day project planning meeting for the coordination of the EU-funded project ‘Citizen Voices for Change (CV4C)‘. The meeting took place from 26 February – 1 March 2018 in Bangui, Central African Republic, hosted by ‘Centre pour l’Information Environmentalle et le Developpement Durable’ (CIEDD).

    The meeting was split into sessions programmed to address instrumental aspects of the project and to allow for partners to be reflective, and amongst critical friends deliberate methodology and strategies.

    This participatory, reflective and instructive design of the workshops enabled project partners to incorporate lessons learned into their 2018 project action plans.

    On the first day the floor was given to each of the partners to present their 2017 project accomplishments, covering targets and activities achieved, challenges, limitations, and lessons learned.

    The aim of the following two days was to review current methodologies, strategies and tools adopted by partners regarding organisational development and Independent Forest Monitoring.

    The final day culminated in the presentations of action plans and budgets newly informed by the extensive discussions and lessons learned from the previous three days.

    The nature of this deliberative meeting is a prime example of knowledge sharing and experience exchange that the CV4C project promotes. Project partners are sector-leading organisations in their respective countries; they champion project working values to instigate organisational adoption from peer organisations, making for a more efficient and effective network of non-state actors contributing to an overarching sector goal.

    The meeting brought together project coordinators and technical members from each project partner in the five project countries: FLAG, FODER, CED (Cameroon); OGF (DRC); Brainforest (Gabon); CAGDF (RoC); and WRI (USA). Find out more about the CV4C partners.

    This annual meeting marks the beginning of year 2 of the four year project that aims to strengthen the contribution of non-state actors (NSA), such as civil society (CS), Indigenous Peoples (IP) and community organisations, to improving forest governance, sustainable forest management and the contribution of forests to development in five Congo Basin countries.

    Photos from the workshops

    CV4C project planning meeting in Bangui

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  • Alan Cavalier – Memories of a wonderful teacher

    7 March 2018
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    A year has passed since we said good bye to Alan on a cold winter’s day back in February 2017.

    Alan was one of the ‘founding  fathers’ of CIDT and many of us will have very happy memories of spending time with him. Alan pioneered CIDT’s early work in many countries across the globe including Cameroon. Find out more about CIDT’s history.

    It was a sad day when many of us attended a service to celebrate Alan’s life in the beautiful and uplifting Much Wenlock church. Many of us were full of sadness. The music played was just Alan (and made many of us chuckle!). His personal choice – Monty Python’s “Always look on the Bright Side of Life!”

    The tributes paid were simply wonderful and a real celebration of his life. Stephen (his son) told us of his lovely, kind and gentle dad – sadly missed. His loving daughter Jill told us how Alan was so incredibly positive and brave in his last few difficult weeks.

    We heard from friends:

    • “Alan was a really brilliant teacher, a real educator.”
    • “Alan fully respected differences and cultures.”
    • “Alan was always positive and respectful.”
    • “Alan had a deep understanding of others and this was reflected in his gentle and kindly wisdom.”
    • “Alan was a real gentleman in the true sense of the word.”

    At the end of the service his son Stephen addressed us with these words, “It was rather ironic that Alan died in the very same hour that Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the USA.” As reported by Stephen with some of his father’s mischievous glee in his voice, “As Alan would have said, I will let you draw your own conclusions…!”

    For those that know and fondly remember Alan we have collected a few photos of him with staff and students in some of the many countries where he worked. If you recognise yourself in any of these photos please sign up to the CIDT alumni pages.

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  • Highlighting results and lessons from three years of education sector support in Zambia

    25 February 2018
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    ZESSTA document covers

    We are delighted to announce the successful conclusion of the DFID Zambia Education Sector Support Technical Assistance facility (ZESSTA) (2014-2018). CIDT have provided over 550 staff and associate days of technical assistance from Lilla Oliver, Patt Flett, Andrew Snowden and Rob Smith in the areas of Curriculum Reform, Human Resources Management and Research, Evaluation and Impact.

    Results papers

    ZESSTA Results Papers document coverThe Results Papers document offers some key information on how a demand-driven Support Technical Assistance project can focus on areas of key government need to push forward on key constraints in the topics of: Planning, Technical Assistance, strengthening M&E for accountability in an education ministry,  bringing in a new approach to school leadership, developing a new assessment policy and implementing it and the introduction of teaching practice standards.

    The document features all six results paper produced:

    • Implementation of the revised curriculum;
    • Using technical assistance to get things done in a busy organisation;
    • Towards a learning and accountable ministry: Strengthening M&E capacity in the Ministry of General Education;
    • Zambia adopts a new approach to strengthening school leadership;
    • Improving learning for all: Developing assessment policy and changing practice;
    • Developing teacher performance through national professional standards.

    Lesson learning

    ZESSTA Lesson Learning document coverThe Lesson Learning paper highlights several important achievements and lessons from the facility including:

    • the introduction of teaching standards;
    • the support a TA Facility can provide and conditions for it;
    • the significance of how and where decisions are made in conjunction with the TA facility;
    • the nature of human and financial resourcing;
    • the time required for adopting new approaches.

    Lastly there are lessons about how to develop a legacy for the project so that the results are embedded.

    ZESSTA Podcast

    To bring ZESSTA to life in the words of key project partners, you can listen to the podcast outlining the context, journey and achievements of ZESSTA.

    We wish all project participants and partners well in their future endeavours as this key support to Zambia budget support ends.

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  • CIDT supports the development of the Montenegro Decent Work Country Programme with the International Labour Organisation

    20 February 2018
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    Monitoring and Evaluation Training with Montenegro Decent Work Country Programme

    Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) provided refresher training on key concepts of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), applying them to the planning of the Decent Work Country Programme for Montenegro (DWCP), 2018 to 2021. The training was targeted at some 40 specialists and mid-level managers of the Ministry of Labour of Montenegro, the Employers’ Confederation, and the two Trade Union movements represented in the ILO.

    There is increasing pressure on policy makers to define tangible and quantifiable results of policy interventions and to monitor them. This holds true for the International Labour Office (ILO) as well as for its constituents including Ministries of Labour, employers, and trade unions.

    M&E is an important management tool that helps to track whether programmes are on track or need to make changes. Good M&E helps to answer the public’s frequent requests to know which programmes work and which do not.  The recent review of the ILO’s last DWCP for Montenegro highlighted the need to strengthen M&E.

    The specific learning objectives of the two-day event were to provide a refresher on key concepts of results measurement and practice its application in preparing the new DWCP for Montenegro.

    Sessions were held on:

    • Rationale for results measurement’
    • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to the planning of the new DWCP;
    • Improving the M&E frameworks of key outcomes proposed under the new DWCP.

    The results of the workshop were that:

    • ILO constituents in Montenegro updated their M&E skills;
    • Key DWCP outcomes are complemented by solid indicators of achievement and the key deliverables per outcome are clearly defined;
    • There was agreement on the way forward to complete the DWCP including monitoring mechanisms.

    Some participant’s comments from the end of Clinic Evaluation:

    • “Clear steps in designing the programme.”
    • “Excellent high quality trainer/facilitator.”
    • “A relaxed approach which boosts creativity and new ideas.”
    • “Team work was great.” – “Participants were all equally involved.”
    • “Thanks for the excellent lectures and interpreting.”
    • “Good relationship between the teacher and the participants.”
    • “Keep sending over Maria and Phil!”

    Photo gallery

    To view all of the photos form this training please see the Flickr gallery.

    Below: Clinic participants working the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP)

    Below: Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro closing the Clinic with a short speech of thanks and the presentation of Certificates with Maria Borsos, Programme Officer, ILO.

    Below: Markus Pilgrim, Head of ILO, Budapest, giving a vote of thanks at the end of the Clinic. Participants complete the evaluation.



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  • Evaluation of transformational girls’ education project kicks off with large scale data collection

    15 February 2018
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    CIDT consultants Mary and Rufsana

    In our role as External Evaluator to the five-year Camfed Girls’ Education Challenge – Transition (GEC-T) project, the CIDT team have completed a data collection phase with over 48,000 students, as well as their primary carers and other stakeholders.

    The Camfed Girls’ Education Challenge – Transition (GEC-T) project is being implemented in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia. The project takes a gender transformative approach, directly and indirectly challenging gendered social norms and discrimination enabling a critical mass of marginalised girls to transition to, progress through and succeed at secondary school. Moreover it will create a bridge for girls to transition from school to future employment.

    CIDT is contracted to design and manage the large-scale qualitative and quantitative (mixed method) baseline, midline and end-line evaluations in each project country. We have completed the baseline data collection, which includes school-based surveys with students, teachers and headteachers, as well as a separate household survey, which targets the heads of household and primary care givers of identified marginalised girls. The total student sample size is 48,160, plus primary carers and other stakeholders. Qualitative interviews and focus group discussion were also held in each country, with project stakeholders and beneficiaries, including secondary school girls and boys, school-based stakeholders, community groups, traditional leaders, school-based committees and young women involved in the project.

    The project has the potential for great impact. Whilst the contexts differ in the three countries, the critical challenges that girls face, such as gender discrimination, poverty and location, are similar and often result in multifaceted barriers to girls’ access to and achievement in education. In rural areas gender roles are well defined and women are expected to perform unpaid domestic labour rather than work for an income, which limits their independence. Girls are more likely to be impoverished, denied education, malnourished, used as unpaid domestic labour and in danger of physical violence. Girls are particularly vulnerable during transitions from one stage of education to the next and from school into adulthood.

    Following this successful data collection phase, CIDT consultants (pictured above) Mary Surridge (Project Director/Principal Investigator) and Rufsana Begum (Project Manager/Lead Investigator) are currently in the process of analysing the data and writing up a baseline report.

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