Real-time Evaluation of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative: Measurement, Reporting and Verification

Through its REDD+ MRV and reference levels work track, NICFI supports MRV and reference level establishment activities through bilateral support to six countries (Tanzania, Guyana, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, and Ethiopia), multilateral support through the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) funding allocated to national MRV and reference level establishment, support to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Forest Carbon Tracking (FCT) initiative and to the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI); and, “consensus building” activities focused on MRV and reference levels in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

The purpose of this evaluation was (i) to assess NICFI’s support to Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and the extent to which this support has contributed to NICFI’s general objectives and (ii) to provide feedback to NICFI and other stakeholders involved in efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). To achieve this purpose, the evaluation had the following three objectives, as stated in the Terms of Reference:

  • Assess to what extent the support has contributed to national capacity building, institutional strengthening and MRV and forest inventory systems;
  • Assess to what extent the support has been coordinated with the efforts of other actors;
  • Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of different channels of support, where possible comparing these.

The evaluation was divided into three phases to aid implementation. Phase 1 was an intensive design phase to optimise strategic focus and develop the most appropriate and efficient sampling and assessment methodologies. Phase 2 focused on primary and secondary data collection and preliminary analysis through four steps aimed at ensuring efficiency, consistency and triangulation of information to generate strong evidence. In addition to desk review, extensive interviews were conducted in Cameroon, DRC, Guyana, Indonesia (Jakarta and Central Kalimantan) and Tanzania. Phone interviews of international stakeholders and climate change negotiators were also undertaken. Phase 3 involved the analysis and synthesis of the information collected, and reporting.

The evaluation Terms of Reference posed a set of questions to be answered by the evaluation and required an assessment of the scheme against the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development / Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) criteria of Relevance, Effectiveness and Efficiency.

A brochure on the MRV evaluation can be downloaded here.

Contributions to the Formulation and Implementation of National REDD Strategies: 2007-2010

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)’s support to the formulation and implementation of national REDD+ strategies and other REDD+ readiness efforts. As NICFI considers it likely that the international REDD+ architecture will build on national policies and measures, this national level evaluation will constitute a main pillar of the whole real-time evaluation programme.

The evaluation encompassed five case-study countries: Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guyana, Indonesia, and Tanzania. These countries receive significant support from NICFI through different channels and mechanisms, they represent a range of forest types and conditions, are at different stages in the forest transition, represent different national policy contexts, and together they cover each of the three tropical continents. Consequently, NICFI support in each of these countries has been used for different purposes, including stakeholder consultations, capacity-building, institutional strengthening, demonstration activities, and application of policies and measures.

Within each of the five countries this evaluation had two main objectives:

1. Develop a methodology for the real-time evaluation of NICFI support to the formulation and implementation of national REDD+ strategies; and

2. Establish a baseline for 2007 and evaluate the status and progress of NICFI support to the formulation and implementation of national REDD+ strategies as of 2010.

The evaluation team documented a number of key successes of the NICFI contribution in the countries assessed, and provided recommendations that could strengthen this contribution. These recommendations have been followed up by NICFI.

Contact Philippa Lincoln for further details.

Download the Brazil Report here.

Download the Democratic Republic of Congo Report here.

Download the Guyana Report here.

Download the Indonesia Report here.

Download the Tanzania Report here.

Download the Executive Summaries from the country reports here.

 

Real Time Evaluation of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative

Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) was launched during the climate change negotiations at Bali in December 2007, with commitments up to $500 million a year to support efforts that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation and protect existing forest carbon stocks (REDD-plus) in developing countries to mitigate climate change. NICFI (i) works towards the inclusion of REDD+ in a new international climate regime; (ii) takes early action to achieve cost-effective and verifiable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and (ii) promotes the conservation of natural forests to maintain their carbon storage capacity.

LTS’s real-time evaluation services of NICFI provided to Norad’s Evaluation Department constituted approximately 11% of Norway’s aid budget, making demonstration of the value of this investment highly important. As NICFI is a complex evaluation object that operates at multiple scales, across more than 65 countries and through a multiple partners from civil society organisations to multilateral development banks, it has been necessary to build the opportunity of multi-way comparisons into our evaluation approach.

The LTS led consortium used cutting-edge methodological approaches to successively evaluate the progress of NICFI with regard to its objectives and the general objectives of Norwegian development cooperation, such as those related to livelihoods, economic and social development and the environment. The overall approach was guided by the OECD/DAC evaluation criteria. A range of theory based evaluation methods were applied: theories of change, outcome mapping, process tracing, portfolio analysis and case studies. These have relied on the use and development of a variety of mixed methods evaluation tools including quantitative surveys instruments; key informant interviews and content analysis.

LTS had the responsibility for strategic oversight, operational management and coordination of all key functions of the contract. LTS acted as the key interface with the Norad team and other stakeholders; managed the group of 35+ experts inputs; coordinated quality control of reports from experts; led and supported M&E processes at various levels; ensured effective contribution of Management Committee and Project Management and Core Team through effective work planning and review of progress with the respective team members; identified and recommended improvements in M&E processes; designed and applied evaluation methodology and data collection tools; facilitated exchanges experiences and identified improvements in support of drawing out lesson learned and best practice to inform NICFI; and presented evaluation findings in public hearings.

The evidence and results from the real-time evaluation services informed global debates around REDD+ and influenced a wider array of stakeholders: the Norwegian government (Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs); the Norwegian Parliament, institutions, organisations, and the general public in Norway; multilateral organisations engaged in REDD+ and climate change activities; the international community, in terms of spreading knowledge concerning the achievement of both REDD+ and sustainable development; and the national REDD+ initiatives in target countries.

The results for LTS’s evaluation work widely recognised as the most thorough and politically balanced evaluation: Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway “The most comprehensive evaluation that has ever been undertaken on a Norwegian funded development initiativeā€

Six large individual evaluations have been conducted to date and more information about these is available on the individual project pages:

    • Global Policy Evaluation
    • National REDD+ Strategies Evaluation
    • Civil Society Evaluation
    • Contributions to the development of an international REDD+ regime (global in scope, focus on international policy)
    • Contributions to the development of national REDD+ strategies (field data collection in Brazil, DRC, Guyana, Indonesia and Tanzania
    • Support to Civil Society (field data collection in Cameroon, DRC, Indonesia, Norway, Peru, UK, US)

ContactPhilippa Lincoln for further details.

Click here to download the Fact Sheet for this project

You can now download the reports from the NICFI website here. Alternatively, click on any of the reports below to download them.

 

Development Potential of Chainsaw Logging and Milling and Associated Decision Guide

This was a research project designed to clarify the conversion efficiency of chainsaw log conversion, the flow of costs and benefits that arise and the potential for improving skills and lowering impacts through application of modified reduced logging techniques. The starting point was a comprehensive strategic review of chainsaw conversion, from which the experimental protocols for the field studies were developed. The results from the marketing, conversion and socio-economic studies when combined with the questionnaire outcomes provided the basis for the decision support system. This provides guidance at policy, planning and practitioner levels on how to identify situations where chainsaw conversion could be appropriate and on the conditions, support and control systems that may be required. The project held a regional workshop in Guyana jointly with FAO Regional Forestry Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Timber Forest Products Marketing Study

LTS consultants prepared for Iwokrama a report that identified the geographical location of potential timber markets and their relative short and longer-term prospects, product requirements and demand for recognised indicators of socially and environmentally responsible business practices. The report analysed current private sector perspectives on investment needs and priorities in the Guyanese forest products sector and the estimated financial requirements to meet potential national and international market demands, both in terms of order size and product specification and quality.

Sustainable Forest Management Programme

The project aimed to improve the management and operation of Barama Company’s forestry operations to enhance the commercial, environmental and social value of its resources. In the first phase, LTS International developed a programme of silvicultural and operational research to improve the quality, accuracy and use of information for sustained yield forest management. This included monitoring the environmental and social impacts of a large logging operation and operational audit. In the second phase, LTS International provided Management support to develop enhanced practices and procedures for planning, management and harvesting.