Our economy oftens fails to attach a value to the social and environmental benefits that forests provide. P4F wants to demonstrate we can grow crops, create jobs and protect nature.

Delivering evaluation and learning to support adaptive management

NIRAS evaluates the UK Government’s Partnerships for Forests programme, supporting efforts to increase investment in sustainable forestry practices and land use

27. Apr 2020


Climate change is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges we face today; time is running out to stop a climate change catastrophe.

As the UK Government steps up its commitments to tackling climate change ahead of hosting the 2021 Climate Summit (COP 26), it becomes even more crucial to invest in programmes that deliver clear results. LTS, part of the NIRAS group, have led an evaluation and learning contract for the UK Aid-supported Partnerships for Forests (P4F) programme, a nature-based solution to the climate crisis.

P4F wants to demonstrate that we can grow crops, create jobs and protect nature. It supports partnerships that help deliver deforestation-free products, reducing the pressure on forests and transforming business as usual.

P4F brings people together around a common goal – to increase the amount of investment in sustainable forests and land use. By supporting companies, governments and civil society in working together, P4F wants to demonstrate to potential investors that it is possible for companies to make choices that are both sustainable and profitable.

LTS has been supporting the UK Government’s investment in P4F through an evaluation and learning contract for more than two years. We deliver a range of evaluation products which support internal learning and adaptation within P4F – so the programme can improve during its lifetime.

We created an evaluative theory of change which sets out a range of impact pathways – how we understand change will happen in the programme. In 2019, we carried out a range of thematic case studies to explore the evidence around the theory of change. We also carried our baseline evaluative studies on coca, palm, rubber and ecosystem restoration interventions. All of this work is delivered in a collaborative way with the P4F implementing partners – together we agree the evaluation work and how the findings can be used to improve practice. Evaluation findings are delivered to the implementing partners and the UK Government in ways which maximise understanding and use. One example is the use of animation to help describe a complex programme.

P4F works with local governments, communities, companies and other stakeholders who are able to improve the laws and regulations about how land is managed.

By facilitating these partnerships, P4F aims to protect forests, have a truly transformational social impact, and generate real financial returns and sustainable business opportunities. It’s our job to evaluate the extent to which this is happening and advise the UK Government if the programme is on track to meet its objectives.

In late 2020, we will share more details on the evidence to date – taking lessons from P4F and sharing it with the wider landscapes sector to help them make the most of the innovate work we’re seeing within P4F.