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Forsiden av dokumentet Awash Conservation and Development Project, Phase II, Mid Term Evaluation


Awash Conservation and Development Project, Phase II, Mid Term Evaluation

Background The goal of this project was "to enhance household livelihood security within the Kereyu, Ittu and Afar communities while at the same time safeguarding the future of Awash National Park by strengthening the conservation capacity of the park and improving relations between the park and the neighbouring pastoral communities".Water and rangeland pastures are the two resources that are most critical to the welfare of livestock and thus the livelihood security of local pastoralists. Availability of both resources has become more problematic in recent years as access to water and dry season pasture has been reduced by expansion of state farms and Lake Basaka, and pastures within and around the national park are degrading. It is clear that there is a long term trend of degradation over and above the normal cycles of "boom and bust" that characterize pastoralist way of life. With the prevailing conflict and pressures on the natural resource base, exacerbated by the current drought, traditional rangeland management systems have broken down leaving an "open access" situation. The Kereyu are particularly badly affected. Purpose/objective Phase II of the project was designed towards the end of 1999. New staff in the project and the CARE Country Office realized that there was a need for a fundamental re-orientation of the project, i.e. back to the original focus on enhancing local livelihoods and conserving biodiversity through improved natural resource management. Methodology - Background reading and planning- Field visits to gather information on specific project interventions- Discussions with key stakeholders: EWCO, government, local community representatives- Presentation and discussion of preliminary findings with EWCO and local government partners at project level and partners at Addis level. Key findings This is a very challenging project, which seeks to address root causes of declining livelihood security in the Awash valley. The second phase of the Awash Conservation and Development Project, which is the subject of this mid term evaluation, started in January 2000. As with phase I, there has been major investment in development infrastructure (notably water supplies) which has clearly had a positive impact on local livelihoods and created goodwill and trust within communities that has facilitated dialogue on natural resource management. Another key achievement of the second phase has been the programme of support for Awash National Park, in particular the gathering of information and the planning process that is currently underway, and the positive effect this has had on the relationship with EWCO.However the project has failed to get to grips with the problem of rangeland degradation, which is as important as water for the livelihood security of pastoralist communities. This has started with some positive results but the range and scale of activity is small in relation to the scale of the problem.Despite significant development impact, little progress has been made with respect to the final goal of sustainable natural resource management. There are many constraints. Some of these, such as the inter-tribal conflict, lie outside the control of the project partners, but two critical constraints are apparent which could have been addressed by the project and must now be addressed if the project is to achieve its goal.The second critical constraint has been the lack of effective support from the CARE Country Office which was expected to provide strong management support, comprehensive technical support through the recruitment of a technical advisor, and to take the lead in implementing the policy component of the project.The project started in the mid 90's with a very strong situation analysis and design, then lost its direction in the late '90s, but has now regained this lost ground and built solid relationships with key partners, notably EWCO, that provide the foundation for real progress in relation to natural resource management. If the two major constraints outlined above can be addressed within the remaining two years of this phase of the project then there is a strong case to consider funding a third phase of the project. Recommendations The project design needs to be revised, according to experience gained. The inhabited areas of the park needs to be managed by its occupants, while EWCO focuses on the core zone. It must also give higher priority to rangeland management. CARE CO should follow up more closely, and staff have better capacity training. There should also be greater participation of locals in the planning procedure. Comments from the organisation CARE Norway phased out of this project in 2005