9th AfrEA International Conference

11 mars 2019

The 9th International Conference of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) took place on 11-15 March 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The conference served to promote AfrEA’s “Made in Africa” approach and allow knowledge-sharing and collaboration between a wide range of international organizations and individuals. This year's  theme is “Accelerating Africa’s Development: Strengthening National Evaluation Ecosystems”.

Michael Carbon, IOE Senior Evaluation Officer, participated in the Panel Session "Lessons from impact evaluations of agricultural and food security projects".

Visit the AfrEA website for more information.


SOLEP Conference: Big Data Analytics and Evaluation - Data Privacy, Use and Ethics

04 mars 2019

The conference, organized by the Luxembourg Evaluation and Foresight Association (SOLEP Acronym in French), took place on 4 March 2019 in Kirchberg, Luxembourg.

Two plenary sessions in the morning were followed by three parallel technical workshops in the afternoon on the use of big data analytical tools for monitoring and evaluation. Hansdeep Khaira, IOE Evaluation Officer, conducted a technical workshop entitled "The use of satellite imagery and signals to support decision-making". His presentation shared the insights of an impact evaluation of an irrigation rehabilitation project that aimed to improve farming income several years following a conflict in the Republic of Georgia.

Download the conference programme.

EvalNet/Deval Workshop on Country Programme Evaluations and Reviews

28 févr. 2019

The event was jointly conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) EvalNet and the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) from 28 February to 1 March 2019 in Paris, France.

The aim of the workshop was to share and discuss challenges, experiences, lessons learned and good practices in planning, conducting and using country programme evaluations (CPE) and country programme reviews (CPR)  in development cooperation among OECD-DAC EvalNet members. The workshop centred on forward looking analytical tools assessing relevance and coherence of country programmes.

Johanna Pennarz, IOE Lead Evaluator, presented IFAD experiences as part of a panel discussion on the use of CPEs, partner involvement and collaboration with other development partners  ("Challenges and emerging questions of CPE/CPR”).

DG DEVCO Conference: Combination of Satellite Imagery with Traditional Evaluation Techniques

04 févr. 2019

Hansdeep Khaira, IOE Evaluation Officer, participated as a speaker in a conference on "Combination of satellite imagery with traditional evaluation techniques: the evaluation of IFAD’s Agricultural Support Project in Georgia". The event took place on 4 February 2019, from 12:30 to 14:00 CET.

This conference is part of a series presenting the use of innovative methodologies to conduct evaluations in hard-to-reach areas, organised by the Evaluation Support Service of the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), ‘Results' Unit.

The speakers discussed lessons learned from the integration of analysis of satellite imagery into the recent impact evaluation of IFAD’s Agricultural Support Project in Georgia.

The impact evaluation deployed two innovative approaches:

  1. Genetic matching method for matching the treatment with the comparison group.
  2. Time-series satellite imagery for comparing the change in vegetation cover between treatment and comparison group farm plots before and after the rehabilitation of the irrigation schemes.

The findings from the use of these techniques were triangulated with findings from traditional evaluation methods such as impact surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Download the presentation paper of the cycle here.

"Roots": IFAD's Independent Office of Evaluation's podcast for rural communities

07 déc. 2018

Launched in September 2018, "Roots", is a podcast created by the Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to disseminate the voice of rural workers in their own communities and in the world.

The podcast is a new and innovative product for communicating the impact of the projects, evaluated by IFAD, in beneficiaries' lives. Because of the intimacy of podcasting speaking directly to the listeners, "Roots" increases the ability to reach the hearts and minds of rural communities, inspiring them to take action and be a part of worldwide efforts for a sustainable and inclusive rural development.

The idea of producing podcasts emerged for the first time during the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Evaluation International Conference, which was held at IFAD headquarters in June 2017. As part of the conclusions of the conference, it was suggested that ICT tools be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of evaluation. ICT should in fact, serve the task of including vulnerable and marginalized populations in the evaluation process.

In the context of improving data collection and analysis, the main purpose of "Roots" is to disseminate the voices of beneficiaries of IFAD-supported projects to share knowledge and learning. "Roots is an opportunity to learn and to allow rural communities to observe what is working well, what it is not, why, and what needs to be improved to promote a sustainable and inclusive rural development", Oscar A. García, Director of the Office Independent Evaluation of IFAD, said.

From Peru to Niger, Belize or Kenya, each month "Roots" presents a new episode sharing the experience of beneficiaries in different regions. Each episode brings to life the stories of rural communities sharing data and information on development projects evaluated by IFAD.

In the first episodes, "Roots" visited: The Department of San Martin, in Peru's High Rainforest and the Toledo District; Stann Creek, in Belize; the North Region of Côte d'Ivoire; and Nakuru County, in Kenya.

The podcasts are disseminated through the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) and radio stations in the countries targeted by the projects.

Subscribe to the IOE newsletter or visit the website regularly for the latest episodes.

IFAD-financed projects support rural poverty reduction and agricultural development in Kenya

05 déc. 2018

Nairobi, 5 December 2018 – Rural development projects financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have contributed to increase productivity, incomes and food security in Kenya, according to a new report presented today in the capital city of Nairobi.

The report, prepared by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), reviews the past seven years of work that IFAD has undertaken together with the Kenyan government. Since 1979, IFAD has invested in 18 projects and programmes in the country for a total cost of US$813.3 million, of which $376 million was financed by IFAD.

According to the report's findings, IFAD has been innovative in bringing solutions around credit delivery, agro-processing and environmental management. Such interventions, while boosting agricultural productivity, have also led to higher incomes and improved food security for beneficiaries of all projects. The report notes that the IFAD-funded projects have achieved remarkable gender equality results. In particular, women's access to resources, assets and services has improved and they have gained more influence in decision-making both at home and within their communities. However, the efficiency of project implementation has been negatively affected by the devolution process - in which Kenya's central government transferred responsibilities to regional governments - that took place during the period under evaluation.

The results and findings of another report – a recently conducted impact evaluation on the Smallholder Marketing Programme in Kenya – were also presented today. Horticulture is extremely important to the national economy, accounting for about 33 per cent of the country's agricultural gross domestic product and 7 per cent of national gross domestic product. The programme had a significant impact on farmers' incomes and food security, increasing the quality and quantity of horticultural production in the country through the use of a value chain approach. For example, the farmers who benefited from the programme had higher income gains as a result of greater gross margins driven mainly by higher yields in some of the horticultural commodities that the programme promoted, such as bananas and Irish potatoes.

 "For nearly 40 years, IFAD and Kenya have worked together with small farming families to raise their production and incomes. The evaluation gives us further evidence of how these families have more access to diverse food, with higher levels of animal and vegetable proteins, " said Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department of IFAD. "We are determined to continue supporting the government in its efforts to improve food security and nutrition for rural families, while building on lessons learned to improve the impact of our efforts."

Challenges for the future

The report also highlights the issues that still need to be addressed. For example, the IFAD programme made a modest contribution to the social and economic empowerment of youth, and the new project designs caused delays in disbursement, recruitment of qualified staff and partnership agreements.

The evaluation makes recommendations for future collaboration between IFAD and the Kenyan government in the fight against rural poverty. One of these is to ensure that interventions build on IFAD's comparative advantage and retain focus on selected themes and geographical areas. IFAD in fact, should continue focusing on the areas where it has worked successfully in the past: natural resources management, pro-poor value chains and rural finance. Another recommendation is to engage more effectively with policymakers on pertinent issues of agricultural and rural development, based on lessons learned from implementation on the ground. 

"We need to strengthen policy engagement and create more space and opportunities for engaging the private sector," said Oscar Garcia, IOE's Director. "The private sector is expected to contribute significant financing to drive the rural economy. To this end, IFAD will need to play a stronger brokering role between farmers' groups and private sector partners." According to the evaluation report, strengthening policies and partnerships should be at the centre of IFAD’s new country strategy for Kenya.

Media contacts:

  • Norah De Falco, Evaluation Communication Specialist, +39 06 54592946, n.defalco@ifad.org
  • David Florentin Paqui, Regional Communications Officer, +39 3357516406, d.paqui@ifad.org

Press release No.: IFAD/84/2018

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$20.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 480 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.

Kenya CSPE - National Workshop

05 déc. 2018

The National Treasury and Planning of the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), in collaboration with IFAD’s East and Southern Africa Division, organized a national workshop to discuss the main issues emerging from the Kenya Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation (CSPE).

The objectives of Kenya CSPE national workshop were to:

  • discuss the main issues emerging from the Kenya CSPE;
  • provide inputs for the preparation of the evaluation’s Agreement at Completion Point; and;
  • discuss the opportunities and challenges to be addressed in the upcoming country strategy, taking into account the evolving country context as well as IFAD’s priorities in Kenya

The event was held on 5 December 2018 in Nairobi. The Chief Guest was the Honourable Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, and H.E. Anne Waiguru, Governor of Kirinyaga County. Around 65 participants attended the workshop, including the Chief Administrative Secretary of the National Treasury and Planning, the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Agricultural Research, the Principal Secretary of the State Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Director of Water Resources in the Ministry of Water and Sanitation and representatives of IFAD-supported projects, multilateral and bilateral development organizations and others.

The IFAD delegation included the Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department, the Director of IOE, the IFAD Country Director for Kenya, a representative of the Operational Policy and Results Division and the IOE evaluation team.

Ms Johanna Pennarz, IOE Lead Evaluation Officer, then presented the key findings, conclusions and recommendations from the Kenya CSPE and Mr Hansdeep Khaira, IOE Evaluation Officer, made a presentation on the findings, conclusions and recommendations from the impact evaluation of the Smallholder Horticulture Marketing Programme. The presentations provided a unique opportunity to share with the participants the methodological approach, key challenges and lessons learned in applying rigorous quantitative methods for the evaluation of the impact of rural development operations. The key themes emerging from the CSPE were discussed in working group during the afternoon session. The suggestions and recommendations from stakeholders were documented and will inform the future IFAD strategy in Kenya.

Prior to the workshop, on 04 December, the IFAD delegation undertook a field visit to the IFAD-financed project Mount Kenya East Pilot Project (MKEPP) and the Upper Tana Natural Resources Management Project (UTaNRMP) in Kirinyaga County. The delegation was joined by county officials, members of the project steering group and the project team. This was an opportunity to see project activities on the ground and interact with beneficiaries and their groups, project authorities and other partners at the local level.

As a final step in this evaluation, the Government of Kenya and IFAD Management will sign an Agreement at Completion Point, which will include a summary of the main CSPE findings and recommendations. The ACP presents Government's and IFAD's commitment to adopt and implement the CSPE recommendations within specific timeframes.

The field visit and workshop were widely covered by the Kenyan media.



Kenya news clippings

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

25 nov. 2018

The Annual Fall Meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) of multilateral development banks was hosted by the Asian Development Bank in Shanghai, China, on 25-28 November 2018.

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 event and presented his new book "Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation: World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9" during a Lunch & Book Launch session. He also moderated the thematic session "Financial Intermediation and Financial Architecture" and participated in the two other sessions: "Ongoing Developments in Evaluation" and "External Evaluations".

Mr Fabrizio Felloni, Deputy Director of IOE, presented the "Corporate-level Evaluation on IFAD's Financial Architecture". IOE staff also took part in the event.

Participants shared their knowledge and experience on evaluation strategies, policies and practices, providing updates on recent developments in their agencies.

L'appui du FIDA au Burkina Faso a favorisé une hausse de la productivité agricole et l'amélioration des revenus des ménages

23 nov. 2018

Ouagadougou, le 23 novembre 2018 – Les projets de développement financés par le Fonds international de développement agricole (FIDA) ont contribué à accroître la productivité agricole et la sécurité alimentaire au Burkina Faso, selon les résultats d'une évaluation indépendante présentés aujourd'hui.

Menée par le Bureau indépendant d'évaluation (IOE) du FIDA, l'évaluation a porté sur les résultats et la performance du programme financé par le Fonds dans le pays; IOE y a formulé des recommandations concernant le partenariat entre le FIDA et le Burkina Faso, qui coopèrent pour réduire la pauvreté rurale. La stratégie de pays portait sur la nutrition de la population rurale, la résilience des ménages ruraux face à l'insécurité alimentaire et les difficultés économiques auxquels ceux-ci se heurtaient.

L'évaluation de l'IOE, la première du genre au Burkina Faso, concernait la période 2007-2017 ; elle comprenait six projets achevés, dont l'un est en cours et couvrait 11 des 13 régions du pays.

Le FIDA est l'un des principaux partenaires de financement des activités de développement rural au Burkina Faso depuis 1981, où il a apporté 276,7 millions d'USD sur un total de cofinancement de 548,4 millions d'USD pour les projets visés.

"Le bilan positif dressé au terme de l'évaluation indépendante des résultats et de la performance des projets et programmes appuyés par le FIDA au Burkina Faso est très encourageant", a déclaré Lisandro Martin, Directeur régional de la Division Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre du FIDA. "Dans un pays où le secteur agricole emploie 80 % de la population et représente jusqu'à 30% du PIB, il est essentiel d'ouvrir des perspectives attirantes dans ce secteur. Le FIDA est déterminé à accompagner le Burkina Faso dans son processus de transformation des zones rurales."

L'évaluation a montré que les projets appuyés par le FIDA avaient favorisé la productivité agricole et la sécurité alimentaire en améliorant les pratiques agricoles relatives aux cultures vivrières (maïs, mil et sorgho) et aux produits commerciaux (sésame, miel, lait et karité). Par exemple, grâce au système de récépissé d'entrepôt, outil de gestion du risque permettant de réduire les pertes après récolte et de lutter contre les ravageurs et les maladies, les petits exploitants ont pu accéder à des récoltes de bonne qualité au moment qui leur convenait et ainsi, à terme, à de meilleurs crédits.

Par ses interventions, le FIDA a également contribué à diversifier et à accroître les revenus des ruraux en encourageant les microentreprises et les activités lucratives. Par exemple, le Projet d'appui aux microentreprises rurales a contribué à la création de 5 277 emplois, dépassant ainsi largement son objectif de 2 700 emplois.

Parmi les réalisations fructueuses, on retiendra que les activités appuyées par le FIDA ont entraîné un grand nombre d'innovations techniques et institutionnelles dans les régions ciblées, telles que la fourniture d'équipements de qualité pour la transformation du manioc, du riz, des jus de fruits, du lait, des amandes de karité et le séchage des viandes. L'évaluation a également mis en lumière d'autres effets positifs, notamment le renforcement des capacités des organisations paysannes. De nouvelles organisations paysannes ont été créées, leurs membres ont été formés et des plans de développement ont été élaborés pour améliorer l’accès aux marchés. Les projets appuyés par le FIDA ont également contribué à renforcer le partenariat avec les pouvoirs publics par l'intermédiaire du Ministère des finances et du Ministère de l'agriculture, qui ont collaboré avec les communautés locales pour assurer la cohérence des interventions concernant les politiques publiques.

Défis à relever

L'évaluation fait état des réussites ainsi que des points qui doivent encore être améliorés. Parmi les recommandations, il est préconisé de favoriser la durabilité des interventions en mettant en place un système efficace de suivi et d'évaluation. Une autre recommandation est d'intensifier les actions, en coopération avec les partenaires, pour gérer durablement la production de cultures et les autres ressources naturelles afin de réduire la vulnérabilité des communautés rurales face aux effets des changements climatiques. Le rapport indique qu’à l’avenir, le FIDA devra étendre son action aux populations les plus pauvres et les plus vulnérables, en particulier les femmes et les jeunes, en leur permettant d'accéder au microcrédit.

Selon Oscar Garcia, Directeur de l'IOE, "des changements positifs et durables ne peuvent avoir lieu dans le secteur agricole au Burkina Faso que dans le cadre d'interventions bien planifiées et dans une culture d'apprentissage et d'intégration mutuels des enseignements tirés."

Press release No.: IFAD/80/2018

Le FIDA investit depuis 40 ans dans les populations rurales, en dotant celles-ci des moyens de réduire la pauvreté, d’accroître la sécurité alimentaire, d’améliorer la nutrition et de renforcer la résilience. Depuis 1978, le FIDA a octroyé 20,4 milliards d’USD sous la forme de dons et de prêts à faible taux d’intérêt en faveur de projets qui ont touché quelque 480 millions de personnes. Le FIDA est une institution financière internationale et un organisme spécialisé des Nations Unies dont le siège est à Rome – le centre névralgique des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture.

A propos du Bureau indépendant de l'évaluation: Le Bureau indépendant de l’évaluation (IOE) évalue les politiques, stratégies et opérations financées par le Fonds, en vue de promouvoir l’obligation de rendre des comptes et l’amélioration des connaissances. L’objectif principal est de contribuer à améliorer les résultats qu’obtiennent le FIDA et ses partenaires dans l’action qu’ils mènent pour réduire la pauvreté rurale dans les pays bénéficiaires. Dans le cadre de ses évaluations indépendantes, IOE évalue l'impact des activités financées par le FIDA et fournit une analyse des succès et des lacunes – pour dire les choses telles qu'elles sont – et détermine également les facteurs ayant un effet sur la performance. En s'appuyant sur les éclairages clés et sur les recommandations dérivées des résultats de l'évaluation, IOE communique aussi à un plus vaste public, avec lequel il les partage, le savoir et l'expérience du FIDA dans le domaine de l'agriculture et du développement rural.

2019 UNEG Evaluation Week

05 nov. 2018

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) will participate in the 2019 United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Evaluation Week, which includes two key components: the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Evaluation Practice Exchange (EPE). The event will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 13-17 May 2019.

The AGM provides an important business forum to review UNEG’s current work and discuss its upcoming strategies and work programmes.

The Evaluation Practice Exchange seminar is an informal forum for UNEG members to share their experiences on a range of topics. The Director of IOE, Oscar Garcia, will participate in the discussion on Evaluation Standards, Norms and Principles in the session "Evaluation and hindsight: assessing interventions’ in the context of the SDG’s and 2030 agenda".