Sierra Leone Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation

Sierra Leone  
mayo 2020

This is the first country strategy and programme evaluation carried out in Sierra Leone by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE). The report reviews the joint work of IFAD and the Government of Sierra Leone from 2003 to 2019, covering five projects.

The period covered by the evaluation was highly dynamic, characterized by the efforts to reconstruct the economic and productive sectors and to promote sustainable growth in the aftermath of the lengthy civil war. The evaluation found that the IFAD adapted well to the rapidly evolving national priorities and strategies, shifting focus from basic agricultural inputs and infrastructure to fostering access to rural finance and strengthening commercial agriculture. In addition, the portfolio’s outreach was remarkable, achieving targets by 100 per cent or close; well over 80 per cent of the community banks, while financial services were successfully made available to over 200,000 households.

However, the report highlights some areas for improvement. Financial inclusion could be enhanced, to encompass a greater proportion of smallholders. The value chain for rice, a main staple crop in Sierra Leone, could be strengthened, with particular focus on the linkages between producers and processing and marketing actors. In addition, activities to attract more youth to agriculture could be implemented.

Moving forward, the report recommends, among other things, to bolster the development impact of agricultural growth by focusing on strengthening value chains, increase the level of engagement in rural finance by building on existing rural financial structures in the country and develop a country-specific youth strategy.

LANGUAGES: English

Rural Livelihoods Economic Enhancement Programme

Malawi  
mayo 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Rural Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment Programme (RLEEP) in the Republic of Malawi. The programme took place from 2009 until 2018, with a total project cost of US$26.1 million. Of this sum, IFAD contributed US$8.9 million as loan and US$6 million as grant.

The PPE concludes that the programme took an innovative approach, which was largely effective. The programme increased overall productivity and provided a good foundation for pro-poor value chain development by establishing useful partnerships and initiatives that facilitated farmers’ access to markets. The grant facility was an appropriate mechanism for collaboration with NGOs, which greatly enhanced outreach and group formation activities. Some farmer groups managed to grow into cooperatives and strengthen market linkages.

However, the targets of the programme proved to be overly ambitious and would have required stronger technical capacities to be achieved. The programme implemented a large number of activities in parallel and there was little time for adjustments when challenges arose.  Participation of the private sector was still insufficient. Lastly, the programme did not have sufficient time to address the structural issues undermining value chain development.

IFAD is preparing for the second phase of the programme in Malawi, called Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship (TRADE). The report offers several recommendations for this follow-up programme, including: greater participation by government partners, enhanced partnerships and complementarities among development partners, promotion of innovative approaches to service provision, and greater attention to farmers’ empowerment in the development of value chains.

LANGUAGES: English

Community-driven development in IFAD-supported projects

abril 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has prepared an evaluation synthesis report on Community-Driven Development (CDD), based on an in-depth review of a representative sample of IFAD projects carried out since 1978.

CDD has played a pivotal role in IFAD’s operations for over 30 years. Indeed, CDD is an important pathway to empower the rural poor – an objective that lies at the heart of Agenda 2030 – and works particularly well within the contexts that IFAD engages in, such as marginal and fragile situations.

The synthesis found that IFAD operations that used a CDD approach performed better than non-CDD projects on several criteria, including effectiveness, gender and sustainability, especially when sufficient time and resources were available for meaningful engagement at local level. The commitment shown by IFAD’s regional divisions was crucial in promoting and enhancing learning on CDD.

CDD remains a relevant approach for IFAD. Moving forward, the Fund should build further on its comparative advantage in CDD, making it visible throughout its strategies and institutional functions and ensuring that appropriate resources and financial instruments are allocated to fully reap the benefits expected of the approach.

LANGUAGES: English

United Mexican States Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation

Mexico  
abril 2020

This is the second country strategy and programme evaluation carried out in the United Mexican States by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD. It covers the partnership between the Government and IFAD from 2007 to 2018. During this period, IFAD has invested in seven projects and programmes in the country with a total cost of US$250.56 million, of which US$132.95 million was financed by IFAD.

The programme focused on supporting groups of rural producers living in poverty who had not previously been reached by public programmes. In addition, Mexico is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and these projects showed that it is possible to achieve a balance between local economic needs and positive environmental impact.

However, the performance of the portfolio was weakened by changes in agricultural sector policies, to which ongoing projects were not adapted, as well as design weaknesses such as a lack of innovative approaches to training producers and their organizations in financial services and market access. The grants programme opened up opportunities for consultation on rural policy issues and options, by supporting rural dialogue groups and multinational studies on conditional cash transfer programmes and ways to combine them with inclusive production measures.

The evaluation sets forth the following main recommendations: (i) fine-tune the country programme’s geographical and agro-ecological targeting; (ii) improve the technical and innovative quality of project design; (iii) improve monitoring of and capitalization on lessons learned; (iv) strengthen IFAD’s capacity to provide operational and strategic support for the programme; and (v) promote greater government engagement in project design and implementation, as well as adequate budgetary allocation for implementation.

LANGUAGES: Spanish

Burundi Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation

Burundi  
abril 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is undertaking a country strategy and programme evaluation (CSPE) in Burundi.

The CSPE, which is the first to be conducted in the country, will assess the results and performance of the partnership between IFAD and the Government of Burundi.

The main objectives of the CSPE are to:

  • assess the results and performance of the IFAD-financed strategy and programme in Burundi;
  • generate findings and recommendations for strengthening and enhancing the overall effectiveness of the IFAD programme in Burundi within the framework of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030; and
  • provide relevant information and knowledge to guide the preparation of the next country strategic opportunities programme.
The Approach Paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions will be made available soon.
LANGUAGES: English

Federal Republic of Nepal Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation

Nepal  
marzo 2020

This is the third country strategy and programme evaluation carried out in Nepal by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE). The report reviews the joint work of IFAD and the Government of Nepal over the past seven years (2013 -2019), covering eight projects.

Over the past decades, farm fragmentation and low crop productivity have endangered the economic viability of traditional farming systems in the country. 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.

Linking small-scale farmers with value chains was important to enhance their economic opportunities. The programme has helped improve farmers’ access to markets, including international markets, as well as the transparency, stability and predictability of prices.

However, the report highlights some areas for improvement. The evaluation recommends supporting federalization in the country, focusing on how to adapt the projects to the new system and as well as on how to support local governments in promoting rural development.

According to the report, IFAD should bring back into its funding spectrum the support to community development, basic infrastructure and services as a preparatory step for further economic opportunities. Finally, the evaluation recommends strengthening partnerships for specialized technical support and for cofinancing.

LANGUAGES: English

Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization Support Project

Liberia  
marzo 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization Support project (STCRSP) in the Republic of Liberia, the first evaluation it has conducted in the country.

The project was implemented between 2011 and 2017 with the objective to reduce post-conflict poverty and food insecurity, and to improve the livelihoods and living conditions of rural communities. The target population of 15,000 smallholder cocoa/coffee farmers was extremely poor, with very low levels of literacy, and their contact with the wider economy and society was limited by lack of roads and services.

The project successfully rehabilitated 85 per cent of the targeted 15,000 hectares of cocoa and coffee farms, which enabled cocoa farmers to increase production and improve quality, and to obtain a higher price for their produce. The project has also been able to rehabilitate 133.1 km of roads and increase famers’ access to markets. STCRSP thus successfully contributed to improved livelihoods and enabled farmers to make the transition from survival mode to recovered livelihoods. In addition, the project was effective in reinforcing the extension services offered by public and private providers, and in strengthening farmers’ organizations.

However, the evaluation also concluded that the project design could have better supported food security, as there was no significant difference in food security indicators between STCRSP beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

The report recommends that future IFAD value chain development projects focus on addressing constraints upstream and pay increased attention to nodes downstream of the value chain, for instance, focusing on interventions that support farmers and their organizations to add value to their produce, and that promote an equitable share of benefits.

LANGUAGES: English

Newsletter Issue n. 28 - March 2020

marzo 2020

IOE has released its twenty-eighth 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

Rehabilitation and Community-based Poverty Reduction Project

Sierra Leone  
marzo 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has prepared a project performance evaluation (PPE) of the Rehabilitation and Community-based Poverty Reduction Project (RCPRP) in the Republic of Sierra Leone, implemented in the country from 2006 to 2017.

The project was to be an integrated response to rehabilitating and sustaining essential services in the country, and restoring basic production capacity to pre-conflict levels by providing support to the short-term recovery of rural communities and their farming systems, while laying the basis for long-term rehabilitation and participatory development.

The report highlights that the project achieved its objectives related to increasing production of rice and cocoa – the main commodities at the basis of agriculture and rural development in Sierra Leone – and met its targets in terms of rehabilitating roads.

However, the project was less successful, for example, in creating effective links between primary producers and the market. Also, the effectiveness of the project’s climate- and environment-related interventions was mixed.

As a result, the evaluation noted, among its recommendations, the need to promote effective and efficient market participation by smallholder farmers, and to strengthen institutional expertise and the financial capacity of marketing organizations. In addition, where adaptation to climate change is specifically pursued, it should be treated as an intrinsic part of project design, not merely an accessory.

LANGUAGES: English

Pakistan Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation

Pakistan  
febrero 2020

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is undertaking a country strategy and programme evaluation (CSPE) in Pakistan.

The CSPE will assess the results and performance of the partnership between IFAD and the Government of Pakistan since the last country programme evaluation was concluded in 2008.

The main objectives of the CSPE are to:

  • assess the results and performance of the IFAD-financed strategy and programme in Pakistan;
  • generate findings and recommendations for strengthening and enhancing the overall effectiveness of the IFAD programme in Pakistan within the framework of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030; and
  • provide relevant information and knowledge to guide the preparation of the next country strategic opportunities programme.

The Approach Paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions will be made available soon.

LANGUAGES: English
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