Comparing the monitoring and evaluation systems of watershed management related development projects in Amhara, Ethiopia
Natural resource degradation is both a cause and a result of poverty in Ethiopia. Therefore it is important to include watershed management into efforts to reduce poverty and food insecurity in the country. In order to see if different interventions are effective in restoring the degraded environment, it is important to have a functioning monitoring and evaluation system that includes natural resource degradation and other environmental factors. This study compares the monitoring and evaluation systems used by five different projects involved in watershed management in the Amhara region, Ethiopia. The objective is to find out whether these systems are providing adequate and scientifically valid information about the projects’ success in decreasing erosion. The study has also two sub-objectives: suggesting additional and/or alternative methods for environmental monitoring, and helping the projects learn from each other by providing information about the indicators other projects are using as well as their successes and shortcomings The environmental monitoring of the examined projects is done mostly with management-based indicators that monitor what is being done and assume environmental effects based on empirical knowledge. These management-based indicators are important in identifying where and how project resources are spent and in finding out the rate of adoption of the promoted methods. They serve an important function in the monitoring and evaluation systems but are not sufficient from an environmental point of view. Direct monitoring of erosion is done by one project. This hydrological monitoring system, possibly accompanied with low-cost estimation methods, could well be modified and applied to other projects as well if funds for the establishment of monitoring stations can be found. ...
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