In Tanzania’s coastal city of Dar es Salaam, conservation project leaders from four countries in East Africa have gathered for a TBA master class that will help them transform every dollar of grant money into impact on the ground.
The leaders all work for non-government organisations wishing to improve their grant proposals for new projects in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).
The TBA master class will be equipping the leaders with important skills and knowledge on project design and implementation through one-to-one and small group training that focuses on their specific projects.
“This kind of training is really important”
says TBA Director, Dr Rosie Trevelyan. “We are building the capacity of managers who are working with local communities in their own countries to find sustainable ways to protect biodiversity and to enhance peoples’ lives.
“This helps them in turn to build confidence among stakeholders that their project really is having an impact.”
Dr Trevelyan believes that grant money achieves more when donors who fund new conservation initiatives also fund training for the people leading those projects. She says:
“Where we work together with a funder to provide training, we can really add value to their grants.”
“Not only are the projects better managed, but this is a much more sustainable approach. The participants can train people in their own organisations and that means more people can put all this learning into practice.”
For Bettie Luwage of the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, the master class has been valuable. “It has given me a good opportunity to fine tune my project, and to communicate in a more convincing way to CEPF.” she says. “Because of the expertise available I am sure I will be able to succeed in helping the local community to benefit from the forest in the Udzugwa Mountains, while ensuring the ecological integrity of the forest is upheld.”
In inviting the TBA to run the latest master class, the CEPF is building on its successful three-year programme (2015-2017) to develop conservation capacity among civil society organisations in the region. That programme included a package of integrated training designed and delivered by TBA, with short courses, a master class and ten site-visit learning exchanges for managers from different regions who share a common goal.