Corporate-level evaluation on IFAD’s support to innovations for inclusive and sustainable smallholder agriculture
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is undertaking a corporate-level evaluation on IFAD’s support to innovations for inclusive and sustainable smallholder agriculture.
The main objectives of the evaluation are:
- to assess the performance of IFAD's support to innovation; and
- to identify key lessons and areas of improvement for recommendations to enhance IFAD's approach and performance in this area.
These objectives seek to help strengthen the organization’s accountability and learning frameworks with regard to inclusive and sustainable development of smallholder agriculture.
The Approach Paper specifying the evaluation objectives, methodology, process, timelines, and key questions is available at the download button.
Ecuador Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is undertaking a country strategy and programme evaluation (CSPE) in the Republic of Ecuador.
The CSPE will assess the results and performance of the partnership between IFAD and the Government of Ecuador since the last country programme evaluation was concluded in 2014.
The main objectives of the CSPE are to:
- assess the results and performance of the IFAD-financed strategy and programme in Ecuador;
- generate findings and recommendations for strengthening and enhancing the overall effectiveness of the IFAD programme in Ecuador 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 is available at the Download button.
Rural Finance and Enterprise Development Programme
The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) has prepared a performance evaluation report on the "Rural Finance and Enterprise Development Programme (RFEDP)" in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The programme, implemented between 2010 and 2017, was designed to provide the rural poor with access to financial services on a sustainable basis, develop an enabling environment for business development and establish micro – and small-scale enterprises in rural areas.
As the national context is affected by institutional and structural limitations, lack of access to finance remains a major constraint for many rural enterprises. RFEDP worked at the macro, meso and micro levels to tackle multi-dimensional challenges. At the macro level, the programme supported the policy formulation and coordination between stakeholders, while at the meso level, it supported financial institutions in strengthening their capacity.
The report however reveals that programme activities at the meso and micro levels lacked a suitable strategy to engage poorer segments of the intended target groups.
The evaluation recommends that future rural finance projects in Eswatini focus on savings and credit groups so as to better target the poor and also to better operate in a challenging policy and institutional environment.
Burkina Faso Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation
The results of the evaluation show that IFAD-supported projects enhanced agricultural productivity and food security by improving agricultural practices for food crops (maize, millet and sorghum) and for cash commodities (sesame, honey, dairy and shea). Soil conservation techniques promoted by the Community Investment Programme for Agricultural Fertility contributed to a 300 per cent increase in sorghum yields and a 200 per cent increase in rice and millet crops. IFAD interventions also helped to diversify and increase rural incomes by promoting microenterprises and income-generating activities.
The evaluation highlights achievements as well as issues that still need to be addressed. One of the recommendations is to focus interventions on priority regions in the medium term for enhanced impact, and to establish an effective monitoring and evaluating system that enables results and changes to be measured, and lessons learned to be generated. The evaluation also notes that IFAD will need to extend its reach to the poorest and most vulnerable populations, particularly women and young people, by supporting them to access microcredit.
This is the first country strategy and programme evaluation conducted by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) in Burkina Faso and covers the partnership between the Government and IFAD from 2007 to mid-2018. Over a period of almost 40 years, IFAD has supported 14 projects and programmes in the country for a total cost of US$548.4 million, of which IFAD contributed US$276.7 million.
Tunisia country strategy and programme evaluation
This is the second country strategy and programme evaluation conducted by IOE in Tunisia. The evaluation covers six projects implemented between 2003 and 2018, which contributed to improve living conditions in rural areas through substantial investments in natural resources management and socio-economic infrastructure.
The report notes that the programme has achieved remarkable environmental and natural resource management results. IFAD has helped boost crop and livestock productivity through investments in irrigation infrastructure, soil and water conservation works and the expansion and restoration of rangelands.
The report also highlights some areas for improvement. One of the recommendations is to ensure that interventions reach out more effectively to the most vulnerable populations particularly poor farmers, women and youth. Another recommendation is to minimize the vulnerability of supported value chains to climate change and market risks.
Smallholder Plantations Entrepreneurship Development Programme
Project performance evaluation
The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) has prepared a performance evaluation report on the "Smallholder Plantations Entrepreneurship Development Programme (SPEnDP)" in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The programme, implemented between 2007 and 2016, was designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder tea and rubber growers by establishing or upgrading plantations and supporting other income-generating activities, community infrastructure and other needs.
The core programme investments in tea and rubber production, coupled with intercropping, were successful in improving the incomes and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in a sustainable manner. The programme supported 250 ha of tea replanting in mid-country and rubber planting in 5,087 ha of land in Monaragala. These plantations, once established, can provide steady cash flows over years. Rubber planting was in areas that were utilized or under-utilized and had a generally positive environmental impact.
The report however, reveals that while the focus on production was appropriate, more attention could have been paid to post-harvest improvements, as well as environmental issues, especially for tea plantations. In this respect, greater care should be taken to avoid subsidizing tea (re)planting on unsuitable lands.
There is also little evidence of the impact on social capital and empowerment. The evaluation therefore recommends that IFAD and the government should engage and strengthen existing community-based organizations rather than create new ones.
Proyecto de Desarrollo Comunitario Forestal en los Estados del Sur (Campeche, Chiapas y Oaxaca)
La Oficina de Evaluación Independiente del FIDA (IOE) ha llevado a cabo una evaluación de los resultados del Proyecto de Desarrollo Comunitario Forestal en los Estados del Sur (Campeche, Chiapas y Oaxaca) (DECOFOS) en México.
El proyecto, implementado entre 2009 y 2016, ha demostrado que los bosques y los recursos naturales en general tienen un importante potencial productivo y se pueden manejar de manera sostenible. Los datos disponibles sugieren que el proyecto contribuyó a la preservación de los bosques en las áreas de implementación. El proyecto , así mismo, ha contribuido al alivio de la pobreza entre los grupos vulnerables y marginados de estas áreas rurales.
La evaluación también revela que el impacto y las perspectivas de sostenibilidad habrían sido mayores si el proyecto hubiera formulado una estrategia de salida para consolidar sus compromisos. Esta estrategia podría haberse centrado en mejorar la capacidad de gestión de las organizaciones de base, su acceso al capital de trabajo y la conexión con los mercados y las cadenas de valor.
IFAD’s support to livelihoods involving aquatic resources from small-scale fisheries, small-scale aquaculture and coastal zones
The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) has prepared an evaluation synthesis report on IFAD’s support to livelihoods involving aquatic resources from small-scale fisheries, small-scale aquaculture and coastal zones. The report provides a review of the evaluations of all aquatic-resources-relevant projects supported by IFAD from 2009 to 2018. In addition, it provides an analysis of the evolution of the portfolio since 1979, when the first project that addressed aquaculture was approved.
IFAD achieved notable success in some countries where it engaged in aquaculture or fisheries over several years. In the aquaculture subsector in Bangladesh, it supported a number of projects introducing innovative approaches to aquatic resources management. In the marine fisheries subsector in Mozambique, IFAD’s interventions tended to be more effective partly because the focus was exclusively on fishing communities.
In-house expertise also increased the capacity of the Fund to collaborate effectively and build partnerships with organizations that have greater technical resources in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
The report emphasizes the need for IFAD to enhance the quality of its interventions in these subsectors through more technical depth, improved analysis of countries' socio-economic context and better integration of environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation measures.