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06 Dec 2017

Evaluation of participatory forest management pilots and biomass energy production in Rwanda (PAREF NL2) 

This summer Fair & Sustainable and ADE (Belgium) evaluated the Project of support to Participatory forest management pilots and biomass energy production in 9 districts of Rwanda (PAREF NL2) at the request of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Kigali. This was a project carried out from August 2013 to June 2017 by the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and its Department of Forestry and Nature Conservation (DFNC). The evaluation team inclusded Jochem Schneemann (team leader) and National consultant Mr. Oscar Nzayirambaho.

We proudly present the Public Summary (see link below), which gives a short overview of the methodology we used for the evaluation, the results, and our recommendations. The Public Summary is created in close cooperation with the EKN in Kigali, with the aim to inform all stakeholders and participants in the evaluation about the results.

The evaluators used a mixed approach. Through the Most Significant Change method we collected qualitative data: the stories of significant change as witnessed by the beneficiaries and other stakeholders of the project. This method was used during focus group discussions, and during interviews with key organizations and resource persons, to understand the positive changes or improvements and unexpected or negative changes with regard to forest management, the performance of the woodlots, and its underlying reasons. Next, we collected quantitative data by analysing (monitoring) data collected from project documents and during field visits.

The aim of the PAREF NL2 project – to increase forest cover and woodlot productivity- was found relevant for the population in the nine targeted districts. Apart from an increased forest cover (3590 ha, against 3500 ha planned), increased incomes, improved livelihoods, medical insurance, and installing a savings culture among the households of over 17,000 workers (53% male, 47% female) was a direct effect of the project. Respondents also expressed an increase in independence; they feel proud of having their own forest.

“I am blessed by having a 3 ha plantation, which grows very well. I trust in God for me to live a bit longer to enjoy the fruits of the plantation.” – Mr Gakovo Aaron, Rwankuba (Bisesero site) in Karongi district.

The EKN in Kigali and the Government of Rwanda were pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of information we collected, notably through the Most Significant Change method.

Please click here to read the Public Summary.

For more information: Jochem.schneemann@fairandsustainable.org

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