- Continue Reading
For more than three-quarters of a century, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) has helped family forest owners care for their land. Following this long history as a grant-making industry association the American Forest Foundation is currently in transition towards ways of working which are financially sustainable and achieve impact at scale. CIDT supported with a results-based planning approach leading to a simple, coherent and consistent analytical framework to underpin the planning of each work-stream.
Pre-Covid19, such support may have been provided via a facilitated face-to-face workshop. However, in this new era of virtual engagement, thirty hours of planning workshops were facilitated online with the use of virtual flipcharts, polling and breakout rooms.
CIDT’s Ella Haruna supported this series of facilitated collaborative workshops to support two AFF teams to develop their value proposition. The Biodiversity team is working to increase the number of landowners across the South actively and sustainably managing their forests, and the Western team is working to reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the West.
The US South’s forests rank at the top of the world in terms of biodiversity and number of wildlife species. More than 500 wildlife species are at-risk due to years of conversion of forests to non-forest uses, fragmented waterways, and an influx of invasive species.
In the West, frequent droughts and over grown forests are causing catastrophic wildfires, which strain forested watersheds and the water supply that comes from them. Protecting clean water is an urgent and pressing issue, with healthy forests acting as a natural water filter and storage system.
By the end of the facilitated suite of workshops, the Biodiveristy and Western teams of AFF had:
- been introduced to a suite of simple tools for results-oriented product design
- identified the stakeholders in product design and the core focal problem to be addressed
- analysed the root causes and effects of the focal problem and reframed these as solutions
- used a range of objective criteria to scope out and prioritise strategic options
- scoped out the ‘results chain’ and identified the risks to success and how these can be mitigated
- identify success criteria (performance indicators) and independent sources of evidence (means of verification)
Faced with growing threats to US forests, it is more important than ever that family woodland owners actively steward their land and protect our nation’s forest heritage. In collaboration with partners, AFF employs a number of strategies, programs and tools that help overcome the barriers to forest stewardship and engage more forest owners in conservation impact on the ground.
- Continue Reading
Most people are unaware that drowning causes the death of over 320,000 people globally every year (World Health Organisation 2017) leading WHO to label drowning as a ‘silent epidemic’. The RNLI International Department seeks to ensure that drowning prevention becomes a higher priority and better resourced in areas of the world with the greatest drowning burden. Responding to this objective, they have developed two country programme strategies for engagement in Tanzania, Bangladesh and a third programme working towards global influence.
CIDT has a long-term agreement with the RNLI International Department to strengthen capacity and CIDT’s Ella Haruna has been supporting the team to embed Project Cycle Management and Results-Based Management approaches in a number of ways.
Over several months, we have provided technical assistance to firstly, develop the results framework for each programme and secondly, develop supporting frameworks for programme Monitoring Evaluation and Learning.
- A results framework clearly articulates programme objectives at different levels, identifies risks and assumptions and explains how to measure and seek evidence for change.
- A MEL framework is a very practical tool that elaborates what data will be collected, by who, when and the costs involved to support this.
We also worked closely with the team to revise and review the International theory of change, to ensure that it articulates logic behind RNLI’s programme approach and that it reflects the theories of change in each programme. A results framework was also developed to measure the strategic outcomes at the Department level, with key performance indicators drawn up from the programme level in a technique known as ‘nesting’ of results.
- A theory of change explores how we expect change to happen, through our project activities, in an existing situation. It shows the big picture with all possible, and complex, pathways.
- Nested results is when results interlock or mesh at different levels, like ‘Russian dolls’ aligning results for the individual, team, project, programme, institution etc.
Image: Matryoshka doll or babushka dolls, stacking dolls, are a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another
If you would like to learn more about Theory of Change, Results Frameworks or Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Frameworks then you may be interested in CIDT’s self-paced online learning courses.
- Continue Reading
This recent blog piece published by Habiba M. Mohamed, a Research Assistant at CIDT, on the Global Partners Governance’s blog (October 2020). The blog piece, entitled “Egyptian Parliament and the Covid-19 pandemic: an active parliament regardless of the crisis”, tackles the impact of the global pandemic on the Egyptian public authorities, especially the Egyptian parliament.
Despite the global pandemic, the Egyptian parliament remained quite active during this period of widespread anxiety. The media often reported some MPs blaming citizens for the rapidly spreading virus by neglecting the government’s directives in following the basic rules of hygiene, ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks in public places; forgetting that the larger categories of the populations lack the proper spaces or resources to abide by these rules. It is notable that 11 MPs and their staff members have been affected by the virus. This blog piece briefly discusses the main actions and legislations passed by the parliament during the first wave of the novel Coronavirus (between March and September 2020).
Image credit: timep.org
- Continue Reading
This recent article by CIDT’s Sarah Thomas is published in ‘Development in Practice’ (September 2020). The paper, entitled ‘Singing from the same song sheet? Exploring “civil society” through the eyes of NGO practitioners’ presents findings from qualitative research undertaken with forest sector civil society organisations in the Central African Republic.
Although historically a contested concept, it has been argued that civil society has become a victim of its own ubiquity in development; its potential for radicalism and innovation blunted by donor-driven narratives and the unquestioning acceptance of those narratives by donor-dependent NGOs. Donor influence is charged with weakening civil society as an arena for political debate and citizen-driven change. This article presents findings from qualitative research undertaken with forest sector civil society organisations in the Central African Republic. It unearths and examines perceptions of the roles and values of civil society among practitioners themselves and the underlying drivers of consensual or contested understandings.
The photo below shows Sarah with the team at CIED, many of whom participated in the research. The photo at the top of the page shows a workshops for the network GDRNE, at which Sarah conducted interviews and data collection for the study.
Join our webinar on sustaining momentum for FLEGT as part of a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemicContinue Reading
- Date: Wednesday 14 October 2020, 14h-15h30 (Brussels time)
- Registration: Click here to register
Human society is enduring one of the greatest global health crises of the past century: COVID-19. As the urgency of tackling the pandemic took centre stage, policy issues such as the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan and the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) moved into the background.
Meanwhile, logging, trade exports, manufacturing, and construction are continuing. Governments in Europe and VPA countries face a tough choice to balance the health and welfare of the population with meeting their governance and political commitments.
About this event
On 14 October 2020, Member of the European Parliament Karin Karlsbro – in collaboration with Fern, the Centre for International Development and Training, the Environmental Investigation Agency and the World Resources Institute, will host a webinar on the importance of sustaining momentum for FLEGT as part of a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speakers from EU institutions, timber producing countries, the private sector and civil society will debate how to mitigate negative impacts the pandemic may have on governance and forest peoples’ rights, and how FLEGT can play a positive role in recovery plans.
Host: Ms. Karin Karlsbro, Member of the European Parliament (Renew Europe Group), Chair of the “Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade” Monitoring Group, Fern, EIA, CIDT and WRI
Moderation: European Forest Institute and Fern
Language: The webinar will be in English. Simultaneous interpretation in French will be available.
Panelists will include:
- Civil society/government representative from Indonesia – The dangers of deregulation and how to tighten checks (tbc)
- Obed Owusu-Addai – Co-founder and Managing Campaigner, EcoCare Ghana – Lessons learned from the VPA process during COVID-19
- Patrice Moussy, Head of Sector, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, Unit Environment, Natural Resources, Water, European Commission – Harnessing FLEGT for a green recovery
- Francisco Javier Escalante, Vice-Minister of Forest Development of the Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) of the Government of Honduras
- Benoît Jobbé-Duval, Executive Director, Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT)
– Perspective from the private sector on mitigating impacts and upholding the law
- Horline Njike, Secretary General, Field Legality Advisory Group and Essylot Lubala, Coordinator, Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière
– Lessons learned from independent forest monitoring in times of crisis
- Continue Reading
Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) involves the illegal capture, collection, hunting, poaching, trade and smuggling of endangered, protected wildlife, derivatives and or its products. It is estimated that around 75% of newly emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses derived partly from illegally harvested and traded species (Wang et al., 2020). The 2002-2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS emerged from wet wildlife markets in China and subsequently spread worldwide caused by a zoonotic coronavirus. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the global COVID 19 pandemic are stark reminders of the global catastrophic impacts of trade in wildlife species.
For the past ten years, the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) has been working in partnership with civil society organisations in the Congo Basin to strengthen forest monitoring and law enforcement and to address some of the underlying governance drivers which perpetuate these crimes. In 2018, CIDT and partners began to explore the synergies with wildlife monitoring and law enforcement. As part of this effort, CIDT conducted a review of the literature on illegal wildlife trade (IWT), looking particularly at local, regional and global responses and tools to combat IWT and related crimes.
The review suggests that, given the failure of traditional regulatory and law enforcement options, complementary solutions need to be strengthened. These include a focus on alternative livelihoods; working with indigenous communities and civil society organisations on wildlife monitoring, investigations, and prosecution; and collaborative law enforcement with government agencies. The paper recommends significant targeted funding to fight corruption, improve transparency and strengthen government law enforcement capabilities as part of a post-COVID-19 recovery package.
Reference: Wang, H., Shao, J., Luo X, Chuai, Z., Xu, S., Geng, M and Gao, Z (2020) Wildlife consumption ban is insufficient, Science, 367 (6485) 1435, DOI: 10.1126/science.abb6463
- Continue Reading
CIDT has conducted a pilot study of civil society in Africa for the global civil society alliance Forus; aiming to enrich engagement with their membership and inform a new strategy for 2021-2025.
The study is focused at two levels – national and regional – and explores the identities of the national members and regional coalitions, the realities in which they operate and how this environment affects them and their relationships. The study was conducted in a participatory manner, through six country visits to: Zambia and Botswana from southern Africa; Gambia and Chad from central Africa; and the Republic of Congo and Benin from West Africa. Interactive in-country workshops and face-to-face interviews were conducted with national platform members and coordinators and other relevant stakeholders. In addition virtual interviews were conducted with national platforms in other countries, and an online survey was implemented with platform members and other relevant stakeholders, including donors.
In July 2020, Forus and CIDT held two webinars, in English and French, to discuss and validate the preliminary results and findings with Forus’ anglophone and francophone African members.
Some of the main findings discussed in the webinars included :
- The proliferation of civil society platforms and networks in Africa, and the emergence of new forms of civil society, such as movements;
- The struggle of networks to balance inclusion and efficiency ;
- The challenge of striking the optimum balance between technical service provider to members and being a powerful advocacy platform representing a strong voice for civil society in a complex political environment;
- How to create a shared advocacy agenda at the regional level, without over-looking unique national contexts;
- How to build stronger internal governance and processes for leadership renewal;
- How to develop innovative methods to guarantee gender mainstreaming and empowerment of women in the civil society sector.
The study also raised the issue of financial sustainability and resource mobilisation as the central challenge facing civil society platforms in Africa and identified further contentious issues such as:
- how to support diversity management and manage tensions between different member organisations (for example, faith-based organisations and LGBTQ movements);
- the role of national governments and major international donors;
- facilitating exchange and peer-to-peer learning across civil society platforms from other regions of the world.
For more information about this work you can read this article on the Forus website.
- Continue Reading
The Field Legality Advisory Group (FLAG), Centre for Environmental Education (CED) and members of the Cameroon Community Media Network launched an extensive community and media campaign against the COVID 19 pandemic in the South, East, Centre, North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. During the months of July and August 2020, field animators accompanied by medical practitioners reached out to local forest and indigenous people’s communities and marginalised and vulnerable groups. Field visits offered the opportunity to relay a message of hope and solidarity in the fight against the pandemic of the Coronavirus. During the awareness raising sessions, particular emphasis was placed on respect of measures of good hygiene and social distancing recommended by the government and by the WHO in order to reduce the risk of contamination. The teams also distributed sanitation kits including soap bars, handwash, hydro-alcoholic solutions, masks and providing training on soap making in some communities.
Vulnerable groups and district health facilities in the Anglophone North and South West Regions faced with over four years of war, were particularly targeted, such as the nomadic Bororo’s and the handicapped. Over 2,000 households were reached through socially distanced sensitisation and millions of others through community radio, online and television messages. On going data collection on the impacts of COVID on these communities and their livelihoods will provide much needed insights on measures needed for a more resilient post Covid recovery plans.
This action is conducted within the framework of the CV4C project led by the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for International Development (CIDT) in the Congo Basin, funded by the European Union, the FAO-FLEGT programme and DFID.