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Manuals and toolkits

One of the Eldis RSS newsfeeds on major development issues

Copyright: Copyright ©2013 Eldis, Sussex

Rating and ranking institutions: a ten-step guide for think tanks and advocacy groups

24 Mar 2017 12:34:44 GMT

Ratings and rankings have become a staple output of advocacy groups and think tanks worldwide. This document offers a quick ten-step guide on how to write and achieve maximum impact with ranking reports.

Gender and inclusion toolbox: participatory research in climate change and agriculture

13 Dec 2016 03:59:42 GMT

This manual introduces a wide range of participatory strategies and tools for research to guide the implementation of climate smart agriculture and efforts to achieve food security in rural communities. It is intended for NGO practitioners and program designers interested in diagnostic and action research for gender sensitive and socially inclusive climate change programs.

The manual provides users with an introductory section that defines basic concepts of gender, climate change, vulnerability, adaptive capacity and  participatory action research. The following section describes steps in developing a research planning guide, building a research team and sampling procedures. Subsequent sections introduce key participatory tools for context analysis and for gathering a wide variety of information on perceptions of wealth, empowerment and overall socio-economic dynamics in a community. Users will be able to explore issues of access, use and control over climate services, and how co-benefits of climate interventions are perceived. The final section provides a set of easy to use guides on how to organize and analyze qualitative data from participatory action research.

Strengthening adaptive capacity to climate change: learning from practice, practionioner brief

06 Oct 2016 11:00:07 GMT

Building adaptive capacity is increasingly understood as a critical piece in successful adaptation to climate change, and there has been much conceptual debate on what it consists of. Yet, there is still lack of clarity as to what it may look like in practice.

This practitioner brief synthesises the learning on adaptive capacity that has emerged from the Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) for Africa, a multi-country programme designed to demonstrate, document and disseminate innovative approaches for community based adaptation (CBA). Because it was explicitly designed as a learning programme, ALP has adopted a range of learning approaches, with a focus on learning by doing, reflecting and co-generating new knowledge with others. After five years of  implementation, the programme is now in a position to synthesise and share learning on a range of aspects of CBA and related policy and practice.

Specifically, this brief explains in simple, practical terms how strengthening adaptive capacity is critical for effective adaptation. It does this by presenting how ALP has interpreted the Local Adaptive Capacity Framework developed by the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance, in its practical approaches to engaging communities and other actors in community-based adaptation. This brief draws on ALP’s work with vulnerable communities living in Niger and Northern Ghana, which are Sahelian climate change hotspots also affected by high levels of chronic poverty. It gives insights into the dynamic interplay between analysis and planning processes, information, resources and decisions required for strengthening adaptive capacity, which is a key condition for adaptation.
With recent attention on resilience, different types of critical capacities have been in discussion; for example, “absorptive”, “anticipatory” and “transformative” capacity. ALP’s work on adaptive capacity has been approaching these concepts in practical ways, exploring how vulnerable people can realise their own development, with adequate support, in the face of changing conditions. Through the lens of these experiences the brief aims to provide conceptual and practical knowledge for actors in adaptation, disaster risk reduction, development and humanitarian action, including NGOs, local government institutions, researchers, donors, sectoral ministries and policymakers across Africa.

Climate resilient planning toolkit: Booklet 3: worksheets

04 Oct 2016 11:22:05 GMT

This toolkit, developed through the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, is designed to develop and deliver health, education, water and sanitation hardware interventions that are more resilient to climate extremes and disasters. It provides a generic framework to help users:

  1. Assess if resilience in a specific service delivery project should be treated as a high, medium or low priority.
  2. Identify how the different components of basic service delivery systems might be vulnerable to a range of climate extremes and disasters.
  3. Think through measures that can be taken to mitigate risks to service delivery.
  4. Establish a plan to follow up on integration of resilience in the service delivery project.

The toolkit can help project, technical and field staff of implementing agencies who plan and manage service delivery projects in developing country contexts. With early planning, the impacts of disasters can be reduced through preparation and minimising risk to people and equipment. Some hazards can be avoided entirely by building infrastructure out of harm’s way.

The downloadable toolkit consists of three booklets. These include:

  • Booklet 1: guidelines that explain the tool and how to fill in the worksheets.
  • Booklet 2: worked examples to illustrate how other organisations have used the toolkit.
  • Booklet 3: worksheets that you can fill in straightaway.



Understanding gender in community-based adaptation: practitioner brief

22 Sep 2016 02:41:28 GMT

Accessing weather forecasts, having control over land, being able to influence decision-making processes, being backed by a community group, or being literate and educated are examples of the human and material resources through which people can act on the consequences of climate change. They are also strongly influenced by what makes up people’s social and economic position in society – for example gender, age, ethnicity or religion. In other words, the degree to which a person, family or community suffers from – or thrives in – climatic shocks, weather extremes and uncertainty, or changes in the environment and economy, strongly depend on these and other social factors. People’s social and economic roles and positions in society shift and change over time and for many reasons – media and communication technologies, transportation and urbanisation trends, changing markets, and last but not least shifts in the climate and environment, etc. are all having impacts on them.
Gender is an important part of these shifting social factors, and as such continuously shapes vulnerability to climate change and people’s capacity to adapt. Gender inequality continues to be one of the most persistent and widespread forms of social inequality across the world. And yet, while its importance is increasingly recognised by policy makers and practitioners working to address climate change, its role in adapting to climate change is often poorly understood, or simply misunderstood.
Integrating gender into community-based adaptation:
  • is essential for practitioners and communities to ground the adaptation process in a good understanding of the context, existing vulnerabilities and capacities
  • is essential for communities to ensure the processes and actions they choose are relevant to both men and women in different social settings
  • helps practitioners and communities understand why and how gender groups can be vulnerable to climate change in different ways, and how this changes over time
  • helps to ensure decision-making power is more equally distributed between different social groups affected by climatic changes
  • is required for community-based adaptation to contribute to the transformation of long-standing, deeply rooted barriers to developmen

A Funder’s Toolkit: Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

19 Aug 2016 12:48:56 GMT

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration or UNDRIP) is the most comprehensive international instrument regarding the collective and individual human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The purpose of this toolkit is to support and to strengthen the work of funders in the implementation of the Declaration. The Toolkit seeks to elaborate ways funders can engage respectfully and positively withIndigenous Peoples within the context of the Declaration. It is designed to provide funders with guidance on how to include the implementation of the Declaration in the grantmaking strategies` and other programmatic activities of their organisation.

City resilience toolkit: response to deadly heat waves and preparing for rising temperatures

19 Aug 2016 11:26:24 GMT

One of the world’s deadliest heat waves devastated India in May 2015, killing more than 2,300 people. As climate change increases the frequency and severity of heat waves and the associated health risks, vulnerable, poor communities are often the hardest hit. In the face of these climate-fueled weather threats, early warning systems and preparedness plans can be adopted to protect health and lives n communities and increase resilience to rising temperatures.  This toolit contains the following sections with special emphasis on India.
  • Fact Sheet: Increasing Resilience to Extreme Heat Health Risks Across Rapidly Urbanizing India
  • How-to Manual: Steps to Develop a Heat Action Plan based on the Ahmedabad Experience
  • Scientific Journal Abstract: Development and Implementation of South Asia’s First Heat-Health Action Plan in Ahmedabad (Gujarat, India)
  • Scaling Up Heat Action Plans in Key Cities and States in India: Lessons from April 2015 Ahmedabad Workshop
  • New York City Knowledge Forum: Sharing International Climate Resilience Experiences from India and the U.S
  • Online Resources

Climate information and Early Warning Systems communications toolkit

19 Aug 2016 10:53:10 GMT

This toolkit provides National HydroMeteorological Services (NHMS), policy makers, and media and communications for development practitioners with the tools, resources and templates necessary to design and implement an integrated communications strategy.

These communications strategies include the effective issuance and packaging of early warnings as well as the creation of supportive communications products and outreach efforts that will support the long-term sustainability of investments in the climate information and services sector. While this communications toolkit is tailored to the specialized needs and political contexts of sub-Saharan Africa, it can easily be applied to other developing nations.

This toolkit defines goals for the issuance of early warnings, and creation of improved climate information products and supportive communications strategies. These supportive strategies serve to engage actors, build political support, engage the private sector and present a true value proposition to end users. The toolkit explores best practices, defines roles and expands on the tools that are necessary to create an integrated communications strategy. The toolkit continues with a step-by-step outline to create response protocols and issue early warnings, address challenges and opportunities, define messages and stakeholders, package early warning systems, and engage with individual media and other relevant actors. There is a communications strategy template and TORs template that can be used by projects and practitioners to generate integrated communications strategies.

Gender responsive national communications toolkit

19 Aug 2016 10:41:30 GMT

This toolkit is an initiative of the UNDP Gender Team and the UNDP-€“UNEP Global Support Programme. It is designed to strengthen the capacity of national government staff and assist them in integrating gender equality into the development of National Communications (NCs). It is recognized that NC reporting processes can be a meaningful entry point for training, awareness-raising and capacity-building efforts. Preparation of reports can also infl uence other, ongoing climate change planning and policymaking processes. As such, the toolkit can support Biennial Update Reports and planning documents such as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and inform the development and/or implementation of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), national and sectoral Gender and Climate Change Plans, and the strategic plans of individual government agencies 2 This toolkit can also inform sector policies related to both social and natural resource issues.

The toolkit presents rationales for gender-responsive NCs and approaches for integrating gender into NC reports. It also provides context and information on a range of issues; good practice examples; and lessons learned. Issues examined include:
  • how climate change impacts men and women in sectors such as energy, agriculture and waste management, as well as their different vulnerabilities to climate risks and the ways in which they seek to adapt to climate change.=
  • how women and men are differentially engaged in supporting or reducing greenhouse gases and how including gender analysis into greenhouse gas inventory reporting can contribute to reducing emissions.=
  • how men and women are innovating and adopting both new and old technologies to mitigate climate change. Finally, the toolkit looks at steps required to ensure the sustainability of gender-responsive climate change reporting. This requires ensuring commitment, funding and integrated capacity development across sectors, and using gender indicators and sex-disaggregated data for monitoring

The pacific gender & climate change toolkit: tools for practioners

19 Aug 2016 10:32:31 GMT

Gender equality is central to achieving a sustainable and resilient future for Pacific islands.This toolkit is designed to support climate change practitioners working in national governments, non-governmental organisations, regional and international organisations, integrate gender into all aspects of policy, programming and project work.
The toolkit is divided into four modules, which can be read in conjunction or used as standalone documents for practitioners seeking guidance on a specific topic. The modules are also supported by checklists and tools (found at the end of the toolkit. The toolkit is comprised of the following modules:
  • Module 1 - this introductory module explains why gender is a critical consideration in climate change programmes, projects and strategies, defines the key approaches and concepts, and clarifies some common misconceptions
  • Module 2 - introduces the different phases of a typical climate change programme/project cycle, identifies potential entry-points for integrating gender perspectives in each phase and also includes a generic gender checklist that may be applied to programmes and projects
  • Module 3 - focuses on the links between gender and climate change in specific sectors and uses sector relevant case studies to demonstrate how gender perspectives can be applied in the identification and assessment of climate change problems and solutions. Key gender indicators are also provided to support monitoring and evaluation
  • Module 4 - this final module examines gender in relation to climate change governance. It discusses how to integrate gender considerations in institutional arrangements, policy coordination and negotiations, and climate change finance

Libraries and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda

19 Aug 2016 01:02:34 GMT

Libraries make an important contribution to development. The purpose of this toolkit is to support advocacy for the inclusion of libraries and access to information as part of national and regional development plans that will contribute to meeting Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“UN 2030 Agenda”).

Libraries must now show that they can drive progress across the entire UN 2030 Agenda. While the SDGs are universal goals, each country will be responsible for developing and implementing national strategies to achieve them, and will be expected to track and report its own progress toward each target. As these plans are developed, the library community in each country will have a clear opportunity to communicate to their government leaders how libraries serve as cost-effective partners for advancing their development priorities. Advocacy is essential now to secure recognition for the role of libraries as engines of local development, and to ensure that libraries receive the resources needed to continue this work.

This toolkit is primarily for librarians involved in national advocacy. It will also be of interest to librarians advocating at the local level, and organising activities to increase awareness of the UN 2030 Agenda in their own library.

This toolkit will help you to:

  • understand the UN 2030 Agenda process, and IFLA’s advocacy
  • understand how the UN 2030 Agenda will be implemented at the national level
  • organise meetings with policymakers to demonstrate the contribution libraries and access to information make to national development, and across the SDGs
  • monitor the UN 2030 Agenda and implementation of the SDGs
  • tell library users about the SDGs

Tribal profile at a glance 2014

12 Aug 2016 02:54:50 GMT

Statistical Profile of Scheduled Tribes. This is done through collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of data and information on various facets of tribals and their socio-economic development  from different sources - Census, NSSO, NFHS, SRS, AIES, Government Departments, Budget Documents, Government Schemes (both State and Central level),  Special Component Plan for SCs/ STs, Nodal and Line Ministries (Rural Development, Human Resource Development, Women & Child Development, etc.).


Wize Up - Your Decision Your Life Booklet

24 Jun 2016 11:16:56 GMT

This booklet was produced as part of the Wize up, Your Decision Your Life campaign in Swaziland, which challenges young people to take control of their health and start thinking and talking about their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) (see Related Summaries below for more information on the campaign).

Produced by Lusweti Institute for Health Development Communication, the booklet is designed for young people but can also be used by parents, teachers, young people, and health and community workers. It seeks to help young people understand the physical and emotional changes that happen to their bodies as they grow up and offers guidance on how to handle them. It encourages abstinence and delaying sex, offers information on sexual abuse and how do deal with it, and gives information on how to protect oneself from unwanted pregnancy, HIV infection, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It also deals with the sexual and reproductive rights of disabled people and offers guidance on how to communicate to parents about sexual issues.

The booklet contains the following sections:

  • Sex and sexuality
  • Physical and emotional changes of growing up
  • Preventing sexual abuse
  • Delaying to have sex
  • Benefits of delaying to have sex
  • Disability and SRH
  • SRH rights for disabled people?
  • Protecting yourself from unwanted pregnancy, HIV infection and STIs
  • Sexual abuse - Mandisa's story
  • Understanding sexual abuse
  • Talking to your parents about sexual issues
  • Know your SRH rights
  • Contact information for SRH services

Group dialogue and critical reflection of HIV prevention: an evaluation of the C-Change Community Conversation Toolkit

24 Jun 2016 11:08:36 GMT

Communication for Change (C-Change) set out to develop support tools that would foster interactive communication among low-literacy adults and prompt engagement on HIV prevention issues, including encouraging individual and group-oriented problem solving. The Community Conversation Toolkit (CCT) was developed using participatory approaches with lower literacy audiences and was extensively pre-tested in southern and eastern Africa. The CCT is a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) resource that comprises a set of interactive communication components including role play cards, throw cubes, playing cards, dialogue buttons, finger puppets, and guides for facilitation and community mobilization. The CCT has been adapted for use in seven countries and is available in ten languages.

This evaluation report looked at whether this toolkit elicited changes in behaviour and practices by participants around HIV prevention, and whether the processes of reflection and problem solving led to community-level action for HIV-prevention-related change.

The evaluation study found that "participants were able to recognise their own risks and felt empowered to change their behaviour, for example, insisting on using a condom or increasing dialogue with their partners and within their families and communities. The group dialogues encouraged critical reflection about contextual risks, enabling both community members and leaders to analyse risk factors in their communities."



  • the CCT is a well developed SBCC resource that fosters dialogue and critical reflection processes that contribute to the empowerment of HIV-vulnerable participants. As such, the CCT is suitable for replication in its current format
  • the CCT is a versatile resource that can be utilized with literate adults as well as adults with lower literacy skills. Potential use with youth audiences should be explored, noting that the content of the present toolkit would need to take into account age-appropriateness in relation to content regarding sexuality
  • the CCT complements existing HIV prevention activities and bolsters such activities by serving as a catalyst for spurring problem solving and action at individual, relationship, family, and community levels. It should thus be considered as a complementary resource to the work of organizations in facilitated or spontaneous situations
  • the CCT is available in a range of languages and includes context-relevant adaptations in the form of localized proverbs and questions. These are suitable for reproduction for use in a wide range of communities in the countries for which they were developed. Demand for such upscaling has already been voiced in study countries
  • the durability of the CCT was not assessed as part of this evaluation, and CCT components were only used four to five times by the dialogue groups. Reproducing the CCT would require additional research to determine durablity for more intensive use
  • while the broad curriculum and facilitation style attached to the CCT dialogues is appropriate and leads to action outcomes, it is unclear whether there is an optimal number of ‘sessions’ or how participants could continue independently using the toolkits. Four sessions appear to be a suitable minimum. Strategies for expanding use within communities, and determining optimal intensity of use and ‘saturation’ per community, would need to be considered


Inside Story - film and discussion guide

24 Jun 2016 10:31:15 GMT

Inside Story is a 98-minute African film that tells the story of the science of HIV transmission by combining the story of a rising soccer star with an animated journey of HIV infection through the human body.

The film follows the life experiences, relationships, and career of Kalu Kaminju as he comes to terms with his HIV status. Interwoven into the story are animation sequences which show HIV inside the body so that audiences can better understand how HIV works. The film also addresses myths and misunderstandings about HIV. "It shows how getting tested for HIV and knowing one's status gives people power to make informed decisions about their health and helps them live better lives."

Inside Story was produced in 2011 by Curious Pictures (now Quizzical Pictures), a production company in South Africa, for the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (now Discovery Learning Alliance) with the support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Chevron, Discovery Communications, Access Bank, the South African Department of Trade and Industry, SEACOM, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

This accompanying discussion guide can be used to facilitate a screening and discussion of the film, and can be used by teachers, health workers, community mobilisers, and others.

The film (available in English, French, Portuguese, and Swahili) can be downloaded for free from the Inside Story website

Using entertainment education to promote self-efficacy and aspirations among young Malawians: the Tisankhenji Radio Program

24 Jun 2016 01:48:10 GMT

The Tisankhenji radio programme (see Related Summaries at bottom of page) aired from 2005 to 2008 and was designed to prevent HIV among young people in Malawi, especially girls age 10 to 14, by increasing self-efficacy, encouraging open discussion, promoting career goals, and encouraging aspirations for education and careers.

This document is peer reviewed case study of the radio programme. According to the report, schools are important intervention sites for both girls and boys as they reach young people before or shortly after sexual debut. Keeping girls in school also reduces their vulnerability to HIV. Encouraging girls to have education and career aspirations both gives them motivation to protect themselves from HIV and early pregnancy, and encourages them to stay in school. The Tisankhenji radio programme used entertainment-education (EE) to model desirable behaviours about having future goals and encourage discussion among girls and between girls and elders. The programme was designed primarily for girls, with boys, teachers, and parents as secondary audiences.

The report concludes that EE is "a potentially effective, creative approach to promoting educational aspirations and achievement motivations, which may be helpful in fighting HIV." The authors recommend continued development of EE programmes that focus on young girls' needs, desires, and dreams. "Focusing on positive outcomes will enable them to plan for, and make progress toward, a future where HIV rates among young girls are diminished." The report also re-iterates that school-based initiatives can have the multiple advantages of accessing young people early in their lives, providing structured yet creative approaches, and encouraging girls to stay in school, and recommends more school-based programming.

ZAZI: a participatory programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health for women and girls - a toolkit for facilitators

24 Jun 2016 01:23:12 GMT

This toolkit has been developed by the ZAZI campaign for use by peer educators, community outreach workers, faith-based organisations, and traditional health practitioners to help facilitate participatory discussions on sexual and reproductive health with women aged between 20 and 49 years of age. ZAZI is a campaign developed by women for women in South Africa, which celebrates the strength of South African women. It promotes self confidence amongst women so that they can draw upon their own strength to make positive choices for their future, and "encourages young women to resist peer pressure and define their own values so that they can prevent unwanted pregnancies, HIV, have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby when they choose to fall pregnant."(See Related Summary below for more information)

The toolkit can be used for one hour-long, half-day, full-day, or longer workshops, and facilitators are encouraged to adapt sessions to meet the needs of the participating group. There are also suggestions for adapting the workshops for teenage girls aged 16-19.

The toolkit is divided into the following 10 content sections:

  • Section 1: Being a woman in South Africa today
  • Section 2: Women and relationships
  • Section 3: Women and their bodies
  • Section 4: Women’s sexual health
  • Section 5: Women and planning or preventing pregnancy
  • Section 6: Women and safe pregnancy
  • Section 7: Women and the prevention of HIV
  • Section 8: Women and gender-based violence
  • Section 9: Women and healthy lifestyles
  • Section 10: Women getting involved

Each section is made up of the following:

  • a purpose statement, which outlines the content of the section;
  • background to the problem, which outlines why women need to know this information;
  • an information section, which provides essential information on the topic;
  • an activity section, which suggests participatory activities for the facilitator to go through with groups of women, so they can understand how to apply this information in their own lives; and
  • a reference section, which suggests places to go for more information.

Access, Services and Knowledge (ASK) Programme - essential packages manual

23 Jun 2016 11:53:46 GMT

The Essential Packages Manual was produced as part of the "Access, Services and Knowledge" (ASK) programme of the Youth Empowerment Alliance, which seeks to improve the sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) of young people (15-24 years) by increasing their uptake of SRH services in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

The manual is designed to help partners understand the main concepts, principles, and values of the ASK programme, and provides information and practical tools designed to assist partners to reach programme objectives. This includes information about SRHR and related services for young people, as well as guidance in creating an enabling environment and integrating SRHR, HIV/AIDS, and meaningful youth participation into programming.

The publication includes tools for self-assessment to help identify partners’ own progress and areas requiring support. It also includes roadmaps with practical steps to move towards desired project results, and outlines available tools, guidelines, protocols, and standards.

The manual includes the following contents, organised around key result areas:

  • Values and Principles
  • Result area 1: Direct SRHR information for young people
  • Result area 2 & 3: SRH services for young people
  • Result area 4: Creating an enabling environment
  • Cross-Cutting Strategies: Integrating SRHR and HIV, meaningful youth participation

Tsima community mobilisation materials

23 Jun 2016 11:01:43 GMT

This three part package of materials comprising of a handbook, workshop manual, and toolkit, are designed to support community mobilisation activities around the issue of treatment as prevention. The materials were produced to support the Tsima Community Mobilisation Programme, which aims to "mobilise communities to "Activate HIV Treatment as Prevention"by dramatically increasing community uptake of HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment (ART)."

As stated in the materials, "research shows that ART protects the health of someone living with HIV and greatly reduces the chance that that person will transmit HIV to an uninfected partner. When taken correctly and consistently, ART reduces the amount of virus (or the "viral load") in a person's body so much that it becomes undetectable (i.e. very small numbers of the virus), so there is little virus that can be passed on to an uninfected partner. If a large enough proportion of people get tested, start treatment as soon as they are eligible, and stay on treatment for HIV in our communities, very few people will become infected."

The three Tsima booklets are:

  • Tsima Booklet 1: Community Mobiliser's Handbook - This handbook is intended to be a resource for community mobilisers working with Sonke's community action teams (CAT) to engage men and women on issues of gender, HIV prevention, care and treatment, violence, and human rights.
  • Tsima Booklet 2: Community Mobilisation Workshop Manual - This manual is intended as a resource for community mobilisers and CAT members to guide a series of five two-day workshops. Each workshop has a different set of activities, but many of the same themes around social justice, gender equality, and engaged citizen activism are addressed in all of the workshops.
  • Tsima Booklet 3: Community Mobilisation Toolkit - This toolkit is intended to be used by community mobilisers and CAT members to undertake community-based activities such as street soccer, community theatre, digital stories and engaging community leaders. Some activities may be undertaken in teams or as a group, understanding that the widest input leads to the best result. Mobilisers/CATs can implement only one activity at a time, or combine them to form a larger campaign.

One youth can: facilitator's guide and workbook

23 Jun 2016 10:39:14 GMT

South Africa has amongst the highest levels of domestic violence and rape of any country in the world. Research conducted by the Medical Research Council in 2004 shows that every six hours, a woman is killed by her intimate partner. This is the highest rate recorded anywhere in the world.

This Manual is intended to be a resource for those working with youth on issues of citizenship, human rights, gender, health, sexuality and violence. The content is informed by a commitment to social justice, gender equality and engaged citizen activism. The activities encourage all youth to reflect on their own experiences, attitudes and values regarding sexuality; gender; what it means to be a boy/man or girl/woman; domestic and sexual violence; HIV/AIDS, democracy and human rights. They encourage all youth to take action to help prevent domestic and sexual violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, and promote gender equality.

There is an accompanying Participants' Manual.


Tiyani Vavasati: empowerment and financial education intervention

23 Jun 2016 10:25:49 GMT

Specifically aimed at females between the ages of 18-24 years-old, this training manual was produced to guide a series of training sessions which were designed to empower young women. Part of a Sonke Gender Justice project implemented in South Africa, the four one-day long training sessions, are meant to:

  • "empower young women to set goals for their lives
  • increase young women's knowledge of correct reproductive health and HIV information, as well as promote HIV testing
  • help young women learn to recognise and address gender-based violence
  • teach young women how to make sound financial decisions; and
  • reinforce and promote attitudes and behaviours that will lead to a better quality of life for the young women"

Hosted over the course of a month, each training day consists of a morning classroom-based session where young women engage in both informative learning and interactive exercises, and then an afternoon session where they participate in a field trip. These morning sessions "are designed to be engaging, interactive, and make use of best practice young adult learning principles - that is games, small group work, etc., while focusing on pertinent topics to the lives of the young women." The afternoon sessions build on information learned in the morning and give the young women a chance to visit a local resource in the community, such as a clinic.

This manual is divided into four modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction, Self-Esteem, and Goal Setting
  • Module 2: Reproductive Health, HIV
  • Module 3: Gender-Based Violence
  • Module 4: Financial Education

According to Sonke Gender Justice, "young, rural, South African women are faced with many challenges that can impede a healthy transition from young person to adult. These include age-specific social pressures, lack of correct health knowledge, and lack of safe, economic opportunity." Tiyani Vavasati aims to intervene on some of these root issues, instilling useable assets into the young women. This manual was adapted, in part, from the 2013 Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program, Health and Life Skills and Financial Education Curricula published by Zambia YMCA, UKAID, and Population Council. Additional materials come from Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa.


Mobilising a response to HIV, gender, youth and gender-based violence in South Africa: a toolkit for trainers and programme implementers

21 Jun 2016 04:42:54 GMT

This toolkit was produced as part of the Sexual HIV Prevention Project (SHIPP) to support in-house training on gender, HIV, youth, and community mobilisation for programme implementers working on HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention at the district and community levels. The toolkit modules cover a range of topics and can be selected based on organisational needs and specific knowledge gaps among staff and volunteers. According to the toolkit, "an advantage of the modular arrangement is that rather than having to set aside large blocks of time for training workshops, exercises and modules can be conducted on a stand-alone basis through sessions as short as two to three hours, or, if time permits, over a day or several days, or intermittently over a number of weeks or months." The toolkit also provides a detailed outline of the key principles and techniques of participatory learning.

The following topic areas are covered:

  • Module 1: Gender concepts and definitions
  • Module 2: Gender roles and change
  • Module 3: GBV: intimate partner and non-partner domestic violence
  • Module 4: Links between GBV and HIV
  • Module 5: Gender and HIV policies
  • Module 6: Gender analysis and engaging men and boys
  • Module 7: Mobilising community action teams through community facilitators
  • Module 8: Youth vulnerability, HIV and GBV

Monitoring demographic indicators for the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a review of proposed approaches and opportunities

17 May 2016 03:30:01 GMT

This report reviews the indicators proposed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the post-2015 SDG monitoring period that require access to population data or refer to demographic processes. It makes recommendations to strengthen the proposed monitoring framework. The report was conducted as part of the IUSSP’s activities related to the post-2015 data revolution with funding from UNFPA.
Based on a review of available data sources and estimation strategies, we suggest that low and middle-income countries where complete vital registration systems do not yet exist, or cannot be established in a short time,
should adopt a tiered SDG monitoring framework. This framework combines:
  • high-quality decennial censuses
  • annual surveys of the proximate determinants of fertility/mortality and
  • periodic large surveys of fertility/mortality with verbal autopsies (every 3-5 years)

Health policy and systems research training database

06 May 2016 03:27:14 GMT

The HPSR database has been developed as a result of a study undertaken by the Teaching and Learning Health Policy and Systems Research Thematic Working Group. Commissioned by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the study did a global mapping of current teaching and training programmes focused on HPSR relevant to low- and middle-income countries. It intended to assess their reach and diversity in terms of content and modalities, identifying major gaps and opportunities to expand HPSR teaching capacity.

The database includes:

  • Repositories of courses and course materials

  • Tools and libraries from HPSR-related multi-partner collaborations

China's development finance to Africa: a media based approach to data collection

29 Apr 2016 11:54:33 GMT

How big is China’s aid to Africa? Does it complement or undermine the efforts of traditional donors? China releases little information, and outside estimates of the size and nature of Chinese aid vary widely. In an effort to overcome this problem, AidData, based at the College of William and Mary, has compiled a database of thousands of media reports on Chinese-backed projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011. The database includes information on 1,673 projects in 50 African countries and on $75 billion in commitments of official finance.

This paper describes the new database methodology, key findings, and possible applications of the data, which is being made publicly available for the first time. The paper and database offer a new tool set for researchers, policymakers, journalists, and civil-society organizations working to understand China’s growing role in Africa.
The paper also discusses the challenges of quantifying Chinese development activities, introduces AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection (MBDC) methodology, provides an overview of Chinese development finance in Africa as tracked by this new database, and discusses the potential and limitations of MBDC as a resource for tracking development finance.

Qualitative research on women's economic empowerment and social protection - a research guide

28 Apr 2016 12:32:05 GMT

The FAO's Social Protection and Rural Women's Economic Empowerment research programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of th e United Nations (FAO) falls under FAO's Strategic Objective 3 of Reducing Rural Poverty and is delivered through two flagship initiatives: the Rural Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative (RWEE) and the From Protection to Production (PtoP) programme. The research seeks to gain a better understanding of how social protection policies and programmes can be improved to enhance impacts on rural women's empowerment. The programme also aims at identifying ways in which social protection schemes or systems can be strengthened with regard to reducing gender inequalities and improving rural women'€™s economic and social empowerment, actions which can lead to more sustainable pathways out of poverty.

A number of case studies will analyse the impact of social protection programmes on rural women's economic empowerment, particularly in two domains: economic advancement and power and agency. The case studies will also assess the impact of programme design on these two domains, as well as the degree to which gender equality and women's empowerment are mainstreamed in programme design and implementation. Finally, to a lesser extent, the programme will assess the synergies that these programmes have with rural services and other livelihoods interventions.

Based on previous experience from the PtoP, the case studies are conducted using a mixed - method approach that combines qualitative and quantitative methods. To achieve comparability and enable cross - country analysis, the research methods are being implemented systematically across countries. This Qualitative Research Guide describes in detail the sequencing, timing and methodology of the research process to be implemented in each country of study: training, fieldwork preparation, a simple and clear fieldwork roadmap, the theory of change hypotheses for the studies, guiding questions and research tools. The Guide will be used for conducting qualitative research as part of this programme and will also serve as a basis for future FAO research on women's empowerment and agriculure

Building social cohesion in post-conflict situations

05 Apr 2016 03:54:52 GMT

What are the approaches being taken by donors, CSOs and others to build social cohesion in post-conflict societies? How effective are these approaches?

The approaches covered in this helpdesk report include community-driven development, job creation, social protection and education. Whilst in theory there are strong links between these and social cohesion, there is very little rigorous empirical evidence to verify these links. More specifically, the literature highlights that:

  • community-driven development (CDD) programmes promote social cohesion through community participation in decision-making, bringing divided people together, and addressing community needs
  • evidence of the impact of CDD programmes on social cohesion is mixed: Programme design and context significantly determine impact
  • it is widely assumed that access to jobs improves social cohesion. This is because jobs can reduce tensions stemming from unemployment; improve people’s economic condition; and enable different groups to interact
  • evidence of the impact of job creation programmes on social cohesion is extremely limited: The literature shows correlation between jobs and some outcomes typically associated with social cohesion, such as social well-being, but evidence of how individual experiences translate into interactions between groups is limited. Some of the literature highlights the negative impact jobs can have on social cohesion – for example, when labour markets are divided along group lines
  • social protection may promote social cohesion where it can reduce poverty, enhance the income security of vulnerable people, improve access to basic services and establish legal entitlements for previously excluded groups
  • empirical evidence of the impact of social protection on social cohesion is limited: Different social protection modalities (cash transfers, conditional grants, social insurance, etc.) could improve social cohesion, but problems could arise if programmes are not designed carefully. For example, if targeting is carried out on ethnic lines, or weakened by corruption/mismanagement, this can exacerbate tensions
  • education can be either a positive or negative influence on social cohesion: Education reform can be designed to improve social cohesion, but there is little evidence of positive impact
  • civil society can play a role in peacebuilding: However, it can also have a negative effect, particularly where it reflects societal divisions. Evidence of impact of donor-supported interventions by civil society to promote social cohesion is lacking. Guidelines for donors seeking to support civil society in this role include using a broad definition of civil society, understanding the context, and ensuring local ownership


Connect with Respect: preventing gender-based violence in schools; classroom programme for students in early secondary school (ages 11-14)

18 Mar 2016 11:50:10 GMT

Students learn best in schools that provide safety and social support. However, some young people experience violence and harassment in, around, and on the way to school. This includes gender-based violence (GBV), which can take many different forms and can negatively impact students’ learning.

“Connect with Respect” is a curriculum tool to assist teachers. Developed through a regional partnership, it draws on the scientific literature around violence prevention, gender norms change, and the programmatic experience of school-based interventions in the region and beyond.

Produced by: The regional offices of UNESCO, UNICEF, Plan International and UN Women and the East Asia Pacific UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.

Measuring health and well-being of young people in the Transfer Project

18 Mar 2016 11:41:32 GMT

This policy brief addresses the knowledge gap that exists about the effectiveness of cash transfer programmes to impact young people’s health, development and well-being. The brief maps out a variety of emotional and physical aspects of young people’s development during their transition to adulthood, with the aim of undertaking a comparative longitudinal study of four countries (Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The main pathways that affect young people’s development that are here considered are education, mental health, poverty and general health and nutrition. Data is being collected directly from young people across in order to provide policymakers with information on whether and through what mechanisms the transition to adulthood can be influenced by social protection programmes. 

Adapted from authors' summary.

The time lag between a carbon dioxide emission and maximum warming increases with the size of the emission - India Environment Portal | News, reports, documents, blogs, data, analysis on environment & development

11 Mar 2016 07:37:30 GMT

In a recent letter, Ricke and Caldeira (2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 124002) estimated that the timing between an emission and the maximum temperature response is a decade on average.

In their analysis, they took into account uncertainties about the carbon cycle, the rate of ocean heat uptake and the climate sensitivity but did not consider one important uncertainty: the size of the emission.

Using simulations with an Earth System Model we show that the time lag between a carbon dioxide (CO2) emission pulse and the maximum warming increases for larger pulses. Our results suggest that as CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, the full warming effect of an emission may not be felt for several decades, if not centuries. Most of the warming, however, will emerge relatively quickly, implying that CO2 emission cuts will not only benefit subsequent generations but also the generation implementing those cuts.

[author's abstract]

Strengthening the capacity of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system of Ghana at all levels of national administration

11 Mar 2016 02:21:03 GMT

In 2011, the fourth Korea’s Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP)  project with the Republic of Ghana was conducted under the title of “Strengthening the Capacity of the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System of Ghana at All Levels of National Administration.”This project aimed at sharing the Korean government’s M&E expertise through policy consultation to enhance M&E capability of Ghana government.

Ghana’s M&E is identified to be the fundamental factor in policy establishment and enforcement process in planning of national economic development projects. By strengthening the M&E system and providing the environment of reliable statistics through feedback system based on quantitative and qualitative information, developments in the government, the private sector, and the civil society organizations will be accelerated, and the importance and participation in M&E system will grow further.

Health cluster guide – a practical guide for country-level implementation of the health cluster

09 Mar 2016 04:29:12 GMT

This guide suggests how the health cluster lead agency, coordinator and partners can work together during a humanitarian crisis to achieve the aims of reducing avoidable mortality, morbidity and disability, and restoring the delivery of and equitable access to preventive and curative health care as quickly as possible. It highlights key principles of humanitarian health action and how coordination and joint efforts among health sector actors working in partnership can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of health interventions. It draws on Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and other documents but also includes lessons from field experience.


Stories of change in nutrition: A tool pool

09 Mar 2016 03:43:21 GMT

In recent years, the discourse around nutrition has, at a global level, gained major political momentum. Yet although there is substantial evidence on what is needed to improve nutrition outcomes, less is known about how to achieve it: how to operationalise actions effectively across sectors, at the appropriate scale, in line with local contexts, and in ways that link nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.

This paper, which draws on inputs to, and discussions at, a methods development workshop, highlights the various concepts, methods, and tools that Stories of Change (SoC) researchers are considering to measure nutrition-relevant change in their respective countries. The focus is on nutrition-relevant policy and practice. These tools apply to 11 subthemes, which are to some extent sequential within policy/programming cycles: (1) assessing the nutrition problem, (2) stakeholder and institutional analysis/mapping, (3) understanding enabling environments for nutrition, (4) agenda setting and political commitment for nutrition, (5) policy formulation and policy processes, (6) multisectoral coordination, (7) implementation and vertical coherence, (8) scaling up, (9) assessing capacity, (10) assessing finance, and (11) monitoring, evaluation, and accountability. Examining these various methods and tools together allows for a holistic consideration of the processes that—while challenging to document and measure—play a key role in improving nutrition-relevant policy and practice, which, in turn, drives national achievement in reducing malnutrition.


Operational guidance for coordinated assessments in humanitarian crises

09 Mar 2016 03:15:53 GMT

The needs assessment task force developed this Operational Guidance for Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises to help realise the goal of better quality and more timely assessments through coordinated processes. It was not developed to fill a lack of assessment guidelines and tools, but rather to provide guidance for those seeking to make informed decisions on the coordination of assessments (harmonised or joint). The Operational Guidance was developed primarily on the basis of experiences gained during the early phases of large-scale quick-onset natural disasters, but it is also applicable to other types of crises. It provides guidance to coordinate assessments as well as technical tools in the annexes.


Alternative Estimation Methodologies for Macro Model: ECM vs. OLS

08 Mar 2016 01:39:06 GMT

This paper focuses on macroeconometric models and argues that they are a useful tool in analyzing the economy-wide or sector-specific effects of policy measures. Simulations using these models have enabled planners and policymakers to trace through the effects of proposed policy changes or external shocks as well as quantify their impacts. The paper argues that their importance as an aid to planning is well recognised.

The discussion paper compares the Error Correction Model and Ordinary Least Square.

Who are opposed to free trade in the Philippines?

26 Feb 2016 10:38:11 GMT

In a democratic country, economic policies succeed or fail depending on the political support they receive. Open trade policies that were initiated and accepted years ago can be reversed in accordance with the government's free trade conviction and popular pressure. However, popular pressure for or against open trade is affected by other factors.

This paper attempts to link these factors with individual preferences toward either more protectionism or greater trade liberalization. Using ordered logit estimation of thousands of survey data, the paper finds that gender, economic class, and urban population negatively correlate with pro-trade attitudes in the Philippines.

It also notes that the effect of some of the demographic variables on protectionist sentiment is markedly different from their effects among more developed Western nations.

[adapted from source]

Making waves: media’s potential for girls in the Global South

15 Feb 2016 06:35:47 GMT

Doubly marginalised by both gender and age, there are an estimated 600 million adolescent girls in the world, many of whom live a bleak existence. For these girls, exclusion from basic public services, lack of autonomy, and vulnerability to violence are real and persistent risks. Yet slowly their voices are becoming heard, with the international development community paying closer attention to their plight over the last two decades. Despite this focus, the role of the media and its interplay with the creation and maintenance of gender roles is still not adequately understood. Drawing on expert interviews as well as insights from the media and development literature, this policy briefing produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation seeks to fill this knowledge gap. The authors argue that the media is a key influence in girls lives, since it can either be harmful or positive to girls’ interests. Specifically, media can influence girls’ aspirations and behaviours around their health and livelihoods, open the door to greater participation in society and ensure that girls’ issues move higher up the public agenda The policy brief is comprised of five parts, beginning with an introduction describing the high level of attention now paid to girls in international development circles. Part two discusses the limited consideration given to the role of media within that international development discourse, particularly in the Global South. Part three explores the potential positive ways in which the media can shape girls’ prospects in the Global South, including through the participation and amplification of girls’ voices. Part four then expands on girls representation, access and control over media, including girls media literacy, the issue of male domination in the sector, and the role of media priorities, advertising and regulation in making girls more visible. Finally, part five of the policy briefing concludes with a number of observations and suggestions for donor strategies and the direction of the girl agenda, before interviews are presented by way of an appendix: * Focus on girls: When investing in media interventions, donors should carefully examine whether programmes designed to influence girls truly prioritise girls as the intended audience. There is a risk that desires to cater for wider audiences can undermine girls needs. *Generate more evidence: in addition to funding programmes, effort should be made to gather more evidence on how media affects girls’ lives in the Global South. Recent research by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) highlighted a number of knowledge gaps regarding the impact of different levels of exposure to media programming, and the efficacy of different types of media approaches. Furthermore, few evaluations have directly included girls.  * Broaden the scope: there is a striking focus in girl-directed media on reproductive rights, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. While positive in themselves, girls needs are broader than this, and issues such as economic empowerment and ci[...]

A cluster randomized-controlled trial of a community mobilization intervention to change gender norms and reduce HIV risk in rural South Africa - Sonke Gender Justice

09 Feb 2016 10:54:21 GMT

This paper describes the intervention design and implementation and presents the baseline findings of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of a two-year, theory-based community-mobilisation intervention that aimed to change gender norms and reduce HIV risk in rural Mpumalanga province, South Africa. It is among the first community approach RCTs to evaluate a gender transformative intervention, which should increase the potential for impact in desired outcomes and be useful for future scale-up if proven effective.  

Training toolkit: the monitoring and evaluation for information literacy training initiatives in Africa: a journey approach

14 Jan 2016 02:07:24 GMT

Information literacy is the ability to acquire information, to interpret it and to treat it in an intelligent and critical manner. This toolkit isaimed at those who design and/or run information literacy training. The toolkit refers to measuring the competencies (knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and behaviours) of information literate individuals. It discusses the reasoning behind measuring indicators in these areas and the difficulties of measuring – and offers tools, intended to complement those that already exist, to help in this measuring.

Directory of research on ageing in Africa 2004-2015

12 Jan 2016 04:36:45 GMT

The number of older persons in Africa is growing rapidly: between 2015 and 2030 the number of people aged 60 years or over in the region is projected to increase by more than 63 per cent. Accordingly, the situation of older persons in Africa, in particular with respect to their well being, is a matter of growing concern among researchers and policymakers alike.

This report provides an extensive directory of research on ageing in Africa covering the period 2004-2015. The Directory aims to profile, promote and encourage research into the health and needs of people aged 50 years or over in Africa, and to enable the use of evidence for policy. Such evidence is essential to enable countries undergoing rapid demographic and epidemiological transitions to develop appropriate policy responses and to monitor the implementation and impact of those policies.

The Directory includes descriptions of research activities submitted by primary investigators, with minimal editing. The submissions were summarized according to how the research results addressed the
policy directions of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), and the research methods that have been applied. Taken as a whole, the Directory demonstrates the growing body of rigorous and in-depth research into ageing across Africa. While not all research on ageing in Africa has been included here, a review of the updated Directory indicates that research has been less active in some countries, and that some high-priority areas of research remain under-investigated. The process of creating the Directory revealed the difficulty of identifying research on ageing in Africa through searches of high-impact peer reviewed journals or standard bibliographic search engines. Much of the published research evidence on ageing in Africa presented in this Directory was identified through detailed internet searches or through the direct contributions of research collaborators.

Rapid Assessment Method for Older People RAM-OP: the manual

26 Nov 2015 01:34:39 GMT

Older people (generally defined as people aged sixty years and older) are a vulnerable group for malnutrition in humanitarian and developmental contexts. Due to their age they have specific nutritional needs, such as easily digestible and palatable food adapted to those with chewing problems, which is dense in nutrients. In famine and displacement situations where populations are dependent on food distributions, older people often find the general ration inappropriate to their tastes and needs, have difficulties accessing the distributions, or have difficulties transporting rations home.

Despite these potential vulnerabilities in humanitarian situations, older people are rarely identified as a group in need of specific nutritional or food assistance. Surveys and assessments almost always focus on children, and sometimes on pregnant and lactating women. Humanitarian workers argue that assessing the nutritional status and needs of older people is both costly and complicated. As a consequence, the nutritional status and needs of older people in crisis go unidentified and unaddressed.

This training manual gives guidance on the Rapid Assessment Method for Older People (RAM-OP) that provides accurate and reliable estimates of the needs of older people. The method uses simple procedures, in a short time frame (i.e. about two weeks including training, data collection, data entry, and data analysis). It can be used in humanitarian situations as well as in development contexts. The modular structure of RAM-OP allows for adaptations, making it exhaustive or limited to essential indicators according to the immediate needs.

Finding Frames: New ways to engage the UK public in global poverty

18 Nov 2015 03:53:36 GMT

This report is the product of a six-month study which aimed to explore the potential for frames theory to be used as a practical tool to re-engage the UK public in global poverty. It suggests new ways forward for engaging the public in environmental issues and actions.

The report argues that, in terms of how the UK public understands and engages with global poverty, it can be said they are stuck in roughly the same place as they were in 1985. The most widespread model for public engagement has been labelled as the 'Live Aid Legacy', which casts the UK public in the role of 'dominant giver', and Southern publics in the role of 'grateful receiver'. In this model, the causes of poverty are internal to poor countries, and nothing to do with global politics.

Designing a social and behavior change communication strategy

16 Oct 2015 09:26:51 GMT

The planning steps included in this implementation kit provide guidance on how to develop a communication strategy for social and behaviour change communication (SBCC). The steps and tools are designed to help program managers, communication specialists and relevant stakeholders prepare and plan for effective SBCC initiatives through a comprehensive approach that responds to audience needs and the context of the challenge(s) to be addressed, uses a memorable identity and theme for all messages and activities, and outlines plans for implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

This implementation kit (I-Kit) is one of series of kits on SBCC implementation for the field of communication, with a focus on: 

  • changing or positively influencing social norms in support of long-term, sustainable behaviour change at the population level
  • fostering long-term, normative shifts in behaviour in support of increasing the practice of healthy behaviours
  • improving health services provider-client interactions 
  • strengthening community responses to issues
  • influencing decision-makers and family and peer networks
  • increasing demand for health services and products
  • increasing correct use of health services and products
  • influencing policy
  • encouraging an increased capacity for local planning and implementation of health improvement efforts


A Review of Strategic Foresight in International Development

08 Sep 2015 04:09:07 GMT

The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the published and grey literatures relating to the use of foresight-type approaches and techniques in policy-related work in international development. The review is guided by questions around who has used foresight approaches, the kinds of issues foresight approaches have been used to address, which techniques have been most commonly used, what evidence there is that the results of foresight initiatives have been used and/or have been useful, and the level of resources devoted to foresight exercises.

A House Full of Trap Doors: Identifying barriers to resilient drylands in the toolbox of pastoral development

23 Jul 2015 09:25:38 GMT

The theoretical framework for the scientific understanding of the drylands is almost the opposite today of what was mainstream in the 1970s, but the methodological infrastructure of analytical tools and practices is still catching up. As researchers and practitioners involved in dryland development depend on such infrastructure in order to operate, they are often in danger of silently reproducing the old theoretical horizon even when manifestly operating in the new one. This is the issue this paper sets out to discuss.

National climate change adaptation: emerging practices in monitoring and evaluation

30 Jun 2015 08:52:25 GMT

This report explores monitoring and evaluation practices across developed and developing countries with a focus on national policies and plans which coming from assessments of a country’s vulnerability to climate change.

It identifies four tools that countries can draw upon in their own assessment frameworks: 1) climate change risk and vulnerability assessments, 2) indicators to monitor progress on adaptation priorities, 3) project and programme evaluations to identify effective adaptation approaches, and 4) national audits and climate expenditure reviews.

The report also examines how development co-operation providers can support partner countries in their efforts to monitor and evaluate adaptation. It argues that the appropriate mix of tools to monitor and evaluate national climate-change adaptation will to a large extent be determined by data availability, monitoring and evaluation capacity, and the ability to bring together the producers and the users of relevant climate information.

[Adapted from source]

Good practice study on principles for indicator development, selection, and use in climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation

30 Jun 2015 08:34:46 GMT

This study identifies and addresses key challenges concerning monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for climate change adaptation (CCA).

It documents good practices and good practice principles on the development, selection, and use of indicators used in the M&E of adaptation interventions. The study also looks at the steps and contexts M&E personnel should consider when formulating, selecting, adjusting, and/or using indicators. The study also identifies common themes in the literature and gaps in data – including the role of learning in an adaptation M&E system and the identification of linkages (or lack thereof) between indicators and policy formulation and decisions.

It argues that CA M&E has a central role to play in shaping the future of adaptation planning, activities, and policy and that the lessons can help orient the strategic direction of adaptation funding/development assistance, and can be integrated into national action plans and shared directly with beneficiaries.

This report was prepared by Climate-Eval, a community of practice hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Independent Evaluation Office.

[Adapted from source]

Protection Manual for LGBTI Defenders

15 May 2015 03:23:57 GMT

Protection International has been working in the protection of human rights defenders for some years. Through its work with LGBTI defenders in Nepal and confirmed by other defenders around the globe it began to identify common issues that affected LGBTI communities and those that defend them. The manual is a result of the input of many people. It is designed to be practical, it is designed to challenge, to generate a debate within organisations and perhaps more ambitiously within broader intersecting social movements.

Open Access Explained

11 May 2015 03:27:21 GMT

This document intends to give scientists, who conduct research under the framework of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems, a snapshot on the benefits of using Open Access mechanisms to publish their research outputs and results. It answers the most common questions that authors usually have on this topic and gives some easy steps to be taken to ensure that research outputs are Open Access published.

Innovation spaces: transforming humanitarian practice in the United Nations

07 May 2015 02:33:13 GMT

Since 2009 there has been a growing interest in defining and operationalising innovation for use in the humanitarian context. The increase in scale of new crises, the urbanisation of many displaced populations, and stretched financing for humanitarian assistance are forcing international aid agencies to think and act in new ways. Along with other international humanitarian actors, several United Nations (UN) bodies are engaging with new tools and practices to bring innovation to the forefront of their work. Within these agencies, there has been a growing movement to establish ‘innovation spaces’ or ‘innovation labs’. These labs take different forms – some virtual, others physical – and each is created with its own motivations unique to the context in which it operates. Despite the variation, there is a growing trend in the UN system, and more broadly in the international humanitarian community, to create labs as a way to engage in and facilitate innovation practice.

This paper seeks to understand the way in which innovation labs across several UN agencies are being used to foster new ways of operating within the UN’s bureaucratic structures. It asks three key questions: What form do innovation labs in UN agencies take? What motivated their initiation? What are their aims and objectives? What impact have they had and how is the impact being measured? As innovation practice gains momentum, the paper reflects on the future of innovation spaces as a way to foster innovation within the UN system.

The paper conclude with six key recommendations:

  • to balance the dual innovation imperatives of organisational change and community support
  • to ensure that labs in the future do not remain siloed from their agencies
  • to view them in the short-term as a necessary ‘halfway house’ to experiment with new humanitarian solutions
  • to see labs as just one tool in the innovation toolbox, and to ensure that innovation labs are not treated as a panacea
  • to find creative ways to measure the impact of innovation lab activities
  • to recognise the need for labs to maintain flexible funding sources which allow them to continue to experiment outside the box