• A map, a photograph and a chance encounter in the Nepal Himalaya

    18 June 2018
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    Nepal social protection project

    CIDT’s Rachel Slater reflects on a surprising fieldwork experience in Humla, Nepal, during a recent visit as part of the project ‘Review of policies, systems and programs in social protection and shock response for adaptive social protection’

    Nepal social protection projectWe’ve walked for about 90 minutes along a gravel track from where are staying – a small town perched on a steep slope, nestled below the triangular peak of Chhote Kang and with a perilous drop off to the mightly Karnali River below. We are there to interview people about their experiences of disasters – especially drought and landslides in this remote part of Nepal – and are trying to work out whether we could ‘piggyback’ disaster response funding on existing systems like social security to get money out to households in need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    We climb ladders – old tree trunks with notches cut out of them for steps – to the roof of a villager’s house, and settle down on a tarpaulin as the house owner calls across the village for her neighbours to join us.  I gaze across the valley at snow covered ridge, for a moment wishing I was here trekking rather than working.  I pull out my map, wondering what route I could take up to the highest point and then something remarkable happens.  The house owner snatches the map from me excitedly and exclaims ‘that’s me!’

    Nepal social protection projectIt takes me a while to understand but it turns out our respondent is one of four women in the photograph on the front of the map. We try and work out the odds – that we visited this village, in this rural municipality, in this one of 75 districts in Nepal.  They are long odds indeed.  The photo was taken maybe five years ago as Nepal sought to open up tourism in Humla district to trekkers. Anita, our Nepali research partner, and I immediately change the plan for the interview.  We ask how much has changed in the last five years: weather; access to services – especially children’s education; and whether making a living is getting easier or harder.  There’s a recognition that ‘all good things don’t always go together’, for example, more children are attending school but that means there’s no-one available to tend buffalo, goats, and zhos / zhomos (yaks bred with cows) so less manure for people’s fields. But the overwhelming story is of changes to climate: less snow and more drought (the barley and wheat around the village are about two months behind in their development); and unpredictable weather including devastating hailstorms that destroyed crops three years ago.

    As we return to our guest house later in the day we follow the road newly constructed as part of a programme to guarantee households 30 days of paid work each year.  And although we are still struggling walking at this altitude we have renewed energy for our work.  Given what we have heard about the climate-related disasters that people in Humla are increasingly facing, our attempts to use social protection to support disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery seem all the more important.  All this thanks to our change encounter over a map and a photograph in Nepal’s remote Himalaya.

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  • CIDT and Palladium deliver a Support Fund Proposal Writing Workshop in Myanmar

    11 June 2018
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    CIDT was invited by Palladium to co-develop and run a 5 day Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Support Fund Proposal Writing Workshop on the DFID FLEGT Facilitation Project in Myanmar. CIDT’s Rachel Roland teamed up with Palladium’s Marc Pavey and James Pilkington to run the participatory training during the week of April 23rd to 27th.

    The 42 participants on the course came from three major groupings who had successfully expressed interest in a grant from the VPA Support Fund. These were sixteen people from  the civil society organisations involved in forest legality issues from all around Myanmar;  fourteen people from the private sector timber associations and a number of people from other types of non governmental organisations such as small registered NGOs and research institutes and consultancy organisations. Several of the participants also belonged to the Multistakeholder Group (MSG) involved in the FLEGT preparation process. The workshop organisers also welcomed a number of people from the MSG’s Grants Sub Committee who observed the workshop during the entire week. Trainer Rachel was delighted to meet some alumni from the CIDT Improving Forest Governance course, who were part of this group.

    The training workshop was divided up into three sections

    • A first day of information about global and national FLEGT processes, and how to access the grants, eligibility criteria and grant agreements
    • 2.5 days of Results Based Management principles adapted for the prospective grantees to support their proposal writing
    • A day and a half of preparations for presentation to the grants subcommittee and then the presentations themselves.

    The training and workshop was organised at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MNREC)’s International Business Centre on Pyay Rd. All workshop IT and lighting plus catering support was provided from the IBC at a high standard.

    Furthermore, given that the trainers do not speak Myanmar’s language, all materials were translated into Myanmar and simultaneous translation in both directions was undertaken for every aspect of interaction during the timetable. The Simultaneous translation was of a very high quality such that there were few barriers to communication during the week.

    The participation in the training was extremely meaningful and good, especially since participants are not used to this intensive kind of workshop. Whereas at the start of the workshop one person asked if it was really necessary to come all week, there was a tendency to actually increase the number of participants as the week went on and people frequently stayed working after the formal end of the day – in short there was a real eagerness to learn about Results Based Management tools and techniques for proposal writing. In addition some real progress was made in discussions between the various parties about their participation in the national FLEGT process, afforded by having personnel from different parts of the country in the same room together for five days.

    From a level of very few participants having ever had interactive training or training on proposal writing, five very credible proposals were presented at the end of the week. Feedback about what had been learned was very insightful and showed a great appetite for learning. One participant lamented that “I needed this training 20 years ago”. He then revealed his age to be 76!

    The workshop ended and was deemed to be a great success. The grant proposal window will shortly open and the real measure of success is if proposal writing course participants present high quality proposals that can be funded by the UKAid funds available.

    Photos taken by Kho Phyo Htet, FLEGT Secretariat, Myanmar

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  • CIDT supports the Government of Rwanda to secure $32.79m to Strengthen Climate Resilience of Rural Communities

    24 May 2018
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    Rwanda landscape

    Many congratulations to FONERWA, The Green Fund of the Government of Rwanda (GoR) which on 28 February 2018 become one of the first African country ‘Direct Access’ entities to receive funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

    CIDT has a long history of supporting the Government of Rwanda (GoR) environment and climate sectors over several successively won contracts. As a recent report quoted:

    “CIDT has strong experience and a solid understanding of Rwanda’s development context, having supported DFID assistance to the GoR, particularly in relation to planning and the development of sector M&E frameworks for the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) I, since 2006. This track record in Rwanda gave CIDT credibility, relationships and understanding of the Rwanda context, enabling it to play a catalytic role in supporting the creation and operationalisation of the FONERWA fund” [1].

    CIDT gained greater experience of the way that GoR was developing its climate change policy through secondment of a CIDT staff member to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) and through UNDP (Belgian Technical Cooperation funding), in 2009-10.

    In 2011 the Rwandan government invited interested organisations to submit proposals to design a national climate and environment finance mechanism. CIDT’s proposal was selected by the funder Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and CIDT was tasked with recommending the optimal design and scope for an operational fund. Through competitive tendering processes in 2012 CIDT was awarded the 2-year DFID contract to support the operationalisation of the FONERWA fund, with a further extension granted in 2014 the project was extended by a year until September 2015.

    From 2013-2015 with funding from CDKN, CIDT also ran the Rwanda FONERWA Capacity Building Project to support the capacity strengthening of districts to enable them to put in strong proposals to the Green Fund. This project resulted in 38% of the allocated FONERWA funds going to district projects.

    From 2015-2017 CIDT managed a funding pot from CDKN to support emerging requests from FONERWA in a number of ways. These included inputs to support the management of the Fund and support to the GoR participation at COPs 21 and 22, enhancing and enabling opportunities for key meetings between GoR and Green Growth funding agencies. This helped GoR and FONERWA gain international exposure, better understand of the international climate funding architecture and meet key Donors to whom resource mobilisation requests could be submitted. Through CDKN, CIDT also supported provision of national and international consultants to assist Rwanda with successful resource mobilisation efforts to enhance access to Climate Funds. In particular:

    1. CIF/SCF: $800k Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) funded through the World Bank (WB)
    2. CIF/SCF: $250k Forest Investment Programme (FIP) development plan funded through the African Development Bank (AfDB)
    3. CIF/SCF: Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) funded through the World Bank (WB)
    4. A first concept note to Green Climate Fund (GCF) and then $1.4m Project Preparation Funding
    5. Funding proposal of $8m to The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

    In 2016 CIDT won a public procurement exercise to access the very first Project Preparation Funds awarded by the GCF to lead the design studies for the project. CIDT worked with Paul Watkiss Associates and Light Earth Designs to undertake a series of studies in  Sustainable Forest Management and Watershed Protection; Resilience of Tea and Coffee; Low Carbon Green settlement on two sites in Gicumbi District; Economic and Financial Analyses; Gender Study; Environmental and Social Impact Assessment; Legal study. These studies led to the revision of the project proposal that has now been granted funding of $32,8m by the Green Climate Fund.

    More project details can be found at the Green Climate Fund website.


    1. CIDT (2016). Creation of the National Fund for Climate and Environment (FONERWA): Support to the Fund Management Team. Final Report. P12. Accessed http://cidt.org.uk/final-project-report-establishing-fonerwa-national-climate-fund-rwanda/

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  • Project Cycle Management Training delivered across six countries in the Caribbean

    23 May 2018
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    CDB training

    CIDT have provided services to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) since 2013, most recently the design and delivery of Project Cycle Management (PCM) Training in 19 of the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).

    Since November 2017 the CIDT team has delivered a suite eight modules in six countries  – Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The next round of training is scheduled to begin in late May 2018 in Belize, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia.

    CIDT pair international trainers with regional associates in a delivery model that has been very well received across the region –  an average of 97% positive participant feedback in the recent quarter. The training modules cover a wide range of tools and themes around the project cycle, including project design, management, monitoring and evaluation to more specific PCM approaches, such as project appraisal, managing technical assistance projects and procurement. Each module is contextualised with regional case studies and examples.

    Participant feedback has been very positive, as quotes from Trinidad and Guyana show:

    “The delivery of the module was exceptional, coming from a background where I had no prior knowledge of M&E and still be able to fully grasp all concepts, tools and techniques relating to M&E in 3 days, speaks to the quality of the materials delivered by the facilitators”.

    “As a graduate of a Masters Degree in Project Management since 2010, I haven’t been using the Project Management tools in my workplace.  So over the years, I have lost my interest in Project Management. The learning experience I have gained from participating in Module 5 has renewed my interest and passion in Project Management.  Now I am motivated and energized to work in a project oriented environment.  And I hope to be soon shifted to work in a department that is project oriented and focused on effective project planning and implementation.”

    CDB trainingCIDT’s project coordinator, David Meechan, visited Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana in April 2018 to deliver the Train the Trainer module, working with Nana Hesse-Bayne, a long standing regional associate based in Trinidad. The training unpicked methodologies of training delivery, encouraging participants to try out participatory style training through peer-based training practice.

    Eight weeks following completion of the face to face modules, participants are invited to attend a follow-up webinar. The webinar serves as a refresher and checks in on progress towards implementation of participant action plans. The ambitious training project has ten more countries to reach before the end of 2018 but is now off to a flying start!

    More on this project

    The Caribbean Development Bank is driving a wide transformation agenda to catalyse the change needed if the Region is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. To enable more effective management of policy, programmes and projects and contribute to addressing the regional implementation deficit, the Bank is executing a Public Policy Analysis and Management (PPAM) and Project Cycle Management (PCM) Training programme, to which CIDT are contracted as the PCM training consultants.

    Related news and media

    Find out more about CIDT’s work with CDB in the following news articles:

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  • ‘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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