Project k - knowledge for action
From June 2015 to December 2018, the Consortium of African Funds for the Environment (CAFÉ) implemented a three-year joint project with the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC).
The name of the project was Project K—Knowledge for Action. It was supported by three donors namely the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), Mava Foundation, and the Global Environmental Fund (GEF). The project was managed by Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO).
Project K was a CAFÉ-RedLAC joint project aimed at enhancing global conservation through peer-to-peer exchanges and knowledge management among members of the two networks.
Particularly, the project was aimed to enhance Environmental Funds’ portfolio of innovation, diversify sources of funding to address conservation challenges, and promote knowledge and best practices transfer through peer-to-peer learning and online tools.
These four components were prioritised under the project:
- Component 1: Innovation Seed Fund to support new EFs’ financing mechanisms
- Component 2: Capacity-building, peer-to-peer mentoring and exchange knowledge mechanism
- Component 3: Communication and databases
- Component 4: Institutional capacity-building for RedLAC and CAFÉ networks and their enhanced sustainability
Component 1: Innovation Seed Fund to support new EF financing mechanisms
This fund was specially designed to support new ways of increasing and diversifying conservation programme finance streams (park bonds, PES, REDD+, taxes, etc.) for the two networks. The Seed Fund supported ten pre-viability studies of innovative financing mechanisms and five of them were selected for implementation.
Three CAFÉ members benefitted from this component. These were Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT—Malawi), BIOFUND (Mozambique), and Fondation Tri-national de la Sangha (FTNS—Cameroun).
MMCT and FTNS each benefitted a total of 200,000 USD. MMCT focused on Payments for Environmental Services (PES) funds-flow scheme while FTNS focused on Carbon Fund to Reduce Deforestation and Improve Living Conditions of populations in the Sangha Tri-National forest complex. BIOFUND benefitted a total of 100,000 USD and focused on Biodiversity Offset Services.
Component 2: Capacity-building, peer-to-peer mentoring and exchange knowledge mechanism
This was an interactive peer-to-peer learning programme for EFs which was developed based on their individual needs and best practices. There were thematic training workshops and e-learning activities in the overall capacity building strategy.
From CAFÉ, four member funds benefitted from the mentorship programme. The table below summarises specific details of the initiative.
Malawi Environmental Endowment Trust (Malawi)
Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (Malawi)
Fondo Accion (Colombia)
Promotion of renewable energy initiatives
The West African Savannah Foundation (Benin)
Fondation Tri-National de la Sangha (Cameroun)
Promotion of the regionalisation of FSOA
BioGuine Foundation (Guine Bissau)
Development and implementation of financial strategies of in BioGuine
2. Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group and Strategy
The M&E Group for the two networks had its membership from five CAFÉ members and six RedLAC members who were all relevant personnel responsible for M&E in their respective organisations. The aim of the group was to answer how EFs, as financial inter-mediators, can ensure that conservation results have been achieved as a consequence of their investments.
Primarily, the group was there to support impact measurement of the Environmental Funds (EFs) in biodiversity work at institutional level.
The exercise was led by a consultant (Angela Cordielo, from Brazil) whose particular aim was to develop a Monitoring and Evaluation Strategic Plan with focus on biodiversity impact of the environmental funds – institutional level. The M&E Plan provides the EFs with tools and models to measure impact of their initiatives on biodiversity.
Briefly, this initiative yielded the following deliverables:
- Deliverable 1: Diagnostic – Expected impact on biodiversity and in-use tools
- Deliverable 2: Development of an M&E Strategic Plan for the environmental funds – focusing on biodiversity impact
- Deliverable 3: Application of the M&E plans in two pilots – focusing measurement of impact on biodiversity
Component 3: Communication and databases
This was aimed at strengthening the networks and transfer of best practices between them and among their member funds.
Under this component, Project K website was developed. The website was simply an Environmental Funds (EFs) knowledge platform for the two networks.
Its hosting was linked to the website of RedLAC. Key documents on the website were restricted to CAFÉ and RedLAC members only.
Component 4: Institutional capacity-building for the RedLAC and CAFÉ networks and their enhanced sustainability
At least 10 EFs from each network (RedLAC and CAFÉ) have been receiving financial support to attend the General Assemblies of the other network and exchange knowledge. CAFÉ network received operational support and both networks drew up new long-term strategies including their strategic plans.
a) Networks Study Updating
This was a consultancy aimed at updating the baseline study (new round for indicators application) for the two networks, as part of the developed monitoring plan. Activities included in the exercise were in form of six products as follows:
- Product 1: preparing a work plan with its methodology
- Product 2: updating the list of indicators and methods
- Product 3: data collection
- Product 4: consolidation and analysis
- Product 5: review of the monitoring plan and the legacy of the study
- Product 6: final report
The consultancy was successfully done by Organisation Development Support (ODS) from Brussels, Belgium.
b) Strategic Plan
Out of this component, CAFÉ Strategic Plan was developed in 2018. It’s a five-year plan covering 2019-2023 period. It was developed by a consultant, Phillipe Taieb.
The Plan has the following three broad strategic objectives to be accomplished:
- Strengthen the institution for improved governance and service delivery to members
- Increase networking and partnerships to improve effectiveness and visibility
- Ensure financial sustainability
c) Financial Sustainability Working Group and Products
The goal of this initiative was to develop a Financial Strategy for CAFÉ and RedLAC for long-term sustainability.
Five products were realised towards the achievement of this goal.
- Product 1: Work Plan for developing the Financial Strategy
- Product 2: The Diagnostic
- Product 3: Development of financial studies
- Product 4: Review of the financial management strategies
- Product 5: Developing a Marketing Plan to raise funds
The consultancy was successfully done by Cecilia Embree of AtmosClear Canada Inc., from Canada.