Clarifying Climate Ambitions and Actions through the Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative: Toward a Comprehensive Climate Monitoring and Evaluation System in Rwanda
African leaders are engaging enthusiastically with global efforts to combat climate change. Nearly all African countries have established nationally determined contributions (NDCs) outlining their climate mitigation commitments, and many have developed National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) identifying their adaptation goals. Despite strong political will, the implementation of NDCs, NAPs and related national climate strategies poses significant challenges and requires investments in data and analytical capacities, as well as strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems.
The Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative (CACCI) strives to help accelerate implementation of NDCs and NAPs by meeting needs for data and analytics, as well as supporting institutional and coordination capacities. In Africa, AKADEMIYA2063 and the African Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ANAPRI) are leading efforts under CACCI in close collaboration with the African Union Commission and climate stakeholders in selected countries. The initiative is helping to inform countries’ climate change planning with data and evidence and strengthening capacities for evidence-based climate policy design, implementation and tracking.
In Rwanda, AKADEMIYA2063 leads CACCI in partnership with the Ministry of Environment (MoE), the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and other national climate stakeholders to advance implementation of national climate ambitions. Data and analytical support provided through CACCI includes developing and operationalizing tools for tracking greenhouse gas emissions, assessing climate risk and vulnerability, and identifying potential outcomes of alternative actions and investments for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In addition, CACCI has done significant work to assist the Government of Rwanda in clarifying the country’s climate ambitions and actions and taking steps to develop a unified and comprehensive M&E system to track progress toward Rwanda’s climate goals.
Key climate strategy documents in Rwanda include the updated NDC, which presents ambitious emissions reductions goals, and the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS), which serves as the country’s NAP. Rwanda has multiple climate-related M&E frameworks, including the Rwanda Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) framework to track the NDC and the Rwanda Adaptation Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) system for the GGCRS, as well as other frameworks associated with specific government agencies. The MoE has developed the Environment and Natural Resources Management Information System (ENR-MIS) as a web-based data repository and information system for environment-related indicators, including selected indicators from the MRV. The ENR-MIS represents a major achievement in bringing together key indicators in an inclusive system; it has been designed to allow all government bodies at national and district levels to upload, analyze and visualize data. However, the ENR-MIS, as well as the MRV framework and MEL system, is not yet fully operational.
Numerous challenges must be overcome to operationalize climate-related M&E in Rwanda. Key among them are the multiplicity of systems, each with their own sets of partially overlapping indicators. This creates issues of duplication of efforts and inefficient use of resources, and poses risks of discrepancies in values of similar indicators reported in different systems. In addition, the long list of indicators included in the different M&E systems poses practical challenges; efforts are required to identify a manageable number of trackable, measurable indicators that are squarely relevant to Rwanda’s climate goals. Finally, some M&E systems do not organize indicators hierarchically or differentiate the outputs of climate actions and investments from their ultimate outcomes.
To support efforts by the government of Rwanda to operationalize its climate tracking systems, AKADEMIYA2063 developed an Integrated Result Framework (IRF) clarifying relationships and interdependencies among Rwanda’s climate ambitions and proposed actions. The IRF identifies a core set of key performance indicators to track progress on climate goals, specifying proposed data sources and institutions responsible. A key recommendation accompanying the IRF is to avoid duplication of efforts and build a consistent reporting system by designating the ENR-MIS as the country’s central environmental and climate data repository platform. This will provide a unified source for climate data for both internal and external users, allowing the country to consistently track and report progress on national, regional and global climate commitments.
REMA and MoE experts provided input into the development of the IRF and approved the final document in mid-2023. AKADEMIYA2063, REMA and MoE are currently engaging in conversations around the integration of other M&E systems with the ENR-MIS, and will initiate a broader discussion among Rwanda’s climate stakeholders on the integration of the M&E systems in the coming months. Ultimately, an integrated and comprehensive system will help Rwanda to more effectively track the performance of climate interventions and progress toward climate commitments, allowing the country to scale up successful actions and correct course where needed to accelerate the achievement of its goals.