The Carbon Zero Federation Dashboard (FED Dashboard) is an online interface, designed in-house by CO2balance that provides project partners a central access point to all the key documentation relevant to project development as well as data entry tools for monitoring activities. Due to the data intensive nature of carbon projects, ensuring that all records are stored in a secure location both in hard copy and electronically is important so that they are easily accessible for auditing purposes. A key advantage of the FED Dashboard is that the functionality can be customised according to the requirements of our clients. As outlined below, the Dashboard has three primary functions;
1) Project Documentation
Documentation and templates relating to each stage of the project cycle are stored in this section of the FED Dashboard. This provides a master copy of all documents that can be accessed and downloaded both internally and by Partners working with CO2balance on specific aspects of the project. Access for Partners can be set up and tailored so as to provide only the necessary information and documents for each stage in the project development.
2) Stove Sales Record and CTF Management
Obtaining the carbon rights form (CTF) is a crucial element of the project development process and a copy of each form needs to be uploaded to a database in order for an electronic copy to be stored and made accessible for project auditors. One of the primary functions of the Dashboard is to provide a secure space for storing the CTFs electronically and creating a total sales record (TSR) which is ultimately used to calculate the emission reductions. The following functions provided by the FED dashboard allow for easy management of the TSR;
- CTF forms can be downloaded directly from the FED Dashboard in PDF format
- Once the CTF details of a stove recipient have been collected, a photo of the CTF is uploaded to the FED Dashboard from any location in the world in close to real time. This means that field staff in remote locations can transfer data quickly and efficiently and thus minimise the risk of mislaying important information.
- After the details of each CTF have been entered into the Dashboard, they are automatically transferred to a spreadsheet, which can be downloaded as an excel file. This crucial process enables the user to track and manage the technology records easily in close to real time which allows for accurate management and monitoring of project sales.
3) Data Entry
An additional function that Partners can access in the FED Dashboard is a data entry system for the monitoring surveys such as MKS’ and KPTs, which considering the data intensive nature of carbon projects, can help save time and minimize the risk of data entry errors.
Confirmed this past week, World Vision Kenya will be using our in house written software for the development and monitoring of 2 improved cookstove projects in Kenya, Wema and Mogotio. This is a great step forward for the collaboration of our two companies and will allow us both to have instant access to data, which will improve efficiency and ease of communication.
Good data is simply too important to be left to chance. Organizations/Companies must be able to trust the integrity of their data in order to handle basic business processes to adapt to changing needs, but strict enough to protect the organization’s information assets. Data quality is an essential characteristic that determines the reliability of data for making decisions. High-quality data is; Complete, Accurate, Available and Timely.
This can only be achieved through;
• Governance and leadership – clear roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability for data quality
• Policies – policies and procedures in place to check data
• Systems and processes – in place that secure the quality of data
• People and skills – train staff so they have the appropriate knowledge, competencies and capacity for their roles
• Data use – focus on securing data which is accurate, valid, reliable, timely, relevant and complete
Knowing the high quality of data we need mid this month we held a KPT training in Wema Nakuru County to train World Vision casuals on performing an effective Kitchen Performance Test (KPT). The KPT measures the relative rate of fuel wood consumed by a stove as its used in the normal household environment. Its purpose is to demonstrate the effect of stove interventions on household fuel consumption.
There are two main goals of the KPT: (1) to assess qualitative aspects of stove performance through household surveys and (2) to compare the impact of improved stove(s) on fuel consumption in the kitchens of real households. To meet these aims, the KPT includes quantitative surveys of fuel consumption and qualitative surveys of stove performance and acceptability. This type of testing, when conducted carefully, is the best way to understand the stove’s impact on fuel use and on general household characteristics and behaviours because it occurs in the homes of stove users.
Due to the high quality of data needed we took time to thoroughly train the field teams to ensure they perfectly understand how to run the test effectively thus attain the required results. It was a great exercise running through theory and practicals of the KPT. (And hurrah! below is the team of trained casuals ready to go!)
The costs of developing a standard 60,000 tonne small scale project are considerable. Auditor fees, plus the time project developers need to understand and negotiate the complex rules set by the Gold Standard used to mean that only projects promising to deliver close to 60,000 tonnes throughout their lifetime were economically viable. Any low volume project simply was too expensive to develop and because these projects tended to be located in Least Developed Countries, this meant that overall these countries were unrepresented in the carbon market as a whole. This was despite there being many opportunities to deliver emission reductions with significant positive social and economic impacts – something that project investors are increasingly keen to see.
The microprogramme of activity concept was established by the Gold Standard to help catalyse investment in underrepresented regions and especially in smaller projects that previously were commercially non-viable. A microprogramme sets rules for the inclusion of any number of individual projects that each are limited to an offset of 10,000 tonnes – the initial time consuming project audit (known as validation) is focussed only on the microprogramme. This audit confirms the rules by which the inclusion of individual projects are governed and, once agreed, allows new projects to be included with a streamlined, simplified check. Overall, this means that an unlimited number of small projects up to 10,000 tonnes can be developed more quickly, more cheaply and with less risk than compared to the standard small scale process.
This is something that co2balance has long recognised the importance of and we championed it from the start and indeed were the first organisation to register a multi-country microprogramme of activities. Collectively, our microprogrammes have this month reached a landmark 40 mini projects across 9 countries, totalling 400,000 tonnes of emission reductions annually. This goes to show the collective impact that many small projects can have and we are confident that the success of the concept will continue to grow.