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Funded by Lake Victoria Basin Commission of the East African Community

Project Title: Development of activities to support a community markets-based approach to conservation in the Mt. Elgon region of Kenya and Uganda.

1     Introduction

This Inception Report describes the collaborative framework and implementation strategy of EcoAgriculture Partners (EcoAgriculture) and the Environmental Resource Management Center for Sustainable Development (SANREM), in coordination with the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), for a sustainable, community market oriented approach that builds climate resilience and improves livelihoods in the transboundary Mt. Elgon landscape. Between March and October, 2014 Ecoa and SANREM will work with farmers and leaders of strategic public, private and civic sector groups, agencies and businesses in the Mt. Elgon region of Kenya and Uganda to facilitate a spatially explicit vision and business model designed to open access to markets by smallholder farmers while protecting and restoring vital ecosystem services upon which local agriculture and livelihoods depend. We will guide the preparation of a development strategy that analyzes opportunities and builds capacity for improving existing value chains and stimulating new ones to financially reward investment in climate smart agriculture and lead also to biodiversity conservation and community livelihood improvement.

1.1   Background to the Contract and Consultancy

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) is a specialized institution of the East African community (EAC) that is responsible for coordinating the sustainable development agenda of the Lake Victoria Basin. The establishment of the Commission is provided for under Article 114 of the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community (1999) and specifically under Article 33 of the Protocol for Sustainable Development of Lake Victoria Basin. The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) has been coordinating the implementation of Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) Phase I from 1st March 2009 to 30th November 2012. The MERECP Phase I resulted into  direct impacts on local community livelihoods as a result of implementing interventions under equity and benefit sharing models such as community revolving funds (CRFs), plantation for livelihood improvement, and forest restoration/carbon restoration and deforestation avoidance interventions. The programme has successfully demonstrated that these models can be employed to resolve conflicts that had perpetuated the threats to biodiversity in protected areas in Mt. Elgon ecosystem.

The Mt Elgon ecosystem straddles the frontier between Kenya and Uganda and a major catchment for Lake Victoria, the Nile River system and Lake Turkana. It supplies a range of ecosystem goods and services to over 2 million people in Kenya and Uganda. Most of the people are poor, and place tremendous pressure on the integrity of the ecosystem. This has seen conflicts arising from competition for dwindling natural resources in fast degrading landscape. There is concern that the communities are abandoning sustainable traditional forest use practices for more destructive activities. For sustainable management of Mt Elgon ecosystem and its multiple functions and services, a regional trans-boundary ecosystem management approach is envisioned. It is necessary to develop an institutional collaboration between stakeholders, empower communities, and guarantee trickle-down of benefits from ecosystem services to all.

A review of conservation approaches in Mt. Elgon landscape ecosystem shows that protection of biodiversity has evolved since the pre-colonial through colonial to post-independence periods. The evolution has been from protectionist/preservationist with non-interference/non-participatory to participatory approaches. The outcome(s) led to creation of national parks, forest reserves and national reserves in Mount Elgon landscape ecosystem. The participatory approaches have included integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) that were implemented from 1988-2001. ICDPs embraced biodiversity conservation projects with rural development components. From October 2005 to November 2011, transboundary natural resource management (TBNRM) with focus on ecosystem approach as a strategy for integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way was implemented under Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) Phase 1.

The different approaches applied in Mount Elgon landscape to-date either singly or in combination have contributed to securing the integrity of the biodiversity in protected areas (PAs). The boundaries of the PAs were secured and rehabilitation/restoration initiatives of the national parks (NPs) and forest reserves (FRs) on the Kenya and Uganda sides of Mt. Elgon have continued. The efforts towards joint/coordinated law enforcement by Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Uganda Wildlife Authority and National Forest Authority have been initiated.

There are challenges towards the restoration of ecosystem health in Mt. Elgon landscape. The challenges include frequent fires, invasive species, encroachment, illegal harvesting/logging, charcoal burning , conflicts arising from competition for dwindling natural resources, and poaching.  Similarly, communities are abandoning sustainable traditional forest use practices for more destructive activities.

Further, land degradation in agricultural landscapes on the lower slopes of Mt. Elgon still remains a challenge and is a threat to long-term sustainability of biodiversity in protected areas.  Agricultural technology development and application is on the whole fairly low. Limited off-farm income exists in the form of hired farm labour. There is increasing population pressure against the backdrop of declining soil fertility and low crop yields resulting into increased poverty and food insecurity. Consequently, this has contributed to dependency on natural resources leading to increasing threats to biodiversity in the forest reserves and national parks in Mt. Elgon landscape ecosystem. The situation is exacerbated by climate change and variability as evidenced by prolonged drought and increased landslides and floods in the landscape. The consequences are that Mount Elgon as a major water tower and habitats of species of extreme importance is at high risk of degradation and extinction.

The level of participation and involvement of some stakeholders including the local communities living adjacent the protected areas has continued to rise overtime. However, sustainability of some of the approaches embraced has been a challenge because once the projects and programmes end the threats to biodiversity remain. In addition, programmes/projects benefit only a few households and community groups, thus likely to spur conflicts with non beneficiaries. There is therefore need to mobilise all stakeholders including the active private sector in the landscape to appreciate, embrace and contribute actively to sustainable land and natural resource management including biodiversity conservation. The participation of the private sector is perceived to be either limited or non-existent. Where the private sector is active, no partnership and there is limited engagement with the local communities. This locks out opportunities for building capacity of the local communities, innovation and investments as well as leveraging funding and effective coordination towards common goals and objectives for the sustainability of biodiversity conservation, diversification of incomes  and poverty reduction in Mt. Elgon landscape.

There has been a lot of focus more on to what happens inside protected areas with little on adjacent agricultural landscape which is characterised by declining land productivity due to poor farming practices leading to low yields and household income and subsequently food insecurity in Mt. Elgon landscape ecosystem. To cope with food shortfall, the local communities sometimes rely on exploitation of natural resources as exchangeable commodities such as wildlife on scales that overtime can lead to resource depletion and reduced options for diversifications and reduction; poverty because the livelihoods of the people are primarily small-scale subsistence agriculture-based.

In view of the above, the landscape partnership approach provides an opportunity for mobilising and convening different stakeholders and resources to simultaneously pursue the strategies/interventions that: integrate management of land, water, and living resources; promote sustainable use and conservation in an equitable manner; and enhance adaptation to climate change and diversification of income and poverty reduction in the Mt. Elgon landscape. In so doing, the interconnectedness of economic activities such as agriculture chains and trade; bio diversity conservation (national parks, forest reserves, water); food security; and poverty reduction in Mt. Elgon landscape will be achieved. It further provides opportunity for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation concerns into the commodity market dynamics in the Mt. Elgon landscape.

The MERECP Phase II seeks therefore to embrace and promote the landscape partnership approaches, specifically a market driven approach that contributes to   sustainable landscape management in Mt. Elgon landscape. However, Mt. Elgon landscape is  highly populated, with some private sector participation such as the case on the Uganda side where the private sector is active in coffee and maize processing  It is for this reason that the LVBC is seeking to develop a sustainable community based markets model /approach which will promote the PPP in Mt. Elgon landscape, resulting into improved livelihoods and sustainable biodiversity conservation in protected areas.

1.2   Rationale of the Consultancy

The LVBC based on the recommendations of the end-term review of MERECP Phase I; one of which was the need for MERECP Phase II facilitated the preparation of MERECP Phase II programme document. The programme document recognizes that protection of biodiversity in protected areas  (Mount Elgon National Park, Mt. Elgon Forest Reserves and Chepkitale National Reserve in Kenya and Mount Elgon National Park and Namatale Central Forest Reserve in Uganda) of Mt. Elgon can be compatible with strategies for poverty reduction and enhancing resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change in Mt. Elgon landscape. Further, the lack of inclusiveness of all stakeholders and in particular the limited/none participation and involvement of the private sector in previous conservation efforts is not sustainable, although it may contribute to a reduction of threats to biodiversity in protected areas in the short run. However, how to efficiently mobilise and convene different resources, stakeholders and interests, including the private sector to embrace bio-diversity conservation, is insufficiently covered in the programme document.

In view of the above, the LVBC has received funds from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards the implementation of (MERECP) phase II: bridging phase for the period January to December 2014. The LVBC seeks to use part of the funds to develop a sustainable community market driven approach/model to improve livelihoods in the Mt. Elgon trans-boundary landscape, to form part of its socially inclusive bio diversity conservation strategy.

 

2.0 Terms of Reference for the Assignment

2.1    Objectives

The overall objective of the assignment is to develop a sustainable community market driven approach/model to improve livelihoods in the Mt. Elgon Landscape. The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. propose mechanisms for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and community livelihood concerns into private sector and market dynamics and develop a private sector and market approach/model to enhance climate resilience, household incomes and market access in the transboundary Mt. Elgon landscape;
  2. identify climate smart agriculture best practices to be scaled up in the Mt. Elgon landscape;
  3. select priority climate smart value chains and their market potential in line with the private sector and markets approach/model in (a) above;
  4. identify and map partners and networks to facilitate implementation of the community based approach/model in the Mount Elgon landscape line with (a) and (b) above;
  5. map, provide a description of, and assess the current extension services in Mt. Elgon landscape ecosystem highlighting the gaps, and make proposals for an effective and sustainable extension support system for Mt. Elgon landscape;
  6. identify four (4)pilot landscape sites for implementation of the sustainable community markets based approach/model;
  7. establish baseline and M&E system(s) for the pilot landscapes in Mt. Elgon region; and
  8. finalize the MERECP Phase II proposal using the outputs of the above objectives (a-g).

 

2.2    Synopsis of the Tasks to be Undertaken

The tasks of the consultancy will include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Review existing relevant literature on landscape management, community markets driven approach/model-public private sector partnerships, climate smart agriculture, food security and biodiversity conservation with respect to Mt. Elgon landscape, etc;
  2. Investigate and establish interconnectedness, if any, between prevailing economic activities in the Mt. Elgon landscape (agriculture chains, trade etc.) and biodiversity conservation;
  3. Map, establish and provide a description of the prevailing economic activities and the actors in the Mt. Elgon landscape;
  4. Map, provide a description of, and assess the current extension services in Mt. Elgon landscape ecosystem highlighting the gaps, and make proposals for an effective and sustainable extension support system for Mt. Elgon landscape;
  5. Undertake extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders at ecosystem, national and regional levels aimed at: developing a sustainable community markets approach/model; identification of climate smart agriculture best practices to be replicated in the Mt. Elgon landscape; identification and description of priority climate smart value chains; mapping of networks and partnerships in support of the sustainable community markets based approach; proposing an effective extension model for the implementation of community markets based approach/model and CSA; and development of the integrated M&E system for the identified landscapes;
  6. Propose the institutional arrangements for effective and efficient implementation of the community markets based approach/model in Mt. Elgon landscape;
  7. Taking into consideration the sustainable community markets based model, prepare a business plan which will provide the roadmap for the operationalization of the proposed community markets approach/model;
  8. Revise the MERECP Phase II document;
  9. Facilitate three (3) workshops; i.e. two workshops at ecosystem/national level (one in Kenya and another 1 in Uganda) to build consensus on appropriate community markets model/approach and one (1) regional workshop to validate the proposed model and programme document; and
  10. Submit a final draft of sustainable community markets approach/model and MERECP Phase II document.

2.3 Scope of work described in the Terms of Reference

This section describes the scope of work expected under each objective per the Terms of Reference.

2.3.1 A sustainable community markets driven approach/model to improve livelihoods in the Mt. Elgon landscape

Recognizing that the private sector has an important role in poverty reduction and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and increase access to important goods and services that contribute tangibly to the reduction of income and non-income forms of poverty, the scope of work will entail mapping out existing private sector actors and initiatives within Mt. Elgon landscape, and assessing their interconnectedness and or relevance, if any, to biodiversity conservation and sustainable community livelihood improvement. The aim is to  explore opportunities for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and community livelihood concerns into existing business models/approaches in Mt. Elgon landscape.

The business approach/model and how it will work will be described. The enabling role of the central (national) and decentralized/devolved governments in Kenya and Uganda in the implementation of the community markets driven approach will be described. The enabling environment for community markets based/approach/model in terms of policy and legal environments in Mt. Elgon landscape needs to be described. This should include identification of any necessary incentive mechanisms to initiate private sector buy in and facilitate mainstreaming of biodiversity and community livelihood concerns into existing business models in Mt. Elgon landscape.

The detailed proposals for implementation arrangements to realize objectives of food security, increased household incomes, and market access as well as compliance to better farming practices and conservation of biodiversity in the protected areas of Mt. Elgon landscape has to be spelt out. Finally, the scope of work will entail defining options and exposing to the county and district governments the community markets based approach/model. If possible exchange visit(s) to some of the successful community markets based approach/model and CSA sites within and outside Mt. Elgon landscape will be arranged. To this end, a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation will be formulated that uses markets and an adaptive business approach to promote sustainable agricultural practices, rather than base rural development on natural resources.

2.3.2 Identify climate smart agriculture best practices to be scaled up in the Mt. Elgon landscape

In the literature of climate smart agriculture (CSA), it is now recognized that poverty, food security and climate change are closely linked and should not be considered separately. Further, without strong adaptation and measures to support them, poverty alleviation and food security goals will not be reached. Adaptation measures not only enhance food security, but can potentially contribute to reducing greenhouse gases emissions from agriculture. CSA therefore offers triple wins for food security, adaptation and mitigation.

In the case of Mount Elgon landscape, CSA is not new. Already conservation agriculture, conservation farming and agro-forestry practices are being practiced to varying degrees of success at household level. In addition some attempts have been made in the recent past to diversify and increase crop and livestock enterprises at household level to increase household income and reduce risk of climate variability.  What is required therefore is to identify and scale up best practices of CSA in the Mt. Elgon landscape, build capacity and experience and help clarify future choices with regard to the promotion of CSA by the counties and districts in Kenya and Uganda, respectively.

It is therefore expected that the scope of work will include identification of best practices in CSA to be scaled up in Mt. Elgon landscape; assessment of capacity needs and experiences with regard to CSA in Mt. Elgon landscape; identification of future choices that the counties and districts in Kenya and Uganda have to make to promote CSA in Mt. Elgon landscape; and identification of the contribution of the public and private sector in financing the implementation of CSA.

2.3.3 Select priority climate smart value chains  and their market potential

The selection of priority climate smart value chains and their market potential will take into consideration the CSA best practices (to be identified in 5.2 above) that will be promoted in Mt. Elgon landscape. This activity will lay the ground for the other components (i.e. 5.2,5.4,5.5) since it will define the scope of private sector involvement in PPP and the type and nature of extension services required. The scope of work will entail developing a tool for screening investments for climate smartness and help identify value chains that optimize benefits in terms of production/ food security and incomes, sustained productivity, climate adaptation and mitigation. The scope of work will also take into consideration existing efforts by the central governments and county and district governments in Kenya and Uganda, respectively in prioritizing value chains for development. For instance, the Uganda government had already undertaken a detailed analysis of priority value chains including Mt. Elgon region.

Once the above tool has been developed it will be used at landscape level through stakeholder participation to identify viable climate smart value chains and their market potential which will form the basis for promoting PPP in Mt. Elgon landscape. This should include climate smart value chains from agriculture and non-agricultural crops (tree crops) with potential for value addition, branding and will support households out of poverty, food insecurity and into environmentally safer livelihoods. In the Mt. Elgon landscape there are commodities with brands such as coffee, sorghum for eagle beer, water etc, where the private sector are already active. Other commodities where there could be opportunities for developing partnerships with the private sector include bananas, bamboo and maize among others.

The identified climate smart value chains will be subjected to market analysis/survey and a business plan developed. The market analysis is the backbone for most business plans. It helps outline what customer needs will be met by the business, why the identified commodities or services are unique, and who will be attracted (target market). The size of the market, emerging trends, and anticipated market share will be analyzed. Competitive analysis on strengths and weaknesses of the competition will be conducted. This should show the competitive edge the identified commodity holds and strategies for gaining market share from the competition will be identified.

Innovative approaches towards the selection of priority value chains in the mt. Elgon transboundary region will include looking at critical aspects such as: degree of gender integration; degree of youth involvement; access and competitiveness of smallholder farmers and other  actors in the emerging modern value chains; ability for actors to meet the requirements of modern value chains including food safety and quality in higher end markets, product and process standards; ability to sustain the volumes and schedules of supply needed in these markets; value chain productivity and competitiveness; post harvest handling and value addition; easiness to develop rural agro-entrepreneurs; easiness to form collective enterprise; ability for upward linkages through brokering farming contracts and other forms of market transactions; adaptation to value added technologies and quality assurance; easiness for capacity building of value chain actors; and ability to promote innovations in priority value chains for commodities that are highly perishable, e.g., fish, fruits, and vegetable.

Further, an analysis of the marketing chain will be conducted with the producers to understand the various stages of processing and conversion of the product, and parts of the value chain where efficiency and profitability could be improved. The marketing chain analysis should consider the participants, linkages and channels. The value chain will consider technical, institutional and economic issues.

Finally, taking into consideration the PPP model, a business plan will be prepared. The business plan will provide the roadmap for the operationalization of the PPP model. The plan will outline key functional areas of the PPP model including operations, management, finance, and marketing. Not only will the plan be a tool for use internally for management purposes, but will also be used externally to attract investors, and recruit quality partners. The business plan will be the means of evaluating the feasibility of the proposed PPP business model and should uncover previously unconsidered opportunities or limitations.

 

2.3.4 Identify gaps in current extension service(s) and propose an effective community based extension support system for public private sector partnership model in Mt. Elgon landscape

About 82,000 households are expected to benefit from the private sector community partnership model. A market-oriented production system, which can be achieved through intensification of climate smart agricultural production systems, increased commercialization and specialization in higher-value chains, will be promoted. This will require an effective extension system in the Mt. Elgon landscape. However, currently, on either side of Mt. Elgon landscape, Kenya and Uganda have their own extension/ outreach models revolving around the traditional farmer field schools [FFS] approach. Therefore, the scope of work will include a review of current extension services; highlighting the gaps and subsequently propose an effective extension support system [that provides access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to local community actors] for implementation of the PPP model. The extension model should build upon and support existing extension structures in the counties and districts of Kenya and Uganda, respectively, which will ensure sustainability in the long-term.

 

2.3.5 Identification and mapping of networks and partners to facilitate landscape management in the Mount Elgon

Transboundary natural resource management (TBNRM) as a concept for the management of shared ecosystems cannot thrive without the involvement of local communities, non-government organizations (both local and international), private and public sectors. Its noted that there are various partners active in Mt. Elgon landscape (and others could be brought on board), and the interventions are scattered and uncoordinated. There is therefore need to have these stakeholders coordinated in order to build on synergy and value addition to on-going initiatives.  Establishing such a partnership arrangement in which the community of local resource users, governments, other stakeholders and external agents share the responsibility and authority for decision making over the management of natural resources would be essential for the trans-boundary Mount Elgon landscape management.

Various methods that will be employed to classify key partners, networks and stakeholders will include iterative processes comprising: scoping interviews, focus groups, and follow-up interviews to identify the organizations. The key categorizations of partners will include: ‘‘Key players, ‘‘Context setters’’, ‘‘Subjects’’ and ‘‘Crowd’’. Other ways that will be used to identify stakeholders will include: identification by local experts or other stakeholders in the Mount Elgon region; review of written projects reports of the region using annex checklists of likely stakeholder categories. Because the main interest will be the effectiveness of the project, only those stakeholders who are most likely going to affect the functioning of the MERECP II project given their interests, resources, and influence, will be included using other methods like: levels of interest and influence, cooperation and competition, cooperation and threat, and urgency, legitimacy, and influence.

The scope of work will therefore entail undertaking a comprehensive mapping of key players active in the Mt. Elgon landscape capturing their roles and mandates and what their contribution could be towards implementation of community markets based approach/model in the Mt. Elgon landscape and CSA. It will include identification of different stakeholders particularly the public and private sector with a view to capture their contributions, roles and responsibilities in the value chains for each of the viable commodities to be identified in promoting CSA and the community markets based model in the four selected landscapes.

 

2.3.6 Identification of four (4) pilot landscape sites for sustainable community markets approach to improve livelihoods in Mt. Elgon

The development of the community markets based approach once developed will be piloted and promoted in four (4) selected landscapes; two in Kenya and another two (2) in Uganda. The scope of work will include: identification of criteria for selection of landscapes; mapping out each landscape and preparing a plan for each; and negotiating objectives, opportunities, strategies, roles, and activity-types for implementing each the plan, as well as established and prospective financing mechanisms in line with the public private sector partnership model.  This should also include a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) component that tracks conservation, livelihood and production outcomes as well as methods of measurement and progress indicators.

A result chain and logical framework for supporting decision-which illustrates the main results to be achieved by the program at various levels through performance indicators, will be formulated. It will also involve formulating a performance measurement framework which will be a critical tool that will be used by the project management team to manage the collection, analysis and reporting on the performance data. Such a tool will also outline proposed program indicators for each results level, targets, baselines, frequency of data collection, data sources and methods, as well as responsibilities for this data collection and consolidation.

2.3.7 A baseline and M&E systems for the pilot landscapes established

The scope of work will include: developing an integrated landscape monitoring and evaluation systems for the four pilot landscapes. The main participatory monitoring and evaluation system will be based around an agreed and concise set of core indicators, which partners would commit to measuring regularly over the long term, and which would be stored in a central database. Building capacity to monitor such indicators will be an essential part of the action plan. The standardized list of indicators will need to be extremely general and to allow proxy measures where necessary. The participatory monitoring and evaluation system will be constructed to allow inclusion of occasional information sources as well as regular indicators, to include both trends in core indicators and “special reports” on information collected on an occasional basis. The participatory monitoring and evaluation system will need to be agreed in principle by all stakeholders before it is implemented. This will be integrated into their management plans; identification of criteria and indicators to measure, as well as locally appropriate, and cost-effective measurement methods; identification of capacity required and this should inform planning for markets, training interventions and to evaluate the impact of public private sector partnership on household livelihood; and  a method for measuring performance and benefits of the PPP and CSA in Mt. Elgon landscape. Finally, the information from the baseline should form the criteria for selection of households and landscapes for piloting the community markets based approach supported activities.

 2.3.8 Finalize the MERECP Phase II proposal

Based on outputs (5.1 – 5.7), the consultant will finalize the MERECP Phase II proposal to enable LVBC seek funding for implementation from partner states, Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and other partners.

2.4   Output of the Assignment

The following are the expected outputs:

  1. A detailed inception report detailing methodology, approach and plans for the consultancy by May 8, 2014;
  2. A progress report by July 31, 2014
  3. A draft report is due by September 15, 2014 with the following as its contents:
    1. A sustainable community markets based approach/model to improve livelihoods in the Mt. Elgon landscape
    2. Climate smart agriculture best practices to be scaled up in Mt. Elgon landscape
    3. Priority climate smart viable value chains (agricultural crops, non agricultural crop enterprises and processes) and their market potential
    4. An effective community based extension support system for private sector community partnership model
    5. Networks and partners in support of the private sector community partnership model identified
    6. Four (4)pilot landscape sites for sustainable community markets approach to improve livelihoods in Mt. Elgon
    7. A baseline and M&E systems for the pilot landscapes established
    8. A detailed approach and methodology to achieve the above objectives except (objective g).
    9. MERECP Phase II (as annex)
  4. The final report by October 20, 2014 with the following as its contents:
    1. A sustainable community markets based approach/model to improve livelihoods in the Mt. Elgon landscape
    2. Climate smart agriculture best practices to be scaled up in Mt. Elgon landscape
    3. Priority climate smart value chains and their market potential
    4. An effective community based extension support system for private sector community partnership model
    5. Networks and partners in support of the private sector community partnership model identified
    6. Four (4)pilot landscape sites for sustainable community markets approach to improve livelihoods in Mt. Elgon
    7. A baseline and M&E systems for the pilot landscapes established
  5. Revised MERECP Phase Programme Document II by September 2014

3. Methodology of the Study

3.1   Methodology and Technical Approach

The EcoAgriculture–SANREM team’s collaborative, stakeholder-engaged approach will build upon knowledge resources that are present in the landscape. The team will employ methods and tools that tap into the valuable experience and insight of business, government agency and NGO/CBO leaders and innovators in diverse parts of the landscape who, during MERECP I have realized ways already that conservation and sustainable development activity may be mutually beneficial. Similarly, the team will draw from secondary data sources that were generated in MERECP I, as well as its own professional experience in Mt. Elgon and the East Africa region, to generate additional knowledge and information that will inform the approach/model and motivate stakeholders to participate in its development.

The team’s methods of inquiry and learning will include targeted literature reviews; consultations with our networks of experts in business-led models of integrated landscape management and enabling factors such as finance, policy, climate-resilient intensification, spatial analysis, extension and capacity development; and key informant interviews, focus group discussions, stakeholder dialogues and collaborative workshops in the Mt. Elgon region. Working groups and knowledge products of the global landscapes for People, Food and Nature (LPFN) Initiative are among the valuable external knowledge resources that the Ecoa-SANREM team will bring to bear on the process in Mt. Elgon.

3.2   The Scope and Focus of the Assignment

In the sections below we elaborate elements of our overall approach, including key knowledge resources, professional specialists, methods and tools we will employ to implement each component (5.1 through 5.8) of the SOW in the Terms of Reference to Develop a Sustainable Community Markets Driven Approach/Model to Improve Livelihoods in The Mt. Elgon Landscape.

3.2.1 A sustainable community market driven approach/model to improve livelihoods in the Mt. Elgon landscape

This component will be central to the work, influencing the direction of other components. The principal steps will be: to evaluate landscape supply potential and market opportunities (building on existing CSA practices in 3.2.2); and then to analyze the market/investment risk and growth profiles for each opportunity and to rank and prioritize options to be pursued (3.2.3). All of these steps will be done in close collaboration/consultation with stakeholders in Mt. Elgon—input service providers, producers, agro-processors, market intermediaries, buyers, local government agencies, civil society—whose input would be required to implement or enable successful market development.

The EcoAgriculture/SANREM team will begin with spatial analysis of the landscape units within the Mt. Elgon region, and develop/refine baseline maps that show key resources, infrastructure, areas of conservation concern and value. We will simultaneously undertake institutional mapping of existing private sector actors and existing markets and value chains within Mt. Elgon landscape. Results will be overlaid on the base map, to assess their interconnectedness and or relevance, if any, to biodiversity conservation, climate resilience and sustainable community livelihood improvement. The aim is to explore opportunities for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and community livelihood concerns into existing business models/approaches in Mt. Elgon landscape.

The analysis will seek to understand the bio-physical and socio-economic supply potential for agricultural products and ecosystem services in the landscape under consideration, including agro-ecological conditions (water, climate, topography, (agro) biodiversity and soils), most relevant (income, area, people) existing land use and livelihoods; social networks (who, organizations, where); and infrastructure (transport, communication, agriculture including processing facilities). We will draw on work done in MERECP 1 to understand the dynamics of change in the underlying resource base in relation to production and value chains. We will depend on LVBC’s collaboration in the earliest stages of the project to supply EcoAgriculture and SANREM with existing GIS and spatial data available from MERECP 1 and other potentially relevant project databases.

Realistic market opportunities will be identified that could provide climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem benefits, while also improving local livelihoods. We will draw from our recently completed reviews of market mechanisms and investment finance for integrated landscape management. We will also draw from extensive consultations and feedback received from stakeholders in the national and regional workshops, as well as the exchange visit to COMACO. Opportunities to be considered will include:

  • Product market innovations, including voluntary sustainability standards, eco-certification for agricultural products, biodiversity offsets; market development for secondary agriculture, livestock, forest certified timber and wild- harvested products like honey and medicinal plants; landscape labeling; trade in genetic resources and related knowledge; and ecotourism;
  • Financial rewards for providing ecosystem services, including conservation easements, payments for watershed services, payments for biodiversity conservation, payments for carbon sequestration and emissions reduction; and
  • Financing innovations, such as agricultural production ‘green’ credit, long-term soft loans, impact investments, and public taxes and subsidies to reduce risks to farmers, entrepreneurs and private investors.

3.2.2 Identify climate smart agriculture best practices to be scaled up in the Mt. Elgon landscape

We will begin by drawing from knowledge of SANREM and EcoAgriculture staff who have extensive experience with climate-smart agriculture practices in the Mt. Elgon landscape (e.g. agroforestry, conservation agriculture, agriculture intensification, agriculture enterprise diversification, rotational grazing). In particular, we will draw from the climate smart agriculture training manuals that we have developed jointly with smallholder agricultural carbon projects on both sides of Mt. Elgon (Vi Agroforestry in Kenya and ECOTRUST in Uganda) as well as other CCAFS research on climate smart agricultural practices in the region. We also will consult with our partners in Kenya, Uganda and throughout the region (e.g. ICRAF, CARE, WCS in Zambia) to identify relevant climate smart agricultural practices and strategies for promoting their adoption.

We will conduct interviews and consultations with key relevant stakeholders including: farmers organizations, representatives of Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, national agriculture research organizations, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), country and regional meteorological departments,  agribusinesses operating within the landscape, relevant agriculture training NGOs, and conservation NGOs. In addition to identifying the type and location of respective practice, the scoping activity will examine the extent to which market incentives exist to incentivize their scaling-up and capacities of local institutions to build and support a process of scaling up, within existing value chains, as well as potential opportunities identified in 3.2.1.

From the literature review and consultation process we will identify and locate the climate smart agricultural practices currently being implemented and supported within the Mt. Elgon landscape. This report will be integrated with the findings of the market analysis to develop a set of priorities for which climate smart practices can be implemented to support current and prospective market opportunities.

3.2.3. Select priority climate smart value chains and their market potential

Based on the assessment of the landscape and market mapping and identification of potential new market opportunities in 3.2.1) and review of climate smart agriculture best practices for the region (3.2.2) EcoAgriculture Partners and SANREM will develop a list of promising opportunities to be developed in MERECP 2. We will then adapt a tool for identifying and screening these opportunities and defining the investments needed to develop value chains that will optimize benefits in terms of production/food security and incomes, sustained productivity, and climate adaptation and mitigation.

For each product/market intervention, we will assess market mechanisms rewarding producers for CSA adoption (e.g. certification premiums for organic and Rainforest Alliance), key value-chains stakeholders/enablers (e.g. exporters, traders, certifiers), investment requirements, priority risks (e.g. soil degradation, water, pests, food insecurity), barriers (i.e. low price, transport), extension services required (e.g. training on biodiversity-friendly practices) and priority opportunities (e.g. value addition through marketing, niche market premiums); and rough estimates of the economic costs/benefits and investment risks that will need to be addressed.

The analysis will consider the economic, ecological and socio-cultural value of selected value chain investments versus a business-as-usual scenario. The work will be implemented with input from stakeholders identified in consultations described in 3.2.2 from public, private and civil-society to populate, ensure accuracy and build awareness among key stakeholders. This analysis will also identify key constraints and opportunities for scaling-up through market development, public-private partnerships and public policy and legal support. A final set of 4-5 priority climate smart value chains will be selected.

With the results from both the screening tool and market analysis, business ‘road maps’ will be developed for the identified 4-5 value chains in cooperation with relevant stakeholder groups. These will outline how to operationalize the PPP model for each market opportunity and for mobilizing climate-smart investments across the landscape. The results of the market analysis will be presented back to stakeholders at the regional workshop to collect feedback and finalize. We anticipate that a deeper understanding of shared risks and potential investments to merge public and private interests will mobilize effective multi-stakeholder cooperation in the region for cost-effective, impactful interventions in MERECP 2.

3.2.4 Identify gaps in current extension service(s) and propose an effective community based extension support system for public private sector partnership model in Mt. Elgon landscape

The EcoAgriculture-SANREM partners team will assess the effectiveness of extension services in the Mt. Elgon landscape to build household level capacity to participate effectively in market oriented climate-smart production systems. The team will begin by taking stock of existing extension structures and services in Kenya and Uganda. In collaboration with selected extension leaders in the region, including some involved in MERECP I, we will develop a protocol for interviewing key actors and stakeholders in public, private and civic sector extension services. This will structure our examination of the subject-matter orientation, teaching and learning methods, reach, constraints and impacts, as well as cooperation strategies presently in place. Our analysis of strengths and gaps in current extension services and capacities will lead to a proposed model for a strengthened and coordinated extension system in the counties and districts of Kenya and Uganda. This will be designed to support implementation of the PPP model, to build capacities of the some 82,000 households that are expected to benefit from the private sector-community partnership model.

3.2.5 Identification and mapping of networks and partners to facilitate landscape management in the Mount Elgon

The Ecoa-SANREM team will conduct institutional mapping analysis to analyze the effectiveness of current institutional configurations for multi-stakeholder management and propose governance systems to support a PPP model of development in the transboundary Mt. Elgon landscape. Interviews with strategically selected key informants and stakeholder groups in Kenya and Uganda will identify public, private and civic sector leaders and reveal current institutional strengths and limitations for coordinated action in the landscape. We will adapt and use an ‘institutional performance scorecard’ which has proven to be an effective tool in mobilizing local knowledge and strengthening capacities for collaborative management.

In subsequent discussions we will employ institutional mapping and assess multi-stakeholder networks to elicit the judgment of businesses, farmers group, agency and other organizational leaders about respective contributions, roles, and responsibilities in the value chains of the viable commodities. We will also assess corresponding governance systems for a community market-based model in the four pilot landscapes. We will document, consolidate, and communicate the information and insight that is generated, for deliberation at the knowledge sharing workshops in June. Subsequent inquiry will focus on filling gaps identified in the partner and network mapping, and further specifying potential management and governance models in the pilot landscapes.

3.2.6 Identification of four (4) pilot landscape sites for sustainable community markets approach to improve livelihoods in Mt. Elgon

An outcome of the knowledge sharing workshops in each country will be the selection of four (4) landscapes where the development of the community markets based approach will be piloted and promoted; two in Kenya and another two (2) in Uganda. Key landscapes will be identified through the mapping exercise described above. Prior to the workshop the EcoAgriculture-SANREM team will conduct focused consultations with strategic private, public and civic sector leaders and stakeholders in the two countries to determine acceptable criteria for selection of landscapes, and select candidate landscapes. Collaborators at LVBA with experience in MERECP I will guide the design of a viable selection process.

Once the pilot landscapes are selected, we will prepare more detailed maps, spatially locating data sets available through LVBA collaborators who are familiar with data generated during MERECP I, as well as published and accessible material of key interest to stakeholder and planners. The spatial framing of vital information about conservation, production, livelihood and institutions in the pilot landscapes will aid in preparing a preliminary plan for each, including prospective financing mechanisms in line with the public-private partnership model. Maps produced for the pilot landscapes will be instrumental in initiating a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) component that tracks conservation, livelihood and production outcomes, as well as methods of measurement and progress indicators. To conduct the spatial mapping component effectively the Ecoa-SANREM team will rely upon collaborators in LVBA to access and deliver relevant data sets for the candidate pilot landscapes through its staff and collaborators in relevant ministries and other organizations. We will appreciate similar collaboration in preparing and presenting maps of the larger Mt. Elgon region at the knowledge-sharing workshops to aid in the pilot landscape selection process.

 

3.2.7. A baseline and M&E systems for the pilot landscapes established

The EcoAgriculture-SANREM team will employ its Landscape Measures approach to initiate the development of a baseline and M&E system for the pilot landscapes. The approach is characterized by identifying and deciding upon landscape performance criteria that stakeholders consider important to track, to determine if these are moving in the right direction for realizing desired conservation, production, livelihood and institutional outcomes. We will employ our ‘landscape performance scorecard’ to structure conversations with groups of stakeholders to determine which performance criteria and indicators to measure, and which means of measurement to use, to ensure the M&E system is informative as well as feasible to maintain and cost-effective in the long run. The results of the landscape performance scoring exercises will contribute to the baseline description of the pilot landscapes. We will also measure at least one additional indicator within each desired outcome domain to contribute to the baseline.

We will develop a theory of change to guide the proposed M&E system, which will help us to identify appropriate indicators and select means of measure for inclusion in the baseline of the four pilot landscapes. This will link diverse forms of investment in the desired PPP model to anticipated outcomes, and specify the types of activities that will be monitored to track their effects on the desired performance outcomes. Indicators to be tracked will be determined by stakeholders in the landscape as well as technical specialists likely to assume roles in monitoring over time. The Team will then take stock of the status of those activities at present to form the baseline. Information from the consultations will contribute to the description of baseline conditions. Examples might include information about the extent and location of CSA that is practiced in the region, extension activity conducted, the capacity and location of commodity-processing facilities, the volume of strategic commodities that are produced and/or exported from the region, the extent and location of prime biodiversity conservation sites, and/or other possible indicators for which information has been developed for the pilot landscapes. The information will be spatially displayed to the extent that it is feasible and cost-effective to do so. As specified in the SOW, the team also will identify the capacity required for an M&E system designed to help inform planning for market and training interventions, as well as evaluating the impact of public private sector partnership on household livelihood, and measuring the performance and benefits of the PPP and CSA in Mt. Elgon landscape as a whole.

3.2.8. Finalize the MERECP Phase II proposal

Based on outputs (3.2.1 – 3.2.7), the EcoAgriculture-SANREM team will work with the LVBC to develop a MERECP Phase II funding proposal to implement the plan, from LVBC from partner states, Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and other partners.