MRV across multi-level governance: national, provincial and municipal institutions in South Africa

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Energy Research Centre

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University of Cape Town


University of Cape Town

Local, provincial and national government all play an important role in the delivery of climate projects. Therefore they will also be critical in implementing the M&E framework as set out in the Climate Change White Paper (DEA, 2011) The White Paper requires the release of the draft Monitoring & Evaluation system by October 2013 (Letete, 2012). A nationally coordinated M&E system will require integration of data from a variety of public and private sector institutions. This case study focuses on drilling down into how sub-national level government in South Africa are engaging with monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of climate projects. Interviews and stakeholder consultations have provided insight into some of the existing reporting practises and highlighted some of the learnings and experiences from local and provincial government. This study suggests that there are already many MRV-related activities underway that can inform the national process and also demonstrated that there is a willingness of sub-national institutions to engage with the development of the national M&E system. However the practicality of this depends on a few key issues. With 9 provinces, 8 metros, 44 districts and 278 local governments (DEA, 2012) , it is inevitable that the capacity to undertake MRV of climate projects varies significantly from larger metropolitan municipalities to smaller municipalities. The system must build on existing reporting structures and not introduce onerous requirements – rather use simple reporting principles with clear guidelines. Identifying the essential elements that require reporting rather than immediately aiming for the highest accuracy and quality of data is suggested. For example, one local workshop participant noted: “it does not have to be perfect from the word go but must be good enough- avoiding a situation where we have to invest in a polished system before it is useful. The system should be iterative.” Essentially any national MRV system has to take cognisance of these issues whilst also remembering that for local government in South Africa, priorities lie with providing basic service delivery.