Mid-term Evaluation of the project "Community-Based Agriculture and Rural Development - West (CBARD-West)

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Evaluation Plan:
2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
03/2019
Completion Date:
04/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Mid-term Evaluation of the project "Community-Based Agriculture and Rural Development - West (CBARD-West)
Atlas Project Number: 00097936
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020, Afghanistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2019
Planned End Date: 03/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
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: Project resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL)
Countries: AFGHANISTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

The project design is a relevant way to address the problem of low incomes for land-holding members of the treatment communities. Given that high-value crops can often generate higher margins than opium poppies, the design may also be appropriate for reducing opium production; whether high-value crops alone will be sufficient to achieve this remains to be seen, as the concept which this project seeks to prove.


Tag: Agriculture Agriculture land resouces Rural development Relevance Poverty Reduction

2.

The project is designed in line with the government’s “Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Priority Programme”.

It addresses the Key Results Area from the 2014-17 Strategic Plan for Outcome 1: Growth and development are inclusive and sustainable, incorporating productive capacities that create employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded.

It also addresses UNDAF Outcome 1: Economic growth is accelerated to reduce vulnerabilities and poverty, strengthen the resilience of the licit economy and reduce the illicit economy in its multiple dimensions, which is also CPD Outcome 3.

The project also contributes to CPD Output 6: Improved economic livelihoods, especially for vulnerable populations and women.

In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals, the project contributes to:

  • SDG 1: to End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  • SDG 3: to Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, in particular
    • Target 3.4: to Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
  • SDG 5: to Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Tag: Relevance Gender Equality Programme/Project Design Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Agenda 2030 SDG Integration

3.

The interventions implemented so far have been within the technical capacity of the project team and of the beneficiaries. As the new orchards approach their full yield potential, the marketing challenges will rise and the project team may find it more demanding to develop marketing skills than technical capacity. AgroBusiness Centres, if designed and implemented, could also be challenging , partly due to limited local capacity and partly because they might turn out to be a rather artificial response to the problems faced by businessmen and traders.


Tag: Agriculture Agriculture land resouces Rural development Challenges Relevance Programme/Project Design Jobs and Livelihoods Technical Support

4.

Arguably, the biggest issue facing the project is that of scale:
The treatment communities in Badghis and Farah cover just over 40,000 ha of which probably half is irrigated34. Only a proportion of this area will ever have been used for poppy production, but these communities still represent the equivalent of 12 % of the peak poppy area of 328,000 ha grown in 2017, which is nationally significant.


Tag: Challenges Impact Implementation Modality Programme/Project Design

5.

Time available

The original project timing, from November 2016 to April 2020, would allow just two or three cropping years, with the proposed extension till April 2021 taking this to a maximum of three full years for orchards and up to four years for greenhouses.
This gives sufficient time to test the viability of the greenhouses but is far too short to gain a real impression of the orchards: high-density apple orchards are projected to reach full production from year 6, and 15 % of peak yield by year 3; grapes also peak from year 6 but reach almost 50 % of maximum yield by year 3; pomegranates do not reach full yield until year 8, and only achieve 30 % yield by year 3; conventional apple orchards and pistachios take at least 10 years to reach full productivity and have no significant yield in year 3.
Therefore it will be several years before the real impact of the orchards can be assessed, requiring the project to continue monitoring activities for some time after the planned project end date. Currently monitoring is closely linked to advice, and the project will wish to consider whether support and advice should be continued in this follow-up period, perhaps with some form of hand-over to MAIL extension services. In retrospect, the project should perhaps have been designed for a much longer period, or with greater emphasis on high-value crops that reach maturity quickly, such as greenhouses and field vegetables rather than orchards.


Tag: Challenges Impact Implementation Modality Programme/Project Design

6.

The project seems to be generally well managed, with effective cooperation between the UNDP office and the project team in MAIL at its various geographical levels. There is some indication that the “vertical teams”, e.g. the specialists on extension and agronomy at central, province and district level, do not cooperate as effectively as they might, and that the project could increase its efficiency in these areas. A recommendation is given on this below, together with one to improve procurement of time-sensitive supplies and works. There is also an identified need to recruit new staff for agricultural economics and communications.


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

7.

As part of its quality-assurance role, UNDP has commissioned annual audits and spot-checks using local companies to visit areas where UNDP staff cannot go. The MAIL team has been receptive to the suggestions from these audits and spot-checks, for example in developing and implementing detailed check-lists to speed up the procurement process, which has reduced the proportion of payments that have to be referred back for completion or correction to 10 % or less. UNDP plans to implement quarterly spot checks and third-party monitoring visits from next year, which should bring further improvements.


Tag: Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Partnership Project and Programme management

8.

The project began with a budget of $ 15 million to cover 30 treatment and 15 control communities, and planned for an Inception Period of January-June 2017 followed immediately by the start of implementation. Other areas were then considered for inclusion, leading to the creation of the CBARD-E project to work in Nangahar. Thus the final budget for CBARD West and East together comprises $ 46 million for implementation by UNDP and $ 2 million for monitoring by UNODC. Specifically for CBARD-W, the budget is now CBARD-W $24.0 m for UNDP plus $1.2 m for UNODC.

This additional financing allowed the number of treatment communities in CBARD-W to be more than doubled to 70, but increased considerably the task of community selection and the scale of the baseline study, needs assessment and value-chain studies, each of which covered Nangahar province in parallel with Badghis and Farah. As a result, the Inception Period was extended by three months to September 2017, with the first greenhouses and irrigation works delivered late in that year to demonstrate commitment to the project communities. Consequently, the first orchards were planted in spring 2018 rather than autumn 2017.


Tag: Government Cost-sharing Human and Financial resources Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management

9.

In terms of quality, all physical interventions (orchards, greenhouses and other structures) seem to be of good quality. All goods and works are checked against the detailed Bills of Quantities and a monitoring report produced, which must be certified by MAIL before final payment is made. The recently-introduced programme of spot checks will provide a further level of quality control.


Tag: Efficiency Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Quality Assurance Technical Support

10.

As noted under Question 5 above, the project Inception Period was extended by three months and all implementation activities pushed back by this amount. The key activity of selecting the treatment and control communities was carried out in March-April 2017, as soon as the target provinces, high-value crops and community selection criteria had been agreed.
The baseline study and needs assessment was commissioned in good time and conducted its survey work during April-July 2017, with data entry and processing continuing until September 2017. A first draft of the report was delivered in March 2018, and the final version is dated June 2018. It took some time to establish which community-level data could be shared without violating confidentiality, and how this should be done; once this issue was resolved, a Confidential Annex was delivered in late 2018. During this process, various forms of summary data were shared with UNDP, including at Technical Meetings in January and March, 2018.
The value-chain studies were delayed, as noted above.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management

11.

Adequate resources were made available from the outset of the project, in the sense that the availability of resources was not a practical constraint. The Inception Phase budget was increased from $ 200,000 to $ 356,000 to support the expanded scale of CBARD-W and CBARD-E combined, which allowed for the initial studies to be carried out on a larger area.

Did the project use the resources in the most economical manner to achieve its objectives?
This may be divided into three sub-questions: Did the project select the most economical interventions to achieve its objectives? Did it procure and deliver those interventions in the most economical way? Were the project management and support systems implemented economically and efficiently?


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management

12.

The system of “Common Interest Groups” involves monitoring and support visits by Lead Farmers on a roughly weekly basis, supported by regular visits from District and Provincial coordinators. This appears to allow effective monitoring of project progress, which is reflected in the Quarterly Reports – a useful monitoring tool in their own right.


Tag: Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Data and Statistics

13.

So far the analysis and use of data lags behind the achievements in monitoring. One specific issue is the absence of a structured project database with coded entries and systematic error checking. The consultant has developed a database structure and is assisting the MAIL team to clean the data as much as possible. Further work will be needed on this activity, which might also be extended to CBARD-E.


Tag: Challenges Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management Technical Support Data and Statistics

14.

The three main risks identified during the evaluation relate to security, time-scale, and the future reaction of non-beneficiary households in treatment communities. The Risk Log and Security Assessment that form Annexes 6 and 7 to the Inception Report address the security issues comprehensively but do not include the other two factors37.


Tag: Effectiveness Civic Engagement Project and Programme management Risk Management Security

15.

The logic, concept and approach are generally appropriate and relevant, apart from the limitation that three years will not be sufficient to measure the impact of the orchard interventions or to assess the long-term effect on poppy cultivation. This might be addressed through extending the project itself, or through follow-up monitoring as proposed in the Project Document. However, the fact that the original project duration is too short to measure the impact of orchards or to assess the impact of any high-value crop in a range of market conditions must be seen as a design weakness.


Tag: Relevance Programme/Project Design

16.

The Theory of Change is clear and relevant, but might usefully acknowledge the role of external factors in determining the final outcome in terms of opium production.


Tag: Relevance Programme/Project Design Theory of Change

17.

To what extent has the project implemented activities as envisaged?
In approximate chronological order, the project has implemented the following activities:


Tag: Effectiveness Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

18.

The mechanisms of project implementation include the initial decision to implement through Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the role given to the Community Development Councils (CDCs), the system of Lead Farmers and Common Interest Groups (CIGs), and the project structure.


Tag: Efficiency Civic Engagement Local Governance Implementation Modality Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

19.

Every project faces challenges. In addition to the factors of security and remoteness discussed under Question 20 below, the main challenges for the project have been:

  1. Managing community expectations, especially through the potentially divisive process of selecting one community but not its neighbour.
  2. A protracted procurement process that must meet both UNDP and government requirements. Typically it takes three months to contract a company, and around half this to sign a contract with a CDC. Suggestions to address this are included in Error! Reference source not found..
  3. Time-consuming procedures for recruiting international staff, which can take up to a year. In order to keep the project moving, it was decided to replace two staff positions with consultants, who could be recruited much more quickly.
  4. Attempted elite capture of long-term project positions, with pressure brought to bear to favour a particular candidate. In the end, the MAIL management and project team were able to ensure that objective and transparent recruitment procedures were followed.
  5. Limited staff numbers particularly for demanding technical positions in the project, such as engineers and extension specialists.
  6. Attitudes to the participation of women required a lot of hard work at community level to achieve the 20 % target for beneficiaries and Lead Farmers, and to get them accepted by the community.
  7. Securing the community contribution39 while working in some of the poorest communities in the country. This has generally been addressed by valuing the beneficiaries’ in-kind contribution but in some cases is still a constraint.

Tag: Challenges Gender Equality Gender Parity Anti-corruption Civic Engagement Human and Financial resources Procurement Project and Programme management

20.

As noted under Question 11 above, worsening security resulted in six treatment communities being suspended and then removed from the list. Security concerns have also affected the continuing communities, for example in determining when and where project staff can travel, and in preventing the Minister of Agriculture from visiting project communities during his visits to Farah province. When project provincial staff wish to travel to a treatment community, they request community leaders to come to the province centre, sign a written guarantee for their safe passage, and then escort them to the project area.

The time and costs of travel and transport also have a significant impact on project activities, and are due to a combination of poor roads, remoteness and security concerns. This effect can be seen in the procurement prices for greenhouses and other structures delivered and built in Badghis, which is very remote, compared to Farah where travel is rather easier: 400 m2 greenhouses cost 43 % more in Badghis, 60 m2 micro-greenhouses cost 52 % more and raisin houses cost 55 % more. Thus for the same budget, the project can only assist two-thirds the number of beneficiaries in Badghis as it could in Farah


Tag: Challenges Operational Efficiency Security

21.

Beneficiary representatives and project staff report that the project is well received in the treatment communities, regarded with some envy by neighbouring communities, but probably not well known outside these local circles and the main stakeholders of MAIL, MCN and UNODC. However, these groups that are aware of the project seem to regard it in a positive light.


Tag: Impact Civic Engagement Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

22.

It is widely reported by beneficiaries, project staff and UNODC that most treatment communities in Badghis have stopped growing opium poppies, though confirmation of this must await the results of UNODC’s 2018 survey.

The beneficiaries from Badghis reported a high degree of satisfaction with the interventions they had received, with several quoting good revenues from their new greenhouses.
The first year’s APY survey of 138 greenhouse beneficiaries recorded average revenue of $ 915 for the majority that had produced just one crop and $ 1,330 for those who harvested a second crop within the period. These values are lower than the projected annual revenue of around $ 2,400 per greenhouse but cover the very first steps of a new venture when farmers must learn a whole range of new technical skills as well as finding the best way to market their crop. Even at this lower level of output, the average project costs of $ 1,800 per greenhouse will be recouped in just two years.
The wider socio-economic impact of the increase in incomes and decrease in poppy production will become known once UNODC completes analysis of its 2018 monitoring survey.


Tag: Agriculture land resouces Rural development Impact Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction

23.

MAIL are fully committed to the project and no reason is seen why they will not continue to implement it energetically until the end of the project and any extension.
It is planned to hand over to the MAIL province offices (“PAIL”) at the end of the project but it is not yet clear what resources will be made available for continued monitoring and support, or whether MAIL itself will go on to deliver further interventions.

There appears to be strong commitment from INL, UNDP, UNODC, MAIL and MCN, with no significant issues reported.


Tag: Sustainability Ownership Sustainability Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UNDP Management UNDP management

24.

As a matter of principle, MAIL works with all groups in its project areas, neither discriminating nor setting targets or quotas. No information is available on the profile of beneficiaries, but there has been no suggestion of discrimination by ethnic or linguistic group or other characteristic.
However, there is one respect in which the project approach will exclude some people rather than others, which is the unavoidable requirement that they must have land on which to establish orchards, greenhouses etc. The project does not directly reach the landless though they might benefit indirectly from employment by producers of high-value crops, or suffer through the loss of employment in producing opium.


Tag: Impact Civic Engagement Inclusive economic growth

25.

As discussed under Question 18 above, the hierarchical management model from Kabul to the communities appears to work well and fits with the overall structure of MAIL. There is active involvement throughout the chain, for example, in requiring a MAIL official at province level to sign off each of the monitoring reports.


Tag: Local Governance Partnership Country Government Coordination

26.

The main cooperation is with UNODC, who are implementing the monitoring component of this project. The two organisations work together closely and report to the same management board for the UNDP CBARD projects and the UNODC BADILL project. Until very recently, the exchange of village-level UNODC data with UNDP was hampered by the lack of any signed Memorandum of Understanding, but in December 2018 it was confirmed that data could be exchanged without such a document, and these data were immediately made available.


Tag: Agriculture policy Rural development Coherence Donor relations Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Donor UN Agencies UNDP Management UNDP management

27.

The project works at the community and household level, and does not collect data on individual household members other than the Lead Farmers and the name and contact details of the direct beneficiary. There were no specific actions on child protection, nor were specific project threats identified in the Project Document or Inception Report.
The most relevant issue is the common practice of involving children in harvesting opium from poppies, which is both a form of child labour and a direct risk to their health. If the project is successful in inducing a long-term shift away from opium, children will be amongst the first to benefit.


Tag: Challenges Monitoring and Evaluation Security Agenda 2030

Recommendations
1

  1. Monitoring: 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 as well as develop monitoring information on project activities and deliverables.

2

Economic Analysis: The project needs to be sure that it is promoting the right interventions, and its extension staff need good information to help persuade and advise farmers.  These recommendations for economic analysis will help transform the monitoring data from the previous section into actionable conclusions

3

Round Two: As the project moves into its third operational year and launches its second big round of interventions, it 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 and finance: Access to finance remains one of the unsolved challenges of the project.  It is clear that beneficiaries want finance, but equally clear that the normal finance and micro-finance organizations simply do not yet exist in rural areas.

On marketing, it appears that output markets work better than expected, returning a higher-than-usual share of final value to the farmer, but that input supply markets are under-developed and inefficient, perhaps linked to the relatively low use of inputs on low-value crops.

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.  The next step should be to develop a more systematic approach and a strong support system for the front-line extension workers.  Attention should also be given to how farmers with orchards and greenhouses can continue to get good advice after the project finishes.

6

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

7

Looking Ahead: The following recommendations are given for the remainder of the project

1. Recommendation:

  1. Monitoring: 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 as well as develop monitoring information on project activities and deliverables.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

The project acknowledges the need to update the monitoring systems and agree to implement the below recommendations. The project has been working on an M&E toolkit which will be updated to include the recommendations below.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Project database: The project will convert the existing spreadsheet records into a structured relational database and ensure that future data are properly checked and coded before import.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
CBARD project 2021/09 Initiated Request for assigning two developers from MAIL MIS sent to DM and after approval sent to MAIL MIS. The development of database is initiated. History
1.2. Data exchange with UNODC: The project will arrange standard operating procedures for regular transfer of relevant data from UNODC databases to the project database.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
UNODC to share with CBARD project 2019/06 Completed UNODC regularly shares data as per request with UNDP and project. The operating procedures and rules of government on data sharing is followed. History
1.3. From output to impact: The project will consider methods and approaches for assessing overall project impact, ensuring that all necessary indicators are collected, and give greater prominence to indicators that strongly influence household income
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2020/12 Completed Revise the M&E Toolkit and formats including some methodological development centered around analyzing farm-level and community-level impacts (Evidence: updated M&E Toolkit) Data will now be collected to allow estimation of gross margins. This currently for greenhouse crops and will be extended to fruit crops once production starts. The project now knows how to do this. But they need to double check the data, particularly on yields, to make sure that expected yields are realistic. More stringent data requirements and documentation are now required by the M&E team to validate implementation progress as of 2020 Q1 (01 Jan). In addition, the Dev Results database has been setup by INL for both projects, and data is now collected at district-level for key indicators from the PMP for quarterly reporting. The M&E toolkit is revised and the gross margins are updated History
1.4. Results Framework: The project will review and synchronize the targets in the Results Framework and Performance Monitoring Plan and create standard database reports to give regular status updates.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2019/06 Completed The Results framework is revised and approved by the project board meeting on 13 June 2019 History
1.5. Gross Margins Survey: The project will supplement the Area, Product Yield (APY) survey with sample-based collection of cost data to produce full gross margins for each high-value crop, including orchard inter-crops
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2019/06 Completed The Gross margins are completed for all target crops History
1.6. Record-keeping for demonstration activities and irrigation projects: The project will keep records for a representative sample of irrigation project and demonstration activities so that costs and benefits can be calculated.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD Project 2020/12 Completed Update the M&E Toolkit and forms to be developed; Train project staff on what, how, when to collect; Conduct financial analysis based on the collected data. (Evidence: updated M&E toolkit and forms)Revised QPR reporting templates developed by CBARD, UNDP and INL, and disaggregated by province and district, are being implemented as of 2020 Q1 for improved implementation tracking, increased documentation validation, and stronger reporting in QPRs and APRs. The M&E toolkit is revised and the gross margins are updated. History
1.7. Analysis of other alternative livelihood projects in agriculture: The project will consider analyzing similar interventions under other projects, such as the World Bank-funded National Horticulture and Livestock Programme (NHLP), to determine their long-term effect on opium growing, so long as it is in line with the project mandate and activities*
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
UNDP L&R Unit 2019/06 Completed This is communicated to MAIL. The project has shared the capacity and tools to conduct this. History
2. Recommendation:

Economic Analysis: The project needs to be sure that it is promoting the right interventions, and its extension staff need good information to help persuade and advise farmers.  These recommendations for economic analysis will help transform the monitoring data from the previous section into actionable conclusions

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

The project acknowledges and agrees to further extend the economic analysis to be based more on actual data coming from monitoring of project activities and areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Further analysis of high-value crop margins: The project will update and extend the analysis of high-value crop margins using data from project monitoring.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2019/06 Completed The APY has been restructured to be able to collect actual data for gross margins. The gross margins will be conducted on annual basis based on this data. History
2.2. Economic analysis of other project interventions: The project will conduct standard financial and economic analysis of all project interventions to determine their viability before promoting them widely*
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2019/06 Completed This has been completed for raisin houses, onion storages and compost interventions. History
2.3. Economic modeling for farms and villages: The project will combine the gross margin budgets into economic models to show the impact of the project on whole farms and villages, considering also their other crops and how project successes can be upscaled.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/12/16]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2019/12 Completed The farm income analysis is completed. History
3. Recommendation:

Round Two: As the project moves into its third operational year and launches its second big round of interventions, it 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: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

The project acknowledges and agrees to extend the number of beneficiaries within the budget. The project has been working to deliver in tranches of beneficiaries. The ones that already have received interventions, will not be targeted again.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1. Intervention priorities: The project will focus Round Two on crops and structures that give a high return on project funds and can cover large areas of land or numbers of people
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2019/06 Completed This has been completed. Based on the financial analysis of all interentions, plans have been revised. History
3.2. Interventions for Women: The project will check the economic profitability of female-focused interventions and implement the profitable ones on a considerably wider scale
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/07/26]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2020/06 Completed Financial analyses made for beehives and micro-greenhouses. No financial analyses done for kitchen gardens or home food processing for methodological reasons: these interventions are no longer implemented History
3.3. Cost-effective solutions: The project will seek alternative designs for cold stores, raisin houses, compost units and irrigation structures than can be replicated by beneficiaries at minimal cost, thus ensuring greater sustainability and replicability of project successes.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/07/26]
CBARD Project with UNDP L&R Unit Support 2020/06 Completed Cold stores redesigned for lower construction cost. Irrigation financial analysis in progress. Vermiculture units no longer implemented because of high cost and standard compost units redesigned as low-cost structures. Raisin houses remain as per original design. History
3.4. Maximize beneficiaries: Adjust the intervention mechanisms for Round Two so as to reach as many beneficiaries as possible, aiming for more than the original target of 2,100
[Added: 2019/04/29]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2019/03 Completed The project has discussed this with UNODC and the Project Board and is possible up to the level budget allows. (Evidence: Meeting minutes of Project Board Meeting and Monthly Meeting with INL)
4. Recommendation:

Strengthening access to markets and finance: Access to finance remains one of the unsolved challenges of the project.  It is clear that beneficiaries want finance, but equally clear that the normal finance and micro-finance organizations simply do not yet exist in rural areas.

On marketing, it appears that output markets work better than expected, returning a higher-than-usual share of final value to the farmer, but that input supply markets are under-developed and inefficient, perhaps linked to the relatively low use of inputs on low-value crops.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

The project acknowledges the need for establishing the access to markets and finance. In fact, access to finance was part of the project but it couldn’t be established due to remote locations. Having said that, the project can see the feasibility of input supplies which good results didn’t have up to now, but project can work with farmers to increase the demand and link with businesses-men. On marketing, the project is revising marketing strategy which is more focused on international markets.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1. Input supply shops: The project will consider piloting local input supply shops as part of the project’s support to community-based input supply infrastructure, with these also serving as contact points for information and advice
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2020/12 Completed The input supply shops are tried and tested many times by MAIL and USAID projects but failed. Therefore, the project will not work on their establishment but rather will review ways to work as facilitator to bring private sector suppliers and farmers together. To do this, the project may seek to determine the demand in project areas and link with businesses who can meet the demand. History
4.2. Working credit linked to input supply: The project will consider the viability of extending trade credit through the new input-supply shops, if established
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2020/12 Completed This is a strategic recommendation and will be dependent on previous recommendation. There are contract farming possibilities given traders can be attracted in the area. This can also be linked with CBARD marketing approach. However, it might be infeasible to establish given as a similar activity (access to finance) couldn’t be established in 2018. History
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.  The next step should be to develop a more systematic approach and a strong support system for the front-line extension workers.  Attention should also be given to how farmers with orchards and greenhouses can continue to get good advice after the project finishes.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

The project acknowledges and agrees with need for strengthening extension. The project can bring specific capacities to work on this with the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1. Extension Toolkit: The project will develop a toolkit of agriculture extension materials to increase the effectiveness of front-line extension workers, standardize approaches across all project areas, and for direct dissemination to farmers
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2020/12 Completed Extension specialist has recently joint the project and he is working on the developing of extension manual including the tool kits, and extension training material that will enable our team in the field to carry out the extension services effectively and efficiently. History
5.2. Sharing lessons learned: The project will share experience of demonstration plots and regular interventions as widely as possible, with a strong emphasis on the lessons learned
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2020/12 Completed Extension specialist has recently joint the project and he is working on the developing of extension manual including the tool kits, and extension training material that will enable our team in the field to carry out the extension services effectively and efficiently. History
5.3. Extension strategy: The project will develop an agriculture extension strategy to guide the project’s work in this and integrate it more closely with the MAIL extension system for securing longer term sustained impacts of project successes
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/05]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2020/12 Completed Extension specialist has recently joint the project and he is working on the developing of extension manual including the tool kits, and extension training material that will enable our team in the field to carry out the extension services effectively and efficiently History
6. Recommendation:

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

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

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
6.2. More timely procurement: The project will allow greater lead time for procurement and delivery when time is limited, and make greater use of multi-annual “draw down” contracts for supply of standard items
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/12/16]
Project and UNDP L&R Unit 2022/04 Initiated this has two activities. One is two-year AWPs, and another is procuring the items in the procurement plan. Both are continuous activities. We do AWPs every year and then purchase those items regularly. History
6.3. Communications expert and campaign: The project will recruit a communications expert, prepare a communications strategy and put it into effect.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/10/19]
UNDP L&R Unit 2021/09 Initiated The TOR is being reviewed by UNDP COMMs. History
6.1. Strengthening vertical teams and delegation: The project will develop vertical teams to increase delegation, strengthen cooperation between staff working on similar issues, and improve management efficiency. The project will also consider appointing an official Deputy Project Manager, if needed.
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/07/15]
Project and UNDP L&R Unit to prepare and approved by Project Board 2019/06 Completed The Project Organigram has been revised and presented to Project Board which was approved. The revised organigram has addressed this issue. History
7. Recommendation:

Looking Ahead: The following recommendations are given for the remainder of the project

Management Response: [Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/11/28]

The project will implement the recommendations up to possible level. Main recommendation is at strategic level aimed for government/donor which is out of project scope

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1. Project Duration: The project will consider extending the project until the end of 2021, continuing regular monitoring until at least 2028, and ensuring advisory work continues after the project ends*
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2020/04/05]
INL and Project Board 2020/03 Completed Extension till end of 2021 is agreed in principle with plan to be finalized it by 30 June 2019. History
7.2. Testing the scope for scaling-up: The project will focus some resources on a limited area to discover whether and how large volumes of high-value crops can be marketed and at what scales
[Added: 2019/04/29] [Last Updated: 2019/12/16]
CBARD with support of UNDP L&R Unit 2019/12 Completed The marketing support is added in the project. We will have the signed RPA by the end of Dec 2019. History

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