The key principle of the Core Benefits Verification Framework is Indigenous ownership of the verification process. Creating the opportunity for Indigenous people to be the experts in the verification of environmental, social and cultural values associated with community and economic development programs. It’s built on evaluation best practice from the international development sector and provides a reputable, independent and transparent verification process. The guiding principles for the Core Benefits Verification, are outlined on this page. Additional details in regards to how rigour and independence is embedded within the Core Benefits Verification Framework can be downloaded in this Explanatory Note.
All external verification of information will be undertaken by a team of trained Aboriginal experts, including rangers, Traditional Owners and community members from across the projects. This is essential. It gives the people directly effected, involved and most familiar with the project, the opportunity to contribute their wisdom and experience to the process, including data collection and interpretation.
The involvement of skilled Aboriginal people from communities implementing carbon projects, can strengthen the collection and interpretation of information in the following ways.
In addition to providing a rigorous and independent verification of the environmental, social and cultural values, the verification process enables capacity development of the people closest to the subject matter and their peers. Without measurement skills and ability, the participants and effected communities will remain dependent on the involvement of external people, who are not as well placed to collect, interpret or communicate accurate and meaningful information about the project’s core-benefits. Nationally accredited training programs are available.
As in all best practice impact assessment, data triangulation is essential to utilise the strengths of different approaches to data collection to promote data accuracy, verify the information and therefore build confidence in the results. Qualitative information is used to provide rich, detailed descriptions about core-benefits and their meaning for effected communities and to explore the processes through which they have been achieved.
Finally, the principle of cost effectiveness recognises that the expertise of external audit organisations, while less suitable for the context as described above, is also likely to be costlier. The principles outlined above not only provide for rigorous and culturally responsive practice, but are likely to reduce the costs of verification to the carbon project owners, Traditional Owners and other bodies responsible for the funding of verification.
Funding to develop the Core Benefits Verification Framework was secured through the Carbon Plus Fund. This Fund was established by the Queensland Government in December of 2016, for the purpose of providing greater support to Aboriginal communities in Queensland and enable the undertaking of carbon projects that could provide additional employment and economic participation and cultural outcomes. This framework has been developed with technical support from Caritas Australia.
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