RE: What can evaluations do in terms of capacity development? | Eval Forward

Dear Mesfin,

Thanks for sharing your experience and tools for participatory M&E and especially how these are applied in conflict environments.

I have also interacted with both tools (Resource Mapping and Institutional Mapping) as well and the experience is quite similar with yours.

Almost all of the projects under my PMU (Program Management Unit) are contributing to resilience building to climate change effects with specific focus on food and nutrition security.

In order to measure and track resilience levels of our target population we conducted a study called Resilience Profile Analysis using a software pioneered by FAO called SHARP tool (Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists) to do data collection and analysis. 

The field exercise was conducted in two phases, 1 field data collection using the questionnaire contained in the Sharp tool, and 2; a detailed exchange with the study groups to understand the socioeconomic and other factors which underpin their resilience scores. To conduct the second phase of the study, we applied different Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools including Community Resource and Institutional mapping as well as the Community Farm calendar. 

Each of these tools helped us understand the real dynamics of the communities studied: the way the community is organized, their main activities in a year including social and economic activities, the resources they have to share (or don’t have), and their location within the community as well as the different institutions which interact with the community and for what purpose. They community could literally draw their village map from this exercise!

This exchange, as it was related to resilience building, revealed some good lessons about how the community members live and relate with one another, especially when disaster struck. In fact, for one of the communities which actually experienced flooding in the previous year, the study revealed that unity and care among community members are important contributors to resilience. It also reveals that where a community uses shared resources for their livelihoods, this strengthens everyone’s resilience levels. And, from another perspective, an analysis of the institutional map brought to the table key concerns of effectiveness and sustainability of the different initiatives which were supported or driven by some of the institutions operating in their communities, thus orchestrating an emerging spirit of community ownership and accountability on the part of stakeholders and driving the spirit of sustainability. Emerging Behavioral change became apparent.

In essence l, therefore, I want to emphasize that climate change is in fact like a conflict zone and development work in resilience building does have some similar experiences as working in conflict zones. Also, I can observe that some the tools could be borrowed and applied between and among the two situations, albeit the focus could be tweaked depending on the sociocultural context and time. I encourage you to interact with the SHARP tool by searching the internet so you can be familiar with the key indicators or resilience, which I can appreciate can be related to the key development concerns in conflict zones (


Paul Mendy

The Gambia