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Monitoring and evaluating community-based adaptation

Bangladesh lies in the delta of one such major river system, the Ganges-Brahmaputra. With its dense, largely poor population living in both urban and rural areas, the country is highly vulnerable to the potentially adverse impacts of human-induced climate change. International (and national) NGOs across the developing world have already begun working on Community Based Adaptation (CBA); a bottom-up approach whereby a community is positioned as the main entity to implement adaptation and is considered to be the subject of projects including competence development and technology transfer to improve adaptive capability.

This approach intends to utilise indigenous knowledge and practices to develop a climate adaptive community. One of the critical problems with assessing CBA activities is the lack of suitable Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems.

CDKN aimed to address the issue through this project.

The Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Community Based Adaptation (PM+E4CBA) project intended to fill this gap by developing such a tool. The system was tested out by a partnership including nine major International NGOs (INGOs) operating in Bangladesh under the ARCAB (Action-Research on Community Adaptation in Bangladesh) consortium. These INGOs operate in over 100 developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, so the learning acquired tools developed by the project now have the potential to be used across the developing world.

Particularly, the project designed a Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) system for effective assessment of project interventions. Instead of having an interim and then final M&E report, carried out by outsiders, it directly involved the people themselves who are carrying out the project activities, to monitor and evaluate the performance . This peer monitoring helped in developing a solid understanding about the local practices, cultures and strategies against climate change in order to ground local adaptation on a scientific basis.

Photo credit: Waterdotorg. 

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