Member: International Statistical Institute


Our congratulations to LTS Principal Consultant Matthew Shearing who in January became an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). Matthew was elected by his senior peers from the world of official statistics, including former Directors General of National Statistical Offices, to support the work of the ISI’s Statistical Capacity Building Committee. In this voluntary role, he aims to help the Committee’s work have a higher impact by promoting global knowledge transfer between Statisticians, Data Scientists, and other relevant professions, and by promoting partnerships across the public and private sectors to help solve global development challenges.

The ISI’s annual blue ribbon event the World Statistics Congress is taking place this year in Kuala Lumpur in August .This will bring together about 2,500 delegates, comprising statistical researchers, academia, industry practitioners, analysts and policymakers from all over the world to share insights on development in statistical science and to advance application of statistics for discovery, innovation, and decision making. 

ISI WSC 2019 – ISI World Statistics Congress 2019

1 Dec 2018. The list of Approved Special Topic Sessions for ISI WSC 2019 is now available. The Local Programme Committee (LPC) for the 62nd ISI World Statistics Congress 2019, chaired by Datin Rozita Talha, has completed the selection of proposals submitted for Special Topic Sessions (STS).

Monitoring and Evaluation Support for a National Project for Kenya: ‘Enhancing access to weather and climate information for Kenya’s coastal region’

The Weather and Climate Information SERvices for Africa (WISER) programme, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) is providing up to £35 million over four years (ending March 2020) to enhance the resilience of African people and economic development to weather and climate related shocks. The programme aims to improve the generation and use of the weather and climate information across Sub-Saharan Africa, with an initial focus on the East Africa region. The WISER programme has two main parts:

(1) a pan-African programme focussing on improvement of the governance and enabling environment for weather and climate services. This is predominantly being achieved through support to the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC).
(2) a regional programme primarily focussing on the East Africa region (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) (WISER-EA) aimed at improving the quality and relevance of weather and climate information and supporting its uptake and use.

The Met Office has been commissioned by DFID to act as Fund Manager for the WISER–EA programme and as such will provide technical coordination and allocate and manage funds for WISER-EA projects.

Funding has been allocated under the WISER programme, to support a national project for Kenya ‘Coastal resilience and improved services for potato production (Kenya) ‘. The project is split into two sub-projects, ‘Increasing the Resilience of Kenya’s Potato Sector and ‘Enhancing access to weather and climate information for Kenya’s coastal region’. The project seeks to deliver accessible and decision-relevant weather and climate information for 300,000 households in Kenya’s coastal region with a focus on 4 counties; Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Taita Taveta. It’s scope covers three main areas;
(1) the development and delivery of demand led and decentralised KMD services in coastal Kenya;
(2) development of proposals for the streamlining of KMD’s forecasting to improve existing and facilitate delivery of new products and services in response to demand from users in the coastal counties, and;
(3) investment in improved marine forecasting techniques to provide better downscaled information, early warnings and associated advisories.

LTS is supporting the project ‘Enhancing access to weather and climate information for Kenya’s coastal region’ in conducting a series of monitoring and evaluation activities to track changes in the reach and impact of weather and climate information services enhanced or developed by the project. LTS is working closely with KMD, the Met Office and end users to facilitate participatory monitoring and evaluation approaches that highlight and document good practice on access, understanding, use and benefits of climate information services.
LTS’ deliverables are linked to the logframe outputs for the project and include:
(i.) Production of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Project including baseline and endline assessments; and
(ii.) Assessing the socio-economic benefits of the project’s activities.

Framework Agreement governing the purchase of consultancy services for climate, forestry and low-carbon development

The overall thematic focus of the framework agreement is related to green economy, low carbon development and international climate change policy, especially REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). The framework agreement will mainly, but not exclusively, be used for consultancy services related to the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). The consultancy services fall within four different types of assignments/call-offs: i) Project proposal appraisals ahead of funding decisions; ii) Mid-term and end-reviews; iii) Technical assessments. This includes follow-up on recommendations from reviews/appraisals; and iv) Technical assistance to partner institutions, including capacity building and training. Assignments completed so far or in progress after the first seven months of framework implementation include a Review of the GGGI Programme in Indonesia 2012-2017; an Appraisal of the project document “Reducing the impact of large-scale agricultural investments in the Mekong region on communities, forest and climate change”; a Review of programme collaboration between NEPAD and Norad; an End Review of “Organizational Capacity Building, Conservation Agriculture, Gender and Land Rights MOZ-12/0047” and Appraisal of the Project Proposal “Support to a Sustainable and Equitable Improvement of Small Scale Farmer’s Livelihoods in Mozambique” MOZ-18/0001; a Mid Term Evaluation (MTR) of the Result Based Payment to the CRGE Facility – PA for REDD+ [Ethiopia]; an Appraisal of three project documents for the “Law Enforcement Assistance Programme to reduce tropical deforestation (LEAP) – An INTERPOL-UNODC-RHIPTO programme”; an Appraisal of the project document “Targeted Support to the Climate and Land Use Alliance 2018-22 Strategy: Primary Focus on Brazil & Indonesia”; and an Appraisal of a project document from One Acre Fund.

Mainstreaming Lessons Learned from Adaptive Agriculture in the Arid and Semi-Arid lands (ASALs) under the REACT programme

LTS is undertaking a learning assignment to “identify the key success factors for mobilising the private sector in the marginal environments of ASALs of sub-Saharan Africa”. The purpose of the study is to identify the key success factors for mobilising the private sector in the marginal environments of ASALs of sub Saharan Africa. Findings from the study will be used to guide future investments in the ASALs, both through specific funding windows and more generally.

Tourism and Eco-tourism Potential in Targeted Forest Landscapes

The objective of the LFSP is to generate sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits by effectively and collaboratively planning, developing and managing tourism around Liberia’s natural resources. The program will support the Government’s agenda for the growth of industries that contribute to sustained growth, poverty reduction, and shared prosperity while addressing fragility and building resilience. The Forestry Development Authority has contracted the Solimar team to conduct a thorough review and assessment of the existing and potential natural, cultural and heritage-based tourism attractions in and around the targeted protected areas and recommend a pilot project for one of the identified sites. LTS has been contracted by solimar to provide the Forest Landscape Expert to support the analysis of national conservation policy, regional priorities, and threats to biodiversity including those that are direct results from tourism and local communities.

Liberia’s ecotourism potential has long been recognized, but remains unachieved to date due to problems of sufficient political will, policy coherence, stakeholder coordination, infrastructure, human resources, access to financing, etc.

The LFSP includes support for drafting for an analytical study regarding the potential within the targeted forest landscapes. The study will assess the prospective for eco-tourism within and around those specified protected areas and develop a sample pilot Ecotourism project within one of them, based on the findings of the study.

Value and Benefits:
This study intends to determine the extent to which this underdeveloped sector could provide new revenues to the Liberian protected areas and to adjacent communities within the foreseeable future.

Evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund – LTS Reports

The independent evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) was established in 2008 to reduce deforestation across the Congo Basin! The CBFF aims at alleviating poverty and mitigating climate change by reducing the rate of deforestation in the Congo Basin through the efficient management of its forest resources.

You can view the Congo Basin reports by clicking the links below:

Evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund: A Thematic Evaluation (1)

Evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund: A Thematic Evaluation (2)

Congo Basin Forest Fund Evaluation Report

Congo Basin Forest Fund Inception Report


Adaption Futures Conference

Adaptation Futures 2018, the fifth in the Adaptation Futures international conference series on global adaptation.

LTS Director Irene Karani travelled to Cape Town last week to attend this conference, here’s what she found…

The conference aimed to facilitate dialogues for solutions between key actors from diverse perspectives and regions and attracted over 1,300 scientists, practitioners, business leaders and policymakers from around the world. Delegates were able to view the responses of local artists to the realities of climate change, as well as join in the Community Kraal, which focused on the lived experiences of climate change. The Adaptation Expo showcased the work of 24 organisations actively involved in responding to climate change.  

This is the first time the conference was held in Africa and it presented an opportunity for discussions on adaptation in developing countries and increased the participation of participants from the developing world.

Six themes were discussed in the conference namely:

  • Adaptation and Development: how can adaptation enhance development outcomes, how development can enhance adaptation outcomes, maladaptation, adaptation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adaptation integration into national development plans and other development processes.
  • South South and South-North learning and knowledge exchange: how does a southern perspective of change the global framing of adaptation? how to enhance South-South collaboration.
  • Interaction of adaptation with 21st Century challenges: how can adaptation practice be brought into debates and practice around food, water and energy security? what are the solutions for reducing climate risks in the face of rapid urbanisation, implications of migration in the context of other climate drivers.
  • Modes of collaboration, knowledge co-production and research into use: learning from transdisciplinary and engaged research processes, maximising uptake of research into policy and practice, ‘last mile’ reach with implementation that leads to real change for many.
  • Financing of adaptation and climate resilient development: learning from global, regional and national funding mechanisms -Adaptation and Green Climate Funds, examples of transformative projects financed by GCF, what does transformative adaptation look like, how do we measure adaptation?
  • Learning from Doing: what has worked or not worked across different scales? What are the enablers and barriers of learning and how can the enablers be maximised, and barriers reduced to maximise learning? how do we improve learning and implement adaptation across complex social, cultural, and political economic systems?

The Adaptation Futures Conference was organised by the UN Environment (Programme for Research on Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA Programme). It had representation from climate change global actors, such as the UNFCCC, GCF, Adaptation Fund, EU, World Bank, AfDB, scientists involved in the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, researchers, academic institutions from all continents, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, consulting companies and policy makers.

Links between the Nationally Determined Contribution and the National Adaptation Plan Processes in Kenya

In Africa, adaptation planning is a priority of most governments as their citizens are bearing the brunt of climate change. This has been manifested with the increased frequency of extreme events such as droughts and floods, leading to governments having to address the impacts almost on an annual basis. This has meant that development processes have not taken place at the required pace due to a continuous emergency crisis.

In recognition of this, Kenya, has strategically mainstreamed adaptation planning in its climate change policies and plans. The costed National Adaptation Plan (NAP, 2016) is linked to the Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC, 2015) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP, 2013).

The objectives of this work were to:

  • Develop Kenya’s Adaptation Technical Analysis Report (ATAR),
  • Develop Kenya’s INDC for onward submission to the United Nations Framework Convention to Climate Change (UNFCCC),
  • Develop Kenya’s NAP for submission to the UNFCCC.


This involved stakeholder engagement at all levels in developing Kenya’s ATAR in 2012, and in developing Kenya’s INDC and NAP concurrently in 2015. In the ATAR, a sectoral risk assessment, adaptation costing, private sector assessment, climate information assessment, and prioritisation of adaptation actions were done. Policy briefs on the agriculture, infrastructure, environment, water and sanitation, tourism, trade and industry and planning sectors were also developed. The INDC and NAP processes thereafter, refined the sectoral adaptation actions in the ATAR and adaptation actions in both documents were harmonized, refined and costed in the NAP with tentative timelines.


As the process of developing the three documents took over four years, the process of linking adaptation actions in the INDC and NAP processes became easier, especially because Kenya’s Climate Change Directorate was at the forefront of ensuring that the work done in the ATAR was not duplicated but enhanced in the subsequent processes. The NCCAP and NDC are strategic climate change policy documents anchored in Kenya’s Vision 2030. The NAP is an actionable document which provides detailed adaptation actions and budgets across all Kenya’s development sectors with the inclusion of gender and other vulnerable groups.  In implementing the NAP, the development aspirations in the NCCAP, the NDC and ultimately Vision 2030 will be realised.

Significance of work for policy and practice

  • Conducting a horizontal and vertical adaptation analysis in a country is costly and time consuming as it involves numerous stakeholders.
  • It is important to undertake a thorough adaptation analysis at the beginning of the process, as it saves on time and costs with the subsequent processes.
  • It is important to involve policy makers at all levels and sectors when planning for adaptation actions in their various sectors for ownership and endorsement.
  • It is important to have the same core thematic cross-sectoral team providing technical knowledge at the national level, because they can build on earlier work due to institutional memory.
  • As time progresses, it becomes easier to link initial technical adaptation analysis with the NDC and NAP processes, due to the enhancement of stakeholders’ knowledge on adaptation planning and budgeting processes and their linkages with development.
  • Implementation of an actionable NAP that is linked to the NDC will enhance not only adaptation and resilience but development processes in the long term as the two are interrelated.


Proposed ‘Tree Fund’ will fill an important gap in forest expansion in Africa

Uganda Plantations for Africa’s Prosperity Study Tour Reveals…

The plantation industry potential all over the world is huge. Plantations can provide a route out of poverty for rural communities, contribute to moving fast-growing economies along a sustainable trajectory, take pressure off natural forests and restore ecosystems, and play a vital role in combating climate change. In Africa, governments have committed to expand forests through reforestation programmes, but the planting rates to reach their targets are too low.

Treetops of Dense Tropical Rainforest With Morning Fog Located Near The Malaysia-Kalimantan Border

Under the Bonn Challenge, Africa governments has committed to restore forests and tree cover on 100 million ha of land in Sub Sahara Africa by 2030 under the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR 100). However, only about 10,000 new plantations are established annually. An assessment by LTS shows that the combined level of new planting required to meet both the projected industrial and fuelwood deficits from regional plantation sources in Africa is in the region of 16-18 million ha (i.e, planting of 1.3-1.5 million ha/yr) between 2018 and 2030 which is still lower than the AFR target, but is almost 130-150 times the current rates of planting. Of the many challenges facing plantation establishment in Africa, securing sustainable finance is the most significant as demonstrated at the recently held Uganda Plantation for Africa’s Prosperity Study Tour, 4 – 8, June 2018. Private planting in Africa has primarily been done by entrepreneurial companies backed by private shareholders, not by investment funds since many Development Finance Institutions are reluctant to fund new plantation investments because of the many risks involved in new, long-term plantation establishment propositions. These are some of the issues that were explored in the study tour.

WWF-Uganda, in partnership with the New Forest Company (NFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), hosted the study tour under the theme “plantations for Africa’s Prosperity”. LTS was one of the many participants from around the globe. The overall objective was to share lessons learnt in Uganda’s plantation sector and how responsible plantations can be an engine for sustainable development at scale. The study tour aimed at addressing five key underlying questions:

  1. What are the barriers to sustainable greenfield plantation forestry in East Africa?
  2. What innovative financing solutions can scale up sustainable plantation forestry in Africa?
  3. How can plantation companies partner with communities to Create Shared Value, by reducing   business risk and improving rural livelihoods?
  4. How can the plantation forestry industry, civil society and national governments work together to drive macroeconomic development?
  5. What role can plantation forests play in combatting illegal logging?

The study tour identified key priorities for responsible plantation forestry in Africa. There was a general consensus that blended finance is what Africa needs to expand forestry at scale, in order to address the tree growing finance barrier. This is also the gap that is being filled by the Tree Fund, an innovative new finance mechanism that LTS is designing for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to stimulate tree planting in Africa by providing low-cost financing for growing trees at scale. The study tour therefore was very useful to this assignment as it re-affirmed the need for the fund.

At the end of the study tour, a few key points stand out.

Firstly, the case for plantation forestry at scale is a compelling one. Africa is already facing a timber deficit, and its remaining forests are becoming increasingly degraded. Planting trees is essential to tackling climate change, and the most cost-effective technology we have for taking carbon out of the atmosphere. Plantations also can give people living in poverty the hope of a better future.

Secondly, it is clear that there are huge challenges to establishing plantations in Africa – from the difficulties of attracting the upfront capital needed, to finding suitable land, to meeting the expectations of local people, to operating in areas lacking in education, technical skills and infrastructure.

Thirdly, and encouragingly, a diverse range of people are working to overcome these challenges – from businesses, to non governmental organizations, to local civil society organizations, to investors.

External Programme Evaluation of the Drylands Development Programme

LTS is conducting a review of the Drylands Development Programme (DryDev), a six-year initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Netherlands. The review is assessing the;

  • relevance of the programme’s institutional arrangements and programmatic design and approaches;
  • efficiency with which the programme’s resources are being translated into quality and appropriate support;
  • programme’s likely effectiveness in achieving its expected outcomes and impacts for different categories of smallholder farmers; and
  • likelihood that any outcomes and impacts that will be achieved through the programme will be sustained following its closure.

The review will also make strategic and actionable recommendations in each of the four areas to enhance the existing programme as its implementation is being finalized and close out processes pursued; and inform a potential second phase of the programme and/or similar integrated programmes of this nature in the African drylands.



Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash