Using these Guidelines

These technical guidelines are grouped into several themes.

These are:

  • Sustainable Land Management
  • Water Harvesting and Storage
  • Household Management
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Disaster Management

Within each of these there are topics that contribute towards the overall theme. These topics are detailed basic guidelines on methodology and application towards achieving the overall objective.

The guidelines included in this document, are guidelines, not fixed rules. They may need adapting to suit context specific situations; however adapting the guidelines is at the risk of the user.

Measurement Guide

Some of the guidelines require measurements in their application. Table below provides an indication of some of the measurements if measuring tools are not available.

Indication of some of the measurements

Guideline decision support system

To help the user identify the appropriate guideline, a Decision Support System (DSS) has been developed. The first part of the DSS includes a series of Problem Trees analyses to determine the causes and effects of the problem. The second part of the DSS is a series of 5 icons in the heading box of each guideline.

Problem tree analysis

A series of Problem Tree Analyses has been carried out on the key issues identified across Malawi. The key issues being, in no particular order:

  • Land Degradation > Sustainable Land Management
  • Deforestation > Afforestation
  • Poor Runoff Management > Runoff Management
  • Erosion > Erosion Control
  • Gully Erosion > Gully Reclamation
  • Floods > Flood Prevention and Control
  • Water Resource Depletion & Degradation > Sustainable Water Resources Management
  • Threat to Fish Resources > Sustainable Fish Management
  • Threat to Biodiversity > Sustainable Biodiversity Management
  • Climate Change Hazards and Risks > Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Food Insecurity > Food Security
  • Human Habitat Degradation > Integrated Human Habitat Management

Each problem tree in the DSS comprises two sections. Firstly, on the left side, there is the cause-effect identification. On the left hand side of the page is a problem tree, this particular tree identifies the causes (bottom) and effects (top) of the particular issue being reviewed, i.e. like the roots of the tree and the resultant branches.

The second section is an activity tree. On the right hand side of the page is a solution pathway with proposed activities, this indicates which guidelines / activities need to be implemented (bottom) in order to improve or resolve the issue and the resultant benefits (top) of the issue being resolved.

The user turns to the problem tree of the particular issue (for example Threat to Fish Resources), reviews the causes and effects, then reviews the guidelines suggested for implementation (for example Small Dams Guideline B.4).

In the left hand cause – effect section, some of the blocks are coloured in red (for example Water Resources depletion & degradation), this indicates that this particular item has its own problem tree analysis. This additional tree should also be reviewed.

In the right hand activities – benefits section, the block highlighted in light grey-green make reference to the particular section of guidelines the user should refer to (for example Water Harvesting and Storage). The blocks highlighted in bright green are also the analysis issue in a separate problem tree. The user is advised to refer to this additional problem tree as well (for example Sustainable water resources management).

Icons

Each of the guidelines includes a reference to five different aspects of the activity. These are (1) prevention or rehabilitation, (2) scale, (3) labour requirements, (4) cost, and (5) complexity of that particular activity described under the guideline. These are represented by icons. Here is an explanation of these icons:

1. Prevention & Rehabilitation

In order to achieve sustainable catchment management either rehabilitation (where damage has already occurred) or prevention (to stop damage from occurring) need to be implemented: sometimes both are required simultaneously in neighbouring areas. These icons indicate whether the guideline describes a rehabilitation or prevention activity.

Prevention

Prevention

Guidelines that, if implemented, will act to manage natural resources and prevent potential environmental damage.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation

Guidelines to improve the state of the environment from a degraded state.

 

2. Scale

Some of the activities identified in the guidelines can be carried out at the household scale, some can be implemented at the village scale and some activities need to be implemented at a much wider scale (e.g. district or catchment). This icon indicates which scale is the appropriate level for implementation. While household scale activities are described for a single household, it is recommended that the whole village implement them.

Household

Household

 

Small, easily managed interventions that can be carried out by members of a household. These interventions should be carefully thought-out and family members should be aware of possible impacts beyond the household. They will be of benefit to few people only unless carried out by many households.

Village

Village

 

Medium-scale interventions that require buy-in, set-up and ongoing management from the majority of a village. These interventions require planning and agreement by the community, but have benefits for all of the village.

Catchment

Catchment

Large-scale interventions that require agreement and joint set-up and management from several villages in a shared catchment. These interventions require the highest level of planning and collaboration, but will benefit all villages in the catchment and serve as an example to other areas.

3. Labour requirements

Some of the guidelines can be implemented by a single person, while other activities will require a few people, or many, working together as a team. It is difficult to estimate the exact labour requirements for particular activities as people (and teams) have different strengths and work efficiencies.

Single person

Single person

This task is small enough for a single person to complete over the course of a few days and would take up to 10 person-days.

Few people

Few people

 

This task will need between 3 and 10 people to complete over a period between one week and a month. It would take up to 50 person-days.

Very labour intensive

Very labour intensive

 

This task is large and will take more than 10 people working over a period between one week and several months depending on the size of the task. The longer duration tasks need over 100 person-days, while the more focused tasks would need between 10 and 50 person-days.

 

4. Complexity

Some of the activities under the guidelines are fairly simple and straightforward, however some guidelines require technical input or technical supervision by, for example, a District Officer, an engineer or a technical specialist. This icon indicates whether the guideline is simple and doesn’t need any technical inputs, or if the guideline is complex and requires the assistance of a technical specialist.

Simple

Simple

 

This intervention is simple to set-up and manage, and relies mainly on labour and basic tools.

Advanced

Advanced

This task is more advanced and requires technical planning and assistance from district extension officers.

Complex

Complex

 

These are advanced and technical tasks that require input from a specialist or engineer.

 

5. Cost

Implementing the guidelines will have associated costs. These costs may only be labour inputs - or they may comprise the purchase of inputs such as tools or parts. This icon indicates the relative cost associated with implementing the activity. Free to little cost is mainly labour-intensive and does not require the purchase of components, whereas an expensive guideline will require the purchase of costly equipment.

 

Free to little

Free to little

These tasks often rely on labour only, or readily available materials. Costs range from 0 to MKW 2,000.

Medium cost

Medium cost

These tasks also rely on labour but will require some more advanced tools or the purchasing of materials/resources. Costs range from MKW 2,000 to MKW 25,000.

Expensive
Source: 

Expensive

 

These tasks are expensive due to the resources required (labour, specialist input, and/or materials). Funding requirements for these activities would likely need to be sourced from District funding, loans or NGO/Donor funding. The costs range from MKW 25,000 upwards.