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Khot, Seemantinee, 2014, Mid-term evaluation of food security through enhanced agricultural production, diversified sources of income, value addition and marketing in Bangladesh (Mymensingh/Sherpur)

2.1 ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.11 Coordination and sustainability planning

Recommendation25. Ensure sufficient time for:

  • Mobilisation to ensure commitment of stakeholders including government.
  • Institution and capacity strengthening
  • Analysis of past experience in similar projects in the local context
  • Analysis of local markets
  • Analysis of existing IE operator management capacity strengthening needs and good production practices
  • Development of information feedback mechanisms to improve implementation of development actions
  • Focus on establishing mechanisms to strengthen coordination among stakeholders throughout all project phases.

Reference: Khot, Seemantinee, 2014, Mid-term evaluation of food security through enhanced agricultural production, diversified sources of income, value addition and marketing in Bangladesh (Mymensingh/Sherpur), Midterm or interim evaluation, FAO, Rome.

Evidence sample: the evaluation asserts that, as FAO’s project had a delayed start, and began without operational guidelines for complex components like institution building, monitoring systems to track output and outcome level targets, analysis of lessons from previous projects, staff exposure, market studies for different products, identifying existing good production practices, record keeping at family level, activity calendars and feedback mechanism etc., and defining inter-departmental commitments for convergence of resources.

The initial phase of community mobilisation and staff capacity building was rushed to make up for lost time due to delayed start. Formation of groups, selecting vulnerable families for special assistance and disbursing funds all started simultaneously. This shortened the time required for changing community mind set from grant based projects to participating in governance; for leaders to sharpen their facilitation skills and faith in democratic functioning, for beneficiary families to make informed choices of agro-enterprises before opting for micro-finance etc.

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2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.4. Leadership, life skills, empowerment training, literacy/numeracy

Recommendation: 3. Note that developing self-confidence and communication skills should be an essential part of most women’s economic empowerment actions.

Reference: Khot, Seemantinee, 2014, Mid-term evaluation of food security through enhanced agricultural production, diversified sources of income, value addition and marketing in Bangladesh (Mymensingh/Sherpur), Midterm or interim evaluation, FAO, Rome.

Evidence sample: The evaluators agree that the success of Farmer Field School (FFS) was evident. The evaluators met 10 graduates, they shared their newly acquired learning with details and were keen on showing how they have applied these on their farms and improved production. The FFS graduates have not only improved farming practices, but also their confidence levels and communication. It was highly recommended that the “Community Field Days” are regularly convened, so as to keep on clearing doubts and encouraging new grantees among fellow farmers.

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2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.4. Leadership, life skills, empowerment training, literacy/numeracy

 

Recommendation: 5. Take the political balance and motivations already in existence in the local context into account when supporting the identification of Village Based Organisations leaders. While communities should identify their own leaders, projects/programmes need to be aware and support selection criteria that will help avoid individuals from monopolising leadership positions for personal purposes only. Promote inclusion of women in leadership positions.

References: Khot, Seemantinee, 2014, Mid-term evaluation of food security through enhanced agricultural production, diversified sources of income, value addition and marketing in Bangladesh (Mymensingh/Sherpur), Midterm or interim evaluation, FAO, Rome.

Evidence sample: Evaluation concludes that the selection of leaders has not taken into account the likelihood of political vested interests or interference. As a result self-nomination seems to have crept in some politically motivated individuals. Developing a local leadership cadre is a good idea but the selection process could were better thought through. Faith in democratic functioning, sensitivity, inclusiveness, knowledge and information about government schemes could were given more importance. Though, the component of capacity building of Village Based Organisations leaders needs to be planned more elaborately and comprehensively than it is.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.4. Improving food security through enhancing livelihoods of people dependent on IE

Recommendation: 6. In projects with a food security component, ensure that there is not so much focus on the implementation of project activities (e.g. to improve product marketing) that the actual goal of increasing participants’ own household food security is ignored. Ensure the project includes guidelines for a food security agenda across all its components.

Reference: Khot, Seemantinee, 2014, Mid-term evaluation of food security through enhanced agricultural production, diversified sources of income, value addition and marketing in Bangladesh (Mymensingh/Sherpur), Midterm or interim evaluation, FAO, Rome.

Evidence sample: the evaluation found that the project staff is so occupied with delivery of activities that little time and attention is given to check whether these activities contribute to the project’s objective of “food security”. How to market agro produce is being discussed more than checking whether enough food is available for participating families. The project has no guidelines for integrating a food security agenda across all its components, selection of livelihood options, crops, storage methods, value addition and topics for capacity building. It is important to ensure that markets are not accessed at the cost of consumption deficits.

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Alessio Lupi
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22 June 2018

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