1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the ed Nations Office of Evaluation Improve Livelihoods in Targeted Drought Affected Communities in Kenya- OSRO/KEN/002/SWE Management response to the evaluation report March final
2 Food and Agriculture Organization of the ed Nations Office of Evaluation (OED) This report is available in electronic format at: Permission to make copy, download or print copies of part or all of this work for private study and limited classroom use is hereby granted, free of charge, provided that an accurate citation and suitable acknowledgement of FAO as the source and copyright owner is given. Where copyright holders other than FAO are indicated, please refer to the original copyright holder for terms and conditions of reuse. All requests for systematic copying and electronic distribution, including to list servers, translation rights and commercial reuse should be addressed to For further information, please contact: Director, OED Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 1, Rome, Italy The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.
3 Management Response for Evaluation of Project OSRO/KEN/002/EC 23 March 1. Overall response to the evaluation: The management finds the evaluation report to be an exceptionally useful and well balanced document. The positive impact that the project has had on the livelihoods of beneficiaries is well defined and articulated. This said the following could have made the report more useful: The recommendations section is in fact limited to just one recommendation the need for an additional project. This means that the majority of the recommendations made by the report require the attainment of additional. It would have been useful to move some of the lessons learnt into the recommendations section. Indeed, in our response to the recommendations we have also responded to each lesson learnt as we feel that these also form important recommendations which should be taken on board in future. In order to distinguish between recommendations and lessons learned we have changed the format slightly and included the action FAO will take within the text of our response. A minor restructuring of the HIV/AIDS section to add clarity to the fact that much of the criticism within the report of this component of the project is based on issues which are outside the scope or mandate of FAO. The criticism should therefore focus more on the fact that we failed to develop partnerships which linked the JFFLS to health care processes. In the same vein, the development of partnerships to enable a wellness or one health approach, should be one of the key recommendations for future projects. 1
4 2. Management response to each recommendation Recommendations The following recommendations concern the design and implementation of a comprehensive sustainable development project in larger Mwingi County: Recommendation 1: The new project should cover the whole of Larger Concept note to be developed for Mwingi District, including perhaps project extension Mwingi Town. The project should have a duration of at least four years, with a budget of USD 6 million. Recommendation 2: Prior to project formulation, a sound and well focused situation analysis/needs assessment should be conducted based on primary and secondary sources. Recommendation 3: The project logframe should be developed, based on findings of the above ex-ante study. The internal consistency of the result, indicators and targets, should be critically checked for clarity and accuracy. Yes x Given the significant potential to improve livelihood resilience in Mwingi district (which has adequate rain fall and secure land tenure systems) the management are in full agreement with this recommendation and have already incorporated components of the project into a joint agreement with WFP, IFAD and FAO. Funds provided through this will be supplemented through with the development of a concept note for a project extension. Yes x There is significant existing information that will assist in formulating the project, including the district specific reports developed through the recent Short Rains Assessment. This information will be complemented by district and community level discussions in designing the concept note. No x Will improve the consistency and accuracy of future logframes. Action is to improve on the logrframe. District and community level discussions will be used in the process of development of the above concept The logframe in the above project will be submitted to the technical units for review By end Recommendation 4: Funds should be made available to continue to pay voucher for work subsidies, at least to a Yes x One of the lessons learnt was that voucher for work activities empowered the communities and 2 Voucher for work subsidies will be included in the
5 fraction of the targeted population, and to provide incentives to unpaid facilitators. Recommendation 5: Upgrading Farmers Field and Life School into Farmers Associations should be given priority. This would entail identifying and implementing appropriate savings and micro-credit mechanisms. Recommendation 6: The indigenous knowledge of the natural and man-made environment of the local people should be revitalized and mainstreamed into household agricultural practices, community-based natural resource management, extension and official early warning system. 3 reduced the dependency syndrome. The continuation of voucher for work activities would improve the resilience of the communities. It is also important to provide incentives to facilitators as they contribute significantly to capacitate the communities and sustainability. Yes x Upgrading FFLS into registered Farmers Associations is a necessity as it would be easy to link the Farmer Associations to appropriate savings and credit schemes and financial institutions for their sustainability. The Farmers Associations would therefore be encouraged to follow a market oriented value chain approach to improve productivity, value addition and marketing and finally income. will link Farmers Associations to Agribusiness unit. Yes x We fully appreciate the value of indigenous technology and knowledge, in particular knowledge on the management of Natural resources. This recommendation is therefore accepted. The management however proposes to go one step further and ensure that the Long and Short rains assessments currently being conducted by UN, NGOs and GOK also look into indigenous knowledge such as community early warning systems. above concept Link JFFLS and FFLS schools to the agribusiness unit in order to facilitate the development of cooperatives which support a value chain approach Incorporate an assessment of traditional early warning and response mechanisms into the long and short rains methodology ongoing Recommendation 7: Training activities Yes x will ensure that adult Include funds for
6 (on any subject) should be designed, facilitated and evaluated by an adult education specialist. Recommendation 8: The role of FAO in a possible HIV and AIDS component should focus on nutritional education and promotion of food crops rich in micro-nutrients and proteins. In this connection, a synergy should be established with the FAO Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division (AGN). 4 education specialists are included in the facilitation and evaluation of adult training programmes Yes x Whilst the management fully agrees with the recommendation to incorporate nutritional education and link with the FAO Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, we would also like to stress the importance of productivity. We strongly believe that, given appropriate support and nutrition, PLWHA can produce food for themselves and thereby live independent and dignified lives. With reference to the overall comments on the report, below is an analysis of the lessons learned and their application in future Lesson 1: Compared with conventional x cash for work, the voucher for food/asset modality is a highly effective and efficient mechanism to link emergency with rehabilitation (and, subsequently, sustainable development). Voucher subsidies have allowed farmers to strengthen household food security and, at the same time, given them a chance to improve their household natural/physical assets by working on their own farms (e.g. terracing land at risk of erosion), or on community works (e.g. sand dams). At the same time adult training specialists in the facilitation and evaluation of adult training programmes within the budget of the concept mentioned above Ensure that AGN is built in as the Lead Technical (TLU) within the concept developed
7 vouchers have proved more effective than the cash for food security by binding the use of subsidies to the purchase of food and empowering women. Lesson 2: In most cases, vouchers have been limited to the purchase of food. This was justified by the food security crisis that was affecting the area during project implementation. The possibility to use vouchers for paying for other livelihoods assets (school fees, health service, agricultural inputs and hardware, etc.) should be considered in the future. Lesson 3: FFLS proved to be a powerful organizational structure for promoting social cohesion, inclusion and, women farmers improvement. Nevertheless, FFLS are just a first step towards a stronger and more rentable organization of agricultural production. The capitals needed for modernizing agricultural through, for instance, drip irrigation systems (fed by water harvesting structures), cannot be accumulated by individual households. Cooperative organization of agricultural labour is needed in this connection. The incipient upgrade of some FFLS into Farmers Associations indicates that this lesson has been well understood by Project stakeholders and that relevant action is being implemented. Lesson 4: JFFLS have largely been ineffective. In the opinion of the 5 Yes x A recent report by Transparency International has shown that the use of vouchers for agricultural inputs needs to be closely monitored in order to ensure the quality of the agricultural inputs provided. will therefore increase the number of voucher for work activities that focus on the provision of agricultural inputs, but will complement this with a much closer monitoring system and seek to incorporate the use of electronic vouchers into the system. Yes x FAO is working on incorporating the village community banking / village savings and loans association approach into the Pastoral Field School methodology. This could (and should) be adapted for FFLS in order to facilitate the accumulation of funds for procurement of agricultural inputs / capital items. will pilot the incorporation of a component of village banking training into FFLS and review the impact prior to scaling up. Yes x Whist the views of the evaluators are correct, they ignore one of the most important aspects of the JFFLS. In addition to providing agricultural knowledge to children, the
8 evaluation team this depended on the choice of focusing JFFLS activities on primary school pupils instead of those in secondary school. The advantages related to addressing JFFLS membership on older youth include: higher involvement in household livelihoods, higher labour capacity, deeper concern for their future as farmers, and wider cultural capital. Lesson 5: Whenever possible, FAO should consider payment of grants directly to FFLS groups instead of centrally procuring inputs. This would reduce the likelihood of delays, while strengthening the local economy and increasing participation of the private sector. Lesson 6: The approach to HIV and AIDS issues was largely limited to health education, with little or no concern for nutritional issues (on which by institutional mandate and expertise, the Project should have primarily focused). Also, the Project has not been able to articulate this area with the inpatient and out-reach services provided by Mwingi Town Hospital, nor to address HIV and AIDS in the framework of a Primary Health Care approach, dealing also with diseases (e.g. child malnutrition, malaria) whose prevalence/incidence and social toll is much higher in the area than HIV and AIDS. Therefore, the Project should have adopted a wellness approach rather 6 role of the JFFLS is to impart important knowledge and awareness on HIV/AIDS to children before they become sexually active. Yes x The payment of grants directly to the FFLS schools enables the provision of support to accountancy and transparency issues within the group which is also exceptionally important. will adopt this process where possible. There are times when providing inputs rather than funds is a donor stipulation. Yes x Whilst the views of the evaluators are correct, they ignore an important fact: One of the single most important factors of ensuring viable livelihoods for PLWHA is dignity. When PLWHA are able to produce their own food they are potentially able to access nutritious meals without external help. This has a remarkable impact on stigmatization, where the community do not perceive PLWHA as a burden to society. So whilst Nutrition education will be included in future, addressing HIV/AIDS from a primary health care approach is outside the scope and mandate of FAO. FAO will provide linkages and encourage beneficial partnerships but cannot engage in the direct provision of health services.
9 than focusing on a single health condition (HIV and AIDS). Lesson 7: According to all stakeholders, a fifteen month duration (out of which, as in most development projects, six months had to be spent in making institutional arrangements, identifying the project area, setting up logistic arrangements, etc) is insufficient to implement an emergency and rehabilitation project as per the FAO - TCE approach. This is being worsened by the absence in the project design and practice of a feasible exit strategy. The lesson learned is that a regular followup four year project should be foreseen and possibly planned beforehand in projects aiming at addressing emergency and promoting rehabilitation. Yes x Whilst this is a great suggestion and FAO will happily comply, it is unrealistic to expect that all emergency projects will receive additional developmental. There is currently allot of work on this within the region and a very active debate as to how to ensure longer term within which FAO is an active member. 7