Vital Signs Discusses Ecosystem Monitoring Tools with the Food Security Project Team in Ethiopia

  • November 28, 2018
  • Posted by: ajamah

By Everline Ndenga & Tom Kemboi

November 21, 2018—The Integrated Approach Program (IAP) on food security (GEF-IAP-FS project) is a project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to enhance food security in smallholder systems in sub Saharan Africa by advancing a holistic approach towards agricultural productivity.  

The IAP - FS is comprised of one cross-cutting regional level project and twelve country-level projects (including Ethiopia).  At both levels, it employs a three-pronged approach: (i) engaging stakeholders across the public and private sectors, to generate awareness of the importance of and demand for integrated solutions (ii) scaling up, diversifying and adapting proven practices which both enhance ecosystem health and improve productivity; and (iii) developing and applying methods and tools to track impacts of project activities and general trends in terms of ecosystem and socio-economic resilience.

The Conservation International Vital Signs Program’s mandate in the GEF-IAP-FS project is to develop a monitoring and assessment framework to be adopted by the regional project and the country projects and enhance the capacity of stakeholders to track impacts of project activities and general trends in terms of ecosystem and socio-economic resilience.

During a recent visit to Ethiopia, Vital Signs staff Everline Ndenga and Tom Kemboi met with the Ethiopia project team.  The purpose of the meeting was to enhance understanding of the monitoring and assessment framework developed by Vital Signs and identify potential areas of harmonization between the country and the regional project.   

The Ethiopia project team contributed to refining the indicators developed for the regional project and those proposed for the country project. They also presented the progress made in identifying baseline conditions and relevant indicators for monitoring progress and impact of their project at different levels of operation (the community, district, landscape and the federal levels).

 In addition, they explained the structure of the proposed knowledge management system for the project. This was viewed as a best practice that could be presented for adoption by other countries. The indicators for Ethiopia’s project focused more on water availability and land cover improvements, reflecting the environmental issues and needs of the local community in the project sites.

This reflects a perfect example and the spirit of the project in allowing countries to customize their indicators and target their efforts where it matters the most.

During the meeting, the Ethiopia Country project team was also sensitized on the CI tools Vital Signs’ Resilience Atlas and for ecosystem monitoring. The use of these tools in tracking benefits of the hub project and their potential use for monitoring in the country project was explained.  Additionally, the team was informed about the Vital Signs partnership with the Packard Foundation in Ethiopia on capacity building on the use of the Ethiopia resilience atlas and the possible synergies with the IAP-FS project.

Going forwards, Vital Signs together with Ethiopia project team agreed to work together in achieving their common objectives.

For more information, email Everline Ndenga

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