Community-based Monitoring: Feeding Back to KAZA TFCA Communities

Rorly Sherwen's picture
22 February 2024

The livelihood monitoring subgroup of the KAZA Impact Monitoring working group (KIM WG) and teams are in the process of analysing and feeding back to the communities, data which was collected using the integrated livelihoods monitoring toolkit. 

In 2022/23, more than 2.500 Households in the five KAZA countries – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe countries were engaged in the participatory KAZA livelihood monitoring. Twenty-two (22) communities participated in more than 150 Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) sessions which comprised at least 15 people included women, youth, decision makers, community leaders and government representatives.

This is the first time that livelihood baselines have been established in KAZA, using standardised monitoring tools.  This data will be a departure point for monitoring livelihood trends, comparing outcomes across localities, and informing adaptive policy and strategy development to improve people’s lives while safeguarding biodiversity and wildlife corridors.

It all started in 2020 when the team developed and refined a livelihood monitoring toolkit with funding from BMZ via WWF Germany.  The tools were then validated in a handful of localities in Zimbabwe and Zambia, where local resource users were consulted about their monitoring preferences.

The integrated livelihoods monitoring toolkit, consists of a questionnaire survey and participatory methods, based on the sustainable livelihood concept.  This monitoring method is the first standardised livelihood/socio economic monitoring at landscape level for the KAZA TFCA and will provide comparative data for communities in the five KAZA countries.

Through iterative implementation, analysis, reflection, learning and refinement, the toolkit evolved to a point where it could be implemented across all these countries.

Early analysis, using multiple evidences, suggests that livelihood (and other) monitoring programmes that last beyond the lifespan of donor-funded projects stand on 6 principles: 1) enthusiastic adoption by grassroots community-based organizations; 2) co-design, to ensure relevance to local resource users, authorities and policy makers; 3)awareness and support of local and district authorities; 4) endorsement by an umbrella institution; 5) on-going capacity development and training; 6) constant learning, reflection and adaptation.

The data and analysis, already made available to participating community structures in the form of graphs, images and posters, will ultimately be accessible through an open access online Monitoring system through the website. We hope that more coordinated implementation across KAZA by different organizations will reduce research fatigue, save costs, and provide standardised data collected by the same methodology across the TFCA and empower communities on their development path.

More information is available from Brit Reichelt-Zolho of WWF Germany (Brit.Reichelt-Zolho[at]wwf[dot]de) or Prof. Christo Fabricius, CARMa-Afrika, Nelson Mandela University (christoF[at][dot]za).