Eight Key Lessons of NAP Progress Reporting From Kenya and Burkina Faso

By Patrick Guerdat, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 | Lesson 6 | Lesson 7 | Lesson 8

In 2021, Burkina Faso and Kenya launched the development of NAP progress reports with support from the NAP Global Network.

For Burkina Faso, this will be their very first report capturing progress made over 5 years of implementing their NAP. This will allow the country to track the sector by sector progress made on the implementation of adaptation activities and inform the next version of their NAP.

For Kenya, they are embarking on their second progress report and are ready to apply some key lessons learned in terms of both the process of developing the progress report and the content itself.

During a webinar in June 2021, NAP focal points Kouka Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) and Thomas Lerenten Lelekoitien (Kenya) shared key lessons from their work on approaching NAP progress reporting.

Lesson 1: The objectives and methodology used will determine the rest of the reporting process

Clarifying the objectives and scope for the progress report can help identify the right methodology based on the available resources and set the process on the right path.

“We had previously tried a midterm evaluation that was unfortunately not successful because we did not have the appropriate methodology in place. This time, we had a committee to look at the different approaches used by other countries in terms of the collection and analysis of information, and to see which methodology would be the best aligned with our expectations,” said Burkina Faso’s Ouedraogo.

Lesson 2: Impact stories can be an important element of reporting progress on adaptation

Reporting on the implementation status of adaptation activities is essential to understanding what progress was made on adaptation and where it was made (sectors, regions), but perhaps even more important is the need to understand who benefited from the progress made and how. The use of case studies grounds the progress reporting process in realities that highlight those impacts and the various groups of people that have benefited from the progress made.

Lelekoitien says that in Kenya, “We are now encouraging stakeholders, in addition to giving us the data, to also give us stories of what is happening on the ground. For example, if the Ministry of Water reports developing a dam, we also would like to know how the community is benefiting from the construction or how it has helped build resilience. This story puts a face to that intervention.”

Lesson 3: Digital tools can increase the efficiency of data collection

To facilitate data and information collection across different agencies for the development of progress reports, and particularly during the time of COVID-19, a digital tool—such as Kobotoolbox, which Kenya’s Climate Change Division is using—can allow officials to reach more people in the reporting process. Stakeholders can upload their reports and data from anywhere using their preferred platforms (phone, laptop, tablet). The tool is free to use and can also be used offline. While it does require a bit of learning and practice to become familiar with the system, once the forms are set up, the collection process is fast. The data is stored and organized directly in the tool and can then easily be processed and segregated by users or groups for the analysis.

“This allows us to get more data and go deeper in the analysis as we don’t just get data from the informants, but also very rich secondary data from reports,” said Kenya’s Lelekoitien.

Kwale, Kenya, June 12 2014: Woman that are members of a cooperative group that uses oxen for plowing land, a job traditionally performed by men, at their fields in rural Kenya. (Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Reportage by Getty Images).

Lesson 4: Coordination mechanisms need to be in place before launching the reporting process

What data and information are needed? Where are they going to come from? How are they going to be collected? Who will do the collection? Having a coordination framework that answers these questions can greatly facilitate the reporting process and improve the quality of the data and information collected, particularly when a large number of stakeholders are spread across ministries and levels of government, the private sector, and civil society.

“We developed a coordination framework for civil society and the private sector to allow them to get organized and make it easy for them to report. This way, we only have one source point of data rather than having a thousand units send us their data. Similarly for the government, we had an inter-ministerial committee bring all the data together,” said Lelekoitien.

Lesson 5: Involving stakeholders from the beginning can increase reporting compliance

Two of the most cited challenges to progress reporting were that (i) certain sectors did not have a good understanding of the NAP process, how it related to them, and their responsibilities in implementing it, and (ii) the lack of responses from certain stakeholders. One common issue in both is that stakeholders should be engaged from the beginning of the reporting process, and not only when the data is needed. Building stakeholders’ reporting capacities and clarifying expectations early on is key for securing their buy-in to the process.

“It’s important to involve stakeholders from the development of the data collection tool, so they can ask questions about it, add value to it, and when you send them the tool, they are already aware of it and know how to use it,” said Ouedraogo, of Burkina Faso.

Lesson 6: Disaggregating data is critical to reporting on gender and social inclusion

A gap that stood out in the review of progress reports was the lack of reporting done on cross-cutting issues, including on themes such as gender and social inclusion. One explanation given for this is that because gender is not a standalone priority but an issue that is integrated across sectors, it is being implemented by a range of ministries. These institutions may not have gender experts, and they may not be collecting data that is disaggregated by sex and other relevant characteristics. This makes the reporting on the topic difficult–though not impossible.

“The progress reporting process itself has allowed us to examine what are our gaps, including on gender, and we have made specific recommendations in this report to address this,” said Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso.

Lesson 7: Progress reports for the NAP can inform reporting under multiple sustainable development agendas

With the many international and domestic planning processes countries take part in, aligning reporting requirements can help reduce duplication of efforts and facilitate coordination. While progress reports are foremost meant to assess advancements toward national adaptation goals, they lend themselves to inform other types of voluntary or required reporting under the Paris Agreement (i.e., developing an Adaptation Communications, a National Communication or Biennial Report), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Convention on Biological Biodiversity or the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“Our progress report is a key component of the M&E of adaptation. It tracks and monitors our implementation of the NAP … and this same information is going to be used for our Adaptation Communication and our National Communication. Our progress report is therefore linked to the reporting process for the global stocktake and global goal on adaptation,” said Lelekoitien.

Lesson 8: Different formats are needed to present and communicate the results to different stakeholders

NAP progress reports contain important information for many different stakeholder groups at the local, national, and international levels. These different audiences should be considered in determining how the results are organized and presented in the report (e.g., aggregated and/or by sector), the visualization tools used (tables, graphs, colour codes), the length of the document, but also the formats (complete or/and abridged versions) and the languages used.

Ouedraogo says that in Burkina Faso, “We are planning to communicate primarily to decision-makers. We will have a national workshop to submit the final report to them … We will also seek to inform stakeholders at the local level by developing promotional material like flyers and paper-based reports to increase the report’s visibility.”

For more information about NAP progress reporting, read our blog, Approaches to Progress Reporting on NAP Implementation.

To learn more about monitoring, evaluation, and learning on national adaptation planning, visit our theme page.