Vital Signs Acknowledges the Value of Participatory Scenario Planning

  • April 12, 2019
  • Posted by: bkibiti

African countries including Kenya are experiencing a faster rate in the development of linear infrastructure. Governments have put in their agenda a clear roadmap on how they intend to attain economic growth. Economists strongly believe that infrastructural development is central to economic growth. To this effect, Kenya has been implementing major liner projects while some are under the development phase. Examples include the Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa through Nairobi to Naivasha, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET), Konza City, Tatu City, the planned six-lane highway from Mombasa to Nairobi just to mention a few. All these have significant impact on the land use land cover of the affected regions.  

Considering the need of actively making sound trade-offs during such development, stakeholder engagement in the entire process of project inception, planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment is critical. It is against this background that Conservation International’s Vital Signs Remote Sensing Analyst, Tom Kiptenai-Kemboi participated in a 3-day workshop (1st-3rd April 2019) held at the African Wildlife Foundation for scenario planning for land use land cover. The workshop was organized by African Conservation Centre, the University of York and Development Corridors Partnership.  

The first day focused on an introduction to scenario analysis, focusing on past, current and future land use transitions using timelines and participatory GIS. This was followed by conducting boundary analysis and building qualitative narrative storylines including key drivers of change and desirable/undesirable futures. The consolidation of the narratives, plausibility and consistency analysis, semi-quantification of the narratives using an impact matrix of drivers of change and land use land cover change, and the likelihood of change then followed. The programme concluded by co-producing recommendations to address failures and present new opportunities in development corridors. 

The recommendations included: 

  • Thorough and consistent stakeholder engagement and participation always minimizing conflict and increasing project acceptance from the communities/citizens  
  • Based on historical perspectives and analysis of current situation we can make some broad/generalized decision 
  • Domesticating best practices to our situations (localization of solutions) 
  • Efficient and consistent monitoring and evaluation/assessment 
  • Improved governance practices 
  • Data driven decisions 
  • Value for money/prioritization of projects 
  • Improved transparency/accountability form the government 
  • Adopt efficient and effective communication approaches to constantly share relevant information with stakeholders 
  • Separate roles of the, donor, designer, monitoring and evaluation 
  • Respect for local communities' culture
  • Have in place mitigation measures to restore degraded land and curb invasive species

In summary, participatory scenario planning provides a systematic method for creatively envisioning the future and supporting decision-making towards sustainable adaptation pathways. The central idea of scenario planning is to consider various, probable futures that include many of the important uncertainties in the system, rather than focusing on the accurate prediction of a single or most plausible outcome.  

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