Evaluation of Habitat and Resource Management Project - KKI WARSI and the Rainforest Foundation Norway
Background on the project: Conservation Community Indonesia (KKI) WARSI, was set up in 1992 for joint action by 12 Sumatran NGO concerned with the environment and the rights of indigenous/local communities. In 1997 WARSI began collaboration with Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) to help save the remaining forest habitat of a semi-nomadic population of forest dwellers known as Orang Rimba. Within a surprisingly short period of time, the government had not only cancelled the plantation that threatened Orang Rimba rights and livelihoods, but in 2000, also formally established Bukit Duabelas National Park over 600 square kilometers of lowland rain forest. The Orang Rimba were entitled to live in the park in accordance with their traditions. Warsi’s efforts in Bukit Duabelas are now primarily focused on achieving workable collaborative management of the national park. The aim is to achieve supportive participation by key stakeholders in managing Bukit Duabelas National Park and its buffer areas in biodiversity conservation and habitat maintenance for the Orang Rimba. In 2008, WARSI expanded the project to a bioregional approach and began to survey the situation for Orang Rimba groups in the rest of Jambi province. The survey is used to gather information and develop recommendations as to which measures are needed to improve the situation for these highly marginalized Orang Rimba groups. Purpose/objective of the evaluation: Methodology: Two external evaluators undertook the review from 12 to 27 October 2009. The team’s approach consisted of obtaining and studying written reports, consulting staff on the work they had undertaken with RFN funding, and meetings with the target groups; the Orang Rimba and villagers (both male and female) in several locations, local government staff and parliament members, the National Park Body and Conservation Office, as well as other NGOs and journalists. An internal meeting was held on 26 October to discuss the initial findings, lessons learned and recommendations. This meeting was attended by the majority of project staff. The report was revised following comments received during the meeting and comments from KKI Warsi and RFN on the draft report. Key findings: In summary, the project has accomplished adequate results. The project progress is mostly on track, the relevance is sufficiently high, the effectiveness needs further development, the efficiency is adequate, the impact is satisfactory, the sustainability needs more work and the project management is very good. Overall achievement of the program towards the purpose has produced sufficient results in that the project has developed institutional arrangements for collaborative management, and supported activities such as education and health including income generating activities. Nevertheless, there is much room for improvement. Bearing in mind, to achieve a workable collaboration management is a daunting task since there are many factors that are not in WARSI control. Comments from the organisation, if any: The main objective was to evaluate the implementation of the project and its progress towards achieving expected results and project purpose. The recommendations provided by the evaluation were meant to guide strategic decisions and improve future The Rainforest Foundation Norway was rather disappointed by the results of the evaluation. In general, the level of analysis in the report was weak, and it provided limited insights into the strengths and weaknesses of KKI Warsi as an organisation and the project supported by RFN/Norad. The recommendations are very specific and mainly on activity level, but provides few general overall recommendations on changes or adjustments in order to improve the project. Nonetheless, Warsi reports that they learned a lot during the time the evaluation was conducted. By being challenged on strengths and weaknesses, staff and management were forced to evaluate and rethink old patterns and habits, which made them come up with new creative ideas and suggestions for improvements.The main objective was to evaluate the implementation of the project and its progress towards achieving expected results and project purpose. The recommendations provided by the evaluation were meant to guide strategic decisions and improve future management of the project and implementation of the activities. It was also expected to guide the future cooperation between RFN and KKI Warsi.