IUCN has made available in full the final report of the external evaluation of Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC), its global forest governance project.
Daily and all over the world, decisions are taken in forest governance that have unintended consequences. Choices are often made on the basis of flawed assumptions. Unfortunately we pay for these mistakes with the loss of forests, income, biodiversity and other benefits. In the project Strengthening Voices for Better Choices, IUCN aimed to give a nudge in the right direction to forest departments, companies, communities and other stakeholders in forest governance. It did so by facilitating dialogue and offering platforms for interest groups to find common ground and seek better choices that respect each group's freedoms and interests.
SVBC was essentially about improving arrangements for decision making in forest governance regimes. Legality might have been the project's entry point, but sustainable development was the vision that IUCN offered. Financed mainly by the European Commission in the framework of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, SVBC was implemented in Brazil, DR Congo, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vietnam from 2005-09. The external evaluation, carried out between June and July 2009, also aimed to give a nudge in the right direction - what can be learnt from four years' work in six different countries?
Update (19 January 2010): A summary of the evaluation report is now available in English, French and Spanish. Please see download links opposite.