Grants

RCMRD/SERVIR ESA PHASE-II GRANTS PROGRAMME SUMMARY

SERVIR-Eastern & Southern Africa (E&SA) Grants Program objective is to expand SERVIR-ESA’s network of partner organizations in the region and to generate innovative ideas for applying earth observation data and geospatial methods/tools for development decision-making in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. The anticipated outcome of the grant activities is to stimulate the innovative use of geospatial tools and information to translate science into sustainable policy and practice that addresses the development challenges posed by environmental and climate stresses.

The grants program is supported by the SERVIR Climate Services Support Activity (SERVIR Support), a four-year project funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics International Inc. based in Washington, DC.  The overarching program goal of SERVIR Support is to improve USAID communication of SERVIR hub results and impacts, facilitate reliable access to SERVIR’s online data and tools, and provide technical assistance to hubs and in-region partners.

The grants program is managed by both RCMRD/SERVIR-ESA and SERVIR Support team, and grantees work with both representatives from RCMRD/SERVIR-ESA in Nairobi and SERVIR Support in Washington, DC.

Based on the Request for Applications (RFA), announced in late June 2017, SERVIR sought to award grants to organizations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia to produce earth observation and GIS applications within four (4) service/thematic areas: Agriculture & Food Security, Land Use/Land Cover & Ecosystems, Water Resources & Hydro-climatic Disasters, and Weather & Climate. The estimated budget for the Grants program in Eastern and Southern Africa region was set by USAID at USD 250,000 dollars and the projects were to be implement for a period of not more than nine months. 

A total of 41 applications were received with varying geographic coverage. After thorough technical evaluation, conducted by RCMRD, NASA, and USAID technical experts, 13 applicants were selected to proceed to second round of evaluations (full proposals). A total of nine projects, six private institutions and three public institutions (government institution) were selected for the grants award. The successful applicants are from Kenya (4), Tanzania (2), Uganda (2) and Rwanda (1). After negotiations and approval by USAID, the grants activities kicked off in March 2019. 

A Kick-off Workshop took place in April 2019 at RCMRD. All the nine grantees were represented in the workshop. The objective of the kick-off workshop was to provide an opportunity to grantees to understand the roles and responsibilities of each party involved and to outline the grant activities. A close-out. Exchange workshop is planned for mid-2020. 

A summary of the grants activities is outlined below (please note the listing does not reflect any particular order): 

 

1. E Link Consult (Private Institution), Tanzania 

Focus area:  Weather and Climate

Activity: Assessment of climate change vulnerability using GIS tools and enhancement of community adaptive capacity in Chalinze District – Tanzania

Status: Completed

Summary

The main objective of this research project was to conduct vulnerability assessment and hotspot mapping in Chalinze District using the Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and to develop practical climate change adaptation interventions. The research produced valuable data sets and maps, which were shared with various relevant stakeholders across scale and levels within the District including policy and decision makers for effective communities’ adaptation to climate change impacts. Through a tailor-made participatory process, strategic adaptation interventions were developed and supported in one hotspot village in Chalinze district. This research contributed valuable information to the newly formed Chalinze District in spearheading the development agenda in light of climate change impacts and vulnerability knowledge, thus building community resilience and embracing sustainable development agenda.


 

2. Laikipia Wildlife Forum (Private Institution), Kenya

Focus area: Land Use/Land Cover & Ecosystems

Activity: Leveraging Citizen Science in Invasive Species Data Collection and Management in Northern Kenya Rangelands

Status: Completed

 Summary:

The Project mapped invasive species, particularly Opuntia stricta and Acacia reficiens in areas of northern Laikipia rangelands as part of their control and management. This was part of a wider effort to improve rangelands on pastoralist community lands. This mapping and monitoring effort used an App pioneered by RCMRD/SERVIR ESA and is a citizen science project.


 

3. Wetlands International Kenya (Private Institution), Kenya

Focus area: Water Resources & Hydro-climatic Disasters

Activity: Application of Geo-data in Water Resources Management for Sustainable Ecosystems and Improved Livelihoods in the Mid-Athi Catchment, Kenya

Status: Ongoing

Summary:

This project aims at developing and making available a reliable data monitoring system for stakeholders to inform decision making for improved water resources management, sustainable livelihoods and strengthened community resilience. A participatory process will be employed to ensure stakeholder needs and concerns are incorporated in the tool development process and application. The evidence produced from the collected geo-data will be used to develop a business case that will influence private sector institutions to make business decisions that take into account social and environmental safeguards.


 

4. Kenya Meteorological Society (Private Institution), Kenya

Focus area: Weather & Climate

Activity: Strengthening Community understanding, and uptake of climate forecasts interfaced with indigenous knowledge systems in Kenya to promote agriculture adaptation to effects of Climate Change and Variability.

Status: Completed

Summary:

The grant addressed difficulties vulnerable communities face including lack of access of climate information and related issues on use of climate information for decision making on the farm to address climate impacts on agriculture. The grant addressed lack of reliability in data and how insitu observations and knowledge and information held by vulnerable communities can be used to address these gaps. The main activity to address these was through developing and facilitating a strong climate information service (CIS) that interfaces climate information from insitu and earth observations, and spatial data with locally owned indigenous knowledge through co-production and pilot activities with the affected communities. It also included development of capacity to use the climate information through community engagement. Activities included data collection, use and analysis using field surveys, face to face interviews, community engagements, meetings with key informants among others.


 

5. Coastal Oceans Research and Development Indian Ocean (CORDIO) (private institution), Kenya

Focus area: Land Use/Land Cover & Ecosystems

Activity: Bringing coral reef and coastal ecosystem data into County decision-making in Kenya

Status: Completed

Summary:

This project aimed at facilitating the use of coral reef and other coastal and marine information in core sectors (ecosystem health, food provisioning, economic development, disaster prevention, etc.) to support County government planning and decision making. This was done by compiling the relevant information and making it accessible to County government and the public where possible, and by developing policy-relevant integrated indices that can speed the uptake of data products in decision-making circles. With relevant County government officials, the project identified and developed outputs designed for their internal processes, such as County Spatial and Integrated Development Planning.


 

6. Earth Consult (U) Ltd

Focus area: Agriculture & Food Security

Activity: Building the capacity of National Agricultural Research Organization institutes in integration of geospatial tools for climate-smart precision agriculture (site-specific crop management)

Status: Completed

Summary:

The project aimed at building capacity of researchers in NARO institutes in using geospatial tools and earth observation data to locate suitable agro-ecological zones for new crop cultivars before multiplication or dissemination. The innovation aligned crop requirements to appropriate edaphic factors under optimal climatic conditions so as to maximize agricultural production. The overall objective was to enhance agricultural production so as to ensure food security, particularly among vulnerable groups. The specific objectives were to: 1) build capacity of researchers in NARO institutes in GIS and remote sensing techniques and tools for precision agriculture for agricultural intensification; 2) carry-out site matching of existing crops using earth observation data and geospatial techniques/tools; and 3) sensitize farmers and other key stakeholders on the importance of precision agriculture in increasing food production and ensuring food security.


 

In-Kind Grantees

The purpose of the in-kind grant award was to provide critical assets required by the Grantees to independently conduct activities related to geospatial observations and analyses. Thus, the award will eliminate/reduce capacity gaps experienced by each Grantee as well as enhance Grantee’s self-sufficiency when designing and implementing geospatial observations and analyses. Critical assets, as defined in this Agreement include, but not limited to equipment, goods, commodities, software, and select services (e.g. personnel training and certification costs).

 

1. Ardhi University (Public institution), Tanzania

Focus area: Water Resources & Hydro-climatic Disasters

Activity: Integrating HEC-RAS Hydraulic Modeling with Participatory GIS to Assess Flood Risk in Dar es Salaam City Tanzania to Enhance Community Resilience.

Status: Ongoing

Summary: 

Activities supported by the award are anticipated to include, but not limited to: land surveying; preparation of base maps and survey instruments; field data collection; data processing and analysis; conducting risk assessments that include mapping of elements at risk; design and development of appropriate databases etc.

 

2. Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (Public Institution), Rwanda

Focus area: Water Resources & Hydro-climatic Disasters

Activity: Application of Earth Observation Technology (EOT) to Improve Water Resources

Management in Nyabarongo Upper and Mukungwa catchments in Rwanda.

Status: Ongoing

Summary:

Activities supported by the award are anticipated to include, but not limited to: identification of flood-prone areas using remote sensing; delineation of sub-catchments of rivers; sediment sampling, laboratory analysis and measurements; modelling of flood extent and development of sediment rating curves; provision of flood and/or other risk maps; field data collection; data validation, data processing and analysis. 


 

3. National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) (Public institution), Uganda

Focus area: Land Use/Land Cover & Ecosystems

Activity: Use of remote sensing products to predict aquatic habitat conditions and biotic communities for Lake Victoria

Status: Ongoing

Summary

Activities supported by the award are anticipated to include, but not limited to: acquiring remote sensing data on key indicators of water and catchment conditions; acquisition of remote sensing data and observations of algae, water quality, and fish biodiversity; preparation of base maps and survey instruments; field data collection; data validation, data processing and analysis. 

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

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