• Helping NHS projects to set a clear path to results and strengthen health systems through global exchange

    23 November 2022
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    In August 2022 CIDT’s Ella Haruna delivered training for staff from Global Health Partnerships of the NHS, which works to strengthen health systems and services in England and across the world through international exchanges. The training was delivered for 20 participants at the Telford campus of the University of Wolverhampton.

    Global Health Partnerships staff were keen to explore how their initiatives can produce and demonstrate desirable outcomes – and to identify a common language and shared approach to project design and monitoring across their Directorates.

    The two-day training introduced the logical framework and theory of change as two tools or approaches for commissioning, planning, monitoring, review, evaluation and lesson learning, and to explore and articulate how social change happens in the context of a project.

    Participants said:

    “I enjoyed that we used our own examples in the breakout work . It helped me to understand better what I need to do…”

    “I enjoyed the interactive aspect of the training. It was very useful to have a “budding project/programme” for teams to work on. It was useful as a mechanisms not only to help teams see a different perspective to their “logic” but also generate a Directorate wide understanding.” 

    “The action learning set approach with review of the project by my peers was useful. Leaving the workshop with some specific actions to implement in my prospective project.”

    “It was a really engaging course, and I learned a new tools to help facilitate building collaborative ToCs with partners.”

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  • What makes a learning partnership?

    16 November 2022
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    In March 2022, CIDT concluded a one-year learning partnership, supporting staff of the Europe Laudes Foundation to integrate Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) into their work. As we reach the middle of year two, we reflect on: what distinguishes a learning partnership from a service provider relationship?

    Under phase 1 of the partnership we collaboratively set an intention – a roadmap was developed with learning milestones, along a journey from GESI aware, to GESI sensitive, to GESI transformative thinking and programming.

    There was substantial investment in careful diagnosis – setting a baseline to understand the priorities and needs of the Laudes staff, in relation to GESI knowledge, attitudes and practices. A series of actions then emerged including a glossary, case studies, online modules and podcasts – all grounded in deep reflection and evolution with the Foundation teams.

    What helped to progress the learning?

    • An incremental approach
    • The interest and enthusiasm of Laudes Foundation staff, which led to deep engagement
    • Grounding GESI in the specific context of Laudes Foundation organisation and culture
    • Striving for an organisation-wide approach, which is nuanced to reflect regional and contexts

    Above all, we recognised that it takes time to establish a strong learning partnership – one that is based on trust and challenge – and that the role of the learning partner is more open, exploratory, iterative and fluid than that of a service provider.

    Our focal areas for phase 2 of the learning partnership include:

    • Practical representation of GESI in the grant cycle
    • Continuing and amplifying the conversation GESI in the context of climate change
    • GESI-responsive organisational procedures

    Laudes Foundation is at the forefront of a ‘just transition‘ – a recognition that the dual crises of climate change and inequality are deeply linked, and that this requires an ambitious, global response. CIDT is working closely with two teams focused on the Built Environment and Finance and Capital Market Transformation.

    Launched in 2020, Laudes Foundation builds on the work of C&A Foundation, founded by the Brenninkmeijer family.

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  • 13th Forest Governance Forum makes an impact in Brazzaville

    28 July 2022
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    The 13th Forest Governance Forum (FGF) was held from the 23rd-24th May 2022 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The first in-person FGF since the pandemic welcomed over 200 participants from the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, Ivory Coast, and the UK.

    Mme Rosalie MATONDO, the Minister of the Forestry Economy in Congo, who placed the Forum under her patronage, launched a call for strengthening the collaboration between stakeholders involved in fighting climate change, in her opening speech of the Forum. In that framework, she indicated she “was pleased to note that, thanks to the convincing results of the 12th Forest Governance Forum held in Brazzaville in 2018, Congo has once again been selected to host this 13th Forum”.

    During the high-level panel that kicked of the Forum, Mr Pierre TATY, representative of HE the Minister for the Forestry Economy, highlighted the current challenges facing the Congolese government, such as the development of forest concessions, increasing and diversifying revenues, combating climate change and valuing payments for ecosystem services.

    HE Giacomo DURAZZO, the Head of the EU delegation in Congo, highlighted the main areas of intervention of the EU in Congo, while stressing the need to establish a more solid partnership with the Congolese government. These areas include “accelerating the implementation of the VPA-FLEGT”. In that framework, the Ambassador flagged that “an initiative called ‘Partnership for Forests’ is envisaged with the ambition to improve cooperation on forest-related aspects of the Republic of Congo, including forest governance, the development of a sustainable and job-creating forest economy, and the preservation of biodiversity”.

    Mrs Inès Gady MVOUKANI from Comptoir Juridique Junior (CJJ), highlighted that the work done by Congolese civil society in favour of the rights of local communities and indigenous populations and in the implementation of the new forest law. She stated, “There is no sustainability without local communities and indigenous peoples benefiting from tangible revenues”.

    The Forest Governance Forum discussed a wide range of relevant and important issues, including:

    • The regional forest governance processes and FLEGT
    • Combating deforestation and forest degradation in the Congo Basin
    • Independent forest monitoring initiatives
    • A special Session on China-Africa Cooperation to Promote Sustainable Forest Products Trade and Green Investments
    • Strengthening law enforcement and the fight against forest crime
    • The Sustainable Wildlife Management Program in the Republic of Congo
    • Effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities
    • Gender mainstreaming in forest governance
    • and much more.

    Watch again

    The event was broadcast live and the recordings are now available along with downloads. Click here to watch now.

    The FGF was co-organised by the Centre for international Development and Training (CIDT) at the University of Wolverhampton, and Comptoire Juridique Junior (CJJ) with the financial support of the European Union (EU), Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and other partners.

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  • Facilitating Lesson Learning and a focus on Development Results for ILO projects supporting 4 million refugees in Turkey

    18 July 2022
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    Turkey currently hosts over 3.6 million Syrian refugees and an estimated 400,000 from other countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Working alongside other UN Organisations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is doing all it can to support these refugees with language and skills training and relevant employment projects and programmes.

    Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) conducted two consecutive workshops for ILO staff in Ankara, Turkey to help improve the quality and results focus of ILO projects/programmes facilitate the enabling of lesson learning around these.

    Welcoming participants, the workshop organiser Özge Berber Agtas (ILO Senior Programme Officer) said:

    “It was good to do the two online training courses with CIDT but it’s great to finally have these face-to-face workshops. We have had a pandemic and have been waiting a long time – we very much welcome Phil back to ILO Ankara!”

    The workshops covered Monitoring, Review, Evaluation and Lesson Learning (MRELL) and Results Based Management (RBM). The first workshop was attended by 18 ILO staff, all of whom had successfully completed CIDT’s MEL online course prior to the training.

    The face-to-face workshop aimed to enable participants to appreciate the value of a Positive, Open Lesson Learning Organisational Culture (POLLOC) within their own institutional/organisational context and build appropriate M, R & E frameworks into Projects and Programmes and use them for adaptive management

    Participants said: “The prerequisite online training course was very helpful to us all”, and “I also liked the engaging and participatory approach of the trainer during the face-to-face workshop”.

    The second Results Based Management (RBM) workshop was attended by 12 ILO staff, providing a ‘refresher’ on key concepts of RBM and their practical application. It included a focus on the ‘Results Chain’; Reporting on Results/Performance (Results Based Language); Linkages between Projects, Programmes and the Sustainable Development Goals, Project and Programme Logical Frameworks and Theories of Change.

    Participants especially valued the materials provided for the workshop, “Very helpful and detailed handbook that will be very useful in the future”; and the engaging and skills of the trainer: “The trainer moved us from theory to practice through the group work exercises”, “The group work was really helpful”, “The trainer was very successful in keeping levels of motivation”.

    Photo gallery

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  • Philip Dearden presents at the Education for Sustainability in a Climate Crisis: International Perspectives conference

    13 July 2022
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    Philip Dearden recently presented a session on ‘Bridging the Practical and Academic Aspects of Climate Change and Sustainability through Capacity Development work – A case study of the Social Enterprise work of the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) of the University of Wolverhampton.’

    In this short session, Philip outlined how staff in CIDT have been involved with capacity development work to mitigate against climate change and to ensure Environmental Sustainability for much of their 50-year history.

    In the presentation, Philip firstly introduced CIDT and their capacity-strengthening model. He then illustrated this model through a quick look back at CIDT’s capacity strengthening work in Amazonia, Brazil, Nepal and Rwanda. He then introduced their work with the international Chevening Environmental Governance Programmes and more recently their forestry and wildlife governance programmes and work across the African Congo region, which was recently showcased at COP26.

    In the second part of the presentation, Philip built upon CIDT’s international work and reflected upon the University of Wolverhampton ‘Glocal’ work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Recent changes in educational curricular were then briefly examined and the need for further developments in relation to the three University Cs of Curricular, Campuses and Communities emphasised. In conclusion, the need for future teaching with an international climate justice approach was stressed.

    Hosted by the Universities of Worcester and Wolverhampton from 5-6 July 2022 this Education for Sustainability in a Climate Crisis: International Perspectives conference had a wide variety of presenters. These ranged from academics and teachers, through to postgraduates, undergraduates, and primary school children. It was a great to hear international viewpoints from the UK as well as those coming from Canada through to Hong Kong and from India through to Zambia.

    Watch the presentation

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  • Working paper explores sustaining existing social protection programmes during crises

    20 May 2022
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    Working Paper 14 from the BASIC Research programme is authored by Rachel Slater and entitled ‘Sustaining Existing Social Protection Programmes During Crises: What Do We Know? How Can We Know More?’

    The paper explores our understanding of the ways in which existing programmes can be sustained during crises to ensure that households that were already poor and vulnerable before a crisis continue to be supported. Literature in this area does not address conflict-affected crises.

    The paper concludes that a better understanding of when, where and how existing programmes can be sustained during situations of violent conflict will help to ensure that poor and vulnerable households can be supported – either through government programmes or by enabling robust diagnosis of when efforts to sustaining existing programmes will be inadequate and an additional, external responses are required.

    Read more details and download the paper.

    BASIC (Better Assistance in Crises) Research is a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office funded programme examining why, how and when to use social protection approaches in different crisis contexts, to deliver more effective social assistance so that vulnerable people cope better with crises and meet their basic needs. BASIC Research is led by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) together with the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, and the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) at the University of Wolverhampton, working with an assortment of partners across 11 countries affected by protracted crisis.

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  • CIDT helps United Nations World Food Programme understand how to set food and cash transfer levels in East Africa

    22 March 2022
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    Daniela Baur (Research Assistant) of the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) and associate colleague Emily Wylde (Independent Consultant) have been commissioned by the World Food Programme to conduct a study that maps how United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) sets transfer values in East Africa.

    Determining how much cash or food people receive is not an exact science. Decisions depend on different forms of analysis and a number of trade-offs. They take into consideration a range of intersecting factors: programme objectives, number of people in need, people’s needs, available funding resources, environmental, political and economic contextual factors etc.

    WFP has corporate guidance steering Country Offices on the process of transfer value setting, but it in practice, when navigating dynamic contexts and situations, it is rarely appropriate to follow guidance step-by-step. This study helps uncover what challenges WFP Country offices face and learn from the ways in which Country Offices look to overcome such challenges.

    In the face of funding resource limitations and pressures from growing need across geographies, the information will help diagnose what all parties, headquarters, regional and country offices, may do to help improve approaches to set the transfer value and in turn contribute to improving WFP’s implementation and achieve programme aims.

    The study is informed by desk-based revision of documentation and interviews with staff in 9 WFP Country Offices in East Africa (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda).

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  • Reflecting on the use of logical frameworks and theories of change at the Midlands Evaluation Showcase

    14 February 2022
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    Head of CIDT Philip Dearden was recently invited to present at the UK Midlands Regional Evaluation Network Showcase celebrating evaluations and evaluators across the Midlands.

    In his session Phil shared some reflections on the use of Logical Frameworks and Theories of Change in International Development work.  His presentation can viewed below.

    The showcase sessions covered: evaluating social, economic and other benefits of initiatives in the Midlands region and evaluating national and international policies and programmes from the Midlands.

    Other speakers at the showcase event included:

    • Professor Nick Henry, Coventry University and James Brown, University of Warwick
    • Professor Laura Caulfield, Director of the Institute for Community Research and Development (ICRD), University of Wolverhampton.
    • Oliver Allies, Wavehill Social and Economic Research.
    • Professor Mike Thelwall, Professor of Data Science, Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, University of Wolverhampton.

    Their presentations can be viewed in the full event recording. 

    Winning Moves’ Karl King and Michelle Hollier supported the sessions through hosting and chairing the event.

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  • CIDT facilitate inclusion of Asia Pacific national and local actors in global conversations on forest governance

    14 February 2022
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    The advent of the Covid 19 pandemic has made us all realise the importance of nature and how our lives are dependent on nature; this in turn has helped galvanise the international community with greater fervour than ever around efforts to address biodiversity loss, deforestation and degradation and the impacts of climate change.

    Central to these efforts is the need for local people and national civil society organisations to play a key role in international efforts and processes. However, there are some challenges that make it impossible for local communities and national civil society organisations to be effectively engaged, even though they are the ones bearing the brunt of the negative impacts of biodiversity loss, deforestation, degradation, and climate change.

    Often national civil society organisations and local communities lack the knowledge and, in many instances, do not have access to the platforms and fora on which these issues are discussed and decided. The result is that they are never seen, and their voices are never heard.

    To address these challenges, CIDT organised the Asia Pacific Forest Governance Forum from 27-30 September 2021. More than 240 people, from 38 countries dispersed around our planet and representing a range of sectors, tuned into Zoom to attend this event. The event was organised by CIDT through the regional project Strengthening non-state actor involvement in forest governance in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea led by BirdLife International based in Cambridge and funded by the European Union.

    Aiming to showcase achievements, expertise and experience the event offered views from civil society, international organisations and the private sector who are engaged in different kinds and methods of forest governance across the region. Presentations looked at the progress and the challenges of policy processes concerning forest governance, climate change and biodiversity conservation and the impacts observed on the ground.

    Another session focused on both the science and practice of some of the tools and approaches being used to enhance transparency, access to information and accountability.

    The event also invited speakers to discuss issues, efforts and methods into making and achieving greater inclusive representation and participation of stakeholders in the policy process.

    The event was a huge success as highlighted by feedback from some of the participants:

    “Thank you for your excellent moderation. We find these events invaluable. With lots of engagement parallels and informed approaches, this is an essential forum.”

    “Many thanks for the very successful, substantial and inspiring conversations!”

    “Thanks to all presenters. Excellent efforts being conducted at all levels, and great sharing with us over the past week. So exciting to hear of so much great organising and action at local community levels. Also a great effort from all organisers and participants.”

    “Thank you for the enlightens forum and brings great hope for better forest governance and give more benefits for indigenous peoples and local communities.”

    “Thank you very much for organising such a precious and insightful dialogue for better forest governance!”

    Key links

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  • Mapping NGOs working on forest governance and wildlife protection in the Congo Basin

    3 February 2022
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    NGOs working in the environmental sector, specifically in the fields of forest governance and wildlife protection, in four countries of the Congo Basin region, Cameroon, Congo- Brazzaville, Gabon and CAR. The study took place within the framework of the project Strengthening Law Enforcement on Fauna and Flora in Central Africa (RALFF), funded by the European Union, with additional funding from the Forest Governance Markets and Climate Programme, of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). 

    “Independent Forest and Wildlife Monitoring are approaches widely used by many   civil society actors around the globe”, says Prof Aurelian Mbzibain, one of the authors of the report and CIDT forest governance expert. Fledgling research has been carried out on the typology of NGOs implementing strategies, but much more must be done to characterise these NGOs, the challenges they face and the synergies between the work of the two sectors. Prof Mbzibain explains, “One of the main questions to explore through this research is why large International NGOs work mainly in the field of wildlife protection and conservation, while smaller local NGOs focus more on IFM and illegal logging?”

    “Finding an answer to this question was complex and layered”, explains Habiba Mohamed, a research team member, “Our respondents raised various factors such as the difficulty to raise sufficient funding for engagement in the field to support monitoring and investigations”. Another factor was the fear of criminal networks and threats, as small local NGOs lack the level of protection available for INGO staff members. Finally, Mrs Mohamed adds that some research participants touched on cultural factors: Communities see wildlife as meat and a source of protein as opposed to something to be preserved for economic or social benefit. Local NGOs feared the rejection of the communities if they preached the message of conservation or protection which limits community access to traditional hunting/fishing/cultural sites in forests, especially when they don’t have the means to assist them in improving their economic situation.  

    The report identities several internal and external challenges faced by local and international NGOs in the field, including issues like internal governance, leadership, gender issues, financial sustainability, the challenging relationship with governments and the controversial relationships with the private sector.  

    Download the full report in English. 

    Download the Executive Summary in English. 

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