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MRV across multi-level governance: national, provincial & municipal institutions in South Africa

This case study focuses on how sub-national level government in South Africa are engaging with monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of climate projects. Interviews and stakeholder consultations have provided insight into some of the existing reporting practices and highlighted some of the learnings and experiences from local and provincial government.

This study suggests that there are already many MRV-related activities underway that can inform the national process, and also demonstrated that there is a willingness of sub-national institutions to engage with the development of the national monitoring and evaluation system. However, with 9 provinces, 8 metros, 44 districts and 278 local governments, it is inevitable that the capacity to undertake MRV of climate projects varies significantly from larger metropolitan municipalities to smaller municipalities. The system must build on existing reporting structures and not introduce onerous requirements. It should use simple reporting principles with clear guidelines. The study suggests identifying the essential elements that require reporting, rather than immediately aiming for the highest accuracy and quality of data. For example, one local workshop participant noted, “it does not have to be perfect from the word go but must be good enough – avoiding a situation where we have to invest in a polished system before it is useful. The system should be iterative”. Any national MRV system has to take cognisance of these issues whilst also remembering that for local government in South Africa, priorities lie with providing basic service delivery.