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8. Innovation

The Theory of Change and PMEL tools have contributed to give a clear picture and analysis of the context and the necessary steps to reach the desired situation. It introduced the importance of doing lobby with evidence-based arguments and actions, the capitalization based on storytelling, and the capture of different steps of results. The steering committee is very strategic for day-to-day management of program activities. It is the compass of the implementation of the program.

Based on its daring approach and set-up, the program has been innovative from its inception. Mostly, the program contributes to bridge cashew and shea private actors and government for better sector development, and NGOs and the labor union for bringing up jointly and successfully the decent work issue in the cashew and shea sectors and to value each other capacities and strengths.

Civic Engagement Alliance uses an innovative way of monitoring the destruction of the shea parks to provide and convince decision makers with clear evidence. Together with Elypsis B.V. a crowdsourced monitoring model was developed to support lobby activities for shea tree protection. The approach (9) consists of creating a semi-automated monitoring platform using mobile app to collect medium resolution spectral satellite data. The analysis can be conducted remotely for every consecutive year considered as relevant to detect any change (whether the trees are being cut down over time, once a year). The first remote monitoring results were retrieved in December, 2019.

(9) Technically, the Google satellite API, high resolution, is retrieved and cloud free Airbus data. New data is available every 4 years (next data due in 2020). Using this data, a high resolution map of Benin is generated in Ellypsis web and mobile application. On the basemap of recent satellite imagery, polygons are drawn around shea trees with comments. Seeking to reach 95% confidence interval, a sample of 385 of 1 ha² tiles is tagged (11,500 shea trees) with a unique number, covering the provinces of Borgou and Donga in northern Benin.

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