This project takes a broad view of Capacity Building, within the general philosophy of GEF, where Capacity Building is seen as an essential means to the greater goal of sustainable conservation of biodiversity. The Project has two Immediate Objectives under the Broad Goal of: “To reduce the rate of loss of forest and wetland biodiversity in specific cross-border sites of national and global significance”

Under this goal there are two Immediate Objectives or purposes:

A: “To establish an environment around the cross-border sites where local agencies and communities can promote sustainable use of  

B: “To bring into balance the demand and supply of natural resource products including biodiversity at the cross-border sites”.

The first Objective is largely aimed at building capacity within the whole environment in which the conservation of biodiversity takes place. Three outputs address capacity. Two are aimed at capital “I” Institutions, ie within government resource management agencies (A1); and within local communities (A2). One is aimed at small “i” institutions of policy and law within the overall-enabling environment. This is A3 that reads: “An enabling environment created with compatible and effective policy and legislative frameworks”.

§         A3.1 To clarify resource management mandates and improve coordination among relevant agencies, NGOs and donors.

§         A3.2 To analyse the policy environment affecting biodiversity, to ensure compatibility and effectiveness in country and region.

§         A3.3 To seek to modify policy issues where appropriate, so as to enhance biodiversity conservation.


The project follows the broad philosophy of capacity building as described by UNDP, linking capacity to the development of strong institutions, see box 1 below:


 Box 1. Institutional Development and Capacity Building


Institutional development or capacity building has been defined (UNDP) as the strengthening of sustainable indigenous capacity to manage economic change and growth. There are several potential different components:


·    Enhancing skills by training and education.

·    Strengthening organizational performance.

·    Reforming systems of coordination between organizations.

·    Increasing financial capabilities by more effective mobilization such as better pricing systems, more user fees, and stronger overall revenue generation and use. Better planning, budgeting and expenditure control.

·    Nurturing societal supports, eg by encouraging user groups, political reforms with greater transparency and accountability.

·    Cultivating new norms and values-for example: eg condemnation of corruption, incentives for managers using participatory styles, etc.

·    Changing the incentive structure for individuals and for organizations to induce behaviour that is in greater harmony with development needs.


Skill enhancement includes general education, on the-job training, and professional learning of skills such as policy analysis, and information technology. Organizational strengthening covers institutional development, reinforcing the capacity of an organization to use money and staff more effectively. Procedural improvement refers to functional changes or system reforms, eg introduction of budgeting arrangements, or the replacement of controls over public enterprises, etc.



Superimposed on this UNDP philosophy, are the project’s own operating principles, many of which are set out in the project Inception Report. The first sets the whole scene for project implementation, see Box 2:



Box 2. Project Implementation Principles Affecting Capacity Building.


1)       To give leadership to government and national institutions in terms of planning and implementing project activity. This is essential for ensuring the sustainability of inputs through this project.


2)     In terms of project implementation it is necessary that management :

a) Involves district & sub-district agencies, organisations and other bodies, in both planning and implementing project activity.

b) Considers how inputs that are external to the District (eg consultants and contracted institutions) can work with Districts, and leave behind enhanced capabilities in the Districts.


3)     In terms of project implementation it is necessary that management :

a)  Involves District Authorities and Community Organisations in Project Processes

b) Involves Government at national level in policy dialogue

c) Involves other donor programmes around this project site in supportive activity.

d) Seeks community participation in an informed and planned manner, based on trust.


4)     In terms of project implementation it is necessary that management :

a) Works together with other programmes and projects around the project sites.

b) Seeks synergies in joint approaches, not in competition with others.

c) Develops specific working relationships with project partnerships.

 d) Seeks to use expertise from other initiatives and share our expertise where beneficial.



Implementation at District “Site” Level.

The project lives up to these ideals. The project does not implement – it facilitates local institutions to implement (see other notes on District Teams, and Partnership Processes). The project has one professional employee in each District site – The Field Project Officer (FPO). The FPO works with the District Team at District level and with Village Communities through strengthened Village Environment Communities 


CB at District level takes many forms. These include:

Training          A Needs Assessment has been completed, training has started, eg in Alternative Incomes.

Infrastructure            Support has gone to providing simple equipment – cycles, boots, uniforms, nursery inputs.

Mandates            Clarifying often vague and sometimes conflicting mandates has been a major process.

Empowerment This will be greatly increased through the real start of Joint Forest Management activity.

Transparency  The project has raised concern and is seeking action over the illegal timber involvement of some district partners.

Linkages          Building functional bridges between partners – both horizontally between sectors and vertically to sub-district levels and communities.

Process            Developing rules for conservation through byelaws, village guidelines, awareness etc.


The most important area is in strengthening institutions at community level. An example here comes from a cross-border site :  Minziro Bukoba in Tanznia and Sango Bay Rakai , where the Village level Environment Committees have been strengthened, given incentives and have started a programme of work involving forest patrolling, providing oversight for bee-keeping initiatives etc. The Committees meet in a cross border consultative forum.

Implementation at National Level. (there are many examples in training, mandates, linkages, experience).


Examples are in the linkages from ICIPE (in Nirobi) to the Government Bee-Keeping Research facility in Arusha and from there too most of the project sites in Tanzania (see separate note on Beekeeping).


The project has undertaken a detailed review of mandates affecting the conservation of biodiversity in Tanzania. This has shown the existence of considerable lack of clarity, overlap and gaps in institutional mandates. These problems exist within vertical hierarchical processes (eg Regions to Districts to Wards to Villages) and in horizontal integration - eg the role of Wildlife staff in forests, overlaps between district and catchment staff etc. At village level similar problems exist eg between forest and environment committees. The review suggested how these could be overcome.


Activities here consist of building partnerships between government levels and NGO processes.


Implementation at Regional Level (see separate note on regional issues)

Policy and Economic Policy Analysis

This was seen as a major set of issues within project formulation. Some 25% of regional money goes into looking at the policy implications on conservation, including economic policy through incentives and perverse incentives. Policy is treated broadly - Capital P Policy is that formally at national level. Small p policy consists of legislation, dictates, pronouncements, guidelines and bye-laws, funding regimes and prioritisations. These can be at village, district national or indeed regional level.

Activities here involve government partners at all stages, looking at training and developing real case examples at our sites.



The project sees itself as an ICDP (see the Inception Report), and is working to build linkages between developmental and conservation components in all countries. Training in the practicalities and awareness of ICDP processes have been identified as major constraints. At regional level, the project with partners - CARE and WWF are exploring the development of longer-term training initiatives for such training.  

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