IP experts give accounts of their practical experiences ? they acquire a lot of knowledge through their daily work. The IP DIGEST provides a look into recent discussions on development policy.

Measuring Climate Change Perception in Rural Mozambique

Measuring Climate Change Perception in Rural Mozambique

  • A methodological approach to quantify social perception

    When talking about adaptation to climate change in rural areas, one great issue is how possible changes in climate are already being perceived by the local population. This is particularly important when working in regions where climate recordings over the last years are not available or not accurate. This IP-DIGEST article, written by our colleague Martin Becher, addresses this issue by proposing a methodology to generate quantitative data via qualitative interviews. By doing so, not only the perception of changes in climate could be recorded, but also how these changes have affected the water, agriculture and health in these areas. Taking one of our projects – a disaster risk management project referring to droughts in Mozambique – as an example, the article delineates which perceived changes have been recorded and which action to adapt to climate change has already been spontaneously applied by local people. In this way, we are able to identify the point of departure for future adaptation projects.

Food security in the context of the new BMZ concept

  • The development of rural areas and their contribution to food security

    This issue of our IP DIGEST is written by our colleague, Soo Mee Baumann, and is based on IP’s consulting experience in the area of rural development. With this we would like to highlight an aspect which has become increasingly important in international cooperation: the development of rural areas and their contribution to food security. The BMZ concept of the same name and corresponding reorientation of the BMZ was introduced at a conference in the fall of 2010. Moreover, the food crisis in 2008 and the renewed rise in commodity prices at the beginning of the year have led to more attention and funding in the areas of agriculture, development of rural areas and food security, both on the national and international level. Referring to one of our projects - a land distribution project in Cambodia – as an example, the article elaborates whether and how the distribution of land which is so far unused and idle can contribute to income generation and increased availability as well as improved access to food.

Risks Associated with Consultant´s Involvement in Legislative Processes

  • The consulting work within the framework of international cooperation

    Inadequate legislation is one of the main obstacles to solve environmental problems. However, getting involved in legislative processes can be very tricky for Consultants. The article is based on IP’s consulting experience in promoting natural resource protection. Herewith, we would like to highlight one aspect, which has become increasingly important in international cooperation: On the macro level, the Consultants are more and more involved in the support and technical advice for the improvement of legal frameworks. This often leaves Consultants and donor agencies in politically sensitive conflict areas. One example is a financial cooperation project for natural resource protection in Brazil where IP Consultants were involved in a process of drafting a new environmental state law with the participation of politicians, administrations and civil society. The author draws some general conclusions for the consulting work within the framework of international cooperation.

Transition Strategies

  • The context of Development Cooperation

    Our latest IP-DIGEST, written by our colleague Dipl.-Ing. Kathrin Zimmermann, gives an insight into the increasingly discussed use of so-called “transition strategies” in development cooperation. These strategies refer to the transition of external project management to local management of the jointly developed tools and activities. The aim is to guarantee the sustainability (and the sustainable use) of the project results beyond this transition phase. First and foremost, this is supposed to be achieved by focusing on a few essential topics and on the partner’s capacity building. We demonstrate the benefits and the modus operandi of this strategy by telling you more about one of our fields of work, the project “Management Information Systems” (MIS) in Thailand. We would like to use this newsletter to pass on the experience with this method gained in the MIS project to you and hope you will enjoy reading it.

Conflict Management in Urban Areas

  • Local community initiatives with voluntary peace workers

    The article by our colleague Anja Post is based on IP’s consulting experience in the field of conflict management. This article describes the conflict potential accompanying rapid urbanization that often leads to violence and crime and discusses the challenges which are to be faced. International development cooperation has developed strategies to support crime prevention and peace building. These strategies focus on capacity building of both government and civil society structures. From our experience we can make a contribution providing an example of conflict management in urban social hotspots in South Africa. The approach relies very much on supporting local community initiatives, involving government institutions - police, local government structures - and other stakeholders.

Putting Consumer Rights on the International Development Agenda

  • The Significance of Consumer Protection in Development Cooperation

    The article of our colleague Maren Geisler is based on IP’s consulting experience in strengthening civil societies. We herewith would like to highlight one aspect, which is only seldom reflected in the context of international cooperation: The promotion of consumer protection. The main emphasis is to promote consumer rights und improve ways and means to enforce these rights. We experience in these days of emerging market economies that consumers increasingly are victims of unfair and dishonest trade prac-tices from globally acting providers of goods and services. Chile gives an example how consumer protection can be improved even under these conditions.

Set the Institutions Right!

  • No Sustainable Growth without Trust in Institutions

    Comparative country studies of the World Bank prove without a doubt that there is a direct correlation between Good Governance, trust in institutions and economic success. Therefore institutions are just as important for economic growth and development as other production factors such as labour, capital and know-how. What does this mean for consulting approaches adopted in our developing partner countries? Regardless of which sector the consultancy deals with, what should we pay attention to? What are the cross-sectional topics of an approach dealing with strengthening trust in institutions? Our partner Dr. Bernd C. Schmidt draws our attention to four strategically important tasks, which consultants should give more priority in their work.

Fighting Growing Urban Poverty

  • Eight Strategic Approaches to Achieve the MDG

    Today, every second human being lives in an urban context. In 2030, this will probably increase to two out of three. The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of halving the portion of the population that is extremely poor by the year 2015 implies reducing the 1.2 billion extremely poor in 2000 to 730 million in 2015. In light of the forecasted urbanization and doubling of the number of slum inhabitants, this means either that the majority of the future slum inhabitants shall not be extremely poor or that the related MDG is questionable. Our colleague Dr. Volker Schmidt proposes eight strategic approaches to fight poverty and hunger in urban areas and to contribute to the MDG.

Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in Rural Development in Lesotho

  • Design of Appropriate Low Cost Solutions on Local Government Level

    The article is based on IP’s consulting experience in southern Africa and deals with mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in rural development. The article written by IP´s senior consultant in Lesotho Johannes Wessels provides suggestions on how these issues can be dealt with through workplace strategies and strategic management decisions on local level.

Projects Must be Concluded – Cooperation Should Continue

  • How to Maintain Institutional and Personal Links beyond the Project’s End

    Development cooperation is an investment in the future for both partner countries which should finally lead to a win-win situation upon project conclusion. In order to maintain institutional and personal links established during project implementation, one must pave the way in good time. During the concluding phase of a project the partners should systematically analyze the opportunities for further cooperation and plan future networking. The author provides for some proposals how to do this.

Training Needs Assessment in Cooperation Projects

  • Approaches to training needs assessment for counterpart staff

    The article provides suggestions on how the assessment of qualification needs can be approached methodologically in partner institutions. It is based on a consulting assignment of IP in the Ministry of Environment in El Salvador. The author has applied a visualized discussion with staff members resulting in a matrix which provides their know-how and skills required. The article describes the different steps during which staff members identify their individual training needs regarding the prerequisites identified in the matrix.

Municipal Development in Transition Countries

  • Supporting the construction of local democracy

    The article is based on IP´s consulting experience in Albania and deals with municipal and local Government development. The author draws the attention to the fact that the impact of traditional international co-operation with mayors and municipalities is often limited as long as the local councillors are not included in consulting and training. However, for a consultant it is always a special challenge not to get involved with political party quarrels.