This is the third Annual Report on the Results and Impact of IFAD’s Operations (ARRI) produced by the Office of Evaluation (OE). As in previous years, this ARRI consolidates and synthesizes the results and impact of IFAD’s operations based on a cohort of project and country programme evaluations conducted in 2004. In addition, it presents the consolidated findings from all projects evaluated by OE since 2002.
The introduction of the new methodological framework for project evaluation (MFE) in 2002 provided OE with a common framework for use systematically across all IFAD project evaluations. A slightly revised MFE was produced in September 2003. Compliance with the framework has improved steadily since 2002, as is evident from the much more consistent set of project evaluation reports produced in 2004. However, independent evaluations continue to be constrained by the weakness of project monitoring and evaluation systems. As a result, ratings have not been given for all indicators in all projects for the last three years. This, together with the relatively small sample size and short time period, limits the extent to which data presented here can be interpreted as trends.
The MFE consists of three main composite evaluation criteria: (i) performance of the project; (ii) impact on rural poverty; and (iii) performance of the partners. Each main criterion is divided into a number of elements, or sub-criteria. The criteria are broadly consistent with those used by other international financial institutions (IFIs), the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and members of the United Nations Evaluation Group, although impact domains differ according to the mandate of each organization. The MFE is explained in more detail in Annex I, which also illustrates how the MFE’s impact domains relate to the objectives of the Strategic Framework for IFAD 2002-2006 and to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The main objective of the ARRI is to present a synthesis of evaluation findings based on the MFE. Each report is also intended to provide a basis for discussion within the Evaluation Committee, Executive Board and IFAD about how OE can best present its findings and how the report can be improved. This ARRI has taken account of comments received from the Evaluation Committee in September 2004.
The report follows the structure implied by the MFE. Section II provides an outline of the projects and country programmes evaluated. Sections III-VI provide a synthesis from the project evaluations in each of the main evaluation criteria: project performance (section III), impact on rural poverty (section IV) and performance of partners (section V). Section VI summarizes overall performance. Section VII examines the contribution to IFAD’s strategic objectives and to the MDGs. The concluding section presents the key findings, suggests explanations for these findings, identifies main issues for the future and makes a number of recommendations.