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Building Local Capacity to Manage African Smallholder Carbon Projects

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Shames, Seth; Bernier, Quinn; Masiga, Moses; Buck, Louise
Conference: Commoners and the Changing Commons: Livelihoods, Environmental Security, and Shared Knowledge, the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Mt. Fuji, Japan
Conf. Date: June 3-7
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8967
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Africa
Subject(s): agricultural development
capacity building
Abstract: "This paper describes an action research process undertaken with four African agricultural carbon projects - CARE's Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change Initiative in Western Kenya; World Vision's Assisted Natural Regeneration Project in Humbo, Ethiopia; Vi Agroforestry's Western Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project; and ECOTRUST's Trees for Global Benefits in Uganda - to explore their institutional changes as project managers and communities work to build local capacity for project management. It describes the process by which researchers and project managers collaboratively developed a research methodology for this project, as well as the content of the methodology. Also, based on the first round of data collection it reflects on the successes and challenges of the research methodology and presents the areas of potential action that each of the projects identified through the research process. The methodology was generally successful in gathering the desired data, although modifications could be made in the future to more effectively target questions to interviewees and possibly include additional stakeholder groups, such as government agents and other project service providers. Actions identified varied depending on the projects' stage of development, which may make cross-project analysis difficult. Due to the project managers' participation in the development of the methodology, these managers are well-placed to incorporate these survey tools into their normal monitoring and evaluation activities and to continue this iterative process after the research funds end. The four projects identified a variety of actions that they can take to improve local capacity for project management. Some of these include developing new partnerships with locally-based institutions, supporting cooperation among farmer groups, improving sustainable land management trainings, strengthening communication between community group officers and general members, ensuring that benefits can be accessed by poor farmers and women, clarifying roles within the project structure, overcoming resource constraints to implement practices, strengthening collective action for enterprise development and building local capacity for carbon monitoring and management of the carbon bonus."

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