Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project
Project performance evaluation
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD has prepared a performance evaluation report on the "Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project" in Rwanda. The project was successful in achieving its objective of fostering increase of traditional crops such as rice, maize, vegetables and milk production. Women beneficiaries were not left behind economically, and innovations such as the flexi-biogas system freed the time they had spent in fetching firewood.
Yet, the lack of effective marketing linkages and competitive prices for producers meant that the attempt at integrating farmer beneficiaries into complete value chains remained incipient. The project also failed to link beneficiaries with rural financial institutions – linkages which would have been important for financing production and value addition.
The evaluation highlights the need to adopt a longer-term programmatic approach in the case of development projects that involve a simultaneous, coordinated and comprehensive approach to rural poverty alleviation in a particular area. It also recommends ensuring that value chain development is truly demand-oriented by involving market actors such as traders and private companies when integrating value chain components in principally supply-side projects.
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.
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.
Community-based Forestry Development Project in Southern States (Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca)
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has conducted a performance evaluation on the "Community-based Forestry Development Project in Southern States (Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca) ” (DECOFOS) in Mexico. The project, implemented between 2009 and 2016, showed that forests and natural resources in general have an important productive potential and can be managed sustainably. The available data suggest that the project contributed to forest preservation in the implementation areas. Overall, the project made a contribution to poverty alleviation among vulnerable and marginalized groups in rural areas.
The evaluation also reveals that the impact and sustainability prospects would have been greater if the project had formulated an exit strategy to consolidate the undertakings. This strategy could have focused on improving the managerial capacity of grassroots organizations, their access to working capital and connection to markets and value chains.
The executive summary is also available in English.
Northern Region Sustainable Livelihoods through Livestock Development Project
ADB and IFAD Joint Project Performance Evaluation
This is the first joint project performance evaluation conducted by the independent offices of evaluation of ADB and IFAD.
The Independent Evaluation Department (IED) of ADB and the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of IFAD confirm the benefits of joint evaluations in terms of knowledge sharing, mutual learning, and costs reduction for the government. IOE and IED together enhanced these benefits by transforming this joint project evaluation into an evaluation capacity building exercise that involved key stakeholders at different levels, including staff from IED and IOE, Government staff, and staff of other ADB and IFAD projects implemented in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and in Asia.
The Northern Region Sustainable Livelihoods through the Livestock Development Project in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic was instrumental in highlighting the potential of investments in livestock as a pathway to the sustainable development of the remote northern regions of the country, underlining Lao PDR’s comparative advantage in the sector. However, deeper impact on the ground was constrained by the limited effectiveness of the targeting strategy, which did not allow the project to reach the poorest households, the flaws in the design of the microfinance and market components, dismantling of livestock production groups and sporadic training activities.
The evaluation recommends a more tailored targeting approach to support commercialization and the sustainable development of the livestock sector and that IOE and IED continue to conduct joint evaluation whenever possible.
Projet d'hydraulique pastorale en zone sahélienne
D'une manière générale, le projet a contribué à la diminution du niveau de vulnérabilité des populations cibles avec, par exemple, des actions de sécurisation de la transhumance pastorale associées à des mécanismes de gestion des ouvrages hydrauliques, de prévention des conflits et de sécurisation des déplacements des éleveurs. La pertinence du projet s’explique tout particulièrement par la grande valeur économique du secteur de l'élevage, qui représente la deuxième source de revenus du pays après le pétrole.
Au cours de sa mise en œuvre, le projet s'est toutefois heurté à plusieurs difficultés, notamment le retrait du cofinancement de l'Agence française de développement et de la Coopération suisse, ainsi que les retards importants dans la mise en œuvre, dus à la lourdeur des procédures de passation des marchés. En dépit de ces perturbations, le projet a démontré une capacité de récupération qui a permis d'atteindre la majorité de résultats prévus.
Le résumé exécutif est aussi disponible en anglais.
Rural Development Project in the Eastern Middle Atlas
The Rural Development Project in the Eastern Middle Atlas (PDRMO), implemented in Morocco between 2007 and 2015, was mainly oriented towards alleviating rural poverty by diversifying and increasing the incomes of rural people, with a sustainable management of natural resources. In this respect, PDRMO targeted 10 rural communes in Boulemane, one of the poorest region in the country, with the goal of reaching 10,000 households, or 75,000 beneficiaries.
Project achievements are significant with regards to physical infrastructures, with 112 km of roads being built or rehabilitated and 103 km of seguias realized, in addition to small-scale irrigation and water-supply infrastructures. In terms of impact, there is a proven gain in time-saving for transportation and irrigation. Moreover, PDRMO obtained encouraging results in strengthening grass-roots' organizations for the implementation of local development.
PDRMO results were however affected by significant implementation delays, due to the difficulty faced by the project in implementing a participatory approach for the preparation of the Douar Development Plans (DDPs), a new and time-consuming activity in the country. The grass-roots' organizations supported, with the exception of livestock breeders’ associations, remain fragile and not sufficiently inclusive. The project also failed to enhance access to financial services and the efforts undertaken to develop entrepreneurship, especially among women, remain limited.
The evaluation recommends that capacity building continue to be pursued for grass-roots' organizations to enable them to become inclusive actors in local development, as well as efforts to strengthen and protect natural resources using more innovative approaches adapted to the context.
Project to Support Development in the Menabe and Melaky Regions
According to UNDP’s Report on Human Development, in 2005, nearly 71.3 per cent of the population and 80.5 per cent of the rural population in Madagascar lived in poverty. With these data in mind, the following year, the Project to Support Development in the Menabe and Melaki Regions in the West of the country (AD2M) was designed. Its main objective was to improve rural people’s access to land and water resources, optimizing their agricultural production and boosting their incomes' sustainability to reduce the exodus towards urban centres.
AD2M targeted 19 rural communities in Menabe and Melaki with the goal of reaching 40 per cent of vulnerable rural households or 16,000 families. The project concluded in 2015, exceeded the original targets by 10,000 households (26,000). Crop production increased with the addition of a second rice-growing season and of a market garden season, water availability permitting.
Human and social capital formation was satisfactory thanks to water users’ associations and a simplified farmer field school model that reached thousands or men and women farmers, where 34 per cent of beneficiaries were women. While positive results were achieved, the sustainability of the benefits was moderately satisfactory and further institutional support to local governments and deconcentrated administration will be required.
The evaluation highlights the importance of designing projects that combine land tenure security and agricultural development to boost development. It also recommended to promote basic living conditions and sanitation programmes in villages, tackling one of the main causes of chronic malnutrition amongst children under five.
Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme
Implemented between 2005 and 2015, the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme in the Republic of Ghana aimed to build up competitive, market-based and inclusive commodity chains for roots and tubers to enhance food security and incomes of poor rural households in the country, with a special emphasis on women and other vulnerable groups.
The programme design was relevant to the country context and government priorities. The elements of an inclusive value chain development approach were in place, and the design and initial arrangements displayed a relatively solid intervention logic. Nevertheless, the implementation focus was largely biased towards production with insufficient attention to the processing and marketing aspects, leading to unfulfilled potential and oversupply of produce and local market saturation.
Overall, the main achievement of the programme was a change of farming practices. As a result, there were increases in crop productivity and food security which contributed modestly to household incomes. The objectives related to the value chain development, and processing and marketing skills upgrading, were, however, underachieved.
The evaluation underlines the need to invest early in specialized skills on market development and to pay closer attention to demand fluctuations for future market-oriented projects. Exploring alternative rural financing mechanisms and a variety of marketing approaches such as contract farming was also recommended.
Market Strengthening and Livelihood Diversification in the Southern Highlands Project
Project performance evaluation
The "Market Strengthening and Livelihood Diversification in the Southern Highlands Project" is part of a virtuous circle of creativity and innovation by IFAD in Peru. The project had a good geographical focus on the districts considered to have the greatest incidence of poverty and had a satisfactory impact on rural poverty reduction.
According to the impact analysis carried out by IOE, based on the official data of the Government, the project reduced the poverty of the rural families it reached by 12 per cent. This reduction was closely linked to the average increase in income, which was achieved to a large extent by diversification of production and its sources and by innovations in technology and production patterns – in particular with the support to economic productive undertakings through the business plans.
On the other hand, the evaluation reveals the factors that would have made an even greater impact on rural poverty possible. These include a more effective strategy of targeting the poorest and a longer period of private and public technical assistance to the businesses undertaken in order to ensure their sustainability, as well as linking them with financial services that would give them access to working and investment capital.