Thematic evaluation of IFAD’s support to smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change

November 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is conducting a thematic evaluation (TE) to assess the development effectiveness of IFAD’s support to strengthen smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change.

The TE – the first to be conducted by IOE – covers the period 2010-2019. It will consider all IFAD interventions contributing to smallholder adaptation to climate change where: (i) there is a real climate risk; and (ii) the interventions plausibly contributed to smallholders adapting to these climate risks.

The TE seeks to evaluate IFAD’s fitness for the purpose of delivering its climate adaptation commitments and meeting smallholders’ needs to adapt to existing and projected climate risks. The evaluation will provide learning from results achieved on the ground, in order to inform existing and future interventions.

The TE will evaluate IFAD’s performance in a number of areas, including: support to smallholders to manage climate change risks; mainstreaming climate change adaptation into programmes and projects; advocating for climate-sensitive policies and strategies at national and global levels; and testing and scaling up climate-sensitive approaches.

The Approach Paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the Download button.

LANGUAGES: English

Joint evaluation on collaboration among the United Nations Rome-based Agencies

November 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), with the Evaluation Offices of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is undertaking a joint corporate-level evaluation (CLE) on collaboration among the three United Nations Rome-based agencies (RBAs) with mandates related to food security and agriculture.

The main objectives of the evaluation are:

  • to assess whether and to what extent collaboration among the RBAs is contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly at the country level;
  • to assess the approach to collaboration among the RBAs as set out in the 2016 paper on “Collaboration among the United Nations Rome-based Agencies: Delivering on the 2020 Agenda”, and more recently in the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding outlining the objectives, principles and areas of collaboration agreed to by the three agencies;
  • to generate evidence on the enablers and constraints to effective collaboration among the RBAs;
  • to identify lessons learned and good practices in tripartite and bipartite collaboration that can be used to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of collaboration among the RBAs, and potentially improve joint resource mobilization particularly at the country level; and
  • to make recommendations on the future strategic direction of collaboration among the RBAs.

These objectives seek to enhance accountability and organizational learning in each agency and to strengthen collaboration among the RBAs, vital to achieving the targets of SDG 2.

The Approach Paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the Download button.

LANGUAGES: English

Evaluation synthesis on rural infrastructure

October 2020

IOE produces evaluation syntheses on selected topics, such as gender, rural youth, fisheries and middle-income countries. The aim is to facilitate learning and wider use of evaluation findings by identifying and capturing accumulated knowledge on common themes and findings across a variety of situations.

Synthesizing existing evaluation material together with latest research thinking allows evaluation evidence to be fed into the decision- making process in an effective way.

The Concept Note specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the Download button.

LANGUAGES: English

Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project in Tajikistan

  
October 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is conducting a project performance evaluation (PPE) of the Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project in the Republic of Tajikistan. The PPE will assess project results and impact based on the project completion report validation, other project documents and data, feedback from stakeholders and, should Covid-19 pandemic circumstances allow, a field visit by local consultants.

Undertaken after the completion of an IFAD-funded operation, the PPE generates findings and recommendations that can inform other projects funded by IFAD.

The Approach paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the Download button.

LANGUAGES: English

2020 Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD operations

October 2020

 

The 2020 Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD operations (ARRI), the flagship report of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) presents a synthesis of IFAD’s performance, lessons and challenges to enhance its development effectiveness.

To improve its relevance to the evolving priorities and demands of the Fund, the 2020 ARRI has a new, streamlined structure, and focuses on the factors that the independent evaluations have highlighted as recurring in the design and implementation of IFAD-supported projects. The new ARRI format does not include recommendations; rather, its findings are expected to orient further action on the part of IFAD Management and IOE to address the recurring issues.

The rating performance carried out by the 2020 ARRI was based on 259 projects completed between 2007 and 2018. The report confirms that overall, the performance of IFAD operations has been positive, with some exceptions. In the recent period (2016-18), 72 per cent of IFAD-supported projects have been rated moderately satisfactory or better on Overall Project Achievement criterion. Over 80 per cent of projects assessed against the criteria of relevance, IFAD’s performance as a partner and environment and natural resources management have scored moderately satisfactory or better during the same period.

The 2020 ARRI notes that the ratings for environment and natural resources management, and adaptation to climate change, have performed well, mostly rising since 2010-2012. However, the report also highlights that the portfolio performance trend is flat or declining in five criteria in the past five years, most significantly for government performance as a partner.

LANGUAGES: English

Newsletter Issue n. 30 – September 2020

September 2020

IOE has released its thirtieth electronic newsletter. The aim is to promote transparency and share knowledge with partners and stakeholders about key developments related to IOE’s work.

Download the newsletter

LANGUAGES: English

Corporate-level evaluation on IFAD’s support to innovations for inclusive and sustainable smallholder agriculture

September 2020

Innovations in rural development approaches and solutions are crucial to improve the effectiveness of agrifood systems and better meet the rising demand for food worldwide. Innovations are thus critical for IFAD to achieve its mandate of investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable rural transformation.

The evaluation found that innovations are indeed key in boosting the performance of agrifood systems. IFAD-supported innovations are generally institutional or organizational in nature, and usually originate with IFAD or project staff, based on ideas or solutions already proven in a different country or context. As for developing genuinely novel ideas or processes (especially those addressing smallholder agriculture challenges), loan investment projects have little appetite to provide support in this respect, given the risk potentially associated with such innovations; grants are thus especially useful in promoting them.

Moving forward, the evaluation notes that “bundling” together different innovations to address the diverse challenges across the agrifood system is more likely to lead to transformative change, that can be sustained and scaled up. To enhance the bundling of innovations for transformative change, the evaluation recommends (among other things) setting corporate goals for IFAD’s innovation agenda and implementing an operational framework aligned with these goals, as well as fostering the innovation culture within the Fund.

LANGUAGES: English

Ardahan-Kars-Artvin Development Project

Turkey  
September 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Ardahan-Kars-Artvin Development Project (AKADP), in Turkey.

The project was implemented between 2010 and 2017 as a response to some of the country’s key rural agricultural development priorities, particularly the need to shift local practices from subsistence agriculture to more market-oriented ones. Targeting almost 60,000 households, AKADP sought to increase the incomes of poor smallholders and of small rural entrepreneurs and to improve rural infrastructure.

The evaluation found that the rural infrastructure improvements, particularly those related to rangeland roads, contributed to promoting the well-being and market access of smallholder farmers. Also, the modernization of livestock markets resulted in a noticeable increase in trade volume and contributed to the Government’s efforts to improve regulation of the livestock trade.

However, the project was less successful in addressing gender inequalities, partly because of the absence of a gender strategy and the lack of capacity to engage with women to identify and implement activities that responded to their needs and promoted their empowerment.

Moving forward, the evaluation recommends that IFAD should clarify guidance on the targeting approach and gender strategy, engaging in policy dialogue to ensure that laws and regulations do not pose barriers to women accessing public finances to farming activities.

LANGUAGES: English

Hunan Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project

China  
July 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Hunan Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project (HARIIP) implemented in the People’s Republic of China from 2012 to 2017. 

The evaluation found that the project contributed to rural development and poverty reduction for the 182,000 households in the remote areas targeted. This was achieved mainly through adoption of a strategy combining development of rural infrastructure, pursuit of diversified market-oriented agriculture and building villagers’ capacities in agriculture and infrastructure operations and maintenance.

However, the project’s results in terms of reaching the rural poor and the women among them were less successful, partly due to the absence of a tailored approach. Any benefit derived by lower-income families tended to be the form of low-paid, unskilled work; as this is less likely to foster economic and self-development capacities, questions arise as to the sustainability of the project’s impact on income generation for the poor.

Moving forward, the evaluation recommends continuing support to diversified agricultural production through the IFAD-supported follow-up project, developing tools to increase households’ access to project activities, redefining the approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and orienting innovations towards project implementation processes.

LANGUAGES: English

Tejaswini Women’s Empowerment Programme

India  
July 2020

The Independent Evaluation Office of IFAD (IOE) has prepared a project performance evaluation (PPE) report on the Tejaswini Rural Women’s Empowerment Programme. The project was implemented in India, in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, between 2007 and 2018.

The evaluation found that the project demonstrated a promising model for women’s empowerment. The development of successful self-financing SHG apex organizations provided valued economic and social services to the target populations, while the effective system to manage the performance of SHGs facilitated access to further sources of financial support. 

The evaluation noted some areas for improvement. For example, value chain activities were incorporated at a late stage and were mostly supply-driven: this limited the improvement in household income that the project could bring about. In addition, sustainable and climate-resilient practices could have been integrated further into project activities.

Moving forward, the evaluation makes a number of recommendations, including continued application of the SHG models developed, adopting a market-aware approach to economic empowerment that is responsive to the needs of different groups of women and including an explicit focus on climate change resilience and sustainable natural resource management.

LANGUAGES: English
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