• CIDT’s achievements in forest governance presented at forest partnership meeting

    7 December 2018
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    Aurelian Mbzibain presents at CBFP

    CIDT’s Dr Aurelian Mbzibain and Daniela Baur attended the 18th Meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership Parties on 27-28 November 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

    As a core leader of Forest governance in the Congo Basin region, Dr Aurelian Mbzibain, on behalf of CIDT, with World Resources Institute summarised key themes and initiatives that have taken place over the last year, and outlined priorities for the future.

    Discussions and actions throughout the past year are organised into three priority areas recommended by participants at the previous meeting of the Parties in Douala:

    • Integrated land management
    • Timber markets and legality
    • Participatory forestry.

    Aurelian Mbzibain presents at CBFPDiscussion on these priority themes continued throughout the year in a series of meetings including the Forest Legality Week in Washington DC, and the Forest Governance Forum in Brazzaville in October, among others. Key recommendations included calls:

    • To implement the Brazzaville road map on participatory forestry;
    • For cross sectoral coordination in land use planning and the use of earth observation tools for decision making
    • For improving transparency and voice and strengthening forest legality and law enforcement
    • For Congo Basin governments and development partners to integrate timber legality in public procurement contracts and as a way of gradual regulation of domestic timber markets.

    View the communiqué (in French) presented to the CBFP Parties.

    CBFP organising parties reported that ‘the Brussels meeting comes at a time when the Congo Basin forests are facing increasingly complex and serious challenges: The region is also making a major “shift” in its economic model which is currently geared towards diversification driven by investments in territorial development related sectors such as mining, the food and agricultural industry, infrastructure and other large scale projects, bolstered by a strong drive for medium term emergence which was virtually absent at the time of the launch of the CBFP. There is an urgent need to establish better linkages between sustainable forest management strategies, conservation approaches and the region’s economic development objectives which in turn requires better opportunities for dialogue and commitment around relevant issues, including cross-cutting issues and follow-up of shared viewpoints.’

    The meeting convenes Heads of States, ministers and senior multilateral officials from around the world. It also attracts participants from international organisations, multilateral partners, civil society organisations and indigenous peoples, youth, women, media, academia, scientific community, private sector actors.

    With participants close to 400, discussions were held on a variety of topics relating to conservation of biodiversity, wildlife, climate change adaption, sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests as well as local development of the communities residing in the Congo Basin.

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  • CIDT support regional workshop for the International Labour Organisation in Moscow

    6 December 2018
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    ILO workshop Moscow

    Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) and Katerina Stolyarenko (Associate consultant), supported this two day Results-Based Management (RBM) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Workshop held in Moscow, Russia 27 – 28 November. In attendance were forty five ILO staff from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and ILO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland attended.

    The learning objectives of the event were to provide a “refresher” on key concepts of RBM and M&E and practice their practical application ready for current or future interventions of the ILO office in the sub-region.

    Specific topics covering in the workshop were:

    • The rationale for results measurement and the “results chain”
    • Seven simple planning steps and seven key questions to ask
    • Logical Frameworks and Theories of Change
    • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to key areas of intervention of ILO in the sub-region
    • Monitoring, Reviews and Evaluations
    • Practical Monitoring, Review and Evaluation tools

    Six case studies of typical regional challenges where ILO projects/programmes would be applicable, were used as a learning tool to develop and apply RBM and M&E concepts in a practical and experiential manner.

    Feedback from the end-of-programme evaluation was very positive and indicated that participants had gained a lot of learning from the highly interactive and dynamic programme and appreciated the programme delivery and design

    Many participants commented on how much they had enjoyed the workshop and on the practical value to their work. Comments received included:

    • Excellent facilitation
    • Practical and interactive
    • Inspiring facilitator – Clarity of delivery
    • Great energy
    • Very professional delivery of the topic
    • Interactive way of training: sense of humour, group work, informal communication
    • The energy of the trainer/facilitator and the relevance of the training to all ILO staff
    • Well guided workshop, good case studies
    • Lively and fun workshop
    • A lot of interaction, not pure presentation
    • Group work discussions
    • Working on real concrete issue
    • Depth of information, practical examples, space for dialog, team work, presentations
    • The facilitator’s academic and interactive approach
    • Systematic, well-structured discussion of a rigorous framework activities etc.

    Many participants expressed their thanks for the well planned and well delivered programme and have requested more such training for themselves and colleagues.

    Photos from the workshop

    Below: The programme being opened by Olga Koulaeva, DWT/CO Director of the ILO Office Moscow and the workshop methodology being explained by the facilitator.


    Below: Workshop participants working on their projects and programmes  

    Below: Workshop participants making presentations

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  • Sponge cities, an SDGs rap and insurance in ‘sachet’ form: Reflections from #APAN2018

    4 December 2018
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    I spent last week in Manila at the 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum (@APANAdapt) and on a steep learning curve – from sponge cities (where rainwater in urban areas is used, stored, purified, re-used, re-purified and eventually released back into the natural system) to using green spaces to achieve climate change ‘resilience for free’, and a rap to help us remember the SDGs.

    My first reflection (because this so often comes last) is about gender.  The only sessions that I attended where women outnumbered men on the panel of speakers were, predictably, those on gender and on social protection.  There might have been more representation of women’s experiences, knowledge, capacities and voices in other parallel sessions but I was left thinking that there’s a lot of work to be done bringing together gender equity / empowerment with climate change action. Surely we can do better?

    Second, there were lots of calls for building resilience to the worst impacts of climate change from the bottom up, and for working at the local level. An example are financial products that can support poor and vulnerable households such as insurance in ‘sachet’ form from Alagang Cebuana in the Philippines that reaches those who can’t otherwise access or afford orthodox insurance products. At the same time, though, there was simultaneous recognition of the challenges that working locally from the bottom up can create for building resilience and adaptive capacities at scale – the challenge of working locally for global effects, so to speak.  My key take-away for this was that we need to shift away from thinking about ways of doing infrastructure as an ‘either-or’: either large-scale, machinery-intensive or locally-designed and build through community participation.  A more hybrid approach that brings together these two ways of doing things might help us better find ways of making the local operate at scale.

    Finally, there was clear agreement on the importance of science and scientists, but this this didn’t seem to extend to political scientists.  There was very limited discussion of the politics that underpin decisions that governments make about tackling climate change.  Following the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Accord under the Trump administration, it’s clear that scientists and technical experts in infrastructure, ecosystems and nature are not enough.  Finding ways of influencing governments, understanding policy processes and how to navigate political change and realignments requires a different set of skills.  I found the discussion focused on science and technology, at the expense of how to get policy and legislative frameworks in place, and how to include the voices of excluded communities.  And, although a scientist at the Forum remarked to me that he didn’t think the meeting was very scientific at all, I think we need to make more space for discussions about policy processes and entry points if we want to make faster progress.

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  • Multi stakeholder and sector exchange on Forest Governance in the Congo Basin

    28 November 2018
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    Forest Governance Forum Brazzaville

    The Regional Forum on Forest Governance (FGF) was held from 30-31 October 2018 in Ledger Hotel in Brazzaville, under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Head of Government of the Republic of Congo. This event is the first of its kind for the CV4C project, but the 11th in a series of similar international conferences organised within the framework of the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT)’s previous projects: Strengthening African Forest Governance (SAFG) and EU-Championing Forest Peoples’ Rights (CFPR) project.

    The Forum received financial support from the CV4C project, co-funded by the European Union and the UK Department for International Development.

    The Forum was attended by over 250 participants from civil society organisations, international organisations, donors, representatives from research institutions and private sector organisations were present. Participants hailed from the Congo Basin countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Republic of Congo) as well as Belgium, Chad, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Poland, Switzerland, UK and USA.

    Her Excellency Mrs. Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo was present during the opening and closing ceremony.

    The Forum took form in 12 panel sessions covering the topics and themes:

    • An Overview of the State of Forest Governance in the Region and beyond – COMIFAC
    • VPA and TLAS Implementation
    • Promoting Transparency and Public Procurement Policies
    • Panel on Regional Legal Frameworks and Reform Processes
    • Private Sector Engagement & Land-use
    • Involving indigenous peoples and local communities in forest governance
    • Forest Certification and forest governance links
    • Fire Management Planning, Sustainable Forest Management, Climate Change Response
    • The scope for building synergies between IFM and IWT
    • The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi)
    • Climate Change, Finance and REDD+
    • Benefit Sharing, Gender and Funding

    Over the two day forum, 49 presentations were made by 39 stakeholders*, many of which operate across the Congo Basin region and their respective countries (Cameroon, Central African republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Republic of Congo), but also stakeholders operating beyond the region, notably from Ivory Coast, Indonesia, UK and USA.

    View the agenda for the event to see all presentations that were made. The FGF pages host copies of the presentations made and more photos of the event.

    * ACFAP, ATIBT, Brainforest, CCJ, CDHD, CEB/Precious Woods, CED, CIB/OLAM, CIDT, CIFOR, CLFT, Client Earth, CNIAF, Comifac, Communication Officer Platform for Sustainable Forest Management, Conservation Justice, FAO, Fern, FFAD, FLAG, FODER, FSC, Interholco, JPIK Indonesia, MEF Indonesia, MEF RoC, MINFOF Cameroon, Ministry of Water and Forests Republic of Ivory Coast, P4F, PALF, PPECF, Proforest, Rainforest Alliance, SAILD, US Forest Services, World Bank, WRI, WWF, ZSL

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  • Chinese Delegation visits the University to learn about Public Sector Human Resource Management

    23 November 2018
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    Chinese delegation visits University

    A delegation of 12 senior Human Resources staff from a variety of Public Sector institutions in China visited the University to learn more about Public Sector Human Resource Management. Facilitated by Rachel Roland in CIDT the group had presentations from a range of University Human Resources staff on topics ranging from Organisational Development through to Gender Pay Gaps and how issues related to this are being tackled.

    The visit timetable covered a range of topical university HR subjects:

    • Welcome to the University – Prof Philip N. Dearden
    • Gender Pay Gap and Progression Conferment – Faye Crosbee
    • Athena Swan and Research Excellence Framework – Aisla Nicholls
    • Service Now –  John Dicken
    • A Day in the life of a Human Resources Business Partner – Reg Probert
    • Wolverhampton Academic – Helen Gillott
    • Organisational Development – Aisla Nicholls
    • Questions and Discussions.

    The visit was led by Lu Shihai, Director General of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Jessie Shi was the Project Manager for UEC Cross Culture Links who organised the UK visit for the delegation.

    During their visit to the UK the group were also visiting a wide range of public sector organisations including research organisations, libraries, the National Health Service (NHS) and other Higher Education institutes.

    Below: Helen Gillott talking to the group about the HR processes involved with the “Wolverhampton Academic”.

    Below: Philip Dearden and Aisla Nicholls kindly being presented with gifts from Lu Shihai, Director General of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on behalf of the Chinese delegation.

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

    14 November 2018
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    A CIDT training team has delivered two further cycles of training under the Caribbean Development Bank’s Project Cycle Management training programme. Training took place in Belize, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia in May 2018 and in Montserrat and St Vincent’s and the Grenadines in July 2018.

    The training team included CIDT’s Ella Haruna, Des Mahony, Sarah Thomas and Phil Dearden, and CIDT associates Patt Flett, Susan Branker Greene, Alexa Khan, Nana Hesse Bayne, Teddy Charles, and Mark Lee.

    Since November 2017 the CIDT team has delivered this suite of eight modules in Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. 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 the training has been very well received across the region – with an average of 97% positive participant feedback in the recent quarter.

    • “Excellent Delivery! Thank You!” (M5 St Kitts and Nevis)
    •  “The practice activities were very practical and allowed for much discussion.” (M9, Belize)
    • “It was well prepared and presented I do not think it could have been better.” (M4, Montserrat)
    • It was well executed” (M5. St Vincent and the Grenadines)
    • “It is an excellent opportunity for refresher training and continuous personal development. It also provides the foundation for improved project management and implementation.” (M5, Belize)
    • “Was extremely well delivered an indeed an eye opener.” (M9, St Kitts and Nevis)
    • “This was a good introduction. It is a lot to take in as a novice but the trainers were able to deliver the content and oversee activities well.’ (M3, St Lucia)
    • “Although I may have covered aspects of Monitoring and Evaluation previously, the facilitator was able to bring across concepts clearly which allowed for better understanding. Group exercises and examples enhanced learning.” (M6, St Vincent and the Grenadines)

    In addition to face to face training participants are also supported with a follow-up webinar, six weeks post-training. The webinar serves as a refresher and checks in on progress towards implementation of participant action plans.

    CIDT’s Phil Dearden has also delivered a suite of PCM Masterclasses for CDB staff at Headquarters in Barbados.

    The final training cycle is now well underway with CIDT trainers deployed in Anguilla, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.

    Read more on this project

    CIDT have provided services to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) since 2013 – find out more about CIDT’s work with CDB in the following news articles:

    Photos from the training


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  • CIDT support the country engagement of the NDC Partnership in Dominican Republic, Jordan and Morocco

    5 November 2018
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    In August-September 2018 facilitation services were provided for NDC Partnership multi-sector planning workshops by Ella Haruna in Jordan, and CIDT Associates James Johnson in Dominican Republic and Cath Long in Morocco. Remote support was also provided to planning processes for the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

    The NDC Partnership aims to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets as quickly and effectively as possible. Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

    NDC Partnership Country Engagement

    The NDC Partnership Country Engagement workshops are intended to identify and clarify government objectives and needs for achieving NDC targets, and to align Development Partner projects and programs with the needs identified by member country governments. The multi-stakeholder workshops host Government, private sector, non-state actors, academia, development partners, and implementing partners.

    CIDT’s role

    Since June 2018, NDCP has retained CIDT on a call-down contract to provide facilitation services in support of key country engagement processes of the NDC Partnership.

    The CIDT facilitator role is to serve as a neutral facilitator to manage an effective process and ensure that workshop objectives are achieved. The wider objective of the process is to stimulate national and international stakeholder interest and engagement and develop ownership of the planning process and the output of that process.

    Photos from Jordan


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  • CIDT delivers Forest Governance and Training of Trainers course in Malaysia

    29 October 2018
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    Sarah Thomas and CIDT Associate Teodyl Nkuintchua have recently returned from Malaysia where they facilitated a very successful two week Forest Governance and Training of Trainers course for staff, volunteers and stakeholders of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). The course was the last of the four national forest governance courses delivered by CIDT as part of the EU/Birdlife International ‘Strengthening Non State Actor Involvement in Forest Governance in South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea) Project.

    The first week of the programme was designed in close consultation with MNS to ensure that it dealt with topics of priority concern within the Malaysian context. It was attended by 43 partners and stakeholders of the project, representing Government, Private Sector, Civil Society and Community organisations and from across the politically distinct federal territories of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. The content included forest governance assessment, corruption, trade-based initiatives, indigenous community rights, gender, climate change and REDD+. The course also addressed issues around multi-stakeholder communication. These sessions helped participants to identify ‘spaces’ for participation and influence of non-state actors within the governance structure, to explore power relationships and  multi-stakeholder interaction; and to build awareness of and competency in the key skills for effective engagement  (change management, representation, advocacy, negotiation, networking & influencing skills).  This was achieved through a series of analytical exercises and role play activities, including stakeholder mapping and communication analysis.

    The second week of the course, which took place at the Belum Forest Reserve, focused on Training of Trainers and was attended by 21 MNS staff and volunteers and a small number of representatives from partner CSOs. During the second week, participants were supported to design and deliver targeted training inputs for different stakeholder groups in order to support wider dissemination of Week 1 content. The courses developed included workshops on forest monitoring, REDD+, trade dynamics and environmental education for school teachers.

    Some photos of the workshop 

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  • CIDT facilitates regional Member consultations in Bangkok and New York for the NDC Partnership

    29 October 2018
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    NDC partnership facilitation in Bangkok

    In September 2018, two informal member consultations of the NDC Partnership were held to reflect on the Partnership’s Country Engagement (CE) to date and the results delivered so far. An event in Bangkok focused on exploration of Country Member perspectives and an event in New York targeted exchange of experiences between Implementing and Development partners. CIDT’s Ella Haruna facilitated and reported the two events.

    What is the NDC Partnership?

    The NDC Partnership aims to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets as quickly and effectively as possible. Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. There are currently 83 Partnership members, with 34 countries currently involved in the Partnership’s Country Engagement process.

    Ms. Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, speaking on behalf of Germany the Co-Chair of the NDC Partnership opened the event in New York.

    Dr Pablo Vieira Global Director of the Support Unit to the NDC Partnership opened the Bangkok event.

    CIDT’s role

    Since June 2018, the NDC Partnership has used CIDT’s facilitation services in support of key country engagement processes. The facilitator’s role is to serve as a neutral guide to manage an effective process and ensure that workshop objectives are achieved.

    The consultation objectives were to exchange experiences and lessons learned and to identify and analyze enabling and hindering factors in the NDC Partnership Country Engagement (CE) process; and to identify best practices to strengthen CE, coordination and communication by the Partnership.

    Photos from Bangkok

    Photos from New York

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  • Celebrating Mary Surridge’s long service at CIDT

    16 October 2018
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    Mary Surridge with Philip Dearden

    Mary has now worked for 25 years at CIDT, with a total of 29 years at the University of Wolverhampton, her first few years working with Terry Withington in the Centre for Curriculum Development

    In many ways Mary embodies the spirit and ethos of CIDT. Passionate, committed to change things for the better for those who miss out on living their lives to the full, and unwavering in her influencing others to do what is right, she has generated huge respect and a “Mary effect” wherever she goes. Part of the ‘Mary Effect’ is that people she works with end up joining us. Several CIDT staff applied for jobs after lengthy project work experience with Mary.

    When she arrived at CIDT she went straight to work in Tanzania, which was her first experience of working in international development. She brought her already highly-recognised skills of adult learning, communication styles and curriculum development to the fore in a long term project with a Tanzanian livestock training college near Arusha. Typically, she is still in good touch with her Tanzanian counterpart from those days. From there she supported all CIDT staff to appreciate the importance of gender and social inclusion; to practice communication skills, all of which are now part of CIDT’s DNA.

    Since those early days Mary has gone on to work in over 30 countries and take part in very strategic work for a range of significant organisations. Like so much of what CIDT does, our reputation is dependent on how we present ourselves to our partners. In this regard a very good example of the ‘Mary effect’ is the hugely impactful and successful education programme for the All-Age Schools in Jamaica. This programme set the direction for all the subsequent work that CIDT has done in the Caribbean, including our current large Caribbean Development Bank training programme and the redesign of the primary school curriculum for grade 1-9 pupils, where the impact of her incisive direction is being felt by every single school child in Jamaica.

    Apart from Jamaica Mary has excellent experience in designing policies, strategies and activities to address discrimination on the basis of gender and to promote equal opportunities for women and men in the workplace. She has made a huge contribution in supporting national and international agencies such as the Commonwealth Secretariat and various International charities to develop and implement their own gender strategies and mainstreaming plans. Added to that she conducts gender analyses, audits and appraisals and is a gender trainer/capacity developer and gender trainer-trainer. She develops gender guidelines, manuals and online programmes. She is an experienced project manager and team leader and has become known as an evaluator for inclusion in education.

    Despite being at an age where most people are thinking of retirement or have retired, her passion and enthusiasm means she is currently project manager for a portfolio of 3 long-term evaluation projects which use DFID and UNICEF funding, as well as working with the African Union Commission to support women into leadership and gender equity in leadership roles in the organisation.

    A special long-service dinner was held last week which Mary sadly missed. In her absence Philip Dearden was presented with a certificate and gift for Mary from Professor Geoff Layer (below left). Phil later passed these onto Mary in CIDT (see main photo above).

    At the event Philip Dearden provided the follow comments about Mary’s service with CIDT:

    “It’s been lovely to celebrate Mary’s long service to CIDT. Mary has had a really positive influence on the development and direction of CIDT. During her time with us she’s had a huge impact on many CIDT staff, hundreds of students and on the very many organisations and agencies she has worked with. She is an exemplary model for any one working in international development.”

    After the event Mary said:

    “Although I had been a teacher trainer in the School of Education at the University since 1989, when I first began working for CIDT in 1991, my learning curve was so steep that it curved back on itself. Now 27 years later it is still that steep! Ever since I began in international development with CIDT, the work has been so varied, interesting, challenging and fulfilling that there has never been a dull day. It has been such a privilege to work with such an inspirational group of colleagues and with so many kind, patient and amazing people across the world. I am eternally grateful”.

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