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Conservation International

Conservation International needed a Design Document and MERL Framework prepared following the approval of a project concept by MFAT.

As they were new to working with MFAT as a donor, Conservation International needed a provider who understood the business processes involved in preparing MFAT’s Activity Design Document, MERL Framework and budget.

Mangroves in Kiribati, 2019

What we did

Kirsty and Greg worked with Conservation International to channel the project concept through a rigorous design process.

We provided a framework for discussions and negotiations with partners on the ground in Samoa and Tokelau. This framework covered : what were the priorities, what was the most important to achieve, who were the partners, how would they work together, what input would the Government of Samoa have, what could communities contribute, what were the key indicators of success, and how could progress best be monitored? And so on. It was essential to articulate answers to these questions that resonated with MFAT if the project was to be finally approved for funding.

What were the results?

The following were significant benefits for our client, its partners, local communities, and MFAT from this intervention:

  1. As we were familiar with MFAT’s approach, templates and tools, we completed the first drafts of the documents for consultation and refinement by the Conservation International team and their partners. At the same time we coached Conservation International so that, for future MFAT-approved projects, they could do this project design work themselves.

  2. Communities in Samoa and Tokelau have a well-designed project to increase knowledge and understanding about the impact of climate change on their nearshore communities and can use this knowledge to inform changes in behaviour and practice in order to cope with expected changes due to climate change.

  3. MFAT can support a locally-led initiative that could be a game-changer for small-scale success that can be adopted as national policy, scaled up and rolled out elsewhere.

What did Conservation International say about us?

"Kirsty and Greg worked diligently with us as we worked to clearly communicate to a new donor how we will deliver on the ambition and promise of our initial concept note within, the constraints of MFAT, available funding, and the impact of the COVID pandemic. They were professional, grounded and motivated and provided frank advice just when we needed it!”

Schannel Van Dijken, Project Manager



Conservation International: Activity design and MERL Framework, 2021







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