Publications of Louise Swemmer

Co-defining program success: Identifying objectives and indicators for a livestock damage compensation scheme at Kruger National Park, South Africa

Wildlife damage compensation schemes have been used worldwide as a mechanism to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. These have had mixed success due to a number of factors, including a lack of shared understanding of the problem and how to monitor and evaluate effectiveness. The long history of damage-causing animals (DCAs) which exit the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, inflicting damage on persons and property, increasing risk of disease transfer between wildlife and livestock, and seriously undermining the livelihoods of local communities, remains a contentious issue. As a partial response and within a strategic adaptive management framework, the park and its larger governing body, SANParks, have negotiated a wildlife damage compensation scheme with local communities, which entails financial retribution given to farmers who have previously lost livestock to DCAs originating from the park. A corollary scheme will see compensation paid to valid claims commencing from 2014. Here we present findings of a novel study undertaken with KNP staff, livestock farmers, and others to co-identify potential indicators of an objective-based participatory monitoring and evaluation program for the scheme. Based on a multi-method approach, a wide array of goals and objectives were articulated for the scheme. In addition, 88 program indicators were generated as potential measures to monitor change. This suite of indicators is both qualitative and quantitative in nature and, if adopted in whole or in part, would enlist the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders. The first step at consolidating these indicators are presented, and are based on information sources, methodological tools, and institutions responsible for monitoring.