Choices in Agricultural and Rural development: different

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Office of Evaluation
Different groups, different
strategies for rural development
A synthesis of Evaluation Findings
Lead Evaluator: Andrew Brubaker
Presenter: Fabrizio Felloni
IDEAS Conference, Amman April 2011
Objectives of the presentation
• Present scope, methodology and process
of a new evaluation product
• Share emerging of ongoing synthesis work
• Stimulate insights from participants
familiar with similar endeavours
• Peer review of IFAD Evaluation Office by ECG in 2010
recommended to explore new evaluation products,
including evaluation syntheses
• 2010 IFAD President, new vision: farming is business
irrespective of size. Smallholder producers small farmers
should be empowered to “find their way into marketplace
and move from poverty management […] to become
• Cornerstone of proposed Strategic Framework 2011-15
• What does the Office of Evaluation has to say on this?
- One of IFAD’s specificity: targeting of beneficiaries . What
are the implications of the above shift for targeting?
IFAD is dedicated to reducing rural poverty
Evolution of its targeting approach
1976-1985 Geographic focus (poor areas) + smallholders. Quantitative
criteria (e.g. land size) to exclude the non-eligible
1986-1995 Trying to reach “poorest strata” under-served by other
interventions. Top-down targeting, quantitative criteria still applied
1996-2005 Enabling the rural poor. Community driven approaches, self
targeting. Less analysis upfront
2006 Targeting Policy. Focus on economically active poor and
progressively expand outreach to the extremely poor.
2010 “Small farmers as business persons”. Questions: (i) what are the
implications for targeting? (ii) Are we excluding a priori certain
Nature of the exercise
• Not a new evaluation
• Synthesis, using available in-house
evaluation evidence
• Complemented by insights from available
• Period 2003-2010 (2006 IFAD targeting policy)
• Meta analysis of evaluations (project, country
programme, corporate – level)
• Random sample of new project design and country
programme strategies
• Individual interviews with regional managers and
technical advisers
• Focus group discussion with country programme
• Rapid desk review, of current literature and approaches
of other development organizations.
Methodological constraints
• First experience, limited resources
• Type of intervention does not lend itself to
standardisation (could not use “systematic
review” methods)
• Not all IFAD evaluation addressing the issue
directly: need to extrapolate or use proxies
• Very few evaluated projects (5-6) have tried to
commercialise farmers: limited observations of
“treatment group”
• Sample of evaluations is not random
Key issue: Dealing with heterogeneity
• WB- WDR 2008; Rural worlds (OECD-DAC); Dorward et al. Wye/SOAS
• Political, economic, social, demographic, health, gender
• Rural worlds; (i) Large –middle scale commercial farmers, (ii) small
scale mixed cropping; (iii) survivalists (a. marginal farmers, b. landless;
c. in need of social assistance)
What IFAD could offer
Step-up /
Cash and export crops+ build linkages with
Step-out / non
Small/medium enterprises, apprenticeship,
functional literacy; preparation for
protect and
Soil protection, water management, small
livestock, food security, (conditional cash
What do evaluations tell us on
Significant proportion (not majority), 37%, of reviewed
evaluations find some “differentiation” (identification
of sub-groups) within envisaged target group
• Differentiation: indigenous people, women, several
definitions of poorer strata;
• 56 % of project evaluations and 38 % country
programme evaluations recommendations request
more clarity of target group
• Projects with targeting differentiation perform better
than others (higher average ratings: 4.5 vs. 4.0) but
mechanism and direction of causation not clear
What may happen as market orientation
is introduced?
Typical categories of market-oriented
approaches found in the desk review
• Private sector development. Supporting private
businesses (usually small-medium enterprises). Selfselection tends to include relatively better off. Trickledown effects through employment creation (sometimes
quite modest)
• Public-private Partnerships. IFAD supports farmers
through public entities. States helps broker agreements
with private buyers and processors (e.g. coffee, tea, oil
palm). Very marginal farmers and landless might be
excluded. Issue of monopsony and fair prices
• Value chain. Linking farmers to broader chain of
activities. Target group is sometimes specialised dairy or
horticultural producers. Choice of commodity may
introduce bias against less poor
Emerging issues and trade-offs for design and
implementation of projects
• Target group. Immediate needs vs. commercialisation
opportunities. Specific activities and safety net measures may
be dedicated to potentially excluded groups
• Detail. Precise targeting may be costly and lengthy
(discouraging private actors)
• Consistency. Characteristics of target group may change
dramatically over project life (upwards / downwards)
• Geog. area. The trade-off is often between developing
commodity value chains in high potential areas and the need
to tackle poverty in remote areas
Emerging issues (cont’d)
• Commodity. Earnings in some value chains may be
promising, but require substantial initial investments
• Integration. Economic relations between urban and rural
areas becoming increasingly important (e.g. linkages
between farmers and micro enterprises in urban areas)
instead of pure focus on rural actors.
• Partners. Including private sectors, other donors, public
sector. Will require enhancing IFAD understanding of private
• Sustainability. Trade off: request clients to contribute
money, labour, land vs. Risk exclusion of poorer groups
Future synthesis reports
• Could include formal systematic review
• Could consider formal application of qualitative
analysis (software) of evaluation reports
• Could embark on specific meta-analysis of
evaluations by sectors (e.g. classifying findings by
sub-sector, region, type and size of effect)
• How can project evaluations be adapted to
facilitate the synthesis work?