How do you see the role of your organization and others in the implementation of the SSF Guidelines?
The Fisheries Division (FD) of the Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries in Dominica is the government agency responsible for policy, management and development regarding fisheries. The Fisheries Division is the lead agency for spear heading the implementation of the SSF. It is the agency which will gather and disseminate information to other stakeholders and institutions. The FD is designed for such tasks and has some level of technical capacity but lacks financial resources for effective implementation. There already exists some channels of communications and information dissemination mechanisms which could facilitate the process. Relationships and partnerships has already been established with other agencies, organizations and local institutions which can play a critical role in the implementation of the SSF.
How can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the ‘voices of the marginalized?
What will be required at local, national, regional and global levels to ensure effective and efficient partnerships?
Information and communication – promoting experience sharing and collaboration
What best practices with regard to communication would you recommend for SSF Guidelines implementation at local, national, regional and global level?
What are your experiences from participatory monitoring and evaluation?
Monitoring should involve some level of collection of data on change of behavior over time, so that before and after changes could be scientifically recorded and be directly attributed to the intervention being made.
My experience is that this method of M&E allows for stakeholders and resource users to be integrally involved in the implementation process and to point out short comings, identify unforeseen problems, use traditional knowledge to the benefit of the project and to suggest corrective action themselves. There is transparency, greater buy in to the project and yields greater community benefit and satisfaction.
How can progress in implementing the SSF Guidelines be measured and reported in a useful way?
Set target values e.g. time frames, rates of expenditure of funds, level of awareness of persons, i.e determine what is to be measured so as to give an indication of progress.
1. The extent to which Small- scale fishers and fishing communities are aware of these guidelines.
2. The extent to which collaborating agencies or partnering institutions who can directly or indirectly influence implementation are aware of the SSF.
3. Determine how many workshops, seminars, focus group discussions, radio programmes, website hits etc have been held.
4. How many participants were involved in the seminars locally, nationally and regionally .
5. To what extent are the guidelines adopted into national and regional fisheries policy ie. How many countries actually has the SSF or components of it in their policy structures.
6. The degree to which the SSF has been approved and adopted by national governments. (very important). Or enacted into law.
7. Rate of expenditure of funds allocated.
Challenges and opportunities – needs for support and interventions . What do you think the main implementation challenges are, generally as well as in a specific country context, and how could they be overcome?
In the case of Dominica specific implementations challenges are ;
1. Endorsement of the guidelines in its entirety by the government will be a challenge although some aspects of it could be acceptable
2. Enactment of supporting legislation to give effect to the guidelines will be a great challenge based on past experiences. This is mainly due to the heavy work load of the Legal Affairs department of the Government. To solve this problem a consultancy to draft the legislation and to ensure broad participation in the drafting process is critical.
3. Institutional capacity to implement the SSF in a reasonable time frame is limited. Poor organizational set up and lack of institutional preparedness and involvement is one of the most critical areas of poor project implementation in Dominica. Therefore an implementation strategy should seek to build capacity and institutional strength through enhancement of community groups, understanding the social dynamics of fishing communities , strengthen linkages, partnerships and foster collaboration with government agencies and NGOs as necessary.
In addition to involving existing institutions, it is necessary to improve their functioning, and enhance their organizational structures where necessary, to achieve desired implementation goals and objectives. This aspect of capacity building and institutional development is critical for Dominica will also auger well for sustainability of the interventions to be made through the SSF.
4. Limited financial resources is a definite challenge. This is particularly so since in the first instance Government authorities may not be immediately convinced to commit budgetary allocations to this activity. Therefore sources of funding for implementation needs to be mobilized. Community groups, NGO’s and fisher folk organizations will be severely challenged financially.
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.