Partners implementing two projects in the Orange-Senqu river basin met in Pretoria, South Africa from 18 to 20 February 2012 to share experiences and agree on how to monitor project achievements in a participatory manner. The two projects target parts of the same river basin and are addressing common challenges including ecosystem management, biodiversity, water resources, land management, invasive species and environmental degradation.
Convened by IUCN Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARO), the Project Monitoring and Evaluation workshop brought together implementers of the USAID/IUCN Programme on Applying Ecosystem Approach in the Orange-Senqu Basin and the project on Enhancing Decision-making through Interactive Environmental Learning and Action in Molopo-Nossob River Basin of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa (the Kalahari-Namib area).
The workshop was attended by the government and NGO partners and technical experts involved in the implementation of the two projects. Experts from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were also in attendance.
The USAID funded Orange-Senqu project seeks to promote nature-based solutions for achieving a water-secure future in the Orange-Senqu basin through the ecosystems approach.
“In monitoring our activities, we would like to ensure a process where stakeholders at various levels participate and share control over the content and the results, and engage in taking corrective actions,” says Eliot Taylor, IUCN Regional Technical Coordinator for Water and Wetlands. “Following this workshop, the USAID Orange-Senqu project will be developing a project monitoring plan to help us plan and manage the process of assessing and reporting progress including how to collect and use performance data for this purpose.”
Likewise, the Kalahari-Namib project will also be developing and implementing a project monitoring and evaluation framework in line with the baseline studies carried out in 2012. “This framework will be used for planning and efficient allocation of resources, but will also help us learn and improve delivery of activities on the ground,” says Sarah Gibbons, IUCN Technical Coordinator for Drylands. “Using the framework, we will be demonstrating project results as part of our accountability to key stakeholders”.
The Kalahari-Namib project is supporting communities and policy makers in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to effectively implement and upscale sustainable land management (SLM) in the Molopo-Nossob basin area and thereby contribute to improved livelihoods and the maintenance of the integrity and functioning of the entire Kalahari-Namib ecosystem.
Funded by GEF, the Kalahari Namib project is being implemented by the United Environment Programme (UNEP) and executed by IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (Botswana), Ministry of Environment and Tourism (Namibia), and Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Affairs (South Africa). The European Commission is supporting activities in Botswana.
The Orange-Senqu project is funded through the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Kalahari-Namib project is providing co-financing. IUCN ESARO oversees the implementation of the project through Kalahari Conservation Society (Botswana), Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (Namibia), Endangered Wildlife Trust (South Africa) and Transformation Resource Centre (Lesotho).