As a task order under the REPLACE IDIQ, Integra conducted an assessment of two interrelated activities supported by USAID/West Africa and implemented by the United States Geological Survey/Earth Resources Observation Systems (USGS/EROS) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel/Regional Center for Training and Application in Agrometeorology and Operational Hydrology (CILSS/AGRHYMET). Both activities involved land use/land cover change mapping for 17 countries, documenting, investigating, and promoting success in natural resource management and re-greening of the Sahelian landscapes, environmental assessment of land use pressures and trends, and monitoring forests and protected areas in the Upper Guinean Forest Ecoregion. The purpose of the assessment was to document progress against respective activity work plans and inform USAID on future programing beyond the life of these activities.
The implementation of this task order involved a literature review and in-depth interviews and review of work products by USGS and CILSS/AGRHYMET, surveys to trainees throughout the region, and interviews with government officials and technical experts in five West African states. The assessment of regional capacity resulted in a recommendation that USAID give a much higher priority to capacity building in future programming, as an essential condition for development impact in the use of Earth observation technologies.