• CIDT lead Project Management Masterclasses for staff of the Caribbean Development Bank

    4 October 2018
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    Project Management Masterclasses for staff of the Caribbean Development Bank

    In September 2018 Philip Dearden led a series of Project Cycle Management Masterclasses for senior staff of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), giving the CDB team a taster and overview of the 8 modules currently being delivered by CIDT across the Caribbean in the 19 CDB Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).

    Philip co-delivered the training with members of CIDT’s regional associate training team Alexa Khan, Susan Branker Green, Mark Lee and Juanita Thorington-Powlett.

    Prior to attending a selection of the Masterclasses the 75 CDB staff participants all successfully completed CIDT’s online Results Based Management (RBM) course.

    The topics covered in these one and two day Masterclasses were:

    • Principles, Tools and Skills for Project Cycle Management
    • Project Appraisal
    • Risk Analysis and Management of Projects and Programmes
    • Project Planning and Implementation
    • Management of Technical Assistance Projects
    • Monitoring and Evaluation of Projects and Programmes
    • Procurement
    • Training of Trainers

    As an integral part of any training all participants have to design an Action Plan to help ensure the training contents and processes are implemented back in the workplace. Follow up Virtual Learning Symposia (VLS) will also be held in order to help identify further challenges and issues that may arise.

    Feedback from the independent evaluation of the programme being conducted has been very positive and included a variety of complimentary comments:

    • “The sessions were engaging with valuable contributions. The real cases brought a useful CDB perspective.”
    • “I thoroughly enjoyed this module.”
    • “Very useful opportunity for hands-on learning and identification of solutions.”
    • “I’m very appreciative of the knowledge and tools shared in this module.”
    • “This training has been tremendously helpful and the efforts of the facilitators and their administrative team is greatly appreciated.”

    Some specific comments on the Training of Trainers module were made:

    • “The facilitators went out of their way to ensure that the training was comfortable. As a result, I was willing to present in front of my colleagues, despite my nerves.”
    • “The module was well delivered”
    • “I really appreciated the way in which the facilitators worked to provide a safe environment.” “I believe this module was the best of the series and really sets the foundation for peer to peer learning.” 

    A series of recommendations from programme training and M&E providers concerning the sustainability of the overall programme, have been invited by CDB. The programme is considering the development of all modules into online packages, facilitation of Communities of Practice and the creation of ‘Lesson learning spaces’ for Monitoring and Evaluation at the CDB.

    Some photographs of some of the modules underway:


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  • Rachel Slater participates in expert group meeting for the Commission of the Status of Women 2019 in New York

    19 September 2018
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    Rachel Slater participates in expert group meeting for the Commission of the Status of Women 2019 in New York

    After many years working to try and coerce researchers into taking gender seriously or always being labelled the ‘gender expert’ in the room, it was a relief to be in a meeting where the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment were taken as a given and occupied centre stage throughout proceedings.

    I was attending an expert group meeting in support of the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) that will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 11 to 22 March 2019.  The priority theme of the commission will be social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

    UN Women convened a group of experts to provide inputs to a background paper for the CSW. From a broad and rich discussion, my three main takeaways from the expert group meeting were as follows:

    • First, how gender bias in formal contributory pensions system rules and processes undermine women’s wellbeing in old age, particularly in the developing world.  Gaps in paid work (particularly for maternity and child care) reduce the amount of years that women are contributing to pensions and are rarely compensated, and women are disproportionately represented in the informal sector where access to contributory pensions is scarce or poor.
    • Second, that women’s work is often highly risky but this is rarely acknowledged: Mignon Duffy presented data showing that non-fatal injury rates in nursing homes were more than twice that as construction and yet care work is rarely recognised as a dangerous occupation.
    • Third, that there’s a fine balance between meeting women’s specific needs and reinforcing stereotypes of what constitutes women’s work.  So, for example, in public works programmes, it is critical to include creches in public works activities but this risks reinforcing women’s role as carers rather than as workers in the productive sectors.

    Those takeaways show my bias – towards social protection – but, inspired by the comments of Tanu Priya Uteng, I left mulling over how different the world could be (and how much better for poor people everywhere) if we moved from car-based transport planning to basing planning of transport infrastructure on women’s experiences and needs. So watch this link for the report of the expert groups meeting sometime in late October.


    Rachel Slater

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  • £1.4m boost for Congo rainforest project

    19 September 2018
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    Independent forest monitoring

    A pioneering project to transform the lives of people in the Congo rainforest has secured a funding boost of £1.4million.

    The University of Wolverhampton will work in five Congo Basin countries with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) as part of the project.

    The £1.4m funding has been awarded to the University’s Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID).

    University experts will support forest governance with partners in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo on the project for the next three years.

    The project was launched in 2017 when CIDT secured funding of £5million from the European Union.

    New match funding to the project from the UK Department for International Development will support partners to collaborate with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to ensure effective engagement and response from forest law enforcement agencies, law makers and judiciary.

    The next phase of the Citizen Voices for Change (CV4C) project will be launched in October with a workshop in Congo Brazzaville.

    Dr Aurelian Mbzibain, Programme Manager for the Citizen Voices for Change project, said:

    “We are delighted to have secured £1.4m from the Department for International Development for this important project in the Congo Basin.

    “The aim of the project is to work in partnership with local organisations and communities to ensure private sector companies are working within their contracts and operating within EU timber regulations governing deforestation and legal exports.

    “The new element of the project with partners Interpol focuses on effective engagement and response from forest law enforcement agencies, law makers and judiciary in national forest policy processes.

    “This is a strategic new project component which will strengthen the role and visibility of the project and its partners in the region as champions of good forest governance.”

    For further details about the project, visit the CV4C project website.   


    Article published by University of Wolverhampton, Tuesday, 11 September 2018.

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  • How to achieve gender parity and youth empowerment in the African Continent? The African Union calls on CIDT.

    17 August 2018
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    The African Union (AU) is concerned about the limited representation of women, and youth in the African Union Commission (AUC) and its organs. The AUC is committed to reflect the continent’s diversity, in terms of gender, youth as well as geography. In spite of attempts to increase gender equality, many of the highest positions across the continent are likely to be held by men, and women commonly face barriers to leadership, which are both structural and internal. Moreover, different but pervasive barriers face early career men and women such that the number of employees falls well below the African demographic, which has 65% of the total population of the continent as being below 35 years of age.

    The AU is positioning itself to become a global player and is undergoing institutional reform in order to deliver Agenda 2063. To achieve this goal, the organisation understands the need to invest into growing its women and youth as well as the main male workforce, into globally competitive leaders. For this reason the AU passed a resolution in January 2018 to endorse its decisions on both women’s’ quotas and youth quotas and funding

    In order to sustainably achieve gender parity and 35% of youth in all its organs by 2025, the African Union requested the expertise of the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for International Development (CIDT) to facilitate a four day strategic planning workshop at King Fahd Palace hotel, Dakar Senegal from the 04-07 July, 2018. Dr Fareed, Deputy Chief of Staff -Bureau of the Deputy Chairperson, representing the Deputy Chairperson, H.E Thomas Kwesi Quartey who was unavoidably absent. In his opening remarks, Dr Fareed highlighted the importance of gender and youth in the AU’s agenda. He stressed the fact that the AUC was committed to build an institution of excellence capable of attracting the best of both genders and young persons. In support of the opening words of Dr Fareed, the Director of Women and Gender, Mahawa Kaba Wheeler and the Head of Human Resources & Youth Division Mrs. Ngwenya Prudence Nonkululeko enjoined the high level group of participants to put their experience to practice in developing realistic plans that would allow the commission to achieve its objectives.

    CIDT facilitators led by Mrs Mary Surridge and Dr Aurelian Mbzibain over the four days applied a wide range of tools and approaches which led to the achievement of workshops objective to design a strategic and operational plan to implement Project Parity 2025 and the Youth Empowerment and Financing targets for 2025. All 18 participants demonstrated commitment and engagement through out the process which was critical for the success of the event.

    A brief closing and certificate award ceremony was facilitated by Mrs Genet Shewangizaw and chaired by H.E Ambassador Blaise Banoum on the 7th of July 2017. Two closing remarks were made by the Director of Gender and Youth followed by words of appreciation by Mrs Genet to her team for the support in delivering the workshop. H.E Banoum officially closed the workshop with words of thanks to the organising team, leadership of the AUC, participants and facilitators. He wished everyone well and safe return to all involved. The certificate award ceremony followed and was crowned by a group photo at the end.

    The CIDT wishes to acknowledge the Learning and Development (L&D) team at the African Union Commission (AUC), which initiated the workshop and supported the facilitators to ensure that the facilitation addressed the expressed needs of the commission – particularly, Mariatta Allieu, Genet Shewangizaw and Fatma Yusuf. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by the Director of the Women, Gender and Development Division, the Head of Youth Division, the Heads of Department of Finance and HR as well High Officials from the office of the Chairperson who greatly enriched the proceedings by their presence and contributions. We hope that the operational plans developed will provide the guidelines required to make progress towards the AU’s gender parity as well as youth development targets by 2025.

    Some further scenes at the workshop:

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  • CIDT facilitate UNIDO SME Project Development Course in Morocco

    31 July 2018
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    UNIDO Morrocco

    UNIDO Morrocco

    Forty participants from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Palestine, Morocco, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia attended a Project and Programme Design course that aimed to assist the development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the Arab Region. The course was taught and facilitated by Philip Dearden of CIDT and was sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

    The intensive course held in Rabat, Morocco, was organized for the Arab Region by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in conjunction with the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO).

    The vision of the AIDMO is to realise high-quality and sustainable development in the fields of industry, mining and standardization. In recent years AIDMO initiated a capacity strengthening programme, funded by SIDA, with the technical support of UNIDO. The aim of the programme is to enable an accurate assessment and examination of AIDMO’s competences and areas of intervention, leading to a better definition of AIDMO’s position towards a number of themes and challenges to be reflected in their plans and strategies.

    In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, the capacity strengthening programme is enabling AIDMO to position itself as the key industrial development agency in the Arab region and thus help achieve regional integration, harmonization and effective coordination of industrial development related to trade, energy, climate change and decent work.

    In this context AIDMO and UNIDO jointly organized this interactive SME development initiative for the Arab region aiming at supporting the formulation of inclusive and sustainable industrial programmes to support SMEs in Arab countries with a focus on value chains, clustering in creative industries, innovation and the green industry.

    The course included a series of short technical lectures on SME development with a mix of dynamic sessions on participatory SME Project design taught by Professor Philip N. Dearden.

    Below: The UNIDO/AIDMO programme in Rabat, being opened with welcome speeches and tokens of friendship and cooperation.

    Below: SME Development sessions being delivered by technical experts from a range of organisations.

    Below: Workshop participants working on their development projects and programmes before presenting and sharing them.

    Below: End of Course Certificates being presented.

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  • UK Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report “Measuring up” launched in Parliament

    17 July 2018
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    Philip Dearden, Head of CIDT was invited to a reception hosted by Gillian Keegan MP in the Churchill Room in the Houses of Parliament on 3rd July 2018. At this reception, the report Measuring up: How the UK is performing on the Sustainable Development Goals was officially launched on behalf of UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD).

    A full copy of the report can be downloaded at the UKSSD website.

    Lord Bates, Minister of State at the Department for International Development (DFID) thanked the UKSSD for the hard work in producing the report and announced that DFID will consult on its process for the UK’s 2019 report to the UN on the Goals.

    Oliver Dowden CBE, Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Implementation) reported on how the UK government is fully committed to the implementation of the SDGs in the UK.

    Emily Auckland, UKSSD Network Director and Co-chair UKSSD and Dominic White of WWF explained the genesis of UKSSD and the production of the report.

    Measuring up is the most comprehensive review of the current situation in the UK conducted to date. It informs us as to what is happening in the UK for people, the environment and the economy.

    Out of 143 relevant SDG targets, the UKSSD found that the UK is performing well on 24%, with 57% where there are gaps in policy coverage or performance is not adequate and 15% where there is little or no policy in place to address the target or the performance is poor.

    Both Emily and Dominic reported that it fully needs to be recognised that the SDGs cannot be achieved by individual organisations or government alone. The Measuring up report reveals the links between the targets and highlights the importance of working together.

    This information now helps organisations identify where they are having, and could have, an impact on the SDGs.

    By looking at the relationships between the Goals or Targets we can also identify organisations whose work relates to our own – even if they’re in a different industry or sector. This opens the door to interesting, and potentially unexpected, opportunities for collaboration.

    Philip, who has often talked critically about the lack of a UK plan for the SDGs  please see example Philip Dearden presents at Going Global and  Philip Dearden presents Civic Mission Summit in Cardiff reports that he is impressed with the quality and depth of the report. He states:

    “On reflection it’s very sad that to date the government has done so little in regards to planning any real implementation of the SDGs in the UK. It’s now good that at least some people realise that the SDGs also cover the UK and that the vacuum has been strongly filled by the newly emerged UKSSD group. They are to be congratulated on producing a quality report that ironically would have shamed most parliamentary parties. I now seriously hope the current government will take up the report and start implementing the required action across the whole country”.

    In conclusion Philip reports “While there’s a lot to celebrate in the Measuring up report it’s very clear that the most vulnerable people and places in our society are increasingly being left behind. If the government is now serious about the SDGs and ‘leaving no-one behind’ then we all have some huge challenges ahead.”

    Some further scenes at the launch of the SDG report in Parliament. All photos by Philip Dearden.

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  • CIDT participate in a round table discussion on Adaptive Social Protection in Nepal

    16 July 2018
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    Rachel Slater at Round Table in Nepal

    How can social protection be utilised to support disaster risk management in Nepal?  On Monday 25th June 2018, Rachel Slater presented CIDT’s answer to that question to officials of the Government of Nepal, development agencies, and the NGO and INGO communities working on disaster risk management and social protection in Nepal.

    The round table and discussion was the final stage in the consultation process of a technical assistance project that CIDT is carrying out on behalf of World Bank.  The aim of the project is to enhance our understanding of how bringing together Disaster Risk Management and Social Protection could improve risk management, preparedness and better respond to shocks.

    Rachel Slater at Round Table in Nepal

    The presentation brought together the key lessons learnt from a number of reviews – of the social protection system, the disaster management system and international experience – and brought out lessons learned from fieldwork in flood, earthquake, landslide and drought-affected districts in Nepal.  CIDT made recommendations about instruments that the Government of Nepal may wish to consider to achieve better disaster management using social protection tools.

    The meeting was preceded by a week of consultations with government ministries encouraging a two way dialogue to ensure recommendations and options going forwards are viable and within the context and scope of Government of Nepal’s capacity.  The next steps will be finalisation of the recommendations by the end of July.

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  • Philip Dearden presents on Project Cycle Leadership the Caribbean Leadership Symposium

    10 July 2018
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    Philip Dearden with Devon Rowe, Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration CARICAD.

    Above: Philip Dearden with Devon Rowe, Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration CARICAD.


    Philip Dearden, the Head of CIDT, presented a session entitled ‘How critical is leadership around the project cycle in delivering results in the Caribbean Region?’ at the Caribbean Leadership Symposium in Kingston, Jamaica, 28th – 29th June 2018.

    Over 120 senior leaders in the public sectors from across the Caribbean Region and representatives of key regional and international agencies attended the Symposium with the theme ‘Building Leadership Resilience: From Surviving to Thriving’. The event was organised by the Caribbean Leadership Project (CLP).

    The CLP is an initiative funded by the Government of Canada to support the leadership and economic development training needs of national public sectors in 12 CARICOM countries and key regional organisations.

    The Symposium was opened by the Hon. Dr Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service.

    Dr Darran Newman, Division Chief (Ag.) Technical Cooperation Division (CDB), outlined the importance of Leadership in the Caribbean in her remarks at the Opening Ceremony.

    They were both joined by Her Excellency Laurie Peters, Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica and Ms Collen Rossiter, Project Director of the CLP, seen here to the left and right of Phil respectively.

    The first day of the event was lead by Dr Wayne Corneil who lead an interactive session on Crisis Leadership and Change.

    On the second day of the symposium Philip (Head of CIDT) and Claire Fischer (DODS Training Associate) presented sessions on the Caribbean Development Bank’s Public Policy Analysis and Management (PPAM) and Project Cycle Management (PCM) Programme.

    This was followed by a session led by Dr Darran Newman, Division Chief (Ag.) Technical Cooperation Division (CDB), examining the Power of Collective Leadership Impact – Can communities of practice nurture leadership attitudes and behaviour in the policy process?

    These closed door sessions were attended by Permanent Sectretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, and others of equivalent rank from across the 19 countries supported by the CDB.

    The specific objectives of the session were:

    • To provide an analysis and stock take of the main issues, drawing from the perspectives of Permanament Sectrtaries and Deputy Permanagement Sectraries who attended PPAM/PCM face to face training.
    • The enhance the practice of bolder leadership in navigating the political and institutional space.
    • To consider the case for a more devolved leadership model where staff (women and men) in all ministries with project and programme respoinsibiliteis are encouraged and coached to take on a stronger and more proactive leadership roles.
    • To debate the power of collective leadership impact – Can communities of practice nurture leadership attitudes and behaviours in the policy process?

    The sessions heavily focused on how to overcome the key insititutional challenges in relation to policy making and delvery that are emerging from the ongoing CDB training programme.

    Philip’s session concluded that Caribbean development projects and programmes need staff teams and individuals who have the confidence and capability to address the organisational and institutional challenges and appreciate and balance the various tensions that can arise. They also need an ability to draw on evidence and prior practical experience to apply context-specific judgement.  He strongly argued that in relation to addressing the regional implementation deficit, project and programme management is now simply not enough.  Project and programme leaders are now required.

    The 7 Simple Steps in CIDT’s experiential Leadership Capacity Development Programme (a programme designed for both female and male leaders at all levels) were outlined and briefly discussed in relation to the perceived needs in the Caribbean region.

    Philip also highlighted the need for sustainability in relation to the needs for further ongoing capacity development across the region.

    A series of suggestions/recommendations were put forward by all speakers. These were discussed in small groups and feedback collected.

    Despite the challenging nature of the many difficult delivery issues discussed during the closed door session, the early feedback from participants is very positive.   All of the participants who completed the evaluation survey forms gave a high rating for the session in terms of its contribution to their learning ( i.e. either strongly agreed or agreed).

    The closed door session was facilitated by Karen Hinds,  Chief Executive Officer, Workplace Success Group seen here leading the final “Call for Action” session (and paying tribute to both Jamaica and Usain Bolt!).

    Please click here on this link to see Philip’s presentation.

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  • CIDT supports development of Macedonia Decent Work Country Programme with the ILO

    26 June 2018
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    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.

    Monitoring and Evaluation (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 recently review of the ILO’s last Decent Country Work Plan (DWCP) for Macedonia highlighted the need to strengthen M&E.

    In view of this ILO requested Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) to provide refresher training on key concepts of M&E applying them to the planning of the Decent Work Country Programme for Macedonia (2018 to 21).  The training was targeted at some 27 specialists and mid-level managers of the Ministry of Labour of Macedonia, the Employers’ Confederation, and the key Trade Union staff in the country.

    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 actually preparing the new DWCP for Macedonia.

    Sessions were held on the

    • 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 the:

    • M&E skills of ILO constituents in Macedonia were refreshed,
    • 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 how to complete the DWCP including monitoring mechanisms.

        Some participant comments from the end of Clinic Evaluation:

    • Very good educative training
    • Interesting and useful lessons – excellent lecturer
    • Excellent facilitation
    • Good ways of sharing experiences, knowledge and skills and bringing many thoughts together for improvement of country general
    • Well done – very good!
    • Excellent presentations
    • Very good workshop format
    • Good concrete discussions
    • Comprehensive agenda
    • Motivation – very good!
    • Well-grounded workshop
    • Excellent high quality trainer/facilitator.

    Photos from the training

    Below: Maria Borsos presenting the findings of the Review of the last Macedonia Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP).

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

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

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

    Below: End of Clinic certificates being presented by Markus Pilgrim

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  • 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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