Mid Term Evaluation of the "Community-Based Agriculture & Rural Development - East" (CBARD-E)

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
06/2020
Completion Date:
06/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Mid Term Evaluation of the "Community-Based Agriculture & Rural Development - East" (CBARD-E)
Atlas Project Number: 00098771
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2020
Planned End Date: 06/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Target
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Monitoring and analyzing the impact of interventions: For the project to make good management decisions
and provide sound advice to farmers, it needs a reliable information base. The recommendations in this section will help to develop that information base
and feed into the economic analyses.

2

Project management: The following recommendations are given for improving the project management in the project.

3

Allocation of resources: The now-extended project needs to be sure that it is promoting the right interventions and delivering them in ways that maximize the beneficial impact on treatment communities.

4

Strengthening access to markets: Marketing is clearly an issue of concern to beneficiaries, and the new Output 3 is designed to address this need. These activities should be implemented rapidly, and the project should be ready to make changes quickly if it becomes apparent that some aspects are not working as planned.

5

Strengthening extension: Extension is a key part of the project approach, implemented through Lead Farmers, Common Interest Groups and District Monitoring & Extension Advisors. However, it depends very heavily on the capacity of Lead Farmers with rather limited training, support and experience of extension.

6

Looking  ahead:

1. Recommendation:

Monitoring and analyzing the impact of interventions: For the project to make good management decisions
and provide sound advice to farmers, it needs a reliable information base. The recommendations in this section will help to develop that information base
and feed into the economic analyses.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

Agreed: The project acknowledges the need to update the monitoring systems and agree to implement the below Key Actions, in
response to this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Project database: Finish converting the existing spread sheetrecords into a structured relational database and ensure that future data are properly checked and coded before import.
[Added: 2020/07/06] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
CBARD Project 2021/09 Initiated The data in excel spreed sheets will be more standardized and the MIS/GIS specialist will work on converting the excel databases into relational database. History
1.3. APY survey: Extend the “APY” survey to all individual interventions and add sample-based collection of cost data to produce full gross margins for each high-value crop, including orchard inter-crops.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD Project 2020/12 Initiated Format of the APY data collection is updated based on requirements and for each intervention. The APY survey will be conducted based on production of each intervention to support the gross margin analysis.
1.2. Data exchange with UNODC: Arrange procedures for regular transfer of relevant data from UNODC databases in Excel or database format
[Added: 2020/07/06]
UNDP Livelihoods and Resilience Unit 2020/06 Completed The arrangements with UNODC already completed with UNODC agreeing to share all information and data. The project and UNODC are in the process of transferring imageries
1.4. Record-keeping and analysis of irrigation projects: Keep records for a representative sample of irrigation project and demonstration activities so that costs and benefits can be calculated
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD Project 2020/06 Completed Project will work with the technical unit, Nick and Alec to create the record keeping and analysis system.
1.5. Further analysis of high-value crop margins: Update and extend the analysis of high-value crop margins using data from project monitoring.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD Project 2020/06 Completed Project Economists (National and International) have received the data and are revising the financial analysis for all interventions.
1.6. Solving the monitoring problems: Investigate why project monitoring failed to detect or report some problems, and then take action to avoid recurrence.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD Project 2020/06 Completed Project has already taken steps to address the finding of the MTE in this regard. For example, sharing the M&E and extension staff in the field found as the main problem. The M&E structure is revised in provincial and centre level and dedicated M&E staff recruited in each province. The provincial monitoring staff are under supervision of the field coordinators and it is decided to bring them directly under supervision of the M&E manager. CBARD monitoring and technical team are working to bring more improvments in the M&E and reporting system.
2. Recommendation:

Project management: The following recommendations are given for improving the project management in the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/06]

Agreed: The project recognizes the need for improved project management and a revised project organigram has been drafted. The revised organigram, which is based on these recommendations, will be presented to the next board meeting for approval.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.6. Stronger role for UNDP in implementation: Review the respective roles of UNDP and MAIL in project implementation and see if there is another workable approach that would give better results.
[Added: 2020/07/07] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
UNDP and MAIL 2021/03 Initiated UNDP is planning to conduct a HACT Micro-assessment for MAIL. A similar assessment was done in 2015. As per HACT framework, the micro-assessment needs to be upgraded every five years or with update of CPD (whichever comes first). Therefore, UNDP needs to redo the micro-assessment as five years have passed since last one. The new assessment will determine the working relation for payments, procurement and human resources accordingly. MAIL also suggests for more efficient and robust capacity building plan and implementation to improve existing procedures to ultimately improve the quality of the technical implementation. History
2.1. More focused role for CDCs: Change the way of working with CDCs to focus on interaction with the community, rather than procurement and contract implementation
[Added: 2020/07/06]
Project Board (INL/MAIL/UNDP) 2020/06 Completed MAIL, INL and UNDP are discussing the way forward on this as part of the Board Meeting.
2.2. Strengthening vertical teams and delegation: Implement and support the new management arrangements, with a Deputy Project Manager, heads of units and a Programme Coordinator.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD Project 2020/06 Completed The implementation of revised organigram has started with Two unit heads already recruited. UNDP is also in the process of hiring a national Programme Director.
2.3. Voucher schemes for input supply: Introduce voucher schemes for input supply.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD MAIL PMU plus ROP 2020/06 Completed The project will work on establishing voucher schemes for inputs.
2.4. Supply of certified saplings: Work with other projects to help develop the commercial supply of certified saplings and use a voucher scheme to help beneficiaries buy them.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
ROP and UNDP Livelihoods and Resilience Unit 2020/06 Completed CBARD MAIL and UNDP agreed that UNDP should work with ROP on documentation and the final decision will be made by the Project board based on the CBARD successful and satisfactory results of spring plantation 2020.
2.5. More timely procurement: Introduce multi-annual “draw down” contracts for supply of standard items, with incentives for good performance and simple ways to switch supplier in response to poor performance.
[Added: 2020/07/06]
CBARD Project 2020/05 Completed Project has taken certain measures to ensure timely procurement. For example, to save time and improve the quality procedures all similar items are been procured in single packages.Furthermore, with the recruitment of the operation unit head, the financial and procurement procedures expected to be standardized and improved.
2.7. Communications team and campaign: Address the lack of progress in communications and consider alternative approaches if the project team cannot deliver.
[Added: 2020/07/07] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
CBARD Project 2021/09 Not Initiated The TOR is being reviewed by UNDP COMMs. History
3. Recommendation:

Allocation of resources: The now-extended project needs to be sure that it is promoting the right interventions and delivering them in ways that maximize the beneficial impact on treatment communities.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/07]

Agreed:

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.2. Maximise beneficiaries: Adjust the intervention mechanisms so as to reach as many beneficiaries as possible, aiming for considerably more than the current targets of 389 greenhouses and 910 jeribs of orchard.
[Added: 2020/07/07]
CBARD Project 2020/12 Initiated The project now focuses on potential irrigation schemes which can cover large number of beneficiaries itself and results in increasing potential areas for orchard and greenhouse establishment which ultimately increases the number of direct beneficiaries. The financial analysis of irrigation projects can support this analysis
3.1. Project focus: Focus project resources on the four core interventions of orchards, greenhouses, irrigation systems and marketing. Concentrate on making these interventions a success and emphasize them in monitoring and reporting.
[Added: 2020/07/07] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
CBARD Project 2020/09 Completed Conducting the gross margin analysis for all interventions are on-progress. The new implementation methodology is drafted and need to be finalized to make the system clear for implementation, monitoring and reporting. History
4. Recommendation:

Strengthening access to markets: Marketing is clearly an issue of concern to beneficiaries, and the new Output 3 is designed to address this need. These activities should be implemented rapidly, and the project should be ready to make changes quickly if it becomes apparent that some aspects are not working as planned.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/07]

Agreed:

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. New Output 3 on marketing: Implement Output 3 with vigor and flexibility.
[Added: 2020/07/07]
ROP 2020/03 Completed The output 3 has started as of 1 January 2020
5. Recommendation:

Strengthening extension: Extension is a key part of the project approach, implemented through Lead Farmers, Common Interest Groups and District Monitoring & Extension Advisors. However, it depends very heavily on the capacity of Lead Farmers with rather limited training, support and experience of extension.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/07]

Agreed:

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.3. Extension strategy: Develop an extension strategy to guide the project’s work in this and integrate it more closely with the MAIL extension system
[Added: 2020/07/07] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
CBARD Project 2020/12 Initiated Project is working on development of the extension strategy. The project will also look into possibility of bringing a specific consultant for developing this. History
5.1. Extension toolkit: Develop a toolkit of extension materials to increase the effectiveness of front-line extension workers and for direct dissemination to farmers.
[Added: 2020/07/07]
CBARD Project 2020/06 Completed This will also be addressed in the CBARD revised methodology and the recommendation of MTE about the extension toolkit is noted and similar methods and relevant package will be prepared.
5.2. Sharing lessons learned: Share experience of demonstration plots and regular interventions as widely as possible, with a strong emphasis on the lessons learned
[Added: 2020/07/07] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
CBARD Project 2020/09 Completed The project is planning to incorporate this in the future campaigns and technical trainings such as FFS. History
6. Recommendation:

Looking  ahead:

Management Response: [Added: 2020/07/07]

Agreed:

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.2. Understanding the rural economy: Study the overall rural economy and use the findings to shape the design of future projects for economic development and poppy reduction.
[Added: 2020/07/07]
MAIL and Governement 2020/12 Initiated This is for MAIL and Government. The Project will communicate this to MAIL and Government.
6.1. Long-term monitoring: Continue regular monitoring until at least 2028.
[Added: 2020/07/07]
MAIL and INL 2020/03 Completed This is for INL and Government. Project will communicate this to donor and Government.

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