Establishment and Management of a Technical Assistance Facility under the Programme of Support to Agriculture

Rwanda has achieved rapid growth and poverty reduction over the last decade; the agricultural sector has played a major part in this success and will continue to play a key role in the structural transformation of the economy in Rwanda.  The latest agricultural strategy (PSTA III) contains four main programmes: programme 1: Agriculture and Animal Resource Intensification; programme 2: Research, Technology Transfer, and Organisation of Farmers; programme 3: Value Chain Development and Private Sector Investment and; 4: Institutional Results-Focused Development and Agricultural Cross-Cutting Issues (including climate and environment, gender and nutrition).

As part of DFID Rwanda’s Programme of Support to Agriculture (PoSA), a Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) aims to ensure increases in agriculture productivity are sustainable and benefit the poor. The purpose of the £4 million TAF is to provide additional capacity, expertise, knowledge and evidence to support the Government of Rwanda in the implementation of the latest Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA III) which covers the period 2013-2017, and to help inform the development of the next Strategic Plan.

The targeted outcome of the programme is that the capacity and systems for inclusive and sustainable growth that benefits the poor are in place. This outcome will be achieved through the delivery of three outputs:

  • Output 1: MINAGRI agricultural sector Management Information System is strengthened, operational and utilised.
  • Output 2: Government capacity on key cross-cutting issues (gender, climate change and nutrition) is strengthened.
  • Output 3: Improved knowledge and analysis on key cross cutting issues by MINAGRI.

LTS is advising the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources and its related implementing agencies, the Rwanda Agriculture Board and other Government departments involved in the delivery of PSTA III, at both central and decentralised levels to improve knowledge and analysis, M&E systems design and capacity building on climate change and gender.

LTS plays a central role in the provision of technical assistance and capacity building;

  • Leading on the development of a functional Management Information Systems which is aligned to the Agriculture Sector Investment Plan.
  • Leading on the design of a comprehensive results-based measurement system, conducting the baseline study and capacity building to roll out the system nation-wide.
  • Mentoring the Government gender focal points and supporting them in implementing activities identified in our functional review, including new research to examine the correlation between gender inequality poverty, nutrition and agricultural practices
  • Strengthening technical skills and capacity on: (a) cross cutting issues of climate and environment, and gender; (b) improving the management of knowledge and generation of evidence to effectively implement and monitor progress of the PSTA III.
  • Operationalising day-to-day activities of the TAF, ensuring appropriate systems and controls are in place.

The LTS team is fully embedded in the Government institutions.

Nile Story

The objectives of the Nile Story are:

  • To develop new ways to describe the results of the Nile programme in qualitative and quantitative terms at the programme and project levels, including the outcomes and impacts of the support.
  • To convey these results in a variety of communications products targeted at different audiences.

The consultancy researches and conveys the results of the Nile programme enabled by the NBTF, coordinates country and partner support, and packages the findings into a suite of communications materials, informally called the ‘Nile Story’. The work covers the years 1999 through June 2014.

The Nile Story captures systematically the breadth and depth of progress made by the Nile Basin countries on the development track in pursuit of their Shared Vision in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

Building transboundary cooperation is a long term process and Nile cooperation is still in early stages. The Nile story should make reference to some of the challenges experienced and those that that lie ahead. The Nile Story aims to be ‘people centered’, with a focus on what has changed among stakeholders, including changes in attitudes, behaviors, and actions on the ground.

LTS developed a suite of communications products to tell the story of the Nile Basin Initiative over its 15 year history. The products reviewed work already undertaken to capture the progress of the Nile countries, conducted new research and analysis of NBI and national level progress resulting from the Nile programme, and established a framework through which the results of the Nile programme can be conveyed.

The Nile Story publications are available here.

Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development

 

The PREPARED programme is a five year, multi-organisation, comprehensive programme aimed at mainstreaming integrated, multi-sectoral, evidence-based, climate-resilient development planning and programme implementation into the EAC and its Partner States’ development agendas. The overall goal of PREPARED is to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of East African economies, transboundary freshwater ecosystems, and communities, targeting three key development challenges that are likewise high priority areas for the US Government.

PREPARED has three integrated objectives:

  • Objective 1: Climate change adaptation technical capacity, policy leadership, and action readiness of regional institutions improved
  • Objective 2: Resilient and sustainable management of biologically significant transboundary freshwater ecosystems in the East African Community region strengthened;
  • Objective 3: Resilient and sustainable water supply, sanitation, and waste water treatment services in the Lake Victoria Basin enhanced

Under Objective 2, LTS Africa is working in concert with other PREPARED partners on activities related to biodiversity conservation.

LTS is leading Component 2 (Biodiversity Conservation) of this project (a $2 million component), using the regional knowledge of LTS Africa and decades of experience in transboundary biodiversity conservation in East Africa to provide targeted support by conducting key ecosystem and biodiversity assessments.

M&E System for the Environment and Natural Resources Sectors

Rwanda’s second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) guides Rwanda’s medium-term development aspirations. The Government of Rwanda has increasingly shown commitment to rational utilization of environment and natural resources (ENR) and climate change resilience as key inputs towards the country’s EDPRS 2 and district plans. The mandate of the ENR Sector is broad and is implemented through sub-sectors that include Environment and climate change, Lands, Forestry and Nature Conservation, Geology and Mines, and Water resources.

The relatively strong culture of reporting in the ENR Sector combined with a current strong demand for results-based M&E and the potential availability of support from development partners, create a good opportunity for establishing a more robust M&E system. LTS provided technical and management support to the design of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system that ensures the ENR sectors in Rwanda effectively contribute to national sustainable development LTS M&E support to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and its affiliate institutions involved developing a functional M&E system which covers institutional processes and reporting mechanisms which are results based, aligned and coherent.

LTS assisted in the development of an M&E framework as part of the development of subsector strategic plans which together form the strategy for the entire ENR Sector for the period of EDPRS 2 (2013-2018). The proposed M&E system builds on and aims to improve the M&E functions already in operation. It is based on the use of modern ICT tools for data capture, storage and reporting, an improvement of indicator SMARTness. Data will be generated through Electronic Data Capture using smartphones and apps developed for the specific purpose. Data will be transmitted and stored in a “cloud” hosted under MINIRENA, from where it will be available for download, analysis and reporting purposes by anyone who has been granted permission.

Support Programme to the Development of the Forest Sector

Belgian support in Rwanda’s forestry sector is long-standing. The focus of the project was to prepare terms of reference (ToR) for tender documents and future consultancy assignments intended to deepen forest sector reform.

The LTS team prepared ToRs that will support the High Institute of Agriculture in preparation of training modules for silviculture of plantations, forest plantation harvesting and agroforestry as well as in the implementation of experimental applied research. Additional ToRs were developed for establishment of agroforestry trials and the provision of a handbook of agroforestry in Rwanda; finalisation of the manual of forestry plantations in Rwanda; acquisition of specific forest equipment, including measuring equipment, on the implementation of a training module on forest economics and management of cooperatives, and on implementation of training on the market transformation of wood.

Kagera River Basin: Feasibility Study for an Integrated Watershed Management Programme

The Kagera basin covers approximately 60,000 square km covering portions of the four countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with an estimated to have a population of nearly 15 million people. The Kagera basin experiences degradation of its water resources quantity and quality as a result of inter alia over-abstraction of surface water in some regions; unsustainable land use management practices; soil erosion; encroachment on river riparian lands and wetlands; increased sediment loads and siltation of water courses. The project objective was to establish a sustainable framework for the joint management through the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) of water resources of the Kagera river basin and prepare for sustainable development oriented investments, in order to improve the living conditions of the people and to protect the environment. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) received financing through the World Bank Nile Basin Trust Fund and part of the proceeds are devoted to promote investment opportunities in the Kagera River Basin. The feasibility study for an Integrated Watershed Management Program for the Kagera Basin will contribute to addressing catchment degradation issues and optimal and sustainable integrated use of natural resources of the watersheds.

The Kagera Trans-boundary Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Project designed by LTS is a five year investment programme built upon 25 subprojects together with support packages covering programme management, coordination, capacity building and policy development. The total financial cost of the KIWMP over five years is US$ 614.72 million.

Framework Agreement on Agriculture, Forestry and Environment

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) runs a Framework Agreement within the thematic area of Agriculture, Forestry and Environment. LTS is part of the Orgut led consortium contracted to manage this Framework Agreement and provide experts for technical assistance.

The purpose of the Framework Agreement is to provide a range of expertise that Sida could draw upon for support to its projects and programs. The Framework Agreement also provides inputs to Sida’s strategy and policy processes as well as capacity development. The Services includes quick inputs and short-term assignments with contract values under the 1.2 MSEK threshold.

LTS has so far been involved in four projects within this framework i) Mid-Term Review of the Swedish Financing Support to the Rural Energy Fund (REF), Tanzania, ii) Results Based Management Monitoring and Evaluation (RBM M&E) system in the Natural Resource sector in Rwanda, iii) an Organisational Review and Systems Audit of the Energy Efficiency Fund in Moldova, and iv) Monitoring and Support to Kosovo Forest Agency for implementing the Silvicultural Treatment of the Young Forests in Kosovo.

The objective of the Mid-Term Review of the Swedish Financing Support to the Rural Energy Fund (REF), Tanzania, was to assess progress and advise if there was any need for adjustment in the on-going cooperation between Sweden and Tanzania in the area of rural electrification.

The objective of the consultancy to develop a Results Based Management Monitoring and Evaluation (RBM M&E) system in the Natural Resource sector in Rwanda was to design a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system that would ensure the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) in Rwanda effectively contributed to national sustainable development through results based management support to the sector as well as across other sectors of the economy whose optimum performance and productivity are dependent on ENR.

The objective of the assignment in Moldova is to conduct an organisational review and systems audit of the Energy Efficiency Fund, which itself has the main objective to promote and support investments projects for energy efficiency and renewable energy. The consultancy is responsible to the Ministry of Economy (MoE), Energy Efficiency Agency (EEA), Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF), and affiliate institutions and implementing partners. The majority of tasks are being undertaken in collaboration with implementing sub-sector working groups and other stakeholders.

The objective of the assignment in Kosovo is to monitor and support KFA to implement the project Silvicultural Treatment of Young Forests, according to the requirements in the project document, work plan, operational plans and specific agreement. The LTS Consultant will be in close contact with the Embassy of Sweden in Pristina during the entire project implementation.

Image credit: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Climate Change Adaptation for Poor and Vulnerable Women and Rural Livelihoods

Rwanda is undergoing change as a consequence of environmental change, population growth and structural transformations in the agriculture / rural sector. Recent analysis on the impact of climate change on rural livelihood and agriculture in Rwanda shows that there is a high level of uncertainty about potential change effects; and this will depend on a range of natural factors and their interplay with a complex range of social, economic and institutional factors. The overall adaptation strategy in agriculture was to develop a resilient and diversified rural economy. CARE Rwanda, with support from CARE Austria, requested LTS to guide programmatic thinking on climate change adaptation. The assignment focused on a region in northern Rwanda to provide tangible and actionable recommendations related to farming systems across the volcanic soils of the Virunga volcanoes, Northern and Western provinces.

Baseline Studies for the National Forestry Development Plan

The Government of Rwanda has initiated a process of developing a National Forestry Development Plan (NFDP) as the long-term national strategy to guide implementation of a set of actions that will lead to attaining Rwanda’s goal of increased forest/tree cover to 30% in order to meet the basic needs of the population, conserve ecosystems and genetic resources and combat land degradation. A review of the Rwanda forestry sector was completed. However, there is a shortage of reliable up-to-date information on some key aspects of the sector. The LTS team carried out a number baseline studies on key aspects of forestry in Rwanda: characterization of supply and demand of round-wood; determination of volume of business based on forest products; a determination of human capacity needs in forestry sector; and current forestry sector governance. The NFDP formulation and implementation process is a significant, inclusive, forward-looking and coordinated effort to consult all major affected parties in Rwanda.

Congo Basin Forest Fund – Assessment of REDD Project Proposals

The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) is a multi-donor fund established to protect the forest in the Congo Basin region. Covering 200 million hectares and including approximately one fifth of the world remaining closed canopy tropical forest, the Congo Basin forests are also a very significant carbon store with a vital role in regulating the regional climate; and harbour diversity of global importance. LTS was contracted to assist the Natural Resource Management and Environment Division in the African Development Bank and the CBFF Interim Coordinator in the preview of project proposals submitted for funding. LTS provided specialist expertise in the assessment of project proposals concerning REDD initiatives (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation).