Newsletter September 2014

teammember Our clients increasingly require transparency, so in this newsletter we discuss how we deal with the growing need for transparency in all aspects of our work.

Technology allows us to be more transparent than ever before as advances in database management and connectivity make it possible to report in a much more open way on progress taking place worldwide. IATI, the International Aid Transparency Initiative, has developed a publishing standard that allows easy access and comparison of data. Through our sister organization RAIN we are now IATI certified.

Nowadays a large number of satellites produce high-resolution images. Using this data, we are able make environmental sustainability issues in oil palm cultivation much more visible. By using near real time observation and reporting we can serve companies, NGOs and government services in ways that were not possible even five years ago. We are now taking this a step further by making our own aerial surveys with remotely piloted aircrafts. Our research becomes much more detailed and therefore provides more valuable insights.

The mid-term evaluation of the PAX program on the extractive industries is a more traditional research, but still very necessary and useful take on transparency in a highly complex sector. The other items focus on certification issues in the cocoa sector, a final evaluation of the Fairtrade International Strategic Funding Program and an analysis of ecosystem restoration projects run by the Ecosystem Alliance.

RAIN Makes Data IATI Compliant for Open Access

RAIN is an international networking organization that seeks to link people and organizations in the field of water harvesting. Sharing information in an open and transparent manner is therefore one of our key objectives. Accordingly, RAIN has decided to publish all its project data according to the IATI standard. IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative) is an open standard format for the publication of information by organizations in the aid and development sector.
Open data sharing is of vital importance to RAIN as it will help us to expand our network and play a major role in shifting the water sector towards more effective use of rainwater. RAIN wants to reach to practitioners, policy-makers, decision-makers and the general public around the world. By working together and creating change we can make rainwater belong to everyone.

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New Technology Pushes Mapping Exercises to Next Level

In May 2012, when the oil palm grower Bumitama Agri was first listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, its share issue was 31 times oversubscribed. The following year, Bumitama Agri was targeted by several NGOs about its land clearance activities. Aidenvironment contributed to the research for a campaign by Friends of the Earth .

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Making the Case for Ecosystem Restoration

Aidenvironment will soon start an analysis of ecosystem restoration projects run by the Ecosystem Alliance . The Ecosystem Alliance is a partnership between IUCN NL , Both ENDS and Wetlands International . Working through an international network of NGOs, the Alliance helps local communities to manage and use ecosystems in a sustainable way.

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Midterm Evaluation of PAX Extractive Program

Aidenvironment performed a midterm evaluation of PAX’s Extractives, Conflict and Human Rights program. PAX is an international NGO that strives for protection of human security in conflict areas, reducing and stopping conflicts, and building peace. The program runs from 2011 to 2015 in Colombia, South Sudan, and DRC. It aims to limit human rights violations and conflicts associated with extractive industries and promote peace and justice. The program takes action at the community level in the mining areas themselves as well as at the national and international levels. The midterm evaluation carried out by Aidenvironment focused mainly on the activities and results in Colombia.

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Final Evaluation of the Fairtrade International Strategic Funding Program

Aidenvironment is conducting a final evaluation of phase two of the Strategic Fairtrade Funding Programme (SFFP). SFFP is a six-year program divided into two program periods, from 2008 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2013. The final evaluation focuses on the latter period. The main objective of SFFP is to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged small producers by strengthening market linkages. The focus on low income countries, conflict-affected regions, gender equality and climate change reflects Fairtrade’s strategic intent to deepen its development impact.

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Cocoa Sector Drives Sustainability Innovation Agenda

During the year Aidenvironment has worked on several assignments in the cocoa sector. For the International Finance Corporation (IFC) we developed a sustainable transformation model and conducted and in-depth investigation of the West African cocoa sector, together with our consortium partners International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and New Foresight . Aidenvironment also reviewed Solidaridad’s Cocoa Support Program and are currently evaluating cocoa-related programs by IDH and Fairtrade . UTZ Certified recently selected Aidenvironment to conduct a baseline study of the Indonesian cocoa sector. Many successes are there, however work still has to be done. The current dynamic in the cocoa sector is already generating interesting results and some potential lessons for other sectors are starting to emerge. 

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