Development of MEL Approach for the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa

The DFID-funded Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER programme) aims to empower local communities and decision-makers through a better understanding of weather and climate. It funds a range of activities, from strengthening climate information partnerships to enhancing national climate services.

LTS is developing a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) approach for WISER.

  • The 4-year £35million WISER programme operates across Africa, with a focus on the Lake Victoria Basin.
  • The programme partners include the UK Met Office and the Africa climate Policy Centre, based in Ethiopia.
  • The Met office is the fund manager, contracting the MEL inputs.
  • LTS is leading the MEL development work, with significant inputs from our LTS-Africa team.


Although there have been many useful initiatives to strengthen weather and climate information and services across Africa in the last decade or so, the availability and uptake of information and services is still relatively low. This represents a threat to social and economic development.

WISER aims to address the very diverse barriers to uptake and use of weather and climate services.

With a range of partners and a broad scope, there is an identified requirement for a MEL framework across the WISER programme that will provide a coherent approach for the Met Office, ACPC, DFID and other programme stakeholders.


LTS is ensuring that the programme has a robust MEL framework that can be effectively implemented. The MEL approach will ensure good evidence for learning can be generated about the programme. LTS is developing the log frame, theory of change and MEL plans/guidance for the WISER programme and regional projects. The work is soundly based on existing and emerging understanding of the monitoring and evaluation of weather climate programmes, DFID best practice and link with the International Climate Fund (ICF) indicators where appropriate.

Value and benefits

WISER aims to coherently focus on service delivery and on making a step change in the quality, reach and application of weather and climate information.

This will better inform regional, national, sectoral and sub-national and community level policy, planning and decision-making in Africa, promoting more sustainable development.


Scott Geller

MSc Resource Management, University of Edinburgh (UK), 2001; BSc Environmental Studies. University of Vermont, Burlington, United States, 1998.

Scott has more than 16 years of experience in consulting on public sector forestry and organisational change from national processes to grassroots level. Scott has a capability to guide strategic planning within dynamic forest sector reform processes in developing countries, predominantly in east Africa. Prior to joining LTS more than 12 years ago, Scott worked for the Global Programme on Forests under UNDP. Since then Scott has completed two long-term assignments with LTS, Uganda (2002-2004, DFID) and Kenya (2007-2009, USAID). In both instances he provided high-level advisory support on the establishment and restructuring of government forestry services. Scott brings a competence in forest sector reform and institutional development with proven success in guiding strategic planning initiatives, organisational improvements, corporate governance, business management, budgeting and finance, human resources, recruitment and performance contracting. Scott is no stranger to LTS having joined in 2001 initially as a forest policy and institutions consultant working on national forestry programmes, and intermittently on business development and marketing. In 2010, he was appointed the LTS Group Business Development Director and in 2012 he was appointed the Managing Director of LTS Africa based in Nairobi. LTS Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of LTS International operating as a professional services consulting firm to serve east Africa and further afield.

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

The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) provides capacity, expertise, knowledge and evidence to support the Government of Rwanda in implementing the latest Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA III) which covers the period 2013-2017, and to help inform development of the next Strategic Plan.  LTS’ role is to establish and manage the TAF.

  • The TAF is expected to manage a pool of technical assistance over 4 years.
  • LTS is working closely with The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources, with funding from DFID, to establish and manage the TAF.
  • Our focus is on knowledge and analysis, M&E systems design, capacity building on climate change and gender, and Management Information Systems
  • The outcomes will support the further transformation of Rwanda’s agriculture sector.


The agricultural sector is the mainstay of Rwanda’s economy. It has made remarkable achievements over the last decade, moving from food deficit to food self-sufficiency and has increasing smallholder productivity, lifting 1 million people out of poverty. Continued transformation of the sector is required: strategic plans have a focus on human capacity. The Ministry is effective but more investment in capacity building is required, given its challenging targets.


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 is leading on the development of a functional Management Information System which is aligned to the Agriculture Sector Investment Plan.

Value and benefits

The targeted outcome of the programme is that the agricultural capacity and systems are in place and improved, for inclusive and sustainable growth that benefits the poor.

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

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.