EC Forests Governance Mid-term Project Evaluation - Consultancy

Application deadline: 
Friday, 12. March 2021 - 23:45

Established in 1922, BirdLife International is the world’s largest conservation partnership, with national partners in 120 countries worldwide. The Malaysian Nature Society (Malaysia), Burung Indonesia (Indonesia), Haribon Foundation (the Philippines) and Tenkile Conservation Alliance (Papua New Guinea) are national civil society organisations with experience in research, education, conservation and policy advocacy. These five conservation organisations have partnered with two academic institutions – the University of Wolverhampton (UK) Centre for International Development Training (CIDT) and the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) – to implement this project as an integrated capacity building programme tailored to the distinctive national circumstances of the participating countries.
 
The national partners involved in the action have well-established relationships with stakeholders in the forest and land use sectors, including national, provincial and local authorities, timber producers, community-based organisations and forest-dependent communities. The activities are closely aligned with national policy priorities and informed by consultation and collaboration with more than sixty (60) local and indigenous communities in the four countries.
 
The action complements and supports existing FLEGT and REDD+ initiatives in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines through targeted interventions in forest monitoring, management, planning and policy, including:
 
• delivering training on forest governance, management and policy, including FLEGT and REDD+;
• implementing community-based monitoring programmes at priority sites covering 1.5 million hectares;
• supporting forest conservation, forest restoration and sustainable livelihoods at priority sites;
• strengthening community networks to facilitate information exchange and inform policy processes;
• engaging in land use planning and forest policy processes at local, provincial and national level;
• promoting cross-border cooperation through exchange visits and a regional forest governance forum.
 
These activities are also complemented by tailored organisational development support for local, provincial and national non-state actors, including training and advice on financial management, fundraising, strategic planning and organisational governance.
 
In the four target countries, government efforts to prevent illegal and unsustainable logging are hindered by limited monitoring and enforcement capacity, corruption and a lack of accountability and political will. Participation by non-state actors in forest management and policy processes is constrained by a lack of expertise, experience and political influence. The training and technical assistance delivered through this action provides non-state actors with the knowledge and skills needed to establish forest monitoring programmes and more effectively participate in forest management and land use planning processes. Community-based monitoring programmes will contribute to law enforcement efforts and provide an evidence base for informed participation in policy processes. By establishing and strengthening community networks, the action promotes information sharing and empowers non-state actors to advocate collectively on issues of common concern.
 
The implementation period is five years, 2017-2022 (January), with a focus on building capacity for long-term, effective engagement in forest management and policy processes. The action places a strong emphasis on learning from experience, with hands-on training supplemented by opportunities to exchange lessons learnt at local, provincial, national and regional level.
 
Consistent with the priorities set out in the call for proposals, the action builds capacity of non-state actors to conduct forest monitoring and participate in forest policy processes. The project places a strong emphasis on engagement with local communities and indigenous peoples, and will result in transfer of capacities and resources to local actors, through training, advice, funding and organisational development support.
 
The proposal addresses both REDD+ and FLEGT (with a focus on VPA execution in Malaysia and VPA implementation in Indonesia), and allocates funds between countries in a balanced manner. The activities proposed vary between countries, reflecting variation in national circumstances, but combine to present coherent activity clusters with complementary outputs and results.
 
Due to the significant variation in the national circumstances of each country, there are a number of activities only delivered in selected countries. The selection of activities was informed by national partners’ assessment of key challenges and opportunities at the local, provincial and national level, taking into account their respective roles, capacities, organisational priorities and existing relationships. 
 
The activities address four expected results
• Increased organisational and operational capacity
• Improved transparency, access to information and accountability
• Viable, constructive and sustainable networks of non-state actors
• Effective participation of non-state actors in national forest policy
 
The outcomes that will be achieved through the outputs and activities of the action are:
• Increased capacity of local, provincial and national non-state actors to monitor forest resource use, forest condition and forest carbon stocks.
• Increased transparency, access to information and accountability in relation to the conservation and management of forests, including Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA).
• Viable, constructive, and sustainable networks of well-informed non-state actors, including cross-border cooperation and information exchanges.
• Informed, effective participation of non-state actors in national and provincial forest policy processes, including FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ ERP.
 
The European Commission fielded a Results Oriented Monitoring (ROM) mission for this project in the first quarter of 2019 and concluded that the project definitely responds to the real needs of the end beneficiaries. The mid-term evaluation was planned in the first quarter of 2020 but BirdLife International had to postpone the mission due to COVID-19 pandemic and strict lockdown for several months across the project countries and globally. Since the movement of people is still restricted in the project countries for the foreseen future, the proposed mid-term evaluation will be conducted taking into account those restrictions