logo Thinking beyond the canopy


How do we ensure that participation continues in the future? What happens to the data once it is collected? How do we communicate this data to the national level? What can we learn from existing information flows so we do not re-invent the wheel? As mentioned in the general introduction of the project, the governance team is exploring answers to these questions through research on the existing healthcare and forestry database systems.

Now one might wonder: What does healthcare have to do with monitoring deforestation and forest degradation? Are they comparing the health of the villages’ babies with the health of the villages’ trees? Isn’t measuring the health of children in a village more of a shared interest then measuring carbon? These are some of the questions our team, understandably, often gets asked.

The answer is that participatory monitoring and reporting has existed in the Indonesian healthcare system for over 30 years. It is in the form of integrated village health posts (Posyandu) in which local women and men voluntarily measure malnutrition and other health indicators. In the forestry sector, participatory monitoring has yet to be developed. However, lessons learned from healthcare information flow could help develop systems for community-based forest monitoring that suit the capacities and interests of local communities, use effective, simple tools and contribute to national carbon measurement systems.

Investigating possible synergies between the healthcare and the forestry database systems could reveal if, and under what conditions, participatory MRV of carbon could use a similar approach to the participatory monitoring and reporting of healthcare indicators.

Put simply, why re-invent the wheel if there are already sustainable systems in place?

Governance health, sub-team

Posyandu is conducted by volunteers (Posyandu Kader) at the local level. Posyandu Kader measure the weight and height of children under five-years old, maintain monthly reports of the data and deliver the reports to the village midwife or nurse. The data continues to be reported until it reaches the national-level health database. The system through which the data flows was designed almost 30 years ago and remains in place today. Therefore lessons may be gained from understanding how the system works, what the challenges are and what the personal motivations are of the actors involved.

Governance forestry database, sub-team

This research uses existing forestry database systems from both government-owned and private-owned institutions as a base. However, unlike the health sector, to date there is no sustained participatory data measurement and reporting within the forestry sector. The aim of the research is to learn from both sectors (forestry and health) and use the lessons learned to build a MRV database for carbon. The resulting database will be the responsibility of a special MRV agency, which would most likely sit under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.