Dryland Forestry

MEV-CAM reaches Latin America!


The FAO Dryland team’s MEV-CAM initiative kicked off its expansion into Latin America with a four-day training course on process documentation methods, its first-ever workshop held virtually.

Eleven participants from six Latin American countries with Monitoring & Evaluation, technical and communications backgrounds attended the training, gaining valuable insight into the use of innovative tools to approach process documentation, knowledge management, and a participatory way to complement monitoring and evaluation on the ground. Over the course of four sessions, trainees gained a solid background and overview of how to implement MEV-CAM’s methods, which put the participation of local communities at the forefront and emphasize the importance of process documentation tools to produce and monitor the knowledge and its most significant change.

Course topics

Day one introduced MEV-CAM, explaining the concept of process documentation and its key characteristics, including – crucially – the importance of promoting ownership by local communities to ensure the sustainability of project activities. Day two went into more depth using stories as a method of sharing experiences and the ‘most significant change’ methodology, which evidences the activities with the greatest impact from the perspective of local communities.

On day three, the training covered important considerations for implementing MEV-CAM’s tools, including creating spaces in which the beneficiaries feel comfortable, participate and empowered in the project activities and their follow-up. The session also highlighted the importance of keeping local dynamics in mind, recommending that teams undergo training before carrying out field activities, and facilitating the participation of women by offering spaces that do not add a burden to their responsibilities such as childcare. Similarly, day four covered practical tips as having an action plan that contains as much detail as possible about the objectives of the field visit, the importance of carrying out consent rounds with local communities, and information on the editing of videos, which is done together with the communities through the technique of paper editing.

The training course was closed by Nafis Khan, FAO Senior Programme Officer in the South - South and Triangular Cooperation Division, who highlighted the importance of MEV-CAM’s methods for South-South cooperation.

“Southern countries offer cost-effective development options that can be replicated for the benefit of other nations,” he said, adding that “South-South Cooperation also promotes collaboration among developing countries based on solidarity and is gaining importance in the international development cooperation landscape.” 

 “It is key for us to take advantage of these new tools and valuable knowledge to create impact at scale and foster cooperation among local communities,” he concluded. 

All trainees who took part in the course were engaged and so far, their feedback has been extremely positive. Over 80 percent of the participants said they would definitely implement MEV-CAM's methods in the field and many said it was an innovative tool and that it was extremely useful to encourage community participation. MEV-CAM is now looking forward to further expansion in Latin America – so stay tuned!