Independent evaluation shows that IFAD's support to Peru has achieved significant impacts in reducing poverty in rural areas

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Independent evaluation shows that IFAD's support to Peru has achieved significant impacts in reducing poverty in rural areas

Peru - Management of Natural Resources in the Southern Highlands Project (MARENASS) ©IFAD/Pablo Corral Vega

Lima, 6 February 2018 – The Independent Evaluation Office (IOE) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has evaluated six IFAD-supported projects implemented between 2006 and 2016 in Sierra Sur, Sierra Norte, Selva Alta and the area of Apurímac and Mantaro rivers – some of the poorest and most remote rural areas in the country. The projects reached more than 233,700 poor rural people, 44,500 more than initially planned, at a total cost of US$217 million. This is the first country strategy and programme evaluation conducted by IOE in Peru.

The results of the evaluation show that IFAD contributed to improving the income and assets of families participating in the projects. One of the most remarkable achievements was the enrichment  of knowledge and skills among people in the communities. According to the report, training and knowledge exchange courses contributed to the families' empowerment, which led to the creation of innovative and sustainable livelihood-generation activities, such as raising guinea pigs, trout farming, and the production of organic vegetables. Recently, however, this move toward innovation has been weakened and will need to be bolstered in the future, according to the report.

Challenges for the future

In commenting on the evaluation’s findings, IFAD's Associate Vice-President, Paul Winters, said: "Since the beginning of collaboration with the Peruvian government in 1980, great achievements have been made; yet as the evaluation shows, there are still important challenges that require us to further strengthen our joint work to improve the living conditions in rural areas."

The evaluation highlights the achievements as well as the issues that still need to be addressed. "The report shows that poverty has been reduced, but it also shows that the poorest people were not reached," said Oscar Garcia, IOE Director. "In a country where 83 per cent of the poor population works in the agriculture sector, it is crucial to understand what we must do to reach them. This evaluation offers valuable recommendations on the way forward."

One recommendation is to generate incentives and facilities that break down the "barriers at entry" of projects, especially for women and young people. One of these barriers is the requirement of monetary and material contributions such as land, water or livestock; assets that the poorest people do not have. Reviewing and amending this type of requirement and promoting actions articulated through the main national programmes in rural areas, such as Juntos or Pensión 65, can open the doors to the participation of the poorest people.

Another recommendation is to strengthen the “territorial approach” – of which IFAD was a pioneer in Peru – to have a greater role in order to ensure that people in the most marginalized areas are reached. In a country like Peru, with its complex geography and vast rural areas, urban-rural corridors need to be strengthened as well.

The evaluation highlighted that Peruvian family farming is one of the activities most affected by climate change, a situation that will worsen over time. New projects must thoroughly consider this issue in order to ensure that rural communities have adequate strategies to cope with the consequences of climate change. Coordination with public and private donors will be decisive in this regard.

Notes to editor:

  • The report analyses 14 years of IFAD's work in Peru: from 2002 to 2016.
  • The reduction in rural poverty has been especially significant in Sierra Norte, where it was reduced by 22 per cent, and in Sierra Sur, where it was reduced 12 per cent.
  • The evaluation gives recommendations for future collaboration between IFAD and the Peruvian government in the fight against rural poverty. Among the most relevant recommendations are to work more closely with the poorest people and to reach the most marginalized areas.

Building on people’s knowledge and capacities through “learning routes”

Since 2006, more than 60 learning routes were organized in Peru, involving some 3,000 rural people. Learning routes are based on a training technique that focuses on the exchange of knowledge between local people. Each route consists of a particular theme, around which site visits are made to share experiences and successful practices of rural development, such as the use of organic agriculture, the empowerment of indigenous peoples, production techniques in semi-arid areas or the creation of trade associations. Within these learning routes, the users themselves become trainers, thus continuing the momentum of this unique technique that places high value on the role of rural talents.

Press release No.: IFAD/08/2018

IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$19.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 474 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) conducts evaluations of IFAD-financed policies, strategies and operations to promote accountability and learning. The main purpose is to contribute to improving IFAD's and its partners' performance in reducing rural poverty in recipient countries. IOE's independent evaluations assess the impact of IFAD-funded activities and give an analysis of successes and shortcomings – to tell it the way it is – as well as identify factors affecting performance. Based on the key insights and recommendations drawn from evaluation findings, IOE also shares IFAD’s knowledge and experience in agriculture and rural development with a wider audience.

Media contact

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Yolanda Polo Tejedor

IOE Communication Officer