IFAD Leaf: IOE’s new app

29 Mar 2020

Leaf through all of IOE’s reports…in the palm of your hand!

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is pleased to announce the launch of its mobile application, IFAD Leaf.

IFAD Leaf is a further step towards bringing our evaluation work to the widest possible audience, enhancing the transparency of IFAD’s operations and the utility of evaluations.

Our reports span across varying levels of granularity, to include corporate-level evaluations, country strategy and programme evaluations, project performance evaluations, impact evaluations, evaluation synthesis reports, and annual reports on results and impact of IFAD operations. All contain details on the geographical context of IFAD operations, their relevance for rural development, the operations financed by the Fund and a summary of performance ratings, according to IOE’s applied evaluation criteria.

IFAD Leaf is a compact reference hub holding all of IOE’s reports in a format optimized for mobile use. Users will be able to consult the 270+ reports published by IOE since 2003 easily and rapidly, at any time, on their mobile devices.

With IFAD Leaf, users will be able to:

  • Search through IOE evaluations quickly and accurately thanks to customized filters
  • Save evaluations on their devices by adding them to their Favorites folder, which also makes them available offline
  • Learn from IOE’s evaluations to increase the impact of IFAD’s operations for sustainable and inclusive rural transformation

Do you want to learn more about IFAD’s relevance, effectiveness or efficiency, or the sustainability of its projects’ benefits, in a given country? Access IFAD Leaf now!

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University of Arizona and World Bank Development Economics Conference 2020

17 Feb 2020

From 17 to 19 February 2020, the University of Arizona and the World Bank co-organized a development economics conference, Empowering the Poor: Reducing Vulnerability, Enhancing Livelihoods at the University of Arizona, Tucson, United States of America.

This conference brought together a group of development practitioners from regional governments in Asia and Africa, World Bank, academia and other international development institutions who are at the forefront of development, implementation and study of one specific type of anti-poverty development programme: the Rural Livelihoods Program.

The three-day conference was dedicated to in-depth discussions on a selected number of livelihoods programmes in Asia and Africa. It highlighted what has been achieved so far, what lessons have been learned, and what the implications are for programming the implementation of similar programs in other countries.

The Deputy Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), Fabrizio Felloni, participated in the conference, presenting IFAD’s evaluation approaches and discussing relevant issues arising in the field of monitoring and evaluation.

Read more

Ecuador Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation – National Workshop

04 Feb 2020

The Government of Ecuador and the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), in collaboration with IFAD’s Latin America and the Caribbean Division (LAC), co-organized a national workshop for the Ecuador Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation (CSPE), as a final step in the evaluation process.

The workshop took place in Quito on 4 February 2020 and was attended by over 260 participants. These included representatives from the Government of Ecuador, IFAD Management and staff (including IOE), multilateral and bilateral development organizations, project management staff of IFAD-funded projects and programmes covered by the CSPE, academic and research institutions, the private sector and foundations, non-governmental organizations, and selected resource persons.

Mr Oscar Garcia, Director, IOE, opened the workshop with introductory speeches, followed by statements from: Luisa Migliaccio, Lead Portfolio Advisor of LAC; Matilde Mordt, UNDP Resident Coordinator; Lourdes Pacheco, a beneficiary of the Project to Strengthen Rural Actors in the Popular and Solidary Economy (FAREPS) project; Mr Andrés Briones, Director General of the National Institute of Popular and Solidarity Economy (IEPS) and chair of the session; and Hon. Hector Romero, Vice Minister for Rural Development in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock.

Thereafter, a press conference was held during which members of the morning panel responded to questions from national press and television journalists regarding the ongoing IFAD portfolio in Ecuador, as well as the future direction of the partnership between the Government and IFAD.

Jorge Carballo, IOE Evaluation Analyst and Claudia Ranaboldo, IOE rural development consultant, then explored the key findings, conclusions and recommendations from the CSPE report.

Finally, a group work session took place after lunch. The discussions of each group focused on key thematic areas emerging from the evaluation: territorial approach, entrepreneurship and policy dialogue.

The workshop was widely covered by the local media.

El FIDA evidencia que su apoyo ha mejorado los medios de vida de las familias rurales en el Ecuador

04 Feb 2020

Quito, 4 de febrero de 2020 -  La Oficina de Evaluación Independiente del Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA) y el Gobierno del Ecuador organizan un taller para presentar los resultados de una evaluación independiente de las operaciones del FIDA en el Ecuador en los últimos diez años (2009 a 2019), período en el que se ejecutaron cuatro proyectos en 16 provincias por un valor de más de USD 160 millones.

El FIDA ha demostrado su gran contribución a mejorar las condiciones de vida de más de 22 000 familias rurales en el Ecuador, por ejemplo, en el incremento del poder de compra del 75 % de los pequeños productores; así lo muestran los resultados del análisis que se realizaron sobre las operaciones de sus proyectos. Gracias a la utilización de modelos de agricultura más sostenible, se logró diversificar y aumentar los ingresos de los pequeños productores agrícolas. Además, la plantación conjunta de distintos cultivos - conocida como “cultivos asociados” - y las prácticas agroforestales mejoraron la nutrición de las familias y su salud lo que, a su vez, supuso una bajada de los costos médicos.

Estos modelos de cultivo apuestan por la agroecología y, por tanto, por la conservación de los suelos, el agua y la biodiversidad; beneficios que son muy importantes en un país como Ecuador, con una alta vulnerabilidad al cambio climático.

Retos para el futuro

La evaluación destaca los logros conseguidos y señala las cuestiones que deben ser revisadas de cara al futuro.

“Desde que el FIDA comenzó su colaboración con el Gobierno del Ecuador en 1978, se han alcanzado grandes logros; sin embargo, tal como muestra la evaluación, existen retos importantes que exigen fortalecer aún más el trabajo conjunto para mejorar las condiciones de vida de las comunidades rurales”, así lo señaló la Sra. Caroline Bidault, Directora en el País de la División de América Latina y el Caribe del FIDA para el Ecuador.

 Una de las recomendaciones que arroja los resultados es el de aprovechar la enorme diversidad cultural, étnica y territorial con la que cuenta el país ya que puede ayudar a influir en la transformación rural. Por otra parte, se debería aprovechar la ventaja comparativa del FIDA para proporcionar un mayor apoyo al emprendimiento y su implementación; lo que generaría un aumento del valor agregado en la comercialización de los productos. Esto mismo, ayudaría a fortalecer las capacidades organizativas y financieras para lograr emprendimientos sostenibles.

“En un país como el Ecuador, en donde la pobreza afecta al 43 % de la población rural, es crucial entender qué debemos hacer para apoyar iniciativas que mejoren la vida de pequeños productores rurales de manera sostenible”, afirma el Sr. Oscar García, Director de la Oficina de Evaluación Independiente del FIDA.

Además, es necesario que se generen políticas que apoyen a reducir la pobreza en las zonas rurales y mejorar la vida de las comunidades rurales. En este sentido, la evaluación muestra que se debe trabajar más para fortalecer el diálogo con el Gobierno del Ecuador y asociados estratégicos e incidir en el diálogo de políticas. Por lo cual, el FIDA debe contar con una mayor presencia estratégica en el país.

Información de contacto:

Norah De Falco

Especialista en Comunicación de Evaluación

(+39) 06 54592946

n.defalco@ifad.org


Comunicado de prensa n.o: IFAD/05/2020

El FIDA invierte en la población rural y, al empoderar a estas personas, les ayuda a reducir la pobreza, aumentar la seguridad alimentaria, mejorar la nutrición y fortalecer la resiliencia. Desde 1978, hemos destinado 22 400 millones de dólares de los Estados Unidos en donaciones y préstamos a bajo interés a proyectos que han permitido llegar a alrededor de 512 millones de personas. El FIDA es una institución financiera internacional y una organización especializada de las Naciones Unidas con sede en Roma, donde se encuentra el mecanismo central de las Naciones Unidas para el sector de la alimentación y la agricultura.

Acerca de la Oficina de Evaluación Independiente del FIDA (IOE): la IOE lleva a cabo evaluaciones de las políticas, estrategias y operaciones financiadas por el FIDA con el fin de promover la rendición de cuentas y el aprendizaje. Su principal objetivo es contribuir a mejorar el desempeño del FIDA y sus asociados para reducir la pobreza rural en los países receptores. Por medio de las evaluaciones independientes de la IOE se evalúa el impacto de las actividades financiadas por el FIDA, se proporciona un análisis sobre los logros alcanzados y se determinan los factores que pueden afectar a los resultados. . Sobre la base de los análisis y recomendaciones derivadas de los hallazgos de las evaluaciones, la IOE también difunde los conocimientos y la experiencia del FIDA en desarrollo agrícola.

Building an Evidence-based Result Framework: The case of the International Rescue Committee

31 Jan 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), organized a Seminar on Building an Evidence-based Result Framework: The case of the International Rescue Committee.

IRC has made a commitment for 100 per cent of its interventions to become evidence-based or evidence-generating in all its programming by 2020. To achieve this, IRC undertook an extensive evidence mapping programme to develop the Outcomes to Evidence Framework (OEF), a tool that clearly defines the outcomes IRC aims to achieve and the corresponding pathways or theories of change, and synthesizes the evidence of what works to achieve these outcomes.

This seminar took place on 31 January 2020. This event discussed the OEF and other efforts to increase the use of evidence, the challenges and successes experienced to date and lessons for other agencies wishing to adopt a more evidence-based approach.

The seminar was delivered by Sheree Bennett Kullenberg, Senior Research and Evidence Advisor at the IRC. Ms Kullenberg leads the IRC’s global strategy to increase the use of evidence in strategic and programmatic decision-making. She has over 12 years of research and evaluation experience, with a focus on the politics of service delivery, peace-building and participatory approaches to local development.

The IRC webpage is available here.

Productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers increased through IFAD and Nepal partnership – new report.

19 Dec 2019

Kathmandu, 19 December 2019 – Rural development projects financed and supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have contributed to increased agricultural productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers in Nepal, according to a new report presented today.

The report, prepared by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), reviews the joint work of IFAD and the Government of Nepal over the past seven years (2013 -2019), covering eight projects for a total cost of US$206.7 million. The evaluation report highlights achievements as well as issues that still need to be addressed.

“We are determined to continue supporting the government in its efforts to improve food and nutrition security for rural families, while building on lessons learned to improve the impact of our efforts,” said Donal Brown, IFAD Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department.

Over the past decades, farm fragmentation and low crop productivity has endangered the economic viability of traditional farming systems in Nepal. According to the report’s findings, IFAD has helped increase the productivity of small farms by focusing on improved production of high-value crops, such as spices, off-season vegetables, fruits, cereal and dairy products. For example, over 83 per cent of the beneficiaries of the IFAD-supported High Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas in Karnali Province reported increased productivity of high-value crops due to the use of quality seeds, improved farm management practices and better irrigation systems.

“The results of the evaluation give us further evidence that supporting producers in developing high-value agricultural products that correspond to market needs can help them to generate a profit. Also, improving market infrastructure and producers’ access to markets leads to improved outcomes,” said Brown.

 “Linking smallholder farmers with buyers, retailers, and other actors in the value chain was an important step to improving farmers’ economic opportunities,” added Fabrizio Felloni, IOE Deputy Director.

One of the evaluation recommendations is to support local governments in promoting rural development, including local infrastructure and economic opportunities. In rural areas, there are challenges in working with isolated communities due to the underdeveloped infrastructure.

“The  evaluation raises an important question for IFAD’s future work in Nepal. We are asking ourselves how IFAD can improve livelihoods in the most remote rural communities, given that they are even less connected to markets,” said Oscar Garcia, IOE Director. According to the evaluation report, this question should be part of IFAD’s new country strategy for Nepal.

The evaluation concluded that, looking ahead, IFAD should expand its initiatives, in synergy with partners for specialized technical support in crucial areas such as value chain development.


Press release No.: IFAD/56/2019

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$21.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 491 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.

Nepal Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation – National Workshop

19 Dec 2019

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development of Nepal and the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), in close collaboration with IFAD’s Asia and the Pacific Division, co-organized a national workshop for the Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation (CSPE) conducted by IOE in the course of 2019, as a final step in the evaluation process.

The main objectives of the national workshop were to:

  • Discuss the main findings, conclusions and recommendations from the CSPE;
  • Provide inputs for the preparation of the evaluation’s Agreement at Completion Point (ACP); and
  • Discuss the opportunities and challenges of the future partnership between IFAD and the Government of Nepal, taking into account the country context as well as IFAD’s corporate context.

The national workshop took place on 19 December 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal, and was attended by over 30 participants. Dr. Yubak Dhoj GC, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, and Mr Shreekrishna Nepal, Joint Secretary, International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division, Ministry of Finance, gave keynote remarks. Among the other participants were representatives of the Nepali Government, IFAD Senior Management and project management staff of IFAD-funded projects and programmes covered by the CSPE, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and international development organizations.

Mr Oscar Garcia, Director, IOE, and Mr Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department, opened the workshop with introductory speeches. Mr Fabrizio Felloni, Deputy Director, IOE, presented the main findings and recommendations of the Nepal CSPE. Mr Nigel Brett, Director, Asia and the Pacific Division, and Mr Tarek Kotb, IFAD Country Director for Nepal, shared the key directions for the new country strategy. The workshop was also an opportunity to discuss the main rural development needs and constraints faced by local governments, especially in light of the issues that may arise due to the country’s new federal system.

Prior to the workshop, an IFAD delegation undertook a field visit to the former High value agricultural project in hill and mountain areas and the current Agriculture Sector Development Programme, in the Karnali Province, Surkhet District. This provided an opportunity for the delegation to interact with project stakeholders as well as with representatives from provincial and municipal governments, and to see project activities on the ground.

Rural finance in Sierra Leone strengthened by IFAD projects – new report

27 Nov 2019

Freetown, 27 November 2019 – Rural development projects financed and supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) expanded access to rural finance and increased agricultural production in Sierra Leone, despite the civil war (1991-2002) and Ebola epidemic (2014-2015), according to a new report released today.

The report, prepared by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), reviews the past 17 years of work that IFAD carried out in partnership with the government of Sierra Leone, from 2003 to 2019.

Successes

According to the report’s findings, IFAD increased the reach of rural finance – including to remote areas – to an even larger group than originally planned. Over 280,000 households were reached through rural finance initiatives in the Northern, Southern and Eastern Provinces - more than 120 per cent of the envisaged target. 

“The evaluation provides further evidence of IFAD’s comparative advantage in effectively adapting to the shifting priorities of a fragile context and in targeting the rural poor through dedicated financial institutions,” said Jakob Tuborgh, IFAD’s Country Programme Director for Sierra Leone. In fact, these institutions proved resilient, being able to continue operating even during the Ebola outbreak.

“After almost 40 years of IFAD working together with Sierra Leone, our ability to build upon the accomplishments of our previous projects, especially in the context of rural finance, will advance our progress now and in the future,” he said.

By responding quickly to the country’s needs and priorities, the projects have remained relevant, shifting from supporting the reconstruction of productive assets and infrastructure directly after the civil war, to enhancing growth in production, marketing and the spread of rural finance today.

With 60 per cent of the population under the age of 25, youth is one of Sierra Leone’s most important demographics and an important target for IFAD-supported projects. 

“IFAD’s projects have addressed youth by introducing specific quotas in relevant project activities,” said Fabrizio Felloni, IOE’s Deputy-Director. “Moving forward, it is crucial to make the most of these achievements by adopting a strategy to mainstream the group within the country portfolio, to help unlock their potential in agriculture and improve youth employment in the country.”

Challenges for the future

The evaluation makes recommendations for future collaboration between IFAD and the Government of Sierra Leone to reduce rural poverty. The first is to improve relationships among the value chain actors, including buyers, sellers, service providers and regulatory institutions, and to create incentives for private sector participation. Another is to diversify agricultural activities to improve nutrition and build economic resilience to climate- and market -related shocks.

The report covers four IFAD-supported projects and one IFAD-supervised project for a total project cost of US$201.2 million, of which $98.1 million was financed by IFAD.


Press release No.: IFAD/50/2019

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$21.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 491 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.

Seminar on IFAD’s Support to Community-Driven Development

25 Nov 2019

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) held a seminar on IFAD’s Support to Community-Driven Development (CDD). The objective of the seminar was to share and discuss the findings of the IOE evaluation synthesis on IFAD’s support to CDD, with the aim of feeding the lessons drawn from completed CDD operations into IFAD’s revamped strategic approach (IFAD 2.0). Over 45 people attended the event, while more than 35 viewers from around the world joined the livestream.

The seminar took place on Friday 13 December 2019. Community-driven development (CDD) has been an integral part of IFAD’s operations for more than 30 years. IOE’s evaluation synthesis shows that projects using a CDD approach fare better on criteria such as effectiveness, women’s empowerment and sustainability. CDD has also been instrumental in providing access to infrastructure and services to poor and marginalized people while, at the same time, giving them agency. A CDD approach addresses mainstreaming issues that are at the heart of IFAD’s mandate and strategy, such as empowering indigenous peoples, women and youth, strengthening food security and promoting sustainable use of natural resources. Furthermore, the CDD principle of local ownership is critical for improving IFAD's performance on sustainability, in particular in fragile situations. Finally, CDD can make a major contribution to developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions and ensure responsive, inclusive and participatory decision-making at all levels (as envisaged by SDG 16).

Mr Janmejay Singh, Lead Social Development Specialist for South Asia and former Coordinator for the CDD Community of Practice, World Bank, gave comments on this evaluation synthesis. Mr Singh noted that CDD has followed largely similar expansive trends in IFAD and the World Bank, confirming that CDD is the preferred option when working with vulnerable people, in vulnerable places and in vulnerable times. Mr Singh suggested further exploring the excellent results achieved on social cohesion by IFAD through CDD, because the lessons learned would be valuable globally. In this regard, additional outreach and information-sharing would help circulate IFAD’s CDD knowledge, enabling it to make the most of its comparative advantage in CDD in the context of agriculture.

The seminar featured two discussion panels. The first presented lessons learned on how and why CDD is relevant for IFAD’s future strategy. IFAD’s experience shows that CDD has made a substantive difference in ensuring the sustainability of project results and in reinforcing the social cohesion of communities, even serving as a powerful peace-building tool. CDD elements will therefore continue to feature strongly in IFAD’s work, strengthening the social fabric in fragile contexts while also contributing to business development and market-oriented approaches.

The second panel discussed the ongoing initiatives to strengthen CDD principles as part of IFAD 2.0. In this context, it was noted that although the social capital built by CDD is difficult to quantify, this does not mean that it is any less important. IFAD should provide stakeholders with evidence of why CDD works, and retain its unique approach to community-driven initiatives.

The recording of the event is available here.

Fall Meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) of multilateral development banks

22 Nov 2019

The Annual Fall Meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) of multilateral development banks was hosted by the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 2-4 December 2019.

The event was attended by the heads of evaluation and evaluation officers from multilateral development banks members of the ECG, as well as representatives of countries' Ministries.

The Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), Mr Oscar A. Garcia, took part in the panel discussion on the “Global Value Chain – An Effective Approach to Achieving Development Results”. He also chaired the thematic session titled “Evaluation Policies”.

Fabrizio Felloni, Deputy Director of IOE, also took part in the event.

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