IIED's best of 2018: publications

Article, 21 December 2018

IIED published nearly 200 publications during 2018, ranging from research reports to policy briefings to toolkits and case studies. Here are the top 10 most downloaded.

Top publications of 2018

More than 7,000 publications are available free of charge in PDF format from our Publications Library. We have compiled a list of the top 10 most-downloaded publications from 2018 with links to related blogs and project pages.

1

cover of Understanding and assessing equity in protected area conservation: a matter of governance, rights, social impacts and human wellbeing

Understanding and assessing equity in protected area conservation: a matter of governance, rights, social impacts and human wellbeing

Issue paper

Equity – or fairness – is increasingly recognised as a crucial issue for conservation, yet it is poorly defined and understood. Focusing on protected areas (PAs), this paper aims to help managers and policymakers make conservation fairer, in the belief that fairer conservation is vital for effective conservation as well as human well-being. We explain the meaning of equity in a conservation context and then examine how equity relates to the more widely understood concepts of rights, governance, social impact and human wellbeing.

This 38-page issue paper suggests four ways to assess the equity of PA management and governance, of varying rigour, feasibility and credibility. We conclude that giving more attention to enhancing equity, rather than directly improving livelihoods, could lead to greater contributions of PAs to human wellbeing, as well as better conservation.

More about this work: IIED has developed and tested a relatively simple, low-cost methodology for assessing the positive and negative social impacts of protected areas. Read the blog on why a new international decision recognising the importance of equity in conservation could help tackle the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss.


2

Cover of VNR reporting needs evaluation: a call for global guidance and national action

VNR reporting needs evaluation: a call for global guidance and national action

IIED Briefing

This briefing analyses 43 ‘Voluntary National Reviews’ (VNRs) of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Extending a 2016 analysis, it finds that monitoring is strong but evaluation systems and processes often remain missing or misunderstood. Sporadic good practice is emerging, such as: linked National Evaluation Policy and action planning (Nepal); recognition of the SDGs’ complexity when considering evaluation (Czech Republic); learning through evaluation (Ethiopia and Kenya); and drawing on findings from past evaluations (Belize). Countries still to submit their first VNR could build on these examples. We also recommend action for the UN Secretary-General, the UN Evaluation Group, national governments, international organisations and professional evaluators to jointly address the significant gaps.

More about this work: Evaluation processes will play a key role in national and global review systems for the Sustainable Development Goals. IIED and EVALSDGs have published a series of briefings about evaluation designed to help promote effective conduct and use of evaluation in SDGs implementation, follow-up and review.


3

Cover of Citizen-generated evidence for a more sustainable and healthy food system

Citizen-generated evidence for a more sustainable and healthy food system

Research report

Evidence generation by and with low-income citizens is important if policymakers are to improve understanding of people’s diets and the food systems they use, particularly the informal economy. The informal food economy is the main route for low-income communities to secure food, and is an important source of employment, especially for women and youth. The very nature of informality means that the realities of poor people’s lives are often invisible to policymakers. This invisibility is a major factor in exclusion and results in frequent mismatches between policy and local realities.

This research report focuses on citizen-generated evidence as a means for defending and improving the food system of the poor. It clearly outlines a range of approaches to citizen-generated evidence including primary data collection and citizen access to and use of existing information.

More about this work: The Sustainable Diets for All programme coordinated by IIED, Hivos and local partners to help low-income communities in Bolivia, Indonesia, Uganda and Zambia improve their access to diverse, high quality, sustainable food. Read the blog that reports back from a dialogue on increasing dietary diversity and local food systems in Bolivia, and highlights a new video showing how women play a vital role in the food cycle, from production to consumption.


4

Cover of Forest business incubation: Towards sustainable forest and farm producer organisation (FFPO) businesses that ensure climate resilient landscapes

Forest business incubation: Towards sustainable forest and farm producer organisation (FFPO) businesses that ensure climate resilient landscapes

Research report

Forest business incubation is a process that accelerates the development of successful, sustainable forest businesses that serve both people and forests. The process is critical for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, strengthening forest economies, increasing rural incomes and improving climate resilience.

IIED has been studying how different organisations around the world are going about incubating sustainable forest businesses. This research has culminated in a 300-page report that analyses why forest business incubation is both challenging and different from business incubation in urban settings and includes detailed case studies of efforts to deliver business incubation services in forest landscapes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

More about this work: Earlier this year, the Forest and Farm Facility partnership launched phase two of its powerful new approach to strengthening forests and forest producers.


5

Cover fo Refugees, healthcare and crises: informal Syrian health workers in Lebanon

Refugees, healthcare and crises: informal Syrian health workers in Lebanon

Working paper

In Syria, seven years of conflict has been catastrophic. Thousands of qualified doctors and health workers have left since 2011. In neighbouring countries, informal employment among displaced Syrian health workers is broadly acknowledged. But the scale, scope and nature are poorly documented.

This working paper details both the scale and the challenges Syrian healthcare workers face in Lebanon. It explores strategies Syrian health workers use to help cope with barriers such as formal labour market entry, the threat of deportation, ethical challenges in practice, and discrimination.

More about this work: We're continuing our relationship with refugee stakeholders in different contexts. Find out more about another project exploring inclusive health systems and infrastructure access for refugees in East African Cities.


6

Cover of The spice of life: the fundamental role of diversity on the farm and on the plate

The spice of life: the fundamental role of diversity on the farm and on the plate

Report

This 56-page synthesis discusses why agricultural biodiversity and dietary diversity are important, the relationship between them, the reasons why they are at risk, and what can be done to foster them. It calls for action to reverse these trends, in order to put diversity back in our farming systems and on our plates and to preserve it where it still exists.

Drawing on literature review, action research, innovation and multi-stakeholder platforms in Indonesia, Uganda, Zambia and Bolivia as part of the Sustainable Diets for All Programme coordinated by Hivos, IIED and partners, the paper aims to inform policymakers, agriculturalists and civil society working on these issues.

More about this work: This blog from International Day for Biodiversity explores how we can reverse the alarming loss of biodiversity in agriculture and foster diverse diets.


7

Cover of Ecosystems, poverty alleviation and conditional transfers

Ecosystems, poverty alleviation and conditional transfers

Toolkit

Social conditional transfers (CTs) and payments for ecosystem services (PES) have the same starting point: the assumption that direct, conditional incentives are the most effective way to change behaviour. However, contextual disadvantages affect the capacity for the very poor to comply. Successful CT/PES schemes have high level political support, sustainable financing streams, lean institutional set-ups, tools and systems for effective implementation, and a clear ability to demonstrate impact.

This toolkit helps to bridge this space by 1) making evidence accessible, bringing the latest evidence from research on PES in theory and practice with documented case studies written for practitioners; and 2) supporting teaching modules which can be used to promote capacity building of practitioners.

More about this work: The research project has wrapped up but for more on the concepts and IIED’s research see Conditional transfers for poverty reduction and ecosystem management.


8

Cover of Social Assessment for Protected and Conserved Areas (SAPA) Methodology manual for SAPA facilitators

Social Assessment for Protected and Conserved Areas (SAPA) Methodology manual for SAPA facilitators

Toolkit

This is the revised second edition of a 99-page manual that provides detailed guidance for using the Social Assessment for Protected and Conserved Areas (SAPA) methodology.

SAPA is a methodology for assessing the positive and negative impacts of a protected area (PA) or conserved area (CA) and related conservation and development activities on the wellbeing of communities living within and around the PA/CA. It uses a multi-stakeholder process that enables PA/CA stakeholders working together to increase and more equitably share positive social impacts, and reduce negative social impacts.

More about this work: People’s perception of equity is important because a sense of unfairness can fuel resentment that can be a significant motivation for poaching and other illegal activities. But progress towards delivering more equitable management is limited, with few people understanding the meaning of equity in a conservation context or having the means to assess it. The SAPA methodology provides a practical solution.


9

Cover of Boko Haram: protection issues for displaced and distressed women and children in Northern Nigerian cities

Boko Haram: protection issues for displaced and distressed women and children in Northern Nigerian cities

Working paper

The Boko Haram insurgency has engulfed many parts of Northern Nigeria since 2010. About two million people have fled into urban areas around crisis zones. However, barely 10 per cent of these internally displaced persons (IDPs) are sheltered in formal humanitarian camps.

This 52-page working paper explores the difficult situations facing IDPs in the major urban areas of Kano and Maiduguri, focusing on women and children. It highlights gaps in policy, philosophy and practice. Fragmentation and inter-agency rivalry has crippled local intervention programmes, and protection for displaced people urgently needs to be strengthened through institutional reforms and collaborative problem solving.

More about this work: Urban areas are increasingly the sites of humanitarian crises, from natural disasters to conflict and displacement. IIED is working to build the knowledge and capacity to respond of humanitarian actors working in urban areas, and of urban actors facing humanitarian crises.


10

Cover of Ecosystem-based adaptation: a handbook for EbA in mountain, dryland and coastal ecosystems

Ecosystem-based adaptation: a handbook for EbA in mountain, dryland and coastal ecosystems

Toolkit

This 119-page toolkit provides practical guidance for planning and implementing community-led ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in three vulnerable ecosystems: mountains, drylands and coastal areas. It is intended for project managers, practitioners and technical specialists. The guidance is structured around eight key steps in the project cycle and includes general implementation protocols for EbA in each target ecosystem. It also includes an introduction to EbA which is intended for a broader audience, including policymakers.

More about this work: Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) involves people using biodiversity and ecosystem services to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and promote sustainable development. IIED, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) are implementing a project called 'Ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation: strengthening the evidence and informing policy'. Working with local partners in 12 countries, the project aims to gather practical evidence and develop policy guidance on how EbA can best be implemented.


BONUS

11

Cover of A guide to transparency under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement

A guide to transparency under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement

Toolkit

In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, all countries have obligations to report on their actions to address climate change and its impacts and to take part in review processes that consider the information Parties provide. The Paris Agreement establishes an enhanced transparency framework that will build on this system of reporting and review. Least Developed Country (LDC) Parties alongside all other Parties will have new reporting obligations to consider under the enhanced transparency framework which will have a more comprehensive approach to transparency around climate action and support to enable those actions.

This toolkit published in December 2017 provides practical information to help prepare various reports and communications under the UNFCCC as well as take part in the relevant review processes. It also provides a glimpse into the ongoing negotiations to develop the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement and some of the implications for those preparing reports and communications for their countries.

More about this work: We help to push for rules that will deliver commitments to keep us below a 1.5°C rise in global temperatures through compelling evidence and by enhancing countries' ability to engage. Our capacity-strengthening support helps LDCs and other vulnerable developing countries to fully and meaningfully engage in the UN negotiating process and climate diplomacy.


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