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A strategic assessment of USAID/Malawi’s natural resources program: Adjusting Priorities

by Portal Web Editor last modified Feb 12, 2013 09:03 PM
Contributors: Glyvyns Chinkhuntha, Michael Furst, John Griffin, Christopher LaFranchi, Laurel Abrams Neme, Barry Rands, Asif Shaikh, Robert Winterbottom

This report summarizes the findings of the strategic assessment of USAID/Malawi's natural resources program, strategic objective (SO) 2. SO2 aimed to increasing the sustainable use, conservation and management of Malawi's renewable natural resources. The major funding vehicle SO2 was the five-year, $40 million Natural Resource Management and Environmental Support Program (NATURE). The purpose of this assessment was to reexamine USAID's SO2 activities, with an eye toward determining if it is appropriately positioned to achieve its intended results, particularly given underlying demographic, economic, market, environmental and political trends in the country. The findings and recommendations of this assessment provided guidance for USAID and the Government of Malawi (GOM) for re-orienting program and project activities.The report recommends the following changes in program focus: Increase emphasis on implementing national policy reforms in ways that positively influence the incentives and behavior of local resources managers; Strengthen local level NRM initiatives; Balance of capacity building efforts down and out: down from the central to the district and local public sector; out from the public sector to the private economy; Increase relative program emphasis on NRM practices by smallholders on individually managed lands, while retaining attention to communal management of common property resources; Establish and focus resources on three to five local target zones to test market based approaches to smallholder natural resources management on individually-managed lands; Build long-term, structural linkages with East and Southern African sister institutions to help transfer lessons from similar NRM experiences elsewhere in the region; Build targeted operational linkages with other USAID Strategic Objectives (especially SO1) and with other Government of Malawi and donor-supported programs relating to rural production. Finally, the report presents a modified results framework, which includes some of the most significant changes that should be considered. It is also analyses SO2 program activities in 7 areas: policy reform, environmental monitoring, agroforestry, community based natural resources management, endowment fund, performance based budgeting, and institutional development.

Author(s): Glyvyns Chinkhuntha , Michael Furst , John Griffin , Christopher LaFranchi , Laurel Abrams Neme , Barry Rands , Asif Shaikh , Robert Winterbottom

Publication Date: 1998

Location: Malawi

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