Developing of Impact Indicators for the Ecosystem Based Adaptation Project in Uganda takes off

31 Jul 2014

imageTine Rossing, Knowledge Manager for the EBA project leading the discussion on how to develop Impact Indicators during training workshop for various central and local government officials held in Mbale, Eastern Uganda. (Photo Credit: UNDP Uganda 2014)

MBALE - The process to develop indicators for a new monitoring and evaluation system for the Mount Elgon Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) project has been kick-started by a three-day training workshop for thirty-five officials from both the central and local government.

The impact indicators are a set of guidelines that will be used to measure the effectiveness of the EBA project interventions and strategies in reducing vulnerability and building resilience to the climate change impacts in the Mount Elgon region where the EBA project is focused.

Held in Mbale district, Eastern Uganda, the objective of the training was to provide the officials with the knowledge and skills needed to monitor and evaluate the EBA project. This is to enable trained participants integrate the indicators into their work plans and also be able to check if the project has achieved major success in building climate change resilience in the region. This will enable the monitoring process to continue beyond the lifespan of the EBA project

“We are training our counterparts from government because climate adaptation is not simply an outcome. It is a dynamic process of continual adjustments, which – if successful – will enable socio-economic and environmental goals to be achieved despite the changing climate,” said Mr. Paul Nteza, the Project Coordinator for the EBA project in Uganda.

Mr. Nteza added that the new impact indicators would be ready by the end of August this year and monitoring them would help to determine whether the project is successful or not in contributing to the improvement of ecosystem health and if it is enhancing the adaptive capacity of the communities whose livelihoods and well-being depend on these eco-systems.

The training started by explaining the climatic context and how key climate change impacts are affecting the ecosystems and the communities living on Mount Elgon. Participants were then able to work through different exercises together to develop impact indicators related to the Elgon region ecosystems.

According to Richard Gafabusa of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although this training is coming at a later time, it is beneficial to the project because of the participatory manner used in both developing and measuring the indicators. This includes using a team that already understands the environment in the project area and will make good use of the data collected to benefit their communities.

The process of developing the indicators drew on ideas and lessons from different indicator frameworks, which are already being successfully used elsewhere, like the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) indicator framework for ecosystem indicators, the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance’s (ACCRA) Local Adaptive Capacity Framework (LAC) and CARE’s Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning (PMERL) methodology.

Learning from these good practices will guide the participants to develop a holistic set of indicators that can help measure changes in adaptive capacity of both ecosystems and the communities that depend on their life-sustaining environmental services.

“Although we are drawing ideas from various places, we need to select impact indicators that are realistic and sustainable for the communities, because they are the people who will be actively involved in the project activities that these indicators are used to monitor. They, therefore, need to understand them well in order to get good results.” Julius Mafumbo who represented the Director Environment Affairs, Ministry of Water and Environment said.

He added that while the indicators help to gauge whether the project is yielding positive results from all the project-supported efforts in Mount Elgon, the results generated from applying the Vulnerability Impact Assessment (VIA) tool earlier during project implementation will provide key data for the baseline from which the indicators will be measured.

The training was organised by the EBA project, which aims to strengthen the capacities of Uganda to promote ecosystem-based adaptation as well as enhance ecosystem resilience and reduce the vulnerabilities of the communities living in the Mount Elgon mountain ecosystems. It is focused on the districts of Sironko, Kween, Bulambuli and Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda.

The four year Uganda pilot project is implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), together with the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda.

It is part of the global Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) in Mountain Ecosystems Programme, supported by the German Government through the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The global programme is also being piloted in Nepal and Peru.

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