Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Drylands Development Planning in Tanzania

TNRF has implemented a 1-year project to build the capacity of local actors in the Districts of Longido, Monduli and Ngorongoro to design a long term action-research program that will test approaches and mechanisms to mainstream climate change adaptation into their development planning.  This preparatory phase, funded by UKAID-DFID, was implemented in partnership with the local government authorities of the three districts, relevant national institutions, customary leaders and civil society with technical support from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).  

Main Project Objectives:

  • To strengthen the technical capacities of district-level authorities and civil society actors in the districts of Monduli, Ngorongoro and Longido to design and implement the proposed project, and ensure their ‘ownership’ of the process;
  • To secure national level interest in the proposed work including the identification of mechanisms to ensure that project experience informs national policy processes and programs in support of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“This project will require a great deal of support and cooperation from a variety of stakeholders, and it is exciting to see participation and collaboration is already beginning.”

-The Regional Commissioner of Arusha

January 2012 Inception Workshop

Main Activities

Inception Workshop

In January 2012, the inception workshop brought key stakeholders together to present, discuss and validate the purpose and anticipated outcomes of the project.  More than 60 participants joined the workshop, including representatives from Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro district; the Vice President’s Office; the Tanzania Meteorological Agency; the Local Government Ministry; Ministry of Finance, Poverty Reduction Directorate, donor agencies and international experts.

District Learning Groups

In order to learn from past experiences and guide the implementation of activities during the preparatory phase, each district established a “climate change adaptation  learning group.”  Each group is comprised of twenty-five participants drawn from the districts – the District Commissioner, councilors, Member of Parliament, local government technical officers, local civil society, NGOs and representatives of traditional leaders. 

During the first quarter, each group met to establish their role in the design and implementation of project activities.  They also agreed that in order to effectively plan for climate change adaptation, all local actors need to have a better understanding about the impacts climate change will have on the local economy and livelihoods, and the implications these have for planning.  Therefore, it was agreed that trainings on these topics should be held as inter-district learning events.  Preparations for the trainings were carried out during the first quarter and the actual trainings were held in the second quarter in April. 

During quarter two, all of the Learning Groups participated in a four-day training on Pastoralism and policies, particularly focusing on better understanding the dynamics of the pastoral system and the climactic implications on this system.  They also developed a set of concrete activities geared at making livelihoods in their communities more climate resilient.  For example, the Monduli Learning Group wants to identify strategies to reduce agriculture expansion and instead increase pasture land, integrating wildlife and livestock.  They also want to control water sources to avoid overutilization of natural resources within those rangelands.  The Loliondo Learning Group wants to harmonize livestock keeping with wildlife and initiate dialogue between conservationists, authorities (e.g. NCA and TANAPA) and investors to enhance coordination of natural resource utilization within the district so that it benefits everyone. All districts identified a need to engage in policy issues – to promote dialogue and debate to identify useful and practical policies that will safeguard the interest of the people.

During the third quarter the Learning Groups held meetings to further discuss and analyze the reforms needed so that government planning processes can enable districts to support the local adaptive practices of their communities.  The Learning Groups reviewed material generated at a workshop in May and then focused on identifying key areas of investment to strengthen the resilience of the local economy and livelihoods to climate change.  The findings from these meetings helped inform the direction of the pilot project design workshop that was held in October.

Research on Planning

One key activity during this inception period is to assess the functionality and relevance of both traditional and formal (government-led) planning processes for climate change adaptation as these two processes need to complement each other in order to build climate resilience at local level.  Working with the Learning Groups, the research objectives, methodology and schedule was developed and the research team, which includes district-level planning officers, began their fieldwork on March 20th.

During quarter two, a research team carried out three weeks of field research in the districts of Longido, Monduli and Ngorongoro to better understand how the different livelihood groups (e.g. pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers) plan in response to climate but also in response to other factors such as markets, access to critical natural resources and social relations. A short film was made to share research participants’ points of views, and a draft research summary was produced for reference at a validation workshop, which was held in May. Workshop participants made a series of recommendations on how government planning and traditional planning could better complement each other.  The report, Implications of Climate Change for Drylands Planning in Tanzania at District and National Levels: Opportunities and Challenges, was finalized during quarter three with input from the workshop, and a summary that included recommendations from the workshop was finalized during the last quarter.

Workshop on Local and National Planning & Climate Variability

From May 28-31st more than 100 people came together to participate in the Workshop, “Implications of Climate Change for Drylands Planning in Tanzania at District and National Levels: Opportunities and Challenges.”  The purpose of the workshop was to share findings from a study that explored the traditional and government planning processes in Monduli, Longido and Ngorongo Districts, and the challenges and opportunities that climate variability may pose on these processes. By the end of the workshops, participants identified strategies to bridge the gaps between these two processes, and develop recommendations on ways these planning processes can be more adaptable and flexible.  The workshop was attended by participants from the Districts of Ngorongoro, Monduli and Longido; the regional Secretariat in Arusha; NGO representatives; Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA);  Ministry of Finance (Poverty Eradication Directorate); and international agencies.

National Links for Scaling Up

One of the main objectives of this project is to provide lessons that can be ‘scaled-up’ to national level and help inform national level climate change planning and strategies.  Therefore, making national-level links is a key aspect of project development. The following national-level developments took shape throughout the project:

  • The Director of the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has designated a focal person within TMA to liaise, link and follow the progress of the project, as well as to bring information upwards and downwards. 
  • Visits to the Vice President’s Office (VPO) led to an agreement in principle that they will support the project.  Lessons from the project will be shared with the VPOs to help shape and influence policies and strategic development in an informed and productive manner.
  • Recognizing the importance of supporting Tanzania’s goals of poverty reduction, the project seeks to link its activities and results to poverty reductions strategies, such as MKUKUTA.  Therefore, links have been made with the Ministry of Finance, and the Directorate of Poverty Reduction participated in the May workshop and has committed to ongoing engagement.
  • The local government authorities and regional secretariat (PMO-RALG) invited the project to have consultations in Dodoma and to identify the ways to link activities from project at district level to regional and national level.  Additionally, two members from PMO-RALG/Arusha Regional Secretariat participated in the May validation workshop.

In June, TNRF met with the Parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment and the Prime Minister’s Office of Regional and Local Government (PMO-RALG) to introduce the project’s wider objectives and report on progress.  The meetings had positive outcomes, including the following:

  1. TNRF and IIED will provide the Committee policy themes/issues on pastoralism and natural resources that can be brought up for debate in the National Parliament.
  2. TNRF will provide the natural resources Parliamentary Committee updates about its new strategy to keep the committee informed on any emerging issues on land, community natural resource management and climate change.
  3. The committee requested a short day training workshop on climate change, pastoralism and natural resources.
  4. Members of the Parliamentary Committee shall receive TNRF’s informational weekly newsletters. 

Understanding District Information Systems, Development Activities & Key Players

The project team visited each district to understand their information systems, particularly with respect to planning, as well as to map the key players (and their projects) operating in the districts.  The main purpose of the research was to understand how districts’ strategic plans are developed, who makes planning decisions and how, and challenges encountered in the entire planning process. The team was also interested in finding out how the three districts store and retrieve information, how this information is used and understanding their relationships with other development stakeholders and the socio-economic activities that they are engaged in. The main findings of the visits included:

  • At district level, the district planning department is responsible for storing all development planning documents.  This information is stored electronically, and can be accessed directly from the responsible officers in their respective departments.  However, at village level, information storage and accessibility, which is the responsibility of the Village Executive Officer, remains challenging, especially with often weak mobile and wireless networks.
  • There are many development actors working at district level, ranging from international and national NGOs, community-based organizations, para-statals, private companies and research organizations. These actors implement activities at district level, e.g. provision of clean water, health and education facilities, livestock and farm inputs, research, investments in tourism, conservation and mining. Generally, districts have little control over these activities, although some are incorporated into the districts’ development plans. Instead many actors, particularly the private sector, tend to deal directly with the central government instead of directly with local government authorities.

Participatory Project Planning and Design

In October, 40 participants from the three district Learning Groups, national level actors from the Vice President’s Office and the Tanzania Meteorological Agency, TAMISEMI, NGOs working in the districts and the project team came together to reflect on the project and develop strategies and ideas for an effective three-year program.  Using information and lessons generated from the preparatory phase, participants identified the key components for a three-year pilot program that would build the capacity of the districts to mainstream climate change adaptation into their planning systems.  Four core areas were identified that contribute to poor planning:

  1.  Weak coordination across actors, sectors and levels;
  2. Rigidity in the formal planning process;
  3. Poor knowledge and information among different actors; and
  4. Weak capacity

Participants analyzed each of these areas, seeking strategies that will allow them to address the challenges. Additional activities included developing a results chain, indicators of success, a risks assessment and the nature of the project management and governance structure.   As was agreed by participants, TNRF with support from IIED will draft an 18-month program proposal to be shared with donors.

Way Forward

In December 2012, the project received a no-cost extension from UKAID DFID so that it can accomplish following:

  1. Conduct additional trainings on Climate Change Governance and Leadership for each District.
  2. Visit and conduct a policy training to the parliamentary committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment.  The training will focus on climate change, dynamics of pastoral system, forestry and conflict mediation over natural resource use.
  3. Hold a one-day conference on the journey of the project so far. This event will bring together District stakeholders (Ngorongoro, Monduli and Longido), National level stakeholders (VPO, PMORALG and TMA) and donors. It will also bring CSOs, partners and traditional leaders from the three Districts. This conference will take place in Dar es Salaam on 19th February 2013.