The Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) is the largest terrestrial transboundary conservation area in the world (Fig. 1). KAZA is located at the confluence of five southern African countries – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and covers an area of 520,000 km². KAZA is a mixed land-use landscape with 20 National Parks, 85 Forest Reserves, 22 Conservancies, 11 Sanctuaries, 103 Wildlife Management Areas and 11 Game Management Areas. About 20% of the land falls under state protection and roughly 29% used for agriculture. KAZA is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta and the Tsodilo Hills. The KAZA TFCA vision of “Establishing a world-class Transfrontier conservation area and tourism destination in the Okavango and Zambezi river basin regions within the context of sustainable development” is premised upon a concerted, five-country effort to harness the region’s rich natural resources to promote economic development through conservation and tourism. Given KAZA’s regional and ecological/conservation significance, WWF has been supporting it since inception.
KAZA TFCA is home to abundant and valuable wildlife, which contributes greatly towards the regions biodiversity and tourism resources, as the region’s diverse woodlands, wetlands and grasslands host the world’s largest population of elephants (~225,000) – roughly half of Africa’s population. It is home to an estimated 25% of Africa’s wild dogs, almost 15% of the continent’s lions (more than 3,000 individuals), and approximately 15% of the world’s wild cheetahs. It is therefore also a crucial conservation landscape for the future of large carnivores, not just in Africa but globally. In addition, almost 200 species of mammals and more than 600 bird species are found in KAZA. Vast and highly valuable teak forests are found within one of the largest blocks of dryland Miombo forests in southern Africa, covering extensive tracts of Angolan and Zambian river basins, providing habitat for wildlife, human livelihoods and ensuring hydrological stability to critical watersheds.
KAZA’s relatively small population of 2.6 million people live at a low density of 5 persons/km2 and are largely concentrated along the three KAZA rivers. Livelihoods are heavily dependent upon natural resources, subsistence agriculture and livestock herding. These practices are generally carried out as a necessity for basic livelihood survival and environmental sustainability is not a key concern. The communities are typically poor, with a relatively small numbers directly involved in the formal employment sector, which has been shown by the 2013/2014 socio-economic livelihood baseline study in KAZA TFCA. Results indicate human, natural, physical, and financial assets in KAZA to be poorly developed, with a livelihood index being comparatively low and averaging 50 points. Botswana scores the highest score of 56.7 and Zambia the lowest with 47.7. In order to measure process or recess in socio-economic development within the KAZA TFCA, comparative data and subsequent rigorous analysis at the household level is needed.
Socio-economic survey work in KAZA TFCA
A socio-economic baseline study was carried out in 2013/14. Repeating this survey, using the same survey tools and addressing the same households is inevitable to measure progress or regress. Ensuring rigorous measurement is needed for maximum comparability of results. As financial and logistical effort of surveys generally decrease with repetition, the 2014 team recommended to repeat and analyse the full questionnaire as it allows for more detailed analyses. The repetition of the survey will therefore allow KAZA Secretariat to generate comparative socio-economic data to assess the development of the KAZA socio-economic indicators over the past 6 years, using the KAZA M&E system. In addition to generating comparative data of previously surveyed villages, KAZA also plans to collect baseline data for the three priority Wildlife Dispersal Areas (WDA), which are a major focus of investments within the KAZA TFCA.
However, during recent discussions, it became very apparent that a more long term, sustainable a participatory approach is wanted, instead of “one time drive in surveys” which are costly and labor intensive. A more participatory approach will empower communities to engage more actively and long term in their own monitoring of resources, support adaptive management at the most local level and provides capacity building for communities. For these reasons, the decision was taken to identify and develop a more participatory community-based socio-economic monitoring approach for KAZA TFCA. A methodology, which is co-designed with the target communities, utilizing local resources (e.g. schools) and knowledge. At the same time, providing capacity building on monitoring skills and innovative IT systems.
The challenge is to develop a two-pronged approach: (1) one which allows the collection of data according to the previous survey to enable comparison between the baseline and now and (2) one that develops and establishes the integrated community-based method within the target communities.
Additionally, this assignment will establish a strong collaborative group of implementers and experts on the subject of community-based socio-monitoring in KAZA (and beyond), including institutions in the 5 partner countries. These do not only assist in the development of such an innovative approach but also provide long term support to the monitoring.
The newly developed approach will then provide a future blueprint and standard for all future socio-economic monitoring in KAZA for all partners. Care must also be taken to collect all necessary socio-economic data to update the KAZA livelihood index, which entails maintaining the initial survey structure but also adding new survey questions if required. Ideally this survey approach would also become a more regular activity due to higher participation from communities due to increased accessibility.
Additionally, a substantial need for revision of the questionnaire used during the 2013/2014 KAZA socio-economic baseline survey was identified, which includes pitfalls in the design of the survey. Adaptions also need to be made with regards to the assessment of the current COVID 19 pandemic and its impacts.
Pilot project areas for implementation
Although, the final target areas for the pilots still need to be finalised, it is highly likely that the new methodology will be kicked off and tested in Zimbabwe (Hwange, Binga and Bulilima districts) and Zambia (Silowana complex, Kafue ecosystem). This is because funding is available for the work in these areas.
While, there will be baseline data collected in these project areas, care must be taken to also include the sites from the previous survey to ensure comparability.
Goal and deliverables of the assignment
The overall goals are:
(1) Design and test a community-based socio-economic monitoring methodology for KAZA which can be carried out by the communities themselves at regular intervals
(2) Collect data according to the KAZA socio economic indicators in the KAZA M&E system to evaluate the impact of projects and initiatives within KAZA TFCA on livelihood conditions of the local population.
The methodology will be developed in collaboration with competent experts in the southern African region, involving suitable implementing institutions, which can support long-term monitoring. The methodology will be co-designed and includes appropriate engagement with the communities to ensure applicability and ownership.
One objective is to establish a collaborative group which consists of partners interested and/or already invested in socioeconomic studies in KAZA TFCA. Development of the methodology should therefore involve iterations and feedback loops with KIM WG and this collaborative group.
The methodology needs to include the data collection for the indicators as per 2013/14 survey to allow comparison and assessment of the development of the socio-economic condition of KAZA communities and of the KAZA Livelihood index.
It has been recommended that as much as possible the survey methods from the 2013/14 survey should be applied/taken into account for this survey new survey method. Therefore, the consultant must thoroughly familiarize himself with the documentation and reports as well as handbooks developed by ECO and identify how best to follow the recommendations and lessons learned.
Additionally, lessons learned from similar socio-economic monitoring initiatives such as the Upper Zambezi project in Zambia and the application of IT in data collection for error reduction and repetition should be applied and integrated.
After the development and approval of the methodology by the KIM WG and the collaborative group, capacity building on the methodology should be done with the implementing institutions and communities.
The phases of the assignment are envisioned as follows:
Preparation phase 1 & 2 – Mid/End November 2020– February 2021
Training and data collection phase – Mar/April 2021
Reporting phase – April 2021
Feedback phase – May 2021
This assignment focusses on all phases except the fieldwork. Field work will be carried out by national institutions in Zimbabwe and Zambia. However, the consultant will provide guidance and technical support to the institutions, if need be.
It is anticipated that the lessons learned from the practical application of the field work will be incorporated into the tool kit and an updated final version developed at the end of the assignment.
The subsequent data treatment of cleaning and analysis will be done in a collaborative effort with other academic partners (University of Bonn, University of Namibia, Nelson Mandela University).
- A review of the 2013/14 survey methods, reports and handbooks from the previous consultant leading to informed recommendations on how to integrate the 2013/14 survey methods and data collection into the new methodology incl. the KAZA livelihood index
- A collaborative group of experts and institutions to guide the methodology development and its implementation also in the long term in the 5 partner countries
- A revised version of the 2013/2014 survey questionnaire, including COVID-19 and other aspects as appropriate
- An agreed list of target communities for the pilot phase (based on the Bengo project areas in Zimbabwe and Zambia), including wherever possible the 2013/14 communities for comparability
- A co-designed toolkit for the long-term implementation of the socio-economic survey in the communities including locally appropriate data collection systems/applications that can be carried out by the communities themselves (including for the socio economic indicators already developed), criteria for quality assurance, mechanisms of data collection (frequency, how, etc.), feedback, etc.
- Ensuring the KAZA Livelihood index will be populated with the data collected
- Training materials for training workshops adapted to the audiences
- ToRs for the pilot surveys in Zimbabwe and Zambia
- Raw collection data from the survey made available to the KIM WG and University of Bonn and Cologne
- Survey report including recommendations and final guiding tool kit to allow monitoring in the long term
Composition of consultancy team
The consultant is responsible to assemble a suitable expert team within his institution and in Zambia and Zimbabwe to lead this assignment.
In developing the methodology and implementing the approach, the consultancy team will work more closely with the core supporting team consisting of Jason Gilbertson (Peace Parks Foundation), Maximilian Meyer (University of Bonn) and Brit R Zolho (WWF Germany). There may be additional members added to this team if relevant and needed (e.g. UNAM).
Duration of the contract:
It is anticipated that the assignment will start on the 30th November 2020 until 30th April 2021.