Mid-Term Evaluation of the IFAD Crop Livestock Conservation Agriculture (CLCA) Project
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Ross McLeod, Ahlem Massaoud, Javier Aguilera. (14/9/2021). Mid-Term Evaluation of the IFAD Crop Livestock Conservation Agriculture (CLCA) Project.
ICARDA commissioned a mid-term evaluation of the Use of Conservation Agriculture in Crop-Livestock Systems (CLCA) in the drylands for enhanced water use and soil fertility in Near East and North Africa (NEN) and Latin America and Caribbean Countries (LAC) countries project. The IFAD grant project is led by the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), with subcontracts provided to International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT, Mexico) and NARES in Algeria, Tunisia, Bolivia, and Mexico. The objectives of the midterm evaluation are to (i) appraise the activities and outputs achieved by ICARDA and partners, (ii) identify and assess outcomes of the project, (iii) identify the enablers and/or constraints to the attainment of project results and lessons learned, and (iv) make practical recommendations for corrective action required to achieve the envisioned project results within the remaining period of the project. The evaluation is based on a review of project-related documents, along with remote and face-to-face interviews with various stakeholders, including beneficiaries and the CLCA project implementation team. Overall, CLCA is demonstrating satisfactory achievement at mid-term. The project design is relevant as it is aligned with national priorities, as well as IFAD policies, although country selection could have considered broader socio-economic factors. The lessons of the first CLCA project have been used, which included farmer nomination of CLCA priorities. CLCA is judged to be effective at midterm as assessed by achievement of planned outputs and outcomes (measured by milestones). The target of 3,000 smallholder farmers being reached has been achieved and 2,100 having directly adopted CLCA farming systems should be attained. The proportion of women beneficiaries are below target, although youth participation is reasonable. Efficiency has been impacted by country changes and COVID but is reasonable. Based on MTE ratings of project performance based on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability of benefits, rural poverty impact, gender, innovation, scaling up, environment and natural resources management, and adaptation to climate change criteria – the CLCA project is assessed to be moderately satisfactory at midterm