Documenting Post-flood Livelihood Recovery

In early 2013, floods hit Mozambique with devastating impact: over 100,000 people were displaced, with 50,000 seeking refuge in temporary shelters in the worst-hit districts of Chokwe and Guija. An estimated 117,822 hectares of food crops were destroyed, along with irrigation, infrastructure, and equipment vital to people’s livelihoods. In response to the devastating floods, UNDP Mozambique, in collaboration with INGC, launched a two year project to support livelihoods recovery and future resilience of flood-affected communities in Gaza province.

In August 2015 CMFD traveled to Gaza to document best practices, lessons learned and challenges for the livelihood recovery project, in order to celebrate achievement and inform future interventions. We shot a 20 minute documentary and produced an informative report, to tell the stories of those most affected, and found out what works and what can be done better in the future. 200 copies of the video DVD were distributed to share these experiences and insights,

Where and what?
Twenty vulnerable communities were part of the LHR project, located in Chibuto, Xai-Xai, Chókwè, and Guijá. After outlining our storyboard and setting up interviews. The LHR project included the following (among many other activities), which will form the documentary

  • Local Risk Management Committees (CLGR) - The LHR project supported the foundation and capacity-building for twenty CLGRs (358 members with strong women participation) within Gaza. The CLGR receive training, prepare community contingency plans, develop vulnerability risk maps, and are equipped with an emergency kit –all so that they can help their communities in the evnt of an emergency
  • Seed & tool distribution - With the support from District extension workers, the project was able to provide seeds and tools for over 2500 beneficiaries. The beneficiaries received training on conservation agriculture, to ensure that they could maximize the resources given to them.
  • Goat rotation - The LHR project aimed to distribute 600 goats between the four districts (20 beneficiaries per community). Beneficiaries received 1 male and 2 female goats, which will take part in a rotation scheme for a second group of beneficiaries at a later stage. Beneficiaries received basic training on livestock sanitation and management to ensure that they are prepared and equipped to handle the goats once they receive them.
  • Irrigation Systems - At the time of this writing the Nhantine irrigation system in Guijá District has been completed. The official handover of the system took place on November 20, 2014.

Storytelling and Monitoring

Storytelling provides a powerful means to obtain information on a project’s outcomes from participants’ experiences and viewpoints. Storytelling provides meaningful information that can highlight both the strong points and weaknesses of a project, as well as any unintended consequences. In a way, by asking participants to provide a story on a project, it asks them to evaluate an aspect of a project, rather than provide information for someone else to place a value on, as storytelling generally brings out memorable or momentous experiences. Excerpts from stories can be used alongside graphs or in reports to provide a first person voice on a project’s impact.

Storytelling has a number of benefits including:

  • Understanding the project from the viewpoint of the participants
  • Reflects the importance of context and its impact on outcomes
  • Allows the identification of unintended consequences
  • Provides a means to engage participants in evaluation.