How Evaluation Can Help Africa Tackle Pressing climate change Challenges

YAOUNDE, March 06, 2014: Invited to brainstorm on the challenges and prospects of climate change evaluation in Africa, three seasoned panelists with many years of evaluation experience in Africa converged on the fact that evaluation shall be immensely helpful in providing policy makers at local, national and international level with vital evidence required to design and implement policies that will further the sustainable livelihoods of poor communities across Africa in the decades to come.

Pointing to the need for payment of environmental services to local communities, the Director of the Global Environment Facility Independent Evaluation Office, Rob D. van den Berg said that, it will be important that systematic evaluations can point to the credible data which can help stakeholders design and implement better and effective benefits sharing and payment of environmental services such as carbon trade. The panel, one of the five sessions at this year’s 7th international conference of the African Evaluation Association under the Climate Change and Environment Strand was also attended by the Deputy Director of the Operations Evaluation (OPEV) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the President of the Cameroon Development Evaluation Association (CADEA) and chaired by Mr Justin Nantchou, the GEF Operational Focal Point in Cameroon.

With less than a year until the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the state of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it shall be crucial for development and climate change planning to be based on evidence and credible data. But this is likely not to be the case in the area of climate change where there remains a major uncertainty and unpredictability about the nature of future climate effects. This challenge, the Director of the GEF IEO said can be partly solved with evaluation.

Specifically on the African continent, the AFDB has an action plan to tackle climate change. This plan includes a tracking tool of climate mitigation and adaptation.

Also today at the AfrEA conference in Yaoundé, three young evaluators from Cameroon, Senegal and Indonesia presented their evaluation on measuring climate change adaptation and resilience. We will bring you those presentations as well as videos of these presenters soon. The AfrEA conference ends of Friday, March 07 with focus on the Climate-Eval Community of Practice. The meeting which takes place in the Ntem hall is expected to draw mostly African evaluations working on climate change and natural resources management and development to work together to improve learning and knowledge sharing in the area of climate change evaluation.

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