Evaluation of Denmark’s Climate Change Funding for Developing Countries

Danish International climate change funding supports Denmark’s contribution to Fast Start Finance initially after the non-binding agreement at the UNFCCC COP15. Denmark also provides additional financing for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in developing countries. From 2008 to 2012 the Danish commitment has been about 1.5 billion DKK and a similar amount is expected to be committed from 2013 to 2015.

The team will conduct an independent evaluation of the Danish climate change funding to developing countries. The evaluation shall provide evidence of the outcomes of the climate change funding for forthcoming international policy dialogue on climate change and provide evidence for design and implementation of any future Danish support to climate change finance in developing countries, including addressing climate change in future Danida supported country programmes.

LTS is providing the following services:

  • Development of a Theory Based Evaluation Design
  • Development of the portfolio level theory of change and some intervention level theories of change
  • Development of Evaluation Framework, including Key Evaluation Questions and Indicators, in line with the OECD/DAC criteria
  • Development of Survey Instruments (Project Documentation Review Guide and Review Template; Semi-structured Interview Guide)
  • Leading field work in Kenya, Denmark and Vietnam
  • Responsibility for Analysis and synthesis across all the contributing studies (up to 6 contributing studies) and development of the final synthesis report
  • Presentation of the report conclusions and recommendations in Copenhagen
  • Coordination and management of a complex evaluation, including international team all working in separate locations

Image credit: louis.foecy.fr

Support to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund

Illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to the survival of some of the world’s most threatened species. In February 2014 the government hosted The London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, which brought together over fifty countries and international organisations to agree new and bold measures to tackle the trade.

Following the London Conference the UK Government committed 10 million pounds to tackle the threat of illegal wildlife trade. The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Challenge Fund represents 6 million pounds of this funding, aimed to support work in three areas:

  • developing sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by illegal wildlife trade
  • strengthening law enforcement and the role of the criminal justice system
  • reducing demand for wildlife products.

LTS is involved in the design and implementation of the application for IWT Challenge Fund. This has included substantive liaison with Government representatives from 3 departments: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Our support to the fund since its inception has included:

  • Design and implementation of application scheme
  • Design and implementation of project monitoring
  • Financial management of projects

The fund is available to governments, charities and NGOs, social enterprises and businesses, and to partnerships of these organisations. More information on the fund can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-illegal-wildlife-trade-challenge-fund

Examination of Hectares Indicator for the UK International Climate Fund

The “Hectares Indicator” for assessing area of avoided deforestation is one of the current Key Performance Indicators of the UK International Climate Fund.This indicator is intended to be applicable across the range of current and proposed forestry programmes of the International Climate Fund.

The objectives of this assignment are to:

  • determine the fitness for purpose of the hectares indicator,
  • identify ways in which it could be improved, and
  • if the indicator was found to be critically flawed in terms of its practicality and validity of outputs, propose a modified or alternative approach that should be cost-effective and practical to apply

The assignment involves three steps:

Analysis of existing hectares indicator methodology, identification of limitations and potential for improvement

 

  • Review of international best practice for estimating impacts of avoided deforestation initiatives (scientific methods, other donor programmes, project certification methods)
  • Recommendation of practical indicator approaches, description of strengths, weaknesses and requirements
  • Recommendations for improvement or alternative methods.

LTS is responsible for identification of practical issues and constraints associated with use of the indicator through interviews with DFID Country Office staff and their contractors, and from the staff members’ involvement in applying ICF and other donor forest sector KPIs during previous assignments.

This includes:

  • What are the challenges on the ground?
  • What datasets are available to project officers?
  • Discussion with programmes on alternative options

Image credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Communications Materials for Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation

In order to fulfil communications needs for the ESPA Programme, the ESPA Directorate has subcontracted some key communication outputs to LTS. The outputs include a series of two-page briefing notes:

  • A summary of an ESPA Evidence and Impact Research Grant
  • Three ‘Evidence Notes’ on development impact of specific projects.

These will be published on the ESPA website and shared widely with various audiences worldwide.
LTS staff is:

  • Preparing the design template to be used for publishing these documents;
  • Engaging with the project leaders and report authors as necessary;
  • Developing draft material to submit to ESPA;
  • Revising/editing the drafts based on comments from ESPA; and
  • Delivering all four targeted briefing notes ready to publish on the ESPA website.

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Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement

The Central Point of Expertise (CPET) was established by Defra in 2005 to provide advice, support and communication on the UK Government’s Timber Procurement Policy (TPP), EU Timber and FLEGT Regulations. In light of developing a policy on sustainable procurement, Defra took steps to expand the CPET service to include palm oil and sustainable woodfuel. CPET provides detailed information on TPP and advice on how public sector buyers and their suppliers can meet these policy requirements in practice. Background information is available on how these practical solutions were developed, including the types of evidence that demonstrate legality and sustainability and the criteria for evaluating such evidence.

The LTS consortium has been contracted under a Framework Agreement for provision of services related to the UK’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate (FGMC) Programme, effective from the 1st October 2012 with Efeca as Lead Partner. The contract seeks to support a variety of measures currently underway to address drivers of deforestation, by providing: (i) technical advice and support on the Government’s TPP; (ii) information and support on the EU Timber Regulations and FLEG; (iii) support on palm oil policy as it develops and (iv) support on sustainable wood fuel.

Growing concern about illegal logging and unsustainable forest management practices and the role of forests in climate change has driven international commitments and seen the evolution of international and national strategies for sustainable consumption and production and climate change mitigation. In addition to continuing to drive implementation of the TPP, the UK government is currently reviewing the feasibility of a procurement policy (similar to the TPP) to encourage the uptake of sustainable palm oil by the UK government and of inclusion of Sustainable Forest Management criteria under the Renewables Obligation and Renewables Heat Incentive; to promote market transformation within the UK. Furthermore, the EU Timber Regulation secondary legislation needs to be quickly and effectively communicated to stakeholders, in addition to FLEGT licenses awareness raising, as licensed timber becomes available.
The deliverables associated with this contract include: (i) develop and maintain an up-to-date web pages integral to the CPET website; (ii) assess how well the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certification schemes provide assurance of compliance with the timber procurement policy; (iii) maintain and operate the CPET helpline and enquiry service for private sector buyers; (iv) hold yearly meetings of the CPET Reference Board (v) maintain and update existing CPET training workshop materials, (vi) draft and circulate news updates; (vii) advise DEFRA to support its work on influencing implementation of the TPP; (viii) update (annually) the estimates of UK sustainable palm oil consumption; (ix) provide technical advice to the Biomass & Biogas Sustainability Implementation Group; and (x) comment on draft proposals for specific criteria on sustainable forest management for biomass electricity and heat generation.

More information on CPET can be found on its website at http://www.cpet.org.uk/

Developing a REDD+ Cost Assessment Management Tool

The activities aimed to build national and project-level capacity to apply a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) cost assessment tool in order to collect, analyse and monitor implementation, transaction, institutional and opportunity costs of REDD+. The tool is relevant and useful for policy makers, administrative staff of relevant ministries and agencies (program executives, planners, evaluators) and all relevant civil society stakeholders.

This MS Excel-based tool provides an initial understanding of all types of REDD+ related costs, cost estimates and cost monitoring for the DRC Government and a selection of REDD+ projects in DRC. In partnership with UNIQUE Forestry & Land Use and Ecole Regionale d’Amenagement Integre des Forets Tropicales (ERAIFT), LTS used the methodology and tool for REDD+ cost assessment developed in Tanzania for UN-REDD – integrating transaction, implementation and opportunity costs – to collect and analyse cost data in DRC on the national, institutional level and for two REDD+ projects.

Policy Briefs – Inside Stories in Climate Compatible Development

The objective of this project was to transfer knowledge among developing country decision-makers through two policy briefings. These featured examples of policies/programmes that had been devised to promote development while transitioning to a low carbon and climate resilient future. The policy briefings aimed to assist donors, development banks and NGOs by providing a candid view of what works and why. The briefs were in a format that was easy to understand and, most importantly, to engage with and proactively transfer into workable interventions where action and climate compatible development interventions would be most needed.

The case studies were relevant and accessible for an international audience of decision-makers in developing countries (government, private sector and civil society) and subsidiary organisations (including funding organisations, research institutions and NGOs) seeking lessons learnt that could be transferred and replicated to other contexts and regions, and subsequently would lead to programmes or policies that were scaled-up to or beyond the national level.

LTS provided full authorship (including background research and interviews) of one briefing on geothermal energy in Kenya, and co-authorship of one briefing on climate finance governance: lessons from establishing national Implementing Entities in Jamaica and Senegal. We also provided peer review of two further briefing notes in the series.

The published policy brief on climate finance governance can be downloaded here and the brief on harnessing geothermal energy in Kenya here.

Safeguarding REDD+: Towards Robust, Efficient and Transparent Financial Governance

In 2011, Global Witness contracted LTS to undertake a study titled “Safeguarding REDD+: Working Towards Robust, Efficient & Transparent Financial Governance”. LTS identified the main risks in REDD financial flows (from both public and private sources) from international to local level, and proposed appropriate financial audit mechanisms and safeguards to mitigate these risks. We then reviewed existing funding mechanisms, assessed the various risks (misrepresentation, misappropriation, inefficiencies), and proposed various checks and oversight mechanisms based on international audit and public finance best practice.

The report can be found here.

Monitoring and Evaluation within Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation

The ESPA programme aims to deliver high-quality, cutting-edge research that will improve understanding of the way ecosystems function, the services they provide and their relationship with the political economy and sustainable growth. ESPA is a 7-year, GBP 40 million interdisciplinary research programme funded by the DFID, the NERC and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of the UK’s Living with Environmental Change partnership.

LTS was contracted to provide monitoring and evaluation (M&E) services within the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme. This assignment was centred around the need for ESPA to operate an integrated and effective reporting and monitoring system, which satisfied the differential reporting needs of the three ESPA funders, while being parsimonious in the burden it placed on projects and the Directorate. There were a number of aspects to designing this system and there were four primary objectives for this assignment which may be summarised as follows:

  • Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the ESPA Directorate
  • Recommend rationalised reporting and indicators across the three ESPA funding agencies
  • Recommend a unified and utilitarian reporting system, and
  • Produce a revised ESPA logframe.

Within DFID’s Research Uptake Team (RUT), there was a mandatory requirement for all projects to elaborate their Theory of Change. LTS team member Isobel Vogel, who was working in DFID RUT, brought this experience of developing Theories of Change. Developing a Theory of Change helped ensure a common base for the logframe and logchart, as well as making explicit the programming assumptions underlying ESPA. LTS outlined a Theory from our reading of programme documents, and then interrogated and revised this interactively with the prime ESPA stakeholders. From a Theory of Change, LTS reviewed and modified the vertical logic / objective hierarchy of the logframe. Likewise, LTS recognised that ESPA operates from two parallel results frameworks, the other being NERC’s LogChart, and worked on both frameworks in parallel.

Forest Governance and Trade Programme Output to Purpose Review

The Forest Governance and Trade Programme aimed to facilitate reforms to deal with illegal logging and trade in illegally logged timber. It did so by addressing the underlying failures of governance, policies and markets. Illegal logging and associated trade is a major problem for many timber-producing countries. It costs governments billions of Euros in lost revenues, deprives poor people of livelihood opportunities, undermines the rule of law and causes environmental damage. The main task of the programme was to support reforms, together with the European Commission and other Member States, in countries that enter into partnership with the European Union under the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade programme. The purpose of the LTS review was to learn lessons from governance reforms in EU-FLEGT countries, the promotion of business practices that support legal sources, and use of tools and systems to tackle illegal logging and associated trade with Japan, China, US and other major consumers of forest products.