Silva Papua Lestari evaluation report
About the publication
- Published: March 2020
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Dala Institute
- Commissioned by: --
- Country: Indonesia
- Theme: Climate and environment
- Pages: 59
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Rainforest Foundation Norway
- Local partner: Silva Papua Lestari
- Project number: QZA-17/0373
SPL was established in 2010 with the mission to develop the approach for forest protection that actively empowers and engages with the indigenous communities. RFN has supported SPL since the beginning, currently under a project titled: Forest management in Southern Papua, including spatial planning that combines the rights and needs of indigenous people as officially supported by governmental policies. The general objective of the project is to protect intact forests in Southern Papua based on balancing the use and protection (conservation) and recognizing the rights of indigenous groups.
A special objective of the project is to establish willingness of the indigenous communities located within four governmental districts to formalize their customary rights over the natural resources, including forest. SPL’s work focuses on the indigenous groups of Korowai and Kombai. However, in the last agreement between RFN and SPL (2016–2020), the project area was expanded geographically and now also include the indigenous groups of Anu, Banano and Kopaka.
The evaluation’s objective was to assess the impact and effectiveness of SPL’s work in reaching the project’s goals in its geographical area, RFN’s added value, and provide recommendations for the way forward.
This evaluation used different methods, in three different phases. For the first phase, the evaluation team analysed several key documents, such as proposals and reports from SPL to RFN. The review of these secondary data led to the inception report, in both Bahasa Indonesia and English, discussed with both RFN and SPL, leading to minor revisions.
In the second phase, primary data was collected from project stakeholders in two of the project sites: Boven Digoel and Mappi Regencies. The data was collected using the following methods: (a) key informant semi-structured interviews and (b) focus group discussions (i.e. group interviews). The former was used for other actors, such as SPL staff, government actors (e.g. Regency and Provincial government planning officials, Village Community Empowerment Agency, and forestry officials) and civil society actors (e.g. other indigenous rights groups and NGOs).
The latter methodology was used in the villages, with community members and leaders (customary and formal), and community women’s groups (separate groups of women and men to alleviate power discrepancies). For the third phase, the notes from the interviews and focus groups were analysed qualitatively.
The most significant findings on effectiveness include:
- SPL’s project has had a positive impact in terms of both mitigating against deforestation and forest degradation and in the communities’ social and economic development and forest degradation.
- The project has broadened the awareness of Indigenous communities about possible concrete collective action required for recognition of their rights, for example through formal land claims.
- SPL has proven effective at influencing policy changes
- SPL has been able to create strong relationships of trust with the indigenous communities, particularly those with whom they have worked with for the longest time.
When addressing the added value of RFN, the evaluation found that RFN provides valuable inputs to programming, in addition to being a strong financial supporter. SPL is a growing organisation but almost completely dependent on RFN for financial support.
The evaluation led to more than 20 recommendations, some for SPL and some for RFN.
The most important ones for SPL are:
- Continue the development of its multifaceted model to protect forests, improving economic conditions, and enhancing the wellbeing of communities in the project area. Level of programming should be increased, by intensifying the activities in current communities and expanding to others once land tenure security has been formalised in the first communities. The model should focus on first formalising land tenure security and secondly on developing market access from which community members can benefit. SPL's success with Spatial Planning is an important strategy to ensure that there is a window of time in which SPL can advance formal land tenure without concern about legal interventions from land developers and disruptions. It also directly benefits communities with which SPL does not yet work.
- Consider engaging gender and economy specialists to develop a strategic approach that combines gender mainstreaming and women's economic empowerment. SPL should consider adding local women facilitators so that each community has both male and female local facilitators. This could improve engagement and alleviate many of the concerns of facilitators working with communities.
- SPL should draft specific, time-bound plans for each village after discussion and agreement with the community and consider Memoranda of Understanding with communities that are principle-based. SPL should not reduce the number of villages in which it works. SPL should consider piloting a more intensive model in communities with which it has already established a relationship.
- SPL and RFN need to invest more in building relationships with policymakers on provincial and national levels by stationing key staff with the capacity to negotiate with government representatives and bridge with community leaders to influence policy. A specific coordinator may be required to lead the advancement of forest and village rights applications.
- Consider collaboration with national or international Indigenous rights-based organisations who could help elevate the advocacy work and create media attention, especially considering the impasse in which the province and central government find themselves regarding social forestry schemes in Papua.
- SPL needs to diversify its donor base. They could benefit from RFN's networks and support for this.
- SPL should develop a strategic capacity-building plan to articulate its capacity-building needs. Capacity-building models such as mentoring, coaching or internships could be considered.
- The influential role of the director requires a succession plan with clear time limits that show how the director can continue to delegate programming and how key government and community relations responsibilities can also be passed on.
- The logical framework is comprehensive and could be streamlined.
Comments from the organisation
RFN has with this evaluation found out that:
- We should seek to help SPL to diversify its funding base.
- SPL should intensify their work in communities in the current project area, and not expand the project further nor reduce the number of communities they work with. More field programming can be achieved by improving SPL’s planning and logistics to enable coordinators to spend more time in the field.
- SPL and RFN should continue to build a more substantial relationship with the provincial and national government.
- While parts of SPL’s project are outside of RFN’s core competencies, their work with market access, health and education has been crucial to build trust and good relations with communities and government and are strategic for reaching the overall objectives of the project.