Hunan agricultural and rural infrastructure improvement project in China
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is undertaking a project performance evaluation (PPE) of the Hunan agricultural and rural infrastructure improvement project in China. The PPE will assess the performance of the IFAD project, and generate findings and recommendations for the design and implementation of ongoing and future operations in China.
The Approach Paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the Download button.
Impact Evaluation of the community-based integrated natural resources management project in Ethiopia
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD undertakes one Impact Evaluation (IE) every year. Given their scope, the Impact Evaluations rely on extensive data collection and data analysis methods in order to gather attributable evidence on the effects of a project and its beneficiaries.
The project selected for the Impact Evaluation is the Community-based Integrated Natural Resources Management Project (CBINReMP) in Ethiopia.
Overall the goal of the IE is to produce robust estimates of both direct and indirect impacts of CBINReMP on various natural resource and environment management domains and most importantly livelihood domains.
The concept note specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the download button.
Western Uplands Poverty Alleviation Project
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Western Uplands Poverty Alleviation Project (WUPAP), implemented in Nepal between 2003 and 2016.
The project was designed to strengthen the capacity of 115,000 households to mobilize their own resources, gain access to external resource and “live their lives in dignity”.
The report highlights that one of the main achievements of the project was the implementation of effective targeting approaches appropriate to various contexts. Through the community investment plan, virtually all IFAD investments reached the poorest beneficiaries and were spent according to their choice and needs.
The performance was, however, weakened by the fact that the original integrated rural development project design was too complex for the fragile political context and remote districts. Poor road networks and infrastructures further hampered WUPAP’s achievements.
As a result, the evaluation highlighted, among other recommendations, the need for Government stakeholders at all levels to provide strong and continued engagement in IFAD projects in the mid-and uplands.
2019 Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD operations
The 2019 Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD Operations (ARRI) presents a synthesis of IFAD’s performance and highlights results and systemic issues from independent evaluations conducted in 2018. The quantitative analysis draws on ratings from 344 evaluations conducted since 2002.
The report confirms that overall the performance of IFAD operations has been positive. Seventy-five per cent of all evaluation ratings are moderately satisfactory or better in the period 2007-2017. Currently, 80 per cent or more projects assessed against the criteria of relevance, innovation, scaling up, rural poverty impact and IFAD performance as a partner are rated moderately satisfactory or better. The 2019 ARRI highlights however that the portfolio performance trend is flat or declining in most criteria in 2015-2017. The most significant decline is for IFAD and government performance as partners. Only adaptation to climate change reached its Tenth Replenishment (2016-2018) Results Measurement Framework targets based on IOE ratings.
“Relevance of IFAD project interventions” is the learning theme of the 2019 ARRI. Based on the findings, the ARRI recommends to determine earlier the need to adjust project designs to ensure their “continued relevance” to the country context.
Agricultural Rehabilitation and Poverty Reduction Project
The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of IFAD has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Poverty Reduction Project (PRAREP), implemented in Côte d’Ivoire from 2009 to 2015.
The objective of PRAREP was to reduce poverty and food security in the wake of the conflict and improve living and working conditions for the most vulnerable rural communities. The project came at the right time, as it provided an immediate response to the situation of food insecurity, vulnerability and increased poverty.
The report highlights the encouraging results achieved by PRAREP in reviving agricultural production in the target areas, and its contribution to improving productivity, production and farmers’ incomes.
The performance of PRAREP was, however, weakened by the fact that close to half of the project financing was never mobilized, and thus, the agricultural infrastructure subcomponent was not implemented. Moreover, weaknesses in building organizational capacity of producers had an adverse effect on the sustainability of the input supply arrangements set up by the project.
As a result, the evaluation highlighted, among other recommendations, the need to systematically include capacity-building for farmers’ organizations, even in a post-crisis context.
Corporate-level Evaluation on IFAD’s Engagement in Pro-poor Value Chain Development
The attention to value chain development is becoming increasingly important for IFAD as traditional food systems are being replaced by organized value chains. Over the last decade, the number of value chain- relevant projects supported by IFAD has increased from 41.5 per cent to 72.3 per cent, while the volume of loans approved has gone from 50 per cent to 81 per cent. This major shift posed challenges as the value chain approach was new to many IFAD staff and government staff in charge of managing IFAD-funded projects.
The evaluation found that project design has improved over time, reflecting a better understanding of the value chain concept. However, analytical gaps remain. Few designs have been supported by market intelligence to prioritize the choice of commodities and steps within the value chain in order to achieve pro-poor outcomes.
The evaluation suggests that it is possible to reach out to poor and very poor producers through value chain approaches, but this requires specific attention. The most convincing pro-poor outcomes occurred in projects where IFAD had experience and where multi-stakeholder platforms were created to enable dialogue between value chain actors.
The evaluation recommends that a corporate strategy be prepared for IFAD’s support to pro-poor value chain development that clarifies the objectives and principles of engagement as well as the resources required. It suggests a “programmatic” approach to value chain development, recognizing the need for long-term engagement. Finally, the evaluation emphasizes the importance of promoting an inclusive value chain governance and regulatory environment.
Belize Rural Finance Programme
The Independent Office of Evaluation has prepared a performance evaluation report on the Belize Rural Finance Programme, co-financed by IFAD and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). The evaluation was conducted in close collaboration with the Evaluation Office of CABEI.
The report highlights that the programme's support to the credit union movement in Belize was both timely and relevant. It focused on capacity building at micro level (through credit unions) and at meso level (through the Belize Credit Union League), providing appropriate technical assistance and introducing an innovative member share account incentive scheme to attract new rural members.
The rural poor who joined credit unions enjoyed modest improvements in incomes, assets, quality of life, economic activities, education and health, but it is unlikely that access to credit union financing significantly improved agricultural productivity or rural enterprise performance.
Although the business case for serving the rural poor remains to be made for most credit unions, the Government, IFAD and other partners, intend to continue supporting credit union activities in rural areas in Belize.