CSF People: Sarah Naigaga

Born in Uganda, Sarah Naigaga first came to CSF as a student at our Economic Tools for Conservation course in 2004 with the hopes of sharpening her analytic skills. At the time, she had been working with Greenwatch, an environmental law organization, and was involved in reviewing the Bujagali hydro dam. She was also selected as a representatives of civic society organizations to review the strategic sectoral, social, and environmental assessment of power development options in the Nile Equatorial Lakes Region. This process exposed her to broader issues of development and allowed her the opportunity for collaboration with a multitude of actors across several countries.

Sarah's work in the past has been primarily focused on promoting and advocating for public participation in development processes at both a national and regional level. This mission has given her access to vital information for justice and advocacy for policy change. This work then naturally led her to the her current position with the Uganda National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and CSF, acting as the Africa Coordinator for the Biodiversity Understanding in Infrastructure and Landscape Development (BUILD) program. As the Africa Coordinator for BUILD, she is responsible for organizing trainings in economic analysis for conservation, gathering information on development projects for analysis, collaborating with stakeholders to use the economic tools of analysis, and advocating for policy change based on emerging issues. The over-arching goal of her work is to promote mitigation of biodiversity loss in infrastructure and landscape development in the Albertine Region through economic analysis.

Sarah says that her biggest challenge has been to sell change--finding it difficult to mobilize targets, especially due to the fact that the process is very technical and often multi-sectoral. She believes CSF addresses the need for better technical communication, bridging the gap between developers and conservationists through demand-driven training. She see firsthand how CSF's training gives people motivation to approach an otherwise foreign-language, traditionally known only by developers.

BUILD is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).