Environment, Security and Conflict Transformation

Environment Conflict Management Practice at Universalia

Universalia’s practice area in Environment, Security and Conflict Transformation aims to support organisations working in the field towards meeting their objectives. Firmly rooted in the international community’s vision of sustainability and peace, as articulated through the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this practice reflects our multi-generational commitment to the pursuit of sustainable and equitable resource governance in conflict and post-conflict environments, advancing both human and environmental security. Universalia’s practice is anchored in our thematic and methodological expertise and leadership, drawing on diverse experts and national consultants from across the world.

Looking Back, Looking Forward - 2020-2021

Despite its many unprecedented challenges, 2020 was a busy and productive year for the Environment, Security and Conflict Transformation (EnSeCT) Practice of Universalia.

Working with a broad range of clients, the Practice contributed to advancing essential work in the fields of environmental governance, climate change, water development, food security, business and human rights, sustainable fashion, volunteer cooperation, Trust Funds, and philanthropy. The EnSeCT Practice has had the ongoing opportunity to support clients at both the international and local levels through its work in 2020 with organizations including the World Bank Group, the Laudes Foundation, and the African Development Bank. With the timely completion of evaluations, reviews, strategic plans, and other forms of support, EnSeCT’s clients have been able to continue their exceptional work in diverse sectors.

In 2020, the EnSeCT Practice secured diverse mandates and completed numerous studies. Some highlights include the completion of a ‘Review of Regional Evaluation Strategy – Southern Africa’ for the UN World Food Programme, an ‘Evaluation of the African Water Facility Trust Fund’ for the African Development Bank,  and a report regarding ‘Future Scenarios for the City of Johannesburg in 2040’ in response to challenges stemming from climate change. The team supported the Adaptation Fund and the wider climate finance field through a ‘Study on Readiness and Capacity Building for Direct Access to Adaptation Finance’, and also provided comprehensive support for the completion of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s ‘Voluntary National Review’. Through its mandates with Federation CJA and the Jewish Community Foundation, the EnSeCT Practice has provided evaluative, strategic planning, and action planning support to the Jewish community of Montreal through 2020-21.

Continuing to support sustainability in the fashion industry,  EnSeCT carried out a ‘Mid-Term Review of the Core Support and Implementation Grant to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation’ for the Laudes Foundation in 2020, building on a track record of support to the Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation). Several mandates on behalf of the Foundation since 2018 have included an ‘External Evaluation of the Water.org New Ventures Fund’, an ‘External Evaluation of the Pilot of “MaterialWise”’, a ‘Mid-Point Evaluation: CanopyStyle Initiative’, an ‘Independent Evaluation of “Accelerating Better Cotton Initiative to Mainstream Sustainable Cotton Production & Uptake”’, and an ‘Independent Evaluation of C&A Foundation’s Overall Effectiveness (2014/15-2019/20)’. Universalia also takes this opportunity to congratulate Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Canopy, on being the 2020 Canadian Awardee of the Climate Breakthrough Award!

Carrying this momentum into 2021, the EnSeCT Practice has continued its diverse work on multiple mandates to further expand the range of clients it serves. Although the year is only halfway through, the team has already completed several significant projects. EnSeCT has conducted an evaluative and strategic planning report on ‘Enhancing Business Sector Engagement’ for the UNCCD, and has supported Global Affairs Canada’s Volunteer Cooperation Programme with the development of a Results Framework and a series of reporting tools. As the year progresses, the EnSeCT Practice looks forward to providing ongoing support to improve the effectiveness of client strategies and their global implementation. Amidst other exciting work, the team recently completed its evaluation of the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change. It is now assisting the World Bank in evaluating the Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership. In collaboration with Sophoi, EnSeCT is developing a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Learning system for the African Development Bank’s Climate Change and Green Growth department. Finally, having conducted a formative evaluation for Shift’s Valuing Respect Project, on evaluating business respect for human rights, EnSeCT is now conducting a summative evaluation through the year.

All of this work, entrusted to us at important moments in the trajectory of our client organisations, was undertaken by applying Universalia’s team-based approach, driven by the commitments and contributions of outstanding staff, associates, and partners all over the world!

Services we provide within this practice area include:

Universalia provides a range of services to diverse clients and partners intent on improving performance, adjusting their strategic orientation, and advancing their overall mission in a multiplicity of ways. These services include:

  • Formative and Summative Evaluation
  • Environmental Peacebuilding Assessment
  • Peace and conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) and Conflict Sensitivity Advising
  • Political Economy Analysis
  • Institutional and Organisational Assessment
  • Strategic Advising
  • Research and Support
  • Training
  • Process Design, Dialogue and Facilitation

Our clients and partners include governments and development agencies (e.g.. Global Affairs Canada, Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation), international and national non-governmental organisations (e.g. IUCN and the Rights and Resources Initiative), International Financial Institutions (e.g. World Bank and the Global Environment Facility), academic institutions (e.g. American University), private sector actors and others (e.g. IDRC, BRL Ingénierie).

Contact us

For more information, please contact Dr. Eric Abitbol, President and Practice Leader. E-mail: eabitbol@universalia.com. Phone: 514.485.3565 ext. 237.

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