Table of Contents

Introduction Tools
Key Concepts Results
Topics Activity
Key Messages Further reading
Takeaways  

 

Introduction

The Political Economy of Mainstreaming introduces a programmatic approach to poverty-environment mainstreaming and a theory of change. It discusses finding the right entry points and making the case—actions which set the stage for poverty-environment mainstreaming. It details the specific activities comprising this effort—namely, preliminary assessments; identifying and understanding the poor; understanding the governmental, institutional and political contexts; assessing and strengthening mainstreaming capacities; raising awareness and building partnerships; and establishing working mechanisms for sustained mainstreaming.

 

Key concepts
 

  • Objectives that benefit the poor and help sustain the environment and natural resources are to be woven into the core policies and activities of government.

  • A programmatic approach to mainstreaming environment and natural resource objectives takes advantage of the national context.

  • Preliminary assessments help governments identify planning, budgeting and public finance mechanisms that can drive change.

  • Coordination mechanisms bring Ministries of Finance and Planning, along with Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources and other line ministries, play an important role in building coherent policies across sectors.

  • Indicators help measure polices that are friendly to the poor and promote environmental sustainability.

  • Relevant sectors and subnational administrations deliver mainstreaming on the ground.

  • A Theory of Change guides the design, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects to promote poverty-environment objectives.

  • Where there’s political will, there’s a way.

 

Topics covered in this chapter

  • Political Economy

  • Programmatic approach

  • Environment and natural resources sustainability

  • Poverty-environment mainstreaming

  • Entry point

  • Preliminary assessments

  • Poor, understanding the

  • Ex ante and ex post poverty

  • Governmental, institutional and political contexts

  • Mainstreaming capacity

  • Cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms

  • Sustaining mainstreaming

  • Strategic environmental assessment

  • Environmental and social assessment

  • Integrated ecosystem assessment

  • Poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) / assessment

  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

  • Public expenditure and institutional reviews (e.g. Public Environmental Expenditure Review and Climate Public Environmental and Institutional Review)

  • National monitoring systems and indicators

  • Theory of Change

  • Political will
     

Key messages

  • Objectives that benefit the poor and help sustain the environment and natural resources are woven into the core policies and activities of government

Integrating such objectives in national, subnational and sectorial plans and budgets is a key strategy for generating pro-poor, pro-environment change.

Among the core activities of government, include national, subnational and sectorial planning and budgeting for both public and private investments in the country’s development.

  • A programmatic approach to mainstreaming environment and natural resource objectives takes advantage of the national context

    To promote success, governments can apply the poverty-Environment Initiative’s programmatic approach to mainstreaming environment and natural resource objectives that benefit the poor while sustaining natural resources, an approach that is flexible and tailored to a country’s particular situation.

    The Initiative’s programmatic approach is carried out iteratively – or in cycles of related actions (also called ‘components’) that are continuously applied – and pragmatically, taking advantage of the national context and opportunities as they arise.

  • Preliminary assessments help governments identify planning, budgeting and public finance mechanisms that can drive change

    To start the cycle of mainstreaming, governments have first to identify desirable outcomes that address their environment and natural resources sustainability, climate change adaptation and other development needs for the benefit of the poor.

    Preliminary assessments help governments identify government-led planning, budgeting and public finance mechanisms that can drive change, as well as stakeholders who may share an interest in making the case for poverty-environment mainstreaming.

    Preliminary assessments are usually relatively limited in scope, depth and time frame, allowing the government to achieve in the short term finding the entry points, raising awareness and making the case for mainstreaming poverty-environment.

    Preliminary assessments can be largely based on existing information, such as poverty and gender assessments, state of the environment reports, or analysis on environment costs and benefits.

    Assessments of the poorest segments of society and their dependence on environment and natural resources are undertaken by the Government with the assistance of the Initiative.

    Economic appraisals of Government policies and plans help assign the costs of inaction and the benefits of changing patterns of access to and investment in environment and natural resources for those who are poor and vulnerable.

    Understanding the differences between how men and women access environment and natural resources and how their management impacts on their wellbeing is part of developing impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessments that can guide decision making.

    Assessments of the capacity of governments to deliver on mainstreaming poverty-environment objectives into their decision making processes further contributes to finding the right entry and leverage points for generating change and continuous progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

    Understanding the essential contexts in which the Initiative is undertaken fosters the participation of stakeholders in these assessments, at different scales from global to local.

  • Coordination mechanisms bring Ministries of Finance and Planning, along with Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources and other line ministries, play an important role in building coherent policies across sectors

    Effective ‘cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms’ can break through existing barriers to eliminating poverty through better management of environment and natural resources.

    Governments coordinate across ministries, planning agencies and other institutions involved in development to raise awareness of what is required and build strong partnerships with stakeholders

    Formulating indicators is a key part of measuring change towards polices that are friendly to the poor and promote environmental sustainability – the continuous access to environment and natural resources that are maintained to serve the needs of present and future generations.

  • Relevant sectors and subnational administrations deliver mainstreaming on the ground

    Mainstreaming does not stop at the national level, but is communicated by relevant sectors, such as agriculture, extractive industries (energy, mining), fisheries and water resource management, and to subnational administrations, through their budget processes, monitoring and private investments.

    The sustainability of poverty-environment mainstreaming happens through replication of national budget allocations to support implementation of national development policies and plans. Periodically these are reviewed and updated as part of a national capacity-building programme to embed capacity in each mainstreaming component described above.

    Non-governmental actors, including civil society organizations, academic and research institutes, business and industry, media, and the general public, can play a big part in advancing the integration of poverty-environment objectives into development planning at all levels, and powerful advocates of mainstreaming can be found among them.

  • A Theory of Change is a method applied to the design, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects to promote change

    Elements of a Theory of Change include analysis of the social, political and environment context facing a country; definition of the long-term change of the Initiative hopes to achieve, along with its sequencing and causal pathway; assumptions underpinning each step in the sequence of change; and a diagram and narrative summarizing the theory of change.

  • Where there’s political will, there’s a way

    Assessing whether there is political will for mainstreaming is an ongoing task and cannot be simply taken as given.

 

Takeaways

Did you know?

  • Mainstreaming poverty-environment objectives is a long-term process and can take 5 to 15 years of sustained institutional change to achieve.

  • An economic analysis of natural resource management by the Government of Rwanda found that, due to environment degradation, poverty had increased, provincial health budgets were escalating and soil loss of 15 million tons per year was costing the country 2 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product annually.

  • As a result of Rwanda’s economic analysis of natural resource management, the environment was included in the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy and a specific target set to control soil erosion.

  • In Rwanda, the cost of electricity had increased by up to 167 per cent following the degradation of the Gishwati forest and the Rugezi wetland. Siltation from soil erosion and reduced water levels in the lakes and hydropower reservoirs downstream decreased electricity generation and resulted in an additional cost of $65,000 per day as fossil fuel-generated electricity replaced hydropower.

 

Tools

Adjusted Net Savings

Awareness raising [Box 3.5 Raising Journalist Awareness of Poverty-Environment Linkages in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan] , Box 3.5 Government, Donors, Non-governmental Organizations and Media Advocate for Sustainable Development in Malawi]

Capacity Development [Figure 3.3 Dimensions of Capacity Development]

Climate Public Environmental and Institutional Review (CPEIR)

Climate risk assessment

Cost-benefit Analysis [Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes]

Economic assessment of natural resource use [Box 3.2 Economic Studies on Natural Resource Management in Rwanda and Land Degradation in Tajikistan]

Ex ante Poverty Impact Assessment

Gender analysis [Box 3.3 Gender Analysis for Equitable and Sustainable [Environment and Natural Resources] Management]

Gender into climate policy: toolkit for climate experts and decision-makers

General Equilibrium Modelling [Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes]

Institutional and Context Analysis [Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes]

Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) [Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes]

Multidimensional Vulnerability Index [Box. 3. 4 Multidimensional Vulnerability Index at the Household Level Developed to Address Climate Shocks in the Dominican Republic]

Institutional and Context Analysis

Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

Multidimensional Poverty Index

National Capacity self-assessment

Poverty and Social Impact Analysis

Poverty Impact Assessment [Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes]

Poverty Mapping

Public Environmental Expenditure Review

Strategic Environmental Assessment

State of the Environment reports

Vulnerability assessment [Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes]

 

Results

Awareness raising [Box 3.5 Raising Journalist Awareness of Poverty-Environment Linkages in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan] , Box 3.5 Government, Donors, Non-governmental Organizations and Media Advocate for Sustainable Development in Malawi]

Economic assessment of natural resource use [Box 3.2 Economic Studies on Natural Resource Management in Rwanda and Land Degradation in Tajikistan]

Multidimensional Vulnerability Index [Box. 3. 4 Multidimensional Vulnerability Index at the Household Level Developed to Address Climate Shocks in the Dominican Republic]

 

Activity: The Political Economy of Mainstreaming

Discuss in a small group:

Has a preliminary assessment been undertaken of the country’s development, environment and natural resources, climate and socio-economic situation?

Have the following three issues been taken into consideration in understanding poverty-environment linkages and how to influence policy:

  • Identification and understanding of the poor and their interdependence with environment and natural resources

  • Understanding the political, economic and institutional landscape in which policymakers operate

  • Understanding climate risks and vulnerability?

Is the analysis in identifying and understanding the poor disaggregated to take into account the following:

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Ethnicity

  • Urban/rural

  • Other variables which address the needs of different social groups?

Have the following methodologies been considered to identify and understand the poor:

  • Income poverty assessments

  • Participatory survey techniques and assessments;

  • Multidimensional poverty assessments?

Has the assessment of the governmental, institutional and political contexts begun by identifying the following:

  • Planning and budgeting processes which shape the country’s development and environmental priorities

  • Institutions and actors in government, non-governmental sectors and the broader development community

  • Existing development policies and initiatives at the national and sector levels which are relevant to the poverty-environment mainstreaming effort

  • Governance and political situation which may affect mainstreaming?

Have gender-sensitive impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessments been undertaken to understand how climate change will affect livelihoods and development priorities?

Have the following key steps been considered when assessing capacity development needs in the context of mainstreaming?

  • Assess the political and institutional context

  • Identify key actors and their capacity development needs

  • Identify opportunities to shape organizational incentives

  • Identify awareness and knowledge needs, and existing analytical tools

  • Identify options for policy response

Have poverty-environment mainstreaming programmes assessed the effectiveness of vertical, horizontal and cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms and supported enhancements to improve them in order to sustain programme impact?

Has a communications strategy been developed to disseminate and translate the results of poverty-environment tools and assessments to a wider audience and into more accessible language?

Have the following elements been considered in developing a communications strategy:

  • The overall objective of the poverty-environment mainstreaming effort

  • The principal target audience

  • The secondary target audience

  • Key messages to convey the evidence

  • Tools and products required to convey the messages using national and local languages and multimedia?

 

Further reading

Guidance Note on Advocacy and Strategic Communications. Annex F. Mainstreaming Environment and Climate for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development (2015). UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative

Guidance Note on Integrating Environment-linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes (2015). UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative.

Poverty-Environment Mainstreaming Tools. Annex G, Mainstreaming Environment and Climate for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development (2015). UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative

 

Published Date: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017