A clear distinction is needed between Development of Integrated Action Plans (2.1 of the WRAP toolkit) and subsequent Coordinated Implementation where all actions included in IAPs are scrutinized for consistency with overarching principles of biodiversity conservation and the wise-use of aquatic resources, feasibility, conditions required for success and possible threats. Integrated Action Plans should ideally retain all (reasonable) proposals originating from stakeholders during the formulation process so as to reflect the multiple perspectives regarding problems being encountered by disparate stakeholder groups and the diversity of responses conceived at different geographic and administrative scales. Approaches to facilitate Coordinated Implementation were drawn from a range of sources and summarised in a HighARCS project guidance document ‘Guidelines for planning and reporting on implementation and monitoring strategies agreed for IAPs for HighARCS sites in China, India and Vietnam’ (Bunting et al., 2012) to ensure similar approaches were invoked across the different study sites.
Building on rapport and working relationships established during the IAP development phase, the approaches presented here such as SMART, STEPS and SWOT should be applied to prioritise actions and identify conditions needed to proceed with successful implementation. Actions not suited to immediate implantation should not be dropped from IAPs but further refinement in the formulation of the proposed actions may be required, safeguards might be needed or a delay may be necessary to account for seasonal conditions, for example, or to enable other actions or underlying problems to be addressed prior to proceeding. Where consistency checking highlights fundamental problems it might be argued that such actions should be disregarded but this would not address the underlying problem. Through adopting an integrated assessment process (2.1 of the WRAP toolkit) such actions should not be expected in the IAPs but consistency checking could be a useful safeguard, especially where stakeholders representing biodiversity or environmental concerns may not be present in most assessment sites.
|Framework to guide IAP implementation, monitoring and evaluation (pdf)||
This simple approach to tabulating Activities that would be required to achieve Actions with Independently Verifiable Indicators (IVIs), the Means of Verification (MoV), timescale and crucially who will be responsible for implantation, is a good way to summarise and present Actions for subsequent joint assessment and evaluation.
|Framework for IAP compatibility checking (pdf)||
It is prudent to reassess whether or not proposed actions are compatible or incompatible with reconciling aquatic biodiversity conservation and livelihoods and socioeconomic development objectives. A simple assessment of Actions proposed in the IAP following Springate-Baginski et al. (2009, p5) guidelines is appropriate in this regard. To alleviate concerns and ensure the process is as transparent as possible it would be advisable to elaborate why certain actions are deemed compatible and others incompatible. Ideally the assessment should be conducted jointly with an array of stakeholders to ensure the assessment incorporates local knowledge and responds to contemporary social and economic realities, and that outcomes stand up to independent scrutiny.
|Section 2.2.1 and SMART framework for Action prioritisation (pdf)||
A prioritisation matrix or rating exercise for ranking potential actions against different attributes is a good way to make sure a selection of actions are undertaken that fulfil the criteria above and are also likely to yield meaningful outcomes that can be monitored and evaluated. Commonly the SMART mnemonic is used to guide such assessments but there are variations around what this encompasses (e.g. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Traceable). When reporting on the outcomes of the assessment, it should be specified how this matrix was completed and what measures were agreed on to ensure the reliability of scores given.
|STEPS framework for IAP feasibility assessment (pdf)||
STEPS (Social, Technical, Environmental, Political (or Institutional) and Sustainability) analysis is a useful approach to use to test what conditions and prerequisites may be required before it is possible to proceed with the implementation of specific actions and activities from IAPs. Based on such an assessment, it may be necessary to coordinate implementation with seasonal conditions or seek further clarification on the constitutional basis for what is being proposed. Sustainability is used here to refer to measures to ensure the long-term viability of planned actions, for example, an investment fund to ensure continued operation and maintenance.
|SWOT framework for IAP feasibility assessment (pdf)||
The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) framework is widely applied to assess the potential of new proposals and modified management regimes. It has potential in assessing both actions and specific sub-activities and the overarching situation with regards IAP implementation. The framework adopted for HighARCS can be used to synthesise and summarise SWOT analysis outcomes. Definitions to inform the completion of the framework are presented here:
|Logframe for IAP activity planning and monitoring (doc)||
A logframe-based approach to planning can assist in structuring the facilitation of IAP implementation and monitoring the resulting activities and achievements. Logframe Outputs may be considered the same as discreet Actions proposed in IAPs and various logframe Activities will be needed to achieve logframe Outputs. Identification of appropriate Verifiable Indicators and Means of Verification should contribute greatly to planning appropriate monitoring and evaluation approaches. Assumptions and risks are also made explicit. Furthermore, each goal, purpose, output and activity should be considered in relation to the ways they impact differently on men, women, boys and girls.
|Gantt chart for IAP activity planning and monitoring (doc)||
An appropriately detailed timetable or Gantt chart can be developed to coordinate activities and provide a transparent basis for monitoring progress.