Building the skills of the next generation to tackle climate change: Assessing the transformational change potential of Bolivia’s Citizens of the Future Initiative

The following is a profile of the following pilot case study.

Partners

  • Servicios Ambientales S.A
  • UNEP DTU Partnership

Background

The Citizens of the Future (CoF) is an education initiative from Servicios Ambientales S.A, which aims to provide children and youth valuable skills to tackle climate change, build up resilience and face other future challenges. The CoF has a non-traditional educational approach, where children learn by doing, with an inside to outside perspective.

In order to assess the potential transformational impact of the CoF initiative, Servicios Ambientales S.A applied ICAT’s Transformational Change Assessment Guide – a methodology to help policymakers and other users understand the relationship between policies and actions, and the expected or achieved transformational impact.

Objectives

  • Analyze the extent of transformational change expected from the implementation of the Citizens of the Future project as a non-formal education approach.
  • Use the results of the study to inform and adapt the original design of the CoF to maximize its transformational impact over a long-term period.

Assessment

The ex-ante assessment took place from January to April 2019 and sought to highlight the potential transformational impact of a one-year CoF pilot project, focusing on one school in the city of Tarija, Bolivia. The assessment evaluated the envisaged change at both a national/regional level and a local level, and considered its potential impact in the short, medium and long-term.

Following key steps identified in ICAT’s Transformational Change Guidance (see Figure 1), the assessment helped to identify the objectives, vision, impacts and relevant transformational characteristics of the project and determine indicators that will help track the project according to ICAT’s Sustainable Development Assessment Guide.

Additionally, by following the ICAT Stakeholder Participation Assessment Guide, the assessment was developed in close coordination with stakeholders. Engaging with stakeholders provided an opportunity to better understand the local context, identify the expected impacts from the project from a stakeholder point-of-view, and gather their expert opinion on the mechanisms to implement the project and update the CoF methodology, as well as gauge how relevant the initiative is for them and their willingness to support it.

Figure 1: Assessment key steps 

Outcomes

The extent of transformation expected by the policy is moderate and the outcome is likely to be sustained over time. This means that it is likely that the policy will facilitate transformation even as the extent of potential transformation is expected to be moderate.

Its expansion could be improved if there is guarantee of institutional support. Stakeholders showed interest in the action and willingness to help and implement the pilot project. However, in order to be sustained, it needs to have a solid financial scheme with external funds and economical support. The assessment helped to adjust the CoF proposal taking into account stakeholder’s opinions and other options which were not considered at the beginning.

Figure 2: Transformational impact matrix: CoF transformational results

 

Lessons learned and using the results 

The assessment involved a high level of uncertainty and ambiguity given the unpredictable nature of how the CoF initiative will evolve over the medium- and long-term and its dependence to institutional and political commitment. In order to reduce these uncertainties and develop an accurate assessment, the team discussed and validated assumptions with stakeholders, expert opinions and a literature review.

In the end, the process to assess the transformational impact identified main observations and recommendations, helping to inform the CoF implementation scope, the implementation mechanisms and stages, the CoF connection / interdependence to national and local education schemes, and the CoF activities selection.

More information

For more information about the Transformational Change Assessment Guide or any of the ICAT series of Policy Assessment Guides, please contact the ICAT Secretariat.

 

View the complete case study here