Africa Regional Course in Environmental Assessment and Environmentally Sound Design and Management for Small-scale Activities (ESDM Training)

Course Overview

The EA-ESDM Training course is a 4.5-day course for 25-45 USAID mission and partner staff engaged in small-scale development activities. The course builds the basic environmental assessment (EA) skills and the knowledge of USAID environmental procedures necessary to develop mandatory USAID environmental review documentation, particularly Initial Environmental Assessments (IEEs) and sub-project environmental reviews.

The course approaches EA not as an end in itself, but as a critical framework to achieve environmentally sound design and implementation of small-scale activities. USAID’s environmental procedures are taught as a particular implementation of the basic EA process. Please note that the course is not an advanced technical training in impact assessment.

The course emphasizes participation, teamwork and learning-by-doing; there is a one-day field trip in which participants conduct observation and assessment of actual or proposed project sites. Participants then draft environmental review documentation based on their site visit experience. Typically more than one project site is identified for each of a few sectors (e.g., roads, water and sanitation, agriculture, etc.).

Since 1996, the course has been presented more than 40 times across the continent. Materials are available in English, French and Portuguese.