Integrating remote sensing analysis with qualitative assessment for evaluating international development interventions

Authors: Anupam Anand*, Global Environment Facility, World Bank Group, Geeta Batra, Independent Evaluation Office, Global Environment Facility, World Bank Group
Topics: Development, Applied Geography, Natural Resources
Keywords: International development, remote sensing, mixed methods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Land Use change is a major driver of environmental degradation. In response, international efforts have prioritized land-based interventions since the Rio summit. The three Rio conventions UNCCD, UNFCCC, and CBD and many other regional conventions and treaties such as Bonn Challenge, and UN Forum on Forests have been making concerted efforts towards sustainable land management. The GEF as the financial mechanism for the five main environmental conventions has provided over $17.9 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $93.2 billion in co-financing in 170 countries, the majority of which are for land-based interventions in climate change, for biodiversity conservation and combatting land degradation. Monitoring and assessing these interventions have been challenging because these interventions are complex, and existing methods have constraints. Although remote sensing has made phenomenal progress over the last few decades, its application in monitoring and evaluation of these interventions have just begun to gain momentum. In this paper, we share the experience in using remote sensing analysis within a mixed method framework to evaluate land-based interventions. The examples from various evaluations of GEF supported projects highlight how remote sensing supplements theory-based approaches. We will discuss how this multi-disciplinary approach along with an understanding of project-specific contexts such as land tenure, governance, climate change, and migration have helped inform decision making for future project design and implementation. We highlight the lessons learned from conducting these evaluations, the challenges we came across, and provide insights for designing similar assessments.

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