Annual country visit of the Evaluation Committee to Mozambique
The Evaluation Committee of the Executive Board undertook its 2010 annual country visit to Mozambique from 24-28 May, in the context of the Mozambique country programme evaluation (CPE).
The Evaluation Committee had the opportunity to participate in the CPE national roundtable table workshop held in Maputo on 24-25 May. The workshop was inaugurated by the Minister of Fisheries and attended by around 100 participants including the Minister of Agriculture, the Vice Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank of Mozambique and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development. The workshop focused on three themes: (i) Engaging private and civil society organizations in IFAD-supported programmes in Mozambique;
(ii) Targeting aspects in future interventions in Mozambique; and
iii) Reflectionon existing areas of intervention of IFAD in Mozambique – relevance and options for improvement.
Thereafter, the Committee travelled to Sofala Province to visit three IFAD-funded projects, including the Sofala Bank Artisanal Fisheries Project, the Rural Financial Support Programme and the National Programme for Agricultural Extension. The field visit enabled the Committee to hold interactions with beneficiaries and their groups, project management staff and district authorities, as well as see project activities on the ground.
In addition, the Committee had bi-lateral meetings with the Mozambique Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Fisheries, Vice Minister of Finance as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Mozambique. The Ambassador of Mozambique to Italy accompanied the Evaluation Committee throughout their visit to the country. IFAD was represented by the Directors of IEO and ESA, the Senior Portfolio Manager representing the Associate Vice President, as well as the CPM for Mozambique and other staff.
The CPE's Agreement at Completion Point was also signed during the country visit on 25 May in Maputo by the Director of ESA on behalf of the IFAD Management and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development on behalf of the Government of Mozambique.
The Evaluation Committee of the Executive Board country visit to India and the India CPE National roundtable workshop
The Evaluation Committee travelled to India and participated in the India Country Programme Evaluation (CPE) national roundtable workshop as part of its annual country visit from 7 to 11 December 2009. The learning workshop was organized by Office of Evaluation, in close collaboration with the Government of India and IFAD's Asia and the Pacific Division (PI), in New Delhi on 7-8 December. IFAD was represented by the Assistant President of PMD, Director of the Office of Evaluation, Director PI, lead evaluator of the CPE, the CPM for India, and other staff and consultants.
The aim of the learning workshop was to discuss the main lessons and issues emerging from the evaluation in order to provide inputs towards the preparation of the evaluation's Agreement at Completion Point. The workshop entailed the participation of policy and decision makers in the Government including members of parliament, directors of IFAD-supported projects, bilateral and multilateral organizations, research and academic institutions, foundations and NGOs, and resource persons.
On 9 December, Evaluation Committee members and IFAD staff travelled to Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, to undertake a field visit in the Baramati and Bhor districts of the IFAD-supported Tejaswini Rural Women's Empowerment Programme. This offerred the Committee an opportunity to hold direct discussions with beneficiaries and their groups, project staff, state and district-level government authorities and others, as well as to see project activities on the ground.
The delegation also held discussions with the National Bank for Agricultural Development (NABARD) and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust in Maharashtra, which are implementing partners and co-financiers of IFAD-financed projects in India.
The Chairperson of the Evaluation Committee prepared a written report and provided an oral feedback on the country visit in the December 2009 Executive Board session.
Additional information about the workshop including the statements of Ms Loretta M Vas (Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India), Mr Luciano Lavizzari (Director - Office of Evaluation), and Dr Abdel Aziz Mohamed Hosni (Chairperson of the Evaluation Committee), the final agenda, CPE presentation by Mr Ashwani Muthoo (Lead Evaluator) and and presentation on the way forward by Mr Mattia Prayer Galletti (CPM), and the working group presentations may be found in the Related documents on this page.
Joint Africa Evaluation: Consultation meeting in Mali
Under the overall patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture in Mali, OE and the Operations Evaluation Department of the AfDB organised a one day consultation on 29 September 2009 in Bamako to discuss the draft final report on the joint (IFAD-AfDB) evaluation on agriculture and rural development in Africa. This was a critical step in the process, with the aim of capturing the views and comments of Governments and other partners in sub-Saharan Africa on the main findings and recommendations from the evaluation. The concerned parties will finalise the evalution report in the coming weeks - taking into account the comments received at the consultation - for presentation to the Evaluation Committee on 1-2 December, and Executive Board during its December 2009 session. A discussion of the final report will also take place in the Bank's Committee on Development Effectiveness on 3 December 2009, likely to be followed by a discussion in the Bank's Board of Directors in 2010.
Participants expressed their broad satisfaction with the main conclusions and recommendations contained in the report.
They underlined the usefulness of the evaluation in laying out broad directions for further improving the performance of IFAD and the Bank in promoting agriculture and rural development and combating poverty in the continent. The participants shared their insights on the range of issues contained in the report, and among other issues, highlighted the need for greater attention to promoting access to markets and commercialisation of small farmers, wider engagement of the private sector in agriculture and rural development, ensuring deeper sustainability of benefits, more proactive involvement of the two organisations' in non-lending activities (policy dialogue, knowlegde management and partnership building), and the need to invest more in pro-poor agriculture research to develop low-cost technologies that can improve productivity and incomes.
They also emphasised the need for the two organisations to consider a differentiated approach in designing and implementing country strategies, projects, as well as supervision and implementation support, taking into account the country context and their specific circumstances. The issue of unequal and unfoavourable terms of trade facing the African economies was also discussed, as a major constraint to the development of the agriculture sector and raising rural incomes.
The consultation was chaired by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture of Mali. More than 50 persons participated in the event including Ministers of Agriculture from Burkina Faso , Ghana and Mali, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture in Senegal and the Director of Extension Services from the Ministry of Agriculutre in Mozambique. Selected regional and multilateral organisations (e.g., AGRA, WFP, etc) were also present. IFAD was represented by the Directors of OE, PA and PF and other staff. The Bank's Director of the Operations Evaluation Department, the Lead Agriculture Adviser, Resident Representative in Mali, as well as other staff also took part in the consultation.
Sudan Country Programme evaluation national roundtable workshop
In collaboration with PN and the Government of Sudan, OE organized a National Roundtable Workshop (NRTW) in connection with the Sudan Country Programme Evaluation (CPE) from 25-26 February 2009 in Khartoum.
The core objectives of the workshop were to discuss the main findings and recommendations from the CPE, as well to generate inputs for the preparation of the evaluation's Agreement at Completion Point (ACP) between the IFAD management and the Government.
IFAD presentation on organic agriculture for poverty reduction: IFAD case studies in China, India and Latin America
Globalization and its effects on food markets pose new challenges to farmers, governments and international organizations aiming to reduce rural poverty. Agricultural producers are subjected to high standards and to the volatility of prices in international markets. At the same time, however, globalization may open new opportunities for small producers.
With increasing retail sales and high medium-term growth rates, organic food production could represent a promising alternative, especially for small farmers in developing countries, since organic agriculture is labour-intensive in terms of production and supervision and, if applied correctly, does not have a negative impact on producers or the environment.
To tap into these new markets, small producers must overcome a number of hurdles, such as lack of technical know-how, limited storage and processing facilities, inadequate market information, complex certification processes and insufficient financing. It is vital to have supportive government policies that foster development in these sectors, particularly in the case of the rural poor, who often lack access to the technological and financial resources needed to take advantage of these new opportunities.
IFAD Evaluations of Organic Agriculture
In this context, IFAD's Office of Evaluation has conducted two evaluations - with funding from the Italian Government - of organic agriculture among small farmers across Latin America and Asia. The evaluations sought to: offer lessons and insights on whether organic methods ought to be a part of development programmes and strategies for IFAD and the countries concerned; establish if such methods are valid and profitable for small farmers; and identify under what circumstances they should be fostered so as to optimize their benefits and minimize potential difficulties. To better determine the role of organics for small farmers in Asia and Latin America, the evaluations focused on a varied series of case studies and several key areas:
- The characteristics of organic production and marketing
- The impact of organic production on small farmers and their communities
- The specific constraints and opportunities faced by organic producers
- The role of institutions and the public sector
The evaluations explored the pros and cons of adopting organic methods in terms of poverty reduction, food security and trade. From this work, a set of conclusions was drawn synthesizing the most important lessons and key success factors that help identify, motivate and design projects in which organic methods could be a useful component.
The aims of the presentation are to:
- disseminate information to Italian stakeholders on the lessons learned from this evaluation on organic agriculture in Latin America and Asia,
- stimulate discussion and share experiences among key Italian representatives of the organic agricultural sector,
- provide lessons and conclusions that will contribute to shaping future Italian initiatives in fighting poverty by investing in organic agriculture, and
- contribute to the identification of potential partnerships for future Italian interventions in this sector.