A Formative Evaluation of the Mount Kilimanjaro Roots & Shoots Community-based Conservation Project: Re-integrating participatory approaches into the program
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The purpose of my Masters project was to conduct a formative evaluation of the Mount Kilimanjaro Roots & Shoots Community-based Conservation Partnership Project (Conservation Site) in Northeast Tanzania. After one year of operation in 2008, Roots and Shoots staff sought to assess the Conservation Site’s initial progress in providing demonstration workshops on tree nurseries, beekeeping, fuel-efficient stoves, and fish farming to the students, teachers and members of the Mweka Village. A formative evaluation was especially pertinent because Roots & Shoots made significant changes to the original Community-based initiative for the Conservation Site. Due to a limitation in human and financial resources, Roots & Shoots did not conduct a Community assessment before the Conservation Site was established in 2007. I implemented a participatory survey that focused on three research questions: Awareness/Adoption of selected sustainable practices, Conservation Site Awareness/Participation and Conservation Site Effectiveness/Recommendations. The 223 participants were selected using the snowball method. I coded the responses to the questions in the NVivo8 qualitative data software program and calculated the frequencies. Chi-square analyses were conducted to test for significant associations between participant demographics and environmental behavior. The results of this evaluation indicate the Conservation Site’s limited progress in engaging the Community and promoting the adoption of the four activities. Beekeeping and tree nurseries were more familiar and established, while a minority of the sample was aware of and using the recently introduced activities, fish farming (42 %) and fuel-efficient stoves (30 %). Only 40 percent of the sample was familiar with the conservation site. The respondents’ main recommendations for the Conservation Site were to improve Community participation, outreach and management. Education, property size, years lived in village, age and gender were demographic variables that were found to be significantly associated with environmental behavior. The results of this formative evaluation are indicative of the lack of Community involvement during the formulation and implementation stages of the Conservation Site. I encourage Roots & Shoots to reintegrate participatory approaches at the Conservation Site through training of trainer seminars, a Conservation Site board of Community stakeholders, and a participatory rural appraisal.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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