Articles

Approach


Activities have been grouped and described under eight work packages (WP). These consist of six research WPs (WP2-7) complemented with a work package on project management (WP1) and another one on capacity building, dissemination and end-user involvement (WP8). In addition, several cross-cutting processes have been considered throughout all WP's, as shown on the work package flow chart given below. 

Overview of work packages

Overview of work packages


WP1 has dealt with project management and coordination. It included reporting to the European Commission, facilitation of internal and external communication, performance of quality control checks on project outputs and management of the project budget. Additionally, potential conflicts have been moderated and cultural and gender issues assessed.  


WP2 has carried out a multi-disciplinary assessment of the context for the case studies across sectors, scales and disciplines. For those disciplines where no or insufficient information was available, a rapid assessment has been done at the case study level based on a range of well-developed and tested tools for rapid assessment such as those developed by ICRAF and IWMI for multi-functional landscapes, many of which are community-based. This has resulted in an analysis of opportunities and constraints for landscape functioning, livelihood and culture and institutional arrangements. The latter includes the reason behind the often insufficient enforcement and implementation of environmental policies at the meso-scale. For this purpose, a participatory review has been done of the prevailing policies and action plans such as local development plans, National Adaptation Programs for Action (NAPA), food security strategies, nature conservation plans, and water resources management plans, etc. Finally, WP2 has assessed the potential of novel, though internationally wide accepted concepts for operational management, including "ecosystem goods and services" and "vulnerability and adaptation". 


Based on these priorities, WP 3, 4 and 5 have looked into specific groups of tools. WP3 into strategies for restoration and adaptation of ecosystem goods and services, WP4 on economic tools and (non-monetary) incentives to do so while WP5 on tools for spatial planning and spatially-explicit impact assessment to implement the strategies for restoration and adaptation of WP3. Important instruments herewith are maps visualizing resources, conflicts and impacts. Maps are proven instruments to facilitate a stakeholder dialogue, to discuss conflicting issues and to inform decision-makers. Mapping efforts include ecosystem goods and services (WP2, 3, 5), livelihood mapping (WP5) and vulnerability mapping (WP6). 


WP6 has given specific attention to the assessment of vulnerability to global change and, in close cooperation with WP3, 4 and 5, to the development of operational strategies for adaptation and reduction of this vulnerability. Especially in Africa, climate change is only one (though a very important) aspect of global change. Given the large impact on livelihood, scenarios of other aspects of global change such as demographic growth, land use change and socio-economic development have been assessed, as well at the meso-scale. For this purpose, meso-scale scenarios have been developed based on a combination of community-based vulnerability assessment and downscaling of global change simulations (IPCC and SRES scenarios). Through close interaction with WP3, 4 and 5, the impacts of global change scenarios on landscape and livelihood have been assessed and considered as key elements for the identification of adaptation strategies and planning instruments.


Despite the different, though interlinked content, work packages WP3 to 6 have followed a similar implementation pathway. Firstly, a review of the available tools, strategies and processes has been made. In a next step, opportunities and challenges have been identified, as well as the requirements for effective implementation of strategies and tools. After matching the above, promising tools and strategies have been selected, adapted to the requirements for sub-national INRM and tested at the case study.


WP7 included multiple phases. In order to maximize the inter-comparison between case studies, in WP7, from the inception phase, guidance on the setup and harmonization of concrete case study work plans was provided without loosing the case study specific focus and associated flexibility. Experience to do so had been gained from two FP7 'twinning' projects in which the coordinator had a key involvement, namely WETwin and Twin2Go. In a next phase, WP7 developed the operational framework and concept of the toolbox, which was then applied and adapted to the case-study context in close cooperation with WP3-WP6. The operational framework then contributed to develop approaches to address issues of multi-level decision-making, uptake and ownership of tools and strategies, empowerment of sub-national authorities and better cooperation, exchange of information by authorities and communities. Furthermore, WP7 has developed methodologies to evaluate the operational performance of tools and strategies for natural resources management based on their suitability (fit-for-purpose), sustainability, cultural acceptance, impact on livelihood and landscape functioning and cost-effectiveness. In a final phase, WP7 has served as a synthesis WP and has contributed to compile the tools and strategies into the toolbox.


Finally, WP8 has focused on dissemination, capacity building and end-user involvement. It has applied the communication and dissemination methodologies developed in WP7. The main outcome aimed at was the empowerment of sub-national authorities through the adoption of new tools and strategies for natural resources management, multi-faceted capacity building, institutional development, strong stakeholder engagement and improved instruments for cooperation and communication between authorities across sectors and scales and communities, to be included in the short- to long-term work plans of both case study authorities and institutes as well as international platforms and institutes. 


Although the latter has been challenging, AFROMAISON has had an effective impact both at case study level and with international platforms and institutions, given the strong networks of the consortium at international, national, sub-national and local scale.